Title: The Jedi He Could (Should) Be
Timeframe: RoTS, just after Utapau
Character(s): Obi-wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker
Genres: General, Angst
Warnings: Some angst, but nothing over-heavy, I think.
Summary: Anakin was shaped by war, not peace, but surely the peace would have turned him, if it would ever come, into the Jedi he could be, Obi-wan thinks (dreams).
But Anakin is dead now. Not even times of peace would change that.
The Jedi Master and his feverish delusions (dreams?) after Utapau.
Disclaimer: I own the plot (as much as there is in here, any way), but the characters, universe, etc. belong to George Lucas, if you didn't know that. Please don't sue.
A/N: Grrr... The parts in brackets were supposed to be on the right side. *hits head* It looked better on LJ, I swear *sighs* Just imagine it's on the right, ok? It's easier to read that way. Stupid ff(net).
The Jedi He Could (Should) Be
You are alive.
Your bones are cracking inevitably under your skin, your blood tricks slowly out from scratched open veins, your mind grasps for facts and obvious, anchoring itself to the slow, laboured breaths.
You are alive.
The war is over, it is the first thing that you tell your muddled from sleep mind, at the same time looking at the alarm at the side of your bed. You still have a little time to sleep, before rising, meditating and preparing breakfast.
"Master, want to come see the new speeder? I've heard that it's fast beyond any known measures..."
"And probably dangerous beyond any known measures, as well..." you grumble at the loud voice coming from outside your bedroom door. You turn in your bed, determined now to stay, no matter what.
There is a laugh, you hear. Vibrant and carefree and so knowing.
The war is over, you think. There is no need to wake just now.
Fifteen minutes later, you are sitting in the speeder next to one of the best pilots in the whole galaxy, and you strap yourself in with the same feeling of trepidation you always associate with flying with Hero With No Fear.
No Fear, Force help me survive the times of peace, you think.
Anakin lounges on the sofa in your quarters, pleasurably and peacefully and normally relaxed. You prepare tea for both of you, wondering what you shall do next.
Meditate? Perform katas? Read? Maybe spar? Something relaxing, normal and peaceful. Something together.
"If you're wanting to make me meditate with you, think again," Anakin says dryly. "I'm pretty sure I'm capable of holding my own in a 'persuasive argument', as you call it, with you. There's no way I'll agree to that. I'm a Knight now, after all."
"Which only means that you should make yourself meditate. O' former Padawan of mine and now a gallant Jedi Knight."
"No fun," he grins cheekily at you for a moment, and you're making yourself prepare to scold when the smile is gone, replaced by a mock frown on his face.
"There're some limits, you know," he says gravelly.
"What, limits of your patience?"
"Yes, even that." You snort at his words, thinking that your Padawan and patience rarely were used in the same sentence, unless you used it to implore him to do something you wanted and he didn't.
It rarely worked.
"And limits of your skills as a negotiator, as well," Anakin finishes thoughtfully. He gets up, leisurely stretching his long and powerful body. "Let's go sparring, Obi-wan. It's been a long time since we visited the training halls."
"We were there yesterday," you muse dryly. Yes, Anakin never cared much about patience, and some things never changed.
"Besides," Anakin throws back at you over his shoulder as he exits the door, "you can freely take the credit for training such a fine, gallant and patient Jedi Knight, o' former Master of mine and a Negotiator."
He is gone with a swirl of dark robes and a rueful chuckle. He'll meet you in the training halls, though, and he'll be already much covered in sweat and that fierce concentration that only battles and sparring matches (and racing) could get from him.
"That's nothing, Obi-wan. Only a scratch, you may stop fussing," Anakin says irritated. "Master, I've lost a hand once. There is no need to act as if..."
He doesn't finish the sentence, instead reclining back against the sofa, keeping his arm outstretched while you clean and bandage it. This is only a scratch, but there is no need to do only rudimentary treatment (or none at all, as it once used to be) as there is time and no droid army pressing on you to fight. No need to push worry and care to the back of your mind. Till later, wasn't it that? Later, when there were dead and more severely wounded to tend to, when it ended up with Anakin carelessly tying up his own wounds quick and fast and superficial.
"Do I even want to know what was this from?" the Force positively cracks with embarrassment and quiet at your words, and Anakin, with the air of forced indifference, lets you continue the ministrations without trying to escape.
He's kneeling on the floor of his apartment, going steadily through the small collection of holoimages. Anakin is nervous, excited and confident all at once, you see it in the abrupt moves of his hands.
That is his first solo mission in the times of peace. But he's still the boy who wanted to save the galaxy, you tell yourself. He'll be fine. More than fine; he'll do brilliantly, exposing the core of his talent combined with fierce compassion and loyalty. People like Anakin always do fine.
(only when they don't, when not even heroes
of many battles can defeat the odds;
not when the impossible becomes the reality,
your bruised mind rationalises)
You're packing for your next mission, your mind at peace and ready for the round of negotiations with leaders of two conflicting tribes on the far edge of the Republic.
He walks in, confident and smiling, in his usual dark robes. "When are you supposed to leave?" he asks easily, going to the kitchen and looking through your fridge for something to eat.
He looks at you with raised eyebrows. "There should be a rule forbidding Jedi Masters to use general words like 'soon', 'not far' and especially 'there is some darkness ahead of us' and 'I've got a bad feeling about this'. This would make taking care of them much easier for us, their Padawans, who always do all the work anyway..." he muses, appearing serious (that is, as much as Anakin Skywalker could ever look serious) and contemplative.
"If making your famous soup you call 'taking care of', then I'm happy you do not take this further and attempt to save my life. Force knows that would end up with my death."
"If I didn't attempt to save your life- and trust me, you're making those attempts as hard as you can, getting yourself in all the weird kinds of troubles- you wouldn't even be here to complain of my cooking," he laughs merrily, deciding finally on eating some chandrilan fruits.
You grumble good-naturedly and resume your meticulous packing.
(only he won't come to say goodbye before any mission,
now, will he? He won't be able to.
You'll pack in the empty room while quickly eating dinner, alone,
and there'll never be teasing or normal,
and the time of peace, if it comes,
will be as empty as your heart)
You could deal with the bandits on your own, with the Force as your ally and faith in the victory of Light and good. With the faith that your victory over them would help numerous people who have been terrorised for too long.
As Anakin swipes a long arc with the blue light of his weapon, you know you fight together, and you'll win together.
Battle is an unity with the Force; it leaves no place for fond thoughts and sighs of contentment. You kill, and you regret killing, but your adversaries refuse to surrender in any way or form; they will take death or victory, nothing else.
But afterwards, you'll be fondly seeing the warm light on your brother's face as he tells the villagers that the threat is finished, that the child the bandits took is safe.
He'll be gentle with the small girl, talking softly and using both Force and his good heart to calm her.
You'll see him happy, and you'll see a Jedi who is strong and compassionate, who is sure of his place and role in the universe and eager to do his best to help others.
(You will defeat the bandits on your own,
because you can and the Force will be with you;
It will never leave, not even to death.
It's a constant and a love that you still have.
You will get the child back to safety of her parents,
they and the girl alike terrified and crying with gratitude and relief.
You will not cry,
but the emotions you will release into the Force will be
as trembling, bitter and wrenching
as any mournful tears could be.
He is dead, and the Force is not almost enough to stop you from thinking
The Force helped you, and you survived the fall and your troops' fire. You are alive, with the sore bones and blood flowing from your wounds, and with a broken mind.
Unthinkable happened and the loyal clones rebelled. Yet you survived.
Grievous' vessel is comfortable enough to rest, and you need rest before you reach Senator Organa and Yoda. You are alive and you could still bring peace to the crumbling Republic.
There is no death, but there is a life. Life where there could be peace and freedom, no matter how dark everything looked now. Life and peace without Anakin, yet if it is to be so, one life of the Jedi- beloved Jedi-wasn't too high a price, was it?
If that is the Will of the Force.
(Focus on the now and here,
Do not sacrifice the present for the future.
And your soul breaks further)
Do not forget to review. You know you want to *waves hand in a Jedi mind trick*