|Part 3: Leona's POV
Written by Healer Leona
Eighteen hours. Eighteen hours since returning to the temple. Eighteen hours since the worlds of so many were turned upside down and inside out. Eighteen hours driven on pure adrenaline, lost completely in the Force, acting on instinct, void of emotion.
My years of training and experience serve me well and I do all I can, though not nearly all that I wish.
At least I've had the advantage of keeping my hands busy, (how I wish it weren't so) of keeping my mind firmly focused on the technical aspect of the patient (how I wish it weren't her).
I suppose I could consider myself lucky, I'm not one of those in the surgical family room, waiting endlessly for word on Jemmiah's condition.
At least I can bring them a measure of good news.
I shouldn't feel such hesitation; this is a happy ending...well in time anyway.
As I push through the swinging doors all heads turn my way and I see mirrored in those faces the same sorrowful, pained look. Pleading eyes, puffed and red from tears gaze at me anxiously.
I'm so overwhelmed by the sudden, violent wave of emotion that surges through the Force that I almost falter.
I feel the anguish, the pain and the guilt they're all struggling with and I wish I had some words to relieve the unnecessary self-accusatory thoughts they're dealing with.
There is no blame to be laid here. Some things 'just happen' and yet I know the hollow ring of 'it's the will of the Force' all too well.
I can offer little real comfort to those so overwrought that they take on the blame of this tragedy as if in punishment for not being able to prevent it. Only time can heal those self-inflicted wounds but I'll give what support I can, if only with my presence.
I steady myself and offer the group a reassuring smile. It's part of my job to be the strong one.
"She's stable and out of danger." I pause, allowing the words and meaning to sink in through the haze of emotional turmoil they're engulfed in.
Obi-Wan's haunted expression fades and he releases the breath he held in fear of the worst possible news. He breaks down, sobbing openly into his hands. Immediately he's encircled by the long, strong arms of his master whose own tears run freely down his face.
Evla, Rela and Spider are in a three-way embrace and I hear the elder woman murmur a prayer of thanks.
Qui-Gon glances up at me and in his eyes I see gratitude, though I honestly wish I could do more.
After a long moment, Obi-Wan asks, "May I see her?"
"She's still sedated." I tell him gently, "An-Paj wants her back in the Bacta tank as soon as possible."
He holds my gaze, his eyes full of silent hope and I can't help but relent.
"Just five minutes." I say and as Qui-Gon helps him to rise the others automatically follow behind him.
I won't tell them no. They all need to see for themselves that she's alive. It had been so close. It's the first step in healing for them and for some it may be a long road.
As we enter, the Master Healer glares at me for only an instant, he too understands after looking at the heartache sketched across their faces.
Obi-Wan kneels at Jemmiah's side, carefully taking her hand in his, softly whispering into her ear. The others hang back a respectful distance. Spider and Rela silently weep, their hands clasped together in support.
Qui-Gon and Evla stand side by side, his arm draped around her shoulders. They look every bit the part of duly relieved parents.
When An-Paj finally ushers them out I feel my own pent up emotions wavering, so long held without release.
There's a hand on my arm and I turn to see the blue-skinned healer beside me.
"Go home Leona." he suggests.
I nod and slowly walk away. I will release my emotions into the Force alone, there's still so much work ahead and I will have to be strong.
Part Four: Evlaís Point of View
Written by Lara Notsil
Iím so tried of sitting in this cold hard hospital chair. I want to pace the floor, but I just donít have the strength. Iíve got a splitting headache, more than likely from all the crying than from my illness.
Sitting here watching Jemmiah float in the Bacta is almost more than I can stand. It should be me, not her. Sheís so young, full of life. Why must she know so much pain?
Iíve spent almost all of my entire life around children. Their wet kisses graced my face; their fearful tears stained my robes, and all the while I discovered how wonderful little ones are. I had hoped that Jemmiah too would learn this truth of life. I was certain that the moment they placed her baby in her arms, she would know that feeling, that love. The same love I feel for her.
Jemmiah can be such an irritating and rebellious charge, but I grew to think of her as mine. For her every act that brought utter aggravation there were two that brought my sheer admiration. When she was sick with the measles, she was so cranking and yet I would not leave her. I just couldnít. I had to be near, to be able to reach out and touch her. Oh, how Iíd give anything to do that now!
I see Obi-Wan with his hand placed on the glass tank. He looks so lost, so shattered! No, I wonít start crying. All the lumps they have been through together, there are just too many to count. Why this now? Why break their hearts one more time at the cusp of true joy? Why in the Force canít they just be happy? Well, I didnít think I had any more tears in me, but I managed to find them didnít I?
Qui-Gon, heís been the rock through all of this, but Iíve known him for too long. Iím well aware of the toll this is taking on him. While his acceptance was initially reluctant, heíd given his blessing to Ben and Jemmy, and while I doubt heíll admit it, he was getting quite accustomed to the idea of being a grandparent. I was too. Rela and Spider are trying to hold up as well, more for Jemmiah than any concern for their pride.
Iím so tried, I just want to sleep for a couple days straight, but I wonít. I wonít until Jemmiahís out of the Bacta. It should be me; Iím the one dying. I'd give my life for Jemmiah to be out of that tank healthy and up to her old tricks. With my dying breath, Iíll wish for her and Obi-Wan at least one moment of happiness that's not tainted with pain or sorrow.
When I become one with the Force, perhaps then Iíll understand why.