DECLARATION: My fiction is written just for fun and I'm not making money with it. Characters and Star Wars galaxy belong to Lucas, of course. The names Yimot, Athor, Dovim and Theremon are from the cool novel "Nightfall" by Asimov and Silverberg. But in this story they have no connection with the characters, plots and places of the book. They are just an homage.

I thank Chiara and Jean Genie for the beta-reading of the original Italian fiction and Mari Skyrin-Sarker for the beta-reading of English translation.

Thank for your reviews. So finally we have Jedi's reasons vs. Anakin's...

Father and Son - Chapter 7

After five days, Luke was anxiously tormenting the sheeve of his tunic in the corridor in front of the Jedi Council room.

Some meters next to him, Anakin, more on edge than him, walked here and there. He had tread that short path so many times that he was surprised he hadn't digged a ditch yet. The Jedi couldn't understand why the Council took so many time to decide. During the interview, they had asked him few questions and he had answered quickly and frankly. Surprisingly they had not required the rough, but the usual mind probe. Everything had let him to think they had sentenced him before he had landed on the planet. Everything... but they had been discussing ever since then.

He looked at his son behind his back. He couldn't help but ask what his boy would do, if he got expelled. In the previous days, he had seen him very thoughtful, but they hadn't spoken about this topic. The Jedi was all too aware that, for all his life, Luke had been conditioned to think attachment was a fault and the just Jedi Order deserved its members' faithfulness. More than everything else, now Anakin feared to know where his Padawan's trust really lied.

The door opened. Shaak Ti tensly gestured for them to go in. With their heads bowed, they orderly presented themselves in the middle of the circle, first the Master and a few steps behind his apprentice, as was appropiate.

All the seats were taken, but Chosen One was feeling his stomach twist with the same shyness he had had as a boy when he faced those strict eyes. Without hesitating, he went in front of Yoda, true god of the Temple, and Windu, his prophet, at his left.

"Skywalker," the korun Master momentously began like a judge who was going to sentence, "the violation of celibacy rule deserves expulsion. But in this hard times for the democratic Institutions, we must also care for some public order matters Master Kenobi pointed out." He grimly looked at Obi-Wan who couldn't keep his usual composure fully imperturbable and Anakin understood his ex-Master had gone far to help him. "So we decided," Windu went on, "you are going to end your career in the seclusion on Dovim, where you'll be able to meditate peacefully on the unifying Force."

Anakin mentally sighed in relief. Prospect to be imprisoned for the rest of his life on a more desolated planet than Tatooine wasn't exactly amusing, but at least he and Luke would have a common life and it didn't sounded too bad, after everything they had gone through.

But before he could thank him, the korun went on: "About your apprentice, he would be reassign to Master Theremon to help him in his diplomatic service. You both are bound to keep your secret, of course."

Stunned, Anakin couldn't believe what he had heard. He would end on Dovim and Luke with Theremon on the other side of Galaxy. It simply meant he would never see his son again.

They were gesturing for them to leave when Anakin raised his voice: "You haven't the right to part me from my son."

"Your Padawan," Yoda rectified over the tense silence with his eyes thin like a blade.

"Were you waiting for a promotion?" Plo Koon added at his right.

Feeling more surrended by enemies than ever before, Anakin turned to face him, but his words of defiance were meant for all those presents: "Rather than this, I leave the Order with him."

Did Luke agree? That didn't really matter: he was just a child, he wasn't able to decide independently. He would eventually persuade him it was the best thing to do.

"It's your right to leave the Order, of course." This was Windu again. Anakin turned to him. "But Luke is still underage and the ward of the Jedi Order. He isn't coming with you."

The Chosen One shook his head. "But I am his father!" he yelled. Then he quickly glanced at his son who powerlessly watched all those adults to quarrel his fate neither adressing him one little word.

"Anakin...," Obi-Wan kindly interposed, totally aware he was the only one Anakin would listen to.

But this time Skywalker didn't want to listen. He suddenly turned: "No! They...," he nodded, " not care for Luke at all. They part him from me just on principle, not asking themselves what is better for him."

"So sure you are to know what the better for him is?" Yoda asked.

Anakin didn't answer; he couldn't. No, he neither knew what was better for Luke nor what he wished, but he knew he would let no one take him away from him. He turned for the exit and, laying an arm on his child's shoulders, began to drag him.

The boy's faltering eyes searched for the Masters' reaction. That came soon. At Skywalker's unprecedented audacity of defying the Council's orders in front of everybody, Windu suddenly stood up, taking few steps further, and talked to the boy: "Luke, come here."

The Padawan hesitatingly stopped.

"Everybody thinks you aren't in any way to blame for this situation," he went on, "and you still have duties towards the Order."

Luke frowned and, freeing himself from his father's weak grasp, he came back in the middle of the room.

Anakin's jaw tightened. "I am your father," he claimed with a choked voice.

His boy's eyes quickly ran from one Jedi to another, as both towered over him. At last he bowed his head, watching a detail of the wide mosaic. "I... I want to live with my father," he whispered.

Anakin triumphantly stretched out an hand to him.

But before he could touch it, Windu grasped the boy's arm, telling him: "Nevertheless your guardian is still the Jedi Order."

"Leave him," Anakin darkly summoned.

Windu tightened the hold.

"Leave him," the Jedi said again, as all his stress, anger and fear canalized through his left arm and his hand so violently that with a whole awareness a blue lightning burst out of his fingers, striking the korun Master and making him to fall back.

Suddenly all the lightsabers in the room turned on and the tense silence was broken by the humming of every colour blades.

Stunned by what he neither knew he was able to do, Anakin carefully turned on his saber, too. He stretched out his arm to Luke who was still in front of him and tightly held his boy's shoulder who meekly let him move him back. On guard, he drew back towards the exit, ready if necessary to fight against the whole Council.

When he was almost on the door, several Masters came closer to him. But Kenobi yelled: "For the Force's sake, would you duel inside the Temple?!"

In the moment of inattention that followed, Anakin went out, pushing forcedly out also his boy, and when he was a bit off and noted the Masters' unwillingness to follow him not to stir up a war inside the building, he turned off his sabre, holding it ready to use, and he ran out followed by his son.

He ran like the wind, crossing corridors, pushing puzzled, but still unaware Jedi casually walking his path. He went down the Council Tower, passed the ziggurat below and the high columns.

No one had ordered to stop them and they went on. Then away through the crowded streets of Coruscant, where nothing seemed to be weird for the imperturbable passer-by. They carried on running for a long path for the fear someone could change his mind, until Anakin tiredly stopped in a small minor street. Leaning forward, he struggled to breathe, as the sweat poured into his eyes and his lungs ached because of effort.

When he could straighten himself up again, he turned to Luke. His child leant against a wall. More exhausted than him, his boy seated, holding his not fully healed wound.

Anakin went near him, and bowing quickly checked him, without luckly finding blood. He put an hand on his shoulder and infused a bit of Force inside his child who obviously relaxed. He watched him with more love and pride than ever before.

But Luke was too lost to see that. He began to tremble slightly and, confused, looking around.

"What are we going to do now?" he whispered and just then the father understood how hard was for his son to leave the Temple, that had been all his world.

Anakin softly shook him: "Whatever we want. We are free now."

"Free?!", his boy repeated, as if he was afraid to contemplate the freedom.

"Luke," his father called him, trying to give spirit and trust to his bewildered look, "life went on also out the Temple."

His child nodded. "But will we use the Force no more?" he anguishedly asked.

Anakin lowered more to look into his eyes. "The Force isn't the Jedi Order's exclusive property. The Force is everywhere. And when you need it, you can always find it inside you," he ended touching his boy's chest with his forefinger.

Luke's look followed his father's finger, as his thoughts plainly focused inside him. Then, more convinced, he nodded again and smiled.

Anakin quickly ruffled his head and stood up. He stretched out an arm to help his boy to stand up too and incited: "Let's look for a transport to leave Coruscant."

Luke held the father's tempting hand and, putting his weight on his aching feet again with some effort, he began to curiously watch that universe totally new to him.

I hope you enjoyed the end :)