MEMORIES part two
The task of cleaning out Old Ben's house turned out to be much more of an adventure than Luke first thought it would be. After only a few hours of cleaning, everything was in place and that was when the real fun began. By chance, the young Master stumbled- or rather smacked in to- an old storage hole that contained numerous items from Ben's old Jedi days. For the remainder of the night, and into the early morning, Luke sat and went through all of Ben's things. Finding each item more exciting than the first.
Finally, the task was completed and, although the young man felt a closer connection to Ben, he couldn't help but feel saddened too. There was a side to the older man that he would never know- one that truly seemed like a joy to understand. Luke sighed and collected the box that held Ben's past. He looked around the old, now empty home, and let off another sigh. In the morning, Han and Chewie were going to help him move the boxes into storage on Coruscant and with that, the home that Ben had hidden himself away in would forever be empty.
"Good bye, old friend." Luke whispered as he parted.
"Good bye to you too, but couldn't you leave my things?" Qui-Gon shook his head at his apprentice. For the last hours that Luke had gone through his stuff, Obi-Wan had a comment for everything. His dry sense of humor hadn't left him in the afterlife- unfortunately Qui-Gon silently added.
Obi-Wan was just about ready to go off and find Bant when the loud proclamation of "Sith-hells!" brought Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan just outside by Luke again. Somehow, the young man had gotten his foot trapped in a large hole just outside Ben's door. The hole was actually a piece of the flooring that had rotted away and allowed the open space underneath to kidnaps Luke's foot.
"Why is there wood on your floor?" Qui-Gon questioned.
Obi-Wan's face suddenly broke into a very mischievous grin.
Luke had since untrapped his foot and was busy trying to dislodge the wooden plank. His hand fell inside the hole and he felt it hit something hard that was not the dry sand that should be there.
Obi-Wan's smile grew larger as Luke pulled out a small box. The young Master tipped the box and, in a strange sense of deja-vu, items fell to his feet.
Qui-Gon heard his Padawan clear his throat. "Anakin, could you come here for a moment?" The young man asked into the Force.
A moment later, his one-time apprentice was by his side. Amidala was also there standing between the two Jedi in hope Anakin wouldn't try to attack the man again. Really, she had tried to explain the bet that Rabe had made, but her husband refused to believe it.
The sandy-blond haired man looked at Obi-Wan. "What?"
In answer, he simply pointed to the box Luke was holding.
"Sith-hell's!" Luke's father exclaimed much like his son had.
Amidala looked at Anakin and then to Obi-Wan. "What is it?"
The smile grew even more (a feat Qui-Gon found simply amazing). "Anakin's box."
In a very un-Queen like way, Amidala let off a squeal and clapped her hands together. Anakin looked at Obi-Wan. "This is your fault." He said before lunging at the man again.
This time the young Jedi was ready and side-stepped allowing Anakin to fall on his knees. The man on the ground looked up right as Luke grabbed the first piece of paper.
"Dearest Amidala." Luke smiled- his dad had written his mom a love note.
"When I think of you the sky seems blue.
I cannot imagine my life without you.
Your hair, your eyes, they all shine so bright.
I swear, they could light up the darkest night.
Please say you'll be with me.
Because, without you, I'd drown myself in the sea."
Obi-Wan had the courtesy to laugh out loud. Amidala tried to hold back her laughter- really she did- but the 'poetry' was too much and soon she joined Obi-Wan in hysterics. Qui-Gon looked down at the young man still on the ground. Anakin's face was blazing and he could see him shaking his head morosely.
The older Jedi cleared his throat. "So, Anakin, was that an original piece of poetry?"
Obi-Wan and Amidala lost it again.
Luke, on the other hand, wasn't laughing, but felt a strange sense of pity. Did is father really write this? If so, how in the name of the Force, did he ever marry? Perhaps, Amidala was blind and deaf...
Anakin, in an attempt to save face, tried to defend himself. "I never gave it to her! And I wrote a lot better stuff- it was my first love letter! Come on guys- stop laughing!" Never said it was a good attempt, but an attempt.
Obi-Wan and Amidala still laughed.
Luke felt he shouldn't read any more of his father's letters for fear that he would find himself even more disappointed and embarrassed at his father's writing skills.
"It was my first attempt!" Anakin defended.
A data pad laid at his feet and, looking down at it, he realized it had activated itself. Luke brought it up to read it forgetting his promise not to read any more of his dad's things. "Jul'sana."
"Uh oh." Obi-Wan warned.
Luke continued. "I'm so happy that you decided to go the Padawan dance with me. Don't worry about Amidala, she won't know. I'll see you at the eighth chime."
A flash of material and Anakin found himself pinned by his wife. "You cheating...RAT!"
"Ami, honey, dear, please..."
"Don't 'dear' me!" The Queen growled in a, Qui-Gon had to admit, scary tone. The man under her squirmed.
"It wasn't like that, it happened before I knew I loved you."
Amidala cleared her throat and asked. "So, when exactly did you love me?"
Obi-Wan mentally sent the Jedi reassurance through the Force. He sure as heck knew a loaded question when he heard one.
"Um..." Anakin began. "Right after I visited you when I was thirteen."
Oops, wrong answer, Obi-Wan thought as Amidala's eyes blazed.
"THEN! You loved me THEN!" Her voice took on the growl again. "I loved you before that and you...you were going off with other Padawans! You cheating snake!"
"Amidala, they meant nothing to me. You are the only one I will ever love- have ever loved- please believe me."
Wow, Qui-Gon thought. I never knew someone could sound so pathetic. He looked over at Obi-Wan and thought back to when he had his first fight with Ala. Okay, well I did, he realized. But never knew TWO people who could sound so pathetic.
Amidala's face suddenly soften. "Promise you only love me?"
Anakin smiled and gave her a peck on the cheek. "Promise." Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
Luke again wondered how his father could have married his mother. Perhaps, he reasoned, Amidala still blind and deaf plus was missing a few limbs and kind of desperate...
A datachip and player grabbed the man's interest and he put in the chip hitting play.
"And so then, here we are trapped by the three Hutts and Obi-Wan, get this, he falls to his knees begging for mercy! I, of course, had to jump to the rescue and save both him and myself. But, it gets better, Ami, okay so after the Hutts we're getting to our ship when Obi-Wan falls flat on his face, right there and then. Just, 'plop', bellysmacker all the way."
Obi-Wan slowly turned to Anakin who eyes were quite wide. "That was quite an interesting tale you fabricated there. If I remember correctly, the real mission went something along the lines of a certain Padawan stepped on a Hutt's tail, the proceeded to, while trying to apologize, back into a food cart that dumped food on another Hutt. I believe it was at this point that said Padawan ran away looking for his Master. I think he also took a corner to fast and bowled over the Prince we were protecting. I believe that was the first mission that I actually got sent home from for *causing* a riot!"
Anakin looked down at his hands. "Well, that's the way it happened from a certain point of view."
"Yeah, the right one."
His son began to rummaged through the stuff as his feet, looking for something that caught his eye. A holovid did so and, thinking back to Ben's vids, he activated it with a smile.
"Smile, Ami, come on." A lovely lady, looking slightly out of sorts, came on screen. She appeared to be holding her tongue and taking deep breaths. "You're beautiful! You're a goddess! You're..."
The vid switched to a close-up of Amidala's face. "If you say glowing I WILL kill you. UNDERSTAND?" The vid swarm out to show the very pregnant figure of the Queen.
"Aha, of course, sweetie." The vid gently faded away.
"Wow. I never knew you had gained *that* much weight. You were kinda fat, actually."
~Oh Force~ Obi-Wan thought. ~Didn't his ex-Padawan know anything about the female species?~
"Fat? Did you call me FAT?!?!" The screech, Qui-Gon decided, had to heard all the way on Hoth.
"Fat? No, no. You're not fat. You're beautiful."
The Queen crossed her arms in a look that obviously said 'look who's sleeping on the couch tonight.' Anakin looked at Obi-Wan and said, again, "This is your fault."
"Yeah, sure." The young Jedi agree sarcastically. "Maybe if you had some *tact* you wouldn't be spending the night on the ground."
Luke smiled at the memory of seeing his mother pregnant with him and his sister. It made him wish he had a memory of her like Leia had, but he didn't want to think about that right now- it was nearly on his mind all the time anyway.
A small necklace caught the Jedi Master's eye and he pulled in off the ground. It seemed to be a small craving of sorts. "Hmmm, well he wasn't much of an artist." Luke mused out loud.
"Hey, I resent that! That was a wonderfully crafted piece of..."
"Crap." Obi-Wan supplied.
"Yeah." Anakin agreed and then comprehended. "NO!"
Qui-Gon covered his laughed with a cough and Amidala, though still fuming about being called fat, smiled lightly. Anakin, finally having enough, grumbled while walking away about sleeping on a cold floor.
Amidala watched his retreating form and looked at the older Jedi. "You will call me if anything interesting comes up, won't you?"
Obi-Wan nodded. "Of course!"
The Queen turned and left Master and apprentice watching Luke. After a beat of silence, Qui-Gon turned to Obi-Wan.
"You know, if Luke isn't careful, he might have a couple enemies in the afterlife." The younger Jedi nodded in agreement.
At the moment, a holopic of Anakin smiled just beside Obi-Wan came to life. It appeared to the mirror image of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon that Luke had seen. Qui-Gon and his companion both sighed in contentment.
The memories, although highly embarrassing for most of them, brought back the good times that, somehow they had forgotten. It brought back the smiles and laughter that had, one time, been associated with the Jedi and that, if all went well with Luke, would one day come back. The memories seemed to block out all the sad and lonely times that had occurred a lifetime ago.
Qui-Gon reached over and put his arm across Obi-Wan's shoulder and gave the younger man a gentle, sideways, hug. It had been a tough road, but it was paved with golden memories along the way that lighten the path.