Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars and am making no money
Still reeling from the knowledge that, while she loved Anakin more than life itself, it was Obi-wan who was the Jedi she trusted completely, Padme entered her apartment and sagged down on the sofa. Fear of what was to come filled the senator as she stared into the lonely night. Anakin, her husband, was changing. And she was afraid, so very afraid, it was not for the best. His emotions, always very open, were turning increasingly violent and distrusting. And where had this complete trust in Obi-wan come from? Sure they were friends, and had grown closer in recent years, but that was not a reason for this unshakable belief. Yet it was the truth, one she could not deny.
Slowly she rose to her feet and moved to stare out at the cityscape. Then there was the danger she had just put herself and the two thousand other senators who had signed the petition in danger. Until confronting Palpatine in his office she had not been able to make herself truly believe her fellow nubian was a pawn of the power he held and not trying to help the Republic. At least that was what her conscious mind insisted was the truth, despite the disagreement her subconscious felt.
Closing her eyes she tried to center herself. Darknes enveloped her! Her eyes shot open, moving inexorably toward the Jedi temple. Something very wrong was going to happen. Not questioning her instincts, or the terror they left her in, Padme quickly changed into a tunic and trousers, and tucked a blaster into her belt. At the door she paused a moment, changing course she moved back to the comm unit and hurriedly punched in Obi-wan's code along with a coded danger signal. Not allowing herself to think about how irrational the act was she hit the transmission switch-and stopped. What was she doing? She should go to Anakin! No, she reluctantly forced herself to acknowledge, her heart dying a little more Her husband was part of the problem. It had to be Obi-wan. Without looking back she turned and strode out of the apartment.
Staring down at General Grevious' body Obi-wan felt relief wash over him. It was over. With Grevious and Dooku dead it was only a matter of time before the clone wars were over. And even if Palpatine did not willingly hand over power, at least the Republic could stop living in such fear and start trying to retake their lives. It would be so nice to go back to building and protecting peace rather than fighting a constant unending war. War was not a path Jedi walked by choice, it was a necessity for the survival of the democracy they gave their lives to serve.
Before his thoughts could drift much farther his com-unit signalled a silent danger code. Lifting it he realized it came from Padme. From Padme? Why would she be contacting him? Anakin! The knowledge burst upon the Jedi Master. Anakin was in danger. Reaching into the force, into the remnants of their training bond, he could feel his former Padawan's pain and confusion. As the emotions threatened to overwhelm him Obi-wan suddenly felt everything fall into place. This had been a trap within a trap. Its true purpose was to separate him from Anakin But why? His thoughts drifted back to his conversation with Mace and Yoda: 'Anakin is loyal to people.' He, Padme, and Palpatine most specifically. Palpatine had increasingly shown himself to not be trustworthy. Padme-his thoughts hesitated over young senator. Padme seemed to have lost much of her fire, almost like she had tucked her true self away. Which left only him-on the other side of the Republic.
Without hesittion he turned and bolted back toward his ship. He had to get to Coruscant, now! The knowledge was irrefutable. Barely pausing to tell Cody he was in command Obi-wan was in the cockpit and had pre-flight done in record time. Before he had even cleared the atmosphere he was keying the com-unit. He had to speak with Anakin. The Jedi on the com told him Mace and three others had already gone to tell Chancellor Palpatine about Generel Grevious' death. Nor did he have any idea where Knight Skywalker was. His already agitated stomach curled into an even tighter knot. Without allowing himself to hesitate he turned control of the craft over to his R4 unit and leaned into the force to reach out to Anakin. Dread, confusion, and fear filled him. Taking a moment to center himself he let himself fall into the upheaval that filled his best friend's mind. Strengthening the bond he tried to send calm to his former padawan. 'I'm here Anakin. Talk to me. Lean on me, I am your friend.'
For a brief moment Obi-wan felt Anakin cling to him and their bond. Then a wave of darkness came between them.
Sensing desperate need from his former Padawan Obi-wan frantically threw himself deeper into the force, forcing himself to remain calm. The force was full of dire warnings. He needed to become one with the force. Almost hearing Qui-gon's voice telling him to let go-he did. And joined with the force as he only had a few times before. The darkness had grown. Following the guidance of his late master Obi-wan released his attachments to the force, and could clearly follow his bond of friendship and love to Anakin Their attachment was aiding, not harming, his attempt. He knew he would have to think about that, but not now. Right now he needed to reach Anakin. Dark thoughts and confusion were swirling madly through the knight's head. He was so full of turmoil that he was not even aware of Obi-wan's continued presence. He wanted to believe in the Jedi, in Obi-wan, but the chancellor had good points. 'Go to Padme,' the advice half surprised Obi-wan. Sure he and Padme had become close friends in the last few years, but he did not trust politicians. But Padme was different. The complete assurance with which he felt that fact caught him off-guard. Padme would not compromise her beliefs. That was another thought for later. All that mattered was getting to Anakin. The Jedi master reached deeper into the force His body slumped back as his eyes rolled back in his head and his breathing grew shallow, as the ship accelerated.
Chaos reigned around him in the Chancellor's office. Conflicting words and ideas tore through Anakin's exhaused mind. Palpatine's words made so much sense, but he was a Jedi. Padme! His wife's name, the image of her dying in childbirth tore through him, clarifying everything. Master Windu was going to kill the only person who could, and would, help him save Padme. "No!"
With disbelieving eyes he watched Palpatine throw Master Windu through the window. How could he let this happen? In his mind he heard Obi-wan, drowning in confusion he reached for his best friend, his brother. The Jedi! No! Obi-wan would betray him, had betrayed him. Palpatine began speaking again and everything started to make sense. With the power of the Dark Side he could save Padme.
'Go to Padme,' Obi-wan's voice in his head recommended.
"Only with me can you save Padme," Palpatine spoke softly.
Quickly Anakin hid his thoughts from Obi-wan. He couldn't help him now, neither could Padme. There was no forgiveness for what he had done. Seeing no other way he dropped to his knees. "Yes, my master."
Anakin whipped his head around. Obi-wan stood in doorway leading to the Chancellor's anteroom. "Master?"
Palpatine moved forward and laid a hand on his shoulder, holding him in place with the simple touch. "Easy, my apprentice. He can no longer hurt you, lie to you. And with you by my side he, and his kind, can no longer betray the Republic.
"My loyalty is to the Republic," Obi-wan stated simply, calmly. "To democracy, something that has been fading under Chancellor Palpatine's reign." He turned his attention to the Chancellor. "General Grevious is dead. By your word the war is over and your emergency powers need to be returned to the Senate."
"He lies," Palpatine whispered from his side. "He wants to take over the Republic. He has always lied."
Still standing at his ease Obi-wan shifted his eyes to Anakin. "When have I lied?" When there was no response he turned to the Chancellor. "You are under arrest, Chancellor. Please come with me."
Palpatine laughed. "You have no authority over me. I rule the Jedi. I rule the Republic." Raising his hands he continued. "Your freind's failed in their assination attempt and died, soon you will join them. Then I will finish the Jedi for their betrayal." He shot blue lightening from his hands.
Unable to move, unable to even think Anakin watched as blue fire streaked toward his master, his friend, his-brother. "No,"he whimpered. His heart ached as he watched the man who had been a father to him strike down the man who had been his teacher and elder brother, and he was helpless to do anything. "Please, no." He was frozen with fear and indecision.
Neither tensing or flinching Obi-wan brought his hands up-and deflected the lightening back at Palpatine. "The Jedi have not betrayed the Republic. We have been fighting and dying to protect the Republic. That applies to outer and inner threats."
"Help me, Anakin," Palpatine pleaded. "When he kills me he kills any hope of saving Padme."
Fear overtaking him Anakin looked to Obi-wan.
"Padme would not want to survive at the cost of your soul." He was starting to show the strain of repelling the force energy. "Who is attacking who?"
His head throbbing, eyes burning Anakin looked back and forth between the two most important people in his life. How was he to choose between his father and his brother? Padme. It came down to his love. Palpatine could help him save her.
"I can save Padme," Palpatine reiterated, visibly beginning to tire.
The strain was growing in Obi-wan as well, though he remained in a defensive position. "What would Padme want?" was his counter.
Writhing in emotional agony Anakin knew he had to choose, but found he could not. While he struggled to find his center all he felt was pulled apart. Palpatine was there, promising al the power and respect he could ever want. The power to save everybody. On the other side was his master's steady, warm glow. Promising a peace Anakin had never been able to achieve At the very edges of his perception he sensed exhaustion overcoming both Dark and Light, brother or father. Maybe the decision would be made for him. Yes, he was only a pawn, lied to and used by both sides. He would drift while a decision was made. He buried his head in his knees so he did not have to watch the battle.
"No!" A familiar, horror filled cry ripped Anakin from his lethargy. He raised his head just as the stalemate was broken. One hand continueing to attack the Jedi Palpatine used his other track the newcomer.
Padme Amidala froze in shock at the tableau in front of her. She saw blue death coming from her political mentor and could do nothing but stare in shock. Everything switched into slow motion. The Chancellor stood in front of his desk, face twisted into a hideous mask of hate, Anakin huddled weakly next to the desk, sobbing quietly as he rocked back and forth. Obi-wan just inside the door-No Padme suddenly realized the Jedi master had moved. He had dropped his arms to dive in front of her, shielding her as he pulled them both to the floor and behind a chair. She could feel him stiffen as the lightening tore into his unprotected back Pain ripped through her as some of the lightening got past Obi-wan's shielding body. She suppressed a cry as she stared toward an almost catatonic Anakin. Obi-wan was already rolling to his feet, lightsaber out to block the unending bolts, but he was on the defensive now, unable to block all the bolts.
"Only with me can Padme be saved," Palpatine repeated, leaning back against his desk.
Suddenly understanding more of this terrible scene than she wanted to Padme fell backward, vaguely aware that Obi-wan shifted as well to continue protecting her, emotional pain overwhelming the physical. "No. Oh, Anakin, no. That price is to high.
"All that matters is you," the troubled, exhausted young knight whispered, crawling over to try and pull her into his arms. "Only you."
"No," Padme forced herself to straighten, seeking the strength that seemed to have abandoned her in recent months. Her gaze moved past Anakin to where Obi-wan had risen as well, pulling the attack to him. He was repelling most of the lightening, but what was getting through was robbing the Jedi Master of his remaining strength. "My life, no single life is worth this." She rose to her feet as Obi-wan sagged into the back of the chair, dropping his lightsaber arm to stretch out a hand to catch the lightening. While the strain was showing he still appeared completely at peace. As she stepped up beside the Jedi she hoped he was aware enough to follw her lead. While she knew of his dislike and distrust of most politicians she also knew that Obi-wan understood the intricacies of political give and take, unlike Anakin, who had never bothered to even try to learn. "Chancellor, as a represenetive of the senate I require an explanation."
"He and other Jedi assassins are trying to kill me. They want to see the Republic fall."
Forcing himself to center, releasing his pain and weakness to the Force Obi-wan straightened, raising his other hand to force all the lightening away from himself and Padme. "You are the Sith lord who orchestrated this war from both sides. The Jedi have been fighting and dying to protect the Republic while you pull all the power to youself to destroy the Republic from within."
Strengthening his attack Palpatine laughed. "Jedi fool! I am the Republic. Only through me will there be peace. Your time is over. You will die."
The already weakened Jedi fell back against the wall, giving Padme a force push that landed her next to Anakin, out of the line of attack. He barely managed to stay on his feet as more force lightening got through his weakening defenses. The force still guided him, but the physical body that was Obi-wan Kenobi was fading. This was a battle he could not win. He knew he did not have much longer, but if he held on long enough Palpatine would be so weakened he could be stopped. Everything narrowed down to lasting as long as he could. He was one with the force, and all he had would have to be enough. "The Jedi serve democracy and freedom, not tyranny."
"Democracy and freedom," Palpatine sneered. "Overrated words that do nont apply to the arrogant, selve-serving fools in the Senate. They stand for nothing and will do as I say. I am ruler. I will be emperor.!"
Obi-wan Kenobi smiled weakly as he slid down the wall, just as three Jedi and five senators burst into the room. "This is not," he breathed, "an empire."
Anakin watched his best friend fall and felt his confusion torn from him. Palpatine had killed his Master! Anger surged through him. Anakin tensed to spring as the Chancellor sagged into his large chair.
'No, Anakin,' he felt Obi-wan whisper through their bond. Even his mental voice was weak, though his force signature remained strong. 'Not in anger.' Anakin could feel the effort it took his Master to simply draw breath. 'He wins then. This is your choice. Choose, choose the path you must. Only you can decide.'
Truly understanding Obi-wan's words for the first time in his life Anakin rose. He would not waste his Master's last lesson. Taking a slow, deep breath he slowly released his tightly coiled feelings of anger and pain and jealousy and confusion and fear into the force, following his master's gentle guidance. He willingly opened the hidden recesses of his heart. When he was calm he turned to face Darth Siddious. Gone was his gentle, caring mentor, in his place was a Sith lord in all his glory. Even as his kindly mask slide back into place Anakin knew he would never fall for it again. "Chancellor you are under arrest for crimes against the Republic."
"Jedi traitor," Palpatine hissed. He turned to the senators and guards that had followed them in. "Arrest them all." Exhausted he collapsed backward in his chair.
"No, your excellency." Bail Organa stepped forward. "These are serious allegations. There must be a formal hearing to settle these charges."
"Never!" With a last burst of energy Palpatine shot blue lightening at his attackers, only to have it rebound from a blue lightsaber. Warnings from the Force had pulled Obi-wan Kenobi to his feet, blocking the final attack. Palpatine collapsed, his skeletal face aging before their horrified eyes. "You have not won. The Sith will win in the end. My death will destroy the Republic and cause the Jedi to be hunted to extinction for their betrayal. Order 66." All breath and movement stopped as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, Darth Siddious died.
For a few moments no one moved or spoke, staring in shock at the motionless Chancellor. The paralysis was broken when Obi-wan sank soundlessly to the floor. Anakin caught him before he hit the ground.
Padme moved between them and the senators and guards while the Jedi remained quietly in the background. "We need to call a special session of the Senate."
The twi' lek senator Mo Don asked, "what about them?"
"They have done nothing wrong," Padme turned a pleading gaze on Bail, wordlessly asking for help.
The Alderaanian senator nodded once and turned to start clearing out the curious onlookers.
Padme hurried around Palpatine's desk, carefully ignoring the corpse and removed the small holographic recording device, relieved to see that it had been recording. She handed the tape to Bail. "This will tell us what really happened."
Bail took the recording . "Tomorrow morning is the earliest we can have a session. I will be in my office most of the night."
"Rescind Order 66," Obi-wan's pain filled voice whispered. "The clones are turning on the Jedi."
Eyes widening in horror Padme hurried to grab the Chancellor's com-unit and relayed the message. Stealing herself she glanced at the silent Jedi, sorrow was etched in every line of their stoic expressions. Unable to restrain her tears any more the Naboo senator turned to her husband and his mentor. Anakin was cradling his master in his arms, tears coursing down his face as Obi-wan struggled for each breath. Her heart aching even more Padme realized this was almost the same position they had found Obi-wan cradling Qui-gon's lifeless body in all those years ago on Naboo. Sorrow overcoming her Padme sank to her knees behind Anakin, laying a hand on his shoulder.
Anakin barely felt Padme's hand on his shoulder as he cradled his dying master. He didn't bother to wipe away his tears. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I-"
"No," Obi-wan whispered, breathlessly, each breath catching shallowly. "You conquered your fear. Now, you are truly a Jedi"
"Master Windu," he sobbed. "I failed"
His breathing growing more labored Obi-wan shook his head. "You d-defeated y-your dr-dragon. T-talk to Yoda, ac-accept your choices."
Anakin nodded his head. "I was so wrong. I'm sorry."
Obi-wan smiled slightly. "G-grown up. I'm p-pr-proud of you my brother." Obi-wan allowed himself to sink into the force, his body going limp as the force filled him. Anakin would be fine. He wished he would be able to assist in rebuilding the Republic, he did not like leaving things unfinished. Peace filled him as he gave himself to the force.
A/N: This is my first Star Wars fic so any comments good, bad, or otherwise are welcomed. This came from reading the novelization of Episode III and the interaction between Obi-wan and Padme in the movie. Once I started writing it took on a mind of its own, far from the original idea. I hope you enjoyed.