Fandom: Star Wars
Prompt: written for skywalkathon Round 1 - in which I only participated as a pinch hitter. Written for agentjedi.
Word Count: 1083
Summary: Shmi is smitten with her Jedi visitor.
Author's Notes: Gah. Now I remember why I don't like to participate in ficathons - because everyone else's fics are far superior to mine! I probably could have done more with this story if I'd had more than a few days to make the time for it.
Shmi Skywalker couldn’t sleep. She told herself it was due to her anxiety over the next day’s podrace in Boonta Eve, which was true – it was difficult for her to watch her young son risk his life in such races. But that was only part of the reason she lay tossing and turning.
The other part was too troublesome to acknowledge yet.
Shmi pushed back her bedcovers and slipped out of the room quietly. She padded over to her son’s bedroom and paused in the doorway. It was too dark to see him, but she could hear his deep, even breathing – music to a mother’s ears. A young handmaiden slept in a makeshift bed next to his. The girl probably should have been in Shmi’s room, but Anakin had convinced Shmi to allow Padmé to stay with him.
Satisfied that her son was resting peacefully, Shmi made her way to the kitchen and poured herself a glass of blue milk. The moonlight provided enough illumination for this simple task. Even if it had not, Shmi would not dare risk disturbing the two beings sleeping so near by turning on a light. Jar Jar Binks, the Gungan, was curled up in a corner, snoring quite noisily; the human Jedi made no sound whatsoever. Shmi peered at the couch where Qui-Gon Jinn had settled for the night. The area was too shadowed for her to determine if he was still there.
"No, I’m not there."
He spoke barely above a whisper, but Shmi nearly jumped out of her skin. She chuckled softly, self-consciously, acutely aware that her pulse had quickened and her face had flushed. How grateful she was that the darkness hid her agitation.
"I apologize for startling you," said Qui-Gon. With a slight wave of his hand, he vanquished that darkness, but his warm smile put her at ease immediately. The lights glowed softly on their lowest setting, rather like candlelight.
"Can’t you sleep?" she asked, returning the smile.
He nodded in Jar Jar’s direction. "I believe a herd of banthas makes less noise."
Shmi laughed. "Would you like some blue milk?"
Qui-Gon shook his head. "No, thank you. I only came over because you were here."
"You’re honest. That’s refreshing," she said with a chuckle. She marveled at her ability to speak normally when her heart was racing and her knees were threatening to buckle. She took a seat at the table and indicated that he do the same.
Qui-Gon sat next to her, and they quickly fell into a pleasant conversation centering on her favorite subject: her son. Shmi could talk endlessly about Anakin. It wasn’t often she had visitors, let alone a Jedi Master who was interested in hearing about her child. She spoke proudly about his talents and virtues in response to Qui-Gon’s questions. Her voice grew gradually louder as she realized that their conversation would likely make no difference to her other guest.
She was sure her heartbeat was growing louder as well. Qui-Gon regarded her calmly with those cool, ice-blue eyes that penetrated her so. She’d always had a penchant for eyes. His were kind, sincere... and amused. Can he sense it? she wondered. Can he tell that I’m agonizingly, hopelessly attracted to him?
Suddenly Shmi couldn’t remember what she was saying. Qui-Gon leaned towards her slowly, his gaze locked with hers, and now she was certain that not only did he sense her attraction – he reciprocated it. He brushed his lips across hers in the gentlest kiss she’d ever experienced. She deepened the kiss instinctively, eliciting a soft moan from him. He pulled back and looked at her with an unspoken question in his eyes.
She wanted him, and she knew there was no time to waste. She stood and offered him her hand. They weren’t schoolchildren, after all. She led him back to her bedroom, quite grateful now that she’d given in to Anakin’s wishes about the girl’s sleeping arrangements. Qui-Gon and Shmi soon discovered there were very pleasurable ways to block out the sound of Jar Jar’s snoring.
* * * * * * * * *
Shmi thought of that night often in the weeks that followed. How could she not? Qui-Gon had been the perfect lover. She had never felt so alive, so vital, so... womanly. She thought she’d laid all such feelings to rest permanently when Anakin was born. Being the mother of a precocious child as well as the slave of a tyrannical Toydarian left little time for such frivolities as romance. It didn’t help matters that she spent most of her days in Watto’s home – a home severely lacking in desirable men. She had thought her life was destined to be the same.
He’d made her no promises, nor would she have believed him if he had. He was a Jedi, married to the Order, unlikely to ever set foot on Tatooine again. She knew this. She also knew how much it grieved him that he’d only been able to secure Anakin’s freedom, not hers. She’d seen the pain and longing in his eyes when he told them. She knew he wouldn’t be able to keep in regular contact with her. Still, she found herself hoping that he would find a way.
This was Shmi’s hope. It was illogical, impractical, impossible -- yet irrefutable in her heart.
When the news of Qui-Gon’s death had eventually reached her, she’d been devastated. She mourned the injustice of his passing, the loss of a good man to the universe, and the death of her hope.
As the months passed, the memory of their night together faded, blurred by pain and loneliness. She missed Anakin terribly, of course, but knowing he was living his life’s dream comforted her. Her night with Qui-Gon began to take on the hue of a lovely dream that had no bearing on reality. It was time to lay those old desires back down to rest. She was simply a slave. Genderless. Passionless.
With the loss of Anakin, Watto had found more use for Shmi in the shop than in his home. One day as she was cleaning, a man approached her. She had noticed him around the shop before but he had never spoken to her.
"Can I help you, sir?" Shmi asked with a polite smile as he drew nearer. And then she noticed his eyes. They were ice-blue, kind, friendly... yes, he had very nice eyes indeed.
"Good afternoon," said the man. "I’m Cliegg Lars."