Luke was still too new to life to resemble either of his parents. Swaddled, Obi-Wan hadn't even been able to tell Luke from Leia. Both had blonde hair, blue eyes, and the squished features typical of all newborns. But even had he not been present for his birth, Obi-Wan would have instinctively known that the infant was Anakin Skywalker's son. The Force around the small boy spoke of his kinship with the fallen Jedi knight. And though the child was barely three days old, Obi-Wan could sense the greatness in him. Given his parentage it would be impossible for Luke not to excel at all things. Obi-Wan only hoped that Luke was allowed the carefree childhood Anakin and Padmé had been denied.
"Never doubt that your parents loved you," Obi-Wan murmured into the downy soft hair atop Luke's head. "You would be with them and your sister now had things not gone so horribly wrong."
The only response he received from Luke was a wide yawn and some wiggling of his nose. Obi-Wan had seen Anakin's nose twitch in the exact same way countless times while he slept. Anakin was the most active sleeper Obi-Wan had never known and it had always been a constant source of amusement for him. Replicated in his son, though, it brought tears to his eyes.
"That's a beautiful son you have," a female passenger said as she sat down in the vacant seat next to him. "How old is he? If you don't mind my asking, of course."
Obi-Wan offered her a tight smile. "He's only a few days old."
"And his mother?"
"No longer with us," Obi-Wan whispered, his eyes trained on Luke's face.
The woman apologized profusely, her cheeks flushed in embarrassment. She offered up a final, "He looks like you," before falling silent. She looked away before she had a chance to notice Obi-Wan's body stiffening at her words. That was the same thing Sidious had used to turn Anakin against him. It was utterly inconceivable that he would have any type of sexual relationship with Padmé. Obi-Wan had never felt any hint of desire for her. She was a dear friend and nothing more.
Before he had parted company with Master Yoda and Senator Organa, Obi-Wan had taken it upon himself to alter his appearance in what ways he could. In the short amount of time that had been available all that he'd been able to do was exchange his Jedi robes for civilian garb, have his hair trimmed so that it stood up in soft spikes and, most noticeably of all, shave off his trademark beard. Anakin had always hated the beard, claiming that it made him look old. Without it, Obi-Wan felt naked. He had originally grown it in an attempt to appear older when he had first been knighted. He'd been far younger than any other knight with a padawan and given the notoriety of his apprentice it had seemed a prudent thing to do. That had been thirteen years before.
Years that Obi-Wan would have given anything to get back.
More than that he wished that he would have paid better attention and seen Anakin slipping closer to the dark side before it was too late. Obi-Wan wasn't sure if there was anything he could have done to prevent Anakin from being transformed into Darth Vader, but at least he would have made more of an effort. He might have been able to save Padmé. Through Padmé he might have been able to lead Anakin back to the light. Anakin had loved her desperately; enough to betray the Jedi Code.
Yet Obi-Wan knew that it wasn't Anakin breaking the Code that had allowed him to slip to the dark side. It was Obi-Wan's own failings. He had allowed the Council to dictate things and ultimately hadn't been there when Anakin had truly needed him. Obi-Wan couldn't guarantee that he would have been able to keep Anakin from falling prey to Sidious' manipulations, but he could have helped to prevent it. If he had it to do over he would have taken Anakin to Utapau with him. They would have defeated Grievous together and, most importantly, Anakin would have been kept away from Sidious.
It hadn't occurred that way, though, and Obi-Wan had to live with the knowledge that he'd left his best friend burning on the side of a lava flow. In all honestly he had never meant to harm Anakin. Despite Master Yoda's orders, Obi-Wan had only intended to talk to Anakin—to try and reason with him. Until Anakin had tried to kill Padmé Obi-wan had never thought any reality existed in which he and the younger man would be enemies. Anakin was his best friend and a man he gladly would have given his life to protect. And the same man who had tried to kill him on Mustafar. Not merely tried, but had put a serious effort into the task.
Obi-Wan grieved for what had become of the cheerful boy Qui-Gon had found on Tatooine. Never in his wildest dreams had Obi-Wan even fathomed that such a thing was possible. It wasn't even something he had considered because there had always been something so innately good about Anakin. Underneath all of the emotions that swirled around inside of him that goodness had always remained. Be it in a laugh or a smile, Obi-Wan had always known that Anakin was a good man.
He only wished that he could share Padmé's belief that Anakin wasn't completely lost to the dark side. Several days later he could still hear Anakin's voice in his head, screaming accusations at him on that fiery planet.
"I HATE YOU!"
Obi-Wan squeezed his eyes shut tight. There had been so much venom in Anakin's voice as he'd shouted up the hillside at him. Even then it had taken everything in him to turn away from the man who had been his friend for the past thirteen years. He was certain that Anakin's screams on that pumice shore would haunt him until the end of his days. It was a fate he deserved for failing Anakin so completely. He should have seen the burden that Anakin was carrying and found some way to help him. If he had seen what was going on sooner he could have done something before events had spiraled so out of control.
In his arms, Luke began to squirm about irritably. Obi-Wan had never spent any significant time in the company of an infant and had very little idea how to care for one. Young Luke shifted about again, his small mouth stretched open in a wide yawn. Obi-Wan couldn't stop his grin at the sight of it. His smile only grew when Luke drifted back off to sleep a moment later. It was a much more solemn smile as he was once again reminded of the boy's father. Anakin would have taken such joy in his son.
"I'm sorry that you'll never get the chance to know your father," Obi-Wan whispered as he adjusted his hold on the small boy. "One day I will ask your forgiveness for my role in his fate."
Obi-Wan stared down at Luke as he slept, totally unaware of the current chaos that the galaxy was mired in. And the chaos that continued to grow.
Darth Vader was still alive.
Against all probability and reason he had survived the lava on Mustafar. It hadn't been reported on the HoloNet yet, but Obi-Wan knew that he was alive. There was still enough of a remnant of their former training bond for him to be able to sense that Anakin still lived. It wasn't strong enough for him to gain any sense of where Anakin was, but there could be no doubt that he still lived.
Regardless of the fact that Vader still lived, Obi-wan wouldn't change how he had ended things on Mustafar save that the battle had never occurred. Orders or not, he could never be the one to kill Anakin. Anakin Skywalker should not be punished for the crimes committed by Darth Vader. It was a tragic series of circumstances that had led to Vader's rise to power, but it was not a reason to kill Anakin. For Padmé's sake, as well as that of Luke and Leia, Obi-wan meant to do whatever he could to bring Anakin back from the darkness that engulfed him.
Provided there was anything left to save.
That venture would come later, though. At the moment it was his duty to see Luke safely delivered to Anakin's kin on Tatooine. Obi-wan had never met Anakin's step-brother, but he understood the logic of leaving the infant in Owen Lars' care. Even if the Emperor suspected that Anakin's children had lived, sending one of them to Tatooine was far too obvious a choice for him to suspect. He could only hope that Leia would be equally safe on Alderaan.
The next time that Luke began to fidget, he awoke with a slightly uncomfortable whimper. Soothing hums through the Force kept the sounds from becoming all out sobs, and Obi-Wan rose from his seat in order to find a place to change the infant's diaper.
"I'm a Jedi Master and General of the Republican Army," Obi-Wan grumbled to himself as he began unfastening the soiled cloth. "You'll have to forgive me if I do this incorrectly, Luke. My paternal skills are somewhat lacking. Fortunately you'll just have to bear with me a short while longer."
Strangely enough that statement filled him with sorrow. Luke was the only physical proof he had that a man named Anakin Skywalker had ever existed. True, he was in possession of Anakin's lightsaber, but in the end the lightsaber could be lost or broken. It existed only as a relic of a now defunct way of life. Luke, however, was a part of Anakin. Beyond a few shared traits and frighteningly similar eyes he was Anakin's son. For that reason alone Obi-Wan would give his life to keep Luke safe from any threats, including those from his own father.
Just as Obi-Wan was returning to his seat an announcement came over the speakers that they would be landing on Tatooine soon and that all passengers bound there should prepare to disembark. Those people wandering about all lumbered back to their seats before the passenger ship began its final descent. Obi-wan strapped himself into his seat, securing Luke in the sling draped across his chest. Luke let out a series of contented noises as he settled down to sleep once again. Obi-Wan had to laugh at that, remembering the healer informing him that, as a newborn, Luke would spend most of his time asleep. It certainly made traveling easier.
There was enough of a crowd in the spaceport that Obi-wan could hide easily enough. Tatooine was just as he'd remembered it. Hot, dry, and entirely too sandy. It wasn't a place he would have chosen to make his home, but if he was to keep Luke safe from the Empire he would have to stick close to the boy. He would also need to keep an eye on Luke to see if he developed the Force sensitivities of his father. One of the faults in Anakin's training was that it had begun too late. If Luke showed the potential, Obi-Wan intended to begin his training early and so carry on the Jedi traditions.
Obi-Wan bought some supplies and an eopie to transport them before beginning the trek to the Lars' moisture farm. Being one of the few known surviving Jedi, he wanted to keep as low a profile as possible for the next little while. Once Sidious turned his attentions elsewhere he could resurface, but not as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Never again would he be able to answer to that name. He was now Ben Kenobi. Close to his original name, correct, but altered enough for it to not be obvious.
"Your father was the best man that I know," Obi-Wan said quietly as he steered the eopie away from Mos Eisley and out into the surrounding desert.
With nothing else to do over their long journey, he began to tell Luke about Anakin. After all the years they'd known each other Obi-wan had amassed a great deal of stories about the younger man. Tales that not even the HoloNet knew about because they had taken place in private. Anakin's first swimming lessons; their trip to Illum to retrieve the crystals for Anakin's first lightsaber; Anakin grumbling about having to wear formal attire at diplomatic meetings. So many things both big and small that had been Obi-Wan's life for thirteen wonderful years.
As he told these stories and others to Luke it seemed to Obi-Wan as though he was speaking of someone else's life. Even events that had occurred only a few months before no longer felt like things that had happened to him. In the past week his life had been turned so completely on its head that Obi-Wan no longer recognized it or himself.
The closer he got to the moisture farm, the more uneasy Obi-Wan began to feel. Something was wrong. Just what that was he couldn't determine and he hugged Luke to him more securely. Then he saw it. As he cleared the rise that overlooked the flatlands surrounding the farm, Obi-Wan caught sight of a fading plume of smoke rising up in the distance. Fishing a pair of binoculars out of one of his packs, he scanned the area.
There was no mistaking what he saw.
Not far from the aboveground entrance of the homestead were two badly charred corpses. Reaching out through the Force, Obi-Wan could find no sense of life in them. There was no mistaking their identities. Most likely because of their relationship to Anakin, Owen and Beru Lars had been killed. Obi-Wan suddenly feared for Padmé's surviving family. He wouldn't put it past Sidious to remove any trace of Anakin Skywalker's life from the galaxy. Returning the binoculars to his pack, Obi-Wan turned the beast back towards Mos Eisley.
Safeguarding Luke had now become Obi-Wan's only concern. Sidious could not be allowed to harm the infant. Leia would be safe enough where she was under Senator Organa's protection, but at the moment he and Luke were on their own. Staring down at Luke's sleeping face, Obi-Wan hoped that he would be able to keep the little boy safe.