Title: Road to Perdition
Author: A.j. (a.j.@the-family-archives.com)
Rating: R for content and language.
Archiving: If you want it? Take it.

Author's Notes: This story is something of a hybrid. It started a very
long time ago with one of the challenges posted at "Alternate Universe".
I believe it was the one that involved Amidala's reflection on her pregnancy
and/or the one where Obi-Wan was the father of Luke and Leia. At any rate,
this is the result of about six months of thought and speculation.

This story was also loosely based on another fic from an entirely different
fandom. Quite a bit of time ago, I read a wonderful story entitled "Memorex"
by Nicole Anell. (http://www.ficorama.net/fic.htm#nicole) It's a "Roswell"
story that just left me gasping. I hope this little offering does the
original even vague justice.

Finally, I wanted to say that it was rather hard, with the way George Lucas
has set things up, to fit Obi-Wan as the twins' father. I decided that
being vague was the easiest route to follow. I also wanted to apologize
about the distinct lack of real shippiness. This is a rather dark piece,
but then, if you think about it, the Star Wars world is a rather dark place.

***

Road to Perdition
By A.j.

***

You burned today. It's rather fitting, isn't it?

You lost. You died. You burned. Goodbye you.

At least, that's what Obi-Wan has been able to choke out. He's asleep now,
his dreams fitful, but his body too exhausted to do anything but rest. I can
hear him moving from out here in the lounge.

We both have a hard time sleeping these days, Anakin. I don't know what
dreams or memories cause your old mentor to scream. We don't talk about
that. We don't really discuss much of anything. Then again, we never really
did talk all that much, Obi-Wan and I. I know why that is. When we finally
did talk, before everything got so complicated, I was surprised to see how
much he and I have in common.

It was so strange to realize that. He's a lot like you, Anakin. Did you
know? Did you know that all that frustration and anger you were
carrying around didn't just leave a heavy toll on you? Did you know that he
was just as frustrated and scared as you? Did it even matter?

I don't think it did. No, I don't because you were too self-involved to
notice, weren't you?

No, Anakin, we don't even talk about you. I think, in some ways, that would
be letting you win another battle. Because things have changed, haven't
they? Somehow, you've changed things so that you are the most important
issue in the universe right now. But mentioning you, discussing the huge
problem that you've become... It's like letting you win. So we don't talk
about you.

We do other things instead. We play saabac or ykaat or eat. We're lovers
now. Did you know that before you fell in that pit? Could smell me on him?
Did it enrage you? Did that last bit of goodness in you die because you
saw me in his mind? Did you see me through his eyes? Screaming his name?
I hope you did.

We don't talk about you, Anakin. But we think about you. At least, *I*
think about you.

We were the great exception, weren't we Anakin? We were the couple that
would prove that Jedi could love. That they SHOULD love. We were so smart
and careful and perfect in our naiveté. At least that's what I thought we
were. Were we? Honestly?

Maybe.

I remember how I felt when I was around you. It was like there was this huge
hole in me that *needed* to be filled, and only you could do it. You were
the air I breathed, and my ending. My rest, my very being. You were my drug,
Anakin, and I just couldn't stop taking you.

My body. My heart. My soul.

Those were things that belonged to me once. I knew who I was, though I may
not have liked it. I was a senator for a world that needed me. I had a
life. It was empty, but it was there. I knew it even before you dropped
back into my world. I was content though. What more was there for me? I
had been queen. I once wielded almost supreme power over the lives of
millions. What more was there, after all? A home? A family?

It all seemed so small in comparison.

But everything changed, didn't it? Or was it ever really what I thought?
Ever?

It doesn't seem like it now.

You were so different, you know? So opposite from absolutely everything I've
ever known. You were so intense and serious, but you could laugh at the
smallest thing. Life fascinated you in every way. You haven't left me.
Sometimes, when I'm reading or doing something quiet, I have this feeling
that you're going to spring out of nowhere, eyes bright and teeth flashing at
some inner joke.

You made laugh. You loved to get me giggling at the worst possible times.
You were like that. Always trying to get me to rebel, just a little. A push
here, a tug there. There was so much joy in you sometimes. I couldn't help
but join you in it.

You were always so amazing at knowing just when I was feeling down or too
enclosed. You could always draw me out. That was real. At least, I hope it
was.

I remember your mother. She was a wonderful woman, Anakin. So strong
despite everything. She wanted a better life for you. I think about her a
lot now. I think, more than anything, her death is what changed you so much.
Before she died, you weren't so focused. So closed. No, before she died, I
could still see the little boy I'd known so long ago in your eyes.

I don't know what to think about you now, Anakin. So much has changed from
those early days on Naboo. I look back sometimes and just don't know if all
that was us. Was it? Did we fight in a colloseum? Was it us that survived
while so many died? Was it me who said I love you? Did we marry?

Why *did* we marry, Anakin?

Maybe I loved you. Maybe that great huge thing in me was love in its most
elemental form. I love you. I loved you. That seems right.

But what did I love?

Yes, you were funny and smart, and amazingly strong. You were an Original in
the universe, my husband. So wonderfully powerful, but so vulnerable. You
were a child Anakin. That was how I saw you when we met again. A little
boy, grown, but not yet out of childhood. When did that perception change?
Was it even my observations that changed it? Or was it you?

It scares me to ask that question. Almost as much as what you're doing now
scares me. You told me once that you wouldn't use your abilities on me
because only those with weak minds were susceptible. I believed you because
I could remember that sweet little boy who left his mother behind to do
something great. But that image went away, Anakin. Somehow, in that short
time away from time, you changed in my mind.

What had been an appreciation for the way you'd grown altered into something
different. More primal. When I looked up at you, that first time, Naboo's
sun shining on your golden hair, I didn't know what possessed me to reach up
and kiss you.

Maybe I know now.

Everyone on this ship is so careful right now. So cautious about how to
treat me. You broke me, Anakin. Didn't you know that? Your betrayal, your
death, your defection. You took my poor little heart and broke it in two big
pieces. Obi-Wan could not even look me in the eye when he came back. He
blames himself, much like you did, for what is happening.

People are dying, Anakin. But you know that don't you?

I'm changing Anakin. Do you know that? Do you even care?

It's strange, being here. Being this new thing. I hated Obi-Wan for a very
long time. He would have come between us. Destroyed what we had. I can't
remember how many times you told me that. Or that he was holding you back,
keeping you from what you were becoming. You were so angry at him, Anakin.
So pained. Everything he did seemed to go against everything in you. And
so, like any good wife, I took your side. You were my husband and he was
hurting you. How could I not despise him?

It wasn't always like that. I think you know that better than most. On
Coruscant, the first time we all met again, I did not hate him. He meant
little more to me than an extra headache. So many things I needed to do back
then. So many duties and responsibilities. It seemed like everyone and
everything needed something from me. The senate and that assassin were no
different. They needed my time and my service and my death.

I was glad to see you though. Both of you. Obi-Wan and Anakin, the saviors
of my world. So alike in my eyes. The very models of Jedi Master and
Padawan.

You were both so handsome.

I know that now. I was attracted to Obi-Wan, Anakin. Did you know that?
Could you sense that fleeting shot of interest? I think you did. And I
think that is one of the reasons you hated him so much. Because it was not
you who caught my eye first.

But how could it have been? The last time I'd seen you, you were a child. A
boy no more than eight. A part of a very painful time in my life; a reminder
of war.

You told me you dreamed of me. I dreamed of you too, Anakin. But unlike
your fantasies of pleasure and joy, my dreams were of pain. Death. Maybe my
mind was trying to tell me something.

I burned the charm you made me three years after you originally left Theed.
I did it to try and forget you and both of your masters. It did not quite work.

I told Obi-Wan about that the first time we had sex.

When, you ask. When did your perfect wife forsake her husband for the
comforting arms of your master? Was it on the wedding night? Or the day
after? Immpossible. No, my husband, it was the day after you burned my
world.

Didn't think I knew it was you, did you?

I knew, Anakin. I knew it in my bones. How could I not? I know you. I've
known you closer and better than anyone else. Because we're connected aren't
we, Anakin? You and I. Closer than you and your mother or you and Qui-Gon or
even you and Obi-Wan. I was your tether to reality, and you? You were my life.

But I wasn't yours, was I? No, that was your other master. The one with black
robes and cunning whispers.

To tell the truth, I don't know how I came to Obi-Wan's bed. It wasn't something
that was planned. All I remember is crying in his arms as we watched Naboo burn.
Even from space, I could almost hear the screaming. And Obi-Wan... I don't know
how he could have withstood that.

The Force binds all life, you once said. The Jedi feel it constantly. And through
the Force,
Jedi are connected to all living things.

The next thing I knew, my mouth was on his and we were clinging... survivors of
something horrid, seeking comfort. He gives me comfort, Anakin. He makes me feel
safe. He always did.

I'd forgotten that.

I think I've forgotten a lot of things.

And I think a lot of that is your fault.

I also think, that underneath everything, before everything, I was always attracted
to Obi-Wan. He's a beautiful man, and extremely kind. There's something here,
Anakin. I think it was always there. And I think you knew that.

But you wanted me, didn't you? And you always got what you wanted. So you took
those thoughts away and made me notice you instead.

And I hate you because you took away my ability to choose.

I hate you.

I hate you.

Hate leads to the darkside, he says. You said. Every Jedi I've ever met has
said that to me, or mentioned it in passing at some point. Even the all-
hailed Qui-Gon Jinn muttered something about it at one point or another.

But I am not a Jedi, am I Anakin? If I had been, maybe I would have realized
that this sucking need *wasn't* love. It wasn't even me. It was you Anakin.
Just like everyone else, you needed something from me too. And just like the
senate and that assassin from so long ago, you took it. But this was
different, Anakin. You took my mind and my feelings and you changed them.
You needed so desperately for me to love you that you made me do it.

So many people were shocked when you turned. Thinking back, that was a
rather stupid reaction for them. There was something wrong with you, Anakin.
We'd been reintroduced for less than a single day, and I somehow knew that.
You unsettled me. Later, after our marriage and before you started showing
so many obvious signs, I blamed those feelings on a reluctance to fall in
love. That wasn't it though, was it? I was right the first time, wasn't I?

You were already on your path the day we met again. Our marriage was just
another helping hand on a downfall in progress. That isn't to say that you'd
become evil yet. No, I don't think you had. There was still some good in
there. You did try to save your mother. But that didn't save you, did it
Anakin?

No, I think that was the first truly evil thing you ever did. I killed them
all, you said. No, it wasn't the lava that burned your goodness away, was
it? It was that night in the desert. Your lightsaber flashing as one after
another fell.

Women and children you said. It didn't matter.

It did matter, Anakin.

Women and children.

How prophetic was that?

Obi-Wan did not tell you I was pregnant, did he? No, I don't think he did.

Because if he had, you would have killed him right there. You would be
chasing me, my husband. And I know that if you ever did start chasing me,
there's no where in this universe I could hide.

You're too much of a child to let me go.

I did think you would have been a good father. Before. You wanted children
badly, didn't you? I can still remember that vulnerable look on your face
just after we talked about it that one time. It was a need in you, just
like everything else, that I don't think I quite understood.

Maybe that's what's at the heart of our little drama, Anakin. I don't
understand what you need. And you? You didn't understand what I needed.
You just thought you did.

And I think I let you.

I want to tell you one more secret, my dear husband. You haven't
destroyed me. You haven't even broken my heart. No, you've done nothing but
let me go. Finally.

I do remember you laughing Anakin. At night, when I dream, I remember your
eyes when something made you particularly amused. I think I did love that
look.

I love you.

I loved you.

I hate you.

So now I have two Anakins in my head. I have the man that I married, this
hazy misty outline that I'm not entirely sure ever existed, and this dark
painful one. I don't think either one is quite you. No, I think that if
I cut those two images up and put them back together, that would have been
closer to the truth.

But you've died, haven't you? That composite little you is gone. There's
nothing left but my memories and Obi-Wan's screams. And my children.

I want you to know something else. These children I bear? They aren't
yours. No, Anakin. I've finally taken something away from you. And even
though no one, not even they, will ever know, I am telling you this because I
need to. They are the children of the one man you hate most in the universe.
They are Obi-Wan Kenobi's.

You have no idea how happy I am about that.

It isn't because I love him, per se. Maybe I could have, if things had
followed their own course. I remember feeling something for him that day on
Coruscant. I remember being ever so nervous as he smiled at me. But you
changed those feelings, didn't you? You took them away. So no, Anakin, I
don't think I love him. But that is more because I have no idea what love
actually is.

He doesn't know that these two are his. Ironic, isn't it? He is
doing everything in his power to protect me and my children from you, but not
because we're his. No, he's doing it because it's the right thing to do. It
may be because he loves me. Unlike you, I do not have the ability to invade
peoples minds or thoughts. He might love me. He may just be using me. But
I cannot say anything about that. I'm using him.

But that doesn't change the fact that these children are his. Nor does it
change the fact that I can never tell him. Because even though you burned,
your body did not die. The thing you've become is still alive and it is bent
on finding his blood. Any of his blood. And if it happens to run in the
veins of my children?

That would make it even sweeter for you, wouldn't it?

Well, I won't let that happen. This is my choice, Anakin. What is left of
the Jedi Council believes these children to be yours. They never even
questioned it. Powerful, these two, they said. Only the children of Anakin
Skywalker could be this strong. I am more than content to let them believe
this lie. Why? Because even if you find them, they won't die.

Because that's the one thing in this universe bigger than your evil. Your
ego. Oh, I'm not naïve. I know that if you ever get your hands on these two
little beings, you'll do everything in your power to corrupt them. But
they'll be alive. They'll live out their lives umarred and perfect save for
the flaws you will instill. And in the end, it will only be you who is
responsible. But they'll live. Because, my husband, where there is life,
there is hope.

That's why I find it rather telling that you have died.

Maybe you aren't evil, Anakin. Maybe, underneath it all, that little boy I
still remember is alive. But you know what? I don't care. My life is my
own again and no matter how badly or well it turns out, it's mine. Mine and
my children's. Maybe even Obi-Wan's.

But it isn't yours. Never again.

-end-