Obi-Wan Kenobi is dead.
Why does that bring me so little satisfaction?
I have hated him for nearly twenty years. With every Jedi I killed, I imagined it was his life I took. I imagined him as I had last seen him: tired, his sweat making his ginger-colored hair stick to his forehead. His Jedi robe lay discarded on the ground and his cream colored clothing was smeared with dirt. And that look in his eyes, a look I have never understood. What was it - grief, anger, or something else?
His eyes had that same look as I struck him down, despite the small smile on his face. I remember it so clearly, the image still fresh in my mind. Cutting him in half, and then his disappearance, which still puzzles me. That blond boy in the hanger bay that I had only gotten a glimpse of - as he had escaped with the princess - and the horrified grief in his shattered scream as Kenobi's empty robe fell to the ground. This new memory should bring me satisfaction, and yet it does not.
Kenobi is dead, the tracking device safely secured on board the princess's ship, and my master is pleased. An eventful day, indeed. I made my way to my quarters, and I enter my sterile world. My quarters are spotless, as always. I permit nothing less; they have to be completely sterile, and so they are. Only a few deaths were needed to teach my subordinates this lesson.
My quarters are all white and black, except for the silver medical equipment. The equipment is one of the few things in my quarters, and takes up most of the space. It is the delicate and extensive machinery that is required to keep me alive. The equipment that keeps my artificial lungs working, and that takes the toxins of my own body out of my blood, as my body is no longer capable of doing these simple things.
Because of Kenobi.
I ignore the medical equipment and the comfort it offers, and walk to another part of my quarters. I look down at an obsidian desk. I ignore everything but a single drawer.
Many years ago, not long after I had realized the truth and left the Jedi, I found a leather-bound journal. It was discarded, lying on the floor of a warehouse used as a haven for the Jedi, when I found it. I flipped it open only one page before I halted, the five handwritten words Property of Obi-Wan Kenobi stopping me. I don't know why his journal was in a hideout of the Jedi, but I knew Obi-Wan was not there, had not been there.
I looked at that first page, and have not looked at it again since.
It has no military value, of that I'm sure. Obi-Wan would never be so sloppy as to put any real information down. It is only his thoughts, his private feelings. I'm not sure why I have felt barred from looking at it for all these years, or why I feel that now is the time to look at it. The look on the blond boy's face creeps into my mind again.
I open to the first page. Property of Obi-Wan Kenobi. I turn the page delicately, aware of the brutal strength I have in my arms and the fragility of the old-fashioned paper.
My Master is dead.
Feeling myself flush and my suit immediately compensate, I quickly flip through about a third of the way through the book, then stop.
Anakin is such a troublesome child.
I feel a fresh rage at these words, at Kenobi's words, but I continue anyway.
He played another prank on me today. A droid dressed in a Jedi's robe, this time. I talked to it for several minutes before I even realized it wasn't a living thing. Anakin, being Anakin, wasted no time at all to tease me about having so little awareness of my surroundings. He's right, of course, but it still irritates me.
I remembered the incident, quite clearly. Obi-Wan had most definitely not been amused with my prank. I flip the page to another entry.
Anakin had an accident with a training lightsaber today, and injured his leg. It must have hurt him pretty badly; he was crying, though he was trying not to show it.
I remembered that day. Yes, I had been crying. However, I was not aware that Obi-Wan knew that. He didn't really seem to notice me all that much, unless he had some duty to perform for me. He was always concentrating on the mission. Duty had been everything to Obi-Wan, no doubt about that.
I brought him to our quarters, helping him walk. I didn't think he would want to be carried, so I didn't ask. I remember how proud I was at that age. I put some ice on the wound to numb it and ease the heat of the burn, and then some bacta to help it heal. I let him get away with not doing his homework, and put him to bed. For once I didn't chastise him about the mess his room is in.
I left, but a few minutes later I found myself coming back. Anakin was asleep. The bond, which we had worked so hard to form, told me that. I walked in, taking care so that Anakin wouldn't wake.
I frown, as I have no memory of his return that night.
I looked down at his young, innocent face, and I realized that I really do love this boy.
I stare at the paper. My heart races, driving breathing to a rate that overrides my suit. I find myself unable to stop reading. I cannot stop, not at this revelation.
In a way, it reminds me of the love I had for Qui-Gon; the love a child has for a parent. But this love for Anakin is infinitely stronger; this love of a parent for his child. I never knew I could love this much. Had Qui-Gon loved me as much as I love Anakin? I knelt by Anakin's bed as he slept, and wondered if Qui-Gon had ever done the same with me.
Qui-Gon had never been overly affectionate towards me. To others, he often appeared cold and uncaring in regards to me, as if they never saw the quick touch to my shoulder, or that small smile that told me he shared my amusement over some situation. Yet he most often showed more concern for the occasional pathetic lifeform he would pick up. It used to bother me that he would show affection for a stranger more easily then he would for his own Padawan.
Now I realize how hard it is to be so vulnerable to someone who knows you and lives with you. To someone that could hurt you so easily. But Anakin was not awake, and I was willing to take advantage of the fact. I slipped closer to him and sighed. I smoothed back his hair, the spikes softly resisting the pressure of my hand. He was so warm, so alive.
I looked at him, and whispered the words I would probably never say when Anakin was awake, even as Qui-Gon might have done with me. "I love you, Anakin."
I really do love this boy.
Full of an emotion that I didn't recognize, I throw the book down. It hit the spotless floor with a thump. I am not satisfied with that.
I use a Force-push, a most effective means to destroy things. The delicate machinery that kept me alive crashed against the far wall with a satisfying sound. The equipment is now in shambles, and I note my destructive capacity with some satisfaction.
It was still not enough. I use the Force to destroy the desk, warping and twisting the dark metal, and I let the darkness fill me - and I find it rejects me, the darkness somehow unable to penetrate my mind and soul completely, as if it had come to a wall. The dark satisfaction of the power it gives me is not present. I stop completely, and become aware that I'm breathing heavily. I should not be. I have not done anything overly strenuous.
The strange emotion fills me again, taking over my soul, until I can feel nothing else. Not even the darkness. I feel suddenly tired. I stagger over to the book, where it still lies on the floor. I pick it up, but don't open it.
The blond boy. I don't know why the Force is prodding me so about him, but it is. I open the book blindly, not looking for any specific page, and my eyes rest on a single part of a single sentence; the grief stricken look of the boy fills my mind. But that image is pushed out, overridden with my own feelings, and all I think of is Obi-Wan, that strange look in his eyes, and those words.
This love of a parent for his child.
And I grieve for the only father that I ever knew.
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