Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by George Lucas. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Um. A meta-fic. People hating on Obi-Wan upsets me...this is a small attempt to help those who don't understand his character sympathise more with him. Hope you enjoy!
1. You're very young when you're taken to the Temple, but not so young that you don't remember the sound of your ma's voice singing you to sleep, and her hand rubbing your back. It's all you've ever known, and for the first time in your short life you're alone at night. You cry, and cry, and cry, and the only person who comes doesn't pick you up and hold you, or rock you in her arms. You're patted on the back and told to go to sleep. It's the same, night after night. No-one picks you up, or touches you with warmth and caring, or sings to you the way your ma did, ever. So eventually you just stop crying, because somehow you know, in this strange place, it's wrong to want your ma, or anyone else.
2. There is no emotion, there is peace. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Attachment leads to the dark side. Dreams pass in time. Duty must always come first. A Jedi craves nothing, and only exists to serve the Force. This is what makes a Jedi. This is what you are told, day after day in the crèche. Everyone around you believes it, and no-one argues with the Jedi. You believe it too. If you don't, does that mean you aren't a Jedi? You have to be a Jedi, because if you aren't a Jedi you don't know who else you are.
3. Through feeling attachment, you betray the Order and the Code. Just because you shouldn't feel something doesn't mean you don't. Qui-Gon is like your father and despite everything you've been taught, you love him. You never say it out loud, because the lessons of childhood kick back in and remind you, again and again and again, that love is forbidden for a Jedi. So you push it down and pretend you're like the other Jedi who don't have the same problem you do, and try not to feel that guilty pang whenever you hear someone else reciting, "There is no emotion…"
4. It isn't the boy's fault. It isn't little Anakin Skywalker's fault that his midichlorian count higher than Yoda's. It isn't Anakin's fault that Qui-Gon is besotted with him. It isn't Anakin's fault that Qui-Gon wants him as his Padawan without apprehension and unwillingness like there was with you. It isn't Anakin's fault that Qui-Gon wants him, and not you anymore. It isn't Anakin's fault. Maybe if you repeat that to yourself enough times, you'll start to believe it. (You're not jealous. You're not jealous.)
5. "Train the boy," Qui-Gon begs of you, and then you're left alone, hearing the last words the man who was as good as your father echo in your mind for days after. The boy. The boy. It's wrong to be jealous, it's wrong to be resentful, it's wrong to cry, it's wrong to be attached because attachment is making you feel all of this, everything you shouldn't. The Jedi Code is right: your attachment blinded your ability to think rationally. Your attachment only ended up hurting you. All attachments end up hurting you. Cerasi. Siri. Now Qui-Gon. No attachment. The rule is there for a reason. Duty must always come first.
6. Even from where you stand, half hidden in the shadows, the heat from Qui-Gon's pyre feels like it's scorching your skin. Yellow and orange and red flames – red, like the lightsaber of the creature you murdered at the melting pit. Finally you look away from Master Jinn's body and focus on the quiet child beside you. He gazes at you with wide blue eyes, blinking and innocent. "What will happen to me now?" Anakin Skywalker asks, sounding lost and small. Poor boy. He's so young. He doesn't deserve the spark of resentment you feel when you look at him. So you sigh, and softly tell him that you will train him. The fire continues to burn.
7. When Anakin asks for a hug, you lose composure and splutter a little, then finally manage to explain that while hugs aren't forbidden, they aren't encouraged by the Code either, because hugs mean attachment. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you recall the warmth and safety you felt of the hugs you received from your ma, and the clumsy hugs your three-year-old self gave to your baby brother back on Stewjon, but the memory is assaulted with the Code and you bury the flashbacks and feelings, and pretend you didn't remember anything at all. Hugs mean attachment. Attachment means pain. Anakin just looks at you with a strange expression on his face which you eventually place as upset. Shock hits you when you realised that you want to give him a hug, and for a brief moment you're overcome by emotion – the same sort of emotion you felt for Qui-Gon. You don't hug him, because in the Jedi Temple it's wrong for him to want you to be his father (and it's wrong for you to want him to be your son, or your brother). You pat his shoulder instead, and wonder whether you're feeling guilty about your attachment to Anakin or that you didn't give him a hug.
8. Anakin is a difficult teenager to understand. He doesn't have the same foundations the other Jedi do – the same foundations you have. He's passionate, and wild, and argumentative, and disrespectful, and forms attachments, and doesn't think before he acts, and possesses an admirable – sometimes frightful – sense of justice. Justice which can easily be warped into vengeance. He talks back at you and compares you to Qui-Gon. He's impertinent. He's frustrating. He doesn't make sense. He never seems to accept that attachments are forbidden. You teach him the ways of the Jedi, but he doesn't learn. And yet…he makes you laugh, feeling amusement and joy in ways you've never felt it before or thought possible. He's full of life, so vibrant, so bright. And for however many times he hurts you with that inevitable phrase, Qui-Gon would have, it's obvious he cares about you. The way he acts when you get hurt, the way he rushes to your rescue as though you're the Padawan, not the Master. He cares about you, and you can't find it in yourself to explicitly state that he shouldn't, because eventually…you start to care about him as well, until you're at the point where you can't imagine a life without him, leaving you wondering how you let that happen.
9. He's hiding something from you. Ever since the Battle of Geonosis, ever since he came back from escorting Senator Amidala back to Naboo, you know that something is bothering him. Possibly even a few somethings. You want to ask him. You want to help, but you don't know how to. You worry that if you ask what happened on Tatooine, or what the exact nature of his relationship with Padmé is, he'll get angry at you for intruding on his privacy and then he'll never tell you. (Every other time you've tried to understand him, you seem to say the wrong thing.) So you stay silent and wait, and continue to trust him – he'll tell you when he's ready. Surely.
10. It isn't the look he gives you when you tell him the Council wants him to spy on Palpatine. It's the look he gives you when he asks how you can ask this of him, and the only reply you give him is, "The Council is asking you."
11. Before you are deployed to Utapau, you tell Anakin that you're proud of him and the man he's become. It's on the tip of your tongue – I love you. But the words can't seem to come out. You love him. You know you do, there's no question, despite the Code, despite your promise to never become attached, despite everything you've ever been taught. Maybe that's why you can't seem to say it yet, and you hate that you're such a coward. So you part ways with a predictable "May the Force be with you," and you promise yourself you'll tell him how much he means to you when you get back.
12. "Gone, the boy you trained is." Yoda is the one who destroys your hope, but it is the recording of Anakin slaughtering Jedi – friends, family, children – that slaughters your faith.
13. The heat of Mustafar sears your skin and your face, scorches your lungs as you gasp of air, when you stare down at the mutilated body of Anakin Skywalker. Darth Vader. Anakin, Vader, Vader, Anakin – what does any of it matter? The Jedi are gone. Your entire life, every foundation of your existence, destroyed by the man you called brother. You turn your head away when fire starts to consume Ana– Vader. For a moment you think his arm is reaching out to you, begging for help, but his eyes aren't blue anymore. They're yellow and red, the same colour of the fire burning him alive, and he screams at you – not for help, not for you to save him, but to tell you that he hates you. And in that moment, something shatters within you – something which even the annihilation of your life and family and friends couldn't break. Something only Qui-Gon could break. Something only Anakin could break. So you turn and walk away with the agony of a broken heart that's still beating, because you just don't know what else to do.
14. There is still good in him, that's what Padmé told you before she died. Perhaps you believe it and perhaps you don't. You want to. Maybe that's why, even though you told Luke that Vader betrayed and murdered Anakin Skywalker (it wasn't a lie, not really), and after he finds out the real truth, you only ever say Luke has to face Vader – not kill him. Because you see something in Luke that you never saw in yourself or in Anakin: Luke has constant hope. Luke has unwavering faith. And maybe…he can give those back to Anakin, the way he gave them back to you.
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