Title: Surrender

Author: Smenzer

Rating: PG

Pairing: None

Teaser: Obi-Wan contemplates his fall to the Dark Side

Disclaimer:  The characters are not mine; they belong to George Lucas, Lucasfilm Ltd and Fox.

Author's Note: This is a companion piece to "Breaking the Rules".

A part of me looks back and I still can't believe it had happened. I was always so strong in the Light. I had believed in the Jedi Order and all it stood for. Yet I glance down at my robes and know that it's true. Instead of the rich cream and ivory I used to wear my robes are now as dark as night. How had this happened to me?

Anakin.

My young and headstrong apprentice has caused this. He had allowed himself to be ruled by his emotions and when he fell to the Dark Side he pulled me with him. I know I should have resisted. I could have ended it all right there that day. It would have been oh so easy. We had met again on some hostile world filled with erupting volcanoes. Bubbling pits of lava were all around us. I was still a Jedi and so we fought one another, our lightsabers slashing viciously. Anakin retreated backward quickly as I pressed in at him. He was only half paying attention to what lay behind him, all his concentration on the fight. He was blaming me for the Council finding out about his secret marriage. I think he feared being kicked out of the Order. In his own way Anakin loved being a Jedi but he wanted to be married, too. Perhaps he thought the Chosen One should have special privileges the other Jedi weren't allowed. But I knew nothing of his marriage and was shocked at the news. How could this have happened? I could see all the years I had trained him disappearing down a cosmic drain, my efforts wasted. My heart sunk low. I had failed as a teacher and my Padawan would pay the price. He would never be a Jedi now. Worst, Palpatine had corrupted the boy and had turned him to the Dark Side by filling his head with lies, lies about the Jedi.

Yes, it would have been easy. All I had needed to do was to push him backward. The boy I had loved as a son would fall into the lava and would be gone forever. The death would be horrible beyond imagining but it would be fast. Or that's what I tried to tell myself.

Yet I couldn't bring myself to do it.

As a Jedi it was my duty to destroy the Sith. They were an abomination to the galaxy and brought only misery everywhere. But I had committed a horrible sin myself. I had grown attached to the boy. How could I not after all the years being with him? I had tried to distance myself by not praising him for work well done but in my heart I did love him. And surely he was still my Anakin? He looked the same as he had the last time I had seen him. He possessed the same intense blue eyes that seemed to see everything, the same hair, the same controversial dark clothing he favored. Perhaps if he would have looked evil I could have destroyed him. But I've learned evil often looks the same as good. You can't tell one from the other just by appearance.

He must have seen me hesitate for in a moment he was on me. His lightsaber slashed at my arm and I grimaced in pain as the blade struck home. To my surprise, it wasn't a severe injury. He hadn't cut off my arm as he surely could have but just burned it a bit as Dooku had done years earlier on Geonosis. The look in Anakin's eyes changed, too. No longer did he glare at me with murderous hatred but with something else I couldn't quite understand or identify. A slight grin spread across his lips as he stared at me. And then he spoke.

"You really don't want to kill me, do you, Master?"

I held my blade protectively before me and remained silent. How could the Council expect me to do this? My heart ached with pain. He was the closest thing I would ever have to a son and I just couldn't do it no matter how much I knew I should. I knew the galaxy would suffer for my weakness and I hated myself.

"Do you want to know what I saw in a vision, Master? Let me tell you. I saw you living as a hermit out in the desert in a miserable little hut. Do you really want that to become reality?"

At his words I could see the vision myself. An eternity of aloneness stretched out before me. How could I survive that? Others had always surrounded me. The Jedi Order would be no more and I would be forced to hide out in the lonesome desert with sand as my only companion. What would it be like to go for months or even years without hearing a voice other than my own? I would be miserable beyond words, this much I knew. To survive the destruction of the Order and to carry the guilt in my heart would destroy me as surely as a lightsaber. Nor would I be able to make new friends. I would be forced to stay alone so my Jedi past wouldn't be discovered. Dark times had arrived in the galaxy and my kind was being exterminated like vermin. Worst, it was my own Padawan that was doing the hunting.

I glanced at Anakin. Fear and despair had crept into my heart. I wanted to avoid becoming that hermit but how could that be?

"That doesn't have to happen, you know. You can change it."

My lightsaber shook as fear raced through my heart. I knew what Anakin was suggesting and the thought terrified me. Worst, I found myself actually contemplating it! How could I be doing this? I couldn't fall to the Dark Side, could I?

"It's easy."

I watched as Anakin crept closer. My feet had become rooted to the ground and I couldn't move. All I could do was stare at his blue eyes. It seemed that he could see inside my very soul. Darkness began to pour into me through our training bond and I shivered. I felt like a person caught in the headlight of an oncoming airspeeder knowing that something utterly horrible was coming but unable to avoid it.

"Join me, Obi-Wan and you need never to be lonely."

But I couldn't do that!

Or could I?

All I knew for certain is that I couldn't kill Anakin, even if he were a Sith. The years of loneliness ahead weighed down on me. I closed my eyes. The pain in my heart eased as I made my decision. There was warmth flowing through the training bond as well as darkness. My Padawan still cared for me. He didn't want to kill me any more than I wanted to kill him. If we were both going to live through this encounter something drastic needed to be done. I only hoped my bond to Anakin was stronger than the one he possibly shared with Palpatine. Perhaps I could still influence him and keep him from going totally to the Dark Side. Of course, that required I join the Dark Side myself.

"Yes, I'll join you." I had said.

I've never been lonely since.