Five Time Anakin Skywalker
(And One Time He Didn't)
And if the
narrowing of her eyes is any indication, she knows it. But she
doesn't say anything because that
would be against the unspoken rules of this dangerous game they play.
she says pointedly, huffing with considerably more exasperation than
She brushes past
him again to grab the shawl she
accidentallyonpurpose forgot. He's
standing too close again. As she
reaches around him to grab the flimsy
scrap of material, their bodies rub together.
Her neck and shoulders are bare and she can feel the moist heat of his
breath against her skin, raising tiny goosebumps.
She knows how
stupid and reckless this behavior is, but she
can't stop. She doesn't want to
stop. She loves the way the pit of her
stomach tingles when he looks at her. He's
a Jedi and she's a Senator and this is so
And she especially
hates the way that makes it even more
His hand closes
around her wrist, stopping her from
retreating, pinning her between his body and the villa's wall.
He's not holding her tightly. If she pulled harder, he would
go. But she doesn't pull harder and he
doesn't let go.
He leans in
closer and she forces herself to not meet his
gaze. She stares blindly out the open
door, across the veranda, not seeing the sparkling water beyond.
His lips press against the sensitive spot
behind her ear and her whole body shivers.
His voice is soft and so full of longing and dammit, she wants this.
She wants him.
wants to stop putting her own wants and needs last. She wants to
forget duty and the Republic and
the Jedi Order.
But it has never
been about what she wants.
She pulls away,
avoiding meeting his eyes. She doesn’t want to see the longing
there. Or the hurt. Or the anger.
"I have to
change," she says.
It's his mantra,
murmured over and over and over and over.
The cloth is not
clean and that's just one more reason to
hate them. Animals. Creatures.
Vermin. They've stripped his
mother of even this final dignity. He
doesn't notice the tears that still stream down his cheeks as he
wraps his mother's abused body.
It's his fault
He's a Jedi. He felt her pain for
weeks. It echoed through him across half
the known galaxy. He ignored it. He ignored his fear.
And now his mother is dead.
He wasn't strong
He chose to ignore his fears, to trust in the will of the Force rather
than using his abilities to save her.
The Force took her from him.
He allowed her
to be taken.
He wasted his
What good are his abilities if he can't keep those he loves safe?
It won't happen
He will find a
Obi-Wan looks at
his apprentice's pale features and knows
that for the first time in a very long while, Anakin truly means his
apology. "You're the one who's wounded, not
me," Obi-Wan says, hoping for some levity.
"Perhaps I should be apologizing to you."
Anakin counters gravely. "You have no reason to apologize to
Obi-Wan lays a
comforting hand on Anakin's uninjured
shoulder. "Have faith,
Anakin," he says. "Dooku is on
the run, but we will find him."
Anakin sighs and
sinks back against the gurney's
mattress. Obi-Wan frowns at his Padawan,
but he cannot fault him for his feelings.
It's true enough that Anakin has always been moody – sadly a trait that
only seems to grow more pronounced with age.
But yesterday, one hundred and seventy-nine of their brethren lost
lives at Geonosis.
These are dark
has been permanently disfigured. Vanity
has always been one of Anakin's greatest failings. Obi-Wan
suspects that Anakin's concern over Senator Amidala's reaction to his
appearance are contributing to his somber mood.
Anakin's voice is quiet and sounds incredibly young.
Obi-Wan looks at him expectantly.
struggling with something.
"Is this about
Senator Amidala?" Obi-Wan
asks. It's quite obvious that something
has occurred between the two, though Obi-Wan would like to pretend
Anakin asks, confused. He catches himself and shakes his head.
No, this isn't about Senator Amidala."
his arms over his chest and looks down at
his Padawan with concern. "What is
says and then stares off into space,
his body filled with nervous energy. His
emotions are a chaotic jumble in the Force.
"On Tatooine …"
"I am sorry about your mother, Anakin," he says softly.
The pain in
Anakin's eyes is difficult to behold. But there's something else
as well … guilt
"It wasn't your
fault, Anakin," Obi-Wan says.
and looks away, his eyes shiny with unshed
tears. He stares out the medical
frigate's portal. "I'm sorry,"
he says quietly, "for so many things."
Anakin says, shaking his head and
rising to pace around Chancellor Palpatine's office. "I didn't
mean to take up so much of
problem, Anakin, I assure you,"
Chancellor Palpatine says kindly. "I'm
glad you trust me enough to confide in me."
look at him.
He looks out the transparisteel window at Coruscant's high traffic air
travel lanes. "I'm a poor
Jedi," he admits.
contrary," Chancellor Palpatine says
firmly, "I believe you to be a very great Jedi, Anakin. Wisdom is
a rare trait among men – even the
Anakin looks at
his mentor warily. Palpatine holds up his hands to silence his
words. "You have great power,
Anakin. Great abilities. It's nothing to be ashamed of.
Those creatures murdered your defenseless
mother. It's only natural that you
should choose to seek vengeance upon them."
He's not sure why he's here. He's
not sure what has compelled him to confess his crimes to Chancellor
when he couldn't even bring himself to admit the truth to Obi-Wan.
tragedy," Chancellor Palpatine
continues, "would be for you to forsake your abilities, Anakin.
The Jedi have such a narrow view –"
Chancellor," Anakin interrupts
abruptly, "but the greater tragedy is
my mother's death. I can think of
Palpatine studies him for a long moment. "If only that were true,
friend," he says softly. "If
only that were true."
say the words aloud, but Master Windu hears
them and clearly understands the truth.
regret it if only because it confirms every fear
Mace Windu ever harbored about him.
Master Windu was right. The
prophecy was wrong.
Anakin is not
the Order's salvation.
He is its
It's not spoken
It's not pressed to her mind through the Force. It is simply his
thought and it will die with
Vader was even
more shocked than Emperor Palpatine to learn
that Anakin Skywalker had a son. The
Emperor believed – as did Vader – that Senator Amidala's child died
her. Luke was proof enough of the error
of that assumption.
But Vader knew a
truth that the Emperor never
suspected. Anakin Skywalker had believed
his wife was carrying a daughter, not a son.
It was Leia's essence he felt all those years ago.
He will die
without ever seeing his daughter and having
known she is his. Instead he will carry
the memories of torturing a willful young Senator, the child of a
enemy. He will remember the grudging
respect he felt for her. He will
remember forcing her to bear witness to the destruction of her
He suspects Leia never will. She
is his child in so many ways.
[ END ]
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