Author: Alexis_WingstarTitle: Clouded VisionCharacters: Shmi, Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-WanGenre: Songfic, mushTimeframe: Sometime during the Clone WarsNote: This is for this month's Monday Mush Mania. It also fits into the for MMM's "Secondary Challenge: Truncation Station"Disclaimer: Star Wars belongs to Disney, the song is from Les Miserables and the English lyrics were written by Herbert Kretzmer.~~~Clouded VIsionThere is a castle on a cloud,I like to go there in my sleep,Aren't any floors for me to sweep,Not in my castle on a cloud. A tiny girl dressed in dirty rags struggled to drag a heavy bag over to a trash compactor. She stopped at the front of the overly large mechanism and wondered how she would be able to get the huge bundle into the opening when she could barely even drag it. Her shoulders slumped and silent tears ran down her cheek. “Let me take that, little one.” Startled, the little girl screamed and scampered away from the tall stranger, taking refuge on the other side of the compactor. Above her heavy, panicked breathing, she could hear a shuffling sound then a loud thunk. She peered around the corner to see the man brush his hands together with a satisfied smirk on his face. When he turned his head toward her, she quickly ducked back. “If I’d wished to harm you, I would have already done so instead of offering to help.” His voice had an almost amused tone to it, and she found the courage to peek around the corner again at him. “Who... who are you,” she stammered the question. “My name is Anakin, what’s yours.” “Shm... Shmi.” The man gasped as his eyes went round with surprise. “It can’t be,” he muttered. “Why would I lie?” “Oh, I don’t think you’re lying. It's just my... I knew... someone with that name... a long time ago.” The man looked really sad as he spoke, and the little girl forgot her fear and walked over to him. “She was important to you?” He nodded as he closed his eyes. She took a hold of his hand, and when he opened his eyes once more with an expression of shock, she quietly said, “My mommy used to say that when someone close to us dies, they live on in not only our memories but what we do to honor those memories.” “She sounds like my mother.” Little Shmi sighed, “I wish I could see her again.” “Did she die?” “No... yes... I... I don’t know.” The little girl let go of his hand as she fell to her knees and started weeping. There is a room that's full of toys,There are a hundred boys and girls,Nobody shouts or talks too loud,Not in my castle on a cloud. “Hey there, little one,” Anakin knelt down and scooped her tiny body into his arms, giving her a hug. “Please, don’t cry! Everything will be okay.” “How can it be okay?” As she yelled, she pulled away and jumped off his lap. “I’m a slave! I haven’t seen my mommy or daddy since they grabbed us from our ship. They could be dead. I’m all alone and no one gives a flying gundark’s nest what happens to me!” “I care.” “Why should you? You don’t know me.” “I was like you, once.” She shot him a mistrustful glare. “I was born a slave. I was fortunate enough to have my mother with me though.” He looked down at his fingernails as he continued speaking, his voice sounding wistful, “She tried to give me as normal a life as she could. She made me learn to read and write and taught me how to use math... not that I ever used it while I was a slave.” “You’re not a slave now, though?” He shook his head. “Someone came and freed me, but was unable to free my mother. She died about ten years later.” Little Shmi put a hand on Anakin’s shoulders. “I’m sorry.” There is a lady all in white,Holds me and sings a lullaby,She's nice to see and she's soft to touch,She says "Cosette, I love you very much." “It’s alright. It’s not your fault.” “I know.” She paused, not knowing what to say. “I... I’m sorry for yelling at you.” He smiled. “That’s okay. I know how scared and angry I used to be... still am, many times.” She gasped. “Even though you're so big and strong and no longer a slave?” “I wish it weren’t so. But, don’t tell anyone, okay? Everyone else thinks I’m ‘The Hero with no Fear’.” He rolled his eyes. “If only they knew.” Shmi suddenly giggled. “Huh... what’s so funny?” “It’s just how you rolled your eyes... it reminded me of how my daddy always did that, and mommy always told him that someday those eyes would roll out of his head.” Anakin swallowed as he frowned. “My mom said that to me, too.” I know a place where no one's lost,I know a place where no one cries,Crying at all is not allowed,Not in my castle on a cloud. “Master, please wake up!” A young voice shouted. “Anakin!” A familiar male voice spoke in his ear. Gasping, the young Jedi knight sat up. “What?” He looked around in confusion at first. He blinked at Ahsoka and frowned over at Obi-Wan who were on either side of him. Then he looked at the woman in the white gown who sat in front of him. “Let me go back,” he begged. “I cannot. We almost lost you in the current. It is too risky to send you back again,” the Oracle decreed. “You must learn from what time you had.” “What happened, Master?” “It’s none of your business, Snips.” He regretted it as soon as it was out of his mouth, but before he had a chance to apologize, Obi-Wan chided him. “She’s only concerned about you, Anakin. As am I.” Fighting down the annoyance and anger that always welled up in him whenever he was chastised by his former master, he sighed. “Yes, I know.” He got up as he added, “I’m sorry, I just... need some time alone.” “Take all the time you need, Anakin,” Obi-Wan said to his former padawan’s retreating back. Just outside the temple doors, the young knight stopped and looked at the clouds that slowly paraded across the sky. He could swear that one looked like his mother... the little girl his mother was in the vision. “I’m trying to honor your memory, mom. I just wish I could have told you I love you again.” There was a wispy wind that blew by his ear. He could have sworn he heard words. “I know, Anakin. I love you, too.” The image in the clouds smiled then dissipated.