Summary: The Revenge of the Sith went very differently. Now, six years later, Obi-Wan Kenobi guards the Imperial Prince and Princess from hiding, hoping that he will never have to reveal himself. Because if he did- well, he tried never to think about it.
Vader watched as Obi-Wan floated in the bacta tank. He'd been wounded in several places beside his left leg. Vader hadn't realized it at first.
Anakin sighed and forced himself to ignore his anger. The people who had done it were either dead or captured, and Obi-Wan didn't like it when Anakin got too angry. And the feel of the Dark Side filling the room certainly wouldn't help him heal.
Anakin smiled sadly. Obi-Wan. He'd thought the man was dead, and that was one of the reasons he'd gone after the remnants of the Jedi Order so relentlessly after he and Sidious had consolidated their power.
The rest of the galaxy thought the same. Why hadn't Obi-Wan ever surfaced? Sidious had died three years after he'd become emperor, and Obi-Wan had to have known that Anakin would never have hurt him, Jedi and Sith Orders not withstanding.
"What was that, Anakin?"
Anakin turned as his wife, the Empress. "Didn't Obi-Wan know that I'd never hurt him?"
Padmé sighed. "Perhaps he didn't want to tempt himself."
"What?" Anakin asked.
"He considers you his brother, Anakin. But he also considers himself a Jedi. I know the history between the Jedi and the Sith. He probably thinks that you'd want him to join you. And he doesn't want that temptation."
"I do," Anakin said. "But even if he doesn't, he's my brother in everything but blood. He did mention something about not turning once the fighting was done."
Padmé nodded. "He's a Jedi. I think, even though the Order is gone, he'll always be a Jedi."
Anakin nodded. "He's limiting himself," he said.
"He doesn't think so," Padmé said. She shook her head. Anakin knew that she was reluctant to get involved in anything Force related. She left the Jedi issue to her husband and enforcer. "How is he doing?"
"Better," Anakin said. "The doctors say they'll take him out of the bacta soon. Then it's just a matter of getting him to rest and finish the healing." Anakin made a face. "And that's not going to be easy."
"Is he as bad as you are about staying put while he heals?" Padmé asked.
Anakin laughed. "I learned all my tricks from him."
Padmé nodded. "I see," she said. Her comlink beeped at her.
They both sighed. "An Empress's duty is never over," Anakin said as he leaned down and brushed a kiss over her forehead. "Go, I'll see you tonight. And I'll let Obi-Wan know you were here."
The Empress smiled at her husband, the Emperor-Consort, and turned to take care of whatever crisis demanded her attention.
With luck, it wasn't the press. They'd kept this quiet for now, but the news hounds were bound to find out about Obi-Wan soon. They already knew about the attack. It was something of a miracle that they hadn't found out about Obi-Wan yet.
Not quite five minutes later, the doctor came in. "We're ready to take him out, milord," she said.
Anakin nodded. He stepped back as the doctor and the MD droids helped Obi-Wan out of the sticky fluid.
Anakin just watched as they got him on a bed and check him over. Obi-Wan appeared resigned to the attention and just waited it out.
"You're lucky, General Kenobi," the doctor finally said. "You were already in good shape, and you'll make a full recovery."
Obi-Wan nodded. "Does that mean I can leave?"
"Let Dr. Dillard work, Obi-Wan," Anakin said, his first words since they'd gotten Obi-Wan out of the tank.
Obi-Wan glanced over at him. Dr. Dillard simply smiled. "You had several serious injuries, General Kenobi. You're healing, but unless you have someone who can watch you, I can't release you."
Obi-Wan sighed. Anakin knew he didn't have anyone who could take care of him- he probably thought he couldn't get close to anyone.
"I can take care of him," Anakin offered. "He can stay in the palace."
Obi-Wan threw Anakin a panicked glance, one that Anakin had no trouble interpreting. Unfortunately, Anakin couldn't explain right now, not with the doctor still in the room.
Anakin settled for giving Obi-Wan a smile. "Come on Obi-Wan. I told you already. I'm just glad you're alive. And besides, I'm sure the twins want to meet you properly, especially after all the stories I've told them about you."
Obi-Wan sighed and nodded slowly. Anakin felt something in him relax, as if Obi-Wan had given in to something. "I'll go with you," he said.
Obi-Wan was being watched. He didn't move even as his watcher came toward him.
The Jedi kept his breathing even and his eyes closed. To all appearances, he was simply meditating as he sat in one of the many private courtyards around the palace. He'd had a great deal of difficulty meditating ever since he'd been hurt, however- even more then what he'd experienced over the past six years.
He didn't look up, even when his watcher sat down right in front of him.
He allowed his lips to curl into a slight grin. "Focus on the Force," he said quietly. "Reach out with your feelings, young Luke. Don't focus on me." He didn't open his eyes. He knew what he'd see.
Every day he headed for this little garden to attempt to meditate, and every day Luke would follow him and try to imitate him.
He never did a very good job, but that was to be expected.
"Why are you doing it the hard way?" Luke asked.
Obi-Wan opened his eyes. This was the first time that Luke had said anything. "What do you mean, Luke?"
Luke wrinkled his nose. "Dad taught us how to meditate. An' it's easier when we use the Dark Side."
Obi-Wan sighed. "I had noticed," he said softly. "The Dark Side is much stronger now." He shook his head and relaxed slightly. Clearly, he wasn't going to get any meditating done today. "But I am a Jedi, and I don't use the Dark Side."
Luke frowned. "But you're a good Jedi," he protested. "Dad always said so!"
Obi-Wan nodded. "And I was trained to avoid anger and hate. I won't…"
"But the Dark Side makes us stronger!"
Obi-Wan scowled for a moment. No doubt Anakin and Luke, and Leia for that matter, really did believe that. But… Obi-Wan was not going to bring Luke into the battle between the Jedi and the Sith. "I don't care about power," Obi-Wan said. "I never have."
Obi-Wan sighed. "The Jedi are supposed to be guardians of peace and justice. Jedi are not to be rulers or to desire power."
"The ones who attacked us did."
"They weren't Jedi," Obi-Wan snapped. "They ceased to be Jedi when…" He closed his eyes. "I'm sorry, Luke."
"You get angry when they're mentioned."
"I do," Obi-Wan said.
"You should use that."
Obi-Wan shook his head. "I am a Jedi."
"It's not easy being a Jedi, is it?" Luke asked.
"No," Obi-Wan said, "it's not. The Jedi Way is hard, but it's rewarding."
"Dad said that it was restrit… restriting."
"You probably mean restricting, Luke. And to some, yes it is. Not to me."
"What's restricting mean?"
Obi-Wan smiled. "It means that I can't do some things." Obi-Wan could feel Anakin approaching. He'd lost the fight to separate Anakin and Vader in his mind soon after he'd been released from the medical wing, and now simply thought of the man as Anakin, as he'd always been Anakin to Obi-Wan.
"Oh. Like get angry?"
"I can't use my anger," Obi-Wan said. "Anger is a normal human emotion, but I can't act on it."
Luke frowned. "That doesn't make any sense!"
"It's the Jedi Way," Obi-Wan said. "And it does make sense, when one knows it all."
"And when someone actually believes it," Anakin said from behind Obi-Wan.
"Oh," Luke said. "Can you teach me?"
Obi-Wan didn't dare look at Anakin. "I'd like to, Luke, but the Jedi never taught anyone without their parent's permission. I'm not about to start now."
"And I don't want you to be a Jedi, Luke," Anakin said as he sat down next to his son, facing Obi-Wan.
"But can't I be a good Jedi, like Uncle Obi-Wan?"
Anakin looked at his son before facing Obi-Wan again. "No, Luke. Your uncle is the only Jedi who isn't bad. I don't want to risk…"
Luke nodded unhappily.
"Now, I need to talk with Obi-Wan for a little bit," Anakin said. "Why don't you go find your sister?"
Obi-Wan felt Luke reaching out to Anakin, and Anakin responding, but Obi-Wan didn't try to listen in to their silent conversation.
Luke sighed, but he got up and headed back inside. Obi-Wan watched him go.
When he was gone, Obi-Wan dropped his head. "I can't do this," he said. "I just…"
"Meditate with me, Obi-Wan," Anakin interrupted.
Obi-Wan looked up sharply. "What?"
"Meditate with me. I know you've been having some difficulties, but I'd like to spend some time in the Force."
Obi-Wan nodded and shifted so he was back in the proper posture.
Anakin copied him. Obi-Wan took a deep breath, blew it half out, and reached for the Force.
Just has he had for the past six years, Obi-Wan had to struggle to reach the Force.
Finally, he relaxed slightly as he surrendered to the bright glow of the Light.
It was different this time, for he felt the cold presence of the Dark Side beside him. Anakin. Darth Vader. The Sith Master.
Obi-Wan nearly faltered but kept his mind on the Force.
He looked into the Force. Around them, the Force swirled and danced. He gasped in surprise.
"Isn't it beautiful?" Anakin asked quietly. "What happens when someone uses both sides of the Force?"
Obi-Wan didn't say anything as he stared at the patterns the Force was weaving around them.
What he could see using the Force was truly amazing, almost dazzling. He was hesitant to even look at Anakin.
But he did. Anakin was unchanged, but around him the Force practically danced. Obi-Wan had never seen the like, not even when they had meditated together before Anakin turned. "Anakin can you see it?"
"It's never been this active. Look at yourself."
Obi-Wan looked down. The Force swirled around him. It wasn't as active as around Anakin, but was far more active then he could ever remember it being.
"Don't you see, Obi-Wan?" Anakin asked. "Why I want you to stay?"
"Yes," Obi-Wan said. He took a deep breath. "Anakin I…"
"Wait, Obi-Wan," Anakin said. "Reach out into the Force. Feel what I'm feeling. Please."
Obi-Wan took a deep breath. He knew what temptation he'd feel if he did. And he knew that if he did so, he'd likely give into the temptation.
Padmé watched as her husband and Obi-Wan walked toward her. There was a unity between them that she hadn't seen for six years. Obi-Wan walked by Anakin's side easily. There was no hint of the strain Obi-Wan had obviously been feeling since the attack, hidden though the strain had been.
Luke looked up at them and turned to his sister. "I knew it!" he told her.
Leia frowned. "But he said…"
Padmé stared at her children, then at Anakin and Obi-Wan. Something had happened between the Force users.
Anakin merely smiled at her. "Obi-Wan is staying," he said happily.
"If you'll have me," Obi-wan continued.
Padmé smiled. "Of course, Obi-Wan."
On reflection, she probably didn't want to know what had happened. If it meant that General Kenobi, and her friend Obi-Wan, was staying, she was happy it did happen.
Luke and Leia looked at each other for a moment. "Its gonna be grown-up talk," Leia said.
"Uh-huh. Let's go play."
"Stay in sight," Padmé told them. Once they were out of earshot, she turned to look at Anakin and Obi-Wan. "We'll need to let people know," she said. "And figure out what your role will be."
Obi-Wan sighed. "First, I want to finish helping the security here plug the holes I found," he said.
"They're almost done, Obi-Wan," Anakin said. "And we need to plan this carefully."
Padmé nodded. "But later," she said. "For now, I want to enjoy my free time with my family. I get little enough of that as it is."
Obi-Wan smiled and bowed. "I'll leave you to it, then," he said.
"Obi-Wan," Anakin growled, "you're part of the family too."
Obi-Wan inclined his head. "I didn't want to intrude."
Anakin sighed and rolled his eyes. "I'm not sure how to tell you this, Obi-Wan, but there's only one family activity that you could ever intrude on, and it's one that Luke and Leia aren't welcome at either."
Padmé gaped at Anakin for a moment, as Obi-Wan processed that, and then turned red. "I see," he managed to say.
"I can't believe you just said that!" Padmé exclaimed.
Obi-Wan chuckled and sat down at the table. "Some things just never change, I see," he said. He turned to watch the children play.
Padmé sighed. "No, I suppose not."
Anakin sat down next to Padmé. "So, Obi-Wan, what do you want to do?"
The members of the Coruscant Press Corps settled into their seats, eagerly speculating on the topic of the coming press conference.
The Empress's household hadn't given a reason for the conference, but it could only be related to the attack on her children, the prince and princess, last week.
Finally, the Palace press secretary approached the podium. The members of the press quieted. "As you are all aware, last week a group of Jedi attacked the palace, hoping to kidnap the prince and princess."
A ripple of anticipation ran around the room. For slightly over a week, the media had been trying to get information on the attack- who did it, how many of them there were, and how they were defeated. Now, they were finally going to find out.
The Secretary waited for a moment for the ripple of noise to die down. "We do apologize for the information blackout, but it was to allow one of the people who helped fight off the attackers to recover."
She paused. "No questions now, we'll allow them at the end of the briefing. Eight days ago, ten rogue Jedi penetrated the palace defenses and attempted to kidnap Princess Leia and Prince Luke. They have been identified, and their names are in the press packet that will be transmitted to you once the conference is over. Based on what we've learned from the last survivor, and other sources of information, they would have tried to turn the children against their parents, likely using torture to do so."
"Torture!" one of the newsbeings shouted.
"They have been established as rogue Jedi, Mr. Dakubs, and we have other knowledge that leads us to believe they have tortured other beings. In any case, we received unexpected help from a former Jedi, one who had broken with the order years ago, but had chosen to stay in hiding. It was due entirely to his actions that the twins were kept out of Jedi hands.
"He was injured in the fighting, and the Empress ordered us to keep the events as quiet as possible to allow him a chance to recover. The Emperor-Consort also wished to talk with him, and possibly offer him a place in the Empire."
The Secretary smiled. "He agreed, and we all welcome General Obi-Wan Kenobi back."
The orderly manners of the newsbeings were lost. Several of them were shouting over each other, trying to ask questions.
The Secretary sighed and waited it out. Finally, when the crowd had settled slightly, she pressed a button on the podium and sent the press briefing. "Most of the important details are in the briefing, gentlebeings. There will be another conference tomorrow, to allow you the chance to read through the material. General Kenobi will be there, though as some of you may recall, he doesn't much like being on camera."
The veteran newsbeings chuckled at this.
"I have time for a few questions. Ms. Mesa first."
"The majority of the galaxy thought General Kenobi was dead- killed by the Jedi. Where has he been all this time?"
"According to the general, he barely escaped with his life. And he's actually been here on Coruscant. He just didn't feel safe enough to return to the public eye, after the destruction of the Jedi. Mr. Suburbl."
"What will General Kenobi's role be?"
"That is still being worked out, but it is likely that he'll take overall command of the Army, much the same way the Emperor-Consort commands the Navy. Sir Sl'indad."
"Why has he chosen now to return? Isn't it a bit suspicious that he surfaces after six years?"
"You will have to ask General Kenobi that, I'm afraid. But I do know that the Emperor-Consort trusts him completely. One last question. Mr. Dakubs."
"Why did General Kenobi feel that he couldn't return?"
"General Kenobi did not feel safe under Emperor Palpatine's rule, and when Empress Amidala took the throne, he was still slightly concerned, enough to wait. Thank you, that is all the time we have. General Kenobi will be available for questions tomorrow."
The press corps members hurried out. This was news! It was important that they get the news out to their viewers and readers as soon as possible.
This news might even stop the fledgling rebellion in its tracks.
Obi-Wan paced back and forth as they waited in the small room to the side of the press room. "Why did I agree to this?" he asked Anakin as they waited.
The Sith laughed. "Because we need to get things out in the open- or as much as we can."
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. "I hate the newshounds," he muttered. "That was one thing I didn't miss." He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "They're going to be shocked."
Anakin looked down at him. "You're wearing the dress uniform of a general in the Imperial Army, not the Jedi robes they're used to seeing you in. Of course they are." He looked down at his own outfit- the formal robes of the Emperor-Consort. "And it was time for a change."
"I haven't worn Jedi robes in nearly six years," Obi-Wan said. "And I'm not going back to them now, not with what I know.
Anakin nodded. "I felt the same way," he said.
The palace press secretary entered the room "Your highness, General? It's time."
Obi-Wan straightened his shoulders and nodded. He and Anakin walked into the press room, ready to make a future for the Empire.
And the Dark Side triumphed…
Because I'm sure you folks want to know the differences between this universe and canon.
More Jedi survived Order 66, though Yoda did not. Several of them, including Obi-Wan, made their way to the temple and shut down the beacon. Then, when they learned who had done it, they turned on Obi-Wan, torturing him.
Obi-Wan escaped, after some time, and hid on Coruscant, determined to keep the dark Jedi from doing the same to Luke and Leia. Three years after Order 66, Vader killed Sidious, and Padmé became Empress. Vader (known to the galaxy as General Skywalker) took the title Emperor-Consort.
And that's all, folks!