Title: Slipping Into Darkness

Main Characters: Anakin, Padmé, Obi-Wan

Secondary Characters: Palpatine, Yoda, Mace Windu

Pairing: Anakin/Padmé

Summary: Anakin has the opportunity to change the future. But, can he can resist the temptation of the Dark Side and overcome his own weaknesses, or has he already fallen too far? Ep. III AU.

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars, though I wish I did. Maybe George will feel like sharing someday.

A/N2: This story began with an idea my mom had, but she was kind enough to let me borrow and expand upon it. This story would never be what it is now without her help.


Slipping into Darkness

Chapter 1

The sun was just beginning to peer through the tall spires of Coruscant. It was these first rays that woke Padmé Amidala Skywalker from a peaceful rest. She smiled as she thought of the previous night. Anakin was finally home, finally back by her side, safe.

For these many months she had worried about him, fearful that her unborn child may never know his father. But all of that had changed yesterday when she saw him again, being welcomed back to the galactic capitol as a hero for slaying the Separatist leader, Count Dooku.

Padmé wished that Anakin did not have to leave again this morning, wished they could just forget that there was a war, but she knew it was impossible. Anakin needed to return to the Temple before his absence was noticed, and she needed to return to her duties as a Senator. Sighing, she turned to wake her husband, and froze.

Anakin still lay next to her, but he was not sleeping as she had thought. Instead, his eyes were wide-open, an expression of horror on his face. His mouth was frozen in a silent scream.

"Anakin!" Padmé cried. "Anakin!" She shook him roughly.

He didn't respond.

"Anakin, please wake up!" Padmé pleaded. "Please…"

Icy cold fear swept through her. Had he come home to her, only so she could lose him again? Tears filled her eyes, and her pleas became more desperate.

"Please, Ani…"

Still, nothing. A choked sob escaped her. With a trembling hand she reached towards his neck to feel for a pulse. Her eyes closed in relief. His pulse was strong, but his heartbeat so fast it nearly hummed. Padmé took a shaky breath. Anakin was alive, but for how much longer, she wasn't sure. He needed help.

Her mind raced. She could call Threepio and ask him to summon a medical team, but…

Padmé paused. Something, whether it was the bond she had with Anakin, or the same intuition she had relied on all throughout her political career, told her that whatever had happened to Anakin was not physical but of the Force. This, whatever it might be, was effecting his mind and spirit. A normal doctor would be of no help to him.

He needed another Jedi. The secret of their marriage might be discovered, but at this moment, Padmé could not have cared less. All that mattered was Anakin. Rushing to the closet where Anakin's robes hung, she searched for his comlink. She activated it immediately.

"Obi-Wan!" Padmé cried, not even waiting for the Jedi Master to respond. "Anakin needs help. Something's wrong!"


Obi-Wan Kenobi rushed through the busy traffic lanes of Coruscant, paying little attention to the laws he would have normally observed. His entire focus was on reaching Anakin. He had never heard Padmé so worried. She had been through much for one so young, and she was no stranger to the horrors of war. Anything that could frighten Padmé so badly would have to be terrible indeed. Obi-Wan pushed his speeder even harder.

While he drove, he tried to reach his former Padawan through their bond. But, where Anakin's presence would normally have been, he could feel only a storm in the Force. Yet, Obi-Wan had not sensed that there was anything wrong with Anakin until Padmé's call had alerted him of the situation. What had happened to Anakin that his former Master had not sensed it? Worry stabbed at him. After all they had been through together, to lose Anakin now…

No, he forced those thoughts away. Anakin would be fine. He had to be fine.

After pushing the speeder to its limit, and executing a turn he was sure would have made even Anakin proud, Padmé's apartment finally came into view. He landed his speeder on the balcony and rushed inside.

Padmé ran to meet him. Her face was streaked with tears.

"He's in the bedroom!" Padmé cried. Obi-Wan nodded, and followed her into the room.

Though Obi-Wan thought he'd known what to expect, even Padmé's description had not been enough to prepare him for the sight that greeted him. Anakin lay on the bed, his eyes open wide, a look of pain on his face. Moving to Anakin's side, Obi-Wan laid a hand on his shoulder.

"Anakin!" he called. If Anakin had heard him, Obi-Wan saw no sign of it.

"Obi-Wan, please help him!" Padmé said desperately. Kneeling beside his former Padawan, Obi-Wan closed his eyes. Physically, Anakin's body was under great stress, but Obi-Wan could sense no toxin or injury. His mind however…

The storm Obi-Wan had sensed earlier could now only be called a tempest, and Anakin seemed completely lost in it. He reached further into the Force.

Anakin! he called with all of his strength. Anakin, can you hear me? Please answer!

But to Obi-Wan it felt as if he were yelling into the wind, and just as before, no answer came. He tried again and again to enter Anakin's mind, but something immovable kept him at bay.

Finally surrendering, he rose to his feet. Padmé looked at him pleadingly.

"Padmé, this is beyond my skills. We need to take him to the Temple. The healers there can help him."

Padmé nodded quickly.

Obi-Wan scooped Anakin into his arms, grunting a little as he took his former Padawan's full weight, and carried him to the speeder. Padmé climbed into the passenger seat while Obi-Wan placed Anakin between them, and took the controls. Still unconscious, Anakin slumped in his seat, his head resting against Padmé's shoulder. Padmé turned to take his head in her hands, and began gently stroking his hair.

"Please, Ani," she whispered so softly that it was barely audible. "Please, be alright."

Silently, Obi-Wan agreed.

TBC


A/N: This story is complete, and I will be updating it regularly. I hope that you enjoyed it.

*waves hand* You will review! *waves hand again* The submit review button on the lower left is the option you are looking for. Once you have reviewed, you can go about your business. Move along. ;)

Ani-maniac494