A/N Hello, hello, AniObi lovers! XD I actually posted the three stories included here a while back, separately, but now I'm going back and combining them, since having a sequence of one-shots out there as different stories is a bit sad, plus it clogs up the page listing them all. So, yes. First up is "Cracked," set during The Phantom Menace. Very much pre-slash, so, sorry about that. Drop me a review? Please?
Rated K plus for references to death and other scary, scary things.
Disclaimer I don't own Star Wars or any associated characters, events, etc.
The fire crackled, hissing and spitting like an enraged dragon, repeatedly striking over and over at the serene body that it engulfed. In profile, the burning man seemed leonine, and his expression of almost stern steadiness was evident even as he was reduced to nothing more than a silhouette against the blazing tapestry. This clearly wasn't a man who died entirely content, nor was he one who deceased in anger. He had left this world in worry. Worry, most likely, that his Padawan had only sworn to a certain promise because he, the burning man, had been on his deathbed. It wasn't that Qui-Gon Jinn didn't think his apprentice trustworthy; he only doubted that he would really find it within him to take up the training of the Force-sensitive slave boy they'd discovered on Tatooine.
Obi-Wan Kenobi stood in silence, the firelight reflected in his fierce blue-gray eyes. Qui-Gon had no need to be concerned. His dying wish had been that Obi-Wan train Anakin Skywalker, and the now Master-less Jedi would uphold that at any cost. Qui-Gon had meant the world to him, and therefore he would never go back on his oath. If you wish it, Master, than it will be my creed to live by. As these words echoed in Obi-Wan's mind, he felt almost as if this moment, this funeral was shared only between him and Qui-Gon. Yes, there were shadowed Naboo guards stationed around the pyre, as well as Queen Padmé Amidala, Senator Palpatine, an assortment of Gungans, and Jedi Masters Yoda and Mace Windu.
There was the boy, too, Obi-Wan realized. He watched Qui-Gon burn with a surprisingly resilient yet sad expression on his innocent little face. This boy, Anakin Skywalker, had supposedly single-handedly destroyed the Trade Federation's main battleship, though that was more than a little difficult to believe. Obi-Wan himself had analyzed a sample of his blood, revealing it to have a midi-chlorian count higher than he would have imagined possible. He had heard tales of the child winning a pod race in order to help others, selflessly concocting a plan to get the Naboo royalty and two Jedi off of Tatooine, tearing himself away from his mother when told to. This boy was unique in every way. Who else could be selfless enough to do such things?
Anakin was a mystery to Obi-Wan. A fascinating, intriguing mystery. And as time wore on and the pyre's flames raged higher, he found his gaze focused less and less on the dead Jedi Knight and more and more on the quiet little boy, who never fidgeted, never complained of boredom, only stood stoically and waited.
Obi-Wan shook himself, and felt the focus of Master Yoda fall upon him. Unwillingly, he had let his emotions reach out in a shy, curious little tendril, brushing up against the boy, who started.
Shame! He cursed himself. Don't let yourself bend so low. Focus on the present, focus on letting go of Qui-Gon. Don't think of the slave boy. He is to be taken care of later. Not now. Now, you need to address the present issue. The present issue was to let peace fall over him, to not let himself sink into sadness. But there was no sadness to be found inside of him. A strange, different emotion was curling and twisting inside him. It was an odd feeling, almost content, but at the same time adventurous, exciting, something that made his heart pound and his stomach flip.
And then an entirely new thought flitted across his mind.
I'm not going to train Anakin because Qui-Gon told me to.
I'm going to because I want to.