by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: This vignette has been running around inside my head for days, but I finally had to write it after reading "The Chest".

Timeline: Immediately after the end of "Return of the Jedi".

Luke sat, enjoying the celebration, but also remembering those that had been lost on the path that led to this moment. Turning his head, he saw Yoda, Ben Kenobi and, as he watched, his father shining blue-white against the dark night. As Luke turned his gaze away, another figure, so faint to his eyes that he could hardly see it, caught his attention.

The young Jedi returned his attention to the figures, concentrating on the faint and unfamiliar man that stood behind Ben. He was tall, taller than Ben, his hair reached to his shoulders, and he was dressed in the robes of a Jedi Master. As Luke watched, Ben's form seemed to change, to grow younger. Lines of age and worry smoothed out of his face, and a long, thin braid hung from his otherwise short haired head.

The younger Ben Kenobi turned to the man that stood behind him and Luke could just barely hear him speak. "Qui-Gon..."

Though Luke could not hear the man's response, he was sure he could read his lips as he replied. "Obi-Wan..."

Luke watched as Qui-Gon bent his head and brushed his lips lightly against Ben's. Ben smiled and reached out to draw Qui-Gon to him for a firmer caress. Their forms faded into the night before their lips met, and Luke suddenly understood why Ben Kenobi had accepted his death so serenely, why he had even seemed to welcome it.

The young Jedi turned his attention back to the celebration, his heart light with the knowledge that he need not grieve for Ben Kenobi.