Can you believe I never did a disclaimer for this story? O.O Oh well—we all know Star Wars isn't mine. If it were, you would be buying this story from your local bookstore or Amazon. Disclaimers are silly—except when they're YouTube disclaimers. Then, you need all the legal backup you can get!
The epilogue at last! As the story now stands, I've received over 3,200 hits, 9 favorites, 12 alerts, 41 reviews, 20 different reviewers, and 8 readers who reviewed more than once. Thank you so much, guys! *hugs all around*
That being said, I'd like to recognize two people for their continual support: Historian 1912 and Pearlmaidenredskyla. "Pearl," ever since you started reading, you've been reviewing, and I can't thank you enough for that. You even gave me a suggestion that really helped move the story forward, and you've been a constant encouragement. Historian, without your request for the completion of this fic a year ago, it probably would never have been finished, let alone uploaded to FFN. And your so-called "rants" always make me smile, especially when you apologize for them.
Muchas gracias, you two!
To my reviewers:
Pearlmaidenredskyla: THAAAANK YOUUUU! xD "See, I can do it, too." (Cookies if you recognize the quote.) Updating now, lol.
Historian 1912: Well, this story has taken some directions that I certainly never foresaw. I'm glad you think it worth the wait. By fanfic standards… oh, I don't know. I think it could have been a lot better, at least in mechanics. *smiles* I mean, have you ever seen the work of people like Obaona and Yesac? Ah, puts me to shame! But thank you!
Oh, but this epilogue is the absolute climax of the whole fic! It's the last-but-not-least piece we need before going on to RotS! And it may be cliché to say that this is the beginning rather than the end, but it's true. This story is only a prelude—much-needed, but a prelude, nonetheless—to a saga that will cover a lot of ground, time, and people. It's the information that you need to understand what's going on, and why things are going to happen the way they will. If you enjoyed this fic, I promise you'll love the sequel. I also promise that the third installment will be even better. …Oh Force, I'm literally trembling just thinking about it!
Anakin ran down the steps from the balcony, almost colliding with Dormé coming up. "Sorry!" they said simultaneously.
Dormé smiled briefly. "I think Dan might need your help with Master Kenobi," she told him.
Anakin exhaled and ran a hand through his cropped hair. "If he's getting cold feet again…" he muttered, stalking away. Over his shoulder, he called back, "Thanks, Dormé!"
The newly-minted Jedi Knight hurried through the Naberrie family villa, headed for the room that Obi-Wan was using. On the way, he passed by Siri's room, with Padmé leaning out of the door. "Anakin, let them know we're almost ready," she called.
"Will do," he smiled. She still looked a little heavy, but that was to be expected, only two months after the birth. In her two weeks of recuperation on Coruscant, Anakin had had enough time to go out on a mission and come back home. He'd visited her the night before she was released from the medcenter and, three months later, had been informed that he was a father again.
"Ani, I want our new child to look like you."
He was more than a little apprehensive, and not only because of the tragic outcome of Padmé's last pregnancy. He wasn't sure how he'd feel if the baby turned out to be another boy. Would he forget his first son in the joy of his second, or would the first son haunt him through the second?
Fortunately, he didn't have to deal with that ambivalence for very long. In Padmé's sixth month, she scheduled a brief visit with her family that lengthened when she gave premature birth to a small but healthy daughter, with a fine layer of soft dark hair and huge eyes the color of the midday sky. Anakin himself had carefully pulled his baby girl out of the birth canal, sensing an instant connection to her such as he'd never felt before with anyone—not even his wife.
They named her Lúthien.
A month later had come Jabiim, the darkest days of the war thus far and perhaps some of the bloodiest days the galaxy had ever seen. Obi-Wan had been captured and presumed dead, and Anakin made decisions there that he knew would haunt him forever.
Shoving aside the recent dark memories, Anakin pushed open his now-former Master's door and stepped inside.
Pulling away from the door, Padmé stood on her tiptoes to adjust the hairpins holding the veil in place. "Where's Rabé when you need her?" she muttered. "She was the best at hairdressing."
"You should've tried harder to get her," Sabé smirked from her corner, where she held a two-month-old Lúthien.
"At every number I called her, she was somewhere else!" Padmé protested. "It was a wild mynock chase."
"Shh—you're going to bother the baby," Sabé smiled roguishly.
It hadn't taken the media long to get wind of Senator Amidala's child, and rumors immediately began to fly concerning the baby's father. A mere two days after the news broke out, Padmé held a press conference, stating that she was indeed married but that she preferred to keep her husband's identity a secret for now, for security reasons. Sabé Janea, the woman who'd once been her decoy, quickly arrived at Padmé's apartment in the 500 Republica and established herself as the caretaker of her best friend's daughter—much to Padmé and Dormé's relief.
"I can work just as well from here as I can at home. Better, even—I'll be with you all the time."
In the months that followed Padmé's descent from the throne, the firebrand Sabé had taken up political writing. Nowadays, she managed to find enough time to keep writing while taking care of the small baby. Padmé was comforted with the knowledge that Sabé was a more-than-adequate guardian for Lúthien—the former handmaiden had, at the age of thirteen, come out of her combat classes with the best scores on record. With her skills, Sabé could easily have eked out a living for herself on the Fringe.
"Argh! Padmé, that's pulling on my hair!"
"Sorry, Siri!" Padmé apologized, irritated with herself for letting her mind drift. She made a quick adjustment. "Better?"
"Easy does it, Pad," Sabé advised, dark eyes twinkling. Living with Sabé once more had quickly reminded Padmé just how irritating her friend could be at times.
"Shush," Padmé ordered.
"Are we almost done?" Siri complained.
"Yes," Padmé insisted. "Just one more minute."
"I feel like a porcelain doll!"
"You look like a porcelain doll," Sabé grinned, swaying slightly for the baby's benefit.
"Big help, Sabé," Padmé shot back.
"All right, that does it—makeup's coming off," Siri said at the same time.
"It's not that much makeup—now hold still!" Padmé chided.
"I can't do this," Obi-Wan decided, moving away from the mirror.
"Yeees, you can," Dan said firmly, taking Obi-Wan by the shoulders and steering him back towards the mirror.
"Dan—" Obi-Wan began to protest.
At that moment, Anakin entered the room. Sizing up the situation in an instant, he smirked and folded his arms. "Now's no time to get cold feet, Master," he warned mockingly. "You've got a beautiful woman just a few doors away who's waiting to say her vows to you."
"Knowing Siri, she's no happier with getting dressed up than I am," Obi-Wan retorted, face flushing.
"Be that as it may," Anakin said breezily, "there was no way Padmé, Dan, Gil, and I were going to let you two get hitched in your Jedi robes."
Anakin's eyes widened with innocence. "Only 'cause we didn't have time to find a suit that fit. We had enough time with you."
"Lucky me," Obi-Wan groaned. It was mostly in good fun, really—his mind dwelt more on the rather frightening prospect of saying "I do." Good thing he hadn't even tried to eat lunch—his stomach wouldn't have been able to hold it down.
He focused on his reflection in the mirror. He was finally starting to fill out once more—his imprisonment on Rattatak had left him quite skeletal in form. His skin was still vaguely transparent, and lines that likely wouldn't fade now creased his face. But his ginger-colored hair was regaining its shine, and his blue-grey eyes no longer looked quite so faded.
And he was wearing a dark blue tuxedo. Having to wear one in the first place was bad enough, but he'd flatly refused to wear black.
Black reminded him too much of Rattatak, and Ventress.
The two younger Jedi Knights helped him finish preening himself. After a minute, Dan stood back and whistled. "Wow, Obi-Wan—if you looked like this all the time, you'd have fangirls by the thousands!"
"Yes, well, there's only one 'girl' I'm interested in right now, thank you very much," Obi-Wan returned curtly.
"Oh, lighten up, Master!" Anakin advised, clapping Obi-Wan's shoulder and grinning. "It's your wedding day!"
Siri resigned herself to her fate with nary a sigh. Master Yoda often taught the younglings at the Temple that a Jedi knows not pain.
She begged to differ.
If Padmé pulled at her hair one more time, Siri just might have to forgo her resignation and order that the veil be dropped.
Gilraen swung into the room just then, her own small son in her arms and supported on her hip. "Hey, hurry up, Padmé—Dan says Obi-Wan's ready."
"All right—we'll be right there," Padmé nodded resolutely. "Aaand… there! Finished. Well, Siri, what do you think?"
What did she think? Siri stared at herself with wonder, slowly twirling and watching the white shimmersilk swish around her ankles. With the white gown and the pale blue blossoms in her curled golden hair, she looked like some kind of fairy princess. "Padmé," she breathed.
After a few moments, she pulled herself together enough to add, "I never dreamed I'd ever look this pretty."
"It's not my doing," the younger woman smiled. "I only touched you up a bit—you're radiant enough on your own."
For the first time in a long time, Siri blushed. This wedding was doing crazy things to her.
Then again, she was so incredibly blessed. Ten weeks ago, she hadn't dared to hope that this day would ever come, though she'd dared to believe that Obi-Wan was still alive.
Though the Jedi Council and Obi-Wan's own Padawan had given him up for dead, Siri hadn't. She promised Anakin that she would bring Obi-Wan home and, several weeks later, she'd returned to the Temple with a pale, wounded, but very much alive Obi-Wan. The rescue of four Jedi in less than a year's time (two more Knights besides Anakin and Obi-Wan) earned her the nickname Finder.
She didn't care what they called her. All she cared about was that the man who meant more to her than anyone else in the galaxy had survived.
And, from his medbay bed, Obi-Wan had asked her to marry him.
Past her uncharacteristic and quite embarrassing tears, Siri had said "yes."
"With this ring, as a token of my love and affection, I thee wed," Siri murmured, sliding the ring onto Obi-Wan's finger.
The priest smiled and said, "By virtue of the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife. What God hath joined together, let no man separate. You may kiss the bride."
Obi-Wan froze, but only for a moment. He carefully lifted the veil and leaned down, gently pressing his lips against Siri's. She pressed back, placing her hands on his neck as he wound his arms around her.
It was something bright and beautiful, this kiss—like a star, warm and alive and unmistakably real. Eternity compacted into a few precious moments in which no one else existed in the entire universe. If they could freeze Time right now, right here… they would be satisfied.
But they had to come up for air sometime. And, because of those vows, because of those "I do's," because of those rings… they were going to have that eternity.
About five seconds after pulling away, they remembered that they actually weren't the only two people in the universe, and that there was a small audience now enthusiastically applauding them. As one, they turned to that audience, he with an amazingly tender expression and she with a brilliant smile.
Elladan and Gilraen Starrider were beaming, Brendan Starrider was grinning widely, Sabé and Dormé were cheering, and Anakin and Padmé Skywalker were looking decidedly misty-eyed.
Obi-Wan and Siri Kenobi held each other's hands for the first time as husband and wife, and knew they would never let go.
"When do they have to ship out?" Siri heard Gilraen murmur to Dan.
"Tomorrow," Dan murmured back. "I think that, later this summer, they'll be in Christophsis."
"Christophsis?" Gilraen echoed. "What's out there?"
Siri tuned out, already well-aware of that information. She turned to speak to her husband—her husband!—but Anakin stood from the table and cleared his throat. "May I have your attention, please?" he called. "Thank you."
"Anakin, what are you doing?" Obi-Wan asked suspiciously—and with more than a hint of parental weariness.
"As you know," Anakin continued, as if he hadn't heard his former Master, "it's the duty of the best man to raise the toast—"
"You're just fortunate you're actually old enough to drink," Obi-Wan retorted.
Siri couldn't help it—she laughed. As did the others.
Anakin adopted a look of wounded dignity and drew himself up. "Obi-Wan, please—I'm trying to make a speech here."
"You're trying to make a fool out of me," Obi-Wan returned sarcastically.
Anakin's dignified expression turned wide-eyed and innocent. "Master, I don't have to."
Siri's own blue eyes widened—Oh, he did not just say that!
A pregnant pause fell over the balcony. Brendan looked as if he was enthusiastically expecting a fight, his brother's and sister-in-law's expressions were somewhere between surprised and amused, Sabé looked amused, Dormé looked horrified, and Padmé just looked stunned.
And Obi-Wan stared at his former Padawan in absolute shock. Anakin merely arched an eyebrow.
Clip a kid's braid, Siri mused, and he thinks he can say any blasted thing he wants. Tired of the silence, she cleared her throat quietly and murmured, "Anakin, why don't you just get on with the toast."
"As you wish, Mrs. Kenobi," he said courteously, bowing deeply.
Obi-Wan glanced aside sardonically.
"Ahem," Anakin continued. "As I was about to say… Obi-Wan and Siri have known each other for pretty much all their lives. However, I have it from good sources that not all those years were congenial—"
"What sources?" Sabé asked, curious.
"Oh, a couple of their longtime comrades," Anakin replied easily. "Now, you may not believe this, but Siri was pretty by-the-book in her early years, and our dear Obi-Wan was actually quite an, ahem, loose cannon."
"I was young and foolish—I blame society," Obi-Wan deadpanned.
Laughter rippled across the balcony.
Anakin grinned. "That caused quite a few clashes in their childhood and teens. However—" his grin faded—"when they later figured out that they loved each other, they decided to bury that love. They wouldn't see each other again for the next ten years."
Siri's hand found Obi-Wan's and squeezed it.
"It wasn't until just last summer that they realized that they couldn't bury that love anymore," Anakin continued, much more seriously, "and it wasn't until very recently that they decided that life was too short not to love. So here we are today, celebrating the consummation of their love, and the miracles that brought us here." He raised his glass. "To Obi-Wan and Siri. Eighteen years of complications have culminated in your marriage at last. Heaven knows you deserve it."
"To Obi-Wan and Siri!" the others called, raising their glasses.
As per tradition, the Kenobis had the first dance to themselves. The song was "Just the Way You Look," the song during which they'd shared their first kiss.
And, as before, Obi-Wan sang it quietly to Siri.
After that, the Skywalkers and the Starriders joined in. Brendan, despite the twelve-year age difference between himself and Dormé, acted the gentleman and asked the handmaiden to dance with him. Brendan was actually some inches taller, if not quite as graceful as the young woman. Sabé contented herself to handle both her own charge and two-year-old Beren Starrider while queuing the songs on the player. The last song she queued up was not a romantic piece, but the couples danced to it, nonetheless.
Many nights, we've prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts, a hopeful song
We barely understood
Now we are not afraid
Although we know there's much to fear
We were moving mountains long
Before we knew we could
That evening was the first time Anakin and Padmé had ever danced with each other, not having had such a luxury at their own wedding. They cherished every moment of it.
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe?
Somehow, you will
You will when you
"I can see why Padmé chose this song for last," Obi-Wan murmured, leading Siri in a graceful spin before pulling her back to him.
"I think it's for all of us," she murmured back, closing her eyes and resting her head on his shoulder.
In this time of fear
When prayer so often proved in vain
Hope seemed like the summer birds
Too swiftly flown away
Yet now I'm standing here
With heart so full, I can't explain
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say
"Despite all that's happened to us," Padmé quietly told Anakin as they swayed gently to the music, "I think we've been very blessed. I think we've seen a lot of miracles."
He smiled, a rare full smile that lit up his cerulean eyes. "I know we have."
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe?
Somehow, you will
You will when you
==To Be Continued==
Can you believe it? It's actually finished! …I feel such a sense of accomplishment: this is the first chaptered fic I've ever completed.
Okay, some odds and ends here, and then I'll give you a little sneak-preview of the sequel (title changed from Mo Ghile Mear to Destiny's Call).
-In the last chapter, Sidious tells Anakin that he once watched It's a Wonderful Life. In all seriousness, I'm sure that he did, and that he mocked the film thoroughly.
-Lúthien Skywalker is a character I've had for nearly four years now. At her earliest point, she wasn't worth reading about at all. As I wrote more and developed my skills, she grew and developed, as well. Early on in writing this fic, I'd debated over whether or not I'd really keep her for the published (and infinitely better) version of my longtime alternate universe. In the end, I decided that Lúthien is just as near and dear to my heart as this saga itself is. And right now, she's only an adorable baby girl—she can't hurt anything. =) With the story developing the way it is, I'm not the least bit worried about any pretense of Mary Sue, and I hope you won't be, either!
-This epilogue introduces Sabé into this universe. She won't be a star player in the continuing story, but she will be the sort of supporting character that the stars can't do without. Also, I'm trying to base my characterization of her off of her actress, Kiera Knightley—specifically, as Robin Hood's daughter Gwen in Princess of Thieves and as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, which are the only films I've seen Kiera in, aside from TPM. So Sabé's a firebrand, witty and definitely sardonic at times.
-Cookies if you recognized the line "Makeup's coming off." It's from Focus on the Family radio drama Adventures in Odyssey, "Tom for Mayor, Part 2."
-The wedding scene was written off of a roleplay my best friend and I once did, with our characters getting hitched. It's, of course, edited to fit the situation, but it was nice to have preexisting scene that already worked really well.
-The toasting scene was inspired by a Stargate SG-1 fanfic. Very cute and funny. Anakin fit the bill perfectly.
-"I was young and foolish—I blame society." Cookies of your choice to whomever recognized this line. Any takers? Okay, you won't believe it. *giggles* It's actually from Piglet, in a New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode, "The Slusher." Yeah, you read right. *laughs* It's a line that always, always cracks me up, and I've always wanted to use it in something.
-Obi-Wan singing "Just the Way You Look" to Siri as they dance is inspired by… me! It's actually something I did in a one-shot shipper fic for my OTP in another fandom. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
-I've had a little bit of the scenes with Padmé prepping Siri and Ani and Dan prepping Obi-Wan for over two years now. Unfortunately, that bit is lost. Fortunately, I had it more or less memorized, and it was so great to finally write the "chapter" I've had in my head for closer to three years!
"Obi-Wan, you are to go to Utapau and defeat General Grievous. Anakin and Ahsoka, you are to arrest the Separatist Council on Mustafar."
"Well, here we go again. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?"
"Obi-Wan Kenobi lasso stork."
"Only now… at the end… do you understand."
"You forget, my lord—Sith lords are our speciality."
"He's my husband."
Thank you all for reading, and please return for Across the Stars, Book II: Destiny's Call tomorrow! Please review!