That Overprotective Partner
"I don't like this. I should be allowed to come with you. If I'm not there, who's going to take care of you?"
Anakin was saying as the necessary last-minute preparations were being made to Obi-Wan's ship. The Jedi Master was scheduled to leave today, and Anakin couldn't help being extremely unhappy with the Council's decision to send his Master off alone.
"Believe it or not, I am capable of taking care of myself, Anakin," said Obi-Wan dryly.
"But you don't though, Master. That's the problem. I have to practically force you to eat on missions…you never get enough sleep, I have to use sleep suggestions on you…and if it weren't for me, I don't think you'd ever visit the healers…And besides, whose going to rescue you when you get kidnapped?"
"'When' I get kidnapped? Don't you mean 'if'?" asked Obi-Wan. What exactly was Anakin implying?
"No, I mean when. You always get kidnapped, Master," Anakin pointed out.
"I do not always get kidnapped! I've gotten captured three, maybe four, times!" said Obi-Wan indignantly.
Anakin snorted. "Three or four dozen, maybe. And I came to the rescue each time!"
"You are hopelessly deluded, my friend."
"It was at least eight times, anyway…"
"There is no way it was that many. It was three or four. Five, tops." said Obi-Wan firmly.
"Let's see…there was Hollen…and Bejin…Umbraia…Ingrijin…Jarrow…there was that time on Pelomine…then there was Cato Nemoidia…and let's not forget Geonosis…" said Anakin, ticking them off his fingers.
"That isn't fair! Cato Nemoidia and Geonosis don't count! Cato Nemoidia was your fault in the first place…and you didn't rescue me on Geonosis! I seem to remember that you got captured, too. If it weren't for the other Jedi and the clones, we'd be dead right now."
"Well…I tried, said Anakin feebly.
"Nevertheless, you failed. Therefore, I am right and you, my young friend, are wrong," said Obi-Wan smugly.
"Next time, I'm not even going to bother," Anakin grumbled.
Obi-Wan chuckled. "Seriously, though, Anakin…I'll be fine."
"Forgive me if I'm not entirely reassured."
"Come on, nothing really bad ever happens to me. All my captors and enemies just ramble on about how they will be the one to finally defeat the great "Negotiator," they inflict minor damage to my person, then they are killed or arrested and I am on my merry way, off to crush more peoples' dreams of destroying the indestructible Obi-Wan Kenobi," joked the Jedi Master.
The corners of Anakin's mouth twitched upward in a reluctant smile, which quickly faded. "Nothing bad ever happens to you, huh? What about Jabiim? With Ventress? Everyone thought you were dead, Master. I thought you were dead. I can't lose you like that again. Do you even know what that was like?"
Obi-Wan looked up at his friend. "I'm sorry, Anakin. I wish that had never happened, believe me. But it won't happen again. I promise."
"How can you promise something like that?" asked Anakin, a hint of desperation in his voice.
"Well, I promise I'll be careful, how's that?"
"I still think the Council is making a mistake," said Anakin for the umpteenth time, glaring at a spot on the floor of the docking bay on which they were standing.
Obi-Wan put his hands on Anakin's shoulders, forcing the Knight to look at him.
"Anakin, I will be fine. Don't worry," he said, stressing the last two words.
Anakin gave a weak smile.
"You know I will."
Now it was Obi-Wan's turn to smile. It was a mixture of amusement and fondness as he regarded his friend. "I know."
Anakin swallowed to clear his throat, then said, only half jokingly, "They'll undoubtedly be taking prisoners…if you happen to be one of them, just tell whoever your captor is that if anything happens to you, the "Hero With No Fear" will personally hunt them down, crush them, grind them into little pieces, and blast them into oblivion."
Obi-Wan laughed. "Will do."
"I think your ship's ready. It looks like Cody's waiting for you," said Anakin, nodding at the bottom of the ramp where Commander Cody stood, patiently waiting for Obi-Wan to board the ship.
"Oh, that reminds me, I've been meaning to ask you…what's this Cody tells me about you threatening him? He says that you said you'd…what was it?…'slowly and painfully dismember him?'"
Anakin blanched. "Only if he doesn't follow my instructions."
"And what are your instructions, pray tell?" asked Obi-Wan, folding his arms across his chest.
"Uh…I don't remember exactly. He didn't do anything that would give him cause to fear punishment, did he? Is that why he said something to you?" questioned Anakin, suddenly suspicious.
"Actually, I tripped earlier in the hangar bay and fell on a spare part. Cody said, since I'd 'gotten hurt on his watch,' that he was grateful for the chance to get off-planet, as he doubted his potential fate there would be any worse than the definite fate that now awaited him here with one Anakin Skywalker, or, as he called you, 'that overprotective partner of mine.'" Obi-Wan said all this rather dryly, a combination of expectancy and hilarity on his face.
"Um…I have no idea what he's talking about?" said Anakin.
"Uh…Cody's taken one to many blows to the head?"
The younger Jedi sighed. "I told him to look out for you, is all."
"And you threatened him?!" said Obi-Wan incredulously.
"Well, if it works…"
"Anakin, you can't go around threatening to dismember clone troopers!" Obi-Wan admonished his former Padawan, though the affect was somewhat diminished by the fact that, despite his best efforts, he couldn't quite manage to keep a straight face. The clones were an army for the Republic. Each of them would gladly give their life for a Jedi. Therefore, the fact Anakin had threatened a clone commander to keep a Jedi safe was utterly ridiculous.
"Only if he didn't follow my orders!" Anakin said in his own defense.
"Anakin, you can't dismember Cody."
"Sure I can."
"Fine. I was planning on taking all four limbs, but I'll settle for just the arms.""Anakin…"
Obi-Wan arched an eyebrow at him. Anakin sighed heavily.
"Fine. He can keep his limbs. I suppose I could always use a dummy for target practice with my starfighter."
Obi-Wan gave him a "Look."
"Kidding! I was kidding."
Obi-Wan shook his head, allowing a small smile to grace his features.
"I'm going to miss you, my friend."
"I'll miss you too. Be careful. Please. You don't want Cody to have to suffer…joke! It was a joke. I was just joking," Anakin amended hurriedly as Obi-Wan opened his mouth to chide him again.
The older man smiled. "I really should be going. May the Force be with you, Anakin."
"Good-bye, Master. Just don't forget to eat, and get plenty of sleep, and you had better visit the healers if you get injured or sick. And be sure to be careful, okay? For both our sakes."
"I will, Anakin."
"I will. I promise."
"All right, then. I guess you can go."
"Thank you for your permission," said Obi-Wan wryly. "You're quite certain that you're finished hassling me?"
"I suppose," grinned Anakin.
"Well, if you're sure…"
Anakin watched as Obi-Wan boarded his ship, then watched as the ship took off, becoming smaller and smaller, until it was nothing more than a speck before it was swallowed up completely by the vast expansion of sky.End