Title: On Both Sides Of Forever
Author: Shadow Padawan
Characters: Anakin, Obi-Wan
Genre: Angst with a happy ending
Timeframe: From ROTS through end of ROTJ
Summary: It's kind of hard to explain. Sort of a tribute to the friendship of Anakin and Obi-Wan.
Note: This fic is a one-shot inspired by and originally set to My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion.
Anakin hates saying goodbye. He hates being left behind. Hates watching as a ship rises into Coruscant's polluted atmosphere and wondering if this is the last goodbye.
"Without farewells there would be no homecomings."
Anakin didn't care how many times Obi-Wan repeated that sentiment…he would never acknowledge or accept it. He'd rather face death along with Obi-Wan then be left wondering if he would ever see is friend again.
Nightmares. Another thing to add to Anakin's "I Hate…" list. He would be constantly haunted by the dream of Obi-Wan dying. Dying alone and without Anakin there to comfort him. Without Anakin there to say goodbye…for real. He wasn't stupid and knew full well that Obi-Wan could die even with him there. But it was safer. It was better then not knowing.
"No news is good news."
No matter how many times Obi-Wan said that Anakin would always beg to differ. In a war such as this…no news was never good news.
Another solo mission for Obi-Wan; It's happened before. Nothing new…nothing new at all. But it's never been like this. Obi-Wan has never left to fight someone like Grivouse. And Anakin is scared. Not that he thinks that Obi-Wan can't handle it…just somehow this feels different. There's something…some whisper in the Force that tells Anakin that this is the last time. That this is the time to say goodbye for real. To make amends.
So Anakin apologizes. Admits to faults he's not convinces he has but he knows that this is what Obi-Wan wants to hear. So he says it. Because this is it. This might be the last time.
Obi-Wan responds warmly, Telling Anakin how proud he is of him. Because Obi-Wan has a feeling too. This might be their last time speaking. He might never see Anakin again. Not that he intends to die on this mission…but there's a feeling. Like things must be said and done.
"Obi-Wan!" Anakin wants to say something significant, something meaningful. But all that comes out is, "May the Force be with you!"
"Goodbye, old friend. May the Force be with you." There's that look in Obi-Wan's eyes. Obi-Wan feels it, Anakin feels it, and Anakin wants nothing more then to run down that ramp and sweep Obi-Wan into a bear hug. Just this one time. Just in case it is their last. But Obi-Wan wouldn't understand. He would ask…and Anakin would have to hide again behind excuses and empty words so that Obi-Wan might be reassured. So he simply stands there, holding Obi-Wan's gaze for one long moment.
But all good things come to an end and Obi-Wan leaves, leaving nothing but an echo behind. Anakin prays to the Force. Prays for Obi-Wan. For everything that they have together.
There's darkness. Nothing but darkness. The sun hasn't set yet but Anakin feels it. It's creeping doom. It's hostility. It's icy breath.
He's confused. What to do…what to do now?
"Master Storicks! Master storics! Any news from the battle field?"
"General Grivouse has been defeated by Master Kenobi, Master Skywalker."
"Yes, yes, I know that. So is Obi-Wan coming home?"
"The battle is still raging."
"Any idea when it will be over?"
"None, Master Skywalker."
When are you coming home, Master? I need you! I'm so lost!
Anakin watches the setting sun. Even with all the parsecs between him and Obi-Wan he can still feel his friend's presents through their bond. The Force calls to him, pulling him toward the chancellor's office. But he refuses to go….Obi-Wan. He would wait for Obi-Wan to come home.
But then an image of Padme, his beautiful angel, comes before his eyes and he can't breathe anymore. His can't wait for Obi-Wan. He must go and make sure that he can save Padme. He had too! There was no time. There's never time when he needs it the most.
Anakin feels the wetness of a tear staining his cheek but he ignores it. Tears come when a person is so torn
He has to go rescue the chancellor. Palpatine can save Padme.
He should wait. He should wait for Obi-Wan. If he goes…What will happen if he goes? Anakin's not sure but there's this sick feeling in his stomach…almost as if he knows what evils will come.
Obi-Wan wouldn't want him associating with a Sith Lord.
But Obi-Wan wouldn't like the idea of his marriage ether.
No time there was simply not time…
What ever happens, Obi-Wan….you will always be my brother.
"I loved you!"
I loved you too
Why…why when he had made his choice did Obi-Wan have to come around and open old wounds? Why did Obi-Wan have to remind him of what he had lost? Just when he thought he could move on…why did Obi-Wan have to come around then.
Obi-Wan had been the last string to the Light. He could carry Padme into the Dark with him to be his dark angel of passion and beauty. But Obi-Wan….there was no crossing the line with Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan stood as the Jedi he always was.
He hated him for it and he loved him for it.
When he thought that he had cut the last strand Obi-Wan came along and reminded him that there was still an Anakin Skywalker inside of Darth Vader. Vader tried to squash Anakin inside of himself and had mostly succeeded.
Vader could love Padme. But Vader could not love Obi-Wan. Because Obi-Wan was a Jedi and a Sith can not love a Jedi.
Vader had thought that he had won. But at the site of the tears in Obi-Wan's eyes and the sound of those three words that mourned all that they had and would never have again Anakin flared up inside of Vader. Almost reaching out to his brother…almost calling out.
But then the fire came. Came and consumed all in its way. Even the broken form of the Jedi turned Sith. Vader cried in pain and anger. Anakin cried in pain and despair.
Love. A word that Obi-Wan had wanted to remain a stranger to. But one can only live in denial for so long. It was hard to believe but Obi-Wan could not deny it anymore then he could deny that the sky was blue (on most planets anyways) and the suns of Tatooine were hot. He had loved Anakin as more then a padawan. Anakin had been his friend, his son, and his brother. Anakin had been….his one light in the darkness and desperation of war.
There were his mentors. But mentors weren't there to keep you warm on some Force forsaken ice ball during a months long campaign.
There were his childhood friends. But they didn't know what Anakin knew. They were Jedi and couldn't possibly love the way Anakin did. So open…so pure.
There, of course, the all mighty Force. But the Force couldn't tease him in that affectionate way that always made thing seem ten times less heavy then they were. And the Force couldn't talk to him during long sleepless nights. Or listen of his never ending tales of Qui-Gon, not the way Anakin did anyway, with his head leaned against his hand as he propped himself up on one elbow, blue eyes glistening with interest.
He doesn't know when he realized that Anakin had become more then an obligation. Though it surely must have been before the Clone Wars.
The blasted Clone Wars. The blasted Empire.
Obi-Wan hates being drawn out of his memories in such a crewed way but thinking of the war in general means thinking of its end, thinking of the Empire. Thinking of what Anakin had become.
Sometimes Obi-Wan hates Anakin. Sometimes he thinks he still loves him. But no mater what the emotion was he can never be indifferent. And Obi-Wan knows all too well that the opposite of love isn't hate but indifference. And that he can never be. Not where Anakin is concerned.
Looking at Luke ia like taking a trip down memory lane. The sandy blonde hair, the bright blue eyes, the adventurous nature.
"Sir. Excuse me, sir? Have you seen a young teenage boy anywhere around here?"
"This is a podrace. There are many teenage boys here."
"Well he's human, tall, blonde, blue eyes, a padawan braid…"
"Oh the Jedi? Yea he's up in the next round. Should be at the pits right now."
"WHAT? Anakin's IN the race!"
Anakin never missed a chance to show off his racing skills. Or his flying skills.
"Anakin are you trying to kill us?"
"Of course not, Master."
"Then why don't you fly like a normal human being?"
"Aw…that's no fun."
Obi-Wan likes to remember the times when there had been no war to worry about. When his young padawan was just that—a young padawan, eager to learn, even if he was a troublemaker. Things hadn't been perfect between them then but they got better with time.
If anything positive had ever come out of the Clone War it was that Obi-Wan and Anakin had gotten closer. There were more open conversation and more time to share worries and fears. More reasons to joke around, if only to ignore the graveness of a mission, More situation in which they would share comfort. More ways and reasons to become closer.
Anakin's knighting had been bittersweet but it lifted a burden from Obi-Wan's shoulders and he allowed himself to become more relaxed around his friend. Now that Anakin was his equal and not his student. It had been a proud moment. But a moment in which Obi-Wan feared Anakin would turn and walk away. But Anakin stayed. Stayed until the dark claimed him.
Memories hurt but they were better then nothing.
Obi-Wan can't explain it. And he isn't sure if he wants to.
Sometimes he thinks he can feel Anakin again. But how can that be if there is no bond? If there is no Anakin.
But Obi-Wan can't lie to himself anymore. The bond is there still, buried deep inside in a place where he can't easily stumble across it. And Anakin is there still, some where deep inside of Vader. Obi-Wan wants to think that Anakin died by Vader's hand. But Obi-Wan also wants to have a chance. For them both to have a chance to sometime, somehow, reunite. It might be impossible but hope dies last, they say.
Obi-Wan didn't think that it would be this difficult to face him. He never thought that looking at Vader would make him think of Anakin.
How can this black metal compare to curl blonde hair, curious blue eyes, and a cocky smile? How can this heavy breathing and mechanical speech be compared to affectionate teasing or gentle comforts and reassurances?
The thing is that they can't. And Obi-Wan doesn't try to compare them. But it sill hurts. Hurts because ether way this man—thing—is connected to Anakin in one way or another. If this is the man that killed Anakin then Anakin is dead. If this is Anakin….then that's even worse. Because that is a concept that Obi-Wan can not wrap his mind around. Does not want to wrap his mind around.
Obi-Wan isn't afraid to die. He simply finds it ironic how the man that had once sworn to always protect him during the long nights of the Clone War campaigns was the one to kill him. Obi-Wan expected to die here. What he didn't expect was the storm of emotions that facing Vader would cause.
Obi-Wan stands enchanted as he watches the figure of Anakin Skywalker emerge in front of him in the Force. Anakin…his Anakin. The way he was before Mustafar. Anakin has his eyes closed and there's almost a smile curving his lips.
Anakin opens his eyes and looks around uncertainly. He sees Obi-Wan and falters. His eyes grow fearful and he starts to chew on his lower lip.
Oh he's back. His Anakin is back home again. But Anakin doesn't move he just stands there with a shy almost afraid look on him face. He almost looks like the nine year old boy that had once upon a time looked at Obi-Wan with wide trusting eyes asking as to what will happen to him now that Master Qui-Gon was dead.
Obi-Wan's heart goes out to Anakin—his Anakin—and he obliges to make the firs step toward his former padawan. "Anakin…"
Anakin looks bewildered but only for a minute. Then a grin spreads across his features despite the tears in his eyes and he rushes into Obi-Wan's open arms. "Obi-Wan!"
They stand like that for a long time, savoring the feeling of being together again. Anakin cries and repeats that he is sorry over over again until Obi-Wan finally tells him to hush as he fights his own tears.
"My friend…I've missed you far too much to no forgive you."
"Oh, Obi-Wan, I…I don't know why…please…I know I don't deserve you friendship…"
"Oh you were always too good for me, Anakin. Too powerful, too willful, too loving. I'd say we're equal."
Anakin smiles through tears at the familiar teasing tone in Obi-Wan voice. "You know… even long after I…fell…I still guarded that place where our bond had been. That was the one place the Emperor was not allowed to go…"
"And for that I am grateful."
"What now, Obi-Wan?"
"Now we go and watch over your children."
Anakin smiles at the mention of seeing his children again. Anakin puts an arm around Obi-Wan's shoulders, hesitant at first before he feels Obi-Wan do the same.
"I…I love ya man."
Obi-Wan laughs with an amused smile. "I love you too, Anakin."
There's nothing I fear
And I know that my heart will go on
We'll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my heart will
Go on and on
(Celine Dion – "My heart Will Go On")