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Afterlife

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 “Master... “ A small voice sounded from the door of Obi-Wan’s bedroom. “Master, are you awake?” 

Obi-Wan rubbed a hand over his face, already knowing what Anakin wanted. Rolling over Obi-Wan turned to face the little blonde boy who stood at his doorway. “Yes, Anakin.” 

Anakin just stood there for a second, looking a little awkward and fiddling with his sleep shirt. After a while of just standing there, the boy finally spoke up. “I can’t sleep.” 

Obi-Wan had already known what was going to happen the moment he sensed Anakin at the door. It was almost every night now that the 9-year-old would be at his door telling Obi-Wan he had another nightmare. Obi-Wan sat up in bed reluctantly and crossed his legs in front of him, patting a spot on his bed Anakin could sit on. Immediately the little boy bolted to the spot on Obi-Wan’s bed sat down in front of him, smile present on his face. Anakin began bouncing up and down on the bed, it seemed even in the middle of the night the boy had built up energy. Obi-Wan barely resisted the urge to roll his eyes when he put a hand on the boy’s shoulder so he would stop bouncing and calm down, he tried not to let his amusement for Anakin’s never-ending energy show through their bond. “What’s wrong Anakin?” Obi-Wan asked seriously. 

“I told you, I can’t sleep,” the boy responded.  

“And why is that?” Obi-Wan asked as he ran a hand through Anakin’s hair. Anakin just looked down shyly. “Did you have another nightmare?” Obi-Wan asked comfortingly. 

“Ya, It just helps whenever I get to lay with you so-” Anakin was cut off by Obi-Wan before he could finish. 

“Anakin, It’s okay,” Obi-Wan said as he put a hand on the Anakin’s shoulder. The boy seemed to calm down a little under his touch before looking up at him with that familiar, bright smile on his face. 

“Whatever you say, Obi,” Anakin said before already getting himself under Obi-Wan’s covers. 

Obi-Wan had to stop himself from rolling his eyes, that nickname was really going to get old. Before Anakin could get all the way under the covers though Obi-Wan grabbed his arm to stop him. Anakin looked at him confused. “Anakin, just remember you can talk to me about anything, okay.” 

Anakin just looked at him a little confused and a little annoyed before replying. “Okay.” After that Anakin just burrowed further into Obi-Wan’s covers. 

Sighing, Obi-Wan got in after him. He just wanted to remind Anakin that he would always be there for him if he needed it. He already cared a lot for this boy, a little too much. It was almost worrying how much this boy had grown on him, Obi-Wan knew he would have to spend a few nights meditating about this like Qui-Gon had taught him to do whenever his emotions get the better of him. Smiling, Obi-Wan laid down under the covers. He had only laid there for a few seconds before he felt a pair of small hands wrap around his waist. Obi-Wan gasped, “What are you doing?” 

“Hugging you,” Anakin said as if it were obvious. 

Obi-Wan tried to turn around to look at Anakin but found that he was stuck. “I know that, but why?” 

Anakin just made a giggling noise behind him. “Because I want to.” Obi-Wan sighed, that didn’t exactly answer his question but he would just have to go with it. Obi-Wan let out another sigh and was about to accept his fate and get comfortable when Anakin spoke up again hesitantly behind him. “Do you not want me to hug you? I can stop hugging you.” 

Anakin made to pull his arms away but Obi-Wan stopped him. “No, you can hug me, I’m not upset. It’s just, been a while since I’ve gotten a hug, I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t mean to sound upset Anakin.” Obi-Wan felt a wave of happiness from Anakin run through their bond. 

“Then I’ll make sure to give you lots of hugs Master!” Anakin seemed very pleased with himself. 

Obi-Wan tried not to sigh again, that’s not at all what he meant. “Goodnight Anakin.” 

“Goodnight Master,” Anakin said a little more awake than he should be. Obi-Wan just smiled, he didn’t say anything else because he didn’t want to hurt the boy’s feelings, and it’s not like the hug Anakin was giving him felt bad. Finally relaxing, Obi-Wan let his eyes go shut with the feeling of Anakin’s arms around him.  

 

***

 

When Obi-Wan woke up he groaned. The darkness that surrounded his vision cleared as he slowly opened his eyes. The room he saw was similar enough but it wasn’t the same, it would never be the same. Obi-Wan sat up and looked around his darkroom. He was the only one here, he was alone, he was always alone. 

He could feel those familiar tears fill up his eyes before making their way down his cold cheek. He knew the reason he was alone, he was certain it was his fault. 

Oh Anakin, what have I done to you, Obi-Wan thought. Images of a man in dark robes and yellow eyes stared back at him. Lava flowing around them in all directions as the man he had once loved lunged at him. Obi-Wan couldn’t stop himself from hearing the sound of Anakin’s pained screams as they filled every corner of his empty room. He couldn’t stop hearing the way Anakin screamed at him, he couldn’t pretend it wasn’t him Anakin hated. 

Panic began to bubble up in Obi-Wan and he bolted out of bed. He didn’t want to see this again, he didn’t want to go through this. He ran to the bathroom, falling to the floor on the way there. Quickly getting to his feet Obi-Wan made it to the bathroom and held himself up using the sink, making sure he avoided looking into the mirror.  

He didn’t want to look at the sad old man he knew would look back at him. The man who had failed the most important person in his life, the man who had spent half his life alone on Tatooine watching a little boy he wasn’t even allowed to talk to, the man who had been killed by the one person he loved the most.

He knew he shouldn’t focus on the past, it wasn’t the Jedi way, but the Jedi were dead and so was he. He had never thought someone could be so miserable in the afterlife. He had never thought someone could feel an emotional pain so intense that at moments they could no longer breathe. Oh Anakin, oh Anakin, if only I could have saved you, the thought played over and over in Obi-Wan’s mind. He was ashamed of his failure, Anakin had deserved a better Master than him. 

Obi-Wan tried his best to push all his thoughts back. He knew he couldn’t stand here forever, he would have to face himself eventually. Gaining up the courage Obi-Wna looked up at the mirror and immediately regretted it. 

The man he knew would look back did and the worst part was he recognized him. The sad old man was him, he had the ability to be any age he liked in the afterlife, and yet he chose to stay like this. He chose to stay like this because he deserved it, he deserved to be reminded of his failure every time he looked in the mirror. 

Obi-Wan watched as those familiar tears continue to fall down his face. 

“Oh Anakin, please come back to me.” 

It was at this moment that Obi-Wan felt it. It was a presence he hadn’t felt in a very long time, a presence he thought he would never feel again. The moment he had felt it Obi-Wan knew it was Anakin’s. There was one problem though, it was dying.