I Return

Rating: PG for complexity.
Timeline: Post RotJ, Anakin POV, disregarding the fact that the Jedi Temple was destroyed. :P It was that, or ignore even more canon.
Disclaimer: None of its mine! AHAHAAA!! (beyond the idea, of course. But even the inspiration wasn't mine) This is a oneshot. Don't flame me. (CONSTRUCTION is welcome) I just felt like posting something, since I haven't in a long while.

I return to the Jedi Temple and I stand at the door of the chamber. My fingers brush against the wood of the turbolift as I exit it and enter the room, lightsaber clasped in hand and eyes dim with... emotion. I am not certain which emotion it is, only that it is a definate emotion, that it seems to carry me on as I walk with certain steps into the middle of the room.

Emotions. I rely on them. They are a steady source of fuel, something that can drive me on when all else fails. Everything fails! They all do, in the end, and then all that's left is me in the middle of my fears and griefs and anger.

It is night. Beyond the spanning windows the panorama of Coruscant displays itself for me, the sky a pure midnight lit only by countless electric lights below. It is one large city, not a single stretch of ground remaining that hasn't been built over and crushed under by thousands of layers of buildings. I have been down in the lower levels. I know what it looks like, what it smells like to be underneath so many layers that you can't even look up to see speeders flying overhead, let alone the stars. But it has been a long time. Now... well... hah hah... not now, but before this happened. Not so long ago, I would have sent others down below rather than going myself. Why should I be bothered?

My lightsaber clatters from my hand. Almost instinctively, I glance to where it fell and attempt to pick it up.


It refuses to come, as if it has somehow joined the mortal coil and now refuses to be a part of me. A flare of emotions cross my scarred face, and I kick at it, watching as my foot simply swings past. Oh, very well. Have it your way.

I leave it there and finish crossing the council chamber to where the window lies. I return. I have stood here before, gazing across the cityscape with a bitter expression on my face, tears in my eyes. The horizon has changed so much. Now it has been engineered, reformated and restructured. This is the Imperial Center, not Coruscant... not the gem in the heart of the galaxy.

And by all rights it is my fault. The destruction of this room, of the entire temple... all the voices silenced. I can still hear them eating away at my mind.

Master Skywalker.

Master Skywalker, have you come to help us?

They're trying to--

What are you doing?!

Screams. Hollow screams that echo in the visage of my mind, in that place where the Force cannot affect, because it is only me, and only my memories serving to drive me on. And there. I return to the past, history must repeat itself. A tear on my insubstantial face as I stare out of the window.

How could I have done this? How could I have been so nearsighted?! I let myself get pulled into a trap, I killed Padmé, I tried to kill Obi-Wan--I did kill Obi-Wan--and then I brought myself to death. I should have killed myself. I should have never survived. Mustafar should have killed me.

I should not be here, standing here as a ghost, staring out of a window that should not exist. No! It should exist. It should never have been destroyed in the first place!

I was so... nearsighted. So selfish. I thought only of myself... how could I have been so foolish? How could I have neglected that she was carrying twins. How could I have neglected to check my own strength? How could I have... been... so... stupid?

Yes, I berate myself. Yes. You were an idiot to think that you could fix everything. No one human can amend anything, and now you are nothing more than a wisp left in the Force, somehow carried on by some connection to love, to light side emotions.

A step forward. My fingers brush against the windows. Plastisteel... even if I were still tangible, I could never break through them. In fact, it is incredible a feat in itself that I can touch this building. It is infused with the Force, though. The very bones of it speak of the ancient powers binding the galaxy together (thus sayith the Jedi Masters), and strengthen me.

It is perhaps that hint of a phyical presence that keeps me from breaking down here and now. The cool touch beneath my transparent blue fingers, the sense of a presence.

How could I have been so foolish?

I drop my hands back to my side. I have returned, and find no further strength in this building. How can I leave the physical realm behind when I am still so attached to it? Dead, that I may be, but I cannot bear the thought of leaving this place unforgiven. I have died, my debt may very well be repaid to those I have harmed, but how can my leaving this galaxy help it any further? The Empire still exists, an empire I helped to forge! I was... so... stupid!

And Luke. As much of a Jedi as he may be, how can I hope to think that he will manage to amend all the wrongs I have commited in the family's name...

It's all my fault.

I slump against the wall, arms resting on black-clad knees, and glare at my lightsaber, still sitting there innocently in the middle of the room, as real as real can be. "Oh, sure. Laugh about it," I mutter, flicking one hand at it. As suspected, it does not budge when it should have, does not fly back into my hands. It too has abandoned me.

If I were, what... forty years younger, I would've stuck my tongue out and insulted it. Now, though. Now I just feel old, strained. So much for the legends of the Force seeming to aid people into longer lives. I just feel stretched. Perhaps that's just stress.

I've returned, and there's no one left. All the Jedi have been exterminated. One by one, the Force embracing them into its chilly grasp. Perhaps I am the only one left from the old Order now... and even I'm dead and gone, just a whisper in the wind. I want Master Yoda to be here, to smack me with his gimmer stick and tell me to stop moping and threaten me that if I don't get up and move he'll demote me. I want Obi-Wan to be here, to chide me for being distracted... oh, Force... he was like my father and I killed him... I killed/i him... I want Qui-Gon to be here, to say something encouraging and to be as sturdy as he always was...

I want Padmé to be here. I want to feel her soft arms around my waist, her flawless brown eyes digging into mine... it'll be okay, Ani... I love you... there's still good in you...

Damn, no! I must not think of Mustafar again! I want my mother to be here! I missed her! Could you blame a child for missing his mother? It wasn't my fault that I was a ridiculously obvious Force-sensitive, that I was powerful, that Qui-Gon took me away under the pretense of being the Chosen One...

Yeah. Chosen for what? To murder off all the Jedi? How does that balance the Force? Dark and light. It already is a bloody balance!

I want Yoda to be here. Forgive yourself, you must. Forget about the past! Always in motion, the future is. My mind knows so well how to mimic that grating voice, getting under your skin and egging you on. Master Yoda... wise as the hills and as old as the rocks... they were right all along, I was too dangerous to be a Jedi... they should have sent me back...

"Angsting, you are," I mumble, staring at the lengthening shadows in the room. "Get a life you must, young Padawan, or begin again you shall. Always angsting, you are. Smack! Ow! Smack! Another ow! Stop angsting, silly Padawan learner, and go get yourself some lunch." I sigh, switching to mimic a whiny kid. "Yes, Master Yoda."

Painful laughter. "Oh, Force... I can mimic myself... what an amazing idea..." I'm half crying, half laughing, half covering my scarred face with one hand. It hurts. How can I go on without being forgiven by those that are left?

Go on? I'm already dead!

I've made up my mind. I stumble back to my feet, stalking past my lightsaber.

"Well?" I glance back at it with intensive blue eyes. "Aren't you coming?"

It stays there.

Oh, well. It's just a fragment of the past, after all. I rub my shins in memory of the past, and walk out of the council chamber. Perhaps I can find Leia before I completely fade away.

And perhaps it was my imagination, but a small shadow hobbled out from the depths and took my lightsaber with a chuckle that said forgot this, you have, young Skywalker.

I don't look back. I have returned, and now I will leave it behind.