Living Truth.

On doit des égards aux vivants; on ne doit aux morts que la vérité.
We owe respect to the living; to the dead we owe only truth.

'Première Lettre sur Oedipe' in Oeuvres (1785) vol. 1
Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) 1694–1778

"She's asking for you, sir."

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow in surprise at hearing this, but nevertheless consented, following the med droid into the surgical bay. Placing himself on the far side, with his hands braced about the bed, he leaned down so she did not need to summon her strength for a normal audible level of speech.

"They're yours, Obi-Wan," she murmured. "You're the father."

It took him a moment to comprehend, to remember, then regardless of Master Yoda and Senator Organa watching through the transparisteel, he bent down to kiss her. "Live," he commanded softly. "For you, for our children, and for me."

Whether his words had any effect Obi-Wan found out only later, when he was allowed to see her after the birth, having been hauled away in the moments following her naming their daughter, to give the droids space to operate on her Sith ridden injuries. He entered the more private recovery room to find her nursing Leia, attired in a dark blue dressing gown, open down the front, her dark hair cascading around her shoulders.

"How did you know?" he asked her as he sat upon the bed before her.

"Look at her," she replied, "they're full term. If Anakin was the father they would be premature."

Obi-Wan gazed at the suckling child, awed that she was created by that one night he and Padmé spent together. His hand reached out and gently caressed Leia's cheek, a finger drifting to the curve of her mother's breast, causing Padmé to look up, her dark eyes meeting his blue grey ones. In a moment their lips touched, a tender, passionate kiss, his hand stroking her skin as Leia continued to feed. When he pulled away Padmé was breathless with desire, amazed at how he had managed to make her so soon after a harrowing labour. Blushing she looked down at their daughter who had ceased her need for nourishment, and moved her to help the digestion.

"Let me," Obi-Wan uttered and carefully took the babe from her, leaving Padmé to watch as he placed Leia upon his shoulder.

"You seem well versed in this," she observed when he had done and was lowering the babe into the cot she shared with her brother who was still asleep.

"Crèche duty was a favourite punishment of Qui-Gon's," he informed her. "He never found out that I actually enjoyed it." His gaze remained on the twins for a moment. "You don't how many times I recalled that night, wishing I'd asked you to leave him."

"You don't know how long I spent watching you as you slept, tempted to do so," Padmé confessed. "When he returned I suspected I was with child and I was all ready to tell him. But he was so quick to anger, that I was terrified of what he might do. " she paused to catch the expression across his face, before adding, "I'm sorry I didn't tell you before."

"You have nothing to apologise for," he remarked, turning from the children to look at her, his hands clasping hers to emphasise his point.

"Nor do you," Padmé returned, guessing what was in his thoughts.

"I failed," he uttered, bowing his head, "and the Order is dead because of it."

"But Jedi are still alive," she corrected him. "Do you blame Qui-Gon, for Xanatos' betrayal?" she asked him. "And Mace for Del Bippa, Yoda for Dooku?"

"They're different," he protested, only for Padmé to shake her head. "Anakin was the chosen one."

"Was he?" she queried. "He was supposed to bring balance to the Force. Does the Force seem balanced to you?" she shook her head. "I think Qui-Gon was wrong to believe that child with the largest midi-chlorian count is the chosen one. He based that belief on power a quality belonging to and coveted by the Sith."

Obi-Wan sighed, knowing she could be right. "I wish I hadn't told you quite so much about Jedi philosophy. Why aren't you yelling at me?"

"You don't need someone to yell at you," she replied. "Anakin could have followed your example. Instead he allowed himself to be manipulated by Palpatine. If you're looking for someone to blame, death has taken them both."

"It almost took you as well," he pointed out.

"Don't burden yourself with guilt on that score either," she replied. "I recovered, thanks to you and the med droids. We have our children. It was Anakin's choice to respond with anger when he guessed at the feelings between us. We are only responsible for our own actions, and don't you dare say that you regret that night which got us here."

"I don't," he assured her. "I regret what I didn't do. But you're right, we can't change what has gone before. I must remember to adhere to Qui-Gon's advice; focus on the moment, live in the here and now. Be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the living."

"Speaking of living, where shall we live, Master Jedi?" she asked him. "After the Republic is restored."

"Naboo," he answered. "As husband and wife," he added nervously.

"Is that a proposal?" she queried, a small smile appearing on her face.

"Depends on your answer," he returned, closing the distance between them, readying to kiss her once more.

"What if I want the ceremony before we get to Coruscant?" she questioned, watching his graceful gradual approach.

"Whatever, you desire, milady," he answered. "After all we have the rest of our lives to come."

Her lips touched his.

THE END.