Thank you all for the reviews! Here is the second part, which is substantially longer than the first.
Anakin strode purposefully towards his ship where it was docked near the one that had brought Yoda and Padmé. Padmé, he noted distantly, no longer lay where she had fallen. So perhaps she was still alive. But strangely enough, he couldn't bring himself to care either way. Seating himself in the pilot's chair of his small cruiser, Anakin lifted off and plotted a course for Coruscant. He didn't trust Yoda one whit, but the Master's words had stirred something deep within him. Obi-Wan was dear to him, and Anakin fervently hoped that his friend would not betray him. And if he did . . . Anakin would want to deal with him himself. Either way, he would not allow Palpatine to kill Obi-Wan.
The trip passed all too slowly for Anakin, and he was relieved to finally dock in the Senate building's hanger. Something was niggling at the back of his consciousness, but he couldn't quite place it. As he was leaving the hanger to head for Palpatine's chambers, though, another ship docked next to his. Yoda.
The old Master hobbled off of the ship, and Anakin paused to observe his approach. Padmé trailed behind him, weary and pale but clearly alive. Ignoring her, he addressed Yoda instead.
"What are you doing here?" he asked, his anger only thinly veiled. He had guessed that Yoda would follow him, though he hadn't imagined that he'd be so bold.
"Here for the same reason as you are, I am." Yoda replied simply. "Hurry, we must, before too late it is."
Anakin considered the situation carefully. While he certainly didn't want the meddling Master's help, he knew that it could prove helpful if it turned out that Palpatine had betrayed him. Conversely, he would be able to defeat Yoda more easily with Palpatine's help if it came down to that. "Very well." He scowled. "But this changes nothing." Anakin started to walk away again, but was once again stopped.
"Anakin, wait!" Came the forceful, tear-choked voice of his wife.
Anakin halted, but didn't bother to turn around. She had betrayed him; they were through.
"Just do the right thing." She said softly, but then her voice hardened somewhat. "I don't care what else you do."
"Nor do I care what you do." he said smoothly, and then left. Yoda followed him down the long halls of the Senate building, and they exchanged not a word. They didn't need to.
Soon, they came to his Master's chambers. "Wait here." Anakin ordered Yoda, who looked slightly miffed but complied. Without bothering to knock, Anakin palmed open the door and stepped inside. Palpatine, however, was nowhere to be seen.
"Gone, he is." Yoda said as he appeared in the doorway. "Know where to, do you?"
Anakin pursed his lips. "I may have an idea," he said archly. "But I'm not certain. We'll have to split up." Actually, he was reasonably certain of Palpatine's location, but he wanted some time to determine what the situation was before Yoda got involved. Whether Yoda could sense his deception, Anakin could not tell; but it did not matter as the small Master simply nodded in agreement.
Anakin tersely directed Yoda to the level forty-two space port, a place that was a good clip away and that he knew would take some time to search. His own destination was much closer, and it would take him no time at all to find Palpatine – and hopefully Obi-Wan as well.
With a low moan, Obi-Wan rolled over to his side on the hard, carpeted floor. To his great surprise, he was not dead, but was instead a captive. Why the Sith would want to keep him captive, Obi-Wan had no idea. He was not remarkably powerful, and Sidious already had Anakin for an apprentice, at least as far as he knew. The terrible pounding of his head was not conducive to thinking, however, so Obi-Wan couldn't bring himself to dwell on the whys of his current situation. The hows, though, he could probably manage. Trying but failing to rise, Obi-Wan lay back and glared hazily at the cuffs on his wrists. He then looked around and observed that he was in a dim, bare containment cell that appeared to be in someone's private apartment.
His eyes widened as he sensed just who that someone had to be. A cold, sinister wave rippled through the Force, and Obi-Wan could sense the presence that had caused it. "Sidious." He turned his head to face the Sith, who seemed to glide over the space between them.
"So you are awake, Obi-Wan Kenobi." Sidious observed. "Such unimpeccable timing you Jedi have." Uttering only a short cackle, the Sith bent down over Obi-Wan and withdrew a small hypospray from his robe.
"What do you want from me?" Obi-Wan asked stiffly, not liking where this encounter was going.
"Why nothing, of course." Sidious replied as he emptied the contents of the hypospray into Obi-Wan's neck. Immediately, Obi-Wan's vision swam, and his limbs became like lead. Dimly, just as darkness was overtaking him, he saw Sidious remove his cuffs and his last coherent thought was to wonder why.
"I see you have returned from Mustafar, my apprentice. Did your trip go well?" Palpatine asked Anakin in a gravelly voice that carried just a hint of something else.
"Yes, my Master." Anakin replied respectfully. He had found Palpatine in his private suite in the building over from the Senate building, but there was no sign of Obi-Wan. No visible sign, at least. Anakin was sure that he had sensed his friend's presence in the area, if only for an instant. Now to find out if his Master had anything to do with it. "And have you encountered any problems in my absence, Master?"
"Rest assured, my apprentice, I am capable of handling any problems that may present themselves," Palpatine rebuked him. His voice turned to ooze as he continued, "Though there was, I'm afraid, a matter involving your friend Obi-Wan Kenobi." Anakin tensed at this, and the Sith, encouraged, continued. "Our Clone Troopers came across a most unfortunate happening and informed me of it. It seems that Obi-Wan had a . . . disagreement with Master Yoda," he snarled the name out. "Yoda wanted Obi-Wan to kill you, but when he refused their meeting became violent. I'm afraid your dear friend barely survived," he said consolingly. "It is fortunate that our fine troops had the sense to bring him to me." Palpatine looked Anakin in the eye then, almost as if issuing a challenge.
Or that was how Anakin interpreted it, at least. Anakin returned Palpatine's gaze uncertainly. Before, he would have taken Palpatine's words as the truth without a second thought. But now that he no longer worried for his wife, traitorous as she was, Anakin was less quick to trust his new Master. All he had to consider now was Obi-Wan, who clearly had not betrayed him according to either Yoda's or Palpatine's rendition of events. But which one should he believe?
"May I see him, Master?" he asked neutrally.
"Of course, my apprentice. I would never keep you from him." Sidious said smoothly. He then rose and led Anakin back into a spacious bedroom. In the center of the room was a large bed done in dark bedding, and afamiliar form lay unmoving it's center. Obi-Wan. Anakin moved swiftly and seated himself on the edge of the bed beside his beloved companion, and gently cupped the other man's pale cheek with his hand. Obi-Wan did not wake, nor did he stir. Anakin carefully reached out through the Force, and was disturbed to find that Obi-Wan's Force signature was dangerously weak. Before he could probe further, though, the familiar presence retreated further into itself, and Anakin could sense Palpatine's subtle probe. Anakin's eyes narrowed imperceptibly as he turned his gaze to his Master.
"He isn't well." Anakin said tightly.
Palpatine nodded. "Yoda must pay for what he has done," he said sagely.
"Yes." Anakin agreed. Whoever had done this to Obi-Wan would pay. "Yoda will be here, soon." he said distantly.
"I would expect no less from the meddlesome Jedi." Palpatine replied coldly. "Come, Darth Vader, let us finish this."
"Yes, Master." Anakin replied tonelessly. He followed Palpatine's gaze to the door, which then opened with a quiet swoosh. Anakin turned his attention forward then and met with the level glare of Yoda.
"Master Yoda," Palpatine acknowledged the old Master with a dark gaze. "I do hope you are prepared." He flicked his wrist towards Anakin. "Kill him. Exact your revenge."
"Yes, Master." Anakin said tightly. Now was the time he had to act on his decision, and he could only hope that it was the right one. The Force, for whatever reason, had no guidance to offer him in this. Anakin drew his lightsaber and sprung, and his blue blade was met by Yoda's green. Yoda leaped off of the walls and slashed at him with a volley of blows, which Anakin sidestepped and returned with full force. As they locked blades, Anakin looked Yoda in the eye and gave him a feral grin, trusting that the wise old Master would understand. The look that Yoda gave him in return was enough.
Without further warning, Anakin whirled around and redirected the arc of his blade behind him, slashing through Palpatine's midsection. But not far enough through, and the Sith drew in a sharp gasp which became a choked cackle as his fingertips began to crackle with dark energy. Before Anakin could even think to move, the Sith directed it at Obi-Wan in one huge, devastating blast. A green blur flew across his vision then, and the Sith crumpled to the floor in a sizzling heap as the small Master's blade neatly severed his head from his body.
Anakin could only stare at the startling yellow eyes of the head for a moment, as a cloud lifted from his mind.
"Obi-Wan . . ." he gave an anguished cry as he ran to his friend's side. Crawling onto the bed beside him, Anakin sat down and gently enveloped the limp form in his arms. "I can't be too late." he whispered, pressing a kiss on the other man's head. But he feared that he was. Obi-Wan's Force signature, and the very essence of his life, were but a dim light that was on the verge of darkness. Obi-Wan was going to die . . . and Anakin could not save him.
Tears flowed freely down his cheeks, and Anakin pleaded with the Force to do something, anything, to save this man that he knew he could not live without. But the Force would offer him no reassurance at that moment. Desperately, Anakin drew upon his new power, directing as much Force energy as he could into Obi-Wan's weakened body. Rather than strengthening Obi-Wan, though, it simply flowed away, as if repelled by something within him.
"Save him that way, you cannot," came the soft, sad voice of Master Yoda from near the foot of the bed. "Only save your own body, such dark energy can." The small Master slowly hobbled out of the room then, with not a single look back.
Anakin closed his eyes as realization hit him like a cold blow to the stomach. It had all been for nothing, then – his betrayal of the Jedi, of all he had known, could not have saved Padmé. He had loved her, always. But his love for her had become tinged with fear, and it was his fear that had grown, not his love. And now both were gone, shattered and dispersed by his own darkness. He mourned the loss, and vowed not to suffer another. He would save Obi-Wan.
The cost could be high, though. Shaking off the darkness that clung to him, Anakin once again called upon the energy of the Force that sung around them. It responded readily this time, leaping at his call, and he skillfully wove it into Obi-Wan's depleted life force. Yet it was not enough. Obi-Wan's light flickered once more and dimmed, and his breath ceased. "You always did do things the hard way." Anakin gave a tear-filled smile as he regarded that which he loved most. Abandoning his prior efforts, Anakin instead drew on his own small light, pouring it into Obi-Wan's body as he wove their energies together.
Blue-green eyes fluttered open and regarded Anakin wearily, with a mixture of wariness and affection. "Anakin?" It was little more than a whisper, but Anakin could not have missed it.
"I'm here, Obi-Wan." he said softly as he gently stroked his cheek.
"Are you?" Obi-Wan said distantly, looking up at Anakin's face searchingly.
Anakin didn't answer, instead straddling Obi-Wan and looking at him intently. It had worked; his beloved would live. But he wasn't finished yet. "Forgive me," he said pleadingly, and then leaned down to press a tender kiss to his former Master's lips. He needed this, to know that Obi-Wan was alive and that he himself could still love.
Anakin sent a tentative pulse of affection over their newly formed bond, and Obi-Wan's eyes widened as he realized what had happened. Anakin patiently allowed Obi-Wan to explore the bond, while he explored Obi-Wan. He gently ran his hands down Obi-Wan's chest, and began to undress them both. Whatever Obi-Wan had found in his mental explorations must have satisfied him, as he gave no protest and instead wrapped his arms around Anakin's neck.
"It won't be easy, Anakin," he breathed into his ear.
Anakin hugged him close. "I know. But I love you. That's more than enough."
He felt a wave of love wash over him from Obi-Wan's end of the bond as his new love replied with a small smile. "So it is."
It was all Anakin had . . . but it would be enough.
And that's all! Yes, it is kind of mushy and sweet, it seems that stuff I write just comes out that way. :P I'm pleased that I managed to write such a short story though, being concise is not my strong suit. ;) Thank you for reading it!