Title: Anakin Delivers

Author: Jedikma

Rated: PG

Summary: Anakin makes a delivery that will one day be part of Vader's undoing.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything; George Lucas does, as you know. I am just here for fun and hope that someone else enjoys my stories.

A/N: I am personally convinced that Anakin's destiny was to become Vader all along and that was the only way he could get close enough to the Sith to ultimately destroy them. It seems like such a bleak prophecy, that Anakin would become so evil and do so much evil. To counter that, I would like to think that Anakin does many things before his turn to the dark side that will ultimately weave together later and be part of the undoing of Vader, the Emperor, and the Empire and this is one reason why it was so important to train him as a Jedi. This story comes from this idea. I would love reviews.

Anakin Delivers

The ship was traveling through space at a slow and tedious speed. It was a starfrieghter. It was huge, bulky and totally unglamorous and it carried many passengers, most of whom were refugees. Anakin Skywalker and his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, were also on this ship. They were headed to Corellia and the surrounding planets on a mission and they were traveling undercover. It was important that they not be discovered as Jedi or their mission would be compromised.

The journey was long, made longer by the speed, or lack thereof, of the freighter, and Anakin was bored. He sat beside his Master, who as always, was surveying the area around him. He always observed everything, even when there wasn't anything to observe. At least, not anything in Anakin's mind.

Anakin sat beside his Master, but even at the age of nearly eighteen, he was restless and wished he could be elsewhere. He had already walked through the ship itself and all he could observe were the throngs of beings, each with their own belongings, that were trying to maintain some level of comfort as they traveled to new homes.

A heavy sigh escaped from Anakin before he thought to stop it. Immediately he hoped his Master hadn't noticed or he might get some lecture on the virtues of patience. He'd certainly heard that one enough since he began his apprenticeship. As time passed and Anakin grew older he sometimes felt his restlessness had only grown with him and patience was at a premium for him. If his Master heard his sigh, and Anakin was sure he had, he thankfully said nothing.

Anakin decided he should perhaps follow his Master's example and he sat back and pulled the Force into him and used it to sweep his surroundings. It revealed nothing new that he hadn't already observed. He sensed nothing out of the ordinary, nothing amiss.

He lifted his eyes from the floor in front of him and they met the gaze of a child, who must have been about 7 or 8 years old. Her eyes were a deep brown and her braided hair was jet black. Her skin was fair and her clothes were plain and well worn. The hem of her dress was tattered and the front of her smock was stained. She stared intently at him as though she recognized him or should know who he was. Anakin didn't sense anything from this girl through the Force, but oddly, he just knew she was important.

She held his gaze a few more moments, and then moved along.

Anakin unconsciously shook off the feeling of strangeness the girl left behind. He leaned back in his seat, folded his arms across his chest and closed his eyes. Maybe if he slept a little this trip would go faster.

When Anakin reopened his eyes, he found himself once again staring into the brown orbs of the little girl with the black hair. Her gaze was more intense than the first time he saw her. "You can help," she said flatly.

Anakin looked surprised at the certainty of the little girl's words. "I don't understand," he answered her.

She just continued, "I know you can help. I don't know how I know; it is just something I believe. Won't you please come with me?"

Obi-Wan, having observed the exchange, decided to speak up. "Tell us what it is you think we can help you with, young one."

The child only glanced at Anakin's Master and returned her gaze to Anakin. "Please won't you come with me." Her remark was more of a statement then a question this time.

"It can't hurt to see what she needs help with, Master," Anakin said. "I feel that this is important."

Obi-Wan nodded assent and they both got up from their seats to follow the girl. She took them to the lower level of the ship, all the while not saying a thing about what she needed. As the Jedi entered the lower level they both sensed a disturbance in the force; they sensed a being in trouble. The child wove around the crowd of people until she reached a couple sitting against one wall of the ship. The man was supporting the woman in his arms and wiping perspiration from her forehead. The woman was obviously great with child and in pain.

"My aunt is going to have a baby." The girl's eyes showed intensity when she said these words directly to Anakin.

"She needs the ships healer, young one." Obi-Wan quickly stepped in to handle this situation. "He can help you. I am afraid we can't"

The little girl grabbed Anakin's hand. Obi-Wan noticed that the child was very focused on Anakin and it seemed very odd. "No, he can't help," she replied. "He is asleep in his office and won't wake up. You can help."

Anakin felt a chill run down his spine. How could the child possibly know he could help? He stretched out through the force to get a feel for the situation and realized that someone had to try to help. "Master," he leaned towards Obi-Wan. "I can help."

Very few times was Obi-Wan ever taken by complete surprise but this was one of those times. "Anakin, the woman is about to give birth. How can you possibly help?"

"Master, when I was growing up, my mother often acted as a midwife for the slaves around us. The other slaves trusted her over the incompetent healers the Hutts usually employed, and she always took me with her when she had to deliver a baby. Ever since I was six she had me help her with deliveries. There weren't many, but I think I can remember enough to help. It doesn't look like anyone else is going to help."

Obi-Wan kept a low tone of voice as he answered Anakin. "I don't like this, Anakin. It's too risky and any attention to us can compromise our cover."

The pregnant woman let out a loud groan and the distress Anakin felt through the Force was intense. "Master, if I don't help, the woman and the baby will both die." He spoke with such conviction, which was rare whenever he spoke to Obi-Wan, that Obi-Wan was compelled to acquiesce.

"Ok, Anakin, if you're sure you can do this, but you must not use the Force or risk our cover."

Anakin then unclipped his lightsaber from his belt and discretely passed it to his Master to hold onto for him. Then he removed his cloak as he turned to the man and the woman on the floor. "I'm Anakin Skywalker. I can help."

"You're just a boy!" the man said perturbed.

"Yes sir, I am just a boy, but I used to help my Mother deliver babies when I was even younger. I'm sure I can help." Anakin chose his words carefully, so as not to reveal any uncertainty in is voice. Something within him told him he could do this, but there was always the tiny voice of doubt needling from behind.

The woman spoke up through her pain. "Jagged, I don't think we have a choice. No one else has come forward. Please let him help."

"I'm sorry," the man relented. "I'm just concerned. My name is Jagged and this is my wife, Zena."

Anakin nodded to the couple then he turned to his Master. "This is Obi-Wan Kenobi." He dropped his Master's title so as not to reveal who they were.

Obi-Wan also nodded to the couple. "What can I do to help, Anakin?"

"I need soap and water to wash my hands and I need as many towels as you can find."

With that Obi-Wan took his leave and the young girl followed. "I'll help," she stated.

Anakin took a deep breath and knelt down directly in front of the couple. Anakin noticed that they were young, maybe even younger than Obi-Wan. "How far apart are the contractions, ma'am?"

"Two and a half minutes," Jagged spoke for his wife. "The baby wasn't supposed to come for at least three more weeks. We thought sure we would make it to our new home before this happened.

"'Babies never come when we want them to come, they come when they are ready,' my mother always said, 'some early, some late, some right on time and no two are ever the same.'" Anakin said as he continued to quote his mother, with a smile. "I would suggest we move you to a place more comfortable, but I get the feeling moving you is not a good idea at this point." Anakin added as he watched the woman grimace at the start of another contraction.

She let out another loud moan. Anakin couldn't understand how the beings close by could just ignore this woman in her pain. The galaxy was becoming a colder place to live in all the time. People just didn't want to get involved with each other anymore.

"Ma'am," Anakin said as the contraction passed, "I need to lift up your skirts to check the baby's progress."

"The woman sucked in a large breath of air. "The time for delicacy is passed. Please just do what you need to do."

Anakin once again reached back into his memory. His Mother always talked through every delivery. She told him it was always good to let the new mother know what was going on. It cut down on her anxiety and using a soothing voice was also helpful.

"I'm going to move you into a better position," he told her and with that he gently adjusted her hips. Then he carefully pushed her skirts above her knees and took each leg, bent it at the knee and placed each foot flat on the floor. Now he would be able to manage the birth of the child. He lifted the skirts even further to get a better look and noticed that her undergarments were wet. "Your water broke?" he asked.

"Yes, maybe about fifteen minutes ago."

"Anakin." Came a voice behind him. "I have some soap and water and some towels for you." Obi-Wan came towards him and leaned down.

"Thank you. I was hoping to be able to wash my hands first," he said as he dipped his hands into the water and scrubbed them with the soap. "My mother always said that a new life deserved to be brought into the galaxy by a pair of clean hands." He smiled at the new parents as he said this.

As Anakin dried his hands on one of the towels, he again told the mother what he planned to do next. "I have to try to find out where the baby is and I have to reach inside to do it. It will be uncomfortable, but it may help if you take a deep breath." Anakin reached between the woman's legs and put his hands in the birth canal opening. Now he needed to call on the Force to get a clear picture of the baby. Not only did the Force tell him that the child was in terrible distress, but also the child's back was positioned across the opening. Anakin was careful not to display any negative emotions. "The baby's back is across the opening and he cannot come out that way."

The father immediately reacted with concern. "What will happen now?"

"I will have to turn the child, so that either the feet or the head will come out first." He noticed the worry that spread across the mother's face. "Don't worry. I have had to help my mother do this before."

It was true. During one delivery Shmi had to have Anakin put his hands into the mother's birth canal and turn the baby. "Your hands are small, Annie, I need you to do this for me," she had said. That was a long time ago and now Anakin had grown. He had probably reached his full height and his hands were now big and lean. His long fingers arched gracefully and he realized that his hands were too big for the job. He looked up to meet the gaze of the brown-eyed girl, who had returned when his Master had returned and she was studying everything he did.

"What is your name?" Anakin finally thought to ask.

"Annie," she said.

A grin spread across Anakin's face. "I'm Annie, too. That's what my Mom used to call me years ago. Annie, let me see your hands."

The little girl held out her hands for Anakin to see. Her hands were calloused for one so young and dirty, but they were wonderfully small. "I need your help, Annie." As he spoke these words, he felt the years fall away as he remembered his Mother saying the very same thing to him. He could swear he heard Shmi's voice in his ears.

"What can I do?" she asked.

"First you need to wash your hands and then you need to help turn your cousin so that he or she can come into this galaxy." The girl seemed to brighten at the prospect that she could be of help and she immediately began to follow Anakin's instructions.

Anakin took Annie's hand and guided it inside the birth canal. "Do you feel that long soft curve? That is the baby's back. I need for you to push up on that so that the baby can shift position." Anakin kept one hand on the girl's arm and used her hand as if it were and extension of his. His other hand was on the mother's swollen abdomen and he gently pushed up from the outside. He very discretely used the Force to help, but as they were trying to move the infant another contraction took place. Anakin felt Annie stiffen as she in turn felt the muscles of the uterine wall enclose around her hand. Her aunt gave out a loud cry and her uncle tried to coach her aunt with her breathing. "Hold still, it will pass soon," Anakin told the child soothingly. Anakin also tried to absorb some of the excruciating pain from the contraction, to make it easier on everyone.

Obi-Wan stood close by watching all that was transpiring. He had to admit that he was impressed and proud of his apprentice. He rarely saw Anakin take such complete command of a situation and handle everything so coolly. Of course, he was still young, but this incidence proved more than anything that Anakin was capable of handling a tough situation. Obi-Wan was also aware that Anakin was employing the Force. As long as he could be discrete about it, it would be okay.

Looking about, Obi-Wan realized that an audience was beginning to form around the scene taking place. He decided to take the situation under control and keep beings at bay and try to keep glaring eyes to a minimum. He also took advantage of the situation and sent some of those that were suddenly so interested for more towels and maybe a blanket, even clothes, for the baby once it was born. He sent someone to find out more about the healer on board, or perhaps, to find an assistant. Obi-Wan wanted to remain near Anakin, in case he was needed.

Anakin had been sitting on his legs all this time and they were starting to feel numb. He moved to get more comfortable, but it was not possible to alleviate the discomfort. Once the contraction ended Anakin let out a heavy breath to release his discomfort, anxiety and the pain he tried to absorb into the Force. Then Anakin felt the infant move from it's wedged in position and turn. The child was going to be born feet first, but at least he was going to be able to come out.

Anakin announced this to the parents and he felt a sense of relief from both of them. "I hope this doesn't mean that this little one will always be a rebel and always just barely get out of many dangerous spots." The father said, though there was a sense of pride that laced his words.

Anakin smiled. "I'm going to help pull the legs through." Annie had moved out of his way and he used his long fingers to reach in and guide the legs out. He was then able to carefully guide the body and arms out. He could sense through the Force that the baby's distress had greatly decreased and the child had strengthened. Anakin supported the baby's down turned body in his left hand as its arms and legs moved softly.

"Ma'am, you will need to push with the next contraction so that we can get the head through. Soon this will all be over."

Seconds later the woman began a great contraction and pushed hard as her husband coached her. Anakin stuck one long finger along side the baby's head and gently eased the head out of the birth canal. A huge sigh of relief could be felt and heard by everyone around as the infant let out a baleful cry. Anakin turned the child over and grabbed another clean towel to wipe him off.

"It's a boy!" Annie announced.

"Yes," Anakin confirmed. "It's a boy and I believe he is going to be just fine."

Anakin continued to wipe off the infant as the father beamed with pride. "Well, after all that we have to name him. We still haven't decided on a name."

Annie then spoke up. "I have the perfect name for him," she said. "His name should be Wedge."

"Why is that?" The mother asked.

The little girl blushed. "Because he was wedged in there really good."

The parents laughed letting go of all the tension that had built up over the past few hours. Anakin and Obi-Wan smiled. Anakin motioned to his Master for something that would cut the umbilical cord and Obi-Wan pulled a small vibroblade from his utility belt.

As Anakin freed the infant from his old home, he wrapped the boy in a towel and handed him to his mother.

Jagged looked at his wife and son and smiled. "Wedge Antilles, it is then."

FIN