Saga The Tristan Betrayal (A/P, L/M, OC's) *Sequel to Will of the Force* Updated 8/16 Ch. 39

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JediMaster_Jen, Sep 4, 2012.

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  1. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    So, with the opening of the new boards, I thought it was time to get back to an old fic. This story was begun by myself and KELIA many years ago as a sequel to another story called Will of the Force. With the issue of the truncated posts here and no timeframe on the fix, I decided to repost as I get back to writing this story.

    If you wish to read Will of the Force, there is a link in my signature to the story posted here on this forum. The posts have been restored and are available in their entirety.

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



    The Tristan Betrayal

    Summary: Chronicles the events that bring Anakin back to Coruscant.


    Disclaimer: Star Wars belong to George Lucas, not us.


    Chapter 1

    Six Years Before Will of the Force


    Siri lay against the pillows, limbs entwined with Obi-Wan’s, his fingers laced through her hair. Smiling lazily, she kissed his bare chest, snuggling closer to him.

    “I wish we could stay like this forever,” she sighed. ”I feel so at peace when we’re together.”

    Obi-Wan kissed her forehead gently, lightly tracing his finger over her face, caressing her mouth.

    “You are always with me wherever I go,” he whispered cupping her cheeks and lifting her head to meet his loving gaze. “I found true happiness when I opened my heart to you.”

    His embrace tightened into a protective hold. “My heart is forever joined with yours,” he stated firmly bringing her lips to his.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Siri awoke with a start. She had been doing that a lot lately, dreaming of Obi-Wan and their happiest times together. Blinking the sleep from her eyes, she sat up and quickly sank back down as the all too familiar waves of dizziness and nausea washed over her. Sighing, she turned to bury her face into her pillow hoping the symptoms would pass…if she were just still for another minute…Groaning, she threw the covers back and raced into the fresher, unable to deny the truth she’d been desperately avoiding these last few weeks – she was pregnant.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Siri sat uneasily on one of the softly rounded pod chairs in Yoda’s simply furnished quarters. She fidgeted nervously, struggling to find the right words. She always hated the idea of disappointing the diminutive Master. Yoda gazed at her calmly, waiting patiently for her to begin.

    “Master Yoda, I…” Siri’s voice faltered as she swallowed the lump in her throat. “I’ve come to resign from the Jedi Order.”

    If Yoda was shocked, he didn’t show it. He simply continued to gaze at her compassionately.

    “I’ve just recently learned I’m…well that…something has happened.” Siri squared her shoulders, meeting Yoda’s gaze directly.

    “I’m pregnant,” she announced.

    “Required to leave the Order, you are not,” Yoda replied simply.

    “I know,” Siri acknowledged with a grimace. “I’ve seen other Jedi have their children and turn them over to the crèche, never being able to tell them who they are or be a part of their lives other than as a fellow Jedi, and I know I would be expected to do the same and I just can’t.”

    Tears filled her eyes. “I can’t just have this baby and walk away. I can’t carry this child, feel him or her growing inside me, becoming a part of me and then just…let go. I can’t.”

    “Walk away you would not,” Yoda argued. “Watch as the child grows into a strong Jedi you would.”

    “It’s not enough,” Siri snapped.

    Yoda’s eyes widened.

    “I’m sorry, Master Yoda,” she apologized. “I didn’t mean…its just so…I never thought this would happen,” she burst into tears.

    Yoda took a deep breath, closing his eyes. The Force was speaking to him. This child of Obi-Wan and Siri would be strong with the Force and need much guidance. More than Siri could give him alone.

    Yoda stood from his chair and hobbled over to Siri, patting her arm gently.

    “Know, does Obi-Wan?”

    Siri gasped in shock, her head snapping up to meet Yoda’s stare.

    “You...you…you know about Obi-Wan?” she stumbled.

    Yoda nodded. “A long time have I watched you and Obi-Wan. Always together, always staring at each other,” he grinned broadly. “Subtle you were not.”

    Siri felt her cheeks burn with embarrassment.

    “Understand the need for companionship I do,” Yoda continued softly. “Forbidden, it is not.”

    Siri nodded, wiping her tears. ”But loving him is forbidden and…and I do love him.”

    “Tell him when he returns you must. Help you to decide what to do Obi-Wan will.”

    “I can’t,” Siri argued.

    Yoda’s eyes narrowed.

    “Please, Master Yoda, just listen,” Siri said as she stood and began to pace. “I’ve watched Obi-Wan with Anakin over the years. I’ve seen the bond between them grow. Obi-Wan loves Anakin like a son. He would never be able to give his own child up to the crèche and walk away any more then I can.”

    She dropped back down into the chair. “That’s why I have to leave before he returns.”

    “Know about this child Obi-Wan should. Allowed to make up his own mind he should be,” Yoda declared firmly.

    “I can’t do that to him,” Siri groaned. “I’ve already decided I’m leaving and I know Obi-Wan.”

    She looked squarely into Yoda’s eyes. “I know he would come after me and I can’t let that happen. Anakin needs him too much. The Order needs him too much.”

    Yoda sighed in defeat, shoulders slumping. “Go where, will you?”

    Siri thought quietly for a few moments. “Corellia,” she announced. “I’ve heard it’s a beautiful planet and I have no ties there.”

    Yoda nodded. “Accept your resignation I do.”

    “Thank you,” Siri breathed.

    “But agree with your decision I do not,” Yoda tapped his gimer stick forcefully.

    Siri hung her head.

    “Keep your secret from Obi-Wan I will,” Yoda continued. “If keep in touch I may.”

    “Oh…of course,” Siri gulped, clearly surprised at his request.

    “If help you need, be there I will,” Yoda promised.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Siri slowly sat before the holo-recorder and activated the device.

    “My dearest Obi-Wan,” Siri smiled sadly. “I’m so sorry to have to leave this way, without a proper good-bye, but it’s necessary that I leave now…” she paused, searching for the right words. “I’ve grown to love you so much, I…too much,” she blinked away the tears threatening to fall. She was determined to get through this.

    “I must have been crazy to think I could be with you and not fall truly, deeply in love and we both know there can be no happy ending if I stay…but I want you to know I don’t regret one minute of our time together. They were the happiest of my life…and Obi-Wan, please believe…” Siri looked directly into the holo cam, “…my heart is forever joined with yours.”

    Siri stopped the recording, finally allowing the tears to fall freely down her cheeks. ‘How I wish things could be different,’ she thought, placing the recorder on Obi-Wan’s desk. Taking one last look around his quarters, she bid a final, silent good-bye before turning and leaving the Temple for good.
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Aug 16, 2014
  2. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    That was simply lovely! I can't wait to read more. :)
  3. jacen200015 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2002
    star 4
    I remember this story :) :)
  4. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    More is on the way right now.

    hope you still enjoy it.

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


    Chapter 2

    Five Years after Will of the Force-Present Day


    The view was majestic from atop the massive flight of stairs leading to the Jedi Temple. After the climb, Siri was gasping for breath as the last of the painful spasms left her body.

    “Mom?” a small hand tentatively patted her back. ”Are you okay?”

    “I’ll be all right sweetheart,” she replied, smiling weakly at her ten-year old son. Reaching out for his hand, she gestured toward the entrance to the Temple with the other.

    “This is it, Tristan,” Siri whispered to the boy. A flood of memories washed over her as they gazed silently at the doors. So much had happened since she left eleven years ago but it still seemed like yesterday when she and Obi-Wan…

    “Do you think they’ll be glad to see us?” Tristan’s voice cracked with uncertainty.

    “Of course,” Siri chuckled, reaching over to ruffle his wavy light brown hair. ‘So much like Obi-Wan’s,’ she thought with a twinge of sadness.

    “You remember all the times Master Yoda came to visit us?”

    Tristan nodded.

    “He always said we would be welcome here anytime,” she continued.

    As if on cue, the doors swung open revealing a young Mirialan woman.

    “Hello,” she greeted walking towards them. “My name is…”

    “Barriss Offee!” Siri exclaimed.

    Barriss’ eyes suddenly widened in recognition. “Master Tachi! It’s wonderful to see you again,” she said as she nodded her head.

    Siri greeted the younger Jedi in the same fashion. She noticed that Barriss was looking at Tristan curiously.

    “This is my son, Tristan,” Siri announced, putting her arm around his shoulders. Siri felt the shock wave wash over Barriss, though she showed no outward reaction to the news.

    “Tristan,” Barriss said as she reached to shake his hand warmly. “Welcome to the Jedi Temple.”

    “Thank you,” Tristan mumbled softly.

    Siri squeezed his shoulders, knowing he felt Barriss’ reaction as well and hoping he would be prepared for more of the same. He had known from an early age of her decision to leave the Jedi Order without announcing her pregnancy and as hard as she tried to prepare him for their arrival, she knew the reality would be tough for him.

    “We were hoping to meet with Master Yoda,” Siri added.

    “I’m sure he’d be pleased to meet with you,” Barriss replied. “Why don’t I escort you to the Council Chamber? You can wait there while I inform Master Yoda of your arrival.”

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

    Siri held tightly to Tristan’s small hand as the pair was lead to the High Council Chamber. Word of her return had spread quickly throughout the Temple and greeting all her old friends on her way to the chamber helped to settle her nerves. She had expected a private meeting with Yoda and was stunned when she was told that the entire Jedi Council would be present.

    “You may enter now,” said the young Padawan on duty at the reception desk outside the chamber.

    The huge double door to the High Council Chamber swung open. Siri squeezed Tristan’s hand and smiled down at him encouragingly.

    “Masters,” Siri bowed formally before the Council while Tristan looked around in awe.

    “Good to see you again it is,” Yoda stated, eyes twinkling.

    “Thank you,” Siri replied. “It’s good to be back.”

    She took a moment to look around at the twelve Jedi Masters sitting before her.

    She paused for a moment before speaking. ‘I may as well do this all at once,’ Siri thought. “I’d like to introduce you to my son, Tristan…Tristan Kenobi, my son with Obi-Wan.”

    While the shock emanating from the room wasn’t as strong as it had been with Barriss Offee, it was still palpable. Some part of her was glad to know she could still shock them.

    “Well Tristan, it’s nice to meet you,” Mace Windu’s powerful voice was surprisingly tender. “Perhaps you’d like to spend some time with the Initiates in the crèche while we talk with your mother?”

    “No,” Siri interjected quickly, hugging him to her. “I…I’ve come…” she took a deep breath, desperately trying to will away the tears that were already beginning to form.

    “I’ve come to ask a very special favor and it involves Tristan,” she swallowed before continuing. “Masters, I’m…dying.”

    Tristan buried his head in Siri’s chest, allowing his tears to fall. He knew his mother was dying from a rare disease she had contracted several years before, and he understood death, but it wasn’t easy to face losing her.

    “I’d like Tristan to complete his Jedi training here at the Temple.”

    Mace sat back in his chair, stunned by her announcement.

    “Are you sure about your prognosis?” Mace questioned. “Perhaps one of the healers…”

    “I’m sure,” Siri answered solemnly. “I’ve seen many healers already. My condition is permanent and I am going to die. Soon.”

    “I’m so sorry, Siri,” Garen Muln spoke up, praying to whatever gods would listen that he wasn’t about to lose another friend. “We all are.”

    Tristan tightened his grip around her waist, tears subsiding.

    “Well…ah…has Tristan received any training?” Mace asked gently.

    “Yes,” Siri nodded. “I’ve trained him since he was a baby, though probably not as well as he would have been had he been here,” she smiled down at him, wiping his tears with the tips of her fingers.

    “But his skills are developed beyond most ten-year olds.”

    “Granted your request is,” Yoda answered immediately, ignoring the surprised looks from the rest of the Council.

    “Thank you,” Siri replied. “I’m prepared to leave him as soon as…”

    “No,” Yoda interrupted. “Stay here you will.”

    Siri stared at him in shock. “But Master Yoda, I…”

    “Your family, the Jedi are,” Yoda reminded her. “Take care of you we will.”

    Siri was speechless.

    “Prepared, your old quarters are,” Yoda continued, his gaze compassionate. “Welcome home.”

    “Thank you,” Siri said as she bowed once more before leaving with Tristan.

    ***************************************************************
    “We should begin with testing the boy’s abilities,” Mace began.

    “I agree,” Kit Fisto replied. “We can…”

    Fisto trailed off when he and the others in the room noticed that Yoda had ceased paying them any attention. He had closed his eyes and was blocking out the sounds around him.

    The Force was speaking to its most trusted champion.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    “Good, you’re improving,” Anakin Skywalker complimented thirteen year-old Tristan as the young man sparred with another apprentice.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    ”Sometimes things happen that we just can’t control, Tris,” Anakin told the young sixteen year-old Jedi student. “We’re here to help, but we can only help those that want our assistance. The Force is a formidable ally in any situation, but so is the heart. Let your heart guide you and you won’t step wrong.”
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    ”I can’t believe you tossed me into the lake,” nineteen year-old Tristan commented.

    “You deserved it,” Anakin quipped.

    Several moments passed before both men broke into delighted laughter. They clasped their arms over each other’s shoulders as they walked away from the lake.


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

    Yoda opened his eyes and turned back to face his fellow Jedi Masters in the room.

    “A vision I have had,” he announced.

    “Vision of what, Master?” asked Plo Koon.

    “Tristan Kenobi and Master Skywalker,” Yoda answered. “Entwined their destinies are.”

    “You’re certain?” Mace asked incredulously.

    “Yes,” Yoda nodded, eyes narrowing. “Contact Master Skywalker on Naboo we should. Request he return to Coruscant we will.”

    “Master Yoda,” Garen interjected. “I’d like to request permission to travel to Naboo and speak with Anakin personally.”

    “Granted your request is,” Yoda replied.

    “Impress upon him the importance of this request,” Mace added. “If Yoda is right, it is most likely imperative that Anakin trains the boy.”

    ”Yes Master,” Garen replied as he stood from his chair. “I’ll bring Anakin home.”

    Garen bowed respectfully then turned and swept from the room, his dark cloak billowing out behind him as he walked.

    “Will Skywalker return?” Kit Fisto wondered aloud.

    “For Kenobi’s son, return he will,” Yoda proclaimed.
  5. jacen200015 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2002
    star 4
    :D :D :D Oh I am so excited! Great post as always!
  6. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    I remember this story from back in the day! Looking forward to getting back into it. PMs please?
  7. obsessedwithSW Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 4
    Me too! I remember the premise but its been so long i forgot the details. Which is good for me! It will be as exciting as a new fic! Is this before or after Askoka? Just kidding! Continue
  8. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Tag list: @Sara_Kenobi, @jacen200015, @obsessedwithSW, @Luna_Nightshade

    ***************************************
    The prequel to this story, Will of the Force is posted on fanfiction.net under my same handle, JediMaster_Jen.

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



    Chapter 3

    Fourteen Days Later
    Naboo

    Garen Muln arrived at Padme and Anakin’s Varykino villa in the early afternoon. He paused for a moment, studying the peaceful countryside, noting the various flowers scattered throughout the landscape, the sun creating a glare on the lake, the sounds of the birds chirping. ‘What a perfect place to raise children,’ he thought.

    Sighing and shaking his head at the direction his thoughts had wandered, he rang the doorbell wishing this trip wasn’t overcast with bad news.

    “Good afternoon Knight Muln,” C3PO greeted in a chipper voice. “Please come in.”

    He stepped aside, gesturing for Garen to enter. “I’m sure Master Anakin and Miss Padme will be delighted to see you.”

    “Thank you, 3PO,” Garen replied as he followed 3PO into the small living room, cluttered with children’s toys.

    “Uncle Gawen!”

    Garen turned to see three year-old Arik running towards him as fast as his chubby legs could carry him.

    “Hello young one,” Garen laughed sweeping him up and twirling him around. Arik threw his head back, screaming with laughter.

    “Garen, how nice to see you again,” Padme strode towards him with a warm smile set on her beautiful face. “What brings you all the way out here?”

    Garen set Arik down, ruffling his hair playfully.

    “I need to speak with Anakin,” he replied softly.

    “More! More!” Arik demanded, tugging on Garen’s leg.

    “Perhaps later, little one,” Garen promised as Padme bent down to pick the young boy up.

    “Anakin is outside with Luke and Leia,” she told him, hoisting her squirming son onto her hip. “Is it serious?”

    Garen nodded. “I’m afraid so. Perhaps you could join us in a few minutes?”

    “I wanna pway!” Arik struggled in Padme’s arms.

    “I’ll have 3PO take Arik,” Padme nodded. “I should be out in a minute.”

    “I pway with fee-pe-o, I pway with fee-pe-o!” Arik sang.

    Garen couldn’t help but chuckle at the youngest Skywalker child. The boy was bright and happy, as every child should be. It was obvious that Anakin and Padme were doing a wonderful job with their children. He shook his head to clear his thoughts as he made his way to the yard.

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

    Garen stepped outside, stopping in the shadows as he watched five year-olds Luke and Leia brandishing their miniature lightsabers against the floating training droid. Anakin stood off to the side, calling out instructions and words of encouragement.

    Garen smiled as he watched Anakin’s eyes light up with pride as he watched his children deflect bolt after bolt. Garen recognized the look immediately; it was the same look he often saw on Obi-Wan’s face every time Anakin would accomplish something.

    Anakin suddenly glanced up, having sensed Garen’s presence.

    “Okay, time for a break,” he announced to the children, shutting off the training droid.

    “Aw, Dad!” Luke protested while Leia happily switched off her lightsaber.

    “We have company,” Anakin replied, pointing to Garen.

    “Uncle Garen!” the twins yelled happily as they ran to him, hugging him tightly.

    “I can deflect all the shots by myself!” Luke bragged excitedly. “Wanna see?”

    “I wanna show Uncle Garen my new dolls,” Leia cried, tugging on his arm.

    “I watched you training,” Garen replied, patting Luke’s shoulder. “You did well. You even remind me a little bit of your father when I first met him. I’m very impressed.”

    Luke beamed at him.

    “Leia,” he smiled down at her. “I’ll be happy to come see your new dolls after I speak with your father, okay?”

    Leia nodded glumly.

    “Why don’t you two go inside and play with Arik for awhile,” Anakin suggested as he approached.

    “Race ya!” Luke called out dashing towards the villa, Leia right behind him.

    “Master,” Anakin called as he embraced Garen warmly. “It’s good to see you again, my friend.”

    His smile disappeared as he studied the stern expression on Garen’s face.

    “What’s wrong?”

    “I’m afraid I’m here on official business,” Garen replied solemnly.

    “It’s…” he broke off as Padme emerged from the villa and headed towards them.

    “It must be serious,” Anakin murmured.

    They were silent as they waited for Padme to join them. Garen watched Anakin’s face light up when Padme got near. He could see and sense the love they shared between them.

    “Why don’t we have a seat,” Anakin offered, leading Garen and Padme towards a bench facing the lake.

    “I’m sorry to begin my visit like this,” Garen smiled weakly as they sat on the bench. ”I wish…”

    Padme took Anakin’s hand, squeezing it firmly.

    “Siri has returned to the Temple,” Garen stated plainly, pausing to gage Anakin’s reaction. “With her son.”

    Anakin’s head snapped up in shock. Padme’s eyes widened. Anakin had mentioned Siri Tachi on occasion, having told her that the blonde Jedi had been one of Obi-Wan’s best friends and that she’d taken an interest in his own integration into life at the Jedi Temple when he was a child.

    “Her…she has a…son?” Anakin gasped.

    Garen nodded. “His name is Tristan. He’s Obi-Wan’s son.”

    “Obi-Wan?” Anakin repeated, shaking his head in amazement. “Did he…he never said…”

    “He didn’t know,” Garen replied. “Nobody knew, except for Master Yoda. I got the feeling that he knew about the boy long before Siri returned to the Temple.”

    “I can’t believe it,” Anakin sighed.

    ”Neither could I,” Garen acknowledged.

    “I never knew Obi-Wan and Siri…” Anakin’s voice trailed off, cheeks reddening.

    “Well, they did try to be discreet,” Garen laughed.

    ”You knew?” Padme questioned.

    Garen smiled softly. “Yes, I knew. I was the only person that knew.”

    “I remember when she left,” Anakin whispered. “Obi-Wan went crazy. He practically tore her quarters apart looking for some clue as to where she went, going on and on about how he was going to find her and bring her back.”

    Garen nodded. “Yes. He was determined to search the galaxy for her until Master Yoda got a hold of him. Whatever Master Yoda said to him convinced him to let her go, that she had her reasons for leaving.”

    “When he came back to our quarters, he shut himself in his room for two days, refusing to come out,” Anakin sighed. “He wouldn’t even talk to me.”

    He hung his head, tears filling his clear blue eyes. “I wish he would have talked to me.”

    Garen squeezed his shoulder sympathetically. “Obi-Wan didn’t talk to anybody about her, Anakin. He kept her in the corner of his heart that was closed off to everyone but her. Beyond telling me that they were together, he didn’t even speak to me about her.”

    Padme rubbed Anakin’s back as he wiped the tears from his eyes.

    Garen cleared his throat. “Unfortunately there’s more bad news.”

    Anakin met his sad gaze. 'What more could there possibly be,' he thought.

    “Siri is dying.”

    Anakin closed his eyes and sucked in a deep breath. His heart was breaking all over again; the parts he’d thought had finally managed to heal over the last five years. Old wounds were more powerful that he thought.

    Tears filled Padme’s eyes. “Oh, no; the poor child.”

    “I’m afraid so,” Garen continued. “She brought Tristan to the Temple to complete his training and…”

    He hated having to lay this much on Anakin all at once, but there was little choice. Yoda had made his mission clear. Anakin was to return to the Temple.

    “Master Yoda had a vision concerning you and Tristan.”

    “Me?” Anakin asked in bewilderment.

    “He feels your destinies are entwined and he’d like you to return to Coruscant and train the boy.”

    Anakin was speechless.

    “It’s a lot to absorb all at once, I realize that,” Garen acknowledged, rising to his feet. “And I know you and Padme will need to discuss it first, so why don’t I go check on the children while you two talk.”

    He smiled down at Anakin. “For the record, I think Obi-Wan would be honored to have you train his son, and if you do indeed return, which I truly hope you will, I think Tristan will be lucky to have you as well. Just maybe you two can help each other heal.”
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Sep 16, 2012
    The Sidhe likes this.
  9. obsessedwithSW Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 4
    Wait, obi wan isnt dead in this fic too? :(
  10. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Um, yeah, he is.
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Sep 27, 2012
  11. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    I'm baaaaack!! So is The Tristan Betrayal Chapter 4 is below. Thanks for reading. If anyone else wants to be tagged when I update, let me know.

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


    Chapter 4


    Hours later Anakin sat in stunned silence; his mind still reeling from all the news Garen had delivered. Part of him was devastated at the thought of having to say goodbye to another dear friend. Even though he hadn’t seen Siri in over eleven years, he’d never forgotten how kind she’d been to him from the moment they met. Over the years he’d thought of her often, hoping she was well.

    The other part of him, the part that still longed for any connection to Obi-Wan, no matter how small, was still trying to comprehend the news of her son; Obi-Wan’s son. Obi-Wan had a son. That thought both saddened Anakin and gave him a sense of calm.

    He smiled sadly as he thought of everything he’d experienced with his own children from the overwhelming joy of watching them being born to their first smiles, their first words, their first steps…it pained him to know of how much Obi-Wan missed out on.

    ”Are you alright, Ani?” Padme asked softly from beside him.

    “I’m not sure,” he answered honestly, his eyes focused on his boots.

    The council wanted him to train the boy. No, he corrected himself; Master Yoda wanted him to train Tristan. Anakin knew better than to not take one of Yoda’s visions seriously. If his vision was correct, he needed to train Tristan. Closing his eyes, he reached out to the Force for guidance. All he could sense was the gentle prodding from the Force as it urged him to return to Coruscant. There was nothing specific, but Anakin had already made his decision. He would return to the city-planet and he would train Obi-Wan’s son as Yoda had asked.

    He turned to face Padme, giving her a lopsided grin. Taking her hand in his, he kissed it tenderly.

    “What do you think of all this?” he asked hesitantly, praying she would understand.

    Padme returned his smile, squeezing his hand. “I think it’s time we return to Coruscant.”

    Anakin sat back in surprise. “Are...are you sure?”

    Padme nodded.

    “The Council needs you,” she pointed out. “Obi-Wan’s son needs you and I know how much you’ve missed being at the Temple. Being involved from here on certain decisions hasn’t been enough for you.”

    Anakin let out a sigh of relief, taking her into his arms. He had prayed to the Force that she would understand, but nothing compared to actually knowing that she did.

    “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you the peaceful life you desired,” he whispered against her ear. “I know how much you wanted to…”

    Padme kissed his cheek softly, interrupting him. “It’s okay, Ani,” she assured him, pulling back to look him in the eye.

    ”But you loved being here like this, just being a family,” he reminded her.

    “Yes, I’ve loved what we’ve had these last five years but the truth is, I really miss the Senate and I’d kind of like to get back into politics somehow.”

    Anakin blinked at her in disbelief. “You miss politics?” he teased.

    Padme playfully punched his arm. “You miss the Council?” she shot back.

    Anakin laughed. “Well, I guess we’re going back to Coruscant then,” he said softly.

    They stood and together went in search of Garen and their children.

    “I never imagined that we’d only be here for five years,” Anakin commented as they approached Luke, Leia, Arik and Garen. “I assumed that we’d…”

    Padme reached for his hand as his words trailed off. “I know; so did I. But, things change Anakin. The Jedi need you now and you can’t turn your back on them any more than you could turn your back on our family. I love that about you, you know.”

    They shared a soft kiss.

    “Ewww!” Luke called when he saw his parents kissing.

    “Did you decide?” Garen inquired gently.

    Anakin cleared his throat. “Yes. We’re going back.”

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

    Two Weeks Later
    The Jedi Temple
    Coruscant


    Anakin strode purposefully through the Jedi Temple, his dark cloak billowing out behind him. He greeted his old friends and colleagues quickly, not breaking stride as he headed to Siri’s quarters. He needed to see her again before his meeting with the Council and he hoped she would be up to a visit.

    As he passed a training room, a sudden motion caught his eye. He stopped to study the young boy sparring quite impressively against another initiate.

    “Obi-Wan,” he gasped a moment later. The resemblance was undeniable and everything about the boy’s fighting technique from the defensive stance to the parrying moves was almost an exact duplicate of his former Master.

    ‘This must be Tristan,’ he thought as the training came to an end and the boys shook hands. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Anakin continued on to Siri’s quarters.

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

    “Anakin,” Siri greeted him with a warm smile despite her weakened state. “It’s so wonderful to see you again.”

    She pulled him into a quick hug and Anakin fought back tears as he returned her hug. He knew Siri was very ill but somehow he had still pictured her as the warm, vibrant young woman so full of life and happiness that he remembered from so many years before. The reality of her gaunt, pale frame was almost too much for him to bear.

    “I’ve missed you, Siri,” he whispered against her ear.

    “I missed you too,” she replied, hugging him tightly. She stood back to study him closely.

    A tear slid down his cheek.

    “No, no, no,” Siri scolded him softly, wiping the tear away. “There will be none of that. I’ve accepted my fate and I’m thankful for the wonderful life I’ve had.”

    She paused for a moment. “I wouldn’t trade one single moment of it…only the timing of the end.”

    Anakin stared down at her wearily, nodding his head and wiping away his tears.

    “I’m so sorry, Siri,” he replied. “I wish there was something I could do for you.”

    “There is,” she said as she took his hand, squeezing it firmly and led him to the couch across the room. “Take care of Tristan for me...and for Obi-Wan.”

    “I will,” Anakin promised. “I only hope I can do justice to the training Obi-Wan gave me.”

    “Oh, Tristan will keep you on your toes,” Siri laughed. ”He’s a rambunctious child and he loves to get into things.”

    Anakin chuckled. “Sounds like you’re saddling me a child much like I was at that age.”

    Siri shrugged. “Perhaps, but…”

    “But what?” he questioned.

    “He’s so much like his father…” her words trailed off.

    “Obi-Wan would be so proud of you,” she said a moment later, running her fingers though his shoulder-length hair. “You’ve become the man he always knew you’d be.”

    “He taught me well,” Anakin mused. “And I promise I’ll pass on everything I learned to Tristan.”

    ”I know you will,” she told him. “I trust you Anakin, just as Obi-Wan trusted you. I know you won’t let me down. I know you won’t let my son down.”

    Anakin nodded, his emotions once again trying to get the best of him. He tramped them down as best he could before speaking again.

    “Have you checked up on Ferus at all since you’ve been back?” he asked, eager to change the subject.

    Siri smiled slightly. “Yes. He came to see me the third day I was here.”

    “How is he?” Anakin wanted to know. He and the older man had been rivals as teenagers, but there had also been an underlying respect between them. He didn’t like Ferus Olin, but he respected him enough to ask about him in polite conversation with Ferus’ former master.

    “He’s well,” she decided after a moment. “When I made my decision to leave the Jedi Order, Ferus was sort of left twisting in the wind, so to speak. He wasn’t yet ready for the Trials, but at twenty years old, he was close enough. Another master completed his training and he became a Knight about a year or so after I left.”

    Anakin nodded. “I didn’t know any of that. Obi-Wan and I were gone so often that I barely saw Ferus.”

    “Well, perhaps that was for the best,” she said. “I knew that my leaving would upset him, and he certainly wouldn’t have needed you making it worse with your taunts.”

    “Taunts?” Anakin gasped. “I never taunted him.”

    Siri laughed then, a wonderful, deep, happy laugh and it warmed Anakin’s heart.

    “Of course you did,” she replied. “You were seventeen when I left and it was still as bad then as when the two of you were children.”

    Anakin shook his head. He again shifted the conversation to another topic, eager to hear all about her life away from the Temple. He asked questions and she answered, followed by her questioning him. He learned much about Tristan and he told Siri all about Padme, Luke, Leia and Arik.

    Hours passed as the two old friends chatted. They both knew that time was slowly running out and they were determined to make the best of whatever was left.
  12. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
  13. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Glad Anakin and Padme saw eye to eye on returning, and that Anakin got to have a good conversation with Siri. Curious as to what happened to Obi-Wan... Great update!
  14. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    @Luna_Nightshade~~Obi-Wan's demise is explained in Will of the Force. It's posted at fanfiction.net
  15. charmedjedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Poor Anakin he is gonna have his hands full with all those kids. Not that he doesn't deserve it after what he put obi through. And Tristen will probably be a lot easier then his kids.
  16. jacen200015 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2002
    star 4
    Looking forward to more :)
  17. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 5

    Morning had finally come and Anakin now walked alongside Garen as they made their way to the Council Chamber where he would officially accept Tristan as his Padawan. He was amazed at the changes he was seeing as they walked; parents watching their children train, parents walking freely throughout the Temple holding their children’s hands, parents talking openly with the Jedi teaching classes. He had known of these changes of course, had even voted for them but somehow seeing them up close in person put them into a new perspective.

    One of the first changes the Council had put to vote after he’d left for Naboo was allowing parents to be a part of their children’s training and lives at the Temple. As a result, the number of children being tested and allowed to train exploded. Being allowed to stay in their children’s lives coupled with the final destruction of the Sith and peace being restored to the galaxy, made having a child become a Jedi an appealing prospect to most people.

    “I can’t get over all the new initiates,” Anakin marveled, shaking his head in wonderment. ”I never imagined it could be like this.”

    “It takes a little getting used to,” Garen agreed, chuckling softly. “We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of Force-sensitive children being found across the galaxy. We’ve even begun construction on several new facilities on three separate planets to help cope with the influx of children that need to be trained.”

    “There’s that many?” Anakin gasped.

    “Oh yes,” Garen replied. “The new Jedi Temples will even have their quarters designed to house entire families.”

    “It certainly looks as if we’ll need it,” Anakin smiled, swerving to avoid colliding with a rambunctious young girl being chased by several other children. “It probably doesn’t help that I’m adding three to the roster.”

    Garen laughed. “Oh, we’ll find room for Luke and Leia and you have a couple more years before Arik will begin his formal training.”

    Anakin nodded in agreement, his heart filled with joy at the thought of his children training in the very place he himself became a Jedi. He could see them already wandering the halls, following the winding paths through the Temple that he had, guided by the gentle hand of a loving teacher.

    They would enjoy their time here, of that he was certain.

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

    When they reached the reception area outside the Council Chamber, Anakin was not surprised to see the same young boy he’d seen sparring the day before fidgeting nervously on the couch. What surprised him even more was that he knew the boy was nervous because he could see it, not because he could sense the emotion. The child had remarkable shielding for one so young.

    Garen walked up to the boy, smiling warmly as he gestured at Anakin. “Tristan Kenobi, I’d like you to meet Anakin Skywalker.”

    Garen put a supportive hand on Tristan’s shoulder as the boy stood and held out his hand to greet Anakin.

    “Hello Sir,” he greeted shyly.

    Anakin took his hand squeezing it firmly. “Tristan, it’s nice to meet you, and you don’t have to call me Sir, or even Master Skywalker. I think Anakin will be fine for now.”

    Tristan smiled again, a smile Anakin had seen countless times on the face of his former master; a smile he still occasionally saw in his dreams.

    “I’ll leave you two to become better acquainted,” Garen announced. “We’ll call you when we’re ready for you.”

    Anakin studied Tristan silently as Garen disappeared behind the Council doors. His resemblance to Obi-Wan was uncanny from his light brown hair, to his blue-gray eyes, to the way he stood, steadily meeting Anakin’s gaze, his head held high and shoulders squared, fully prepared for whatever was coming next. For a child that had never met the man who had sired him, Tristan Kenobi was a near-perfect replica of his father in both looks and mannerisms. It was a wondrous thing for Anakin to witness.

    “Are you going to train me?” Tristan asked, breaking the silence and pulling Anakin from his thoughts.

    “If you’d like me to,” Anakin replied, laughing as the boys’ eyes widened in surprise.

    “You mean I get to decide?” he breathed incredulously. ”It’s my choice?”

    “Of course,” Anakin said. “I would never force you to become my Padawan. This is a decision you have to make on your own.”

    Tristan smiled a crooked smile.

    “I guess you’d be okay,” he shrugged. “My mom taught me a lot already but…” tears began to fill his eyes. “She can’t anymore and she says I have to continue my training when she’s…she’s….”

    Anakin put his arm around Tristan’s shoulders and lead him to the couch. Together they sat down, Anakin keeping his arm around the boy.

    “Your mother is one of the best women I’ve had the pleasure to know,” Anakin began as Tristan wiped the tears from his own eyes. “She was a good friend to me when I came to the Temple and she has remained so, even after years of the two us not having any contact. I promise you that I will do my best to complete the training she began, in a fashion she and your father would be proud of.”

    “You knew my dad?” Tristan sniffed a few moments later.

    “Yes, I did. He was my Master,” Anakin replied somberly. “And he was the greatest man I ever knew, or ever will know.”

    “What was he like?”

    Anakin thought quietly for a moment, struggling to find the right words to describe the man who became his father. He knew whatever he came up with would not be adequate.

    “He was known throughout the galaxy as The Negotiator,” he began with a wistful smile. “He was loyal, strong and dedicated to peace and democracy.”

    He glanced at Tristan, who was listening intently. “Did your mother ever tell you how I came to the Jedi Order?”

    Tristan shook his head slowly.

    Anakin sat back and began his tale from his life on Tatooine to his years at the Temple. He left nothing out, from the death Qui-Gon Jinn to the painful loss of his own mother; something else he and Tristan had in common. He recalled his slaughter of the Tusken Raiders that had murdered Shmi Skywalker and the redemption from that terrible act he’d found in Padme and Obi-Wan’s love for him.

    “Your father became my father over the years,” he explained. “I was lucky to have him. I can’t imagine what would have become of me if Obi-Wan hadn’t been in my life. I think I would have become something…truly awful if it hadn’t been for his guidance, his caring and his faith in me.”

    “So you’re like my big brother?”

    Anakin threw his head back and laughed. “From a certain point of view,” he mused.

    “I wish I’d known him,” Tristan said sadly.

    Anakin squeezed his shoulders firmly. “You’ll discover him through me, I promise, and perhaps I’ll even rediscover him through you.”

    Tristan smiled at him gratefully.

    “How do you like life at the Temple so far?” Anakin then questioned.

    Tristan shrugged. “It’s weird. I don’t know anybody but they all know me.”

    Anakin winced, remembering his own first experiences at the Temple. Everyone knew he was ‘The Chosen One’ and they all either stared at him, whispered behind his back or treated him as if he were some sort of strange creature. Over the years, he’d come to be friends with the majority of his fellow Jedi but the memories of his early days left him scarred. It pained him to know Tristan was experiencing a similar reaction.

    “I don’t know how to act sometimes,” Tristan continued.

    “Just be you,” Anakin advised. “Once everybody gets to know you, they’ll treat you the same as they treat everyone else.”

    “I hope so,” Tristan sighed.

    “They’re ready for you, Master Skywalker,” the teenage Padawan at the reception desk announced as the Council doors swung open.

    Anakin nodded in her direction before looking back down at Tristan.

    “Ready?” he asked as he stood.

    The boy took a deep breath and stood as well. “Yes.”

    Together, as had happened twenty years before; Kenobi and Skywalker ventured before the Jedi Council to seal their bond as Master and Padawan. This time Skywalker led, but Kenobi wasn’t far behind.

    “Skywalker and Kenobi, together again,” the Padawan whispered to herself as the doors closed.
    SHADOW_MASTER_W likes this.
  18. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
  19. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Sweet to see Tristan with Anakin and how he told him about Obi-Wan. The two of them have a lot in common. Looking forward to how they get along together. Great update!
  20. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Sorry for the long delay. I hope to post several chapters tonight, and then a few more in the next couple of days. Hope you enjoy. :)

    ////////////////////////////////////////

    Chapter 6


    Anakin stood in the shadows of the training room watching quietly as Master Yoda tested Tristan’s levitating skills.

    “Concentrate,” Yoda cooed softly as Tristan lifted a second bolder. It floated slowly upwards to rest on top of the other.

    Impressive, Anakin thought; nodding in silent approval. Siri certainly had taught him well. Most ten-year olds still struggled to control one boulder and Tristan was easily handling two. The boy obviously had great power.

    “You should be here to see this, Master,” he whispered. “You’d be so proud of your son.”

    “Feel the Force flow through you,” Yoda continued softly.

    Tristan’s face scrunched with strain as the rocks lifted higher. He closed his eyes in concentration, sweat forming on his forehead.

    “Yes…good, good,” Yoda encouraged. “Use the Force; guide you it will; show you things.”

    The rocks began to shake as Tristan struggled to maintain control. Anakin leaned forward as he felt the panic begin to build in his new Padawan. Something was wrong. Tristan’s emotions were turning very fearful.

    Suddenly, the rocks dropped. Tristan’s eyes flew open in panic.

    “Mom!” he cried running towards the door. Anakin stepped into the room, catching Tristan in his arms.

    “Tristan, what’s wrong?” he asked as the boy struggled to free himself.

    “It’s…my…mom…” he choked on the tears that were falling down his cheeks. “She’s…she…died…I was supposed to be with her…let me go!”

    Anakin tightened his grip as Yoda hobbled over.

    “Tristan, calm yourself! Your mother hasn’t died,” Anakin assured him. ”Your mother is alive, Tristan.”

    “I saw it!” Tristan screamed. ”I saw her die!”

    “We would have felt it,” Anakin replied gently. “She’s still…waiting for you.”’

    “She…is?” Tristan gasped.

    “Yes,” Anakin smiled warmly at the boy. “Stretch out with your feelings and you’ll feel her too.”

    He and Yoda exchanged worried glances as Tristan closed his eyes, reaching for his mother. He sagged against Anakin in relief when he felt her presence, tired and weak, but very much alive.

    “How come I saw her?” he asked wearily. “It seemed so real.”

    “It is the future you see,” Yoda explained softly. ”Events yet to take place.”

    “Oh,” Tristan breathed. “I really want to see my mom. Can the testing be over now Master?”

    Anakin was startled when he realized Tristan addressed the question to him instead of Yoda. He was still getting used to the idea of having a padawan. He glanced down at the small Master. Yoda had an amused smile on his face and nodded his head slightly.
    “Yes,” Anakin answered Tristan. “I’ll see you in a bit.”

    Surprising both Anakin and Yoda, and possibly himself, Tristan tossed himself into Anakin’s arms for a hug. He held tight for a few moments before springing loose and rushing from the room.

    “He’s having visions already,” Anakin commented. ”Obi-Wan mentioned to me once that he had them often as a child.”

    “Hmm…strong is Tristan with the Force, like his father,” Yoda replied closing his eyes and lowering his head. “Much guidance he will need, if learn to control his visions, he is. Not easy will it be.”

    Anakin nodded, feeling for the first time, the true burden of his new responsibility.

    Is this how you felt as well, Master? he thought. Obi-Wan had the daunting task of training the Chosen One. Now, the Chosen One himself had the daunting task of training a young boy stronger in the Force than most.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Anakin held tightly to Arik’s hand as he led Padme and the children through the Temple to Siri’s quarters. She had invited the entire Skywalker family over for a simple dinner so they could get to know each other.

    Luke and Leia listened attentively as he pointed out the various training rooms, study areas and introduced everyone to several of the Masters they passed.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    “Anakin,” Siri smiled brightly, holding the door to her quarters open.

    “And you must be Padme,” she greeted each of the Skywalkers warmly and introduced them to a stoic Tristan at her side as they entered.

    Padme nodded and smiled slightly. “Yes, and these are my children, Luke, Leia and Arik.”

    Siri looked down at the children. “I’m pleased to meet you.”

    Taking control, as she usually did, Leia stepped forward from her brothers. She held out a tiny hand. “We’re pleased to meet you too, Master Tachi.”

    Padme chuckled at her headstrong and outgoing daughter.

    Anakin watched the exchange silently, struggling to keep his emotions under control. He had only been back at the Temple a few days but he could see the rapid decline in Siri’s health. Her smile no longer reached her eyes and her breathing had become shallower. His heart bled at the realization that Tristan’s vision of her dying would become a reality all too soon. He looked away guiltily when Siri caught his eye, a knowing look on her face.

    “Tristan,” she began softly. “Why don’t you take Luke, Leia and Arik into to living room and watch a bit of the HoloNet.”

    “Siri, are you sure you’re up to this?” Anakin asked when the children were out of earshot. “We can always…”

    “Nonsense, I’ll be all right,” Siri replied firmly meeting his worried gaze. “For tonight anyway, and it’s important for Tristan to meet…” she trailed off, tears welling up in her eyes.

    Anakin reached out and rested a hand on her arm, lending her his support, both physically and through the Force.

    “I’m not going to do this,” she insisted wiping the tears from her eyes. “I don’t have much time left and I want to get to know Tristan’s new family a bit.”

    “Siri, we’re honored to have Tristan in our lives,” Padme said softly. “I wish it could be under better circumstances but I promise you, we will keep your memory and Obi-Wan’s alive for him.”

    Anakin nodded his agreement. “He will know you, Siri, and he’ll know Obi-Wan, I’ll make sure of it. He’ll never have to wonder who his parents were or what they were like.”

    “Thank you,” Siri replied with a grateful smile. She took a deep breath. “Now, let’s go join our children and enjoy the rest of the evening.”
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Jul 9, 2013
  21. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
  22. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 7


    Anakin held a squirming Arik firmly in his arms as he sat among several dozen other parents in the main training hall. In a few moments, Luke and Leia would be lead into the center of the room with the other children who’d been accepted for training. They would be split into different groups within the crèche, and for the first time in their young lives, trained separately.

    Anakin swallowed the lump in his throat. He knew his children needed to be here in the Temple, trained by the very best the Jedi had to offer in order to reach the height of their abilities, but it was difficult for him let go of being in charge of their training. It felt a little like his babies were slowly slipping away from him.

    “Daddy, I wanna pway!” Arik requested as he struggled to free himself from Anakin’s grasp.

    “In a little bit,” Anakin whispered in his ear, ruffling his hair.

    “Now, Daddy!” Arik demanded loudly, earning Anakin several sympathetic looks from the parents nearby.

    “Having a little trouble?” asked an amused voice from behind.

    Anakin turned to find Barriss Offee grinning broadly at him.

    “Hello, Barriss,” he greeted as she sat down beside him.

    “And who’s this little cutie?” she asked pinching Arik’s cheeks.

    “This is my youngest son, Arik,” Anakin introduced. “Arik, can you say hello to Barriss?”

    “Hi, Bawess,” Arik greeted shyly.

    “Well, aren’t you just the most handsome little boy in the room,” she cooed.

    “Yes,” Arik replied, crawling from Anakin’s lap into hers and tugging on a loose strand of her long hair.

    “And just as modest as your daddy,” Barriss laughed hugging him to her.

    “Hey!” Anakin protested.

    “Where is Padme?” Barriss asked a moment later.

    “She’s in a meeting with Chancellor Organa and Vice-Chancellor Mon Mothma to discuss her…political future,” Anakin answered as the side doors to the training room opened and the new initiates entered.

    He watched in silent awe as the ceremony began and Luke and Leia were sorted into a crèche group. Both five-year olds, along with the many other young children were grinning from ear to ear while still others were standing stoically as they were assigned to their new crèche group.

    “I still can’t quite get over how many new initiates there are,” Anakin whispered to Barriss.

    She smiled, still holding Arik in her lap. “It is hard to believe. I’ve never been sure of all the changes, but it’s hard to argue them when you see this.”

    Anakin smiled as he watched his twin children talking animatedly with the other children that were sorted into the group. They were already making the friendships that would last them their entire lifetimes. They would train with these friends, eat their meals with them, study for their classes with them, and one day, possibly, go to war with them; fight and die with them.

    “Are you alright, Anakin?” Barriss asked as she sensed his sadness.

    He looked over at her, at his son, and nodded. “I will be.”

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    The ceremony had barely ended when his comlink chirped.

    “Skywalker,” he answered absently, keeping his eyes on Luke and Leia.

    “Master!” Tristan’s voice was on the edge of hysterical.

    “Tristan, what’s wrong?” he questioned; yet even as he asked, Anakin knew.

    “It’s my mom,” Tristan cried. “You have to hurry!”

    “I’m on my way,” he turned to Barriss.

    “I’ll take care of Arik,” she said, squeezing his arm tightly.

    “Thank you,” Anakin breathed, running from the room in full stride.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Padme sat across from Chancellor Organa and Vice-Chancellor Mon Mothma picking at her pika fruit.

    “I’m glad to see you back on Coruscant, Padme,” Mon Mothma began. “You don’t know how much the Republic has missed you these last five years.”

    “Really?” Padme asked, her eyes widening in surprise. “I was just a senator. I’m surprised anybody noticed my absence.”

    “Don’t underestimate your contributions to this Republic, Padme,” Bail replied. “A lot of changes that have come about since Palpatine’s death are a direct result of legislation you introduced or supported.”

    “Along with many other people,” Padme murmured shyly. ”It wasn’t just me. I was just a piece of the whole; one voice among many others.”

    “Regardless,” Mon Mothma continued. “You made a tremendous difference while you were in office and we…” she glanced at Bail, “…are hoping you will continue to do so.”

    “I’d like to,” Padme said softly. “I really surprised at how much I’ve missed being a part of the Senate and I hope there is a role for me somewhere.”

    “As a matter of fact, there is,” Bail smiled at her warmly. “Mon Mothma and I have been discussing a position that has just been created. We’ve been having a difficult time selecting someone for the job, but I think you’d be perfect.”

    Padme sat back stunned. “A new position?”

    “As a liaison between this office and the Senators,” Bail offered.

    Padme frowned. “Why would you need a liaison?” she wondered. “Don’t you still have meetings and debate on the Senate floor?”

    “Yes,” Mon Mothma replied. “But we are hoping to cut down on the bureaucracy by having you meet directly with the senators before they introduce legislation on the floor. You would be in a position of authority, having the ability to negotiate with the senators on behalf of Bail and myself. If we can have an agreement on the issues worked out in advance of the senate sessions, it will limit the time we spend discussing the issues in a…committee.”

    “I’m overwhelmed you would choose me for such a position,” Padme replied.

    “Well, we do have an ulterior motive of sorts,” Bail said, leaning forward. “We’d like to groom you for an eventual run as Chancellor.”

    “Me?” Padme choked. “But…I…my children…”

    “Not right away,” Bail chuckled. “In fact, Mon Mothma is planning to run when my term is up. We’re thinking several years down the road when your children are older.”

    Padme was speechless.

    “It’s a lot to think about, we realize that,” Mon Mothma began. “And you don’t have to decide about running for Chancellor right now but we hope you’ll consider the liaison job. You’re an asset to this Republic, Padme and the people will be thrilled to have you back, in any capacity you choose.”

    “I don’t know what to say,” Padme breathed. “Thank you for your confidence in me.”

    “Padme, you’ve proven yourself to be more dedicated to peace and diplomacy than most of the senators serving today,” Bail added. “I can’t think of a more fitting candidate to groom to eventually lead the Republic.”

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Anakin arrived at Siri’s quarters directly behind Ferus Olin, his childhood rival.

    “Ferus,” he greeted solemnly.

    “Anakin,” he returned, both men silently agreeing to put aside old feuds for the sake of a woman they both respected.

    They entered her quarters together to find Garen, Yoda and Tristan at Siri’s bedside.

    “Ah, my two favorite Jedi,” Siri gasped weakly.

    “I came as quickly as I could, Master,” Ferus whispered taking her hand and squeezing it softly.

    “I know,” she gasped, studying each of the sad faces around her silently before turning her gaze back to Ferus.

    She looked into his dark eyes and reached up with great effort to finger the patch of white in his hair. She ran a finger down the long scar that ran from his left ear all the way down to his neck.

    A thousand different memories of the time they shared together as teacher and student came to her mind then. She could so easily see the young boy he’d been in the face of the man before her. He was serious and dedicated to becoming the best Jedi he could possibly be.

    “You’ve grown into a fine man and strong Jedi, Ferus,” she breathed. “I’m so proud of you.”

    Ferus wasn’t one for public displays of emotion, but the pride he saw in his dying master’s eyes when she looked at him gave him occasion to cry. Tears coursed down his tanned face.

    “I’m proud of you,” Ferus whispered through his tears. “You made me the Jedi I am today, and for that I’m grateful. You made me the man I am today, and for that I’m eternally proud and thankful to have had you in my life.”

    He leaned down and pressed a soft kiss on her fever-warmed forehead. “Force be with you, my Master. I will miss you.”

    With that, he stood and backed away, letting someone else taken his place next to Siri.

    She turned to Garen as he knelt beside her. “Garen, you’ve been such a good friend to me over the years, I…” she tailed off, interrupted by a brief coughing spell.

    “Thank you,” she finally managed softly.

    Garen grasped her fragile hand in his and squeezed gently. “You don’t have to thank me. Being your friend has always been one of the easiest things I’ve done in my life. Apart from Obi-Wan, you were always my best friend. I want you to know that I’ll always cherish the time we spent together.”

    “As will I,” she whispered.

    Garen brought her hand to his lips and gently kissed the center of her palm, a sign of love and respect that was tradition on his homeworld. His eyes met hers as he spoke. “Goodbye, my friend. May the Force be with you.”

    As Garen stood, Siri’s gaze drifted to Master Yoda.

    “Master,” she called weakly.

    Yoda smiled up at her.

    “There aren’t enough words for me to thank you for all you’ve done for me over the years.”

    The old Jedi hobbled closer and rested a clawed hand on top of Siri’s. “A fine Jedi you are, youngling. Proud of you I am. Miss you, I will.”

    A single tear slid down Siri’s cheek.

    “Anakin,” she reached out a shaky hand.

    Anakin stepped forward, taking her hand in his. Always a person that wore his heart on his sleeve, Anakin had tears pouring down his cheeks. His eyes were red from crying and his hands weren’t all that steady.

    “Take…care…of Tristan,” her breathing was rapidly becoming shallower.

    “I will,” Anakin vowed as he dropped to one knee beside her. "I swear to the Force, I will. I won’t let you down, Siri. I will watch over him as if he were my own son, I promise you.”

    She could only manage a small nod of her head.

    Anakin leaned close. “You have nothing to fear, my friend. Your son will be taken care of. May the Force be with you.”

    He stood then and let Tristan move closer to his mother. He rested a strong, once again steady hand on the boys’ shoulder.

    “Mom,” Tristan called as he sat beside her, tears streaming down his cheeks.

    “Tris, my sweet little boy,” Siri caressed his cheek with the last of her strength. “I’m so sorry to leave you…I love you,” her arm dropped to the bed.

    “I…love…you,” she shuddered, her mouth forming into a slight smile.

    “Obi-Wan,” she breathed, her eyes widening in recognition before closing forever…and was gone.

    “Mom!”

    Tristan buried his face into her neck and sobbed.

    Yoda lowered his head.

    “Rest well youngling,” he whispered before turning and hobbling from the room.

    Anakin bit back his tears, determined to be strong for Tristan. The boy needed his steady calm, not his grief.

    Garen and Ferus whispered their own goodbyes, leaving Anakin and Tristan alone.

    Anakin sat next to Tristan, rubbing his shoulders gently.

    “What will…happen to her…now,” Tristan gasped.

    “The Healers will prepare her…her body to receive final respects in the Room of Remembrance,” Anakin replied softly. “It is how the Jedi Order honors the life of a Jedi who has passed into the Force.”

    “I…don’t…want…to…say...goodbye.”

    Anakin gathered the boy in his arms.

    “It’s not goodbye,” he assured him gently. “You mother will always live on in your heart and the hearts of all of us lucky enough to have known her. Then one day, a long time from this moment, after you’ve lived your life you’ll pass into the Force just as she has. You’ll be old and gray by then and when you find yourself held with the arms of the Force, your mother, and your father, will be there waiting for you.”

    “Promise?”

    Anakin held the child tightly. “I promise.”

    The two sat there for a long time, bonded in their grief. “Let’s go home.”

    Tristan nodded. He bent down and kissed Siri’s cheek. “I love you, Mama. We’ll see each other again someday, I promise.”

    Anakin smiled gently at the boy. They grasped hands and walked from the room…together.
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Jul 9, 2013
  23. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 8

    Anakin stood stoically next to Tristan as Siri’s pyre was lit. He’d been by his padawans side the last three days as the Jedi Order paid homage to Siri and was amazed at how well the boy held up. He exhibited remarkable strength for one so young. Despite his grief, Tristan was the first one to enter the Room of Remembrance in the morning and the last to leave at night, collapsing in exhaustion for a few hours of sleep before returning to his mother’s side.

    Just as Anakin had done six years previously with Obi-Wan, Tristan stood solemnly at the head of the table where Siri lay, listening intently as the entire Jedi Order and several of her good friends said their good-byes. One by one they filed past; some murmuring small verses while others simply bowed their heads for a moment before moving on.

    Anakin was by his side the entire time, silently and confidently using the Force to give Tristan the extra strength he needed. Anakin understood better than anyone did just how much Tristan needed to be with Siri during these final hours and he was determined to help the young boy fulfill his final duty to his mother.

    He glanced over at Padme and thanked the Force for her unwavering love and support. He would never have survived losing Obi-Wan or have the wherewithal to be strong for Tristan without her. She was his rock, through good times and bad, just as he was now Tristan’s.

    Tristan stared blindly into the flames as the Jedi began to leave the room, his bottom lip trembling, his blue-gray eyes awash in grief and pain. Anakin could feel his anxiety begin to rise and sent him a wave of comfort through the Force and felt him relax a bit.

    Padme took his large hand in hers, squeezing firmly as he watched the last of the embers die, hardly believing Siri was really gone. When she’d fled the temple so many years ago, at least they’d had the comfort of knowing she was out there, somewhere. Now, she had joined the Force, and that simply…hurt.

    As the room emptied, Tristan’s shoulders slumped and he began to tremble. Anakin squeezed his shoulders tightly, offering silent comfort to his young student.

    “Tris,” he whispered softly. “It’s time to go home.”

    Not for the first time since he’d witnessed his mother’s death three days before, tears poured down Tristan’s cheeks as he buried his face in Anakin’s chest.

    “It’s…over…Mom’s…gone…” he sobbed.

    Padme walked over to Tristan, rubbing his back gently as Anakin spoke.

    “She’s not gone,” he explained gently. “She will always be with you wherever you go, in your heart and in your memories. She’ll never really leave you.”

    Tristan continued his sobbing as he wrapped his arms around Anakin’s waist, hugging him tightly and taking comfort in his presence.

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

    Anakin paused over Tristan’s sleeping form to make sure he was in a deep sleep before slipping quietly from his room.

    “Is he finally asleep?” Padme whispered as he closed the door behind him.

    Nodding, Anakin turned to face her. He took in her soft features before answering.

    “He kept insisting he wasn’t tired even though he was about to collapse from exhaustion.” he sighed, running a hand through his hair. “He’s as stubborn as his father. I can’t count the number of times Obi-Wan would keep going until he just dropped somewhere. He’d insist that he was fine and the next minute he was sound asleep.”

    Padme chuckled softly before pulling Anakin into a tight embrace. “Now you can get some rest,” she whispered against his ear.

    Anakin leaned against her momentarily before pulling back to gaze at her softly. “I’m not that tired,” he protested. “And you never told me how your meeting with Organa and Mon Mothma went.”

    “Ani,” Padme stroked his cheek tenderly. “It went fine and we can talk about it later. Right now you need to…”

    “Find out how the meeting went,” he interrupted, catching her hand and kissing the palm. “The kids will be back from the crèche soon and I won’t be able to rest then.”

    He gave her a lopsided grin. “Let’s talk about it now.”

    “All right,” Padme sighed leading him into the sitting room. “I’ve been offered a new position,” she began as the settled onto the sofa.

    Taking his hand in hers, she told him everything from the creation of the new position to being groomed for an eventual run as Chancellor.

    “Chancellor Skywalker,” Anakin teased, raising one brow. “I like the sound of that.”

    “I don’t know about that part,” she admitted shyly. “Can you really imagine me as Chancellor?”

    “Yes,” Anakin replied firmly. “You would be perfect for the job.”

    “You really think so?” Padme asked doubtfully. “It’s such an overwhelming thought.”

    “You could handle it,” Anakin insisted. “I’ve watched you in the Senate over the years and I know there is nothing you can’t handle. I think you could make a huge impact as Chancellor.”

    “Thank you Ani,” Padme breathed, tears shining in her eyes. She leaned over to kiss him deeply as the door flew open.

    “Mom! Dad! We’re home!”
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Jul 13, 2013
  24. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 9

    Luke Skywalker sat in the Introduction to System Geography class and stifled a yawn. He hated having to sit still for studying. He’d much rather have been with Leia in Master Yoda’s levitation class. Now that would be fun.

    “Good morning everyone,” the instructor boomed in a powerful voice as he stepped into the room and stood before a holographic projector. “My name is Master Agen Kolar and I will be your teacher for this class.”

    “Good morning Master Kolar,” the students piped up in perfect unison.

    Luke tuned out the rest of Kolar’s speech as he studied his fellow classmates. One girl in particular caught his eye. She was sitting two seats ahead of him to his left, her long red hair strewn casually around her shoulders.

    She fidgeted uncomfortably, seemingly feeling his stare, before turning and catching his eye. She flashed him a quick smile, her green eyes dancing with mischief.

    Master Kolar’s name was projected above Luke’s head as he explained how the holo projector worked and that the students were to enter their questions and answers in the datapad in front of them.

    Suddenly, another hologram appeared directly next to Master Kolar’s name. It read, simply: is a poodoo head.

    The class burst into laughter. Master Kolar looked up, shaking his head knowingly. These weren’t the first group of Initiates that had gotten creative with the interactive datapads. They wouldn’t be the last either.

    “Well at least someone is paying attention to my instruction,” he commented wryly.

    Luke glanced over at the young girl who was grinning in triumph. She did it, he thought gleefully.

    “Please keep in mind that I am a Jedi Master and I can sense the culprit,” Kolar pointed out with a slight smile, glancing quickly at the young redheaded girl.

    The hologram disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared.

    “Thank you,” Kolar said. “Now we can continue with the class.”

    Luke could barely contain himself until the class was over. He had to meet this girl.

    “Hi, I’m Luke Skywalker,” he breathed, catching up to her after the class ended. “That was wizard!”

    The young girl eyed him suspiciously.

    “What was?” she asked innocently.

    “Calling Master Kolar a poodoo head,” Luke laughed. “How’d you do that without him seeing?”

    “It was easy,” the girl shrugged. “Maybe I’ll show you sometime but I’ve got to get to Master Unduli’s class now.”

    “Thanks!” Luke said with a grin as she started to walk away.

    “Hey!” he called out after her. “What’s your name?”

    “Mara Jade,” she called out over her shoulder, without breaking stride.

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

    Anakin found a downtrodden and grumpy Tristan sitting on a limestone bench next to a small pond in the Room of a Thousand Fountains, absently dropping pebbles into the water. He sighed, pausing for a moment to gather his thoughts before sitting quietly next to him.

    “Tristan,” he greeted softly.

    “Master,” came the equally soft reply.

    “Do you want to tell me what happened?”

    Tristan glanced at him quickly.

    “Didn’t Master Windu tell you?” he asked incredulously.

    “He told me you threw a tantrum and stomped out of his class,” Anakin replied gently.

    “I did not!” Tristan insisted louder than was necessary.

    Anakin looked at him, raising one eyebrow. “You stayed for the entire class?”

    “No.” Tristan’s shoulders slumped. “But I didn’t have a tantrum.”

    “Ah, I see,” Anakin bit his lip to keep from smiling. “Why did you stomp out of class then?”

    Tristan dropped a few pebbles into the pond before answering. “I don’t know, Master,” he finally sighed.

    “Whatever is bothering you, you can talk to me about it,” Anakin said gently. “I hope you know that. I might even understand.”

    “It’s such a stupid class!” Tristan suddenly flared. “Why do I have to study Galactic Political Procedures anyway? I’m not going to be a politician! I hate politics!”

    Anakin couldn’t completely suppress the smile that crossed his face at that statement. He easily remembered all of the times Obi-Wan had expressed the same sentiments towards politics. Perhaps there was something to the like father, like son adage after all.

    “Because you’ll have to deal with politicians whether you want to or not,” Anakin explained after a few moments. “And you’ll need to be able to speak their language, so to speak.”

    “I guess so,” Tristan groaned.

    Anakin studied him for a moment. He could feel the tension and anger just below the surface of Tristan’s emotions. Something else was bothering him; something important. Of that much, Anakin was certain.

    “Why did you really leave the class?” he asked softly, hoping to draw Tristan out.

    Tristan was silent for a few moments. Anakin could feel his turmoil as he debated whether to tell him or not.

    “I want to be doing something important,” he finally replied. “My mom said being a Jedi was the most important job in the galaxy and she taught me to use my talent. She said I would help a lot of people someday,” he paused as tears began to fall down his cheeks. “I don’t see how dealing with politicians can help anybody.”

    “Perhaps it can’t,” Anakin chuckled. “But you have to deal with them anyway. Dealing with things and doing things we don’t want to do are part of life. But even the most irritating and seemingly mundane tasks have a purpose.”

    Tristan sighed in frustration.

    “Tris,” Anakin began, hardly believing he was delivering the exact same speech Obi-Wan had given him over the years…repeatedly. “Being a Jedi is not all about adventure and excitement. There is a lot of diplomacy involved if you’re really going to help make the changes needed to make a difference in the lives of thousands of beings. I know you want to go out into the galaxy lightsaber blazing, but it just doesn’t work that way. Even when I was a young Jedi Padawan, your father and I went on many missions where neither of us even ignited out sabers. You have to understand everything else that goes into being a Jedi Knight other than combat.”

    “Maybe,” Tristan admitted begrudgingly. “But do you have any idea how boring Master Windu can be?”

    Anakin threw his head back and laughed.

    “As a matter of fact, I do. Come on,” he stood, bringing Tristan up with him. “Let me show you a little trick I learned on how to survive a class with Master Windu.”

    The two got up from the bench and headed out of the Room of a Thousand Fountains; Anakin gesturing with his hands and Tristan laughing.

    Neither of them saw Master Yoda watching them from across the room, a small genuine smile on his ancient face.
  25. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 10


    Anakin carried Arik through the Jedi Temple on his way to the Combat Training Room to meet Tristan, Luke and Leia. He watched in bittersweet amusement as Arik’s dark-haired head turned from side to side in rapid succession as he took in all the sights and sounds of the Temple, knowing he only had a short time left to spend with his youngest son before he too began his formal training. Squeezing Arik tightly to him, he vowed to enjoy the time they had left.

    He arrived at the training room to find various Jedi Knights milling about while several sparring exhibitions were taking place. Anakin quickly spotted Tristan and the twins standing at the back of the room studying the various plaques showcasing the winners of the Padawan and Knight lightsaber tournaments throughout the years.

    He approached them quietly as Luke’s head jerked up. “Look Tristan, it’s our dads!”


    He pointed excitedly to a plaque on the center of the wall. “They won at the same time. Wizard!”

    Tristan starred at the plaque silently, a wistful smile on his face. He’d seen numerous holographs of his father in his short time at the Temple, but never one where he looked so happy and proud.


    “Maybe Master Anakin and I can win in the same year,” he whispered softly.

    “We’ll both win,” Luke gushed. “I can already block all the other younglings in Master Fisto’s class,” he boasted, demonstrating various defensive stances.

    “Daddy, I gonna be a Jedi too!” Arik announced, squirming to be put down.

    “Yes, you will,” Anakin replied kissing the top of his head. “Someday.”


    He set Arik down and placed a hand on Luke’s shoulder. “Already planning your victory, Son?” he teased.

    “I’m gonna win just like you, Daddy,” Luke beamed up at him.

    “I know you will,” Anakin replied ruffling his hair.


    His eyes met Tristan’s. “What about you Tris?”

    ”I don’t know,” he replied with a shrug of his small shoulders. “Maybe when I’m older.”

    Anakin smiled. “Well, you’re ten years old now. That’s just old enough to begin competing in the annual lightsaber tournament. You could compete if you chose.”

    Tristan smiled at the praise. “I guess.”

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

    Arik looked around the room, his eyes lighting up when he spotted the back of a small, green figure about his height. He rubbed his little hands together in youthful anticipation.


    “I be a Jedi now!” he declared charging at the figure. “Eeeeeeeeeeeeyaaaaaaaa!” he screamed at the top of his lungs as his arm shot forward catching the figure just below its shoulder.

    Anakin whirled around in horror as Yoda turned to face his tiny attacker. Yoda looked the youngest Skywalker up and down, stuck out his tongue and made a face.


    Tristan and Luke both broke into hysterics that nearly had them both on the floor. Tears of laughter poured down their cheeks.

    “Arik!” Anakin yelled at his son.

    The boy forgot all about his attack.


    “You funny,” he laughed, sticking out his tongue out at Yoda as Anakin arrived, scooping him up in his arms.

    “Arik, this is Master Yoda,” he introduced. “Master, I…”

    “Master Woda,” Arik repeated, frowning in disbelief that the small green being could be the same wise Jedi that he’d heard Anakin speak of so often. “How old aw you?”

    “Arik!” Anakin scolded.

    Yoda chuckled. “Inherited your sense of adventure young Skywalker has, hmm?”

    “Yes, Master,” Anakin flushed in total embarrassment.

    “Strong Jedi he will be. More careful, I will have to be,” Yoda replied, winking at Arik as he hobbled away.

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

    Leia watched her brother’s exchange with Master Yoda with mild amusement before turning away and wandering over to an empty corner of the room where sat quietly. She didn’t share Luke or Tristan’s love of all things combat, though she was very proud of her father’s accomplishments, as well as mildly curious about Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    “Hey Leia, what’s wrong?” Tristan sat down beside the five year-old who seemed much more mature than her years.

    “Nothing,” she shrugged, hugging her knees to her chest.

    Tristan studied her silently for a moment. He could feel her discontent. “You don’t like fighting much, huh?”

    Leia sighed, nodding her head. Her dark eyes took on sadness then that Tristan knew a child her age shouldn’t feel.


    “I don’t wanna fight,” she admitted softly. “Mama says talking is better than fighting.”

    “Master Anakin says we’ll have to do a lot of talking as Jedi,” he replied patting her hand. “We just have to be prepared to fight.”

    “I guess,” she said glumly.

    “I’ll help you if you want,” he offered with a gentle smile.

    “Okay,” Leia agreed. “But I’m still not gonna wanna fight.”

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

    ”I don’t recall ever having felt that embarrassed in my life,” Anakin said as he took a bite of the nerf-steak Padme had prepared for dinner.


    Padme could only laugh at the story of Arik’s adventure in the Temple. She had known from nearly the moment he was born that he was going to be the adventurer of the family. He was wild and untamed and unafraid. Arik was going to conquer the galaxy when he grew up.

    She shifted her eyes to her oldest son. Luke was a quiet, serious child that had moments of wild, untamed exuberance like his younger brother, but the majority of the time he managed to keep it contained. Mostly, Luke was a dreamer. He spent hours upon hours on Naboo just staring up at the stars, questioning Anakin endlessly about the places he’d been and the things he’d seen with Obi-Wan. Luke wanted to travel the stars and Padme knew his inborn wanderlust would one day spirit him away from her.

    Leia was her analytical, argumentative child. The girl questioned everything and never took no for an answer. She had not only to know how things worked, but also why. She wanted to help the people in need she saw on the HoloNet. She wanted to be a friend to children she knew had none. Padme knew in her heart that someday Leia would most likely follow her into the galactic political arena. When that time came, Padme knew her little girl would be a force to be reckoned with.

    Finally, she shifted her gaze back to her husband. “The Jedi are going to have their hands full with these three.”

    Anakin nodded in agreement. “I sure hope they don’t bring us to our knees.”

    The family continued speaking softly as they finished their meal. Tristan and Luke regaled Anakin and Padme with tales of meeting new friends and discovering which classes they liked and didn’t like. Arik babbled to himself; caught up in his own little world, marching as usual, to the beat of a drum only he could hear. Leia ate quietly, speaking only when she had something important to add to the conversation.

    Later, after the evening meal had been cleaned up, Anakin gathered everyone on one of the plush sofas in the sitting room.

    “Story time,” he announced as Leia curled up on one side of him and Luke on the other.

    “Master, I’m too old for stories,” Tristan protested even as he took his seat.

    “You’ll like this one,” Anakin replied, smiling when Arik crawled from Padme’s lap into Tristan’s.

    “Daddy tells good stowies,” he announced before sticking his thumb in his mouth and laying his head on Tristan’s chest.

    “You won’t be bored,” Padme whispered patting Tristan’s shoulders. ”I promise.”

    Anakin gazed at her gratefully before launching into his tale of a slave boy on Tatooine and the two heroic Jedi who saved him.
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