THE SITH AND THE JEDI

Author's Note: this is an AU based on my "The Jedi And The Sith" AU (Yep! You can say it is an AU of an AU).

Here there is some background information for this AU:

-The Sith order was created about a thousand years ago, when a group of rebellious Jedi knights left the Temple in disagreement with the Council and the Code. They believed emotions to be important and refused to release them into the Force, even the negative ones; those considered being a pathway to the Dark Side. A bloody war followed the rift, but it ended with no victors, too many deaths on both sides and a still-standing peace treaty.

Since then the two orders have co-existed, not as enemies, but as rivals and sometimes allies, because they both serve the Republic, albeit in different ways.

-Where the Jedi are mostly diplomats and negotiators, the Sith operate in situations where the diplomacy has failed.

The Jedi work to prevent and avoid wars; the Sith work to end wars.

The Jedi negotiate the release of hostages; the Sith rescue the hostage when the deals fail.

The Jedi are guardians of peace; the Sith are warriors.

The Jedi release their emotions into the Force; the Sith hold on them.

-The Jedi are servants of the Light Side of the Force; the Sith always tread near the thin line separating the Light Side from the Dark Side of the Force. They live in a perpetual grey zone, and this is one of the reasons they are also called the Grey Order. The other reason is the colour of their Jedi-like uniforms, which are comprised by light grey tunics and trousers, dark grey robes and black boots.

- Sith are allowed to marry and have children, but their training his much harsher than the Jedi's.

- Their common enemies are the Dark Lords (readPalpatine).

In this story, set in Clone Wars time frame, Anakin was trained as a Jedi by Qui-Gon, who did not die on Naboo, while Obi-Wan is a Sith Master.

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Sith Master Obi-Wan Kenobi lowered his binoculars with a satisfied smirk.

The Separatists' army was in rout, retreating toward their stronghold on the hills, leaving behind hundreds and hundreds of destroyed droids and war machines.

Obi-Wan turned toward the Clone trooper acting as his second in command and ordered, "Command Cody, recall the army. We won't launch the final attack today. The men have been fighting for too long and need rest."

"But, General-"

"The Separatist leaders cannot escape, Cody, not with our fleet patrolling the planet's orbit," Obi-Wan interrupted, guessing the clone's objection.

Cody nodded, "As you command, General Kenobi. I will issue the order at once."

Obi-Wan smiled and patted the soldier's white armour. "Then I leave everything in your hands. I will be in quarters if you need me; I have to send a report to Coruscant and review the dispatches that arrived while I was away."

"Yes, Sir. Oh, General, I was almost forgetting. A Jedi arrived this afternoon. He said that the has been sent here to act as your second in command. He is waiting in your office."

Obi-Wan nodded and thanked Cody, then started his trek toward their base and the rooms he used both as an office and his living quarters.

As he walked, he barely refrained from kicking at the puddles he met along the way, so irritated he was about the last piece of news Cody had given him.

Star's end, why had they sent someone to flank him! Had he not repeated again and again he worked perfectly well alone or with Cody's help? And why, for Force's sake, had they sent a Jedi to baby-sit him? A Jedi! The last thing he needed was a "the-Code-says-that" Jedi always breathing on his neck with a disapproving look. Obi-Wan shook his head and lost his battle with his frustration, kicking a stone and throwing it several meters away. Why could they not just understand that he wanted to be alone? He thought his fellow members in the Sith Council had known that by now!

The Sith Master's steps suddenly stopped, as he remembered the times when he used to have a partner, helping and backing him in everything. Sith Knight Siri Tachi. His comrade-in-arms, best friend, confidant and wife. They been together for thirteen years, coming to understand each other with just a glance and a thought, and they had been an unbeatable team. At least till two years ago. Until Geonosis, when a bounty hunter had somehow been able to take Siri by surprise and shoot her with a blaster.

She had died in Obi-Wan's arms, and since that moment he had worked alone, unable to trust any one as he had done with Siri.

Now the Sith and the Jedi councils expected him to work along a stranger, but he had no intention to doing so. Instead he planned to make the man's life impossible, in the hope he would soon request a new assignment.

Obi-Wan smirked and resumed his walk toward his quarters, now actually interested in meeting the Jedi.

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Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker was bored.

When he had arrived at the Republican Base on Rekam four hours before, he asked to be taken at once to General Kenobi's office, and the clone trooper he had talked to had obeyed—but not alerted him that his commander officer was currently away from the base. The General was busy on the battlefield and the soldier that acted as his aide had informed Anakin he would not appreciate to being disturbed while he was coordinating a major assault.

So Anakin had resigned to wait in the General's office, not wanting to start his collaboration with the Sith Master in the wrong way. He had been alerted things would be hard enough without any need of creating new problems by himself.

The young knight had been excited and honoured—despite the fact Jedi did not crave excitement or honours -- to have been chosen to work with Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Republican army's chief strategist.

The Sith Master was the almost legendary tactician who adamantly refused to coordinate the war operations by a safe base like the Sith or the Jedi Temple. Instead he preferred to be active on the various battlefields scattered throughout he galaxy, much to the concern of the Sith and Jedi Councils and Chancellor Palpatine. Nobody wanted to contemplate what would happen should the Sith Master be killed during a battle.

That was why Anakin had been sent to Rekam. To protect and help a stubborn warrior who insisted on working alone—not exactly the easiest of tasks, because it was his first joint mission with a Sith, and because the Sith in question was Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Anakin had studied the man's records and had been impressed by his skills as warrior and by the fact, at 37 years of age, he was the youngest master ever sitting in the Sith Council, which was even more a close circle than its Jedi counterpart.

The young Jedi was pacing back and forth the extremely well organized office, when he perceived the presence of a very strong Force user approach him.

"I did not know he was so powerful," Anakin thought, as the door slid open and someone else entered in the room.

Anakin composed his face in a mask of Jedi serenity his Master Qui-Gon Jinn would be proud of, and turned around to look at the newcomer.

Sith Master Obi-Wan Kenobi was not as tall as Anakin had thought by the holonet reports he had watched. In fact he was about ten centimetres shorter than himself, and his body was slender and lithe. However, there was something in his bearing that made him look more imposing than he was.

Maybe it was in the way he held his head high. Maybe it was in his ramrod straight back. Maybe it was in the way his looked around himself, with a glance that wanted to will everybody into submission. Maybe it was in the charismatic aura emanating from him, that made him one of those military commanders troops would follow to hell and back.

Whatever the reason, Anakin was made speechless, perhaps for the first time in his life, as his mind kept on thinking of only one thing.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was a beautiful man.

He was bearded, his hair reddish-blond with a hint of grey near the temples, cut short but for the thin, long braid near his right ear. It was similar to the ones adopted by the Jedi Padawans to mark their status as apprentices, but it had the opposite meaning for the Sith. It symbolized the attainment of knighthood, the tiny yellow beads inserted in it indicating the missions successfully accomplished by its bearer.

His face was not beautiful in the classical way, but ruggedly handsome, marred – and yet enhanced-- by a long scar near his right eye. His skin was fair but not pale, evidenced by the grey of his Jedi-like tunics and robe.

"I would like to know your name, Jedi, once you have finished staring" Kenobi said, sarcasm colouring his surprising voice. Anakin had expected it to be harsh, loud, befitting a hardened warrior used to shouting orders on the battle field. Instead it was low, cultured, the voice of a scholar or a teacher.

Realizing he was still staring, Anakin regained his composure and answered, "I am Knight Anakin Skywalker, Master Kenobi. Forgive me for my behaviour, but this is my first joint mission, and I have never seen a Sith closely before." Anakin cringed inwardly about how stupid and childish he sounded, but he doubted the other man would like to know he thought he was beautiful.

"Really?" Kenobi arched an eyebrow and folded his arms on his chest. "And what do you think? Do I look bad and dangerous enough? I suppose the Jedi tell their younglings the Sith will come to take them away if they misbehave. And I suppose you remember those stories well, Knight Skywalker…how old are you?" The Sith Master asked, as he walked to his desk.

Anakin forced himself not to blush or lose his temper at the man's insinuations, and replied, "I am 21, Master Kenobi, and I have been a knight for more than a year. I am capable in my job and you will not regret having me here."

"We'll see Skywalker, we'll see," Kenobi waved his hand as he sat down at his desk. "Talk with my aide, he will inform you about where to settle your things and about the meal times." Then, evidently considering their meeting concluded, he switched on some galactic maps and started studying them, acting as if the Jedi was no longer there.

Anakin felt a bout of irritation at the blatant way he had been dismissed. However, he released is emotions to the Force, and refusing to behave as impolitely as the other man, he bowed his head and said, "Good evening to you too, Master Kenobi. I hope you will rest well." Then he turned away and left the room.