Title: Life Beyond the Code

Author: bek

Genre: AU (Angst/Hurt/Comfort/Family)

Characters: Obi-Wan, Anakin

Summary: After the Naboo incident, Obi-Wan and Anakin defy the Council by living life beyond the code.

Disclaimer: The characters (Obi-Wan, Anakin, etc…) belong to Lucas or Watson. I make no profit from this. It's just a hobby.

A/N: Please note that this story is a hybrid - majority AU with a little cannon mixed in. The SW timeline is not necessarily followed. That's the joy of writing fanfiction, we can adjust things as needed to fit the story we'd like to write. I hope you enjoy!

Prologue

He watches the orange and red hues slowly descend upon the horizon until the sun disappears over the edge of the landscape. The dimming blue fades to black, and white twinkling dots begin to scatter themselves across the heavens. Occasionally a few will pass by as if propelled by a rocket, streaking across the skyline in intricate patterns as the tails leave a faint stain of where they had once been.

He lowers his eyes from the spectacle above, his head soon following, his shoulders falling forward from the weight of the last few hours. The grief that pours through him is unbearable. The Jedi aren't allowed attachments; they aren't allowed to love as love leads to attachment. But somewhere along the way, he, they, had come to love one another as the only two parts of a small but happy family could.

His frame shudders slightly from the solitude he now feels. His mind empty of the constant but soothing and wanted presence he once felt and longs to feel again. He unconsciously searches for it but instead of the steadfast controlled signature he knows as well as his own, he feels a slight hesitancy from a chaotic emotion filled existence that isn't sure of its place. He watches with his minds eye as it steps to the edge of his conscious and peeks in as if trying to decide the safety of the move. A small smile finds its way to his lips and he laughs softly as he feels the presence jump back as he tentatively touches the young mind with his own conscience. A new joy begins to fill him as he and his conspirator begin to banter back and forth. The emptiness begins to subside as he once again finds something, someone, to care for.

Chapter 1

He watches as Yoda paces back and forth in front of him, silent one moment but forthcoming in the next, "Agree with this boy's training, I do not!"

He lifts his head in response, his chin jaunting out slightly in defiance. "I will train him without the permission of the Council if I must."

The Jedi Master pauses in his steps, he sighs, leaning heavily on his cane as if a great weight suddenly crashed down upon him. "Leave the Jedi, would you?"

Swallowing through a tight throat, he answers, "If I must."

"Qui-Gon's defiance I sense in you, need that you do not! To lose you to the galaxy would be a great loss to the Jedi Order, and yet, allow the training of this child we cannot." He sadly shook his head and turned to look at the young padawan, now a Knight.

Obi-Wan refused to make eye contact. "This promise was the last request he made of me. I will train the boy."

"The boy is dangerous, said so you did."

"Yes, Master Yoda, I did; however, I promised Qui-Gon and I will not fail him in this as I did in his final moments."

"Fail him you did not. Struck down by the sith he was, not by any fallacy of yours. Fail you he did by requesting this promise from you. The Chosen One, the boy may be, but maybe not. Too much fear do I sense in him to allow his training."

"And that is exactly why he must be trained." Obi-Wan raised his eyes to meet his elder's. "I know what awaits someone with the potential he has if he were to be left to his own devices. I would not wish that on anyone."

"Come a long way you have since that time, young one. Fought hard to regain your training, you did. Proud of the Jedi you have become we all are."

Obi-Wan nodded but did not otherwise acknowledge the council member's words. "Master Yoda," the quietness of his voice softly echoes throughout the room. "I respectfully resign my place within the Jedi Order." Unclipping his lightsaber from his belt, he held it forth and offered it to the diminutive Master.

Yoda stared down at the humble offering. Using his hand, he gently pushed it back toward its owner. "Need this you will, young one. Accept your request I do not. If determined you are to follow this path then you must do so on your own; but know that I am here for anything you may need. A Jedi you are, a Jedi, you will remain." Yoda rested his hand upon the young man's head; his eyes affectionately tracing each curve of the beloved face. Sighing deeply, Yoda turned and left.

X

Obi-Wan attended the memorial service held for his slain master. Protocol was to have a pyre built upon which the remains would be cremated. This wasn't normal procedure however, as the Jedi's body was currently on a ship headed for Coruscant. Even in death, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn somehow managed to defy Jedi etiquette. Many friends and colleagues came to Naboo to pay their respects and reminisce of their encounters with the maverick master. Some Obi-Wan found himself enjoying, others he barely heard.

He could sense the weary emotions of the boy standing next to him. He kept his shields lowered around the fledgling bond so Anakin could seek comfort if need be as he had found the boy to do on numerous occasions throughout a single day. The child still wasn't sure about this new development, but found solace in the reassurance of the Knight's presence nearby. He unconsciously took hold of Obi-Wan's robe and clenched it within his hand, his fingers tightening around the material and pulling the arm closer to him. Obi-Wan looked down to see Anakin staring at him with confused eyes. Lowering himself to the child's level, he gently took hold of a small shoulder and squeezed it reassuringly, encouraging the child to speak what was foremost on his mind.

"What will happen to me now?" came the quiet words.

He suddenly realized that though he had first resented being given this task, a task that a newly Knighted padawan whom had lost his master in the most terrible of circumstances wasn't ready for, he found that the solace the boy offered with merely his presence was a healing balm to a young man's heart. Obi-Wan cupped a smooth cheek with his hand, his thumb easing away a tear as it rushed toward the boy's chin. "The Council will not permit me to officially train you, Anakin."

The boy's eyes widened and he backed up slightly, panic radiating off him in waves. The question of, Where will I go? clearly seen in the frightened gaze. Obi-Wan quickly muted the boy's force signature as to not startle the few Jedi who had been able to attend his master's memorial.

"It's okay, Anakin, calm yourself." He pulled the boy closer to quietly explain to him of what his future could be, "I am willing to leave the Order to train you in the ways of the Jedi and in doing so, we can go anywhere we wish." Before Anakin could form a response, Obi-Wan placed a finger over the boy's lips to quiet him. "Think on it, young one, and let me know your answer in the morning."

Anakin nodded, his features that of surprise and wonder. His hand unconsciously tightened a bit more, his knuckles turning white. The young man raised the sleeve and enclosed the small hand within his own. Side by side, they stood and listened as the remaining few shared their experiences with the mentor they had both adored and respected.