A/N And, finally, at Revenge of the Sith with "Shattered." Poor Obi, I really do have to feel bad for the guy. Right. Anyway. Please, please review, and I hope you enjoyed this little arc of one-shots!
Disclaimer I don't own Star Wars or any associated characters, events, etc.
To be a good Jedi is to not love. Never love. Love is something unpredictable and uncontrollable, something that can't be factored into an equation calculating chances of survival or the probability of winning a fought-over planet. It consumes the mind of its bearer, twists their lightsaber-bearing hand aside at the last moment before it plunges into the heart of an enemy. It extends that same hand, which is now weaponless, leaving the path clear for a laser beam to arch through a chest, tear out its prize of life, and leave triumphantly. It boosts the confidence of the weak, so that even when they are hopelessly, endlessly outnumbered, they will rise up and fight, resulting yet again in their death. It drags one closer and closer to another's sickbed, until they are on it, in it, surrounded and enveloped by the deadly virus that will then seep into them, poison them, so that death can cackle and swipe away the heart's beating once again.
There were a thousand or more ways that love could kill. It was more dangerous than any Sith Lord or Separatist, for when there was love, there didn't need to be an opposing party. With the assistance of love, friend could kill friend. This could not happen to one of the guardians of the galaxy. Not a proficient one. Not one who could be admired, elected to the Council, voted to lead countless missions, to kill the Separatist General Grievous, to kill the Sith Lord Darth Vader.
It couldn't happen.
So why did it?
Why? Obi-Wan Kenobi asks himself again and again as he takes the last few steps towards Padmé Amidala. She watches him with cautious brown eyes, so large and warm in her beautiful, pale face. Obi-Wan could see why Anakin fell in love with this face. It would be impossible not to, for someone as weak-resolved as his former Padawan. Weak-resolved? What are you saying? This was the man who had killed children with the very lightsaber Obi-Wan used to tease him about losing. This was the man who betrayed the Republic and enforced the tyranny of Darth Sidious. This was the man who turned on and murdered Jedi Master Mace Windu.
This was also the man who Obi-Wan had fought with—not against, but with—across the galaxy, time and time again, for thirteen years since that first night when they had stood in silence before the burning, flickering corpse of Qui-Gon Jinn.
The man whom he had been through more than anybody else with.
His son, his brother.
And, beyond all that… something else. Something that he couldn't put a name to, not right now, as he speaks softly with Amidala about the person who he needed to find. Needed to kill.
They called him Darth Vader.
But he wasn't Darth Vader. He wasn't Darth anything. Obi-Wan remembered the last time he had seen those blue eyes, bidding him farewell as he departed for Utapau. A little darkened, a little troubled. But they weren't Sith eyes. They weren't exactly Jedi eyes, either, but that was irrelevant. They were the eyes of a friend. And that was what mattered. There had been no Darth Vader. Not then, not ever.
The Chosen One.
Amidala denies that Anakin ever did a thing, denies that he killed those younglings, denies that he turned Sith. And, in his mind, Obi-Wan is screaming the same thing. Yes, Padmé! Yes, you're right! Of course it's impossible. Of course he couldn't have done something like that. Chancellor—Emperor—Palpatine must have done something to the security tapes, superimposed Anakin's face over that dark creature. It can't be him. There's no way.
But, since he is a Master Jedi, he can't say these things. He can't reveal the truth: that, despite his best intentions, despite trying so hard, despite all his years and years of training, his well-structured, organized mind is in chaos.
Anakin is gone.
There is only Darth Vader.
The one I must kill.
But Padmé isn't telling where he is. She's devoted. More than me. She's loyal to him, not about to give anything about him away. So Obi-Wan stands, defeated, and starts towards his speeder. But not before he hesitates, staring straight out at the cheerful surface of Coruscant, and asks softly,
"Anakin is the father, isn't he?"
Padmé nods. He knows she does. And that's when something inside of him twists, hard, and the delicate part of him that has endured so much is launched away, crashing to the floor, shattering into thousands of piercing shards. Something that can never, ever be repaired. He bows his head, staring at the ground, as his blood pulses twice as heavily as before.
"I'm so sorry," he says, but this is spoken coldly, differently, because that fiery little glasswork inside of him is gone. Gone. It's not coming back.
This is good now, he thinks simply. I can finally be the Jedi I was meant to be. There's nothing left.
But that is a lie. It will always be a lie.
Even as he first stares into the golden glow of Vader's eyes on Mustafar…
When he gives the blow that severs all of the Sith's natural limbs…
When he turns dejectedly away one last time…
When he watches Padmé give birth to the twins…
When he delivers Luke to Owen and Beru…
When he reencounters him for the first time, as an adventurous four-year-old…
When he rescues the boy from the Sand People, who murdered his grandmother…
When he hands over the lightsaber he'd lifted from the gravel at the lava planet…
When he says softly, "You must learn the ways of the Force if you are to come with me to Alderaan…"
When he sets off alone down the Death Star's corridors…
When he sets his eyes on the man he loves for the first time in nineteen years, hidden behind a dark mask…
And when the final blow is struck, the one that shows how Anakin is truly gone, truly consumed, how he will never, never truly be back.
All this time, it will be a lie.