by Autumn P. Torkorgana
It was early morning on Tatooine, and the suns hadn't yet burned off the night's chill. Obi-Wan was glad of that because he wasn't exactly dressed to walk through the desert any time near noon. Not that he disliked his clothes--even if he had any others, he probably wouldn't wear them.
As he walked, Obi-Wan wondered why his brother had invited him over. Ostensibly, it was to see his foster nephew, Luke, who was three years old. Obi-Wan didn't mind, he rather liked children--or what little he'd experienced of them. The under-five set was alien to him--he'd hardly even seen any, other than Luke.
But Obi-Wan sensed that reason was merely a pretense. The two biggest give-aways were simple: one, Obi-Wan could sense that Owen had an ulterior motive (but not exactly what that motive was), and two, Owen had long ago forbidden anything more than casual contact with the boy. Luke knew of Obi-Wan as almost everyone else in the small farming community did--just a crazy wizard.
At least they don't ask about my past, and the Hutts aren't bothering me, he thought. It was nice to have some privacy. Still, it wasn't good to be left alone with one's thoughts all the time.
Obi-Wan arrived and his sister-in-law, Beru, let him in. She showed him into a sitting room before abandoning him to check on her meal. As Obi-Wan looked around, he saw something that surprised him. Across the room, reclining slightly in a chair, sat Andriya Delvee. He knew that he was just imagining her--this woman had lived on Alderaan for the past three years.
It wasn't all that alarming, however. He'd imagined her once or twice right after she'd left. He realized now that he loved her, and she had similar feelings for him--whatever those were, they were strong enough that she felt impelled to kiss him before leaving. Then again, by now, he wasn't sure if he'd imagined that, too.
The hallucination stood and gave him an inquiring look before exiting through a door was behind her chair.
Obi-Wan exhaled slowly. He realized that he hadn't been breathing because he thought it might dispel the image he'd projected in his mind's eye.
He jumped slightly as someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around, expecting Beru and wondering why he hadn't sensed her approach. Instead, he again saw the apparition of Andriya.
"Hello," she said. "Do you remember me?"
Obi-Wan was thoroughly confused now. Never before had any of his imaginings attempted to touch or speak with him.
"I'm Andriya Delvee," she continued after his dumb-founded look. "I brought you and Luke Skywalker here a few years ago?" She turned the statement interrogative, checking to see if it jogged his memory. He continued to gape at her. "Oh," she sighed dejectedly, "I knew you'd never remember me."
He finally recovered. "Remember? I could never forget you!"
A great presence of the Force suddenly flooded into the room as she turned on her Force sense. As Obi-Wan realized his wildest hopes were confirmed, and Andriya Delvee had actually returned, he threw his arms around her neck and embraced her. She returned the hug before they were interrupted by Beru.
"Oh, good!" Beru exclaimed with relief. "You did find her."
They quickly tore themselves apart and followed Beru to the dining room.
During the meal, Andriya said nothing. She seemed to prefer staring at her untouched food until Luke slipped out of his chair and toddled over to her. He climbed into her lap and began to eat her food.
"Hungry, Luke?" Obi-Wan asked. Luke nodded.
Andriya gathered Luke and stood, holding the small boy under her arm. She switched his empty plate with her larger, full plate before setting him down in his seat.
Luke grabbed a handful of food from his new plate.
"Eat it," he commanded as he emptied his fist into Andriya's outstretched hand.
"Yes, sir," she said, saluting and sounding serious. Luke returned the salute and Andriya threw the squished food into her mouth. She swallowed it without tasting any of it. Hoping Obi-Wan would soon follow her, Andriya left the room. She also wanted to wash her hand.
Obi-Wan found her doing just that. He waited for her to finish before speaking.
"What are you wearing?" He surprised even himself with that opening question.
Andriya paused, looking down at what she was wearing. "Oh, do you mean my skirt?"
"I'm sure I've worn this before. It's a Jedi skirt. Adi, Depa and I designed it," she added in a low voice.
He sensed the need to change the subject, and did so as quickly as possible. "What brought you back here?"
Andriya looked at him and tilted her head in an inquisitive way. "I did say I'd come back to visit, didn't I?"
"Yes, you did--"
"Do you not want me to?"
"Oh, no, I want you to, I just didn't think you would without a reason."
"Oh. You're actually right. I'm here because . . . because. . . ."
As she faltered, Obi-Wan felt his spirits rise with elation. Could she be trying to say-- He didn't even dare think it.
"I need your help," she finally finished. "You must come with me."
"Do you remember Tigo Baylind's home planet?"
"Vaguely, yes," he said after a moment's thought.
"Well, some of the people are having some sort of problem with some of the other people and they want our help."
"Do you know who they are, or what the problem is?"
"No, they only begged me to come."
"It could be a trap."
"I know. I want you to come with me."
As soon as she'd expressed that desire, the issue was settled for Obi-Wan. If that was what Andriya wanted, it was what Obi-Wan wanted to do.
"When do we leave?" he said.
"Is now convenient?"
Within minutes, Andriya and Obi-Wan left the Lars moisture farm for Mos Eisley and the planet of Cantley.