This is what love is.
It is watching her wake up in the morning.? Her hair is tangled nd parts stick out, and when he tries to smooth it she tells him that it won?t work and he shouldn?t bother trying.? It doesn?t work, but that?s not why he does it; he loves the feel of her hair, whether it?s tangled or not.? Then she blinks the sleep from her eyes and mumbles good morning, but that?s all the indulgence she gives to lethargy, and after that she is alert and awake.? He is too, to keep up with her.
It is watching him meditate in the rain.? She laughs and pokes fun of his childhood spent on a desert world with no rain, and he, immersed in the flow of the Force as he is, doesn?t say anything, but the corners of his lips twitch and she knows he heard her.? He?s taught her to meditate too, and she actually does it, at first because he wanted her to and then because she understood why, but she prefers watching him.? His hair gets plastered to his head and his clothing becomes soaked, but the twitch of smile remains.
It is listening to her singing idly as she performs some everyday task.? She wouldn?t be able to make a living on her voice, but he smiles every time he hears her.? Sometimes when she catches him she glares at him because she?s embarrassed, though he never understands why; he loves her voice, untrained as it is.? The other times she catches him, her eyes smile, though her mouth is otherwise occupied.
It is listening to him teaching his students.? He is calm and collected, in every way the Jedi Master, except that she can hear the passion in his voice when he tells them of the Force.? Perhaps she hears it because she is used to it in other settings: he is equally, though differently, intense when he tells her that he loves her.? His students hang onto his every word, listening with wide-eyed awe at what he tells them, and though she tries to deny it, she feels that awe too, because there is something in him that truly knows the Force, and that is apparent in his voice.
It is the taste of her on his tongue when he kisses her.? Something in her seems to fizz gently whenever they touch mouths, bubbling up from where she normally keeps it locked down inside of her.? She tastes of something, but he can?t quite pin it down.? It?s not wine, which she sometimes likes with her meals, and it?s not exotic fruit, which is a common pleasure on Yavin; it?s like them, but is something else altogether.? He thinks about it when he kisses her, but finally he decides, as he always does, that it is the taste of her, and he leaves it at that.
It is the taste of the food he makes for her, when she is angry and frustrated and he wants to make her feel better.? He?s a good cook, but not exceptional, though she doesn?t mind; she doesn?t want exceptional anyway.? And he?s better with simple things, but she doesn?t mind that either, because it reminds her that simplicity can have its own beauty, even when something in her exults in the complicated.? He tells her that his aunt always told him that preparing food with love makes it taste better, because one can taste the emotions that went into it as well.? She laughed at him the first time he said that, and she knows she hurt his feelings, but now she can taste his love in the food he cooks, and she lets her expression tell him that she understands.
It is the smell of her as she steps from the shower, dripping wet and sparkling.? He doesn?t know how clean can be a smell, but she makes it one, and he fills himself with it.? Her soap and shampoo complement each other, though that is not surprising.? She is an expert at appearing to her best advantage, especially when she is taking advantage of him?he always lets her, and silently counts the advantage-taking mutual?and scent is part of that.? It wafts around her as she walks through their apartment, stays behind when she leaves, and he inhales and it feels like she?s still with him.
It is the smell of the dirt around him when he works in his garden.? She asked him once why he had a garden when there was a jungle not ten steps away, and he smiled his Jedi Master smile and told her that the Force is both order and chaos.? She walked away to the sound of his quiet laughter, not in the mood for philosophy right then.? He came in afterwards, and hugged her from behind with messy hands, getting dirt on her bare arms, and she turned and glared at him and told him to go wash.? He smiled and did, and she surreptitiously lifted her arm to her face and inhaled the scent of a man who was still a farmboy at heart.
It is the way she absentmindedly touches him, when they?re at home and not doing anything of galactic importance.? Small gestures, really; just a hand on his shoulder when she leans forward to look at something he?s reading, or a caress on his cheek as she passes.? Small gestures, but he cherishes every one of them, because she never used to be so comfortable with touch, and he remembers when she tried to avoid touching him at all.? He doesn?t overtly let her know he notices, because she?d be embarrassed at acknowledging her joy in touching him, but he knows that she knows he likes it, and he?s content with that.
It is the way he corrects her positioning when he teaches her a move he used during sparring.? She wants to beat him someday, and she?s sure that eventually she will, but he has got many years more practice at using a lightsaber regularly than she does.? He stands behind her and puts his hands on hers to move them the way they?re supposed to move for this pattern, and tells her to feel the Force.? She can, but she can also feel him, and she doesn?t tell him but she thinks that that?s what is helping her more right now.
It is her presence in the Force, as vivacious as she is.? It?s the way it pulses when she?s angry, and glows when they make love, and the way that it?s like a fire, warming him and yet still able to burn if he?s not careful.? It brightens when she?s happy and dims when she?s sad, and though she yells at him not to read her thoughts, he hasn?t, because it?s her Force presence that he feels and reacts to.? It flickers and changes minutely with her moods, but the essence of it is still her.
It is his presence in the Force, as bright as the sun.? It?s always in the back of her mind, and though sometimes she just wants privacy in her thoughts, most of the time she thinks it a comfort; she doesn?t tell him this, but he knows on his own.? It caresses her mind the way that he caresses her body, gently and just so.? It is very powerful, intoxicating, and sometimes she feels she might get drunk in it.? It shines out of him, no matter what he?s doing, even if he?s just curled in his chair and reading reports.? It is every part of him, and because he?s part of her, it?s part of them.
This is what love is.
Original cover by Mark Jade. HTML formatting copyright 2005 TheForce.Net LLC.