A Master's Return
Obi Wan walked through the Jedi Temple, his thoughts scattered, much like the people in the temple on that early Friday morning, trying to find the peace that had once come so easily to him upon entering the sacred grounds, and had once been so familiar to him, but now seemed to escape him, eluding him like smoke.
Now no longer a Padawan, but a Jedi Knight, he thought that he would feel different…or at least he had expected to have a new perspective on life, but nothing had changed.
He had not become a Knight in the way that he had wanted to, and, if he were being totally honest with himself, he was still grieving Qui Gon's death and not truly focused on his Knighthood.
It did not feel as though it had happened weeks ago, but more as though it had happened mere seconds earlier.
During the weeks following his Master's death, Obi Wan had been trying to come to terms with his emotions. At first, they had been mixed and jumbled, something he was not comfortable with as a Jedi, but Healer Tara had explained to him that what he was feeling was called "survivor's guilt."
It was eating him up inside…and he almost didn't want it to go away.
It was all he had left.
It was the only emotion that made any sense to him.
He clung to it tightly, desperate to keep it with him. But as he did, depressing thoughts constantly plagued him…
If only I had encountered the Sith on my own, I could have defeated him before we had met him together…If only I had been a little bit faster, Master Qui Gon would not have died…I could have saved him…I could have saved him…
But he hadn't.
He had, however, killed his Master's murderer, the unknown Sith Lord, and that was the one of the few reasons why the Council had foregone giving him the trials and immediately promoted him to Jedi Knight.
When they had first told him that they were going to go ahead and make him a Knight, he hadn't wanted to accept it, thinking that the only reason why they were moving him up in rank was simply because his Master had died, but then they had told him that even if Qui Gon hadn't passed on into the force, they would have promoted him anyway simply because of the fact that he had defeated a Sith Lord.
Master Windu had said that it took a Jedi of Master skill to achieve that kind of accomplishment, and then they had implied that he would promoted again shortly after.
So, Obi Wan wore the title, but where he had once been thrilled at the prospect of having the privilege of wearing the title of Knight, now all that he felt was loathing.
Wearing the title, to him, felt like a mockery, a joke, an insult to Qui Gon's memory.
Still reflecting on this thought, he looked up and was surprised to find himself at one of the private meditation gardens. He hadn't even been aware that his feet were leading him there. He had been so lost in his thoughts that he'd simply gone on automatic.
There was sand on the ground, interspersed with stones and low green shrubs, and it was encircled by a tall, slate wall.
His feet had taken him to where he'd gone every Friday morning with his Master.
A favorite of his.
At being in a place that he closely associated with himself and his now deceased Master, his emotions threatened to overwhelm him. He dropped to his knees, placing clenched fists on his robe covered thighs, trying to contain the anger and grief that rushed to the surface and threatened to escape from him.
He clenched his jaw and closed his eyes, trying to clear his mind; to find serenity…but, of course, it would not come.
Instead, he felt burning tears escape through his tightly closed lids and run down his face, landing on his still tightly clenched fists.
As if his tears were keys, he fingers slowly unlocked themselves and he brought his hands to his face, covering it as he began to openly weep, wrenching sobs shaking his usually solid frame.
It was as though it had all rushed to a head in that moment. The dam of walled up emotion was finally breaking and he could not stop it from flowing. It was painful, brutally so, and he could feel an uncontrollable wave of the force shake him and flow into the garden around him.
And then his real emotion began to surface…the real reason why he was so angry…
Why haven't you visited me, Master? Was I that bad of a student? Did I not meet your expectations? I killed the man who killed you and I feel no guilt about it…and I am afraid that it might take me down the wrong path. Is that why you won't see me?
As the questions ran through his head, he tried to reassure himself by repeating what Master Windu and Master Yoda had both told him about Jedis who returned to the force.
"Strong, your bond with your Master was, young Kenobi, but tempestuous was it, too," had said Master Yoda, leaving Obi Wan even more confused.
His and Qui Gon's relationship had been rocky at first, as Qui Gon had not initially wanted him as an apprentice, but then they had become very close, and through Qui Gon he had learned to question everything; if you wanted to know, ask enough questions and you will find the truth. And so, he had constantly used it against his Master to question his teachings and authority. To anyone else, it would seem that they never agreed on anything, but for his Master he had always taken pride in the fact that his Padawan was not simply a blind follower, but sought truth for himself.
Master Windu had said, "Whether or not he comes to you is entirely dependent on how strong your bond was as Master and Padawan. Even if he does not appear, take solace in the fact that he is one with the force and has found peace, and no longer dwells on the things of the world…"
So Obi Wan now tried to use these two things to calm him, to center himself, but found that they didn't help.
He was gone.