Well, here's my next story, and it is my longest so far. Like my others, it has already been completed. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this story. Its . . . different, I think. I'm kind of nervous about posting it so I'll probably either post it all quickly or update it as slow as possible, lol.
IMPORTANT: Read the summary. Read the notes. Now read them again, and don't say I didn't warn you!
Title: A Simple Change
Characters: Obi-Wan, Anakin
Genre: Action, Drama, AU
Summary: A bizarre turn of events highlights the problems in Obi-Wan and Anakin's relationship.
Notes: This story is the first in series of three, but can be read as a stand-alone. It does NOT contain slash; however, the two stories that follow it WILL contain slash. So, I would call this "pre-slash".
"I only did what I thought was best, Master!" Anakin said angrily as he stormed out of the shuttle in front of Obi-Wan. "And its not as though it was a disaster. Why are you blowing this out of proportion?"
Obi-Wan blew out his breath and pressed his fingers to the bridge of his nose. "That's not the point, Anakin." he said, exasperated. "You deliberately disobeyed me, and in a dangerous situation at that."
"Why does it matter? Everything turned out alright." Anakin replied moodily.
Obi-Wan sighed softly. "You are still missing the point, Padawan."
"But--" Anakin started.
"Not here, Anakin. We will continue this discussion later, in the privacy of our quarters," he said pointedly, looking around the busy hangar. With that, Obi-Wan slung his pack over his shoulder and headed towards their quarters. He felt the weight of his Padawan's glare on his back for a moment before he heard a noisy sigh as the young man fell into step behind him.
Stepping into their quarters, Obi-Wan dropped his pack and leaned back against the door as he watched Anakin stalk into his bedroom. He figured that Anakin probably wouldn't come out for awhile, given his current state. Obi-Wan knew that he probably should talk to Anakin now, but he was weary of arguing with him and thought it might be better to let them both cool down a bit first. Going into the 'fresher, he stripped an stepped into the shower to wash off the grime of travel.
All in all, it had not been a good mission. Although it had turned out well in the end and should by all rights be considered a success, he and Anakin has clashed terribly. Anakin had disagreed with Obi-Wan assessment of the situation, which was a common enough occurrence for a Master and Senior Padawan team. However, Anakin had not only disagreed, but had gone off on his own and completely ignored Obi-Wan's orders to stay put and not get involved with the Separatist party.
Granted, Anakin's association with them hadn't done any harm to the negotiations, but that was only because the other parties hadn't found out. The Jedi were supposed to be neutral, and Anakin had gone off and tried to aid one of the parties. His heart had been in the right place, Obi-Wan supposed, but what Anakin had done was dangerous and against mission protocol – not to mention his direct orders.
Turning off the shower, Obi-Wan stepped out, pulled on a clean set of tunics, and retrieved his pack from the common area. He dropped it on his bedroom floor, not really feeling like unpacking. What he really needed to do was talk to Anakin, as much as he wanted to put it off.
What was he going to do with his uncontrollable Padawan?
Anakin jumped at the soft knock and glared at the door for a moment before calling, "Come in."
The door slid open and Obi-Wan stepped in and sat down next to him. "Padawan," he began, "We need to talk."
"What else is there to say?" Anakin said bitterly, meeting Obi-Wan's eyes with his own smoldering gaze. "I already told you, I did what I thought was right. I'm not sorry." And he wasn't. How many people would have died if he hadn't helped the separatist party defend their headquarters for evacuation?
"So I see." Obi-Wan paused for a moment before continuing. "Anakin, I understand your wanting to help those people. But the fact of the matter is, as Jedi, we cannot always help everyone. Sometimes we must disregard the needs of a smaller group for the greater good, difficult as that may be at times."
As Obi-Wan spoke, some of the anger and tension drained away from Anakin. But he still didn't understand why Obi-Wan was being so stubborn about this.
"But my helping the 'smaller group' didn't do any harm!" he said, frustrated. "Why was it so wrong?"
"It's not that it was wrong, Anakin. Your actions may not have caused any harm -- this time. But if the other parties had found out, they probably would have asked us both to leave. What then? And what about next time? You were lucky." he admonished.
Anakin hung his head in embarrassment. As much as he hated to admit it, Obi-Wan was right. It could have been a diplomatic disaster. Still, he didn't see why Obi-Wan was so upset with him, since it hadn't been a diplomatic disaster.
"Are you even listening to me, Padawan?" Obi-Wan's irritated voice broke through his thoughts, and Anakin had the good grace to look sheepish. He hadn't even realized that he'd tuned Obi-Wan out just then.
"Ah, what was that, Master?"
Obi-Wan scowled at him. "I was saying, my young apprentice, that I am concerned by how little regard you seem to have for what I tell you. When I give you an order, I expect you to obey it, as a Padawan learner should. Do I make myself clear?" he finished, fixing Anakin with a stern gaze.
"Yes, Master," Anakin muttered, "Sorry, Master."
"Good. And for the next three days, you are to do an additional two hours of meditation on obedience and how it benefits you." Obi-Wan instructed.
"Yes, Master," Anakin replied tonelessly.
Obi-Wan sat there for a moment looking at him, then let out a soft sigh as he got up to leave.
"Goodnight, Padawan. I'll expect to see you up early for our mission debriefing with the Council tomorrow morning " And with that, he left, leaving Anakin alone with his thoughts.