CHAPTER SEVEN

A little earlier…

Anakin made his way over to the Jedi Temple. This was it. It was the moment of truth when he was going to come clean about everything.

He went up to the High Council Chamber. All the Masters were already seated. However instead of Anakin going over to sit in his own seat, he stood in the middle, facing Master Yoda.

Yoda frowned, "Something to say, you have?"

Anakin nodded solemnly.

The masters seated all around the room were confused, except for Obi-Wan. He just looked at Anakin with a small smile of approval, happy that his former Padawan was going to take responsibility for his actions.

On the other hand however, the other Masters already knew something was fishy. It had been a little more than a day since Anakin had heroically saved the Republic by destroying the Sith, Mace Windu had said it himself. If they knew Anakin, they would have thought that he would be basking in the attention of all the praises being thrown at him. The media went nuts after that night, and Anakin Skywalker was surprisingly nowhere to be seen.

Anakin was the Hero With No Fear. He was the poster boy for the Republic army during the Clone Wars. Why wouldn't he be there to celebrate with the billions of other citizens?

Yes, there was definitely something odd.

"Aren't you going to sit down?" Windu asked. His tone was a lot softer than usual when he would speak to Anakin. Windu always held a grudge with the young Jedi Knight, but maybe things were starting to change…

Anakin shook his head, "I was put on this Council by a Sith Lord, I don't think I still qualify to be a member."

Windu and Yoda exchanged looks.

"And after I finish telling you what I have to say," Anakin continued, "I don't think I still qualify to be a Jedi."

That hit it. The statement just said by Anakin made everyone on the Council a little aroused. What had he done? What was going on?

Anakin knew there was no going back now. "Masters, I am deeply sorry for everything I am about to tell you. I am ashamed of my deception, but I also do not regret it."

Yoda frowned, "Regret what?"

Anakin took a deep breath. He was not good at sugar-coating; he was just going to say it like it was.

"Skywalker," Windu said, "are you sure this is something that needs to be addressed now? We need to discuss the events of last night."

Ki-Adi Mundi nodded next to him, "That is true. Maybe you ought to tell us why you did what you did, and how you found out Palpatine was a Sith."

Anakin sighed and nodded, "Okay, I will. It ties in very much with what I have to say to you…"

Anakin gather up his thoughts. He only had one chance to say everything, and it needed to be right. Besides, a quarter of the Council was missing. The three Masters who lost their lives to Palpatine the other night would be mourned later tonight at a Jedi funeral. Anakin's seat was empty as well.

"Over the years, Palpatine and I had become very close." Anakin started, "He was there for me for many rough situations in my life. But so was someone else…"

Many of the Masters frowned, confused. Obi-Wan just sat there, staring at Anakin expressionless.

"Three years ago, just after the Battle of Geonosis, I…got married."

One could almost hear the gasps of some of the usually-composed Jedi Masters on the council.

Mace Windu's eyes widened, all newly-acquired good opinions of Anakin quickly diminishing from his thoughts.

Master Yoda just frowned.

No one else said anything, so Anakin continued. "When I told you about my premonitions, Master Yoda, I was referring to her."

Yoda made a short nod of understanding, but said nothing.

"I realized the truth about Palpatine when he addressed that issue. I never told him about her, but he somehow knew. He told me he had the power to save her."

Anakin stopped and looked down on the floor. How could he have been so stupid and naive? What would have happened if he actually took Palpatine up on his offer?

"He told me the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise and told me that I could learn to save people from dying, but it was not a power I could learn from the Jedi. Later he told me he could even teach me this power… That was when I made the connection that he was behind everything. After that, I immediately went to Master Windu."

Windu nodded, remembering the ordeal. However he could not shake off Anakin's confession. "You're married… to whom?"

Anakin looked down on the ground again, "Senator Amidala."

If the gasps of the other Masters in the room were inaudible before, it was definitely heard now. Mace Windu stared at Anakin with his jaw slightly dropped and Master Yoda's head snapped to Anakin's direction, his eyes very wide. Yoda had always been fond of Padmé Amidala. She was one of the very few senators in the Senate that Yoda respected. This news changed everything for him. How could Padmé do such a thing? She is usually such a stickler for the rules.

There was a moment of silence before Windu spoke again, "She was pregnant, was she not?"

Anakin nodded slowly.

Windu sighed and looked over to Yoda. Yoda made no indication that he was angry or disappointed.

"I understand if you must expel me from the Order." Anakin said at last.

Windu looked back at Anakin, "The Council…is going to have to discuss this first."

Anakin gave a nod and then made a small bow. He turned around and left, not looking back.

It was very quiet in the chamber after he left.

"Very serious this situation is." Yoda said at long last.

Master Shaak Ti nodded from across the room, "Had it been any other Jedi, our option would have been clear. He would have to be expelled."

Windu pursed his lips and then looked over at Obi-Wan, "Did you know?"

Obi-Wan's expression looked tired. He shook his head, "I did not find out until I saw him at the medcenter with Senator Amidala last night. He confessed the whole thing then."

Plo Koon joined the exchange, "Anakin Skywalker is a great asset to the Jedi Order. It would be terrible to lose him. And after revealing Palpatine and destroying him, he fulfilled the prophecy. He is the Chosen One."

The Masters could not disagree on that.

"I have known Anakin for a very long time," Obi-Wan said, "he is fully devoted to being a Jedi. He did not receive the title 'Hero With No Fear' by sitting around all day. The Republic owes Anakin a lot. Anakin was active for the entire war. He saved many lives and won many battles."

Master Windu's frown deepened. Windu was always fond of Obi-Wan, despite disliking Obi-Wan's master and former Padawan. But Obi-Wan getting heated up by this issue was uncharacteristic of him. Obi-Wan always respected the rules of the Jedi Order. What was he doing?

Obi-Wan didn't cease however, "Anakin practically saved the Republic! Who knows what could have happened if Palpatine were to remain! He had too much power!"

Mundi was getting concerned with Obi-Wan's mien. He tried holding up his hands to Obi-Wan next to him, "Alright, Master Kenobi! We understand!"

Obi-Wan shook his head, "You don't understand. Anakin's deeds more than outweigh his flaws. If he cannot be a Jedi," he stood up, "then neither can I."

The Masters watched in awe as Obi-Wan made his way over to the chamber doors and exited from the room.

Windu watched the door close behind Kenobi, his mouth almost gaping wide open.

Mundi sighed, "Obi-Wan doesn't understand yet. He is too close to Skywalker. He doesn't see that Skywalker sometimes uses unconventional methods when approaching a situation. He feels anger and hotheaded. He also has many attachment issues."

Windu nodded, "He gets his priorities mixed up and he can't focus on his job or at his tasks at hand. During missions, he is unable to leave behind fellow Jedi to do his obligation."

"You think that is bad?"

The masters turned their attention to Plo Koon.

Koon shook his head in disgust, "Outsiders always regard the Jedi as a group of unemotional droids who carry out the bidding of the Republic." He stood up, "But that is not what we are! That is not what we are supposed to be! We are Jedi! We must have compassion! The Jedi love the Force and all living things!"

Windu frowned, becoming irked. "Are you saying the Jedi Order is not what is should be? What are you suggesting Master Koon?"

Plo Koon just shook his head, "I am not implying there is anything wrong with the Order, only some of its members. We have been trying to teach our Padawans that anger is of the Dark Side, that hatred is of the Dark Side, that love is of the Dark Side… We have raised a sect of detached beings that learn to bear no feelings. This is why many of them fail. This is why they die. I think we can all learn something from young Skywalker."

With that being said, Plo Koon left the chamber.

Windu rubbed his temples. He looked around him. The only people left in the chamber now were Ki-Adi Mundi, Shaak Ti, Stass Allie, Coleman Kcaj, and Yoda.

"I cannot disagree with him." Mundi said after a long silence.

The other masters looked at him.

Mundi was known for feeling empathy towards fellow Jedi. It did not surprise anyone that he agreed with Plo Koon. And it also did not surprise anyone that Plo Koon would say anything like this in the first place. Plo Koon always felt compassion for everyone, even the clones that followed him into battle.

However Mundi held a very distinct similarity to Anakin Skywalker that enabled him to understand the young Knight's situation. Mundi was married as well. In his case, he was granted a rare exception of being allowed to wed. He always struggled with his situation because he was forbidden by the Jedi Code to form any personal attachments to his family. His family meant so much to him and sometimes it was difficult to prioritize the Jedi Order above them. He was never able to do anything about it though because his family all died in the Battle of Cerea during the war.

Mundi stood up. It might have been too late for him, but it wasn't too late for Anakin.

"You too, Master Mundi?" Windu asked wearily.

Mundi sighed, "I don't understand the problem. Yes, Anakin lied. That was bad. But if I was allowed to marry, why can't he? He brought children into the world, why can't we benefit from the situation by adding them on to our Order? Force knows we need it, we lost so many Jedi during this war."

Stass Allie nodded, "If those younglings develop the same Force abilities as their father, then who knows how strong our Order could grow?"

Mundi gave a nod in Allie's direction, grateful that she understood. He turned back to Masters Yoda and Windu and gave a short bow, and then left the room.

Shaak Ti shook her head, disappointed in the other Jedi that just stood up and left. Although she herself was not a huge stickler for the rules, she still respected the Council procedures. She also had a hard time comprehending the other Masters' definition of compassion. She herself was a pretty detached Jedi. True, her impassionate behavior sometimes backfired on her and caused other peoples' lives—including some of her own Padawans—but it had helped her become the wise Jedi Master she is today.

So this was the big debate in the High Council Chamber right now. Should the Jedi be allowed to love?

Everyone completely forgot about the initial purpose of today's meeting—to determine how the Republic needs to recuperate after the end of the war and the defeat of the Sith.

Master Yoda stood up and supported his weight onto his cane.

Windu looked down to him, waiting for the wise old Grand Master to make a decision.

"Meditate on this, I will." Yoda said at last.


Ok I updated pretty early this time because I like both of my stories to have new chapters uploaded at the same time. Thanks so much for the reviews guys! I'm so glad to see this story is doing very well! This chapter was a little different. I gave some background about some of the Council members. Don't worry, the rest of my chapters will be all Anakin/Padme from now on. And it may seem that the Order is totally falling apart right now, but don't worry! I promise everything is going to work out! Tell me what you think and I am also open to ideas! I might even create a story of random one-shots and tidbits of Luke and Leia's life while growing up together if Anakin never turned. Also check out my other story, The Apprentice, meanwhile. Until next time! :)