It was night.
Hours past midnight, Anakin was still awake, his hands working feverishly. He could feel it emerging from the smooth pieces of metal and blank-faced gems, and though his body wanted sleep, his mind wanted this more. One last weld; smooth down the edges once more; there.
There. Setting down the tools, Anakin let his eyes rest for a moment. He had been busy for hours, rushing toward the end, but now that it was completed he had all the time in the world. Almost tenderly, he reached out and wrapped his hand around the cool metal hilt. His fingers explored the unfamiliar surface, probing against every indent and line. Every sensation felt right; it fit in his hand as though born there.
He pressed a button and the blue blade shot out, burning for the first time. This one was longer than his first. The balance was different, but better. He deactivated the lightsaber, rolled it in his palm, and then clipped it to his belt, satisfied.
He turned to go back to his rooms.
He froze; his head jerked up like a dog catching a scent. He had heard his own name—but how could you hear something that wasn't a sound?
It was strange, and yet so familiar that it frightened him. Anakin found himself running, with footsteps that echoed against the empty hallways, until he was outside, standing on a balcony that overlooked Coruscant. The air would clear his head, he thought numbly.
The sky was dark, and looked so delicate that it would shatter if you touched it. The moon was only a sliver now, and the clouds at the edge of the horizon were few and far between. Far below the terrace the lights of Coruscant stretched as far as the eye could see, twinkling and moving, like a glittering necklace suspended in air.
The wind was blowing strongly, almost harsh in its ministrations as it played havoc with Anakin's cloak and hair. His breathing ragged, Anakin gulped, and dared to answer.
And then the wind, which till now had been pounding roughly at him, stilled almost instantly, until it was almost a caress.
Anakin gasped, and tears sprang to his eyes. So shocked, he sank to his knees.
"I thought you'd left me," he whispered.
The wind grew a little, playful.
I couldn't leave you. Anakin could have sworn he heard a chuckle. Force knows the trouble you'd get into.
There was a warmth in the back of Anakin's mind, growing, comforting. This was a feeling worlds apart from those seven years, worlds different from cold, lonely separation. Somewhere, Anakin found the strength to stand.
I'm here, he heard again.
The wind was back to its blustery, mindless self. Once more, Anakin hardly heeded it. He was looking over the balcony railing into the darkness, seeing not Coruscant but something far greater. Smiling, he stayed there until dawn.
The transformation of Anakin Skywalker was complete.
Author's Note: Wow, I can't believe it's over. You know how long I've been working on this thing? About two and a half year. When you're only 17, that's a long time.
Thank you to everyone who reviewed, especially those faithful few who took the time every update to tell me what they thought. You guys are the reason that this story wasn't lazily abandoned like everything else I write. Never leave me. :-) Oh, and a humongous thanks to Eruvyweth, my beta, best friend, and fervent Drin fan.
Okay, enough of that. I sound like I've just received an Academy Award. Thanks again for making this fun, guys!