Novalee groaned and squeezed her eyes tighter while they were shut. The sun was pouring into her window brightly, urging her to open her eyes and wake up to a new day. She was afraid however that if she opened her eyes that reality would set in that she was not really home and was on some other supposed planet being told her daughter had some ability that would save an entire universe. If she stayed asleep, she wouldn't have to imagine that had happened. But Americus's giggles were rousing her awake even more. Her eyes snapped open when she realized that Americus was talking to someone. Someone with a deep masculine voice with an accent. Someone that, if what she thought was all a dream had been, should not be talking to Americus right now.

Novalee hopped out of the bed after scrambling with the sheets and blankets and grabbed the robe laying across a chair as she ran past it. She skidded around the corner into the sitting room that adjoined the large suite room she had been settled in the night before. She came to a stop at the sight of the ginger haired man that was sitting with Americus.

"Mama! You finally 'wake," Americus said with a toothy grin.

Obi-Wan looked up and rose. "Lady Novalee, I'm sorry if we woke you," he said apologetically, diverting his eyes from the amount of skin that Novalee was showing as she stood before him in nothing but the long button up shirt she had been wearing the day before and a pair of cotton panties.

"You are really here, you aren't a figment of my imagination, are you?" Novalee asked. She noticed how he was diverting his eyes and she blushed when she realized what she was not wearing. She slipped the robe on over her body and cinched the sash around her waist almost too tightly.

"Whatever that is, I assure you I am not," Obi-Wan said, issuing her a soft smile.

Novalee whimpered. Obi-Wan was by her side instantly, helping her to sit in a chair when he noticed that she seemed like she was going to pass out. "I thought this had all been a terribly weird dream," she whimpered, her hands covering her face.

"Do you really despise this idea that much?" Obi-Wan asked.

Novalee looked at him incredulously. "Despise?" she asked. She sighed. "Despise? No. Do I find this unbelievable? Yes, absolutely."

"What is so unbelievable?" Obi-Wan asked.

Novalee ran a hand through her disheveled hair. "I have spent my entire life believing and being taught that things like this," she gestured to the luxuries around her, "Were something out of my reach. Not to mention that things like what you do, with this Force power or whatever it is, is nothing but something for fairytales and science fiction stories. Not reality." She pointed at her daughter. "The same things I would have taught her till this came about."

"I'm sure you can adjust," Obi-Wan said.

"What of you?" Novalee said. "Could you adjust to a world where things are so different that you want to pinch yourself to wake you up?"

"To be honest, I've never thought about it," Obi-Wan admitted.

"Well neither have I," Novalee said. "Till now."


"Mama, I'm tired," Americus said later that afternoon. She dropped the ball Obi-Wan had given her to use to practice levitation with the Force. She crawled over to Novalee and into her mother's lap.

"Mmm, sounds like someone needs a nap," Novalee said as she ran her fingers through her daughter's dark hair.

"I not seepy," Americus murmured.

"Mmm-hmm, sure you aren't," Novalee said, rising to her feet, Americus firmly held in her arms.

"Is she all right?" Obi-Wan asked, walking over to her.

"She's fine, just tired," Novalee said. "I'm going to lay her down for a nap."

"Jedi don't take naps," Obi-Wan said with a frown.

"She's not a Jedi, she's a little girl," Novalee said, frowning at him.

"The Jedi begin their lives as babies in the Jedi crèche," Obi-Wan said. "We learn from a young age that exhaustion is not something we heed to."

Novalee rolled her eyes and walked away from him. She walked into her room and settled Americus down, the little girl already fast asleep. She tucked the blankets around her and the stuffed animal she had taken to was settled beside her. Americus snuggled closer into the pillow and clutched the animal close to her. Novalee smiled and turned to head back out to the grounds. Obi-Wan stood where he left her, though he was now parrying with what looked like a sword made of light. Sweat was glistening on his face and when the blade crossed past his chest, Novalee saw that he was shirtless and his finely toned chest was covered in sweat as well.

Novalee crossed her arms over her own chest and watched him. "Do you remember what we talked about this morning?" she asked after a moment.

Obi-Wan paused, his body taut and stretched in a lean, his saber above his head. "About changes?" he asked.

"Yes, about changes," Novalee said. "Americus is no different. She is a little girl used to taking naps at her age when she is tired so that she isn't cranky and over tired, which makes it bad for any adult that has to deal with her. She is not a Jedi that was trained to not allow such exhaustion to overcome her senses. She is still getting used to this newfound power she has and practicing with it. Perhaps once she is used to it, she will be able to keep herself from being so tired and able to do more, but until that time, you need to remember what she is used to."

Obi-Wan disengaged his saber. He looked at her. "My apologies," he said. "This is taking some adjustment for me as well." He sighed. "I began training Anakin when he was much older than most begin training. Qui-Gon will now train him while I train Americus, but even then, it was rare when I had the chance to be around the younger padawans."

"And you were raised in a different environment," Novalee said. "I've noticed you never make any comments about your parents or try and relate to Americus on that level. Plus mentioning the crèche."

"I was not raised with my parents," Obi-Wan said. He sighed, looking at her. "My parents gave me up to the Jedi when it was found I had the Force. I was raised in the crèche and trained with other Jedi until Qui-Gon took me as his Padawan. He is the closest thing I ever had to a father."

Novalee walked over and took her seat again. "Mm, sounds like me almost," she said. "I wasn't raised much by my parents. My father left us and my mother left when I was five."

Obi-Wan walked over, grabbing his tunic. He settled in a seat across from her, his tunic opened loosely, still baring his chest. He was comfortable enough not to be that self conscious with Novalee. "Might I ask you something about Americus?" he questioned.

"Sure, I don't know how truthfully I can or will answer though," Novalee said.

"Fair enough," Obi-Wan commented. "You look incredibly young, and yet you wear no signifying mark that you are married, I was just curious."

"I was seventeen when I had Americus," Novalee said. She smiled wanly. "I never finished school and I was working a lot of dead end jobs just to make ends meet and I got involved with a lot of screwed up men. I got swept away by one named Willy Jack, said he was gonna be a famous singer some day. So when he wanted to bed me that first time without using anything to keep me from getting pregnant, I never spoke up. And it went on and on like that till one day I found out I was pregnant." She gave a small shrug. "He abandoned me at a Wal-Mart when I was only seven months pregnant."

"Wal-Mart?" Obi-Wan questioned.

"It's a big chain of stores where you can buy all kinds of things," Novalee said.

"Much like a vendor shop," Obi-Wan said.

"Yeah I suppose so," Novalee said. "Anyways, there I was abandoned at this store. But they closed for the night. I took to hiding in the bathrooms and sleeping in the store. It wasn't till the night Americus was born that anyone knew I lived there. I was in labor when." Novalee swallowed hard. "When Forney broke through the window and rescued me."

"Forney?" Obi-Wan asked.

"Friend of mine that I knew," Novalee said sadly.

"You cared very deeply," Obi-Wan said.

"Yes," Novalee said. "But I lost my chance with him. He's married to another now."

"I'm sorry," Obi-Wan said.

"No reason to be," Novalee said. "At the hospital is where I met Lexie. We've been through a lot since."

"And Americus's father?" Obi-Wan asked.

"He passed away recently, but she never knew him," Novalee said. "He got into some trouble both ending up in jail and with some plaigirism when he was finally able to get a deal as a singer. Anyways, he was so wasted on drugs and alcohol that he had an accident. Both of his legs were cut off from the accident and he had to have a new liver cause it was damaged so bad. They weren't able to get a donor in time and eventually infection set in and he died shortly after that."

"That's too bad," Obi-Wan said.

"I feel bad that his life took such a downward spiral and that he's gone, but I'm not sad at all that he didn't know Americus," Novalee said. "She was the best part of him that he had and he gave that to me. But she was never tarnished by what he was and then became."

"Do you feel that's best?" Obi-Wan asked.

"In the end, yes," Novalee said. "She deserves the best and I swore to myself when she was born that I would do anything I could to give her the best." Obi-Wan smiled, admiring the woman before him for the amount of strength she had and the love she had for her daughter.