Chapter 1: Episode I
Chapter 1: The Tale of the Sun & the Moon
When 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker first saw Padmé Amidala, he thought she had to be the most beautiful creature he had ever seen: an angel, the kind of being that pilots, scavengers and smugglers talk about every time they spent their time at Tatooine. That, of course, until he met Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Obi-Wan was the 16-year-old Padawan of Qui-Gon Jinn, she was tall, beautiful and graceful in ways that were similar to Padmé, but she was also strong, skillful and wise in ways that the young Queen was not. Anakin couldn´t stop thinking how endearing were the grey-blue-green eyes of the female Jedi, or how her long and soft ginger-ish hair swayed one way to the other every time she walked around the ship, checking transmissions or conversing with the crew and staff of the Queen. Anakin found himself suddenly in love.
The little boy hid himself in a corner of the room of the ship, tucked in a blanket that Padmé was kind enough to give him, and as much as Anakin found the female servant beautiful, he couldn´t help himself to stare at the strong and calming form of Obi-Wan once the young woman stepped into the quarters. The Padawan was checking some coordinates, wearing her unchangeable Jedi robes, her long beautiful hair was brought up in a series of complicated braids that formed a crown over her head, and even then, a long curly ponytail fell from the plate until it covered half of her back, the only strain of her hair that wasn´t caught up into the difficult but breath-taking arrangement was a thin, lonely braid that fell onto her shoulder and traveled down her chest to her abdomen.
Anakin never stood a chance against such a lovely sight.
She was seven years older than he was, he knew, and much taller, even taller than Padmé; her body was covered up in so many layers of clothing that it was difficult to appreciate her, but once her brown long robe was left behind, you could see her belt and obi pulling tightly against a feminine waist, and the highlight of her breast pushing at her tabard. She was so beautiful. And the only thing that Anakin wanted more than being a Jedi, was to be her husband.
"Maybe he could ask her" he thought innocently; maybe, since both of them were to be Qui-Gon´s apprentices, they would share quarters, or even being trained together, side by side, spent their days with all the other Padawans, laughing and growing closer and closer, maybe this was destiny, this pull that bound his heart to this young woman. Anakin couldn´t help but smile at the thought.
His musing and dreams could continue much longer if it wasn´t because of the Sith creeping their lives into tragedy. One minute he was at Naboo, a planet so green and so full of water that Anakin couldn´t believe it existed, and next he was battling in a spaceship, taking down space-stations that were bigger than anything else he had ever seen before, or dodging shots that could almost get him killed, and when he finally made it out to solid ground again, to the beautiful place that Naboo was, he only landed to find out that his soon to be Master was dead.
How would the Council accept him now with Qui-Gon out of the picture? When Anakin met them, they were all sat around him, analyzing him with strange mysterious eyes, making him feel awkward, unworthy and all around like a little freak. They didn´t want him, they rejected him without a second thought, saying he was too old, too angry and too fearful. They weren´t unkind, they didn´t insult him or openly hated him, but they did push him away as if he was no one.
Obi-Wan, he found, was quiet during all that time she stared at them, and the only time she did talk was to claim herself ready to take some kind of trials Anakin knew nothing about, her voice was clearly feminine but firm, loud enough to be heard but low enough to be calm, a soft soothing sound, he realized. Anakin decided that, like everything else about her, he loved her voice too.
When he finally made his way back to Padmé and her friends they came baring the terrible news that master Qui-Gon had died at the hands of the Sith, Anakin´s heart stopped for a moment and then started beating strongly and fast against his chest, his blood rising and his head spinning with pain and confusion. Then, when the news were starting to set in, a tall figure appeared walking down the hall with measured steps, Anakin´s head raised to see Obi-Wan´s safe and sound appearance coming towards him, her clothes were a little wrinkled and her face was pale and so confusingly emotionless that the boy couldn´t quiet read the feelings she might be having, Anakin´s stomach turned at the sight of that face, usually calmed and sober but with a distinctive kindness inherited on it that now was missing and absent on her lure, her expression finally confirming his fears. Their Master was really dead.
The first two nights they spent at Naboo, preparing themselves for Qui-Gon´s funeral, Obi-Wan hardly said a word, and the times she did were only because they were needed; Anakin was better at reading her now, maybe because they shared the same kind of grief, because both had lost someone they grew to love. The shine in her eyes were of unshaded tears, of someone who was too young for the kind of responsibility that life have trusted upon her, but old enough to understand why she needed to carry all the weight by herself. He had seen that look before, in his Mother´s eyes. Anakin only then understood why he loved her even without knowing her.
When the Jedi council arrived, all those people who sneered at Anakin´s presence at their Temple, all united with sadness in their eyes and not many words to say, everything changed. A part of him thought that they were going to send him back to Tatooine, and a part of him wanted to, he wanted his mother, her warm presence, her soothing words and her calming hands, but he also wanted to stay, to live with Padmé at the green lands of Naboo, to walk the halls of the Temple with the other Padawan learners, to wake up to see the beautiful face of Obi-Wan again. He wanted so much, Anakin realized. And he was frightened he might get nothing at all.
Only when they were both silently staring at Qui-Gon´s corpse being engulfed by flames, he dared to ask. “What´s gonna happen to me now?” he wondered, looking at the cloaked figure of Obi-Wan. The new appointed Jedi Knight turned to see him in the eyes “The council has granted me permission to train you. Don´t worry, Anakin. You will be a Jedi” she promised.
That was the beginning of them both, and from that moment on, everything became a blur of adventures, lessons and stories that Anakin will remember for the rest of his life.
Chapter 2: Episode II: Part 1
Anakin has been feeling this love for far too long, Obi-Wan has been ignoring his Padawan´s attentions far too much.
I´m so sorry for the delay, but I had a problem with the edits. Also, I had to break down the chapters in parts beause they were taking me too much time to write and I didn´t want you to wait any longer. So, this chapter it´s not done with the editing yet, so if you found mistakes please do ignore them, when my Beta (the amazing Alice) it´s able to send me the edited version I will replace it with that one, but since it´s my birthday I wanted to upload this one up :) Enjoy!
The boy could stare at the past memories in his mind as if they happened yesterday. His years as a youngling at the temple, being the Padawan of the famous Sith Killer, Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, the beautiful graceful Jedi that everyone wanted to be trained by and that only Anakin got that honor -and he was quiet proud of that-. He was no longer a boy now, he was 19, tall, handsome and talented in a way that just a few others Jedi were and even after all those years past, his love and feelings for his Master had only grow, matured and become into something deeper than just a simple infatuation. He was 16 when he realized he was, indeed, in love with his Master, when his hormones got the best of him and his body started reacting at the presence and warmth of Obi-Wan´s body. His Master was beautiful. Gorgeous, even. With the years that passed and the shared space they had with each other, both of them started to stop caring about modesty, when they were too tired after missions or training, and Obi-Wan allowed her long hair to be tied up carelessly and messy instead of her usual carefully crafted hairstyles, or when she removed the tunics and left her with only an interior one that barely covered her deliciously pale skin, when the sweat of a good day of working traveled down her neck and into her blouse, Anakin had to stop himself for reaching with his tongue to lick the drops away, to taste his Master´s scent and to permit his hands to roam the figure and curves of his most forbidden desire.
He couldn´t recall how many times he had to hide himself shamelessly in the fresher, taking a cold shower to calm his obvious arousal, or touching himself imagining it was his Master´s hands on him and not his own. How many wet dreams he had imagine of himself touching her skin and kissing her pink pouting lips?, to devouring her round breast or getting inside her and robbing her of her obvious virginity? The sole thought made him shudder. Even though Jedi were not obligated to be celibate -he himself had fooled around before with some girls, after all- his Master never engaged herself with other people in such a manner; she was proper, wouldn´t bother with her own basic primal needs, saying something about delivering her frustrations in the Force instead of just acting on them. And that declaration was enough to keep Anakin playing the fantasy in his head, of being the first and only person to have his Master, to possess her, to see her naked and desperate, to be the name she moaned as she reached her orgasm. He was lost into his teenage delusions and trapped by his over-passionate and immature emotions that run loose by the sight of her, at Anakin´s point of view, perfection.
But every time he piled up some amount of courage to share his mind, a special date to prepare his most romantic and private confession of love, desire and truthful feelings, something happen to abolish every effort. Sometimes it was the Council, asking his Master to go to long-ass bantha missions away from him, sometimes it was his own training, long hours of classes, katas and tests of all kinds that robbed him of the precious time needed to organize his words and express them, sometimes it was other people: Masters, Padawans, Younglings and even Senators that interfere with what should be peaceful nights of just the two of them, Obi-Wan and Anakin, sharing quarters, a meal, or just even a private conversation when he could admit to his Master how much he loved her. And sometimes, even without knowing it, it was Obi-Wan herself who got in the way. With her scolding and her lessons, trying to correct Anakin´s quick temper and arguing with him about his most recent unacceptable behavior, holding her disappointed eyes at him that were bright with a light so intense that Anakin could barely hear her voice rebuking him, he could get lost trying to decipher which color of her eyes was glowing the most at that moment: her gray, calming and clouding, or maybe her beautiful green, that mixed so well with her fierce auburn hair, or her impossibly blue orbs that seemed to hypnotized him into oblivion.
Either way, Anakin could not love his Master more than he already did right then, looking at her eyes, following the soft movement of her red lips or trying hard not to allow his hands to reach and get lost into the strands of her hair, that like her eyes, couldn´t decide which color was dominant, fighting between red, blond and brown.
It was one faithful day, though, that everything shifted. They were sent by the Council to meet and guard Padmé Amidala on her stay at Courscant, since her life seemed to be threatened by her dangerous political decisions, however peaceful they might be. Anakin wouldn´t lie saying he wasn´t nervous and excited to see the Senator again, last time he saw her chocolate brown eyes was when he was still but a child. He missed her even after all the time they were apart. Obi-Wan let a small giggle escape her throat, something unusual in his Master but at the same time so familiar, since, surprisingly, the older Jedi seemed to have a dry humor that make its appearance even at odd situations.
“You seemed a little on edge” she mentioned with her usual masterly voice, something she perfected over the years of teaching him.
“Not at all” he lied.
“I haven´t sensed you this tense since we fell into that nasty nest of Gundarks” she remarked looking up at him with a curious look.
At the mention of such event, Anakin couldn´t help but silently snort with incredulity, the reminders of that mission were both comical and insulting. “You fell into that nightmare, Master” he made a job to remind her “and I rescued you, remember?” he invited.
There was a silence between them when suddenly Obi-Wan whispered “Oh, yes…”
They both burst in laughter.
It had been a while since they shared such a peaceful moment between them, having too many duties recently that have them both worked up and tired. It seems that the chance to see the previous Queen of Naboo was a nice change for them both after all.
“You´re sweating” she teased, her voice soft and reassuring, the way a mother would talk to her nervous child “relax, take a deep breath” she advised him as he looked at her usual attire.
She had change her hair over the years, sometimes she cut it, never too short, but shorter for sure, complaining something about being comfortable during missions, and sometimes she went back at long complicated braids to keep the length at bay instead of just cutting it all together. Either way, Anakin love the sight of her, and always thought she looked breath taking, but if he had to be honest, he adored it the most when she wore it just the way she did today: It was a version of the style she wore when she was a Padawan and met both Padmé and Anakin at Tatooine, probably retaking the hair style as a silent homage to the last time she shared a room with the Senator. There were four braids intertwined on her scalp, uniting on top of her head to form a crown, from there, the remaining of her hair fell down in a curly arrangement that reached her shoulders, at the front, she took care of leaving thick twin curly locks of hair to frame her lovely face; she never bothered with adding some kind of accessories to her hair, not because she didn´t like them, though she seemed to have a clear disdain for jewelry, but because it was simply not the Jedi way to wear such props. Anakin could find some sense into that, but he sometimes wondered how his Master would look like showing those appliances most of the women of the high Couruscanti circles wore.
“I haven´t seen her in ten years, Master” Anakin confessed with a heavy heart. All this thoughts about his Master leaded him to wonder how Padmé would look like. Would she be just as beautiful as he remember her, or even more that he imagined her to be? He couldn´t fathom of her looking prettier than Obi-Wan, as lovely as Padmé might have been back then, but she could, at least, be as graceful and regal as he remember her to be at the victory parade at her home planet of Naboo.
Obi-Wan send him a look and a sweet smile, the ones that she saved for the short list of people that she was close to, and Anakin´s heart couldn´t help but flutter at the sight of it, already too frustrated with the spiral of emotions he had to hide inside him just not to let them all show through the training bond that Obi-Wan and he still shared.
Before Anakin could muttered something else the doors of the lift opened to reveal the fancy apartment that held their new assignment, and surprisingly enough, Jar Jar was there to receive them both with his usual overexcitement.
While Obi-Wan chatted with the Gungan, Anakin couldn´t help but stare and appreciate his Master figure a bit more, since he didn´t have many chances to do so when he was beside her, with her watchful eyes and her attentive guard being raised up most of the time, Anakin noticed that her hair was not the only thing that has change over the years: she has gotten taller, even though he was now taller than her for half a head, and the already slim figure she naturally possessed when she was a teenager filled in areas that were most appreciated for Anakin´s liking, her hips grew and her waist seemed to be considerably smaller, her already decent breasts filled more as she matured into adulthood and Anakin had to fight the sudden need to just put his hands over her sand-clock figure and down her long sculpted legs. The only thing that got him out of his appreciation trance was the sudden arrival of Padmé and her staff.
Anakin wasn´t wrong. Padmé only grew in beauty through the years, she was still small, but her then still childish figure matured into one of a proud young woman, her eyes were dark and smooth, Anakin could almost get lost into them. Obi-Wan must have realized that because a small barely contained giggle under her breath escaped, catching Anakin´s attention and sudden embarrassment, just a few moments ago he was nervous of meeting Padmé again, then his attention drifted back at its usual place, his beautiful Master, and now he was back at drooling at the Senator´s beauty. Could his young heart be more confusing?
“It´s a great pleasure to see you again, M´lady” Obi-Wan said with her usual modals, nodding her head with respect and tying both her hands in front of her tunics.
“It has been far too long, Master Kenobi” Padmé admits with a friendly smile, remembering Obi-Wan for days past. “I´m so glad our paths have crossed again” she said with honesty, Anakin could remember that even when the two of them had too little time to meet each other, they had forged a good friendship “…but I must warn that I think your presence here is unnecessary” she finished with a serious look.
“I´m sure the Jedi Council have their reasons” Obi-Wan defended with pride and complete trust in the Council, her usual self.
It´s in that moment that Padmé took her time to notice Anakin quietly fidgeting with his hands right behind Obi-Wan.
“Ani?!” she asks surprised and showing so much emotion that made Anakin smiled with assurance. “My goodness, you´ve grown…”
“So have you…” he admits with a playful grin and boyish confidence “grown more beautiful, I mean…and much shorter, for a Senator, I mean” he tries to fix and only awkwardly tangles his words even more.
In that moment, the young Padawan could feel Obi-Wan´s silent protest at the choice of his words and a spare quick glance was enough to confirm that gone was Obi-Wan´s playful teasing at the elevator, the stern serious Jedi Knight is back as her delicate features turn disapproving and seemingly craved in hard stone. Padmé laughs at the scene though, and that suffices to make Anakin feel better with himself.
“Oh, Ani, you´ll always be that little boy I knew at Tatooine” she declares while inviting them both to take a sit at her living room with a soft gesture of her hand.
Anakin couldn´t help but feeling upset at the statement. He had put so much effort into growing into a man that both Obi-Wan and Padmé would admire and the first thing that the young ex-monarch does it´s teasing him about being a little boy still. He says nothing though, and carries himself to sit next to his Master who is already conversing with Padmé regarding the mission.
The young apprentice pays some attention at the talk, but continues to be annoyed at the previous remark, the two women he cares the most about in the galaxy -if we take aside the mention of his mother- think of him as no more than a mere child that hasn´t grown a day or two, even when his physical changes are all but apparent. Obi-Wan has a continue disregard of his feelings, showing no acknowledgement of them whatsoever, and taking every opportunity to remind him that he is her apprentice and her junior, she being older and being already a Knight has to be consider wiser and responsible for him, no matter how hard Anakin tries to assist her when she is in trouble or to defeat her during their saber training sessions at the temple to show her he is capable and strong. Obi-Wan always manages to sees him as no more than a little boy, and now Padmé, who he held some hopes would see him as who he thinks he has become, looks at him just as an immature creature.
“We´re here to protect you Senator, not to start an investigation” Obi-Wan insist when Padmé begs her for answers instead of protection. As usual, Obi-Wan limits herself to her mission, even when it would be more useful to actually do something about it than just play around the bush and discover who is behind all this harassing.
“We will find who is trying to kill you Padmé, I promise you."
The words are out of his mouth before he can think them through. It was something so sudden he didn´t have time to process the repercussion of it, but it was already too late, and Anakin was upset enough with the situation that he didn´t care of Obi-Wan´s obvious disapproval look; he knew he was showing her off, exposing her into an embarrassing situation but so did she with her constant ignorance of his feelings and intentions, when the Padawan called her beautiful in the mornings and she only gestured that condescending smile of hers, or when he made an effort into arriving earlier from his practices to spent more time with her in their quarters, and she only ruffled his hair as if he was a little pet. Or right now, when he made an effort to impress Padmé, and the only thing he got was to shame himself and get a gratuitous dirty look by the Knight.
“We are not going to exceed our mandate, my young Padawan learner” she warned with her blue-gray eyes lighting up with contained ire.
“I meant in the interest of protecting her, Master, of course” he tries to fix again. That seems to calm Obi-Wan who, even though knows Anakin was shit-talking her, takes the leave gracefully.
“We are going through this exercise again, Anakin. You will pay attention to my lead” she scolds with serenity, knowing full well that the shameful conversation was over.
Anakin was willing to settle with that, he really was. But the moment his Master bothered to open her mouth to put him back into his place, his temper raised like a hurricane in the middle of the ocean, ready to strike.
“Why?” he asked without bothering to look at his Master. Knowing full well he was being defiant and what reaction it will provoke in Obi-Wan.
“What!?” she exclaimed, surprised and offended to the core. Anakin tended to be difficult, but never so insistently childish.
“Why else do you think we were assigned to her, if not to find the killer?” he challenged her with a condescending voice, one that would grant him some kind of punishment later, he knew “Protection is a job for local security…not Jedi. It´s overkill, Master. Investigation is implied in our mandate” he explained.
“We will do as the Council has instructed, and you will learn your place, young one” she insisted with barely feigned irritation.
She said it. She dare said it. Young one. That phrase she uses to put him back in his place when Anakin did a smart remark or showed some kind of attitude that his Master considered undesirable. There was nothing that infuriated Anakin more than the reminder that he was younger than Obi-Wan. Not by much, he liked to pretend to himself, after all, what was 7 years of difference? They both look as if they were in the same age, and if by any chance Obi-Wan managed to look older, was because of the stern and inflexible illusion she put on to look wiser than Anakin, since she became a Knight way too young and was totally unprepared to have a Padawan on her own when she was just one herself not but a day ago before taking him into her care.
Padmé quickly said something to soothe both parties, trying to dissolve the antagonistic atmosphere that had settle around them. Obi-Wan was still glancing at him as if the young man would spontaneously defy her again, which to be fair he just might, but Anakin, with all his rashness, wasn´t a total idiot, he would not say more than he had already said.
When Amidala rises to retire herself to her quarters, both Obi-Wan and Anakin bowed their heads in polite acceptance and watches her leave, Capitan Typho comments his relief to have them both there to take care of security even after the rare exchange. Jar Jar tells Anakin something else, a quick assurance that he is happy to see him even when it´s during difficult times. Obi-Wan approaches him with her usual unreadable allure.
“You are focusing in the negative again” she tells him, her voice serious and her shiny eyes still a little upset by his behavior but deciding not to commenting on it by now “Be mindful of your thoughts. She was glad to see us” she says with almost no emotion “Now let´s check the security here” she suggests.
Right. Back to work.
“You look tired” Obi-Wan tells him as a passing thought. Her face is her usual unreadable one but her voice betrays a little of concern. Anakin holds to that.
“I don´t sleep well anymore” he admits.
“Because of your mother?” she asks, her small hand reaches his arms with delicacy, Anakin can´t do anything else but stares at it, the thin beautiful fingers grasping his robes and the creamy white skin that covers her limb. She truly is beautiful, he decides.
“I don´t know why I keep dreaming about her now. I haven´t seen her since I was little” he wonders while carefully covering her still grasping hand with his. Attempting to keep the little intimate moment a while longer.
“Dreams pass in time” she mutters while taking her hand away from his, a slight painful grimace in her face can be seen before it deludes into nothing.
“Why do you always do that?” he asks.
Obi-Wan, who was well on her way to keep herself at the other side of the room, turns to look at Anakin is slight disbelief.
“What?” she questions as if she didn´t understand.
Anakin swallows a gulp of air before standing in front of her again “Why do you always pull away when we get too close?”
The Jedi Knight looks at him as if the Padawan has grown a second head all of a sudden, the usual calm demur of his Master gone to be replaced by slight nervousness.
“I don´t know what you are talking about, Anakin” she assures him.
“I think you know exactly what I´m talking about” he corrects her with a sad grin “you pull away, every time I get too close for your comfort, you always do this little things, Master…” his voice drifts, remembering all those moments when he dare to touch his Master, to imply his feelings into actions, Obi-Wan always seemed to walk away when he tried.
At Obi-Wan´s silence, Anakin continues.
“And the worst part is that I don´t think you are even disgusted by it. I don´t sense you to be uncomfortable, yet you still pull away, and you always do that face…” he trails off again, trying to rationalize what he just said.
Obi-Wan regains her composure after a beat, straightening her shoulders and putting a firm face. “I don´t think it´s the right moment to discuss such things”
“Yeah, right” Anakin snorts “As if you´re ever going to find the time to discuss this unless I make you, Master” he calls her off.
“Anakin” she warns “Do not talk to me like a spoiled child. I am your Master, you must respect me and be mindful of the things that come out of your mouth” her temper raised as her eyes shine with defiance. Blue fire that lighted his own anger up.
“Then tell me” he begged “You must know how I feel, Master” he said “You must have noticed, after all these years together…”
He could see the panic raising in his Master eyes, how she try to put some distance between them, he could see her taking a step back, as if finally realizing something that has always being there.
“Anakin… don´t push it” she begs, her voice broken by the feeling of helplessness.
“Master, please, don´t…”
Anakin wanted to continue but suddenly there were alarms in both their heads, they stared at each other in sudden panic by the dangerous feeling coming from Padmé´s quarters.
“I sense it too…” Obi-Wan declared while they both rush into a sprint.
There wasn´t any more time to think about their previous conversation, they both suddenly aware of the terrible danger they felt coming from Padmé´s room. Anakin got there first, quickly climbing the bed where the Senator laid asleep to cut the two slug-like creatures in half before they could kill her. Obi-Wan, in a strange impulsive action, threw herself out of the window to grab at the droid that floated menacing outside the room, waiting.
The minute Anakin sensed his Master to be in persecution, he took off with a slight warning at the representative of Naboo, asking her to stay there and wait, his feet quick into running after Obi-Wan, wanting to make sure she was safe as well.
They ended up in a wild chase after a bounty hunter who turn out to be a shape-shifter on hire. Anakin would be lying if he didn´t admit he had fun flying freely around Coruscant, his Master in the other hand… Anakin knew more than too well that Obi-Wan hated flying, she would deny it of course, muttering something about just don´t liking the speed that Anakin is used to fly at, but the truth was written all over her face every single time they had, for one reason or another, got themselves in a fighter. Strangely enough, but then again not, the Jedi apprentice loved to see Obi-Wan during those rides, her face of utter concentration, surely repeating some kind of calming mantra in her head to not be so nervous about it; he loved her frown and the way her eyes sparkled with the spiral of emotions she was not used to feel, like fear and confusion. He almost lost the bounty hunter a couple of times just because he was too busy staring at the movement of his Master´s hair playing in the wind, her perfect crown of braids still stuck in her head but now disheveled and wild, making her look lovely in a different way than before, if the whole arrangement tended to make her look like a queen without a realm, this tousled version make her look what she really was, a fierce warrior and skill fighter ready for battle.
Of course, one way or another, his precious Master didn´t miss the opportunity to scold him about him losing his lightsaber. Again. She gave her one of her famous looks of amused disapproval before they both entered the bar, looking for the damned criminal, both tired and sweating for the chasing while she muttered under her breath that he was going to be the death of her. Anakin almost let out a soft cry at the mention of those words, how can Obi-Wan seriously consider that Anakin would ever hurt her in such way? Or just the possibility of him being directly or indirectly involve with her death? Completely unthinkable. Anakin wanted to be stronger, to grow into the Jedi that could protect the ones he loved the most, and Obi-Wan, his precious and beautiful Master, her sister, her best-friend and loyal companion, and, undoubtedly, the love of his life, was the first person on the list he wanted to take care of. They have been in dangerous missions before, sometimes Anakin got hurt, sometimes Obi-Wan, and most of the time both of them, but there had been a couple of situations when Anakin almost lost her. After witnessing such close to death events involving his Master, Anakin vowed to become powerful enough to be her shield and her sword. If only he could make her listen to what he had to say, to make her understand how he feels, maybe she would finally let him.
They finally captured the assassin, but the miserable creature died before giving them any substantial information about who hire her, leaving the enigma of who was after Padmé unsolved, something that put Anakin on edge.
They both returned to the apartments with close to no new information, though Obi-Wan spared a few glances at the tiny silver dart she got from the dead changeling, as if trying to figure out where it come from by analyzed it repeatedly. Anakin gave her a questioning look at that, but Obi-Wan only shook her head in silent dismissal, not wanting to engage in any kind of discussion of her thoughts; she did that a lot. When she wasn´t hundred percent sure of what was going on she preferred to save her thoughts for later, and Anakin most of the time didn´t mind to leave his Master to her own musings until she felt ready to share them, but the whole problematic concerning Padmé´s life and also the awkward conversation they had earlier in the night were making him feel wiry. He wanted to continue his words from before, to finally confess his feelings, he didn’t care if it wasn´t the right moment anymore, he couldn´t wait any longer to tell her of his intentions, of how he was not capable to push her out of his thoughts, of his constant daydreaming. But once Obi-Wan got into one of her moods, being that that of Jedi Knight Kenobi, server of the Republic and the Jedi Order, it was impossible to take her out of it.
Anakin decided to leave his thoughts for later, in the moment the Council required both of their presences to discuss the situation and the shift of the mission; they have decided to spilt them. Obi-Wan was assigned to investigate the origins of the mysterious toxic dart that killed the bounty hunter, while Anakin was in charge of the personal security of Padmé. He was thrill to be able to spend more time with the later, he had missed her so much through all these years, and his longing had grown and grown as much as he had, but as per usual, he didn´t like the idea of his Master being away from him, especially if it involved assassins and bounty hunters that were willing to kill only by some few credits. Obi-Wan had gone to solo missions before, when the assignments were too dangerous for a young Padawan to be involved, and every time she went, Anakin worried sick, unable to concentrate in his lessons at the Temple and fearing for his Master´s life more than he should. Obi-Wan was a capable Knight, one of the best if you ask Anakin, but that didn´t mean that the young man wasn´t concern on her safety. They were a team, and it was better if they stick together.
Anakin followed Obi-Wan to their shared quarters without muttering anything, Padmé was going to be kept safe inside of the temple tonight to keep an eye on her and tomorrow, Anakin and the ex-queen will leave to her native Naboo, to the exasperation of the Senator who wanted to participate into one complicated politic decision of warfare and security voting. Anakin felt nervous staring at the back of his Master, her brown cloak all over her feminine body. The door opened with a soft hissing sound and Obi-Wan quickly hanged her robe with a soft movement of her left arm, she disappeared into the kitchen and Anakin couldn´t stop to stare at the door, longing for her.
Obi-Wan came back with two mugs of her favorite tea a couple of minutes later, it was hot, just the way she liked it, and with a kind impersonal smile she finally put one cup in front of him. Anakin took it in a token of good intention, Obi-Wan settled herself at the other couch, obviously trying to put some distance between them, she silently continue sipping her tea without care, avoiding visual contact.
“Can we not do this, please?” he finally said.
Obi-Wan almost jumped at the sudden comment. Eyes quickly raising to meet his darker orbs of blue.
“Master…” he muttered, still insecure despise everything “I know that you have noticed. I have been hardly secretive about it. You must have known, all this time, me hanging around you like a moon to its planet”
The older Jedi didn´t say anything immediately, surely trying to measure her words carefully so the Padawan wouldn´t turn them against her, like he used to do when he was ready to fight her about something he didn´t agree on, which was a lot of things if you ask her.
“You have never mention any of this before, young one” she commented “Why now? What changed?”
“So she has noticed”, Anakin realized, Obi-Wan confirming his already done presumptions. And even now, at this time of imperative importance to the Jedi apprentice, the Knight try so hard to phrase her words as a teacher and not as a woman.
“Everything, Master” the Padawan raised from his sitting position, incapable to simply sit in front of Obi-Wan when he was about to confess his feelings, to leave them out there in the open. “We have been together since Master Jinn died, and from the moment I laid eyes on you I have loved you. I never manage to say the words before but it doesn´t mean I´ve never felt them”
Anakin suddenly started pouring all his feelings in a desperate rant of emotion, now that the words were coming out of his mouth he found he couldn´t stop them, he didn´t want to stop them. He loved her. Force, he loved her. So much and so bad, from a place so deep that it hurt him, that every single time he laid his eyes on her he could felt his heart beating faster and stronger, pounding against his chest like a fast pod racing in a competition, like a speeder running through the circular air of Coruscant. How he could kept himself in line all this time, he had no idea. How could he live so long, beside her, next to her, without this feeling of completion that sharing his love brought?
His happiness was only broke by Obi-Wan´s painful glance and she standing up to face him, Anakin already knew what she was going to say before the words left her mouth.
“Anakin” she started, tasting the name on her tongue “The things you are talking about: love, passion, attachment… those are forbidden, don´t you see?” she said calmly, like a mother trying to appease her lost scared child, not like a woman talking to a man “We are Jedi. We do not fall in love”
“But it´s too late!” he yelled “Every day of my life I have only thought of you, and don´t pretend that you didn´t know, that you didn´t even suspect about it!”
“I did think about it once or twice…” she admitted with shame “I thought of it as nothing more than a childish infatuation; it happens, I certainly had it with Qui-Gon as my time as Padawan. This shall pass, Anakin, in time. You’d see…” she tried to reach his shoulder with her right hand, a kind gesture of compassion and understanding.
“No!” he exclaimed, stepping away from her hand, denying himself to be touch in such a cruel way. How could she still treat him as a child after what he have said? Couldn´t she see how much he loved her? “Master, you do not see! I love you, not like a child love his mother, nor like a brother love his sister. I love you as a man loves a woman, I have always had”
“You talk about something you do not understand, Padawan” she assured him, now Obi-Wan was losing her temper, she didn´t know how to proceed, her hands started moving, trying to explain everything out of invisible air, her eyes glowing with desperation “You are young, easily impressionable, it´s easy to misunderstand and misplace such feelings. You have been acting this way since the visit to the Senator, and I can understand that her sight has been the cause of such confusing feelings and painful memories”
“Do not treat me like a child, Obi-Wan, for I´m not” Anakin sentenced, angry and incredulous “Padmé has nothing to do with this. I have felt this way since I´ve met you all those years back at Tatooine, and time has only strengthen those thoughts”
Obi-Wan´s back got rigid all of a sudden. An angry look on her defying eyes that now glowed green with hostility.
“Those thoughts are forbidden, they go against the very code we both swore to protect and follow, don´t do this, Anakin, don´t come here professing feelings that we are both not allowed to have”
“So you do admit you do have them then?” Anakin dared her, he took a couple of steps close to her, intimidating the woman he knew he ought to respect, if not as her Master, at least as her friend.
“What I may or may not feel is of no importance” she decided, her eyes looking away for a moment, as in regret, just to come back to look at him “and this conversation it´s over. Go to your room and meditate about this, you have a long trip ahead”
Anakin wanted to object, to make her see. But a strong pull at their force bond let him know Obi-Wan wouldn´t take any more of his explanations tonight, whatever he felt that he needed to say would have to wait. The older Jedi quickly left to shelter herself into her own room, trying to build a strong wall against him, Anakin could already feel every bridge of that mental shielding raising up, keeping him away from his Master´s head.
He was frustrated, upset, and angry. He had always imagined the way he was going to confess his feelings, when he decided it was the right time to do so, and he had waited so patiently all his life for that moment. Now that such situation had come, even if it wasn´t in the way he planned it, everything fell apart the second he opened his mouth. He wasn´t naïve, of course, he did think about Obi-Wan rejecting him, one of the many reasons why he didn´t do this sooner as well, but he never imagined the pain that it would come with it. He should have known, though.
He really should have known.
Chapter 3: Episode II Part 2
“Do you love me, Master?”
It was the morning the next time he regained his consciousness; he was a mess all over his bed, grey unpersonal sheets twisted all over his body, his eyes burnt with the reminder of last night, how he couldn´t fall asleep and moved around the bed like a man drowning and desperate for air, no matter how much he tried to conceal his sleep, knowing full well he would be needing it in the morning, the events of last night just wouldn´t let him find his peace. His declaration of love, Obi-Wan´s sweet face pained and her words rejecting him, he felt helpless and lonely, he even tried to follow his Master´s advice and refugee himself into meditation just to spare himself the feeling of sadness overflowing his senses, but not even the Force could have helped him. His mind was already taken by the thought of Obi-Wan Kenobi to be bothered.
He finally decided to get out of bed, knowing full well that if he didn´t, his Master would come to get him with one of her best speeches, and he didn´t think he was ready for that yet. He dragged himself out of the sheets and directly into the fresher to clean himself up.
By the time he was out and changed, he found his Master preparing some food in the kitchen, he recognized the delicious smell of Obi-Wan´s cooking, since the perfect Jedi was not only wonderful as a warrior but as fantastic cook as well. Anakin wasn´t surprise anymore at Kenobi´s multiple skills. At the same time he entered the room, he realized the food was no other than his favorite pancakes. Well, Obi-Wan was surely feeling guilty if the food was anything to go by.
“Good morning, Anakin” she welcomed, her smiled was forced, even him, on his sleep deprived mind could notice it.
But he decided to pretend he didn´t see it and replied politely at her “Good morning, Master.”
They both settled into eating in complete silence. The absence of noise was as peaceful and welcomed as it was uncomfortable. It seemed that too many things were left unsaid by both of them, but Anakin knew very well that Obi-Wan wanted to ignore the whole thing as much as she possibly could. Kenobi wasn´t the type of Master that preferred to not talk about things, especially if those “things” matter or held some importance, but when it came about feelings and emotions, she was way out of her realm. Obi-Wan, like all the other Jedis, were too emotionally constipated, afraid of falling in territories that they considered dangerous for their missions and proposes, like love. Sometimes Anakin wondered how friendship was even permitted, judging by the way they sneered down at any kind of attachment. So this silence, as much as annoying as it was, was also part of their routine.
The young Jedi apprentice was starting to wonder if they were to continue with the immaculate quiet, but Obi-Wan all of a sudden started talking.
“Anakin, I trust you will conduct this mission with all seriousness, even when we have had different tasks during our missions before, you have never gone to you own solo assignment, I´m confident you will accomplish what it´s expected of you” It was both a vow of confidence as much as a warning, Obi-Wan´s words sounded too rehearsed, as if the Jedi Knight was just repeating the words of the Council, as if she wished to be anywhere but there talking to him. Anakin knew just too well why.
“Don´t worry, Master. I will do what I must” Anakin promised.
“Good” she managed to smile. A gesture so cold and lost that made the Padawan´s stomach turn. He was sick and tired of this, of pretending last night didn´t happen, when most of his life he waited for this moment.
Before Obi-Wan could leave the room though, Anakin acted on impulse. He grabbed the woman´s arm with a firm grip, spun her body around so she ended up meeting him in a clash of eyes staring at each other; his, shining with concentration, and hers, wide with confusion at the sudden action, he slipped his arms to hold her waist and then crashed his lips with hers.
If Obi-Wan was thinking that Anakin has done this on propose, she was deeply mistaken. The Padawan was equally lost at his unpredictable action, taken back by the fact that his body seemed to act on its own accord and simply kiss the living breath out of Obi-Wan. Anakin was sure he had lost his mind, he was convinced there was no sense left on him now, not after this, but what little remain of his lucid state couldn´t believe what was happening. He had imagined so many things concerning Obi-Wan, he had had all types of fantasies regarding her body, her voice, her eyes, her lips… but this was completely different in all aspects. The taste of her lips, like everything else about her, was sweet. The sweeter nectar he would ever taste. Obi-Wan wasn´t fighting him off, her arms were limp limbs at her side, and her delicate mouth was tightly locked into his, the kiss was supposed to be chaste and simple, but seeing that the redheaded woman didn´t struggle against him, the minute that Anakin regained some coincidence of what he just did, and surely ought to separate himself from her Master, he decided to try something even bolder instead. His lips started parting and moving, begging to have more of that sweet taste on his tongue, the soft skin of Obi-Wan tempting him like honey to a bee, his head spinning at the feeling of love that overcame him like a giant wave crashing at the sea, his hands quickly raise from their position at the feminine waist of his Master to reach her face, framing her cheeks and thumbs sliding and caressing her skin.
Anakin was sure that Obi-Wan was going to push him away any minute now, he could sense it in the Force surrounding them, her shields struggling to being kept up much longer, he could feel her anger rising, even when she was lost into the moment. But for his gasping surprise Obi-Wan did everything but.
Suddenly her hands were at his forearms, gripping him through the fabric, her hands were trembling, he realized, slightly but noticeable, but as tightly as they were holding onto him they weren´t pushing him away or hurting him, they were just there, hanging for dear life like a baby for support when it was just learning to walk for the first time, her mouth, that was unmoved until that moment, started following the actions of his, kissing him back with enough passion to made Anakin lose his senses.
His Master was responding. She was willingly giving him back what he most desired. Her head moved to a side with delicacy, making the kiss deeper and better, permitting Anakin´s tongue to touch hers for a brief second, to enjoy this moment for all that it was worth. They separated only because the lack of air was starting to make them both dizzy, foreheads grazing each other slightly, eyes closed and lungs trying to catch some air after the breath-taking event. Both their eyes open at the same time, looking at each other with bright eyes and unspoken words. Anakin wanted to speak, wanted to find his voice to tell her again how much he loved her, how much he dreamed of this moment, to make his words and his confession right this time, but he couldn´t find it in him, his brain couldn´t catch up with his feelings and his heart was beating too fast and too strong to be considering healthy. His thumbs were still playing with the softness of Obi-Wan´s cheeks, and her mouth, almost red by the intense kissing, was half open, inviting him to take her mouth on his again. He would, he certainly would.
“Obi-Wan…” he started.
“Don´t…” Obi-Wan hissed. Her voice was cold and sharp as a knife. Anakin almost dropped his hands away from her face, scared by the sudden change in his Master force signature. Her shields were no longer trembling and weak, they were firm stone, impenetrable and tall, impossible to break.
Anakin could feel her anger now, even when her feelings and thoughts were strongly hidden behind her shielding, the rage was consuming and powerful, it made him take several steps back from her, Obi-Wan´s eyes shined in the strange blue-green eyes fury she only ever demonstrated while battling a particular nasty enemy. Her hands clenched into fists and with a couple of deep breaths she started to walk to grab her cloak and wrap it over her body, as if the piece of fabric would hide her anger or shame. She continued by walking to the entrance, looking back only to gesture at Anakin to follow. The Padawan, speechless and unsure of what was going on, only managed to chase her with slow steps.
Anakin wanted to kiss her more, to ask her if what happened wasn´t an illusion, a momentary lapse of insanity. He wanted so many things, all at the same time that it was starting to rip him in half. He found his hands clenching and unclenching with a sudden need to grab her shoulder in the same way he did just moments before, to spun her around and kiss the air out of her lungs, to tell her that she was his now, that it was not turn away ever again, that they could not go back to pretend to be brother and sister, the poor orphan children of Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn, they couldn´t go back to accidental slight touches here and there, to furtive glances that promised much more than what they end up delivering. He was half mad with desire already, she couldn´t pretend that it didn´t happen anymore than he could pretend that he didn´t love her.
They walked through the halls of the Temple like two planets lost out of their orbits, they both could feel the gravity that used to pull them together gripping them with such an invisible force that made walking difficult, if Anakin was lost forever into the abnormal strength of attraction that his Master had on him, he had no idea the struggle that lived inside Obi-Wan´s head at the moment, how their kiss had propelled all types and kind of feelings to the surface and had clenched her heart into a fist of unresolved emotions and elevated her blood pressure until it made her want to vomit. Their silent trajectory to the Council chambers continued with the same uncomfortable sensation that joined them during breakfast, only bothering to smile and nod at the passing Jedi that they encountered along their way, obligated by their sense of familiarity and manners to feign a serenity they didn´t possessed at the moment.
Once they made it into the chambers, the Council was united, already discussing the topics of the day and once they got over them quickly, they, once again, reminded both of them of the importance of their tasks at hand. Anakin could hardly listen to any word they said, too invested at staring at his Master, at her still swollen lips and her cold eyes that, once again, had returned to their natural grey color, finally realizing which tone was dominant, as if it wasn´t obvious before.
Only then, Anakin could examine his Master in his usual way, her hair was different again, he noticed, tided in a respectful bun by her nape, there were two braids this time, keeping the illusion of her usual crown on her head, but her flawless wavy cooper hair still made its way to spill out of the bun and into a single thick braid down her back. It was a beautiful sight still, just more modest than the intricate styles he prefer to see her Master in. It´s seemed that the sour mood that now reigned their consciences and actions translated in their appearances. It was hardly believable that just yesterday they were under their usual old master-apprentice relationship that had worked up well over all these years, and now they couldn´t even bare to look at each other without feeling the need to feel ashamed of themselves.
Master Windu made a job to remind him how much he loathed Anakin by giving him a few warning glances every time they referred to his own personal mission of escorting the Senator back to Naboo safety and protect her there, Anakin didn’t have any strength nor interest to meet the Council Member eyes with his usual teenage defiance, he was too emotional exhausted already to center his anger into the distrusting older Jedi.
Obi-Wan made a graceful vow at the end of the discussion and made her way to the door without checking if Anakin was following her, and of course he was, quick on his feet to chase any trace of Kenobi like a thirsty man follow a river of water. The young apprentice was still hesitant and too apprehensive to open his mouth to speak to the Jedi, his own emotions were already tangled up in a spiral of non-sensical proportions, happiness, nervousness, confusion, fear, anger, longing and desperation. He felt as if any minute he would be close to burst.
Obi-Wan directed him to the limits of the Temple, there, at the entrance, waiting, was Padmé and her staff, her loyal security officer Typho and her dear friend and servant Cordé. The ex-queen smiled at him the moment she spotted him, and Anakin made an effort to smile back, which, happily enough, he found rather easy to do, even after the events that came to pass between his Master and him. Obi-Wan quickly started chatting away with Typho, fixing every unexplained issue that there might be.
“I do not like this idea of hiding” Padmé admitted to him after saluting him, they were walking now, ready to go in their way of a public cruiser disguised as immigrants.
“Don´t worry” he calmed her. “Now that the Council has ordered an investigation, it won´t take Master Obi-Wan long to find that bounty hunter” he reassured her with a whisper of a voice.
She snorted at his side.
“I haven´t worked for a year to defeat the Military Creation Arc not to be here when its fate is decided”
Anakin suddenly stiffen at the tone of voice used by Padmé, her frustration and anger easily relatable at the feelings of helplessness that the Padawan was feeling himself. He was staring at the back of Obi-Wan´s head, she was still busy with talking and tiding up loose ends, acting as if nothing had happened between them, as if he didn´t exist. Anakin could only narrow his eyes in sudden anger, following the soft movement of her braid and opening his mouth to allow some of his feelings to be known. “Sometimes we have to let go of our pride and do what is requested of us.” He said, venom bitter in his tongue, his voice tight and barely controlled over his stormy temper.
“Pride?!” she exclaimed, alarmed and misunderstanding Anakin´s comment “Ani, you are young and you don´t have a very firm grip of politics. I suggest you reserve your opinions for some other time” she cried with disbelief.
“And what do you know about me exactly?” He wanted to ask. The women of his life were surely driving him mad with both their attitudes, which was for sure any other day he would have exploded at, but his usual quick to turn temper was drifted down by his gloomy emotions. They both seemed to found single ways to look down on his feelings and thoughts like they were meaningless and unimportant. He was struggling like never before to keep his temper at bay, but he really wasn´t in the mood to deal with this kind of behavior.
“Sorry, M´lady” he apologized “I was only trying to…”
“Ani, no!” Padmé quickly exclaimed, suddenly realizing she had hurt his feelings some way.
“Please don´t call me that…” he begged brokenly and pained. It was cruel enough that he was the young apprentice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the woman of his dreams and, unlucky enough, the one he had to call Master day and night, even when his true desire ran way deeper than such a superficial title. He couldn´t bared to be referred to with the childish nickname of his infancy by the other woman he grew to love as well.
“What?” Padmé turned to look at him questionably.
“Ani…” he clarified “It´s Anakin. When you say Ani it´s like I´m still a little boy… and I´m not” his voice was so full with spite, tired and angry, teeth gritting against each other.
“I´m sorry, Anakin. It´s impossible to deny you´ve…” she stopped to take a deep gulp of air, looking up and down at Anakin´s form in an unconscious action of desire “that you´ve grown up” she finished looking away, ashamed.
The young Jedi apprentice would have grinned at the obvious gesture of attraction, but the words managed to spark his volatile temper once again, this time, though, not in an offended pride sort of way, but more in disappointment by the recent feelings of confusion between Obi-Wan´s rejection and possible acceptance of his feelings. “Master Obi-Wan manages not to see it…”
“Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults than we would like. It´s the only way we grow.” Padmé said with a soft voice, trying to soothe Anakin´s obvious affliction.
Anakin only made a face.
“Don´t get me wrong…Obi-Wan is a great mentor” he tried appeased, she was a great too many things in Anakin´s eyes “As wise as Master Yoda and as powerful as Master Windu.” There was a hint of pride and awe in those words, if anything, Anakin was incredible grateful that he had the opportunity to be the famous Sith Killer´s Padawan even if the title filled him both with pride and sadness. “I am truly thankful to be her apprentice. Only…” Anakin felt that in that moment he could lose his mind again and confess his real feelings for his Master to Padmé, who was staring at him attentively and listening to every word with diplomatic precision. “…although I´m a Padawan learner, in some ways…” (In a romantic, forbidden, unbiddable way) “I´m ahead of her. I´m ready for the trials” (She should just let me take care of her) “I know I am!” (I desperately love her) “She knows it too. She believes I´m too unpredictable…” (She believes I´m still a child) “Other Jedi my age have gone through the trials and made it… I know I started my training late, but she won´t let me move on” (She wouldn´t let me love her).
There were so many things he would rather complain about his Master of. Her lack of awareness of his feelings, her disregard for his actions, for his more deeply buried desires, that he now knew were not entirely one sided. But here he was, discussing feelings of frustration of his training, that although partially true, weren´t the center and focus of his real sadness nor torment.
“That must be frustrating…” Padmé added taking him out of his thoughts.
“It´s worse… she´s overly critical” (She´s choosing the Order before me) “She never listens!” (She still refuses me) “She just doesn´t understands!” (She doesn´t let go of her pride) “It´s not fair!” (It´s really not fair).
Padmé´s laugh sounds like a little bell through the static of the air and makes Anakin blush with the beautiful ring of the beat.
“I´m sorry” she apologizes, shaking her head and covering her pink mouth with her hand “You sounded exactly like that little boy I once knew, when he didn´t get his way”
Anakin blushed red on his entire face, suddenly too aware of his childish words and immature behavior, quickly expecting the posture of his Master, trying to figure out if she had heard him while he complained about her, but Obi-Wan seemed to immersed on her own conversation to notice, and his anger was still present and fresh, only to be now joined by the usual feeling of embarrassment.
“I´m not whining! I´m not…” he tries to corrects but it only seems to make it worst.
The conversation would have continued if it wasn´t because they have reached the always busy freighter ducks of Courscant Industrial area. There was a small bus completely empty, waiting for them, everything was carefully arranged so Padmé and Anakin would pass completely undetected, even though Jedi weren´t uncommon, especially on Courscant, there were always observed wherever they went, since they were just a bunch of them and always seemed to be surrounded by myths of urban legends.
Once they were onboard and on their way, Obi-Wan made a job to kept herself hidden on the shadows, trying to avoid to be seen by the passers of the streets, this time allowing her cloak to not cover her head as she usually did, since everybody in the galactic capital knew how a Jedi look like, always protected on the disguised of their robes, her lovely face was the reminder that he needed to appeased his anger, even when Anakin´s heart seemed to rumbled at the sole thought of her lips and grey but distant eyes.
In a record time they arrived at their destiny, right before a huge intergalactic freighter starship, the one that would lead them to the home planet of Padmé, Naboo. If Anakin was to be honest, he was excited not only to finally be able to spend time alone with Padmé and to be away for the Temple, that even if it was where he considered to be his true home now, it was full of rules and limits that the blond Jedi was tired of following all the time, but also to visit the green and blue planet again. This recent freedom would turn out to be a nice change, even if that meant to be away from Obi-Wan.
The double doors of the bus opened indicating that it was time for them to leave. Padmé turned a last time to stare at her staff and friends with a kind smile, Anakin felt his eyes stare at the beauty and warmth of the gesture. Padmé surely was wonderful and full of vibrant beauty, especially towards her people.
“Be safe, M´lady” Captain Typho requested, returning the smile and giving a furtive glance at Anakin´s direction, a silent plea at him to protect her.
“Thank you, Captain. Take good care of Dorme… the threat´s on you two now” she warned, wary.
“He´ll be safe with me” Dorme added with a little bit of cheek.
They both nodded, accepting the good wishes. And Padmé found herself laughing at the slight joke.
Anakin was basking in the positive and radiant glow of Padmé´s warmth, he was too used to the coldness and simplicity of Jedi relationships, they were all like a big family, brothers and sisters raised to follow the Will of the Force, and even when they did share good memorable moments between them, there was always the tick veil of distance put between each other to not form dangerous attachments. It seems as if Anakin could never have a truthful relationship with any of them, not even with his dear Master. But Padmé was different, she was pure, untainted and reminded Anakin why he fell in love with her first, before his confusing problematic heart was taken by Obi-Wan.
Before they could finally part, Obi-Wan reached for Anakin´s arm in the first physical touch they have shared since the kiss, pulling him slightly away from the group of people who were still a little reluctant to separate from each other, Anakin almost gasped like a fool for the sudden unexpected movement but found himself pleased nonetheless that his Master was going to say goodbye to him before leaving, if that was worth something.
“Anakin” she started, her tone was all wrong, the Padawan quickly noticed, there was no familiarity or melancholy at letting him leave her sight, it was the tone she used when she was being Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, formal and impersonal like the icy mountains of the planet Hoth. “You stay put on Naboo. Do not attract any attention. Do absolutely nothing without checking in with me or the Council.” The series of commands were like a sharp knife plugging in over and over his flesh, cutting him to the core. It was as if what happened during the morning was nothing, as if it wasn´t real, even her anger and shame was better than this cold indifference and disregard of Anakin´s feelings. He was truly done with it.
Anakin didn´t reply, not knowing what to say without showing his anger and causing a scene of its own.
“May the force be with you” Obi-Wan finished with a strange gleam on her eyes. The usual words of farewell of any Jedi.
“Do you love me, Master?”
Obi-Wan´s face lost its color all of a sudden, it paled until it become as white as a sheet. Anakin was also surprise for the abrupt flow of words. The question was out of his mouth in the same way he committed the past indiscretion at Padmé´s apartment, this time, however, the words were tangled with desperation and sadness. There was no childish anger or wild defiance, it was not a show carefully designed to put his Master to shame in front of other people, nor an act of vengeance for her unfair treatment. It was simply the question, the only thing that he has ever wanted to know the answer of. Anakin had always be so insecure of his position on Obi-Wan´s life, she was always kind but distant, familiar but unapproachable, sweet but forbidden, and he was always so needy of her attention, of her love. He craved it like a mad man needed sanity back, he wanted so much, even when he knew he shouldn´t, that it was not the Jedi way, but it was impossible for him to fight his feelings, his true desires.
Anakin didn´t even have the strength necessary to regret what he had just said. He was tired of pretending that he was playing the same game that Obi-Wan seemed so invested in, this pretending and faking of emotions, that he didn´t feel this ache and love and want and longing for her.
Obi-Wan gaped in sudden shock. Eyes turning blue and round, wide with a combination of surprise, confusion, terror and something more, something deep that Anakin didn´t quiet catch. He didn´t expect Obi-Wan to give him an answer and, to be honest, he was fearful she would actually give him one. But this time, instead of her dubious dodging responses, he may obtain a definitive confirmation of his fears. That she didn´t love him back.
Before the Jedi Knight could collect herself enough to react to Anakin´s question, the younger man smile sadly with a strange gleam on his eyes, with a slight shrug and a better grip at Padmé´s luggage, he turned just to whisper “May the Force be with you too, Master”
After that, he walked away without bothering to see if Obi-Wan had heard him, Padmé following his steps without noticing the sadness in the Padawan´s eyes or the quiet storm in the Knight’s ones. Finally reaching the cruise that will take them both to Naboo, Anakin was all set and ready to leave Courscant behind, even if it was for a little while. For the first time in the length of their relationship, Anakin actually wanted space and more distance between them two.
So, I feel like posting this short chapter, the next one will be longer, but I felt I had to cut it there, so. Again, because of problems with the editing, the Beta´d version won´t be poster until later, so any mistakes you find will be corrected soon enough. :)
As an extra explanation, Anakin´s character is changed a little from his usual person in the canon, I thought that he being in love with Obi-Wan would change the way he treated her, so he is a bit less childish and a little more melancholic, so, if you think that he is a bit more in control that in the canon, which I think he is, it´s because is intentional. I hope you enjoy it and please please, I´m grateful for all the Kudos, but some feedback and reviews would also be appreciated, I could answer questions and doubts that any of you may have and respond to your nice comments. Also, next chapter there it´s gonna be a little drawing for you :)
Chapter 4: Episode II: Part 3
Obi-Wan´s conviction shakes as Anakin leaves, and a suprise guest appears.
Obi-Wan was finally back at the Temple. She was supposed to start on her own assignment once she knew that her apprentice was away taking care of his, but the unexpected words of Anakin were brooding deep within her mind.
Do you love me, Master?
What a mess of a situation they were both in. Contrary to what Anakin may think, she wasn´t a fool. She noticed Anakin´s infatuation with her throughout the years; the way he smiled at her every time she dared to visit his saber practices against other Padawans at the Temple. Or how he’d started to keep his room tidy when she had mentioned her distaste for any kind of clutter or dirt.
She had the same feelings once towards her own Master. She could still remember how she would daydream about Qui-Gon as a young Padawan, how she blushed when his eyes shined in a certain way or the helpless smile she wore for hours when he complemented her on something. She thought that the young blonde Jedi would grow out of it the same way she had, even though in her case, her little crush died when Qui-Gon did, not with the passing of time or the maturity of the years.
But the awful truth was that she wasn´t disgusted or even uncomfortable about those dangerous feelings that Anakin had towards her. She was secretly pleased. She knew it was wrong, terribly wrong. She was his Master, his elder. His sister.
They had both connected with her deceased Master in more ways than many Jedi were with their own. For him, Qui-Gon was the man who liberated him, who believed in him when everyone else, herself included, refused to accept him. But Qui-Gon loved him, cared for him, gave him propose when his only destiny in life was to be a slave. And to her, her Master was a parent, a hero, a desirable man. He besotted her in ways most people didn´t, even when there were opportunities with other men, other Padawans, boys of her age who desired her in the same way she drooled over Master Jinn; but for her, there was only him. When he died, it was like a part of her did as well, she thought there was no way she could love someone ever again. After all, it was too cruel to love that much and lose that badly in just an instant. There was no possibility that she could allow her heart to grow attached to another after the suffering of seeing her dear Master perish at the blade of a Sith.
But then, Anakin happened. With his insolent behavior, his fiery blue eyes, his stupid smiles and permanent disregard of rules and insistent whining. All things most people would frown upon, they simply made up who Anakin was. And as usual, Obi-Wan found herself pulled at the unconventional personality of another equally unorthodox man. The same way she fell in love with the mysterious rebellious Jedi that Qui-Gon Jinn was, she became attached to the insurgent wild Padawan that was Anakin Skywalker.
After discovering her own feelings, she tried to keep her distance. Obi-Wan tried her hardest to be the perfect Master. To be completely in control of her emotions and mindful of her thoughts. She was the guardian of this boy that came to her fearful and lonely, and who was slowly becoming a man that was prophesized to be the Chosen One. She didn´t have time to weigh him down with ridiculous sentiments that weren´t even meant to be felt by people like them. There was too much at risk.
So she thought that she could live a comfortable life ignoring her own feelings at the circumstances, until he went insane and confessed his heart out to her. When Anakin saw Padmé, Obi-Wan had the hope, the tiniest of hopes, that he finally realized his mistake. After all, the Senator of Naboo was beautiful, young and gracious in ways that Obi-Wan could never be. Even when love was forbidden for them, the distraction of a most tempting prospect would take the young Padawan´s attention away from her. It will make him sober up all that unattainable emotion that was living inside him at the moment. When she reunited with the ex-queen she couldn´t help but feeling a spark of jealousy, it would take a blind fool to not be able to see the beauty that Padmé Amidala had become. Obi-Wan didn´t feel it necessary to wear beautiful gowns or impress people with strange accessories all over their hair, she knew that was something best reserved to people of higher social spheres, not for a Jedi. But the beauteous trinkets ignited a flame of envy deep inside her, especially when she realized how taken Anakin was with Padmé. Despite her unnecessary and petty jealousy, she knew that in the end she was going to be only a ghost of the past for the young apprentice.
Yet in a quick unexpected move of destiny, Anakin surprised her once again by re-aligning his convictions towards her; when she, mistakenly, laid her hand over his arm when they talked about his mother or when he exploded with uncontrollable emotion the other night, talking about love and desire. Obi-Wan was lost at the sudden turn of events. She resisted, of course. Fought to keep her words right, to not give hope, to not fall into the childish game that Anakin wanted them both to play. It was hard, almost impossible when he was swearing her adoration, promising devotion and infinite passion. She wanted to give in so badly, even if it was just because she was lonely. Even if it was because she was tired of fighting off her feelings, rationalizing her heart and shielding her mind. In the morning, when she thought she got back a grasp of sanity, he not only surprised her with another provocation, but with action.
He kissed her. Took her breath away in a single motion and showed her the passion he pledge so fervently just yesterday, that they were not only words, but a true surrender. She gave in, this time. Weak, drained, enchanted and impotent to do anything else but to kiss him back. To let herself feel for the first time in so long. That was what she wanted when Qui-Gon lived, she was the one then, she remembers, crafting fantasies about kisses and promises of real love. And now, filled with frustration, yearning and a little of her own unconditional love, she gave her lips to Anakin.
In that moment, in that single perfect moment, she doubted everything. Her precious Code, her motives, her conviction to the Jedi way, her incessant battle against her own selfish wishes. How could feeling something so beautiful be wrong? How could anyone deny her the bliss of having this? She could almost cry at the impotency of her frustrations. Anakin kissed like he did everything else in life. With passion, intensity and untamed ferocity, his lips were rough and soft all at the same time, moving so naturally, fitting so perfectly against her own like two missing pieces. His breath finished where hers began. His hands were holding her waist tightly.
And the minute they separate only to regain some breath, all that had just happened flew back to her with apprehension. She was sent back to the feelings of shame and guilt that drove her from these feelings in the first place. Even though a single look into Anakin´s eyes broke her heart into million pieces, she could not relent this time. So, she walked the halls with him, listened obediently to the Council’s instructions, talked with the security captain of Padmé with him staring at her back, and gave him a last goodbye not knowing when she would see him next.
She let go, for what seemed like the first and last time, but then he turned, hurt and sad, to ask her if she loved him back. As if her torment wasn´t big enough. As if her longing could not grow stronger and wider until it craved a hole on her chest. He smiled at that, not knowing her heart nor her mind, and walked away whispering his goodbye, disappearing into the crowd. And she felt as if she couldn´t breathe anymore without his eyes on her, she felt as if he was gone forever and she was lost on her own again. She could have said something, she could have stop him on his tracks, try to make him understand but there was no point. He was gone, and it was better that way.
(Female Obi-Wan Kenobi)
Anakin and Padmé were comfortably seated in the improvised cafeteria of the cruiser, shyly looking around trying to not been identified; Padmé was wearing a headpiece that had a long yellow veil that covered her hair and part of her face, giving her a false appearance of a peasant, even though she still looked regal all the same. It was curious to see the former Queen of Naboo wearing a gown that any other Courscanti woman would wear instead of her more intricate arrangements and wardrobes. Anakin was barely recognizable himself without his Jedi robes, he used to wear some unconventional colors to distinguish himself, with darker shades of brown and leather black tabards instead of the creamy or sandy colors that the other Jedi seemed to enjoy and favor more.
They had barely talked during the duration of the trip, Padmé still too worried about her dear politics and her troubles with the Military Creation Act, while Anakin was still thinking about what he had said to his Master, wondering if Obi-Wan bothered to think about it as much as he did, he highly doubted it. He had managed to catch some sleep in their assigned quarters but was risen immediately when the nightmares about his mother plagued his mind. Hearing her screams in apparent agony and her face contorted with tears of pain. If Padmé noticed any of it, she didn´t say, Anakin was grateful for that, he didn´t want her to see his weakness.
As a way of making conversation, Anakin ventured in talking about Padmé´s homeworld instead of focusing in his fears.
“I look forward to seeing Naboo again” he commented, smile friendly on his face “I´ve thought about it every day since I left. It´s by far the most beautiful place I´ve ever seen…”
Padmé stared at him with an apologetic smile.
“You were just a little boy then. It may not be as you remember it; time changes your perception” she offered, brushing his excitement away.
“I think time has given me more mature feelings to enhance perception” he insisted.
Padmé seemed to stop at that, as if thinking about something curious that suddenly crossed her mind “It must be difficult having sworn your life to the Jedi…” she mussed more to herself than to Anakin “not being able to visit the places you like…or do the things that you like…”
“Or be with the people I love” Anakin added with a shrug, thoughts suddenly returning to Obi-Wan once again. “Ridiculous”, he thought.
“Are you allowed to love?” the Senator wondered with quick interest. Her head coming closer slightly, eyes shining with curiosity. “I thought that was forbidden for a Jedi”
Anakin smiled sadly at that.
“Attachment is forbidden, possession is forbidden, even compassion. We are designed to love unconditionally, it is central to a Jedi´s life, so you might say we´re encouraged to love” he explained away, right hand moving the soup on his plate with a lack of motivation.
“You have changed so much” Padmé said as a passing comment. There was something in her voice, a brush of fondness that made Anakin´s cheeks color red with embarrassment and pleasure. Padmé may not be Obi-Wan, but she was beautiful and kind, she was an angel on her own right, if Anakin could change his heart as easily as he wished to, he would choose to love her instead, in a heartbeat. Loving Padmé wouldn´t hurt, it wouldn´t be denied and taken away, it wouldn´t leave him hanging between confirmation and refusal. It would be fulfilling, peaceful and perfect. If he could only hold on to that, he wouldn´t be feeling this pain.
They continued talking, sometimes about Naboo, about his mother, about his missions and trials as a Jedi as much as her experiences as a Senator of the Republic. Anakin found himself enchanted by her smile and besotted with her laughter, so much that he almost forgot about his issue with Obi-Wan entirely,.
“Before…” Padmé starts with a slight whisper.
Anakin raised his eyes to see her with a questioning look on his face.
“You were dreaming about your mother earlier, weren´t you?” she finally finishes. Her melted chocolate eyes hide a spark of curiosity and sadness.
Anakin hesitates to answer, speechless and underwhelmed by the change of conversation. He thought he had kept his thoughts and worries well hidden deep inside his mind, but it seems that Padmé has noticed anyway. Defeated, he replies.
“Yes…I left Tatooine so long ago, my memory of her is fading. I don´t want to lose it” He says putting aside the remainders of the soup he was eating. His eyes displayed a sadness well above his years “I´ve been seeing her in my dreams, vivid dreams, scary dreams. I worry about her”
“Maybe you should visit her” Padmé advises with a warm comforting smile.
Anakin lets a dry chuckle escape through his lips. “That´s impossible” he declares with bitterness. “We are not permitted to visit our family nor communicate with them. A Jedi must let go of his past”
“We must not have attachments” Obi-Wan´s soft voice whispers inside his head. It was as if she was right there with them, murmuring into his ear, reminding him of his duty, the code, the rules, all the set of little nothings that Anakin could care less about.
“That seems a bit excessive” the Senator comments under her breath, almost as if the remark escaped from her mind and into her mouth.
Anakin keeps himself silent, measuring Padmé´s reaction to the thought.
“I mean” she tries again “I do not claim to know more nor better than a Jedi” she ponders with a slight blush of embarrassment over her cheeks “but in my experience, love is rarely a weakness. I see it more as a strength. I do not see why one should be private of it”
“It´s more complicated than that” Anakin explains “Most Jedi are taken from their families when they are too young to understand about bounds, so they don´t really have a past nor a family to miss. I´m a rare exception. I came to the Jedi old enough to know what attachment is.”
“Too fearful, too angry, too dangerous” he remembers the words that the Council used to refer to him when he first came to Coruscant. He wondered how different life would have been if Obi-Wan hadn´t chosen him.
“That must have been hard” Padmé mentions with pity, her eyes portray a distance look in them. “You, here, in such a big terrifying planet without your mother.”
Anakin smiles at her words. Padmé was the first person in a long while who has finally understood his struggle, she has not bothered to remind him that it was unbecoming of a Jedi to feel such things, that it was not right to worry about his mother or to simply desire other things in life. For the first time, Anakin felt fully comfortable with someone else.
“Indeed” he agrees “It was difficult at first. Too many rules, I used to get into trouble over the smallest things” he laughs with melancholy.
“I was naturally gifted at too many things though, so it didn´t take much time at all to catch up to the other apprentices” the Padawan remarks with pride in his voice “all the others used to get a little jealous of that too, but not everything was terrible. I wasn´t alone. I had Obi-Wan.”
Despite his sorrow and disappointment towards his Master, Anakin can´t help but smile warmly at the thought of her. Of how she used to take care of him, how she subtly defended him in front of the other Masters when they told her he was too arrogant or too aggressive during lessons. Obi-Wan was his life guard, his friend and his family.
“You must be so grateful to her” Padmé observed at his loss of words.
“I am” he declared without hesitation. “I certainly am”
After a small trip to Dex and the Archives of the Temple, Obi-Wan wasn’t completely sure that she was able to find the answers she was looking for regarding the location of Kamino. This led her on her search of Master Yoda. She found him in a training room with what seemed like twenty younglings in a session. They were all wearing helmets that covered their eyes, moving their tiny training sabers around trying to hit the little droids that flouted around them. Obi-Wan couldn´t help but smile at the sight that brought so many memories back at her.
“Don´t think… feel. Be as one with the force. Help you, it will” Yoda preached in front of them before catching Obi-Wan staring at them by the door “Younglings, enough!” he instructs “A visitor we have. Welcome her.”
The group of children suddenly removed their helmets and turned off their training sabers, looking up at her with eyes of adoration. A couple of gasps could been heard in the room the moment they realized who she was. The famous Sith Killer. The Jedi Knight knew that her popularity had increased from the very moment she had slain her Master´s assassin. Obi-Wan wasn´t proud nor fond of the attention, it always made her feel uncomfortable and out of place, but she could understand why the little ones would feel drawn to her precense.
“Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, meet the mighty Bear Clan.” Yoda points out.
Obi-Wan smiles with warmth at the happy faces of the younglings before saluting with a respectful bow.
“Welcome, Master Obi-Wan!” The cheerful voices of the initiates exclaim.
“I am sorry to disturb you, Master” She starts with a shameful blush on her face. Yoda waves her embarrassment away with a movement of his hand “What help to you, can I be?” he asks.
“I´m looking for a planet described to me by an old friend. I trust him. But the system doesn´t show up on the archives maps.”
“An interesting puzzle. Gather round the map reader, younglings. Master Obi-Wan has lost as planet. Find it, we will try…”
The children move around instantly, a tiny blond one runs to shut the lights off and turn on the projector. Obi-Wan is reminded for a moment of a young Anakin Skywalker. A bitter smile covers her face for an instant before dissolving into nothing, staring at the star systems appearing around the room, trying to remember where Kamino is supposed to be.
“This is where it ought to be…” she quickly points at a blank space between the stars “but it isn´t. Gravity is pulling all the stars in this area inward to this spot. There should be a star here… but there isn´t” she finishes.
Yoda looks at her with curiosity for a moment before smiling and asking a question to the class, wondering how could a star and its planets simply vanish while the trails of its existence reminds. A child quickly suggest that someone has erased it from the archives, Obi-Wan frowns at that. No one can do that. However, Master Yoda seems pleased at the comment, saying that it must have been the case, as the old troll catches Obi-Wan staring with strangeness, he speaks.
“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is. Uncluttered. To the center of the pull of gravity go, and find your planet you will” he states. A peaceful smile at the Knight´s silence and incredulity reminds.
“But Master Yoda who could have erased information from the Archives? That´s impossible, isn´t it?” she argues perplexed.
“Much harder to answer, that question is”
Obi-Wan mouth grimaces at the implication while Yoda frowns slightly. She thinks that the whole mission is getting more elaborated and tangled that she ever imagined it to be. After all, she has had plenty of missions that involved protecting important people before: Senators, Ambassadors and the like, but nothing as shady and mysterious as this case.
Obi-Wan strides over to the door and is about to leave before Master Yoda halts her movements.
“Look different, you do” he remarks.
Obi-Wan stops and stares at the tiny Master. Speechless and confused, Obi-Wan tries her best to leave her face blank of any emotions. “I don´t understand…” she starts and stops, surprised.
“To you, something happened, mmm, yes?” he cryptically pondered with a strange gleam. Obi-Wan nervously glances at the children, who have all occupied themselves with chatting and laughing at each other, oblivious of the two Jedis conversing in the room.
“I don´t think so, no.” Obi-Wan fixes with a rushed voice. “It´s the mission, I guess. Everything is turning out to be more complicated that we thought.”
“Mmm” Yoda hums. “A storm inside you, there is” he insist. “Your feelings, mixed are. Your mind, clouded is”
Obi-Wan let’s lose a shaky breath at the sudden suspicion in Master Yoda´s voice. She wants to run and hide from his presence. There was no way he knew about what have transpired between her Padawan and herself, right? And even at that, she couldn´t be so obvious in her despair. She was a Jedi. Trained to control her emotions and not allowing her feelings to show through, even when they were difficult and painful to keep hidden. But Master Yoda wasn´t a fool. If there was someone who could see through her careful crafted armor, it was him.
“Something happened. Nothing of consequence” she lies even when she knows she ought not to. “Another of Anakin´s antics, I´m much too used to them by now, you should not worry, Master” she finished with a smile.
Master Yoda countries his searching gaze, “worry, I do not. Afraid I am, that you do, Knight Kenobi”
Before she could answer back, Yoda gives her a final smile, before turning back to the class, ready to continue with the lesson. Obi-Wan blushes red from head to toe, she quickly leaves the room ashamed and mortified that Master Yoda may know about her feelings for Anakin.
The whole temple knew about them two, how could they not? The Sith Killer and the Chosen One. They looked like a match made by the Force. Maybe they were. With Anakin´s constant stunts and disobedience, Obi-Wan tried her best to keep him in line and to get him to follow every rule inside and outside of the Temple, but the young man had already made a name for himself as the problematic hot-headed Padawan. Children loved him but Masters loathed his behavior. If that wasn´t enough to get Obi-Wan shameful reprimands from her peers, she could only imagine what they would be saying of her if they found out about Anakin´s romantic feelings, or, even worse, the kiss they already shared.
By the time she finally made it to a desolated hall of the Temple, her heart was beating hard and fast against her chest. She pressed her forehead against the crystal of the one of the tall windows. Releasing a long breath, she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. Obi-Wan turned away from the window and was about to head back to her corridor before a tall figure appeared from the corner of the corridor, walking calmly toward her.
“Oh, Kenobi!” the cheerful voice exclaimed while one hand was raised in a salute.
Obi-Wan didn´t have to turn to know who exactly the one who was calling her was.
“…Quinlan.” She muttered with disdain.
“It´s been a long time without seeing you, old friend!” he said cheerfully.
“Not long enough…” she managed to whisper to herself.
“Oh, come on!” he laughed away “You don´t have to pretend that you didn´t missed me” he said with a little wink.
“That´s because I didn´t” she said with a straight face.
“You wound me so.” He puts a hand on his heart and gives Obi-Wan a pained expression before breaking out into a broad smile again.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you walking the halls alone, where is that little Padawan of yours? The little punk follows you around like a puppy.”
Obi-Wan grimaces, “His name is Anakin. And he is on a mission at Naboo”
Quinlan seems surprised by the information.
“Really? On his own?” he questions with a frown on his face. Obi-Wan has never seen him that serious before. Obi-Wan nods her head, giving him an affirmative.
“Who in their right mind came up with that idea?” Quinlan muttered with clear revulsion. His manners rivaled that of a young child’s.
“The Council. It was not a decision per se, but more of a petition from the Chancellor to protect an old friend, so we didn´t have much of a choice” Obi-Wan says with a shrug. She sits on a bench along the hallways walls sensing that Quinlan had more to say.
“Still, that´s Bantha poodo” he mutters through clenched teeth, taking seat next to her.
“Oh, please, don´t start with the Huttese” she implores with a shake of her head, tired his repulsive language.
Quinlan managed to laugh at her despair and inclines his head to the side with one of his famous playful grins.
“Hey, don´t look at me like that. It was your boy who taught me everything I know!”
Obi-Wan almost choke at the mention of Anakin as “her boy”. Shame was already consuming her from the inside out, she didn´t need the reminder of her sins from the mouth of the most sinful Jedi she knew.
Before she could say something or just blatantly walk away from the unscrupulous Jedi. Quinlan´s face was suddenly too close to hers, Obi-Wan gasped in surprised as the Kiffar man´s lips were almost touching her chin, but with a silent huff from the older Jedi, he let his head fall and nestle into the crook of her neck. Obi-Wan wanted nothing more but to push him aside, but the weight and heat of another being grounded her.
“I really missed you, Obi” he said with a whisper of a voice. “I really did.”
The past nickname that he used when they were Padawans felt both odd and familiar at the same time, something she hadn´t heard in a while.
They used to go on missions together from time to time when they were both young, they developed some kind of a friendship on those missions. But after some turn of events, the death of her Master, their Knighting and the arrival of both Anakin and Aayla to their lives, the distance grew and the connection between them flattened.
“I thought we were past this, Quinlan” she murmured close to his ear, staring at his wild black hair against her shoulder blade. He let out a snort and bitter laugh.
“Maybe you are, Obi, but I don´t think there is a man in this entire world that could possibly forget about you” he confessed, finally lifting himself from her person. Obi-Wan was silently grateful of the new accomplished distance between them.
“We are no longer children” she announced with a lifted eyebrow before rising from her seat, trying to avoid a conversation they already had in the past. Quinlan started at her from below with a calm smile, something rare on him.
“Anyway…” he started with a surprising clap of his hands, Obi-Wan almost laughed at the sudden change in the mood “you better keep an eye on that Padawan of yours. I wouldn´t leave him alone with my underclothes, let alone with a mission all on his own.”
Obi-Wan rolled her grey eyes.
“You are a Knight and I wouldn´t trust you with holding my robes. Also, we all know you don´t wear any underclothes.” She teased with ease, reviving an old joke of the past.
“Low blow, Kenobi” he said with his usual raspy voice, but his smile was intact on his face. “Well, see you around, Obi. Take care of yourself, though I wouldn´t mind going to rescue your sorry ass.”
“You wish…” she declared in a breath.
Obi-Wan gave him a small smirk before walking in the opposite direction towards her quarters.
( a cartoonish version of Obi-Wan looking at Quinlan Vos while he talks)
So, here it is! :) and this one it is edited. I upload two pictures, so please follow the links to see.
Next chapter it´s already done, just needs the editions made by my wonderful Beta Alice :)
This chapter has Obi-Wan´s point of view, I thought that would be a good change so you can all understand her feelings and thoughts. I´m not sure when I´m going to post the next chapter but it´s gonna be up here before sunday I hope, so keep an eye here. I would aprecciate comments, doubts, or anything you have to say :)
For those who want a more accurate image of how Obi-Wan looks like, just imagine Gemma Artenton as an anburn Jedi and there you go.
Chapter 5: Episode II: Part 4
Anakin is tired of feeling this love and Obi-Wan begins to understand why.
“When I was a child, we used to come here for school retreat. See the island? We used to swim there every day. I love the water.”
Padmé was pointing at the blue lake that grew extensively before them with childish happiness. It has been only a couple of days since they parted Coruscant, after arriving at Naboo to the grand house of Padmé´s parents they decided that the safest place to go was the Naboo Lake Retreat own by her family, a nice summer home that Padmé knew like the back of her hand and that it was retired enough for them to not be exposed to the people and to the prying eyes of curious out-lookers. Anakin couldn´t believe the beauty of the place. He has never seen so much life all assembled together in just one spot of the universe before; Courscant was beautiful in a peculiar sort of way, a gigantic city that never slept nor rested, full of movement and lights that shine through the night sky, the first couple of months of his residence there he had spent it watching all the people and creatures living together in such a place, but here, in the heart of Naboo, surrounded by the wildlife of trees, lakes and flowers, it was just like a dream come true. If he could choose a planet to spend the rest of his days at, it would certainly be Naboo.
“I love the water too” Anakin muttered, still too fascinated with the gleam of the leak before them “I guess it comes from growing on a desert planet.” He mocks with a small laugh. Padmé soon joins him with ease.
She was beautiful today, he noticed. In a thin gown of colorful tones that floated around her figure until it dropped on the floor. Her brown hair was caught up in the usual arrangements she wore any other day, but here, surrounded by such peaceful beauty and the warm rays of the sun, her natural beauty grew bright and Anakin was only a poor man blinded by its spark.
Padmé looks at him with a wary glance, suddenly aware of him staring openly at her face. Embarrassed, she turns back at the water only to start speaking again.
“…We used to lie in the sand and let the sun dry us… and try to guess the names of the birds singing” she finishes with a snort, past memories bringing her so much forgotten joy of better days.
“I don´t like sand” Anakin suddenly burst out, with a frown on both his eyebrows and nose. Clear disgust in his factions. Padmé laughs at that too.
The woman begins to tell him some other old story of a man who used to make vases out of glasses, but Anakin was already too lost on the sound of her voice and the sight of her smile to care. His heart aches by how easy it´s to laugh without worries with her, how her unique beauty absorbs everything else in it´s entirely, but soon enough he catches himself comparing the shape of her lips with those of his Master. How the soft tingle of her voice it´s all wrong if he compare it with the powerful and firm steel of Obi-Wan´s own voice. Of how, no matter how beautiful her hair turns out to be, Obi-Wan would never wear such things on her cooper locks. He hated himself for thinking of Obi-Wan in such circumstances, when he was alone with Padmé, delighting himself on her company and attention, instead he found he couldn´t erase his Master from his mind, no matter how peaceful he felt, or how much distance he get to put between them, not even if he shared the wonderful company of an equally kind and beautiful woman. Obi-Wan was already in his veins.
“You could look into the glass and see the water” she trailed off, continuing her tale of her childhood “The way it ripples and moves. It looked so real… but it wasn´t.”
Anakin could feel his thoughts abandoning him, the ache in his heart stills too fresh and wide open, bleeding, and his desperation to forget about the Jedi Knight who held his heart in a clutch and decided to hurt him still. He wanted Padmé, her lips, her eyes, her voice to make him forget all about Obi-Wan.
“Sometimes, when you believe something to be real, it becomes real. Real enough, anyway…” he says with abandon, the young woman oblivious of the double meaning hidden inside his words.
Padmé turns to look at him in the eye, her brown pearls shining with something close to adoration, her look is fighting between staring at his lips and his own eyes, and Anakin could almost smirk with relief at the attention received. For some reason, however, there was still a hole on his chest.
“I used to think if you looked too deeply into glass, you would lose yourself…” she whispered with a husky voice.
“I think it´s true…”
Suddenly there was both of them coming close to each other, breaths mixing, noses brushing slightly, desire palpable into the air that surrounded them both, emanating from every pore of their skin. Anakin was lost into the moment, giving himself fully to the power of the attraction between them, of the possibility of forgetting this pain that consumed him like a fire to a forest. Suddenly, there was no one else in the galaxy, but Anakin and Padmé.
Their kiss was slow and careful, lips against lips, soft and impassionate. It wasn´t rushed nor wild, but just as intense. Despite the action being so deep and profound, so expected and desired by him, still wasn´t as fullfilling as he hoped it to be. As much as Anakin wanted to feel the explosions inside his head, the loss of words that only a true new found love could make him feel, there was an emptiness inside. All that he could think about was of Obi-Wan. The sweet taste of her lips, like honey, like amber, like the most forbidden and delicious flavor that there could ever be. He missed her, Force, he missed her. Padmé´s lips moved against his perfectly, masterly. He got angry, furious even that no matter how good the kiss was, the only thing that could only make it good, it was if the kiss was with Obi-Wan, otherwise it felt wrong, incorrect, a terrible mistake.
“I shouldn´t have done that” Padmé exclaims with shame, pulling away from him as he was in fire.
“Neither should I…” Anakin muttered clumsily. Ashamed to even admit it. “I´m sorry. When I´m around you, my mind is no longer my own.”
“I´m afraid that it does not belong to me, either” she suggest with a small movement of her brows.
Anakin looks at her stunned, as if trying to decipher her statement.
“You have been playing the fool, Anakin” the Senator offers with a kind still ashamed smile “but I like to think I´m not that oblivious of the situation.”
Anakin suddenly feels embarrassed of himself. Guilty over even trying to hide his actual thoughts and feelings, abashed at Padmé considering that his actions were an act to fool her and hurt her, to play with her feelings.
“My lady, I swear…” he starts, rushed and mortified.
“It´s fine” she reassures, hands raising in a sweet action to calm him down “I´m not offended. Marely worried.”
“How´s that?” he asks, unsure.
“Anakin…” she starts with a condescending tone “I may be no Jedi and I surely do not possess the ability to sense your powerful Force. But I can say that your mind has been elsewhere since we left from Coruscant. I don´t know what it is that occupies your mind, but I´m sure it´s not me.”
Anakin turns away, too conflicted to even properly look at her in the eye. Padmé was right, of course she was. He was a fool to even try to pretend he could fixate his attention in her and hope that it would be enough to disinterest his heart off the gravitational pull that his Master had on him. He had felt this way since he was a child, when he already knew and adored Padmé, and it wasn’t enough then to distract his love from Obi-Wan, where it belongs. He had no idea how could he believed that it would work now, when his love has only grown and deepened into something intense, true and consuming.
“You are right” he finally accepts “I´m sorry. I´ve been conflicted since I left Coruscant. Ever since I parted from my Master”.
Padmé frowns with confusion. “What do you mean?”
“I´ve been in love with someone. Since I was a little boy” He confesses, hands gripping hard the stony rail of the balcony.
“Since you arrived at the Jedi Temple?” she questions, positioning herself close to him, trying to decipher his emotionless face.
He smiles sadly. “Something like that. I thought that maybe it would disappear with time, but I was wrong. It only grew stronger.”
“Aren´t Jedi not allowed to love?” she teased with bitterness.
“We are not supposed to fall in love” he says seriously “but I can´t help myself. Every time I see her I can feel my heart flutter and it´s like I can´t think straight.”
“Have you tried to talk about it with your Master? Surely Obi-Wan could help”, she suggests with honest concern. Anakin snorts at the mention of her name.
“Yeah, like that is going to happen”, he laughs shaking his head with disbelief. Padmé stares at him with a worrisome look, not grasping the meaning behind his despair, Anakin could bath in the gleam of her innocence, of her inability to see what it´s clearly there as easily as she realizes his previous conflict.
“It´s her” he clarifies for her.
Padmé takes a couple of seconds to actually follow his words into understatement. Gasping when she finally realizes what he is saying, her eyes grow wide and terrified by the simple implications of his confession. Finally coming around the real source of his pain and mortification, of why he hasn´t seek the help of any Master, not even Yoda, with his inner pain.
“It´s Obi-Wan” he continues. “It has always been her. She is in my dreams, she is in my heart, in my mind, everywhere I go, in everything I feel. It´s a nightmare!”
Padmé does not say anything, probably because there is nothing she could say that it could possibly help him. And Anakin takes that as an opportunity to continue.
“Right before we left from Coruscant, I confessed to her. I told her how much I love her, and from how long. But it didn´t matter, she refused me. I was heartbroken, thought that nothing could ever been the same between us. But then I kissed her.” Anakin only stopped at the sound of Padmé´s shock. But he was already too invested on his misery, too driven by his troublesome emotions that he could not care if she didn´t want him to continue, if she disapproved of his actions. “She kissed me back. I could not have been happier. But the minute that it took her to change her mind and reciprocate my feelings, she turned back at me, trying to pretend it didn´t happen.”
There was an intense silence, only the sound of the water moving around them. Padmé didn´t have anything to respond to Anakin´s feelings, and the Padawan was too angry and too sad to add something else to his already tragic tale. The Senator was positively sure that she had never heard of something as sad as a forbidden love between Jedis. There were stories, of course, sappy soap operas in the Holonet she didn´t bother to watch, but the Jedi Order was mostly an untouchable mysterious organization that everybody learned to respect and fear all the same. She never thought that they could be as human as everybody else in the galaxy.
“I´m sorry” she whispers with a thin of a voice.
Anakin almost laughs at the equally resigned and desolated tone on Padmé´s voice. Almost.
Obi-Wan was ready to takeoff on her Starfighter to complete her personal mission of tracking the bullet of the assassin back at a name. Mace Windu was right at her side, face serious but a gentle gleam on his eyes could be sensed, the one he saved for his close friends, which were not many.
“Be wary, this disturbance in the Force is growing stronger.” He comments with apprehension while he walks beside her with course at the plataform.
Obi-Wan nods with sympathy “I am more concern with my Padawan. He is not ready to be on his own.” She confesses remembering Quinlan past words at the hall, remembering that no matter how much they needed to put some space between them, not that Knight Vos knew that, of course, her apprentice was too unexperienced and too rebellious to be allowed on his own.
Yoda, who also accompanies her to her ship, lingers with a suspicious look on his face, knowing that something else is behind her worry. Obi-Wan is beyond caring about it, though. She couldn´t wait to be out of there. “The Council is confident in this decision, Obi-Wan.” He finalized, putting and end to her worries and objections.
“He has exceptional skills.” Mace tries to fix with a minuscule and brief smile. A gesture made to ease Obi-Wan´s mixed feelings about the situation. She appreciated it the try. “The Council is confident in its decision, Obi-Wan. If the prophecy is true, he will be the one to bring balance to the Force.”
“But he still has too much to learn.” She insisted. The Jedi Knight was sure that she sounded like a worrisome mother hen dealing with a crechling than a responsible Master objectively judging her Padawan´s abilities, but she couldn´t help to speak against the whole thing. “And his abilities have made him… well…arrogant.” She finally muttered between pauses to trying to soften her already harsh words. Thinking in the way that Anakin smirks at her every time he gets away with anything he had done this time. Like kissing her. “I realize now what you and Master Yoda knew from the beginning… the boy was too old to start the training and…”
Obi-Wan suddenly drifted away, feeling both ashamed and insecure of her own accusations. Anakin was wild and bold, everybody knew that, she didn´t need to remind the two Masters of his fault of character, but she wonder how much of those words were born from that and how much of it was also sparked by her guilt and lack of integrity as his Master? Anakin crossed a line, that was true, promising love and forbidden notions of attachment, and worst of all, he had actually acted on those feelings, kissing her without care, without any permission or shame. But she had answer back, she had this storm of emotions inside her that consumed her. And she couldn´t pretend that his kiss didn´t haunt her night and day.
“…There something else?” Mindu enquired after seeing the long hesitation on Obi-Wan´s part. The female Jedi suddenly too aware that she was not alone on her conversation. Almost shaking her head trying to dissipate her thoughts on the matter.
“Master, he should not have been given this assignment. I´m afraid Anakin won´t be able to protect the Senator.” She condemns with a slight spark of jealousy at the memory of Padmé. Another of her sins to add to the list.
“Why?” Mace asks with a lifted eyebrow. Detecting Obi-Wan´s mixed feelings.
“He has a… (I have)…an emotional connection with her. It´s been there since he was a boy. Now he´s confused… (I´m confused)… distracted.” She lies through her teeth like she has never before. Embarrassing herself and drowning in inner-fault. Suddenly her eyes burned with shame, her heart almost on the verge of pounding against her chest with loud beats, scare that she could be possibly start crying just for the shame.
“Obi-Wan” Mace starts with a slight warning tone “you must have faith that he will take the right path.” And he chastises with a final glance.
Obi-Wan nods with what she hopes is an unreadable look on her face before climbing into the cockpit of her Starfighter, brown robes sliding on the surface of the transport. When she is secured inside the craft and the protective window of the cockpit has lower in its totality she dares to spare a glance at Master Yoda, who was silent during the rest of her conversation with Master Windu. His look almost froze Obi-Wan´s heart. The green Master didn´t look happy nor mad, merely in deep thought, and somehow, that scared Obi-Wan even more.
Anakin had spent the day with Padmé, after their talk in the terrace, a strange silence had befallen them between them both but at the same time it has brought them together in ways that Anakin didn´t suspect possible. They had laugh in the sun and shared childhood stories over food, and even though the young Jedi didn´t have any more opportunities to erase his feelings for Obi-Wan by replacing her with the fresh beauty of Padmé, his confession made it all too easy for him to connect with the young ex-queen, and all over his old grief over his Master.
Now, they were both staring at the warm fire inside her summer home, sitting next to each other in perfect silence. Padmé distracted by her own thoughts and Anakin imagining the thin, beautiful body and face of his Master in the flames.
“May I tell you something?” Anakin suddenly questions.
“I don´t know” Padmé answer almost at the moment, making Anakin snort.
“Then how can I tell you?” Anakin says between calm laughter.
“I have this feeling that you will tell me something forbidden.” Padmé confesses. Anakin sends her a look before focusing his attention back at the red flames before them. Ready to talk.
“Sometimes when I close my eyes I see her face. Not the usual face she wears now a days, that´s just a mask. The old one… before.” He drifts.
“How long are we talking about?” Padmé wonders “You have known her for a while…”
“It depends” he admits with a sight “Sometimes I go back to the moment I met her, when I was still a child and she was still an apprentice; she was so young back then, and so was I. She had dimples on her face and freckles over her cheeks” he remembers with a smile forming on his face, Padmé imitates the gesture “…and her eyes shone a bright icy blue color, the color of the sky…”
Padmé suddenly starts to see things from Anakin´s perspective just then. How much he loved his Master. It was like looking directly at the sun. It was too bright and too intense to just stare at, she had to turn away his eyes from his face or otherwise she will be left blind. Maybe that´s why she felt compelled to kiss him earlier in the day. Why she felt pull at his orbit like a star. His love was so true, so pure and raw and consuming that it simply drove you towards him; he could see that little boy from Tatooine in the hopeful way he talked about Obi-Wan, it was the same way he talked and looked at his mother back then, and in a short span of time, the same way he looked at her when he call her an Angel when they first met. It worries Padmé how much of a broken heart did Anakin had to spent the rest of his life with, Obi-Wan would never met his advances if the Code forbids it so. The Senator wasn´t overly familiar with the female Jedi, but judging her by the time she had held her acquaintance she knew her to be firm, honorable and a true follower of what the Jedi call the Will of the Force. She would never betray her vows nor the Order in any way, shape or form. Anakin would be forever lost on his passions if he didn´t dare to change his heart.
“What are you seeing this time?” Padmé ventured to ask with a careful look.
Anakin dropped a melancholic sight before answering.
“The kiss.” He admits, still invested on his memories. “I´m haunted by it. The kiss that I should have never given her. My heart is beating, hoping it will not become a scar. She is in my very soul, tormenting me.”
His poetic devotion makes it out of his lips so easily that it almost ashamed him, only if those words weren´t true, if he could go back in time and tell his younger self to not be caught under Obi-Wan´s spell. But it was too late now to lament such things. He is taken by her sight, he is forever marked by the beauty of his Master. Not even the grace and essence of Padmé could drive her away from his always enamored mind.
“We live in a real world, Anakin.” Padmé starts with shy sorrow over his grief “You´re studying to become a Jedi Knight, and Obi-Wan is your Master, it has been your Master since you were a child. If you follow your thoughts into conclusion, they will take you to a place you and your Master cannot go…regardless of the way you feel about her” she concluded, her voice was full of frustration, trying to putting some sense into Anakin´s thick head.
“I just don´t understand, Padmé!” he exclaims, finally standing up, with a furious pacing and an anxiety that cannot be tamed. “I have loved her since the beginning, but I have always feared her rejection, her coldness, but when I finally opened my heart to her, I allowed myself to be honest with how I feel she scolds me, treats me like a child!....”
“You are acting like one!” Padmé interrupts him to point out.
“…But you don´t understand! No one does!” Anakin swears, he suddenly turned into mass of emotion, wild and erratic, not a proper Jedi but a capricious crazy child. “…When I confessed to her she denied me, but when I kissed her, when my lips met hers it was so perfect, she answer back, I felt her! I touched her! It felt exactly like I thought it would feel like when I was a child and I dream of her, of holding her, of marrying her, that´s all I´ve ever wanted…”
“Annie…” Padmé tries to appeased, raising the palm of her hands to calm the young man who seemed too lost on his passion at the moment “it doesn´t make any difference. Jedi aren´t allowed to marry. You swore an oath, remember?”
That seemed to calm the frantic youth, his incessant pacing slowed until it met a full stop, his once wild eyes, out of focus and touch, too involved in his world and his anger to acknowledge the reality of what surrounded him, seemed to flash back into their usual state, but out of a sudden they turned dim and sad, so much that Padmé almost felt her heart break in two at the sight of them; Anakin slowly sat back into his original place, beside the calming form of Amidala´s body.
“I was destined to be a Jedi…” the Padawan muttered, his eyes consumed into the flames once again, distant “I never thought I could be anything else… until I met her”
“I never thought your love for her could run that deep, that a Jedi could feel so passionately” Padmé admitted herself, echoing Anakin words with her own.
“When I was younger, back at the Temple, they explained the Code to us, just a group of younglings anxious and excited to know more about what being a Jedi really meant, I was the only that left that lesson heartbroken...when they told us that Jedi do not marry.” His mouth let escape a dry humorless laugh between his lips, and his eyes, although lighted up by the raging flames of the pyre, were the ones someone would expect to see in a dead body, not a vibrant young man. “…and in my hopeful dreams I made up a plan…” his voice was coarse, rough and sad, but his eyes turn to look at Padmé´s, as if he was about to confess a terrible crime “… I told to myself, that somehow, one day, I would be able to convince my Master, to tell her that we could keep it a secret for the Order. Nobody had to know about us…”
“Then you´d be living a lie…” Padmé whispered in a thin of a voice.
Anakin didn´t move a muscle, his eyes staring at the fire with abandon. Padmé half expected an angry reply from his part, almost anticipating one of the volatiles and uncontrolled roll of emotions that the young Padawan seemed to be prone to show, but the so expected and usual display of fury never came. Anakin stood still, staring at the red flames the same way he has many times before during the evening, unfazed by her statement, though the ex-queen suspected that the Jedi was containing his feelings and actions, guarding his own storm inside his head.
Finally he reacted with what it looked like a very sad disappointed smile. “No, you are right… it will destroy us.”
Obi-Wan expected many things when she parted to the mysterious planet of Kamino, expected many things and at the same time nothing at all. The place was unknown in its totality and even when people used to believe that Jedi knew everything there was to know about the Galaxy and their sentinant beings, she certainly didn´t. But when she arrived she was met by a rain storm that seemed to rage forever, and maybe in that planet did, it forced her to run from the ramp that held her starfighter to the crystalline doors of the inviting building that would surely guard her of the terrible cold rain that assaulted the place.
When she finally made it inside, it was only to be received by the Kaminoians; they were strangely pleased to see her, talking some nonsense about being expecting the presence of Jedi soon, but even if the whole scene was mostly confusing, Obi-Wan thanked the Force by the hospitality and generous consideration of the habitants, after all, most of the time she had to maneuver herself into the situations at hand at every mission, trying to negotiate and convince people to give her the information that she needed, it was a nice change to be told everything she needed to know with such easiness. Her gratitude was tested, though, when she encountered the reason behind such display of diplomacy. A clone army.
There were millions of them, trained soldiers for the Republic if the Kaminoians were to be believed, commissioned by the Jedi Order itself, what in its own it seemed completely false and preposterous, the Jedi would never do such a thing. But there she was, surprised by the very real, very tangible proof of all. She almost flew back to Coruscant with the information to alert the Council, only to be stopped by the mention of the original host of the Clone Army. A mandalorian man named Jango Fett. She simply had to meet such individual, especially when the man himself was in the building so close to her.
She met him, of course; they fought, that was unexpected; and she followed him to Geonosis, a desertic planet that was dry and cruel, and somewhere, unknown to her, that was allied with future enemies. The asteroid chase really had her proving her abilities at flying, she was very good at it, she knew, but she had grown to dislike the experience since Anakin appeared in her life. The young man seemed to love to fly more than any other thing in the galaxy, and it truly was his second nature, after all, a boy named Skywalker was meant to belong in the sky. But she, who foolishly wanted to become a pilot and cruise the stars on her own ship when she was but a child, got herself cursing every time she was requested to do so. Flying was for droids, she decided, not for Jedi Knights.
Surviving that particular adventure, and landing on the so dangerous place that was Geonosis, Obi-Wan was ready for the unexpected once again, but surprises seemed to flew her way at every turn; the Force was testing her, she knew, since everything was getting repeatedly worse and worse for her. She quickly resorted into calling Anakin, she didn´t trust the place, and all her instincts were telling her that there was a bad feeling about all of this. She needed to warn the Council first and foremost.
Obi-Wan really didn´t want to talk with Anakin right now, they parted in the most unorthodox kind of ways, and the sole thought of him made her shiver, but he was her Padawan, and she was his Master, there was no way she was going to be childish and pathetic enough just so she could be able to avoid him only because times and things with them were difficult. Whatever there was going on between them they will work out eventually, when they both find themselves in each other presence at the Temple. When all of this storm has passed. So, she instructed R4 to direct a private message to Anakin, requesting him to pass on the information to the Council, the secret clone army, the claims of the Kaminoians and her presence on Geonosis for the time being. But before she could continue to investigate on her own, she was attacked. She fought and defended the best she could, but she was outnumbered and way too confused by the whole situation to resolve the battle on her favor or to escape. At the end, it didn´t matter, she was taken and beated.
“I heard you scream last night”
Padmé´s words seemed to fall in deft ears as Anakin kept staring at the darkened waters of the lake right outside the large balcony of the garden. It was too early to be up, but Anakin was already wearing his clothes, though missing his characteristic robe and tunic and only modeling his inner shirt. The young man was lost in his own mind and just then the Senator realized that the Jedi was probably meditating, and she was intruding. When she made her move to the door, the coarse and dry voice of Anakin interrupted her escape with a firm statement.
“Don´t go.” He asked.
“I don´t want to disturb you”
“Your presence is soothing” he said with a calm, almost tender voice.
There was a brief but comfortable silence between them, both of them looking at the too-early-morning sky, still a little dark but distinctly beautiful.
“You had nightmares last night” Padmé tried again, getting a little bit closer to Anakin.
“Jedi don´t have nightmares” Anakin responded without moving, both hands clasped behind his back in a position that was meant to impose at the same time that concealed Anakin´s inner emotions for showing through his body.
“I heard you.” Padmé insisted.
There was another silence. The brunette suddenly thought that maybe Anakin was trying to find the best words to explain his fears in a calm manner than just being plainly rude by ignoring her.
“I saw my mother.” He started, finally opening his stormy blue eyes. “In my dreams, she is dying. She is in so much pain and agony that I could barely see her without wanting to gouch my own eyes out…” his voice ultimately fades into almost a whisper, the woman can almost hear the pleading in his voice, his desperation in the confession.
“Annie...” she mutters.
Anakin turns slowly, his face somber and his eyes lost and almost red by tears that are being contained and the lack of sleep. Padmé´s heart shrinks at the sight of those tormented eyes, so different and so similar to the look they wore just a couple of days ago when he shared his feelings from Obi-Wan in their comfortable position in front of the red fire.
“I know I´m disobeying my mandate, Senator. I know I will be punished but I must go. I´m sorry Padmé, but I have to help her…” he said but to the brown eyed woman it sounded more like begging.
“I´ll go with you, then. If your mission it´s to protect me then you must follow me wherever I go. You wouldn´t be disobeying your mandate.” The gentle politician proposed with a smile.
Anakin could have almost grin back if it wasn´t because he was too overwhelmed and saddened by the terrible scenes of his mother agonizing face being play over and over again inside his head. But all of a sudden, he remembered the explicit orders of his Master before he parted Coruscant.
“What about Obi-Wan?” Anakin wondered out loud “She told me to check on her and the Council before making any decision. She will surely be expecting me to report.” Anakin wasn´t so sure he could even lie to his Master, let alone the whole Council.
“I must guess then that we won´t need to tell her just yet, don´t you think?” She invated with a raised of her thin eyebrows, Anakin nodded with a slight movement of his head and without any other word he quickly made way to his quarters, ready to pick his things and leave to Tatooine.
When Anakin and Padmé finally landed on the desert planet, at the parking of the outskirts of Mos Espa, Anakin could already feel the dread in his stomach for returning to the planet that saw him being born. He was never particularly fond of the place to begin with, but he guessed it was his home, in some way. After all, it was the home of his mother.
Surprisingly, they found Watto rather fast. The old creature was selling his usual pieces but he seemed in bad shape and almost in ruin, and Anakin could almost smile at the sight. He questioned him about his mother, expecting her to be found safely even if it was still on the Toydarian hands. But what the junk dealer only had to offer was that he had sold the woman to another man who eventually released her and married her. He didn´t know if to be glad or worried about it. He had to rush to find this Lars who was the so called husband of his mother, he had to make sure she was treated well, that she was safe and alive. The minute he got all the information he needed he parted with Padmé following him without questions nor objections. Her presence soothing his temper and her smart eyes giving him a silent support.
Anakin and Padmé quickly took the silver ship to the home of the Moisture Farmer, the ex-Queen constantly gracing some looks at Anakin by the corner of her eyes, trying to decipher his thoughts and finding out if he was troubled. The Young Jedi was visibly upset and more than a bit nervous, one didn´t need to have the mighty Force to sense it.
When the cruiser finally descended in the hot sand of the planet, Padmé noticed that there were right beside a homestead that seemed to be below the surface. Anakin, however, seemed unimpressed with the eccentric home. He quickly disentangles himself from the pilot seat and almost rushed out of the platform, Padmé only has little time to tell Artoo to stay with the ship before following the fast pacing steps of the Jedi.
Once they make it to the entrance of the place, they are received by a droid that was apparently working before they arrived. The droid was lacking some covering and his wires are visible everywhere and the second he spots them both, he comes almost rushing with clumsy steps towards them.
“Good Evening. May I help you?” he offers in his robotic voice.
“Threepio?” Anakin almost chokes up.
“Oh, My!... oh,my! Master Anakin!”
Padmé smiled with tenderness, especially when she gets to see Anakin relaxing, even if it´s just for a short moment; she only hopes that this it´s a good sign and the Padawan´s nightmares are not real visions that came to pass. For the sake of both of them, and without her knowledge, of the whole galaxy´s farewell too.
And Whiny Anakin is back, ladies and gentleman, I left some of the original dialogue from the original movies and script, and I even attempted to write the love scenes the way that George Lucas did just to stick with the canon, I found myself giggling at some of the things that I made Anakin said, lol. I was gonna post this earlier but I was waiting for my Beta to finish the chapter, sadly she hasn´t send me the edited version but I didn´t want to leave you without your weekly update, so this unedited version will have to do for the time being. Next chapter it´s already finished and it´s longer than any of the other one ;) (also, we will see how, why and when Obi-Wan started to feel something for Anakin, and I will have more drawings for you!)
Chapter 6: Episode II: Part 5
Obi-Wan´s closes her eyes and for the first time in so many years she doesn´t see darkness, she doesn´t see light. She can only see the truth.
It was the early morning, the Temple was buzzing with energy, especially with the Younglings almost jumping in excitement because of the inner tourney that it was about to be held; Obi-Wan has dressed herself on her common Jedi robes, styling her hair in a crown of braids, allowing two strands of curly hair to fall over her cheeks freely. It wouldn´t be an unusual arrangement if it wasn´t because she made a job to add some flowers from the Temple Gardens on her braids. It was silly of her, she knew, but it seemed appropriate to decorate her normal gloomy style with what she knew to be Anakin´s favorite flowers. He was one of the competitors, and she promised to be there to see him. Anakin was so full of himself the past night, stating that he would win easily and that the rest of the other Padawans wouldn´t stand a chance against his lightsaber, and in normal circumstances, she would have scold him about such arrogant behavior, but being honest, Anakin´s only challenge was Ferus Olin, Siri Tachi´s Padawan, and even then, Obi-Wan knew that her apprentice would win.
Anakin was fourteen years old already, he had grown into a confident, strong young man. As usual, full of life and excitement for new opportunities and adventures. Obi-Wan was a little jealous of that. Since she took the responsibility to care for him and to teach him the ways of the Jedi, she had missed so much of her own Knighthood and youth. She didn´t regret taking him into her care, but having to keep a teenage boy under her watchful eye was exhausting and somewhat out of place, since she was barely an adult herself. It would be even more difficult, if it wasn´t because Anakin was so eager to impress her. He always went to all kinds of lengths only to make her smile; either with silly jokes or complicated Katas and techniques to show her. Sometimes, Obi-Wan thought that Anakin was much more devoted to her as his Padawan than she was to him as a Master.
When Obi-Wan made it to the common training grounds, the people were gathered all around the arenas up to the second floor and the Jedi Knight smiled to herself at the sight of them: Anakin would be infinitely pleased at the large audience, he always enjoyed the attention. The young Master walked until she reached the edge of the stairwell, looking down to the still empty arena that was surrounded by Younglings and Padawans; a couple of initiates sent some exciting looks at her, a Twi´lek girl was clasping and unclasping her hands while staring her down, obviously overexcited by the stories the Younglings use to say about her, stories of the famous Sith Killer; she had heard some of them, and they all varied from the honest to the ridiculous; with a soft smile and a little nod of acknowledgement, the Jedi let the little girl know that she could be approached, the young one almost ran her over right then, and Kenobi was kind enough to answer all her questions, just when the redhead Jedi was about to wonder if she would ever get free of the attention, Master Unduli announced the beginning of the tournament. Obi-Wan snapped her attention back at the arena where two Padawans were beginning to fight, she had to wait a couple of matches to get to see Anakin, but she arrived early because her apprentice requested it so -Obi-Wan liked to think that it was because the young man wanted to show her how superior he was in comparison to the other initiates skills- and the Jedi had to suppress a buff when he asked her to. But there she was, invested in the still too young apprentices, reminiscing her of the old days of her own Padawanship as if it was only yesterday. She remember the battles she lost as much as she recalled the ones she won, and the sole thought of past good days brought a wide smile over her face. Eventually, the final battle arrived just in the way she imagined it would be, with Anakin fighting Ferus. Master Tachi nodded at her from the other side of the room, a straight face of respect and dry eyes without emotion, Obi-Wan nodded back with a slight movement of her head, seeing how her old friend still held some resentment from days past, when they were both too young and Siri was naïve enough to fall in love with her, and she was fool enough to allowed it to happen. Since then, they both went their own ways and seemly the sour taste that their small indiscretion left has transferred into their own Padawans mindset.
With eyes back down to the arena, Anakin stood tall and confident, lightsaber clasped tightly in his right hand when suddenly he turned his eyes upwards looking for something through the crowd, his blue steel irises finally found her grey ones between the mess of people, and his characteristic grin appeared with fondness and pride; Obi-Wan nodded with a warm smile, letting him know she wished him to win, and Anakin nodded back with his usual confidence. With a gesture of Master Windu, who was in charge of the final competition, both apprentices found themselves dueling one another.
The battle wasn´t as easy as Anakin would have let her know it would be the night before, Ferus was a competent fighter, and at Obi-Wan´s own judgment, a great Jedi if he continues to grow into the correct path he had already set himself on, his only fault, if it was really there, was probably his self-righteousness. But Anakin´s strikes, if not perfect, were precise and strong. Ferus was smart and just as skillful but Anakin was talented in the ways of battling in forms that not even Obi-Wan herself could completely understand. She was a good lightsaber duelist, if her battle with the tattooed Sith indicated something was her competence in the discipline, but Anakin was a different case all together, she can beat him at practices simply because she was older and much more experienced than he was and he was usually too uncontrolled and ferocious to think things through before attacking, but when the young boy finally gets to reach her age, she was sure he would be even more skillful than she has ever been.
The two blue lightsabers of the Padawans crashed over and over again, both of them completely immersed in the battle ahead, and the excited spectators of the duel were just as hypnotized in what was happening that you could hear them gasp and sigh at every movement and every strike. In a sudden motion, Anakin prompted his saber in a violent aggressive manner, knocking the blade from Ferus´s hand with a fast shake, the dark-haired Padawan gaped at the sudden loss of his weapon and the current vision of the firm grip of Anakin´s blue blade over his neck, fear palpable in the eyes of Ferus and pride displayed in Anakin´s arrogant smirk over his handsome face at the sign of victory. Windu quickly step in, calling the battle off and giving the triumph to the blond apprentice, the room, all of a sudden, exploded in clapping and shocking sounds of admiration and respect. Both of the young competitors disengaged their aggressive stances and bowed to one another in a sign of peace.
Obi-Wan relaxed from the stiff position she had gained due the sight of Anakin´s unnecessary aggressiveness during battle, and if the look that Windu had sent her was any indication, the disapproval of the young one actions was clear from the representation of the Council as well, even if he had won. Obi-wan nodded and retired herself from the well. She started to walk away from the event with mixed feelings and confusing thoughts. She was proud of her Padawan´s growth but she didn´t care for it if it meant that he would be reckless and impatient, always going for the over-kill and the dramatic. His display of skill, as Anakin will surely excuse it, was out of line and totally valiant, he knew well by know that it was not the Jedi way to be so careless and offensive, but he would like to always show his superiority any way he can, if only to impress her.
While she was making her way to the Temple Gardens, trying to find some meditation time to consider her thoughts and words to later express them to her most difficult apprentice, the sound of rushing steps took her out of her musing, noticing that said steps were intending to reach her. She turned, finding the exciting figure of her Padawan tailing her down, she stopped in the middle of the empty hall, waiting for him to catch up and sighting at the possibility of not having the opportunity to explore her feelings better before she could tell him of her impression on his behavior. The young man finally stopped in front of her, smiling and almost out of breath, lightsaber still clasped in his right hand.
“Master! You came!” he muttered with happiness. Smile so sweet that Obi-Wan almost regrets breaking his heart.
“I did. As I told you I would.” She declared with measured words, hands clasping together on the robe sleeves.
“And what?” he asked, eyes almost shining “Did you like it?”
Obi-Wan breathes through her nose in an almost audible manner, trying to not sound too stiff and upset but also not being too lenient.
“You were… most impressive” she settles with some appreciation first.
Anakin beamed at the words of approval, and Obi-Wan smiled at the sight of her boy´s eagerness and need of her opinion to feel glad with what he has done, but she knew that soon she was about to break the spell.
“…But you were also overaggressive and rash. Your skill it´s not in question and your talent it´s far too obvious to ignore, you do not need to make a fool of your opponent to win, and certainly not to point your saber at someone´s throat to let your superiority show.” She said in a serious tone, being careful that, even when her words were firm and forward, her voice held some tenderness and lightness, letting the young man know she was disappointed but not mad. Anakin´s lifted face suddenly fell and his broad smile turn into an expression of one of worry and deception. Quickly, as was Anakin´s nature, the young boy was turned his sadness in indignation.
“But I beat him! I was way better, you saw it Master!” he insisted, voice high with incredulity and face contorted into an ugly grimace of both confusion and anger.
“Yes, you did. And you had to restore to blatant violence to do so because you lost your temper. That it´s certainly not the Jedi way, my young one” Obi-Wan responded with calmness and a small gesture of her eyes.
“Why does it matter how I beat him, if I manage to beat him anyway? I saw an opening in his defense, I took it” the apprentice replied folding his arms together over his chest, puffing it to appeared bigger and straightening his posture to look taller. Even when he wasn´t much shorter than Obi-Wan herself.
“And you are not listening to me, Anakin.” The Jedi Knight insisted, this time some emotion managing to drop into her tone and face “I´m not angry at your skill nor your tactics, I´m glad you were capable to found that opening and to be able to incapacitate your opponent without actually hurting him, everyone in that room that was paying any attention would appreciate such abilities” she let him know, Anakin seemed to settle a bit after hearing that, biting the internal part of his cheek and looking down to the floor “…but mocking and pointing a saber to someone´s throat are hardly necessary, and in front of the Masters of the Council, in top of it all. You ought to control yourself better; that´s it.” She finishes the conversation with a pointed look.
Anakin didn´t say anything for a while, he felt humiliated and he had run out of words to express his anger. The young man actually tried his best to use his most impressive set of skills and techniques to impress his Master during the battle, torturing himself right before the time to fight came, wondering if she was actually coming to see him this time. Oh, and how relieved he felt when he actually saw her, standing there way up high, in the middle of the heavy crowd; she looked gorgeous, and he almost dropped his lightsaber carelessly to the floor when his eyes caught up with her beauty. His Master was always breath-taking but that particular day she looked beyond glorious. It wasn´t her robes, they were the typical ones she wore day after day, it wasn´t her face, that although wonderfully beautiful, almost seemly craved out of the white stone that the monuments of Couruscant were made of, it was unchanged for her usual look. Then his mind provided him with the right answer: her hair. The braids she modeled her locks in weren´t the focus of his attention, but the collection of small bloom of flowers that adorned her already intricate arrangement. They were his favorites. He fell in love with them at first sight when he arrived at the Temple, in a slight reminiscing way he did when he met Obi-Wan as a child, and the fact that the Knight bothered to pick some of the blossoms to adorn her hairstyle just to please him, almost stopped his heart for the intense love that he felt for her in that instant.
Before he could stop himself, he falls into the memory of how he got to love that particular type of plants so much, and one look at his Master´s face, that was full of calmed and carefully masked disapproval for his actions at the current moment, captures that Obi-Wan notices his trance, sensing with the Force that Anakin was inviting her inside his head to share the scene, which she does without thinking, also reminiscing every word, feeling and thought of that time.
He remembers how he took a bouquet of the flowers in his little hand and carried them through the halls of the Temple straight to their quarters, found a nice empty vase and put the flowers there, filling the object with fresh water to keep them alive. When Obi-Wan made it back to the rooms and saw the flowers she felt baffled; she liked plants and actually liked to keep some of them around the place but she didn´t remember that particular set of flowers before, when the Knight was about to reach for them, a delicate small hand stopped her, looking down she noticed Anakin with his red cheeks looking up at her.
“You ruined the surprise, Master!” he exclaims with his childish innocent voice.
Obi-Wan´s eyes opens with surprise and confusion at the sight of his young Padawan´s cute angry face.
“You brought these flowers here, Anakin?”
“They were meant to be a gift. I saw them at the Temple Gardens, they are so beautiful Master, they look just like you!” he exclaims with excitement.
Obi-Wan takes a moment to compose herself. Jedi did not tend to give each other presents, possessions were forbidden after all, and she was raised to not crave such things, but Anakin, too young to understand such rules and too new to the ways of the Jedi to care about formalities and social codes, saw fit to give her one. The Knight analyzes her “gift”, they were a beautiful breed of flowers that were native of the planet of Naboo, she doubted that the boy knew about that detail, they were known for being really small when they just start to bloom, but once they opened their petals, they become a full flower that could fill a whole hand, they were also famous because they only had one single color.
“Well, consider me surprised, either way…” The Knight offers “Why did you bring them here, Anakin?” she questions with a slight sigh “It´s forbidden to tear flowers from the gardens, you know this…” she scolds with sweetness.
“But, Master!” Anakin whines “They are so beautiful, so perfect! I´ve never seen something like it before… well, maybe…”Anakin tangles himself up with his own words, while looking down at his feet, a shade of red coloring his cheeks once again.
“Well…?” Obi-Wan ponders, trying to entice her apprentice to continue.
“It´s just that…” Anakin says, trying to order his thoughts before speaking “I was about to say that I´ve never saw something like it, but it´s not true… the reason I liked them to begin with it´s because… well, they are blue.”
Blue. His Padawan’s excuse for trying to steal some flowers from the gardens it´s that they are pretty because they are blue. There are millions of different flowers and plants out there that shared the same color, she doesn´t get what these ones were something special.
“Anakin…” she begins.
“No, Master! They are different, I swear… they are just so…, and I…”
Obi-Wan thinks that she must remind him of the rules, but she hardly thinks that cutting some flowers from the gardens deserve some kind of punishment, they won´t be missed either way, although she feels the need to remind his small Padawan that plants are living things just as they are, and deserve respect, not to be cut at a whim.
“It´s all right, I guess” Obi-Wan comments with a shrug, moving ahead to prepare some soothing tea for the evening. “You will take care of them, though. Let´s plant them into a suitable pot with some actual earth, if you just put them in water they will flatter away and die in a couple of days. Just don´t make a habit out of this, no more tearing up plants from the gardens” she warns with a pointed look of her eye. Obi-Wan guesses that she can use the Force to help the plant to grow a root and survive, she has done it before.
Anakin practically beams at her words, excited that his gift it´s accepted into their home, in some sort of way. Before he can dash away looking for some bucket or spare plantpot, Obi-Wan stops him with a question.
“Anakin… why the color blue, if I may ask?” she questions with a raised eyebrow “They are a lot of pretty flowers in the Temple, a lot of them are blue too…”
“Nah-ah!” he denies with a full white smile “Not in this shade. Master!” he exclaims.
Obi-Wan tries to think of why that certain shade of blue would entice her student to take the flowers, they weren´t even fully grown yet. Anakin comes from a place where flowers didn´t exist. It was only a huge planet made of sand and hard unforgiving rock, she doesn´t even think her Padawan knew what real plants were until he arrived at the Temple. Tatooine only had sand, rocks, mountains and the clear sky…
As if she just had a sudden realization she turns to see his Padawan, who is busy searching through the drawers of the kitchen, looking for a clean pot for him to use. “Padawan, is it because of the sky? Blue, as the color of the sky?” she theorizes.
Anakin, who was still too invested into his duty, not even spared her a glance when he answered. “No, Master.”
Obi-Wan, now confused, only looks at him from her position at the stove “Then… what else…?”
Anakin turns to look at her with a smile. “Your eyes. Blue like the color of your eyes.”
Obi-Wan almost chokes at the confession. She turns to look at the still small flowers, recognizing the particular shade of blue that Anakin seems so excited about, realizing that, indeed, it was the exact color of her orbs: Not exactly blue to be accurate, but a pale grey color that resemble blue so much that you were never sure what they really were.
The female Knight didn´t mention the gift after that. But the next time she saw them again, was when she arrived from a long mission that she completed on her own. They were back on the kitchen table, and this time, they had grown and flowered fully, in a powerful bright shade of blue.
Obi-Wan gasps as she is taken back from the powerful memory shared by her Padawan, Anakin blinks quickly, as if sudden awaking from a long dream; he, too, returning from the shared vision. Obi-Wan almost shudders at the thought of being connected so strongly with her apprentice, how he manages to capture the thoughts, exact words and feelings from both of their heads and combining them into a sole whole picture. It´s almost magical, and the Knight is impotent at the force of the memory that lingers afterwards.
Anakin smiles at her, sensing her surprise “You are wearing them, Master… the flowers…”
Obi-Wan babbles like a fool at the mention of her actions, and in impulse almost reaches back at her braids to reap them apart from their place, but she stops just in time to catch herself before completing her violent action.
“Well, I… I just…I thought you would like the sentiment…” She fixes with a lack of security in her voice, almost embarrassing herself in front of her young student.
Anakin grins at her obvious discomfort “It´s against the rules to cut flowers from the gardens, Master. It´s forbidden.” He teases her.
Obi-Wan´s face grows red for a minute but she quickly turns her evident embarrassment into a big smile that looks to be playful, she reaches a hand to Anakin´s hair to ruffle the short spiky blond locks on her apprentice´s head. They were still things to discuss about his recent behavior, but she thinks that scolding the young man can wait a couple of hours, right now, she just wants to spend some quality time with the brat that she considers her own brother.
“We´ll see…” she says with a huff, pushing the younger Jedi by the shoulders and inviting him to walk alongside her with direction at the exit of the Temple. “Why don´t we talk more about how many rules you broke today when you almost killed Ferus Olin in your tournament while we have a celebratory meal at Dex, shall we?…”
“No fair, Master! We were already past that conversation!” He whines but follows her eagerly.
“You wish, my Young Padawan…” she sentences with a laugh.
It was her birthday. She couldn´t believe that she was twenty five years old, already a Jedi Knight and a Master of the young and insurgent wild Padawan that was Anakin Skywalker. As a member of the Order, she didn´t put much emphasis in name-days and the like, after all, there was a large variety of species amongst the Jedi numbers, and every single one of them celebrated their day of birth in different ways. She, as a female human that came from the planet of Stewjon, has already forgotten the ways of her people, she was raised at the Temple, she knew next to nothing of the traditions and costumes of her homeplanet, and she wasn´t particularly interested in finding out. But Anakin, on the other hand, it was another matter entirely. The boy seemed to celebrate her birthday as if it was his own, always finding ways to commemorate the day she came to be in this galaxy, Obi-Wan would have found it endearing, if he wasn´t so problematic about it. Last year, he showed up all soaked up for walking from hours in the rain trying to get her a perfect gift, then he spent the next week in bed trying to get better from the terrible cold he caught up for his efforts. The year before that, he almost sulked the entire day because he was excitingly planning a surprise birthday party at the Temple, that later in time she found out Bant, Garen and Quinlan were helping him prepare, only to be rebuked by the Council, who sent them to a diplomatic mission to Mandalore instead, Anakin was disappointed and more than a little upset he didn´t get to celebrate his Master´s birthday, even when Obi-Wan let him know that she didn´t mind not having a party at all. This year, though, Obi-Wan feared for what his teenage student will attempt to do in order to fete her name-day. Would it be another surprise party? Or maybe an extravagant and elaborate gift like that strange bird he got her when she turned twenty? Maybe another feast, like the one he made the cooks give her when he was still little… she didn´t know, and all in all, her head ache just to think about the possibilities.
Obi-Wan finally reached her destination: her rooms. The entirety of the day she spent trying to avoid Anakin to be honest, she raised up earlier than she used to during free days like this, making sure that her Padawan was still asleep before she left, and went for an extra-early morning mediation in the Room of the Thousand Fountains, after that, she buried herself in the Archives, excusing her activities saying that she was interested into getting to know more about ancient knowledge of the Force, she knew better than that, she was hiding from her own apprentice; she even went so far as to have her meals at Dex so she wouldn´t bump into Anakin´s figure by chance if she ate in the communal cafeteria of the Temple. Later the Council requested her presence to let her know about some interesting developments in Mandalore, which she still had to deal with since the planet was a politically difficult one, always swaying between being part of the Republic and rebelling all together, their inherited hatred for the Jedi didn´t help either. As a surprising turn of events, the Council also wished her a happy name-day, and Obi-Wan´s face almost colored red at the sight of the always too serious Master Windu smiling at her and sending her his regards. At the end, she returned to her quarters, almost defeated by the fact that Anakin would surely be up to something, as he had every single year.
When she opened the door, though. It wasn´t to find a flamboyant gift all wrap out in some colorful material, or a great number of invited people waiting for her to scare the hell out of her with a surprising birthday song and balloons. There wasn´t even a sole thing out of the usual place. Instead, her quarters were clean, tidy and empty. Furniture where it was supposed to be, only the necessary lights turned on, and no sign of intruders nor objects that weren´t there the night before. Her living room looked just like it always did, and Obi-Wan could feel the relief of all that.
“Master?” the male voice of her student questioned from another room.
“Yeah, it´s me, Anakin…” she responded, noticing that Anakin´s voice must have come from the Kitchen. She moved her feet until she entered the room, which was, indeed, occupied by her Padawan, who stood behind the counter and was busy lighting up some small candles.
Obi-Wan looked down to the table to see a small rounded cake with white glace of some form. Next to the simple cake, it was a crown of blue-grey flowers, the same flowers that he picked up when he was a little one, and the ones that, to this day, remained his favorites.
“Anakin?” she muttered with estrangement at the scene.
“Oh!” Anakin exclaims, suddenly realizing the reason behind his Master apparent apprehension. “Um…I… Happy Birthday” he finalizes with a gesture of his hands pointing down at the table.
Obi-Wan blinks a couple of times in surprise. She expected this, she tells herself, she expected gifts, parties, ridiculous presents and strange occurrences all together, those things are part of her life now that Anakin´s is in it. But what she didn´t expect was this: her student just calmly preparing a cake and a crown of his favorite flowers, which secretly had turned to be one of her favorites too, just to give them to her.
“Thank you” she answers, taking a seat in front of her simple gift. “Well, this is a nice change…” she whispers more to herself than to the young man.
Anakin grins one his confident smiles, and sets down a couple of plates from the shelf to lay in front of her, followed by a knife.
“You always said you preferred simplicity…”
“And you never seemed to listen every time I told you so. What changed?” she asks while he cuts a small piece of the dessert to hand to her with delicacy, which she takes gladly.
“I´ve been reading. You know, I´ve been having this intergalactic geography lessons and stuff…” he says, still too tangled up with cutting the cake.
“The one you told me you hated?” Obi-Wan interrupts with a smirk, Anakin only rolls his eyes at the joke; he knows he deserves the jest, as he spent almost an entire month complaining about the class.
“Yep, that one” he states finally getting his most precious piece of cake on his own plate. “Well, we were supposed to make these reports about several planet systems…” he continues, finally taking a seat in front of her to look her in the eyes as he explains “and while I was doing that I found out that one of the planets we had to investigate about was Stewjon…”
“Oh…” Obi-Wan mutters. Unable to say anything else.
Anakin gestures a shy smile, and pushes the crown of blue-grey flowers closer to her side. Obi-Wan turns to look between the offering and Anakin´s face, in a silent question.
“Did you know that in Stewjon is customary for the birthday boy or girl to wear a flower crown?”
Obi-Wan´s fork almost falls from her hand at the words, and turns her eyes to look at the so called crown almost in shame; apparently, Anakin knew more about her planet of origin than she ever did, it´s almost enough to make her feel abashed. Her hands playfully touch the petals of the full grown and bloomed flowers that she now knew too well, after the flower pot took residence inside her quarters, Anakin most diligently took care of them, so much that the plant never managed to die. Flowers would eventually flatter but new ones were fast to take their place, now if only Anakin took just as much care into looking out for his lightsaber as much as he did in taking care of the damn plant.
“I know that this particular breed are not native of your planet but I thought it will be a nice touch for the crown to be made of the flowers we both grew together, so…” he says trying to excuse the small imperfection in his gift, but Obi-Wan shrugs it off with a movement of her hand.
The Jedi Knight looks up to the pleading eyes of her Padawan, the boy had grew too much in these years, so much that he didn´t look like a boy anymore. He was taller than her, only by a little, but if he continues to grow, that she knew for sure he will, then it will be difficult to scold him if she couldn´t even look him in the eyes. And then it was his face; his features still carries some resemblance of the little boy she met in Tatooine, the round cheeks and the small pink pout of his lips, even his small and cute nose. But now, there was so much more on that face: he now had a strong chin, more pronounce cheekbones and the bright blue of his eyes changed into a steel like color than seem to have the power to freeze with just one powerful look. He was handsome, she notices. And she quickly felt her own cheeks burn with sudden mortification. It wasn´t that she was attracted to him, or something as unthinkable as that, but Anakin was growing fast and strong, and she couldn´t help but notice.
With a bite to her lips, Obi-Wan rises her sight to witness the worrisome look on Anakin´s face, as if he fears that he has done something wrong with giving her the flower crown, with reminding her of her home. Obi-Wan smiles with tenderness, she wasn´t mad with this gift, far from it.
“Should I put it on myself?” she questions with a soft movement of the crown, pointing out at the present that Anakin has given her. The young man quickly rises from his position to round the table, reaching for the crown.
“No, of course not, Master! Allow me…” he states.
Obi-Wan sits still then, not even a muscle moving to interfere with her apprentice´s actions. Suddenly, the soft but hard hands of Anakin touches her hair, and she can feel him accommodating the crown over her head with careful moves. He bends a little, just enough to inspect his work with caution, making sure that the arrangement does not fall into pieces or that her hair does not end up tangled in it. What he doesn´t notice though, it´s how his breathing grazes against the soft sensible skin of Obi-Wan´s neck, and the Knight shudders at the intimate sensation. For a moment, she almost loses herself in the scene, the kind, sweet touches of Anakin that, if it was any other situation, would resemble of the touches of a lover, not of a student. She bites her own lip harder now, not enough to break the skin but hard enough to the point of creating a background sweet ache that can ground her to reality. Anakin´s hands against her scalp, his skin against her skin, his breath against her neck, his fingers working through the locks of her hair; it´s suddenly too much, and Obi-Wan has to contain a deep sigh when she gets to smell the soft sweet perfume that Anakin carries with his presence. She´s at the verge of standing and walking away from his intoxicating person when her Padawan finally finishes his job.
“Done!” he exclaims with cheerfulness. Taking some steps away from her to appreciate his work better. “Yeah, it´s perfect.”
Obi-Wan allows a dry laugh to escape her suddenly too tight throat. Anakin goes along to sit back in his chair and finish his cake, which it´s delicious, without noticing any of Obi-Wan´s traitorous thoughts. But Obi-Wan silently panics inside her own head, the past moment still too present inside her mind, and she fears her own sanity, noticing how her heart hammers against her chest. With a subtle glance at her suddenly hungry student, she quietly tightens her mental shields, prohibiting entrance to her apprentice, guarding her feelings from the Force and their shared bond.
“Did you like it, Master?” Anakin asks all of a sudden. Already done with devouring his dessert.
Obi-Wan manages to smile, and, regardless of her confusing feelings at the moment, she means it. “Yeah… it´s perfect.” She settles, using the same expression he used to describe the crown currently laying on her head. “It´s perfect.”
She was sparring in one of the many Temple training rooms, and has been doing so since the morning, feeling that she really needed the practice. Anakin and Obi-Wan have been given so many diplomatic missions of lately that she almost misses the excitement of battle and the good exercise that provides to her body. Instead, she finds herself more and more invested reading documents and filling paperwork, and even when she it´s good at doing such things, it gets a little tedious with the passing of the time. Anakin will soon return from his usual lessons with his numerous Masters, and when he´ll manage to find her it will be in a tight corner of the wing, as she is trying to stay away from the central training rooms; she does that a lot, for if one of the younglings happens to see her, she knows she would soon have many spectators; a lot of the initiates still hear about the stories of the famous Sith Killer, and even when she was used to it by now, and didn´t really mind the attention, she wants to practice on her own.
The now eighteen year old Padawan finally makes his appearance, approaching her with a satisfied smile on his face. He loves to see her training, she knew, and that made her more nervous than it should. When he announces that he wishes to practice with her, she accepts, realizing that it has been a while since she tested her apprentice´s abilities. Anakin´s moves are swift and fast, as she remembers them to be, an exceptional natural gifted warrior of the Force, has once Master Yoda confided to her, and she almost smirks as his boldness when he, as always, attacks first. For all of Anakin´s natural gifts, he is far too careless. Yes, he is indeed an amazing fighter, especially when he uses Djem So, which it´s his favorite style, but his defense it´s weak at best and recklessly foolish at worst. She scolds him for this, but the young man doesn´t seem to listen, Obi-Wan would surely say that her Padawan obeys her most of the time, but when it came to fighting, Anakin was too pig-headed and didn´t follow any rule nor order but himself. For this, Obi-Wan feels like teaching him a lesson.
The blond Jedi has tried time and time again to defeat his Master, and Obi-Wan, what she lacks in brute force, compensates in defensive stance and strategy, two things that her opponent lacks at the moment; she makes the best of it, dodging Anakin´s attacks, knowing that a single strike of the young man´s saber can send her tumbling down to the floor. With a fast movement of her feet, she manages to make him trip and fall down to the ground instead, Obi-Wan smirks down at him as she also kicks his lightsaber away from his hands. Anakin looks up at her with discomfort, he had always been a sore loser, and she knows it.
“Your defense it´s a tragedy” she points out with both seriousness and playfulness.
“Ha!” Anakin snorts “You just dodge every strike I give, Master. You don´t even dare to face me in a fair fight.”
“Why does it matter how I beat you, if I manage to beat you, anyway?” she questions, throwing his favorite excuse back at him. Anakin blushes red from head to toe, and Obi-Wan almost smirks at the show of weakness. “Try again…” she invites him.
Anakin quickly rushes to his feet and reaches back to call his lightsaber to his right hand, the weapon lands on his palm effortlessly, he grins at her, confident on his skills, and quickly accommodates himself in the Djem-So opening position. If he means to intimidate her, he doesn´t accomplish much. Obi-Wan extends her left arm in front of her to measure her distance, and her dominant right arm lingers above her head with her lightsaber on, a classic Soresu stance.
Anakin attacks first, unsurprisingly; coming to her with a brutal pace, bearing down his lightsaber as if he really means to cut her down in two pieces. Obi-Wan easily blocks him with her lightsaber and uses her extended arm to push him with the Force, Anakin almost falls and she uses his lost tempo to storm him with a quick succession of movements.
“Dead” she says when she almost hits him with her saber but moves it to avoid hurting him. Anakin whimpers and dodges with a face full of fear. “Dead” she repeats when she strikes a sideway blow to his ribs and, again, moves the lightsaber just in time to not burn him with the plasma. “Dead” and this time, she manages to send him right back at the floor when she almost beheads him but stops before real danger comes to him just to turn off her lightsaber.
Anakin is looking up at her with both fearful and surprised eyes. Obi-Wan smirks at his easy to read maneuvers.
“As I said…” she says again “your defense it´s a tragedy.”
“How did you do that!?” he practically shouts at her, not angry but merely shocked.
“Form III. Soresu.” She shrugs off “Something that you must have known by now. It´s a classical form, Anakin. We have practice it before.”
“Yeah, but never like that! I couldn´t even see you coming.”
“You still have much to learn, my young Padawan.” She repeats Qui-Gon words when she was still an apprentice. She offers a hand to her beaten student to let him stand up, which the young one takes eagerly. Obi-Wan inspects him with a quiet look and then ads. “Would you want to learn?”
Anakin´s eyes suddenly seemed too big to fit inside his sockets and his head nods almost manically, Obi-Wan laughs at the image and nods at him to get in position.
“So, start with the initial stance” she orders.
Anakin separates his feet and rises his chin as in defiance, his left foot back alongside his arm.
“No, no, no…” she almost chokes “your dominant hand and dominant foot to the back, Anakin.”
Anakin quickly corrects his body position, Obi-Wan taps his back “Straighten your back, do not slump forward.”
Obi-Wan sighs and proceeds to walk away, so she can sit on one of the benches to inspect Anakin´s technique from a better angle. “Okay, now you are going to pretend you are being hit with blasters. You need to be fast, that you excel at, but do not move too far from where you are, do not waste energy unnecessary and do not tire yourself out.”
Obi-Wan stares at Anakin´s sudden blows. Blue lightsaber moving up and down, side by side and feet too fast to follow. The older Jedi appreciate his obvious skill, he knows how to move and he almost do it by instinct, but manages to miss out the purpose of the exercise entirely.
“Anakin, the meaning of this is for you to defend, not to attack, stop slashing around. I said block!” she corrects, while the man doesn´t stop moving but now fixes his hold on the handle and balances his feet better so he can protect his body from the invisible blaster bolts.
“Better. Try to protect your vital points. Head. Chest. Throat. Liver…”
Anakin gets better with every movement, moving his feet carefully and restraining himself from attacking, even though it´s what he wants to do the most; Obi-Wan admires his control and dedication. Soon he is sweating, and the female Knight can bet his arms hurt with the continuous effort of his body to not lose its pace, the auburn haired Jedi can feel his Force signature tremble as every breath leaves his body, the temperature seems to rise for his Padawan´s liking, for he stops only a moment to strip himself from his robes and belt until he is nothing but in his leggings and boots, his chest bare and his sweat traveling down every part of his body. Obi-Wan almost turns away, afraid at staring at him any longer, it was supposed to be a moment of learning, nothing more, but the sight of her Padawan, no longer a kid but a young man trashing around, moving every muscle and working every part of his body with great effort and dedication has her almost gasping. Obi-Wan knew that Anakin wasn´t a little boy anymore, it was fairly obvious; he has become an attractive young man with the passing of the years, and despite what some members of the Order said about him, he was kind, noble and brave, not just a childish man-boy who always manages to land into trouble, although he does has a talent for that too. Obi-Wan was proud; especially if she considers the circumstances in which his training took place. With being too old to join the Jedi, the numerous attachments he already had when he made his vow and his conviction to leave them all behind, most of the members of the Order found that easy to do because they were raised inside the Temple, they didn´t know what having real parents or other aspirations really meant. Anakin did. And he refused them all the same, just to follow a difficult and demanding path, and Obi-Wan couldn´t be more touched and happy for her student that she is right then. She was also too young to be a Knight, let alone a Master, when he got into her care. The female Jedi didn´t know how they managed to move forward and make their partnership work despise the unfortunate circumstances, and how the Council even allow her to do so.
But now her boy, was no longer a boy. And Obi-Wan could feel herself being trapped into an awkward position inside his life. It was easier for her when he was little, Obi-Wan wasn´t big on child caring and stuff, but she knew how to treat younglings on her time working and helping in the Creché, she was used to be surrounded by them for time to time. Anakin was different, of course, he lacked proper training and didn´t have the same education and upbringing than the other children had, but eventually they fell into a routine, they learned each other better and Anakin made some friends his age between the ranks of the initiates and other Padawans. It´s just this current moment, this particular position the one she didn´t understand: When the boy wasn´t really a boy, but still have a way ahead to become a man. Obi-Wan wasn´t big on touching either, but when Anakin was little he had this need to touch her, innocent childish touches like hugging her when he just had a nightmare, or holding her hand while walking through the halls because he was too scared by the looks that other people gave him, just small tactile needs to feel he wasn´t alone in this world. But now, she didn´t know if it was alright to allow such things, she didn´t know how much space to put between them. She didn´t know how much time she was supposed to spend alongside with him. She didn´t know with which eyes she was looking at him from moment to moment. She felt helplessly lost.
“I got it!” Anakin announces from his position on the training mats, all sweaty and excited. His chest shines with the gleam of his efforts and his smile it´s so bright and open and honest that Obi-Wan suddenly wants nothing more than to capture his handsome face between her empty hands.
“That´s good. Let´s see then.” Obi-Wan settles with one look at her student. Hiding away her true feelings and thoughts.
Anakin puts himself in position once again: his right foot and arm positioned backwards, ready to strike. Obi-Wan´s eyes pried for any kind of mistake on his part, but founds none. The young Jedi´s lightsaber slashes through the air with masterly performance, and Obi-Wan can´t help but to feel impressed with the sudden change in technique. She is conscious that the Padawan is making a great effort into keep his blows defensive, to not look aggressive, to not move to attack, as his natural impulse demand it, but even then, his control is absolute. The female Jedi could see that he had still something to learn though, in how even when he kept a defensive stance, he still wastes too much energy into them, his slashes were too hard, too unforgiving, too Anakin. But Obi-Wan smiled instead of just growing upset. She guessed that this was as much as defensive as he was going to get, and that was fine.
“It´s better. You can stop now, dear one.” She sweetly inputs. Anakin stops almost at the sound of her voice.
“Dear one!?” Anakin laughs, half insulted and half amused by the term. “I was twelve years old when you last called me that, Master.”
Obi-Wan grins while coming close to him to hand him his lost tunics, which he has carelessly abandoned on the ground during his training. Anakin gives her an indecipherable look before taking the offering, and putting the blast tunics back where they belonged, Obi-Wan has to diverts her eyes to a corner of the room just to not openly stare at his bare chest.
“And I remember you to be much sweeter when you were twelve, as well” she teases, distracting herself from the awkward situation.
“I may be less sweet now, Master, but you can´t deny I´m much more attractive” he jokes with a pointed movement from his soft eyebrows. Obi-Wan snorts at the remark and gives him a playful push in the shoulder, simulating her own embarrassment at the words.
“Oh, be quiet, you” she says “Now, get out of my sight, I recall you having a special meditation class with Master Yoda.”
Anakin rolls his eyes and immediately whines “Oh, do I have to go, Master?”
“Move along.” She points at the exit, not taking any of his childish excuses.
“I much prefer to meditate with you, Master. If meditation it´s the issue at hand…”he tries again, fluttering the lashes of his beautiful blue steel eyes at her in a way that Obi-Wan assumes he means to be convincing; it´s endearing, if anything, but not enough to save him from his duty. Secretly, she finds the movement almost obscene by nature.
Anakin snorts and shrugs at his Master´s command, but his feet slowly make their way to the exit while he still whines in silence, muttering something about his Master not being fair with him and his back probably hurting him for a week. Obi-Wan found the picture amusing enough to laugh at him but quickly covered her mouth with her hand, trying to hide her smile from the young Padawan, who, if he manages to hear her, would surely give her one of his irritating glances.
When her apprentice was finally gone, Obi-Wan returned to her own practices, feeling that a bit more of sparing would help her ease her troubling soul. But as she was working through the classical positions, her mind was too invested in the images of Anakin to care. The way he moved, executing the exact same motions that she was attempting at the moment, his strong arms parting the air, his focused eyes staring ahead, his fast legs scrapping the floor he stood on. And, suddenly, her entire concentration was off, the whole purpose of the exercise lost; for now, all that her mind could think about was her student. And the guilt hit her like a stampede of wild Banthas.
Suddenly, she was trashing and throwing her lightsaber around like a crazy animal. Beating invisible enemies to the ground, cutting imaginable droids in half, her frustrations growing instead of just vanishing with each blow. How could she think of Anakin as anything else than her student? How could she stare at his face and body in such an unbecoming way? It was wrong, she repeated inside her head, trying to erase the memories of herself looking at him with devoting eyes, pretending that it wasn´t his voice the one she heard whispering at her ear when she needed to find peace, that it wasn´t his arms embracing her the ones she picture when she imagined home.
Before she realized, she had trashed the entire room, there was blurry black marks on the walls, courtesy of her lightsaber. She was sweating for her violent exertion, chest moving at tandem with her irregular breathing, bones and muscles strand and hurting by her mindless pulling. Her lovely hair has fallen from her intricate bun, and some rebel strands fell to cover one of her eyes. She could almost imagine how wild she might look from the outside, and after coming down from her storm, she tries to re-do her hair and accommodate her clothes, completely embarrassed by her own actions. She quickly runs away from the scene, as if she was a criminal hiding from the local police. With one last look at the now empty room and taking one last deep breath, she leaves, noticing that she didn´t accomplish more than just making a fool of herself, for when night falls, she was still thinking of Anakin at the end of the day.
Obi-Wan wakes up with a gasp of missing air. Hands almost grasping dirty earth in her try to come back to reality from her long dream. The images of her past memories galloping through her mind like they were competing in a fast race, taking her by surprise. The Jedi turns on her side, trying to stand from her spot on what it seems a very suspicious cell, her environment is dark but not obscure enough to privy her from sight. She can see the rocky walls, the old almost rusty bars of her cell that keeps her contained in the small cave. There is no time left for more inspections, since she can sense that whoever had taken her prisoner was coming to take her once more, it´s the voice of the Force alarming her that there was danger nearby, looking for her. Last thing she remembers is fighting, the bolts of the blasters shooting at her from all directions, robotic hands of droids pulling at her limbs without care, and the sight of a tall elderly man she couldn´t even appreciate correctly; after that, only darkness.
She must have black out, she realizes. But that hardly matters now. Her weapon is missing from her usual spot on her belt, and so is her long robe, taking from her as if stripping her from her dignity. She hears them now, not just sensing their presence; those damn Geonosians and the Mandalorian bounty hunter that was the original host of the clone army appear in front of her with a palpable arrogance for being able to capture a Jedi. They have come to take her to somewhere else, she thinks, and once her cell it´s opened and she is taken into custody in a roughly manner, with pointing blasters at her back and the single weapon of the bounty pressing at the back of her neck, she finds herself into a tough situation once again.
As they take her through the never ending halls, she muses about her dreams. They were not, in fact, product of her imagination. She recalls all of those times with perfect accuracy, since they were flashes of the past. What surprises her of these recollections are not what she saw; as a Jedi, she has a great deal of many different adventures to share, and she has even dream about them once or twice before. It´s just the fact that she could have dream of so many distinctive occurrences about her life: When she was young and just a child in the Creché, when she was fearful of her future until Qui-Gon appeared in it, when she met Satine, a handsome Mandalorian duke she once had to protect with her life and the only person capable of distracting her aching young heart from her usual affliction: her Master. She could have even dream of Quinlan, how he stole her first kiss from her when they were Padawans. She could have dream of Bruck, that horrible bully of a boy that used to call her Oafy-Wan and that later turn to the dark side, he was, in fact, a main character in a recurring nightmare of hers when she was younger. But instead of all that, her dreams, her memories, came to her in the form of only one individual. The one who made her heart beat faster no matter how she tried not to, the one who ease her thoughts at the same time that send her in spans of agony and contradictory feelings. The one who irritate her with his indiscretions as much as he amused her with his wittiness. The only person, she now realizes, that she wanted by her side, always.
So when they took her to a final room, lifter her up onto a platform that made her float from the ground into one uncomfortable and shackled position, even when Count Dooku came out of a door, with feign indignation at her capture and treatment, promising mad words of alliance and swearing that her dear dead Master would have joined him instead of refusing him like she has, which she highly doubted and rightly told him so, even after she was told of an evil Sith Lord inside the Republic lines, moving everyone and everything to his liking. She knew that the only real fear that lived inside her mind was far away from there. Into, what could possibly be her final thought, her heart and mind only circled around the only person that really matter. The only one she couldn´t bear to lose. They could execute her all right, they could play with her mind and torture her body, starve her to death or cripple her beyond comprehension. But she doubted that they could take away the images that her mind, in her unconscious state, already showed. The Truth. She didn´t have to act on it, she didn´t have to chase her forbidden illusion into conclusion. She didn’t ‘even have to lift a finger of her hand. She didn´t know if she was about to live another day or be killed in the next second, the only certainty in her heart laid before her as if the Force sent her the answer: The only thing missing right then, the only thing that was misplaced, that was taken from her wasn´t her lightsaber, her purpose, her long dead Master, her family or any other thing in that blasted universe. For the only thing she longed for was a boy, whose name was Anakin Skywalker.
This one came earlier than expected and it´s also longer, around 18 pages in Microsoft Word. I hope you like the flashbacks, I thought it would be necessary to see Obi-Wan´s past feelings and how they evolved into what she feels now. Yes, those flowers are important, like a sign and token of Anakin´s and Obi-Wan´s relationship with each other. There is even a flashbackception over there. So, reviews and comments would be nice and appreciated. Sorry by the lack of drawing but I tried and I couldn´t find the inspiration, but I will try to give you one for the next time :)
Chapter 7: Episode II: Part 6
Ignorant didn´t mean innocent, Anakin decided. And it´s for that decision that he reached for his saber and in a swift motion turned it on.
As it happens, it appears that Padme´s hopeful dreams of finding Anakin´s mother were quickly debunked and torn apart from the unexpected news of Anakin´s also new family, they seemed pleased to meet the Padawan for the very first time, but their acquaintances came in with bad bearings. Anakin´s visions were seemly not wrong in alerting the young Jedi of immediate danger for his mother and as soon as Claigg Lars appeared in sight, he quickly told them of Shmi´s fate. A tribe of Tusken Raiders had kidnaped the blonde’s Jedi mother and wounded his now step-father. Before Claigg or even Padmé could talk him out of it, the Padawan was quickly into action once more, this time, declaring he must save his mother.
“You are going to have to stay here” Anakin instructed her once his now step brother offered his speeder-bike to aid his search. It was said with kindness and understanding, but it was certainly an order, not a petition. Padmé took it without complaining, Anakin seemed calm despite the news and the raging anger he must be feeling inside his heart, she didn´t want to worry him more than his trouble mind must be already.
Anakin leaves without a second thought, driving the speeder bike through the desert, knowing full well, even after all these years away from this planet, his home-planet, where to go. He recognizes the mountains, the shapes of red rock that he used to memorized when he was a kid; he remember the midnight moon, shining in the sky while he imagined to fly away from that sandy planet, to travel through the stars and the constellations, discovering new systems, meeting new people, having adventures and becoming a character of famous legends. But now he was here, back at the place he despised the most in the entire galaxy, desperate and helpless once again. Trying to find the only person who ever loved him for him.
It took a while, but when he finally found the group of Tuskens, they were all enjoying a warm fire, oblivious of his presence. Anakin almost feels like cutting them down in that instance, but he makes an effort to keep himself in line, he needed to get to his mother, all those disgusting creatures could die for all he cared. With the power of the Force he guides himself to feel the presence of his mother, after all, he was outnumbered by the raiders, he couldn´t just walk in and try to guess in which of the huts they were keeping her. Suddenly, he felt it. It has been so long since he last felt her calming and lovely signature. But it was still fresh in his mind. The wonderful and warm feeling that only Shmi Skywalker could give, like a beacon of light in the middle of the cold darkness, and Anakin grabbed at it like a lost child. He held to it and wish to never let it go.
He quickly sneaked around the crowded camp, making sure that his steps were silent and that his presence went unnoticed, the veil of the night hides him well enough and the loud sounds that the bunch of mindless beasts and banthas make manages to hide the sound of his own lightsaber when he finally activates it to complete a hole on the back wall of the hut. He enters as smoothly as he infiltrated the camp, eyes quickly assessing every corner around him, a collection of numerous lit candles illuminates the space good enough for him to see the tortured and bloodied figure of his mother hanging from a wooden frame.
Anakin instantly panics. He rushes to her side and uses his still turned lightsaber to cut the straps that encloses her hurt wrists. Once his mother is safe, tucked in the warmth and secure arms of her son, he takes a moment to inspect her face. The face he had seen so many times in his dreams and that he never gets to touch when he finally wakes up from them. She is beaten, tortured and manhandled, he almost screams in agony at the sight of her mother´s appearance. His fingers cradles her carefully, tenderly. Allowing himself to feel her skin with the tip of his phalanges.
Suddenly, Shmi opens her eyes slowly, as if the sole action of regaining conscious was difficult and exhausting.
“Mom… mom…” Anakin moans as if he was suddenly stroked with a blunt object in the back of his head, his eyes quickly filling with water that begged to be released.
“Annie…? ...is it you?” she asks in a weak voice, so weak that Anakin wants to finally burst into a river of tears; he wants to hold her tight and never let her go out of his sight again, he wants to take her away, far, far away from Tatooine, from that disgusting Force forsaken planet that had only brought them pain. He wants to kill them all too, kill all those beasts that ever dare to hurt her, to even look at her in the wrong way.
“I´m here, mom. You are safe” he promises, finally founding his voice through his turbulent thoughts. “Hang on. I´m going to get you out of here…”
“I´m so glad to see you…” she smiles even through her pain and obvious discomfort “Annie… now I´m complete…”
That sounds more like a goodbye than Anakin was ever going to be able to accept. She couldn´t be letting go, not after he just had found her again, not after all these years away from her arms, all this time separated from each other´s smiles. She couldn´t possibly leave him alone. Not again.
“Just stay with me, mom. I´m going to make you well again. Everything it´s going to be fine” he pleaded like a child. Because that is exactly how he felt. Like a defenseless child in need of his mother.
“You look so handsome…” she touches his face then, holding a smile of joy even through her misery. “I´m so proud of you, Annie… so proud… I missed you so much… I love…”
And then it´s just silence. Anakin waits for her to continue, to open her eyes once again, for her to smile while he cries but nothing happens. There is only silence and emptiness. He is really crying then. His tears full with anger and despair flow freely though his face like they have never before. Not even when he had his first nightmare at the Temple, not even when all the initiates mocked him and refuse to sit with him during his first month as a Padawan learner, not even when he cried himself to sleep when he missed his mom and when he felt he couldn´t connect with his Master even when he already loved her. He cried and he cried and he couldn´t stop. Just when he is about to throw himself onto his mother dead body in defeat, he listens. Through the immaculate silence of the hut, he can clearly hear the sounds of the Tuskens, their awful noises and growls, and something ugly and dark deep inside him twist at the known presence of his mother´s killers. His anger consumes him to the core, and his sadness quickly dissipates to only leave the rage of a dragon that lives inside his chest. Anakin suddenly sees red and can almost taste his own bile inside his mouth.
He stands up, leaving the corpse of Shmi behind in the cold sand, he leaves the hut, but this time, Anakin isn´t sneaking from the back as he entered the room in the first place, he opens the entrance and stares at the Tuskens that enjoy the fire and their mindless conversations, not noticing the young man that stands with fury in his eyes and only a purpose inside his mind.
A small child looks at him, Anakin notices. The Padawan stares at him as well. He is small, blameless and probably none the wiser of what just happened there, ignorant of the anger and loathing that Anakin feels for all his kind. The young Jedi could almost see himself in him, a time ago, when he was just a slave in Tatooine, when he was weak and little and naive too. “Not anymore”, he growls. But ignorant didn´t mean innocent, Anakin decided. And it´s for that decision that he reached for his saber and in a swift motion turned it on. What follows are screams and pleas and crying but Anakin doesn´t stop. He never stops. Not even when he sees the child running away, scared of him. Not even when he sees his lightsaber stuck in his little chest. Not even when he is no longer breathing, and Anakin, finds out, is no longer good. When he finds out he cannot be good ever again.
Padmé was resting, talking with 3PO and Owen when suddenly Beru yells at them from the outside of the house. She announces that Anakin is back, or so Padmé hopes, they all quickly rushes out of the farm to stare at the upcoming figure of the Padawan; he is riding Owen´s speeder bike, he parks the machine and walks away from the bike with a wrapped figure in his arms. Everybody around them look confused, as they didn´t understand what was happening, but Padmé understood. She gasped in horror at the sight of it. Anakin´s eyes were red and angry, filled with emotions that were too dangerous to have for a Jedi. He silently stares at the group while he passes them by and carries the body of his mother inside the homestead.
Padmé doesn´t dare to approach him for a while, the young man it´s too troubled for her to console, instead, she grieves silently with the Lars family, Owen and Claigg are devastated, and Beru it´s rubbing Owen´s back as the young man stares at the table with apprehension. When a couple of hours pass, the Senator decides that she cannot ignore the young Jedi´s despair any longer, she fixes a tray of food and carries to the garage, where Owen told her that Anakin is currently hidden, when she arrives, she sees the apprentice is kneeling at the speeder bike that Owen had lend him to find his mother.
She doesn´t make a sound, but when Anakin speaks to her without even facing her, she is not surprised. After all, the boy is a Jedi.
“The shifter broke” he explains as if she has asked. “Life seems so much simpler when you´re fixing things.”
Padmé puts the tray down beside her. Sensing that the warrior still had words he wanted to say. Real words, this time, not excuses nor getaways.
“I´m good at fixing things… always was. But I couldn´t… I couldn´t fix her life, I couldn´t fix my relationship with my Master… I couldn´t…” he stops, throwing the electronic wrench away from his hands, as if disgusted by the tool. He is crying now, tears roaming down his cheeks “Why did she have to die?!”
“Sometimes there are things no one can fix. You´re not all-powerful, Annie” She tries to appease, voice calmed and eyes full with understatement.
Suddenly, the man approached the abandoned wrench again, he picks it up with his right hand and starts working at the bike once again, as if the sudden outburst hadn´t happened.
“I should be!” he declares while his hands busy themselves with his work “Someday I will be… I will be the most powerful Jedi ever! I promise you, I will even learn to stop people from dying!”
His words are unbecoming of a Jedi and the young man could almost hear his Master´s voice inside his head, whispering at his ear that he was being childish and overemotional. Anakin´s heart thunders at the memory of his beautiful but cruel Master. Her deceiving lies coming from such beautiful lips, it enrages him and it eats him from the inside, this love. She should be here with him, consoling him, embracing him, not away in Force-knew where, doing her duty, which was the only thing she cared about. Instead, Padmé is right there, scared of him but still beside him as if he mattered, as if he was loved and needed. Oh, how Anakin wants to love her. He wants to give everything to this woman. He almost forces his heart to do so. To see her and see true beauty, to desire her caresses and her love, to dream about her face and to beg for her voice, but instead of all that sweetness, he looks at her eyes and all he thinks it´s how they lack the clear gray of Obi-Wan´s orbs, how they don´t dare to change from those clouded shades to a fiery blue when she is happy and a powerful thunderstorm green when she gets upset. He hears her voice but never listens because she is not Obi-Wan. How he thinks she is lovely but never breath-taking because she lacks Obi-Wan´s features. How her silhouette it´s delicate but never invites him to embrace it because she is not as tall as Obi-Wan, as curved as Obi-Wan, as perfect as Obi-Wan, and he hates it. And for a moment, for a small moment, he hates Obi-Wan too. Hates her with a passion that rivals the love that he feels for her.
“It´s all Obi-Wan´s fault!” Anakin explodes, stalking away from the bike for good, throwing the tool away from his hands once again; Padmé jumps on her place, scare of the sudden rush of emotions.
“Anakin…” Padmé whispers, small hands raised in a calm gesture, trying to control his anger.
“It´s Obi-Wan´s fault” he repeats “She is cruel and unfeeling, incapable to love or to even care like all the other Jedi! And she is jealous! She knows that I´m even more powerful than she is. She is holding me back!”
Padmé almost pales at the words, and Anakin falls to the floor, down on his knees, breathing heavenly and staring at his shaking hands through eyes full of traitorous tears. The female Senator rushes to his side, but doesn´t touch him, still too afraid of the violent display to even dare to embrace him, not knowing how the boy would react.
“What´s wrong?” she asks.
“I killed them…” He mutters through clenched teeth.
He raised his eyes to stare at her with renewed fury.
“I killed them all. I killed them all. They´re dead, every single one of them…”
Padmé only gapes at him with strange confused eyes, not saying a word and fighting to understand what he means.
“Not just the men… but the women and children too. They are like animals and I slaughtered them like animals… I hate them!”
There is a terrible silence after that. Anakin hides his face between his legs, like a child ashamed of his own actions, and a part of Padmé tells her that he is. Terribly guilty and terribly lonely, troubled and miserable and she can only wish to touch him, not his broken shaking body, but his very soul. The woman is insecure as well, not only in how to proceed by analyzing the Padawan´s words, how he confessed he killed, murdered those creatures, that, although not completely blameless, undeserving of such deaths. She thinks about his feelings for his Master. Obi-Wan, who suddenly appears in her mind as that kind and distanced Jedi, and, for once, the politician wonders how that woman, who always seemed so respectable and collected, has treated Anakin all these years. Was she kind? Was she warm? Or was completely cold towards Anakin? Padmé dares to think that the latter it´s not true. Jedi do keep their distance in relationships, that was known. They were cold but they were not cruel. They were stoic but not unmoved. They were strict but not unhuman. Anakin loves her too, he was so obvious about it, and she didn´t need his confession in Naboo to know it to be true. And that love couldn´t not be earned. She had to be special, kind and tender in some manner to win over Anakin´s young and impossible heart.
Anakin´s sobs interrupts Padmé´s musings and she finally approaches him to take him into her arms, to soothe him, replacing the real arms that she knows Anakin wants to be embraced by.
“Why do I hate them? I didn´t… I couldn´t control myself. I don´t want to hate them. But I can´t forgive them.”
“To be angry is to be human.”
“To control your anger is to be a Jedi” he refutes, his voice is dead though, monotone and unnatural, forcing the words out of his mouth and not believing a single thing they say.
“You are human” Padmé whispers in his hair, pitying the self-guilt that the young man must be feeling.
“No. I´m Jedi.” He declares.
Padmé closes her eyes. “You are just like everyone else…” she thinks but never tells. Instead, she tightens her arms around his frame, kisses his head and almost cries alongside with him. She thinks that for the first time, she understands. She is finally able to understand how much and how bad Anakin feels and how cruel the Force must be, to give such an innocent person so much power, so much strength and still fill his life with infinite sadness.
The next day, they are all gathered around the new grave of Shmi Skywalker. Padmé stares at the sad image of Anakin kneeled in front of her mother´s final resting place, and Claigg, even when holding strong, seems trying hard to not drop tears. Padmé wouldn´t blame him if he did.
“I know wherever you are it has become a better place. You were the most loving partner a man could ever have. Goodbye, my dearest wife and thank you.”
His words are honest and tender, the Senator could almost feel all the love attached to them. Anakin mutters something as well, but she is incapable to listen to the words. Some part of her is grateful for that too, she thinks it´s a private matter, something to be kept among them, a last goodbye and a new beginning for Anakin.
Before they can go back the homestead, R2D2 comes rolling and beeping with urgency, Padmé it´s instantly surprised to see her loyal droid coming in with such speed, especially when she instructed it to stay with the ship.
“Artoo, what are you doing here!?”
Anakin breaks his attention towards his mother´s grave to stare at the new coming droid with mascaraed interest, finally expressing something different than grief.
“It seems he is carrying a message from someone called Obi-Wan Kenobi. Does that mean anything to you, Master Anakin?” C3PO informs with a look at the blond Padawan.
Anakin´s eyes are suddenly big with surprise and he quickly picks himself off from the dirt to stand and coming close to the droid, Padmé follows him to reach her friend and founds the obvious worried face of the Jedi apprentice, he doesn´t say anything but she can almost feel the tension in his shoulders and his internal debate towards his own feelings. He´s still upset with his Master for her absence, but he is worried for her either way. Padmé directs him to her ship, so they can take the message in a private manner.
The minute they are on-board, Artoo transmits the message to them, what it shows them, it´s alarming. The minute the image of Anakin´s Master figure falls to the ground of whatever planet she was at the moment, the blond man whimpers and stands up, rushed. The message cuts out, indicating it´s finality, and that makes things much worse, for Anakin is suddenly frantic.
“I´m going after her!” he announces with such an alarmed voice that Padmé fears he would simultaneously start shivering in agitation like he did when he confessed the murder of the Tuskens to her.
“I thought the first thing she said was to retransmit her message to Coruscant.” Padmé reminds him, gently.
“Yeah, you´re right. You´re right.” Anakin relaxed a bit, driving a hand through his hair.
They quickly send the message to its destination, Mace Windu, as Anakin reminds her the Jedi Master that receives their call is named, ponders about the transmission before ordering Anakin to stay where he is to protect Padmé, to not rush to Obi-Wan, and that the Jedi will deal with Dooku themselves. Once the transmission it´s finished and a clear “Understood, Master” from Anakin, Padmé stares at the figure of the young man, as if expecting him to burst into one of his now common fits of emotion and to ignore the command of his superior in an attempt to pilot the small cruiser to Geonosis, but the boy doesn´t even move.
“They will never get there in time to save her.” Padmé reminds him, as if to make him do something. Anything. “Geonosis it´s less than a parsec away from us, they have to come from the other half of the galaxy.” Padmé moves to reach for the switches, preparing the ship to move.
Anakin stops her hand with a delicate move of his.
“If she still alive.” He tells her.
“Annie, are you just going sit there and let her die?” Padmé gapes at him. Anakin doesn´t even meet her eyes. Padmé knew he was upset with Obi-Wan, but she never thought that he could ever abandon her like that. “Anakin, she is your mentor, your friend… your…” she stops, afraid to continue.
“…She is like my sister, but you heard Master Windu. He gave me strict orders to stay here.” His voice is all wrong again. A deep monotone without feelings, without truth. Repeating a mantra in which he didn´t believe nothing at all. Padmé can see him now, what he was trying to do, he was dying to go running to free his Master, regardless of is anger and sadness, but he was afraid, afraid of himself. Afraid of him not being a good Jedi anymore, afraid of what he could do, affraid of what he has already done when he killed all those Tusken Raiders just a couple of days ago. Afraid of not following orders.
Padmé suddenly realizes that she can help him make up his mind.
“He gave you strict orders to protect me…” she says while switching the buttons right back on, bringing the ship to life.
Anakin stares at her with confusion.
“…and I´m going to save Obi-Wan. So if you plan to protect me, you will have to come along.” She declares with a hidden smile on her face.
Anakin smirks and breathes a “thank you” under his breath, finally sitting right beside her to pilot the ship to where they need to go.
I´m back! I have neglected you all guys, and I´m sorry. I will be returning to school in a week so I can´t promise regular updates but I will be updating a couple of new chapters this week so make up for the long wait :) Also, we are about to end this fic, I think in a couple of chapters it will be done, but, do not fret! the next story of the series will be soon posted after that. This story will continue until the very end :)
Also, new art, this is Obi-Wan´s portrait with the flower arrangement (although it´s looks nothing like Gemma Artenton, which it´s the image I got when I picture Obi-Wan, so If you want to have a really flesh out image of Female Obi, then imagine Gemma with auburn hair and grey eyes.): http://lorraineblake.tumblr.com/post/148958762978/female-obi-wan-with-flowers-from-my-obikin
ALSO I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU GUYS: I want to name the flowers that Anakin gives to Obi-Wan in the last chapter, I want for you to suggest names for it and the one I like the most I will adopt as the name of the flowers from now on. :) They are blue (a cobalt shade combined with Gainsboro, which is a shade of grey) they are similar to roses but not quiet, they can grow a bit bigger too, the petals have like little soft spikes at the edges instead of being rounded and the center is white, so there you go. :)
Chapter 8: Episode II: Part 7
"Before you left Coruscant, you asked me a question. You left without getting an answer. This is my answer."
The Naboo Starfighter landed into the rings of Geonosis, Anakin switches off the engines and glances around to see Artoo and C3PO, who joined them later at Claigg´s insistence, and to be honest, Anakin felt a bit melancholic about the droid, after all, it was the last remanding thing left of his childhood, and, of course, of his time with this mother, so he gladly took it with him. Before he could choose to do anything at all, Padmé stood up from the co-pilot seat that she took besides him when Anakin decided to go and rescue Obi-Wan.
“Hey, where are you going?” he asks, surprised.
“To find Obi-Wan.” Her tone gives him pause; she is looking at him as if he was a 4 year old and her statement was of obvious nature. Anakin buffs with incredulity.
“No, you are not!” he snorts, grabbing one of her arms
“Let go of me!” she demands, twisting her arm with discomfort, but Anakin´s grip doesn´t flatter, as hard and tight as it is he tries not to hurt her.
“I´m not letting you go out there, it´s too dangerous.” He explains.
“What!?” She yells. Anakin almost rolls her eyes at Padmé´s stubbornness.
“It´s my job to protect you. You´re not going, that´s final!”
“You don´t give me orders, Annie. I´m a Senator of the Galactic Republic, you don´t have any authority to restrain me, contain me or direct me!” when she is over her energetic speech she walks away, finally shaking off the Padawan’s firm grip, Anakin stares at her, standing next to the pilot´s seat; he is more annoyed that surprised for her unexpected outburst, he only wishes that the women of her life would stop playing the hierarchy card, trying to remind him how below into the system he relies to gain some power over him, before he can complain, Padmé looks at him from the exit of the cabin.
“You can come along and protect me while I figure a way to rescue Obi-Wan, or you could just stay there, it´s up to you.” She snarls while storming out of the room, Anakin takes a deep breath and quickly follows while C3PO and Artoo look at each other with confusion.
When the young Jedi catches up with her, Amidala is already entering the stalagmite city, it´s empty, which they both agree it´s extremely weird, the silence it´s worrisome and the absence of the habitants makes Anakin shiver with unconformity. Before they can voice their apparent observations and bad feelings about it a group of Geonosians appeared, the winged creatures hold blasters in their hands and look at them in a menacing way, Anakin reaches for his lightsaber almost instantly but before he can draw, an elderly man with a great stature and an even more imposing pose appears with an irritating condescending smile.
“Senator Amidala, I´ve heard so much about you” he says with a small bow, his elegant accent and mannerly demeanor reminds Anakin of Obi-Wan for a slight moment, but he quickly pulverize the thought, while Obi-Wan´s conduct and personality seems graceful and refined, the man in front of him almost looks arrogant and haughty.
“Count Dooku, I assume.” Padmé responds, her voice is tight but civilized, the voice of a skillful politician.
Dooku smirks, suddenly amused. “I´m delighted to meet you at last. I trust you can keep your young Jedi under wraps.” He mocks while turning and walking back from where he came, both of them suddenly following him, having no choice, judging by the looks of the armed Geonosians.
“You have no idea...” Padmé mutters under her breath. Anakin looks at her from the corner of her eyes.
They walk for a while until they get inside a big looking castle, always staring at the back of the tall man; Anakin recognizes the name, he was a Jedi once, if he recalls, and if what Obi-Wan told her it´s true, he was once the teacher of Master Qui-Gon. Anakin almost snorts the thought, Qui-Gon was nothing like this man. While both are elegant and imposing, and just as tall, Master Jinn always managed to cast a sense of comfort and underlined kindness, a gentleness, if you will. Dooku could be serene as any Jedi of the Council but Anakin could almost feel his twistiness from under his skin. A dark recoiling power that made the young Padawan´s body almost crawl with disgust, he could barely bare his presence.
When they finally stopped, they were in some sort of conference room, it was filled with different class and species of aliens, and Anakin felt puzzled at their presence. What kind of meeting were they having? Padmé takes a seat in one end of the rounded table, and Anakin instantly places himself behind her chair, alluring some form of protection; after all, he won´t permit for her to get hurt or be attacked. Padmé would be safe, no matter what.
“You are holding a Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi” Padmé suddenly speaks, her voice is clear and demanding, almost unforgiving and Anakin almost smiles at her attitude, she was, without a doubt, a brilliant woman. “I am formally requesting you turn her over to me, now.”
“She has being convicted for espionage, Senator. She will be executed, in a few hours, I believe.” Dooku replies, smiling as if he was not speaking of killing someone he would have called sister in another life. As if he was never a Jedi Knight himself. Anakin wants to rip his head off, he decides; Padmé sends a look at his direction, trying to calm him down, Anakin barely lets her. She is the politician, he reminds himself, he needs to give her space to work her politics, if that fails, after that fails, he will take matters on his own hands.
“He is an officer of the Republic. You can´t do that.” She explains.
“We don´t recognize the Republic here, Senator. But if Naboo were to join our Alliance, I could hear your plea of clemency.”
Anakin reaches for his lightsaber there and then, he is not about to stand and hear more of this bantha fodder, he has had enough. If they don´t release Obi-Wan to Padmé´s words, they will to his lightsaber. Before he can turn his weapon on, Padmé pinches him on one of his legs, trying to ease his storm, as Obi-Wan usually puts it, Anakin stops but doesn´t let go of his saber.
“And if I don´t join your rebellion?” she wonders, voice sharp as steel and eyes cold as Hoth.
“You are an honest, rational representant of your people, Senator. I assume that you are fed up with the corruption and bureaucrats and hypocrisy of it all, aren´t you?” Dooku enquires with a lifted eyebrow.
“The ideal still alive, Count. Even if the institution is falling.”
“We believe in the same ideals, then.”
“If what you say it´s true then you should stay in the Republic. Help the Chancellor make things right.”
Dooku snorts in a way that Anakin has never seen before, the gesture it´s dismissive as it comes, but still the man makes it seemed so eloquent and graceful that he might as well just recited poetry.
“He means well, m´lady, but he is incompetent. The Republic cannot be fixed, it´s time to start again, won´t you say? Your Republic is a sham, a shell game played by voters. Soon you will even lose your pretext of democracy and freedom.” He explains with a movement of his hand, Padmé tenses at the words, eyes wide open with incredulity.
“I cannot believe such a thing. I will not forsake all I have honored and worked for. I know of your treaties! This is not government, this is business!” she barks with pride and true anger without being violent. Anakin can see the passionate politician now, the pacifist, the fighter, not a delicate pretty woman.
“Is this about your Jedi friends?” he enquires, smile back on his lips. “Without your co-operation I cannot stop the execution.” He promises.
“Am I to be executed also?” Padmé questions with a mocked tone.
“I wouldn´t think of such an offence. But, alas, there are a number of individuals that would gladly see your demise. I´m sorry but if you are not going to co-operate, there is no much I can do for you, I´m afraid. I must turn you over the Geonosians.”
Before he finishes his false concern, the Mandalorian man that had stood behind Dooku´s form appears beside Anakin with a raised hand.
“I´ll take that weapon” he mutters behind his helmet.
Anakin frowns at the command, almost turning on his saber at the insolent request. Dooku playfully remarks how he would just cause a useless bloodshed at his hesitation while directing one look at Padmé; Amidala is suddenly aware of their situation at that, and just drops her shoulders with defeat. Anakin sighs with discomfort before handing his lightsaber to the hands of the bounty hunter, but not before sending him an angry stare.
Before Anakin could wrap his head around what it´s happening, and trying to find a way to liberate his Master, the young Jedi is charged of espionage, sentence to death and sent to his death, but still manages to escape, taking Padmé alongside with him, as well as obtaining his lightsaber back from the grasp of the Mandalorian bounty hunter´s hands. They ran until they get lost and found themselves in a mysterious looking factory that is busy building and arming battle droids, Padmé gasps at the scene, the final sign of war and treason. Anakin wants to feel equally betrayed, but he doesn´t have Padmé´s sentimental and innocent views of peace and politics, he is a warrior and a Jedi, he is used to fighting his way out of things. At the end of it all, he is not really that surprised.
They fall, tumble and rolled around the machines, platforms and wheels of the factory, being chased and shot at from all possible directions, Anakin swears that he has almost die more times in this short hour that he could possibly have from all his missions as a Jedi before. His mind is divided between trying to save his own ass, keeping an eye on Padmé´s and thinking a way to find and save his Master from Dooku´s clutches. When they make it out of the mess, it´s for Padmé to being cornered by hostile Geonosians at gun point and for Anakin to end with a destroyed and useless lightsaber. Again. Anakin´s last thought before being capture by the bounty hunter once again? “Obi-Wan´s gonna kill me.”
Anakin and Padmé are put in an open cart, shackled and guarded by the Geonosians soldiers, Anakin stares right ahead, suddenly interested in their future destiny, closing his eyes he manages to feel Obi-Wan´s presence near. The bond was awfully silent since he has left Coruscant, in part because he has not wanted to communicate through it. He was hurt by Obi-Wan´s rejection and indifference, it would be painful to also feel her warm Force signature while his head is full of the confusing moments they have shared together this last few weeks. But now, Anakin opens himself in search of the strong thread that unites him with his Master. He feels her. She is near and she is safe. And Anakin feels himself exhale with relief. Beside him, Padmé looks at him with sudden interest.
“What´s wrong?” she asks.
“I can feel her” Anakin confesses. “I haven´t been able, since I closed the bond. But I can feel her now. She is here, she is safe” he almost laughs at that, finally allowing his love for Obi-Wan to show and shower over him.
Padmé smiles sadly, as if she is suddenly pained by his words but quickly regains her posture.
“That´s good. Maybe we are to be executed together.” She shrugs, downplaying the situation. “Annie, at least you will see Obi-Wan again before… well, dying, I guess…”
Anakin almost laughs at the gloomy statement.
“I´ve been so angry, so consume by emotions these last days that I hardly paid any attention about it. I don´t want to think this is the end, even when it looks like that. I´ve done many things lately, things that I regret. But the one I´m most terribly sorry at its parting from my Master without being able to fix things.” Honesty is suddenly pouring from his mouth, realizing that the woman he loves will be next to him, ready to die alongside him without they´ve been able to talk first, to mend, to forgive. He hates it. He hates losing his mother, he hates not being able to protect Padmé, hates not being more powerful, stronger, faster, smarter, to not being capable to save Obi-Wan.
“I´m sorry!” Anakin exclaims the minute he looks at Padmé´s face. “I´m here talking about my fate as if it´s the only one that it´s going to end. I dragged you into this with me. I´m sorry, Padmé, I´m so sorry…”
Padmé snorts with a bemused smile.
“Annie, don´t be silly. I recalled being the one to bully you into coming with me here.” Padmé added with a knowing look that made Anakin smiled and turned red. “I´m here because I wanted to. I wanted to rescue Obi-Wan. And I don´t regret my decision, she is my dear friend, as are you.”
Anakin smiled again, grinning with happiness to her admission.
“Don´t be afraid” he requested, talking her hand in his.
“I´m not afraid to die” she swears “I…”
She is about to say something, Anakin can tell, but she stops as soon as the cart starts moving forward, driving them towards the exit of the dark tunnel, towards the blinding light. Anakin approaches closer to her, to hear her better, but she doesn´t continues, just exhales and then smiles sadly.
“I think our lives are about to be destroyed anyway…” she whispers and Anakin misses the meaning but with a shake of her head, she looks upfront, finalizing whatever conversation they just had.
There is a loud uproar from the crowd, it makes Anakin´s and Padmé´s ears to buzz with sudden deafness, there are thousands and thousands of Geonosians staring and screaming at them while they are taken into an arena bathed with a powerful sunlight. It takes a while for Anakin´s eyes to getting used to the illumination, but once his sight is restored he makes up three tall and thin posts stuck in the middle of the arena. On one of them, the beautiful and whole, marvelous whole, body of his Master stays chained at the bottom. Her feet are in the ground and when her eyes caught up with him, he can makes up the image of her surprised face at his arrival.
The cart moves until it reaches his Master and Anakin wants nothing but run to her and touch her angelic frame, to feel her alive and healthy and well as she looks, with her perfect Jedi robes and braided hair.
Obi-Wan seems to have a little debate inside her head, Anakin can see it. But before he can approached her a little bit more and reassured her that he did retransmitted her message, that he is here trying to save her, and obviously failing, but most importantly, that he has missed her. Missed her so much that the separation between each other is unbearable, that he has felt so lonely without her presence, her guidance, her words, he just wants to talk to her, say anything at all, just so she can answer back to him, spitting some of her usual ill-timed jokes or for her to roll her sharp grey eyes back at him with annoyance for his incompetence, he just wants to hear her voice one last time. But Obi-Wan was not looking at him. She was suddenly turning her eyes to the ground, avoiding to make eye contact as if she is displeased.
He opens his mouth, trying to reach her, to ask her what´s wrong but the Geonosian guards pull at his arms and guided him to his own post, chaining him at the wrist, once they are done with him, and focusing on Padmé, he turns to look at his Master once more, but Obi-Wan is still fighting him. Her eyes are cast down and then forward, and Anakin knows she senses him looking at him, pleading silently for her attention but she is not having it. Anakin reaches for their bond then, trying to communicate through it, to ask her if something is wrong. But when Anakin latches at it, at not the thread but the strong bridge of a bond that exist between them, stronger than any other Master-Apprentice bond that there is at the Temple, there is a giant wall that stops him cold.
Anakin´s eyes opens wide. He pulls and hits and turns against the wall, looking for an opening, for a sign, but all he gets it´s more solid rock. Obi-Wan doesn´t want him inside her head, she doesn´t even want him into their bond. She is pushing him away. For all of Obi-Wan indifference of his feelings she is never this cruel, she has never turned him away, forsaken him or made him feel that he is on his own. Anakin´s heart suddenly trembles at the thought that whatever has happened between them cannot be fixed. That even in their last moments he is to be denied.
He wants to scream, then. Wants to shout at her, to even beg to not do this to him, to not let him go without clearing the air between them, to not die in silence, to not die alone. Obi-Wan´s eyes are still looking forward but now they are almost red, and Anakin stops his momentary agony just to look at the strange image of his Master nearly in tears. He has never seen such a thing before. She has never cried, she has never showed any kind of weaknesses in front of him. Not because Obi-Wan is incapable, but because she is Jedi, and she is not used to feel vulnerable.
The loud roar of the crowd suddenly stops while one of the dignitaries of Dooku´s separatist group starts talking, announcing with joy of their execution. For all of Dooku´s boast of concern and dislike for their fates, he is looking far more pleased that he is letting them know. The people resume their cheering and shouting when his announcement it´s over and the main gates of the arena opened to the sound of inhuman sounds and chilling screams of some sorts of creatures. Anakin gives a quick glance at Padmé, making sure she is safe, which she is regardless of their imprisonment. He then sends a look at Obi-Wan, who now has a weary but outworn look on her pretty face. “I have a bad feeling about this…” he whispers to himself.
Three beasts appeared, being guided by a Geonosian soldier that pulls at them and threatens them with some sort of electric long stick, pushing the mindless creatures towards them. Before Anakin can think of something else, a sudden feel invades his senses with such a strength that he almost thinks he has felt an earthquake. But the feeling it´s not from this world, he notices, it´s from the Force itself.
It feels like a massive avalanche has taken place inside his chest, he feels pulled at the same time that he is steadied in his position in the universe. It´s the strangest of feelings, and the young Padawan swears he has never felt something like that before. It´s warm but chilling, gentle but violent, full-filling but consuming, all at the same time. And Anakin almost feels drain by the experience. He turns his head side to side, looking for an external source that could have provoke this powerful feeling; his mind leads him to turn to his left, where Obi-Wan is standing. What he finds it´s disconcerting.
Obi-Wan´s eyes stare at him from her position. Her orbs are blue, too blue, they shine against the light of the sunset and they are deeper than he remembers them to ever be. Anakin takes a moment to understand that the incredible feeling extending over his chest it´s coming from her Master. And the wall, that wide tall structure of a wall, that Obi-Wan so diligently constructed over the years, it´s unexpectedly gone. There it´s not line drawn, not a force pushing him away from her; there is no defense, and for the first time in her life, Obi-Wan is open. No barriers, no excuses, no exits. It´s just Anakin and Obi-Wan. An incredible feeling of too many emotions pours out of his Master´s end of the bond, they assault him like an enemy would, but instead of cutting, slicing and shooting him down, as his foes have tried during all his life as a Jedi, Obi-Wan only strikes him with brushes and wraps of emotions, of love. The constant sound of a firm beating fills his ears, a compact rhythm that races and slows like the breathing of his lungs, and the Jedi Apprentice realizes that it´s the beating of Obi-Wan´s heart.
Obi-Wan´s voice is almost a whisper, but Anakin hears it all the same. The Padawan is shaken back into reality once more, but the connection between them it´s far from broken. They are tied in the strangest of ways, and the shackles that holds them both are powerful and solid but not a form of prison, only unity. Obi-Wan´s words are like music to Anakin´s ears, and the young Jedi has to release a sigh of peace at the sound of it; that glorious voice, which wasn´t deep but never high, pleasant and wrapping and Anakin wants to drink it like fresh water. The alarming sound of the approaching monsters takes him out from his daydreaming, and he forces to pay attention to Obi-Wan before they are too busy fighting for their lives.
“What?” he asks, more confused that he has ever felt in his entire existence.
Obi-Wan castes her eyes down to her feet for a moment, but she raises them back at him, more determined than ever.
“Before you left Coruscant, you asked me a question.” She explains and then waits, Anakin only nods without remembering “You left without getting an answer. This is my answer.”
Anakin stays baffled for a moment, feeling too out of his element to know where the whole situation begins and ends. He wants to ask Obi-Wan what she means by that, he wants to understand what she is talking about but before he can form the question the answer flashes before his eyes.
“Do you love me Master?”
Anakin thinks he doesn´t regret anything more than he regrets asking that question in his entire life. It was the foundation of every miserable thought he has ever have since he had left Coruscant with Padmé. It was the first chain in the long circle of pain he has encountered after leaving the Temple without his Master by his side. But now, that question seems like the center of his entire universe.
“You… what… I don´t understand…” Anakin tangles his words even more. Trying to grasp any form of sanity, of comprehension.
Obi-Wan almost barks a sad laugh, her eyes are turning red again, as if she was going to burst into tears all of a sudden.
“I love you.”
And just like that Anakin is sure his entire world is crumbling down to pieces. He could have a meltdown right then if it wasn´t because the creatures were suddenly too close for his comfort. Before he can choose where to look, he sees Padmé freeing herself from her chains and escalating the pillar the previously trapped her, Anakin almost laughs hysterically at the situation. This couldn´t be happening to him. This really couldn´t.
“Take the one on the left. I´ll take the one on the right.” Obi-Wan directed at him. Anakin wants to curse at the sight of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, instead of the woman that was opening her soul to him just a few seconds ago.
“There is no time Anakin!” she barks almost upset with his tardiness and reading his mind.
She is trying to dodge the sharp claws of the Acklay that is trying to murder her and doesn´t take notice of Anakin´s sudden annoyed face.
“Oh, that´s rich!” Anakin complains while he jumps, avoiding the strong charge of the Reek that looks at him as if he was a plaything “You talking about timing!”
Anakin can hear Obi-Wan chuckling in the distance, and that makes Anakin enjoyed himself a little bit; he pulls the chain to wrap around the horn of the animal, the link brakes and the blond man jumps directly onto the creature´s back.
“I thought we didn´t fall in love” Anakin growls at her when he fights to regain a better control of the Reek that currently struggles against his hold. Obi-Wan rolls around the ground when her pillar falls at the Acklay incessant attacks and her own chain finally shatters, the female Jedi hurries to one of the spears that some of the guards have left behind when the creatures attacked them as well.
“Well, yes…” Obi-Wan has the decency to admit while she seeks to stick the spear in the beast´s neck.
Anakin glances at Padmé, who is on top of the pillar, slashing at the Nexu that it´s trying to take a bite out of her. Anakin wants to charge at the Acklay that it’s trying to kill his Master, but one quick look from Obi-Wan reminds him of his duty. Anakin growls under his breath and hauls the Reek towards the Nexu that it´s busy harassing Padmé, sending it flying some meters away.
“Are you okay?” Anakin asks Padmé.
She nods before jumping directly onto the Reek, he straightens her and secures her on his back and pulls at his chain, that it´s currently over the Reek´s neck, with a strong motion, he directs it to charge for Obi-Wan´s beast.
When he arrives though, Obi-Wan has already taken control of the situation. The Acklay was on the floor, wounded and bloodied and the Nexu he has previously beaten was attacking him mindlessly. Obi-Wan ran, auburn hair almost wild and a portion of her braids practically unmade by the commotion. The female Knight is about to climb next to Padmé, but Anakin gives her a quick look and, for once in a lifetime, Obi-Wan follows Anakin´s lead and judgment, jumping on the beast, accommodating herself in front of Anakin instead of in the back, while the Padawan rounds her with his arms to secure his hold on the chain holding the Reek.
Obi-Wan can feel the warm breath of Anakin caressing the back of her neck and left cheek, his lips close to her ear, a collection of goosebumps appear on her skin and the intimate feeling makes her body shiver.
“I missed you…”Anakin whispers next to her ear, making her blush.
“I haven´t gone anywhere” she corrects him, turning her head to see him better.
“Yes, you have” he says, his hands clench slightly, squeezing her waist in a private manner. Obi-Wan only hopes that Count Dooku is not able to see that.
Before she can stop him, Anakin nuzzles her cheek delicately, the movement it´s well hidden and not openly obvious, which Obi-Wan it´s grateful for, but it still makes her feel uncomfortable.
“I love you too, by the way…” Anakin´s voice rings beside her ear again. And Obi-Wan trembles and bites her lips barely containing her embarrassment at the young man´s words. Anakin kisses her on the lips in such a fast movement that she doesn´t see it coming, although she gets to feel it through the bond, or at least gets to feel the intention of it. But before she can gasp or outright punch him for his boldness, Anakin is already well placed on his seat, no longer looking at her but throwing daggers with his eyes at Dooku´s direction, Obi-Wan hears a weak chuckle behind them and turns slightly to look at Senator Padmé Amidala, who wears a slight smirk that soon disappears into blankness, she is also staring at Dooku´s direction with interest.
The atmosphere around the arena turns even more hostile, the crowd starts shouting louder and louder at the sight of the missing executions, Anakin seems to realize that they are surrounded by enemies left and right with no way of escaping while his blue steel eyes dart from corner to corner looking for some opening. Obi-Wan is almost busying herself with thoughts and plans to escape the pit but finds no possible way to do so without their lightsabers. Obi-Wan looks back to send a look to both Anakin and Padmé, knowing looks that ask them to be ready for whatever it happens. Padmé nods with solemnity and Anakin stares her down with a gleam in his eyes, the bond connecting them pulls at her chest with a powerful tug, and soon she can feel a warm feeling spreading all over her body but always starting at her heart.
This was the reason she told him. When Obi-Wan saw him entering the arena, she almost chocked on her own spit. She had directed the young man to send her message to the council, to stay out of this, far away from this planet. To stay focus on his mission. But the reckless Padawan came to her rescue, with Padmé following his toes at that, and Obi-Wan, who knew she could certainly die, never felt so miserable before. She has accepted her feelings towards him. She knew the exact nature of them but has equally decided to not act, to not chase whatever this connection leads them to. She would not ruin them both with the burden of these impossible dreams. But to have him so near, it proved to be too difficult, even for her to bear. So she ignored him, even when she could sense his blue eyes locked on her, when she could feel a tendril of pain through their almost muted bond.
When the beasts appeared, she knew she couldn´t ignore him anymore. They were going to die. Die together but completely alone. She couldn´t disappear from this existence without telling him the truth, she decided. She couldn´t continue to build walls between them two, and he deserve to know, even if it was at their last moments, that he was loved, that he was needed. That she needed him. With a swift movement, Obi-Wan opened the gates that she so carefully arranged and trapped her heart in and allowed for their bond to flow with all her emotions and thoughts, with every last drop of feel that she has ever had. She loved him, and she told him so. And if it wasn´t because those monsters where ready to kill them both, she could have told him so much more.
They were ready to die now, but this time around, it wasn´t on their own, they were together. Finally together. And if they join the Force, it will have to receive them both with their hands clasped tight. Obi-Wan closed her eyes, sending a calming wave through their bond, letting Anakin know that she was there. Anakin looked at her with a smile on his eyes but his face was serious, stoic. He understood just fine. Obi-Wan turned back at the arena, this time ready to face whatever it was meant to happen.
As much as they were ready to part, it seemed that the Force had different plans for them. Suddenly, in the archducal box where Dooku is busy staring down at them appears the familiar figure of Master Windu, and the female Knight can almost feel herself relaxing at his presence. A repetitive hiss of lightsabers being turned on fills the arena from all directions and both Anakin and Obi-Wan smirk at the sight of the multiples green and blue lights of the Jedi traditional weapons being pulled. Dooku and Master Windu seemed to be interchanging small talk but at Dooku´s quick sign an army of battle droids appears from the gates of the arena, and Anakin tenses at the sight of being outnumber and unarmed, he sends a quick look at Padmé to make sure she still safe. The Geonosians that were, until that moment, enjoying the spectacle, fly away from the pit, scared, and numerous Jedi Knights jump into the arena with them, trying to hold each other´s backs and cover as much ground as they possibly can.
“You certainly know how to put a show, Obi”
Obi-Wan turns at the sound of that familiar voice, just to find her dear friend Garen grinning at her from the ground. The sight of her friend calms her down for a moment and brings joy to her eyes.
“And you always manage to come to rescue me, Garen” she retorts.
“I live to serve, my oldest friend” he bows while throwing a spare lightsaber at her direction and then doing the same with Anakin, who catches it with glee.
The sound of sudden blaster bolts driving through the air, spooks the Reek and makes the beast throws them to the ground. Padmé rushes for a discarded blaster that lays abandoned on the ground, and Obi-Wan quickly engages in a secure Soresu position, ready to fight the bolts and trying to keep Padmé well covered that´s when she notices Anakin close to her back.
“Anakin, stay with Padmé. Protect her at all costs, that it´s your mission after all.” She orders, taking back some control from the strange exchange they just had during the beast ride. Anakin sends her a look of apprehension but he nods without arguing and positions himself closer to Padmé instead.
Here it starts a dance all too familiar for them. Obi-Wan slashes through droids and makes an effort to deviate blasters bolts, trying to bounce the shots back to her attackers just to save herself the effort to chase them down until her lightsaber has ran them through. Anakin mimics her with his own skill and speed; if the young man is anything it´s a truly gifted warrior and these kind of situations are his specialty. Padmé it´s good at dodging the firings without much help but after a while looks for some protection under one fallen cart that it´s forgotten and turn to a side somewhere inside the pitch. Anakin runs to her, always keeping himself close for her protection.
After a while, she finds herself back to back with Master Windu and she smirks at the presence of her colleague.
“Someone´s got to shut down these droids” she says in all honesty.
“Don´t worry!” Mace answers while he battles away some blasters sent at his direction “It´s being taken care of”
Mace then runs forward to dispatch some group of droids that dare to aim to one of the greatest members of the Council and Obi-Wan makes a job to do the same. Fighting it´s just fine, by the Knight standards, as much as Jedi are peacekeepers, there are certainly no more capable fighters in the entire galaxy that can match the prowess of a well-trained Jedi Knight, and all that plays to their favor, but battling it´s also exhausting, and being out number as they are, they can´t help but found themselves cornered into the center of the arena. Soon they see that the battle doesn´t get easier by the passing of the time and the slashes of their lightsabers, but the opposite, more droids are drawn in, and the Jedi warriors are inconveniently trapped in a circle of their own numbers.
“Master Windu!” Dooku shouts from his high position, looking down at them as if they were insects at his feet.
The fire ceases and they are all forced to look up to the ex-Jedi, as if he was some kind of deity that requested sacrifice.
“You have fought gallantly. Worthy of recognition in the history archives of the Jedi Order. Now it´s finished. Surrender, and your lives will be spared.”
The man speaks as a diplomat, but his manners do not compensate the weight of his insults, as do not masquerade them.
“We will not be hostages for you to barter with, Dooku.” Mace replies with his usual sense of finality.
“Then, I´m sorry, my Old friend.” The look of sadness over his face almost makes Obi-Wan think he will burst into a river of cries, even though she rationally knows that to be impossible for a villain of his caliber. “You will have to be destroyed.”
Anakin growls at that, the droids raise his arms, pointing his blasters at their forms, and they all raise their own lightsabers in answer, always ready to fight back the enemy. Before Dooku can pull down his arm in sign of charge a loud sound of landing shuttles coming closer to them breaks the silence.
The Jedi turn their heads up to see shuttles and commanding ships coming down and hovering between them, armed soldiers in white armour appear with elegancy, well-armed and in positions of attack. In one of the Gunships, Yoda stands with a thoughtful façade on his face. A hellstorm of laserfire rains over them all, but the shields created by the shuttles deflects them, protecting the Jedi from danger.
“Come on, hurry!” Yoda directs them all, and Obi-Wan is all too happy to follow his command.
Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padmé get inside one of the shuttles full with clone soldiers. They grab at the secure handles that hang from the roof of the shuttles, as the ship flies away from the pit and into the desert, Obi-Wan almost gasps at the sight of smoke and battle. A collection of droids, troopers, ships and war tanks fill both the ground and the air. The only time she has ever seen so many conflict and in such a scale was during the Stark Hyperspace War during her time as Qui-Gon´s Padawan.
By the corner of her eye, Obi-Wan stares at Master Yoda´s shuttle, it´s a little ahead from hers and they follow it until it lowers down into one improvised small operational base made by the clones to speak with, what she judges, to be a commander.
“Low the ship” Kenobi orders to the clone pilot.
When they get low and onto the ground, Obi-Wan doesn´t waste any time into running towards Master Yoda. She can sense Anakin intrigued by her actions and assessing the situation before following on her steps.
“Master Yoda!” she calls when she finally catches up with him.
“Knight Kenobi…” he salutes with the shadow of a smile.
“Master, I request permission to follow Dooku” she says, she can feel Anakin tensing at her back and Padmé only looks down at the situation.
Yoda´s eye widen for a fraction of a second in sign of surprise and mediates her petition for a moment before answering.
“Too difficult this task is, Knight Kenobi” Yoda corrects her.
“I know, Master. But if we do not face him he will escape” she tries to reason.
Yoda seems to meditate this even harder, he seems to sense something that Obi-Wan doesn´t fully know, as is his usual habit, but before the female Jedi could grow exasperated with his long pause, he raises his head to stare at her.
“Go, you can” he allows “But careful, you be…” he requests with something close of resignation on his features. Obi-Wan smiles in reassurance before nodding.
“Yes, Master. Thank you” she bows with respect before rushing to her shuttle.
“Wait, Obi-Wan, I´ll go with you!” Anakin announces as he runs after her.
Obi-Wan stops on her steps and turns to extend her arm, pushing her palm against the firm chest of her apprentice, stopping him on his tracks.
“No, Anakin” she bites out “You stay, your mission it´s to protect Padmé. Stay behind.”
Obi-Wan´s statement holds truth, but the real reason behind her command it´s completely different. Obi-Wan would not allow her student to follow her into possible dead. He is too young, too explosive, too unexperienced and Dooku used to be a Jedi, a Master. She doubts she can win that fight, and she reasonably knows that she needs Anakin´s help to do so, but this was a fight she couldn´t refuse. This man was Qui-Gon´s Master. And he had started a larger treason and possibly an intergalactic war. All the other Jedi were busy immersed in the battle, her duty it´s to finish her mission, to follow that dangerous man and hold him back until Master Yoda or Master Windu can come and finish the job.
“Master!” Anakin yells, angry and almost pushing Obi-Wan back with the force of his muscles “I will not leave you alone! You cannot ask me to…”
“I can and I do!” she barks back “You stay behind. You have a Senator to protect and I have a fugitive to capture. You are needed here and my duty it´s elsewhere, do as you are bid.” She knows she is being harsh but she also knows the young student won´t take anything less than that.
“No buts! This is an order, Padawan. Do as you are told.”
Before he can refutes her once more, something she feels through the bond before he can form the words and gets them out of his mouth, Obi-Wan concentrates her mind into the Force and liberates a strong push through her palm, sending Anakin flying just a couple of meters away from her, not hurting him, but throwing him onto the sand. Immediately, the ship elevates and Obi-Wan stares at him from the highs, Anakin it´s baffled and more than a little insulted.
“I´m sorry” she sends through the bond before closing it, trying to hide her presence and to not be followed.
Anakin looks at her shuttle leaves towards Dooku´s trace, who has flied off as the troopers invaded the warzone since the arena. The Padawan stands hurried with a surprise look on his features, Obi-Wan last words sound sad and feel almost tragic, as if she is sending a goodbye. Anakin nearly cries a no through the air, to beg her to return to his arms, where she is safe, where he will keep her safe. She has confessed her feelings to him, she has told him she loved him and he could feel her candor and honesty through their bond. He will never let her go. Never again.
Padmé whistles at him from a ship, Anakin looks at her direction with unmasked wonder, the politician has already secure a gunship full of troopers for them to follow his endangered Master. Anakin rushes to her but stops at the edge of it to look at Master Yoda, who has watched the whole exchange. He almost feels ashamed that he is disobeying clear orders from his Master in front of the head of the Order himself.
“Go. Follow her, you must” Yoda says to him in a serious note “your assistance, she will need.”
That it´s all Anakin requires to board the ship and giving a quick command to the pilot to follow the ship of his Master.
They travel fast after that, but the journey seems to be perilous and shaky at the constants turns and shunting they are force to make to dodge canons, blasters shots and attacks from all directions. Anakin concentrates in the Force signature of his Master, it´s barely there for him to sense. Obi-Wan has closed the bond, surely so Anakin can´t follow her if he wanted to. Oh, how well his Master knew him. But there is something his Master ignores as well, when she opened the bond to him while they were trapped in the arena, she tore every wall, every defense she ever built through their years together, leaving nothing in his way to keep him away from her. Blocking him and keeping him out of the bond won´t result as easy as it did on years past, now he had access to that bond too and he could see through her defenses if he tried hard enough, especially if she was as distracted and as preoccupied as she appeared to be and if he is as focused as he was.
There, the trace of his Master is clear and certain, she won´t escape, no matter how fast she decides to fly away.
Before he can rejoice to his findings, the shuttles dodges a close shot from the enemy, the movement it´s so violent that Anakin almost has to use the Force to hold himself and keep his hand at the handle he was grasping. Padmé, though, it´s not so lucky. She screams in surprise and falls off the ship from one of the open sides, alongside a soldier.
“Pilot! Go back! Put the ship down!” he requests.
He wants to follow his Master to not waste more time and allow her to put herself in danger´s way without him by her side, but he cannot simply forsake Padmé. She was important too. She was his friend, and he swore he would protect her, as much as he has promised to protect Obi-Wan.
The ship slows down and returns in another brusque move, but they managed to approach Padmé, who is slowly standing up from the sand dune she has fallen onto.
“Padmé! Are you alright?” he asks as fast as he approaches her and sees her groaning at her fall.
“Yes, Annie. I think I´m fine” she reassures him, smiling painfully.
Anakin helps her up and turns to see what it´s left to see of Obi-Wan´s ship, it´s too far now, and even when he can still locate her through the Force, he knows it will take a while to catch up with her. He only hopes that she is alive by the time he gets there.
Obi-Wan ship lands parks outside one Geonosian tower where Dooku has gotten inside. The Knight runs and gives a command to the accompanying troopers to stay by the ship and guard the entrance.
When she found the hangar, Dooku it´s about to leave in a Sail Ship, but he looks at her and seems to halt his escape to face her.
“Obi-Wan…” Dooku seems to savor her name “you are truly persistent, my friend.”
“I am most certainly not your friend” Obi-Wan retorts with sharp eyes.
“In another life, I could even call you my Grandpadawan” he says leisurely, stepping around the hangar with slow stances, Obi-Wan knows he is measuring her up. But for all the waste of time, she welcomes the stalling, that will give Master Yoda more time to send someone to her aid.
“I don´t need the reminder” she mutters, the sole thought that this vile man was the Master of Qui-Gon makes her stomach clench.
“You remind me of him” Dooku says in a low comment, almost a whisper, and it´s told in such a sad manner that Obi-Wan doesn´t know if she wants to punch him in the face or simply sob. “You have his spirit, although I must say you lack his vision.”
“Master Jinn would have never joined you!” she barks, turning on the lightsaber that Garen had giving her sooner.
“I still remember the day when they brought you in, you were so small and young, couldn´t be possibly older than one standard year. So strong in the Force, and yet…” he cuts himself off, as if he has a sudden change of perspective. “Well, it hardly matters, I can see that there is no point into trying to sway you to my side, I believe?”
The dark sider says this with certainly but it’s still a question. For all his reassurance on himself he stills holds some hope that Obi-Wan would turn her alliance from the Order and the Republic to him. Not in a million years.
“I don´t think so” she responds.
With a heavy sight, Dooku pulls his lightsaber from behind his belt, showing a curve hilt colored in a perfect shining strips of black and silver. Obi-Wan attacks first.
Obi-Wan is recognized as one of the best warriors of the Order, but Dooku has far more experience, and it shows. His blocks and blows are graceful, and while Obi-Wan struggles to follow him and to try to strike him down, the elderly man doesn´t even sweat when he swings his wrist, interrupting every slash that Obi-Wan makes. Kenobi would be inclined to use Soresu, her best form, but Dooku´s natural Makashi it´s far too defensive and elegant to permit it. After all, the third form it´s defensive in character, it seeks to wait for his opponent to tire up and Dooku it´s not offensive like Anakin is. He waits. He asses. He is like a fortress and a blade all at the same time.
The female Knight slashes and moves, avoiding Dooku´s elegant strokes, they are short and sharp and the Jedi struggles not to find herself into the end on one of his precise attacks.
“Master Kenobi, you disappoint me. Yoda holds you in such high esteem.”
He is mocking her now. As well-mannered and passive as the man pretends to be, he is clearly arrogant as well. And it irritates Obi-Wan to no end.
“Surely you can do better?” he wonders with false curiosity.
Obi-Wan slashes in response and Dooku smirks at her easy to tempt temperament. Obi-Wan dodges another stroke that it was almost designed to get through her chest and pants with exhaustion. Dooku looks unmoved and pristine, as if he wasn´t fighting at all.
“Come, come. Master Kenobi” he mocks again, as if her name was hilarious “Put me out of my misery.”
Obi-Wan takes a deep breath and with a new grip on her lightsaber she thrust again, starting their dance once more. She almost manages to draw Dooku back and gain an upper hand but the man quickly retakes control of the battle. Now, the Dark Jedi gets offensive and slashes towards her without mercy and Obi-Wan struggles to defend herself. In a quick movement, Dooku wounds her left arm and tight, a successive blow that makes her fall to the ground and growl in agony at the burns over her body.
The female Knight just manages to look up at the red blade that it´s about to cut her down when a flash of green gets in the way and stops Dooku´s blow from finishing her off.
Both Obi-Wan and Dooku look up to meet the owner of such lightsaber and find themselves equally surprise to see Anakin Skywalker there, gripping the hilt and staring at the Dark Jedi with fire in his eyes.
“That´s brave of you. But foolish, boy.” The Count points out with an amused smile. “I like to think you don´t wish to perish as well…”
“Take your lightsaber away from her…” Anakin growls with a menacing tone.
Dooku just smirks and moves his weapon away, as requested, but doesn´t withdraws his defensive position.
“Anakin…” she gasps, surprised.
“Shh” he sooths her from his position, not taking his eyes away from the enemy “I got it, Master. I will protect you, I promise. He will not hurt you again.” His words are an oath, she realizes, told with a little more than rage and fury, but also devotion and love. Obi-Wan can feel a wave of affection traveling the bond until it washes over her like a warm blanket.
Anakin readjusts his hold onto the weapon and charges against Dooku without second’s thoughts, the older man already waiting his move.
Obi-Wan wishes she can follow every strike and every movement but she is only able to hear to sound of blade against blade from her distance, a cutting hissing noise that has her heart beating and trembling, she feels lightheaded all of a sudden, afraid without measure for Anakin´s fate. She forces herself to raise her head, to see the battle, and in a quick stroke, Anakin manages to slightly wound Dooku on the arm.
“You have unusual powers, young Padawan. But not enough to save you” The dark sider promises.
Anakin flashes an arrogant smile of his and Obi-Wan quickly thinks in a way to help him.
“Anakin!” she screams.
Obi-Wan uses the Force to call to her fallen lightsaber and manages to throw it to Anakin´s direction with a quick impulse, Anakin senses her intention without need to look back at her and catches it with his left hand perfectly well.
Now with two lightsabers, Anakin engages Dooku using Jar´Kai. It has never been Anakin´s strongest features but neither it´s defensive stance, and if he is to battle a Sith Lord, he needs all the help he can get, the protection of a second blade maintains Obi-Wan hope that he will be better prepared for battle.
Anakin and Dooku turn and move all over the place, farther away from her, she thinks this is Anakin´s strategy, trying to keep her away from the trouble, but she is still able to see the two of them slashing at each other. In one single stroke, Dooku sends one of Anakin´s blades away from his hand and that distracts the Padawan enough for Dooku to cut his right arm in one swift motion. Anakin is thrown away in a force push, landing, conveniently, at Obi-Wan´s feet.
The boy it´s not unconscious and it´s not screaming nor whimpering in pain, but she can feel him shaking, shocked.
Obi-Wan wants to push herself to him, to take him into her arms and embrace him, protect him from Dooku´s clutches, who surely will come to kill them both. Obi-Wan would be damned if she allows that man to hurt Anakin more than he has already had.
Before she can attempt to move, she senses Master Yoda approaching, and with one look she confirms her suspicions. The tiny Jedi appears with a meditative look on his face, and gives once glance at his fallen students, furrowing his brow with an uncharacteristic expression of annoyance.
“Master Yoda. At least we shall know who is the most powerful.” Dooku teases, arrogant and fearless.
“Count Dooku. No interest in contest, do I have.”
Without other words to be told they start to move around to fight, Yoda graceful Ataru movements are perfectly attuned and accurate, not leaving opening to weaknesses.
Obi-Wan wishes to put more attention to the fight but she needs to see after Anakin, to make sure he is fine and well. The female Jedi pulls her broken body over into a sitting position despite the pain of her arm and leg, Anakin, who was then cushioned on her boots, moves at her activity, and his head falls to the ground with a soft hollow noise. Anakin groans at the pain.
“I´m sorry, I´m so sorry!” she hurries over him, taking his lovely face with both her hands, examining his face and chest for alternate wounds.
His eyes are out of focus and he is sweating cold, slightly shaking, and Obi-Wan wants nothing more but to trap him in her arms, to kiss his pain away and hold him to never let him go. She knows she can´t, even with Yoda distracted by the fighting, she knows that it´s too risky to do so, but she still hopes to, anyway. Her palm travels down his face, trying to call his attention back to her, to reality. But the boy seems too shaken by the experience to notice, and Obi-Wan eyes casts down at the sight of his missing arm. Obi-Wan moans with terror at the severed limb, not knowing how Anakin would react to the wound when he gets better.
Suddenly a terrible noise befalls them, and Anakin gasps at it, finally getting out of his trance. A crane of the hangar falls upon them, and Obi-Wan is helpless but to watch, too slow to react to it, Yoda stops it with the Force and Obi-Wan turns to see Dooku leaving and getting into his Sail Ship. Yoda seems to struggle with the immensity of the task and Obi-Wan quickly concentrates into helping him carry the weight of the heavy structure. It works. With her help, Yoda sends the crane to the ground, away from Anakin´s and Obi-Wan´s form.
Anakin gasps once again, sensing the plight, Obi-Wan turns once more to cradle his face as if he was a precious creature. He sees her from between his eye lashes, he thinks how beautiful without measure she is, even with her flushed face, her trembling lips, her teary eyes and her braids half undone. She is beautiful. For all her coldness and façade of perfection, she is human too, he realizes as well. She trembles, and worries, and wants and loves. She is capable of committing mistakes and of deceiving. Of making a poor man think he is not welcome inside her heart, when he is actually the center of it. He knows he must be upset by that, by everything, really. But he can only feel able to be consumed by her love. He wants to laugh then, through his pain and his emptiness, he wants to burst into giggles like a crazy child. Obi-Wan doesn´t stop caressing him, moving her lips with “I´m sorry´s” and “Don´t leave me´s” and he doesn´t want her to stop, to never stop. He wants her like this; loving and caring and focused on him like he is the center of the Universe.
Obi-Wan calls his name over and over and she almost cries at his appearance and his broken smile, from the distance she can hear Padmé arriving and gasp in horror at the scene, at Anakin´s body thrown down at the floor, almost lifeless. She comes with troopers at her side and Yoda approaches him both with his usual concern as well.
But Obi-Wan doesn´t pay attention, at the moment there is only Anakin, and if she was a little more bold and foolish she would be kissing him as well.
Anakin feels himself losing consciousness fast, everything turns black and distant, but he smiles without care, because between the pain on his right arm, and the noise and confusion of his surroundings, he has never felt more alive. Because the last thing he sees before fainting it´s Obi-Wan´s beautiful face, with her wonderful grey eyes, shining almost blue with so much emotion, and her voice, her enchanting musical voice, telling him “I love you”.
So, long chapter this time. And our beloved couple finally reunites and surprise, surprise, a confession too!
So now that missunderstandings and secrets are out of the way, we just have one more chapter to go to finish this part of the series. The last chapter will be posted here during the weekend.
Also, I´ve been reading your reviews and I appreciate your help with the flower´s name. I will reveal the name in the next chapter but please, keep posting names for the flowers if you come up with new ones :)
Chapter 9: Episode 2: Part 8
And end of a life, and the beginning of a new one.
Anakin opened his eyes to a blinding white light. Through the confusion of uncertainty, he woke up to find that he didn´t have an arm. His brain fought to tell him he already knew this, but the surprise of finding a mechanical limb instead of a flesh one still lingered in his mind for a few minutes. He was inside the healers ward at the Jedi Temple. He recognized the walls and floors almost as much as he remind his owns. He wouldn´t say he was a constant visitor but he wasn´t strange to these cots either.
A part of him hoped that he would wake up with the same sight he had before passing out, looking up at the beautiful face of his Master. Obi-Wan, however, was nowhere to be seen. She wasn´t over him, of course, but she wasn´t beside him either. He was completely alone. Before he could voice his complains to the walls, or even to himself, the door hissed opened with Bant, one of Obi-Wan´s oldest friends, entering with a smile at his healthy appearance. She quickly explained what has transpired: The “Clone Wars”, as they have now named them, have begun, and ever since that moment, the Temple has been busy receiving Senators of the Republic and being called to take a major role into the military conflict. Just with that, Anakin knew why the absence of his Master by his side. Obi-Wan would have surely been one of the firsts to be called upon by the Council and the Republic, even when she is only a Knight, the female Jedi was widely known to be one of the best diplomats of the Temple. She was good with talking her way out of things and reaching solutions without even having to draw out her lightsaber. They will need her to break negotiations as soon as possible, and, even when Obi-Wan has voiced her disgust with dealing with politics and politicians, she was, by far, one of the best ones at them, and, funny enough, one of the most liked Jedi by the Senators too. She never liked when he went to visit the Chancellor, even when the man has been nothing but kind to Anakin, she always found it distrusting and too convenient. He would never understand her reasoning.
Once he was cleared of his rest he rushed out looking for his Master, he needed to talk things out, as soon as possible, but when he entered their shared quarters, they were empty. So he was right after all, Obi-Wan had to be busy tending some business with the Council. He decided to stay and wait for his Master to show up, she eventually had to come home after all; instead of wasting his time, he started working with getting used to his new prosthetic, as well as making some fixes here and there. Bant has recommended some basic exercise and easy movements, but after a while of proving, he decided that this new arm of his won´t do. He locked himself in his room, taking up with him only the necessary pieces and tools to work into a whole new model for himself.
Before Anakin could register how much time has passed by, it has already been more than four hours, his new arm looks fantastic, though. The mechno-arm was fitted perfectly, he decided that he didn´t want any of that synthskin they offered him once he got out of his room at the healers ward, he wasn´t ashamed of his new extremity nor too shocked, probably they thought he would be a bit wary of wearing a prosthetic arm instead of having a flesh one, that it will make him feel self-conscious, but the apprentice was already used and fond of droids and machines to actually feel sorrow about it, sure, he would probably like to keep the arm he was born with but he didn´t feel the loss of it as a flaw, more like a badge of honor.
When he was set and ready, he found himself roaming the halls of the Temple, and as he expected, the place was buzzing with energy and too many people wondering about. He inspected the many faces, some people he recognized, some of them were unknown, but he didn´t really care. All that he was looking for was for grey deep eyes and auburn braided hair. At the end, he didn´t found none of those things. Not in the training grounds, not in the room of the Thousand Fountains, not in the healers ward, not in the youngling classrooms, not in the many gardens or the meditations mats, Obi-Wan Kenobi has simply vanished. With a quick growl, Anakin focused in the distinctive Force Signature of Obi-Wan, she was like a powerful beacon of light through even the shiniest and greatest highlights of the other Jedi ones, it was also one of the first things he memorized when he started to learn about the Force when he was a kid. The feel and texture of his Master Force Signature was too many times his comfort and lifeline, he would follow it and recognize it anywhere.
Before he could detect her, however, a delicate touch took him out of his search. Anakin turned to find Padmé beside him, smiling up to him warmly.
“Anakin…” she said softly “I went to visit you at the healers ward, they said you were gone since the morning.”
“I woke up and I was fine” he responded with a smile, overjoyed to see her safe. “I am happy you are well.”
“Thanks to you and Master Kenobi, actually” she smiled back, reassuring him and thanking him all the same.
“Have you seen her?” he asked, rushed at the mention of her Master´s name. “I´ve been trying to find her. No such luck, though.”
Padmé seemed to think it over for a short while before responding.
“I know that the Council has needed her presence since we arrived from Geonosis, you were unconscious then; it was just a day ago.”
Anakin´s face fell, she apparently was unavailable.
“…But I don´t think you have to worry about finding her, Annie” she muttered.
“Well, I have to go back to Naboo, and the Council has appointed for you and Master Kenobi to take me back; after all, it was your mission to keep me safe” Padmé reminded him with a smile.
The Council will send them both? Now, that was a surprise. He would think he was the only one needed for such a simple job. Padmé seemed to read his mind and grinned with a knowing look on her face.
“I requested her presence too” she explained “they intended for you to take me home, but I insisted that I wanted to discuss some things with Obi-Wan, so they allow her to come along.”
Padmé was truly an angel, Anakin has decided.
“And, do you?” Anakin smirked while starting to walk alongside with her. She was wearing a discreet brown dress, it was heavy and she had to use her tiny hands to grab it and not trip with the fabric. “Discuss things with her, I mean…”
Padmé smiled with understanding.
“I do, believe it or not” she admitted.
They started talking about random things then, Anakin wanted to stay with Padmé as much as he could, she was going off-planet and he felt she was one of the few friends he really had, he would miss her dearly. A couple of hours passed, and just as Padmé has promised, Master Windu approached him to comment him of his mission to escort the Senator back to her homeplanet. He almost asked for his Master´s presence but he was beaten at it by the man himself. Windu let him know that Master Obi-Wan would take a different shuttle to Naboo, since she was too busy dealing with some Senator and safety measures for the Republican Senate. There was a tiny moment when he felt like protesting, it was unfair for him to be kept away from his Master for so long, she hasn´t even come to release him from the healers when he woke up, it wasn´t that he needed the supervising or the attention of his Master, he wasn´t a youngling anymore. But there was an important talk that they need to sort through. There was too much left unsaid and it killed him to not know where they stand.
Anakin made the travel to Naboo with only Obi-Wan in his mind. He spent every minute recalling the things she said in the arena. He was so happy that he she came to him, opened, honest and so willing to admit her own feelings, but at the same time, he remembers her red eyes at the mention of the words, her uncomfortable stare and shy movements when he touched her, when he told her he loved her back. He knew that something was amiss, he knew that she still feel insecure about them, together. And he wanted to breach that distance before the separation grew wider.
During his stay at the blue and green planet that he loved more than any other in the galaxy, he found himself not just making sure that Padmé arrived safely at her home, but he actually followed her around, escorting and guarding her during a series of meetings and diplomatic discussions with the people of her planet, of her queen and politicians. He has never been the greatest of diplomats, even when Jedi were supposed to be, he had no patience for it, and he found wielding a lightsaber much more natural than stating points and dictate rhetoric in a bunch of treaties. That was more Obi-Wan´s specialty, not his. So half way through this meetings he was already bored out of his mind, and begging to be left to his own devices, even then, though, he listened closely, since most of the talk was about the Clone Wars, and if he was going to be called into fighting a war for the Republic, at least, he got to know why he was fighting for.
When another tedious meeting ended, Anakin walked out of the room while Padmé talked with some ambassador about the themes exposed inside the room, as if they hadn´t talked enough about it already, his neck ached for maintaining the same position for almost three hours, and he was busy cracking his bones and flexing his muscles when the beautiful melodic voice of Padmé took him out of his musings.
“Anakin” she called.
The Jedi only turned to stare at her, suddenly attentive.
“I think if you walk until the end of that corridor and turn to your right, you will be finding what you are looking for” she offered with kindness.
Anakin stared at her with confusing eyes, for a moment ignorant of what she meant. But when his brain caught up with her underlying point, he almost rushed his way out of the place. Padmé giggled and turned to talk some more with some other people.
Anakin walked in the fastest pace he could without looking ridiculous, his eyes darting from one extreme to another, trying to locate the possible figure of his Master just standing by, he reached the end of the corridor inside the massive Palace of Naboo without much complications, he turned to the right, as instructed, and found himself entering through a room, the door wasn´t closed but it wasn´t wide open either and he almost felt shy for walking around as if he owned the place. There, he found what Padmé described as what he was looking for.
Obi-Wan was staring at the colorful garden from the gigantic window of the elegant room, invested on the view in the middle of the day. She wasn´t wearing her usual cream colored robes, but light brown tunics with even darker leggings underneath, her hair was braided carefully in a crown with a high bun and a pretty brooch in the shape of two silver wings, she usually didn´t bother with that unless she had to do some important diplomatic meeting and needed to look the part.
Anakin approached her like a possessed creature, so insecure of what he was to do next, for all his talk of wanting to see her, to have her close, now that he finally has his wish, he didn´t know what to made of it. He was speechless and almost paralyzed even when all he wanted to do was to run to her, to hold her, to kiss her. Obi-Wan´s head turned, quickly sensing his presence in the Force and that cause him to just stop to smile at her in sign of a welcoming, bringing tears to his own eyes at the sight of her gracious beautiful face. She had always been the prettiest woman he had ever seen, at least in his eyes, but to have the knowledge that his feelings were answered back with almost the same vehemence, made her seem more like an angel than an actual person. He ran to her then. Wild, ferocious, without any kind of restrictions or shame. She was his and he was hers. Nothing else matters.
The minute he reached her, his arms embraced her with a feeling of longing; pressing her thin elegant body against his with devotion, her head nestled in the crook of his neck like a perfect piece that completed an intricate puzzle. Anakin´s arms enclosed her with so much strength but trying hard not to hurt her, and from this high he appreciated the effort she put into her braids, for now he could see her showing her smooth white slender neck on plain sight. Anakin could smell the sweet perfume of her scent on her skin and it made him growl in disappointment when she immediately tried to put some distance between them.
“Anakin, you are crying...” she commented worried, reaching her right hand to dry the lone drop that fell from his eye, ready to run across his cheek.
Anakin laughed with joy and surprise, grasping her hand in his.
“I´m sorry, Master. I´m just too happy right now.”
Obi-Wan´s eyes shined with tenderness. “I missed you too…”
Anakin pulled her against him once more, kissing her full on the lips. He was unable to contain himself; he was delirious, drunk with happiness and love. He didn´t care if kriffing Mace Windu caught them and exile them both from the Order, he could do that and more for all he cared, he would follow Obi-Wan across the stars if needed, his place was beside her and his allegiance it only belonged to her.
Obi-Wan didn´t push him away this time, she gripped his arms with apprehension, unsure and uncomfortable with the public demonstration of affection. Her eyes were open, trying to see if there was someone hidden in the shadows by the corner of her eyes. She waited patiently until he was done tasting her lips, moving them against hers. He would never be done with kissing her but he separated nonetheless, holding her brow with his.
“I love you, I love you, I love you…” he chanted like a thirsty man begging for water, because then, just right then, he realized he had never said it right. He has told her he adored her, he wanted her, he needed her, he has thought of her beauty and her grace, how it felt like heaven when he kissed her, how he reciprocated her confession in the arena of Geonosis, but he has never just said he loved her. And now, it was the only thing he wanted her to hear coming from his lips for their entire life.
“Anakin, Anakin…” she pleaded, voice sounding pained and closer to agony than actual affection “My sweet poor boy…”
He knew that tone. He knew what she was going to say. She would try to fix the situation, to find a way to make him see that whatever there was already brewing between them was not possible, it was not right. But he was past such nonsense, he would not allow her to waste her breath trying to convince him of something that he was not capable to do. Of pretending that they were not meant to be together like this: Lips against lips, hands tied together like a perfect match.
“I love you, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and there is nothing that you can say, there is nothing you can do to change that, so do us both a favor and give up. Give up and just kiss me.” He said capturing her lips once again.
This time, Obi-Wan responded with the same intensity, her lips moved against his own in perfect synchrony, her hands reached to frame his face with a loving touch. They were both getting out of breath, lost forever in the passion of the action, limbs grasping skin and fabric with desperation. After a while, they both separated again, this time the Jedi Knight positioned her head on his chest, catching her breath and trying to hold her body that sagged against his, suddenly tired of the touch that she denied herself for so long.
“We can´t do this, we really shouldn´t do this…” Obi-Wan cried while holding his Tabard into fists. Anakin knew she wasn´t talking to him, it was to herself, the conflict between duty and love still raging inside her.
“I love you” he confessed again, smiling despite the woman´s words.
“Shut up!” she rasped with sudden anger.
“I love you” he repeated.
She only shook her head over his chest, hands still busy with holding the clothes, body trembling with the storm of emotions crashing over her feminine body like violent waves that strike the shore of the sea. Anakin held her because he loved her, because he understood. He knew that she cared, even if he didn´t, about this damned duty that tided her down to ridiculous traditions, he knew that she grew by the Code, he knew that she have never allowed herself this, and he was grateful, he was eternally grateful that she did. So he held her, he allow her to cry if she wanted to, to feel sorry if she needed to, as long as she was there, with him.
“You have ruined me…” her voice was but a whisper. “Ruined me forever, so thoughtfully and so deeply that I don´t know if I could ever be myself anymore…”
It has to be the saddest thing that someone has ever muttered but the words were said with so much love, pained and fragile love, but love nonetheless. The thought of her being moved from her very foundations just by the strength of their love made him feel high in his own body. And it´s in that same moment, that his elevated conscience enlightens him with, what it has to be, the best and worst idea that he has ever had.
“Marry me…” he suddenly said. Didn´t ask, asking held the implication of refusal, he just said it. Because he wanted just that. For her to actually belong to him, to him actually belong to her.
She pushed him away then, looking him in the eyes with those stormy grey orbs, looking for a sign of trickery.
“You are crazy…” she muttered, eyes weren´t wide with surprise, as he thought they would be. They were shining with contained fury. Oh, she thought he was playing with her.
“For real…” he promised “Marry me, now, right before we leave Naboo. No one has to know. Just the two of us, together for all that´s worth.”
“Careful, child” she warned, the tone was the one she used every time he overstepped boundaries, the one she crafted to scold him into obedience but her eyes were shining with a completely different light. There was no condescendence anymore, she wasn´t looking down at him like she used to do when they both fullfilled their roles of Master and Padawan. This was Obi-Wan Kenobi speaking with Anakin Skywalker. He loved it. “You are venturing into the forbidden” she finished with a lifted eyebrow.
“We are already neck deep into prohibition, Master” He insisted with a touch of humor. “Surely an inch lower would not finish sinking us down.”
Obi-Wan pushed at his chest with a strong knock that contained no violence, only the objective of separating herself from him with incredulity.
“You are not talking about an inch anymore, Anakin, but a damned mile” she shook her head, desperate to let him know that what he proposed was unthinkable.
“I love you, and you love me…” Anakin grinned in response at her snort “It´s ridiculous to deny each other this happiness. And do not start with the attachment rule, please, I have heard that speech enough to last me a lifetime.” He requested the moment she opened her mouth to lecture him about it.
Obi-Wan was still not convinced. “It seems that not enough of a times for you seem to still not grasp the concept of it being prohibited, Padawan.” She denied him, looking out of the window “I´m sorry but I cannot, in good conscience, do that. And it´s even wrong for you to ask.”
Anakin would not let her get away that easily though, he grasped her right arm to pull her back, closer to him. His blue eyes melting into the sudden shade of green of hers, that remarked she felt something akin to fear. “You have wronged me, Master…” he accused without anger, only with sudden sadness “…every time you made me believe that my feelings were one sided, every time that I needed you and you were not there, like you promised you would be. I lost my mother and you enchanted me since I was a child only to leave me heartbroken, both things you knew beforehand that were troubling me. And you did nothing.”
Obi-Wan´s eyes filled with pain and disbelief. Anakin knew he was manipulating her, a part of him knew that it was extensively, completely wrong. He couldn´t do that to a person he claimed to love that much. But he had lost too many important people already. Qui-Gon, his mother, his possible life with Padmé, even his desire to live in Naboo, all those things were no longer possible for him. The only thing left the he could still rescue, keep at his side, was this love. He wouldn´t be the fool who let that go as well.
“I could help you with that” a feminine soft voice offered from the opened door, interrupting the silent and terrifying moment between the two Jedi, Obi-Wan turned so fast that Anakin feared for a minute that she would snap her own neck. He didn´t bother to check who it was, he had already noticed her arrival before the Jedi Knight did.
“Padmé…” Obi-Wan muttered with shame. As if she was still an initiate that had been caught doing something naughty.
“Do not worry, Obi-Wan” she requested, coming closer to them “I already knew about your relationship.”
Anakin could sense a wave of confusion coming from his beautiful Master, just to be suddenly turned into exasperation, the young Padawan almost smirk at Obi-Wan´s assumption that he was the one who told the Senator about their feelings and what has transpired between them both; she was correct, of course.
“What I am offering, however, is to make it official. At least between the two of you.” Padmé continued without missing a beat.
“Official?” Obi-Wan questioned, sending a disapproving glance at Anakin, probably because she sensed the amusement coming from him as well, but her eyes quickly returned at the figure of the ex-regent of Naboo, intrigued and preoccupied by her words.
“Well, yes” Padmé giggled. “I know that your Code is strict, I know you are an honorable Jedi, but whatever restrictions there are they don´t matter anymore. You already love each other, and your relationship cannot be broken until Anakin reaches his Knighthood. So, what pretend it´s not there when you can live it through together, united as one?” the woman shrugged her shoulders carelessly, a gentle smile on her lips and Anakin could have kiss her out of pure gratitude if he wasn´t already too taken by his beautiful Master.
“It´s not that simple, my lady” Obi-Wan corrected, voice going back to the formal Jedi Knight Anakin knew so well, it made him rolled his eyes when he noticed that Kenobi was regressing to her normal self “Just because you have already made a mistake it doesn´t allow you to make others. We should be meditating and trying to dissipate this connection, not intensify it.”
Padmé raised one eyebrow. “Can you honestly tell me that you can simply forget about your feelings for Anakin, Obi-Wan?” she inquired with a tone of skepticism “You have both been feeling this for quite some time, and it has not gotten any weaker, but only strengthen. With the war that it´s starting now…” she trails off with a soft sight and a long look at the garden outside of the gigantic window, as if lamenting the sole thought of warfare, something that Anakin knew to be true, Padmé was a devoted pacifist. “…I´m afraid you might need each other more than ever.”
Obi-Wan didn´t speak, she stood silent; pondering the words of the Senator in her mind like someone would take his time to taste a fine wine on his tongue. Anakin liked to think that it was a good sign. If Obi-Wan had a strong objection she would have already lash out.
“You can get married, in secret, of course, before you leave tonight. I can have all set and ready within the hour.” Padmé suggested, smiling with happiness.
Obi-Wan seemed to react at that, eyes wide with incredulity and disturbance, but at the same time Anakin sensed that she wasn´t conflicted nor disgusted with the idea anymore. He could sense some regret, shame and guilt, though, and for a moment that worried him. He quickly turned his Master around with a fast move of his hands, Obi-Wan´s confused eyes meet him with insecurity and barely disguised pain.
“Please, please, Master. This is all I´ve ever wanted.” He swore, pledging like a child. His voice was desperate, he knew, but he needed this, he wanted this in his life more than anything, more than being a Jedi, more than being the Chosen One. More than live in Naboo. “Please, say yes, and make at least something good, something memorable of this nightmare that I have just lived.”
Obi-Wan´s eyes quickly follow the trail of his expressive, pleading eyes and down onto his brand new mechanical arm, she touch it with two fingers, as if testing the texture of the durasteel on her skin. He could see her clenching her teeth and shaking with despair at the possibility to choose. To make what seemed to be the hardest decision of her life.
Padmé smiled sadly, seeing how much it cost Obi-Wan to make that choice, but as much as she hated to do that, Padmé loved Anakin more, and she knew that he had wanted this, more than anything else. She wanted him to be happy. She wanted them both to be. Before Obi-Wan could regain her composure again, search for another well elaborated excuse to brush Anakin´s petition off, Padmé decided to take matters in her own hands.
“Obi-Wan…” she pledged, at the mention of her name, the Jedi Knight turned to look at her with strange confused eyes, noticing the change in the tone of voice. “Follow me to the gardens, we can discuss this in a more private manner.”
Anakin frowned in clear dislike of the preposition, but stop his allegations at the look of Padmé´s eyes that were currently busy giving him a slight quiet warning. Suddenly, he understood, this was the thing she needed to talk with Obi-Wan, the important matter for what she had requested the Knight´s presence on Naboo, Anakin´s head felt light-headed and he almost snorted with disbelief, before Obi-Wan could feel his change in attitude, he nodded to the Senator´s direction. Padmé was planning something and he understood the message. The politician smiled once again and stretched her hand at the Knight, Obi-Wan send both of them confusing and distrusting eyes before taking the brunette’s offer and walking away with her to the outside.
Once they made it there, Padmé joined her left arm with Obi-Wan´s right one and started guiding her through the beautiful and extensive paths of the place. The cooper haired woman almost smile at the sight of so many flowers lined up together, it made her remember the Temple gardens. Before she could muse herself in her thoughts any longer the ex-monarch started speaking.
“I brought you here because I think you needed your space. Anakin´s prying eyes weren´t really helping” she chuckled with humor.
“He was certainly eager… but I can always denied him if I think it´s the right thing to do” Obi-Wan informs her with a polite smile.
Padmé made a grimace of pain.
“I don´t really think you should. This time.” She warned before concede.
“Senator Amidala…” Obi-Wan started.
“Padmé. Just Padmé. After everything we have lived since Geonosis, it just seems wrong to be so formal…” she requested with a kind smile and shining eyes.
“Padmé…” Obi-Wan fixes, grey eyes finding brown ones “I´m a Jedi, so is Anakin, we cannot partake in any kind of relationship that it´s deemed forbidden, as it is marriage. What Anakin is asking for us to do it´s out of line, it´s impossible.”
“Obi-Wan, please…” the Senator stops at a bench to sit, the Jedi following her with a worrisome face “I believe that what it´s forbidden it´s to fall in love in the first place. But you two have already done that, there is no changing that. A title such as marriage would not change how you feel, nor would intensify the connection, it will unite you in a more formal way. No one has to know.”
“That is lying” Obi-Wan accuses. The harsh tone on her voice lets Padmé know that the older woman it´s surprisingly displeased with her.
“So it´s to deny you love him” Padmé assures her, brushing off Obi-Wan´s judgment of her character.
Obi-Wan had the grace to almost turn her head to the floor in shame. Her face suddenly grows red with embarrassment and fear. Embarrassment of being caught doing exactly what she preaches Padmé shouldn´t do, and fear by the sudden realization about being so obvious and transparent with her feelings.
“Maybe you can live feeling that, maybe you can handle these feelings of emptiness, Obi-Wan. But it´s Anakin I’m afraid of, not you…”
At the mention of her Padawan welfare, Obi-Wan´s head almost snaps at the speed of its turn. “What´s wrong with Anakin?” she asks, so obviously scared that Padmé almost feels tenderness at the sudden display of emotion.
The Senator takes her time to answer, the scenes of Tatooine still engraved in her mind, the words of Anakin, full of hatred and despair, as he killed every last Tusken Raider without mercy, confessing to Padmé of his terrible crimes, and the politician suddenly fearing for his soul. If there was something the ex-queen learned during her time with the Jedi learner was that he needed more help that he was willing to request, and he needed the love and trust of his sweet but unattainable Master. Instead of just reveling such troublesome things to the Jedi in front of her right now, she smiled sadly and excuses her thoughts with different reasons.
“He has grown too attached to you, I fear. All this time he has loved you, but now that he has made his confession, and you have confirm your devotion to him as well, everything has changed. And after that terrible thing with his mother and losing his arm. Are you not aware of how much he has changed?” she questioned with a raised eyebrow, hoping that in her wisdom as a Jedi, Obi-Wan would caught up with her meaning on her own.
Obi-Wan doesn´t answer but seems to take time to rethink Amidala´s words.
“He is scared, Obi-Wan…” Padmé informs her, insisting and close to begging “He thinks he will lose you too, the way he just lost his mother. The clone wars are upon us and now the real trials will begin, not only for the Republic and the Jedi, but for you two as well. Knowing him as I do, he will be frantic and erratic in the battlefield. Always scared, worried and angry. If he goes through this on his own, without you there to support him, how do think he will do?”
Obi-Wan thinks about their encounter with Dooku, how eager and passionate Anakin was. He threw himself to the arms of danger without a second thought of his own safety, unprepared, young and fearless of what it was to come. Obi-Wan was the only one who could keep an eye on him and actually make a job to stop his foolishness, he would never listen to anybody else, only Obi-Wan was capable of taming the fire that Anakin was prone to show. They were a team, after all. They were only strong when they kept themselves together and united as one.
“I can see what you are saying Padmé…” Kenobi assures her with a soft tone, the voice of a diplomatic negotiator “but I´m always going to be by his side, he is not going to lose me just because we don´t get to be together in the particular way he wants us to, we don´t have to get married to be a team…”
Padmé shook her head calmly.
“That´s not it, Obi-Wan. Maybe you can do that, maybe you can be with him and that be enough to appease your heart, but Anakin it´s not like that. If you refuse him now he would never let it go. He will forever resent you for turning away from him, especially when you have already confessed that you love him. He would see it as a cruelty.”
In that, Padmé was right. Anakin was a passionate man, whatever he desired, he did with the force of a thousand volcanos. He never learn to wait, to sacrifice or to forget. He was intransigent and absolute, and that worried Obi-Wan more than anything else. The Jedi Knight doomed them both when she told him of her real feelings, when she saw him in the pitch of Geonosis and she thought they were not going to live another day. Now, Anakin knew about her love for him and he would take a yes or nothing at all. There was no middle ground with him.
“If you marry him…” Padmé offered, her face suddenly close to her and her beautiful smart brown eyes examining her expression “maybe you will be indulging him, yes, maybe you will be betraying your vows, but at least you will be protecting him, you will be there to guide him and to make sure that he stands in the path he should. You will give him a reason to stay alive and to fight another day.”
Obi-Wan looked at Padmé with surprised and confused eyes. The reasons that the Senator exposed were honest and the Jedi could see some sense into them. She chanced a glance at the tall windows of the palace, Anakin was still standing by them, up where he could stare at them siting on a bench by the flowers and the fountains. She could almost see the longing in his eyes and the hopeful gleam of the light in them. As much as Kenobi hated the idea, there was no turning back, she could not pretend she didn´t love him as much as Anakin couldn´t contain his emotions and keep them locked away, it was simply not possible for them anymore. The only possibility left for her to take was to go forward. If she granted Anakin this, just this. Even if it was a secret and a title they could never publicly wear, maybe she would appeased his most forbidden desire and she could calm his sorrow and grief over his loneliness and his dead mother. Maybe that would make a difference as well, maybe he will grow wiser and tranquil, instead of continue his impulsivity and rashness. Maybe this connection was always planned by the Force. She didn´t know. But if there was a possibility to give Anakin some happiness back to his life, she was not going to be the one to deny him of that.
Obi-Wan raised her eyes to meet Padmé´s expecting ones and smile with still some remaining insecurity.
“Yes. I will marry him.”
Anakin had never been more nervous in his entire life, not even when he was going to be watched by all the Masters at the Temple at the lightsaber tournament when he was 14 and he was going to be fighting Ferus Olin, his eternal rival, in the final battle. Not even when he had his first mission outside of Coruscant. Not even when he was little more than just a freed slave from Tatooine and he was first introduce to the Jedi Council by Qui-Gon. This time everything was vastly different. It was to be the most important moment of his life. He was going to marry his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
When Padmé came back from the gardens, wearing a smile and without Obi-Wan at her side, he was certainly hesitant. A smile on a politician could mean too many things and the absence of his Master was most worrisome. But the lovely Senator has only assured him that she has sent Obi-Wan away to some of her staff to be prepared for the wedding. Obi-Wan had said yes. Yes. She was going to become Anakin´s wife. The Jedi apprentice could hardly believe it, even when the words were clear and precise. How Padmé had managed to talk his Master into it, he had no idea, but at that moment, he didn´t really care. As long as his Master was set and willing, he was happy, deliriously so.
Anakin had nothing to wear but his usual Jedi clothes, but that was fine. He was never one for fancy things and he knew that Obi-Wan never liked the usual overly expensive and decorated attires that most of the high Coruscanti class used to wear at the Capital, so he felt confident that what he was wearing was appropriate for her liking and the occasion. What he was not ready for, though, was for how beautiful his Master was going to be once she appeared.
She was wearing the most beautiful and amazing gown Anakin has ever seen before, and maybe he thought that because Obi-Wan was the one wearing it but he didn´t really cared. The entire piece was made of white lace, there were some pearls incrusted in the design covering some part of the bodice, that was tight and hugging her feminine frame like a lover would. The skirt fell down, covering her long legs and dragging the fabric through the floor while the Jedi Knight walked towards him, the transparent sleeves were almost one with her skin as they covered her arms down to half of her palms, a veil, of lace as well, adorned and covered her head, overlong and falling to the floor behind her, making a trail of white on its way, there was a slight crown of flowers over it, decorating Obi-Wan´s head as a halo would an angel. The whole thing was breath-taking and Anakin had to pinch himself to bring himself to reality.
When Obi-Wan finally reached him, carrying a collection of blue flowers, Nubian Mists, or Morning Mist as they called them on Coruscant, the same flowers that he gave her when he was a child, the same flowers she fashions her hair with on special occasions such as this, the same flowers that Anakin loved so much because it remind him of Obi-Wan´s eyes. They might have taken them from the garden of Padmé´s summer house, where the private ceremony was being held and Anakin could have laugh at that if he hadn´t noticed something else that he had missed during his quiet admiration.
“Your hair…” he gasped “… it´s not tied up…”
It was such a silly thing, Anakin knew. But right then it seemed too important, so meaningful. Anakin had never seen Obi-Wan´s hair in any way that wasn´t brought up by complicated braids, and at best case scenario, tide up in a ponytail. This was the first time in his life, that Obi-Wan wore it down, with no braids, no arrangements, just her cooper locks falling down at every side of her face.
“Oh, yes…” she acknowledged, reaching to grasp a lock with her fingers “It occurred to me that you have never seen it like this… and since you always seemed to paid special attention to my hair, I thought it would be nice to just let it down.”
The hair flowed down with soft curls and reflecting the shine of the sun setting around them, illuminating the garden and the water of the lake. This was where Anakin wanted to be, he realized. At Naboo, his favorite place in the galaxy, holding the hand of the love of his life. His Obi-Wan.
The woman who stood in front of him, that creature of exceptional beauty and unmatchable grace was going to be his wife, his partner, his own singular special person that it was only meant for him. Her usual pretty face was even more astounding by the touch of Nubian make up; her full lips were pink as well as her cheeks, and her dreamy grey eyes were decorated with a slight shadow of silver that highlighted the pearls of her dress. She was a goddess and Anakin was her willing worshipper, he would do anything for her, he decided right then, whatever she asked him to do, he certainly would, as long as it kept her by his side. Always.
Anakin stopped his inspection to look at Obi-Wan´s eyes once again, just to realize she was staring at him as well; in that moment of perfect synchrony he could almost hear both their hearts beating at the same pace. His chest filled with tenderness and warmth with their hands grasped together in a truthful union. The love he felt right then was overwhelming, more than when he was a child and he almost choke himself on his spit at the sight of her always changing eyes, more than when he saw her grinning with pride when he won that last duel against Ferus at the championship, more than when his lips met hers in an unleashed demonstration of passion without control nor care inside their quarters, more than when she said she loved him so. This moment was only theirs, and Anakin could only stutter his way into words of love and devotion.
“I love you so much” he confessed with honesty, almost crying pathetically at the sight of her beauty.
Obi-Wan smiled at the words, tender and softly, her hands rearranging themselves in his grasp “As do I.” she vowed.
Obi-Wan on her Wedding Day:
Also here is a playlist with music that inspired me to write this fanfic:
Wow, guys, I´m so glad to finish this entry and so excited to begin the next one. It has been a pleasure to write this story and I hope you have felt the same thing reading it. I love all of you, and I thank tour reviews and commentary.
The flower name I liked the most "Morning Mist" as suggested by Cassie, thank you! I settled with Nubian Mist and Morning Mist. I also want to thank Terri, jackalantern_ice and Loo for their suggestions. Hope you listen to the playlist and take a look at the pictures, see you in the next entry of the series which will be titled "A Story Worthy of The Stars: Book 2"