Only Light

by Amy Fortuna ([email protected])

Pairing: Q/O and a slight hint of one other pairing.
Archive: M_A, and SWAL. Anywhere else, please ask.
Feedback: Please. Pretty please. Do you want me to *really* beg?
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars, that belongs to George Lucas. I do not make any money at all off of this story, it is done for pure love.
Rating: R.
Category: Alternate Universe, Romance, Action/Adventure

Summary: In a universe where love between Jedi is a crime, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon face the consequences.

Notes: I started this a very long time ago. Then it was a sweet happy little thing with a wonderful resolution. Then I discovered that it wouldn't work that way, that people don't work that way, and I dropped it. Several days ago, however, Augusta Pembrooke posted a "darkfic" to chanslash, called Worth It, which resembled this story as I'd conceived it Darkly. Needless to say, she inspired me and I set back to work on it. And now that I'm finished, I have to frankly say I'm amazed at myself; I've written this in a week and a half. And I think it's a really good story that raises some interesting questions. Not to mention that it's not fun as it sounds, being possessed by four incredibly hot guys.;-) [veg]

Credits: To Creed--I've had my cd player set on repeat of tracks 8 & 9 of Human Clay and it has provided great inspiration.

The "optimized" version of this story, with cool colors and neat cover art, can be found at my site, once it decides to cooperate:

Warnings: This is a very dark fic. Extremely bittersweet, and very sad. For more specific warnings, scroll down. Those who don't want to be spoiled, avert yer eyes:-) S

Specific Warnings: This fic will contain the death of very main characters, a Puritan!Council, and a rather graphic description of a fiery scene.



Master Anakin Skywalker sighed and resisted the urge to yawn. He was ensonced deep inside the Temple Library, buried underneath at least three thousand years worth of documents, searching for information on a trade agreement made hundreds of years ago between two very obscure, far-flung planets. Planets which currently held the power to engulf the galaxy in civil war if a certain datachip wasn't found.

Anakin sighed again, deciding that a break would surely be in order soon. He flipped idly through a few more of the chips, casually reading the names of each one to himself.

"The Roris Becker Trial. The Kensing Affair. The Jinn/Kenobi Files...what?"

Anakin pulled that datachip out of the stack so quickly that the other chips fell back into a clattering heap, disturbing the agelong hush of the library.

The Jinn/Kenobi Files. The Jinn/Kenobi Files. The words spun themselves through his mind, twisting, fascinating beyond any power to forget.

Dropping any thoughts of trade intrigue, important datachips, exhaustion, or hunger, he made his way over to an empty desk with a datapad lying on it, keyed in a logon name and password, placed the datachip in its slot and waited for the contents to load.

At last he would know! Know why he had never seen Master Jinn or Obi-Wan Kenobi again after they returned from Naboo, why no one would speak of them, ever, even at his direct questioning, why there had been unshed tears in Obi-Wan's eyes and a definite tremor in Qui-Gon's voice the last time he'd seen them, on the transport back to Coruscant, why Qui-Gon had said so gently, "Anakin, you will be trained. It has been promised--but I will not be allowed to do it. Obey your future master."

At last all these questions, possibly, would have an answer.

The datapad beeped a "data loaded" message, and Anakin skimmed the contents. Three folders, one saying simply, "Obi-Wan," one "Qui-Gon," and one, more formal, labeled, "Account of the Trial and Sentence of Master Jinn for High Crimes Against His Padawan."

Anakin gasped out loud. High crimes against his padawan--! What crimes? Master Jinn would NEVER! He never would do THAT!

Something of calming energy came to him as he closed his eyes in utter shock. He reached for it and recovered himself, slowing quickened heartbeats back to normal rhythm.

He opened his eyes and decisively touched the folder labeled "Qui-Gon."

"At least I'll hear his side of the story first," he said, and opened the folder.

Anakin chose the first of several documents, the one labeled Entry One.

Inside there was a short editorial note that read:

"This is not the first entry in Qui-Gon's diary, but it is the first that has any bearing on his trial. His previous entries have been erased." ED

Anakin frowned at that, but began reading.

On Transport Back To Naboo

"I finally know what it means to love. The poets of all except the Jedi call it eternal desire that will never go stale, or the sweetest flower on the plant. I call it Obi-Wan.

The streaks of light through this spacecraft's windows are stars. They have worlds spinning around them, moons, planets, asteroids, and comets flying in a cosmic dance. I feel like I'm caught up in a cosmic dance too, on a level higher than mere matter. I sit here, alone while everyone sleeps, feeling an unfamiliar rush of heady joy, waiting.

I can't go back to our room and sleep. I couldn't sleep with Obi-Wan in the same room without crushing him to me, kissing those sweet lips in an agony of desire.

For the first time in a long time, I have no idea what exactly our mission entails. Though I'm afraid that whatever the Queen is planning will make my risk-taking on Tatooine seem like a walk in the park.

The stars look like streaks of light. The thought occurs to me that we are also but streaks of light flying through the blackness outside.

Sometimes a star loses the war of all matter and falls into a black hole. Eventually, they tell us, all matter will end up in black holes, that the very fabric of the universe will be reduced to elementary particles. I have trouble believing that. It sounds too dark.

But life is not all sweetness and light. I realized that again, for the thousandth time, when we stood together in a Naboo cockpit, just a little back from where I sit now, and saw the battleships firing at us.

I was overcome by the urge to touch my padawan, and only caught myself by staring hard at the ships ahead, as though I could deflect their shots by my will alone. Perhaps I could have, perhaps I did. I'll never know for sure.

The hours have fallen away as I sat here, more thinking than writing. The lights here will come up soon, and even though I've not slept, I feel refreshed.

So now back to show business; back to throwing the Wise Jedi Look over my face; back to being the perfect Master, the perfect advisor, the perfect everything.

It's all an act. Sometimes I wish I could just toss it aside and be me, Qui-Gon, not who they all expect me to be.

Obi-Wan, however, would be the only one I could take my mask off in front of who would not immediately go into supreme shock. He knows about the mask--wears one himself.

My beloved...I wish I could tell you how loved you are. I wish that we could be different, not Jedi, just two human beings who could live and love each other. May I find the courage tell you before it's too late.

What is this pressing urgency I feel, this knowledge that something is-or could be-terribly wrong?

Control. Patience. Evil will reveal itself. I must be ready to fight."

Anakin drew in his breath sharply. It was true then--Qui-Gon Jinn had indeed committed high crimes.

Or at least considered it here on these pages. Had fallen in love with his padawan--wickedness!

And what had Obi-Wan thought? Anakin switched back to the other folder and began to read Obi-Wan's diary.

Anakin opened the first document, finding the same editorial note on top, and began reading.

On Transport Back to Naboo

"I can't sleep.

It's useless to even try, I can't do it. I know what I was told, "Sleep, Padawan. Tomorrow won't be easy...."

Yeah, just before he leaves our room.

Why? Why is he being so strange? It's not the boy. Though he started being strange just after our Council interview.

Does he feel a disturbance of some kind? I do.

Several, in fact.

Threat on Coruscant, threat from Naboo, threat from the boy, danger everywhere...

No. I won't go into it. Definite Dark Side stuff.

Besides the fact of what I feel.

Now that's dangerous.

I love him.

I love Qui-Gon.

Never thought I'd say that...of anyone.


We aren't supposed

We're Jedi.

They're mutally exclusive terms.

I heard of a case where two Knights 'fell in love' with each other. They were executed!

Without mercy.

We're all about peace and serenity,

Not ever-increasing desire for someone, not about wanting to be with someone forever and ever. Not about anything but being the guardians of justice in the galaxy.

There was a tragedy in the Jedi Order about a thousand years ago...had nothing to with the Sith, who were beaten for the last time (Force, you 'll never know how much I pray Qui-Gon's wrong for once) about then.

Before that, bondings among Jedi were allowed, if not encouraged.

But then, a Master forced his Padawan to have a relationship with him. The boy was totally opposed to it, as well as being...too young in any case.

The Padawan was horribly abused for years. He failed his Trials, and discussing his failure with the Council, told them what his Master had done to him. They were more than horrified.

They had the offending Master executed and sent the Padawan into extensive counseling. He was never able to be a full Jedi Knight, but instead became a farmer, incidently beginning the Argi-Corps part of the Jedi Order.

So after that, it became custom among the Jedi to not seek sexual relationships in their friends, but to go to others, no love in the Jedi, no bonds between them other than the bond of Master and Padawan.

So we scatter the worlds with our seed, and find no joy in the doing.

And a year later, they bring the children to the creche.

The finding of potential Jedi is anything but random. That is why we were so surprised to find little Anakin on Tatooine.

No Jedi have been to Tatooine for years. If ever.

I've been brought up by these rules, and yet I feel, something is not right. Jedi are not bonded as closely, we do not work as well together, we are supposed to be a symbiont circle and we feel like random threads hanging.

The stories tell us of amazing things the Jedi of old did. Shifted planets in their courses, destroyed massive works of evil, raised children from the dead.

That doesn't happen now.

Maybe the Force, in some small way, is not enough. Maybe we need love too.

True love, not selfish desire. Love that rights wrongs, fixes even the horrible events of a thousand years ago.

I feel it.

But does he? Or is it the Will of the Force?

I don't know.

But I do know this.

The bond we have is wonderful, and I won't let my forbidden feelings get in the way. Not now, not ever.

So we can call that subject closed. Tightly shielded, and buried in the depths only of this journal.

I can do this. I must!"

Anakin sighed softly. This sweetness was wrong, this wonder, this desperate attempt to conceal and reveal. Why? Who had said so?

It had been taught to him, ever since he had entered the Jedi Temple and been meet by a pale man with long dark hair and a warm smile, who had told him that he would be master to him.

Who had given him a padawan haircut, ice blue eyes far away, lost in perhaps memory. Who had raised him and taught him and cherished him and cut the braid when he passed the Trials.

Xanatos of Telos, who had taught him carefully that love between master and padawan was wrong. Whose own master had been Qui-Gon Jinn--who had fallen in love with his padawan!

Had Xanatos taught him things he himself did not believe?

Anakin buried his face in his hands and waited for a calming breath.

Anakin switched back to Qui-Gon's diary and read the second entry, wanting to condone but afraid to.

Before the Battle of Naboo

I am a mass of conflicting emotions. Cold and hot by turns. My heart and mind reel, warring with one another.

This is something I cannot resist much longer.

Obi-Wan came to apologize to me this morning--apologize to me! I should have been the one asking forgiveness from him--I'm not sure exactly what happened in the Council chamber, I was so in the flow of the Living Force, but I get the distinct feeling that I said something that he was distressed at. Probably something to do with training Anakin.

I should have said I was sorry, should have reassured him that he would be my padawan as long as he needed to be.

But saying that was too dangerous, I might have let slip other things--that I wanted him in my life forever, for instance.

I came close enough to losing control anyway.

After he said that "it was not his place to disagree about Anakin," I wanted to take him in my arms and kiss the thought away from his mouth. I wanted to cry out, "Obi-Wan, you're more than padawan to me, you're friend, partner, You can have your own opinions!"

Instead all I could do was say that he would one day be a great Jedi knight. And lay my hand on his shoulder--that was a mistake. To feel his warmth under my hand, his breath ghost against my arm...I was lost, so lost.

And I have never felt anything more wonderful.

I drew my hand back, tracing his jawline lightly with my fingertips. The touch of his skin burned into me, so soft, so sweet...

I swear I heard him hiss quietly under his breath as our mind-shields began to fall unconsiously. And for a moment we were both ready to damn all the consequences and be with each other in every way, to know each other inside and out.

In a way, it was too frightening.

Calling on every ounce of Jedi control, I yanked my mind out of his, feeling him pull away also, realizing the same thing I did.

We love with each other.

And we came so close, so close, to just giving in to it.

Control. I must hold on.

I spent hours last night indulging this insanity, this blessed evil. I should have more sense than to think the same way in the morning."

Anakin bit his lip sharply to keep from crying out something very against the Code. This could not be could not be...not Qui-Gon Jinn, not Obi-Wan Kenobi. What they felt could not be evil.

He raised a hand to his face, half surprised to find tears on his cheeks. Such tenderness! How they pulled away and danced back they resisted to find it futile.

He switched back to Obi-Wan's diary, eager to find out just what Obi-Wan had thought of this new development.

Anakin closed his eyes briefly as the contents loaded and, as the datapad beeped, pulled something of peace out of the air, sighing quietly.

Before the Battle of Naboo

We can't. No. Never. Oh Force help me. No love allowed for the Jedi. Especially not between master and padawan.

Yet I can scarcely keep myself from whispering into his mind, ever so softly:

"I want your body/I want your soul/I want you in me/I want your all."

[Anakin gasped a shocked response to this--such rawness!]

Master, we can't hold out much longer. It's just as well that I should take my trials as soon as possible. Right now, maybe?

Anything to keep some distance between us

--before we go too far--
--oh master i love you but it's so unbelievably forbidden--

anything to break the ties between us

--oh master this is too much, we can't go against the code--

I need to put the distance of a few universes between my body and yours to keep me away from you so I don't yield to the inevitableness of it all and throw myself into your welcoming arms.

You won't be able to resist--not when the Living Force itself is calling so loudly for our bodies to meet estatically.

It's wrong, no matter what the Force says. So I have been told. And what do I follow, the Code or my heart?

What do I follow?

Where do I go?

How do I live without thee, my master?

I see no answer to these questions...I am caught between two damning decisions:

Deny, crush my heart,


Defy, and break it.

May the Force be not with me. May the Code be with me, because otherwise, I will die."

Anakin stood up, setting the datapad to screensaver mode, and walked away to the fountain in the middle of the library. He had understood what he had read, but could not believe it. Such a dilemma! At what cost! The Living Force itself commanding their bodies to meet in love, and they resisting! To follow the Code!

As someone whose strength was indeed the Living Force, he could imagine very well what it must have been like...bodies literally pulling like magnets together, knowing that they would receive welcome in the other's arms and yet staying away.

Anakin sat on the wall next the fountain and watched it play, water dancing freely. This last entry had been too emotionally intense, too extreme for a Jedi-trained mind. Perhaps even some of the emotions felt had been left in that file, a pale aura of love and denial.

Some time of rest was needed, for he had a feeling that it would only get more intense.

After a few minutes of staring at the splashing water, Anakin got back up and returned to the desk. Sitting down, he returned to Qui-Gon's folder and opened the third entry.

After the Battle of Naboo

"I have been over worlds, through galaxies, crossed deserts and snow plains, nearly died more times than I would like to count, been captured and rescued, been chastised and scolded, lauded and praised--and nothing has ever felt like this!

I have kissed Obi-Wan Kenobi, the love of all lifetimes, just once, and all I have ever done pales in comparison to that few minutes.

And I know that I will be punished for this; I may even die for it. They already know. I am certain.

But I would rather die, having kissed Obi-Wan just once, than live for many years yet and never kiss him.

I'm still not sure how it all happened, I was fighting the dark-robed creature and suddenly he was there and the Sith was gone and we were in each other's arms.

Then he kissed me. We kissed each other. Shields fell and I was him for a moment and he was me, and the universe could not have been brighter.

It may be the only chance I will ever have, but for the first time in my life, I feel truly alive."

Anakin, this time, did not gasp in horror. This was sweet and wonderful. Even if it was wrong.

He switched back quickly to Obi-Wan's diary section, wondering just what had made Obi-Wan kiss his master, after all his former talk of following the Code.

After the Battle of Naboo

"Part of me can't believe I ever denied myself this utter pulsing joy I feel now. The other half is in a state of complete shock.

And even though I knew it already, it still came as a surprise--Qui-Gon Jinn loves me and I love him.

I've stopped trying to fight it. The Force wills it--and a brand new world has opened up to me; the stars spin under the sky and I am so happy, so happy.

We have, together, defeated great evil. We have killed the twisted, Darkened thing that attacked my master on Tatooine.

I'm not certain of the particulars of our battle with the creature; I know only that Qui-Gon was on the other side of a red laser wall, fighting the Sith, and I realized that I could not just stand there--I had to do something.

So I, experimentally, tested the wall with a lit saber, and discovered that my lightsaber would, indeed, go thorough the rays. And I also noticed that my saber blocked the rays from continuing--since one bank of lasers sent and the other received, I could get through the wall if I held my saber so that it blocked as much of the ray as possible.

As my master fought the Sith across the room, I crept carefully between the beams above and below me. This is much harder than it sounds, trust me! Dangerous as it was, I escaped, but not without a burn to my left arm as I reached to recover my saber. Almost blinded by sudden pain, I seized my saber and stumbled across the floor.

They, especially the Sith, were not expecting me. All it took was one swift slash to sever the Sith almost in half. He fell into the melting pit and Qui-Gon and I, literally, fell into each other's arms, just like all the norms' romance books dictated.

"You're burned, Obi-Wan," was the first thing he said to me.

There were a thousand answers to that, but the Living Force was pounding through my blood and he was so very close. I answered only:

"Yes, I think I am, but anything for you, Master." Then I leaned up and kissed him.

When our lips met, it was as though I'd been living as a shadow of myself and had suddenly exploded into stark reality. The universe, consequences included, fell away into nothingness, and I tightened my arms around him, deepening the kiss, tasting salt and sweetness in his mouth. And he kissed back, body pressed to mine, our minds meeting as we had not allowed them to do a day earlier.

I would have had this kiss, more powerful than the most intimate contact with another, go on forever--would have loved to die with our lips locked together, but we were only flesh and blood. Mere clay cannot kiss forever.

So we moved away from each other, hands lingering on waists and hips.

"I love you, Qui-Gon," I whispered. He covered my hand with his, tenderly.

"As do I love you, Obi-Wan," he said.

And that was all. We walked together out of Theed's underground core to find the battle over and the viceroy captured, young Anakin having piloted a ship on his own to destroy the droid control ship!

We helped reinstate Queen Amidala in her palace. And right now, my master is making a report to the Council. Will they know; will they somehow be able to tell that we kissed?

I close my eyes and wonder how long we can hide anything this powerful."

Anakin shook his head; he already knew the answer to that question. Not very long. The Council had many spies and many ways of finding things out very quickly indeed, if they wanted to. And it was possible that in this case, they had wanted to. Qui-Gon had had a remnant of a training bond with Master Yoda, it would have been all too easy for Yoda to pry and see exactly what was going on.

Anakin quickly turned back to Qui-Gon's diary. This was absorbing beond measure, a bittersweet tale that he could not wait to find the conclusion to.

On Transport Back to Coruscant

"Earlier today I felt like I was standing on the top of a beautiful mountain. Grass and trees, the Living Force, and my Obi-Wan, waited for me. And then the Council contacted me--and someone pushed me out of paradise, hurtling screaming into endless dark depths.

They call this that I have done with my Obi-Wan perversion, they call me Darkened, they say I will be tried for crimes against my padawan as soon as we reach Coruscant--all this for a single kiss, all this for falling in love.

Unwittingly, we boarded the transport back to the Temple early this morning, certain that Queen Amidala was more than equipped to repair her homeland. Except for my brush with death, it had been one of our easier missions.

And we had Anakin with us. He could take classes among the initiates for a couple of years. That would be well enough time to get him caught up, while I finished Obi-Wan's training. I would not have rushed that for the worlds.

And now, we are here, speeding toward our destiny, knowing punishment and maybe death awaits me when I leave this ship. I would have it so. I will not tell the pilot to go somewhere else. I will face them with every thought in my heart laid bare, and then, maybe, they will see that this is no evil.

I don't think either Obi-Wan or I had ever considered that a kiss could change our relationship. While, as I know now, we have been deeply in love with each other for years, we also knew it to be a hopeless love and therefore never dreamed of a touch, or a kiss, or even a meaningful look passing between us. And as wonderful as that kiss was, as different from any other as night is from day, I have hardly dared to consider going farther with him. The norms call sex "love-making," and I have always been hard-pressed to understand why.

Isn't it just sex, love or not? Just bodies rubbing together in the night?

And so we are hesitant. We don't want to discover that, deep down, we are still only mortals biologically programmed to seek sexual release.

We consider ourselves the holy vessels of the Force, Obi-Wan and I, and have always hated the customary giving of the fairest women of the planets we've saved, to bear Jedi children. Though we were born of these quick unions between Jedi savior and beautiful norm woman, or, in Obi-Wan's case, female Jedi knight and good-looking norm man, we both feel that there must be a better way.

But to sleep with Obi-Wan! Would it be like the Living and Unifying Force twining in incadesent ribbons around the worlds, or would it be like two animals rutting in heat? Or would it, possibly, be like both?

At last, now, I can see Coruscant through the viewport--we've just come out of hyperspace. And I will face the Council with all I have to give. This is not wrong. This is blessed and wonderful. Obi-Wan is my love, my soulmate! Like rivers flowing together, we are two halves of one glorious whole--and this is right."

Anakin sighed softly at this.

"Even were it wrong, I would die to feel this way," he whispered.

Anakin quickly switched back to Obi-Wan's folder and opened the last icon in the folder, the last diary entry of Obi-Wan.

On Transport Back To Coruscant

"Whatever it takes, I'll be with him. I will not leave his side for anything, not even if he tells me to. When I gave him my lips, I gave him my heart as well, and as he received my kiss, so he received me, come weal or woe, death or life, forever.

I do not care if we never touch or kiss again. I only want to stay beside him, to be his as he is mine.

When a planet spins around a star in the customary cosmic dance, is that said to be unnatural and wrong? No, never, it is just and right, the way the Force made it to be. Why then when I, Obi-Wan the planet, wish to spin forever about Qui-Gon the star, is that called perversion?

I do not care what the Council says of him. I know the truth and I know him.

I know him like I know my lightsaber. As the crystal is the center of my 'saber, the heart of it, so is he my center and heart.

And how can I refuse the other half of my soul?"

Anakin sighed and closed the diary folder. Now all that was left was to read the formal account of Master Jinn's trial and a as yet unknown sentence. What had happened to them--had they been exiled, or cast out from the Jedi? Or worse?

The Account of the Trial and Sentence of Master Qui-Gon Jinn

I have agreed to write this account on one condition only: that no one shall look at this datachip until after I have passed into the Force.

I am Xanatos of Telos, just declared Jedi Master, and the former padawan of Qui-Gon Jinn. I vowed fifteen years ago to train Anakin Skywalker in the ways of the Jedi, at my former master's request.

I have succeeded in this--today I will cut his braid.

Today, therefore, as it has been asked of me by the Council, I will also set down the events of fifteen years ago that led me to take Anakin as my padawan.

My former master took as a third padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, a promising young boy who was dedicated to following the Code and skilled in the Unifying Force. As opposites in many ways, they complemented each other perfectly and quickly became the most-often requested diplomatic team the Jedi had.

But horribly for them -- opposites also attract -- and they, on a mission to a backwater, but beautiful planet, Naboo, gave in to their forbidden love and Qui-Gon kissed his padawan.

Such things, love between master and padawan, are completely forbidden to the Jedi. So Master Jinn was tried and sentenced to death. Padawan Kenobi refused to live without his master, so both were executed by fire.

That is the story in a shell, but not as I lived it.

Fifteen years ago...

Master Qui-Gon contacted me from Naboo, and asked a favor. He requested, without preamble, that I train Anakin Skywalker.

When I asked him why he himself would not, he paused a moment. Then he said quietly, "I do not think I will be allowed to train anyone after this."

"After what?" I asked.

"After kissing my current padawan," he answered.

I gasped my shock--surely he hadn't! Surely he was joking. That was a serious, serious crime, for which he could be executed! Didn't he know that?

"The Council already knows, and they are about to take me into custody," he answered my unspoken question.

"Why, Master?" I asked. "Obi-Wan Kenobi is beautiful, but I would not risk death for him."

"I would," and those two words said it all--all the denial and suffering and final yielding.

I bent my head, waiting for calm, and after a moment, said merely, "I will, then, at your request, take Anakin Skywalker as my padawan."

A few days later, I saw them leave their ship, my master and his padawan close, as though the universe would have to tear them apart to get them to leave each other.

Anakin followed, and my heart immediately went out to the boy; he was so very powerful in the Force, yet innocent.

Almost unconsciously, I greeted him, not needing an introduction, and led him away to my quarters. He was quiet, but there was an undercurrent of swift questions surging through him. Settling him in padawan quarters took a few minutes, but as soon as he fell asleep, exhausted from the trip, I was off to observe the trial that I was sure must be going on.

The room used for a courtroom was not the typical Council room, instead, it was square and brightly lit. Qui-Gon Jinn stood in the center of the room as the accused. Obi-Wan Kenobi sat in the first row of spectators' seats, watching his master with a fierce protective look in his eyes.

To start the trial, Mace Windu presented the accusations against my master.

"Qui-Gon Jinn of the Jedi," he intoned, "You have been accused on charges of having unlawfully seduced your padawan with carnal intent. The court will show your crime in these three ways: proof that you have long lusted after your padawan in your thoughts, proof that, on Naboo, you did unlawfully kiss your padawan, and proof that you did wish to form and be bound by life vows with your padawan. How say you, first, to these accusations?"

My master looked up at Master Windu keenly.

"Prove them if you can," he said, a declaration of neither innocence nor guilt.

In the next few hours that afternoon, Master Jinn's every unguarded thought since he had taken Kenobi as his padawan was examined. If he could not explain each one, that was duly noted. Some of the quotations were extremely inconsequential and could easily be explained. Others my master had no answer for.

Hours that seemed like days went by this way. Padawan Kenobi sat straight and pale at the front of the room, alternating between gazing at Qui-Gon with his heart in his eyes and shooting dagger looks at whoever was questioning Qui-Gon.

After some time, as Qui-Gon's former padawan, I myself was questioned. They asked me whether Qui-Gon had ever displayed any carnal intent toward me, or I toward him. I told them the truth--no, never. My own apprenticeship had been one of perfect propriety and Qui-Gon had never touched me in a manner unseemly, nor wished to, I was sure.

As the examination of his history concluded, I began to see that they had drawn the proverbial noose around my master's neck and were waiting only to draw it tight. They had already decided on a verdict.

Master Windu then gave the court a short recess and I stepped outside the room, to discover that sunset was approaching. The sky, as always, shone gold and red above the Temple.

Obi-Wan was standing a few feet away, staring out the window, thinking who knew what. I walked over to him to attempt a little comfort--I would be the only one who would dare to give it.

"Can you save my master?" he said, after I greeted him solemnly.

"No one can, it seems, unless the Council has a sudden change of heart," I said.

"The Council has no heart at all to change," he said under his breath.

"Obi-Wan--" I began.

He turned toward me suddenly and said:

"If you can't save him, if no one can save him, rest assured he won't die without me by his side!"

I took a half-step back.

"Surely there's no need to go that far?" I said.

"Why not? What am I without him?" Obi-Wan asked.

"You will be a great Jedi knight someday..." I said.

"That's what he told me," Obi-Wan nodded. "But I won't be anything, unless he's with me. I don't want anything else."

After the short recess, I entered the empty courtroom and heard voices coming from the front of the room.

I realized that the speakers were behind the thin wall that separated the courtroom from the office next, and they obviously didn't know that their voices bled through into the room I was in, so that I could hear them easily.

"This will never work, Mace. There is no evidence for the third point and you know it!" a female voice (I couldn't tell whose) said.

"We'll think of something. If not, the first two are enough to convict. Don't worry," Mace replied.

I moved as quietly as I could to the door and let it slam behind me, giving the impression that I had just entered the room.

A few minutes later, the second part of the session got underway.

They played the security tape from Naboo before the assembled Jedi and the Council. And yes, indeed, that tape made it very clear that Master Jinn had kissed his padawan. Or had kissed him back, but that was a small thing.

Questioning Padawan Kenobi turned out to be mostly a waste of time. Obi-Wan was obdurate, cooperative in words, but saying absolutely nothing that was not directly asked of him. A rather amusing exchange between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu went like this:

Master Windu: Padawan, do you love your master?

Obi-Wan: Yes.

Master Windu: Does he love you?

Obi-Wan: As a master should.

Master Windu: But with carnal intent?

Obi-Wan: How should I know that?

Master Windu: Has he told you?

Obi-Wan: Has he told me what? "Obi-Wan, I love you with carnal intent?" No.

Master Windu: He has not? Has he ever implied it?

Obi-Wan: Master Windu, there have been no improper actions toward me from him, a fact that does not hold true of all in this Temple.

At that, Master Windu looked away briefly, a gesture that told me, at least, far more than a confession would have. I figured the cross-examination of Obi-Wan was over, but he continued.

Master Windu: Padawan, did you kiss your master on Naboo?

Obi-Wan: I did.

Master Windu: Why?

Obi-Wan: Because he was kissable.

Master Windu [through the laughter in the courtroom]: Padawan Kenobi! Explain yourself!

Obi-Wan: I have. You have your answer.

A few more rounds like this, and Master Windu apparently decided the examination of Kenobi was useless.

At this point, Master Windu dismissed Obi-Wan, who remained standing near the front of the room.

Mace urged one of the pair to explain their actions on Naboo. Anything in Qui-Gon's defense, any extenuating circumstances, he requested.

At this, Obi-Wan stepped forward, much as though he'd finally made up his mind to speak and had gathered all his courage for one last chance. He stood before us and the Council and said steadily:

"You accuse the wrong Jedi of a crime! You point your fingers at my master and say that he is guilty, not only of falling in love, which is a crime to you cold-hearted ivory-tower statues, but of seducing me with "carnal intent." In all this, you ignore your own lustful desires. You leave at the wayside lavicious touchs you gave an unwilling padawan, or your lewd comments, or your secret whispers about this or that padawan's beauty."

He paused for a moment and gathered his breath. We all sat in shocked silence, Qui-Gon very straight in the front, smiling faintly, proud of his padawan, I was sure.

"I say to you, these things are the real crime! They are what you should be prosecuting here today, not an innocent love between those who are equals in heart, if not in rank."

Obi-Wan took a deep breath, extended his hands and stepped forward until he stood within arm's reach of his master. A smile passed between them, tender and secret, and Obi-Wan continued, startling us all with his next words.

"And so, Qui-Gon, my equal, my heart, I ask you this one question--do you love me?"

Through the gasps of outrage in the courtroom, I saw Qui-Gon catch Obi-Wan's hands in his and say calmly, "Yes, Obi-Wan, yes, I do."

Obi-Wan's next words were whispered at first and got steadily clearer and louder:

"Qui-Gon Jinn,
I bind myself to you forever.
Not even death shall part us.
I will be yours as you are mine
We shall be each other's.
All the days of our lives and afterward
even into eternity in the Force,
I shall cling to you as you hold to me.
My heart and body are now yours alone,
never to be shared with another.
This vow I make to you as my love-
if I break it let my life be broken."

The hush in the courtroom became a tangible thing--no sounds this time--everyone was too shocked. They were invoking a lifebond! This was forbidden to the Jedi--Obi-Wan was not even supposed to know it was possible! Qui-Gon, though a bit startled, it seemed, managed to complete the ceremony:

"Obi-Wan Kenobi,
Your vows I accept and make my own.
I am yours as you are mine-
we shall cling to each other through death itself
and beyond, into the unity of the Force.
I give you my body and heart.
I am alone yours.
This vow I make to you as my love-
if I break it let my life be broken."

As he finished saying those things, I thought wildly through my shock, "there's no way anyone can see anything corrupt in that." Then Mace Windu recovered and and flounced--no other word will do--to the other Council members.

"Have you seen with your own eyes this man transgress the Code?"

Several stirred uneasily, but all responded as if by rote, "We have."

"Do you need any further evidence?"

At the Council's united negative, Mace Windu gave them permission to deliberate a sentence and the Council left the room.

Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon remained standing, arms around each other's waists, eyes wide, waiting.

It only took a few minutes, as everyone was sure it would.

Qui-Gon was sentenced to die by fire in the Pyre of the Darkened. Obi-Wan was given a choice--die with his Master, or be cast out of the Jedi.

He said nothing, but pulled Qui-Gon down and kissed him lightly in front of the court, making plain as day what he chose.

They, under Jedi escort, left the courtroom to go back to their quarters. I paused for a moment, trying to absorb everything that had happened in just a few hours here.

Mace Windu approached me (I flinched away from him unconciously) and asked for a favor.

"Xanatos, someone has to watch the camera that tapes their rooms tonight. I don't want them trying to escape. Would you mind?"

I frowned, but could come up with no good reason to get out of it. At least I could be kind to them, and not spread the details of their last night alive all over the Temple, as others would have.

"I'll do it," I said quietly.

As I watched the viewscreen connected to the camera in their quarters, they entered, almost as though nothing had happened and they were not to die tomorrow.

Cloaks were shed, thrown carelessly over a chair. Obi-Wan, almost frighteningly cheerful, moved away from Qui-Gon, talking rather aimlessly about nothing, doing little things like straightening a book on the shelf, or picking up an empty cup left on the table and setting it on the counter.

Then Qui-Gon spoke a low-voiced "Padawan," and Obi-Wan turned, forgetting everything.


"Come here, it's all right, come here," Qui-Gon said, opening his arms. Obi-Wan smiled briefly and fairly flew into them, hugging his master close.

They held each other for long minutes, whispering things the audio feed could not pick up. I watched, fascinated.

Eventually holding wasn't enough, and they began to kiss each other, light and soft at first, then deep kisses, so deep I wondered if they were trying to become absorbed in each other forever.

Moments passed and whispers and sighs and the outline of their bodies in the moonlight was all I could hear and see, the lights having been dimmed at some point. Clothes fell away from them, scattered carelessly on the floor.

Falling onto Qui-Gon's bed in the corner of the room, they kissed and slid and gasped, bodies straining with, not against, each other.

I heard Obi-Wan cry out first, but Qui-Gon followed him a second later, both saying words that could have been the other's name.

I had never wanted another man, but seeing this, I could understand the attraction. They were beautiful together, beautiful.

"Oh, love," Obi-Wan whispered, running lazy fingers through his master's hair. And then they began to kiss again, gently, naked bodies twined together in the moonlight on top of the sheets, shining dimly. Two different, yet perfect bodies, one toned by youth and constant training sessions, one honed by experience and grace.

I slumped back in my chair as they continued to kiss; obviously they weren't going anywhere.

I watched through the rest of that night, stark awake, staring at a dark viewscreen, listening to soft moans and sighs intermingled with occasional words, mostly endearments. All I could see on the screen now was shifting shadows, hardly enough to imagine what they were doing, if the audio feed had not made it absolutely clear.

When the light came streaming in the windows of their room, I could finally see them again. They lay entwined together so tightly that for a moment they looked like one being. My former master had gathered Padawan Kenobi protectively in his arms and Kenobi's head lay on his shoulder, fingers twisted in his hair.

For the first time, I switched the viewscreen off. This simple act of sleeping together was somehow more intimate than all the passionate moans I'd heard the night before. Let them have their brief privacy. It was all I could do for them.

About two hours later, Councilor Mace Windu entered the viewing booth and after a few choice words about my failure at round-the-clock surveillance, turned the viewscreen back on, and groaned in shock at the couple. I looked over at the screen and resisted the urge to smile--they were fully dressed and meditating now. The only unorthodox thing about them was that they sat together, Kenobi between my master's legs, eyes closed, faces utterly serene.

The Council disturbed their meditation a few moments later and took them, holding each other's hands, faces wan but calm, to the Pyre of the Darkened, reserved for those who had committed the most serious offenses against the Code and the Jedi.

The Pyre was a small metal-clad box-shaped place with only one door and a strong post in the center of the room.

I have been told that the Council members tied Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan back to back on that post, laid wood drenched in fuel at their feet, recited their crimes against the Code and gave them a last chance to recant their love vows, which they refused.

Then Mace Windu lit the wood on fire and the Council left the rooms, shutting the door to keep fire and the sound of screams inside. They sent pure oxygen through the air ducts to that room, turning the fire quickly into an inferno. I can only imagine, though I don't want to, the pain of their death--they both burned and suffocated at once. There are few deaths devised that are more painful and terrifying. In any case, the fire consumed them, leaving only ashes.

I entered that room a few days later, after all were certain that it had cooled completely, and gathered their ashes. Among them lay a small rock, scorched, simple, but it glowed with Force.

When I attempted to probe the stone, I received only this rush of feeling:


I left that stone among the ashes and on a mission several years later to Naboo, scattered them on the breeze. A fitting end, I thought, for those whose only crime was love and in whom I could see only light.

Anakin felt the rush of emotion threaten to overcome him, and waited quietly until he could breathe again. They had suffered so much and for nothing, it seemed. All that was left of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan's love was ashes on the wind and a single datachip.

"I will be the one to live their legacy," he said quietly. "It will no longer remain hidden in shadow, but will be known for what it was, no Darkness, but Light."

A moment later, he felt a light touch on his shoulder and looked up.

"Deep thoughts, Master?" a familiar voice asked.

Anakin smiled and stood, shaking his former padawan's hand.

"Han! So good to see you--I'd thought you were on mission!"

Han ran fingers through his half-long new-knight hair and laughed. "I got back last night--in one piece, thank the Force! And, oh, yes, Master, there's someone I'd like you to meet."

Han gestured and a young blond haired man, sporting a padawan braid down to his waist, stepped forward.

"Master, this is Luke Naberrie, padawan to Master Starlene. We met on the mission, and he...he reminds me of you, a lot."

"Nice to meet you, Master Skywalker. Han's done nothing but talk about what a great Master you were to him," Luke said.

"Typical of Han to exaggerate," Anakin laughed.

"I do not exaggerate, Master," Han said. "But what so serious were you comtemplating when we disturbed you?"

Anakin glanced from one young man to the other, and made a split-second decision.

"This tale--you might enjoy it." He lifted the datachip out of the slot and gave it to Han, smiling. "Why don't both of you read it and see what you think?"

"Sounds interesting, Master," Han said. "What do you say, Luke? Are you up for some deep thinking right now?"

"Always, what else?" Luke answered, and shot a look at Han, that, to someone who had just finished reading the tale of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon and their doomed love, was apparent as an I-want-to-be-with-you-always glance.

Anakin smiled, hoping he was making the right choice. Maybe through them there could be some redemption for the Jedi order. In any case, he would see to it that Han and Luke would never meet the same fate that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had chosen.

He watched them walk into the distance, laughing at some small joke, and turned back into the stacks of datachips, searching again for a certain nagging trade agreement from two far-distant star systems.

Have you any response to the story that ate my life?:-)
[email protected]


back to fiction
Hosted by