He had, in a dark corner of his mind, wondered if everyone he cared about would die, and the last thing he would hear from them would be a plea for Anakin. A plea to save him. For he knew he would ...
He had been a fool.
Love was not in the Code. Love was not allowed. He had kept silent, for fear of estranging himself from his Master once more... but his Master had done the estranging himself. He had loved Qui-Gon as a father... but what haunted him the most was that he didn't know if the man had seen him as a son.
He remembered once, after Qui-Gon's death, she had found him, spoken with him. For some reason, he found himself pouring it all out, how much he missed him, how useless he felt, the pain of being shoved aside like an old droid model... as though he had just been used. As though Qui-Gon had jumped at the chance to have an apprentice who would not just be a mediocre Jedi who had already left the Order once, but a Champion.
She had allowed him to cry on her shoulder, had whispered comforting words and stroked his hair. And for a moment, just a moment, he had allowed himself to pretend that they were just two people, and that she loved him back. But moments ended, and they weren't two people. They could never be. You could never pair a Jedi with a Queen.
And then she did. She wed him, his apprentice, and bore his children. He tried not to show the pain he felt when he realized. The pain that once again, he had come in second-best to Anakin. Once more, his apprentice was in the position he wanted to hold, and once more, he let it pass.
She had died. She, the strongest person, the strongest sould he had ever met, the only woman he had ever loved, one of the few people he would give his life for without a thought, she threw it away because he had abandoned her. Because he had turned. And her last words were of /him/. He had, in a dark corner of his mind, wondered if everyone he cared about would die, and the last thing he would hear from them would be a plea for Anakin. A plea to save him. For he knew he would never be able to.
That was his greatest failing. He could not save him. He would always tell himself that he should have seen... and it would always be the truth. He would never be able to comfort himself with the warm blanket of falsities, that there was nothing he could have done, that Anakin would always have turned. For that was untrue. He should have stopped the bond with Palpatine before it had begun. He should have shown more affection, shown his approval. That was what he had always wanted as a Padawan. Why had he not given it to his own?
Because he had been jealous. He always had been. Anakin had recieved the love of his Master and of her, of strong-willed her who had claimed she would bow to no one. She had lied. Everyone lied to him. They didn't mean to, but they did nonetheless. Or maybe they did mean to. Maybe in their heart of hearts, no one cared, and they all merely claimed they did for the pity of the man with no one. The man with nothing. The man who would have given anything for one glance, one smile from her... but who had never, would never recieve it. The man whose heart was a mass of pieces that could never be fixed.
He still watched over Luke. The boy had grown up right, with Beru and Lars. Much as he had wanted to take him, he had found himself able to say nothing but that he would watch over him. Watch over him. He had wanted to raise the boy as his own, pretend for one moment that it was not only her child, but his... but that would never be. Nothing would ever be. Thanks to Palpatine. Palpatine and Vader. And he himself.
He turned away from the dune he stood on, walking back toward his home and away from the moisture farm, wondering if this was where Darth Maul had sped across the sands, or fought Qui-Gon as he and her sat in the ship, anxiously waiting, the small tanned boy with the tousled blonde hair behind him, urging them on, afraid for Qui-Gon's life... and, he now realized, afraid for his own. Anakin had been afraid of losing what he had just now found. He knew the feeling. He felt it every moment of every day while she was alive. He felt her loss every moment of every day now that she was dead.
He was dead inside.
Obi-Wan Kenobi looked up at the twin suns setting and smiled sadly. "I'm watching him Padme. I'm watching him for you. Caring about him for you. Because you never got the chance. Because you gave up." The smile flickered. Why had she given up for /him/? Was Anakin worth her life? Her pain? Her suffering? Her death? The only thing it had taught him was that he, Obi-Wan, the broken Jedi never had been, and never would be. For he was worthless.
A sharp breeze blew a handful of sand into his face, almost as though she were reaching to slap him for speaking such thoughts. His smile turned nostalgical. He could easily imagine her doing that. "I love you, Padme," he whispered to the falling night. And as he turned his back on the world, he almost thought he heard her whisper back.
"I was a fool, Obi-Wan."
And he knew it had to be his imagination. For there was no way she would ever say it. And he knew that what the villiage children said was true; he really was just a crazy old hermit.
Far across distances both physical and spiritual, a queen cried.
AN: It came to me when I was bored... I am an Obidala shipper. :D They are, actually, closer in age than Anakin and Amidala... but now I'm rambling.