A/N: First Star Wars story ever for me. Please review and tell me what you think, give constructive crit, ect. Thanks!
Disclaimer: George Lucas owns the Star Wars universe. I'm just playing in it.
This is what it feels like to be Anakin Skywalker...regretting.
The darkness has consumed him. His body, his soul, his very being is burning with the Dark Side of the Force. He is smoldering in his own power, ablaze with his own rage, a fiery passion gripping his mind and pulling him under.
His thoughts, at first, are clear, even as agony sweeps over him.
I hate him. I HATE him. I HATE HIM.
Yelling in anger, he is caught up in the heat of the moment and the molten rock that radiates near his severed legs. He barely hears Obi-Wan's words as he slides, slowly, painfully, toward the heat. Clouded, unfocused eyes fill with tears, a natural reaction to their gritty dryness.
And then, suddenly, he focuses. He sees pain. He sees a man whose face, so void of emotion at all times, shows raw suffering. He hears words.
You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you!
The pain is overwhelming now. More dryness, more tears, a sudden weakness. More words echo in his ears. Words from the past.
You shall be known as...Darth Vader.
Do what must be done, Lord Vader.
He reaches, with a mechanical hand, towards Obi-Wan. Towards his mentor, his master...his best friend.
He wants to yell, to scream, to beg...yes, even beg. Because he knows that pride has put him in this position. But he can't; his voice will not allow it. So ironic that pride cannot be shed now, even under his own will.
Oh Force, it hurts now. He wants to die. He wants to let the darkness that creeps around the edges of his eyes take him. He wants to throw himself into the lava, rather than face those cerulean eyes that don't accuse, don't condemn...and to his sudden realization, never have.
Now, Obi-Wan's eyes are bright with tears that Anakin won't try to blame on the heat. They are full of pain, suffering, misery...things that Obi-Wan has either never felt before, or has chosen not to feel. Not to share. Not to accept. They ask a simple question.
Why, Anakin? Oh Force, why?
Anakin knows he doesn't have the answer. He can't even give excuses to his own subconscious. He can't blame it on trickery, on Palpatine...he can't blame it on Padmé...not on the Jedi Council...not even on Obi-Wan. He knows exactly where the fault lies. And because of that, he keeps reaching.
I do not even deserve death. It is too good for me.
He watches as Obi-Wan turns his head in disgust. If he looks as bad as he feels, he doesn't blame the Jedi. He wants to turn away from Obi-Wan as well, wants to block out the ache that surrounds what is left of his heart. Obi-Wan will blame himself, and that is his fault. Obi-Wan will feel betrayed, and that is his fault. Obi-Wan will feel worthless, confused, lost...and that is his fault.
My fault, my fault, my fault...
He wants to beg, to plead, to apologize, because he knows that his damned pride means nothing now. Obi-Wan will not look back on this time and think my Padawan's pride is what made him great.
Obi-Wan will think my Padawan's pride is what got him killed. And that is my fault.
Anakin wants Obi-Wan to know that it is not his fault. He wants to tell Obi-Wan that he was wrong, so very wrong, so very sorry. He wants to ask Obi-Wan for help. He wants Obi-Wan to know that he regrets everything, that there is still good in him, that he just needs help finding it.
Please, Obi-Wan. Don't give up on me.
As Obi-Wan turns his back, walks away, Anakin gives into the pain. He gives into the darkness that creeps up around him like a blanket, offering him security and peace. And moments before he gives into the blackness, he understands his weakness. Once he had believed that he was the strongest, the best, the most powerful...
He was the Chosen One.
Now, he is a shell of Anakin Skywalker. An Anakin Skywalker that would have fought the darkness with every fiber of his being. An Anakin Skywalker that would have used his power to fight the very thing that he was becoming. That he had become.
An Anakin Skywalker that would not have succumbed to this burning, fiery offering of hollow security.
That was the Anakin Skywalker that had Obi-Wan Kenobi at his side. Now, as he is watching Obi-Wan Kenobi's retreating form, he realizes that he deserves nothing less.
I don't deserve life...
I don't deserve death...
And I certainly don't deserve you.
He was lying on a couch, throat parched, sweat sticking to his skin, brow furrowed. The coldness of space was so hard to get used to, and he was easily taken ill. His forehead radiated heat. His stomach muscles clenched. He moaned.
A gentle voice, a lilting accent, so soothing. A slight dip in the cushion next to his body, a hand against his back, pushing him into a sitting position. A slight smile, a brief upturning of the corners of a mouth. Concerned eyes.
"Here, Anakin. Drink this."
He was aware of the trembling in his hands, and found that a larger hand, callused and worn, was leading his own up to his mouth. There was a small struggle, then sweet relief. Moisture seeping down through his throat, into his stomach, settling there.
"Hmmm. That's nice." His own voice didn't sound right at all.
A chuckle, again in that accent that was immediately calming. That same hand rested on his chest, pushed him back against his pillows with tenderness. There was comfort and peace.
And then, the muscles of his stomach clenched yet again at the foreign substance that had just invaded its realm. Bile rose into his throat. Heat continued to radiate until he believed that he and everything around him was on fire. He let out a low whine, a soft whimper.
"Shhh. It's alright."
A cool hand was placed upon his forehead, suddenly extinguishing the heat that threatened to set him ablaze. There was the sound of water dripping, then that hand was replaced by a damp cloth. He sighed contently.
The hand, which before had felt rough against his own, now felt like silk against his cheek. He leaned into the touch, the feel of fingertips feathering across his flushed skin, of a cooling palm stroking softly against the side of his face, of a gentle thumb under his eyes.
It was as wonderful as the Force itself.
And he slept.
He is aware of another presence approaching, and for a moment, he dares to hope that Obi-Wan has returned to him. Within seconds, his hopes are dashed. Obi-Wan's Force presence was always full of light, beauty, peace, serenity...of everything a Jedi's should, and more.
This Force presence in no way belongs to Obi-Wan.
It is dark, deceiving, full of hatred and disgust. It doesn't comfort, and it doesn't pity. It is cold and empty of compassion. Yet, Anakin still feels a spike of hope as the presence kneels next to him, extending a hand towards his face.
He mentally begs that the hand will be soft, cool, comforting against what is left of his tortured skin. Instead, it is brief, and not soft. It is forced, full of disgust and disappointment. Fingers rub charred flesh, and then are gone, leaving him feeling empty, aching, and in more pain than before.
Obi-Wan is gone, and this new master is nothing that the Jedi could ever be.
Darkness offers him false security again. Palatine promised him power, Darth Vader promised him a way out.
Anakin Skywalker thinks of his mother. He thinks of Padmé.
He thinks of Obi-Wan.
In the blink of a gritty, dry eye, Anakin Skywalker is no more.
And Darth Vader sleeps.