Author's Note: Hope you all like this one!
Disclaimer: I am not George Lucas; I do not own any of this.
"Tragedies are about the depths that call up to certain men and insist that they descend." -- Robert Bly
His feet hurt, and his hand, though a distant part of his mind recognizes that he has no feet, not anymore, and his only hand is mechanical with no pain sensors.
He wonders how things came to this. Oh, he knows the events and actions that occurred, but the reasoning behind them no longer makes sense. How can one prevent death by causing death? It just doesn't work.
His whole body hurts now, as the coals glow red-hot beneath him, irritated to life by his clothing.
"Obi-Wan . . . ?" he whimpers as his skin and hair begin to smother and char. The pain eats at him, and he mentally begs his old Master to end it, either by killing him or saving him, it doesn't matter which. He cries and pleads in his mind – he'll never touch the dark side again, he'll be a good little Jedi, he'll do whatever he is told, he'll get divorced, he'll take a vow of celibacy, he'll --
But Obi-Wan doesn't hear him, he realizes through the thick haze of pain. Obi-Wan is shouting at him. Lecturing him. Again.
He sinks into the Dark Side, where the physical pain is lessened, dominated by the emotional pain, which in turn can be controlled and overcome and released as anger.
"I hate you!" he screams, wanting to twist a dagger as deeply into Obi-Wan's heart as the one that is in his own, the one that has been burying and rusting into his chest for as long as he can remember.
There have been good times, many of them, yet the major event of his life have always been shadowed by fear and doubt, anger and shame, he believes now.
Leaving his mother. Losing her.
The death of Qui-Gon.
The disapproval and rejection of the Jedi Council.
Even his marriage had begun with a cold knot in his gut, telling him that this was wrong . . .
And the baby . . .
He is violently jolted back to reality by his own screams. The pain has broken through his Dark shield. He forces himself to fall further, but it is only a brief respite. The pain is under his skin now, and it follows him down to the very core of himself, into the deepest and most secret part of his soul. And there it explodes and binds itself to the Dark within him, so that one cannot exist without the other.
He screams, and screams, and screams, as all he has lost is rubbed through his raw wounds like salt.
The flames have completely consumed him now, destroying him, taking everything he has from him, as long as he does not offer it.
For the one thing he wants gone, the flames refuse to take.
They will take his hair, his skin, his ability to breathe. They will severely hinder his eyesight, his hearing, his sense of touch, his ability to use the Force.
But they will not claim his life.
He is furious.
He is furious at Padmé, at Obi-wan, at Sidious, the Jedi, the Senate, the Separatists.
He is furious at himself, and at Fate. At the prophecy.
The flames have receded, but the pain has not. He is numb all over, unable to move. The small section of his mind that is detached from everything notes that this is an odd sensation. He has always associated numbness with coldness.
And the flames, and the anger, are so very, very hot.
Obi-Wan is still standing in front of him. With slight shock, he realizes that only a few seconds have passed. It feels like an eternity.
He lays on the scorched earth of Mustafar, watching as his traitorous Master picks up his lightsaber from where it fell when his arm was severed. He knows that there is nothing left of that arm. Or his legs.
He is surprised there is anything left of him.
Maybe there isn't. He certainly feels dead.
If only he didn't hurt so much.
Obi-wan runs his fingers gently over his lightsaber, still as pristine as ever, despite the abuse it has suffered on the surface of this Force-forsaken planet. He wishes he would ignite it and put him out of his misery.
Killed by his own blade. It seems fitting, somehow.
Or perhaps only ironic.
He sees Obi-Wan's shoulders square in resolve, and he allows himself to hope that he has decided to kill him.
But he turns away.
And for the first time ever, no mater what he has said in the past, he really, truly, viciously hates Obi-Wan.
He will never forgive him.
He watches Obi-Wan climb the embankment, leaving him behind in the lava, and despite his vow of hatred, he finds himself wishing that his former Master will turn around and realize that the tears coursing down his cheeks are caused by far more than physical pain. Maybe then he will be saved.
Or killed. It doesn't matter which.
But Obi-Wan doesn't even look back over his shoulder at him, and he is left to be claimed by Sidious, Vader and the darkness.
Obi-Wan is gone.
And so is Anakin.
But for the rest of his life, he will fear the flames.