Title: Requiem for a Jedi Author: Valairy_Scot Timeframe: Clone Wars Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Rako Hardeen, Cade Bane, Morello Eval Genre: Short story Keywords: Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Obi-Wan Kenobi Summary: Story is based on the current 4 episode arc of The Clone Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi is dead at an assassin's hands and Anakin Skywalker has to deal with his grief and his desire for revenge while the Jedi try to foil a plot against the Chancellor. A drabble based on my first draft is found here: [link=[url]http://boards.theforce.net/the_saga/b10476/32059806/p1/?6]Broken[/link][/url] Requiem for a Jedi In time of war, when truth is so precious, it must be attended by a bodyguard of lies. ~~ WINSTON CHURCHILL For the second time in his life, Anakin Skywalker was broken. His heart had shattered, not then, not at the actual blast that had sent Obi-Wan flying over the parapet, hand to his heart, but now at what was within his padawan?s eyes. Tears. Those impossibly large eyes held a glaze in them that spoke poignant words of loss. Cradled in her arms? "Obi-Wan!" Unlike his first roar of that name, when fear alone scrabbled at his heart as he stared down at the fallen Obi-Wan, yet with hope that this injury would prove minor and his fear groundless, this scream was of desolation and desertion. Obi-Wan! This second scream of his name as well as the third and the fourth came from awful realization. This was a wail of loss, an eruption of outrage that left him empty and shaking, unable to articulate another word, a name, or even hope. Hope was dead, like Obi-Wan. There was no denying it, not with the tears, not with Ahsoka holding Obi-Wan within her arms, not when he lay limp and unmoving, the scorch and grime of unwelcome death splattered over his heart. Just like Ahsoka's tears, that, too, told its terrible truth. Obi-Wan, the immaculate, the disdainer of dirty, who should be and would be in life brushing his tunics clean with a light quip about ?how uncivilized? his attire had become. Obi-Wan, who should be chiding his padawan for losing his quarry? No more... No more oft-repeated and oft-ignored lectures. No more wry grins lighting up his eyes with a twinkle while the mouth remained firm; a proper Jedi serenity on the face and human mirth within the eyes. No more Anakin snapping a comeback and those lips lifting just a fraction in acknowledgement. None of that: never again, no more. His partner in grief, his companion in pain, Ahsoka still knelt, her head bowed and her eyes not upon her own master but her master?s master, Obi-Wan the only one free of pain this night. The tattoo of approaching footsteps and the wail of emergency vehicles, the sounds of the world about them, receded to non-awareness, out-shouted, suffocated, drowned by shockwaves rampaging through the Force: silent agony from Anakin like a thundering sea battering land, a silent tear from his padawan like a released drop of dew from an overloaded leaf. Amidst chaos: silence. Amidst silence: chaos. Amidst tragedy: a tableau, a trio of statues sculpted from marble and encased in ice, immobile, linked even in this moment; the shattered, the grieving ? and the dead. The thundering silence was broken by a whisper. “He – he didn’t suffer, Master.” Another tear slipped free, fell like a benediction upon the still face, before the padawan finally looked up at her master. The words were meant to comfort, to ease pain. They could not, for the words damned him - he had not been there. He had not been there to whisper goodbye or thank you; had not been there to offer comfort or ease the passage into the Force, so how could he accept comfort for himself? He had failed: failed Obi-Wan, failed his mother, failed himself – he had sworn he would protect those he loved, promised he would save them. And that, even more than Obi-Wan’s death, was intolerable. It left him - shattered. “Master?” Ahsoka’s voice wavered now, her concern moving from the one physically dead before her to the one emotionally dead crouching beside her. “Shouldn’t we…uh…the Temple?” Anakin wiped his hands on his knees, almost too numb to think, and then nodded silently. He knew the words could not be spoken by him. To speak of it would let the pain overcome him; numbness was much better. Let Ahsoka deal with reality while he shuddered inwardly in the face of it. He reached out a hand and squeezed her shoulder; indicated with a nod of his head that she was to go speak to the emergency responders as well as the Temple. Tell them they were Jedi and one of their own needed to be returned to his own so that his body could be sent to join his soul within the Force. A sob shook his chest and Anakin forced it down and back. Sobs would not help Obi-Wan; sobs would not save him nor avenge him. But Anakin Skywalker would.