@Jade_eyes Thank you! @Ocelotl_Nesto Oh don't worry, very soon Anakin will be sharing, he just needs to make sure he is absolutely certain first @Luna_Nightshade Thank you! I felt it was appropriate that trust might be shaken between them considering the experiences they've gone through. You'll soon see whether Anakin does right by his suspicions - - - - - Chapter Twenty-Four The next day Obi-Wan woke bright and early, feeling refreshed for the first time in ages. He moved about slowly, doing the exercises that Bant had instructed him to do to rebuild his muscle strength in his legs. He made his way out of the room and towards the desk where Bant was sitting, reading a datapad and muttering amongst herself. “Do you think I could possibly go to the breakfast hall this morning?” he asked, giving his childhood friend a bit of a fright. “Obi!” The Mon Calamari frowned at him. “You know I can’t let you. Just because you slept through the night completely doesn’t mean you are ready to face the rest of the Jedi. Besides, the Council have yet to confirm the rumour that you have returned. You have to stay here, but as a compromise I could organise your favourite meal being brought here for you to eat, if you feel you are up to it.” Obi-Wan sighed. “It was worth a try.” He had completely forgotten about food and felt a tiny bit ill at the prospect of eating in front of so many people. Refreshed or not, he clearly wasn’t ready to be let out of the hospital wing. “Honestly, I think I acted rashly. Now I don’t feel so hungry anymore.” Bant got up out of her chair and moved around the desk towards her friend. “Come on let me take you back to your room. Anakin commed me an hour ago saying he’d be back today.” “Good,” smiled Obi-Wan. “I think we have a lot to talk about.” “It’s done you some good. Your Force presence feels stronger and you are calmer. Sleeping through the night is a good sign,” the healer added. “Let us hope I don’t take a step backwards.” Obi-Wan turned to look at Bant. “There is a lot I need to say… to let out… Some of it I am dreading because of what I’ve lived through.” He shivered. “I hate the thought of being concerned about talking about it.” “Obi, none of us expect you to be able to tell us everything in one go. You’ve been hurt badly, physically and emotionally. It will be difficult for you but I know you’ll survive and you’ll be a stronger person for it. Do you think you can meditate now?” asked Bant. Obi-Wan hadn’t been able to meditate on his own for a while because he became so caught up in his memories that he was unable to pull himself out of it. “I can give it a go…” he said. “If you don’t feel up to it, don’t,” responded Bant. “You’ve done well so far. I don’t want you to feel pressured you have to try just because think you may be fine. You’ve only just started the healing process.” They turned the corner to where Obi-Wan’s room was located to find Kyra standing outside his door. She was still in her nightwear but wearing a dressing gown over it to protect her modesty. “Hello,” said Obi-Wan. “You are Kyra Jykes, am I correct?” The woman nodded. “Yes, though in memory of my lost family I prefer to be known as Kyra Skywalker. Both my children have that name.” She stepped forward, her brown her loose around her shoulders. “I need to talk to you… if you are not busy.” Obi-Wan nodded. “That’s fine. Go on in, it’s open.” Kyra walked into the room and Bant tugged at his sleeve, pulling him back. “Do you want anyone in with you?” she asked quietly. “No,” he replied. “I think I can guess what she wants to talk to me about. I’ll be fine.” “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt,” answered Bant. “I can’t deny that you did sleep well last night.” “It was bound to happen sometime,” grinned Obi-Wan. He moved away from his friend and walked into his room, to find Kyra standing there, unsure of where she should go. “Please sit.” He indicated the chair beside the bed and he settled himself onto the bed. “I know we don’t know each other… but my sister advised me to talk to you about what my husband did to you,” said Kyra quietly. Obi-Wan grimaced. Taren’s betrayal had hurt him but it wasn’t something he was going to hold a grudge over. In fact, he had forgiven the man weeks ago, but he sensed that Kyra was struggling to accept what Taren had asked him to do. “That isn’t the man I married! He would never ask for another man to suffer. He shouldn’t have done it for me!” Kyra sounded bitter and angry. Obi-Wan took in a deep breath. “I don’t blame Taren for what he did. Yes, I felt betrayed but I can understand why he did it. I don’t think he realised that you and your children would be used against me. He thought you would be safe. Ventress was never going to keep her word.” “But he lied to you!” “I know, but that doesn’t matter to me. Taren is a good person. He was trying to protect his loved ones and make sure you had more family then you had. I think he thought that rescue was on its way because of who I was… He didn’t realise that it was unlikely…” “But there was a rescue,” Kyra pointed out. Obi-Wan smiled ruefully. “Yes, there was, by luck, I might add.” Kyra shuffled in her seat. “So you’re not angry that he asked you to suffer on my account just on the off chance you might be rescued?” “No, I’m not,” Obi-Wan shook his head. “We all make wrong decisions and selfish choices based on what we believe is right at the time. Taren made a misjudgement. But I don’t think it is something that should affect your relationship with him. Ventress always planned to use your children against me. I realised that as soon as he mentioned you were there. She had already guessed what Taren might do. She was fully prepared, and promising him that you and your children would remain unharmed was something she did to ensure she had his obedience, but she knew he would risk asking me to not give in despite that.” He frowned as a thought struck him. “In a way, I shouldn’t have agreed to his demand but I did. I’m as much as fault here as Taren is. I could have given in but I think Ventress would have sensed that it might not have been completely true. Your children’s death would have been the crux of my decision… If I hadn’t had an escape plan, I’d have given in, but your children wouldn’t have been spared. Ventress would have killed them, and then you and Taren, to break me even further.” “Then I shouldn’t be angry at him?” asked Kyra. She looked perplexed over her torrent feelings. “I think you have the right to be angry,” said Obi-Wan, “if you feel it is something you wouldn’t do yourself, but I don’t believe it is a situation where it warrants feeling devastated over. We all escaped didn’t we?” Kyra nodded. “We did…” “I could see that Taren really cares about you. He wanted you to be happy, to get the chance to know your sister. That is why he did it. I didn’t have to do what he asked, but I did because if I’d have given in, Ventress would have killed you all regardless. Doing what he did prolonged your lives long enough for Anakin to get to us in time and for me to weaken the structure of my cell to use against her,” explained Obi-Wan. “I have every right to not forgive him but I do because I can see where he is coming from. It is not a Jedi’s way to hate either.” Kyra swallowed. “It makes me feel better that you don’t hate him.” “I felt betrayed though,” mentioned Obi-Wan, “for lying to me in the first place but it’s understandable. Even if I’d known the truth from the off, I probably wouldn’t have given in, I’d have done what he wanted because I was so close to initialising my escape plan. I forgive Taren because he was acting not for himself, but for his loved ones. That’s admirable. He was willing to be hurt himself to get you something you wanted. Everyone knows that Jedi are meant to be strong, he may have considered that I was strong enough to hold on and withstand the mental torture.” “And were you?” Kyra anticipated the answer. Obi-Wan smiled gently at her. “I wouldn’t have been able to escape if I couldn’t withstand it. I’d have given in. Kyra, I will heal in time. My physical wounds are healing and I am on the road to recovery. I do not blame Taren at all for what he asked me to do. He doesn’t deserve punishment from you. It may make you feel uneasy about what he did, but does it make you feel better knowing that I do not hold him responsible?” “It does…” she answered quietly. “Then I think you know what you have to do,” Obi-Wan indicated. Kyra nodded and took in a deep breath. “I do.” She slowly stood up from her chair, her hair falling about her face. “Thank you, Master Jedi. Forgiveness is a hard path to take but when you realise others have taken it… it doesn’t sound too bad.” “No, it doesn’t,” smiled Obi-Wan. “I’ve discovered that if you want to heal a soul, forgiveness can sometimes be the most adequate path to take.” “Those are some very wise words,” replied Kyra. “I’m glad my sister met you. She advised me to come and see you… I didn’t think you’d forgive Taren for what he did. Knowing that you have…” “Means that you will to?” finished Obi-Wan. Kyra nodded. “I think so, yes. I still need to talk to him, to clear the air and to understand his motivations more but the knowledge I have now from you will enable me to get to past this. Taren really loves me and I don’t want to lose him.” She shivered slightly. “I’m not sure what I’d do if I lost him.” Obi-Wan didn’t feel that it was appropriate for him to respond so he merely smiled, sending a soothing motion through the Force to her. It would calm her but she wouldn’t feel it. “I hope you have a good day,” bowed Kyra, awkwardly. “You don’t need to bow,” said Obi-Wan. “And thank you.” Kyra smiled politely before turning to leave and left Obi-Wan to his thoughts. - - - - - As a child meditation had been something Anakin had hated. That is, until his mother had come back into his life and her presence had only helped him to become more focused and appreciate what the technique could do. It had enabled him and Obi-Wan to develop a strong bond, one that tied them together so closely that one could still sense the other when Force-supressed, just like Obi-Wan had been in Ventress’ tender care. Now he found that meditation was one of the most useful things a Jedi could do. He could analyse his own psyche with it, but most of all he could explore the intricate bond that he shared with Obi-Wan. It soothed him that the bond was pulsating brighter and stronger than before, but the tinge of darkness still concerned him. Now that their connection was stronger he could now detect where the source of the darkness was seeping from. He had figured it would be from him and he was correct in assuming so, yet Obi-Wan’s essence had a stain blackening it too. Like Anakin, Obi-Wan Kenobi had a dark presence to it, something he had no let go of. What was it? His former Master still had plenty of secrets to tell and it would probably be a while before they all came out. The stain on both of their souls was blackening them. Anakin was determined to rectify that. But first I need to consider everything that I have learnt. The face of the man that Anakin thought was the Sith Lord swam into view. Palpatine’s kindly old face didn’t even give away what horror lay beneath it. He’s a Master at what he does. That’s why he’s been able to hide from the Jedi for so long. But what if I’m wrong? What if Dooku found out some other way? What if the Sith Lord is monitoring the Chancellor, recording everything he says and does? Manipulating him from behind the scenes? And Palpatine doesn’t know it? Anakin shook his head in frustration. He sought the comfort of the Force and sunk into its flow, his shoulders relaxing, his breathing slowing. He sent his senses flying outward, toward the Chancellor. He had never done this before, daring to sense the aura of someone from such great a distance. Sure he had sensed the Chancellor each time he had visited him but if Palpatine truly was the Sith Lord, he’d have barriers up to prevent any Jedi in his vicinity from noticing him. Within the Senate Building he found Padmé, her essence bright and innocent in the Force. Then he moved upwards, exploring, search for the elusive presence he needed to find. His mind found the Chancellor’s office and he entered, slowly and cautiously, trying to shield as much of himself as possible. And there he felt it. A single presence imbued in darkness. A great cackle of dark side energy entwined so tightly into one physical being. The presence was familiar, one that Anakin recognised. Palpatine. Cold struck him and he shivered. The Chancellor was the Sith Lord. It was clear as day. It was dangerous to stay because he could be detected. No matter how much Anakin kept himself shielded, if Palpatine was that powerful to prevent himself from being sensed for many years, would he detect Anakin spying on him? Slowly, Anakin withdrew, not daring to suddenly fly away because even that motion could be detected. He made his way back slowly, lingering on Padmé’s presence before returning to his physical body and opening his eyes. Sweat covered his forehead and he wiped it away. A sick feeling settled in his stomach. Now he knew. Palpatine really was the Sith Lord. And it made sense. The man had tried to befriend him, tried to plant doubt about Obi-Wan’s teachings and the Jedi Code. It had only been because Anakin had messed up originally by telling the Chancellor about Obi-Wan’s survival after Jabiim that he had even made that connection. Anakin had only picked up on that because he had the mistrust of Palpatine ever since his mother had taken a bit of a dislike to him. He had only trusted the man until his mother had come back into his life. What if my mother had stayed on Tatooine as a slave? What if the Council had never agreed to Obi-Wan’s request? Would I have fallen into his trap? Anakin didn’t want to think about the possibilities of what could have been if it hadn’t been for his mother. What mattered now was dealing with the Sith Lord. For that he had to be truthful. And he knew he couldn’t face Palpatine alone without Obi-Wan at his side. They were brothers, their destinies tied together in one big ball. I might still have time. If Palpatine doesn’t suspect that I know who he really is… But one thing was clear to him. Palpatine had ordered Obi-Wan’s execution and was the instigator of the Clone Wars. They could perhaps use that against him, as long as they could dig up enough evidence to implicate him further. The Council needs to know. Yet his senses were telling him to talk it through first with the people closest to him. But first he needed to let go of the anger he had on Rattatak. To face the coming days, Anakin understood that he needed his brother by his side, and their bond needed to be strong and unbreakable. To do that, they both needed to heal. - - - - - “I get the impression before we start that you want to get something off your chest?” observed Obi-Wan as he considered Anakin’s Force aura. “Am I that predictable?” asked Anakin mildly. “Unfortunately, to me you are,” smiled Obi-Wan. They were once again in the same room they had been in yesterday where Obi-Wan had started to release his experience. Shmi was sitting beside him again, silently watching the exchange between the two Jedi, her intense eyes burning with inquisitiveness but also of respect of who they were. “Would you like me to leave?” asked Shmi. “If it’s something you would prefer I did not know about…” Anakin shook his head. “No. Stay. You’re here as Obi-Wan’s anchor but you are also mine.” He glanced at Obi-Wan. “You sense it, don’t you? Our bond? There’s a tinge to it.” “There is,” Obi-Wan acknowledged. “It’s both of us,” responded Anakin. “The part that comes from you is understandable, but with me… I shouldn’t have let it get a hold on me on Rattatak.” He bowed his head in shame. “When Dooku electrocuted you… I… I just snapped. I let my anger get the better of me. I went after him, intending to kill him because of what he had done to you. I didn’t care about anything else other than revenge.” Obi-Wan remained silent, watching his former apprentice, analysing how he looked and how ashamed he had felt at his momentary slip. “It consumed me, Master,” said Anakin, falling into the old habit once again, “and it felt right! It felt that was my destiny to embrace the dark. The only thing that mattered was vengeance. The dark side permeates our bond because of what I felt and what I could have done…” He felt a tear slide down his cheek. Looking back on it hurt him. “Anakin…” Obi-Wan searched his eyes. “We all have momentary slips. You came to your senses, didn’t you?” Anakin swallowed visibly. “Yeah… but that was because Ahsoka got through to me. She came across like you.” “Me?” Obi-Wan raised his eyebrows. “Yes, like you. She lectured me. Used what she thought you’d say to me. It worked. The darkness receded and I could feel that the Force didn’t want me to take that path.” His shoulders shook as Anakin tried to not let his tears fall. “I know I shouldn’t have let it get to me, but it did. Seeing you there so hurt… I, I just snapped. I’m not the Jedi I should be.” “Anakin.” Obi-Wan put on his hard voice, causing the young man to look up at him in surprise. “Every Jedi has momentarily slips towards the dark side. I have as well.” Anakin’s eyes bulged. “What? When?” “I’ve told you before,” he answered. “Surely you can’t have forgotten?” He watched as Anakin’s eyes scrunched up and then they widened again as he remembered. “Naboo… You told me years ago that you let your anger get a hold of you when Master Qui-Gon was killed,” recalled Anakin. “But that was different…” “How is it different? I still used the dark side, I still fought with my anger and I nearly paid for it with my life,” questioned Obi-Wan, folding his arms across his chest and staring at Anakin. Anakin chewed his bottom lip. “But when you killed the Sith, you weren’t using your anger, were you?” Obi-Wan shook his head. “You calmed yourself without any help. Ahsoka had to get through to me. That makes you a better Jedi then me. You were just an apprentice then… I’m a Knight and I shouldn’t have succumbed. You proved you were stronger than me by far,” explained Anakin. “And look at what you’ve survived!” They were back on his captivity. It was bound to come back to that at some point. But first he felt he had to address something. “When I killed the Sith, Anakin, the only reason I managed to calm myself was because he got cocky. He became complacent, thinking that he had won, that he had beaten me. He was taunting me. It proved to be his undoing but I was determined to win, and I calmed myself enough to call on the Force to help aid my jump and call Qui-Gon’s lightsaber to me,” sighed Obi-Wan. “The point is, is that I could have fallen to but we remembered who we really are. Your needing help doesn’t make you seem weak. You have to remember that you have attachments. It will always be harder for you but I know you will succeed.” Anakin tilted his head to the side, sighing. “I guess so. I don’t want to fall. I think if I did it would destroy you,” his gaze flickered towards his mother, “and my mum.” Obi-Wan declined to answer. He didn’t want to think of what might happen if Anakin’s attachments proved to his undoing. The hard work that he had put into training Anakin would have been for nothing. It would also fundamentally damage his own reputation as a Jedi as well as the Order’s new rules. Younglings were now allowed visits home based on how Anakin’s training had turned out. Those Jedi children born on Coruscant had more visits then their compatriots but so far nothing had occurred that proved that to be the wrong decision. “Ani, just remember, if you ever need us, if you ever suspect you might fall, come to us, we will always be here for you,” Shmi squeezed her son’s hand. “Both of us will be, won’t we Obi-Wan?” she sought clarification. “Yes, I will. Don’t think for one second we won’t listen to you, Anakin. You know you can trust us,” finished Obi-Wan. Anakin nodded. “Ok then. What about you? The tinge to the dark side on your side of the bond isn’t from your anger you had when fighting the Sith eleven years ago. Something new has happened to cause that bleakness.” Obi-Wan stilled. He hadn’t wanted to mention this to Anakin just yet. It was a dark stain on his soul. The mask, the mask that Ventress had forced upon him. He shivered momentarily as he remembered the feelings that it had caused in him. “Are you going to tell me?” probed Anakin. Obi-Wan lowered his gaze, staying silent. A hand squeezed his. It was Shmi. “Do you feel ready to?” “No,” he reluctantly admitted, “but I don’t know if I ever will be to. What happened… It nearly threw me over the edge… If I don’t face it when I have my family here, how can I expect to face it later on when more time has passed and it has become more difficult?” Anakin edged forward in his seat. “I have to tell you. If we are to repair our bond, you have to know the horror of what I suffered,” swallowed Obi-Wan. “I’ll show you through the bond. Shmi, like before, I need you to help me.” Obi-Wan closed his eyes and sunk into the Force, searching for Anakin’s presence. The darkness was still there as Anakin hadn’t released his anger to the Force, as Obi-Wan hoped that they could do it together, as brothers were meant to. He felt Anakin’s mind join his own and he took him into his memories once more. The mask floated to his mind. And he showed Anakin what had happened when Ventress had forced it upon him, and what the results of his first experience with the mask had been. Reliving Qui-Gon’s death… Feeling rejected by Qui-Gon after he was adamant to make Anakin a Jedi… Qui-Gon’s disappointment at him for leaving the Jedi Order at the tender age of fourteen for a brief time… The thoughts that mask had flung his way coursed through the bond so that Anakin could truly understand what the mask was designed to do. The darkness that had permeated that mask had stained Obi-Wan’s soul. Each memory passed in a blur as the mask continued to mentally assault his mind. Anakin saw his Master being beaten and tortured as the mask sought to break him, sought to turn him to the dark side or to break his spirit completely… Through the bond, Obi-Wan was almost crying as the memories continued to pour forth. He had opened a barrier and now they wouldn’t stop. Each memory came relief at no longer keeping it bottled up inside. Keep it going, Master, urged Anakin. You need to let go… Obi-Wan could feel himself shaking within the bond, whether it affected his physical body he didn’t know. His mind was in utter torment. As the memories of Taren’s torture erupted and what the mask had whispered to him began, Obi-Wan nearly lost control. He nearly felt himself shatter and fall even further as a dredge of anger was pulled from him. It was only Anakin’s soothing presence and the hint of a voice singing in the background that pulled him back safely. The moment Obi-Wan had made his escape with Ventress’ threat to the youngest child was when the memories of the mask finally stopped flowing. He had just enough strength left to pull himself out of the bond and back into reality. He felt tired and his cheeks were wet from the tears that had been pouring down his face and he was shaking, despite the warm blanket wrapped tightly around his thin frame. “Obi-Wan, I think you need to rest,” said Shmi gently. He shook his head weakly. “No… I… I need… to release it…” He was trembling from head to foot. Anakin planted a hand firmly on his shoulder. “No. I feel your Force presence. It’s too weak.” “I… have … to … do … it … now,” said Obi-Wan. “If you try it, you’ll burn yourself out,” warned Anakin. “It will take you even longer to recover if you let yourself. And right now, Obi-Wan, I need you.” Despite how delirious he probably was Anakin’s plea and what he saw in Anakin’s eyes was enough for Obi-Wan to consider that letting go after such a mental strain was not the most appropriate thing to do. Darkness was beginning at the edges of his vision. He was already weak and he reluctantly let his grip on the Force go. Unconsciousness grasped him and he felt himself falling before everything clouded over. - - - - - Kyra found Taren sitting by the window in the ward area they were staying in. Her two children were asleep, despite it nearly being midday. She didn’t care right now. She needed to talk to Taren, to get things off her chest. Her husband turned to look at her as she approached. His dark hair flopped in his eyes. “Taren… I need to talk to you.” Taren moved aside so that Kyra could sit beside him if she wished. She did so and took his hands in her own. Before she could speak, he spoke first, imploring her with his eyes to let him begin. “I know what I did was wrong and that I caused another person to suffer but I thought I was doing the right thing for you.” “I know,” she replied. “Obi-Wan forgives you.” It felt strange to refer to the Jedi with that name as she didn’t really know him. “He does?” Taren seemed surprised at that. “I thought he’d hate me when he discovered I was lying to him about my true motivation.” Kyra remembered what the Jedi had told her earlier that morning. “He did feel betrayed though but he did tell me that he probably wouldn’t have given in because as soon as he realised I was there with Ria and Mernen he saw what that woman was planning. He said your actions led to us being given extra time. If he’d given in, she’d have killed all of us anyway. In a way Taren, you saved us all.” Taren perked up, surprised at her words. “What?” Kyra nodded. “That’s what he said. I don’t agree that you did the right thing at the time but you were thinking of me and I can’t hate you for that. Your misjudgement may have harmed the Jedi mentally but he was already so scarred… and he’s healing. I saw him today. He looks better…” “So… are we good?” asked Taren. “I think so. I don’t want to lose you, and I know how much you love me. I can’t blame you or hate you for causing another person pain if they have already forgiven you for it. It wouldn’t be fair on me since you gave us extra time to live so that rescue could arrive. It might have been the wrong thing to do but neither of us know the consequences of what our actions would be.” She leaned forward and kissed him on the lips. “You thought of me and I am forever grateful for that.” Taren pulled her into a hug. “Thank you.” He felt relieved that his wife could forgive him for what he had asked Kenobi to do. He hoped that he’d get the chance to speak to the Jedi before they left the planet. He and Kyra would be leaving soon as they were all healed. They just had to be debriefed by the Jedi Council before they could leave. For now, he was determined to be the best husband he could possibly be. - - - - - When he woke, he found Anakin sitting at his side with a worried expression on his face. He was back in his private room, tucked up in bed, with a drip attached to his arm. “Urgh…” He had a throbbing headache. “I’m glad you are awake,” said Anakin. “You’ve been out of it for hours. Bant was concerned that you’d overdone it. You were very dehydrated.” That explained the drip then. Obi-Wan scrunched his eyes shut. That damn mask was responsible. He shivered as he thought of it. All the memories were still at the forefront of his memory. He had to let go. “Bant told me not to question you,” began Anakin, “but I think you need to talk.” Obi-Wan pushed himself up the sheets so he was sitting up more, nodding in agreement. “That mask… It was a Sith Torture Mask. It was imbued with the dark side. Every time I tried reaching for the Force it counteracted my use and taunted me. It brought up every dark memory that I had… It taunted me all the time, trying to break my spirit. Everything you saw… it nearly broke me, Anakin.” “Is the Mask the source of the stain on our bond?” Obi-Wan dipped his head. “I think so. I feel tainted by its use on me. When I was fighting off Dooku before you arrived, he told me he could sense the darkness in me… that I was already halfway there.” Anakin disagreed immediately. “He was trying to make you lose control. Dooku is a Sith and he’s bound to lie. You were already hurt enough that he figured you’d listen and lose control. Then he’d snare you.” Obi-Wan swallowed. “It nearly worked, I think, but because you were there and I knew you were coming for me, I held strong and would rather have died then allowed Dooku to claim me.” He shivered. “That mask was horrible, one of the worst things I’ve ever had to cope with.” His eyes were almost begging. “I need to let go of it. You know I do!” “Are you strong enough?” Anakin was concerned for him. “I don’t know. I feel lighter having spoken to you about it.” “How does the bond feel?” Obi-Wan closed his eyes and reached out for the familiar presence. The darkness had faded but it was still there, but not as prominent as before. Talking had helped. “Stronger.” Anakin held out his hand. “Despite what Bant has instructed, I’m going to do what you wish to. We’re not going as deep into the bond to do this and we both need to release things into the Force. Ready?” Obi-Wan gritted his teeth, and they linked together as brothers with the bond. Anakin began the process, taking his emotions from the memory of his anger on Rattatak, accepting that he used his anger and then releasing it. He prodded Obi-Wan to begin himself, and the older Jedi called forth the first memory, and bit by bit, tore it to pieces before letting it flow into the calm centre of the Force, being consumed by their bond. For nearly an hour the two supported each other, and when they were finally done, Obi-Wan sunk back into the bed, eyes closed as exhaustion overcame him once more. Before he fell asleep, he was happy to feel that the remaining darkness of the bond had been dissipated. It was completely light once again and he slept for the first time in ages in the embrace of the core of their bond, soothed by Anakin’s staying presence at his side. To be continued... Please let me know what you think! Chapter 25 will be posted next Saturday.