Hand of Fate

Epilogue I: Twin Suns

For years, the family of four shows up to the dusty streets of Mos Eisley once a month to get supplies. An interesting, mysterious little group, they always draw stares. Not because they look some specific kind of way. No, they look just about the same as most of the other Tatooine riffraff. It's something else. Some sort of energy radiates off of them. Something about them is enigmatic. Different.

There's the patriarch of the group, a man in his forties with long gingerbrown hair streaked in silver. He always wears it tied back or in a bun. He's most often dressed in sand-colored garments that are similar to what Jedi used to wear. The way he carries himself is steady, graceful, gentle, and humble. Nothing about him screams forbidding or dangerous, but there have been a few encounters throughout the years that prove otherwise. Whatever fool is brainless enough to try to bother him or his family is always put into their place by his quarterstaff. There are rumors that someone matching his description fought off an entire Tusken raid a few years ago with a lightsaber, but that's too outlandish for most Mos Eisley folks to believe.

The woman always with him is strikingly beautiful and she has a certain hawkish look to her… like nothing gets past her. Like she misses nothing. She usually dresses in the same color as the man in clothing designed for utility, not beauty, but despite how plain and rough her outfits are, something about her is still somehow remarkably regal. Her long dark hair is always put into impressive hairstyles that only add to the elegant presence she exudes. While her demeanor is guarded and reserved in the markets, the way she and the man relate attests to a close bond. They seem to know each other's thoughts and communicate without words. She seems particularly fond of bantha, and once while petting one for sale, she's overheard saying something about 'reminds me of when we first met' to the man with her. And while she doesn't appear intimidating exactly, she's also been seen in scuffles a few times throughout the years. She always walks away. Her opponents aren't always so lucky.

The man and the woman have two children who look to be about the same age: the first is a sandy-haired son who honestly doesn't look much like either parent—he seems to be a more reserved and sensitive child compared to his sister, who is the spitting image of her mother, with dark hair and eyes to match. The girl nearly always has her hair fashioned into three little buns at the back of her head—and sometimes, her mother's hair matches too. The daughter seems confident, curious, unafraid. She never meets a stranger. She's the most outgoing and spirited of the four, always looking for ways to make her parents or brother laugh.

The two siblings are often drawn to look at the droid stalls and tech stations, ogling new technology before they clamor to look at the live animal displays and beg their parents to let them have a new pet. The parents always exchange the look that most parents are so often seen expressing: deeply fond annoyance and weariness. For the most part, the little family comes and goes without much incident, but there are always exceptions to the rule: Their girl is known to enthusiastically engage in random games of kickball in the street with local children… and last time she did, all the kids swear up and down that she's the one who purposefully kicked the ball straight into a passing Stormtrooper's helmet. Everyone scattered too fast to be caught, but all the kids boast about how wizard it was for weeks.

While the family of four are regulars and recognizable, townies don't know too much about them—the adults' names are Ben and Isa, according to one eavesdropping bartender, but that's about all anyone ever learns. Questions about where they live or what they do are always answered vaguely, even by the children. It's like they're all in on some big secret. They've been spotted at a few podracing events over the years, as well as the Motesta Oasis and the outpost at Anchorhead—but no one knows exactly where they go when they leave Mos Eisley and head south.

But that is, after all, why many people live on Tatooine. It's easy to disappear here.

Seven Years After Order 66

Sabé wakes up as always, before the dawn. The house is quiet, calm, and mostly dark, the stone floors cool under her bare feet. While the days are brutally hot here, the nights are forbiddingly cold—this house was built a few feet into the ground for cooling purposes, and the floors stay cool almost until midday. Something they're all thankful for.

After rising, dressing, then brushing her hair and tidily putting it into a braided loop, Sabé moves through the house silently, enjoying this blessed quiet while she still can. While it is early, she's actually the last one up today. She vaguely remembers Obi-Wan rolling over this morning to put his arms around her as she hovered in the place between wakefulness and sleep. There had been a kiss at her temple and a murmur to sleep in, relax this morning as she sighed and settled in against his familiar, comforting chest.

Sabé passes Luke's room and peeks in, seeing the bed made neatly as expected. His room is plastered in depictions of starships and weaponry and 'the most wizard droids ever.' He loves piloting and wants to be one. He's not totally sure about becoming a Jedi. A faded rug on the floor depicts a Corellian starship, and the normal assortment of droid and tech parts are scattered across a small workspace surface. Both children are endlessly fascinated with tinkering and taking things apart. They enjoy going scavenging in the wastes for crashed machinery and broken parts, seeing what they can build, seeing how things work.

Smiling to herself and shaking her head at all the times strange pieces of machinery have just appeared around here, Sabé goes on to look into her daughter's room—which is a little more jam-packed and chaotic than Luke's space. The room is full of plants she's rescued from the desert and is nursing back to health, tanks of pet lizards and a tatoo-rat named Kipper, as well as pieces of things she's taking apart to rebuild into other things. Little drawings of Tatooine life through a six-year-old's eyes dot the walls: a cross-eyed bantha, Sand People with angry red eyes, famous podracers, the Motesta Oasis but with smiling rancors in the water, the Jundland Wastes, Jedi Knights with lightsabers of all colors, a Jawa with a crown of flowers on her head, a Krayt dragon with a goofy grin and a swirly tongue. She's so silly, and Sabé loves her so. There's also a new drawing, and Sabé goes over with a growing little smile to see her little artist's newest imaginings: A family portrait of the four of them. Sabé touches her fingers to the drawing briefly, her heart expanding a few sizes. It's amazing and surreal how happy life is here. Another enormous strike of gratitude resounds deep in her heart.

She moves toward the front of the home. The rough stone walls aren't bare or peeling anymore like when they first arrived here. There's an old droid motherboard hung up as art in the hall and a painting of a binary sunset hanging in the lounge they got from the Mos Eisley art market last year. The photo of Zana and the painting of Sabé's family are nestled into one of the built-in shelves Obi-Wan crafted years ago in the family room. Various other scavenged things have been turned into pieces of art or objects that function. Remembering all the hard work that has gone into making this place a home is a source of pride to Sabé… she knows all too well every inch of this house now after repairing, repainting, resurfacing, and redoing so much of it. It was a house when they found it. Now, it's their safe haven. Their home.

They've certainly faced their challenges over the years. Sandstorms lasting for weeks at a time, water shortages, theft, animals getting into their supplies, a Tusken raider attack, a landspeeder that broke down repeatedly, prying questions from the townies, an increasing Imperial presence in Mos Eisley—the list goes on. Their first few years here were the hardest. Adjusting to the extreme weather and remote location all while having two babies and balancing their own healing and trauma against it all had never been something Sabé anticipated to be easy. But it had been more difficult than she'd imagined it would be. It had been a test of strength. They had survived.

Sabé drifts into the kitchen and lounge part of the house. With high ceilings and generous size, this central hub is her favorite part of their home. This is where they live the most of their lives, or maybe that's just how she feels. A small fireplace stands in the lounge surrounded by a couch, chair, and floor cushions—a place where they read stories, play games, and rest together. There's a small Holo projector that they watch old Holoshows on sometimes. The kids love them, no matter how banal. Even old newscasts and local soap operas delight them. Obi-Wan always shakes his head, not sure why anyone is interested in watching Holos. He's a reader, through and through. A few toys scatter the area, most of them handmade by Sabé and Obi-Wan: a set of painted wooden fighters—a stuffed bantha—a handsewn pilot doll—building blocks and art supplies. Old paper books line the bottom three rows of the shelves Obi-Wan built—painstakingly obtained from antique markets and the ever interesting passing of a Jawa sandcrawler. They've read them all, several times too.

The house and everything in it are reminders of the life lived between these walls and the things they've built and accumulated over these years. It's sparse living, but somehow immeasurably rich.

Sabé moves around in the kitchen leisurely, going to the refrigeration unit. Overhead, dried herbs hang to flavor stews and sauces. She pulls out the porridge they made yesterday—it'll be breakfast today. After spooning it all into the slow-warmer unit, she gets out the bowls, cups, and utensils and places them all on the table. One, two, three, four. It still strikes her with surprise sometimes that she's a mother of two, and life partner to a Jedi she'd imagined unattainable in times past. Where public service and security used to be her entire life, now, two sweet little faces and their father are her entire life.

At first, raising Luke felt like a betrayal to Padmé. When he started calling Sabé 'Mama,' guilt and sadness were her first feeling. Time, the great healer, has allowed Sabé to slowly let that go. Obi-Wan too. Their choice to tell Luke that he was adopted provided a lot of peace—they'd decided to freely speak of it from his birth so that it was never a huge shocking surprise. Currently at age seven, Luke knows that he had original parents other than Obi-Wan and Sabé—but he doesn't seem too interested past that to know more. Not yet anyway. He knows he is loved, and that he has a mom and dad. For now that seems all he cares about.

After finishing up in the kitchen, Sabé goes down the stairs off the kitchen to the basement—this is Obi-Wan's workshop mostly, and storage. She slips on her boots that wait at the door, then exits into one of the two sunken courtyards that sprawls in front of their home. A vaporator stands centrally, and scaling the rounded walls surrounding the object, a variety of more rugged desert-dwelling plants grow. Some outdoor furniture is off to one side of the courtyard, the side that gets afternoon shade. DC-10 is watering the greenery as scheduled. "Good morning, Commander," the droid says, still refusing to call Sabé anything else. Sabé stopped trying to get the droid to call her otherwise ages ago.

"Morning, DC-10." She checks on the plants briefly, then ascends the steps that hug to the rounded courtyard's steep wall. Tendrils from some plants brush against her. She can hear the sounds of her family above.

The suns are beginning to emerge, the first one just peeking over from behind the house, leaving the dim purple sky to brighten. As Sabé makes it topside, she has to admit, as usual, that the view is stunning in its own way. Tatooine had never stood in her mind as a beautiful planet, but after having been here for a long time now, she can appreciate the more wild, desolate beauty of this place. Their home is situated at the very last crawl of the Jundland Wastes, which gives way to the great Great Chott salt flat beyond. To the west, directly in front of the house, Anchorhead is visible as a little tiny cluster of darkness far in the distance beyond. To the north, about eighty kilometers away, Mos Eisley rests beyond the curving, dark Jundland passes.

Sabé's gaze moves from the expansive far off views to the sparring lesson she's come across. Using wooden, lightsaber-length staffs, Obi-Wan and Luke are sparring with wooden staffs lightly in the sand—a seven year old versus a forty-five year old renowned warrior isn't fair odds, which is why Obi-Wan is keeping his approach very watered down, but it's still challenging enough for Luke to learn from.

Sitting cross-legged and watching with interest, their daughter seems eager for her turn. When she spots Sabé, she grins big and waves. "Hi Mama!" Sabé waves back, and Luke is distracted—his sparring staff goes flying to land in some nearby sand. He gives a frustrated moan, appearing vastly disappointed in himself.

Obi-Wan smiles kindly and crouches to his level. "Patience, Luke."

"But I'll never be good at this!" Luke complains dramatically.

Obi-Wan is incredibly patient and gentle. "You're right, you'll never be any good at that which you decide you cannot be good at." He pauses and lifts Luke's chin with a finger. "You're still learning. Be patient with yourself, most of all." He then pats his son warmly on the shoulder quickly kisses the top of his head, encouragement in his eyes.

Luke doesn't look totally appeased but he huffs and tries his best to accept defeat as he's been taught. "Okay Dad," he says, but there's marked attitude in the way he picks up his fallen staff and drags it sullenly over to stand at Sabé's side. Chuckling at his sulking, Sabé puts an arm around him and kisses him good morning on the head, rubbing her nose in his hair briefly to make him laugh. He melts, grinning and giggling at the affection, his hurt feelings forgotten. He's a moody and sensitive child, and their approach with him has been to support and affirm him through his negative emotions, not insist he cannot have them. Hopefully, it's enough. Time, as always, will tell.

Obi-Wan is now squared off with his daughter. Even at the tender age of six, she's quite the little warrior—there's a sparkle in her eye and a voracity for learning when it comes to learning the ways of the Jedi and the Force. She took to training readily and wholeheartedly unlike Luke, who would rather be piloting the family sandskiff around. As Sabé watches Obi-Wan and her daughter spar, it's very apparent that he has to work a little harder to keep up with her—she tends to take the offensive rather than the defensive, and while understandably unrefined, her swordfighting skills are already nothing to balk at. Sabé has sparred her many times and been earnestly defeated a few times. By a six year old! But it's not something she's anything but proud of. The Force is strong with their little girl. That's one of the reasons why Luke is constantly frustrated too—he doesn't have the same aptitude that his sister does and they all know it.

Obi-Wan teaches the children of the Force and of the Jedi in various ways—meditation, centering practices, lightsaber forms, and stories of how the Temple and Order used to be. While to them it could all be a fable or a fairytale, to Obi-Wan and Sabé, it's real. It happened. And sadness glitters in Obi-Wan's eyes when he speaks of it for too long. However, Master Yoda was right. When the time came, he wasn't filled with dread about training their two youngsters. He's healed a lot from what happened on Mustafar, and his connection with the Force is once again strong. It's been good to see him heal. He's currently writing a journal at night of his years spent in the Order—someday, he hopes it can be used in some way to carry on the tradition of the Jedi Order. In whatever new way the Force decrees it. Perhaps their children will be the pioneers of that new order. For now, they're just children. Children who can shoot, fight, and know how to survive in the desert alone if they ever need to. Children who will make lightsabers of their own in just a couple years if all goes well.

For now, with Luke at her side, Sabé is pleased and content to watch her daughter and husband spar. Yes… husband. Sometime around when their daughter was born, someone at the markets had referred to Sabé and Obi-Wan as husband and wife. Obi-Wan had smiled affectionately, glanced at Sabé tellingly, and said 'yes, my wife.' That was about the end of it—after a conversation that night about it they'd agreed that it only felt right to call each other that. They viewed each others as such, more or less. No matter what the label, they were forever bonded, more and more deeply too as the years went on. You had to be to make it under the circumstances they'd fallen into.

"Ah! I have been defeated!" came the boisterous and somewhat silly declaration when Obi-Wan landed a blow that sent his daughter's staff flying out of her little hand. She took defeat a little better than her brother did most days, and using the Force, called the handle back into her hand and gave the staff a deft whirl as if she were ready for another round. The girl was a prodigy, Obi-Wan and Sabé agreed on that much in their private, late night discussions without little ears around.

"Perhaps next time, my little one," Obi-Wan says with a fond chuckle and he bows to her to signal the end of the match, only to get playfully bopped on the head by his little prankster then laughed at raucously. He grins, scoops his little girl up and spins around, ruffling her hair as she screams… loving it.

Sabé encounters a thousand moments like these daily, but her heart is still ever-softened each time as she watches the man she loves tenderly raising these two children. She still remembers when they were both little enough that he carried them around, one on each hip at the same time. Somehow the years have only made him sexier to her. Tatooine has left its mark on him: the silver in his hair and beard, the lines traced in his face only growing deeper, skin that's been burned and tanned relentlessly. They've both grown skinnier living the meager Tatooine life, and Obi-Wan's body has been sculpted by all the physical labor. He appears more wild, and it inspires a raw magnetism in Sabé. She's loved him at every stage she's known him, but this by far is the best one. She once thought she wouldn't know what to do with an 'uneventful' life, but now given this one, she is truly at peace. Made whole.

Setting their daughter down, Obi-Wan summons Luke over again, who obeys quietly, appearing to be a loathe to go into battle. He and his sister must spar now. And he's not excited about it. Statistically, he will not win. As they square up and bow to each other to show respect, Obi-Wan approaches Sabé, a welcoming smile on his face as he slips an arm around her waist. "Good morning," he says, kissing her hello and studying her face affectionately.

"Good morning yourself," Sabé returns, her expression a mirror of his.

Cheeky, Obi-Wan gives her a knowing look, most definitely still dwelling on last night, when they'd gotten into the ale after the children's bedtime 'just to have a glass' then ended up tipsy and making love on the basement floor. "I've been thinking about you," he murmurs suggestively.

Laughing and reddening a little, Sabé shakes her head, just as pleased as he is. "Oh stop it." She doesn't mean it, and they both know it and grin at each other over it. It's a relief and a blessing that they still have the spark that ignited between them twenty-two years ago. Sometimes they talk about how old they feel, both in their forties now—but encounters like last night keep them young and bonded to each other, still discovering each other even after all this time.

Turning their attention to their children, they watch as the pair spar—and their poor son is just being toyed with at this point. "Luke seems so annoyed," Sabé observes sympathetically.

Obi-Wan sounds similar. "Oh, he is."

They mutually watch their daughter's work. They'd decided early on that both children should be raised to be resourceful and capable, but with the things that childhood demanded intertwined: Fun. Playfulness. Imagination. As a result, both children are mature and grounded for their ages in many ways—able to hit marks from meters away with a blaster, able to cook a dinner by themselves, able to determine what direction is north from reading the stars—but they both still fall down laughing in fits at potty humor—they both still cry and want their mama or dad when their knee is scraped.

"She's so adept," Sabé murmurs, watching how their little girl is so sure of herself and her skills. "Even at her age." As someone who used to train new security recruits, Sabé knows potential when she sees it.

Obi-Wan agrees, and his pride and love is evident. "She'll go onto do great things Sabé. I feel it in my bones."

Sabé nods, wistful. "I feel it too." Just stay young forever though, she thinks. That's her baby. They both are.

Luke gets fed up and yells suddenly, slashing hard with his wooden staff… breaking it when he accidentally hits it against a rock in the ground in his uncontrolled outburst. He gives a frustrated sound and his shoulders slump, then he flails himself onto the ground to sit, pouting. "I broke it!" he laments. He gets very upset when he feels as though he's done something wrong.

His sister knows that. And while they are like most siblings, feuding and fighting easily, today she chooses a higher path. "It's okay, Luke, it's happened to me too," she says caringly. Luke considers her words… then lets her help him up with a hand.

Pride blossoms in Sabé's chest. They are both so young and already inspiring to her. Obi-Wan has gone over to them. "Not to worry, a broken tool is a chance to learn," he says, picking up and handing Luke the two broken pieces kindly. "A Jedi's strength is in his resourcefulness."

"Dadd-y!" An immediate correction comes from his daughter, who puts her hands on her hips expectantly. "His resourcefulness?!"

Obi-Wan realizes his gaffe and grins. "Or hers!" he corrects, then shoots a look at Sabé, who smirks briefly.

Their daughter grins, toothy and dimpled. "That's better," she says, pleased with the correction. She's like a little ray of sunshine. So bright. So caring. So uninhibited. Whereas Luke is more timid. More uncertain. More prone to whine or complain or give up immediately in areas where he doesn't feel confident. There's a certain tenacity to their daughter. She doesn't give up easily or get discouraged when she comes up against problems. Sometimes, Sabé wished she had more of that herself.

"Come on, let's see about repairing it, shall we?" Obi-Wan asks, then looks over at Sabé. "Ten minutes, my love." She nods agreeably. Father and son cross over the small gangway dividing the two sunken courtyards in front of the house, heading for the rolling door to their little repair shop area.

"Come on, sprout, let's go finish getting breakfast ready," Sabé calls.

Already racing past, her daughter leaves her in a puff of kicked-up sand. "Okay Mama, race you!"

Sabé sighs. Her joints ache. "Mama's too old for all this." But she runs after anyway.

The two of them finish warming the porridge and serve it into bowls neatly, one by one. As little hands hold the next bowl up to Sabé's ladle, a sudden serious look comes over the face so like Sabé's own. "Mama, I never wanna grow up," she says. "I just wanna be a kid forever."

She goes on serious tangents sometimes like this out of nowhere. "Why's that, my flower?" Sabé asks.

"Well, if I always stay little, we can just live here forever and ever!" Comes the reply, like it's the greatest idea that could ever be dreamt up. "And never have to live apart!"

Sabé finishes spooning the porridge in and sets the bowl aside, kneeling down to face her little girl. "You never have to worry about being apart, sweet girl," she promises. This is a subject that comes up a lot—her fears of being alone or being sent away. Sabé has no idea where these anxieties come from. She even dreams about it sometimes and comes sniffing into Sabé and Obi-Wan's bedroom in the middle of the night, crawling up between them and hugging one of them around the neck. Sabé tenderly cups her daughter's face in both hands, studying the warm brown eyes that look back at her so trustingly. "I love you forever and ever. Mama isn't going to leave you." They smile at each other and share a little snuggling hug. Sabé pushes away the little whispers of anxiety she always gets when her daughter talks about these fears. They're just a child's fears. It's not rooted in anything real.

Obi-Wan and Luke come in then and Luke seems to be in a totally different mood. "I'm… starving!" he announces theatrically, inciting laughter from his sister as he mimes a hollow stomach."I could eat a whole shipload of rancors!"

"Well I don't have rancors, but I have porridge," Sabé says mildly, to which Luke roars like a beast and makes claw-hands as he lunges to the table. His sister mimics him, and Sabé sighs in half amusement, leaning against the kitchen counter to look at Obi-Wan across the room. He's smiling at her contentedly. She knows what he's thinking. This is a good life. A chaotic, animated, never dull, hard, good life. And she agrees.

They'll all sit down for breakfast together and discuss the day ahead and then get to it. Obi-Wan and Luke go hunting off at the Mesa Ridge area just south of the homestead while Sabé and her little helper tend to the greenhouses where herbs, lettuces, vegetables and fruits are plentiful. Sabé is taken back to when she was a little girl, helping her parents on the family farm. Now her little girl works beside her, demonstrating an affinity for plants too, learning that all living things need tending to and care. After the greenhouses they'll go look after the eopies and the cawhens which takes the better part of the morning. After, it's time to do education units—Luke will do his later. DC-10 putters around, cleaning things and chattering about 'the old days on Naboo' while Sabé puts stew on to cook and makes flatbread. After awhile, she'll glance Obi-Wan and Luke returning with a boar. The two of them have a very special bond, and Sabé can only imagine they'll grow closer as the years go by.

As afternoon wanes on, the children finish their education units at different times, then reunite to do their chores together—they do them well, getting distracted by antics only a couple times. Later the four of them will take the skiff up to the Jundland Wastes for target practice with blasters. Luke excels in this, and takes his turn piloting the skiff back—no doubt the highlight of his day. After returning home, they'll all divide and conquer, checking the vaporators and harvesting water, feeding the eopies again, and gathering eggs from the cawhens. Obi-Wan and Sabé spar around sunset when the light is softer and temperatures less unforgiving. It's important to keep in shape and on their toes, so they spar regularly. Their children love to watch. They always root for their mother, always, and celebrate on the very rare occasion when she bests their father. It's an earned victory, to say the least.

Dinnertime comes and everyone shares stew and flatbread. Afterward is cleanup, showers, bedtime… a routine that feels like an old friend by now. Most days are similar. They tend to each other, their little farm, and enjoy the more simple things in life.

As the moons rise in the clear night sky, Sabé finds Obi-Wan outside of their home, sitting on an old, half-buried podracing engine that they never bothered digging out and moving. "It adds character," Sabé had said years ago, loathe to do yet another project.

"It's also a good place to sit," Obi-Wan had replied, similarly not caring to move the blasted thing. And so it was settled. The engine remained.

He is sitting on it now. "Hello there," Sabé greets, seeing that he's done his nightly meditation and is ready for company. He moves over to make room for her, and she hops up with him, sharing a brief little smile then joining him in looking out over the quiet tranquility of another Tatooine night. It's cool right now, the best time of day to be outside before the chill falls. Settling into Obi-Wan's side as he pulls her close with one arm, she searches the sky above. Stars are beginning to shine in the still-purplish sky. For a long moment, they remain quiet. It's peaceful just being together. Reminiscing, reflecting, and feeling grateful again, Sabé smiled softly to herself. "Well, it's not the lake house but it's beautiful in its own way, isn't it?" she asks.

She feels his voice against her. "Indeed it is."

A moment of restful quiet passes. "What word from Qui-Gon today?" Sabé asks.

Obi-Wan shakes his head, wistful and far off. "Nothing really. Just a feeling, more than words this time."

Sabé straightens up so that she can study him. "What are you thinking about?" she asks softly, fascinated.

He smiles to himself a little more, then looks into her eyes directly. "You." He touches the side of her face, running his fingers through her hair affectionately. "All those years ago, the first time we met…" he says, and she can hear the nostalgia so pronounced in his tone that it makes her nostalgic, too. Her hand comes up to cover his, their eyes still holding. "This has always been our final destination," he says reverently. "This. You. Me. Us. All four of us." He's terribly romantic but doesn't even seem to know he is. Sabé had always thought it was interesting how Obi-Wan was such a naturally affectionate person—she'd never really realized it of course until certain lines had been crossed, but he is. There's not a day that goes by he doesn't touch her softly and lovingly at any given chance, stealing hugs and kisses and giving offerings of affection whenever the moment strikes. "Grow old with me," he whispers suddenly, letting his hand drop to caress her face.

"Older, you mean," Sabé jokes, so thankful he's never tired of her or seemed to mind the effects aging has left: wrinkling and loosening skin, sun spots, silver hairs threading through brown. Getting older is strange and sometimes leaves her feeling insecure.

"Whatever you say, Milady," Obi-Wan returns playfully, and Sabé wonders if he wants to roleplay again—him the padawan, her the decoy queen… they've had adventures of all kinds here on Tatooine the past seven years.

Sabé leans closer to him. "I say kiss me," she whispers against his lips, and he very readily does. The desert has done things to them… made them wilder, made them less restrained and more inhibited. Such as this kiss between them now, in which Obi-Wan hauls her onto himself so that she's sitting on his lap, a leg on either side of his. He pulls her close brazenly, letting her feel what she still does to him so quickly. They drink from the fountain of passion easily, an old song and dance they know by heart but still love to replay again and again.

Obi-Wan breaks the kiss suddenly, and his gaze is raptured by her. "A day doesn't go by that I don't recognize how lucky I am," he says, as if she needed to know that right now and immediately too.

"Luck!" Sabé laughs, soft because of how deep his words touch her. She puts on false suspicion: "What have you done with Obi-Wan Kenobi?"

With a crooked grin on his face, he shakes his head. "I'm Ben now, a man half driven mad by the desert heat," he says, then becomes more serious, his eyes intent on hers. "Or maybe half driven mad by my beautiful wife." Then he's kissing her again, in such a way that she can't stand all the clothes standing between their bodies. She hops off his lap and yanks him commandingly to stand by the belt he's wearing. From the look in his eyes, he likes being manhandled like that very much.

"Come on," she whispers huskily, pulling him along with her as she walks backwards. "Your wife wants her husband."

And such another day spent in the desolation of Tatooine comes to an end…

But desolation is nowhere to be found.

Not yet.

The years go on for Mos Eisley as they always do… the same cycle of drought, famine, dust, and disparity leave the city as bleak as ever. The Imperial presence grows larger over time, and perhaps to evade the troopers, the family of four start to come during the busier times of day instead of the slower times. Interesting situations keep surrounding their little group. Once, a red-and-black tattooed man with yellow eyes and pointed teeth came into town looking for a man who matched Ben's description. He went out toward the wastes and was never seen again. He's not the only one who's come looking for people matching Ben and Isa's descriptions. And probably won't be the last.

Sometime around the age of ten, the little girl disappears and the family never comes into town as a full unit ever again. It's just one of the parents alone, or one of the parents and their boy. People speculate that the little girl got lost in the desert or was killed by a predator. But no one ever finds out for sure.

When her brother is in his mid-teens, he gets a small part-time job in Anchorhead's Tosche Station. His name becomes known as Luke Dakarr, but he refuses to talk about what happened to his sister. When he's perhaps nineteen or so, he and his father both disappear too… never to be seen again in Mos Eisley after that.

The mother was thought to be gone as well because she isn't seen for ten years after the two men disappeared.

But then one day she just reappears out of nowhere—thinner, grayer—but it's her. She's seen in Mos Eisley from then on like one might see a specter: turning up from time to time on a lone eopie, never staying long, floating from market tent to market tent quietly, furtively. People spread rumors that she killed her family and that's why they all disappeared, and others argue that her husband and son left her. No one ever finds out the truth, but at some point after her reappearance she begins to work as a bartender at the Anchorhead Cantina part time. The years turn her silver-haired and leather-skinned, but people say she's still sharp as a knife and isn't one to cross. So much so that some folks speculate that she used to be a bounty hunter or an assassin. There are rumors that she works for the Rebellion too, but they'll say that about anyone these days.

Why the woman stays on the planet is anyone's guess.

It's like she's waiting for someone to come back.

But who would be coming back?

Author's Notes: *mysterious music plays…* next part coming soon! There's a reason their daughter's name is not mentioned - you'll discover who she is and what happened very soon though, don't worry ;) I'm presenting this like a mystery with clues, to see if readers can discover her identity!

Dakarr, their cover last name, is taken from where The Group had their first meeting: Dakarr's Tavern on Coruscant. Luke Skywalker still goes by Luke Skywalker in this AU fyi—more answers and info there soon.

In the next part, we will jump ahead in time a lot to the era of the Sequel trilogy - The Force Awakens, in fact. But I've changed some details of the films, and the next two movies wouldn't actually end up existing at all, the changes are so big. So just keep that in mind when I post the next part :)

As always thanks SO much for your reviews and messages, I read them all! You bunch are awesome!