Anakin knows he has issues, that they stretch back to his childhood and a million and one things that he never wanted to talk about. He knows that he’s suicidal with a side of trauma, and that’s just these last two months, discounting the war and his mother and all the things that probably have a name that he doesn’t know. After the war, when everyone is safe, he’ll work on it (or at least, that used to be the plan), but, right now, he’s needed to fight (and that's a truth that holds).
Anakin knows that he’s a terrible Jedi. He knows that Padme deserves so much more than a ruined career if the truth comes out before their ready. He knows that he was too newly knighted to train Ahsoka properly, that Obi-Wan hadn’t truly chosen him, despite how close they now were. He knows that he’s reckless, impulsive, and hovers too close to the Dark…
And, now, even Palpatine’s kind, encouraging words aren’t enough to convince him that that’s a good thing.
It’s not the same fight as before, and he probably has two or three weeks to recover, but… he can get more information here than he ever could in the outer rim sieges. He refuses to let these visions become real.
Three weeks to recover… that’s good. That’s three weeks to say goodbye to Padme, to Ahsoka, to Obi-Wan… hopefully forever.
He didn’t deserve them, and they should be kept far, far away from him, but… even now, he couldn’t let them go. He will try, but the likelihood of him doing it…
He can’t. He loves - no, not love. You could let go of what you loved. He’s attached to them, and he knows it.
And someday, he knows, his attachments could doom the Galaxy.
The Son hadn’t shown him things in any particular order, but he remembers Order 66, remembers how his men disappeared in the Force, remembers how easily he cut down those younglings…
He remembers how he didn’t care. He remembers standing in the Chancellor’s office (Where was Palpatine? Had the Sith in the Senate killed him and become Chancellor? What had happened to his friend?), and he remembers knowing that the fate of the Republic and the Galaxy lay in his hands… He remembers making the wrong choice.
And oh but that word. “Remember.” In visions, you’re merely watching, not there, knowing what you’re thinking, watching through your own two eyes. On Mortis… it was memories. Messed with, he can tell, cropped to fit the Son’s goals and so many faces left both recognizable and not, hidden from his full sight. but they were memories. That was probably a small portion of why he had Fallen, back on Mortis.
In his mind and his spirit, he already had.
...But that wasn’t all of it. He had been influenced, yes, but the choice had been his. Over and over, the choice had been his.
And this time, hopefully, he will make the right one. Anakin will die, and he will take the Sith with him. He knows, with an understanding from the Force itself, that the hidden face of the Sith Lord will be revealed when he speaks to them. He’s not an idiot, though. He will find evidence, will leave something behind as proof and and apology before he confronts Vader’s Master.
Both of them are going to die, and the Galaxy will be safe from two of the cruelest Sith ever known...
Anakin knows, of course, that this is unhealthy, but... he can't remember the last time that he's felt this close to the Light...
This is what he has to do.
He opens his eyes, shields back in place. He's fine, for now, and he has some questions.
Like, for instance, where is his Padawan?