The Proposal Rating: PG

First Sentence Challenge

With a wink and a nod the signal passed between the lovers, letting each of them know that when the eyes of the planet were not upon them, they would meet at their special place. He spends a second watching her slip off into the crowd, her blonde head bobbing with every step, the golden curls of her hair, appearing and disappearing as she steps in and out of the crowd, as she reaches the edge, he notices her once more turn towards him, a look of amusement on her face. He knows that she finds the attention lavished upon him funny, especially since she knows his own personal feelings about the whole thing. Then she is gone, and his attention focuses once more on the politicians around him and reporters in front of him.

All of them trying to get something from him, trying to get information about him, wanting something. He hides his grimace behind the smile that he has plastered to his face.

"The Hero without Fear" is what they've taken to calling him now.

Sighing, he wishes for the simpler times, back when he was a mere apprentice, running around his troubles just mere mischief. Yet knowing that the people need heroes and the Jedi are the closest they have, he waves to the crowd that has gathered to see him, their hero. He is a Jedi, the son of heroes, and the people love him.

So of course he hates it all with a passion.

Not soon enough, the crowd begins to disperse, and the reporters and politicians leave, and he breathes a sigh of relief and thanks. Glad that that chore is over for the time being; glad that he can now have some time alone with her.

He slips away from the Senate landing platform, making his way to a small café overlooking one of Denon's many beaches.

As he enters the maitre d smiles at him. "Master Jedi, your party is already here."

He nods his thank and quickly goes to their usual table, finding her staring out at the ocean. He silently slides into the seat across from her, and looks at her, memorizing her features once more, the pert nose, full lips, and the three vertical scars on her forehead. He can see amusement flash in her green eyes. "It's not nice to see down at a lady's table without asking permission."

He smiles at her. "But you looked so lonely I had to join you."

"And what if I were waiting for someone?"

"Well, I showed up."

She laughs and his smile increases, he enjoys this, the banter, the nonchalance. She makes him feel human and alive, rather than an object of deification. She reminds him that he is human and not the hero without fear. He quickly grabs her hand and kisses it, causing her to blush slightly.

Their dinner arrives and they quickly eat, paying their bill and going down to the beach to walk along the surf. He slips his arm around her as they walk, the surf lapping at their feet. Looking down he notices that she has forgone shoes once again, and that she wiggles her toes every time the water crosses over them.

He stops them, and turns to face her, wrapping his arms around her. He smiles as he looks down at her, remembering when he first saw her during the Swarm War so many years ago. He would have never dreamed that the pretty young blonde would be here with him tonight, in this way. He looks down into her eyes, noticing the joy and happiness that shines out from them, and then he kisses her, and is lost in the sensations and tastes.

They separate, and as he opens his eyes, he sees her face lifted up towards him, and is happy. Finally making up his mind about something, he takes a step back from her and grasping her hands in his, causing her eyes to open as well.

"Tahiri, there's something I need to know."

He watches as a confused expression crosses her face. "What's that?"

"Will you marry me?"

He can see the expressions that war on her face, can feel the emotions vying for dominance. "But Ben, our age difference"

"Fourteen years is nothing, I'm happy with you, and I'd like to think you're happy with me, why shouldn't we marry?"

She takes a few steps, walking them out of the surf and drops to the sand; he sits beside her and once more picks up her hand, and begins to watch her profile as she thinks. Finally she turns fully towards him tears evident in her eyes. He can feel the pain coming off of her. "Ben, you know you're not the first person that I loved."

He nods his head. "Anakin."

She sniffs, holding back her tears by sheer will power. "Yes, he was the one that I always though I would marry, that I could never marry someone besides him."

Ben turns his attention to the water, watching the luminescent creatures which sparkle in the night time water. "And now?"

"Now I don't know what to think."

He turns towards her again. "He's dead and you're not. Don't you think he would want you to be happy to be married and have lots of little Jedi running around?"

She laughs slightly, a pained laugh. "I know, but it's a shock, even thinking these things feels like I'm betraying him all over again."

"All over again?"

He notices her cheeks blush, and it is her turn to look towards the water. "When we first started dating, I felt like I was betraying him, betraying his memory."

"I never knew."

"No reason for you to, Jaina noticed it when I returned home from our date; remember we were sharing quarters back then. I came in after the date and cried because of our kiss. I was a mess of conflicting emotions that night, incredibly happy that someone was taking an interest in me, and devastated at what I consider a betrayal of Anakin's love. Jaina walked in, and set me straight, basically threatening me unless I dealt with it. She is the one that made me realize just how much I enjoyed the date and the kiss."

He chuckles slightly, recognizing his cousin in her description. "Remind me to thank her then."

He turns and looks out at the water once more, and can feel her lay her head on his shoulder, can feel the way her body moves as she silently sighs and wraps the arm she is leaning against in a tight hug.



"I love you."

"I know."

He frowns, as that was not quite the response he was expecting. "Do you love me?"

He notices as her body slumps slightly, as her head lowers. Another silent sigh shakes her body where it is touching his. "I think I love the thought of you Ben, your kind, attentive, loving, fun to be with, but I'll always be in love with Anakin."

He reaches out and raises her face so that she is looking at him. "You know you can love twice in a lifetime. I realize that I may never be Anakin for you, and I don't want to be, but I do want, I need you to love me. I want you to be my wife, to be with me forever."

He watches as a tear silently glides down her face. Then she shakes her head fractionally. "No Ben, you don't."

In a smooth graceful movement, she stands and runs away from him, her Force enhanced speed has her out of eyesight before Ben is able to get up himself. As he finishes standing, he watches the spot where she had disappeared in the distance and can feel his pain well up within his chest. That sharp ache which tells the hero without fear, that his fears have been fully realized.

To the empty air around him he says, "Yes Tahiri, I do."

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