Obi-Wan nearly kissed the ground as he got out of the ship. "Are you coming, Master?" Anakin asked him.

You'll not get me into the spotlight willingly. "Oh, no. I'm not brave enough for politics. I have to report to the Council. Besides, someone needs to be the poster boy." He said, hating to foist that burden off onto his friend, but understanding its necessity.

"Hold on, this whole operation was your idea. You planned it. You led the rescue operation. You have to be the one to take the bows this time," Anakin said, clearly unhappy with the prospect of having all that attention on him.

"Sorry, old friend. Let us not forget that you rescued me from the Buzz Droids. And you killed Count Dooku. And you rescued the Chancellor, carrying me unconscious on your back, and you managed to land that bucket of bolts safely…" Obi-Wan trailed off, hating that he was feeding Anakin's ego, when it was already big enough as it was.

"All because of your training, Master. You deserve all those speeches of your greatness." How I wish I believed him.

"The endless speeches. Anakin, let's be fair. Today, you are the hero and you deserve your glorious day with the politicians." He really wasn't ready to spend the day being happy for cameras.

"All right. But you owe me, and not for saving your skin for the tenth time," he finally relented.

"Ninth time, that business on Cato Nemoidia doesn't count. I'll see you at the briefing." He smiled, but it was one of those that he'd seen more and more often on his former Padawan's face, one that said that he really was dying inside but couldn't show it.

He headed for the Temple, for home. An air taxi picked him up, depositing him on the public landing platform. He was happy to be there, really happy, and he felt jubilation from Anakin as well. What could Anakin be happy about, I wonder? He slipped quietly into a light meditation, hoping that whatever good news that Anakin had gotten, would be something that he wanted to share. It wasn't something that happened that often anymore, but he had hope. He couldn't sense what it was that had Anakin so happy, for he was that, but he was also frightened, slightly panicked, amazed and excited. How peculiar.

After he'd eaten dinner, he called his friend, his brother. "Anakin, I know you're probably basking in the adoration of the Chancellor, or some such thing, but I'd like to take some time to talk tonight, if it wouldn't be too much trouble for you."

Anakin was clearly torn. He looked up, away from the screen for a moment. "I don't see any problem with that, Obi-Wan, but does it need to be tonight?"

"Well," he conceded, "It could wait, but I hardly get to see you, when we're not up to our eyeballs in something."

Something made him smile. "Alright, Master, I'll come see you."

Satisfied, he cut the transmission, and went to get tea ready, rummaging through the little packets until he'd found Anakin's favorite.

"Anakin, I know you're probably basking in the adoration of the Chancellor, or some such thing, but I'd like to take some time to talk tonight, if it wouldn't be too much trouble for you."

Anakin was torn. He looked up at Padmé, who was standing out of sight 'Go ahead' she mouthed to him. "I don't see any problem with that, Obi-Wan, but does it need to be tonight?"

"Well," he conceded, "It could wait, but I hardly get to see you, when we're not up to our eyeballs in something."

He smiled, knowing that Padmé was right—they should have plenty of time together later. "Alright, Master, I'll come see you."

He waited until the transmission dropped totally. "I wonder what he wants. That's not like Obi-Wan, to call me, unless it's something important."

"He probably wants to let you get out of all the stuffy meetings with all the stuffy senators, if you need to, that's all." Padmé told him, "He cares for you, Anakin."

"At this moment I'd prefer for him to have been slightly less caring." He said, catching her up in a hug. "I love you. I'll be back tonight if I can."

She kissed him passionately, as though he were water, and she'd been three days in the desert. "Go, now, before we get too caught up, and forget."

"Alright," he said, and he hopped into his speeder, and headed for the temple. He let the cool night air wash him clean of the better part of his emotions, it wouldn't do to have Obi-Wan see him quite like that. He landed, having mostly lost the high emotions that had carried him through until that point. He realized just how tired he was, but he was determined not to let that bother him, and headed for Obi-Wan's Quarters.

"Anakin, I am delighted that you could tear yourself away from whoever had your attention."

"I always have time for you, Master." He stifled a yawn, but not before Obi-Wan caught it.

"Come on, let's go have some tea," he said ushering Anakin into the common area.

Sitting down, Anakin took his cup of tea, and they sat and talked for nearly an hour, before Anakin's body simply shut down on him. Dear Force we've been running the boy ragged. He suddenly felt the shear exhaustion that had taken Anakin hitting him, as well. Not that I'm much better off. He arranged Anakin into a position that looked reasonably comfortable, and threw a blanket over him. He sat down, intending to start picking up the tea set, when sleep overtook him as well.

"Padmé, Padmé." Anakin said restlessly, in his sleep, waking Obi-Wan.

The thirty-eight-year-old Master shut his eyes. No, please, don't start having nightmares again. I can't handle the pain that it brings to you, my Padawan. Anakin was covered in sweat, and he'd wake up soon, if that was what this was. On cue, Anakin bolted upright.

"Nightmare?" Obi-Wan asked quietly.

"Yes," was Anakin's simple answer.

"Like with your mother?"

"Yes," Anakin answered again.

"I'm sorry, Anakin." Obi-Wan said.

"What for?" He asked, confused.

"Because you have these nightmares. Because you are faced with loosing people that you care for. Senator Amidala?"

"Yes, how did you know?"

"You were calling her name."

Anakin let out a sigh. "I'm sorry, Master. I don't want to burden you,"

Obi-Wan finally got exasperated with him. "How many times do I have to tell you that you are not a burden to me? I care deeply for you, and it hurts me to see you hurt like this."

Anakin was silent for a long time, but Obi-Wan was more patient than he was. "I don't want to lose someone else, Master."

"I know, Anakin. It's difficult to deal with all the loss, even for so stoic a Jedi as Master Yoda."

"Who has he lost?"

"He has, on occasion, taken on a Padawan, the last being Mace Windu."

"Mace Windu was Master Yoda's Padawan?"

"I would have thought you knew that. He also trained Count Dooku. Don't you think that his death, and prior to that, his conversion to the dark side, hurt Master Yoda, who took on his training?"

"I did that to him," Anakin whispered.

"What do you mean?"

"When Dooku was just there, and I'd already cut his hands off, and he wasn't a threat, I couldn't stop myself. I killed him, in cold blood."

"Anakin," Obi-Wan said, not really knowing what to say to that.

"Palpatine said for me to do it, that he was too dangerous to be left alive, and so I did it, even though I didn't want to."

Obi-Wan sat back, thinking through the ramifications of what his former Padawan had just said. "You didn't want to, but you did it anyway," he looked at his friend, his brother, who was now being torn apart freshly with the thought of the additional burden of grief that he'd placed on Master Yoda, with actions that he'd so much as admitted were not his own.

"I don't know what to do, Master. The war is going so badly, and…and…" he trailed off, and Obi-Wan thought that there had been a tiny crack in Anakin's armor, he'd been about to tell him something important.

"You got good news today." Obi-Wan said. "I receive so little that is good anymore, and I felt your happiness through the Force. Tell me."

He felt shame surround his friend. "I can't, Obi-Wan." Obi-Wan felt Anakin fight a conflict within himself, his duty against his friendship with Obi-Wan.

"If it's something that you think that I'll go to the Council over, I would rather you trust me with it, and I will swear to you that I won't tell a soul, than to see you suffer, my brother," Obi-Wan said, honestly. He hated having to make that oath to Anakin, just to get him to open up to him, but felt somehow that it was necessary. "I only want what's best for you."

"Even if it's something that would get me kicked out of the Order?"

Obi-Wan frowned. Force, what has he been doing? "Even then,"

Anakin nodded, then he let the bombshell drop on Obi-Wan's head. "Padmé's pregnant."