This the last chapter to Through The Eyes Of An Innocent. Thank you all so very much for your kind, awesome support and reviews. As I mentioned before, this is a difficult subject for me, but I appreciate you all taking the time to read this story.
I'll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
-Simon & Garfunkel
Obi Wan and Sunny quietly entered the softly lit room and padded over to the bed where her frail form lay still on the soft bed. Only by the slight, shallow intakes of breath let the two men know she was still hanging on.
Dr. Banner, Ajax, Buddy and Cody stayed outside giving Sunny and the Jedi their respectful space and prevented anyone from entering.
"General," Sunny spoke gently, "this is Julie. She is the reason I am here today. She gave me the strength and courage to take one step in front of the other. I owe everything to her sir." Sunny looked down at her. Her head was covered with a fuzzy beanie to keep the chill off of her. Sunny knew from experience that heat was lost the fastest if your head was exposed to the cold. Her eyes were closed to the world, but her slightly parted lips still held a deep rosy crimson color which was a vast contrast to her milky white skin.
Sitting down next to Julie, Obi Wan gently took her hand into his. "She is in a lot of pain," he said sorrowfully, as if he could feel her pain. Sunny suspected that the Jedi could. "This illness is trying to consume her, but she is valiantly fighting it." The Jedi shut his eyes and Sunny watched on nervously, anxiously but trustingly.
"She doesn't want to let go until she knows you are okay Sunny," Obi Wan said gravely.
"Tell her then," Sunny urged. He didn't want to see his friend suffer any more than she had to, especially over him.
"Give me your hand," Obi Wan reached out for Sunny who looked on tentatively. "It's okay Sunny. Trust me." And he did. Sunny felt the firm grip of the Jedi and the stale walls of the hospital's room melt away and was replaced with a cool breeze and….
The wheat field! What is going on?
"Sunny," her melodic voice called to him. Sunny pivoted in the dirt and did not hesitate this time to run to her. Julie, with her glorious golden mane flowing in the wind, bronze skin glowing healthy and radiant sapphire dress dancing around her feet, Sunny scooped her up in his arms and twirled her around.
Through weeping tears and broken laughter, they held each other tightly hoping to never let go.
"We were here once before," Sunny finally managed to compose himself and gasp out.
"This will always be my favorite place," Julie lightly wiped the tears from Sunny's face as he did the same for her. Julie laid her head on his chest as they swayed together in the slight breeze and watched the sea of wheat dance with them.
Minutes passed and her faint whisper broke the silence, "Thank you for not giving up Sunny."
"Thank you for being my reason to fly Julie." He gently kissed the top of her golden head and hugged her closer.
"Sunny, I'm scared," her voice trembled. "I don't want to hurt anymore, but I don't want to leave you."
"You are very brave Julie," Sunny said deeply. "My sweet, courageous Julie. We shall always be together." Sunny tipped her head up so that they were only a breath away from each other. "Julie," he whispered.
"Sunny," the tears ran freely down her silky face and did nothing to stop them.
"Be free. No more pain Julie." With that, Sunny closed the small distance and kissed her beautiful lips.
The wheat field dissolved away and was once again replaced by the pale hospital walls. Sunny quickly opened his eyes and looked at Obi Wan, who actually had held back tears in his own indigo eyes.
"I have taken as much pain away as I could to make her comfortable. She doesn't have much longer Sunny, I'm very sorry." The Jedi coughed to clear his throat and stood up to leave.
"General," Sunny reach out grasped Obi Wan's wrist before he walked away. "Thank you." Obi Wan gently patted Sunny's hand and nodded.
Before exiting the room, the Jedi looked back at the mourning paratrooper. Through the eyes of the innocent how we learn so much. Obi Wan sent out a small shimmer of the Force toward them. May the Force be with you.
"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you," Sunny murmured. A single tear trickled from Julie's eye.
Sunny took Julie's hand and with her faint grip, they held each other for the rest of the night and into the next day. He didn't know when, but Sunny had fallen asleep at some point during the night. When he had awoken her grip had loosen and Sunny knew.
The emerald blades bent under their booted feet as they made their way through the grassy sea. Only the gentle murmurs of his friend's voices broke the peaceful silence as they approached their destination, but Sunny didn't mind. In fact, he welcomed their supportive presences and found comfort and appreciation that they wanted to join him.
Ajax and Buddy understood life and death as it was flashed trained into them. They were born, they were taught to follow rules, they were ordered to serve, they fought without asking questions and they tried to die honorably. Through his short experience, Sunny started explain to his brothers that there was so much more than orders. If that was it, then were they really better than fleshly droids that the public made them out to be?
"I was lucky guys," Sunny had sat Ajax and Buddy down one day and made them really listen to him. "I lost my legs but in return found my soul. Found my reason for fighting. And I will fight for her. What will you fight for?"
Sunny came to a stop and Ajax and Buddy settled on each side of him. Each held a small bouquet of xanthic colored flowers that matched the striping of their plastoid armor. Coruscant wasn't a planet to offer in the ways of real anything, but somewhere amongst the manmade towers of steel and where the synthetic cobalt river ran, green blades of grass and small daisies grew. He knew this is where Julie would want to be.
The white stone Sunny had practically begged Banner to find was simple with her name carved delicately into it and right underneath it were three words that would never leave Sunny.
Sunny bent at his knees and softly said, "My pain will pass and your beauty will remain. Thank you my sweet, sweet Julie. Thank you for showing me how to find the courage and pass it on. Thank you for being strong and I hope where ever you are it is wonderful." Sunny brought the buttercup flowers up to his lips and gently kissed them and then put them in front of the headstone.
"Nu kyr'adyc, shi taab'echaaj'la," Buddy and Ajax both said softly and respectfully put their flowers next to Sunny's.
After a few moments Sunny stood up and turned to his brothers. "Ready Ner Vod?"
"Are you ready Sunny?" Ajax asked hesitantly.
Swinging an arm around Buddy and Ajax's shoulders, Sunny grinned one of his famous smiles for the first time in a long time. Live life to the fullest.
"Guys, let us spread our wings and soar."
**The quote 'Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you." Is a Maori Proverb that I found and thought was very pretty.