Saga One Choice (AU short story: Anakin doesn't fall) -- Complete 3/20

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Darth_Lex, Mar 17, 2003.

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  1. Darth_Lex Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    Title: One Choice
    Author: Darth_Lex
    Timeframe: OT with PT flashbacks
    Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, many cameos by PT and OT characters
    Genre: AU
    Keywords: A/A (sort of)
    Summary: On a day of celebration, Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker remembers his turn away from the dark side twenty-five years earlier in the weeks after the Battle of Geonosis and reflects on the path his life with Padmé has taken since.
    Notes: Short story (four posts)

    I decided to repost a slightly revised version of this short story on the new boards. I hope you enjoy it.

    This story is the first fanfic I wrote. There are some similarities to the stories I have written since, but it remains a stand-alone piece. The PT sections of ?One Choice? differ substantially from my AOTC/Episode III AU story A Bumpier Road (which is completed). Likewise, the OT sections diverge considerably from the OT-era AU sequel to ABR, The Skywalker Prophecy ? Episode IV: A Destiny Renewed (which is now in progress).

    As always, Lucasfilm owns all the rights to Star Wars. No infringement is intended or profit to be made by me.

    ********************************************

    ?ONE CHOICE?

    As he awoke from his first night of restful sleep in weeks, eyes still closed, it took Anakin Skywalker a minute to remember where he was. He knew instantly it wasn?t Coruscant. His room in the Jedi Temple was quiet, even silent. His family?s penthouse suite in the Senate district was louder, with a constant hum of speeder traffic. Here there was only the sound of birds singing and waves gently lapping against a shore. The fresh breeze blowing in the open window smelled of flowers.

    Of course, he realized as he dug palms against his eyes, rubbing the sleep away. His wife?s secluded lake retreat on Naboo. They had shared many wonderful days here in their twenty-five years together. And after all that time, Anakin still felt a momentary shiver of disappointment every morning, like today, when Padmé wasn?t in the bed next to him. He?d become used to it, of necessity. A Jedi Master married to a powerful politician, a former Supreme Chancellor no less, could not avoid such days. But every time it happened he was unhappy.

    Anakin sat up in the bed and looked out over the lake below. She went into Theed last night with the twins to finish the preparations for today. He glanced over at the clock on the nightstand. It?s barely dawn. I have plenty of time. He didn?t get to fly much anymore, and he knew Padmé had left a speeder behind for him. He would fly himself into the capital this afternoon, let the wind whip through his hair, and relive his glory days as a young Podracer and later a hotshot starfighter pilot.

    She?d told him many times he was too old to fly so recklessly, but it was the one element of danger, of risk, that he allowed himself now. That?s why she humors me. He looked at himself in the mirror across the room on the vanity. His hair was now completely gray, parts even prematurely white. The stress-lines on his face were becoming more noticeable every year and his stubble was a patchwork of brown and gray. I?m forty-five. I shouldn?t look this old. Maybe she?s right: maybe it is time that I finally stepped down. He cleared his thoughts and gazed out the window again.

    The day would be a happy one, a night of celebration. All the more reason, he thought, to do what I?ve been putting off this month. To remember how close I came to losing all of this. Anakin flopped backwards onto his pillow. He closed his eyes and began to meditate about what he had done, a quarter century ago, that had made today possible.

    ***********

    Anakin was jolted awake by an overwhelming feeling of panic. A powerful sense of fear gripped his chest, and sharp burning tore at
  2. geo3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2002
    star 4
    It's so great to see this story up again! I hope it brings the same pleasure to people who haven't encountered it yet that it brought, and continues to provide, to your first readers!
  3. Dally Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2001
    star 4
    Great story. Very much in character. I wish the movies would go this way!
  4. Monica_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 4
    It's wonderful to read this again! :D

    I love how Anakin & Padmé trust each other so much! [face_love] It's so sweet! :)

    I can't wait for more! :D
  5. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    One of my favorite AU's ever written...
    Here's hoping that this lovely story gets more readers!!
  6. GenOochy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2003
    star 5
    Yes, I glanced over this once.


    I'll read it again though.
  7. JediArwen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2002
    star 3
    Although I read this story, I don't mind read it again. On the contrary I liked it very much and I enjoy read it again. And none the less I must admit you are very good in describing a darkside Anakin I prefer your lightside ones. Keep on! :)
    After all we need some stories with an Anakin never turned, to light our mood till the dreadfull May 2005. :_|
  8. MissPadme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Nice to see this one again.

    --MissPadme
  9. Darth_Lex Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    geo3: Thanks!

    Dally: Glad you think the characterization is good. And me too -- why do you think I keep writing Lightside AUs? :p

    Monica: Well, they did get secretly married -- they'd better trust each other! [face_laugh]

    DB: [face_blush] [face_blush]

    GenOochy: Thanks for checking in!

    JediArwen: Thanks! Right now, I think writing darkside Ani is more fun, but lightside Ani is better!

    MissPadme: Thank you!

    Next post up shortly. :D :D
  10. Darth_Lex Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    Picking up right where we left off...
    --------------------------

    ?Hello, Anakin. They told me it was urgent. Is something wrong?? Obi-Wan was trying to hide his concern. He was not succeeding very well.

    ?Padmé and I are both safe, Master.? Anakin gave Obi-Wan a chance to respond.

    ?I?m relieved,? Obi-Wan smiled, ?however, I know you wouldn?t call just to inform me of that.?

    Anakin chuckled in agreement. ?Master, I have many things I need to tell you. Errors to confess. And some dreadful news to pass along that affects the Jedi and the Republic. This afternoon Padmé and I are returning to Coruscant. I think you should record what I am about to say so it can be played for the Council while I am in transit.?

    Obi-Wan looked as worried as Anakin had ever seen him. ?Yes, Anakin, of course. One second. Okay. We are now being recorded.?

    ?Thank you, Master. I have much to report. Please, if you can, let me say everything first. Then we can discuss how to proceed.?

    ?I will honor your request, Anakin.? The look on Obi-Wan?s face made clear he understood how difficult complying might be. But he would do it. ?Go ahead.?

    Anakin talked for a long time. He began with the last, terrifying nightmare on Naboo about his mother. His decision to help her and Padmé?s choice to join him. His mother?s fate. His slaughter of innocents and the way he had drawn on the dark side to carry it out. Padmé?s insistence than they attempt to rescue Obi-Wan on Geonosis. A jump back to describe how they fell in love on Naboo, then their pledge of love to each other just before they entered the execution arena. Although he knew Obi-Wan had sensed it at the time, he discussed how he used the dark side again while fighting Dooku. The wedding on Naboo. Then, finally, his nightmare this morning. What he saw in those visions. His meditation on how to change that future. And his call to Palpatine and the indisputable conclusion he drew from it.

    After Anakin finished, Obi-Wan did not move. It seemed to Anakin like an eternity before Obi-Wan leaned to the side and sat up straight again. Only then did he speak. ?I?ve ended the recording. As you know, Anakin, this is an incredible amount of information for me to digest. I cannot possibly respond to it all now.?

    ?I know, Master. I am truly sorry to bring this upon you without warning.?

    Obi-Wan smiled. ?It is quite a shock, that is true.? He looked hard into Anakin?s eyes. ?You made the right decision, Anakin, to be honest with me. I hope you are wrong about the Chancellor, but I believe what you tell me. I will be taking our recording to the Council immediately.?

    ?Yes, Master. I will see you soon.? For the first time in many years, Anakin felt completely at ease.

    ?You have done well today, Anakin. Be sure you and Sena?? Obi-Wan trailed off for a second, then smiled and continued. ?Be sure you and Padmé have a safe trip back. May the Force be with you.?

    ?May the Force be with you, Master.? Anakin ended the transmission and let out a long, deep sigh as he leaned back in the chair.

    ***********

    A small red bird landed on the open windowsill and unleashed a disproportionately loud warble. Even as deep in meditation as he was, Anakin could not help but be jolted back to reality. He glanced over at the clock again. The staff hasn?t even made breakfast yet. I should finish what I started.

    Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glint of light off a picture frame on the vanity. It was one of the copies of the portrait of his mother. For their six-month anniversary, Padmé had surprised him. She tracked down her old colleague from the legislative youth program, Palo the artist, and flew him to Coruscant. As Palo sat quietly in a chair, Anakin projected the memory of his mother?s face into the man?s mind. After a few minutes they stopped and Palo began to paint. The final product was unbelievable. It looks just like her. Exactly the way she looked the day I left Tatooine with
  11. Monica_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 4
    Padmé looked him straight in the eyes. ?If this is a joke, it?s not funny.?

    ?You?re only a few days along, obviously, and this is the first time I?ve felt it in the Force. But it?s there, loud and clear.? He smiled at her again as he felt a burst of emotions from shock to elation flow out from her.

    She started crying tears of joy. Padmé was laughing as she tried to berate him. ?Why?d you have to tell me this now? I have to be composed out there, you idiot!?
    [face_laugh] lol, I loved that! :)

    I'm so happy that Anakin and Padme aren't hiding their feelings for one another anymore. :) [face_love]

    I can't wait to see what comes next! :D Great post! :D
  12. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    *sigh*

    What MIGHT have been....
  13. starwoid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2002
    star 2
    Great to see this one up again. ;)


    starwoid
  14. Darth_Lex Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    Monica: Thanks! :)

    DB: Yeah. *sigh* That's why I keep writing AUs with Lightside Anakins. :p

    starwoid: Great to see you. ;)

    Next post up momentarily. :D :D
  15. JediArwen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2002
    star 3
    Very good, Darth.

    Obi-Wan smiled. ?It is quite a shock, that is true.? He looked hard into Anakin?s eyes. ?You made the right decision, Anakin, to be honest with me. I hope you are wrong about the Chancellor, but I believe what you tell me. I will be taking our recording to the Council immediately.?

    The right choice, do you hear that Anakin? You must make the right choice. Unfortunately he didn't. :( If only...
  16. Darth_Lex Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    And here we go...
    ----------------------

    ?Welcome, Master Jedi,? said the Chancellor.

    Face-to-face again, Anakin for the first time could sense the dark side in Palpatine. He doubted the others could. So he sprung the trap he had set. He stepped forward. ?Greetings, Lord Sidious.?

    The shock on Palpatine?s face was apparent. He tried to respond but found himself gasping for air. Anakin?s right, metallic hand was extended out, choking him with the Force. He thinks he has two choices. He can let himself die or he can use the dark side to block me. Either way he loses. I won?t kill him this way. But he doesn?t know that.

    Palpatine chose to fight, and the other Jedi definitely could sense that. He unleashed a blast of dark side energy at Anakin, trying to knock him away and charge him through with Force lightning. With five Jedi Masters surging with the Force and protecting Anakin, nothing Palpatine tried came close.

    Anakin released his Force grip. ?I will not kill you with the Force, Sidious. I will not fall to the dark side and become your servant. Despite what you have done to me, to my friends, and to the Republic, I will not kill you from anger, or revenge, or hatred. I am a Jedi. I will kill you for one reason only: to defend myself and the Republic from your evil.?

    ?I will never surrender to you,? Palpatine snarled. He tried again to attack Anakin but could not succeed.

    Anakin looked to Yoda. ?It is time, Master?? Yoda nodded sadly.

    Anakin unclipped his lightsaber and stepped to stand in front of Palpatine. He cleared his mind. He realized that unlike any time he could ever remember, he could not feel the dark side anywhere inside himself. ?This ends. Now.? The blue blade shimmered to life and one swift overhead blow struck down the Sith Lord who had tormented the galaxy for so long.

    Everything happened very quickly after that.

    Analysis of Palpatine?s personal effects immediately revealed the location of the Sith hideout in the industrial sector of Coruscant. Evidence found there exposed Sidious? manipulation of the Senate and the Republic for well over a decade. Knowing the truth was too shocking to be believed, only a limited number of politicians and a few other Jedi were told that Palpatine had in fact been Sidious. Everyone else ? and the public ? heard only that, sadly, the Supreme Chancellor had passed away.

    With the Sith communications equipment, Dooku was quickly traced. Anakin offered him one last chance to surrender: ?You can?t win, Darth. Don?t make me destroy you like I did your Master.? Dooku refused to be taken alive. This time, fighting in tandem and filled with the light side of the Force, Obi-Wan and Anakin defeated him easily.

    With the masterminds gone and the rapidly moving public investigation unveiling the full extent of their manipulation by the Sith, the Separatist movement collapsed. Its leaders were convicted in a court of law for treason. Outside the limelight many Senators resigned in disgrace.

    In the Senate a groundswell of support for Senator Amidala of Naboo began to build. She believed she had been too young to serve as Queen, so Padmé declined the nomination. ?I am deeply honored by your support,? she told them, ?but presently I lack the experience to be Supreme Chancellor.? A consensus then formed around Bail Organa of Alderaan, who was sworn into office three days after Palpatine?s death.

    To avoid upstaging the inauguration Padmé waited a week to make her other public statement. She announced her recent marriage to Anakin Skywalker. For concealing the relationship from her constituents, she requested a special election be called to determine whether she still held their trust. She won easily.

    The day after Padmé?s announcement Anakin stood alone before the Jedi Council. It?s strange, he thought, to be here without Obi-Wan. And usually I have some inkling about why I have been called before the Council. I have no idea what this is for.

  17. Monica_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 4
    ?Welcome, Master Jedi,? said the Chancellor.

    Face-to-face again, Anakin for the first time could sense the dark side in Palpatine. He doubted the others could. So he sprung the trap he had set. He stepped forward. ?Greetings, Lord Sidious.?
    Every time I read that, it still catches me by suprise! :)

    If only this really happened....

    Wonderful post, Darth_Lex! :D :D
  18. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Like a bell it tolls..."What might have been.... what might have been..."
  19. Dally Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2001
    star 4
    I love the OT, but I think I will choose to believe this is how it REALLY happened. The "Luke, I am your father. Join me," line is spooky in this context!
  20. Monica_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 4
  21. Darth_Lex Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    JediArwen: I know. Stupid Anakin and his bad choices! :mad: :mad:

    Monica: I've been writing surprises from the get-go, I guess. :p (Thanks for the up!)

    DB: Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong. [face_laugh]

    Dally: Thanks! :D I agree completely!

    Next post shortly. ;)
  22. Darth_Lex Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    Here's the final post.

    -----------
    ***********

    As the wedding march began to play, all the guests turned and faced the rear of the hall. The holy man at the front of the room, meanwhile, was amused. For a Jedi Knight and a highly decorated officer in the Republic military, the two men before him certainly seemed overly nervous.

    The gigantic doors swung open. First through was Obi-Wan. On his arm was Mara Jade, Jedi Knight. She almost glowed in her white dress. Obi-Wan projected feelings of serenity to her, hoping to help her maintain her composure at least until she reached the altar. When they were about halfway down the aisle, the other pair entered. Anakin escorted his daughter Leia, Galactic Senator from Tatooine. Her white dress also shone brightly in the light of the Great Hall. Unlike Mara, she was perfectly calm. She always could hold it together. Like her mother.

    Obi-Wan released Mara one step in front of her groom, dressed in his Jedi robes. Obi-Wan shook his hand. ?Congratulations, Luke. You?re a very lucky man.? A nod was the only thing the young Knight could muster in response.

    Anakin stopped with Leia the same way. The man standing in front of him wore the full dress uniform of a starship Captain in the fleet. I really shouldn?t call him Captain Solo anymore. He?s family now. Anakin decided to forgo an embrace and shook his hand. ?Congratulations, Han. Take good care of my daughter.?

    ?Thank you. I will.?

    Considering you?re the only non-Jedi who?s ever been able to hold his own flying competitively with me, I don?t doubt that at all. Anakin grinned and turned to take his seat. Obi-Wan had already joined the other members of the Council on the Mara-Luke side of the aisle.

    Anakin walked five paces and sat down next to Padmé on the Leia-Han side. He reached out his right hand, which she grasped tightly in both of hers. She?s so happy. I am too. Before the ceremony could start he leaned in and whispered in her ear. ?I feel the same way you do.?

    Padmé turned her head and smiled at him. ?Sorry you lost your bet.?

    ***********

    Later that night at the reception, the toasts began. A roast, actually, for Han and Leia. Commander Chewbacca, who had pledged a life-debt to Han after being rescued from an illegal forced labor camp, had his speech translated by See Threepio. Between the Wookiee?s sense of humor and the droid?s complete inability to use the proper voice inflections at the correct time, the crowd was laughing uproariously. Listening to Chewie, I like Han more than ever. In another time and place he would have been a pirate, or perhaps smuggler. A scoundrel of some sort. Instead he?s one of the best young officers we have, despite his tendency to try risky tactics and his sometimes, well, insubordinate nature. A dashing young man, for sure. With a great heart.

    Governor Lando Calrissian from the Bespin territories in the Outer Rim spoke next. An inveterate gambler. He puts old Watto to shame. The man can beat me at sabaac even when I cheat using the Force. I still haven?t figured out how he does that. A good friend of Han?s for many years, he was a truly suave gentleman. A consummate politician. It?s a good thing Leia hasn?t had to run against this guy. Much to the young couple?s chagrin, Lando declared that he would tell the story of how Han and Leia had first met, which many of the guests had never heard before. And even I?ve only heard their version. This one should be much better. And probably more truthful.

    It all began four years ago in Mos Eisley. Luke, still a Padawan learner, had sensed that his sister?s diplomatic negotiations had broken down. She had been taken prisoner and was in danger. On an assignment on his own, without resources, he desperately sought a pilot in a dark, grimy cantina. He soon found Han and Chewie, on a two-week leave from the fleet, and Lando, joining them on his own vacation. The three managed
  23. Monica_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2002
    star 4
    Yay, you posted just before I had to leave! :)

    I think that post was my favorite one of all! I loved Anakin's thoughts as he walked Leia down the aisle! [face_love] :) The fatherly side of him is so funny! :p

    Great job! :D
  24. JediArwen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2002
    star 3
    ...And they live happily ever after! I love it Darth. :)
    <<Considering you?re the only non-Jedi who?s ever been able to hold his own flying competitively with me, I don?t doubt that at all. Anakin grinned and turned to take his seat.>>
    I always thought that Vader had a lot of respect to Han as a pilot. He was not easy to be caught after all. ;)
    <<Governor Lando Calrissian from the Bespin territories in the Outer Rim spoke next. An inveterate gambler. He puts old Watto to shame. The man can beat me at sabaac even when I cheat using the Force.>>
    Well, it was impossible for Anakin not to use the Dark Side. :D
    When we have the sequel to "A Bumpier Road"? Or second thoughts about geo's story? [face_devil] I know, I know I'm impossible some times. The Dark Side is strong in me. [face_laugh]
  25. Jazz_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2002
    star 4
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