Author's Note: I'll admit, I did not originally intend to wait nearly four months to update this fic. And while I do have 101 reason's why I did not update this fic, I'll not bore you with the overly long explanation. Though, one of the reason's is that I did forget about this fic for a period of time...
Hopefully it will not take me another four months to update this fic, though i can't promise you anything. Also, in a few days I'll be changing the title of this fic to "Through a Mirror Darkly." Once again, I have many reason's for this decision, but I'll refrain from boring you to death.
Disclaimer: If I owned Star Wars, then would I be writing this? Probably not.
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Was this death?
The pain, the pain that had been burning, no, twisting and crawling up his side was gone; completely gone. He could feel no trace of the agony that had swept through him. No shadow of pain was left; just a blurred sense of reality. It was… peaceful. Like coming slowly out of a restful and comforting sleep
Was this death, or was it something else?
The war, the genocide, Mustafar all seemed so distant to him and so vague. Like a dissipating nightmare that was slinking back into the darkness, leavening only frightening remnants and ill feelings. Perhaps if he drifted back into the oh-so welcoming fog he would forget everything. Forget the betrayals and pain. Forget all of the death and his failure.
It was because of his failure that all this had happened. If he had been a better apprentice, a better master and better Jedi than they would still all be alive; Qui-Gon, Siri, Mace…they would all be alive. And Anakin, and perhaps Anakin would have never turned.
But, it didn't matter anymore. It was all over. He had lost. And if he wasn't dead right now, then he was sure to be soon. There was no place for him in this empire of blood and ash. And death was certainly kinder than what horrors awaited him as a captive.
Opening his eyes in surprise, Obi-Wan's gaze darted to his surrounding, or more specifically, the familiar blue eyes that stared at him from above. Gone were any signs of the darkness and evil that had plagued the fallen Jedi. No trace was left of the crimson rivers and sickening yellow that had consumed his eyes. No, now they were that pure sky blue filled with mischief and life that he had not seen for so long.
Pealing his gaze away from Anakin's eyes, Obi-Wan warily took note of his surroundings. He was lying on his back with his head propped up on a pair of knees. The place was achingly familiar. So many afternoons he had spent sparing in this place. And yet, the last time he had seen this room it had been littered with corpses. So many memories, both painful and heartwarming, were present in the temple dojo.
Allowing himself the moment to blink as he attempted to further clear his head of cobwebs, Obi-Wan couldn't help but notice the enormity of people standing around them. Though their faces were still blurred, he could make out familiar voices muttering above him; voices that had been silenced…
"Master Jinn is so going to kill you, Skywalker," a snide but familiar voice said above his prone form.
"I swear that I did nothing Ferus!" Anakin cried with indignation. "He just collapsed! And besides, Qui-Gon wouldn't murder his own apprentice….at least I don't think he would. Obi-Wan never mentioned anything about homicidal tendencies…"
None of this made any sense at all; not at all. Perhaps it was the persistent drumming in his head or his utter confusion, but Obi-Wan allowed himself to momentarily forget about everything and concentrate on just attempting to get up.
Using his forearms, Obi-Wan only managed to raise himself a few inches up before collapsing back into Anakin's lap. His head felt as if a thousand banthas had trampled it. The pounding hammer in his mind was unrelentless and he could feel nausea creeping up the back of his throat. And while he had no idea what dying felt like, what he was experiencing at the moment was very much like the effects of fainting. And besides, death was rumored to be tranquil, not agonizing.
Obi-Wan could have sworn that his headache was steadily increasing from the bickering that was going on above him. "Anakin, Ferus, shut up," he growled. It didn't matter how mind boggling his current situation was. All he wanted was to get rid of the blasted migraine.
Just as he allowed his eyes to drift shut, they snapped back open again. Wait, had he heard that correctly. Had he heard them say 'Qui-Gon'?
An achingly familiar presence kneeled down beside him as Obi-Wan once again closed his eyes. It was so hard to concentrate with the throbbing headache that was afflicting him. All he wanted to do was sleep and forget everything. Forget the war and all the death. And above all, forget the betrayals.
"Obi-Wan," a steady hand gently shook his shoulder "are you alright?"
Alright? Of course he's not alright! The bloody headache and nausea that he was experiencing was only the tipping point. Even now his memories were becoming clearer. Everything had been red. He had just witnessed mass genocide, the betrayal of his best friend and he had just been raked on his side with a lightsaber by said friend. But, of course, he wouldn't admit the fact that he was on the tipping point of a mental breakdown. Nope. Which is why he muttered "fine".
Despite the suffering that he was experiencing, Obi-Wan turned his attention back to the conversation that was taking place around him.
"What exactly happened?" Qui-Gon said, though it obviously wasn't Qui-Gon. No, Qui-Gon was dead. He had held him in his arms as he breathed his last. This must be trick; this whole reality must be a trick. Or it was something to add to his list of highly improbable things.
"We were sparing when he just collapsed." Obi-Wan could easily imagine Anakin's wide-eyed expression as he spoke. "One moment he was about to disarm me and then he was suddenly on the ground!"
"I bet that Skywalker drugged his drink or something," Ferus muttered.
"Ferus, shut it!" Anakin said with a mixture of annoyance and impatience in his voice. "This is not my fault!"
Obi-Wan couldn't help but wince as Anakin's increasingly shrill tone sent new waves of pain through his head. When Anakin had been younger, he had the tendency to increase the pitch of his voice as he got increasingly flustered.
"Whose idea was the sparing match?" the not-Qui-Gon's tone was cold and firm. Much like it was when Qui-Gon had been on the verge of reprimanding Obi-Wan.
"And despite the fact that fact that Obi-Wan was only released from the Healer's a week ago, you still agreed to spar with him?" It was less of a question and more of a calculated and displeased statement.
Resisting the urge to chuckle, Obi-Wan felt a flash of amusement at the image of his dead mentor scolding his former turned-to-the-dark-side apprentice. What ever trap this was, he wasn't going to fall for it. No, he was far too numb. It had already ended on the fiery shores of Mustafar. This was simply some form of punishment. Perhaps it was a trick to make him reveal any information that could be useful to the new Empire. Or maybe it was some obscure reality that his disillusioned mind had somehow managed to create. No matter what it was, he knows one thing for sure: this is not real. Well, he's mostly certain of that at any rate.
He was brought out of his thoughts as he felt strong hands gently help him stand. Almost immediately Obi-Wan felt a surge of annoyance. He fainted, he's not an invalid.
As he was attempting to shrug off the helping hands, Obi-Wan felt the color in his face drain away as his eyes finally gazed upon his old mentor. He should have been expecting this. He had just spent a fair amount of time on the floor listening to this man chide Anakin. And yet, as he finally took in the aged and weary face with the further graying hair he began to consider the possibility that perhaps this is real.