Saga Requiem for a Jedi. Completed.

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Valairy Scot, Feb 1, 2012.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Great update, reflecting what was and what is to come when Anakin falls.
    Palpatine is devious as ever
  2. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Poor Obi-Wan. :( I understand Anakin's anger and I hope that Padme can talk him into being a bit more cooperative. I'm looking forward to the fireworks when the two of them sit down to actually talk. I'm sure it will be quite intense. Excellent update, and I was quite happy to see an update! Looking forward to more.
  3. JSolo-Wan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2012
    I can't BELIEVE you gave us that but are holding out on the rest of the conversation!!

    Every time I read another portrayal of Palpatine's all-too-succesfull attempt to turn Anakin, I hate him even more.
    Last edited by JSolo-Wan, Jan 10, 2013
  4. ZaraValinor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2002
    star 4
    So sad. Palpatine knows exactly where to place his blows. Hate the man. As always, remarkable writing.
  5. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Oh my gosh, Val, I just saw this again. I keep forgetting to check FF on here...I"ve been so involved "elsewhere" :D

    I'll be catching up soon. I was really enjoying what I had read previously.
  6. serendipityaey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    I have to admit, I don't much remember the details of the ep, but I prefer your filled out version better instead :) I so enjoy reading Obi and you always provide beautifully. The emotion - the sting of Anakin's pain - is drawn out so well, so true to Obi's character. Great writing, as always.

    Devastating, no good man deserves to be alone, just devastating.
  7. ruth baulding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    Oh, that cold quiet fury was well portaryed here. And the weariness in Obi-Wan, too. I do earnestly hope you intend to draw this story out far past the ending provided by TCW, where all the action and none of the personal ramifications are explored? Need I even ask - I'm sure you will.
    ANd your muse - back in all its glory, I should say, Val.
  8. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Val, it took awhile but I finally found where (I think) I left off...

    Now that I"m here, I'll be catching up pretty soon.

    Chapter 15: Much to be mended between Anakin and Obi-Wan...but looking forward to how they will eventually get there. :)
  9. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    @earlybird-obi-wan: Palps is so bad...maybe Padme can help Anakin whereas Palps is trying to drive a wedge.

    We can hope...

    Actually, that was the entirety of the conversation in the episode.

    Aw, thanks.

    obimom: You don't need to "catch up" until you have some time to catch up.

    And now we add Padme's pain to Anakin's.

    Well, not really...but with your help (thanks) I got the ending done which allowed me to get this chapter done. This is all extrapolation on my part - no dialogue, nothing, is from the episode.

    @Luna_Nightshade @JSolo-Wan

    Note: Padme may be a bit OOC, but I chose to portray her as caught up in Anakin's pain and on his behalf, getting a bit p*ssed off at Obi-Wan.



    Chapter 16.

    We imagine that we want to escape our selfish and commonplace existence, but we cling desperately to our chains. ~~ Anne Sullivan Macy





    It was Obi-Wan’s idea to deceive me! Obi-Wan’s – not the kriffin’ Council’s idea, but Obi-Wan’s! Mr. I’ll-shade-the-truth-but-never-lie Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi out and out lied to me. To me! I thought he trusted me; Force knows I trust him.

    Nothing, Anakin feared, would lessen his irritation – no, anger, at Obi-Wan, at the Order, at the casual and unapologetic way both used him – but since now was not the time to let it explode into its inevitable conflagration, he would sublimate it by switching his focus from his betrayal to his beloved.

    They were, after all, on Naboo and Anakin did not wish to sully the memories of laughter and love associated with this planet where he had first met and later wed his angel.

    Nothing else mattered when she was near; the very sight of her was intoxicating and soothing both, the softness of her skin against his fingertips when his hand stroked her face in joyous reunion or the curve of her lips when she smiled at that same touch always awakened an aching need to bury all that he was within the splendor that was she – to be transformed from a man worn with cares and sorrow into a man that was young and vibrant with life and laughter.

    To be a man who was free to be himself, not constrained by duty and obligation into something confining; to be Anakin Skywalker and only Anakin Skywalker.

    Separation from Padmé, from who he was into what he was, was just one more thing to resent the Jedi for: separation deepened the holes in his very spirit and drained him of his life essence. It was because he was so often separated from her that he needed her so desperately when she was near. The Jedi would never understand that depriving him of Padmé was like depriving a man parching in the heat from the essence that could save him.

    Instead, the Jedi preached of detachment and cool regard, of strangling the passion within by subservience to duty.

    “Your padawan did a masterful job of protecting us all, Master Skywalker.” Padmé winked at Anakin and laid a hand on the Togrutan’s shoulder as the various dignitaries regrouped in one of the palace’s reception rooms.

    Anakin grinned. “She’s a good padawan now that I’ve smoothed over some of her rough spots. I’m proud of you, Snips.”

    “Thanks, Master,” Ahsoka chirped. “Did you – ah…?” She fell silent as Anakin’s eyes froze. Carefully, he unclenched his fists and forced an insincere grin on his face, one that fooled neither female but preserved the air of civility in the room.

    “Not yet, Padawan; m’lady, if you’ll walk with me… Stay here and mingle, Ahsoka, okay?” Anakin offered his arm to Padmé and escorted her into the fresh air and relative privacy of a small balcony where he could unobtrusively slid his hand into her air and lean in a little close – far enough to back away if anyone intruded, near enough to breath in her perfume.

    Oh, he ached for her in a way he couldn’t satisfy other than in private. He longed to have her in his arms, under him, over him, around him in a union that shrunk the universe until all that existed was them and their love, a purity of affection uncontaminated by the flotsam and debris of the universe outside their boundaries. Padmé’s hair would be unbound, cascading over her shoulders like a veil that was his to penetrate with a soft sweep of his fingers and gentle kisses until lovers’ ecstasy made of them the entirety of the universe that ever was and ever would be.

    Padmé was his refuge and his life; before her he didn’t exist and after her he would cease to exist. There was no death and no deception, no pain and no betrayal in their private universe and Force, how he needed to exist there now, there, where there was no Obi-Wan Kenobi nor Rako Hardeen, no Sith, and no Jedi Council.

    Only perfection and perfect love.

    “What is it, Anakin?” Attuned as always to her husband, aware of every tense muscle, every twitch of his lips, even the rough edge of his breathing, Padmé put one hand on his chest and leaned back, studying his eyes in concern. “You look like the feline who swallowed a canary and found it unpalatable. Did Master Windu take all the credit for saving the Chancellor?”

    Anakin frowned, tried on a grin, and then shrugged knowing he was stuck in this universe for now, like it or not. “Not all, no, he shared the credit, just not with me. He was too busy congratulating - Obi-Wan.” His eyes slid sideways to her face; had Ahsoka had a chance to rat on Obi-Wan or was she leaving it to him?

    “They never give you the credit you deserve - wait, Obi-Wan! Obi-Wan?” Anakin almost couldn’t help smiling at Padmé’s simple astonished delight. “That – man – that was Obi-Wan? Oh, Anakin – you – you -” He could see the realization dawn in her eyes; her hand flew to her mouth to cover the escaping mixture of giggle and horror. “The man you threw into prison was your own master; the man you chased half way across the galaxy was Obi-Wan?”

    He nodded.

    “Wait a minute; he’s the one who did this?” Padmé gently touched his cheek, the now faded spot no longer tender and sore. Anger and disbelief were working into her expression now, outrage would follow shortly if it followed Anakin’s own emotional path.



    Padmé drew in a deep breath as she sought the truth to be found in her husband’s eyes. She felt much as Anakin looked, happy and yet so terribly unhappy at one and the same time.

    Once again her fingers sought his face and traced his cheekbone, his lip, then gently touched one eye. There had been tears there, days before. How could Obi-Wan have willingly abused her husband’s heart like this?

    Anakin grabbed her fingers and kissed them, almost giddy with relief and joy. “He’s alive, Padmé, he’s alive.” He took a deep breath and scrubbed a hand over his face; suddenly his eyes were shining. So mercurial, her husband, upset a moment ago and now – he was as delirious as a child discovering a new toy. He was still that boy she had found huddled in the cold as they left Tatooine, heartbroken one moment at leaving his mother and giddy with excitement the next as he told her “I’m going to be a Jedi and be a hero who frees all the slaves and then I’m going to fly to every planet in the sky.”

    “As furious as I am at him, to know he was standing there, alive and breathing, right beside me – I couldn’t be furious with him, not then. Later, later I laid into him pretty brutally. I couldn’t believe it was his idea – I wanted – I wanted – oh, I don’t know what I wanted to do to him when he told me it was his idea. I was furious with him, I still am, but, oh, Padmé,” his eyes were bright with tears, happy tears about to transform into tragic tears. “How can I be so happy he’s alive while at the same time I want to kill him?”

    Indignation flamed to fury; now it was she who was enraged, as if they were trading emotions between them.

    “It was Obi-Wan’s idea to deceive you?” Padmé leaned forward and rested her forehead against her husband’s; her arms went around his waist. “Oh, Anakin: what a horrible, cruel thing to do, to you, especially. I thought Obi-Wan truly cared for you; that he was a good friend who would rather fall on his lightsaber than hurt you.”

    The indignation and empathetic pain of a wife arose like a hot tide: no matter she considered Obi-Wan an old acquaintance, a friend even – no, right now he was a man who had harmed her Anakin, probably congratulating himself on a job well done no matter who was harmed. How dare Obi-Wan – didn’t he know Anakin thought of the older Jedi as his father, as his brother? Family did not deceive family. Family stood together against deceit. Obi-Wan had perpetuated deceit against his own brother.

    What reason could there be, except -

    Jedi: they’re heartless, soulless automatons who will not allow common decency to stand in the way of their duty.

    She’d always considered those who spouted such sentiments to be ignorant folks who had never met a Jedi in person, but now – now she wondered just who was ignorant. As a politician she knew truth was often concealed behind facades, but she had never ascribed such to the Jedi. But truly, she knew little of the Jedi; Anakin did.

    Perhaps there was more truth in Anakin’s past complaints than she had thought, thinking them to be exaggerations, creations born of frustration more than reality.

    After years of wondering if Obi-Wan had shed his humanity or merely buried it, of hoping to see the man behind the cloak and now, by proxy, having done so, she found the truth far from her liking.

    Had not Obi-Wan intervened between Anakin and her, claiming she was a distraction that a Jedi could not afford? Had he not denied Anakin the chance to love and be loved as he deserved, to tear him away from her loving arms to live a sterile existence; a man who tried to squeeze Anakin into the same mold as he, a Jedi? Had he not sought to stifle the humanity within each of them, extolling the virtue of principles that in practice were cold and uncaring to serve some esoteric purpose of nebulous “goodness”?

    Her arms tightened around her husband. Anakin was warm and loving; his humanity intact. She was glad, so very glad, that the Jedi - that Obi-Wan - hadn’t succeeded in creating a proper Jedi out of a man.

    Anakin stiffened in her arms, but didn’t pull away. The soft breath of his words tickled at her neck, pained words of a man trying to persuade himself of a truth he did not believe. “Obi-Wan only did what he had to do - for Palpatine; for the Republic.”

    “You’re not saying what he did was right.” She lifted a hand to slide through his hair, to rest on the back of his neck.

    “No, I’m not,” he said after a moment’s hesitation. “And I can’t say what he did was wrong – other than lying to me. He should not have lied to me; he should have trusted me. All these years…I thought he trusted me.”

    Padme’s heart wept once more. Her Anakin’s bedrock was revealed to be nothing more than a cracked and imperfect pebble, a larger than life statue revealed to have feet of clay. Because for all that Anakin had railed against the Jedi in Obi-Wan, Anakin had counted on it, known the Jedi would not let him down.

    And thought Obi-Wan, the man, would not as well.

    Now he knew better.

    “Talk to him, Ani.”

    “No, I can’t.” His anguish was palpable. “I should forgive him; I don’t want to forgive him. He deceived me, Padmé. And even if it was for the greater good – how can I forgive him?”

    What could she say to that? Nothing. But she could offer comfort. She lifted her face and kissed him as her fingers continued to comb through his hair. As always, when they were alone, Anakin’s breathing quickened. When he was lost in her, he didn’t hurt. She knew that and counted on that. They could so easily slip away and find a truly private place where there was no reason for them to be disturbed.

    Her husband could use a distraction and Force knew they didn’t get enough time alone.

    The war – and Obi-Wan – saw to that.

    “He raised me, Padmé.”

    Her fury subsided under the unspoken plea. She was perhaps too harsh on Anakin’s master; that bond was stretched and twisted but not severed. Obi-Wan’s behavior was reprehensive; the man himself – well, he was –

    “He’s a good man, Padmé.”

    “No, no, Anakin…”

    “He is. He had a reason; what he thought was a good reason and I know he didn’t want to hurt me. But he did and I don’t know if - I can ever trust him again, no matter the reason. But I do know, Padmé, he is a good man. I’ve been at his side too long to doubt that.”

    If Anakin could believe, so could she. For each hurt Obi-Wan had dealt Anakin, he had soothed others. There was true affection in their teasing and banter; each had saved the other too many times to count - well, Anakin kept count. Gleefully; tossing it in Obi-Wan’s face every chance he got, reveling in the fast and furious counter-offensive listing every so-called “reckless” action of Anakin.

    And she remembered her own childish arguments and snits; the tragic renunciation of the bonds of sisterhood that somehow miraculously healed within days.

    Oh, yes, the deepest hurts came from loved ones.

    With that realization, she found she could accept the truth, though she was not quite ready to relinquish her anger – not yet, but she would silence it, for Anakin’s sake. He needed this friendship almost as much as he needed her love. And the truth was she did like Obi-Wan. She admired his devotion to duty except when duty came ahead of his padawan or even himself. So she could be happy to hear he was alive.

    Still, she would try to help Anakin to forgive him. Not for Obi-Wan’s sake, no, but for Anakin’s.

    Anakin’s heart could not heal otherwise.
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Jan 19, 2013
  10. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Perfect how you describe the emotions from Anakin and Padme giving more depth to the episode=D=
  11. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Love that the two of them bounce emotions off each other and then convince each other. I like it that they're very connected in a way beside marriage--gives another dimension to Padme's death that otherwise is a bit missing in the canon RotS. Enjoyed their interaction together! Looking forward to the next update.
  12. JSolo-Wan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Wow, Padme's really upset....I feel like you can write an AU where Padme goes to the Dark Side and Anakin stays good...

    Funny how having someone else say exactly what you yourself were thinking can make you defend the opposite position.
  13. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Great scene. I loved seeing Anakin taking refuge in Padme and sorting through his emotions while talking to her, as well as her anger on his behalf. Echoing what Luna said, it shows a connection between them that I've always thought was present.
  14. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    It was fun trying to extrapolate from what was seen in the episode.

    Ah, now we bounce away from A/P to Obi-Wan.

    Indeed.

    I'm glad that came through that way: Padme is a firm believer in principle and a firm believer in her husband: right now, he's taking precedence (she's having trouble forgivig Obi-Wan obviously because she saw the depths of Anakin's pain).

    @earlybird-obi-wan, @Luna_Nightshade, @JSolo-Wan

    This was originally the second half of the past chapter...and the second to last (though there are epilogues).




    Chapter 17.

    To regret deeply is to live afresh. ~~ Henry David Thoreau


    Sour notes of distress bled tiny rivulets into the Force. Skywalker! Mace blew his exasperation away. It was not unexpected. The boy was too attached to people, even now. Obi-Wan had known that, too; had known the pain his deception would cause in his former padawan. But unlike the latter, the former had been Jedi enough to release his attachment for the betterment of the many – at the cost of some.

    In so doing, he had inflicted pain on others – and on himself, as well. They didn’t speak of it, but Mace well knew the carefully concealed turmoil within his fellow master.

    We are servants of the Force.

    Dutifully, Obi-Wan had followed the path laid out before him – to save one and through him many - he had had to sacrifice his former padawan’s peace of mind. Not happily, but willingly, because he knew that no man’s desire should ever outweigh the need of the Force – what was a man but one speck in the cosmos against the all encompassing Force? So a Jedi could and would sacrifice whatever was required of him, be it peace of mind, happiness, comfort and relationships. Even his own safety or even, sometimes, that of others – up to and including the ultimate sacrifice – of life itself.

    A Jedi did not demand of the Force, a Jedi accepted the demands of the Force. Skywalker – fought to impose his demands onto the Force, elevating his desires and wishes above all else.

    A son of the Force he almost assuredly was; yet he denied its supremacy when obedience would bring hurt. Sacrifice – no, Skywalker could never sacrifice what meant little or a lot to him; willing he might be to sacrifice his very life – for Obi-Wan, for the galaxy at large, even for Balance – if the Force required it of him, but no other, not when he himself lived. Not life, not friendship, not one damn thing that would hurt.

    Because Skywalker was still much as he was when he came to them; a Jedi in skill but a mere man emotionally, still immature in many ways, if not in all ways. Kenobi’s fault or the boy’s, Mace wasn’t sure and wasn’t sure there was a simple answer. Perhaps it was the boy’s connection to the Force itself, as it often had been with Qui-Gon Jinn. A deep affinity to the living Force created many problems, laudable though the connection might be. The Force resonated through his bones and spoke to his untamed heart; Skywalker felt the Force but heard it not – for only his heart was open, not his ears and mind.

    And therein lay the problem.

    Skywalker was so strong that the boy could often wrest his will against its will - and win - and thus had come to believe himself the equal of the Force, its partner and not its instrument with the power and the will to direct it as he had need and wish.

    And when he failed to impose his desire he laid the blame at the feet of others, for surely the Force would not deny him, no, failure must be imposed from outside, a constraint that those less talented, less powerful, less imaginative – less tuned to the pulse of each tiny heartbeat and soft breath of air that powered the force – stole from him with petty inconsequence and heedless incomprehension of the true purpose of his – and their – heritage.

    For Skywalker was still in the grip of fear, of loss’s potential. Pain was irretrievably bound with loss. And he could not bear pain, of others or himself. He had not yet learned that loss passed into quiet acceptance and from there into serenity because loss and pain were just as inevitable as any other part of life and not to be circumvented by mere desire.

    Such was the lesson of the Force to its devoted students, lessons lost on one who didn’t seek to learn but only to master.

    Surely of all people, the boy’s master had known this, should have taught this, but no – this lesson had to be taught by life itself, by loss itself. Mere words could never soak so deep into understanding; example and experience were the only instructors. It was a lesson any padawan should have learned before becoming a knight, or not long after as with Obi-Wan.

    Speaking of the man, where was Kenobi? Mace hadn’t seen him since the landing field…right, Skywalker had dropped back to speak to him – then shot ahead of them all like a man barely restraining himself from bursting with a scowl bigger than his Force talents – and, oh, kriff.

    Kriff! Had the two already had it out – now – when it would have been best to speak after a period of reflection?

    Serenity, Mace growled, serenity, as he took off to find his wayward colleague.

    **

    When comfort was elusive, duty filled the void. When there were no answers, it was time to seek out the questions. When bad feelings churned his stomach, it was time to engage his mind.

    All could be found at the tactical display – solitude notwithstanding.

    Obi-Wan was unsettled by Anakin’s accusation, rattled, even. He did not doubt the Force, ever, but he could doubt himself, his understanding of its promptings. Obi-Wan knew he was fallible, as all men were, as all Jedi were – he especially had always been prone to filter his perceptions through the lens of his humanity. Seek understanding through your heart more, your mind less, Qui-Gon had all too often counseled. Seek counsel from the Living Force; the future is a web of constantly weaving strands of possibilities that can only entrap and neuter one from the needs of the moment, the individual.

    Had he done wrong? Done right, but at a terrible cost to one if not to the greater good?

    Had sentiment blinded him to the pain his actions would cause – or had sentiment clouded his heart when it was the Force, not his heart, that should guide him? The path of a Jedi is not an easy path.

    “No, Master, it is not.” He spoke to a memory, he spoke to the Force.

    Sunk within the Force and submerged within thought, Obi-Wan leaned with hands splayed over the hologram table, his mind far away to the days when the Force was a source of delight and joy, before it had become a stern taskmaster and dedicating himself to its service was seen as something filled with purpose and reward. What had changed – the demands of the Force or something within himself? Once upon a time the Jedi solved problems and resolved disputes. Now it seemed all their efforts were for naught – they resolved nothing and brought no peace.

    How long had it been since they’d left nothing but good in their wake? He couldn’t remember.

    He scrubbed his face as if scrubbing would wipe away the hollowness slowly eating away within him, devouring what – his heart? His conscience? His moral compass and his commitment to do what was right, not expedient? Why could the Force not show them a solution to the endless battles and the never-ending pain? When could the Force’s light triumph over the darkness and the Jedi be once again its servants and not its warriors?

    In his heart of hearts, the Jedi knew the answer, but the man was not satisfied with it: In its own time, if it was to be, if they were ever again to be. For now all he could do was wait for he could no longer dream. That hurt, perhaps, most of all. He would accept that, because he could never be just a man. He was Jedi and even if it should kill something within him, he would always be – even its sacrifice if it ever so requested.

    “We should get you into that transformation chamber; everyone’s tired of looking at that ugly face of yours.”

    Pulling himself together upon hearing Mace’s voice – and recognizing the apparent insult for the teasing it was by the sonorous tones and could that be a hint of affectionate amusement as well- Obi-Wan straightened and managed a wry grin. “This is the face that saved the Republic. But I think you’re right,” I know you’re right. He turned away to hide a wince. “It’s time to go back to being Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

    Would that be his salvation, would that stop this slow rot? He wasn’t sure of anything at the moment. Just because he looked like Rako Hardeen, he had never really stopped being Obi-Wan Kenobi, had he?

    “I can sense something is still bothering you.” There was no doubting Mace’s concern this time; warmth flowed his way ready to settle like a blanket around his troubled shoulders, proving once more that the Jedi master known as the terror of the padawans and disciplinarian of the Council was far more than he usually allowed himself to outwardly appear. So it was that Obi-Wan understood that underlying the words was a simple invitation: Unburden yourself.

    I cannot, Obi-Wan’s spirit whispered in regret, subtly withdrawing into the privacy of self.

    The younger Jedi’s fingers tightened on the table before him as he bowed his head, shoulders tautening and knuckles whitening. Mace and Yoda, strong and stalwart both, they were the already too heavily burdened backbones of the Council and of the Order. They carried now the war and the Republic as well. No, it was not fair to lighten his worries by adding to theirs; even if shared, his would not dissipate. His burdens were his own; the consequences of his actions his own as well. To spare them, he would have to be more careful about bleeding his doubts into the Force.

    “Yes,” Obi-Wan admitted at last. “Something Anakin said – do we know the whole truth? I think - I’ll stay…I need to check one last thing.” He straightened decisively. If he was going to mope, it certainly wouldn’t be now.

    For something niggled at him and he trusted his instincts, in this at least.

    *

    “Of course.” Mace inclined his head and headed for the exit but once there he stopped and swiveled, a slight frown on his face. His friend was troubled, so much so that he had all but shied away from the senior Jedi’s offer to listen to his troubles. Let Yoda assert all he wished that Ob-Wan’s greatest flaw was his attachments. Mace suspected it was a not-to-be shaken conviction that he could not rely on anything but the Force itself for support when he was troubled. Even after his relationship with Qui-Gon had eased into the partnership that many envied, those early and harsh lessons had stayed with the younger man.

    That lesson had been inadvertently reinforced when Qui-Gon spoke for Anakin while Obi-Wan was yet his apprentice. That breach may have been mended, but even healed wounds echoed and stirred from unconscious memory: wounds as well as triumphs of the past helped shape the present and the future both. No matter what Qui-Gon Jinn had always advocated, one could never live entirely in the now, immune to that which had already come to be.

    Mace hesitated, debating his next move. Had he not come here with the express purpose of seeing that Obi-Wan was not left all alone to brood in isolation?

    He almost went back, but it was not the Jedi way. Solace was best sought from the Force and from self-reflection; no doubt Obi-Wan needed some time to reconcile his time undercover with his natural inclinations. He had always preferred quiet introspection as his first step towards understanding and acceptance, even when young, and there was no doubt in Mace’s mind how difficult this assignment had been on his fellow councilman. Obi-Wan was more than just a good Jedi, he was a good man. Portraying an amoral criminal had required full commitment to the role, something naturally repugnant to a man such as he.

    Very well, then. Mace nodded to himself. As soon as they returned to Coruscant he was going to order Obi-Wan to take a week’s leave and get himself in hand.

    He wished he could do the same for half the Order. The physical and mental demands were taxing, even with the Force to soothe away the pains and exhaustion. Underneath it all they were men and women, luminous beings enclosed in all too mortal bodies.

    They could be pushed too far.

    They couldn’t afford to have Kenobi break. He’d even send Skywalker with him for the two to work out their differences, but the Chancellor seemed determined to keep Anakin by his side.

    A frown stole across the Jedi master’s face, less than a scowl because it was tinged with incomprehension. Why was Palpatine so enamored with Skywalker? He would never understand politicians or their motivations –it was a miracle the Republic could function at all with them running things – still, the alternatives were far worse.

    Democracy, for all its flaws, trumped any other form of government.
  15. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Great insightful chapter with Mace seeing all that is troubling Anakin and Obi-Wan.
    And Palpatine is scheming of course for the ultimate goal; turning Anakin
  16. Eryndil Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 18, 2012
    star 3
    Well, thank goodness at least Mace understands that Obi-Wan is suffering too. After the previous chapter, I was feeling quite aggrieved on Obi-Wan's behalf, so this is a relief! It's a messy situation, alright, where a lot of people get hurt - that's war for you. Very nice characterisation and realistic interaction between the two Masters. It's good to see a more 'human' side of Mace but of course Obi-Wan tries to deal with his problems on his own, like the martyr he is :rolleyes:

    "loss and pain were just as inevitable as any other part of life and not to be circumvented by mere desire" - ah yes, that's the difficult lesson, isn't it? And it's one that Anakin never learnt to deal with, unfortunately. For a Jedi, it's an absolutely essential one, otherwise... well, hello Dark Side :(
  17. serendipityaey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4

    Beautifully written emotions, they're palpable, and oh so sad. Both Anakin and Padme are so clear and honest, especially in the first half - you made it so easy to feel for them, and the writing was fantastic that way. I can relate very easily to both Anakin's thoughts that he can be who he is with his most loved one - he's free and cared for, and I think that's important and lovely, even if it ends up leading him to a dark path of the wrong kind of attachment - possession and obsession - And to Padme's unconditional caring for her husband. I certainly understand her perspective, though it's still hard to hear her think those thoughts about Obi-Wan :( Very complex, you've done a great job expanding on everything
  18. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    I'm glad Mace at least understands what Obi-Wan went through, maybe he can talk some sense into Anakin.

    Ok, so he wonders why Palpatine is so taken with Anakin...ok Mace..now, two plus two equals...come on now, you can work it out...:D
  19. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Really like Mace's insights into Anakin--when he puts it like that, I can understand his reaction to Anakin. I really appreciate the way you write Mace in a way that I can identify with. Makes him seem much more personable. Like serendipityaey, I like how you have expanded all of these things to pick them apart. Lovely update.
  20. serendipityaey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Just wonderful, again :)

    Mace is a genius! So good. And you wrote him geniusly :D

    :_| Oh Obi-Wan!

    Yes! Vacation! [face_love] Can I write that week? ;)
    He is having a very rough time, he might need help getting himself in hand?

    Great, great writing, Val, so deep and thought-provoking, I love it.
    Last edited by serendipityaey, Feb 3, 2013
  21. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    But of course.

    Unfortunately, action and lack of action can lead to "hurt" - there are many consequences and objectively, is there really an "ultimate right way to act" in such situations?

    I tried to write them as so in tune with each other's emotions and thoughts; that chapter was their hurt, not his, the very real and human reaction of being "used" regardless of the motives or necessity.

    I think if is far easier for Mace to empathize with Obi-Wan than Anakin: both as Council members face hard choices more often than "mere" Jedi.


    That's what I aim for - different perspectives on different characters from different folks. When writing Anakin, I try to "become him, feel and think like him" to be true to him, but then from another's view what was sympathetic can twist to unreasonable and so forth.

    Thankee.


    Watch out! One man romance story coming up?



    Chapter 18.

    I am imagination. I can see what the eyes cannot see. I can hear what the ears cannot hear. I can feel what the heart cannot feel. ~~ Peter Nivio Zarlenga


    Casting all distractions aside; Obi-Wan tuned in to his instincts and the subtle promptings of the Force. In this moment, he was again and only Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi – not the general, not the negotiator, and most certainly not the weary, almost disillusioned man who trod on the edge of exhaustion.


    Something was off.

    Dooku. His uneasiness centered on Dooku – and his absence from the rendezvous. His eyes narrowed. Could it be –?

    As quickly as he could make his way there, Obi-Wan took off for the tower where he had kneeled with his sniper scope truly believing he had been stationed there to down the Chancellor. But now he doubted. Stun bolt or actual bolt wasn’t the issue; one bolt was one part of the issue.

    Only one.

    And Dooku was the other.

    As convoluted as the plan executed had been, what if the very complexity had been part of the deception itself? The what-ifs ran through his mind even as he ran towards his would-be assassin’s perch. One bolt – the Chancellor – Dooku. Complexity, that which obscured and obscured in mists of deception. Oh what a fool he was, they all were. He knew before he found it that evidence there would be – but he hoped to find it, anyway. A man drowning in self-doubt and dismal reflection needed outside confirmation.

    Obi-Wan kneeled beside his discarded sniper rifle and carrying case. One blaster charge. No Dooku. Cross and double cross – or a change in plans?

    His fingers traced around the edges of the case, probed, and found something that should not be there. Stang! A listening device. It had been a set up all right – Dooku had suspected, if not actually known, that “Hardeen” was an imposter.

    Stang!

    I should have killed the guards – I should have challenged Dooku – his mind skittered to a horrified halt. Kriffin’ Sith hells, what am I saying? If you betrayed yourself, it wasn’t by valuing their lives above your own; it is now you are betraying yourself by such unworthy thoughts. Force, forgive me those words – I have shamed you and my honor both.

    Oh Force. He was mentally blabbering on like an idiot. Obi-Wan wiped a hand across his brow. He was exhausted and Force knew he hadn’t half a clue what was going on in a part of his mind, the part that was upset at the moment. He sank onto his heels and released his remorse and weariness into the Force, drew its strength into him.

    And he knew.

    Palpatine was not safe. The real abduction was now underway. He reached for his comlink – Dooku’s comlink - and discovered it no longer worked and his own – that one he had left behind when he had left Obi-Wan Kenobi behind to become his killer.

    Master Kenobi, I should bust you back to initiate for this!

    He ran, all exhaustion forgotten.


    **

    Anakin’s still simmering resentment evaporated under the unadulterated approval of the Chancellor. Normal people did not dole out emotions in carefully measured increments, fearful of giving too much. They gave joyfully, from the heart. They did not believe positive emotions corrupted, nor, for that matter, negative ones.

    To deny emotions were to deny life itself.

    Too bad all the Jedi cared about was affirming the Force, not themselves or others, for were they not created to be the selves they were by the Force?

    “Anakin, I’m sorry –” at the questioning look in Anakin’s eyes, Palpatine smiled sadly. “I’m sorry that your Order does not give you the same trust that I do – that you have earned.”

    “I…,” he hesitated.

    A warm, paternal hand settled on his shoulder. “You were lied to, my boy, I know. I appreciate your unwillingness to say anything against the Order, against your former master as well – and that is to your credit. It is a shame they don’t realize what a treasure they have in you.”

    Anakin squirmed inwardly. “They did what they thought necessary to save your life, Chancellor. I may disagree – hate – how they chose to do so, but I cannot fault them for their motive.”

    Palpatine sighed. “Nor can I, I must admit. On my behalf, I suppose I am most grateful but I would almost rather lose my life than to have you so hurt and betrayed.”

    The protest was automatic and horrified. “Don’t say that, Chancellor. Your life is one I value far above my own. I would do anything…” Anything? Fierfek! Fierfek; he didn’t want to begin to understand Obi-Wan’s decision because, damn it, to understand it would be the first step to accepting it. He hated the consequences of that decision with every fiber of his being. He hated the lies and the deceit; he hated the pain that still haunted him. He still felt used and betrayed. But what were his feelings compared to Palpatine’s very life?

    Had he not agreed with Captain Tarkin not so long ago that the Jedi weren’t prepared to do what was necessary to win the war? That scruples stood in the way? Scruples could have allowed Palpatine’s death! He should be applauding Obi-Wan’s deception.

    He would be, if the deception had not involved Obi-Wan and himself.

    Fierfek!

    His fingers twitched, torn between strangling Obi-Wan or strangling himself.

    “Without you, my boy, I’m not sure I would still be here. I am very grateful to you.” Palpatine beamed. “We will leave as soon as Queen Neeyutnee’s banquet is over; I shall wish to say goodbye to Senator Amidala as well; she has been a most gracious host.”

    Banquet? A slight frown wrinkled Anakin’s brow. “Padmé did not mention a banquet to me.”

    “Perhaps she meant it as a surprise; in fact, the invitation was extended most hurriedly and apologetically by another,” Palpatine soothed. “I must say the lengths the Jedi will go to is nothing short of incredible. I assume the brilliant plan to disguise Obi-Wan Kenobi was yours?”

    A bitter snort escaped Anakin. “No, it wasn’t; I was just as much in the dark as you were.”

    “Really.” Palpatine stopped short and glanced at Anakin, gently sympathetic and apparently slightly miffed on his young friend’s behalf. “Interesting. I thought the Jedi believed in teamwork.”

    I thought so, too.

    Anakin grimaced; maybe he was understanding but he wasn’t yet accepting, his doubts not yet assuaged. “Apparently what they say has little relevance to what they do –” he stopped short as the door opened to his push. The room was empty – except sitting in the chair at the head of the table was – Count Dooku.

    “Welcome,” the Count intoned genially, arms crossed.

    “Gracious, it’s a trap.”


    *

    Obi-Wan; you didn’t warn us of this! Anakin breathed out his annoyance; right now his focus was protecting the Chancellor, not worrying about the utter inadequacy of the Jedi’s security precautions. Once again, it was up to him to save the day. He grinned ferociously. Good thing he was up to the task. He thrust Palpatine behind him, towards the now shut doorway.

    Two magnaguards stepped up and grabbed Anakin by the elbows. “Ow,” he growled, shocked by one’s electrostaff, though he shook free quickly and took a stance against the traitorous former Jedi. Righteous indignation and determination infused the finger stabbed at the man’s face; a physical exclamation point to his spat, “You should have quit while you were still alive, Dooku.”

    “Fighting off the entire Jedi security force would have been difficult, but now that they have gone,” Dooku slowly stood and ignited his lightsaber, a smirk on his face, “defeating you should be an easy task.”

    Wiping smirks off faces was Anakin’s specialty. His grin widened as he suddenly ignited his own lightsaber and engaged the two droids. Thrusting, whirling, ducking - a few slashes and cuts and Anakin demolished the two without breaking a sweat.

    “Get out of here Chancellor.”

    As Palpatine faintly agreed with a breathy, “Good idea,” and slowly backed up, Anakin sprang upon the table and advanced forward, everything about him menacing and deadly, just daring Dooku to try his best.

    Dooku was not intimidated; with a contemptuous sneer he rose to his feet. Anakin lunged and Dooku countered, but Anakin had the upper hand for Dooku slowly retreated before him. Anakin’s Djem So was powerful, his blows slamming against Dooku’s lightsaber although the Count clung to his one handed Makashi. In a straight up battle, power would overcome finesse, always. Anakin was going to enjoy Dooku’s last look, that of defeat and consternation, before the Sith paid for the sins of all the Sith through either humiliated surrender or death.

    But Dooku was not going to allow the fight to be a simple fight, a fair fight, for with a gesture of his free hand, he Force hurled a chair, plate setting and even cutlery at the young knight.

    Warned by that same Force, Anakin shielded his face with a raised arm, an arm that was pierced by two forks. He snarled, wrenched them out easily and charged, his lightsaber skewering through the chair Dooku raised between them, but Anakin surged forward, struggling against the strong Force repel, only to go hurtling backwards as the strong Force shove temporarily overcame him.

    Anakin might be down, but not for long. Before Dooku could advance, Anakin had regained his feet and engaged the count once again, blades crossing, binding, and thrusting.

    And again the Count retreated, keeping Anakin at bay and away from Palpatine; the Chancellor in the firm and uncompromising grasp of a magnaguard dragging him out of the room, across a hallway and further - who was being dragged by a droid across a hallway and across the other side to where, Anakin knew, was a landing pad.

    Desperation gave Anakin additional strength. He had to save the Chancellor, save his mentor – save the Republic.

    His blows rained against Dooku’s lightsaber, a thunderstorm of sheer power, so dominating the Count that Dooku never saw nor could avoid the kick that forced him to his knees, parrying equally desperately.

    Got more than you bargained for, Count? Unlike Obi-Wan, he plastered his taunts on his face rather than spare the breath to loft them into the air.

    Somehow, impossibly, Dooku knocked him aside enough to free his hands and blast Force lightning at Anakin. The Jedi reeled and fell backwards, ricocheted off a pillar and fell to the floor, gasping and trembling.

    Eyes watering and ears ringing, nonetheless Anakin heard footsteps pounding towards him as he uncurled and half rose to his feet as whomever it was skidded to a stop and laid a hand on his shoulder. Obi-Wan, or was it Hardeen, no, Hardeen was Obi-Wan and – oh – whatever face he was wearing it was his former master, he could see that now. The light squeeze, that too, only belonged to one man, he’d know that combination of firm and gentle were he blind and deaf.

    “Are you all right?”

    Fresh strength ran through Anakin – and a desire to avoid appearing weak. “Come on,” he snapped impatiently and charged onto the landing pad. Palpatine was already disappearing into the ship; Dooku was on the ramp and with a leap, Anakin was at the foot and battling him.

    Only a step or two behind, Obi-Wan engaged the droid that had dropped Palpatine in order to fight beside Dooku. With a few quick swipes and a quick kick, Obi-Wan demolished the droid and leapt up the ramp to grab Palpatine by the waist, swinging them both to safety as the ship slowly pulled away.

    Anakin let his relief drop his guard just enough to be pushed off the ramp as the ship took off. With Dooku, alas, but minus Palpatine.

    The Chancellor was safe and that - that was the important thing. Not even Dooku’s parting words could entirely ruin his satisfaction, although did the Count really have to raise his lightsaber in mocking (to him) salute (to Obi-Wan)?

    “Well done, Master Kenobi. You are a worthy adversary; I cannot say the same about your young apprentice.”

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Who’d defended the Chancellor? Not Obi-Wan. It was so like his former master to rush in only at the end of the fight and earn the accolades.

    And if Padmé and the rest of the arrivals who had rushed in heaped their praise on Obi-Wan, Anakin Skywalker was going to be a very grumpy hero.

    “Chancellor, are you all right?” Padme’s words were directed at Palpatine; her attention to Anakin.

    “Thanks to the heroics of the Jedi.” Palpatine straightened his clothing with a bit of a flourish. “This is the second time today.” He directed a smile at Anakin. Aha – at least someone knew who had saved whose life.

    “We specialize in heroics,” Obi-Wan snuck in a response while Anakin basked in the deservedly earned approval. He frowned; then shrugged. Obi-Wan’s specialty was words, after all, whilst his was the heroics. Together they were a team. The Team.

    Or, at least, had once been.

    “As long as I live, no harm will ever come to you, Your Excellency,” Anakin vowed.

    “Then I am indeed in good hands. One shudders to think what the Republic would be like without the Jedi.” Palpatine clapped Anakin on the shoulder and led the small procession back into the palace.




    00 oo 00

    Editing to add epilogue – no point in “bumping” – a big thanks to those who have read and a bigger thanks to those who have “liked” or responded.

    Epilogue


    I am better able to imagine hell than heaven; it is my inheritance, I suppose.Elinor Wylie



    “Well, I see the ugliness within has transformed the outer man to match,” an icy voice snapped.

    Obi-Wan stiffened. On his way to meet Mace, his mind on the painful yet much desired transformation ahead, he had paid little attention to his surroundings and was taken by surprise. Oh, this was not good. He had not the wits nor the strength to face the Duchess of Mandalore, not at this moment, but what could not be avoided must as always be endured.

    He slowly pivoted, hiding his consternation.

    “M’lady.” He bowed before her, suddenly and acute aware that he did not know just what she knew and how long she had been privy to the information – surely she was aware of his transformation about the same time she had been appraised of his so-called death. Wasn’t she?

    Satine was not impressed.

    “Obi-Wan Kenobi or do my eyes deceive me?” Her voice dripped with rare contempt. His uneasiness increased. “Oh, pardon me; the deception is on your part alone, is it not?”

    Obi-Wan raised a hand to massage his forehead. “What would you have me say, Satine? I’m a Jedi; I’m sworn to save lives and we had stumbled upon a plot to assassinate the Chancellor. I cannot say I am sorry for doing what we thought – I thought,” he corrected, “ - was necessary to carry out our mandate, for a chance to actually save a life rather than constantly taking them…”

    And there it was - the personal motive behind his actions, the reason he had been so quick to accept the clarion call of the Force. How many bodies had he walked amongst in just the last month; how many liters of blood had he scrubbed from his boots? How many lives had been snuffed out, bodies blasted into oblivion because he, General Kenobi, had ordered his troops into battle? So many, too many. So when the Force had given them this chance, he had seized it with both hands, offering himself as an all too willing servant heedless of the cost to the living.

    “I once thought you and Master Jinn were the best of the imperfect Jedi Order, that despite your myriad flaws you fit the role of my knight in shining armor all too well. Your imperfections have only grown over the years. Qui-Gon expected so much of you: once when I was aggravated with you he told me that on the whole you were a fine young man who would only improve with age into an even finer man and Jedi. Well, you’ve lived up to at least part of that: you are a perfect example of a Jedi,” from the way she spat the word, it was no compliment, “but as a man you’ve only diminished and your charm has long since fled. Qui-Gon Jinn would be sorely disappointed in his apprentice.”

    He apparently still had a heart, for it seized up at her words – worse, her absolute belief in them. They hurt; badly. But Obi-Wan detachedly realized he probably deserved her scorn and approbation for it was quite likely she spoke the truth.

    “I stood over your coffin; I cried for you in public, you – you knave.”

    Oh, yes, of course. He could feel the blood drain from his face; he should have realized. He took a step forward and reached for Satine’s hand. He supposed he should be grateful she allowed it, but there was no answering warmth, no squeeze in return. “Satine, I am so very sorry – it didn’t occur to me – I humbly beg your forgiveness although of course you are under no obligation…” Force, he was babbling as he had not babbled in years.“Satine, please...” He drew in a deep breath. “Why have you sought me out? There are more public places to air my flaws if that was your wish, more public places for me to grovel as well.”

    “I – I…” Satine sighed, and her hand reached up to touch his cheek. “I wanted – I’m so glad you’re alive, Obi, I really am. Oh, to hell with decorum.” She kissed him.

    He closed his eyes, leaning into her caress, yielding to the moment as it was, a moment of truce that prefaced what would surely be a difficult and yet necessary conversation – only to yelp at the sting of her open-palmed smack.

    “If I wasn’t a pacifist, I should like to be the one to murder you a second time. You arrogant swine.”

    Obi-Wan’s eyes popped open to see the Duchess walking away from him, back stiff in outrage. His fingers strayed to his cheek, where he could almost imagine her slap might have left an imprint.

    Oh, Satine, I did what I had to do... but the thought echoed hollowly. At last he could finally imagine what Qui-Gon might have felt, so many years ago when he set aside his padawan for another, when he had been on the other side: regret and resolve.

    Duty came first.

    So maybe, just maybe, Qui-Gon’s disappointment with him would be tempered by understanding.

    Because both of them were Jedi first, men second: each of them, driven by duty, driven by the Force.

    A Jedi’s life is one of hardship, and of sacrifice. It had never rung so true as now. But even those words were bereft of the entire truth. The truth was around him, in the silence, in the coolness of a life apart from the warmth of others. A Jedi lived for others, but in living such a life, a Jedi lived apart from others.

    And so, he sought not warmth from others, nor comfort, either. That way led only to pain – and Jedi sought not to inflict pain.

    So Obi-Wan drew the Force and his borrowed cloak around him and stood as he had so often in the past and most likely, he suspected, he would often in times to come: alone and wrapped in one threadbare cloak and a panoply of regrets.

    Waiting in dutiful solitude for the Force’s Duty to call.


    “Ahem,” turned to “ouch”; neither exclamation uttered out load. Standing down the hall, Anakin Skywalker watched, first a kiss than a slap, then as Obi-Wan bowed his head. Stood, and did not move to his side, nor away.

    Anakin had borne his grief alone. He would let Obi-Wan bear his guilt alone, too, at least for a while. Reconciliation, if it came at all, would have to wait.

    He turned and walked away.




    00 oo 00




    Here it is – “the” ending. “After some 60+ views I admit I’m a bit bummed not to have gotten even a single “like” for the last chapter – if it’s something I wrote :p , well, I do accept critiques via PM.



    Epilogue 2

    Every new beginning comes from some beginnings end. “~~ Abdul Basith Nazeem


    Okay, okay…Anakin squared his shoulders. He was not happy; he would not be happy for a long time with his former master. But this estrangement from Obi-Wan made his unhappiness worse; Padmé had helped him to see that. It was time to let Obi-Wan have it – a long lecture, a piece of his mind, and, oh blast - a big ol’ hug and a stinging slap on the face (the latter on the other cheek; Satine had done enough damage there). It would do them both good – Obi-Wan would get what he deserved and Anakin could give him what he deserved.

    Then maybe, just maybe, they could go forward and pretend this had never happened.

    And if would be an enormous help if Obi-Wan was – well – again Obi-Wan. Had he been transformed back or was he still wearing the hated visage that had haunted Anakin? He couldn’t imagine that Obi-Wan wanted to prolong his appearance as another man.

    A frown wrinkled his forehead: what was Ahsoka doing here? He approached slowly; stopped as he reached the doorway, surmising that his apprentice had caught Obi-Wan on his way somewhere – probably the healers under the circumstances. He had to grin at what he saw. Ahsoka, from all appearances, was giving the senior Jedi quite the lecture – arms waving and voice firm. Obi-Wan – well that was a surprise – was rubbing a finger across his forehead as if he had a headache. Since when did Obi-Wan meekly accept a dressing down from a junior? When he knows he was in the wrong. This was going to be fun; he had no compunction against eavesdropping under the circumstances.

    “And Master? Please don’t hurt him again.”

    Ahsoka was so earnest on his behalf that he was touched. At least the women in his life had his back. How would his padawan take the expected, “I will do what I must” or “I cannot promise such a thing”?

    Obi-Wan reached out with both hands and gripped Ahsoka’s shoulders. “I will do everything within my power to keep Anakin from harm – even from myself.”

    Anakin could only guess that a big smile spread across his padawan’s face. What else would prompt the slight, tentative smile now visible on Obi-Wan’s – Hardeen’s – ah, heck, whoever’s face? “And you, Padawan Tano – I ask your forgiveness as well – will you forgive me?”

    “You’re asking my forgiveness? I - of course, Master – and Master – he’ll forgive you. I’m sure he will.”

    Anakin’s eyebrow shot up. So sure are you, Snips? Aw, who was he fooling – he’d forgive the old man eventually. Forget though – no, that was not going to be near as easy.

    “Forgive a face like that ugly mug, Ahsoka?” Anakin unfolded his arms and stepped into the room. He stabbed a finger towards the hated visage. “I might forgive Obi-Wan if he ever shows his face around here again.”

    “Anakin,” this man who was his former master and was not murmured.

    “Yeah – some of us don’t disguise ourselves and play dead,” Anakin snapped. He shifted on his feet, eyes warily studying the man before him. “Look – I only want to have this out with someone who actually resembles the man I want to punch out, so – so go transform yourself. I want my master back; facing the man who ‘killed’ him is weirding me out.”

    After a moment’s hesitation, Obi-Wan nodded. “All right, then,” and started for the door, only to be stopped by Anakin’s hand on his arm.

    “We could substitute a whipping with the saber,” Anakin grunted, not looking at Obi-Wan. “After missing the sight of Obi-Wan’s face for a while, well, it’d be a shame to mess it up.” He raised his eyes to those of “Rako Hardeen.” “The less damage there is, the easier it is to fix things.”

    A hand reached up to cup his chin. “Yes – it would be a shame.”

    “Still,” Anakin mused, “dents need to be pounded out…”

    “Yes, yes, but dents are not always visible, Anakin.”

    Their eyes met – and tentatively to be sure, the two men shared a smile.
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Feb 18, 2013
    JSolo-Wan, obimom, Eryndil and 2 others like this.
  22. serendipityaey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    I'm sorry, I was out of town when you first posted and I totally missed it :(

    Chapter 18: The way Anakin came to understand Obi doing anything necessary to complete the mission (save the chancellor) was a *brilliant* turn, just wow. Anakin is one of those people that needs things spelled out. Though I myself am not convinced that deceiving Anakin was *necessary* - I guess it makes it airtight. No chances? Enjoyed the wrap up of the savings, and Anakin's thoughts about needing to be validated. I know how ya feel, kid. Palps is perfectly creepy and manipulative. Heard his voice so well here.

    Much looking forward to the epi's!
  23. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Really liked the last chapter and the two epilogues.

    Palpatine sure is scheming
  24. serendipityaey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Epilogue 1: Well...I think you've captured her absolute *crazy* perfectly - and in this moment I'd like to think after her lowest - certainly I can imagine her crazy coming out full force. I applaud you for writing it so honest and unforgiving - it is true he caused her a tremendous pain.

    I can't stand the way she treats him though, again believing it comes from a place where she so desperately wants him to be something he's not - and I cannot stand that that woman makes him doubt himself for even a moment. I think, I think - that this is a very low moment for him as well and that's the only reason she's able to make him feel how so decidedly he should not feel. At this age I don't feel he would carry that much regret, except perhaps when it comes to Anakin (and perhaps in an unusually very low moment for him). -And this is a prime reason I feel he would be especially cautious, older and wiser, with Satine (and know it wouldn't work) because she can't handle it in the least.-

    Poor poor Obi - he sought not warmth, nor comfort :( -while I fully appreciate and believe this, a Jedi can truly not seek these things out, I still believe that those things do cross ones path no matter what and if they do, they are accepted while available. As a Jedi eats anytime it is offered, because who knows what will come next, I think the same can be said for other necessities and I imagine comfort will come for Obi sometime and to accept it is to only accept what the Force brings.

    Him having that moment of understanding about Qui was beautifully put in, as was his own understanding that he did it to save a life, to do something truly good.

    Fabulously thought provoking, wonderful writing.
  25. Eryndil Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 18, 2012
    star 3
    I'm ever so glad that you included the epilogues in this as it leaves Anakin and Obi-Wan in a slightly happier place. Hopefully they can start to move beyond these events (as much as possible anyway). As ever, you do a great job of getting into the characters' heads and making the inner dialogue very believable. Another well thought out and fascinating fic - thank you for sharing it with us.
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