Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars, not the movies, books or the TV series. I only play and wish.
So I have been (mildly) obsessed with The Clone Wars series recently, and have been surprised by how much I enjoy it. I love the gap filling and it has certainly allowed me to feel more at ease with Anakin's turn to the Dark Side as you watch him disobey orders and have Vader-y moments throughout. Anyway I recently watched the Mandalorian Triology, and fell in love with Duchess Satine, especially her relationship with Obi-Wan and the idea that perhaps there was a time when Obi-Wan went through a similar conflict as Anakin, and his decision really cemented his whole personality for me.
So I decided I HAD to do a Satine/Obi fic. And this is what was born, I hope you enjoy.
Forgiven, but Never Forgotten
The night was quiet, too quiet for the young padawan's liking.
He did not like the close silence that had settled around the little, log hut they had found late that evening and barricaded themselves in, nor did he like the darkness that pressed in on every side of him and his companions, ensnaring them all in its black net; it was a ridiculous notion of course, they had an entire system to hide in but at that moment Obi-wan Kenobi had never felt more trapped.
Or maybe it wasn't the setting that was making him feel so anxious.
He sighed tiredly, his eyelids drooping and fatigued muscles protesting as he shuffled further back against the damp wood wall trying to make himself as uncomfortable as possible in an attempt to keep himself awake.
His eyes drifted slowly across the gloomy space to the snoozing figure of his mentor; the older man was stretched out flat against the earthy floor, his usually pristine robes were messily crumpled and his once neatly trimmed beard unkempt, yet even in that dishevelled state he managed to ooze an aura of contentment and calm.
Opposite the reclining Jedi was another life-form, this one was curled up tightly into a ball her ash-blonde hair the only brightness in the filthy room.
He stared at her for a long while, transfixed by the peaceful expression she wore and the steady movement of her chest; she looked every bit the Duchess that she was and, if he was honest, quite beautiful; not that the young padawan knew much about women, it wasn't a subject that was often broached during Jedi training. Attachments were forbidden after all, but surely that didn't mean he could not admire her from afar or count her among his friends and it wasn't like you always had a choice concerning how you felt.
Sighing again he allowed his head to slip back and bang against the wall behind him waking him from his stupor; his Master had entrusted him to keep watch this morning and no matter how exhausted the boy was he would do his duty.
Still, after an entire day of running and fighting and running again sleep, was very inviting.
When they had found this quaint hideaway he had vainly hoped that for once all three of them would get a full night's sleep, but the older Jedi had instantly put a stop to that dream and worse he had given the boy the graveyard shift between midnight and dawn, when nothing ever happened. The young man yawned, folding his arms as he felt his head tip forward so his chin rested on his chest.
I must stay awake. I must stay awake.
He repeated the mantra to himself over and over, his lips forming the words silently even as he drifted off into a dark slumber.
The sound was still echoing through her head as Satine, Duchess of Mandalore, bolted upright, her chest aching from the imaginary blaster bolt that had just hit her square in the ribs. Her shaking hands drifted down to her stomach, tracing the lines of her jacket in a desperate search for a singed hole or any other sign of attack but she found nothing.
She sighed in relief studying her pale skin in the gloomy light of the coming dawn, noticing that the dirt was ingrained so deeply she looked grey.
Restlessly she lay back down against the hard floorboards, she already had a crick in her neck and it felt like every single muscle in her body was cramped; along with the disturbing silence and waking sun there was no way that she was getting anymore sleep.
Slowly she sat back up drawing her knees to her chest and resting her forehead against her legs, casting a fleeting glance at her two Jedi protectors as she did so.
When the two had first arrived she had been sceptical that two men could succeed where an entire garrison had failed, especially when one looked like he had seen better days and the other appeared younger than herself; but she had to admit so far they had done their job remarkably well.
It was true they were living practically hand-to-mouth, never knowing where they would be one day to the next, sometimes spending days without eating or sleeping, but for a girl who had spent her entire childhood safe and in the company of scholars and politicians it was exciting, and oddly romantic.
And more than that, the three had formed some strange sort of bond in the months they had spent travelling together, something Satine was even prepared to call friendship.
Trying to make no noise whatsoever the young woman lifted herself to her feet, biting back a groan as her fatigued body fought back against the sudden movement and tip-toed towards one of the windows they had left clear to act as a look-out post. She lifted up the glass pane, sliding herself through the tiny gap and out into the fresh air of the forest. Glancing back she was pleased to note that neither of her bodyguards had stirred from their slumber; then she quickly set off back down the unmarked path they had taken earlier heading towards the distant sound of a gently running stream. What she could really do with was a good scrub; maybe removing some of the battle-grime would make her feel more like herself again.
Besides she wouldn't be long, twenty minutes at most, they probably wouldn't even notice she was missing.
Obi-Wan Kenobi woke with a start: something was wrong!
The cabin was no longer dark, instead the pastel light of dawn was beginning to cloud the air, he took a breath and found it was no longer stagnant and damp, the old air blown away by the faint breeze that rolled in from the open window at the far end of the shack.
His eyes moved swiftly to the prone form of his Master motionless on the floor and very much alive and then to….he froze immediately.
She was gone.
The Duchess was missing.
The first idea that came to mind was that somehow one of the insurgents had slinked in through the window and carried the sleeping woman off, but that was impossible!
Those men were warriors: bulkily built and heavy footed, there was no way they could have entered, snatched up the Duchess and left without him or his Master noticing and they would have surely tried to kill the two of them while they had the chance.
No, if that was how it happened there was no way they would have been left alive, which meant only one thing; the Duchess has slipped away herself.
Holding back the curses that were rising in his throat the young man pushed back against the wall, using it as a lever to help himself up. He had to find the young woman, and ideally he had to do it before his Master woke and realised he had not only failed in his nightly duty but also in their overall mandate. Obi-Wan knelt retrieving his lightsaber from the pile of rags which lay within easy reach of his sleeping position, returning it to its rightful place on his belt and feeling much better now he had it at his side again. Master Qui-Gon had always insisted that the weapon was his life and he knew from his training at the Temple that it was the ultimate symbol of a Jedi Knight, but since starting this mission he had found a new respect for it, finally able to understand just how true both sayings were; without the weapon he and his friends would have been dead months ago.
Carefully he made his way over to the window, avoiding any rotten looking boards lest they creaked and woke the elder Jedi.
He succeeded without making a sound.
"Obi-Wan," the young man turned to stone as his Master's voice broke the silence, feeling his breath catch in his throat painfully, "Where are you going?"
"I…I….was just going to check the perimeter," the boy lied, looking back at his teacher who showed no visible signs of being awake. His voice sounded weak in his ears and his excuse feeble but Qui-Gon merely said,
"A good idea my young padawan. You have your lightsaber?"
"Then take care. May the force be with you."
And with that the bearded man fell quiet, his soft and steady breathing the only noise in the space. Obi-Wan sighed heavily and slid out of the window, dropping into a low crouch on the leafy forest floor: he could barely believe the ease at which he had made it out; surely his master had sensed the missing presence of their charge and his obvious nervousness: was he really oblivious to the problem or was he using this as some great test to ingrain some other sense of responsibility deep within him? Obi-Wan would bet almost anything it was the latter.
The young man glanced around studying the foliage for any potential attackers but it seemed they had continued to elude the group from yesterday.
Assured that there was no immediate danger he allowed his eyelids to flutter down over his eyes, blocking out the distracting images from the outside world and focusing everything inwardly, touching the Force that flowed within him and then letting his consciousness drift out into the wider area to search for the aura he had been studying since they first met.
He found her easily, more easily than he had ever found anyone, even Master Qui-Gon, as if he were drawn to her presence as helplessly as a star to a black hole.
She was like a bright white light amongst the weaker blue tinged spots of all other life-forms; they paled into nothing besides her.
For a few moments he found himself lost in that in-between place, bathing in the warmth of Satine's light, feeling her every emotion and reading each thought that flitted in and out of her mind: the lyrics of a childhood song; a brief period of longing for next family and then…..his eyes snapped open, the connection gone.
Blinking then man tried to re-establish the link, desperately attempting to lose himself in the calming stream of the Force and find her again but he couldn't focus. In his chest his heart was thumping hard like it wanted to break out of his bony constraints, and his throat felt tight.
Could he have really just seen what he thought he had?
His own face flashing up in the Duchesses mind and feelings, such feelings; he thought he was the only one who had succumbed to those sort of thoughts but clearly he was wrong.
This made things far more complicated than he'd ever imagined.
Ignoring his own desires was easy enough, he had been trained to do that but knowing the woman you cared about shared similar ideas, his heart leaped involuntarily, that somehow made everything very different.
Shaking his head the padawan tried to focus his thoughts on what he had to do, he could deal with these other things later.
Picking his way through the shrubs and peeking round the large trunks as he headed towards her, remembering the way from earlier.
She's headed towards the river, he thought to himself, but I sense no danger, no fear, slowing down he let a smile slip onto his lips, I may as well enjoy the stroll.
His calm was instantly destroyed as a high pitched shriek ripped itself through the forest.
"Satine!" he cried, breaking into a run, terrible images filling his mind about what he might find if he did not reach her quickly enough.
Tearing through the undergrowth Obi-Wan reached the site in less than two minutes, eyes widening as he saw the petite figure of the Duchess using a large branch to fend off a swarm of small, spider-like creatures that were scuttling rapidly towards her.
"Satine," he called, launching himself into a somersault to land in front of her, bringing up his ignited lightsaber to slice one of the bugs in half as it flew towards them, eight red eyes glowing and mandibles clacking together threateningly.
"Well it took you long enough," the woman shot back, her grey-blue eyes stabbing into the back of his head even as he fought off another attack from the strange creatures.
"What!," the man exploded turning to face the woman and glaring back with equal intensity, his own blue eyes flashing coldly, "If you told us you going then we wouldn't be in this mess."
Obi-Wan spun round with lightning speed, his blade hissing as it struck down three more, cutting their legs away from beneath them and leaving them lying useless on the earthy bank, but his violent offensive action was lost on these furious critters, who only seemed to grow more persistent with each defeat.
Before long there were no less than eight hundred forcing them to retreat with their back to the river; some were the size of a pebble, others more like a boulder but every-one had glistening mandibles and a silver-black stinger on the back of their sleek, hair-lined bodies.
"What are these things?" Obi-Wan asked in between lightsaber swings, his words carried out on his gasping breaths.
Satine was stood slightly behind him, using her stick as their last line of defence though he was well aware how much she hated causing pain even to these little monsters. Even-so they were a good team.
"Venom-mites," the Duchess responded coolly, her make-shift weapon swinging in a low arc and crushing some of the creatures that had managed to slip beneath the young padawan's guard, "One bite is enough to knock a man out, more than five could kill a wookie."
Obi-Wan gulped, hoping that the lump in his throat wasn't as visible as it felt.
He jumped back as she swung the branch, drawing it to a stop just before it slammed into his nose, knocking two mites out of the air in the process.
"If you don't keep focused we're both going to end up dead," she snapped though she sounded more concerned than angry, one of those pale hands latching onto his shoulder her breath hot against his neck. For a second his whole body tensed and every movement seemed to take double the energy, he was suddenly very much aware of those feelings bubbling up inside of him and very aware that this was not the time or place to be fighting such emotions.
He tried to sound annoyed, hiding the fact that he could barely form the words with his sandpaper tongue.
"It would be far easier if you stopped distracting me."
"You asked me a question!" her hand swiftly withdrew, the gentle pulse of her breath no longer tangible against the sensitive skin of his neck; suddenly he was in control of his faculties once more.
Turning his full attention back to the task at hand he noticed something with a hint of a smile.
"Look," he motioned towards the hoard with his glowing blade, "They're retreating!"
It was true; the heaving mass of venom-mites was definitely moving back, no longer were the two of them being forced into the shallows of the stream and Obi-wan even managed to take a few steps forward spared from any attack, but still held his saber aloft in readiness.
"You did it!" Satine whispered euphorically from just behind, two arms wrapping around his torso in a thankful embrace while her stick banged into the side of his leg.
His focus was destroyed once again, and he extinguished his weapon, just to be on the safe side. Throwing caution to the wind the young man turned to face the Duchess, content with the idea that he had completed his mission successfully and offered her a broad smile. The man's blue eyes met with hers, the intensity of the stare knocking the breath from him more efficiently than any kick to the gut; he was losing himself in those serene depths all too easily.
The danger had passed, and now he had the chance to bathe in her praise.
"Obi-Wan," her frantic voice broke him from his dream, in a split second those calm pools filling with worry, "I hate to burst your bubble but I think we may have spoken too soon."
Spinning round the padawan felt his jaw drop.
"Your expression does not instil confidence Master Jedi."
A forced chuckle slipped out from between his clenched teeth as he observed the two enormous mites advancing slowly towards them, their miniature counterparts only moving to give them clear access and prevent themselves from being crushed.
What in Sith's name was he going to do now?
He couldn't handle attacks from mummy, daddy and all the baby mites, protecting himself and the Duchess; it just wasn't possible.
Where was his Master when he needed him!
With a scowl he contemplated a rather risky plan that was half-formed at most; it meant leaving the Duchess vulnerable to attack but if he could distract the parent-mites then at least she would only have the little ones to deal with and he had been impressed so far with her stick-wielding skills.
"Don't lower your defences," he ordered her sharply, all tenderness gone with the desperateness of the situation, "Stand your ground."
And with that he threw himself into the air, letting the Force carry him up over the seething sea of creatures, landing cat-like in a clear area just behind the large pair, igniting his lightsaber and holding it in the ready position.
"If you're trying to impress me you really don't need to," she called towards him, clearly not liking the idea of being left to defend herself, "You've done that already…lots of times."
The venom-mites seemed to be more than aware than he had previously given them credit for, turning on him for all the ferocity of a group of wild Cthons, rearing up and using one pair of their legs to push him back. His feet crunched down on some of small venom-mites an action which seemed to send the parents into an even worse frenzy, their legs flying every which way catching him across the shoulder and ripping his cream robes, slicing right through the fabric to his skin.
"Satine!" he cried unable to look back as he sliced through the air missing the creatures every time; the adults were far more agile than the younglings, "How are you doing back there!"
"Surviving," came a grunted reply.
He could tell she was tiring; neither of them had much energy left now.
They needed to get out of there.
Suddenly Obi-Wan felt his feet fly out from underneath him, sending him toppling onto his back with a gasp, the black body of the mite looming over him and all twenty eyes brimming with murderous intent. He swung his arm up but found no blade attached; his lightsaber gone.
The terrifying mandibles of the monster clacked together triumphantly as it leaned in ready for its final and fatal attack.
"Obi!" Satine was screaming his name from behind him, despair plain in her tone; she wouldn't last long once they had finished him.
Squeezing his eyes tightly shut the young Jedi waited for the painful strike that would signal his demise, but it never came. Instead there was a shrill sound that pierced right through his body, forcing his eyes open to find the figure of his Master perched on the back of the giant, green blade swinging this way and that as he dismembered one frantically waving leg.
"Get the Duchess out of here!"
The order was directed at him he knew even as Qui-Gon turned away to slice at the plated armour on the mites back.
Obediently the young man crawled out from his place beneath the creature, escaping just before it collapsed in a mangled heap of twisted limbs and shattered flesh; very dead.
Fighting the tiredness that had set into his limbs he stretched into the force, lifting his saber from its place beneath the crawling bugs and into his hand shaking it while it was still in mid-air to get rid of the final hangers-on and then taking it in hand, using it to clear his way towards the Duchess.
The smile that greeted him when he made it to her side was both exhausted, aggravated and yet deeply joyful.
"I'm getting you out of here," Obi-Wan told her sidling up to her and taking over the defensive position, allowing her to lower her stick and swiping back two mites with one sweep of his shining, blue blade.
"What about Master Qui-Gon?"
The padawan cast a glance towards his mentor who was moving effortlessly towards the second large venom-mite, his green saber making graceful arcs through the air, slicing and dicing through flesh and organic armour-plating.
"I think he's dealing with it," pulling his eyes from the older Jedi Obi-Wan looked back to the young woman, pushing down the need to jump off to help his Master.
With super-human speed he flicked off the power, picking the Duchess up in his arms and bounding over the jostling creatures into the stream beyond. He didn't stop, his feet pounding against the rounded pebbles and then the damp earth as he made it to the other side, flying up the steep bank and to what he believed was safety, Satine's arms about his neck and eyes watching his back all the while. Pausing, the Jedi scanned this new area, letting his sense wander in search of any roaming insurgents or bounty hunters who might be hunting nearby.
At last it seemed they were finally safe.
"Obi-Wan! Behind you!"
Speeding up the Jedi did not notice the trailing end of a root sticking up from beneath the leaf-litter and by the time he had it was too late; his boot was caught and he was falling face first to the ground. The Duchess was thrown from his arms, tumbling across the clearing before coming to rest a few metres away, quite motionless. Obi-Wans heart rose up into his throat, the blood thundering painfully in his ears as he stared at her crumpled, muddied figure looking for any sign of movement.
Something buzzed past him waking him from his worry induced coma and reminding him that he had a bigger problem to deal with first; if the mites got to either of them they would almost definitely be dead.
Spinning round on his heel the Jedi raised his lightsaber.
"You didn't say these blasted things had wings!" he shouted back at Satine, continuing to be unnerved when there was no reply but too busy avoiding those stingers and mandibles to check if she was still unconscious.
He swung his blade about his head, killing one of the small groups to his right and cutting the wings off another couple that were preparing to land on his shoulder and feast on the supple skin of his neck.
A thrust, a swing, a twirling flick of his wrist and they were all gone, not one of them escaping his skilled and disciplined assault.
The young man listened, looked and felt, relieved when he sensed no more mites advancing in their direction, then with a breathless sigh he returned his saber to the clip on his belt and hurried backwards towards his charge.
The first thing he saw was blood.
Falling to his knees beside her, his brow wrinkling with worry the padawan peeled her hand from her leg, revealing a deep gash that crossed from her just above her knee to mid-thigh and was freely leaking sticky, red liquid.
"What happened?" he rushed, his nerve failing him as she grimaced at his touch, clenching her jaw and biting her lip.
"It's fine," she said through her teeth, her pale skin turning even paler as she lifted her bloodied hand to her eye-level, "It's nothing I can't handle. Just help me up."
But Obi-Wan was already lifting her back into his arms, taking extra-care not to aggravate the wound as he headed slowly away from the bank making his movements as smooth as he possibly could, desperately trying to lessen her pain.
How had this happened?
If only he had been paying attention he wouldn't have flung her down over the sharp rock which was now stained with her blood; not only would it be a tell-tale clue for any trackers who were following them, he had hurt her and that was unforgivable.
"I'm getting you to cover," he said adding a little of the weight of the force to his words to stop her from arguing, "Qui-Gon can find us later, and I can have a look at…" his mouth went dry as he threw a fleeting glance to the ripped flesh, "…your injury."
Either she was too fatigued to put up a fight or his force-influenced order had worked because she shuffled a little against him, gasping now and again as she moved through an uncomfortable position and then settled, her head leaning against his shoulder.
Sighing the young man picked his way through the forest searching for somewhere out of sight but where it would be easy to keep an eye on the surroundings, the last thing he wanted was for them to be cornered by some of the armoured men they had encountered yesterday, especially with the Duchess in such a vulnerable state. It wasn't as easy as he'd thought, not least because the warmth of her little body and the soothing sound of her breathing were threatening to turn his joints into liquid.
Eventually he found a spot, it was far from perfect but he had been walking for nearly fifteen minutes now and he knew that both he and Satine needed a break, so it would have to do.
Laying her down gently on the earth he turned his attention back to her injury, his fingers running along the edges of the gash focusing the Force out through his fingertips trying to aid the healing process and removing some of the pain from her already tired body.
"What are you doing?" she quizzed, her voice sharp and Obi-Wan winced as he struggled to meet her eyes.
"Just making sure it looks all right," adding quickly, "I'll get Master Qui-Gon to check it when he arrives and I'm sure we have some bacta-wipes left in the supply bag."
She nodded silently, but her stare remained hard and he found himself glaring at her, suddenly annoyed; he had just saved their lives!
"You know," he began, frustration adding an edge to his tone, "I did save your life."
"You dropped me!" she shot back instantly not giving him any chance to continue, one eyebrow raised as if daring him to say otherwise.
"It was to get you out of the way," he lied, trying to sound as if this had been his plan all along and everything had followed through just as he had wanted, "It was exactly what I had planned."
When she spoke her voice was filled with sarcasm and her expression un-amused,
"Of course. And was this all part of your great plan as well Master Jedi?"
Her hand motioned towards the slice of bloody flesh visible through the rip in her leggings; the blood had stopped flowing now and was beginning to dry around the wound, sticking the material fibres to the edges of the jagged hole. It looked angry and painful; every ounce of aggravation faded away, guilt overwhelming him once more.
"No," his voice was so soft the Duchess had to lean in to hear him, he looked down to his hand trying to keep his eyes away from the proof of his failure, "I didn't mean for you to get hurt, that was the last thing I wanted."
He choked on some of his words, voice thick with emotion; he hated seeing any one of his friends getting hurt, but for some reason seeing her injured because of his own insolence was simply the worst. His eyes started to burn.
All his breath left his body as he felt her hands touch his face tentatively, then press flat against each of his cheeks lifting his face so his eyes were level with hers. It didn't matter that one of her palms was sticky with blood or that he was starting to ache all over, all that mattered was the soft look in her eyes and the tender turn of her lips.
If there was a moment when he knew that she felt the same way as he did it was then, with her fingers tracing patterns over his cheekbones and her blue-grey eyes locked with his.
All of a sudden it was as if the air around them was full of electricity: the Force surged through his body, making him feel as if nothing in the world could ever defeat him as long as she was there.
A wave of excitation and heat spread through him from head to toe; perhaps it was because he was exhausted or maybe because the adrenaline was still surging through his veins but it felt good so he didn't care.
All that existed at that moment was them, alone and so close together he could feel her sweet breathe against his lips.
"I forgive you."
He leaned towards her she mirrored his actions until their noses brushed each other.
He allowed his eyes to flutter shut, counting each second that passed before the inevitable touching of mouths.
"OW!" he cried, blinking and rubbing the back of his head eying the hand that had slapped him with disgust; that had not been what he was expecting.
"Just because I've forgiven you doesn't mean I will forget," she explained plainly but Obi-Wan had to smile as a teasing smirk lit up her face making her look even prettier.
Then she was leaning forward again, Kenobi holding his position warily, ready to withdraw should her hand rise from its place in her lap but it didn't and he was more than pleasantly surprised when she pressed her pouting lips to a small patch of skin just beside his lips.
Slowly she withdrew, her eyes sparkling and mouth lifting into a soft smile.
"I suppose now we just have to sit and wait for Master Qui-Gon to find us."
Obi-Wan looked at her as she settled back against a tree trunk, glad that she seemed to be in less pain and thrilled that they could both get a little rest before moving on. His hand slipped to his weapon at his side, making sure he was ready in case of an ambush before his master returned; he would not fail in his duty again and more importantly to him at that moment he would not fail her.
So what do you think? I know this pairing isn't hugely popular so I'm not expecting a mass of readers but I would love some feedback to work out whether I should write some more of this couple. I probably will anyway, because I just love them.
Anyway, I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading it and sorry for my rambling intro.
May the force be with you!