Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars. It belongs to Disney. I make no money from this story.
AN: This part was betaed by kalvasflam on the Space Battles forums! Thank you very much!
Knight of the Force
Prologue: Shadow from the future
Two Jedi and a Republic senator were bound to pillars in the middle of a circular arena. They were about to be executed as a spectacle for the locals and more importantly – to remove a thorn in the side of Count Dooku and his cronies.
A group of spear wielding Geonosian guards entered the sand covered arena, herding a trio of beasts towards the captives.
First was an irritated and hungry feline, with too many teeth and claws for comfort. A pissed off herbivore followed, pointing it's sharp, nasty horns at anything that caught it's attention. The group was completed by a giant, ravenous insect hailing from Felucia, which could swallow a standard humanoid in two bites. It's teeth filled mouth was gaping in a hungry grin, made even worse by the non-stop, excited chittering it emitted.
Two of the captives were about to be served as dinner, pleasing the crowd, while the last one was tagged as a stress relief for the herbivore, which was looking at it's chosen target like it wanted to trample him to its heart content.
The pair of bound men were Jedi so by default they were far from helpless even is situation such as that. Even their companion, Senator Padme Amidala, who didn't have their natural abilities and training, had survived many hairy situations and wasn't going to let herself be an afternoon snack.
Anakin looked at the woman he had just admitted to himself that he loved. He was going to get her out of there. Somehow.
Amidala gave the young man who had captured her heart a brave simile. Their eyes met for a single moment, that lasted an eternity.
Meanwhile, the six legged terror was trying to impale Obi-Wan on its forward legs.
Noticing that Skywalker was left out of the fun, two guards started poking the backside of the herbivore with their spears, which had electrified tips. The animal released angry below and charged at the middle pillar, where Anakin was bound.
Then everything changed.
The young Jedi was staring at Padme with unseeing eyes. His master, despite being preoccupied with the kriffing thing trying to eat him, felt the Force itself trembling. If he was looking at his apprentice, Kenobi would have seen silvers of light and dark Force energies dancing around the younger Jedi.
From the stands, Count Dooku was watching Skywalker with a frown. The Force was screaming at him like an overloaded starfighter engine. Something was coming. Dangerous. Deadly beyond measure.
Yet, the Sith Lord couldn't see it.
There were just the captives who were being used as both entertainment and a statement that the Confederation would no longer bow to the Republic. Dooku watched as the young fool was standing there, doing nothing, just a moment away from being gutted by the animal. To the youngster's right, Amidala had climbed to the top of her pillar. She was wielding the chain with which her hands were tied as a whip in an effort to fend off the agile predator that was trying to munch on her.
Dooku's eyes widened when the charging herbivore slammed into an invisible wall and fell to its hind legs. The animal released a quiet keen of distress. Even from his vantage point, the former Jedi could see that the horn of the beast had snapped.
It was at that moment he could finally sense it. It was as if an invisible barrier had just shattered, revealing a torrent of raw Force raging amidst the arena.
Meanwhile, Padme was in trouble. Obviously, the cat like creature that was chosen as the former Queen's nemesis had no problem scaling up the pillar on which she was taking refuge. The carnivore trilled in irritation when Padme struck it on the snout with the chain. It descended couple of meters before lunging upwards and twisting in the air. Its right paw shot in a lighting fast swipe and razor sharp claws raked Amidala, leaving three bloody lines on the senator's back.
Padme shouted in pain and surprise.
There. That was the moment the fate of a whole galaxy changed.
"Padme!" thundered a furious shout.
The localized disturbance in the Force ended, as if it was never there. But those who had eyes to see it, knew better. Something was left behind. Or rather someone.
In the stand overlooking the arena, both Count Dooku and many of the Jedi infiltrating the place, turned their eyes to the source of the shout. There was a sight that would remain with those who lived through this day to the end of their lives. Anakin Skywalker, was painful to look at. For those who could perceive the Force, he was like the heart of a star, if one was hallowed by tendrils of pure darkness.
Anakin was enveloped by a sphere made of Light and Dark Force energies, which were rippling as if battling for supremacy. Yet, from their positions in the stands, the Force Adepts felt nothing from the young man. As if he was merely an illusion made by the will of the Force.
Without a warning the sphere dissipated, disintegrating the chain with which Skywalker was bound. The released energy touched the pillar to which he was chained and blew it into small pieces, which rained all over the back of the arena, wounding many of the spectators. Those who still could, flew away for their lives.
The Death Star
High orbit over Endor
Lord Vader looked around in confusion. His son had refused to join the Dark Side, infuriating Sidious. That's why, the Emperor was cackling like a maniac, while torturing Luke with Sith Lighting. The kriffing technique was slowly frying the young man's nervous system, killing him piece by piece while drowning his whole being in excruciating agony. The Force itself was rippling around them, as if she was watching the unfolding drama with baited breath.
Then something happened to Vader's eyes. It was as if he was at many places at the same time.
A blink and he was staring at a sand covered ground. The arena on Geonosis, moments after Padme and his younger self admitted their feelings to each other. Vader's cold heart started beating a bit faster at the memory of those different, better times.
The view shifted, and something clicked in his mind. He was laying on an ash covered gravel, once again experienced the fiery pain of his own skin and flesh igniting on the shore of that Force damned river of lava.
A blink, and Vader was away. The Dark Lord was laying strapped down on that kriffing operating table. A soulless machine was cutting into his seared flesh, caring not for his agonized screams. Vader felt every second of the process that sealed him in the kriffing suit he's been wearing ever since.
When the ordeal was over, Sidious who watched the operation came closer, informing him of Padme's fate. Saying that Anakin was the one who killed her in his rage.
That was the defining moment of Vader's life. Indeed, it was the moment of his birth. It was then, that Anakin Skywalker died, leaving a broken, crippled man to terrorize the galaxy for the next tow decades.
He blinked, unrestrained fury roaring within his heart. The Force shifted and a man long dead looked through the Dark Lord's eyes. Vader and Skywalker, both, watched as the Emperor tortured their son right in front of them. Something deep within the being that was both a Fallen Jedi and a Sith, a monster and a father, snapped.
With a furious bellow of wordless rage, Vader grabbed his master. The cyborg ignored the purple whips of Sith lightning that stopped ravaging his son and jumped at him, flaying his flesh and flung Sidious in a kilometers deep shaft, which led deep in the bowels of the Death Star. Unfortunately for Vader, energy that arched over his body had changed in the last moment. From the tool of torture and slow death directed at his son, the Emperor managed to tweak it into a lethal torrent of power, fussing the cyborg's artificial limbs and parts of his environmental suit to frying flesh. The last living Sith staggered, but managed to glance at the prone form of his son.
Vader forced himself to ignore the agony coursing through his body and grasped the Force, checking on Luke. He smiled under his sealed helmet. His son was going to be all right. He could feel it.
The wave of relief washed over Vader was enough to break his concentration, letting the pain strike him in full force. He stumbled, his fried artificial limbs flailing uselessly… and tumbled straight over the edge of the abyss that took Sidious.
As he was falling to his end, Vader tried to smile, his tired face twisting into a toothy grimace. Then he chuckled under his terror inspiring helmet. He had a great view of the places where Sidious had bounced from the walls and left red smears.
At least now, his son and daughter were safe. At last, he had his vengeance. And for the first time in ages, Vader felt content. Because his son and daughter were safe, outside of Palpatine's grip.
As the last remaining Sith tumbled to his death, the strange phenomenon returned. He could see part of his life, flashing before his eyes. In crystal clarity, just as if he was there once again.
The first time he met Padme as a kid. Winning the pod race on Tatooine.
His first accidental flight and blowing up that command ship by pure luck. Or as the Jedi said – because it was the will of the Force.
Heh. As if he could believe that. Kriffing Jedi and kriffing Force. If this hell he's been through was her will, then to hell with her!
As if to answer his accusations, the Force flared around him. The doomed man felt as if his fall was occurring in slow motion. He had a few precious moments to think about his late wife. His Angel.
Padme was the one of the few good things in what had become a nightmarish existence, and for a moment he allowed himself to wonder what would have happened if he had taken another path. If he had been a better husband… not the self centered fool who was lucky enough to marry a marvelous woman.
Vader fell towards the light at the bottom of the pit, a wave upon wave of pure Dark Side emanating from the corpse of the former Emperor slamming in his battered body.
He ignored the sweet, seductive feeling that the power gave him and fought to remain conscious. In his final moments, all Vader wanted was to see Padme's face one more time.
So he fought through the agony lighting up his whole body and grasped the Force with all his might. His whole being was concentrated on single purpose – to shift those strange visions in a singular direction.
Light and Dark warred as he was coming perilous close to the bottom.
The light of the reactor at the bottom become all he could see before the harsh glare subdued, revealing a slice from the past.
Vader saw his Angel. Her face was set up in that determined expression that made her look irresistible. She was starring at something below her.
Just as he was about to hit the bottom, Padme screamed in pain.
Vader could feel three lines of liquid fire being rend on her back.
His Padme was hurt. In pain.
The bottom of the shaft was racing at him, the reactor core mere meters from his falling body. By all rights he should have been evaporated by the chained energies at the bottom.
It was in that moment that past and future collided.
With everything he was, every last shred of the Force he could grasp, Vader screamed his wife's name.
For a single moment, the world stood still.
The Chosen One was calling on the Force for one last time.
And she answered. For an instant a new star was born just above the Death Star's main reactor, before blinking out forever.
For Luke Skywalker and everyone who lived in that time and age, both Sidious and Vader died on the Death Star. The future continued on its course.
Yet, in a sand covered arena, Fate itself unraveled...
The lethal game started by Palpatine decades ago had a new player. And the Galaxy would never be the same again.
The young man who was Anakin Skywalker screamed soundlessly. His mind was struck by a monstrous force, harder than the broadside of a star cruiser. Another mind, older, darker and twisted slammed into his very being, coming through his mind shields as if they weren't there. Anakin saw a figure of black metal interposed upon what suspiciously looked like an older image of himself. Then his world was drowned by an unending torrent of memories, a few magnificent ones, centered on a fantasy of a life with Padme, the rest – a pure nightmare.
He tried to fight, to scream in defiance.
All for naught. His very being, the sens of self, were swamped, drowned and watered down until nothing but a shadow remained. Until mercifully, it all ended. The Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker closed his eyes for one last time and he was finally at peace.
Vader slowly opened his eyes, his head pounding with a torrent of fresh memories from his younger self. He was back where it all began – on that kriffing Arena on Geonosis.
The Force flooded into him, more of her than he could feel and wield ever since his encounter with Kenobi on Mustafar. He gasped in wonder at her power. His whole being hummed with power, his senses sharpening by the second. The hot air he was breathing in… with his own, working lungs… The harsh glare of the sun upon his skin… Those were the first things he felt, and it was nothing like the nightmares of the past he often had.
The Force didn't lie. It was real. Vader could feel it in his bones. He took a deep breath, the hot air bathing his lungs feeling marvelous. The Force Adept blinked a few time, his eyes taking what he saw. A familiar beastie was sitting on its hind legs, moaning in confusion. One of its horns laid broken on the scorching sands. Vader could feel a familiar Force signature to his left, one that almost threw him into rage.
Then Vader remembered where and when he was. His head snapped to the right, eyes desperately searching for a lithe form in white trousers and top which left her midriff bare.
Padme was atop a pillar, just as he remembered. A long chain connected her bound hands to the stone construct. Her beautiful face was twisted in pain.
For a second he stood frozen in wonder, a foolish grin appearing on his face. She was here. Hurt but alive!
The crowd cheering Padme's suffering shattered the spell and the smile froze on his face. He glared at the damn insects on the stands, then traveled upon the rows of spectators until he was looking upon the Separatist leaders who were watching smugly from their elevated positions.
Dooku, who was hiding the fact that he had fallen to the Dark side.
Poggle the lesser and all the other scum.
He saw the Jedi who were infiltrating the stands too, despite the fact that they were cloaking themselves from detection.
He shook his head, refusing to yield to his rage again. He had done so once and lost Padme forever. Never again! His fury was a tool to be used, not something that could be allowed to have a say in his actions ever again.
Vader paused for a moment, chaining his rage and using it like a fuel. The Force buzzed in content, almost eager for his touch.
In a way that made it look easy, he vaulted to the top of the pillar where the love of his life was hunched in pain. He effortlessly balanced on the small platform that was barely wide enough for one person and engulfed Padme in a fierce hug, while carefully avoided touching the bloody gashes on her back. She leaned into his chest and Vader felt her relief..
A distant part of his mind was basking in the feeling of a younger, powerful body, which didn't need a mass of cybernetics to keep him alive. Of hands made form flesh and blood, which could actually feel the woman he was embracing.
His Padme. Soft and warm. Most importantly, alive. Vader felt that he could stay that way forever.
The brief moment of peace was rudely interrupted by the feline which apparently didn't possess enough sense to run away while it still could. Instead, the beast started climbing the pillar while hissing at the pair. The animal glared at its chosen prey and the interloper who had dared interfere with its hunt, yowling at them.
It met the gaze of the newcomer and froze. Two mismatched eyes, one azure and one sickly yellow gazed back.
Invisible hand grasped the beast and wrenched it from the pillar, despite its frantic attempts to cling to the stone. The animal clawed at the pillar in a futile attempt to reach it's prey, leaving behind rends in the tough surface as well as a single claw, which was torn out of one of the feline's paws.
The predator, whined piteously, before the power holding it imploded, caving in its torso. The corpse fell to the ground with quiet thump.
Vader cracked a small smile and returned his full attention to the woman cradled in his arms.
He felt... complete. The perpetual ocean of anger pumping within his chest was subdued, becoming almost serene. The only dark cloud cast over his mood was that despite being whole once more, he felt tired, almost exhausted.
Whatever whim of the Force had brought him here, at that place and time, had drained most of his strength in the process. However, Vader wasn't going to complain. He had the second chance he craved for. He could put everything right! Both with his wife and his future Empire!
Acting on impulse, Anakin coated his right hand with the Force and slowly waved it over the still bleeding gashes on Padme's back. He infused her wounds with healing energies, drawing on his own life force to feed his healing technique.
To his surprise it actually worked, the angry rends in Padme's flawless skin closing before his eyes. He had created this healing art in order to patch up his own critical wounds, however that it hadn't been potent enough to heal his burned out body in the future he came from.
Padme sighed in content, snuggling into his embrace.
It made his heart skip a beat, making him feel like a schoolboy in love.
If the circumstances were different he might have laughed at himself. The Dark Lord of the Sith brought to his proverbal knees by this slip of a girl. No one in the future would have believed it.
A loud crash interrupted the hugging couple. Vader looked with amusement how the Felucian insectoid broke the far left pillar in two during its attempt to reach Kenobi and use him as a snack. The part of him that was the Sith Lord wanted nothing more than to see the Jedi eaten.
However, the tiny shadow that was left of Anakin Skywalker had always regretted how the last encounter with his former master had ended. That Kenobi had been too set up in his old ways to see the truth. Yet, here he was – somehow back in time, long before everything went to hell.
Vader stared at his former master. What to do…
With exasperated sigh and roll of his eyes, Skywalker held tightly his... future wife. Yeah, they were not yet married in this day and age. Damn!
With a light tug through the Force he snapped the chains binding her hands. He hugged Padme tighter and then jumped to the ground, with the young woman securely held in his arms.
Amidala yelped and glared at him when they landed lightly. Anakin gave her a roguish grin in response. He'll be paying for this stunt later. He just knew it.
"You can scream at me to your heart's content later, love." Anakin murmured and lightly kissed her hair, inhaling a bit of her fragrance. He released the exasperated senator and headed towards the overgrown insect which wanted to use Obi-Wan as a chew toy.
"Need a hand, master?" the young man asked, grinning insufferably.
A mounted local chose that moment to enter the fray. The overgrown insect was charging at Kenobi, spear tip crackling with energy pointed at the Jedi's back. Vader smirked and waved his hand at the local, the Force guided by his gesture. The Geonosian flew from his mount and struck the side of the insect. The animal chittered in irritation before snapping at the little thing that dared attack it. That was the last conscious action it took.
Because while it was distracted, Vader used his powers to pick up the spear that was carried by the unfortunate and propelled it at the beast with acceleration rivaling that of a starship's engine. The needle-sharp tip slammed into the Felucian beast's head. The pike was hurled with enough force to emerge from the other side of the animal's thick skull, covered blood and brains. For a moment, the insectoid stood frozen in place. Its legs twitched randomly a few times before it crumpled to the ground like a puppet with its strings cut off.
Kenobi raised an eyebrow and went to join his apprentice and the senator. If Obi-Wan's expression was anything to go by, he wanted to ask Vader a few pointed questions.
Count Dooku was using every diplomatic trick he had learned to placate the Neimoidian viceroy and was tempted to add a few doses of Force enhanced persuasion to his significant skills. Because the damn overgrown toad was refusing to listen. Even with the damn Jedi sneaking all over the Arena, Amidala was likely to get her foolish head blow off in few minutes, when the droids were sent in force.
Besides the Trade Federation envoy was a distraction, which was preventing Dooku from concentrating on the young Jedi in the arena. Something curious had happened down there and he was curious to find out what.
Obi-Wan's apprentice had suddenly grown in power, not particularly surprising if the boy had opened his eyes and used the anger he undoubtedly felt at the situation. However the Darkness Dooku could feel from him... Skywalker was literally reeking of the Dark Side, or at least he did a minute ago. Not something that one would expect from someone just grasping it and trying to use it for the first time.
The former Jedi shook his head. That boy becoming interesting. Too bad that he was going to die. Soon.
"Patience my friend, patience. She will die." said Dooku, once he returned his attention to the Neimoidian.
Below them seven droidekas rolled towards the center of the arena.
"Obi-Wan. Good to see you again, old man."
"Anakin..." muttered Kenobi. The older Jedi was lost for words.
This was not the young, headstrong padawan who the older Jedi had trained and raised. There was unbelievable power slumbering within Skywalker… not to mention the power of the Dark Side that was shrouding him like a cloak, though it was slowly turning grayer, with strands of light leaking in.
Obi-Wan could almost feel the warmth of Anakin's power on his skin. It was as if he was close, too close to a star. At the same time he could sense the chilling embrace of the Dark side upon his apprentice too. Which was even stronger. This was nothing like the young man that he was led into the arena a few short minutes ago.
"Anakin, what happened to you?" exclaimed the usually calm Jedi.
"It's a long story, old man. We have more immediate concerns."
Anakin pointed at the seven droidekas which were rolling in their direction. "There is whole droid army on the planet with a lot of the tin cans hidden under the arena."
"Ah. It's one of those days then." deadpanned Kenobi.
"You have no idea." a ghost of genuine smile tugged the corner of Anakin's mouth. "Besides, this time it's your fault for getting us into this mess."
Kenobi felt a fondness in Anakin's voice, mixed with a hint of nostalgia. As if his apprentice hadn't seen him in years.
Obi-Wan felt the Force stir around Anakin. The droids which were in the process of surrounding them and unfolding from their fast travel configuration released a loud electronic whine before it was drowned by the screech of twisting metal.
The older Jedi could feel the Force flowing through his young friend, who had his right hand raised. Anakin's open palm slammed shut, forming a fist. In the same moment, the machines were suddenly suspended in midair and crushed as if by squeezed by giant press. Their ruined remains were left to fall on the sands of the arena.
Kenobi just shook his head at the feat displayed by his apprentice. He would love to hear Anakin's explanation. While Skywalker was strong, he had seldom displayed anything coming even close to this. The bearded Jedi glanced to the young man and woman to his right, curiosity written all over his face.
Obi-Wan's eyes widened. He must have been blind not to see it immediately. The storm of emotions those two felt towards each other was almost overwhelming, almost a physical thing he could touch if he came closer to them.
"Anakin, we'll be having a long conversation after the current unpleasantries are over." grumbled Obi-Wan.
Skywalker just shrugged. That was way down on his list of priorities right now. All he was concerned with was keeping Padme safe.
In the stands, Dooku was watching the two Jedi with unreadable expression on his face. He could feel immense danger from the boy.
The former Jedi was so concentrated on the happenings in the arena that he did not sense the man who sneaked in the VIP lodge, before a purple lightsaber blade hissed to life in front of Jango Fett.
Dooku turned around, without showing any trace of surprise.
"Master Windu, how pleasant of you to join us."
"This party is over." declared the Jedi Master.
Dozens of Jedi revealed themselves on the stands a with few entering the arena from the side entrances. They activated their lightsabers, while relying on the Force to panic the locals and cause them to fly away from the coliseum. All the while, most of them were giving wary glances to their comrades on the arena.
"Brave, but foolish my Jedi friend." smiled Dooku. "You are impossibly outnumbered." There was undeniable smugness in the voice of the separatist leader.
"I don't think so." Windu deadpanned.
"We'll see." Dooku smirked.
Behind the back of the Jedi Master could be heard the sounds of metal legs marching over the stone floor. A group of heavy battle droids emerged from the tunnel. Their right arms shifted, transforming into blasters and they opened fire. The machines were joined by the bounty hunter who used his flame thrower to force Windu off the stands.
When the Jedi revealed themselves, Vader rolled his eyes. If it was not for Yoda and the army of clones who would be here soon, this would have been the death knell for the whole Order with the "best" of them getting themselves killed. Bloody fools! And to think that now he was one of them. Technically at least.
"Bloody idiots!" Vader muttered. He threw his hands forward, straight at the entrance from which he and his companions were led to the arena. He could sense a battalion of droids marching towards them from there. By the time Windu was forced to jump to the ground and the battle was starting, Anakin had felt the stone walls of the tunnel. He could sense all their strong points and imperfections, down to the tinniest flaw. He tugged with the Force at precisely the wrong places and the entrance collapsed burying the lead elements of the battalion and forcing the rest of the machines to search for alternative route. That would slow them down a bit.
Scores of Jedi, with their multi colored weapons blazing, were charging the droids pouring in the arena. With the main entrance collapsed, the warrior monks were divided in two equal groups and attacked the machines who were flooding the coliseum from the remaining pair of tunnels. Anakin's actions gave the Jedi the upper hand for the time being, because their enemies could not get in a big enough force to overwhelm them.
Vader used the Force to pick up from the ground the broken piece of the pillar that almost squashed down Kenobi, a few minutes ago. He used it as a battering ram to flatten massive numbers of enemies, thus buying even more time for Yoda to arrive with the reinforcements.
He noticed how the locals brought out one of their kriffing sound cannons, which was moving on a repulsorlift platform. Two of the Geonosians were laughing in their language as they opened fire. The first shot went wide, only covering few Jedi with sand.
The second however was better aimed. Or the weapon's crew just had plain dumb luck on their side. The sound wave picked up an unfortunate human Jedi who screamed for a moment before his insides were shredded by the resonating sound-waves. His flight was short lived. He and the sound-wave struck one of the remaining pillars in the middle of the arena. The resulting explosion rained pieces of man and stone over the battling forces.
That was the last action of the cannon crew before their lives were extinguished. The piece of pillar which Vader was using as a makeshift weapon was thrown at their weapon emplacement with enough force to obliterate it and the pair of beings manning it.
Vader looked around. To his growing horror, but total lack of surprise, he found that Padme had once again hijacked a hover-sled, that was pulled by a four legged reptile with obscenely long snout. She was riding the animal and raining fire upon the droids with a blaster liberated from some disabled machine.
Anakin shook his head muttering something about stubborn and suicidal women, while he ran after her. One of the Jedi he raced by threw him a spare lightsaber.
"Thanks!" he shouted to the woman who was busy slicing through a group of droids.
The time traveler watched a deja vu, when the beastie Padme was ridding was shot from under her and she was thrown through the air. He acted more on instinct than a conscious thought and was able to catch her in a gentle telekinetic grip. He carefully put her on the ground near the sled.
Padme gave him a grateful smile that melted his cold heart before she took cover. Anakin sprinted to her side and took defensive position to protect her from stray blaster bolts, before revering right back the efficient Sith Lord he was. He never realized that he had a foolish teenage grin on his face, which was at odds with his blazing yellow eyes.
"Obi-Wan, come here!" he shouted to his mentor.
"I have a prior appointment!" Obi-Wan quipped in answer to Anakin's shout.
Kenobi, who had received a lightsaber from one of the other Jedi was busy dealing with a quartet of super droids. He deflected a hail of blaster bolts away, sending few of them back towards one of the killing machines. Its armor plating held couple of the energy beams but that weakened it enough so the next blew through the alloy protecting the robot and blew its innards. The machine whined pitifully and tumbled to the ground in a smoking heap.
Obi-Wan darted forward, coming near enough to the next droid to slice off its right arm and slash through part of its torso. He moved in such a way that the crippled machine was between him and its two fellows.
Kenobi threw away one of the pairs of still standing Super Battle droids with a mighty telekinetic push and finished off the damaged one which left only one enemy in the immediate vicinity. The last robot desperately shot at the Jedi with its weapon only to be blown apart by its own deflected blaster fire.
Obi-Wan saw that his fellow Jedi had things more or less under control and made his way to his wayward apprentice.
"You shouted." Kenobi grinned to Anakin who had taken defensive stance over senator Amidala.
"Cover me for few seconds, old man."
Anakin deactivated his lightsaber and concentrated, while Obi-Wan was deflecting any shot coming at them. The arena shook when one after another the remaining two entrances collapsed burying countless droids.
"Now, that's better." Skywalker smirked and took few deep gulps of air. The Force energy he used to bring down the tunnels was obviously tiring him.
Which made Obi-Wan relax a bit. At least his apprentice hadn't become inexhaustible juggernaut while he was away. Just apparently fell in love, flirted with the Dark Side too and got an order of magnitude or two more powerful...
Meanwhile, the rest of the Jedi seeing what happened, redoubled their efforts to eliminate the deployed war machines.
"Now, Anakin, I think you owe me an explanation." Obi-Wan said after seeing that the immediate danger was gone for the moment.
Skywalker and Padme looked at each other. Kenobi didn't miss the bit of gild in the Senator's eyes.
Anakin on the other side, had an infuriating smirk on his face. As if the obvious ways he had broken the code didn't concern him in any way, shape or form. Which was true, though Kenobi didn't know it at the time. After all, if Anakin was actually kicked out of the Order, he could marry the senator with much less scrutiny or any hiding. Besides in such a case he could marry Padme without hiding. Though that would be revelation coming at a later date.
"You want to know what changed in me, master?" asked Anakin.
The young man smiled mischievously and knelt next to Senator Amidala. He carefully helped her to her feet, then gently cupped her face with his left hand and passionately kissed her.
She stiffened for a moment, obviously surprised by the brazen action. Then Padme leaned into the man she apparently cared for and returned his kiss, momentarily forgetting the chaos around them.
Obi-Wan stared at the pair with a hanging mouth. The older man felt like his jaw was about to hit the ground. Yep. Anakin wasn't caring about what anyone was kriffing thinking about his forbidden relationship.
"Why me?" Obi-Wan muttered, feeling like slamming his head into the nearest flat surface. Repeatedly.
Around them, many of the Jedi who no longer had droids to dealt with took a note of Anakin's actions. While a lot were frowning with disapproval, most of the young ones were giving the couple either approving looks or small smiles. A few enthusiasts were whistling with approval too.