“MASTER!” the stranger cries in relief, throwing herself straight at Obi-Wan and throwing her arms around him.
“What,” Obi-Wan says blankly.
This is him. Her son's teacherbrotherfriend and he's here. Alive and well and oh so young. She pulls back to look at him, at the smooth skin of his pale cheeks where she expects to see a red-gold beard, at the Padawan braid hanging over his shoulder, at the open shocked expression he will learn to hide behind a mask born of years of pain and dedication.
A smile blooms over her face and she clutches him closer.
"I found you Master," she says again, faced pressed up against his neck, arms wrapped in his tunic, holding him close. "We've found you."
“… padawan still, Obi-Wan Kenobi is” an easily recognizable voice says from behind her, but she ignores the Grand Master, still drinking in the sight of Obi Wan and the feel of the Temple around her. It feels as if it's drawing her in, clutching her close, calling to her to come explore. To see things she's only glimpsed in Visions. She wants to grab Obi Wan and drag him to the Room of a Thousand Fountains, to the salles she remembers seeing through her son's eyes, to the joint Master Padawan suites with the lumpy couches to everywhere her son remembered! She wants to see the Now and erase the memories of the Temple burning, of bodies laying where they'd fallen, cut down by her son, by the slave army that is yet to be. She wants to revel in this new feeling, a familiar warmth that she'd never known. The feel of thousands of Jedi all around her. A feeling that Anakin and Obi Wan spent decades feeling, but one she has only now been able to sense. It's a feeling Obi Wan mourned the loss of all those years alone on Tatooine, an empty space, half remembered and now full to bursting with Life!
But no, that can all wait, because now Obi Wan is pulling back from her, his shocked gaze fading into a mix of tentative hope.
"We?" He questions. She brings one of his hands, still clasped between hers closer, and lays it on her abdomen, his eyes following. The gentle curve of her belly had been masked beneath the loose dress and ragged cloak she still has on.
"Ani and I."
Mutters break out from the Council members behind her. No doubt the gossip mill will be well funded. Rumors and claims of beings claiming to bear Jedi's offspring were not completely unheard of, but actual unexpected children still rare. She cares not for what they say about her. She is long used to the whispers that follow a pregnant slave. She knows the truth of Anakin and holds it deep in her heart.
What matters now is Obi Wan's reaction. What did he see? How closely did his Vision match her own?
What does he Remember?
His eyes widen as he feels the spark inside her and he jerks his hand back as if burned.
"Anakin?" he asks, and she nods. She lets the Force echo with her happiness at having found him, and he must feel it because he drags in a shaky breath.
"You… saw it too?" he whispers. "You remember…him? Us?"
"All of it." she confirms and watches as tears spill from blue-gray eyes. "We're going to change things this time," she reassures him. "All of us. Together."
With that promise ringing through the Force, Obi Wan is lost. All the emotions and fears and hopes he'd kept locked away these months, all the feelings he'd denied himself crashed over him like a wave. His face crumbles and he begins to fall to his knees but Shmi Skywalker, Anakin's mother (the one who'd died, who'd death had haunted her son's dreams and he'd ignored it all), is already there to catch him as he falls. She's holding him close again, hands running through his hair and whispering reassurances in his ear "I'm here now. You're not alone. You won't be alone this time." It doesn't matter that he spent decades teaching her son, the son not yet born who is the Chosen One, who is the one to betray them all to kill him to teach him so many things! It doesn't matter that he remembers living decades longer than she had, remembers the same endless skies of Tatooine, remembers seeing her pain, Anakin's pain remembers- he remembers so much! But right now he feels very much like the fifteen year old Padawan he currently is in body, and knowing that he isn't going crazy, that it wasn't just him…that makes all the difference. He holds her tighter and lets the tears soak into her robe until he can breathe again. He feels answering tears on his own shoulder and is relieved.
Before pulling back to face his Master and the Council (Stars, but he has no idea how to make them see, how to make them believe, but no. There will be time for that later. ) First, he takes one last breath, and tries to recall lessons he has learned, will learn, and releases the doubts curled up in his heart into the Force. The scent of Shmi lingers after his exhale. The warm metallic scent he remembers following Anakin, tempered with a warmer spice that seems familiar.
It smells like Tatooine. Like decades spent standing alone, watching the twin sunsets. Like determination and gatherings of friends and of stories told round campfires. It's like the suns beating down day after day and like the dry brush of sand and like the relief of tea after long days spent at work.
It smells like home.