I promise more Obi-Wan and Siri later. Ben's very blunt and not afraid to say what he feels or the truth the way he sees it Chapter 12 He thought Obi-Wan would never let him go, he kept a hand on the back of his tunic and guided him through the bass corridors as though Ben were a three-year-old child with a proclivity for wandering off. It did not help matters that as a three-year-old, he’d taken his fair share of unparented jaunts. The few cuts and bruises he’d attained from his fight with Anakin flamed as their hurried pace whipped over them. For the first time, in a long time, he felt tired and beaten in a good way. Not the desperate struggle he’d lived through with the Yuuzhan Vong, the battle with Anakin might have been one of the training exercises he’d taken part in with his mother when shed been teaching him hand to hand. Minor cuts were expected when teaching a child to defend itself against a race that would hold nothing back from a child. This was the first time that he could practice as he once had and not worry about his life. Youthful hubris kept him from believing that Anakin would kill him, that the goodness his father had sensed, was still in the younger man. And he’d been right. He’d offered the choice to his grandfather and Anakin had hesitated. Despite the Emperor’s orders, he’d hesitated. Then Obi-Wan and Padme burst in, disturbing that moment of confusion, that moment of testing thought. Perhaps that was the most painful of all his wounds. That he’d been so close and that it all had been shattered by the good intentions of those who cared for Anakin more than Ben could ever. Obi-Wan took him to the quarters they shared with Master Yoda and tossed him into the nearest conforming chair. Sinking into the fabric, the plush under him eased some of the aches. He’d gone soft with Anakin, but the battle had still taken its toll on his weakened body. Ben looked up as the older Jedi began to pace. He wondered if this certain build up to lecture was a Jedi thing, or if Obi-Wan had somehow passed it on to Luke Skywalker. “I know things looked bad when you and Padme came in,” Ben started to explain. “Looked bad? Looked bad?” Obi-Wan echoed in disbelief. “I cannot believe you have the nerve to utter such an inept statement.” Closing his eyes, Ben sighed. His fatigue was keeping him from forming the perfect speech that would explain his reasons to the man who had been mentor to his father. How could he explain that emotions had been building, that if they did not have this face off now, it would come at a less opportune time, and that it had caused Anakin a moment of deliberation he might not have had otherwise? Would Obi-Wan understand even if he found those words? “Are all Skywalkers capable of ignoring me as I rant or is this an ability shared between you and Anakin alone,” Obi-Wan questioned heatedly. Ben forced his eyes open. “I...” “You came through time to just beat him into submission?” Obi-Wan asked. “What makes you think that this fight of yours would have delivered any different an outcome then the one you broke into? You were reckless, thoughtless, and ignorant to the power that Anakin holds. The very characteristics that lead about his downfall. Did you come here only to be swayed to his way of thinking?” With an internal groan, Ben wished had to admit Obi-Wan was partially correct. He had not thought through his actions, had not thought what memories would stir in Obi-Wan as another battled raged, very similar to his own with Anakin on Mustafar. “Palpatine ordered him to kill me, Obi-Wan,” Ben admitted. “I had no way out of the fight.” “Did you know this before you brought him to Padme?” Obi-Wan asked, suddenly frowning. Forcing his voice to be steady, he answered, “Yes.” “I do not know if I can trust you with him now. Palpatine is good at deception Ben, he is a Master of it as well as the Dark Side. Can you tell me with certainty that your battle with Anakin, your physical evidence of grievance, was not what the Sith wanted from the start? To bring those ill emotions to the forefront?” Obi-Wan stopped his pacing and looked at Ben head on with such a look of disappointment, Ben could not help but wince. “You will not see Anakin again, until I know it is safe.” Ben leaped from his chair. He’d been willingly sympathetic to Obi-Wan for too long. “Is that an order Master Kenobi? Because I don’t take orders from anyone. He is my family. Which is more than you can say.” He wondered at his words even as they came from his lips. Stricken, Obi-Wan looked as though Ben had impaled him with his own lightsaber. “That’s the dividing mark with this family. Those who are bound by blood and those who are not.” “Obi-Wan that wasn’t what I meant,” Ben tried to smooth over, but knew that his words had hit harder than perhaps even the older Jedi had anticipated. “Yes, it was,” Obi-Wan said softly. He stilled himself, giving his head a quick shake. “I am not his father, nor his brother. I raised him, loved him, despite what I had been taught. Came to the point that I even convinced myself that we had passed over those bad patches in his youth. My blindness has cleared, has yours?” “I’m not blind,” Ben assured him. “But you cannot take this from me. He is my purpose in the Force. And...” The words stuck in his throat. Eyebrows hiked up on Obi-Wans forehead. “And?” “And I cannot let down those I loved. Nor can I let you and the rest of the Jedi fall to isolation and near extinction,” Ben admitted. He hated having to say this next part, but it was something both his parents had tried to drill into him. “And I know I cannot do that alone. I am not all powerful. There is no dividing line, Obi-Wan. Or should I call you Ben?” Surprise flamed on the older Jedi’s face. “How did you know?” Rolling his eyes, Ben smiled with an edge of embellished sarcasm. “Who did you think I was named after, Ben Kenobi? That was what you called yourself before you revealed your identity to my father. I figured there was an import to the name.” “It was mine from before I was brought to the Temple,” Obi-Wan said. “It is a name I have not used in long time.” “Which is why you would use it as a decoy,” Ben deduced. “We are family, Obi-Wan. In so many ways I can see my father in you. Or you in him and even in Anakin. My words were not only unfair but knowingly wrong.” Gritting his teeth, Ben managed to get the last part out. “And I ask your forgiveness.” A wry smile turned the lips of his older companion. “You do not ask such very often do you, my young friend?” “Well, I don’t like to make it a habit,” Ben murmured grudgingly. “Something I’m sure your life has not lent to correction,” Obi-Wan agreed kindly. “Therefore, knowing what it is costing you, I will accept.” “And about Anakin?” Ben asked, knowing he was being far too acquiescent. Obi-Wan did not deliberate for long. “Promise to inform me of any other orders Palpatine gives, that you overhear, and we will figure the best way to deal with them together. No more singular strategies. You are still young and need the observations of a Master.” Horror filled Ben at that moment. “Does Master Yoda know about my little production with Anakin?” A genuine chuckle escaped Obi-Wan. “I should probably give him the full detail of it. But I think it will be a much more fitting punishment if I have you do it yourself.” “Are you sure you aren’t a father?” Ben said with a feigned glare. “I’ll just have to make sure I do it when he isn’t carrying that blasted walking stick.” “Oh, we should probably talk about Padme,” Obi-Wan introduced a new subject. Ben groaned as he sat back down into the chair he’d relinquished in his anger. “How’s that?” “She thinks you’re Anakin’s brother,” Obi-Wan said this with an inordinate amount of pleasure. There was certainly something sadistic about the Jedi Master. Turning to lock glances with him, Ben asked, “And you encouraged this belief?” “What else was I to do? She pointed out things that I would have seemed a complete dolt not to have noticed and... well, it was better that than explain the fact that you are from the future,” Obi-Wan explained. “At least now we have a reasonable explanation for your existence.” “Except she knows that I am dying,” Ben released. “You told her?” “I needed her to spirit my blood away from the healers,” he explained with an air that suggested Obi-Wan should have done that himself. “That poison is highly contagious and could have killed a number of the medical staff if they had not known to be careful of it.” “But you disposed of it,” Obi-Wan asked. “Burnt it,” Ben said. “Completely incinerated.” Quelee Zhan held up a vial of blood from the patient Ben Jade. She was sure she had never heard of a Jedi Apprentice by his name and there was something suspicious about the Padawan. Her suspicions had only risen when she’d seen Senator Amidala - or was it Skywalker now? - sneak the vials of his blood not being tested out of the medical lab. It seemed a number of questions rose in accordance with Padawan Jade. One of them was his high midi-chlorian count. She was sure it was on par with Anakin Skywalker’s and the anomaly in his blood that she could not identify against any known toxin. But…it was frightening.