On Mustafar, there was only fire and lava, fury and pain. Obi-Wan and Anakin fought each other with an intensity previously reserved for battles fought side-by-side, against others, but here it was just the two of them.
Obi-Wan knew that only he and Yoda still survived, of an Order which just a day before had been thousands strong. Yoda had sent Obi-Wan to face his padawan, his brother, while Yoda went to face the ultimate enemy – the Sith Master. Obi-Wan had nearly balked. Yet in the end, duty won out, as it always did.
Obi-Wan felt Yoda’s death reverberate through the Force.
Even as his blade crossed Anakin’s in their furious, futile fight, Obi-Wan knew that he had just become the last Jedi in the galaxy. His mind was empty of the bright sparks of Jedi presences.
The Force had screamed as they’d begun to fall, one by one, then all at once. Masters he had fought alongside, Knights whose reports the Council had heard, younglings he had seen in the crèche.
With Yoda dead, all the Jedi were gone, save Obi-Wan.
He didn’t want that distinction. He hated it. If Yoda had survived, he might have been able to hold on against the horror, but like this? Trapped in a nightmare where his maddened brother eagerly sought his death? The last Jedi in the galaxy? No. He couldn’t do this alone. He could not.
He didn’t block Anakin’s blow, a precise lunge sweeping along his side and breaking him. Obi-Wan collapsed, feeling how the Force twisted through him, a shattered wreck of a dying body. As he lay on searing rocks, in shock and slowly dying, he laughed. The Darkness pressed at him, anguish, despair, and hate welling up inside him like a miasma. His first instinct was to clamp down on it, but the impulse died stillborn. After all, what did it matter, here at the end of all things? Obi-Wan Kenobi stopped fighting the Darkness. He let it sear through him, white-hot rage a shield against the anguish, hatred making his last moments almost bearable.
He screamed words he couldn’t hear at Anakin, voice harsh and breaking and all but gone, letting loose all the bile he’d been holding in – that Anakin had failed them, that Anakin was unworthy of being a Jedi, of being Obi-Wan’s brother, that he had failed Qui-Gon. That they BOTH had failed Qui-Gon. That Obi-Wan still loved Anakin.
That Obi-Wan would always love Anakin.
Obi-Wan was crying, and he didn’t care. The tears evaporated almost before they hit the ground, and wasn’t that fitting?
He knew that soon he’d burn to death, or his overloaded system would shut down, or maybe his heart would just stop and then maybe, maybe, finally, the pain would be gone completely, because he found that even the Dark couldn't take it all away.
Obi-Wan regained consciousness in a cool, dark room. He was hooked up to some medical equipment, strapped down to a bed.
Anakin stood at the side of the bed, silent and Dark, looming in the shadows.
The Darkness was within Obi-Wan, as well. It snarled through his mind, comfort and cruelty and fury.
There was ever so much room for it to prowl around. The presence of Jedi should have been there, connections that he, as a member of the Council, had made as a matter of course.
Plo Koon’s gravitas and humor. Luminara Unduli’s serene patience. Shaak Ti’s gentle care.
Yoda. Eternal, ringing in the Force with Light and balance, a steadying presence for those in need of guidance.
Gone. All gone.
All that was left was the Dark supernova of power next to him, roiling with its own fury and hate.
It took so much of Obi-Wan’s strength to roll his head to the side, to glare at his former padawan. The red-ringed yellow of the man’s eyes burned in the darkness, a smoldering fury Obi-Wan could feel in his own eyes, simmering just beneath his skin.
“Padmé is dead.”
“Just like everyone else, then.” Obi-Wan laughed, the bitter sound warm in his throat. “Well done. Truly a clean sweep.”
Anakin’s eyes narrowed, but otherwise he showed no sign that the words had struck. Perhaps they hadn’t. Instead, he moved closer, glaring at the former Jedi strapped down to the medical bed. “Padmé’s dead. The children...are alive. I’ve hidden them from my Master. You too.”
“All the better to take your time, I assume.”
The fire in Anakin’s eyes increased. “Do you want revenge?”
Obi-Wan’s lips skinned back from his teeth in something that could not be called a smile. “Against you?”
“Oh, your dear friend Palpatine? How quickly you turn on your friends. But then, I already knew –” Harsh, deep coughs broke his words, his body still healing from Mustafar. “I already knew that.” He slumped back, exhaustion eating even the hate now fueling him.
“He’s a Sith Lord. You think he didn’t plan all of this?” Anakin’s scorn lashed Obi-Wan’s back to life, pulling a snarl out of him. “He was Maul’s Master, and Dooku’s. He uses and discards Apprentices as he goes.”
Obi-Wan jerked at his bonds at Maul’s name, but they remained tight. Still sneering, he shook his head. “But you’re different, of course. You’re the Chosen One. You’re too powerful, he cares about you too much, he will grant you a strong place in his Empire, is that it?”
“No.” The word sank in the room, Anakin cold and brutal where he normally was fire and fury. “I’m exactly like the others. He’ll use me until he doesn’t need me, or until I die. Unless I can kill him.”
Obi-Wan let his head fall back, eyes closing because he refused to partake in this farce.
He wasn’t sure why his eyes were tearing up. “Oh, but you are a quick study, young Apprentice.” When the silence grew too thick, he decided to push, to end this. “Why am I still alive?”
“Be my Apprentice. Help me kill him.”
A bark of broken laughter ripped up from Obi-Wan’s still raw throat. “Why? Why should I help you? What does it matter anymore! Either give me a lightsaber so I can run you through, or let me die.”
“You want a reason?” Anakin growled, voice soft and intent as it always was when he was at his most driven. His most dangerous. “Here’s two. They’re named Luke and Leia. My children.”
Obi-Wan opened his eyes to glare at the young fool. “So get them to be your apprentices. Or are you too damned impatient, as always?” He bared his teeth and glared. “Five years too long to wait before you can start twisting them?”
Damn him, nothing seemed to affect Anakin. Obi-Wan had never seen him this determined, this driven, and of all the fucking things it had taken Falling to the Dark side to bring this sort of stoic competence to his former padawan. Like everything else, the irony burned.
“I told you. I have them hidden away for now, but it won’t last forever.”
Oh, it was to be one of those word games. Obi-Wan rolled his eyes and slumped back, letting the exhaustion sweep over him again. “What do you want, Anakin?”
Finally, there was a bit of hesitation. “Oversee their training –”
“– as Jedi.”
Obi-Wan lifted himself up as far as he could to gape. He began to chuckle, a twisted sound that built up into a broken laugh. “You, you have gone quite mad, haven’t you. Jedi. You want me to train your offspring as Jedi.”
“I am no Jedi!” The Dark surged inside Obi-Wan, and with a snarl he directed it towards Anakin. The power battered around the room, slamming against the man, who stood unmoved, protected by his own Darkness.
“You’re the closest to one I’m going to find!” Anakin snapped, glaring as if the display of power had been both unimpressive and pointless.
“Why, Anakin? Why this mad whim?”
That finally made the proud shoulders bow, dipping the defiant jut of his chin. Small signs, but none knew them as well as Obi-Wan. “I can’t be near them. You’re right. I would twist them.”
“Ha! And I won’t?”
“Figure it out!”
The yell burned through him, searing as Mustafar and almost as bitter. That was the Anakin he knew. The demand, so very typical of his padawan, filled with the belief that Obi-Wan could do anything, somehow cut through Obi-Wan’s anger. “You still haven’t told me why.”
Finally, Anakin grinned. The expression was as mirthless as Obi-Wan’s. “Sooner or later, if we succeed in killing Sidious, we’ll need someone to kill whichever one of us survives to the end.”
Obi-Wan considered the idea. It was as much punishment as it was gift, for both him and Anakin. Anger and contentment curled around each other and settled into Obi-Wan’s chest. “And if I raise them with hatred in their hearts? It’s such a warming emotion, after all.”
“Ah, but that would give me two perfect potential Apprentices. And you won’t do that, will you.” Anakin chuckled, a derisive sound he couldn’t normally manage. “No, if you want them to turn against me utterly, you have to raise them in the Light.”
He did not normally expect this type of logic from his student. Obi-Wan stared at Anakin for a long moment, considering the strange Darkness before him. “...I never knew Sith could love.”
That finally made Anakin flinch back. “We can. You do, after all.”
Exhaustion rolled back over Obi-Wan, who gave a tired nod before slumping back and closing his eyes. “I will always love you, my brother. And I will always hate you.” The silence resettled, broken only by the rasping sound of Obi-Wan’s still healing breaths and the small movements of an ever-restless Anakin. “I will raise them in the Light. Jedi. And when the time comes, you will kill me, and they will turn against you.”