It's finished, i'm kinda sad. I hope you guys enjoy this last chapter.
a note this is unbetaed. It was finished a few weeks ago but i didn't want to make you wait any longer So please forgive any errors, the betaed version will be posted once my excellent beta gets a chance to finish it.
Anakin hated this, he always had. The Council didn't trust him, they never had. If not for the efforts of Qui-Jon and then Obi-Wan he wouldn't even be standing here. He'd probably have been shipped back to Tatooine on the first freighter they could find.
Anakin could feel their distrust simmering under the surface whenever he was around them. He scared, but also intrigued them. Their curiosity at what he could do was the main reason he was tolerated in this room. Anakin was terrified at whatever they saw when they looked at him, but he was also dying to find out on some level. What did they know that he didn't?
Now he was standing in the center of a room of angry Jedi, getting scolded in every way imaginable. The nightmare had begun the moment he and Obi-Wan had entered the room.
Obi-Wan had tried to speak, Master Windu had silenced him within seconds with a wave of his hand. He wanted Anakin to go first.
After a calming touch from his Master, Anakin had begun to recount his experiences on the planet, detail by grueling detail. He'd made it to the part where he admitted to going back for Obi-Wan, instead of getting Dr. Kreyu to safety without any verbal beatings. However, when Anakin recounted discovering the Doctor's charred remains, things had taken a turn for the worse. Anakin would have explained that the Doctor's death was a fake, that the entire mission was just a trap.
If they'd given him the chance.
The entire mood of the room had shifted. It had gone from mildly uncomfortable to unbearable. They were each taking turns, sometimes two even went at a time telling him what a screw up he was, that he'd neglected his training, that he'd learned nothing, and most important of all what a disappointment his behavior had been.
"Did you forget your training?"
"The boy has learned nothing!"
"He'll never learn!"
One after another, they just wouldn't let up. Anakin had found a spot on the floor and his eyes hadn't left it for several minutes.
Obi-Wan had said nothing, Anakin pulled his gaze away from the ground and turned to look upon his Master. Obi-Wan's face was impassive. Not even Anakin could tell what he was feeling, even with their bond. Obi-Wan was like a rock...literally. I wish I could learn to shut myself off like that.
"You will Padawan."
Anakin stiffened, Obi-wan's lips hadn't moved, but he'd heard him speak clear as day. Anakin saw a flash of understanding and sympathy in his Master's eyes. Anakin nodded in response. Apparently he, unlike his Master, was an open book.
Master Windu had taken control of the lashing again. His words were far from encouraging.
Anakin had expected this, but it still hurt. He knew where this was headed, his dream of being a Jedi Knight was now just that.
His eyes drifted to Master Yoda who had yet to speak. The elder Jedi was staring at him with such an intensity it almost burned.
Obi-Wan's calm, yet commanding voice rang out in the room. "May I speak now?" His hard gaze locking with Mace's.
This time it was Master Windu who fell silent.
Yoda finally looked away from him and then actually smiled at Obi-Wan. "Yes Master Kenobi, speak you must. This Council has much to hear, correct am I?"
"Yes Master Yoda, you are correct."
Anakin felt some of the tension slip out of his tense muscles. Obi-Wan's words "It is going to be okay Ani" tickled the back of his mind.
When Obi-Wan spoke, you listened. It was one of the first lessons Anakin had learned as a young Padawan, not that he always did what he was told. The members of the Council had obviously been taught this as well. As his Master began to explain all the things Anakin hadn't been given the chance, the faces went from anger and suspicion to amazement and respect. Anakin only prayed he could be half as persuasive as his Master someday.
"As you can all see because of Anakin's quick thinking and bravery, only one conclusion can be made." Obi-Wan paused and made eye contact with each and every member of the council. "If my Padawan had not acted as he did, I would be dead, and we never would have known Dr. Kreyu was a fake. Anakin would have brought him back to you as instructed. Then Kreyu probably would have given you fake information resulting in the deaths of many Jedi. I realize his behavior was unorthodox, but in light of recent events, I must say I agree with every decision he made." As Obi-Wan spoke the last sentence his soft eyes bored into Anakin's.
The words "every decision" sounded in Anakin's mind.
Anakin kept his face blank, but thought. "Thank you Master."
"I meant every word Ani."
"Thank you Master Kenobi." Yoda's voice was surprisingly gentle. "Agree with you I do."
"You do!" Anakin blurted.
Yoda simply smiled. "Yes. Changed you have." He turned toward Obi-Wan. "Both of you. Your future is not so murky anymore Young one."
Anakin suddenly understood Yoda's earlier scrutiny. "No Master Yoda, it isn't."
"But what about this bond, it could prove to be dangerous!" Mace Windu was the one person in the room still on edge.
"Dangerous. I think not. Quite the opposite in fact." Yoda said with a finality none would dare challenge. "Must be investigated further however, much to be learned I think."
"Yes Master Yoda, Anakin and I have already agreed to have regular visits to the Jedi Healers."
"Good that is, much has happened to you both on the planet. "
"Yes." They said together. Neither was surprised by it this time.
Yoda had a knowing smile as he told them they were dismissed. " The Council has much to discuss, you two...rest."
"Yes Master Yoda."
The elder Jedi shook his head at their simultaneous response. "Awhile it will take for me to get used to this new bond I fear."
They both nodded, bowed, and left feeling a lot lighter.
"Well Anakin, it seems life is going to get interesting for us."
Anakin laughed. "More than it already is?"
"I just wish we had found out who the Leader of the Sith is Master. I mean, all that we went through on that planet...we came back empty handed."
A warm hand grasped his shoulder. "No Ani. Not empty handed. Far from it in fact." Energy enveloped Anakin's soul creating a blanket of love and warmth that eased away the last bit of tension in his body.
Obi-Wan was right...like always. They had gained a lot on this mission. It hadn't been what they were looking for...or had it.
"Will I ever be as wise as you are Master?"
They both laughed as they walked down the main hallway in the Jedi Temple.
"I am sure we will find out the identity of this person soon enough Anakin."
"I think you're right again Master. I can't shake the feeling that we're closer than we know. Is that weird?"
Obi-Wan shook his head. "No, I get feelings myself from time to time. I have learned to trust them, as I trust yours."
Anakin felt that warmth again and knew it was time to take the next step. "Master do you have any plans this evening?" Anakin spoke quietly as they entered a now empty training room.
Obi-Wan appeared to think this over. "Meditation."
Anakin scowled. "So that's a no then."
Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow and studied him. "I assume you have other, more exciting plans. Someone to see perhaps?"
"I do. I just thought maybe, you'd like to join us for dinner. I know Padme would love to have you...I'd love to have you Master."
"Thank you Anakin. I would like that."
Anakin could feel Obi-Wan's joy flowing through him.
"Besides." Obi-Wan steered him out of the room towards the exit. "She is the one who's been telling you to come talk to me for quite awhile now. That you could trust me"
Anakin shook his head. "And she's going to love hearing that she was right."
"Yes my Padawan, she is, and I do not want to miss a moment of her rubbing it in." Obi-Wan quickened his pace.
Anakin smiled and sped up as well. "Right as always Master."
As they walked side by side, Anakin couldn't help but feel he was finally on the right path.
He was going home.
Feedback is loved, i hope you enjoyed it.
A/N: I will be writing a sequel, alas i don't know the title yet so I can't tell you. I am playing around with Altered Destiny. But that could change. The first chapter will probably be up in a month or so.
thanks so much for reading and for all the kind reviews i really appreciate them.