Title: I Will Do What I Must
Category: Angst, Drama
Summary: While on Padme's ship to Mustafar, Obi-Wan thinks about what awaits him.
Author's Note: I have always wondered what emotions must have been racing through Obi-Wan's mind before his fateful duel on Mustafar with Anakin. So I decided to take a stab at it because the bunny would just not go away. Enjoy!
I Will Do What I Must
I have failed him.
Obi-Wan ran a hand through his hair as he sat heavily onto the closet room's floor. The ship was beginning to hum with the warming engines and when he reached out, he could feel Padme and C3-P0 moving around to start for take off. The empty room he had found was cold and hollow, near the rear of the ship and close to the ramp.
Just a precaution, for he didn't know how quickly or quietly he would have to leave the ship once they landed on Mustafar.
The shuffling of his cloak and boots made a muffled sound in the hollow closest but he knew he was far enough away from the bridge that the other occupants would not hear him.
He shivered and grasped the ends of his clothing around him. Space was cold, it always was and he never liked flying in it. What made it all the more worse was the fact that the cold that filled him came not only from the temperature of the room but from his heart.
I failed him.
It took him a moment to digest the words and fully feel them inside of him. The effect was not pleasant. They swirled and fought in the pit of his stomach, making it hard for him to even breathe, let alone let go.
What was this feeling that rose in his throat every time he thought of him? The image of a young boy eager to learn hovered out of the depths of this feeling and he realized with a pang that it was his fault that this smooth-faced, blue-eyed youth was the answer to this question.
Everything: every memory, every exchange, every look of every meeting between them, every interaction passed through his mind in seconds until the flood was almost unbearable.
How had he failed his son—no his brother so terribly? Why had he not seen this change in him before so many days ago when they said their last farewells? He should have risen against the council's request to have him spy on the Emperor, stood up for Anakin's pains as—as he saw it—betraying a friend. He should have even requested him to come with him to Utapu so that he would have been away from the Chancellor—Emperor long enough for him to help his former deal with his pains.
Yet what good would it have done? He thought irately. If this was not a clear sign that their relationship had dissolved already what more could he ask for? The first crumbling of their closeness had to be traced back to those many years ago when they had gone to Genosis together and Anakin had disobeyed him to the furthest he had seen him go. At the time, he had let it go, accepting that his changing mood had been from his grief with his mother's death and infatuation with Senator Amidala, and he had done what he could to help him through the matters, but had it been enough? Had he neglected this boy too much, thinking that he was adult enough to figure out his emotions for himself?
Of course not, he realized. Were he in Anakin's position, Qui-Gon would have made sure to keep an intent eye on him and would have made sure all of the knots were tied tightly before moving on. Why hadn't he followed his master's example?
Obi-Wan rubbed another weary hand through his hair in a futile motion of struggling with this tension.
The floor of the small space was beginning to warm little by little from his body heat but he still felt a sickening cold. The humming of the engine beneath him and the occasional shuffle of booted feet in the corridors outside the door indicated that they were well into hyperspace by now and would be landing soon. Once or twice, the distant clamoring of C-3PO sounded but Obi-Wan knew that he had picked a safe enough place for hiding; he had made sure of it—
I will have to kill him.
The thought came to him so abruptly and so ruthlessly that his stomach threatened to rebel against his control. His lungs contracted all of the air out of him and his eyes flew wide in anguish.
He would have to kill him.
He had failed his brother and he would have to kill him.
What have I done? He anguished, nearly losing all control and having to relinquish to slamming his fist against the ground. His splayed out cloak muffled it but he still felt pain thrum through his palm.
So many 'whens' so many 'ifs' could have occurred but never did. Was this the will of the Force? Was this the fulfilling of the prophecy? The Chosen would die because of him?
The Chosen One would bring darkness—had already exploited darkness—to the galaxy and if there was one more attempt to be made it could only be by him. His teacher, his friend, his mentor, his father.
And Padme, what of the child she carried? Would he have to kill her too to be sure the Emperor never caught her and made her child into devices of his own evil? If Master Yoda could not complete his own task, Obi-Wan did not know what they would do yet. He had faith—indeed, more so than any other Jedi—in the Master that he would do all that he could do in order to save them all, but his heart was telling him that it was a futile attempt on the old Master's part. The Dark Lord was simply too twisted with malevolence that any attempt to halt his evil would only end in defeat.
But his fight was different. He knew that Anakin would know his style and vice-versa and their battle would be evenly matched with the equal backgrounds, but he also knew that this transformation inside of his former student was twisting him into more than what he once was. He would be stronger, no doubt; aggressive; relentless.
For this was not a spar.
This would be for their lives.
And for Obi-Wan, this would be not only for himself but also for everything that he stood for as a Jedi. The Guardians of Peace and Justice. That was what he had come here for— to destroy a dangerous enemy who threatened the balance of the galaxy. Even worse, the Force.
I am so sorry, Anakin, he reached out but only found the same dark shields intact in Anakin's mind. I am so sorry for everything that you have thought about the Jedi and myself. I am sorry you think of me as your enemy and not the brother you once had. I loved you, Anakin, no matter what previous grudges I held against you, I still loved you and still do.
But this new Anakin, this Darth Vader had destroyed the very person that I have loved and now I must kill him with your façade. How can I stare into the hateful eyes of him and not see you still in there? There will always be a small piece of you within those depths but I must ignore that to make sure they slide shut for eternity.
He had failed.
As the engines cooled down and he felt gravity return to the ship, he stood up from his fetal position and palmed open the door. Outside, the heat and drumming of the boiling landscape filled the ship…and his heart. He could feel the anger washing over him already but he took a deep breath to steady himself.
I will do what I must. I will do what I must.
But the glare from the depths of those red framed eyes were all that he needed to know…
…that he had failed.
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