Title: Sitting on the Fence

Rating: PG

Genre: General/ Drama

Characters: Anakin

Spoilers: RotS

Summary: The problem with sitting on the fence is that you get shot by both sides.

Anakin was not loyal to principles. He was not loyal to laws or creeds or codes of honor. Light and Dark, Right and Wrong, Good and Bad - these words meant little to him.

Anakin was loyal to people.

As it should be. Morals cannot love...

Light, was what Obi Wan served. Dark was what killed Qui Gon. Right was what Padme stood for. Wrong was what the Chancellor fought. Right was loyalty. Wrong was betrayal.

Nothing kept him chained to the light side of the Force other than his respect for Qui Gon's memory, and his love for Obi Wan. Padme wanted him to be a Jedi, as did his Mother when she lived. He longed to be strong, able to stand on his own two feet protecting those he loved - the Jedi would allow him to do that.

But is the Light enough to protect Her?

The Chancellor had been his first friend, even before Obi Wan had overcome his jealousy of the much more talented student. Palpatine made time between his many important engagements to befriend a desert slave, lost and alone in the most civilized city in the galaxy. He listened to Anakin's stories, held him when he cried. He sent him extra blankets to sleep with when space grew too cold, and he soothed the councils often harsh punishments for failure.

A man such as that could not be evil.

Indeed, what is evil? Some name given to that which the Jedi do not understand...

Obi Wan and Anakin's relationship had gotten off to a rocky start. Obi Wan resented the boy who suddenly stole his master's attention away, just when he needed it most. But joined in the grief of Qui Gon's death, the two formed a shaky bond. Strengthened by missions and banter, their trust in each other grew, as the charted around the Galaxy doing Force knows what for the Council.

Indeed, the Council had always come first in Obi Wan's mind. They were like a pack of Tatooine children, ordering a droid about, taking pleasure in it's inability to disobey commands. And like a droid, Obi Wan gave no thought to the commands he was given. To him, the Council was The Force.

They claim the Light brings freedom, but what kind of freedom is there where even the clothes you wear is dictated by others?

Padme had laughed, that summer so many years ago, when the night before the Victory Parade a thunderstorm had come. Anakin was at first frightened, but then grew bold, and ran outside with his mouth open, dancing in the puddles. Padme followed, her white shift soaking through - but in his innocence the transparency meant nothing.

The night of their wedding, it rained again. This time, the transparency meant everything.

Beautiful, so beautiful. How could you bear to live without her?

She was summer days and stolen kisses.

She was passionate about her believes and causes.

There is no passion, there is serenity.

She made him a breakfast of fruit every morning they woke up together, dismissing Threepio to cut it with her own hands while he lingered in the 'fresher, letting the hot water soothe tired muscles.

Her voice was quiet, but her words shook the earth. She taught of honesty, but hid her marriage. She fought for freedom, but enslaved herself to a life of secrecy and danger, ever balancing on the edge of the knife of discovery.

The edge of a knife is dangerous, she is not safe there.

The dreams shook him to the core, reminders of the days when it was his mother who haunted him. He remembered Padme's sleeping face, and it was overborne by his mother's corpse.

She is not safe there.

The Jedi had betrayed him - Yoda had commanded that he abandon Padme, and Obi Wan had insisted that he spy on his first - his only - friend.

Anakin is loyal to people, not principles.

Loyal to people.

To people.

People.

Padme...

The problem with sitting on a fence, he mused, was that you get shot by both sides. It was time to make a decision.

One that was loyal to people, not principles.