Chapter Eleven

Obi-Wan rested his head back against the wall, Padmé curled against his side. They had stayed awake all night, giving in to their desires time and again, or talking in low voices, or simply sitting in silence as they were doing right then. Idly, his hand caressed her arm, his fingertips running up and down along her skin. Her hand rested flat on his bare chest, right over his heart.

The events of the past year were very much on their minds, all of it had come screaming back in the last few moments they had together. The strength that Padmé thought she had vanished as the fear she had been trying to ignore finally crept into her heart. The sadness she had felt over losing Anakin was now replaced with fear that he would find them and destroy them all. It was too much for her to bear.

Obi-Wan sensed the darkness overtaking Padmé's mind and with a gentle finger, tilted her face up to meet his gaze.

"I will miss this," he said, his hand moving to cup her face. "I'll miss holding you like this, and sharing my life with you, even if it had only been for a short while. It felt…real."

"It was. Short, sweet, and very real."

The sun had fully risen by then and reluctantly, they got out of bed and pulled on their clothes. As Obi-Wan finished fastening his belt, he felt Padmé's gaze on him. He looked up to meet her eyes and could not bear the terrible sadness she had in hers. The bed separated them and she wanted to go to him, he could see it in her face, but she fought the need. They would both have to get used to being separated.

Moving slowly and carefully as if underwater, Padmé turned to pick up her son. Luke was still asleep, but he instinctively snuggled against her, rubbing his cheek on her shoulder. Lip trembling, Padmé held him close. Obi-Wan came around behind her and put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing briefly. Then, he began to pack.

Padmé began to hum a lullaby she remembered from her childhood and slow tears crept down her cheeks. This was the last lullaby she would ever sing to her son and he probably would not remember it. Obi-Wan's hands stilled as he zipped up a bag, closing his eyes in pain.

A light knock on the door made Padmé stop and she looked expectantly at the doorway as Obi-Wan bade entrance. Sabé came in, eyes strained. Padmé gently placed Luke in the smaller bassinet that Obi-Wan would be carrying him in. She stared at him, heart heavy.

"Senator Organa is here," Sabé said.

"Obi-Wan," Padmé murmured so quietly that he almost didn't hear her.

In one swift movement, Obi-Wan had her in his arms, his arms tight. She clung to him, fistfuls of his cloak in her hands. She loved this man fiercely and an indescribable ache seized her at the thought of not being able to hold him or be held by him anymore. They only had a few minutes left and she could not let him go without telling him…

"I…" she started.

"Don't say it," he said vehemently. "I don't think I can take that right now."

"Just know that I do," she said.

They separated and Obi-Wan gathered Luke's things while Padmé picked up the bassinet. Sabé watched them in silence as they passed her. Her eyes lingered on Obi-Wan's back and as if he sensed her gaze, he turned slightly to meet her eyes.

"Good-bye, Sabé," he said simply.

"Good-bye, Jedi," she said, voice cracking.

Leia began to cry and Sabé all but ran to tend to her. Bail met Padmé and Obi-Wan at the front door. He tried to smile but could not manage the motion.

"You're ready?" he asked Obi-Wan.

Padmé handed Luke over to the Jedi Master and then leaned down to press a kiss to his downy head. Her fingertips lingered on his cheek before she finally straightened and looked at Obi-Wan. He held out a hand and she grasped it, squeezing hard.

"Go," she said hoarsely. "Go, Obi-Wan."

He caressed her cheek and glanced at Bail. The Senator nodded once and left the cabin. Obi-Wan followed him, his steps heavy. When the door shut behind him, he thought he would collapse then, but sheer will-power kept him upright. Bail stood next to the waiting ground-car, waiting for Obi-Wan to enter, but one look at the Jedi's face told him that things were not yet resolved between him and Padmé. Bail took the baby from Obi-Wan's hands.

"Go back, Obi-Wan," he said. "Say good-bye properly."

Obi-Wan whirled on his heel and started back for the cabin. The door swung open and Padmé rushed out, launching herself into his arms. Their lips met in a fevered, desperate kiss, as the wind wrapped Obi-Wan's cloak around them both.

"I love you," she said against his lips.

"I love you, too," he answered.

Framing her face with his hands, he looked deep into her eyes. "We will meet again one day. I promise."

"I hope so. Take care, Obi-Wan. Take care of my son."

"I will. For you, Padmé."

He kissed her one last time and then let her go. Without another look, he climbed into the ground-car.

"Let's go," he said to Bail.

Obi-Wan looked away from the porthole. Outside, Alderaan shrank in size as the ship flew further and further away from it. The view was too much for him to take.

Next to him, Luke slept peacefully in his bassinet, blissfully unaware of all that was going on around him. Obi-Wan felt anguish begin to creep up on his soul, and taking a deep, full breath, he closed his eyes. His thoughts were in turmoil and it was now that he needed to concentrate on the task at hand.

Drawing on years of training, he pushed past the pain and found the Force waiting for him. He pushed past the images of Padmé laughing, loving him, and locked them away in his mind. He would never forget, but with each memory, emotions overpowered his senses and he needed to focus. The Force filled him and quieted his turbulent mind. His emotions drained from him leaving nothing but clarity.

For Amidala and for Luke, he would sacrifice himself. Obi-Wan Kenobi will cease to exist and Ben Kenobi, a hermit, will take his place. Obi-Wan, the man who had fallen in love with Amidala will never forget her, but Ben will. For her sake, for her son's sake, he will forget it all.

Obi-Wan took another breath, his bitterness and exhaustion draining away.

Ben opened his eyes, his expression serene. Luke stopped babbling to himself and he focused his clear blue eyes on the man sitting next to him. Power fairly hummed from Ben and it touched Luke's burgeoning Force-talent. Ben looked down at him and smiled.

A Jedi knows no love.

A Jedi knows no anger.

I am a Jedi.