Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Hello! I’m back… contrary to popular opinion I have not fallen off the face of the ether… ;-P

Today, we have a special treat. A guest post from Iris, aka Irisbloom5 on Nanowrimo and Daylee15 on Wikia and lego.com!

A few weeks (?) ago, Iris, who is a consummate Taylor Swift fan, contacted me with news of a new Taylor Swift song, which, she said, “fitted The Hero’s Dream and its sequels as if written for it!” Not being a Taylor Swift connoisseur myself, I gave her my full permission to “song fic away!” And this is the awesomeness that resulted. 😀 Enjoy!

NB: This fic does contain spoilers, but if you’ve read The Hero’s Dream it won’t be spoiled for you. 😉 The only other one, I think you probably all already saw coming. 😉 If you read to the bottom, I promise, you will find a preview for the next installment in the Shifting Tides series, Battlefield of the Soul. I promise. So…

Read? Please? @_@

Sweeter Than Fiction

Hit the ground, hit the ground, hit the ground, oh oh

 Only sound, only sound that you hear is no

 You never saw it coming

 Slipped when you started running

 And now you’ve come undone and…

Siri stared at the floor, her foot tapping out a steady rhythm. A few other occupants of the stark white waiting room that she was currently stuck in glanced her way, biting back the impatient scowls the most likely wanted to show. Siri didn’t care what they thought. She’d been stuck in the sanitary hell hole for longer then she could stand. At last, Bant appeared at the door. Siri immediately sprang to her feet, ignoring the tell-tale tingle from sitting to long. “How is he?” she asked.

“Awake,” Bant answered. “He still has some healing to do though. Physically and mentally.”

“But I can see him?” Siri insisted.

“Of course.”

Siri practically ran down the halls to Obi-Wan’s room, not stopping till she was standing in the door. She sucked in a breath as quietly as she could, but he heard it anyway.

“Please, don’t say anything Siri,” he asked, not even turning his head to look at her. Siri stepped into the room and approached the bedside.

“How many were lost?” Obi-Wan asked weakly.

“Bant said…”

“I don’t care what Bant said, I want to know!”

“No more then a dozen,” Siri answered, and she winced as a pang of guilt and grief went through the Force. “Don’t blame yourself…”

“Then who should I blame?” Obi-Wan asked, growing angry. “Dooku? Sidious? It was me who failed to get everyone out in time!”

“This isn’t your fault,” Siri shot back.

 I, I, I, I

 Seen you fall, seen you crawl on your knees, eh eh

 Seen you lost in a crowd, seen your colors fade

 Wish I could make it better

 Some day you won’t remember

 This pain you thought would last forever and ever

“We gather to celebrate the lives and memories of those lost in the recent attack,” Master Windu said, his booming voice shrunk to a reverent tone. What there was of the Jedi Order present all bowed their covered heads, each remembering their own memories of the fallen knights. Siri tried to, but her eyes kept glancing over at Obi-Wan where he stood at Qui-Gon’s side. Even with his face covered in shadow, she could read him like a book. He was trying to meditate on those he knew, but each memory came with a pang of guilt. No one else seemed to notice the struggling and guilt ridden knight, but Siri did. She saw, and she felt guilt rise in her own heart. Guilt that wasn’t even sensible. She felt guilty because she was unable to save him from the pain he was going through. She couldn’t, and that hurt her almost as badly as Obi-Wan’s guilt did him. The only difference was she was better at hiding it.

Hold on, Siri thought, not sure if he’d even pick up the words. This war won’t last forever.

He glanced up, meeting her eyes. He’d heard. Whether he actually believed her was another question.

There you’ll stand, ten feet tall

I will say, I knew it all along

Your eyes wider than distance

This life is sweeter than fiction

“Have you thought about what will happen after the war?” Siri asked as Obi-Wan busied himself with packing for their latest assignment. Siri, for once, had known before him, and was already done. Not to mention she’d hurried so she talk to him before they left.

“Not really, no,” Obi-Wan answered distractedly.

“With Sidious gone,” Siri ventured, “there’d be no one standing in your way to take up…”

“No, ” Obi-Wan answered sharply, and he slammed his drawer shut. “I will never be recognized as Deriaka’s heir.”

“What is it people say about the sins of the father?” Siri pointed out, hopping down from the bed. “You don’t have to be Deriaka, and honestly I can’t think of anyone more qualified to clean up the mess the Sith will leave in their wake. You want to leave it to the bureaucrats who can’t even think for themselves?”

“I’m done talking about this, Siri.”

“Maybe your right,” Siri said slowly. “You’d look even shorter in a great big crown then you do now.” Obi-Wan glanced back at Siri, still frowning, but a twinkle of amusement in his eyes.

Just a shot, just a shot in the dark, oh oh

All you got, all you got are your shattered hopes

They never saw it coming

You hit the ground running

And now you’re onto something,

Qui-Gon slipped into the med room silently. Siri and Obi-Wan still noticed his entrance though, and Siri rose to leave. “No Siri,” Qui-Gon said quickly, motioning to the seat she had just vacated. “Please stay. That might help.” Siri didn’t ask help with what, but simply reclaimed her seat as asked to. Qui-Gon took the second chair.

“Obi-Wan, I want to talk with you.”

“That’s rather obvious Master, I just don’t know why.”

“Siri and Bant,” Qui-Gon began, “has brought to my attention the struggles you’ve been facing recently. We are all worried about you.” Obi-Wan began playing with the blanket on the bed, looking down to avoid eye contact with his former Master.

“You don’t have to be,” he said softly. “I’m fine. It’s just…”

“Obi-Wan, who are you?”

“I’m Obi-Wan Kenobi, former slave to the Emperor, and jedi knight,” Obi-Wan said automatically.

“And, what else?” Qui-Gon prodded.

“The Chosen One,” Obi-Wan sighed.

“And what does that mean?”

“It means I’m supposed to bring balance to the Force.”

“And what does that mean?”

Obi-Wan frowned thoughtfully. “I don’t know,” he said at last.

“That’s right,” Qui-Gon said with a nod. “And neither do I, and neither does Master Yoda. I can tell you what it doesn’t mean; it doesn’t mean you are meant to save everyone.”

“Master…” Obi-Wan began, but Qui-Gon cut him off.

“No, Obi-Wan listen to me. You have been under a shadow since the attack. You blame yourself for the deaths of others for which you share no blame. Just because you are the Chosen One, and you are told to be the greatest Jedi, does not mean you can stop death. There is no power great enough for that, and if there is, it certainly wouldn’t be worth the cost.”

“Master,” Obi-Wan said his eyes wide, “I did not… I never meant…. Master, i don’t claim to have that power.”

“Then do not blame yourself as if you do,” Qui-Gon snapped, and he rose, stepping closer to Obi-Wan.

“I’m sorry,” he said, his voice softer, quieter. “I let my frustration get the best of me. Obi-Wan, you have so much potential, and you have done many things that would be beyond a normal Jedi, yet you continue to push yourself harder and harder. If you continue this, you will break. You tread close to such a fate even now.”

Without another word, Qui-Gon left. Obi-Wan glanced down again.

“He’s right,” Obi-Wan whispered, just barely loud enough for Siri to hear. “He’s right about me, about everything.”

“I know,” Siri said softly, leaning forward to take his hand. “I know.”

I, I, I say

What a sight, what a sight when the light came on

Proved me right, proved me right when you proved them wrong

And in this perfect weather

It’s like we don’t remember

The rain we thought would last forever and ever

Blue clashing on red. Once again Dooku had found them, and once again they found themselves pitted against him. But this time was different.

“I see you are letting your true colors show at last,” Dooku said to Obi-Wan. “I can feel the pain in you, the want for retribution.”

“You are wrong,” Obi-Wan said, just as calmly as the Count. “I want no such thing. All I want is for the restoration of freedom in the galaxy, for the light to chase away the dark.”

“And how do you suppose you can do that?” Dooku taunted, holding Obi-Wan’s blade at bay with the appearance of ease. Siri watched from where she crouched, ready to rejoin the fight if Obi-Wan need her, despite his orders forbidding her movement. “You are nothing after all,” Dooku continued. “The lowest of the low. A Jedi who was raised a slave. How powerful can you be?”

“More powerful then you know,” Obi-Wan answered with gritted teeth. At that moment, against all odds, Dooku flew backwards, slamming into the wall behind him. Surprised, but not dazed, Dooku looked up at the triumphant Jedi who stood above him shoulders back and a fierce light in his eyes.

“The Chosen One,” Dooku whispered.

There you’ll stand, ten feet tall

I will say, I knew it all along

Your eyes wider than distance

This life is sweeter than fiction

There you’ll stand, next to me

All at once, the rest is history

Your eyes wider than distance

This life is sweeter than fiction

“This is it,” Siri whispered to the man beside her, the brightly colored robes falling to the floor. Obi-Wan meddled with the rich fabric, looking anything but comfortable.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” he muttered. Siri laid a hand on his shoulder, and helped to straighten his collar.

“I can,” Siri replied. “I always knew you’d do this. I didn’t doubt for a second.”

“Except maybe the hundred times it looked like I wouldn’t even see the end of the war, right?” Obi-wan teased. Siri frowned.

“When did I ever say that?” Siri asked, pretending not to know what he meant. Obi-Wan just shook his head and let the matter drop.

“Nearly time now,” Siri said as she glanced at a chrono on the wall. Obi-Wan looked as well, and then sighed.

“Do I have to do this?” He asked.

“No,” Siri answered. “But I think you want to.”

Qui-Gon stepped inside now, a few guards accompanying him, restored from the red robes of the Sith’s royal guards to blue Republic garb.

“It’s time,” Qui-Gon said. Obi-Wan took a deep breath and stepped out through the door onto the balcony in the senate chambers, followed closely by the guards. A loud roar of approval followed, and Siri grinned at Qui-Gon.

“And so the war ends,” she said.

“But another begins,” Qui-Gon reminded her. “The sith are defeated, but there is still much to do.”

I’ll be one of the many saying

Look at you now, look at you now, now

I’ll be one of the many saying

You made us proud, you made us proud, proud

I’ll be one of the many saying

Look at you now, look at you now, now

I’ll be one of the many saying

You made us proud, you made us proud, proud

“To Obi-Wan!” Siri cried, raising her glass high. “The New Supreme Ruler of the Galaxy.”

“Siri!” Obi-Wan protested. everyone else present though only laughed, and echoed the toast. It was after the inauguration, and our group of heroes and their friends were gathered to celebrate.

Siri elbowed Obi-Wan playfully.

“Oh, come on,” she said. “Have a little fun!”

“I don’t see why I should,” Obi-Wan replied, trying to avoid jostling his wine glass. He’d only accept the beverage after a lot of persuasion, and threats of being tied to a chair in the Younglings’ party room.

“You are the Emperor!” Siri reminded him. “And the best one this galaxy has had since the old days.”

“I’m Regent, not Emperor,” Obi-Wan reminded her, “and I’ve only been so for two hours, how do you know I’ll be the best?”

Siri looked him in the eyes.

“I just know,” she said, the joking tone gone from her voice. “And so does everyone else in this room.”

And then they call your name and we

Put your picture in a frame

You now that I’ll be there time and again

‘Cause I loved you when, when you

“I can’t believe this,” Obi-Wan groaned, slouching down as far as he could in the speeder, as if the reporters camera would find a way to see through the blacked out windows. “You’d think they’d get tired of taking pictures of the same person after a while.”

“Are you kidding?” Siri asked him, twisting around from the shotgun. “That’s all they do! It’s what they get paid for. Do you know how much a well placed photo of you is worth?”

“No, and I don’t think I want to learn,” Obi-Wan answered firmly. “Don’t you get tired of following me into these messes? You get it worse then I do, because nobody cares if they trample you.”

“I’ve come this far with you, and don’t intend to abandon you to the picture hungry mobs yet,” Siri shot back. “Don’t even try talking me out of it.”

Obi-Wan gave her a strained grin. “Thank you, Siri.”

Hit the ground, hit the ground, hit the ground, oh oh

Only sound, only sound that you heard was no

Now in this perfect weather

It’s like we don’t remember

The rain we thought would last forever and ever

There you’ll stand, ten feet tall

I will say, I knew it all along

Your eyes wider than distance

This life is sweeter than fiction

There you’ll stand, next to me

All at once, the rest is history

Your eyes wider than distance

This life is sweeter than fiction

“So, how does it feel to be out and about and not be recognized as Supreme Ruler of…”

“Siri!”

Siri laughed and took a swig from the beaker she held. She, Obi-Wan, Garen, Bant, and Quinlan were all out celebrating. They had chosen a small little tavern of sorts far from 500 Republica and the senatorial chambers. Here, Obi-Wan had less chance of being recognized as Emperor and therefore mobbed. This was the first time in months the gang had all been together on Coruscant at once, and it was worthy of celebration.

“So, how is his highness getting on?” Garen asked, grinning at Obi-Wan.

“Barely getting on,” Obi-Wan answered, grabbing a small cake from the plate in the center of the table. “And how are our hunters?”

“Tired,” Quinlan exclaimed. “Me and Garen have been out coming the outer rim for months it seems. I say we just let local authorities call of us if a Sith shows up, rather then us wasting our energies searching for them.”

“That’s a matter for the Council,” Obi-Wan pointed out,” so I hope you are not asking me to do anything.”

“You need to do something with all that power of yours,” Garen remarked, and all the others burst into laughter at Obi-Wan’s exasperated expression. Bant took pity on him, and reprimanded Garen.

“Now Garen,” she said, waving a finger at her fellow knight, “you know very well Obi-Wan has enough to do. He has a senate to run, and papers to sign, and… um…” Bant could not think of anything else Obi-Wan had been busy doing, and her point rather fell short.

“Oh I see,” Quinlan remarked, sarcasm thick in his voice. “Yes, I suppose papers are a lot of work.” That set everyone off again, and Obi-Wan didn’t bother to respond.

“To us,” Siri announced, lifting her glass for a toast. “And which ever of us is going to write our history.” The others laughed, knowing fully well the only person among them who’d even try to do that happened to be the current ruler of the galaxy.

“To us,” Obi-Wan echoed. “And our biographer, Siri.”

“Ha!” Siri laughed, knocking glasses with Obi-Wan. “That’s the funniest joke tonight!”

Bant smiled at her two friends, and raised her own glass. “To life,” she said.

“To life,” Siri echoed. “A life sweeter than fiction.”

Is sweeter than fiction

Is sweeter, yeah

Is sweeter, is sweeter

Sweeter than fiction

And now, for the preview… 😉 Enjoy!

Obi-Wan froze. “Wait…”

“Come on! Hurry!” Anakin said, rushing forward.

“No, Anakin, wait!” Obi-Wan cried, leaping after Anakin, grabbing at the collar of the boy’s shirt. Too late. The two of them barreled into a patrol of the  royal guards.

Obi-Wan grabbed Anakin and hit the ground with the boy underneath him, shielding him with his body. The first barrage of their fire spent, the guards retreated momentarily. Obi-Wan leaped to his feet, kicking out, his boot connecting solidly with the guard’s jaw, felling him, as the young warrior struck another smoothly in the stomach with the same motion. In an impressive display of martial arts lasting for the next thirty seconds or so, the remainder of the guards were all on the ground, unconscious. Obi-Wan flicked his hair back out of his eyes. “We should go. We still haven’t–” He swayed. “We haven’t even picked up Ventress yet.” He hurried them along at a brisk pace. Shmi moved quickly to his side.

“Ventress?” she asked. Obi-Wan nodded.

“We’re taking her with us.” Suddenly, the young man clutched at his side, his footsteps faltering a little.

“Are you all right?” Shmi asked, concerned.

“Fine,” Obi-Wan managed, cheerfully. He staggered. Shmi was almost scared now.

“Obi-Wan, you’re not ‘fine’,” she said.

“I’ll be okay–we have to get Ventress, and go!” They ran on for a bit, then Obi-Wan suddenly fell, without a cry or gasp or any other sound. Shmi gasped.

“He’s been shot!” she said, fingers ghosting over the burn mark on the fabric of Obi-Wan’s tunic.

“Let’s get him to the ship!” Anakin exclaimed, grabbing one of the unconscious Jedi’s arms and struggling in an attempt to pull him onward.

“But what about Ventress?” Shmi wanted to know.

“There’s no time. Let’s go!

Shmi did not notice, as they lifted Obi-Wan’s unconscious form, the odd, unnatural yellow tinge in her son’s eyes.

Aaand… CLIFFHANGER! This is fun. X-P

I hope that will tide you over until the end of the month, when I will probably take up the mantle of the chronicler of the Shifting Tides series once more. Ta-ta until then! *waltzes blithely off*

Advertisements