A/N: Hallo! The story's title is "Over My Head" because of that The Fray song. This fic is inspired by a set of songs, so… ^^
Summary: Almost totally AU. It's another one of those Anakin Redemption fics with a sliiiiight difference – ultimate hostility from Padmé and Obi-Wan, no easy forgiveness – even the republic would accept him first. Sort of. Many things in the ROTS movie would be.... erm, told in another way. I don't really know what more to tell you – but you'll see more as you read… more. I promise this fic will be good. I couldn't give you any more without giving too much spoilers. xD
Disclaimer: I do not own the song ("Over My Head"), and the movie (Star Wars) or any of the characters (which I would not list down); I'm pretty sure you know that anyway xD
He raised a hand to the door tentatively. He sighed. It shouldn't be this hard, he thought to himself, and pressed the ringer. He coughed, and waited for the door to open. He had waited for a very long time – three years – hiding in the shadows, doing odd jobs for contacts, looking up every directory for any clue to where the people he knew as family was. He hoped to the Force that they were still alive, and that this house was the one he had been looking for all these years.
The door opened, and a man peeked out.
He stared dumbly at him for a second. "You… you look different." Great, that's the first thing you're going to tell him?
"I'm sorry – do I know you?"
He lowered his hood. "It's me. Anakin."
The man started for a moment, and then stepped back into the house. The door slid close with a resounding thud, perfectly mimicking the act of slamming a door.
It was exactly the sort of thing Anakin expected. He didn't expect for Obi-Wan to welcome him with open arms after everything he did – but Anakin didn't spent years looking for his old master under Sidious's nose just to get the door slammed in his face.
"Master, open up." Anakin banged on the door. "Stop acting like a child."
The door slid open again. "Stop acting like a - what did you expect for me to do? Welcome you like you've… Never mind, just come in before somebody notices you."
Anakin nodded gratefully, and stepped in. It was a small pad – bigger by only a few feet compared to their room in the Jedi Temple. The place brought back too many memories, and Anakin had to avert his eyes to the floor.
"Master, I am very, very sorry." That was the first thing that came out of his mouth. He didn't even think about it – it was a reflex from back in the old days. Kriff, moments like this made him feel old. Back in the old days?
Obi-Wan offered him a seat, and didn't say anything. He seemed like he was waiting for something – what is he waiting for? He looked at Obi-Wan, and noticed the loss of his well-groomed beard. He shaved it all off. Despite that, his master looked old for his age. Obi-Wan's hair had streaks of silver-gray, and it appeared unkempt, unlike his once-neat appearance. He lost some weight too. If Anakin didn't have Obi-Wan's face memorized, he wouldn't have recognized him.
How many years has it been, 4? 5?
"Well?" Obi-Wan finally said.
Anakin blinked at him. "Well what?"
"Aren't you going to say anything?" Obi-Wan stared. "I'm waiting for an explanation, an excuse for the horrid things you did. I'm actually interested in what you have to say."
"I – " Anakin stopped short. How would he explain to Obi-Wan? His reasons… his faults… his mistakes… his redemption… He tried again. "I – "
"Obi-Wan? Who's there? Do you have a visitor?" A female voice called out lightly. Someone walked in the house towing two giggling five-year-olds.
Anakin turned and saw her. Padmé… She's still alive!
"What is he doing here?" She froze, staring at Anakin in horror. Padmé then exhaled and straightened herself, and a practiced stoic mask took place on her face. "Obi-Wan, send him out. I don't want that man near my children, or near me. Near anyone, for that matter."
Anakin tried again. "Padmé, I – "
"There is absolutely nothing you can say or do that will make up for the past, Vader." Anakin flinched with the use of that word. He had abandoned it years ago, and hearing it from her felt like someone was stabbing his soul in the core. Anyone… anyone but her.
Anakin looked away. "I'm not Vader anymore, Padmé."
Padmé's eyes flashed angrily at him. "Then who are you? The Anakin I knew had died years ago." Anakin had no response to that, even in his head. That stabbing he felt earlier had turned into slashing and multiple attempts at decapitation.
"Obi-Wan. Can you please get him out of your house?"
Obi-Wan sighed, and gestured to Padmé, and they headed for the twin's room. They all left Anakin sitting there on the couch.
Well, what did I expect - for them to welcome me with open arms? He sighed. This is going to be harder than I thought.
Padmé brought the kids to play with their toys. When she was sure that both children were preoccupied, she turned to Obi-Wan. "Obi-Wan! Why do you have him in your house?" Padmé gestured angrily at the living room. "He killed all the Jedi, Obi-Wan. He almost killed me. He almost killed my children. He was an agent in destroying the Republic. He – "
"I know, Padmé, I know." Obi-Wan massaged his temples, and sighed. "I definitely didn't plan on having him sit in my own living room. What do you think I did when he showed up at my door, welcome him with open arms?" Obi-Wan looked at the door to the living room. Anakin was within his line of sight, and he was sitting there quietly, his eyes roving around the house. "I slammed the door in his face, Padmé. I didn't want him here as much as you did."
"Then what – "
"He knocked again." Obi-Wan stated flatly. For a second there, I thought I saw my padawan, not Vader… "If I didn't let him in, it might have looked suspicious."
"What are we going to do with him, then, Obi-Wan? I don't want him near my children."
Obi-Wan sighed. "I don't want to just let him leave, Padmé. He had seen us, where we are. He knows we're alive. I'm not keen on having him tell anyone about our quiet existence."
"I would not have him near my children."
"He's their father."
"As far as I am concerned you stand as their father once Anakin left us." Padmé said, crossing her arms.
Obi-Wan took a quick look at Anakin again. Anakin was standing now, looking at holo-pictures and such displayed around the house. "I want to keep him under watch, Padmé. If he has nowhere else to go, I'm going to keep him here. I don't want him to go anywhere else and possibly reveal our existence."
Padmé bit her lip, and glanced at Anakin. He was sitting again, looking everywhere but in their direction. "I don't trust him."
"Neither do I, that's why we're keeping him close." Obi-Wan looked grim. "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
"What about Luke and Leia?"
"I'm still going to be here. Don't worry about them." Obi-Wan reassured her.
Padmé sighed, and pushed the twins gently towards Obi-Wan. "Be good, okay? Mommy will be back later. I just have some things to take care of."
The twins nodded obediently. Leia gave Padmé a kiss. Luke just stood at the side, staring through the doorway. He ran to Padmé, tugged at her shirt, and pointed at Anakin. "Mommy, who's he?"
Padmé looked at Obi-Wan for a moment, unsure. Obi-Wan nodded at her. Padmé sighed. "We'll talk about it later, okay? Right now, I want you to behave for your Uncle Ben, and do everything he says." She gave Luke a kiss on the forehead. "I'll see you both later."
The two children waved at their mom, saying goodbyes in a chorus. Padmé gave them both a hug, and left quietly through the back door.
Obi-Wan glanced at Anakin again. He then sighed, told the kids to stay in the room, and made his way towards his… he wasn't even sure who Anakin was in his life at this point. Friend? Enemy? Stranger?
Anakin looked around the house, examining holo-pictures and other displays. He saw the river rock Qui-Gon gave Obi-Wan – where and how Obi-Wan got it back, Anakin would never know. There were pictures of twins who looked very familiar with Obi-Wan, and there were pictures of Padmé and the same children too. There were pictures of two babies; Anakin assumed they were the same children in the other pictures.
There was a discreetly kept picture of Obi-Wan in his Jedi robes. The robes were old and singed, but Obi-Wan still looked as dignified as every Jedi Master should be. Anakin had to turn away for it brought back too many memories. Anakin wouldn't have noticed the picture if he didn't examine every nook and cranny of the house; it was kept behind a false panel in the wall. There was another beside it: Padmé looking very beautiful in her senatorial dress. It was like a small corner dedicated to the past. There was a picture of the Jedi temple, a picture of Qui-Gon, even a candid picture of the Jedi council… And there were pictures of Anakin. Pictures that he hadn't seen for so long: A picture of him and Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan's arm around his shoulder, and Anakin tiptoeing as to raise himself even higher above Obi-Wan's head; and a picture of him and Padmé hand-in-hand during their marriage.
He remembered that all these were once kept in Artoo's databanks, and he found himself wondering where the droid was. And Threepio! Where could that droid be?
The droids were just fleeting thoughts in Anakin's mind. He couldn't take his eyes off the pictures in the hidden corner, but finally brought his hand up to put the wall panel back. It was all Anakin could do not to breakdown right there. He had to slowly sit back down on the couch, and release the emotions building up inside him to the Force. Anakin waited for Obi-Wan, and stood up when Anakin saw him. "Did Padmé leave?"
"Yes." Obi-Wan said, and sat on the couch. He gestured at the seat, and Anakin sat back down. There was an awkward silence for a moment, until Anakin spoke up.
"This is a nice house, Obi-Wan. Does Padmé live here too?"
"Thank you." Obi-Wan answered without emotion. "Padmé and the kids live next door."
There was another period of awkward silence. Anakin tapped his foot, and glanced around again. "So… ah…"
"Where are you staying right now?" Obi-Wan asked, without a hint of concern in his voice. He sounded flat, icy, stoic. Not even sincerity can be heard. Anakin was so used to hearing Obi-Wan's voice sound off subtle hints about what he's feeling, even in diplomatic talks, you can hear a hint of sincerity here, a drop of annoyance there… He had never heard his former master sound this… this cold.
"Nowhere – I was thinking of renting an apar– "
"You are welcome to stay in my house for the time being." Obi-Wan cut him off.
"Thank y– "
"This doesn't mean anything. We're doing this because we want to keep an eye on you." Obi-Wan said. At least he's honest. "Your room is the second door on the left." Obi-Wan gestured.
"Thank you, Obi-Wan." At that point, the twins ran out of the room and towards Obi-Wan, waving flimsies with drawings on them. They gave Anakin a wide berth.
"Look Uncle Obi! It's Mommy's spaceship!"
"Uncle Obi I drew Naboo! When are granpa and granma going to visit again?"
Obi-Wan's cool look melted into a smile, and he regarded each kid's drawing with praise, and gave suggestions on how to improve both. He answered their questions, and sent them back into their room, telling them not to come out. He watched them go, smile never leaving his face.
Anakin watched them with interest, and that was when it clicked. Oh, Force… "Obi-Wan, are they…"
"Yes, they are your children, Anakin." Obi-Wan answered, his voice sounding real chilly again.
"Oh, Force…" Anakin slumped back. He felt a mixture of emotions – joy, regret, fear… He didn't know how express all of it. His eyes brimmed with tears. "My… my kids. I can't believe…"
"Believe it. They're alive, and for five years they didn't have a father around. Padmé had to raise them on her own." For the first time, Anakin heard a flash of emotion in Obi-Wan's voice – anger.
Anakin flinched. He looked away. "But… but you were there Master. I couldn't have asked for a better mentor, better "father" for them."
Obi-Wan maintained his steady, frosty gaze at Anakin. "I'm not your master anymore, Anakin. You made that clear when…" Obi-Wan trailed off, and looked away. He sighed, and Anakin could see him going through familiar calming exercises, but it didn't seem to help. He turned again, and a cold look settled on his face like before, with one difference – Obi-Wan suddenly looked so tired. "I am letting you stay here, on the condition that you would do everything I say. You are never to leave the house without my permission. You don't do shavit unless I tell you so."
Obi-Wan stood up, and gave Anakin one last look. "If you hurt anyone of them – Padmé, Luke, or Leia – I swear, Anakin, you would never see the light of day again. I will kill you personally." He left, heading towards his room, and pressed the door shut.
Anakin remained seated in the living room, staring after Obi-Wan. At least I know they're safe in Obi-Wan's hands. At least I know my family's doing well. The only thing left to do now is to get them back. To get them all back.
How in the galaxy am I going to do that?
Obi-Wan headed straight to his room, and locked the door. He collapsed on his bed, suddenly feeling tired.
Everything suddenly came crashing down on him.
Anakin was there, sitting in his living room, his Anakin, the same Anakin he trained for years and years and watched grow up, the same Anakin he loved and cared for like he was his own son. The Anakin he thought was dead and replaced by that horrible monster…
Or was he, really? Was he really the Anakin staying in his own house today? Obi-Wan felt no hostility, no darkness, from the Anakin in his living room. He tried feeling for Vader, but he felt no one. No one but Anakin.
His feelings had failed him once before. He didn't want to be wrong about this now – he wanted to be sure - who is out there? Is it Vader, or Anakin?
Obi-Wan sighed, and looked at the ceiling. Memories came and went in his head, and he remembered his Anakin… The trainings, missions… even the pranks. The moments when he and Anakin acted like a real family. Then came memories of wars, fights, misunderstandings… And Mustafar.
Obi-Wan shuddered, and did the only thing he could do then: he wept.
A Multi-chap fanfic, yay finally! *grins*
More to come soon :) please leave me a review! Please? Reviews?