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Gungan to the left

A Single Night (G)

By : LadyFett

Archived on: Monday, April 16, 2001

Shmi and Qui-Gon, over tea and conversation, discover warm feelings in the chill night air of Tatooine

It was a few hours before dawn when Qui-Gon, half-asleep between dreams on the living area floor, heard the boy's mother pad softly to the door of the hovel. He politely feigned sleep, aware that she was trying hard not to wake him, nor his Gungan companion snoring softly on the kitchen floor. She was concerned about Anakin, and Qui-Gon felt this feeling diminish in her once she got outside. The boy, he gathered, was asleep in the pod.

When she did not return, Qui-Gon stirred and came outside as well, his grey poncho wrapped around him like a blanket against the chill night air. Shmi was sitting on the steps, watching her son sleep, now covered with a blanket she must have placed over him. The droids were there too but had powered down for the night. Her long dark hair was down, twisted into a much looser braid than the way she wore it gathered at the nape of her neck during the day. She sat with her arms crossed in her lap, clutching a dark handmade shawl about her shoulders. She seemed to him the most noble woman he had ever seen. Qui-Gon almost hated to disturb her, she looked so peaceful. But she was unsettled, and if there was anything he could say to ease her mind...

Qui-Gon approached slowly, with just enough deliberate rustling so as not to startle her. She turned her head, and moved aside on the step as he approached.

"Can't you sleep either?" he asked with a smile.

Shmi shook her head. Then, suddenly, she asked, "Were you uncomfortable? I can give you another blanket--"

He felt at once her anxiety, her wish that she had more adequate accommodations to offer her kind guests. "No, no," he reassured her quickly, putting a hand on her shoulder lightly to keep her from getting up. "I was quite comfortable, thank you. It's my mind that's restless."

Shmi relaxed, returned her gaze to her son, and nodded. She knew he was the source of both their concern. Qui-Gon sat down beside her and followed her gaze. "He slipped outside," Qui-Gon observed. "I never heard him."

"I didn't either," admitted Shmi. "I dreamed about him..." She seemed troubled yet reluctant to give details.

"I'm sure he'll be fine in the race tomorrow," Qui-Gon told her.

"I hope so. You don't know what it's like to see your little child -- your everything in the world -- involved in a violent crash right before your own eyes and be powerless to stop it. In the last race...well, thank goodness the pod held together."

Qui-Gon nodded. "I have no child of my own but I've seen my Padawan--my apprentice--in enough danger to know what it's like to feel that overwhelming need to protect them. He's like the child I never had."

She glanced at him. "Like a son to you."

Qui-Gon nodded. "Yes." They had found another thing in common to draw them closer. Their eyes met for a long moment.

"I'll go and make us some pallie-leaf tea. That should make us sleepy."

He stood up politely when she did, and their eyes met again. He saw her blush and smile shyly in embarrassment as she turned to go inside.

Qui-Gon felt a pull in the Force from the boy's mother. And he would be remiss to deny the feeling was returned. He had never met anyone quite like Shmi Skywalker--simple, yet wise and caring. She was a poor slave, yet she harbored no bitterness nor hatred towards anyone. Instead she was soft-spoken and gentle, and good in the purest sense of the word. She thought of all others before herself, as was evident when she'd acquiesced to the pod race despite her apprehension.

Qui-Gon believed she didn't have an aggressive bone in her body. In many ways, she was the ideal all Jedi strived for, a perfect balance of positive control and selflessness. Of reserved confidence and self-discipline so graceful in a life form at peace. She, without a minute's worth of Jedi training. No wonder the midi-chlorians had chosen her through the Force--if indeed that was how it had happened. Perhaps it was because of the boy--and the mystery of his existence--but he felt some strange affinity with her, and he knew she felt it too. Qui-Gon had been attracted to other women in his life, of course, but this woman was somehow different. And he had thought himself to be getting too old for such feelings anymore.

A brief fantasy of an imagined, different life passed through his mind. He seemed to fit all too well into this little family. They needed a father figure and he had always wondered what it would be like to have a wife and children. He quickly pushed the thought out of his mind. His fate lay along a different path. He had responsibilities, to Obi-Wan, to the Jedi Order.

Still, Obi-Wan was grown and nearly ready for the trials, and Anakin would need an instructor. He would love to be the one to train Anakin, he thought. To be the Teacher of the Chosen One--it would be the highest honor and privilege he could conceive of. But that was for the Council to decide. And there were plenty of married Jedi... Yet Qui-Gon knew no matter how much sense a union with the Skywalker family might make, it was simply not to be. The Force did not agree. No matter how he tried to foresee a future with Shmi Skywalker other than in his imagination, he came up with nothing. It simply wasn't there.

And of course there was still the matter of their enslavement to Watto. He had not come here to free slaves, Qui-Gon reminded himself. Slavery on Tatooine was a worthy cause, one he would bring before the Council to make them aware. A cause for another Jedi at another time, Obi-Wan would say. But right now he must not get distracted from the mission at hand. They had to reach Coruscant and get support for the Naboo. And the matter was becoming urgent.

Inside the Skywalker home, Shmi was making the pallie-leaf tea while stepping carefully around the sleeping Gungan on her kitchen floor. Luckily he slept quite heavily, and his murmuring and soft snoring she found somewhat she did the Jedi sitting on her back steps.

She knew enough to know that the arrival of her visitors was no ordinary break in the monotony of life on Tatooine. Jedi did not come to the slave quarters of Mos Espa every day. Qui-Gon Jinn might not be there to free them, but there was nothing coincidental about his coming here and meeting Anakin. Perhaps it would someday lead to a realization of Ani's dream of becoming a Jedi, now that he'd made this connection. If they chose Anakin, they would find a way to free him. And then she could be at peace.

So why did this Jedi make her heart jump whenever their eyes met? She had never met a man who so captivated her, and it both confused and thrilled her simultaneously. She was certain she wasn't merely being dazzled by the fact that he was a Jedi Master, although that was fascinating in its own right. He was courteous and kind, and had treated Anakin like his own son, with patience and gentle discipline. The son he'd never had, he'd said of his Padawan. She could not help but think of what a wonderful father he would make for a child. Or husband for that matter. But not for her, and not for Anakin. They were slaves, after all, not free to pursue their own life paths. She shouldn't even entertain these thoughts; they were only apt to prove poisonous and painful in the end.

Yet she could not help but think about him, about his gentle, steady blue eyes that caught hers so often with a smile in them, about the soft, velvety voice with that charming, refined accent. She had never met a man who even looked like him, certainly not here on Tatooine. Everything about him bespoke elegance, the leonine features and regal beard, his tall, broad-chested stature that even his billowing robes couldn't conceal, and the large, strong hands that she wished could--wait a minute, couldn't Jedi read minds too?

One of the empty clay mugs slipped from her hand into the sink with a loud crash. Flushed, she looked around but it appeared no one had noticed, not even the snoring Gungan, although he shifted position slightly. She put her hand to her forehead and sighed deeply, determined to get ahold of herself. She picked up the mug, thankfully unbroken, and proceeded to pour the tea.

Qui-Gon, ever the gentleman, stood up again when Shmi returned with the mugs of tea. "It should help us sleep," she said again, somewhat nervously. She handed him a mug with a little smile and they sat down on the steps again.

Qui-Gon took a sip and nodded approvingly. "It's very good."

"I put some native honey in it, to make it sweet. It's the only way Ani will drink it."

They sat in silence for a moment and Qui-Gon sensed her worry about the race creeping back into her mind. He touched her shoulder gently with his free hand while nodding towards the sky. Instantly she felt relaxed.

"Look, a shooting star. The stars are beautiful tonight," he commented.

"Yes," she agreed softly, looking upward with him. "Most nights here are very clear."

They watched the night sky a few minutes more in silence, until Qui-Gon said, albeit somewhat reluctantly, "The suns will be up soon. You should get some rest."

"No, first I must say something," Shmi insisted. "I want to thank you."

"For what?"

She brushed back a stray wisp of hair before continuing. "My son has never had anyone like a father, anyone he could look up to. In just these few days you have been that for him, and more. And just meeting a Jedi, it's a dream of his, an experience he'll never forget." She paused. "Nor will I."

Qui-Gon once again felt the pull of the living Force between them, like a magnet drawing them together.

"Thank you," he said softly. "You've been most kind in your hospitality. I wish I could do more."

He took her mug and, placing them both in the sand, took her hands suddenly in his. "Anakin will be safe tomorrow, that much I foresee. You must trust me." Shmi nodded, but Qui-Gon felt obliged to continue. "I also feel that tomorrow will bring change to all our lives. In exactly what ways I couldn't say, but--"

"What are you trying to say, Jedi Master Qui-Gon?"

He sighed softly, his eyes meeting hers steadily. "Only that I'm grateful the Force saw fit to cross our paths, if only for this brief time." He paused. "You're a wonderful woman, Shmi Skywalker. I am honored to have known you. I won't soon forget you either."

Shmi lowered her eyes a moment, then raised them to his again. "I feel the same," she answered timidly, her voice caught in her throat. Her chest felt constricted; for him it was the same. There was so much going unsaid...he sensed in her a thousand unspoken feelings, and he knew she could see it mirrored in himself. He leaned forward and tenderly kissed her forehead. "In another universe, another space-time perhaps... "

It was only that through the Force he knew she longed for the same, and he would never have dared to ask it if he hadn't been completely certain, that he found the courage to ask. "May I kiss you?"

Shmi glanced at him, never breaking their gaze. "You just did," she said quietly.

Qui-Gon laughed softly, flashing a half-crooked, devilish smile that made her heart skip. "I meant like this... "

He leaned forward and slowly pressed his mouth to hers. Shmi was almost fearful of it, knowing once it was begun it would be over just as soon. But Qui-Gon, though gentle, was generous, and for a long moment their lips and souls were joined, as the Force washed over them.

When at last they parted, neither said a word. Instead Qui-Gon slipped his arm around her and she allowed herself to rest her head against his strong shoulder, close enough to smell his hair and feel it under her cheek. For a while they just sat together quietly, he rubbing her shoulder affectionately, she clasping his other hand in her lap, losing herself in the comfort of his arms for as many minutes as they could steal.

After some time he sensed she was beginning to fall asleep in spite of herself. He nudged her gently, with a tender smile, wishing against hope that he could take her inside...but that was not to be, and certainly not with a houseful of people.

"Come on, you really should get some sleep," he coaxed. "It will be a big day tomorrow."

Shmi nodded reluctantly. "I want to take Anakin inside, it's getting colder," she said, standing up.

"I'll get him," Qui-Gon offered, and went down the steps to the pod. Shmi watched him effortlessly gather up the boy in his strong arms, still wrapped in the blanket. Together they brought him inside and placed him in his bed.

Shmi tucked her son in and kissed him softly on the forehead, without ever waking him, Qui-Gon noticed in quiet amazement. She stood watching her son for a moment with folded arms, and Qui-Gon put a supportive hand on her shoulder. She smiled, somewhat sadly, and placed a hand over his. For a few moments at least, they felt like a little family, a memory they would both treasure and were grateful to have shared, if only for a single night.

HTML formatting copyright 2001 TheForce.Net, LLC.

Fan Fiction Rating

Current Rating is 9.24 in 139 total ratings.

Reader Comments

Add a comment about this Fan Fiction

Author: Jaded Skywalker
Date posted: 4/19/2001 10:40:04 PM
Jaded Skywalker's Comments:

I truly enjoyed this story. It was simple yet it warmed the heart with its innocence and simplicity. It was very well written and the details ran smoothly together, creating a unique and wonderful moment in the Star Wars universe.

Author: Jeff 42  (signed)
Date posted: 5/6/2001 2:16:04 PM
Jeff 42's Comments:

Whenever I watch TPM and Qui-Gon says, "Good morning," to Shmi, I get the impression that something went on between them the previous night. The way you've written it works very well.

Author: Belle Bayard  (signed)
Date posted: 5/18/2001 11:12:08 AM
Belle Bayard's Comments:

Excellent lost scene. I can truly see something like this occuring between Qui-Gon and Shmi. Always felt there was more going on between them than the glimpse we got in TPM. Sensitively done with just the right amount of pathos. :D

Author: The Great Yoda  (signed)
Date posted: 6/6/2001 9:37:56 PM
The Great Yoda's Comments:

Very good this is. Hope one day that I too can write so well

Author: The Prophet
Date posted: 6/10/2001 1:58:18 AM
The Prophet's Comments:

Very nice. I fine moment during an odd time in Star Wars history.

Author: Jedi Maniac
Date posted: 6/15/2001 5:55:01 PM
Jedi Maniac's Comments:

Good story! Qui-Gon-Jinn and Shmi Skywalker obviously had some kind of relationship going on in TPM. Good work!

Author: Jedi_Arwen
Date posted: 6/17/2001 6:02:22 PM
Jedi_Arwen's Comments:

Beautiful! I've always been an avid believer of the whole Qui-Gon/Shmi thing, and this is a wonderful story about it.

Author: Darth Banana-rama-ding-dong
Date posted: 6/21/2001 6:19:08 PM
Darth Banana-rama-ding-dong's Comments:

A needed scene. Well written. Only one thing. Jedi are not aloud to get married.

Qui-Gon is not to big on the rules thing though.

Author: fer-cho
Date posted: 7/1/2001 8:56:04 PM
fer-cho's Comments:

Great way of writing it!! I loved every simple aspect... specially the part when qui says "maybe another time... another galaxy" I like to think about it some times... maybe thatīs the way of things... the way of the force!!! thank you for the story!!!

Author: TMAN
Date posted: 7/10/2001 8:21:34 PM
TMAN's Comments:

it was ok but jedi cant get married.other than that it was pretty good

Author: JoshNoullet  (signed)
Date posted: 7/15/2001 6:02:11 PM
JoshNoullet's Comments:

I really enjoyed your story. As for the comments that Jedi don't get married, you can correct this by deleting the line that says that lots of other jedi are married. By omiting that line,I think that would solve the "Jedi don't get married" problem.

That being said, I must say that the characterization and storyline are wonderful, and I could visualize this as a deleted scene from The Phantom Menace. Well done!

Author: deniseskywalker
Date posted: 7/25/2001 6:39:15 PM
deniseskywalker's Comments:

Wow - this is an excellent story about the Qui-Gon and Shmi romance. I always knew it was there this story has brought it out wonderfully!

Author: funkyqueengirl  (signed)
Date posted: 8/8/2001 11:04:06 AM
funkyqueengirl's Comments:

How beautiful! Don't Shmi and Qui-gonn make the most wonderful couple?! Great job :)

Author: Ladybug  (signed)
Date posted: 8/15/2001 9:09:53 PM
Ladybug's Comments:

*sigh* I adore Qui-Gon, and Shmi is just a fabulous character! Excellent story - very well written. It flowed beautifully. Great work!

Author: Mcily Nochi  (signed)
Date posted: 9/3/2001 3:54:56 PM
Mcily Nochi's Comments:

What a sweet story. It's difficult to write a love story with such innocence and feeling. Good job.

Author: Artemis Neo
Date posted: 11/11/2001 4:47:31 PM
Artemis Neo's Comments:

~This was a great piece of FanFic, except for a few tid bits here and there. (One being the marriage thing. Jedi can't and don't get married.) Other than the few wrong details, it was a scene that I could accually see being part of the movie. That, and it makes sense, for the most part. Keep writing like this is all I can really say.
X~Artemis Neo~X

Author: Lady Kenobi
Date posted: 11/23/2001 1:06:08 PM
Lady Kenobi's Comments:

The most well-written romance I have ever had the pleasure to read.Except Jedi can't get married, but then I made Obi-Wan marry a girl once.Qui-Gon wouldn't care,either.

Author: FernWithy  (signed)
Date posted: 11/24/2001 9:03:06 AM
FernWithy's Comments:

Well, as I recall this story, Qui-Gon didn't say he had been married in the past or that he was going to marry Shmi -- it was a choice. It's conceivable in this scenario that the life with Shmi would be contingent upon his leaving the Order. Being forbidden to actually marry is different from never thinking about alternate possibilities.

Author: Mara*Jade*Skywalker  (signed)
Date posted: 1/7/2002 12:48:26 PM
Mara*Jade*Skywalker's Comments:

Jedi CAN get married. Luke did and he knew that the Jedi Council did not approve of marrage, and so did Ani. Any way cute story:) Great Job!

Author: Andra
Date posted: 2/8/2002 6:12:53 PM
Andra's Comments:

I've only recently rediscovered this story, and both times I thought it was great. And now I have it in my favorites so I'll never lose it again. (sighs dreamily) This night is so much better thanks to you and your talent.

Author: Zahn_Matrix
Date posted: 2/12/2002 2:02:55 PM
Zahn_Matrix's Comments:

I'm glad that someone addressed the Qui-Gon/Shmi connection. I've always supported the idea that the two either shared a moment that night, or that they may have even known each other previously. A fine read. Thanks for sharing it.

Author: Chinook Z
Date posted: 6/24/2002 12:47:57 PM
Chinook Z's Comments:

A warm and enjoyable tale. There's really only one thing to say in description; "Awww.." ^^;

Author: Boba Fett 2K2  (signed)
Date posted: 7/30/2002 8:05:35 PM
Boba Fett 2K2's Comments:

Amazing. Sure Jedi can't get married, but a little error like that dont ruin a truly wonderful written piece of fiction that truly builds upon one of the more passionate issues in TPM. Great work!

Author: Pikachewbacca
Date posted: 12/3/2002 11:30:39 PM
Pikachewbacca's Comments:

The part where Shmi is described, and it is suggested that this is why the midichlorian's chose her... Stunning. I never considered this. I wonder if that was Lucas' intention when creating her. I'm not a big fan fic reader, but this has changed my mind.

Author: MonMartha
Date posted: 4/26/2003 9:57:35 PM
MonMartha's Comments:

Hmm. A computer glitch led me to this story. I love a sweet story. I hope that she savored the sweet feelings from that kiss!

Author: Skywalker_Vader2be
Date posted: 8/26/2003 6:39:23 PM
Skywalker_Vader2be's Comments:

Very difficult to write, this story is.

Bit too late to reflect on what Jeff 42 had said about the "good morning" Qui-Gon gave Shmi in TPM, but oh well. Notice that he says it in such a way that...well, seduces females. I only said that because my older sister thought so and I wanted to give her a chance to express her feelings too. Anyway, Qui-Gon was kinda speaking like, "Good Morr-Ning." Very odd.

Beautiful story this is. Good job! ^_^

Author: VaderSithLord
Date posted: 9/19/2003 2:42:36 PM
VaderSithLord's Comments:

Jedi CANNOT get married. Luke did not know about that law (he did not know most of the Jedi laws and mores, as Vader had destroyed most of them systematically. Luke spent many years trying to find bits and pieces.) Vergere, the Jedi Knight of old who, after fifty years with the Vong, rejoins the mainstream galaxy, is scornful and horrified that Luke has married and allows his "new Jedi Order" to do so.

As for Anakin marrying, Obi-Wan makes it clear in the Republic gunship that Ani would get expelled from the Order for his feelings for padme - isn't that the basis for all the secrecy in their Ep II marriage (and as we will see, in Ep III, as Padme keeps her pregnancy hidden?)

True, a few Jedi, like Thracia Cho Leem and Nejaa Halycon, married. But they were considered "fringe" or strange (as Corran Horn points out in "Union", "my grandfather was Corellian, and you know Corellians are different" or something like that. It is pointed out often that Nejaa was something of an exception to the rule, having trained, then returned home for most of the rest of his life to train his son Hal.) A'Sharaad Hett's father also was considered "different" (in more ways than one; besides getting married, he became a Tusken. My goodness.)

So getting married WAS forbidden to Jedi.

Author: Jedimaster023
Date posted: 10/13/2003 3:56:34 PM
Jedimaster023's Comments:

Great story! I knew something was going on with the two from the start...but I thought it was just me.

Stop going on about the whole marriage issue. Anakin did and the Jedi probably had forseen it yet didn't care. Oh well.

Author: Ani-maniac  (signed)
Date posted: 12/27/2004 11:09:00 PM
Ani-maniac's Comments:

I liked this story. As so many have said, I knew there was something between Qui-Gon and Shmi. But, also as many have, I want to adress the Jedi marriage issue. (Sorry to keep going on about it, but I wanted to put my two credits in.) Jedi, at least in the Old Jedi Order can NOT marry. Luke, however chose to allow marriage.(I think it will come back to haunt him latter). But in the prquels, marriage is FORBIDDEN. That was one of the reasons Anakin got in so much trouble:) Also, maybe you could mention Tahl, the fellow Jedi Qui-Gon had fallen in love with. But, anyway, great story!!!!! Keep writing!!!

Author: Anastase  (signed)
Date posted: 4/3/2006 10:07:50 PM
Anastase's Comments:

This was a wonderfully sweet story and very well written. As for the marriage issue..according to the books and movies I came away a bit confused. Some books led me to believe that marriage wasn't so much forbidden as highly frowned upon. I don't think it detracted from this story at all though.

Author: Fringe
Date posted: 7/11/2009 9:13:08 PM
Fringe's Comments:

This is a great fic one of the best I've read about this pairing. And about the marriage thing...don't sweat it. After all its FICTION!

Author: Mystic
Date posted: 10/4/2009 4:35:08 PM
Mystic's Comments:

I love this story!
Though I am sure they shared more than just a moment. Or maybe that's just my twisted mind at work. I'm sure, however, he would have returned and saved had maul not cut his life short.

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Archived: Monday, April 16, 2001

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