warning: somewhat graphic depictions of violence. Abuse of a minor. Not to be read if the concept concept of blood is upsetting. PG:13 to be safe. In this story, Anakin is 16.
Me: "I own star wars! I own star wars!" Gets dragged of to an insane asylum. "B-but I thought... my cousin told me…"
Cousin: April Fools!
It would be difficult. She was, after all, only 12. But she could do it. She was special like that. Very special. Anakin and his Master would come, and she would leave her mark. She might not be duly remembered, but she would change the future. It was a near ultimate goal. But she could do it. Anakin would come, and he would not leave the same, she would make sure of that.
Anakin sighed. His Master just didn't understand. He'd never known things like guilt. Never known what it was like to go to bed tired, feeling like the world was over, and that he would be the property of another person the rest of his life. For that matter, neither did Palpatine, but at least he was willing to listen. At least he was willing to try and understand. He would go see the man now, he decided. And that was another thing. Obi-wan obviously didn't trust the Chancellor. He held him to the same prejudice he had against all politicians. Palpatine was obviously a good man. He was a great man, finding time for Anakin, even through his busy life. Honestly though, Anakin wouldn't have been as frustrated with his Master if he had pushed him away from the Chancellor. If he pushed him away, then he cared enough to try and protect Anakin. But he didn't. He allowed a relationship he felt was bad for his padawan to endure, and Anakin resented him for that. Finally he stood outside Palpatine's door. When he was waved in, he couldn't help but feel that he was finally at home.
"Anakin, my boy! What a wonderful surprise! I wasn't expecting you here!"
"To be honest, neither was I. I just, I mean, I needed..." Anakin didn't know how to finish.
"It's her, isn't it." His tone was flat, a statement, not a question. "Master Yaddle. Her death still haunts you."
Anakin looked away. Why was he even here? Palpatine was right, of course. But why was he bothering the man with it?
Palpatine seemed to know what he was thinking. "It's alright, Anakin. You know that you can talk to me about anything. I want to here for you. I'm not like that sorry excuse for a Master you have, what's he doing anyway, pushing you away like that. He had no right! Can't he see what he's doing to you?
Anakin looked away. Although deep down there was a part of him that agreed with the Chancellor, Obi-wan was his Master. It wasn't right to talk about him like that, even if there was some truth to the statement. "He doesn't try to hurt me. He just doesn't know how to deal with things like this. He wants to help me, he really does."
Palpatine sighed. "Yes, I know, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to talk like that. It's just that when he hurts you like that, oh it makes me so angry, I care about you Anakin. You deserve better than him. You are the most powerful Jedi the Order ever had or will see. You are amazing, and they treat you like trash!"
Even though Anakin didn't say it, the Chancellor's words made him swell with pride. The Supreme Chancellor, and he thought that Anakin was the most powerful Jedi ever? Palpatine's admittedly non protocol anger at the Jedi on his behalf made him feel good to, though he would never say so. The man cared about him and that was the most wonderful thing in the world. His comlink beeped, and Obi-wan informed him that they had a mission, and that he needed to be in the room of 1,000 fountains by oh three hundred hours. Anakin sighed and excused himself, wondering where they would go this time. He just hoped he didn't get captured again. One Jedi Master dead over him was enough.
Obi-wan waited for Anakin and wondered why he had to see the Chancellor in the first place. Obi-wan did not approve of politicians. He was jolted from his thoughts by an approaching Jedi, and quickly turned to greet him. "Master Windu. A pleasant surprise. What brings you here? I know it's not the demonstration Master Kar-hath is putting on."
Mace gave a small smile. "No, I'm afraid master Kar-hath will have to leave his tales of a new type of Force Connection, and power beyond imagining to the younglings. Master Obi-wan, do you believe that Anakin is ready for another mission after... the 'incident?' If you feel he needs more time to recover, then we will not force you to go."
"The offer is appreciated, Master, but I feel that this will be good for Anakin. He must learn to face his demons, and a mission will do him good."
Mace nodded. "All right then. May the Force be with you." Mace left Obi-wan wondering if he had really made the right choice.
"Hey, Master!" Anakin called, sauntering up to Obi-wan. "Where we headed?"
"A small planet called Belenore. We received a transmission calling for help. Nothing else."
"Sounds like a trap. Nothing but a distress call? Classic. Do they really expect us to fall for that?"
"I know. But we're assuming that no one would be stupid enough to try something like that. Besides, they left their id number. If it was a trap, they wouldn't do that."
"Fine. But why do we have to go? There have to be plenty of Jedi who can..."
"We're going because this mission is on Belanore, and I am one of the few Jedi with friends and contacts on Belanore, no matter how cowardly and incompetent. We're also going because something about this world (no one knows what) makes connecting to the Force very difficult, and we are hoping you will be able to still connect to it at least better than anyone else. We are also going because the world is located inside a plethora of asteroid belts, and we need someone with exceptional piloting skills to get us in. That is you. Now will you stop questioning my judgment, and just obey!"
Anakin blinked, shocked. Why was his Master talking to him like this? He didn't understand. "Master, what's wrong? Are you alright?"
Obi-wan just glared at him. NO, he wasn't all right. He was angry. He had a particularly trying day, and Anakin's incessant questions were not doing much to help. But that wasn't any reason to snap at the boy like that. "I'm fine, Anakin. I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you like that. I just..."
Anakin looked away. Obi-wan had hurt him and he couldn't look him in the eye. "No Master, I need to learn to control my questions better. I'm sorry.
Obi-wan was about to tell him that he didn't have any reason to be sorry, it was Obi-wan who was at fault, not Anakin, but then Yoda called, and said that it was time to go, and that they needed to split up and get ready to leave, right now, and all the problems of Master and Apprentice were swept away unresolved, just like always, and nothing was settled, leaving a hole in two separate hearts, pushing apart, keeping solutions at bay. And at present, there was nothing, it seemed, to do about it.
Belanore was fast approaching, and with it the instant decrease of Force connection. Obi-wan could feel the planet's strange power sap his Force abilities, and wished he was somewhere else, anywhere else. It was a terrible feeling, the hole where the Force ought to be. He wondered how it felt to someone as force sensitive as Anakin. The boy might even be in physical pain. He cursed himself for not thinking of it before, and turned to go to Anakin's quarters. "Anakin?" He called softly. "Anakin, are you alright?" Then he saw him. The boy's face was pure white, he was doubled over gasping for breath, and drenched in sweat.
"M-master. It hurts..."
Obi-wan ran to Anakin, his own discomfort forgotten. Gently he wrapped his arms around the boy, and carried him to bed, wishing that their ship came with more advanced medical supplies than a med kit. Obi-wan ran a cool cloth over Anakin's face and neck, wishing he knew what to do to help him. Anakin moaned, and Obi-wan ran his fingers through his padawan's hair. He could only hope that this would pass, and Anakin would adjust to the decreased level of Force sensitivity. Maybe it was the shock. If not, then they might need to send someone else to go on this mission. He hoped that wouldn't be the case, if for no other reason than that it took 5 days to get to Belamere from Coruscant, and they couldn't com the temple, due to interference. He sighed, and smoothed Anakin's hair off of his forehead. Anakin was quieting, and seemed to be falling asleep. Obi-wan wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not, but rest looked like it was a good idea. Slowly he caressed Anakin cheek with his hand, and tried to sooth him with all the healing Force he could muster. They would be landing soon, and he hoped that Anakin made a full recovery. He had a bad feeling about this mission, and he wondered what it was.
Black. It was black. Darkness was overwhelming, and it seemed to be suffocating him. He tried to use the Force to fight it, but the Force wasn't there, it was gone, he was alone, alone... and then, through the darkness, there came a voice, whispering to him, telling him it would be O.K.. And then he was struggling to regain consciousness, to wake up...
"Anakin? Anakin, are you alright?" Anakin coughed.
"Fine... Master. Ohhh, my head. Wh-what happened?"
"We entered Belanore airspace. Now I'm going to the cockpit in case I need to get clearance to land. You can join me when you feel like it."
Obi-wan left, and seated himself in the pilot's chair. Anakin would be fine, he was soothing the boys nerves now, running over him with the Force, and gently comforting him. Soon, however, Anakin joined him. "Hey, Master. How's it going?" So Anakin was back to his general peppy self. Or mostly, at least.
Then Anakin frowned. "Master, I sense something is wrong."
Obi-wan sighed. "I have a bad feeling about this."
"You have a bad feeling about everything."
And that was when the gigantic battle cruiser appeared out of hyperspace, caught them in a tractor beam, and pulled them aboard.