Title: No Regrets|
Fandom: SW TPM (Slash)
Summary: Qui-Gon faces: "To tell or not to tell, that is the question"
Spoilers: minor one for JA I
Category: POV, romance
Disclaimer: the characters in this story belong to George Lucas and Jude Watson. No copyright infringement is intended.
Archive: M/A; Haven-of-Fic please, my website (http://www.user.xpoint.at/e.lebic/default.htm)
Notes: Big grateful smile for Martina who betaed this. Any remaining faults are mine. comments and feedback are gratefully received and very much appreciated ;-)
It was time. I knew it couldn't go on like this. Another training session, followed by another sleepless night. My concentration was suffering from my feelings. I meditated, it was all for naught. I needed counsel - and fast -before my Padawan became any more suspicious. It was not to be borne anymore -the sideward glances, the troubled look, slipping away so as not to burden me. Obi-Wan thought it was his fault and acted accordingly -protecting me, saving me from the trouble of dealing with him.
I went to see Yoda. He was the only one I could allow into my secret -no one else should ever know, not until this had all been resolved.
"Troubled you are. Talk to me you can, if you wish."
We sat in companionable silence for a long time - at least it seemed like a long time to me - it might have been half an hour or four - I couldn't tell. I was hard at work gathering my courage together, forcing myself to get it over with -to finally say it aloud.
"I love Obi-Wan."
Anyone else might have asked what exactly I meant by "love" -brotherly or fatherly affection, deep friendship or something entirely different, but not Yoda. He knew by simply looking into my eyes.
"Realized it you have. Accepted it you have. No problem there seems. Still, troubled you are. Fear his reaction, you do."
"I believe so."
"Sure you are not. Why?"
"I've meditated. It isn't the core of the problem - at least, I'm not convinced it is. Though I haven't come to any other conclusion than that I wish my feelings didn't run this deep, that I could simply avoid a confrontation."
"Tell him you must. Want to tell him, you do."
"I don't want to lose him. I haven't yet accepted the possibility of his rejection, his turning away from me. He is the closest thing to a family I have, my dearest friend."
"Ask you some questions, I will. Expect an answer now, I do not. Meditate upon them, you will. Meet again, we will. Talk about this again, we can."
I nodded. I knew that Yoda would come up with questions that would occupy me for many hours - but that they would most likely help me find the answer I was looking for, that they would be the basis for the decision upon which so much of my, of Obi-Wan's future depended.
"Fight your love and desire, you can? No answer I need. Think about it, you must. Describe your feelings you will. Most accurately, it must be."
I knew I could expect some more questions, but I was not prepared for what I heard then.
"Knowing the future, take Obi-Wan as your Padawan again, you would? Last question, this is. Most important one, it is. Time, you can take. Know where to find me, you do."
I bowed my head as he shuffled away. Finding my own answers to seemingly easy questions was an assignment I had often complained about when I was still a Padawan. Though it had proven worth my while even back then. This time all my hopes and dreams were threatened by the outcome of my meditations.
I could do nothing but begin. I was too distracted for anything else anyway. Before I vanished inside my quarters, I wrote a note to Obi-Wan, telling him I needed some time alone to work out a problem. I knew he would respect my privacy and not disturb me or interfere.
I was right. Throughout the week I spent in meditation and solitary walks, my Padawan kept out of my sight, while still caring for my well-being. When I had been out I would always find my dinner waiting in front of my door, or on the table, with a note, saying that Obi-Wan would be back late, or not at all. It didn't trouble me. I trusted him to take care of himself.
He was careful, had learned to be on our missions. He seldom drank too much and he was wary at all times. I need not fear for his safety - as for anything else. It hurt to think he might be with someone during those long nights, but I pushed the thought aside. Somehow it felt wrong to think of him in the arms of anyone. It occurred to me only then that I had not heard him mention any particular friend of late. Not that it meant a lot. Casual liaisons were no uncommon thing, even for Jedi. Still.
I missed talking to him though. His company was usually very relaxing for me. But I had made my choice. I would not involve him as long as I wasn't completely sure of what I wanted. The only thing now separating a talk with Obi-Wan and the beginning of whatever came after my confession, was a meeting with Yoda. One stage that would help me make up my mind.
I was extremely nervous, a fact I could hardly conceal beneath my oh-so calm demeanour - the character trait I am most famous for - my prized serenity -escaped my feverish grasp when I needed it most.
I found my old master in the gardens, sitting on a bench that allowed a splendid view of the Coruscant skyline. The sun was setting and the grey maze of towering buildings was shadowed with a warm, reddish golden glow. It soothed me - without doubt the reason why Yoda chose this particular spot.
"Found the answers to my questions, you have."
It sounded strange to say these words after all those years, after having been a master myself for so long too, yet it felt right. I honoured Yoda and expressed my reverence as best I could by giving him a title I need not have used being his equal.
"First of all you asked me whether it were possible to fight my desire, to quench my love somehow, so that we could go on as we have."
When Yoda nodded gravely, I slowly continued. I can't remember any time I was more reluctant to tell him of what I had discovered within myself -nothing had ever been so close to my heart, so personal and so dear as what I was about to confide to him now.
"I don't think, that is I know I can fight my desire. I have learned to control it. But I can't just put the love I feel aside. That's because I have come to terms with the past. I have forgiven myself for losing Xanatos -almost. And I guess I'll never come closer to being at peace with my life until now."
"Good this is. Important, this insight is. One step towards a conclusion you have made."
"So when I tried, forgive me, when I searched myself for the truth, for a definition of my feelings for Obi-Wan, I found."
It was hard. Sith be damned. This was one of the few moments in my life I wanted to scream and curse. I was ripping my heart in two telling Yoda - how much harder would it be to lay my soul open to my Padawan - the inevitable conclusion, the hell I still had to face.
"I love him. I have loved others, loved them dearly, with all my heart. Obi-Wan would get all of me. I trust him implicitly, I don't doubt him and I don't question his honour. I don't fear I'll lose him like I lost Xanatos."
"Impressed I am, Qui-Gon. Knew you loved him, I did. Such a love -unexpected it is. Worthy of it, he is."
As if he had known that I needed to hear from him that he believed I wasn't mistaken - that my Padawan was indeed as special as I believed him to be. The wisdom of age sometimes surprises me - though I'll never reach Yoda's 800 and something, I still hope to one day come close to his understanding and knowledge. Experience is not all though - what I learned in my most painful lessons was that sometimes instinct and your heart are wiser than all the certainties and truths you have accumulated over the years.
My love for Obi-Wan was stronger than I had suspected even when I first consulted Yoda. It had surprised me beyond measure when I meditated. I had never thought myself capable of a passion that ran quite so deep, that encompassed my whole being, enabled me to give myself completely - and - what astonished me the most was that I wasn't afraid of handing over some of the control I had built up in my life. I knew Obi-Wan would never disrespect my beliefs and me -I was safe with him.
"Doubt your answers you do not."
"No, Master. I've answered your first two questions entirely satisfactory as far as I'm concerned."
"Well done, you have. Answer my last question now, you will. Knowing your feelings - take Obi-Wan as your Padawan you would? Even if hurt you he would?"
I didn't answer for some time. Until then I had not had an answer. I had thought I would say "perhaps" - but when Yoda asked me again "Yes" shot into my mind at once. It seemed natural all of a sudden.
"I wasn't sure - but my first impulse after you repeated the question was to say yes."
"Why this is so you think?"
"Because I don't regret a moment of the time I spent with Obi-Wan. All we've been through together only served to make me better acquainted with his character. That is why he became so dear to me, why I fell in love and why I love him now. On Bandomeer he attracted my attention, over the years he earned my respect and trust."
It all seemed so easy once I had understood.
"I wouldn't change my life. If I hadn't lost Xanatos, I wouldn't have learned to appreciate Obi-Wan's dedication and sense of honour. I wouldn't have been grateful for his faith in me or proud of his skills if I had not known he had no notions of himself, no delusions of grandeur that could endanger him."
"Safe to love, he is."
It shouldn't have surprised me. Not in Yoda. Yet I was taken aback. He had read my thoughts. Or seen them in my eyes. It was incredible how he never ceased to amaze me, however long I knew him.
"Yes, Master. He is safe to love. He won't betray me and even if he doesn't love me or ceases to love me he wouldn't hurt me. He would tell me the truth. And that is why I can, why I must tell him what I feel. I owe him the utmost honesty."
"Proud I am of you, Qui-Gon. Expected a decision this soon, I did not. Good to see you determined it is."
"With your permission I would like to discuss this with Obi-Wan immediately, before I lose my courage."
"May the Force be with you."
I smiled as I walked away. I couldn't help grinning every time Yoda used this old phrase. As old as the Jedi - older than Yoda even - and the only sentence he ever put into correct order when he spoke.
It was almost midnight when I returned to the quarters I shared with my Padawan. I was surprised to see him as I entered, after all, he had seemed to vanish into thin air all the past week, only his books, a note or his cloak denoting his presence in my life - and the struggle in my mind. Now I would put an end to all these hide-and-seek games we had played.
He jumped up when he saw me - he had not expected me to be home so soon, undoubtedly because I had left him a note to tell him I was spending the evening with Yoda. He bowed wordlessly, graceful as always, though the effect was lost somehow in the folds of his wide sleep tunic. Not that I had ever understood why he wore something at least four sizes too large for him at night, but as he never took these - gowns - on our missions; everyone ought to have their little luxuries.
"Please stay. I. there is something I'd like to tell you."
"As you wish. Would you like some tea, supper?"
He was nervous. So was I, yet I had something to be nervous about. Unless he thought he had failed me somehow, made a mistake.
"Why are you nervous, Obi-Wan?"
He didn't evade my eyes, his own bluish-grey ones darkening a little as he replied, almost shyly.
"I feel as though I'm being punished, but I have no idea what for. If it is a lesson, than I'm afraid I have failed, for I don't understand your behaviour of late."
So much like the little boy that was always doing his best to prove he was worthy of being my Padawan, that thought he had to continuously fight for his place at my side.
"I didn't know I was. I'm sorry. You did nothing wrong. It was just I who needed to think about something, though I admit you are the problem I had to deal with, but."
I didn't know how to go on. It was clear I had to tell him, I wanted to, yet it was difficult to find the words that would end this whole complex struggle and clean up this mess in my head once and for all.
He looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Not that I could blame him -he had no idea what I was talking about. So I began once more.
"I...sit down, Obi-Wan. I've...this is not easy to say. I can't find the right words."
"Blurt it out, Master. I'm sure I'll be able to make some sense of it."
The sparkle in his eyes belied his playful tone. He was worried, wanted to help and had no clue as to the meaning of my behaviour towards him. I smiled.
"I love you."
Once I had said it, my mind reeled. I had let my most cherished secret slip across my lips as easy as if I had told Obi-Wan about the weather prognosis for Coruscant. Amazing, considering how long I had taken to determine whether to tell him or not.
It was something between a question and a statement. I couldn't read the emotion clashing in his eyes. I had never noticed that change of colour before, how dark they could become in a matter of seconds. I was beyond the power of speech, so I nodded. And I did something I'd never done before - I let down my shields, most of them that is, so Obi-Wan could see what I was endeavouring so hard to make him understand. It wouldn't do if he had doubts. He had to know I loved him, how much I loved him before I could trust him to make a decision that neither of us would ever question again.
He blushed. I had never seen so much embarrassment in his poise as I did in these moments, minutes we sat beside each other, when I made him see how my heart and soul was his for the taking.
"I can hardly believe it."
I didn't know what to say. He looked dreamy, almost as if he were asleep and far away, then he turned towards me, meeting my eyes with his and told me, in a voice that was no more than a whisper yet seemed to echo through the whole room.
"I love you."
I wanted to ask, to doubt while my fears vanished - but before I had the chance to even take a deep breath he allowed me to see his feelings as I had let him see mine. It was my turn to understand then and every doubt was done away.
Throughout this night I neither thought much nor did I say a lot, but I'm sure my happiness and contentment at having found the love that enabled me to begin at nothing again found their way to Yoda, for when Obi-Wan and I met him at sunrise as we strolled through the gardens, he nodded his head and mumbled something that sounded almost like.
"Regret nothing, you do. Happy you will be."
I Regret Nothing
No, absolutely nothing
It's paid, brushed away, forgotten - I don't give a damn about the past
No, absolutely nothing
Because my life, because my joys - today