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Take Seven

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Obi-Wan could feel himself grinning at Anakin, at Yoda, at Luke as the young man turned his back on them and the pyre, and turned back to his friends. In the end they’d done it. Anakin had done it; he was himself again. Sidious had been defeated and the empire destroyed. For the first time in a very long time, the sensation of peace and tranquillity washed over him.

Slowly Obi-Wan sank into that sensation, wondering absent-mindedly what the world would have turned out if they had known about Sidious. Would they have been able to stop him? Even if they were in the late stages of the Clone Wars, had the damage already been done? It didn’t really matter now. Anakin was back, and by the complete blankness of the world, Obi-Wan was finally becoming one with the force.

A sensation not unlike a tide ebbing over sand swept over him as he fell backwards into a wash of space and time.  Things would be better, was his last coherent thought before a wave of dizziness consumed him.

“Do you wish to go back?” A vague musical voice said, humming all around, yet seemingly from within Obi-Wan’s own mind. “Would you present the breaking of what has been fixed?”

“Is it better for something to have been broken and then mended, or for it to have never been broken in the first place?” Obi-Wan asked.

“That depends on whether it is already fractured when it was truly broken.”

“It is easier and cleaner to heal a crack than two separate pieces.” Obi-Wan felt himself replying.

A barely audible laugh followed. “Your wish shall be granted former Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. But it will fall on you and your family to fix it. I cannot offer any assistance.”

But… he had no blood family.

The sensation of falling returned as he fell further and further his sense of being slipping. Who was he, when was he, was he even a he? It didn’t matter anymore as the force took hold of his consciousness.

 

High General Obi-Wan Kenobi opened his eyes upon the inside of tent he’d forgotten had ever existed. Was it true? Had he really been sent by- by someone into his own past to try and prevent it all? Could he manage it? Could he prevent Anakin’s fall, Order 66, the rise of the empire? Obi-Wan, involved as he had been, had never been entirely sure what had happened in the end. And he had no idea how long he had to achieve it all.

He slung himself out of his bunk. And left the tent to glare at whatever clone was outside. Oh Force! The clones. He’d have to get over it, it wasn’t their fault. He knew that. If he forgave Anakin, who had been in control of himself, if hardly in his right mind, he could forgive people who had yet to be taken over by control chips.

“Kix,” He said, recognising with relief the man hurrying towards him. He must be on a joint mission with Anakin. “What’s going on?”

“Sir,” Kix said, “What are you doing up?”

“Well you know me and medical leave.” Obi-Wan attempted to shrug it off. “I do however need to see people, and indeed get up to date on things. I don’t suppose you know where everybody is?”

“General Kenobi, Sir, you’ve been unconscious for more than a day, I may not be your medic, but I really can’t advise just wondering around, particularly after what happened.”

“Well Kix, if you tell me where people are, I won’t be wondering around will I? I’ll be heading somewhere specific.”

Kix looked at him suspiciously, then smiled. “Well from what I can tell the only thing you’re suffering from is spending too much time with General Skywalker, Sir. The General should be in his tent, but he’s probably in the command tent with the Commander, Captain Rex and Cody, Sir. None of whom should be up and about, but you know them.”

“Thank-you Kix,” Obi-Wan relaxed slightly. If his Grand-Padawan was still with the Jedi he had more time than he thought he might to fix this.

Fortunately, while the Command tent might not have been particularly noticeable, his suddenly renewed bond with Anakin was.

He pulled the tent flap aside to be face with his former padawan’s back.

“Anakin?” He said, laying a hand on the young man’s shoulder. “Are you alright? I-“ Force this was harder than he’d thought it would be. “I know the Jedi don’t go in for talking about it much, but you know I’m always here if you need me right?”

“Don’t look at me.” Anakin pleaded in a small broken voice. “Please don’t, I’m – I’m an abomination, and you’re you. I’m destined to go dark and I- I should just kill myself now really. I’m not-“

“Anakin!” Obi-wan walked around so he could look his friend in the eye. “Anakin, what are you talking about?”

“What would you say if I said I’d seen the future. I’d lived it really, and I was the greatest monster that there had ever been.” Anakin said, his voice quiet and laced with emotion. “The Jedi were all gone. The men had been turned against us. I- I killed you, and Padme, and everyone.” He let out a cry of pain. “Alderan was gone, and it was all my fault.”

Oh, that kind of family. Obi-wan took a deep breath and a risk. “I would say Sidious is currently a far worse monster than Vader could ever hope to be.”

That caused Anakin’s head to shoot up and his eyes to meet Obi-Wan’s for the first time. “You- you know?”

“I lived it. You lived it. And now we have a chance to make sure no-one else has to. I don’t suppose you’ve found out the date yet?” Obi-Wan said keeping his voice and gaze steady towards Anakin. “It will be alright.”

“How?” Anakin dropped his gaze again. “How can you even bare to look at me. You know what I did. I, I killed everyone. I KILLED YOU!”

“Anakin.” Obi-Wan dropped his shields. “Do you think I care for you so little that your betrayal would make the slightest difference?”[1]

Anakin’s head shot upwards and his hands shot around as he grabbed his former mentor into a tight hug.  “I- I wasn’t even sure you liked me.”

Obi-Wan couldn’t think of anything to do but to hug back. Fearful that if he let his friend go, the illusion would end. “Anakin, I-“

Ahsoka Tano entered the tent, “Unfortunately I don’t think this is the time for this discussion.” He finished.

Anakin nodded with misunderstanding and let his friend go. Then he saw Ahsoka. “SNIPS!” He yelled far too enthusiastically.

“I caught the end of that conversation.” The young padawan said gravely.

“Ahsoka …” Obi-Wan said warningly.

She held up- her hand warningly. “What would you do if I said I was thinking about going as Fulcrum?”

“Oh,” Obi-Wan said. “Welcome back?”

“Fulcrum?” Anakin pondered for a moment, before the sudden realisation of why the name was familiar to him hit. “THAT WAS YOU?” He spun around so his back was to both of them, but a rush of pride and horror spread through the bonds. “Oh what did I do?” he murmured.

“Nothing yet.” Ahsoka said stepping forward to a level with Obi-Wan. “It’s the middle of the Clone Wars. It’s a long way until E-day, and I personally don’t intend to let Sidious see it alive. We could probably do with some sort of plan, but then we have three high class military generals here. I think we ought to be able to think of something.”

“That’s one way of putting it. Anakin, are you in?” Obi-Wan smiled broadly. So this was what had been meant by family. He wondered if Yoda was back too. He doubted it.

“Oh I’ll see Sidious dead.” Anakin swore. “I can’t promise about afterwards, but I’ll see him dead, Dooku defeated, Grievous obliterated. Fuck! What are we doing about Ventress?”

“Oh, Grey,” Ahsoka said quietly.

“Huh?”

She sighed. “When are you back from?”

“Just after the fall of the second Death Star, and the death of Darth Sidious, and Vader.” Obi-Wan said,

“Same,” Anakin agreed. “I’d just faded out after the after party.”

“A few weeks later for me.” Ahsoka said, “I’d just talked to Leia for the first time in a while. And Luke for the first time ever. Then I just sort of blanked out and woke up here. Bit odd to be so young again.”

“Leia, Leia Organa?” Anakin asked.

“yeah, Bail may have taken her in, but I didn’t exactly abandon Skygirl.”

Anakin let out another burst of pride, shame and horror. “How did I not realise?” He whispered. “She looked so much like Padme, and-“ The rest of the words were lost as he burst into tears, singing to the ground. “How often is this going to happen? How often am I going to realise I tortured my, my-“ his voice hitched- “my daughter, or killed Bail, or went after you, or- how often?” He screamed.

Obi-Wan knelt down next to him. “I don’t know. I don’t know how often we’ll work out that someone we thought was dead was really alive. I don’t know how often we’ll be hit with the sudden realisation that so few of them are dead now. I don’t even know if Vos has fallen yet. But I do know that E-day hasn’t happened yet. I do know that Padme is alive and well and probably missing you somewhere on Coruscant. The Temple is standing. I won’t say the order isn’t broken. But it’s there, it’s fixable.”

Anakin huffed and leant into his partner. “I know I don’t deserve it. But can you-“

“Anakin. I promise to you that I will not desert you.” Obi-Wan swore.

“I was going to say, if you think I’m going Vader, kill me then, don’t wait for me to start killing you. I don’t- I can’t be in that position ever.”

“Anakin,” Obi-Wan said warningly, “I couldn’t do that on Mustafar, there is no way I could ever kill you.”

“Same.” Ahsoka said. “Too bad Skyguy. You’re going to have to ask someone who’s slightly better at following the ‘no attachments’ clause in the code.”

“Oh,” Anakin said simply, looking between his former master, now partner, and his padawan. “We’re a mess aren’t we. I mean, me most of all, but... yeah.”

“Our entire Lineage is a mess.” Obi-Wan said. “I don’t know how much of it you know.”

“Not much.” Ahsoka said, sitting cross-legged on the floor next to them. “You trained Anakin, but that’s about it.”

“Well I was trained by a, well, let us say unconventional, Master called Qui-Gon Jinn. I- I loved him dearly, but his favourite phrase often seemed to be ‘I follow the will of the force’. That roughly translates into ‘fuck the council’.”

“Ah.” Ahsoka said with new understanding.

“He was a master of the living force, and an expert in form IV. Darth Maul killed him.”

“Oh.”

“That’s how Obi-Wan ended up saddled with me.” Anakin said.

“Not saddled, not since the very early days.” Obi-Wan countered strongly. “But yes, he was very fond of picking up, well I used to call them pathetic life-forms. I was one, although how we ended up as a master-padawan duo is another story. Anyway, he was trained by a name we’re now sadly familiar with, Count, then Master, Dooku.”

“Count Dooku is your Grand-Master.” Ahsoka said incredulously.

Obi-Wan nodded.

She whistled. “I know see what you mean, our lineage is seriously messed up. Who trained him? On the Jedi side I mean.”

“Yoda. Who might be a little green troll, but we hardly have to worry about turning to the dark side.” Obi-Wan said with a small smile.

“So,” Ahsoka said, “We have one current Sith Apprentice, one former Sith Apprentice, one Grey Jedi, a Marginal Jedi, and then the epitome of Jedi-ness and the current head of the order. It’s an odd bunch.”

“Who’s meant to be the epitome of Jedi-ness?” Obi-Wan asked incredulously.

Anakin and Ahsoka looked at him.

“Hmm, and Palpatine is a mild mannered politician.” He said. “And that’s not counting Qui-Gon’s previous Padawans. We’re a messed up bunch alright.” Then he stopped and considered. “But I’m rather fond of us, all the same.”

A cough sounded, “Excuse me Sirs,” Rex said from the entrance to the tent, looking rather shaken. “Is everything alright?”

“Yes, yes,” It was Ahsoka who recovered first, being, ultimately most familiar with the man. She had spent a good portion of the last twenty-six years of her life working with him after all, “We’ve just had a sort of Jedi Vision of a potential future and it was rather disturbing”

Rex looked at the three of them for a moment, then at Ahsoka for a moment more, studying her posture, and considering the positions they were in, then he asked. “Fulcrum?”

“Yes?” Ahsoka said, then realised “Oh,”

Rex muttered something that might have been thanking someone that it wasn’t just him as Ahsoka swept him into a hug.

“It’s not just you, four of us and counting. When are you back from?” She asked.

“Huh?” Rex asked.

“Those two are back from just after the death of the Emperor, and I’m back from just after I talked to Luke and Leia. When?”

“Same, I think. What happened?”

“Why are we back in time, or what happened to end the empire?” Ahsoka asked, “I’m not sure now’s the right time. But we’re all ourselves.” She glanced back to where Anakin was leaning heavily on Obi-Wan, “And we were all ourselves when we went back too.”

Rex followed the glance and nodded. “What are we doing first?”

“Well,”, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker puller himself up, and together. “As we were saying earlier, we have Dooku to kill, Grievous to deal with and Sidious to obliterate. We also have chips to remove,” Rex touched the back of his neck subconsciously. “Good men to validate in the eyes of the law, and, in my eyes, two systems to revamp.”

“Well that’s not ambitious at all.” Obi-Wan said, standing up.

“What you don’t think we can do it?” Anakin asked,

“I think we need a more detailed plan other than we want to do a, b and c.” The Jedi Master said.

“Hey, we want to do at least six things.” Anakin said grinning.

“And I’m still not letting you set the plan.” Obi-Wan teased.

“Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.” Anakin’s smile dropped right off his face.

“Oh Anakin,” Obi-Wan laid a hand gently on his shoulder, “That wasn’t what I meant at all.”

Ahsoka, who had been tracking the exchange with a small nostalgic grin, stilled for a moment. Silence sat in the air.

“So, what do we do now?” Rex asked again.

Obi-Wan sighed, “Now we find out what in the living force is going on.”

The tent flaps opened and you could almost feel the air chill as a tall, bald, imposing figure strode in.

Asajj Ventress glared at the assembled four. “Long time no see.”

 

[1] Gratuitously pinched from doctor who