Autumn Winds Rating: PG

Tahiri stands on the bluff, overlooking the tampasi. Her green eyes, shaded and tired, she sighs slightly as the wind ruffles her hair. She pulls her arms across her chest, tightening her robe against the cool autumn wind.

The crack of a twig attracts her attention, and she casts a glance back over her shoulder. She smiles for a second as she watches the warrior advance. He was nearly half a meter taller than Tahiri herself, and weighed nearly three times as much as her. Her eyes traveled up the ritualistic scars and tattoos which marked him as a subaltern of the broken invasion force. She gives him a quick nod of the head and turns back to the tampasi, happily watching the golden leaves whisper in the breeze.

"Jeedai Veila."

She sighs slightly. "Yes Savont?"

"We of La'okio have noted that something bothers you since the end of the war. Especially as the time of the harvest has approached."

She stares out over the bluff for a few moments, gathering her thoughts, before turning towards the warrior.

"This time of year was always his favorite when we were growing up on Yavin IV. He loved the cool nights, and the smell of the mavi blossoms that the autumn winds would bring in through his window."

"Your beloved?"

"Yes. His name was Anakin. You would have liked him, he was a great, and cunning warrior."

"He would have to be, to win your heart."

Tahiri looks up at the warrior face, searching for something in the inscrutable expression. After a moment, she turns back towards the bluff. "You know, I hated the Yuuzhan Vong for killing him."

She hears the soft thuds of Savont's fists hitting his upper arms, the soft sound of a salute; it is the Yuuzhan Vong equivalent of a quick nod of the head.

"He wouldn't have hated, if I had been the one to die though. He was always so perfect, the consummate warrior, the steady one, everyone expected him to be the next Luke Skywalker."

"You speak of what-ifs Jeedai Veila. You cannot know for certain that he would not have hated us, would not have been as strong as you, to forgive and help us."

Tahiri nods. "I know that. Yet my heart tells me otherwise."

"When Yun-Txiin and Yun-Q'aah were first caught by Yun-Yuuzhan in their forbidden embrace, Yun-Txiin said ‘the heart is forever making the head its fool.'"

Tahiri barks a short laugh. "And that proverb is true for humans as well my friend."

"There is something that I still fail to understand about you Jeedai Tahiri Veila."

Tahiri turns back towards the warrior, a slight smile on her face. "Ask your question Subaltern Savont Ghar."

He smiles in return, a broadening of the cheekbones, pulling the muscles taut away from his teeth. "Why do you help us? After everything we did to you, why help us?"

"The short answer is because I am a Jedi."

"And the long answer?"

"I was raised among the Ghorfa, the Tuskens on Tatooine."

"I have heard of them. Formidable warriors."

She gives him another smile, before continuing. "Well, the Ghorfa teach something about forgiveness. They believe that true, sincere forgiveness is not colored with expectations that the other person apologizes or changes. It should not worry whether or not anyone else understands you. We should merely love them and release them. That life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time."

"So, you forgave us for yourself, secure in the knowledge that the gods would show us the error of our ways."

Tahiri nods her head, and turns once more towards the tampasi. "He would have liked it here, liked the smell of the tampasi on the autumn wind."

Savont steps forward, so he stands next to her. They stand side by side, staring out over the bluff at the tampasi, as the sun slowly sets. Without looking at her, he speaks again. "Since you do not hate us for killing your beloved, what then bothers you?"

Tahiri sighs, and wraps her arms around one of his, leaning against it, as if for support. "While we were growing up, autumn was when he would arrive on Yavin IV. Through the summer, I watched the trees for any sign of autumn, because it would be a symbol that he was arriving. Yet, that changed. Before the invasion, he left on a trip with Master Skywalker and Jacen, and that was in the autumn. Then he went on that mission with his aunt, and that was in the autumn."

Tahiri hesitates, and presses her face against his arm. Savont is surprised at the soft wetness.

"Then Mrykr happened. It was autumn on Yavin IV."

She looks up, and notices that he is looking down at her. "So, I guess I am mourning, not only for Anakin, but for autumn, and the autumn winds as well." She turns back towards the bluff, as the wind whips her hair around the warrior. "And I think I mourn my memory of him."

There they stand, as the autumn sun slowly sets in the west, and the wind teases them with the vibrant smells from the tampasi. She is relieved when he does not ask any more questions, relieved when he stays there by her side, relieved that she is able to hang onto his arm while putting her memories to rest.

Finally, the sun has set entirely, and glowflies start appearing from the woods around them. She releases his arm, and takes a step towards the village.

After a moment's hesitation, she reaches out and grasps his hand, and looks up at him again, one of her eyebrows quirked slightly. "Do you think the Twin Lovers would approve?"

He looks down at her, his eyes flickering over her slight frame, the smile, once more exposing his teeth. "Yes, I think they would."

As she walks back towards the village hand in hand with the warrior, the autumn wind picks up once more and Tahiri looks around, certain she can smell mavi blossoms on the gentle breeze.

Disclaimer: All content is made up, and no profit or lucre is expected, solicited, advocated or paid. This is all just for fun. Any comments, please e-mail the author or WOOKIEEhut directly. Flames will be ignored. Characters and situations are based on those which are the property of LucasFilms Ltd., Bantam Publishing, Random House, etc. and their respective original owners, publishers, agents, and developers. The rest is this story's author's own fault. This story may not be posted anywhere without the author's knowledge, consent, and permission. This story is presented by