Disclaimer: Read the first chappy legal peeps. Too lazy to repeat :)
Chapter Eighteen: Of a Master's Musings .III.
It was well into the middle of the night cycle and nearly all of Corusant was asleep, or at least in their bedrooms, but there were some who could not sleep. Sleep evaded them like a playful pup, toying with them, playing at the edge of awareness and teasing them with promises of rest. One of these people stood at the top of the Jedi Temple's steps, watching the city around him that went on as far as the eye could see, although this area of the giant planet-city was in it's night cycle, the other side of the planet, he knew, would be wide-awake and well into a days commerce. Wind whipped through his cloak, swirling it around behind him and pushing his hair back from his face. It was a bracing wind, one that may have been uncomfortable if his thoughts weren't so preoccupying. "Yes, Master…" "He is the Chosen One… he will… bring balance… train him!"
Obi-Wan stared out to the horizon as if it would hold all the answers, begging for it to give some reply to his silent questions but it didn't. It never did, and never would, yet that didn't matter, sometimes, there was something to be gained simply from asking in the first place.
Where did he go from here? He was the Chosen One, destined to bring balance to an ever increasingly unbalanced Force by defeating an opponent he wasn't sure he was capable of defeating. In the space of a day several galaxies weight of responsibility had landed squarely on his shoulders, merely because he'd been born. And what would become of Anakin, and of Qui-Gon, now the truth had been revealed to them? Qui-Gon had been so sure of himself, of his decision and everything. Anakin was the Chosen One and folly to any who dared question it, even if that person was his own (at the time anyway) Padawan. Would he admit his mistake? Seek him out to make an apology? Obi-Wan doubted it, if there was one thing Qui-Gon was, it was prideful -there was nothing anyone could do about it, since every person in all the galaxies was prideful at least one point in their lives.
Certainly he himself had been several times, but never to this extent, never to the extent where he would disown Ashden for the first child that cried "Chosen One".
And the boy. Obi-Wan had seen the emotions so carefully hidden from everybody else, the pride, the jealousy, the anger, the love, the pain. In trying so hard to become the perfect Jedi, he was becoming a machine. A dangerous machine that was now a peg or four lower. He sensed Yoda knew this too, but time was running out for Anakin and the Jedi, Obi-Wan could sense it. He would watch his progress closely over the coming months, watch the growing shadow and darkness in the boy and hope it would recede.
Back to Qui-Gon… Obi-Wan just prayed to the Force he would never have to talk to the older man. He wasn't ready for that bridge, not now, and not for a long time. His would-be last words still haunted his thoughts in his lower moments…
"Obi-Wan promise… promise me you'll train the boy…"
"He is the Chosen One… he will… bring balance… train him!"
The Force, however, does not regard such prayers as the top priority. He felt him approaching long before he arrived next to him on the step, but until that moment, Obi-Wan had been praying that he'd read the signature wrong, or he would keep walking right past him, ignore him just like he had done for the past four years.
"Obi I -"
"My title is Master Kenobi, I've told you before."
"Obi-Wan please, look,"
"No, Qui-Gon. No please look no Obi. Why are you even here?"
"Yoda told me I'd find you here."
"Yes well our favourite troll has a habit of making suggestions that aren't always welcome, doesn't he?" Obi-Wan watched the conversation as if he were a third party, listening to the cold tone in his own voice with detached shock. He sounded so… cold. There was no other word for it. As of yet, nothing Qui-Gon had said had triggered any of the usual emotions.
"Obi-Wan I came here to apologise for my actions -"
Ah, there it was. Obi-Wan's out of body experience ended with a violent plummet back into his self. "Apologise for your actions? What about your words? Your silence? The last four years?"
He span to face the older Jedi and put four years of anger and betrayal into the glare that turned his eyes a dark and turbulent sea-green. "Don't Obi-Wan me, one simply apology can't make-up for what you've done."
"I truly believed Anakin was the Chosen One -"
"And I truly believed my instincts, who was right in the end!
Qui-Gon shook his head in disappointment, "I expected better than a childish 'I told you so' from you, Obi-Wan."
"I expected you to be the bigger man, but as you can see, expectations are often more like petty pedestals."
"Silence takes two."
"You were wrong, Qui-Gon. Wrong. Your infallible instincts failed you, why won't you just admit it. You were wrong. You were going to die for your great cause when in reality all you saved was another possible Jedi. A child too old, too emotional and too proud!"
"Anakin is a good Jedi!"
"He's dangerous! How can you not see the darkness that builds within him?"
"There is no darkness, he is a Jedi, a child of the Light!"
"No single Jedi is a child of the Light, every Jedi can become a Sith, just as every Sith can become a Jedi! You could! I could! Look at Xanatos! You know this!"
Qui-Gon's eyes flashed at the mention of his first apprentice, the one who he treated as a son, to whom he gave a piece of his heart: the one who raised his 'saber against his own Master in his turn to the darkness and the Sith.
"You are out of line, Obi-Wan," he said lowly, "Anakin is not Xanatos."
"The same darkness resides within him. It only needs a trigger!"
"It is not!"
"Open your eyes! In your love for the boy you are being blind to his needs, his feelings -the ones he hides away because he knows they are wrong but revels in them anyway. You must find out why he does this, teach him, be a better Master!"
Qui-Gon reeled back as if struck, and the debate stalled, an awkward silence falling between them. Obi-Wan breathed heavily, frantically trying to calm down as his newly erected shields began to slip ever so slightly. He did not regret his words, though perhaps the timing and delivery could have been slightly better. He never meant to bring up Anakin and the oncoming problem with the boy now.
"Is that what you really believe? What your instincts tell you?"
"Not just that, it's what the Force tells me, Qui-Gon. You would see it too if you just stopped seeing only what you wanted to see!"
"You are crossing the line Padawan!"
"I'M NOT YOUR PADAWAN ANY MORE!"
Obi-Wan span on his boot heel and stormed away, back into the temple and spat over his shoulder, with barely contained contempt, "Goodbye Master Jinn." He never looked back.
Yoda shook his head from his hidden vantage point in the shadows and made no hurry to return to his rooms. When Obi-Wan stalked past, Yoda merely kept going, making no change to his pace or expression, and although he knew the newly self-revealed Chosen One of the Jedi had seen him, or at the very least sensed him, no acknowledgement was made.
Both were proud, both were stubborn, and both knew the sting of betrayal. This 'coincidental' meeting between the two had reopened some fresh wounds, ones which never healed properly before, only scarred, and now had the chance to be cleansed and heal properly. These were not the times when walls of silence and stubbornness could be allowed to interfere.
Time would tell, his meditations on the new changes hadn't bought much change. Darkness still clouded their futures, making every decision uncertain. Indeed, the only certainty that remained was that Yoda knew both former Master and Apprentice very well, and both needed closure. Real closure with real acceptance. And, given a few more 'coincidental' meetings over a time, Yoda hoped that they would forgive, even if they could not forget. Furthermore, Yoda had heard the desperation in young Obi-Wan's voice as he told Qui-Gon to open his eyes -perhaps, just perhaps, he would seek out Qui-Gon of his own accord in time. There was always a chance, after all.
Times of darkness were coming, but the Jedi would survive. The Force had blessed them with a chance. Balance would come.
Author's Notes: OMG. It's done. It's over. Finito. Finis. I feel kinda sad. I mean, i've been working on this for over a year and a half it's a bit like my proverbial baby. I have got a sequel planned, but it's pretty sketchy. I have a more substantial plan for a sequel to my Charmed story, so that may appear first!
Well (take a big breath) guess I'll see you guys later:) Thanks for coming along for the ride, your reviews have been great!
Review Thank Yous and Replies:
Lincoln Six Echo: Cool! You're writing one too? Could you give me the link? I'd love to read it :D
i luv ewansmile: The best? Well i dunno about that, but i suppose it's ok :)
dmitchell: well, after how long? a year? nearly two! its over... waddya think?
Kusco: I have? Making me blush! Good to hear you still like the story!
Phoenix Red Lion: Heehee it's no problem, i love your reviews :)
Crydwyn: Well, the news has been sent, the story is finished... time to wind down and have a rest lol...