This is just a short little
free-write I wrote right after seeing Episode III at midnight. The
others will be longer, and I can promise at least three more, so if you
like this one, keep an eye out for updates.
He didn't have the strength for that killing blow. He had told Yoda he wouldn't, told him he couldn't. Even when he thought he had pushed aside the pain, the fear, the love, he couldn't do it. Not for the Republic, not for Padme, not for the thousands of Jedi who had been slaughtered. He couldn't even do it for Anakin.
Let him fall, he had thought as they battled on the shaky towers above the lava that raged and moved like a living thing below them. Let him fall. Let us both fall, let everything collapse taking us with it. But don't ask that of me. Don't ask me for that blow.
Because he was afraid he would fail, one last time.
He almost had the strength. He had given himself over to the Force, as Qui-Gon had taught him long ago, letting it guide his movements, drawing upon a strength outside of himself. It had hummed through him, bright and blinding, even as it had crackled around Anakin like a midnight flame. If he had held onto that it would have been enough.
But he had seen Anakin there, ready to make that jump, and for a moment he had seen that young boy who had been his padawan, crying "You underestimate my power, Master!" before trying some foolhardy stunt, and succeeding at it. And when Anakin had jumped… for a single moment he had hesitated.
And then, even then, he hadn't had the strength to finish it. He had made himself stand there, had forced himself not to move back because he had not the strength to make himself move forward. He had stood and watched Anakin's suffering, just stood there, unable to do anything at all to bring peace to that tormented soul. It was the last thing, the only thing he could have done for the one he loved more than any other being in the galaxy; it would have been such a blessing, for Anakin, for them all. But he couldn't. He failed him once more.
The sound of that scream would haunt his dreams forever.