A Different Path
By Andie O'Neill
Summary: What if Padme hadn't died after the birth of her children? Padme goes through the pain of losing her husband to the dark side, with the help of a long time friend.
A/N: This is really Obidala, with a bit of Ani/Padme along for the ride and a tiny bit of Han/Leia at the end. It really has everything! I mean, even though I never really got how Padme could love Anakin after everything, she did love him, so I decided not to ignore that. First Star Wars fic, so be gentle:D
Obi-Wan Kenobi walked through the ship, noticing immediately that not everyone was asleep as he entered the last of the ship's compartments, noticing the small boy his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn had picked up asleep in the corner, a blanket over him. The Queen's handmaiden Padme sat in a nearby chair watching over him. "I thought everyone would be asleep by now," he told her, making her jump as she turned to look at him. "I'm sorry; I didn't mean to startle you."
Padme smiled. "I didn't hear you come in…" he knew immediately why she hesitated.
"Please, call me Obi-Wan," he told her.
"Only if you call me, Padme."
Obi-Wan nodded his head in agreement, moving to take a seat beside her, his eyes resting on the young boy still dreaming.
"You're Master seems to think he's a very special boy," Padme said. He knew she was curious.
"Qui-Gon believes the boy to be the chosen one, to bring balance to the force."
"What do you think?"
Kenobi sighed. "He is too old; the Council will not train him."
"How old were you when you were sent to the Jedi?"
Obi-Wan looked away from the boy finally, thinking back to when he'd been that age. "I was raised by the Jedi… taken to be trained only months after birth."
"But what of your parents?"
"I don't know. I've never met them."
"You've never met your parents?" Padme asked, obviously shocked.
Kenobi raised an eyebrow at her surprise. "A Jedi is given great power as he grows in his knowledge of the Force. To be trained to use this power you must be able to control your emotions. Attachments are forbidden."
"Attachments? You mean you're not allowed to love?"
Kenobi struggled, trying to find the right words to explain such a complicated thing. "With power, comes responsibility. If we wish to use this power for the greater good, sacrifices must be made to protect us from falling into corruption."
"But love does not lead to corruption." Padme said frowning.
"Love is a wholesome quality, Padme. Still, even love can be dangerous, especially if we love too much. Love can make us do very dangerous things, feel very dangerous feelings. Jealousy, anger, paranoia… especially fear. We must bury those feelings, although they do us credit, they may also be used to serve the dark side."
Padme nodded, finally understanding. "I had no idea… it must be hard, to have to fight your feelings all the time."
"When I was but still a youngling it was hard. I did not understand. It took time for me to realize the dangers these feelings would bring me, why it was so important."
"But what of Qui-Gon, you care for him don't you?"
"Of course, Padme. He's like my father. I have been his apprentice since I was still very young. He is my family. The Jedi understand this. Bonds between Jedi are not uncommon, especially between Master and apprentice. It is unavoidable."
The handmaiden sighed. "But you just said attachments were forbidden."
Obi-Wan smiled. "When a Master takes someone to be his Padawan learner, the council expects there to be a bond between them. The Master is in effect raising his Padawan. During training we are made to understand this deep bond. Although they do become like family, all Jedi understand that what we do is dangerous. I love Qui-Gon as a father, but I also love the Jedi order. My allegiance is to protecting the Republic, to peace, the same is for Qui-Gon. To allow our bond to get in the way of our duty is unforgivable; we'd be immediately expelled from the order."
"I did not realize just how complicated the life of a Jedi could be," she finally said.
Obi-Wan laughed. "I cannot argue with you there." She was funny, kind, and extremely unique. He knew he could very easily become close friends with this handmaiden. The two smiled at each other, neither tired. The two talked for hours, speaking about a number of subjects. Neither paid attention as young Anakin slept in his corner, unaware of his destiny.
Kenobi sighed, staring at the stars, his sadness great as he thought of his Master. Anakin, his new apprentice sat before the fire, enjoying the warmth while the others mingled, remembering their fallen comrade. Obi-Wan could not join them, could not bare to face a soul as he mourned Qui-Gon's death. He was supposed to be a Jedi, strong and wise, but today all he felt was lost. He'd slipped away after the memorial. He knew Yoda would not approve, but for once in his life he refused to care. "Obi-Wan?"
Kenobi turned his head, noticing the one that had called him in the night. Slowly he got to his feet, bowing in respect. "My Queen," he greeted.
Amidala frowned, walking up to him. "It's Padme, remember?"
Although he'd understood her reasons, he couldn't help but feel strange around her now, knowing the woman he'd befriended hadn't been the handmaiden he'd thought her to be, but a Queen. "I'm sorry, I must have forgotten," he muttered harshly, before turning away, breathing in deep to gain some control. The hurt was too deep, the man that had been like a father to him was now dead and more than ever Obi-Wan felt alone. He wanted her to leave him alone, but strangely felt comfort from her presence.
"You must miss him. He was a good man… a great man."
Kenobi sighed, leaning against the wall as he looked back up at the sky. "Qui-Gon was my family, the only family I've ever truly known. I'm not sure what I will do without him. Before he died he told me I would become a great Jedi Knight; he knew it to be true. Yet I was not great enough… to save him."
"There was nothing you could do, you must know that," she told him, moving to stand beside him.
"I do, I do know that, but it doesn't make it any easier. I had to watch him die, Padme, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Not even killing Darth Maul made things right. He died in my arms and I could do nothing to save him. Perhaps if I'd been a better fighter, if I hadn't been thrown off that blasted ledge-" He'd be alive if he hadn't gotten so far behind.
"Don't talk like that. It wasn't you're fault. You were by his side when it counted," she told him, no doubt in her voice.
"I'm just glad I was able to fulfill the last thing he asked me to do. Anakin is my apprentice, and one day… he will be a Jedi Knight as Qui-Gon wished."
"Qui-Gon would have been very proud of you."
Obi-Wan closed his eyes, trying to quiet his thoughts, to fight back his tears. "Perhaps, but I fear I am making a terrible mistake. Yoda does not believe it a good idea to train Anakin. I've always trusted his council, even when Qui-Gon has not. I've never disobeyed them before. I just hope I'm doing the right thing."
"You are," Padme assured him, resting a hand on his shoulder. "I can feel it."
Obi-Wan turned around to look at the woman before him. "I miss him."
Padme pulled him in a hug to his surprise, but once he realized what she was doing he wrapped his arms around her and held her tight, closing his eyes to fight his tears.
Finally Obi-Wan let her go, smiling down at the woman who'd become a good friend. "You've been a good friend to me. I will never forget you, and perhaps one day our paths with cross again… Queen Amidala." He knew he'd be okay; he was tired of crying over the loss of Qui-Gon. He needed to be strong, and with Padme's support, he could feel that he was becoming so.
"I hope so Master Kenobi."
The two smiled, before looking back up at the stars, comforted by the silence between them.
"I haven't seen you this nervous since we fell into that nest of gundarks," Obi-Wan pointed out to his apprentice, amused as he watched him try to smooth out his robes.
"You fell into that nightmare, Master, and I rescued you. Remember?"
Obi-Wan Kenobi knew it to be true. Anakin Skywalker had grown strong in the force… now if only he could remember to keep his lightsaber with him during battle. When he looked over at Anakin he couldn't help but laugh. Many decades ago when he had been a padwan learner, he still remembered feeling the same feelings when it came to those of the opposite sex. Qui-Gon had never failed to miss a moment to tease him mercilessly as he would fumble with his words. Crushes were not unusual when young, even with the Jedi. "You're sweating. Take a deep breath. Relax," Obi-Wan told him, knowing he was nervous about meeting Senator Padme Amidala after so long.
"I haven't seen her in ten years."
'Ah to be young,' Obi-Wan thought to himself as the elevator came to a stop. As soon as the lift door opened, the two walked through the corridor.
"She didn't even recognize me…" Anakin said sadly. "I've thought about her every day since we parted, and she's forgotten me completely."
"Why yousa sayen that?" asked Jar Jar in surprise.
"You saw her."
"Shesa happy. Happier than mesa see'en her in a longo time. These are bad times, Ani. Bombad times!"
"You're focusing on the negative again," Obi-Wan cut in. "Be mindful of your thoughts. She was pleased to see us," he told his very young friend. Obi-Wan had felt Padme's strong emotions the moment they'd all come face to face. She was pleased to see friends. If only his young apprentice could simply leave it at that. Kenobi only hopped he'd been less trouble to Qui-Gon long ago when he'd had his first crush.
"She covered the cam," Anakin explained before Master Kenobi could ask. "I don't think she liked me watching her."
Obi-Wan tensed, unsure how a woman of her stature could ever be so stupid. "What is she thinking? Her security is paramount, and is compromised-"
"She programmed Artoo to warn us if there's an intruder," Anakin assured him.
"It's not an intruder I'm worried about! There are many ways to kill a Senator."
"I know, but we also want to catch this assassin don't we Master?"
Obi-Wan sighed inwardly as he realized where all this was coming from. From the moment they had met, Anakin had always been headstrong, but although many saw this as a good trait, Obi-Wan wasn't so sure. Young Skywalker had much to learn. His defiance would get him into trouble if he kept this up. "You're using her as bait?"
"It was her idea! Don't worry. No harm will come to her. I can sense everything going on in that room. Trust me," Anakin urged him.
This was not a good idea. "It's too risky," Obi-Wan fought. "Besides, you're senses aren't that attuned, my young apprentice."
Anakin bristled at that. "And yours are?" he asked defensively.
Obi-Wan could almost laugh at the irony. The boy was indeed in love, but his feelings were only endangering the Senator. "Possibly," Obi-Wan said, not quite believing he was having this conversation with Anakin. He'd always known Padme Amidala might give Kenobi trouble one day, but this was rather absurd, and he had a feeling things would only get worse.
He'd never expected it. He should have. He'd been one of the closest people to Anakin, but he never thought things would turn out as they had. The security recording had proven it. Even Yoda had known that if he saw it, it would bring him nothing but pain. It had, more pain than he had ever thought possible. Suddenly he replayed his last conversation with his own Master. Qui-Gon had been so sure Anakin Skywalker was the chosen one. 'If only you'd known how wrong you were, Qui-Gon.' "Don't make me kill Anakin," he pleaded. "He's like my brother, Master."
"The boy you trained, gone he is… twisted by the dark side. Consumed by Darth Vader." He knew Yoda was right, but he couldn't believe his eyes. How could this be? For the first time in his life, he wanted nothing more than to ignore Yoda, ignore everything he had seen. It was impossible, even when he knew it to be true.
"You're going to kill him, aren't you?" she asked, the pain in her voice too great to ignore.
Obi-Wan tried hard to keep his control. Anakin Skywalker had been like a brother to him. He'd done everything he could to teach him, but in the end it hadn't been enough, and Obi-Wan's heart was breaking.
"He has become a very great threat," he tried to explain, knowing it wasn't enough. He'd known for some time that Anakin loved Padme. For years Kenobi had tried to ignore the worry, that Anakin's relationship with her had become more than a crush. He should have known. Slowly he stood up, knowing she would not tell him what he needed to know. He could not rightly blame her. "Anakin's the father, isn't he?" He didn't need her to answer. How? How could he have let himself be so blinded? His fears long ago were now realized. His friend was now a Sith Lord, his enemy, and it was all his doing. Qui-Gon, how could this have happened? You said he was the Chosen One. You were wrong. And now the Jedi are in pieces, and if Yoda and I do not succeed, everything may be lost. "I'm so sorry."
"He cares about us!"
"He knows. He wants to help us."
Obi-Wan closed his eyes, listening in silence as she tried to reason with her husband. Part of him hoped she could reach him, the other part knew it was impossible.
"Anakin, all I want is your love." She was getting desperate. She couldn't loose him.
"Love won't save you, Padme. Only my new powers can do that."
"Anakin…no," she fought. "Come away with me! Help me raise our child. Leave all this behind while we still can. You're a good person, don't do this!" she begged him.
"Don't you see? I'm doing this for you. To protect you. We don't have to run away anymore. I have brought peace to the Republic. I am more powerful than the Chancellor… I… I can overthrow him, and together you and I can rule the galaxy. We can make things the way we want them to be."
"I can't believe what I'm hearing! Obi-Wan was right," she told him, suddenly realizing what he'd tried to tell her all along. "You've changed."
"I don't wanna hear anymore about Obi-Wan. The Jedi turned against me, don't you turn against me too!"
Obi-Wan could hear her crying, could hear the pain in her voice. It broke his heart more than he would have thought possible. "I don't know you anymore, Anakin. You're breaking my heart. You're going down a path I can not follow."
"Because of Obi-Wan?" Anakin asked, and Obi-Wan immediately knew she was in danger. Jealousy, paranoia… his love for Padme had brought him down a dark path.
"Because of what you've done! What you plan to do! Stop it Anakin. Stop now!" she fought, still trying to reach him. "Come back! I love you." Obi-Wan got to his feet, knowing it was time to face Anakin.
"Liar!" Skywalker screamed, pushing her away from him as soon as he looked up to see Kenobi. "You're with him! You brought him here to kill me!" he told her, his anger growing by the second. Before she could react he raised his hand, using his powers to hurt her in his anger. Obi-Wan doubted even he knew what he was doing.
"Anakin, no!" she gasped.
"Let her go, Anakin," Obi-Wan commanded, forcing himself to stay strong, while inside his emotions were a swirling mass of sorrow and pain. He had a duty to fulfill, even if it meant killing a friend. "Let. Her. Go," he spoke again, watching as Padme tried to struggle as Anakin used his power, choking her… killing her.
When he finally let her go, Kenobi looked down at Padme, fearing for her life as she lay unconscious on the floor. "You turned her against me!" Anakin shouted, his anger seeping in every word he spoke.
"You have done that yourself," Obi-Wan told him, trying to ignore the grief. This was not Anakin; this was not his close friend, his brother. Anakin would never have hurt Padme, not in a million years. She was pregnant with his child! No, the man he'd known would never do something to a woman he cared for. This was Darth Vader, someone else completely, Anakin Skywalker was dead. Darth Vader had killed him. He knew that now.
"You will not take her from me!" Anakin cried out in a violent rage.
"You're anger and lust for power have already done that," Obi-Wan said, calming his emotions. "You have let this Dark Lord twist your mind until now you have become the very thing you swore to destroy," he told him, readying himself to face his fallen friend.
"Don't lecture me Obi-Wan! I see through the lies of the Jedi! I do not fear the dark side as you do!" Obi-Wan slowly knelt down to touch Padme, she was breathing, but he could tell her heart beat was faint. "I have brought peace, justice, and security to my new Empire!"
"You're new Empire?"
"Don't make me KILL you!" Anakin told him, his back to Kenobi as he looked down at the volcanic world.
"Anakin my allegiance is to the Republic! To Democracy!"
"If you're not with me, than you're my enemy!" Anakin warned, slowly turning to face him.
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes," Obi-Wan realized, knowing there was nothing further to say. What had been done was done. He could not bring back the good man that was Anakin. That man was gone and was never coming back. He could not be reasoned with, and he could not be turned. "I will do what I must." Obi-Wan took out his lightsaber, ready for the battle he had tried to avoid.
"You will try!"
"You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! It was you who would bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!" he cried, staring down at the stranger before him. Why? Why was it so hard? How could Anakin turn his back on all those that cared about him? How did things go so wrong?
"I HATE YOU!" Vader shouted. His anger and hate cut into Kenobi's heart like a knife. Never had he believed three little words could bring him such pain, such anguish, they weren't three little words… not when they came from a man he'd grown to love as family. Though he tried hard to ignore his feelings, they were far too raw. This man had been his brother. Losing Anakin this way was even worse than the pain he'd felt the day he lost his Master Qui-Gon. Anakin was alive, but the person Obi-Wan had known was gone. He'd failed Anakin Skywalker, his apprentice, his padawan, his friend. He'd failed in the worst way, and there was nothing he could do to change it. Nothing would make it truly right.
"You were my brother Anakin! I loved you!" Obi-Wan told him, feeling as if the world had come undone. Slowly he turned away, leaving Anakin for dead even though a part of him was dying with each step he took.
Obi-Wan sat beside Anakin's wife, holding her hand in his as she cried out in pain. "Don't give up, Padme," he urged her. "Padme, you have to hold on."
As the children were born, Obi-Wan focused all his attention on her, sending through the Force his feelings for her, as well as his support. He cared deeply for the woman Anakin had so obviously loved. She had to live, she just had to. "Obi-Wan, there's still good in him," she urged him.
Obi-Wan was handed the boy… Padme had named him Luke. The other was Leia. "Please Padme, they need you. They need you to care for them. I promise you, you will not go through this without my help! You won't have to do this alone! I need you to stay strong, Padme. Just please, please hold on. If not for you're children, if not for me, do it for Anakin, for the man he had once been," he begged her, not strong enough to lose another he cared for.
For a second Padme hesitated, and closed her eyes, then finally they opened once more, and he knew, he just knew she would survive. Obi-Wan brought a hand to brush the hair from her face, before he dipped to show her Luke. "Oh Luke," she whispered, reaching out to touch the baby she and Anakin had created.
"We will get through this together, Padme, I promise."
Padme looked up at him, tears falling down her eyes, but her strength refused to give out, and she gave him a nod in understanding.
Obi-Wan smiled, it was a sad smile, but a smile none-the-less.
Kenobi watched her sleep, her hands lying on her now less swollen stomach while the babies slept in another room. She'd made it, and he had never been more relieved in all his life. "We should split them up. Even if the Sith find one, the other may survive."
"Unhappy with your idea, I believe the Senator will be," Yoda reminded him.
"I will speak with her; make her understand why it is necessary. She is a mother; she'll do what is best for her children," Kenobi volunteered, he knew Padme, he knew she'd agree.
"The Queen and I… we've always talked about adopting a baby girl. She would be loved by us," Bail Organa told them. He was trustworthy.
Yoda nodded in agreement.
"What of the boy?" Obi-Wan then asked.
"To Tatooine he should be taken, along with Amidala, to be with Skywalker's family."
"I will take them, Master Yoda, and help protect them both."
"Like a father you wish to be, Master Obi-Wan?" Yoda asked with great interest.
"More like a teacher and protector. I can teach young Luke the ways of the force. He will be strong. The offspring of Anakin may be the only hope we have to destroy both him and the Dark Lord."
"Settled it is then, to Tatooine you will take the boy, to Alderaan the girl."
Bail and Obi-Wan nodded their agreement, before Senator Organa made his leave to contact his wife and make arrangements to take young Leia. Obi-Wan stood next to leave. "Master Kenobi, wait a moment," Yoda spoke.
Kenobi sat back down.
"Once you have settled on Tatooine, training I have for you."
"An old friend has learned the path to immortality."
"Old friend? Wha-" he tried to speak, unsure of what it could mean, what Yoda was telling him.
"One who has returned from the netherworld of the Force to train me."
Finally it clicked, and Obi-Wan couldn't help but be uplifted by the reality of Yoda's words. "Qui-Gon!" he exclaimed in wonder.
"Right you are, Obi-Wan. To commune with him I will teach you. Training for you he has."
He was a light sleeper, he had to be. Padme Amidala was in no condition to take care of little Luke after everything she'd been through. Obi-Wan Kenobi, now Ben Kenobi to all others except for Padme had been more than willing to help her through what had happened. Yoda had gone into exile. Bail Organa had taken Leia to his home, with Padme's blessing. He knew losing Leia had been hard for her, but he was sure it was the right thing to do. Now even if one of the twins were found, the other could still be kept safe. He and Padme had gone to live on Tatooine to take care of Luke in secret. Their plan had been set in motion. Now in his life was a new destiny to embrace, that of raising Anakin's son. "It's alright," he soothed as he walked into the room to hear Luke cry out loudly. Gently he brought the infant to him, holding him in his arms as he tried to comfort the baby. "Shhhh little one. Everything's going to be okay," he assured little Luke, rocking him back and forth. As he turned, he froze upon seeing Padme at the door, staring at him. "Luke's been cranky all night. I'm sorry if he woke you."
"It's okay… here, let me," she said, taking the child from him. "He's probably just hungry."
It had been months since their worlds had come crashing down with the destruction of a man they'd both loved dearly. Padme had lost a husband; Obi-Wan had lost a brother. Never had he believed he'd find himself in this position when he'd taken Anakin as his Padwan learner. Now two lives had been ruined, and hundreds more had been destroyed. Although Qui-Gon, his former Master back from the dead had assured him it was not his fault, Kenobi knew it was. He never should have trained Anakin, and now a great darkness had descended upon them all. The Council had been right all along in their decision not to train Anakin; he should have trusted their judgment instead of Qui-Gon's.
Kenobi shook himself from the dark thoughts, moving to walk past Padme, and back to his bed when she gently grabbed his arm. "Thank you, Obi-Wan," she said. "I never thanked you before. I don't think I would have made it through… without you," she told him, and he knew she was talking about the day her children were born. They'd almost lost her.
Obi-Wan moved his other hand over hers. Anakin was a good friend, the man he'd known before Darth Vader. Kenobi would be devoted to her and her child till his last breath, if not for his friendship with Padme, then out of respect for Anakin Skywalker. Obi-Wan supposed his loyalty to Anakin after what he'd done seemed strange, but it was hard to forget the man Obi-Wan had taken care of for so long. Taking his hand off hers, he stroked his now clean shaven chin. He'd shaved his beard not that long ago, once they'd reached Tatooine. Padme had told him more than once just how much she liked it, that it made him look younger, but in truth he'd done it more to start his new beginning on Tatooine than for appearances. "You don't need to thank me, Padme. You never did," he assured her before he finally left the room.
"Anakin! No!" she called out, twisting and turning in her bed. "Please! No!"
Obi-Wan opened his eyes, hearing her screams. Once he realized what was happening he quickly moved from his bed and rushed to her room. "Padme?"
"Please! Stop! Don't hurt him! Luke!" she screamed.
Immediately he ran to her side, sitting on the bed and resting his hand on her forehead. "It's okay Padme, it's just a dream! Padme, wake up!"
Suddenly she bolted up, gasping for air. Obi-Wan rubbed her back as she recovered from her nightmare. Finally just as she'd calmed down, tears fell down her face. She was suffering, Obi-Wan knew her pain much more than he would like. He'd had the nightmares… nightmares of the Emperor finding them on Tatooine, nightmares of Luke or Leia going to the dark side, nightmares of the Empire hurting little Luke and Leia… that had been the worst of all. As she began to cry, Obi-Wan pulled her to him, holding her tightly.
"It's going to be okay, Padme. Shhhhhh… we're going to get through this."
"It's all my fault, Obi-Wan. I knew our love was wrong, I knew it was against the rules, but I didn't care. I loved him too much, and now that love has led him to evil."
'She doesn't know,' I remind myself silently. "Padme, you blame yourself for turning him to this horrible path. I blame myself for taking it upon myself to train him despite Yoda's warnings. But the truth is, neither of us are to blame. Anakin chose this path for himself. This isn't you're fault, never believe that. Don't you ever believe it's you."
Padme sniffed, wiping her eyes. "Why? Why did this have to happen Obi-Wan? I don't think I can take this anymore."
"Yes, Padme, you can. Luke needs you." Padme shook her head, looking away, Obi-Wan wouldn't let her though and gently forced her chin up so she would look at him. "Listen to me, Padme. You're not going through this alone. I promise you, until the day I die… I will never leave you're side. Together we will raise Luke… he will be strong like his father… and wise like his mother. He needs us, Padme… he needs us both."
Finally Padme nodded, sighing. "I know," she finally whispered.
Obi-Wan smiled reassuringly before letting go of her. "Get some rest, it will do you good." Once she began to lay back on the bed he stood to leave, only to be stopped by a hand on his arm.
"Please, don't go," she pleaded, panic in her eyes.
"Padme-" he began, knowing it wouldn't be right.
"Please, I… I don't want to be alone."
Frowning, Obi-Wan sat back down on the bed. "Close you're eyes," he whispered to her, getting under the covers despite his gut feeling that he was making yet another mistake. "Dream of your children."
Padme nodded, closing her eyes, taking hold of Kenobi's hand. "Thank you Obi-Wan, I fear I will never be able to repay you the kindness you have shown me," she whispered.
Obi-Wan smiled, gently kissing her forehead. "I seem to remember a beautiful woman who comforted another depressed soul after the death of his Master. You owe me nothing. I am your friend Padme, I always will be. Go to sleep now, I'm here." Slowly, with his presence Padme's fears began to leave her and she was able to drift off peacefully.
As the years they spent together passed, more and more their relationship transformed. On the difficult nights, Obi-Wan would sit besides Padme, soothing her to sleep. During the day he made it his goal to distract her from falling into the depression he himself was trying to escape. It had been hard on them both. They both felt responsible, both felt betrayed, and both of their lives had been forever changed. Kenobi was just glad they were going through it all together.
Obi-Wan stared out at the night sky, feeling the wind blow his hair about as he tried to reach a calm he'd not felt in too long. When he felt her presence he didn't even miss a beat. "Did you want something?" he asked, knowing she'd been about to leave him be.
"I just… you were gone when I woke up. I wanted to make sure you were well," she explained. When her nightmares were bad, Obi-Wan had gotten used to sleeping in her bed to ease her fears. And each morning they'd awake in each other's arms, comforted by the bond of friendship that had grown. Today he hadn't felt like wakening her. Today he'd done something he shouldn't have. He'd watched her sleep, felt a tenderness he wasn't supposed to feel and knew something had changed… and that thought alone terrified him.
"I needed to meditate, and I knew you needed all the sleep you could get," he explained, leaving out the most important reason.
Padme walked over beside him, moving her hand to lace into his. "Obi-Wan? What's wrong?"
"Nothing Padme… absolutely nothing," he lied, giving her his most genuine smile as he squeezed her hand. He knew their friendship was evolving into something else, even if he tried to ignore it. Still, he'd come to Tatooine to protect Padme and Luke, and that was exactly what he'd continue to do. He cared for Padme too much to let his growing feelings get in the way. He was stronger than this, better than this. He would not let it become an issue. Padme had been Anakin's wife, the wife of a man he'd loved. He could not betray Anakin this way, no matter what happened between them. He just couldn't do it… even if his heart was saying something else entirely.
"Do we have to go to Uncle Owen's today?" little Luke asked as he was carried in Obi-Wan's arms while the former Jedi cooked breakfast.
"Luke, we talked about this. You're Mother and I must go to Mos Eisley to gather supplies. It's no place for you."
"But I hate that stupid moisture farm! There's nothing to do there, and Uncle Owen always puts me to work!" Luke fought, frowning as the boy realized he would not be getting his way.
Kenobi sighed, putting their food on three plates. When he realized he'd forgotten the Pepper he stretched out his hand without even thinking and the Pepper flew into his hands, which he then used to season their eggs. "You're Uncle cares deeply about you Luke. One day you'll soon realize just how important that is. Cherish it, that you may have something to look back on when it is gone."
Luke stared at Obi-Wan for a second before finally resting his head on the man's shoulders. "Will you bring me back something?"
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes at that, setting the boy down, and handing him two plates. "Take these to the table, then go fetch your mother while I clean up."
"Yes father," Luke said as he walked away.
Although Obi-Wan hadn't exactly approved of it at first, Luke's insistence to calling him 'father' was starting to grow on the former Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan had always wondered long ago if things had been different, whether he would have married and had children. But his training had soon snuffed out those fantasies. Once he saw Luke put the plates on the table he rushed from the kitchen to fetch Padme. "Mom! Mother?!" Finally Luke reached her room when he heard no answer to see her lying still in bed, staring at the ceiling. "Mother… breakfast is ready if you'd like to eat. Father says you won't have much time once you both reach Mos Eisley."
Padme looked down to see him standing at the door and slowly sat up. "Sure, I'll just be a minute, sweet heart," she told him.
Luke ran out of the room and frowned, looking over at Obi-Wan. He'd seen that look before; Luke was worried about his mother. Obi-Wan smiled at the boy. "Go take a seat; I will go get your mother."
As he walked into Padme's room he could sense strong emotions, sadness. Although as time had gone by, her feelings of grief over Anakin had faded more and more, there were still times when she was reminded of him, and her pain returned. Those times were simply farther in between. Slowly he walked from the door to sit beside her on the bed, and pulled her into his arms. She didn't even resist. After five years living together, they'd both come to know the other well. More than once Padme had come to him in the night to wake him from his nightmares of Anakin, and more than once Obi-Wan would come to her room to offer her his care. Their friendship had grown too strong to be explained, though neither was willing to touch the strong feelings that had developed through their friendship.
"I saw you training Luke last night. He lifted some fruit from your plate onto his," she told him. "Oh Obi-Wan, more and more I've come to see his father in him. I just wish for once I could forget."
"I know, Padme, I know. Still, he has much of you in him too. He may have next to nothing when it comes to patience, but his wisdom and sense of justice far exceeds his father's. He could only have gotten that from you," he said, smiling down at her as he wiped away her tears. "Just the other day he told me that one day he wanted to join the rebellion against the Empire so that the Republic could once again flourish."
Padme laughed at that. "More and more that child makes me doubt he's as young as he truly is… and I should know you'd think!"
"Mother! Father! The food is going to get cold!" Luke shouted from the dinning room.
Padme rolled her eyes at that. "He truly does insist on making you his father, doesn't he?"
Obi-Wan simply shrugged, helping her up. "His stubbornness is just another quality he could only have gotten from you," he teased her.
Padme pushed him, trying to look annoyed. "No Master Kenobi, I believe that trait he learned from you!"
The two laughed together, walking down the hallway and into the dinning room. "Finally!" Luke muttered, taking his seat. "I'm starving!"
"You are distracted today, Obi-Wan. You must clear your mind," Qui-Gon told him as he sat before his former apprentice.
Obi-Wan sighed, opening his eyes to see the ghostly figure before him. "I know… I'm trying, Qui-Gon… I just can't seem to concentrate."
Qui-Gon folded his arms, a thoughtful look on his face. "What is it, my friend? I've never seen you like this."
Obi-Wan got to his feet, taking the rock in his hand and throwing it as far as he could. "Padme, Luke, Anakin… take you're pick."
Qui-Gon cocked his head, watching his friend as he stared at the sunset before him. "To dwell in the past is to take a step back rather than forward, Obi-Wan"
"Qui-Gon, this has nothing to do with the past. I long ago accepted my part in the events that brought us to this place, to this life. Many things went wrong when I took Anakin as my apprentice, but not all were my fault. That's not what bothers me."
Finally Qui-Gon stood up, blocking Kenobi's view of the sunset. "Obi-Wan, we have spent many years together. In that time I've come to know you better than you may believe. It is the past that holds your thoughts, but it is not Anakin's fate that distracts you. The moment you told Yoda you'd spend the rest of you're life devoted to Padme and the child you sealed your fate, Obi-Wan."
Kenobi shook his head, looking away. "I am a Jedi, Qui-Gon. I will always be a Jedi. I swore my life to the causes of the Jedi, gave them my everlasting devotion. I will not betray Anakin, and I certainly will not betray the values I swore to uphold."
"Anakin is gone, Obi-Wan, as is the Jedi Order. There is nothing left to betray."
Obi-Wan closed his eyes, controlling his feelings, fearing their strength after so many years. "It is true. Anakin is gone, along with the Jedi Order, gone everywhere except in my heart. I cannot turn my back on what lies there."
"No matter what you do, you will have to turn you're back on something… whether it be your heart or what has now become you're life, is up to you. But know this, Obi-Wan, whatever it is you decide to sacrifice, will scar everything you do from then on. The question is… which will scar the worst?"
Obi-Wan hesitated to answer his former Master, realizing he wasn't even sure anymore. He loved Luke as a son… and everyday his feelings for Padme grew. Still, he'd spent most of his life doing his duty, following the Order… and there would of course be the matter of Anakin. Anakin had loved her once, and this love had sent him down a dark path. What if the same thing happened to him? And even if there was no danger, could he really be with her knowing a man he'd seen as a brother had loved her just as deeply? "It may not be my choice to make," he finally said.
"Then let her make it," were Qui-Gon's final words before he faded into nothing, leaving Obi-Wan to contemplate what he'd said.
"Obi-Wan! You're back!" Padme greeted as he walked slowly into the kitchen. She was cooking dinner. "How did you're training with Qui-Gon go today?" she asked. He remembered the first time he'd told her he could communicate with Qui-Gon, she'd been sure with everything that had happened that he'd finally lost his mind until the day she walked outside to find him and saw the ghostly figure of Qui-Gon teaching him a new form of meditation.
Obi-Wan frowned, grabbing a bottle of water from the counter. "It didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped." He'd never been much for lying, a Jedi did not lie after all, but even now he upheld those values without the Jedi Order.
"Why? Is something wrong?" Padme asked, turning to look at him, a worried look on her face.
Obi-Wan looked away from her. "I couldn't concentrate on the task at hand."
"Oh well, Obi-Wan, everyone get's distracted from time to time. Learning the path to immortality isn't exactly supposed to be easy… I don't think."
Kenobi shook his head at that. "It's not what I'm learning, Padme… it's something else." He tried to say more, but immediately closed his mouth. What was the point in telling her? He could not act on his feelings. He just couldn't. He didn't want to. He didn't want to love her and he didn't want to be with her. Anakin let his heart guide him rather than his mind, and because of his love for her, Palpatine was able to turn him from his friends, from the Jedi. Although he knew it would be different with Padme, he couldn't take the chance. "I must go."
Padme frowned. "Go? What do you mean go?"
"I must go to the Dagobah system… to find Yoda. I must seek his council on something."
"When do you want us to leave?" she asked, not even hesitating. Obi-Wan couldn't help but be surprised that she would leave everything behind to stay with him. He'd never expected that from her.
"Padme, I cannot ask you to come. You have settled here, and I know Owen and Beru would gladly look after you while I'm gone. This is something I must do alone."
Padme put the rag she'd been holding down, walking toward him. "Obi-Wan, where you go, I will go. For more than five years you've been my companion, you've helped me raise Luke as a flicker of hope in a galaxy thrown into darkness. If you go, then you must… but I will not stay here."
Kenobi ran a hand through his hair, shaking his head. "Padme, I'm sorry, but I cannot let you come with me. I need to do this alone. Please, respect my wishes. My training with Qui-Gon has left many things out in the open, things I must sort through if I am ever to fulfill my destiny! I cannot do this with you by my side."
Padme turned away then, sighing sadly. "Then you do not want to be with me here anymore?"
"I didn't say that."
"You didn't have to!" she snapped, turning back to look at him, anger burning in her eyes. "This has nothing to do with you're training and it has nothing to do with destiny. Just admit it, Obi-Wan. You don't want to be here anymore!"
"That's not it at all!" he shouted, throwing his hands in the air in frustration. "That's the problem! I don't want to go! And that is why I must! In these years that I have spent with you I have felt more emotions than I ever thought possible and I have no idea how to control them! I was a Jedi, Padme! A keeper of the peace! A Knight fighting for a cause, becoming one with the Force, using it for the greater good of mankind! That was my identity, the only one I knew, and the moment Anakin turned against the Jedi I lost that! I don't know who I am anymore! I swore my life to you and your son because I knew you're importance… you're importance to Anakin, you're importance to the future, you're importance to ME. Luke may one day become as powerful as his father, he could be our last hope, but I am still and will always be a Jedi. Since my birth I was trained to let go of any emotions that could put me on the path to the dark side. This is dangerous. I have lost my way, Padme. I must seek Yoda, it is the only way."
Padme's anger fell away just as sudden as it had come, surprised by Obi-Wan's words. Slowly she walked toward him, moving her hand to stroke his face. "You have not lost you're way, Obi-Wan… you have simply found a new way. The more you continue to fight it, the harder it will be."
"Listen to me," she demanded sternly. "I know you have feelings for me Obi-Wan. I knew it years ago. It wasn't that way at first, when we first came here I knew you cared, but as a friend. Things have changed through the years we have lived here, our relationship has shifted. But do you know why I came to love you in return?"
Obi-Wan shook his head.
"No matter how you felt, you never acted on your feelings. You knew I loved Anakin… that I was still dealing with his betrayal. And you also knew I needed a friend, not a lover, but that time of mourning has passed. I will always love Anakin, the man I married, but he died the moment he turned to the dark side, the moment he turned his back on the Jedi and… on me. Obi-Wan, I'm glad Luke sees you as a father. I'm glad he loves you as much as he does. We are a family." Slowly she moved her hand down from his cheek to his arm until stopping at his hand where she slipped her hand into his. "Don't leave… Luke needs you here, and so do I. I love you."
Obi-Wan shook his head. "Anakin loved you Padme, and that love took him down a dark path. He tried to save you and almost caused the death he was trying to prevent. He never thought it was wrong, Padme, but it was. His devotion to you has brought destruction to the Republic. There was a reason marriage was against the Jedi code, Padme! We are encouraged to love the people around us, but not at the expense of our duty to the Jedi Order! That Order may be gone, but it still has merit even now. If I allow myself to be with you I could potentially fall down the same road Anakin took. I cannot allow that to happen."
Padme recoiled. "So you DO think it was my fault!"
"Never!" Obi-Wan fought. "Anakin chose his path! He chose to be Darth Vader!"
"If that is so why do you believe the same path could be in store for you?"
"Padme I am a Jedi! We are powerful… we wield the force, but power can easily corrupt as you well know. If we delude ourselves to believe we could never become corrupt, we will be opening ourselves up to the very thing we hate. The dark side is powerful, if we under estimate it's power we can be turned, just as Anakin was."
Padme frowned. "The Jedi are gone, Obi-Wan, and your power means nothing in the outer rim." Again she took his hand. "The world you knew has been destroyed. For all your life you have walked the path of a Jedi. It's time you found a new path, Obi-Wan."
Obi-Wan frowned. "I just can't Padme. I'm sorry, but I must go. I don't know how long I will be gone, so I think it would be best if you stayed with Owen and Beru… they can take care of you while I'm away."
"I'm sorry Padme," Obi-Wan interrupted. "I need to pack my things. Excuse me."
Padme sighed as she watched him pass her and walk toward his room.
"I don't want you to go," Luke said as he hugged Obi-Wan tightly.
"My boy, I promise you… I will return. It's going to be okay."
Luke wiped the tears from his eyes and finally nodded, letting go of the man he knew as his father. "You promise?"
Obi-Wan nodded, kissing the boy's forehead. "I promise, my son." Finally he looked up to see Padme, she stood strong, but Obi-Wan could see she was afraid. She didn't want him to leave her. "See you soon," he said, trying to smile.
Padme ran into Obi-Wan's arms, hugging him as well. "Be careful out there, Obi-Wan. I need you to come back to us safe and sound."
"I will, Padme, it's my destiny to protect you and Luke. I'm sure of it."
"I don't know what I'll do without you."
Obi-Wan finally let go of her and kissed her cheek. "You'll find a way," he whispered in her ear before pulling back. Kenobi grabbed his things and walked inside the transport. "Goodbye Padme… goodbye Luke. May the force be with you."
The doors closed before him and the transport began to move. In minutes Obi-Wan was gone.
"I'm coming Aunt Beru!" Luke answered, putting down his equipment and running down toward the house. "Is there something wrong?" he asked as he entered the kitchen to see both Aunt Beru and his mother.
"No dear, I just need you to go find your Uncle Owen. Breakfast is almost ready."
Luke nodded and rushed off to find his uncle. He and his mother had been living with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru for years since Luke's 'adopted' father left. Luke had done his best to keep up his Jedi training, but it was hard without Obi-Wan and the lack of support from Uncle Owen especially. Luke had heard his uncle and his mother fight on many occasions about his training, most involving Luke's real father, a man he'd never met, but noticed many seemed to fear. Although he was curious about his father, what he truly yearned for was to see Obi-Wan again. His mother seemed to fall more and more into depression, fearing that Kenobi would never return… and was possibly dead. Luke refused to believe it himself. His father was a fighter! He'd promised he would return, and Luke knew he'd keep it no matter what. He missed him… a lot, and his mother missed him too.
"Uncle Owen! Uncle Owen?!" Luke froze as he saw his uncle standing at the outskirts of their land, with his gun pointed at a man in robes. Luke pulled out his lightsaber and rushed to his uncle's side. "Uncle Owen!"
The stranger turned, his hood still shielding his face from the boy. "Oh my… you've grown my son," he whispered.
Luke frowned; he'd heard that voice before. He'd heard it for years… and sometimes he would hear it in his dreams. He lowered his lightsaber, a sense of calm flowing through him. It couldn't be! "Father?" he questioned.
The man pulled his hood down and Luke smiled brightly at the face underneath. "It's been a long time, my boy, but I see I have not left your thoughts as you have not left mine."
Luke turned off his saber and rushed toward the man… it was Obi-Wan! Obi-Wan immediately leaned down and stretched out his arms. "Father!" He laughed as Kenobi swung him in the air, laughing along with him.
"You've gotten far too big young man! How old are you now?" he asked in wonder as he put him down.
"Nine, father! Do you not remember?" he asked in surprise.
His father pretended to think about what Luke had told him, stroking his chin. "Oh yes, that's right. You turned nine a few days ago as I remember."
Luke nodded, only to grin as Obi-Wan pulled a present out from his robes. Luke grabbed the gift in excitement before taking Obi-Wan's hand. "Come on, father! I have a present for you too!"
She had to be dreaming. She just had to be. It couldn't be possible. Could he truly be before her?
"Mother? Are you okay?" Luke asked her.
Padme smiled at her son, before her eyes drew back to look at Obi-Wan. "Are you real?" she asked, an almost whisper.
Obi-Wan smiled, walking toward her. "You have been in my thoughts everyday of every minute, Padme. I have missed you," he told her, before he hugged her tightly, a single tear falling down his face.
Padme smiled, holding him just as tightly. "Oh Obi-Wan! I thought you were dead!" she told him before finally letting him go.
Obi-Wan looked down at Luke. "Luke, could you give your mother and I a minute?" he asked.
Luke nodded, giving them each a hug before he left.
Leia stared at the man she'd spent so much time thinking about since he'd left. Something was different about him. She saw a love there she'd not seen before in his eyes, perhaps that was it. "I didn't think you'd come back," she admitted.
Obi-Wan rested his hands to her cheeks, before kissing her lips softly, surprising her. "I made you a promise, Padme, one I always intended to keep."
There was also sadness in his eyes, which told her he'd been through hardship. His temples showed signs of gray and he looked very tired. "What happened to you, Obi-Wan?" She hadn't intended to ask so soon, but she couldn't stop the words from escaping. Something was wrong.
Obi-Wan looked away from her, pulling from her arms. "I never should have left you, Padme. I let my fear take over, and for that I am sorry. I know I hurt you. I never wanted to," he told her, finally facing her once more. Padme could see the truth in his eyes. "I went to seek out Yoda, but unfortunately I never got the chance."
"Obi-Wan? What's wrong?" She could hear the fear in her voice, but she'd seen that look before. It was a long time ago, but the look had been burned into her memory.
"My transport was attacked by Imperials. They boarded the ship and took me prisoner. They were on route to take me to Vader," he whispered.
She wasn't sure what to say. What could she possibly say?
"I found a way to escape… but I wasn't in good condition. I didn't think I'd make it, but I managed to secure a ship and fly it to Alderaan. It was my only hope. Senator Organa got my hails and contacted Doctors that worked with him in the underground, rebels to fight the Empire."
"Are you alright?" she finally asked, laying a hand on his shoulder.
Obi-Wan nodded. "I wasn't for a time. They saved my life. Your daughter is doing quite well, Padme. She's as beautiful as her mother, and she is very happy. Bail has taken good care of her."
Padme knew he was stalling. It was good to hear that her child was doing well, but it was obvious that Kenobi had bad news. "Obi-Wan… just tell me."
Finally he sighed, looking away. "He gave me news just before I left. Emperor Palpatine has hunted and destroyed your family… as punishment. He knows you're alive."
Padme froze then, an ache growing in her chest as her knees gave out and the tears began to fall. Her family? Palpatine killed her family? How could this happen? Why?!
"I'm so sorry," he whispered sadly.
"Is mother alright?" Luke asked as he sat beside Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan opened his eyes and sighed. She hadn't left her room in days, grieving for her family. Palpatine was truly evil, far more than he'd ever thought possible. "No Luke, she is not alright. The Emperor has hurt her deeply, killing all those she loved."
"Did he help Darth Vader kill my real father?" Luke asked.
Obi-Wan had told him only a few things about his real father. He'd told him that his father, Anakin Skywalker, was a true hero and a great Jedi knight. He'd also told him that Darth Vader, his old pupil, had turned to evil and destroyed Anakin along with many other Jedi. One day he would tell him the truth, but Luke was not ready. "Vader was following the orders of the Emperor, a master of the dark side."
Luke frowned. "Then he should be stopped," the boy finally said.
Obi-Wan rested a hand on Luke's shoulder. "All in due time. Now continue your meditation."
It was late when Obi-Wan walked into Padme's room as she slept. It had been almost a week since his return and Padme was finally getting rest. He knew his news had been devastating to her. Her family… gone because of Palpatine, a man she'd helped gain the power he now wielded… a power he'd used for evil. He would have to be very careful now, with the Emperor now aware that Padme was alive, it was possible he would expend resources to find her and Luke. If Luke were turned to the dark side, their battle would become even more impossible. Obi-Wan would not let that happen. He would make sure Luke was ready when the boy finally did face the Sith lord.
Kenobi took a seat on Padme's bed, pulling out the picture Bail had given him before he'd left Alderaan. The picture was of Bail, his wife, and a eight year old girl taken only days before she'd turned nine. He smiled at the girl… Leia. She was strong and passionate, far more so than most young ones her age. He knew her future was bright, though her hardships would be great. It pained him to know of all the things in store for both Luke and Leia. Luke had become as a son to Obi-Wan, and he couldn't ignore the fears in his heart. He would gladly shield Luke from anything and everything he'd have to go through, just as he would for Padme. Obi-Wan gently kissed Padme's forehead and laid down the picture of her daughter beside her. "Sleep well, Padme, and know that I am here to protect you once more… for all of my life, I am yours," he whispered and immediately got up and left.
Padme watched Obi-Wan as he did a hand stand, immediately lifting some stones. Luke folded his arms, looking less excited about what Obi-Wan was teaching him next. She walked over to the two men and smiled as she was immediately lifted in the air along with Luke. Luke giggled as Obi-Wan flew Padme around him; she couldn't help but laugh along with him. He'd always amazed her with all the years they'd lived together. There was so much about Obi-Wan that few knew. Anakin had told her this many times during their marriage, but she'd never expected the playful side he usually hid. "As amusing as this is, do you think you could put me down now? I only came to tell you breakfast was ready!"
Obi-Wan gently put her, Luke, and the other rocks down. Once everything was set right he got back on his feet and smiled. "Just working with Luke on his next exercise. He has a lot of catching up to do."
She meant to say it playfully. "And who's fault is that?" she asked, with just a hint of regret in her voice.
Obi-Wan's smile faded. "Come along Luke, it's time to eat."
Luke rushed toward the house. She watched Obi-Wan walk away from her awkwardly, heading toward the house. Although she'd asked many times, Obi-Wan refused to tell her more about his time away. It was obvious that whatever happened to him, it had bothered him greatly. He wasn't the same man anymore. Something was upsetting him, but she had no idea what. "Obi-Wan!" she called, running to meet him before he would walk inside. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that," she whispered.
Obi-Wan nodded. "I know. I never should have left you, Padme. I thought I was running to something… but I was only running away from something… from you. It was hard for me to let go."
"I understand," she assured him. "I know you had to leave."
Obi-Wan shook his head sadly. "I didn't have to leave! I should have stayed with you, fulfilled my promise! I was supposed to watch over you both, and I failed. I failed because of fear. If I am to fulfill my obligation to the two of you I must fight back my fears, or I risk becoming the very thing that I fight against… I risk making Anakin's mistake. I cannot be afraid of my destiny."
Padme frowned, unsure of how to respond. "And what is your destiny?" she asked.
Obi-Wan brushed her cheek with his hand. "While I was away I saw many things… flashes of the future. Luke will become a great Jedi Knight. Your daughter Leia, will be the leader of the rebellion against the Empire, she will get married and have children and be the light in this universe of darkness. You will watch your son grow up, and be there for him until he's ready to be on his own. And I… I will complete my mission, and I will face my demons again… for the last time. Until that moment, I am yours… heart, soul, and mind… if you'll have me."
Padme smiled, kissing him passionately, deeply. "I love you, Obi-Wan."
"I love you too, Padme."
"Obi-Wan! Obi-Wan!" Padme shouted, rushing into their room.
Obi-Wan immediately looked up from where he sat on the bed doing his daily meditation.
Padme gasped for air. "Luke's missing! Beru just contacted me!"
"What?!" he almost shouted.
"And the droids too! What if it was the sand people?! You have to find him, Obi-Wan! Please!"
Obi-Wan rushed too her, using the force to reach out to her mind and calm her. "I'll find him. It will be okay… he couldn't have gotten far," he told her, kissing her forehead. "I will be back."
Luke flew backwards, hitting his head as one of the sand people stood over him. The creature shouted in triumph, waving his weapon only to be silenced by another sound. Immediately he and the other sand people ran, escaping whatever had scared them off. When Luke opened his eyes he smiled. "Father!" he said in relief, as Obi-Wan helped him up.
"Luke, your mother and I were worried. Why did you run off?" he asked.
Luke glared at one of the droids. "That R2 unit Uncle Owen just bought ran away trying to find you. I kept telling it that I'd bring him to the house tomorrow, then he left. I think he has a message for you."
Obi-Wan frowned, looking up at the astro droid. R2D2, he'd once been Anakin's. And of course, See threepio, a protocol droid Anakin had made for his mother. "Come, the sand people will be returning soon. We'll go to the house."
"I was supposed to get the droid's memory erased. Uncle Owen will kill me if I don't get the chores done," Luke reminded him. Although Padme and Obi-Wan had continued to raise Luke, the now 19 year old was usually found with his aunt and uncle helping them with the farm. He'd become strong in the force, like his father, and unfortunately used some of his gifts to get the job done quicker, but he was a good boy.
Obi-Wan was tired, and far older. His hair was gray, and he'd grown back his beard. He was getting too old to deal with such strenuous activities. Soon he'd be one with the force. He could feel it. The time was near. "Come my boy, I feel something in the force. I believe it is the tremors of destiny."
Luke frowned, but took the droids and followed his adopted father.
"There's something you're not telling me, Obi-Wan, and I need you to tell me now. Since you came back I have seen it in your eyes. If you love me, then trust me with whatever it is you've been hiding," Padme pushed.
Obi-Wan looked away. "I saw the message, Padme. It's Leia, she's in trouble. The Imperials have her. R2 has information the rebels desperately need and we must get it back to them, If I can I will find Leia as well. I don't know what will happen, or if I will see you again, but we must go soon. Owen and Beru have been killed by stormtroopers, and it won't take them long to trace the droids back here. You must get away from here, as far as you can before they find you. Luke and I will head toward Mos Eisley to find a pilot willing to take us to Alderaan."
"Obi-Wan! Tell me!" she fought, frustrated.
Obi-Wan paused, looking back at her, his eyes showing nothing but regret. "I killed him," he whispered finally, a defeated look on his face.
"Killed who?" she asked.
"Vader," he whispered.
Padme frowned. "That's not possible! The news… they showed him alive! You couldn't have!"
"No, not while I was gone! Before Luke was born when I fought him on Mustafar! The Emperor was unable to revive him. He died."
"Vader is alive, Obi-Wan, you've seen him on the news! It's not possible."
Obi-Wan sighed. "The Emperor's Imperials, as you know, are clones Padme… as is Anakin. He cloned him after he'd failed to revive him."
"How could you possibly know that!" Padme fought.
Obi-Wan took a seat on their bed. "Bail, he'd been doing his best to keep in touch with Yoda as to Leia's well being. A few in the rebellion work on the inside… kill the beast from both the outside and within. When they learned the truth, they immediately sent the information to their contacts."
Padme sat beside him, a stunned look on her face. "Then I really am free," she whispered.
Obi-Wan kissed her gently. "We must go, my love. Destiny awaits us. I must face him."
"I must face Darth Vader, it is my time. Real or not… I must face him again. When he strikes me down I will become more powerful than he could ever imagine. I will always watch over you, Padme." Obi-Wan pulled her in his arms as she began to cry, tears for what the future held. She didn't want to be alone, and he knew she would ignore his warnings. She would stay at their home on the outskirts, despite the stormtroopers. "Goodbye my love," he whispered to her before leaving the room, trying hard to ignore her cries as he left… never looking back no matter how much he wanted to.
Luke hugged his mother goodbye, and watched as Obi-Wan did the same before they got in the small speeder. He knew something was wrong, he'd never seen his mother so upset before… or Obi-Wan for that matter. "Father? Is everything okay?" he asked.
Obi-Wan smiled. "It will be, my son."
Luke froze, unable to move as he watched Darth Vader and Obi-Wan fight with their lightsabers. Luke clutched his own, read for an attack while the others fled for the ship. Suddenly Obi-Wan stopped, and looked at him, a sad smile on his face, and before Luke could blink Vader had struck him with his lightsaber, and the man that had been like his father disappeared. "No!" he shouted, raising his lightsaber as the stormtroopers began to shoot.
"Luke! Come on!" Han shouted from the ship.
Luke blocked each shot with his lightsabers, deflecting and bouncing them back toward the ones doing the shooting. He wouldn't leave. Obi-Wan! His father! His angry grew at the man in the dark cloak, just as one of the shots hit the blast doors, preventing Vader from coming to join the fight.
Run Luke! Run!
Luke paused, hearing Obi-Wan's voice. He immediately obeyed, running toward the ship as fast as he could.
"There wasn't anything you could have done," Leia fought.
Luke sat, staring at nothing as he processed what had just happened. His father was dead. "I just can't believe he's gone," he whispered sadly. He didn't know what to do. What should he do? What would Obi-Wan want him to do? He suddenly felt lost. Obi-Wan had been his friend, his teacher, and his father since he'd been born. What could he possibly do after losing all that? He was lost. Totally and completely lost.
"Come on kid! We're not out of this yet!" Han shouted from the door.
Luke looked up and rushed to follow Han. He only knew one thing his father would want him to do… live. And so he would. One way or another, they were going to get out of there!
Luke smiled happily, leaning against one of the Ewok wooden houses, as he watched Obi-Wan stand before him, a shimmering blue light. "You have done well, my son," he said as Yoda and his true father also appeared. "Embrace your destiny, it is far from over," he told him.
Luke nodded his understanding. Although he'd been saddened to hear of his mother's death not long after they'd destroyed the first death star, he knew Obi-Wan was taking care of her, he loved her after all. "Goobye father…" he spoke. "Fathers," he corrected with a chuckle just as Leia walked over and hugged him from behind. Before he turned around to join the others he could see the faint white glow of Padme Amidala, standing beside Obi-Wan… forever.
Luke joined the others, laughing as the celebration continued. He stood beside his sister… his family. A new family. A new romance, he noted, as he watched Leia gaze down at Han. Suddenly, the future looked bright. Everything had been set right again.