Disclaimer: I do not own "Revenge of the Sith", Dooku, or any of the Star Wars themes and plots referred to in this fanfiction. I simply took Lucas' ideas and characters and gave them more depth and reason.

Dooku had always loved the thrill of battle. The exhilaration of classic combat, not just some random skirmish, but a real, hard-won challenge, and that love had only grown as he had fallen to the power of the Dark Side. So he was more than happy to see two of the most promising Jedi standing beside the Chancellor as he entered the room from the balcony, two Super Battle Droids on either side of him. Just as planned, thought Dooku as he leapt over the railing, flipping in the air, and landed with a soft thud on the floor below.

Dooku knew full well the two Jedi before him were highly unlikely to give up without a fight, much to Dooku's liking, but he was always the regal one, doing things the proper, correct way, even as a Sith, and it simply seemed only right to give them the chance to avoid death, if only for a few days more So, as he pulled his curved-hilted lightsaber from his belt and walked towards the Jedi, he ordered.

"Your swords, please, Master Jedi. We don't want to make a mess of things in front of the Chancellor."

"You won't get away this time, Dooku." Stated the arrogant Jedi Master. Yes, arrogant. Dooku could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes. No matter how much the Jedi cut themselves off from the world and hid their emotions, they always had arrogance and pride. Even the great Jedi Master Yoda had pride, and more of it than most.

Their response was not a surprise to Dooku and he was rather glad that they had chosen to face him, for he was eager to have another shot at defeating this troublesome duo. Dooku, a perhaps over-confident smirk evident on his bearded face, ignited his lightsaber, the red blade glowing in the dark room.

"My powers have doubled since the last time we met, Count." These words belonged to Skywalker, who had a far larger ego than his master. Dooku smiled at Skywalker's statement, none too surprised to find that he had grown both in skill and arrogance since their last encounter.

"Good. Twice the pride, double the fall." With a clash of lights and a shower of sparks the battle began...and Dooku was glad it had. Dooku spun and parried and twirled and soon found himself on the defensive, to his displeasure, but two against one were not great odds, even for him. He would have to find a way to even the playing field. Dooku backed up the metallic steps of the throne room, parrying every attack from the two Jedi. Once he reached the top he parried an attack from Skywalker, the second Jedi out of his view. As he parried again he sensed the presence of Master Kenobi behind him and kicked out at where he felt the Jedi was standing, while still parrying Skywalker's own attack. He knocked Skywalker away with the force and turned around to notice that he had kicked Kenobi over the ledge and he had apparently been knocked unconscious. Dooku found his opportunity to even the odds and took it, using the force to pull the ledge down on Kenobi, trapping him beneath it, to make certain the Jedi Master did not interfere with the rest of the battle. He then spun around and took this chance to take the offensive. The two enemies had soon maneuvered their way down to the platform in front of the "kidnapped" Chancellor. Dooku, ever a man of pride even as a Jedi Master, never even considered the thought that he could lose this battle and was more than pleased to see that the battle was going his way...Until he felt something slide along the hilt of his lightsaber and then a searing pain across his wrists and before his mind could even register what had happened, he had dropped to his knees and he could hear a soft humming in his ears accompanied by a burning heat on his neck. He looked up into the eyes of the Jedi who had finally bested him and, with the amount of shock he was currently suffering from, his mind skipped over all that had just occurred and the only thing that sunk in was that Skywalker has beaten him. He then noticed that one of the lightsabers buzzing against his neck was...his own. The curved, silver and black hilt connected to the thin, red beam of light that symbolized the Sith was unmistakable. Now how could that have happened? Dooku thought to himself, his mind unable to bend around what had happened only seconds previous. How could the young Jedi have gotten his lightsaber from him? And then the last three seconds hit him like a rock and his eyes widened, full of fear and disbelief, and his mind quickly wondered to the only person he trusted anymore. The only person who, of late, he truly felt safe with and that he could actually relax while in the presence of without needing his precious lightsaber in his hands. The person he thought would help him, would save him, like Dooku had done for him only weeks earlier at the cost of his own chance to become Master, and Dooku felt safe.

"Good, Anakin, good...Kill him." Hissed a voice that Dooku could not believe came from his beloved and trusted master.

Dooku's eyes grew even wider at the shock of Palpatine's words and his head quickly turned towards the man he had trusted to protect him, trusted to help him, and could not believe what he saw. Palpatine was actually smiling.

"Kill him now!" The voice held the same stinging hiss as it increased in volume and pitch.

Dooku then realized something he was surprised he had never realized before, that treachery was the way of the Sith. Now, of course, he had used treachery himself on many occasions, both as a Sith and as a Separatist, but he had considered this only a necessary weapon used when needed to obtain what he desired, and were his intentions and desires not truly good, but he had not understood that treachery was not just a weapon to the Sith, but a way of life. It was used not only when necessary, but all the time, with little thought, and was as common to them as breathing, if not more so. It was simply second nature. It was not used only against their enemies, but the innocent, and the neutral, and even among their allies, their comrades and friends, if they were truly capable of having any. In one quick instant he say the life he had lived and he knew, he knew, that the past few years had all been a lie. Palpatine had never had the intentions he had. It was never about the Jedi or the Republic, it was about power. It had always been about power and Dooku had simply been too blind-sighted by his desire to save what he had come to believe had turned corrupt and vile to see this. To see that he was no more than a puppet, his strings being pulled by the scheming puppeteer Palpatine, and all the while Dooku had simply allowed him to do so, following him as ignorantly as a animal to the slaughter. He had thought he had been saving the Jedi and the Republic from their own corrupt ways, and only now did he realize that he had been destroying them, that he had been the one that had been corrupted. He finally understood that the Sith were all about power and treachery and who was the best…And Dooku had become second best.

"I shouldn't..." Skywalker muttered, uncertainty mixing with the anger evident in his voice as his eyes blazed, thoughts of what he wanted to do and what he knew he should do fighting in his mind

"Do it!" Ordered the cruel hiss to Dooku's right.

And in one last instant Dooku realized that it had all been for naught. Nothing he had done in the past few years had done anything but cause pain and destruction, when he had been trying to safe something he had once loved. Everything he thought he was working so hard to achieve had all been a lie and he had fallen for it so completely, so unquestioningly, that it had been all too easy for Palpatine to achieve his goals. But now he understood. Now he saw what he had been too gullible to see before. He had been nothing more than a pawn in one man's scheme to gain power, he had been expendable...and then the humming blades at his neck crossed and in the blink of an eye the realization he had finally had, far too late to be of any help to him or anyone else, became irrelevant...

Constructive criticism is welcome. This is my first solo fanfiction and I do desire to know what you think of it so that I may improve upon my skills and supply you eager readers with more fanfictions of greater talent.