Actions

Work Header

Afterlife

Chapter Text

 “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.

Chapter Text

Obi-Wan. Darth Vader couldn’t believe after all these years Obi-Wan had finally gained up enough courage to confront him.  He even found the nerve to confront him on his ship, well ship wasn’t the right word to describe the Death Star, planet destroyer sounded a lot closer. 

A red blade ignited, filling the dark hallway with a bright red glow. Across from him, a familiar blue blade was the only one who challenged the color. 

“Our long-awaited meeting has come at last,” Vader bellowed as he slowly approached the man who held all his hatred, the man who had caused Vader so much pain. Finally, after all these years Vader would kill him, he would get rid of Obi-Wan once and for all. 

Vader stepped closer, knowing Obi-Wan dared not to speak. “The circle is now complete,” Vader continued. “When I left you I was but the learner, now I am the Master.” Vader neared ever closer to his prey. Ready to strike him down the second he moved. 

Obi-Wan did not stay silent again. “Only a Master of Evil Darth.” It was all Obi-Wan could get out before Vader swung at him. His blade clashed with the wall with the sheer force of the swing. The anger and hatred that filled Vader now was only comparable to the last time he had seen Obi-wan. This time he would not lose, this time he would defeat Obi-Wan, and he would kill him. 

Vader continued to swing. In his dreams he had imagined going easy on Obi-Wan at first, gently getting harder and harder until Obi-Wan could not keep up. But now, now Vader couldn’t hold back. Each swing was more rage and hate-filled than the last and it left scorch marks on the wall next to him every time as he backed Obi-Wan farther and farther down the imperial hallway. 

The only noises that filled the room were the sounds of Vaders breathing and Obi-Wan’s blue blade crashing against his red. Few words were said between them as he finally cornered Obi-Wan down by the hanger. 

Vader could tell Obi-Wan was slowing down, could tell his old Master was getting tired. Vader continued on at full speed, knowing this meant he was winning. 

Vader used the force to push Obi-Wan to the ground and was about to swing when Obi-Wan pushed him back with the force as well. As he watched Obi-Wan get back up he froze. The force fogged up his sight and visions of red lava-filled his senses as Vader could now hear his own screams of agony as he saw himself burning next to a river of lava. Above everything else he could hear Obi-Wan’s voice, Obi-Wan telling him he loved him. 

For a second, just a second, Vader stopped. He stopped and thought, thought on everything he and Obi-Wan had been through, on every mission and every battle they fought alongside each other on. As quickly as they had come through the visions disappeared, and Vader was once again filled with blinding rage for the old, broken man before him. 

Obi-Wan got back to his feet and reignited his lightsaber. There was a determined look in his eye, something Vader hadn’t seen in a very long time. “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” More rage filled Vader at Obi-Wan’s comment. Vader wondered if that was supposed to be some kind of threat or last attempt to save his life. 

In the end, Obi-Wan’s attempt failed as Vader raised his lightsaber above his head, this was it, the end of the man he had despised for so long. “Now you will die.” That was the last thing Vader said before he swung his lightsaber down and struck Obi-Wan straight across the middle. 

Someone screamed in the hanger but Vader barely paid any mind to it. 

When Vader looked down to only see Obi-Wan’s cloak he was surprised there was no body. He moved his foot over the cloak to feel for anything but there was nothing. Vader just stared, stared at what he had just done, who he had just killed. Vader waited for the feeling of relief to course through him, for all that hatred to finally disappear but he felt neither hatred nor relife. 

Vader felt something he had not felt in a very long time, something he had tried to replace with hate for so long. Sadness, hopelessness, the world around him seemed to shrink to this one cloak in front of him that used to belong to his, friend. Vader was repulsed by this feeling, this wasn’t supposed to happen, he should be glad Kenobi was gone and yet the feeling that filled him up was worse than anything he had ever experienced. It was worse than those twenty years that he spent hating Obi-Wan. Vader’s mind screamed at him, No, NO, NO, This wasn’t supposed to happen. What had he done! 

The feeling Vader felt was remorse. 

 

***

 

Anakin and Obi-Wan stood side by side as they watched Luke celebrate the destruction of the Death Star. Anakin couldn’t be more proud of his son. If it wasn’t for Luke he might have never made it back to the light side of the force, he might have never seen Obi-Wan again. Anakin felt unworthy to have such a wonderful son like Luke. 

The longer Anakin looked at Luke the more emotions he felt out of all of these emotions though one of them was the strongest, love. Anakin loved his son and he was sure he always would, he was sure he would always feel this proud of him every time he heard Luke’s name. 

These emotions just grew stronger when Luke turned to them, finally noticing Yoda, Obi-Wan, and him standing there. A smile formed on Luke’s face as he nodded in their direction. For the first time in a very long time, Anakin felt the beginnings of a smile start to form on his face and that proud feeling stayed with him as he nodded back at Luke. Hesitantly Anakin looked to his side only to see Obi-Wan looking at him, their eyes met and they just smiled at each other. The smile felt so familiar and yet so strange, it had been too long since he’s seen Obi-Wan. 

The moment was short-lived as they both turned their attention back to Luke, both still smiling. Anakin didn’t think he had ever felt this proud for anyone before. How could anyone not be proud of Luke, Anakin was sure Obi-Wan was especially proud of him. For some reason the thought of Obi-Wan being proud of his son made him feel extremely warm inside, Anakin had always loved it when Obi-Wan was proud of him. 

“I’m so proud of him.” Anakin wasn’t exactly sure who he was talking to but he couldn’t hold it in anymore. 

“I am too,” Obi-Wan said, a smile still on his face as well. Anakin turned to him and smiled. It was a nice feeling to know that Obi-Wan was proud of Luke just like he was. They both smiled at each other again but there was something hidden under it. For Anakin, it was the pain of knowing what he had done to Obi-Wan. Anakin turned away before his smile slipped and just stared out into the distance. 

Obi-Wan was the one who had taught him how to become a force ghost. Anakin had felt like he was in a black void and he felt his consciousness slipping away from him when Obi-Wan found him. The moment Anakin had heard his former Master’s voice he tried to apologize, he tried to tell Obi-Wan how sorry he was for everything but Obi-Wan didn’t hear it. Obi-Wan told him he forgave him before Anakin had barely even gotten the chance to apologize. Obi-Wan said that he saved his son and brought balance to the force, that he had already proven himself. None of this mattered to Anakin as he continued to try and apologize but once again Obi-Wan cut him off. He told him that if he wanted to ever see his son again he would have to listen, he said that Anakin was running out of time. So that’s what Anakin did, he listened to Obi-Wan’s instructions to become a force ghost. 

That was all they had said to each other. Anakin didn’t understand why Obi-Wan had helped him. He didn’t understand why Obi-Wan would even talk to him, even more, why he would stand here next to him now and talk with him, even if it was just one sentence. He just didn’t understand how Obi-Wan could even look at him without hating him. The longer Anakin thought about it the more he wanted answers. None of this made any sense, Anakin just didn’t believe it was possible for Obi-Wan to forgive him. 

Anakin took a few deep breaths before finally gaining up the courage to ask him. “Obi-Wan?” Anakin almost immediately regretted saying anything but it was too late now. 

“Yes, Anakin,” Obi-Wan responded. 

Anakin stopped breathing for a second, he was a little more scared to talk with Obi-Wan than he had planned. “Why did you help me?” Anakin was sure Obi-Wan knew what he meant by this. Anakin didn’t understand why Obi-Wan helped him become a force ghost. 

There was a bit of a long silence before Obi-Wan responded. “I helped you because you saved your son and brought balance to the force, you fulfilled your prophecy.” 

Anakin felt a little bit of anger run through him at Obi-Wan’s response. That wasn’t what he wanted to know when he asked the question. Anakin made sure to calm himself before replying. “I know I did. I might not want to be Darth Vader anymore but that still doesn't change what I did in the past.” Anakin’s tone thankfully wasn’t too harsh but he still sounded upset. 

“I know,” that was Obi-Wan’s only response and Anakin once again felt a wave of anger run through him. He calmed himself a little when he remembered where he was. It wouldn’t do him any good to get angry at Obi-Wan, no matter how much it seemed the man was avoiding his question. 

Anakin couldn’t understand why Obi-Wan had helped him so much. Even after everything he did Obi-Wan had chosen to forgive him, it didn’t make any sense. “Then why did you help me see my son again Obi-Wan?” Anakin turned to Obi-Wan and they made eye contact once again. “Why did you chose to help me after everything I’ve done to hurt you?” Obi-Wan just stared at him, saying nothing. The longer Anakin waited for an answer the harder it became to hold back his emotions, eventually, Anakin felt himself snap. “Obi-Wan, I destroyed the entire Jedi Temple, hunted down and killed Jedi for years, hunted you down for years, worked under Palpatine to help rule the galaxy, and that’s not even all of it! I don’t know how you could even stand next to me!” 

Once again the silence returned, this time even worse than before. Obi-Wan and Anakin stared at each other and he felt a pang of guilt hit his heart when he saw something that looked like sadness in Obi-Wan’s eye. He hadn’t meant to make Obi-Wan upset. Anakin reluctantly looked away. Of course, he had only made things worse by yelling. 

While Anakin had been yelling at Obi-Wan he had lost track of where he was. Looking around, Anakin didn’t see Luke anymore. It was good Luke wasn’t by them, he didn’t want his son to hear their conversation. It wasn’t like any living person besides Luke could hear them anyway so as long as Luke wasn’t near them Anakin guessed they were safe . Although they were safe from Luke hearing them Master Yoda on the other hand just sat there the whole time Anakin yelled at Obi-Wan, quietly listening to their entire conversation. Anakin wished it was just him and Obi-Wan but he wouldn’t dare say that out loud, he was lucky to be here in the first place. 

Anakin wondered if Obi-Wan would respond, to be truthful with himself Anakin didn’t think he deserved a response after yelling at the man. Despite this, it only took a few more seconds before Obi-Wan spoke. “I know what you did Anakin, but your fall to the dark side wasn’t all your fault.” 

Anakin looked over at Obi-Wan, a little stunned he had actually answered him. Obi-Wan was looking slightly down with his hands behind his back. Anakin wished that their bond was open so he could feel what Obi-Wan felt. Their bond had been mostly destroyed on Mustafar but always remained a tiny thing in the back of his mind. When Anakin had been Vader he had tried over and over to destroy it but something always kept a little part of it there. In the past It had infuriated Vader, but now Anakin was glad it was there, he hoped maybe one day the bond between them would grow strong again. 

Getting out of his thoughts on the bond Anakin focused all his attention back on Obi-Wan. “What do you mean it wasn’t all my fault?” Anakin asked. 

Obi-Wan continued to hold his head down. “I-I wasn’t the best Master for you Anakin, you obviously needed someone to talk to and I wasn’t…” Obi-Wan took a deep breath, voice shaking a little. “I-I wasn’t there for you. Y-You deserved to have a Master who was more experienced than me, it was too early for me to take on a Padawan.” When Obi-Wan finished speaking it everything went silent once more. The noises of the party near them seemed to fade away and all Anakin could think about was how incredibly sad Obi-Wan looked at this moment. Anakin didn’t need their bond to see the pained expression Obi-Wan was trying to hide. 

Anakin took a deep breath before saying, “If you want me to be honest Obi-Wan, sometimes it was a little hard to talk to you. Most of all It was hard to share my emotions with you.” Although Obi-Wan still didn’t look up Anakin knew the pained expression that was bound to still be on his face. He knew Obi-Wan didn’t deserve to feel this guilt, he had still been a great Master, probably the best he could have had. “In the end Obi-Wan, I made the final decision, that wasn’t your fault.” 

When Obi-Wan looked up at him Anakin longed more than before to see what pain he was hiding behind those blueish-green eyes. They stayed staring at each other for what felt like minutes before Obi-Wan took in a shaky breath and looked back down at his feet. Anakin took that as a sign the conversation they had been having was over. 

Anakin still had a lot of questions. One of his biggest ones was what would happen to him after this. Anakin wondered if he would be sent to be tortured in some kind of hell; he would deserve that anyway, Anakin’s mind supplied harshly. 

Anakin waited a couple of minutes to finally bring the topic up. “Obi-Wan,” Anakin asked.

Obi-Wan replied almost immediately. “Yes Anakin?” 

“What’s going to happen to me?” Anakin looked down at his feet. “Am I going to be....” Anakin paused, he was going to ask Obi-Wan if he was going to be tortured but a new question came to his mind, it seemed a lot more important anyway. “Am I going to be with you?” Anakin knew there was no chance Obi-Wan would be sent somewhere bad so this would answer both of his questions. 

Obi-Wan looked up at him with a confused expression on his face. Anakin also noted a little bit of pink on Obi-Wan’s cheeks that was not there before. “I-If you want to.” Anakin thought Obi-Wan seemed almost shy. 

“You mean I’m not going to be tortured?” Anakin asked. 

Obi-Wan gave him an even more confused look. “How are you so sure I’m not being tortured?” 

Anakin found Obi-Wan’s question amusing. “Really Obi-Wan, how could anyone like you ever be tortured?” Crossing his arms in front of him, Anakin found himself smiling at Obi-Wan’s silly question. 

Obi-Wan’s cheeks got a little bit pinker and he looked down. “Oh,” Obi-Wan responded. “That’s very nice of you to say.” 

Anakin’s smile somehow got even bigger. It seemed he still liked getting a reaction out of Obi-Wan, even though he had no idea why Obi-Wan was getting so bashful over a simple fact. Another pause of silence washed over them but somehow this one felt more comfortable. 

Anakin thought about all the other questions he could ask Obi-Wan, eventually pickling one that probably wouldn’t be too hard for him to answer. “Obi-Wan,” Anakin asked. 

“Yes Anakin,” Obi-Wan responded. Anakin wondered if he had heard the slightest bit of fondness in Obi-Wan’s voice. 

“Why are you old?” It was Obi-Wan’s turn to smile and Anakin watched as the corners of Obi-Wan’s mouth twitched up when he looked at him. ‘No, no, I- that’s not what I meant. What I meant to ask is why you're old and I’m young? Is it because this is what I looked like when I turned to the dark side?” 

“We appear how we wish,” Obi-Wan replied simply. 

“Why do you wish to appear old?” Anakin hadn’t meant for the question to sound rude, he was just curious. Obi-Wan could look however he wanted and Anakin would be fine with it. 

The smile on Obi-Wan’s face faltered as he looked back down at his feet. There was a long pause before Obi-Wan answered, as if he had to think about his answer. “Your son knows me best like this.” 

Anakin smiled a little at Obi-Wan’s answer, that was very sweet of him. “Have you stayed like this the whole time you were in the afterlife?” Anakin asked. 

Obi-Wan just nodded in response. Anakin found it a bit strange that Obi-Wan didn’t decide to look younger when he wasn’t around Luke but Anakin didn’t mind all too much, it was Obi-Wan’s choice anyway. 

Anakin was about to ask another question when Master Yoda finally spoke up. “Speak with you Obi-Wan, I must,” Yoda said. 

Obi-Wan looked down at Yoda a little confused. “Right here?” Obi-Wan questioned. 

Yoda motioned with his hand for Obi-Wan to follow and they walked a little bit of a distance away from Anakin so he couldn’t hear what they were saying. It made Anakin a little curious but it wasn’t any of his business so Anakin went back to watching the crowd of people. He tried to see if he could spot Luke. Although in the end Anakin wasn’t able to find Luke he did find a Wookie that looked oddly familiar, that had to be worth something. 

When Obi-Wan finally walked over to him Anakin could immediately tell something was wrong. Before Anakin could question him though, Obi-Wan spoke. “You're not going to like this very much,” Obi-Wan warned. 

“What is it?” Anakin asked. He wanted to get whatever this was over with. 

Obi-Wan hesitated for a moment before speaking. “Master Yoda told me that a little before you died, a bunch of Jedi all made the decision that they wanted to talk to you if you were to ever make it into the afterlife. They… think you’re a possible threat. From what I was told they know they shouldn’t mess with the force's decision to keep you there but a lot of them seem cautious.” 

Anakin felt worry and fear run through him at the idea of having to talk to a bunch of Jedi. He wondered if Obi-Wan would be there with him. “What about you, are you going to stay with me?” Anakin felt that without someone there to help him he might lose control of his emotions. 

Obi-Wan looked at him with an emotion Anakin couldn’t name. “Yes, if that’s what you want. If you don’t want me there I can leave.” 

Anakin felt himself reach out to grab Obi-Wan’s hand but stopped himself halfway there, putting his hand behind his back instead. “I want you to stay.” Anakin liked the way Obi-Wan smiled at him in response. 

Chapter Text

The afterlife was so similar to the living world. The bright evening sun reflected off the passing speeders as they headed through the city of Coruscant to what looked to be the Jedi temple. Everything here was the same as it had been when he was living, something that was very confusing to Anakin. 

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin questioned as he followed close behind him. 

“Yes Anakin?” Obi-Wan responded. Obi-Wan’s hood was pulled over his head and he kept his eyes on the ground. 

“Why does Coruscant look exactly like it did before the empire? It’s almost exactly how I remember it.” Anakin sped up his pace so he could walk closer to Obi-Wan. 

Obi-Wan slowed down a little so Anakin could catch up. “The afterlife is almost an exact replica of the galaxy, the only difference is that everyone here is no longer living,” Obi-Wan stated matter of factly. 

“If everyone here is dead then why isn’t it overpopulated?” Anakin asked. Common sense told him that the number of dead people far outweighed the ones alive. 

“I-I’m not sure, I wondered that as well when I first got here.” Obi-Wan took a deep breath, it was as if even taking for more than a sentence caused him pain. “I guess it’s how the force willed it to be.” Obi-Wan continued to stare at his boots. Anakin took a note from Obi-Wan and decided to put his hood up as well. It wouldn’t do them any good if someone found out he was Lord Vader. 

As they continued to walk Anakin let his mind wander. There were a few topics Anakin avoided thinking about, the main one being Padme. He couldn’t even let himself consider her yet, thinking about it hurt too much. 

After a while of trying to avoid thoughts of Padme, Anakin eventually found himself centered on Obi-Wan. He still avoided the parts he knew would make him upset but he could at least distract himself with their current situation. He thought about how much Obi-Wan seemed to have changed. Anakin was able to pick out the little differences between the Obi-Wan he knew when he was living and this one. He knew Obi-Wan wouldn’t be exactly like his old self, he was older now and even looked extremely different but that wasn’t what stood out the most to Anakin. Something almost seemed… wrong about Obi-Wan. Like he was hiding something. What bothered Anakin even more was that he couldn’t go searching through their bond for the problem. 

Looking in the back of his mind their bond was shriveled and black, almost broken beyond repair. And yet something kept it alive, even after all the pain and torture it had been through, something kept it in the back of his mind. When he killed Obi-Wan, Anakin remembers how when that sad, broken bond finally disappeared, everything suddenly felt empty. It was odd to think that a bond that caused him so much pain brought him even more agony once he finally got rid of it. 

He found he didn’t have time to continue that thought as they finally made it to the doors of the Jedi Temple. Fear ran through Anakin at the idea of having to step inside the temple that had caused him so much pain. Anger accompanied most of his memories here, memories he had used to fuel his rage as Vader. Memories of his attack on the temple flashed across his vision and he could hear himself swear to Sidious he would kill all the Jedi. Once again, Anakin wondered why someone like him was allowed in the afterlife, how someone who killed so many innocent people was even allowed to set foot here. 

Obi-Wan snapped Anakin out of his thoughts. Looking down slightly, he saw Obi-Wan’s concerned face staring up at him. Anakin wondered why Obi-Wan would ever be concerned about him. He just shrugged it off and took a deep breath before nodding in Obi-Wan’s direction. Obi-Wan looked at him for another second before they both continued into the temple. 

As they walked through the door he could see two Jedi waiting there, presumably for them. As he and Obi-Wan entered both of those Jedi moved out of the way as they walked past them to the council chamber and followed slowly behind them. Looking around, the temple was deathly quiet with not a single Jedi roaming its hallways. If Anakin didn’t know any better he would say the Temple was deserted. As they continued their slow pace through the hallway Anakin wondered what his quarters looked like. He wondered if anyone else lived there now and if so, who. “Obi-Wan?” Anakin whispered. 

“Yes Anakin?” Obi-Wan responded, also whispering. 

“Do Jedi still live here?” 

“Yes, quite a few Jedi have chosen to continue to live in the temple.” 

“Do you live in the temple?” 

“No,” was Obi-Wan’s simple reply. Anakin tried not to feel more than a little relieved at this response. If Obi-Wan lived in the temple he didn’t know where he would go. They continued to walk at a painfully slow pace, at least it gave Anakin time to ask more questions. 

“Obi-Wan, does Qui-Gon live in the temple?” Being in the temple had reminded Anakin a little of Qui-Gon. If it weren’t for him he probably would have never even become a Jedi. 

“No,” was Obi-Wan’s simple response once again. There it was again, that slight tinge of pain in Obi-Wan’s voice. Anakin wondered if he had said something to offend Obi-Wan, he had just asked about Qui-Gon. 

He didn’t have time to continue his thoughts as a few Jedi walked past them to their left. As they made their way past, a scowl formed on the front one’s face as he looked Anakin and Obi-Wan up and down. Anakin had expected this look, he had gotten the same look many times as Vader, it was one of disdain. The thing he hadn’t expected was that anyone would ever scowl at Obi-Wan like that. He could tell that this Jedi was not only giving him a look but Obi-Wan as well, they all were. A sudden rush of anger filled up his insides, coursing through his veins and Anakin felt that familiar feeling of rage begin to take hold. He didn’t like it here, this just made things worse. Anakin was sure those Jedi just made Obi-Wan even more upset than he probably was already.  

Disgusting Jedi , how dare they even think to look at Obi-Wan in such a way, Anakin’s mind supplied. For a moment Anakin wanted to make them pay, wanted to make them beg for forgiveness. He gave a glare to the front Jedi and watched with amusement as he flinched.

 It wasn’t until the Jedi were gone that Anakin realized what he had been thinking about. Shaking his head a little he tried to rid himself of those thoughts. He found it odd that he had gotten so defensive. He just assumed he was nervous, he felt safer with Obi-Wan than if he was alone and he didn’t want that taken away from him. Nothing to worry about, Anakin thought. 

They continued walking and Anakin could sense they were getting close, through the force he could sense all the signatures gathered in the chamber, there were too many to count. He felt himself start to breathe a little heavier as they got closer and closer to the chamber doors. Oh how he hated this, he would dread every single second in there. What made this even worse was that Anakin knew he deserved it, he deserved to be tortured and the least of his problems should be a room full of Jedi who he more than likely killed. For a second Anakin reconsidered that, he wondered if maybe this was the force torturing him, this seemed like one of the worst punishments the force could ever give him. 

Anakin pushed his shields as high as they could go when more emotions slammed into him. He tried to will himself to calm down but it didn’t work as the hall around him became increasingly fuzzier. He felt like he was about to collapse when a hand on his wrist caught his attention. His vision refocused and Anakin peered down to see Obi-Wan’s hand on his wrist. Anakin’s breath caught in his throat as Obi-Wan’s hand tightened around his wrist before letting go. Obi-Wan didn’t look at him, he didn’t even say a word, it was like nothing had just happened. 

One of the Jedi behind them walked in front of Anakin and opened the door without warning. Anakin felt the urge to grab ahold of Obi-Wan’s wrist as he had done to him but ultimately resisted the urge. As he filled up with fear once again he looked down at Obi-Wan and their eyes connected. Both of them knew what was to come and yet neither of them had the nerve to comfort the other. For now, no more reassuring words or touches would be between them. 

Anakin looked straight ahead and felt another wave of fear run through him as they both slowly made their way into the overly packed council chamber. All the seats were filled and there were a bunch of Jedi sitting on the floor. Every single one of them had an angry and hateful look on their face, all directed at him. Anakin wanted to curl up into a ball and never move again and for a second he thought he was going to pass out again. He wanted to reach out and grab Obi-Wan for balance before he fell but found he couldn’t even move his hand up a short distance to grasp Obi-Wan’s wrist. Anakin froze in the middle of the packed council chamber and stared at the ground, too scared to even look up. 

“Obi-Wan,” An unfamiliar voice spoke in front of him. “Please take a seat by the door.” Anakin felt more panic run through him as he heard Obi-Wan’s footsteps slowly make their way away from him. He knew he would have to look up eventually, no matter how much he didn’t want to. Gaining all the courage he had, Anakin slowly moved his head up to look at the Jedi sitting in front of him. The space on the floor around the Jedi was clear of people, showing how important he was. The non-human Jedi wore a long, dark red cloak with an oddly shaped hood that curved over his head like a half-moon. The tip of the hood was a bright yellow that matched the gold pendant that hung over the man’s head. His red skin was only slightly lighter than his cloak and his two-fingered hands sat peacefully in his lap. One of the things that stood out most to Anakin was the green and blue clips that hung over the Jedi’s shoulders. 

 

 

 

“Are you Darth Vader?” The unknown Jedi Master asked. Anakin knew this wasn’t really a question, everyone here already knew. 

Anakin took another deep breath before replying, “I once was, yes.” More fuzz filled Anakin’s vision as the room continued in deafening silence. He looked down at his black boots again as another shakey breath raked his body. 

After what felt like hours past the old Jedi spoke again, “I am the creator of the Jedi order, Dai Bendu.” Another pause. “Tell me, do you know what you did wrong?” Dai Bendu’s voice was void of all emotion. 

Anakin thought about the question. How could he not know what he did wrong, how could he not remember all those people he killed, every single precious planet he destroyed. He hadn’t really gotten the chance to think about all that yet, he had practically been rushed here. A part of him wished he never had to think about it. 

Anakin stayed looking down as he finally responded, “Yes.” Anakin knew how pathetic he looked. 

“You will look at me when you speak!” Dai Bendu’s voice boomed across the chamber. Anakin could now tell this Grand Master of the Jedi was not as emotionless as he seemed, what filled this man’s voice now sounded like anger. 

Anakin reluctantly looked up only to see no sign of the supposed anger that filled his voice only moments before. The grand Jedi Master didn’t look Anakin in the eyes when he spoke again, “Now, every single Jedi in this room is going to get the chance to tell you what you did to them,” Dai Bendu looked around at every Jedi as he said this. 

Anakin heard it as one of the Jedi got up, he looked in their direction. 

The Jedi Anakin saw looked familiar, he had seen him in the temple before. “May I go first, Grand Master?” The unknown Jedi bowed in his Grand Master’s direction. 

“You may,” Dai Bendu responded. 

With that, the Jedi turned to Anakin. “I was a temple guard, it was my job to protect the temple and because of you, I failed. When I first saw you approaching the temple with your army of clones I was confused, I didn’t have the slightest clue what was going on. I called out your name to ask. The moment you looked at me, I knew my life was over. You cut me down within a matter of seconds, I was the second Jedi you killed.” When the Jedi concluded he sat back down. 

Anakin indeed remembered killing that man, that is why he had seemed so familiar. Anakin would forever remember killing that man, that had marked the start of his raid on the temple. 

Another Jedi stood up and Anakin turned to her, the Jedi was Shaak Ti. “I was meditating in the temple when you stabbed me through the back. I should have sensed you coming, I guess it’s on me that I never imagined someone I knew and trusted would kill me in such a way.” With that Shaak Ti sat down as well. The look she gave Anakin was filled with pain. 

Anakin felt his heart shrivel just a little more with an aftertaste of hate. It wasn’t hate for Shaak Ti, it was hate for himself. 

Another Jedi stood, Cin Dralling, the Temple’s battlemaster and one of the most powerful Jedi Masters in the Temple. “After killing two of my Trainees, you entered a duel with me, you killed me by slashing my shoulders.” Cin grabbed one of his shoulders and squeezed the robes underneath before sitting back down. 

More memories played across Anakin’s vision, he had been so lost at that point. The whole raid on the Temple almost seemed like one big hate-filled blur in the back of his mind. He remembered every person he killed and how he killed them vividly but anything in between was lost in a sea of emotions, emotions he couldn’t even name if he tried. It was like he was feeling every emotion imaginable all at once. 

Another Jedi stood. Jocasta Nu, the Jedi in charge of the archives. “I tried my best to protect the Jedi archives from you. For doing so, you stabbed me through the stomach with your lightsaber.” 

Anakin didn’t have any time to think as another Jedi stood. Jedi Knight Serra Keto. “I tried to stop you, I tried to save the Temple but you defeated me in the duel and crushed me to death with a large pillar.” 

Another two Jedi stood. “You crushed us with a giant statue of an ancient Jedi!” 

A Jedi Padawan stood up. “Your clones killed me and you watched it happen!” Another Jedi Padawan. “You killed my Master and then killed me!” 

One of the crèche Masters stood. “I never got a chance to defend the innocent younglings!” Nothing else needed to be said on that subject, everyone already knew what Anakin had done to those younglings. 

Out of everything he had done, that was the one thing he had dreaded that most. It was hard to believe he would have done such a thing, that he was so far brainwashed that he believed the right thing to do was to kill Jedi younglings. 

It seemed after this confession the room got even angrier and Jedi were now standing up at the same time, whether they had been killed together or not. The room was slowly falling into chaos as Jedi began speaking over one another, all impatient to get the chance to scream at Vader and tell him what he had done to them. Jedi that were killed in the Temple, Jedi that were killed on another planet later on, even Jedi who were killed during ‘Order 66’ by the clones, all of them seemed to scream at him at once. Pain, that was the emotion filling the room and Anakin had caused all of it. He was the one who did this to every single Jedi, and if he didn’t directly do it he helped in some way. The immense pain Anakin felt at this moment was almost unlike anything he had ever experienced. The intense guilt he knew would never go away found its way into his gut and infected the rest of his body, grabbing a hold of his heart and pumping the feeling deep into every single bone, where Anakin knew it would stay for all of eternity. 

Anakin felt the room swirl again as he focused his eyes at the end of the room. Dai Bendu’s eyes met his and the screaming in the room became one big ringing sound. Dai Bendu stared at him with calm eyes, and yet they almost looked mocking. Anakin felt like he was in hell. Maybe this wasn’t a good afterlife, maybe this was the force punishing him for every single bad thing he had done while he was living. 

Just as quickly as the ringing started it stoped as a dark voice sounded above the rest. “Skywalker!” 

The moment the man spoke the room respectfully went quiet. Jedi Master Mace Windu stood slightly to his left, giving him that same look he always seemed to give Anakin whenever he walked into a room. “I was about to kill Sidious when you cut my right arm off, making me defenseless to Sidiouses force lightning. I believe I was the first Jedi you helped kill.” A long silence filled the room that left Anakin even sicker than before. Seeing Master Windu felt surreal, he hadn’t ever expected to be face to face with this man again. Master Windu and Anakin stared at each other for a long couple of seconds before Windu slowly sat back down on the floor. 

Dai Bendu spoke only a moment after Windu took his seat. “Now tell me, do you think you deserve to be in the afterlife?” 

Anakin felt the question dig deep inside him and tug on the insecurities he knew he had even before the council meeting. “No,” Anakin said. He didn’t believe he belonged here, he never would. 

Dai Bendu looked at him for a long moment with an unknown expression. “There is still a lot to discuss, it is obvious the force sent you here for a reason. I know that you saved your son and saved the galaxy from the rule of the empire. As far as any of us know, you killed Sith Lord Sidious as well. In a way, you have proven your realliance with the light side of the force, but this doesn’t mean you couldn’t change your allegiance and go back just as fast. Your switch to the light side of the force also does not change what you did in the past, we must consider the fact you may still be a threat.” When Dai Bendu concluded the room broke out into a quiet chatter. 

Anakin almost completely zoned out at this point, sometimes he would zoon back in to hear vaguely what the Jedi were talking about. Conversations ranged from severe punishment to letting him go completely. From the little snippets Anakin heard it sounded like the room couldn’t make up their mind on what to do with him. Mace Windu’s voice snapped him out of his thoughts. “I suggest we get an opinion from someone who knew him, someone who was closer to Skywalker,” Windu said directly to Dai Bendu. It seemed the whole room heard the Jedi as everyone in the room seemed to look at a point behind Anakin. Slightly intrigued, Anakin looked behind him to see what everyone was looking at. Obi-Wan sat in the back of the room by the door, everyone eyeing him with interest. 

“Obi-Wan,” Dia Bndu’s voice sounded. “Please, stand by Skywalker.” Obi-Wan immediately got up and made his way next to Anakin without saying a word. Obi-Wan had been the only person who had said nothing this entire meeting. “You were Anakin’s Master, and you, just like almost everyone else in this room also saw Anakin’s fall to the dark side first hand. Unlike everyone else though, you knew him more personally. So tell me Obi-Wan, why do you think Anakin fell to the dark side?” 

Anakin felt another wave of panic run through him and he wondered how long it would be until he finally passed out. A part of him longed to pass out right here so he wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore. 

Obi-Wan took a deep breath. “I don’t know Ankain’s direct motives for turning to the dark side. I do know that Anakin considered Palpatine a close friend and would often go to talk with him. I don’t believe Anakin knew Palpatine was a sith lord before the day of his fall, though I am just assuming.” Obi-Wan took another deep breath. “I also know that… Anakin couldn’t always come to me for help. I wasn’t really there for him when he needed me. It may be partly my fault he spoke to Palpatine so often in the first place, I, nor the council listened to him. Sidious was the only one. In the end, it was Anakin who made the choice to turn, but it’s not like there were very many people there for him.”

Anakin turned to Obi-Wan with a look of shock. Was Obi-Wan really blaming that much on himself, Anakin wondered. Obi-Wan didn’t look back at him. 

“Hmm, interesting, so you’re telling me it might not have been entirely Anakin’s fault he fell,” Dai Bendu stated. Obi-Wan slightly nodded. “I see. Now Obi-Wan, know that I am not calling you a liar, I simply have a concern,” Dai Bendu said. 

“Although it was nice to see the perspective of someone close to Skywalker, I fear your bias towards him may be a problem.” 

“Pardon?” Obi-Wan questioned. 

“Well, I’m only suggesting that maybe you couldn’t see why he turned because you were blinded by your fondness for him. I feel it’s also possible you made him sound better than he actually was.” Dai Bendu concluded. 

Obi-Wan stared at him for a long moment, looking as if he wanted to say something but didn’t have the strength to anymore. “I-” Obi-Wan cut himself off and looked back down at the floor, not knowing what to say in response. 

Dai Bendu on the other hand, seemed to know exactly what he wanted to say to Obi-Wan. “Tell me Obi-Wan, on Mustafar, why did you not kill your former Padawan turned sith, was it because you…” Bendu paused or a moment in mock thought. “What was it you said again, oh yes, ‘ loved him’ ?” Gasps and whispers resonated throughout the room before quieting into a mummer. 

Looking down at Obi-Wan was when Anakin truly saw it. The pain Obi-Wan had been hiding since they got here spilling out beyond his shields. So much pain that Obi-Wan’s well-crafted shields couldn’t even hold it back anymore. And yet, when Obi-Wan stared ahead at Dai Bendu, nothing looked any different. Those emotions were so well hidden. Anakin hated it. Anger surged in Anakin and he sent a mean glare in Dai Bendu’s direction. It probably didn’t help his case any but that’s what he got for making Obi-Wan upset. Dai Bendu made eye contact for a brief moment before turning away, ignoring Anakin almost completely. 

“I’m sorry Ob-Wan, I did not mean to upset you, I was just trying to prove the fact that you may be biased.” Dai Bendu gave Obi-Wan what looked like an apologetic look. 

Obi-Wan nodded in Dai Bendu’s direction before speaking. “You asked me why Anakin turned to the dark side, I gave you my opinion on the matter. if you wanted to know the full story maybe you should ask Anakin.” 

Dai Bendu and Obi-Wan made eye contact for a long moment before Bendu nodded in agreement. “Yes, I suppose I should ask Anakin.” Dai Bendu gave Anakin an unidentifiable look before looking back at Obi-Wan. “You may sit back down Obi-Wan.” With that Obi-Wan walked back to his place by the door.  

Dai Bendu turned his attention back to Anakin. “I have something to tell you Anakin and it seems this is a good time to do so.” Anakin didn’t respond so Dai Bendu just continued. “The code, I know you struggled with it, as many Jedi here have told me. I wish your generation would have known how I intended it. Somewhere along the line it was translated in the wrong way. For example, one line in the code says, ‘there is no emotion, there is peace,’ what I had meant for it to say was, ‘emotion, yet peace.’ I truly do not know how it was mistranslated but I have told this to every Jedi personally for centuries. You of all people deserve to know.” 

Anakin looked at Dai Bendu as if he was joking with him. If Anakin would have known that when he was alive so many things would be different. Anakin wondered if he would have even turned to the dark side in the first place. Anger boiled in Anakin for whatever Jedi was stupid enough to translate it in the wrong way. 

Dai Bendu sighed. “Now, would you like to tell me how you turned to the dark side of the force, Anakin?” 

Anakin took a deep breath, trying to gather his thoughts. He looked at Dai Bendu who gave him a reassuring nod, with all the strength he could muster Anakin spoke. “I had a wife,” Anakin stated bluntly. Murmuring broke out across the room but quieted down quickly. “She… was pregnant. I had recently found out and…” Anakin trailed off, he hated looking back on this, it filled him with too much guilt. “It was a couple of days after I found this out that I had a dream, it was of her dying in childbirth. I didn’t want her to die, I became increasingly more worried when I began having that same dream every night afterward. It was then that I knew it wasn’t just a dream but a vision. I told my wife about it eventually but she was the only one. I didn’t even tell Obi-Wan, I was too scared he would tell the council. That I would be taken away from him and kicked out of the order.” 

Anakin turned his head down ashamed. “It wasn’t too long after that Palpatine brought something up with me. It was an old tale about a man who could save people from death. I should have been more suspicious. The next couple of days are a blur. I remember Obi-Wan leaving for his mission and my conversations with Palpatine. It was one of these conversations that I started getting suspicious. Palpatine had practically admitted to me that he was a Sith Lord. I went to Master Windu to tell him I thought Palpatine was the Sith Lord we had been looking for. I wanted to confront Palpatine with Master Windu but he denied me. I started diving myself crazy after that. I truly had no one to go to and I felt so lost that eventually I just lost control and went to confront Sidious myself.” 

Anakin took in another shaky breath as he got to the final part of his story. “That’s when I saw Sidious laying against the window. I thought he was my friend and yet here was my proof of him being a Sith Lord. When Sidious started attacking Master Windu with force lightning I knew I had to choose one or the other. I knew if I let Sidious die that, I could lose my wife. He reminded me of this, told me that he had the power to save the ones I love.” 

Anakin looked down at his feet once more as he remembered the moment more vividly, remembered how Mace Windu was going to kill Sidious. “I remember… Master Windu saying he was going to end Sidious. I couldn’t let Sidious die, not when it wasn’t the Jedi way to kill someone who was defenseless. Not when he had the power to save the ones I loved. That’s when I made the wrong decision to stop Master Windu from killing Sidious. You already know what happened after that.” 

The room was completely silent and Anakin could hear himself catching his breath. Minutes went by and not a single person said a word, still thinking over what had just been said. It was Dai Bendu who spoke first. “Thank you, Anakin. We must now decide what happens next, does anyone here have any ideas?” The room stayed completely silent for a few more minutes and Anakin could tell Dai Bendu was lost deep in thought. 

Eventually, it was Dai Bendu who broke the silence once again. “I believe I have finally come to a decision.” Everyone in the room stared at Dai Bendu, waiting for what he would say next. “I believe you may still be a threat but not so much so that we would need to lock you up, that would be unnecessary. Instead, I believe that with the right guidance you could be kept on the light side.” 

Dai Bendu looked directly behind Anakin. “Obi-Wan will be keeping an eye on you.” 

 

 

Chapter Text

 “I don’t know you anymore. Anakin, you’re breaking my heart. You’re going down a path I can’t follow,” Padme whispered. 

Anakin stared past her at the ship. “Because of Obi-Wan.” 

Padme shook her head. “Because of what you’ve done, what you plan to do!” Padme’s tears began to drench her face as Anakin made eye contact with Obi-Wan who was standing at the top of the ship’s ramp. “Stop, no, come back, I love you!” 

Anakin’s anger surged through him, he knew she had to be lying. “Liar!” Anakin screamed in his wife’s face. 

“No,” Padme pleaded. 

“You’re with him!” Anakin screamed as new anger for his old Master surged through his veins. “You brought him here to kill me!” The force surged as Anakin used it to violently wrap around his wife’s neck, choking her. 

 

*** 

 

Coruscant’s sun shown brightly through a large window in Padme’s apartment. Anakin sat in a chair staring out at the passing speeders, almost losing himself to flashbacks of his wife a matter of times. After the council meeting, everything felt numb for a while. He barely remembers the ride here, Obi-Wan having to drag him out after telling him exactly where they were going. The only thing that kept Anakin from running was the comfort that Obi-Wan was outside waiting for him. 

Anakin remembers slowly walking up to the door and numbly knocking on it. When Padme opened the door she didn’t look shocked at all, instead, a sad and maybe even scared expression made it over her features. For some reason, the way her face fell almost looked like she had been expecting this, like she felt him die. 

“Padme…” Anakin had whispered. 

Padme’s face seemed to lighten a little after that. “Anakin,” she responded sadly. 

He took a deep breath, expecting to say something but nothing came out. He felt himself begin to shake slightly. 

Padme gave him a concerned look. “I figure you’re here to talk.” 

Anakin could only nod as Padme opened the door and he walked in. She led him to the chair by the window and that’s where he began to have flashbacks. The council meeting only made things worse and he felt a deep hole find a home in his sad little heart just thinking about it. He would never forgive himself for what he did to all those Jedi , Anakin thought. Just like he would never forgive himself for what he did to his own wife, and he would never forgive himself for what he did to Obi-Wan. Anakin laid his head in his hands as a headache began to form. 

Sighing, he decided it was best to distract himself. He turned around in his chair so he could look around the room. The living room he appeared to be in was nice and clean with the exception of a big black coat that hung on one of the comfy-looking chairs. It didn’t look like something Anakin remembered Padme wearing. The more Anakin looked at, it the more it looked like it belonged to a man. 

Right then a realization hit Anakin, the realization that it probably did belong to a man. Slightly shocked his mouth fell open. 

Anakin expected anger and jealousy to wash over him. In fact, he waited for that anger and jealousy to come. He focused on the idea of Padme loving someone else, of Padme kissing someone else. She used to be his, she used to belong to him. Now she was with someone else, she loved someone else. 

Moments pass and no negative emotions came to Anakin over the idea, he felt nothing. 

Shocked, Anakin continued to stare at the coat, the coat that should have been torn to shreds by now out of pure jealousy. Nothing, still nothing. Anakin made a frustrated noise. He tried to make himself feel some kind of negative emotion, there was no way he could just be fine with this. Had he really given up so much hope on ever seeing Padme again that he lost feelings for her? Had he truly let her go? No, he might not feel jealous but he and Padme were meant to be together, at least that’s what he had told himself as Vader, but now that he was back on the light side, the idea didn’t feel as right. 

Anakin sighed, excepting the fact that no negative emotions were going to come to him. If this was truly another man’s coat and Padme was really with someone else, then he would be happy. He would let her go, he wouldn’t force her to be with him or try to make her fall in love with him again. Anakin knew he still loved Padme, but the more he thought about her the harder it was to tell which way he loved her, like a friend or a lover? 

He still felt something deep when he thought about her, something that hit him in the heart. It wasn’t jealousy or possession, it was just love. It was love and the need for her to be happy. It felt oddly different from the love he felt for her when he was alive. He still had wanted her to be happy but the love he felt when he was alive almost fell on the possessive side, maybe it had fallen on the possessive side. Maybe he had been so concerned with having Padme for himself, so concerned she wouldn’t rule the galaxy with him, that he forgot to truly consider her feelings. 

Padme had been his escape from the Jedi, the only one that would truly show him affection, but what was she now? Anakin didn’t know yet, maybe he could get back together with her, maybe it had just been too long and the moment he talked with her more he would remember why he loved her so much. Maybe they could get back together, if there was another explanation behind the coat that is. Anakin didn’t hold his hopes up, whatever she wanted he would try. Anakin truly shocked himself with how flexible he was with this, that he would just go with it if she didn’t want him. It would make sense if she didn’t, after what he did to her. 

Anakin returned his dark gaze back out the window. It had been a while and Padme still hadn’t come back, he wondered if she was scared of him. He felt his heart shrivel at the thought. 

The silence went on. Trapped and alone with his thoughts Anakin’s mind began to wander through the day’s events. First, there was his son, then there was Obi-Wan, then there was the council meeting. His mind stuck on the council meeting. He didn’t want to think about it, he didn’t want to think about all those Jedi he killed that now hated him. He had thought hate wasn’t the Jedi way, but anyone of those Jedi who claimed they didn’t were lying. He could see in every one of their faces just how much they despised him. 

Anakin lost the battle with his thoughts and became sucked into the recent memory of the council meeting. He could swear he could see Dai Bendu smirking at him as an overwhelming feeling of guilt filled him. Making him feel guilty had always been a part of the Grand Master’s plan, to teach him a lesson. The worst part was that Anakin knew he deserved to. He stared out the window as more memories of the council meeting danced across his vision. Out of everything that happened in that council meeting, there was one thing that Anakin couldn’t stop thinking about. Obi-Wan. 

Anakin had killed Obi-Wan and yet he hadn’t yelled at him, he had even gone as far as to almost…. stand up for him. Back when he first entered the afterlife, Obi-Wan had even told him he forgave him. That didn’t make sense, it just wasn’t true. 

Anakin gasped when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Spinning around in his chair almost defensively, he came face to face with his former wife who was holding two cups of tea out in front of her. “Didn’t mean to startle you,” Padme replied almost kindly. Anakin couldn’t help but wonder how she held it together so well. 

Anakin nodded. “It’s fine,” he replied quietly. 

Padme gave him a sad look. “Would you like a cup of tea?” Padme offered him with an even gentler expression than before. 

Anakin found the idea of someone offering him tea astonishing. Why would anyone in their right mind give a former Dark Lord of the Sith tea? After a long moment passed in silence, Anakin finally realized that he hadn’t said anything yet. “Oh, I… thank you.” 

Padme handed him the cup and went to sit in the seat directly beside him. Anakin returned to looking back out the window, not taking a single sip of the tea. He was too afraid he would throw it up, if that was even possible in the afterlife that is. After a couple moments of silence, Padme finally spoke. “The view is pretty isn’t it.” For the first time since he took a seat in this chair, Anakin actually focused on what was outside the window. It was pretty, a beautiful view of Coruscant on the upper levels. The sun was pretty too, reflecting nicely off the windows of other buildings and passing speeders. 

“Hmm,” Was Anakin’s only reply as he continued to look out the window. He didn’t look at Padme. How could he, after what he’s done to her. The negative emotions Anakin had been looking for earlier reared their ugly heads as anger and sadness filled his entire body. Sadness for what Padme had to go through because of him, and anger for himself, for what he did to her. He was a monster. The Jedi’s voices from the council chamber filled his head, ‘You killed my Master’, ‘your clones killed me and you watched it happen!’ Anakin tightly shut his eyes as tears welled up in them, he couldn’t help it when he let out a pained noise. “I’m so sorry,” Anakin whispered and the tears running down his cheeks only proved his failure. 

“Yes…. you should be,” Padme said. Anakin felt one of the strongest waves of hurt yet run through his entire body. His hands were shaking, spilling some of the tea onto the metal floor as he nodded, agreeing completely to what Padme just said. He looked to the ground at his spilled tea, knowing that he couldn’t escape his pain, not even through death. He should have expected Padme’s answer, it shouldn’t hurt him this much. A single tear runs down Anakin’s cheek and he doesn’t move to wipe it away. He just sits there and feels the way it slowly slides down his cheek and into his tea. 

Anakin was on the verge of breaking down, he didn’t think he could do this. Padme spoke before he could run. “But I forgive you.” 

Anakin’s shaking almost completely stopped as he turned his bloodshot eyes to look at Padme. “What?!” Anakin almost yells, voice as shaky as his hands just were. This didn’t make any sense, Lair! The word played in his head, one of the last things he had said to Padme. Anakin continues to stare at Padme and she wraps her arms around herself, almost a little scared. “What do you mean, forgive me? Do you remember what I did to you?” Anakin’s voice was shaky and his body almsot started shivering. “I-I killed you,” Anakin whispered without looking away from her. “I could’ve killed our children. I was a Sith Lord, forgiving me is not an option.” Anakin looks back out the window, the face reflected back off the glass looks broken, he didn’t know who he was anymore. “You should hate me. You should never want to see me again. Maybe you should even want me locked up in some cage for the rest of eternity.” Anakin felt his grip tighten and the sound of glass cracking coming from the teacup. Looking down Anakin saw a spiderweb crack lining the teacup, threatening to spill all the tea inside if he squeezed any tighter. 

“Padme,” Anakin begins. “I hurt you so much. You deserved so much better than me.” He takes a deep breath. “On Mustafar, I brought my anger out on you. I don’t know how to control myself and I was worried that…. you would leave me. I made the wrong decision,” Anakin concluded, gently rubbing the crack on the teacup with his shaking hands. 

Padme sighs. “Our children, I’ve heard good things about them both. Obi-Wan told me all he knew.” 

Anakin sighed as he accepted the topic change and nodded, smiling a little. He would understand if Padme did not want to address Mustifar just yet. That still didn’t stop the hurt that ran through him at the way Padme avoided the topic. “I am so proud of our son, I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of someone before.” 

Anakin turned to see a small smile on Padme’s face. This confused Anakin, he wondered how she could be smiling. “That makes me very happy,” she said. Anakin continued to look at her confused. How could she smile when having a conversation with a former Sith Lord? Before he could ask, she spoke again. “C-Could you tell me more about our kids?” 

Finally, a small smile graced Anakin’s face as well. “I-I, yeah. I could tell you what I know.” Anakin’s shaking calmed down a bit. He began with the first time he saw Luke. He wasn’t going to hide anything from her, he would tell her everything even if it was about him hurting their son or daughter. It took a while for Anakin to get through the whole story. He hated telling the parts where he hurt Leia or Luke, Padme’s face always took on an upset expression he wanted to wipe away. He wanted her to get the full story though so he always continued. Finally, he told her the part where he saved Luke and got rid of Palpatine. When the story was finally told Anakin took a deep breath in and out, feeling like he could breathe just a little better than before. 

He looked over to Padme to see a small smile on her face, something that looked like admiration. “This is why I forgive you,” She stated. 

Anakin stared at her once again confused. “I-I w-what?” 

Padme sighed. “You telling me this just proves the point that I was right to forgive you. I always knew there was good in you, no matter how deep you tried to push it down. You saved our son and the galaxy from the rule of the empire. You are a good person Anakin.” 

Anakin just stared at her. Padme sighed once again. “What?” She asked, knowing full well what he was so shocked about. 

Anakin closed his gaping mouth and turned back towards the window. “I still don’t think you should forgive me. What about what I did to you on Mustafar?” 

Anakin was sure Padme was giving him another sad look. “What happened on Mustafar hurt me yes but…. in the end you were able to save our kids, and for that I forgive you…. mostly.”  

Anakin couldn’t help but still feel a little guilty, he didn’t deserve to be forgiven and never would. Talking to Padme again hadn’t been as bad as he expected but it was still hard, even now after she said she forgave him. He wondered what would happen to them next. Just because she forgave him didn’t mean she wanted to talk to him any longer. “What now?” He asked, and it could mean so many different things. “What’s going to happen to...us?” 

Padme’s face took on a nervous look but it was quickly covered up. “I-I don’t think we should get back together.” There is was, Anakin’s answer. He looked back down at his teacup. He thought about genuinely not being with Padme. The same thoughts as earlier came to his mind. If she was happy, he was happy. 

“Are you happy? I just, if you’re happy…. I’m happy,” Anakin concluded as he looked at Padme’s still beautiful face. He didn’t have to be married to her to think she was beautiful.  

Padme looked at him in thought for a long moment. “I am.” She said and Anakin smiled in relief. 

They gave each other little smiles before Padme’s face became more worried. Anakin’s face took on a worried look as well. He wanted to ask her what was wrong but she spoke before he could. “I…. found someone else.” Padme looked down at her cup, more nervous than she should be. Anakin wondered why she was so nervous for a moment before it hit him. She was probably worried he would freak out. Guilt filled him up once again and he too looked down at his cup. 

“Is that his coat behind us?” Anakin asked as he motioned behind them at the coat hanging over the big comfy chair. 

Padme gasped. “Oh I um, didn’t see that there.” Anakin turned to Padme who was fidgeting with her cup nervously. She nodded. “Umm yes, that’s his.” 

Anakin sighed. “It’s okay, I would be worried for you if you hadn’t found someone else. That’s a long time to spend alone.” 

Padme looked at him almost surprised. “You’re okay with that?” 

Anakin sighed and nodded as he looked back at her. “I’m okay. You deserve better than me.” 

Padme gave him a little smile. “I hope one day you’ll learn to forgive yourself, if only just a little.” 

Anakin doesn’t answer that and just stares back out at the window. A long moment of silence passes between them and somehow it isn’t uncomfortable. Anakin could sense calmness coming from Padme through the force. It made him happy that she wasn’t scared of him, at least not right now. It was another while before Padme spoke again. “How’s Obi-Wan?” She asks. 

Anakin looks at her again. “I…. I didn’t get to talk much with him, he said he forgives me though. I don’t understand it.” Neither of them says anything for a couple of seconds as Anakin becomes lost in thoughts about Obi-Wan. “He’s in charge of watching me,” Anakin blurts out. 

Padme looks at him confused. “Someone has to watch you?” 

Anakin nods. “Yeah, the council decided they didn’t know if they could trust me yet, so they asked if Obi-Wan could watch over me.” 

Padme hums in acknowledgment. “How does that work? Will you find your own place where Obi-Wan can come and check on you?” 

Anakin thinks about it for a moment. “I’m not sure what will happen. Obi-Wan actually told me I could stay with him.” Anakin remembers the odd blush that appeared on Obi-Wan’s cheeks when he said this. For a man called ‘The Negotiator,’ he could be so shy sometimes. 

Padme looked surprised. “Oh, it surprises me he’d be okay with someone living with him.” 

“What do you mean?” Anakin asks confused. 

Padme thinks for a long moment, trying to say this in the right way. “Obi-Wan is…. what people would call a loner. He rarely visits me, and even when you do go to visit him he seems almost…. out of it. At least, that’s what I got from my experience.” 

Anakin’s confused by this. “What do you mean, ‘out of it?’” 

Padme thinks for another moment. “He just seems…. distracted. I mean he was nice of course and the couple times I went over we had tea but….” Padme sighs. “He just seems sad, and lonely.” 

Anakin looks at Padme with an expression he himself couldn’t even read. Obi-Wan was hurt. He was hurt and lonely and sad and no one came to visit him and he didn’t try to visit anyone else. Obi-Wan’s hurt, Obi-Wan’s hurt. Anakin’s mind seemed to be repeating the same phrase over and over, Anakin needed to protect him. It was Padme that snapped Anakin out of his thoughts. “Anakin?” Padme questioned. “Everything alright?” 

Anakin nodded. “I’m fine, sorry. Just thinking about Obi-Wan is all.” 

Padme smiled at him. “Maybe if you chose to move in with him it will help, or if not maybe just visiting.” 

Anakin nodded again, this time in agreement. Anakin wondered how long it would be until he got to see Padme again. She probably didn’t want to see him again anyways. That sad feeling that had been sitting in his gut before talking to Padme came back. Anakin welcomed it. 

 

***

 

Obi-Wan watched as Anakin numbly walked inside Padme’s home before she slowly closed the door. He continued to stare at the door Anakin just walked through, knowing that Anakin was in no condition to be talking to anyone right now, not after what happened in the council chamber. Obi-Wan felt more sadness bubble inside him. He once again felt like he has failed Anakin. 

Obi-Wan reluctantly looked away from the door and down at his feet. He was once again alone. he was always alone. He took in a few shaky breaths, trying to calm himself. That council meeting, if one could truly even call it that, had a terrible effect on Anakin and himself. Obi-Wan had to sit and watch as Jedi screamed at Anakin from all corners of the room. It took all the strength he had not to run over to Anakin and drag him out of there. Of course, Obi-Wan knew what Anakin had done, it’s not like he didn’t lay in his bed every night thinking about it. 

A lot of nights he would be too scared to fall asleep, he always had nightmares. In the afterlife, sleep was not essential but many people still preferred to do it anyways. It was a nice way to clear your mind, like a reset button. Even with the nightmares though Obi-Wan still found himself craving sleep, without it things tended to build up quickly, not even meditation could help sometimes. 

Obi-Wan pulled his robes tighter around himself, trying to stop the nervous shivers that were beginning to take hold of his body. He wasn’t used to this many people. He seldom went out of the house and forest he resided in. His house was small and far away from people on the planet of Coruscant. Only animals visited there. It was located in a grassy patch surrounded on all sides by lush green trees that would change with the seasons. The trees made it slightly dark but, in the clearing, pretty rays of sun would always shine directly onto his house and the surrounding area. Obi-Wan was surprised he had even managed to find a place like that on Coruscant, it was like it had been made just for him. 

Obi-Wan tried to focus on that house. On the peaceful trees and birds that surrounded it. The attempts to turn his attention was in vain though as the smell of smoke snapped him out of his thoughts. Someone was probably cooking something or even just having a small bonfire. it was innocent, at least it should be. It’s not like they knew of the terrible things Obi-Wan associated with fire. 

Obi-Wan took a deep breath, inhaling some of that smoke. He tried to focus back on his house. To focus on the pretty woods and the birds. And the friendly animals that have become his friends. At this point those animals were his only friends , Obi-Wan thought dryly. Everyone hated him, the Jedi, Padme, Yoda, his own Master. Obi-Wan often tried to reassure himself that it wasn’t true, that they all cared for him, even Master Yoda who once followed a strict Jedi code. But no matter how hard he tried to convince himself, he always had this tight wound anxiety about it, A fear that they only talked to him out of pity. It would make sense, he had failed each and everyone one of them. It was a mistake for Dia Bendu to ask him to watch over Anakin, he couldn’t do it, he would fail him all over again. And this time he would have no one but himself to blame, he didn’t want to lose Anakin again. 

Obi-Wan almost made a whimpering noise as more shivers raked his body. He could feel the way his heart filled with even more sadness. He truly was a failure. He had failed Anakin when he was alive and he would fail him when he was dead. Obi-Wan felt alone. He was alone now and always would be. Anakin would never talk to him like he used to. Obi-Wan ruined it, he pushed him away. Every day Obi-Wan would have to get up and see the man he still cared for, maybe even more than himself. It was unreasonable, any normal person wouldn’t have forgiven Anakin. But Obi-Wan couldn’t help it. Not when he remembered the man Anakin used to be, the man he still could be. He would be taunted with having Anakin so close that he could touch him and yet he would barely have the courage to even talk to him. Obi-Wan knew every time he looked at Anakin he would be reminded of what happened to him, what he had become; Obi-Wan would be reminded of their failure.   

Obi-Wan felt his heart rate slowly begin to pick up and his breath quicken. Oh not again , Obi-Wan thought. He always felt this way right before a panic attack. He already had multiple over the four years he lived alone. He didn’t have anyone to turn to, anyone he thought would actually want to talk to him. He always thought something like a panic attack wouldn’t happen in the afterlife, but ever since Obi-Wan got here it’s like the force had been throwing his emotions back at him. He would try to bury them and meditate only for them to come flying back in his face even stronger than before. He didn’t want to deal with his now, he needed to calm down, this couldn’t happen here. 

A familiar voice caught him off guard. “Obi-Wan!” The voice called in his direction. Obi-Wan instantly knew who it was. He made sure his hood was up over his white hair and his robes were pulled severely around him. 

“Master?” Obi-Wan said, looking up from his feet. 

Qui-Gon gave him a small smile as he ran over to him. He looked out of breath when he finally stopped and had to hold himself up on his knees. “I-I, Obi-Wan.” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “D-Did you run here?” Obi-wan questioned, it did seem like something Qui-Gon would do. 

Qui-Gon got up, brushing himself off. He now looked down at Obi-Wan with that same small smile, that smile quickly faded the longer they stared at each other. “No, well partially. That’s beside the point though. I heard what happened, I know that….Anakin’s here.” 

Obi-Wan nodded. His face remaining expressionless. “I…. wanted to know if you were okay.” 

Obi-Wan’s face showed the slightest signs of confusion before quickly covering it up. He nods once again. 

For a moment it looks as if Qui-Gon wants to say something else, like he doesn’t believe him. Whatever he was going to say though is quickly forgotten. There was silence for a moment as Qui-Gon looked at Obi-Wan, pensive. “Why haven’t you visited?” Qui-Gon questioned. Obi-Wan just shrugged in response, averting his gaze back to the ground. “It’s been two months,” Qui-Gon added and Obi-Wan felt it as shame fills his body. Had it really been that long, Obi-Wan wondered. Time felt so strange for him, there were days where he would completely lose track of time, where he would lay in bed staring at the ceiling, wishing something, anything could end his suffering. 

Obi-Wan rubbed his arm nervously. “Well…. I just….” Obi-Wan trailed off. 

“Obi-Wan, don’t tell me you’ve been distancing yourself again,” Qui-Gon said.  

Obi-Wan straightened out a little. “No, no I’m fine, it’s just….” He pulled his robes tighter around himself. You didn’t visit either.” Obi-Wan added in a whisper, trying to hide the sadness in his voice. 

Qui-Gon sighed in what Obi-Wan guessed was exasperation. “Why does it always have to be me that visits?” Obi-Wan didn’t respond. “Do you even want to see me,” Qui-Gon questioned. 

Obi-Wan felt a wave of fear run through him. Of course he wanted to see his Master! why would he think that? His Master was one of the most important people in his life. Please don’t leave me, Obi-wan’s mind whispered his fears back to him. “No, I want to see you. I’m sorry that I haven’t been visiting. I can’t really explain myself, please forgive me.” 

Qui-Gon put a reassuring hand on Obi-Wan’s shoulder. “Look, I don’t know why you keep distancing yourself from everyone but please, talk to me if you need. I heard what happened in the council meeting from Mace. I know you have to watch Anakin now. Is he going to live with you?” 

Obi-Wan thinks for a moment. “I’m not sure. I will offer.” Qui-Gon looked like he was about to ask more questions but Obi-Wan interrupted him. “Did you come here to see Anakin?” Obi-Wan questioned.    

Qui-Gon shook his head. “I came here to see you.” Obi-Wan looked at Qui-Gon confused. “I wanted to make sure you were okay,” Qui-Gon concluded as he gently removed his hand from Obi-Wan’s shoulder. 

“I’m fine,” Obi-Wan lied. 

Qui-Gon looked at him questioningly. “Just remember you can come talk to me if you need.” Obi-Wan felt a little smile cross his face. It was nice of Qui-Gon to offer but Obi-Wan didn’t want to bother him with his problems. His Master didn’t deserve a burden like him. 

“Okay,” Obi-Wan responded. 

Qui-Gon gave him a little smile, Obi-Wan could instantly tell it was fake. “I will come over to visit Anakin another time. I feel he has too much on his plate at the moment.” Obi-Wan nodded in agreement. They looked at each other for another good moment. “Goodbye Obi-Wan.” With that Qui-Gon turned and walked back in the direction he came. 

“Goodbye Master,” Obi-Wan whispered, only the wind listens. 

It was another good few minutes before the door to Padme’s home opened. Obi-Wan quickly looked up to see Anakin standing there. He closed the door behind him before turning to Obi-Wan. They just gazed at each other for a while, both wondering the same thing. It was Anakin who finally voices it. 

“What now?”

Chapter Text

The wind blew gently around them as Obi-Wan and Anakin walked in the direction of the small cottage. Trees surrounded them on all sides, their leaves moving along with the wind. The sun was beautiful as it set below the trees, painting a beautiful purple and orange sky. It looked like it did almost every night, but Obi-Wan knew the rest of today would be different. 

“How far out did you say you lived again?” Anakin questioned impatiently behind him. It was odd to have someone else coming with him this far out into the forest. The idea of someone living with him was also odd. They talked for a little outside of Padme’s apartment and after Obi-Wan offered again, Anakin decided he would stay with him. He had no idea why Anakin would want to do this, he was quite terrible company. Everyone always told him he was too quiet, that he needed to leave the house more. Obi-Wan just figured Anakin didn’t want to be alone at the moment, it made sense. Eventually he would recover and leave Obi-Wan alone again with no one but the birds to keep him company. 

“We’re almost there,” Obi-Wan said quietly, his voice sounding a little rough. He had spoken far too much for one day. A lot of days Obi-Wan wouldn’t even say a word. Quite honestly, a part of him was surprised he was still able to talk correctly. He would usually get a visit about once a month, besides that Obi-Wan said almost nothing. A little smile came over Obi-Wan’s face. Well, maybe it wasn’t entirely true. Sometimes he would talk to the birds and animals when they came close enough. He knew they couldn’t understand him, but it always helped relieve some kind of heavyweight off his chest when he did. A small part of him wanted to believe that maybe they did understand him, that maybe someone really cared for him, even if it was just a woodland creature. 

Finally, Obi-Wan and Anakin make it to a clearing and a small cottage comes into view. There was a dirt path leading to the door with ankle hight grass surrounding the rest of the area. On the right side of the house a weird rock structure stood, serving no purpose other than to look like a bunch of big rocks glued on top of each other. 

Obi-Wan walked over to the door, turning to look at Anakin from under his hood when he got there. Anakin looked around for a moment, taking everything in. Then without saying a word, Anakin walked towards the direction of the door as well. Obi-Wan opened it and stepped inside, quickly followed by Anakin. 

After closing the door Obi-Wan turned to look into the house. To the right of them there is a kitchen with a counter connected to the wall just across from the oven and fridge. There were only two stools behind the counter with a pile of books laying on one of them. Walking forward a little more there was a living room. It had a couch that faced the fireplace and a big comfy chair that was turned directly to the small coffee table which the couch also faced. The living room and kitchen were basically one room, no door or wall separating them, only the counter stopping it from being one open space.  

Directly from the front door on the other side of the house was the bathroom. In the same hallway, there was another door to the left that lead to Obi-Wan’s bedroom. 

Taking a deep breath Obi-Wan walked to the stool with books on it and picked them up. He brought them over to the small wooden coffee table and sat them down. “I know my house isn’t the biggest, but we can always add to the house. If you desire to sleep in your own room then you can simply imagine it and it will appear.”  

Anakin looked at Obi-Wan confused for a moment before it suddenly clicked. “So if I wanted my own room, I would just have to imagine having my own in this house and it would appear? I could just build another room like that?” Anakin asked as he slowly walked towards Obi-Wan. 

Obi-Wan nodded “If you’d rather stay on the couch that’s fine.” Obi-Wan looked down at his hands and put’s them in the pockets of his robes. Anakin said nothing and Obi-Wan had to look back up at him from under the hood of his robe, not letting him see his full face. Anakin looked…. upset. “I’m sorry, did I do something?” Anakin instantly snapped out of his thoughts when Obi-Wan spoke again. 

“I umm…. no, you didn’t.” Anakin cleared his throat. “I’ll sleep on the couch for now.” 

Obi-Wan nodded in understanding. “I-Is there anything you wanted to talk about, did things go okay with Padme?” Obi-Wan’s voice just seemed to be getting rougher the more he spoke.  

Anakin took a deep breath. “Things went…. better than expected.” 

Obi-Wan lets out a sigh of relief. A couple more seconds went by without either of them saying anything. Eventually, Obi-wan decided it’s time for one of them to talk. “Maybe you should try and get some sleep, it might help clear your head.” 

Obi-Wan glanced up at Anakin only to see a confused look on his face. “You can sleep in the afterlife?” Anakin questioned. 

Obi-Wan nodded. “It’s not essential but it always helps me clear my head when too many things built up.” 

‘Oh,” Is all Anakin said.  

Obi-Wan fidgeted with the pockets of his robe. “I think I’m going to go to bed, is that okay?” Obi-Wan glanced up at Anakin once again, barely showing his face. 

Anakin nodded and walked over the counter, sitting down on one of the stools. “So I can just summon anything I want?” 

“Yes,” Obi-Wan replied. He watched as Anakin closed his eyes and a bunch of droid parts appeared on the counter. Anakin opened his eyes and a look of shock made its way onto his face. He turned to Obi-Wan with that same look of shock and for some reason Obi-Wan can’t explain the gentlest of smiles crossed his features. He couldn’t remember the last time he smiled. Anakin quickly turned and started fidgeting with droid parts. 

Obi-Wan just stood and watched for a second. The scene reminded him far too much of older memories. Without making a noise Obi-Wan turned and walked into his room, the metal door silently closing behind him. 

 

*** 

 

“I hate you!” Anakin screamed at him, his eyes a deep shade of yellow that would always haunt him. 

Obi-Wan had just been trying to help, he hadn’t meant to upset him. “Please Anakin I’m sorry, please, please, please.” 

Anakin gave him a disgusted look. “What’s wrong Master, begging me to stay now! You failed me on Mustafar and you failed me now.” 

“Anakin please not again, please!” Obi-Wan fell to his knees, unable to support himself any longer. 

“I have nothing to lose!” Anakin yelled. He looked down into Obi-Wan’s blue-green eyes. “Every day when you wake up, I’ll make you look at me. I’ll make sure I remind you of just how much you failed me.” 

“I didn’t mean it, I lov-” Anakin cut Obi-Wan off with a grunt. 

Anakin looked down at him, the look of disgust becoming ten times worse. “Pathetic, look at you. A weak old man, hiding from everyone deep in the forest.” Obi-Wan felt tears fall freely down his cheeks as more pain fills his already broken heart. “You could never save me.” Suddenly Anakin pounced at him, wrapping his hand in a tight grip around his neck. The background changed from the familiar forest to Mustafar. Wait, how did he get to Mustafar?  

With that Obi-Wan gasps awake. His hands flew to his neck and he breathed a sigh of relief, realizing he’s alone. He forced himself to take a few deep breaths, calming himself even further. It was just a bad dream, he had one every night, everything would be fine. Obi-wan did his best to reassure himself. Once he calmed down he glanced out the window. The early morning sun could be seen peeking through the trees and he could already hear the beautiful birds chirping. 

Letting out another sigh of relief, Obi-Wan got out of bed. He changed into new clothes and put on his cloak. The clothes looked the same as they did yesterday, at least he hoped they did. He always tried to avoid the mirror. 

Obi-Wan took another deep breath. The nightmare that had woken him up today was as bad as normal, the only difference being the new fears exploited. The old fear in the dream was failing Anakin, of him turning to the dark side. The new fear being losing him for a second time now that he had him back. The idea that Obi-Wan could fail him all over again haunted him. He finally had another chance to keep Anakin on the light side and he prayed to the force that he would succeed. 

The things Anakin said to him in the dream hurt as well. His dreams always felt so real, so much so that sometimes he dreaded going to bed. Obi-Wan wipes a stray tear from his face a scolds himself for it. Even if Anakin stayed on the light side, Obi-Wan was sure that they would never have a relationship again, acquaintances maybe, but not the best friends they used to be. A part of Obi-Wan even prepared for the possibility that Anakin would always hate him, at least a little, even if Obi-Wan still- Obi-Wan cut that thought off, he didn’t want to think about it. 

He straightened his robes and pulled his hood up before finally walking out of his room. He was surprised to see Anakin sitting in the exact place he had been last night, still tinkering with droid parts. Obi-Wan quietly walked up to the counter. Anakin didn’t even look up at him. Obi-Wan walked to the other side of the counter to the kitchen. 

Obi-Wan made sure his hood is pulled up, he didn’t want Anakin seeing him any more than he already had. If not even Obi-Wan wanted to look at himself, then why would Anakin want to? Finally, Obi-Wan gained enough courage to speak. “Anakin?” Obi-Wan said quietly. The sound of Anakin tinkering stops and was replaced by white noise. Obi-Wan looked down at his hands which were sitting on the counter. “There is something I need to talk to you about.” 

More silence followed. It took a long moment for Obi-Wan to realize Anakin was waiting for him to talk. “I-It’s about your mother.” 

If Anakin wasn’t listening before he was now, the proof of it being the small gasp coming from his direction. “W-What about her?” Anakin questioned. 

Obi-wan resisted the urge to fidget as he stared down at his hands. “Say I knew someone when I was alive, the moment that person died I would feel it in the afterlife.” 

Anakin interrupted before Obi-Wan can finish. “What are you saying?” 

He had been trying to explain it to Anakin slowly but he was being more impatient than Obi-Wan remembered. Maybe it’s just the topic that’s making him impatient, Obi-Wan told himself. “I’m saying your mother knows that you’ve died.” The room went completely silent again. 

Obi-Wan looked down at his hands, old and wrinkled. He glanced just across the table to see Anakin’s mechanical arm wasn’t covered by a glove. Obi-Wan found it odd that Anakin chose to keep it. He continued to stare at Anakin’s hands. The longer the silence between them went on the more the other man’s hands shook.  

Anakin’s scared, I need to help him, Obi-Wan’s mind supplied. He took a deep long breath. He wasn’t there for Anakin before. He would be now. “Anakin,” Obi-Wan finally said and Anakin grabbed a metal droid part, squeezing it tightly. Somehow this stopped his hands from shaking. “I think you should see your mother.” 

Another long moment of silence where Anakin just think. “No.” 

Obi-Wan had to resist the urge to look up at Anakin and give him a confused look. “W-Why not?” Obi-Wan questioned. 

“I don’t want to,” Anakin said after another moment of silence. 

Obi-Wan crossed his arms in front of him, looking to the other side of the room in thought before glancing back down at his hands. “Anakin I…. I don’t understand, why not?” 

“I just don’t,” Anakin responded quickly this time. Obi-Wan looked at the other man’s hands for the second time. They were shaking again, still grasping the metal droid part harshly. 

Obi-Wan wasn’t going to back down so quickly, this was the person that raised Anakin until he was nine. “Anakin, your mother raised you, don’t you think she would want to see you?” 

Anakin’s hand continued to shake, picking up a pace a little. “I… I don’t want to see her.” 

Obi-Wan just didn’t understand. He needed to think about this more. If only Anakin would just tell him the reason. “Please, just tell me w-” 

“I said, I don’t want to see her!” The metal droid part Anakin was holding crumbled in his grasp. Rage radiated throughout the force and Obi-Wan backs away with a gasp. Only now does he look up at Anakin. Their eyes meet and Obi-wan could see the annoyance that filled them. He had made Anakin angry. 

His first instinct was to tell Anakin he was sorry but he swallowed the apology. Unconsciously Obi-Wan radiated fear into the force, only then did Anakin’s expression soften. Still scared Obi-Wan backed away a little more, almost tripping over his feet. Swiftly he turned and rushed to his room, locking the door behind him. 

He tried walking to his bed but collapsed before he could get there. Leaning against the bed frame Obi-Wan pulled his knees up to his chest, his breaths coming out shaky and uneven. 

He wasn’t used to people talking to him, yelling was a whole other story. Despite this the noise hadn’t even been the scariest part, it was Anakin’s face. The fact Obi-Wan had made him snap. Guilt found its way into his gut. He felt sick. He shouldn’t have pushed Anakin to tell him, it was all his fault. Obi-Wan tried to take another deep breath but his heart rate just continued to go up. 

Obi-Wan covered his mouth and let out a groan. He wasn’t going to let himself have a panic attack over something as stupid as this. Anakin had snapped at him, that’s all. He doesn’t need to have a panic attack over it. Stupid, this whole thing was just stupid. Jedi didn’t get upset over things as simple as this. 

He needed to calm down but he couldn’t. Why was it always so hard for him to control his emotions now? He used to be so good at it. Then he had died and the force decided it was time to throw every bad emotion he had ever felt back at him. 

It was like every day was a new tragedy disguised in the same cycle. Every day he would wake up from a nightmare, spend the day alone, meditate on his emotions, repeat. Every day was the same thing, the same repetitive torture over and over. The only time it ever stopped was when Qui-Gon came to visit him. Time slowed somehow. He felt less alone, safer. But then Qui-Gon leaves…. and Obi-Wan didn’t have the strength to ask him to come back. 

He was trapped, trapped in his own mind by his own fears. He could leave, tell Qui-Gon he didn’t want to be alone anymore. Obi-Wan wondered if he would help him, if maybe he would let Obi-Wan stay with him for just a week. Obi-Wan sighed, he doesn’t deserve that. He doesn’t deserve the help from Qui-Gon. He deserved to be alone after his failure. His visits every month were nice enough, Obi-Wan was already pushing the limit. 

Obi-Wan rested his head on his knees. Maybe if he tried hard enough he could get some meditation done. Moving to the center of the room. Obi-Wan crossed his legs in front of him. He closed his eyes, once again trying to slow his breathing. He needed something to distract himself, Obi-Wan realizes. Sighing, he reached out through the force, asking for help. The force hummed back in return, seeming glad he had finally turned to it for guidance. 

A sense of calmness washed over him. Obi-Wan thought about what he wanted. The thought almost came to him immediately. He wanted to think about Anakin, not the Anakin now, but who he used to be. He wants to go inside a good memory, one where Obi-Wan made Anakin happy, not upset. 

Once again the force hummed, granting his wish. Obi-Wan was sitting in his quarters in the Jedi Temple, looking at the night sky. The stars can’t be seen on Coruscant but the buildings and speeders always looked prettier at night. It was peaceful. He had the window open so a cool breeze would blow past him, filling the room up with cold evening air. 

Behind him, he heard the door open to his bedroom and someone walk in, they hadn’t even knocked. Obi-Wan rolled his eyes, knowing exactly who this was. The footsteps came closer until they came to a stop behind his chair. “Corusants always pretty at night,” Anakin said behind him. 

Obi-Wan nodded in agreement. “It is.” 

A beat of silence. “I do wish I could see the stars on Coruscant,” Anakin said.  

Obi-Wan thought about it for a moment. “I’ve seen this same sky my whole life and plan on continuing to see this same sky the rest of it. I guess it’s not worth wishing for something you know you’ll never have…. But yes, stares would look nice,” Obi-Wan finally said, turning to look at Anakin for just a second so he could give him a smirk. Anakin’s padawan braid was long now, hanging past his shoulder. It made Obi-Wan’s smirk turn into a smile. 

Anakin didn’t look at him so Obi-Wan turned back towards the window. They just sat there for a couple of minutes before Anakin spoke again. “Do you know what I used to wish,” Anakin finally said.  

“What is that?” Obi-Wan questioned, not turning his head away from the window. 

Anakin spoke again, his tone wistful. “I used to want to travel to them all, see all the stares and all the planets. Back on Tatooine that was my big dream, to travel the galaxy. Well, that and becoming a Jedi.” 

Obi-Wan could feel Anakin’s happiness through their bond. “Well what happened, don’t you still want to travel the galaxy?” 

“I do,” Anakin replied.  

Obi-Wan giggled. “Well then you better get going, you won’t have enough time to see them all unless you hurry.” Obi-Wan turned around with a smirk and Anakin rolled his eyes. 

“Dreams change,” Anakin said simply. 

Obi-Wan gave him a mock confused look. “But I thought you said you wanted to see the galaxy?” 

Anakin nodded, “I do but, my dream changed a little. I know I can’t see every planet and every star.” 

Obi-Wan nodded in agreement before staring back out the window. “Soon you’ll be able to see them all by yourself.” 

“What do you mean? Like a solo mission?” Anakin questioned. 

Obi-Wan turned around and raised an eyebrow at Anakin. “Surely you know what I mean.” 

Anakin tilted his head to the side. “I’m sorry Master.” Anakin was doing a poor job at hiding the smirk forming on his face. 

Obi-Wan sighed and his face took on a warm smile, one meant only for Anakin. “Anakin…. I think you’re ready for the trials.” 

Anakin’s face lit up brighter than Obi-Wan’s seen it in years. “Yes!” Anakin shouted and jumped in the air, running behind him to do what looked to be some kind of celebratory dance. 

Obi-Wan laughed, a real one making it past his lips in what felt like forever. Obi-Wan watched his Padawan fondly. Something deep in his mind told him his attachment was too deep, that he needed to distance himself. Another part told him he wasn’t close enough, his heart yearned to share his feelings. Obi-Wan sighed, he truly believes he had the best padawan ever. 

“I am very proud of you Anakin.” The boy in question stopped his dance to look at him, a bright smile still plastered on his face. 

“I know,” Anakin said and it filled Obi-Wan up to the brim with joy. This very moment would make his whole week, seeing Anakin this happy was such a gift. 

“Can I go celebrate?” Anakin asked Obi-Wan. 

Obi-Wan sighed “If you come home drunk I’m making you do laps around the temple.” Anakin laughed as he bolted out of his room. Obi-Wan yelled behind him, not finished with what he was saying. “Bring your comm!”

Anakin laughed again. “Of course Master!” Anakin yelled before the door shut behind him. 

Obi-Wan let out an exasperated sigh and turned back towards the window. “Stay safe,” Obi-Wan whispered, “You are my closest and dearest friend Anakin.” The force hummed in agreement. 

 

***

 

Obi-Wan opened his eyes. He had asked the force to show him a happy memory and it yielded to his wishes. Reliving memories was both a blessing and a curse in the afterlife. You could relive the best moment or the worst. Sometimes the force would show him memories without him asking, usually the bad ones. They almost always came when he was asleep, when he had the least control. It was like the force had some kind of agenda, pushing terrible things back on Obi-Wan, pushing his emotions back towards him. Obi-Wan sighed and shrugged the thought off. 

Slowly Obi-wan stood up and stretched. The soothing sound of rain pattered against the roof and window. He wondered what he should do next. He felt hungry and wonders if he can get some tea in the kitchen. He always preferred to make it instead of just summoning it. Making tea always helped distract him for a little. 

Obi-Wan walked to the door and was about to open it when he remembered just why he went into his room in the first place. Anakin.  

With a sigh Obi-Wan backed away from the door, it seems his courage has not yet come to him. With a quiet groan, Obi-Wan walked to the window and looked out it. The first thing he saw was the rain sitting on the window, then the trees, then his reflection. 

He just stared at himself. He looked tired, something that wasn’t even supposed to be possible in the afterlife. He rubbed a hand over his face and looked closer at himself. The last time he looked at his reflection was right before Anakin had died. He had looked in the mirror right after running from his bed. He had been running from himself, his memories. 

Most of those memories had been about Anakin. He finally had Anakin back and he was hiding from him. He should be ashamed of himself. Getting so freaked out over something so trivial. He had just made things worse by running to the safety of his room. He should have apologized for pushing him. 

Looking at himself now, his expression took on a pained look. He missed Anakin, that was easy to admit. He missed their talks as friends and the way Anakin would annoy him to no end just to get a rise out of him. It had bothered him at the time but looking back on it, some of his fondest memories were the ones where Anakin picked on him, no matter how frustrating it used to be.  He would give almost anything to have that back, to have that Anakin back. 

‘You are my closest and dearest friend Anakin.’ Obi-Wan’s own words echoed in his head. Could he really ever have that Anakin back? And if he did get him back, could he forgive everything Darth Vader had done? Or was it Anakin that did all those terrible things? He hated thinking about it, the man he cared for more than himself becoming a Sith Lord. 

It was partially his fault too. He hadn’t shown Anakin enough affection. Maybe he needed to be more open about his feelings. Maybe he needed to talk with Anakin more. He had distanced himself too much. There were so many things he did wrong. He was pathetic, he could only beg the force Anakin wouldn’t leave him a second time. 

He snapped out of his thoughts and gazed one last time at his reflection. A sad old man stared back at him, a man he barely recognized as himself. He could be young if he wanted, change his appearance to look more like he did in his thirties or even twenties. He always chose not to. There had never really been a point to do that, it’s not like very many people saw him anyways. Now that he had Anakin he had more of a reason to change, but then again why should it matter if Anakin is here or not. Changing his appearance wouldn’t change who he was on the inside. A pathetic old man. 

With a sigh Obi-Wan turned away from the window and walks to the door. He opened it before his mind can protest and walked straight to the kitchen. Anakin was still sitting at the counter, doing the exact thing he was doing before. Obi-Wan pulled out a tea bag for his favorite flavor of tea. Tea had always been one of the few comforts Obi-Wan allowed himself. He didn’t think he could live without tea, even if he was already dead. If he was quite honest with himself his love for tea might even border on addiction. 

After getting everything ready Obi-Wan let the teabag steep in the hot water in his mug. Anakin hadn’t said a word the entire time. Building up all the courage he could muster Obi-Wan spoke. “Anakin, have you chosen to be hungry?” 

He heard Anakin stop fidgeting and clear his throat. “I feel hungry now,” Anakin stated rather bluntly. 

“Would you like something to eat?” Obi-Wan questioned. “You can summon whatever you like. You can also choose to not feel hungry at all.” 

A couple seconds of silence pass before Anakin spoke again. “I don’t want to eat.” 

“So you’ve chosen to not feel hungry?” Obi-Wan asked. 

“I’m still hungry,” Anakin replied.  

Obi-Wan turned around confused, hood still covering most of his face. “Why choose to be hungry and not eat anything?” 

Anakin shrugged. “Just want to tinker right now, I’ll eat later.” 

“You know you can just choose not to feel hungry and change your mind later. It’s not permanent,” Obi-Wan said.  

“I know,” Anakin replied. 

Obi-Wan wondered why Anakin would choose to feel hungry and not eat anything. Maybe he was just distracted by his thoughts and would choose to eat soon. “Have you slept at all?” A moment of silence. “Or moved?” 

Obi-Wan looked back at Anakin to see him shaking his head. Obi-Wan sighed again. He decided not to say anything more. He didn’t want to push him again. 

The rest of the day went by quickly. Obi-Wan didn’t really talk anymore. He felt bad about it but, then again, Anakin made no attempt to talk to him either. The man had spent the rest of the day tinkering, just sitting at the counter, doing nothing but fidget with droid parts. Obi-Wan would watch as Anakin builds an entire droid, just to look at it for a couple of seconds and take it apart. Obi-Wan knew tinkering had always been Anakin’s way of meditating but Obi-Wan had certainly never meditated for more than twenty-four hours. It was dark outside when Obi-Wan had pushed Anakin to go to bed. He told him sleep would help with whatever Anakin was dealing with but Anakin had just shrugged him off. Obi-Wan on the other hand would be going to bed. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan gasped awake. Tears are once again dripping down his cheeks and he wiped them with the back of his hands. He squinted his eyes closed and pressed the palms of his hands against them. Why did his mind have to be so cruel to him? Why did the force itself have to be so cruel to him? Every night he would have these terrible nightmares and he wished he could just go one single night without them. 

Removing his palms and looking to the window Obi-Wan could see it’s still dark outside. He turned to look at the clock next to his bed and saw he’d only been asleep for two hours. He stifled a groan and rubbed his hands over his face. He should probably just try to go back to bed. He closed his eyes and pulled the covers closer. That’s when he heard it. 

The sound of someone crying. Obi-Wan sat up, not sure if he was hearing this right. 

His heart sunk. The sound was familiar. A sound he hadn’t heard a lot, but hurt him like nothing else when he did. It was Anakin. 

Quietly, Obi-Wan got out of bed. He crept over to the door and pressed his ear against it. He could hear the sobs louder now, much louder than he expected. He repressed a pained noise as he realized just where Anakin was crying. He was leaning against the door.  

Tears fill his eyes and fell down his cheeks before he had the chance to wipe them away. His hand moved to his mouth as he lets out a sob of his own. 

Was he scared to talk to him, Obi-Wan wondered. Just like he had been when they were alive. A new wave of pain washed over him and Obi-Wan had to lean against the door to support himself, the pain being so strong he couldn’t even stand. Slowly, with his force signature now completely muted, Obi-Wan slid down the door, pulling his knees  up to his chest when he hit the bottom. 

Why wouldn’t Anakin open the door? He wished Anakin would because Obi-Wan already knew he himself didn’t have the strength to. He was only one push of a button away, he would move his arm slightly up and he would see Anakin. Another sob and Obi-Wan began shaking with agony. Please open the door, please. Obi-Wan begged the force that Anakin would do it, but no one responded. 

Obi-Wan wondered if Anakin could hear his quiet sobs. If Anakin knew he was sitting just on the other side of the door, listening to him cry. If Anakin could hear his pain too. They just sat there sobbing, both on opposite sides of the closed door. So close yet so far away. 

 

Obi-Wan felt it as their bond shattered a little more. 




Chapter Text

Obi-Wan opened his eyes. The sun shone beautifully through the window with no trace of last night’s storm. Looking around the room Obi-Wan quickly discovered he was not in his bed, but on the floor. Confusion was the first emotion to hit him, realization was the second. Memories of last night flooded him. He remembered crying, Anakin leaning against the door on the other side. 

An intense wave of guilt washed over him. It wasn’t just the fact that he had sat and listened to Anakin cry, it was the fact that if it happened again he still wouldn’t have the strength to open the door. Obi-Wan could only pray Anakin hadn’t heard him on the other side. What would he think of him then, Obi-Wan wondered. He knew Anakin already hated him enough. 

Slowly, Obi-Wan stood up and stretched. Taking a deep but shaky breath, he walked to his closet. He needed to get changed. Inside of his closet was a bunch of clothes, every single pair looking almost identical. All except for one. A single pair of Anakin’s old robes lay in a chest, hidden in the very back of the closet. 

Sometimes, only sometimes, Obi-Wan would pull out the chest and take them out. He would just hold them, look at the shirt. He had truly thought he would never see Anakin again. 

An old memory of Obi-Wan crying into Anakin’s shirt flashed across his vision and he quickly brushed it off. 

He had wanted nothing more than to be with Anakin again. He used to think he would do anything to have him back but now that he’s here Obi-Wan is too scared to even talk with him. The man he once cared for more than life itself was right outside the door and he couldn’t even comfort him when he needed it. To think he would have died for that man. He couldn’t help but wonder if that was an unhealthy attachment, to want to die for someone. 

I would even let him kill me, his mind whispered. And Obi-Wan knew it was true, because he had. 

He grabbed his clothes and quickly changed into them. He then wished for his nightclothes to be cleaned and the force did it for him. He hung those up quickly.

With another shaky breath and the feeling of guilt still present, Obi-Wan stepped outside. He breathed a silent sigh of relief when he didn’t find Anakin still sitting outside the door. He looked to the counter and was surprised to not find him there either. It was only when he looked into the living room that he saw Anakin. He’s turned the cushioned chair to face out the window. He sat there just staring, no droid parts to be seen. 

Cautiously, Obi-Wan pulled up his hood and made his way to the kitchen to make tea. He got everything out before letting his teabag seep in the hot water while filling the mug. When he turned around, he was surprised to see Anakin looking at him. There was an unreadable expression on his face. Anakin turned away quickly, as if he hadn’t wanted Obi-Wan to know he was looking at him. With a sigh, Obi-Wan finished making the tea. He sat at the counter and drank his tea quietly. He could feel Anakin staring at his back. The whole time he sat there Obi-Wan couldn’t help but wonder, does he know?  

 

*** 

 

The screams of pain are unbearable. Looking down to the lava bank of Mustafar Obi-Wan made eye contact with Anakin. “I hate you!” Anakin yelled and Obi-Wan felt his heart shrivel, turning as black as the ash of Mustafar. He would join him, Obi-Wan thought as he took a step toward Anakin. He would give in to this instinct and die next to Anakin, he had always known this man would be the death of him. 

In a moment of weakness, Obi-Wan fell to his knees. The ash burned and he already wanted to scream but this wasn’t half the pain Anakin was feeling. He fell on his side, his once tidy robes caught on fire as he rolled down the hill to lay next to Anakin. Their screams of agony mixed and soon Obi-Wan couldn’t tell where his screams began and where Anakin’s ended. 

Now, they could be together. 

 

Obi-Wan woke up with a gasp. He felt around the bed frantically as water built up in his eyes. He moved his knees up to his chest, sliding his arms around them. 

Shivering, but not from the cold, Obi-Wan glanced frantically around the room. The only light came from the soft light of the moon shining in from the window, stopping the room from falling into complete darkness. He winced as Anakin’s screams rang in his ears. Why did it sound so real? It was so loud, Obi-Wan thought as he moved his hands over his ears and closed his eyes. The sound didn’t go away. “Make it stop,” Obi-Wan whispered. 

Removing his hands from his ears, the yelling and sobbing grew even louder. A loud crash came from outside his room making Obi-Wan curl around himself tighter. Only then did Obi-Wan realize, he wasn’t imagining those screams. 

Anakin was in pain. 

He acted fast, using the force to propel himself out of bed before grabbing his cloak, slipping it on in record time. He opened the door and ran outside to see Anakin curled up in a ball, the living room completely destroyed. Planks of wood and stuffing from the cushions surrounded him and in a mess as Anakin sobbed in the center. Anakin had destroyed everything. 

“Anakin!” Obi-Wan yelled as he ran to his side, falling to his knees right beside him. Anakin continued sobbing, hiding his head in his hands. Without thinking, Obi-Wan reached forward and placed his hand on Anakin’s shoulder. 

Obi-Wan froze up. He didn’t know what to do, how to comfort him. If he didn’t even know how to comfort himself, how was he ever supposed to comfort someone else. A memory of Obi-Wan as a youngling and one of the creche Masters rubbing his back after a nightmare played in his mind. He wondered if Anakin would want something like that. 

A loud sob broke him out of his thoughts and he looked back down at Anakin who was still sobbing helplessly on the floor. His heart squeezed painfully and all Obi-Wan could think about was how much pain Anakin looked to be in. 

With courage that could even rival the greatest Jedi Master, he moved his now shaking hand back and forth across Anakin’s back. Anakin’s crying got the slightest bit quieter. He continued like that. Obi-wan would rub his hand over Anakin’s back, creating predictable patterns for him to focus on. Up, down, left, right, repeat. 

He hoped Anakin found comfort in this clumsy attempt. His hand was still shaking like mad from touching Anakin and Obi-Wan couldn’t seem to calm himself. He couldn’t tell which urge was stronger, the urge to stay here or the urge to run to safety. Ultimately, it was the urge to stay won and it was a good time later that Anakin’s crying finally subsided. 

After a couple minutes of silence from Anakin, Obi-Wan got up and brushed himself off. Anakin immediately sat up as Obi-wan started to inspect the damage. It wasn’t a big deal, they could just summon new items. What was a big deal was how Anakin had decided to lash out, how he lost control. It was similar to yesterday when he lost his temper with Obi-Wan except this time was more extreme. He couldn’t help but wonder if Anakin’s anger and screams were what had caused Obi-Wan’s nightmare. Sometimes the outside world had an effect on dreams. He really hoped he hadn’t come up with such a horrid dream on his own. 

With a silent sigh Obi-Wan finished inspecting the damage. Anakin had somehow managed to destroy all of the pieces of furniture in the living room. Thank the force he stopped before he got to the kitchen. The mess wouldn’t be a problem to clean up, he was just glad Anakin was able to contain himself before reaching that point. 

With a deep breath, Obi-Wan finally turned back to Anakin who was now staring at him. “I-I need you to move.” Obi-Wan needed Anakin to get out of the way so he could replace the furniture. 

Anakin just stared at him confused. “Why did you help me?” Anakin asked. 

Obi-Wan didn’t know how to put his feelings into words. Not even the most complex of languages could describe what he felt for Anakin. “I just…. please move.” 

Anakin doesn’t budge and his face taking on a rebellious look, as if Obi-Wan had just challenged him. “Why did you help me?” Anakin asked, frustration present in his voice. 

Obi-Wan crossed his arms and averted his gaze to anywhere but Anakin. Obi-Wan didn’t even have time to form an answer before Anakin interjected. “I asked you a question! Why did you help me!?” 

Obi-wan took a step back before dropping his hands back to his sides in frustration. “Fine,” he said as he began to walk away. He would give Anakin time to cool down. Ob-Wan barely got a step when Anakin got up and grabbed his wrist in a vice grip. Obi-Wan gasped and tried to yank his hand away. “No!” He yelled and only then did Anakin let go. 

Obi-Wan stumbled backward, only barely catching himself before he fell. His wrist felt like it was on fire. The second Anakin touched him it was like an electric shock had traveled throughout his entire body. He looked down at his wrist only to find that nothing had changed. He heard Anakin take another step back and stumble on a broken board. 

Obi-Wan didn’t look back up at Anakin. “Are you going to let me fix the living room?” Obi-Wan asked, his voice sounding almost hurt. 

Anakin cleared his throat. “Yes.” With that he heard Anakin walk to the kitchen counter and sit down. Obi-Wan sighed silently and took a few steps back. He closed his eyes and focused on the living room. He imagined how it looked before Anakin destroyed it and made the wish for it to be back to that state. When he opened his eyes the living room was back to normal, everything put in its correct spot. It even looked a little cleaner than it had before. 

After a few more seconds of admiring the living room Obi-Wan took a deep breath, deciding he couldn’t avoid talking to Anakin forever. “Would you like to go back to bed?” Obi-Wan asked as politely as he could. 

“No,” Anakin replied quickly. Subconsciously, Obi-Wan pulled his hood tighter around himself, lost in thought for a few moments. It was quite obvious at this point he wouldn’t be going to bed either. It was probably best if he just made himself a cup of tea. 

Obi-Wan walked to the kitchen and got out his usual mug from the pantry. “D-Do you want anything to eat?” Obi-Wan stumbled out. It was a stupid question. Anakin could get anything he wanted just by thinking about it and here Obi-Wan was offering him food. 

“No,” Anakin said after a moment. Obi-Wan poured hot water from the sink into his mug and let the teabag seep. It was a lot easier to make tea in the afterlife, especially since he didn’t have to wait for the sink water to heat up, it could even come out boiling if he wanted. 

Turning his attention back to Anakin, Obi-wan decided to speak his mind. “So, I assume you’ve chosen not to feel hunger.” Obi-Wan waited for an answer from Anakin but none came. “Anakin?” Obi-Wan asked.  

“I’m starving,” Anakin said blatantly. 

Obi-Wan looked down at his steaming mug of tea in confusion, not once turning to look at the man behind him. “But I thought you said you didn’t want to eat anything?” 

Anakin was silent for a long moment before replying again. “I don’t.” 

That’s when the terrible truth clicked, all the pieces falling right into place and making every conversation he’d had with Anakin about eating make perfect sense. “Anakin you can’t….” A long moment of silence. “Anakin, are you starving yourself?” This would only lead to great pain. It was impossible to die if you were already dead, but the afterlife wasn’t completely immune to pain. If you chose to feel hunger and chose not to eat, it could cause pain, make you feel starving. Of course, this pain had its limits but it was just that, pain. It would cause a constant temptation to eat. Anakin would be even more miserable if he kept that up. 

Anakin never replied to his question. “Anakin, please answer me,” Obi-Wan begged. 

“Why does it matter?” Anakin questioned, a slight hint of annoyance already in his voice. 

Obi-Wan felt his own frustration build. “Y-You’re hurting yourself.” 

 A sigh behind him. “It doesn’t matter!” Anakin said, raising his voice.  

For a second Obi-Wan felt hurt by this but pushed forward, he needed to know why Anakin was causing himself harm. He needed to help Anakin. “Please Anakin, just tell me why?” Obi-Wan tried to keep his voice as calm as possible. 

Anakin gave a frustrated huff, his anger building. “Look, I don’t know why you care whether or not I starve myself!” 

Obi-wan’s eyes widened. “So you are starving yourself.” Anakin was silent behind him. “Anakin that’s terrible.” He heard Anakin get up from his seat and Obi-Wan turned around to see Anakin is looking at him angrily. Obi-Wan didn’t make eye contact with him but he could still see how angry and even hurt the other man was. 

“I don’t know why you care! I don’t know why you helped me after my nightmare! And I don’t know why you are so worked up about me starving myself!” Anakin’s posture got even tenser and he pushed the stool aside so he could pace back and forth in front of the kitchen. 

Obi-Wan’s face showed none of the fear that was currently consuming his insides. His face looked expressionless, no hint of worry or sadness on his features. He made sure to check that his shields were as tight as they could be before speaking. “I don’t….know….” Obi-Wan trailed off and looked back down at his feet. He didn’t know how to answer Anakin’s question because he didn’t even really know the answer himself. Did he help Anakin because he was scared of him turning back to the dark side or was there a more personal reason, one linked to his deepest emotions?  

“I guess we’re still not communicating then!” Anakin yelled. There was more hurt than anger in his voice and it made Obi-Wan flinch. 

“Please Anakin, I know you can tell me why you’re starving yourself. I want to help you,” Obi-Wan responded. He knew it wasn’t fair for him to not answer Ankain’s question and then proceed to push Anakin for an answer he obviously wasn’t comfortable sharing. But as Obi-Wan had said a second ago, he just wanted to help him. 

Anakin stopped his pacing and looked directly at him, uncontrolled anger flowing through the force around him. Then it seemed that all the anger building up was released and Anakin snapped at him. “Fine, you really want to know so bad! It’s because I deserve it! I deserve to starve! Hell, I don’t even deserve to be here!” Anakin picked up one of Obi-Wan’s books before throwing it across the room in his anger. The book crashed into the living room wall, creating a hole. Obi-Wan’s eyes widen and he tried to back away only to remember he was up against a counter. “I’m a monster Obi-Wan! Don’t you remember what I did!” There was a long moment of silence. “A monster, that’s what I am! I destroyed everything! I deserve to be locked up, I don’t deserve to be here!” Obi-Wan wrapped his arms around himself, refusing to look up. “Don’t you remember what I did to you Obi-Wan!?” At that moment Obi-Wan saw Darth Vader, no, Anakin standing in front of him. His breathing machine the only noise besides their lightsabers. He closed his eyes before he could see what Anakin would do next, before he could see Anakin kill him. 

Obi-Wan shook his head as tears welled up in his eyes. His mind screamed at him as he tried to forget that awful memory. His mind told him to make it stop, he just wanted it all the stop. The yelling was too loud, there was too much noise. Anakin threw the stool to the ground and it created a loud bang. Obi-Wan looked up at this and had to use all his strength not to cover his ears. Anakin curled his fists into tight balls by his side as he looked straight at Obi-Wan. “You wouldn’t understand,” Anakin choked out. “You wouldn’t understand what it’s like to not deserve something.” 

Absolute sadness filled Obi-Wan. Of course Anakin wouldn’t know. It’s not like he told him, it’s not like he knew Obi-Wan hated himself for almost everything he did. This was the last straw for Obi-Wan as he turned and walked straight out of the house, using the force to slam the door shut behind him. More tears built up in his eyes and Obi-Wan felt like he was going to cry. 

The early morning sun shone just above the trees and the birds sang all around him. The wind blew in gently, moving the leaves and branches of the trees in the prettiest way. Obi-Wan would usually love a morning like this but he couldn’t bring himself to enjoy it at the moment as tears streamed down his cheeks. He scolded himself internally for it. He told himself that he shouldn’t be getting himself worked up. 

Obi-Wan walked over to his favorite spot next to the tall, weirdly shaped rock. He sat with his legs crossed in front of him and stared at the forest in front of him. He closed his eyes and tried to meditate. If he focused on his pain any longer, he would drive himself crazy. He needed to avoid the pain, lock it away. He always hoped that if he just pretended that it wasn’t there, it would go away on its own. He could always try releasing his emotions to the force but that didn’t work all the time. The pain could be too strong at moments to just release it. With a deep breath, Obi-Wan did his best to fall into meditation. He succeeded for a short time. 

It was a good time later when a loud chirp came from his front and startled him from his meditation. He opened his eyes to find a golden finish in front of him. The sun had risen a little more and the sun shone beautifully through the leaves. He looked around at the trees for a moment before looking back down at the finch. “Hello there,” Obi-wan said as if he was talking to another person. 

The golden, yellow finch chirped at him in return and Obi-Wan smiled genuinely. He held out his finger for the finch to jump on. The bird did so immediately and Obi-wan brought her closer to his body. “Hello Patience,” Obi-Wan greeted the finch again and the bird tilted its head to the side and chirped, as if understanding its given name. 

Birds were different in the afterlife. They would often come and sit in front of Obi-Wan, expecting to be fed or petted. There was no risk of death in the afterlife, and therefore there wasn’t much fear. Birds were one of the many animals that became brave enough to interact with people. Obi-Wan ran his finger over the bird’s head, petting it. Patience whistled in response. 

As Obi-Wan looked at Patience, he began to remember the first time he met the bird. He hadn’t even been in the afterlife a year and Obi-Wan recalled that he had been having a particularly bad day. His emotions and even the force itself seemed to be fighting against him. He had felt terribly alone and he came outside to meditate. He sat in the exact spot he was in now and closed his eyes. He had tried so hard to meditate, but no matter how hard he tried to clear his mind, he just couldn’t do it. After what seemed like an hour of trying Obi-Wan was about to give up. 

That was when a yellow bird landed on his knee. He remembered looking down at the bird curiously, wondering what it was doing just sitting there. The bird chirped and jumped onto his thigh. Obi-Wan held out his hand and the bird quickly jumped onto it. The bird looked at him almost curiously, just standing there.  

“At least someone wants to be around me,” Obi-Wan had said to the bird. Tears welled up in his eyes and spilled down his cheeks quickly. He couldn’t hold his sadness back as he began sobbing in front of this bird. The finch just sat there the whole time as Obi-Wan cried about his problems and the pain he was going through. He cried about Anakin and Qui-Gon and how he felt lost. He cried about how he was thinking about visiting Qui-Gon but was too scared. He cried about how scared he was that he would never see Anakin again and how alone he felt ever since the man left him. 

The finch just sat there, the entire time. The weirdest part was how long the bird was able to stay there, Obi-Wan knew he had cried for maybe a whole hour, yet it sat there silently as if it understood his pain. That’s when Obi-wan had decided to name her Patience. She was the perfect representation of it. 

Smiling at the bird again, Obi-Wan rubbed her head with his finger. She whistled happily in response. “Would you like some food Patience?” Obi-Wan asked as if the bird could reply. The bird said nothing in response and Obi-Wan just chuckled before closing his eyes. He imagined a pile of birdseed in front of him. When he opened his eyes, he was happy to find the exact pile of birdseed he had imagined sitting in front of him. Rather impatiently, Patience jumped out of his hand and onto the pile of birdseed. Obi-Wan smiled sweetly at the bird. 

 

*** 

 

It was about an hour later when Obi-wan stepped back into the house. The stool was fixed, as was the hole in the wall. Anakin was sitting at the counter. He wasn’t fidgeting or tinkering with anything, instead just staring dramatically down at his hands. Obi-Wan’s first emotion was worry and he was about to say something when he remembered exactly why he had stormed out of the house in the first place. 

With a silent sigh, Obi-wan slowly walked past Anakin, keeping his hood pulled up and his robe wrapped tightly around him. He just got past Anakin when he had heard his name. 

“Obi-Wan,” Anakin said in a quiet voice and Obi-Wan felt his heart rate begin to quicken.  Obi-Wan stopped in his tracks and looked slightly up at Anakin, showing him he was listening. “I’m sorry,” Anakin said quietly. 

Obi-Wan almost smiled. Their fight wasn’t entirely Anakin’s fault but Obi-Wan was glad he was trying to make him feel better. “It’s okay…. I’m sorry too,” Obi-Wan said before walking back to his room quietly. Obi-Wan shut the door and that ended the conversation. Both were alone once again, so close, yet so far away. 

Chapter Text

 “Will you be eating today?” Obi-Wan’s back was turned away from him as he drank his tea. His hood was once again pulled over his head. It felt like Obi-Wan hadn’t made eye contact with him since he got here. Anakin wondered why that was. 

“No,” Anakin responded simply. He would not be eating, as he had told Obi-Wan the day before he didn’t deserve to. He was a terrible, evil, disgusting, horrendous person who deserved to rot in some fiery landscape where he was forced to reflect on his life’s actions the rest of eternity. He knew that sounded harsh, but so was destroying an entire planet, slaughtering a bunch of Jedi, and being a Sith Lord for force’s sake. Anakin made a frustrated noise and saw Obi-wan’s back tense up. Anakin rolled his eyes, not at Obi-Wan, but at himself. He was scaring Obi-Wan, he had to be. He didn’t deserve to be here with Obi-Wan either. He couldn’t control his temper and it was obviously bothering the now even older man. 

“Anakin, how long can you go without eating?” Obi-Wan’s voice was gentle yet scared at the same time. 

“Eternity,” Anakin responded dramatically. 

Obi-Wan just sighed. “You are going to keep this up for eternity? You’ll be miserable.” 

Anakin growled and stood up from the stool. “That’s the point!” Anakin sucked in a breath when he realized he yelled again. He hadn’t meant to do that. He just couldn’t control himself. 

Obi-Wan placed the tea down and turned to glare at him. Obi-Wan looked at him, just to glare at him. “Control your temper!” Obi-Wan said angrily. Anakin was taken aback. Obi-Wan actually raised his voice at him. Obi-Wan almost immediately looked back down, ashamed. “I didn’t mean to raise my voice,” Obi-Wan said sadly. 

“No, you had the right to. You’re right,” Anakin responded with a hint of regret in his voice. “I do need to control my temper, and I hadn’t meant to yell.” Obi-Wan sighed but before he could respond Anakin cut him off. “I don’t know how….to control my temper.” Anakin said quietly, sounding ashamed. 

Obi-Wan sighed again and his arms fell to his sides. “I….can help you.” 

Anakin was astonished and his face took on a hopeful expression. “You can?” Obi-Wan actually wanted to help him, after everything he did to him? He would really be willing to go through the trouble of helping the man that had killed him. Before Obi-Wan can get the chance to respond there is a knock on the door. Anakin furrowed his eyebrows. “Who is that!?” Anakin demanded. 

Obi-Wan walked to the door. “It’s Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan responded simply. 

Anakin felt confused. “How do you know?” 

Obi-Wan gave an amused huff. “Who else would it be?” Before Anakin could question that Obi-wan opened the door and Qui-Gon walked in. Anakin felt his heart stop. He wondered if it was possible to pass out in the afterlife, because if so now would be the time. Qui-Gon looked at Obi-Wan first and Obi-Wan returned his gaze. Anakin wondered why Obi-Wan could look at Qui-Gon and not him. Something almost like jealousy blossomed in his chest but he pushed the feeling away quickly. 

“Hello Obi-Wan,” Qui-Gon greeted with a small smile on his face. 

Obi-Wan bowed his head. “Hello, Qui-Gon.” 

Qui-Gon’s smile got even bigger and Obi-Wan cleared his throat. “Do I need to leave?” Obi-Wan asked hesitantly. 

Qui-Gon shook his head. “No, thank you for asking.” Obi-Wan looked happy with himself. As if being praised even in the slightest from Qui-Gon had made his day. Obi-Wan turned away and grabbed his tea. 

Qui-Gon turned to face Anakin and he felt like collapsing. He wondered if he could just pretend to pass out. Maybe then he wouldn’t have to deal with the terrible conversation he and Qui-Gon were about to have. Qui-Gon took a deep breath before making eye contact with Anakin. Anakin just stared back, unable to move in the slightest. His mind screamed at him to say something, he even opened his mouth, only for his emotions to die on his tongue. Anakin wanted to fall on his knees in front of Master Jinn, tell him how much of a failure he had been. He had disappointed him greatly. How would he ever make it up to him?  

Qui-Gon Jinn spoke first. “Anakin,” he greeted. Anakin couldn’t even begin to tell what emotion the man in front of him was feeling, they were too well hidden. Anakin took a deep, yet shaky breath and walked around the counter to stand in front of Master Jinn. Jedi Master stood in front of former Sith Lord, yet neither were fighting, not with weapons that is. 

Anakin opened his mouth again, his voice sad and regretful. “Master Jinn.” To think Anakin might have even slightly considered this man a father figure. He was sure Master Jinn was beyond disappointed, maybe even despised him. Anakin felt his throat tighten and tears start to fill his eyes, he mentally curses himself for it. “I am….I am so sorry.” And that wasn’t even a quarter of what Anakin wanted to say. 

Master Jinn’s expression didn’t soften. He just sighed. Anakin spoke again and his voice was filled with even more sadness than before. “You must be disappointed in me, after everything I did. You had faith in me and I blew it. I became a Sith Lord, destroyed the Jedi Temple, killed thousands of people, I don’t think there is any way I can make up for that.” Anakin looked down and wiped his leaking eyes. “I owe you everything.” Anakin hated the way he cried. It was weak of him. His guilt choked him, controlled his every move. It was pathetic, absolutely pathetic the way he cried. Master Jinn didn’t want to see his pity party. Sidious’s voice rang inside his head, telling him that crying was for the weak. 

There was a long moment of silence where Anakin imagined himself falling to the ground and weeping in front of Master Jinn. He would be even more of an embarrassment if he did that. “You owe me nothing,” Master Jinn said and Anakin immediately looked up at him with tear-filled eyes. 

“What!” Anakin demanded. Qui-Gon looked over at Obi-Wan and they exchanged a look before Qui-Gon turned back to give Anakin his full attention. 

Qui-Gon folded his arms gently in front of him. “You owe me nothing. You came back in the end, and you brought balance to the force.” 

Anakin furrowed his brows, looking confused and angry. “How could I owe you nothing!? You have to at least be angry with me! If not angry disappointed!” Anakin resisted the urge to pace the room. 

“I am disappointed,” Qui-Gon said. Anakin felt anger rise in him from this response. He was expecting this, he shouldn’t be angry. “You brought balance to the force, but it was how you got there that I am disappointed in. That said your fall cannot be entirely blamed on you either. The Jedi were flawed, even I saw it when I was alive and that was before the war.” Qui-Gon sighed. “I wish I could have been there to help you, it was unfair to leave you with just Obi-Wan, no matter how capable he was.” 

Obi-Wan turned at this. “No Master you-” Qui-Gon cut him off with a look and Obi-Wan turned back to his tea. Anakin watched Qui-Gon’s expression closely as he looked at Obi-Wan. It was almost what could be described as fond, but of course, Obi-Wan didn’t see it. 

Qui-Gon quickly turned back to Anakin and his fond smile went away. Anakin spoke up. “It doesn’t matter how corrupt the Jedi were, in the end, it was I who made the decision to turn.” 

Qui-Gon nodded in agreement. “It was. But I am simply pointing out what may have played a part in that fall. But It is still, your fault . Only you were responsible for your actions Anakin. I know you see that to be true as much as I do.” 

Anakin looked down, ashamed. “I know Master Jinn. And the worst part of this whole thing is that all I can do is say sorry.” Anakin looked up and the two men made eye contact. “You say I don’t owe you anything, but I can’t help but feel like I do. I owe a lot of people stuff.” Anakin looked directly at Obi-Wan’s back only to quickly move his gaze back to Qui-Gon. 

Qui-Gon sighed and shook his head. “Anakin, you will never owe me anything, I promise you.” Qui-Gon let his arms fall to his sides. “I will not spend my time in the afterlife holding grudges.”  

Anakin sucked in a breath and grabbed onto the counter for balance. “So you’re just letting this go!” This was impossible, Qui-Gon couldn’t just let this go. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. Qui-Gon should hate him, just like Anakin hated himself for what he did. “I don’t understand. You put your faith in me, rescued me from a life of slavery in hopes I would become some great Jedi, and what do I do!? I become a Sith Lord instead! How could you just let what happened go!?” 

Qui-Gon walked forward slowly and put his hand on Anakin’s shoulder. “Because hating someone is pointless, forgiving them is not. I either despise you for the rest of eternity, go out of my way to avoid you. Or, I forgive you, and both of us are happy. Hatred is a waste of time Anakin.”
Anakin looked Qui-Gon in the eyes for a long time, trying to figure out how this was possible. Qui-Gon wasn’t just letting it go, it sounded like he was forgiving him. A little smile comes over Qui-Gon’s face and he looked down almost shyly. “I had a lot of time to think about it Anakin. I’m sticking with my decision.” Qui-Gon removed his hand and backed away slightly. 

Anakin was left to stare at him, stunned. With that, Qui-Gon cleared his throat and walked right past Anakin to go sit at one of the stools behind the counter. “Okay, any question?” 

“Yes!” Anakin demanded and Obi-Wan turned to look at Qui-Gon. Anakin noted that Obi-Wan looked almost as stunned as Anakin was over his decision. Anakin had no idea how Qui-Gon could just walk in here, forgive a Sith Lord for his actions, and then sit down at the counter casually and ask, ‘any questions?’ “I’m sorry Qui-Gon, but this is all confusing me. You’re not going to be angry at me, not even for a little bit?” Qui-Gon shook his head. Anakin looked down at his feet in thought for a long moment. 

He wondered if Qui-Gon regretted his decision to take him. He wondered that if Qui-Gon could somehow go back in time, would he decide that taking Anakin of Tatooine wasn’t worth it. “Master Jinn?” 

Anakin looked up to see Qui-Gon looking at him and he had to take a deep breath. He hated to admit this to himself but he would be slightly hurt if Qui-Gon said he wouldn’t have taken him. Anakin mentally rolled his eyes at himself, this was a stupid question. “Never mind, it was stupid.” 

Qui-Gon furrowed his eyebrows. “No question is stupid, do not be afraid to ask.” 

Anakin wondered how Qui-Gon knew he was scared. Was it that obvious? With another deep breath, Anakin gained up the courage to ask. “If you had the chance to go back, would you have still taken me off Tattooine?” 

Qui-Gon answered immediately. “I don’t dwell on the past Anakin. It is best if we focus on the present moment. We cannot change the past, only focus on the future.” 

Anakin sighed. “Then no?” 

Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow and a tiny smile appeared on his face. “Oh, I didn’t say that Anakin.” 

Anakin crossed his arms. “But you didn’t not say that,” Anakin concludes. 

Qui-Gon chuckled at him. “How about you just take a seat.” It was Anakin’s turn to furrow his eyebrows, this time with confusion. Anakin sighed, walked over to the open stool and took a seat. Maybe Qui-Gon really did forgive him. 

Anakin looked at Obi-Wan who had his back turned away from the counter. It looked like he was making more tea. There was a long moment of silence where everyone was lost in their thoughts. That was until Obi-Wan turned around briefly to hand Qui-Gon a cup of tea before turning back to the counter. Qui-Gon took a sip and Anakin watched as a tiny smile crossed his features. “Thank you Obi-Wan, you made an odd choice this time.” 

Obi-Wan folded his arms. “I didn’t give you your favorite.”  

Qui-Gon nodded. “Why was that?” 

Obi-Wan shrugged shyly. “Just figured you would be getting tired of having that same tea every day.” 

Qui-Gon’s smile was a very fond one. “So you give me my second favorite instead. How did you remember this was my second favorite?” 

Obi-Wan turned in the slightest to look at Qui-Gon. “Just did,” was Obi-Wan’s only response. 

Qui-Gon moved his hand over his mouth as his little smile got a fraction bigger. “You remember the oddest things.” 

Anakin could swear he could see Obi-Wan’s mouth turn up in a little smile before he turned away. “I remember a lot more than you would expect.” 

Qui-Gon smiled fondly for a few seconds before clearing his throat, and just like that he was back to being serious. “So Obi-Wan, how have you been?” Anakin immediately saw the concern written on Qui-Gon’s features. 

Turning to Obi-Wan, Anakin saw him stop what he was doing and think. Anakin thought about what Obi-Wan’s answer could be. For the first time since he got here, Anakin genuinely asked himself if Obi-Wan was okay. He covered his face with the hood of his robe, barely talked, and last night when he tried to grab his wrist…. Anakin thought about that moment more in-depth, he thought about the way Obi-Wan yanked his hand away as if he had been burned by Anakin’s touch alone. It had almost offended Anakin, the fact Obi-Wan didn’t want to touch him any more than he had to. 

Obi-Wan’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “I’ve been….having Anakin back is a lot to adjust to,” Obi-Wan spoke quietly, seemingly unsure of himself. 

Qui-Gon looked intrigued. “Tell me about that.” That one sentence from Qui-Gon gave Anakin a lot of information. Qui-Gon was trying to get Obi-Wan to talk and Obi-Wan alone. 

Obi-Wan is silent for quite some time before speaking again. “I….It’s just I haven’t lived with someone in a while, just something to get used to. Having someone around that is.” A long pause. “Why don’t you ask Anakin how he’s been doing?” Anakin wondered why Obi-Wan was trying to turn the conversation away from himself. 

Qui-Gon almost looked disappointed before turning to Anakin. “How have you been doing Anakin, I know how mean Obi-Wan can be.” Anakin actually smiled at this. 

“It’s been….a unique experience. The afterlife is weird. And no, don’t worry, Obi-Wan hasn’t bullied me yet.” Anakin heard Obi-Wan sigh and his smile got even bigger. Qui-Gon even smiled a little. 

“Really, that surprises me. Obi-Wan used to be super sassy,” Qui-Gon said with a smirk on his face. Anakin and Qui-Gon both glanced over at Obi-Wan, trying to see if they got a reaction. 

“I wasn’t that sassy,” Obi-Wan whispered. Apparently that was the reaction Qui-Gon was looking for because he laughed. 

“Agree to disagree Obi-Wan.” Qui-Gon looked amused. 

Anakin’s smile turned into a smirk. “Wait, I’m curious now. How sassy was Obi-Wan?” 

Qui-Gon turned to Anakin with a smirk of his own. “So sassy that I used to have to lecture him about it.” 

Obi-Wan made a choking noise. “Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan said in what could have been a whiny voice. Anakin covered his mouth as his smile widened. 

Qui-Gon did the same. “What? I know you remember.” 

Obi-Wan crossed his arms. “Maybe....” 

Qui-Gon laughed and Anakin could see why Qui-Gon chose Obi-Wan as his apprentice. They got along well together, even after Obi-Wan had changed this much. It made Anakin a little sad knowing how things ended with them. Qui-Gon looked around Obi-Wan’s cottage for a second before picking up a book that was sitting on the counter. “Did you read the book I left you?” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “I did.” 

Qui-Gon smiled. “Good, did you like it?” 

Obi-Wan nodded once again. “Actually, I did. The part about force dyads was quite interesting.” 

Qui-Gon seemed happy to have found a topic of conversation that wasn’t picking on Obi-Wan. “I found that interesting as well. I can’t help but wonder if that one is true or not.” 

Obi-Wan spoke up again. “Oh, and I found the one about the chosen one prophecy interesting.” 

Qui-Gon smiled at Obi-Wan and gave Anakin a quick look. “Oh, that’s my favorite part.” 

“Yeah, I figured,” Obi-wan said rather fondly. 

Qui-Gon laughed again. “You have no idea how many favors people owe me now, I won so many bets. You should have seen Mace Windu’s face, he looked like he was about to pop a blood vesicle. I proved so many people wrong.” Qui-Gon’s voice was full of enthusiasm. 

Anakin laughed. “Wait, is this why you forgive me? Because I won you a bunch of bets.” Qui-Gon laughed at him and pat him on the back briefly. It made Anakin smile. 

“No, I promise that’s not the reason Anakin.” A pause where Qui-Gon cleared his throat. “But it is a bonus.” Anakin laughed. It felt good to laugh again. Qui-Gon offered a good distraction from his never-ending, crushing guilt. 

There was a relaxing silence for a little before Qui-Gon spoke again. “Obi-wan, there is another book in my speeder if you want it.” 

Obi-Wan turned around and he had a tiny smile on his face. “Oh, thank you.” Obi-Wan walked outside to get the book. 

As soon as Obi-Wan left Qui-Gon turned to him, his smile completely gone. Something serious lay in his eyes, something he didn’t let Obi-Wan see. “So Anakin,” Qui-Gon said hesitantly. “I would assume your transition has been a hard one. Especially considering you were previously a Sith Lord. And we both know the bad things you did while alive.” 

Anakin sighed. “It’s been worse than bad, I don’t even know why I’m here. I don’t belong here.” 

Qui-Gon shook his head. “The force brought you here for a reason. You must trust its will.” 

Anakin sighed once again and crossed his arms over his chest defiantly. “I did terrible things. How can someone who killed a bunch of Jedi be in the afterlife? The same afterlife Obi-Wan is in!? How is it that Obi-Wan and I ended up in the same place when Obi-Wan was a way better person than me? Heck, you’re a way better person than me, that’s the only way I know this isn’t some kind of hell, a bunch of great Jedi are here, my former wife is here. Why am I in the same place as them?” This question haunted Ankain’s every move, even haunted his dreams. The fact that he was somehow stuck in this afterlife with great people, people who were nothing like him. 

Qui-Gon was silent for a long moment, thinking this all over. “I will give you my honest opinion Anakin, I don’t know why you are here either.” Silence flowed between them, and it was intense. Anakin felt the gooey slime that infested his gut grow, that guilt mocking his every move, because everything bad that happened to him he deserved. And he feared even Qui-Gon knew it too, the man who had saved him from a life of slavery. Qui-Gon cleared his throat again. “But, as I said before, you are here for a reason. Maybe it is to make up for your bad deeds. The force sees something in you. You did save your son after all didn’t you? Saved the galaxy from the empire. You did good as well as bad, maybe the force saw the good that others couldn’t see, the good that was there even when you were a Sith.” 

Anakin took a moment to process what Qui-Gon just said. He was telling him that the force saw something in him, something good. Even as Darth Vader Anakin knew there was good in him, he hated that fact. Anakin guessed he just needed the right chance to show it. He wondered if maybe he would have a chance to show it in the afterlife, maybe that was what Qui-Gon was telling him. That he could make up for his bad deeds here, that the force was giving him another chance. “So you think the force might be giving me another chance to make up for what I did?” 

Qui-Gon nodded. “Yes, it is a possibility.” 

Anakin took a deep breath as a new thought filled his head. He looked over at the teacup sitting on the counter, Obi-Wan’s teacup. If the force wanted him to make up for his actions, Obi-Wan would be a good place to start. He was too scared to talk to Obi-Wan. And he was sure Obi-Wan felt the same way. More guilt made itself known, this guilt whispering the terrible things he did to Obi-Wan in his ear. “I feel guilty about what I did to Obi-Wan. We haven’t even talked about what happened yet.” 

Anakin looked over at Qui-Gon who was giving him a concerned look. “Obi-Wan’s not even talking to you?” Anakin shook his head and Qui-Gon looked even more worried. 

“I haven’t made it easy,” Anakin stated. “I’ve been distant, and I have a bad temper. I think I scare Obi-Wan. I hate that.” 

Qui-Gon looked down at his hands in thought. “I can tell you now, you may have to be the one to make the first move when it comes to talking with Obi-wan. He is distant, extremely distant. He won’t make the first move. I worry for him Anakin, I was hoping the fact that you’re living with him would help but I guess not.” 

Anakin looked at Qui-Gon confused. “What do you mean distant?” 

Qui-Gon took a deep breath. “I’m his only visitor Anakin. He doesn’t have any friends, and any friends he did have gave up on trying to keep in contact with him a long time ago. He’s lonely, even if he claims he’s not. It’s always me that has to go visit him, he never comes to visit me. I don’t know why he’s hiding from everyone, I wish-” 

The door opened and Obi-Wan stepped in, no book in his hand. He looked confused at Qui-Gon. “Where is the book again?” 

Qui-Gon put on a little smirk. “Under the seat.” 

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. “Why make it so hard to find? Did you want to talk with Anakin? If you wanted alone time you should have just told me.” With that Obi-Wan walked back outside, closing the door quietly behind him. 

Qui-Gon turned back to Anakin as if nothing had just happened. “I wish he would open up. He is always so closed off, barely shares any of his thoughts with me.” Qui-Gon is silent for a long moment and when he looked back at Anakin there was a deep sadness in his eyes. “Do you think he likes me Anakin? Do you think he actually wants to talk with me?” 

Anakin nodded quickly. “Well yeah, I know you said he’s not sharing but he’s been happy the whole time you’ve been here.” 

Qui-Gon furrowed his brows. “He has?” 

Anakin nodded once again. “Well yeah, just a second ago when he asked you about the book-” 

Qui-Gon cut him off. “He was frustrated with me.” 

Anakin shook his head. “Well yes, but that was a good frustrated. He was using his frustrated yet fond voice. He used to use that tone on me all the time. He thought it was silly that you hid the book under your seat but was too embarrassed to tell you. At least that’s what it sounded like to me.” 

Qui-Gon looked at him confused. “How do you know that? I wouldn’t imagine you have a strong bond again.” 

Anakin shook his head yet again. “No, we don’t have a strong bond. It was just so obvious the way he spoke to you, I thought it was clear he was fond of what you did.” 

Qui-Gon looked at Anakin for a long moment. “You know him really well.” 

“Of course, I spent half my life with him,” Anakin said as if it was nothing special. 

Qui-Gon smiled at him. “Oh, right.” Qui-Gon turned away, a little smirk on his face. Before Anakin could question him about the smirk Obi-Wan walked back in. He set the book he found on the table. 

“Finally found your book, would you like me to stay outside?” Even with his face covered by the hood and his back turned away from them Anakin could practically hear the smile on his face. 

Anakin looked over to Qui-Gon who rolled his eyes fondly. “No Obi-Wan, you have permission to be in your own house.” 

Obi-Wan just shrugged. “That’s not what I meant. It’s okay to want to have a private conversation.” 

Qui-Gon just laughed. “I know Obi-Wan, we are all good I promise.” Qui-Gon kept giggling for a few more seconds. He cleared his throat when he decided to talk again. “I know I asked you this earlier but are you sure you are doing okay? I know this is all a lot to deal with.” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “I’m fine, everything is fine.” Anakin instantly picked up on how fast Obi-Wan answered the question, he was once again trying to direct the conversation away from himself. “How are things going with Tahl?” Anakin frowned, it was almost like Obi-wan was hiding something. 

Qui-Gon sighed but answered the question anyway. “Things are going wonderful as always.” 

Anakin chimed in. “Who’s Tahl?” 

Qui-Gon smiled brightly at him. “She’s my wife, we were good friends when I was alive.” 

Obi-Wan spoke up. “Friends? Are you sure that’s the right word to describe it?” Obi-Wan’s voice sounded amused, it made Anakin smile. 

Qui-Gon snorts. “Friends with benefits then.” 

Anakin’s laughter cut through the air sharply. He let out a loud and obnoxious sounding laugh and instantly covered his mouth with his hand. In front of him, Obi-Wan let out a short, high-pitched giggle. Anakin’s whole face lit up. He missed that sound. Something inside Anakin swelled with an emotion he couldn’t name, all he knew was that he needed to hear that noise sometime again. 

Qui-Gon was still smiling brightly. He looked happy to see Obi-Wan laugh too. “That kind of stuff was allowed, you just weren’t supposed to get attacked.” 

Obi-Wan put his mug down quietly. “And you obviously didn’t Master.” 

Qui-Gon snorted. “I know I was a hypocrite, now leave your poor old Master alone.” 

Anakin tried his best not to snort again, he didn’t know if laughing at Qui-Gon would be rude. 

Their conversation went on for a while after that. Anakin and Qui-Gon did most of the talking while Obi-Wan added short comments every once in a while, mostly when one of them was wrong about a certain event. It was like he felt it was his duty or something to correct them on it. Anakin found it very amusing.

Anakin was just glad he had a distraction from his guilt, and that Obi-Wan was at least talking a little to him. Even in the middle of their conversation and the times Anakin laughed, he knew his happiness wouldn’t last for long. 

 

*** 

 

Anakin sat upright with a gasp. Tears ran down his cheek’s and he frantically tried to wipe them off, but it wasn’t enough. The tears kept coming, rolling down his now-soaked cheeks. 

Anakin had a nightmare, a disgusting one. He wondered if you could even call it a dream, it was more like a flashback. Of course, it had to be a flashback about Obi-Wan as well. His guilt was even influencing his dreams. 

Anakin got up off the couch and started to pace the room as even more tears rolled down his cheeks. He was now sobbing. He hated what he had just witnessed, he was such a disgusting human. He didn’t hate Obi-Wan, or did he? He didn’t know who he was supposed to be anymore. 

Anakin’s eyes locked with the door. It almost seemed like the door was staring back, daring him to yank it open and drag Obi-Wan out, yell at him about all the guilt he feels and how sorry he is. He wanted to go in there and beg Obi-Wan for forgiveness because deep down, Anakin always cared what Obi-Wan thought. 

Anakin let out a frustrated grunt and stormed over to Obi-Wan’s door. He put his hand on the pad to open the door before yanking it away. He couldn’t do it, he just couldn’t talk to Obi-Wan. Anakin stared down at his hand like it had just betrayed him. Why wasn’t he brave enough to do this? All he had to do was knock on the door. 

Anakin raised his hand and hovered it right above the door. He balled his hand into a fist, pulled it back a little and stopped. He could knock right now and talk to Obi-Wan, he could tell him how sorry he was. All he had to do was move his hand forward. 

Anakin moved his shaking hand forward, knocking on the door twice. 

There was a long moment of silence where Anakin heard nothing. Anakin brought his hands to his face, sobbing into them. He should have known nothing would happen, that Obi-Wan wouldn’t open the door for him. It was foolish to even try. He was better than this, better than sobbing in front of Obi-Wan’s door over a nightmare. 

He just stood in front of the door, sobbing because he feared Obi-Wan wouldn’t let him in, feared he would never let him in. Anakin leaned his head against the door, he was barely able to stand up anymore. His sobs moved his whole body as the man who used to call himself Lord Vader cried against his old Master’s door. 

“A-Anakin,” Obi-Wan whispered from the other side of the door. 

Anakin’s heart skipped a beat. “Obi-Wan….please,” Anakin whispered against the door. 

Right then the door opened and Anakin stumbled forward into the dark room. Anakin looked up and before he even realized what he was doing he grabbed Obi-Wan and yanked him forwards. Obi-Wan gasped and it only made Anakin tighten his grip. 

Anakin fell to his knees, dragging Obi-Wan along with him as he sobbed into his former Master’s robes. Anakin sobbed his heart out. He needed to tell Obi-Wan how he felt, needed to tell Obi-wan the pain that lay deep in his heart. He needed to tell Obi-Wan what he felt every time he looked at him and yet he couldn’t. The only noise that came out of his mouth were broken sobs as the former Sith Lord cried against his old friend. 

His old friend that he knew he didn’t hate, that he hoped he would never hate again. 

Anakin felt Obi-Wan shaking under him felt his shaking hands carefully rubbing his back. Anakin noticed it was the same pattern Obi-Wan used the other day. 

“D-Do you want to talk about it?” Obi-Wan whispered and his nervousness was clear in his voice. 

“No,” Anakin hissed before he started crying again. He didn’t know why he said that, he did want to talk about it. He was a coward, he was scared of Obi-Wan’s reaction. Obi-Wan had said he forgave him, and yet a part of Anakin still didn’t believe it. 

Anakin wasn’t sure how long he hugged Obi-wan tightly and sobbed into his robes. It felt like a long time, longer than Obi-Wan apparently felt comfortable with because he was shaking worse than he was when Anakin first pulled the man against him. 

When Anakin was done crying he sighed and let go of Obi-Wan, scooting away from him quickly. They just sit there for a while, Anakin thinking about what he just did. He liked hugging Obi-Wan, it felt nice to touch someone. It had been so long, that might have been his first hug in twenty or so years. 

Anakin felt his need to touch Obi-Wan again build so he reached forward and grabbed Obi-Wan’s hand. Obi-Wan harshly yanked his hand away. Anger surged through the force at Obi-Wan’s rejection of him. “What was that for!? We were just hugging a moment ago weren’t we!” Anakin’s voice was full of anger and annoyance. Obi-Wan flinched back. 

Anakin’s anger fades and he’s left with guilt and regret over what he just did. He always lost his temper and he hated it. Anakin was about to apologize when Obi-Wan spoke up. “I’m sorry. I’m just not used to people touching me. I would prefer that you not touch my hand. Not that I’m repulsed by you it’s just….I can’t explain it. It makes me nervous.” 

Anakin was silent for a while. Obi-Wan had just shared something private about himself. He couldn’t help but wonder why it was Obi-Wan felt so uncomfortable with touch. Was it because he hadn’t had a lot of physical contact throughout his life? Or was it because he just didn’t like Anakin touching him? Anakin wondered if Obi-Wan liked it when Qui-Gon gave him hugs. He wondered if Obi-Wan shook as he did with Anakin when Qui-Gon touched his hand or pulled him into a hug. Jealousy flared in Anakin but he pushed it down quickly. 

“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable,” Anakin said, sounding the slightest bit ashamed. 

“It’s okay,” Obi-Wan said quickly as he scooted to the door, closing it before sitting against it. Anakin sat next to Obi-wan, leaning against the door like Obi-wan was. 

They were both silent for a while, both lost in their thoughts. Anakin felt his stomach growl. He had almost forgotten he was trying to starve himself. “I’m starving,” Anakin stated. 

He looked over to Obi-Wan who sighed. “You are already making me crazy.” 

Anakin couldn’t help but smile at that. 

Chapter Text

Anakin sat at the counter as Obi-Wan placed a tea bag into his mug and waited. His hood was still pulled up like it always seemed to be, Obi-Wan hadn’t looked at him in a long time. 

Anakin looked down at his metal hand, the hand he still decided not to get rid of. He deserved to have it. The mechanical hand felt like nothing compared to the suit he wore as Vader. His mechanical hand could barely be called a punishment compared to that suit. He knew it could be worse, it could be so much worse. 

Both of Anakin’s hands clenched as he tried to draw blood from his flesh hand. Nothing happened, no matter how hard he dug his nails into his hand, no pain at all. It was odd getting used to no pain, weirder than one would expect. 

The smell of Obi-wan’s tea drifted over to the counter and Anakin took a big sniff of it. The moment he took a breath he is reminded of his hunger. His mouth started watering despite his distaste for tea. He didn’t even like the taste of most tea’s yet, when he smelt this one, he couldn’t help but feel even hungrier than before. He was so starving, it was the closest thing Anakin could get to physical pain. It didn’t feel like he was dying, nor was the pain from the hunger intense. But it still bothered him immensely, and he knew he deserved it. 

As Anakin’s thoughts slowly drifted to food, he considered the last time he ate actual food with his mouth. Most of the time he just drank the food or had it injected in liquid form. It always tasted disgusting. Other times his food would come in mush which also tasted disgusting. 

Obi-Wan cleared his throat, distracting Anakin from his thoughts and making him look up. “Have you eaten anything yet?” Anakin felt it as his frustration grew at this question. Of course he hadn’t eaten, Obi-Wan had only been outside for two hours and besides that he stayed up all night brooding. That was after forcing Obi-Wan into a hug with him of course, after they sat on the same side of the door together. Obi-Wan stayed up with him after that, something that confused Anakin greatly. 

Anakin sighed before replying. “No.” 

Obi-Wan still didn’t turn to him. “How long is this going to go on?” 

Anger surged through Anakin and he stood up. “Why does it matter!?” Anakin yelled only to instantly regret it and sit back down. He hadn’t meant to yell. He couldn’t control his emotions, it was so hard. He always yelled at Obi-Wan without meaning to. 

Before Anakin could apologize Obi-Wan turned around and glared at him. One of the rare moments Obi-Wan looked at him he used to glare. Obi-Wan opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something before shutting it. 

Another surge of anger at Obi-Wan’s lack of communication. “Tell me! What were you going to say Obi-Wan!?” Anakin stood back up, filled with annoyance. 

Obi-Wan’s face took on an upset look before it was quickly covered up by a calm mask. The same calm mask Anakin had seen a thousand times. Obi-Wan once again covered his face with his hood. More annoyance filled Anakin. He hated it when Obi-Wan covered his face, he didn’t see the point. 

Obi-Wan sighed again, seemingly out of slight frustration. “I was going to tell you to control your temper, but you didn’t listen the last so I decided there was no use,”  Obi-Wan said this in a bitter, almost saddened tone. Suddenly, Obi-Wan’s form changed and he wrapped his arms around himself, looking as if he felt guilty.  “I didn’t…..I should be trying to help-” 

Anakin cut him off. He was just so angry about this whole thing that he felt like losing control. He wondered if Obi-Wan even knew how angry he could make him sometimes and without even trying. “Fine, you want to help. Why don’t you just storm off like you always do!?” 

“Fine!” With that Obi-Wan turned and stormed out of the house, slamming the front door behind him. 

Anakin was left to stare at the door, anger still surging through him. He didn’t know what most of his anger was directed at, himself or Obi-Wan. Anakin’s hands were clenched at his sides and he turned back towards the living room. He let out a frustrated cry and started pacing.

Once again he had yelled at Obi-Wan. He couldn’t control his temper, it was too hard. Every time Obi-Wan asked even a simple question it would make Anakin angry. He had simply asked when he was going to eat and Anakin snapped at him. And instead of letting Obi-Wan talk, he interrupted him and practically told him to get out of his own house. 

Anakin let out another frustrated yell. His anger now directed at himself. Once again, he had snapped at Obi-Wan. It was like the same cycle repeated every day. One way or another, Anakin would snap at Obi-Wan and he would run off. And this time, Anakin had asked him too. 

Anakin stomped his foot and glared at the furniture in the living room, looking for something to break. He stormed to the small wooden table in front of the couch and kicked its leg, the leg popping out of place and landed on the floor. 

Silence followed as Anakin stared at what he had just done, as he stared at the proof he couldn’t control himself. He wondered how Obi-Wan did it, how Obi-Wan was able to stay so calm? He didn’t break stuff when he got angry, he didn’t have some kind of emotional outburst. Anakin hated the fact he couldn’t do that. He hated that even as a Jedi he couldn’t control his emotions as well as Obi-Wan. He was almost jealous of that control, almost. A part of him would always crave for those raw emotions that ran through him, the emotions that were so strong he couldn’t control them. Anakin always thought they made him somewhat powerful. 

Anakin focused back on the small wooden table. He wondered what Obi-Wan would do, not that Obi-Wan would ever show his anger in this way. Anakin took a deep breath and closed his eyes, deciding that Obi-Wan would fix the table. He focused on the table, how it looked before it was broken. He simply wished it was fixed and when he opened his eyes again Anakin saw a small wooden table with all four legs attached. 

When that was finished, Anakin gave a relieved sigh and turned away from the wooden table to look outside the window. His eyes wandered around the yard until they landed on Obi-Wan. 

Obi-Wan sat with his legs crossed, cloak spread out behind him. Anakin looked closer and saw a pile of birdseed on his knee and a golden finch eating it. He let out an amused huff and his lips curved upward in the slightest. More birds flew down from the tree and landed in front of Obi-Wan. Anakin wondered if birds normally got this close to people in the afterlife or if Obi-Wan was just special. 

Obi-Wan reached to his knee and pet the yellow and gold finch on the head. The chirping could be heard from inside the house. More guilt found its way to his gut as he continued looking out the window at Obi-Wan, his smile fading into a frown he wore almost all the time. He wondered if it made him happy, sitting out there all alone feeding the birds. Anakin knew that it certainly made Obi-Wan happier to be out there than with him. Maybe it was a good thing Anakin had yelled at Obi-Wan to go outside, because at least there he wouldn’t have Anakin bothering him. 

Anakin’s eyes wandered back to Obi-Wan’s long cloak. He destroyed that cloak when he was alive. He destroyed it in a sad attempt to finally get rid of Obi-Wan because not even killing the man could make Anakin stop thinking about him. He never stopped thinking about him. A vision of himself as Darth Vader standing over a burning cloak flashed across Anakin’s vision. He cleared the images from his mind quickly, he didn’t want to think about that memory. 

He used to think everything was Obi-Wan’s fault, push all his hatred onto the man. He used to blame Obi-Wan for part of the reason he became Darth Vader, blame him for the reason he needed a breathing machine. Obi-Wan had been the one to cut him down on Mustafar after all. 

But only now did Anakin realize that in fact, it was not Obi-wan’s fault, but his own. Obi-Wan may have been the one to cut him down on Mustafar, but Anakin was the one trying to kill him. He hadn’t given Obi-Wan a choice but to defend himself. There may have been plenty of things that Obi-Wan did wrong, but there was also good, and Darth Vader tended to ignore those parts. Anakin had spent half of his life trying to hunt Obi-Wan down and kill him for what he did to him. But all that time Vader hadn’t once looked at his reflection and asked himself if Obi-Wan was really the one to blame. Darth Vader was blinded by his rage, Anakin would not be. 

Anakin looked down at the small wooden table and was reminded of its broken state just moments before. He rolled his eyes at himself. He had always had trouble controlling his emotions, what would be different about now? After all, Darth Vader and Anakin were the same people. 

Anakin looked back out the window at Obi-Wan and instead of feeling that blinding hatred he would have felt as Darth Vader, Anakin felt pain. Pain for what he had done to him. Accepting that he felt this pain and guilt was one thing, owning up to it, now that was another. 

Anakin knew he didn’t deserve to stay here. He also knew he didn’t deserve Obi-Wan’s pity. Because Anakin was sure that’s what Obi-wan felt towards him, pity. Why else would Obi-Wan let him stay here? Obi-wan didn’t hate people, it wasn’t the Jedi way. He was sure Obi-Wan didn’t even hate his worst enemies. But Anakin knew if Obi-Wan was ever going to hate anyone, it would be him. And yet during those first few moments after Anakin died, Obi-Wan somehow said he forgave him. Anakin sighed again and rubbed a hand over his face. Obi-Wan was still as confusing as he used to be. 

Something that also confused Anakin was the way Obi-Wan kept avoiding him. He was almost positive Obi-Wan must be avoiding him, but he just couldn’t figure out the reason. Was it because Anakin kept yelling at him, or did he not only pity but fear him too? It was a weird thought, that Obi-Wan would be scared of someone who couldn’t even kill him. 

Anakin thought about reasons Obi-Wan would avoid him in the past. The main one that came to Anakin’s mind was that he was upset. Upset or hiding something. The more Anakin thought about it the more Obi-Wan’s way of acting aligned with the way he acted when hiding something from him, whether that was an emotion, or something that happened at a council meeting. He wondered if maybe it was both, that Obi-Wan was upset about what he was hiding. But was what he was hiding a physical thing, or an emotion? Maybe he was hiding that fact that he wanted Anakin to leave, that would make sense. 

Anakin thought back to last night when he crushed Obi-Wan in a hug and Obi-Wan comforted him. If Obi-wan wanted him to leave Anakin didn’t think he would have comforted him in such a way, or would he? Obi-Wan was the type of person to try and be nice to everyone, even if he didn’t like them. But say Obi-Wan’s secret wasn’t that he wanted him to leave, say that it was something….deeper. Anakin focused back on Obi-Wan’s form outside. 

Anakin would get to the bottom of Obi-Wan’s secret, even if it drove him crazy. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan sat with his legs crossed in the grass, facing the gentle forest. On his right was a weirdly shaped rock and on his left was a golden finch he had named Patience. Obi-Wan was once again trying to distract himself from Anakin but even now he still couldn’t get him off his mind. He never seemed to stop thinking about him. Obi-Wan sighed and looked back down at Patience who was standing on his knee. “Do you think things will work out Patience?” Obi-Wan pet the bird on the head and she chirped happily at him. 

“Do you...do you think I hurt him too badly? Do you think he hates me?” Obi-Wan pet Patience on the head once again and she chirped, jumping closer to him. Obi-Wan sighed. “It would appear you are an optimist, my little friend.” Obi-Wan reached out with his left hand and Patience jumped on. “You seem quite happy, does this mean you think he doesn’t hate me? Because if so I’m afraid you are quite mistaken.” Obi-wan kissed the finger of his right hand and placed it on her head before running it down her back. “I assume he will leave soon enough, he will realize this was a mistake.” Patience chipped again and tilted her head. It made Obi-wan smile in the slightest. “I know, you don’t know what I’m saying do you?” Patience just chirped along with a few of the birds in front of him. Obi-Wan sighed and looked away from the golden finch and focused on his lap. 

He knew Anakin probably hated him, but that didn’t explain last night. Obi-Wan couldn’t stop thinking about the way Anakin hugged him. How the moment they touched it was like little lightning bolts shot through his entire body. He certainly wouldn’t describe the hug as gentle, but he wouldn’t describe it as rough either. If Anakin hated him, then why did he hug him? Obi-Wan had been wondering this all morning. He wondered if maybe Anakin was just so desperate for comfort he came to his worst enemy for it. He often thought about the possibility that he wasn’t Anakin’s worst enemy? That maybe, a small part of Anakin wanted to hug Obi-Wan, not just for comfort, but because he missed him. 

That small bit of hope that had been sitting in Obi-Wan’s heart glowed, wishing to be acknowledged. That small bit of hope that Obi-Wan had no matter what the circumstance was glowed slightly brighter than it had been the past four years. It whispered things that Obi-Wan had only dreamt of. That maybe Anakin had taken back what he said on Mustafar, that maybe he truly was sorry for what he did to the Jedi. 

With a frustrated huff, Obi-Wan took that small bit of hope and locked it away. There was no point in having hope in something if that hope was just going to be crushed in the end. That hope would be crushed and you would be left feeling worse than you did before, and Obi-Wan didn’t know how he could possibly get worse but he didn’t want to test it. He could not let himself get attached to having Anakin here. Anakin had broken his heart once, he shouldn’t let him do it again. 

Right when Obi-Wan was about to focus back on Patience she flew away, the other birds quickly following. At first, he wondered why all the birds went so quickly, but then he heard a pair of heavy footsteps behind him and everything was made clear. It was quite odd that Anakin somehow had the presence to scare off birds that couldn’t even die. Or maybe they just wanted to watch from a distance, Obi-Wan questioned? 

“Hello Anakin,” Obi-Wan stated without even turning around. 

There is a long pause before Anakin responded. “I need help,” Anakin all but demanded. 

Obi-Wan couldn’t resist turning around just slightly at this. “What do you need help with?” 

Anakin was silent for longer this time before responding. “Controlling my emotions,” He whispered, sounding almost ashamed. 

Obi-wan stood up and brushed himself off. The tiniest bit of happiness running through him. “I said I would help,” Obi-Wan said as he turned to Anakin, still not looking at him but instead at the ground. He heard Anakin let out a relieved breath and Obi-Wan pulled his hood a little further over his head before speaking again. “We will start with meditation,” Obi-Wan stated. 

Anakin’s relieved breath is sucked right back in. “I hate meditation,” Anakin said angrily and Obi-Wan felt the little bit of happiness that was in his change to sadness. He had hoped Anakin would cooperate, it almost hurt Obi-Wan’s feelings. “But I’ll do it for you,” Anakin said in an almost annoyed tone and Obi-Wan’s happiness threatened to return. “Just don’t get upset like that,” Anakin said and Obi-Wan tilted his head in the slightest. 

“Like what?” Obi-wan asked, still confused. He double-checked his shields only to find them all the way up. He wondered how Anakin even knew he got upset. Obi-Wan just assumed he started to look upset and Anakin tried to stop another argument. 

Anakin sighed. “Never mind.” Yet another long pause. “Let’s go,” Anakin demanded and started walking back to the house. Obi-Wan looked at his retreating form and sighed. He hoped Anakin wouldn’t make this difficult. 

 

*** 

 

Anakin looked around Obi-Wan’s room curiously. He noted that there were almost no personal belongings, something Anakin found very confusing. He knew when Obi-wan was a Jedi he didn’t have too many personal belongings because of how unnecessary the Jedi saw them. But Anakin would have assumed Obi-Wan picked at least a little up after he died but as far as Anakin could tell there wasn’t anything but a book and lamp sitting on the bedside table. There was a bookshelf but then again how long could just books keep one entertained. Looking around the rest of the room it didn’t even have a small mirror or dresser. Just a small closet that Anakin hoped held something other than just clothes. As far as Anakin could tell, reading seemed to be the only thing Obi-Wan did in his free time. 

Looking over at Obi-Wan’s bed, it looked as if it could hold two people comfortably. The covers were a tan color, something Anakin didn’t find surprising in the slightest. Obi-Wan had always liked tan colors. 

Anakin focused back on Obi-Wan and found him already sitting on the floor with his legs crossed. Anakin sighed and sat across from Obi-Wan who was now looking at the floor. Anakin once again wondered why Obi-wan had to hide his face, he didn’t get it. Something Ankain also didn’t get was how meditation was supposed to help him control his emotions. “How is meditation going to help me?” Anakin asked. 

“It will help with your patience,” Obi-wan responded simply.  

Resisting the urge to roll his eyes in frustration, Anakin took a deep breath and closed his eyes, wanting to get this over with. It was only a short while later when something interesting happened. 

Anakin felt something pulling on the back of his mind, as if someone was pulling a string. He hadn’t even fallen into meditation yet, he had no idea what he was feeling. Squinting his eyes shut tighter, he tried to focus on what was causing this pull. He searched the force, asking it to guide him. 

An odd feeling washed over Anakin, a feeling he hadn’t felt in a very long time. It was a warm feeling, a feeling of safety. Becoming even more curious, Anakin attempted to follow the feeling,  the feeling that seemed oddly familiar. The more Anakin searched, the quicker the feeling began to fade and become replaced with a negative one. A cold feeling began to wash over him and Anakin’s hands tightened their grip on his pants as he began to get a headache. 

At the back of his mind, there is a place where an invisible string is attached, a place that was tugged on just briefly. There is a thing Anakin locked up long ago, something he wouldn’t expect to get such a warm feeling from again. At the back of his mind lay his bond with Obi-Wan. He got more of that sad, cold feeling trying to access it and he resisted the urge to shiver with devastation. His heartbeat quickened as he reached out for it, trying to grab onto that warm feeling he had gotten from it just moments ago. 

It was a mistake. The moment Anakin finally tried to interact with that old, broken bond it’s like the force screamed at him and a blinding pain shot through his head. Anakin’s hands flew up to his head and his eyes flew open. He stood up quickly and Obi-Wan startled slightly at the sudden movement. “I quit!” Anakin yelled and stormed out of the room. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-wan sat drinking tea at the counter. Anakin had run out of the house about an hour ago. He simply stated that he quit before storming out of the room, looking almost scared. Obi-Wan didn’t know what happened. He just assumed Anakin got frustrated and left. It hurt his feelings at first but Obi-Wan did some meditating of his own and decided he shouldn’t let it bother him, instead he should just expect outbursts like that more often. 

Obi-Wan found it a little hard to talk to Anakin, he found it a little hard to talk to almost anyone. Qui-Gon had gained quite a bit of his trust but that didn’t mean Obi-Wan wasn’t slightly nervous around him. The first two months he was here he didn’t even show his face around Qui-Gon he was so nervous. It was only after a long conversation that Qui-Gon had finally convinced him to take it off. 

Obi-Wan knew he was lucky to have someone like Qui-Gon, he always checked in on him, even if at times Obi-Wan felt like maybe Qui-Gon was only doing to be nice. Obi-Wan had always had a fear he would be a burden to Qui-Gon, always hoping he wouldn’t disappoint him. He now knew that he probably had been a disappointment, even if Qui-Gon pretended like he wasn’t. How could anyone not be disappointed in him after he did so many things wrong, Obi-Wan wondered? 

Right at that moment, Anakin walked into the house, quietly closing the door behind him. Obi-Wan fidgeted with his teacup, his heart beating nervously. He heard Anakin’s footsteps walk to the counter and stop. Obi-Wan made sure to keep his eyes on his teacup, too scared to look up at Anakin. 

“I’m sorry,” Anakin said in a regretful voice. “You’re right, I need to learn how to control my temper. I got upset during meditation and stormed out, and I shouldn’t have done that.” There is a long moment of silence before Anakin spoke again. “You were just trying to help me…..and I appreciate it.” Before Obi-Wan could respond, Anakin walked away and Obi-Wan looked up from his teacup to see Anakin fall dramatically onto the couch. 

A little smile made it on Obi-Wan’s features. “It’s okay Anakin.” 

Chapter Text

The wind gently blew around Obi-Wan as he fell into a deep meditation. He had a purpose for this meditation, there was something he needed to do that hadn’t been done in a while. The force swirled around him and the next time Obi-Wan opened his eyes he was deep in a forest. 

Only a select few rays of sun shown through the dark yet peaceful trees, lighting up the dark and cold ground. Different creatures could be heard all around him, calling out to one another in one loud song. Looking down, Obi-wan could see he was sitting on wet mud and fallen leaves, the floor of a jungle. Looking back up, Obi-Wan’s eyes land on a person. He was sitting with his legs crossed in a meditative pose and a concentrated look on his face. The force can be felt swirling around him willingly, a beacon to the light side of the force. 

Next to the man was a fighter jet and an old model astromech droid. A smile crossed Obi-Wan’s face as he looked at the boy he watched for years. Luke Skywalker sat on the same ground as Obi-Wan, searching for something in the force. Luke’s face took on an even more concentrated look as a disturbance made itself known in the force. Obi-Wan tried not to chuckle, knowing the disturbance felt in the force was him. 

As more time passed Obi-Wan began to find Luke’s scrunched-up face more and more amusing. After a while, Obi-Wan gave up on waiting and said Luke’s name. “Luke,” Obi-wan said in a gentle and fond voice. Luke’s eyes flew open and a huge smile replaced his concentrated one. “Ben!” Luke shouted as if this was the best thing that happened to him all week. 

Obi-Wan’s fond smile stayed plastered on his face over Luke’s enthusiasm. It made Obi-Wan happy that Luke would still want to see him, even if he didn’t need him anymore. Looking at the boy now Obi-Wan could see just how much he had grown. He still saw the small boy who ran around outside his home on Tatooine inside Luke now. He saw it in Luke’s excitement, in his hope. He was always a brave kid, and his defeat of the empire only proved that point. Luke was strong like his father, and kind like his mother. He saw them both in him, but it always seemed to be his father’s side that Obi-Wan caught most. 

Both Obi-Wan and Luke smiled at each other for a moment before Obi-Wan spoke. “How are things with the empire?” Obi-Wan questioned. It was a concerning question considering the empire didn’t just disappear after Palpatine was gone. 

Luke’s smile faded slightly. “They aren’t as strong, but there are still lots of stormtroopers being trained. No one is exactly sure who is commanding them but Leia is currently trying to figure it out.” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “And what of Leia, is she okay?” 

Luke nodded quickly. “As far as I know she is. She is with Han and Chewbacca. She is also with the rest of the rebels that didn’t have a place to go or chose to stay and help longer. There is still a lot that needs to be done.” 

Obi-Wan gave Luke a tiny smile. “And how are you Luke? Are you okay?” Genuine concern blossomed in Obi-Wan’s chest. He hoped Luke wasn’t sad or upset, that he had some form of help. He had a lot to deal with on his own. Obi-Wan could only do so much himself, he would hope Luke’s sister or one of his friends would monitor him. 

Luke’s small smile got bigger. “Don’t worry Ben, I’m holding up fine. I got R2 with me!” Right at the moment, R2 rolled forward a beeped at Luke. Luke made an offended face. “I am not talking to myself! You wouldn’t understand.” More beeping and Luke gave R2 a blank look that made Obi-Wan smiled slightly wider. “I am not talking to the voices in my head again R2!” More beeping could be heard. “Look, you wouldn’t get it unless you were force sensitive.” R2 gave a loud whistle and Luke raised an eyebrow. R2 slowly rolled away back toward the ship. Luke turned back to Obi-wan with a sigh. “Sorry….” 

Obi-Wan chuckled. “Luke it’s okay, I understand more than you know.” Obi-Wan looked over at R2-D2. Even if the droid did see him he wouldn’t remember him, his memory had been wiped after the fall of the Republic. It was sad at first, seeing the droid after so many years. It brought back lots of memories, most of them Obi-Wan didn’t want to remember. 

Obi-Wan tried to clear his head, looking around his surrounding at the dark jungle. “If you don’t mind me asking Luke, what are you doing in a jungle?”

Luke replied quickly, a little smile still plastered on his face. “There is supposedly a stormtrooper base here. I heard it’s suspected they are still trying to recruit people so I volunteered to help find it and maybe destroy it. When you came here I was searching for any nearby life forms, but the jungle is so full of them I couldn’t seem to pinpoint the stormtrooper base.” 

Obi-Wan hummed, thinking about Luke’s problem and how he could help him. He would always be willing to help Luke. Obi-Wan’s job for many years was to guild Luke, and it gave him comfort to think it still was his job. Obi-Wan loved Luke, he probably always would. He hadn’t told Luke he felt that way, that he thought of him as almost a son. A son that he hadn’t even talked to most of his life, that he only watched from a distance, trying his best to protect him. Luke would never know half of the things Obi-Wan did to protect him, and he planned on keeping it that way. There was no need for Luke to know. Obi-Wan only did things because he cared about Luke and his well-being, and because he was one of the last hopes to bring back the Jedi. Luke had made Obi-Wan more proud than he could have ever imagined. He had become more brave, kind, more genuine than Obi-wan could have ever hoped. He was truly Anakin and Padme’s kid. 

Obi-Wan tried to focus back on helping Luke with his problem when finally, he landed on a solution. “I may be able to help you.” Luke beamed at him and listened attentive. “It may not be the best advice, you have to do most of this yourself. I want you to fall into meditation and tell me when you first feel a life form, focus on that one. Be careful to ignore my signature, you know what I feel like, and you know I am not a life form.” 

Luke did as he was told, closing his eyes and focusing. After only a few seconds, Luke spoke. “I can feel something, I am focusing on it.” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Good, is that what you are looking for?” 

Luke was silent for a moment. “It doesn’t feel right.” 

“Then it is not what you are looking for. Move onto another life form,” Obi-Wan said in a calm voice. 

Luke did that again. “I think I get what you are doing. I have to search one life form at a time, remember what it feels like and when I realize it’s not what I’m looking for move on. That way I don’t scan everything at once or don’t search the same thing twice.” 

Obi-Wan smiled. “I knew you would catch on.” 

A look of concentration once again took over Luke’s features. There was a long moment of silence where only the wind spoke around them before it is interrupted by a gasp from Luke. “I found it! It was here I found it!” Luke smiled brightly at Obi-Wan. “Thanks Ben! I owe you. I owe you a lot actually.”

Obi-Wan just sighed fondly. “You owe me nothing Luke, not for anything. I simply helped you, I don’t need to be rewarded every time I help someone.” 

Luke crossed his arms. “Still, I feel like after all my training I should have been able to do something as simple as that. I shouldn’t have needed your help.” 

Obi-Wan immediately shook his head. “No Luke, It’s okay to need help. You are powerful yes, and have amazing potential but let’s not forget you did only go through a few years of training. I, for example, went through twenty-five. It would be odd if you knew how to do everything or never made mistakes.” 

Luke looked a little surprised. “That’s a long time to go through training.” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Yes, it is. But there is a lot to learn. And you, my friend, have not learned everything.” 

Luke looked deep in thought for a moment. “I guess you are right. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.” Luke fidgeted with a rock sitting in front of him. Obi-Wan gave Luke a little smile but before he could say anything else Luke asked another question. “How have you been Ben?” 

Obi-Wan was taken aback for a moment, not expecting that question but pleasantly surprised that it was asked. “Oh, I….I am okay. It’s nice of you to ask.” Luke was still fidgeting with the rock in front of him. “Hows….hows my father?” Luke’s face had a concerned look, a concerned look that didn’t even show a quarter of what was probably running through Luke’s head at the moment. 

Obi-Wan tried to give Luke an honest answer without making things sound too bad. “He made it into the afterlife, he’s doing okay. He is however, having trouble controlling his emotions.” 

Luke looked relieved, like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. “Do you think I’ll get to see him again?” 

Sadness hit Obi-Wan and his expression softened. Although Luke tried to hide it, Obi-Wan could tell how worried Luke was. Obi-Wan knew that Luke had a fear of never seeing Anakin again. They had never truly gotten the time they deserved together. It was sad, heartbreaking, and Obi-Wan knew almost exactly how Luke felt. He knew how it felt to fear you would never get to see someone again, someone who meant the world to you. “He’s proud of you, always speaks fondly of you as well. I am sure he will want to visit you Luke.” 

Luke gave a little smile, his eyes shining with hope. “I….I’m proud of him too.” 

Obi-Wan couldn’t help but smile at this. “I guess we both are.” 

Luke’s smile got slightly bigger. “Can I have any more details on what’s happened to him?” 

Obi-Wan thought about it for a second and nodded. “I can tell you, but not all of it is pleasant.” Luke looked slightly worried for just a moment before nodding. Obi-Wan took a deep breath and after a moment told Luke about what he knew happened. He told Luke about what he remembered about the council meeting and Dai Bendu. He also told him vaguely about his experience living with Anakin. He didn’t tell Luke about their arguments or fighting, just telling him again that Anakin was having trouble controlling some of his emotions. He didn’t need Luke knowing how tense they were around each other. When he finally finished the story Luke was silent for a while. Just like he had been the entire time. Not once had Luke interrupted or asked a question, he just listened. 

After a while of silence, Luke spoke. “Dai Bendu sounds slightly cruel.” Luke finally said. 

“He was just trying to show Anakin the bad things he had done. Maybe give those people who were killed a chance to speak. The way he showed Anakin his wrongdoings was slightly cruel, yes, but in his eyes I guess it was necessary.” Obi-Wan tried to explain his thought process the best he could. 

Luke shook his head. “No, I get that. I understand why he did it even if it was cruel, but I don’t understand why he had to be mean to you as well.” 

Obi-Wan tilted his head in confusion. “May you elaborate?” 

Luke looked at Obi-wan with an expression that could have been described as sad, almost pitiful. “You said you felt guilty when Dai Bendu brought up your attachment to Anakin. I could tell you skipped over some parts of the story. I also don’t know all of what happened between you and my father but based on what you told me it sounds like you were shamed for no reason. While he was trying to bring my father down he brought you down with him when you didn’t do anything wrong. It shouldn’t even matter if you had an attachment to him, you knew him better than almost anyone.”  

Obi-Wan thought about this for a long moment. Luke was right about him skipping a few parts, like the part where Dai Bendu brought up what Obi-Wan had said about loving Anakin. Obi-Wan had simply told Luke Dai Bendu brought up a time where Obi-Wan had admitted to an attachment. He didn’t have the strength to explain what happened on Mustafar. Obi-Wan tried his best to see Luke’s way of thinking. When Dai Bendu brought up his attachment to Anakin, when he brought up the fact Obi-Wan once stated he loved Anakin. Obi-wan had never taken that as Dai Bendu trying to be mean to him. To this day Obi-Wan saw that as an accidental side effect. But in Luke’s eyes Obi-Wan could see why he would think that, he didn’t know all the details. “I’m sure Dai Bendu hadn’t meant to shame me or make me upset. He was just stating what happened. 

Luke frowned. “It still made you feel guilty.” 

Obi-Wan thought about this even more. There were a lot of times Obi-Wan thought he deserved to be shamed in that council meeting. He was sure Luke would change his opinion if only he knew what he had done to Anakin, if he knew exactly how Obi-Wan had failed him. And even if Dai Bendu had accidentally shammed Obi-Wan while trying to prove his bias towards Anakin, Obi-Wan knew he deserved every second of it. Obi-Wan had in fact felt guilty and upset over what happened in the council chamber, but it didn’t matter. These were the things one must move on from. “It doesn’t matter Luke. It’s over now, but it is nice of you to look after me.” Obi-Wan didn’t know why Luke cared so much about how Obi-Wan felt, but it was nice nonetheless. He knew Luke was a good person, he probably worried about people he didn’t even know. The perfect Jedi, Obi-Wan thought to himself. 

Luke looked unsatisfied with the vague answer Obi-Wan had given him but said nothing more about it. Luke instead asked a question that Obi-Wan had not been expecting. “I don’t understand how you two could get along so well again, you and my father that is. It seems like some really bad stuff had to happen in order for him to fall to the dark side and I don’t know how you could feel so okay as to let him live with you.” Luke looked nervously at Obi-wan after saying this, as if he was scared he had just offended him. “I’m sorry, that sounded rude. I wasn’t trying to be invasive.” 

Obi-Wan rushed to reassure Luke. “No Luke it’s okay, it is a good question.” Obi-Wan then took a deep breath, because explaining why he was letting the man that killed him stay with him was something that wasn’t said easily. “I have forgiven him. And the truth is we don’t always get along. But I let him stay so I can better help him. I know he is sorry and he proved he had good in him by saving you. So I guess to give you a quick answer, I let him stay because I know he’s sorry.” Obi-Wan knew Anakin was trying to get better, that he didn’t want to be a bad guy. That was all that mattered, that he knew what he did wrong and would improve from it. And letting Anakin live with him would help him achieve that faster. Obi-Wan cleared his throat and said in almost a whisper. “I also miss him.” This was also true, more true than Obi-Wan would like to admit. He missed Anakin with all his heart, he missed their old relationship. He missed being Anakin’s friend. He hoped that Anakin didn’t hate him, and that someday in the future they could get along again. 

Luke looked at Obi-Wan with a sad yet understanding expression. It was the type of understanding one got when they knew what someone was going through without actually being there themselves. Obi-Wan saw the understanding on Luke’s face, knew he got at least a little of what he was going through. “It’s nice you have so much faith in him,” Luke finally replied and Obi-Wan could only smile in return. There was a calm silence. It wasn’t uneasy or unnerving, just peaceful. Luke looked lost in his thought for quite some time before speaking up and saying something. “Ben, you said something about Dai Bendu bringing up an older Jedi code. Why would they change the code? How did the code change from having emotion yet peace to there is no emotion, only peace?” 

Obi-wan sighed. “I am sorry Luke but I don’t know the answer to this one. Somewhere along the lines, the code was changed and the Jedi forgot there was ever a code before it.” 

Luke thought about this for a moment. “I think I like the old code better. It’s odd to make someone let go of so many emotions. I get those emotions can lead to bad things but I feel like there needs to be a different way of dealing with things other than releasing everything into the force. Of course, you shouldn’t hold onto those negative emotions but I feel things would have been so much better if Jedi were say, allowed to have attachments. I don’t think attachments have to be a bad thing. What do you think Ben?” 

Obi-was had to sit and think for a moment. There were lots of times he hadn’t liked the no attachment rule. There were lots of times where he had attachments and just pretended he didn’t. His Master Qui-Gon and Anakin were both good examples. Obi-Wan looked up at Luke, a thoughtful expression on his face. “I was raised with the new code, I don’t know how it would be any other way. But if I am honest with you Luke. I’ve always had attachments to other people. My Master and your father are both good examples. I tried to do everything right, always tried my hardest to release my emotions to the force and yet...I failed to not gain an attachment.” 

Luke chimed in. “That’s because it’s unnatural Ben. How could anyone ever be expected to cut off all attachments!? I think it would be impossible to go your whole life and never get attached to someone.” 

Obi-Wan looked almost confused, like he didn’t understand what Luke was saying. “But other Jedi did it. How were they able to go their whole lives?” 

Luke looked at Obi-Wan with an amused expression. “I bet you over half of those Jedi that claimed they never got attached were lying. They probably felt the same way you did. I would imagine it nearly impossible to follow that code completely.” 

Obi-Wan had a hard time accepting what Luke was saying. It went against everything he was taught when he was younger. But he knew Luke had a point, it was very difficult to follow the code. “Maybe….maybe you have a point.” A fond smile grew on Obi-Wan’s face. 

Luke immediately picked up on Obi-Wan’s smile and smiled in return. “You know…” Luke picked up a rock covered in mud and started fidgeting with it. “If I didn’t know any better I would say you have an attachment to me too.” Luke looked nervously at the rock, as if he was scared Obi-Wan would claim otherwise. 

Obi-Wan sighed fondly. “Maybe I do.” 

Luke looked up from his rock with one of the brightest smiles Obi-Wan had ever seen. They shared a smile and Luke giggled. “Thanks Ben. I have an attachment to you too.” 

Obi-Wan felt like he could cry happily for a moment. He hadn’t known such a little confession could get such a reaction out of him. “Oh...Luke that’s...that’s nice of you to say.” Obi-Wan didn’t know the last time his smile became this wide. 

Luke laughed at him. “Okay now, I have more questions. Do you have to go yet?” 

“Not quite, but I fear that time may come soon. It takes a lot of concentration to stay here,” Obi-Wan responded. In reality, Obi-Wan probably should have left a while ago but he was sure he had enough concentration and energy to stay slightly longer. 

This was when Luke launched into more questions about the Jedi than Obi-wan could count. He had so many and was so curious about the Jedi it made Obi-Wan smile the entire time. It reminded him of a younger Anakin when he was first made Obi-Wan’s padawan. It seemed every sentence that came out of Anakin’s mouth was a question or story from Tatooine. Eventually Obi-Wan had to interrupt, it was becoming too hard to stay any longer. 

“Luke,” Obi-Wan said gently. 

Luke tilted his head. “What Ben?” 

Obi-Wan’s smile faded. “It is time for me to leave, I have stayed longer than I should have.” 

Luke’s smile faded as well. “You will visit again right?” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Of course I will Luke.” 

Luke’s smile returned as he looked him over one last time. “Goodbye Ben.” 

“Goodbye Luke,” was all Obi-Wan could say before he was returned to the afterlife. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-wan sat drinking tea at the counter. Behind him sat a brooding Anakin. He was sitting in one of the chairs and just staring out the window as if it had just tried to kill him. His back was tense, his muscles partly visible through his black robe. His hair was messy, mostly because Anakin had not fixed it once since he got here. 

Obi-Wan took a deep breath and prepared to say something. He was going to tell Anakin he visited Luke, he hoped that they would finally have something to talk about instead of fighting or sitting in silence. “Anakin?” Obi-Wan said calmly, even if his emotions were anything but that. 

As Obi-Wan looked down at his tea he heard Anakin turn around behind him. “Huh?” 

“I….I visited Luke today. In case you wanted to know.” Obi-Wan sounded more nervous than he would have liked but it didn’t seem to matter as he heard Anakin get up and sit right next to him. Obi-wan moved his hood further over his head. 

“You did?” Anakin questioned with what almost sounded like excitement. “Is he okay?” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “He is. He was trying to find a stormtrooper base so he could get rid of it.” 

Anakin hummed. “Yes, it is best those are gone,” he said almost bitterly, the smallest hint of guilt hidden in his voice. 

Obi-Wan decided to switch the subject to something else he and Luke talked about. He didn’t like seeing Anakin feel that guilty. “Luke asked a bunch of questions about the Jedi,” Obi-Wan stated. 

Anakin genuinely chuckled, something Obi-Wan wasn’t expecting to hear from him. “Does he ask a million questions all the time?” 

“Oh yes, more than I would like to count,” Obi-Wan said fondly. 

“I used to ask you a million questions when I was younger,” Anakin stated. 

Obi-Wan nodded and replied in almost a shy voice. “He reminded me of you actually, when you were younger that is.” 

There was a stretch of silence between them before Anakin responded. “He does?” Obi-Wan nodded again in response. He looked up slightly to see Anakin smiling off into the distance. Obi-Wan had to resist the urge to chuckle at him. He looked away before Anakin could notice him starring. Anakin spoke up again, his voice full of fondness. “I am so proud of that kid. Isn’t he the best? Best kid in the galaxy.” 

“Yes, he is. I am proud of him as well.” There was a pause of silence. “Luke said he was proud of you too actually. He also asked how you were doing.” After saying this Obi-Wan glanced at Anakin who had the biggest smile Obi-Wan had seen on him yet. It made something in Obi-Wan’’s heart grow. He had wanted to see Anakin smile like that for so long, it almost took his breath away to see him this happy. Obi-Wan couldn’t resist laughing fondly at him this time. He turned away and covered his mouth immediately after laughing. 

Obi-Wan heard Anakin turn to look at him. “What’s so funny?” Anakin said in a defensive tone. 

“Oh it’s nothing,” Obi-Wan reassured him. Another pause of silence before Obi-Wan spoke again. “You should visit him,” Obi-Wan stated. 

Anakin is silent for a moment. “I will another time.” With that Obi-Wan heard Anakin get up from beside him and go back to the window. He couldn’t help but wonder why their conversation had to end so soon, he already missed talking to Anakin again. 

 

***

 

Darth Vader stared at Obi-Wan’s cloak menacingly. The room around him was dark, only a small white light in the wall lighting up half the room. His mechanical hand grasped tightly around it as more anger once again surged through his body. If anyone took off Vader’s mask now, they would see just how much pain and rage filled his expression, pain and rage that was just waiting to be released. 

Darth Vader’s voice filled the room, briefly cutting off the harsh breathing. “You have failed Luke. He will join me, and together we will rule the empire.” Vader spoke to the cloak as if Obi-Wan could hear him, as if it was Obi-Wan he held in his hands. His hand tightened more as he began to pace the room. “You have failed him Obi-Wan….just as you had failed me.” 

With that, Obi-Wan’s cloak was thrown to the ground in pure rage. Vader began to circle the cloak, like it was some kind of interrogation, and interrogation the cloak would not make it out of. 

Darth Vader’s emotions were built up, his emotions for Kenobi never went away, even after his death. Something haunted Darth Vader every time he tried to sleep, every time he passed his reflection, every waking moment of his life. And most of all, every time he stared at Kenobi’s cloak. This type of guilt just transformed into more rage. Vader had thought this hatred for Kenobi would be gone after his death. He was wrong. After Obi-Wan’s death, this hatred changed, changed to something Vader didn’t want to admit. He told himself only Anakin Skywalker felt such hatred, hatred for himself. Darth Vader knew this hatred made him weak, that it was a sign Anakin Skywalker wasn’t dead yet. And this realization only made him hate everything more. 

Darth Vader’s voice once again filled the room. “I spent half my life looking for you, and I didn’t even get a day with you!” Vader’s rage was clear in his voice, the mechanical sound of his voice not hiding any of it. “You are lucky! You are lucky I didn’t show you half the pain I am feeling! You are lucky I didn’t torture you for weeks! You are lucky I didn’t drag you to Mustafar and toss you into a pit of lava! Lucky I didn’t watch you burn as you watched me!” 

That old cloak that used to belong to Darth Vader’s worst enemy is thrown against the wall in pure pain. Vader couldn’t even tell what kind of pain flowed him as he looked at the cloak. It was hard to decipher what kind of pain he felt after killing Obi-Wan. When that broken, old bond he always had with Obi-wan finally disappeared, it left a putrid feeling behind it. It left the feeling of an emptiness that was once filled but could never be again. 

Darth Vader tightened his fists into balls, as tight as the machine he called a body would allow him. “I feel empty!” Vader yelled at the cloak, sadness mixing with the pain. He felt empty all the time, without purpose. “It’s all your fault!” Vader stormed over to the cloak and with the force picked it up, holding it in front of him. “I hate you.” Vader bellowed to the cloak he could pretend was Obi-Wan but never would be. 

It was only a short time later that Lord Vader stood outside his palace on Mustafar. He stood on the fiery banks that nipped at his mechanical feet, trying to burn the metal. Reflected on Vader’s helmet was a fiery landscape, a landscape that seemed to circle a single item. In the center of Vader’s view lay an old cloak being burned and torn apart by the same rocks and lava that had once torn apart a man named Anakin Skywalker. A man Vader hoped was dead. 

Vader’s palace was on Mustafar for a reason, so he could be reminded of the pain he suffered here every time he looked out a window. Out of every planet in the galaxy, this was the only one that could drive him this insane. As Darth Vader watched Obi-Wan’s cloak burn, even more sparks were added to his raging emotions, his emotions just for Obi-Wan. 

 

*** 

 

Anakin woke up from his nightmare with a gasp. The world around him spun for a moment as he tried to steady himself. Anger and loss flow through him as he was forced to relive that horrid memory all over again. Anakin didn’t know why the force had to keep reminding him of it. 

Anakin got up and his eyes immediately landed on Obi-Wan’s door. As if in a trance Anakin got up and walked to it. His hand raised and Anakin took a deep breath before slowly knocking on the door. Sudden dampness on his cheeks made itself known and Anakin wiped both of them off quickly. He wished to pull Obi-Wan into a hug again, hold him tightly and just tell him all of the pain he felt over the flashback just experienced. But Anakin knew the moment he saw Obi-Wan he would lose all strength to do so. 

Right then the door to Obi-Wan’s room opened and Anakin let out a breath of relief. “Did I wake you up?” Anakin said in an almost bitter tone. 

Obi-Wan shook his head. “N-No, I was up before you got here.” Obi-Wan then moved out of the way of the door and motioned for Anakin to come in. “You can come in.” 

Anakin walked past Obi-Wan and into his room before looking around curiously. The room was all dark except for a window with surprisingly bright moonlight shining through it. It was so bright Anakin was able to look around Obi-wan’s room and see things clearly. Anakin noted that Obi-Wan still had little to no belongings he could spot at the moment. All Anakin could see was a closet door connected to the wall and a bed. 

Anakin looked back to Obi-Wan who, of course, had his hood up. “Can I try meditating?” Anakin asked. He would rather not meditate most of the time but Anakin wondered if maybe sitting in one place would help him calm down from his nightmare. 

Obi-wan responded in a surprised yet hopeful voice. “Oh, I...yes, yes we can.” Obi-wan walked past Anakin and took a seat on the floor before patting the spot in front of him for Anakin to sit. Anakin took a seat before clearing his throat. “Why don’t you have any personal belongings?” 

Obi-Wan shrugged. “I don’t really need any.” There is a moment of silence before he added ‘I have books.” 

Anakin turned to the closet where he imagined they would be. “Huh,” He said thoughtfully before turning back to Obi-Wan. Anakin decided he just wanted to try meditating already and closed his eyes, not waiting for Obi-wan to guide him and deciding he would get this over with on his own. 

A couple minutes passed where Anakin tried really hard to concentrate and clear his mind, but no matter what he did, he couldn’t seem to stop thinking about his nightmare. After finally moving on from thinking about his nightmare, he started thinking about telling Obi-Wan about it. His mood quickly turned to annoyance as he continued to find it more and more difficult to fall into meditation. 

After what seemed like forever of trying Anakin angrily opened his eyes. His breath was taken away as his gaze landed on Obi-Wan. His eyes meet Obi-Wan’s face, a face that was not covered by a hood. Anakin studied Obi-wan’s relaxed features and calm expression. He had his eyes closed and looked like he could be deep in meditation. 

A little smile came across Anakin’s own features as he continued starring at the man in front of him. He didn’t know why Obi-Wan had to hide his face all the time, there was nothing wrong with him. Anakin wished he could look at Obi-Wan’s face more often, get a more obvious reaction out of him instead of having to guess how he felt. 

Anakin was in the middle of just calmly looking at Obi-Wan’s face when Obi-Wan’s hands flew up to cover it. Confused, Anakin furrowed his brows as Obi-Wan ran his hand’s over his own face before looking down, his hands still covering his features. A shaky breath escaped Obi-Wan and his body shook briefly. Anakin couldn’t help but wonder where the sudden emotion came from. Obi-Wan had looked so calm a minute ago. He wondered if Obi-Wan had felt upset this entire time, and was just able to keep his face emotionless. 

Obi-Wan sniffled and Anakin became even more confused as he wondered if Obi-Wan was crying. Anakin leaned forward slowly, wanting to get an even closer look at Obi-Wan. “Are you okay?” Anakin questioned and Obi-Wan gasped slightly before wiping his face. Much to Anakin’s distaste, he pulled his hood back up as well. 

“I’m fine,” Obi-Wan said, his voice sounding calmer than Anakin would have expected. There was a long moment of silence and Obi-Wan spoke again. “Just had a bad dream earlier,” Obi-Wan murmured. 

“I did too,” Anakin responded. Anakin yearned to tell Obi-Wan more details. He wanted to tell Obi-Wan about what he did to his cloak but he was almost scared of the reaction he would get. 

Obi-Wan’s hand moved to the bottom of his robe and he started fidgeting with it. “I figured that’s why you came here” He stated in a serious tone. 

Anakin looked at Obi-Wan for a long moment before taking a deep breath. “I want to tell you what I dreamt about.” Anakin was surprised by his sudden bravery, he knew he shouldn’t be so scared over telling Obi-Wan his flashback. 

“I will listen,” Obi-Wan replied in a gentle tone. 

“I burnt your cloak,” Anakin blurted out in a serious tone. He looked closely at Obi-Wan as he said the next part. “I threw it in the lava bank of Mustafar. And the worst part about it was that it wasn’t just a dream, it was a flashback.” 

Anakin watched as Obi-Wan’s form tensed. “Why did you do that?” Obi-Wan questioned, his voice sounded hurt and almost nervous. 

“I hated having the cloak around. I hated the way it made me feel. It reminded me of my hatred for you.” Anakin watched as Obi-Wan’s form tensed even more and his hand’s tightened against his robe. With a deep breath, Anakin whispered what he said next. “It also made me feel guilty.” 

“Why would it make you feel guilty?” Obi-Wan questioned, confused. 

Anakin was struck with his own confusion. He didn’t know how Obi-Wan wouldn’t know why it would make him feel guilty. It made him feel guilty because it reminded him he killed Obi-Wan. Anakin contemplated telling Obi-Wan exactly why it made him feel guilty. Fear began to grip him as he thought about the conversation that may ensue. Anakin asked himself if he really was ready to have a conversation about killing Obi-Wan yet. Asked himself if he was ready for the reaction it would get out of Obi-Wan. Even more fear gripped Anakin, and his hands balled into fists by his sides. Anakin’s breathing picked up as he felt more emotions start to build inside him. He didn’t know how to do this, how to tell Obi-Wan how much he had hated him. 

In a moment of weakness, Anakin stood up. “I’M SORRY!” Anakin yelled in an angry tone because anger was one of the only ways he knew how to respond to overwhelming emotions. Anakin then ran out of the room, behind him he heard Obi-Wan yell to wait but he didn’t listen as he made it to the front floor and ran outside. 

He knew he was a coward, that he couldn’t deal with the past or his own emotions. He knew he couldn’t talk to Obi-Wan about anything too serious and it took almost all his strength to be gentle about something, but Anakin was too stuck in his old ways to change. He would try, but it was so hard to gain that courage to talk to Obi-Wan about what had happened. Anakin just wasn’t ready. 

Anakin knew they would have to communicate about the past some time, and when that sometime came Anakin would try to be as ready as he could be. It didn’t help that his emotions for Obi-Wan were so confusing. There was a time when Anakin would die for him and a time where he would kill him….a time where he did kill him. But now, in this afterlife where no one could die or sacrifice themselves to prove how they felt, Anakin would have to use words. And eventually, Anakin would have to communicate, just as Obi-Wan would. 

Anakin finally came to a stop outside the house, he was a way away from the cottage now. He turned back to face the small cottage and when he did so a small smile graced his features. Looking closely at the cottage, Anakin could see the front door that had been left open. Maybe Obi-Wan hadn’t gotten up to close it yet but a part of Anakin wanted to believe Obi-Wan left it open on purpose. Anakin took the open door as a sign, a sign that Obi-Wan wanted him back, and maybe, just maybe, Obi-Wan could wait for him again. Just like Anakin, would always wait for Obi-Wan. 

Chapter Text

 Obi-Wan stood in the doorway of his small Tatooine hut as Owen Lars yelled at him. Obi-Wan had once again done something wrong. He hadn’t tried to, he only wanted to help. Obi-Wan had only been protecting Luke just as he had promised. And that protecting just happened to include guarding the house Luke was being kept in against being raided by the tuskens, along with stopping jawas from stealing from their property. Obi-wan hadn’t seen anything wrong with that, but Owen did. For the past few minutes, Owen had been screaming about how he wouldn’t accept help, and how he wasn’t going to let Obi-Wan warp Luke up like he did his father, whatever that meant. 

Owen’s words once again struck through his thoughts. “You brought him to me to protect, and that’s what I’m doing! Protecting him from you!” 

Obi-Wan resisted the urge to wince. “I was simply protecting you. I wasn’t asking to train the boy. You’ve made yourself quite clear on that matter. But Luke has the potential to be something….truly remarkable. Just as his father was, before he-” 

“Before you got him killed!” Owen’s words cut off Obi-Wan’s harshly. “Haven’t you murdered enough Skawalkers already, Kenobi?!” Obi-Wan turned from Owen, looking down at the floor. Pain cut through his heart, a deep ache he tried to ignore. The next thing Owen said Obi-Wan didn’t exactly hear, too lost in his own thoughts. Obi-Wan tried his best to focus back on Owen, still looking down. “We both know what happens if he ever leaves Tatooine! He won’t be coming back. Not alive, at least.” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “I only ever wanted to help.” 

“And I believe I’ve made it clear that we don’t want your help!” Owen shouted angrily before turning and storming away. The door to Obi-Wans hut swiftly closed behind him and Obi-Wan was left starring at a dusty metal door. 

Obi-Wan took in a deep, shaky breath, trying to center himself, keep that balance he had recently achieved from his emotions. Obi-wan turned and slowly walked to where his bed. He sat down, putting his head down in his hands. Obi-Wan wondered if that is what he had really done, murdered Anakin. Anakin was his best friend, and now he was a Sith Lord. Obi-wan knew he wasn’t dead, that he hadn’t died after their battle on Mustafar. There were rumors of a man named Darth Vader floating around Tatooine. It was about a Sith who could cut Jedi down in a matter of seconds, barely giving them time to pull out their weapons. It pained Obi-Wan when he first heard that name, because it was the same name used when Anakin pledged himself to Sidiouse’s teachings. 

A part of Obi-Wan wished he had never seen that hologram, because if he hadn’t seen it he could live the rest of his life believing Anakin had died, not been cursed to be a Sith Lord. A Sith Lord that no doubt was miserable all the time. Obi-Wan didn’t understand how anyone could survive such harsh injuries. 

Obi-Wan’s stomach twisted with guilt. He sunk off his bed and to the floor, his head still buried in his hands. He knew he shouldn’t feel this guilty about it. But with no one to talk to his thoughts always eventually wandered back to his past, to his friend. It was like every year he spent alone his thoughts would just become a little bit more demeaning. Every year it seemed Obi-Wan would blame just a little more on himself. 

Obi-Wan looked around his small hut tiredly, his eyes landing on a small chest. Without truly thinking about it Obi-Wan scooted over to that chest. He opened the dusty chest he only opened every couple of months. Inside lay some older robes, the chest looking like nothing special from first glance. Obi-Wan carefully reached in, his hand pulled out a small wooden box. He stared at the box for a moment, taking a deep breath as he slid his hand across the top. His hand found the corner of that old box and he slowly slid the cover off. Inside the box lay a lightsaber, a lightsaber Obi-wan rarely had the strength to look at. Setting the box on the floor Obi-Wan grabbed the lightsaber from inside, holding it as careful as he could with shaking hands. 

Anakin Skywalkers lightsaber lay gently there in Obi-Wan’s hands. His hands tightened around the hilt. “Did I murder you Anakin? Is that what I did? Did I help kill you, or did you do that all yourself?” Obi-wan sighed and shook his head. “No, I didn’t kill you. You left me no choice on Mustafar. Why did you have to leave me no choice but to defend myself? I couldn’t let you kill me, I didn’t want the empire to rise. But I guess cutting you down is useless now, because we may both be alive, but neither of us is truly living are we? Both of us suffer now.” 

With that Obi-Wan laid down on the floor, setting the lightsaber next to him as he stared up at the ceiling. “I loved you,” Obi-wan murmured as he turned back to the lightsaber. Tears stream down Obi-Wan’s cheeks and he reached back out to grab the lightsaber, pulling it to his chest. He rested it close to his heart, hugging it close. “Maybe one day dear one, I’ll see you again.” 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan sat at the counter, looking at his lap. Anakin had run off a little while ago. He left when it was still dark, it now being early morning. Obi-Wan’s hands lazily fidgeted with his robe, to distract with his thoughts to do anything productive. He couldn’t stop worrying about Anakin. He had just run out so quickly. What made him even more worried was how upset Anakin seemed. Obi-wan truly only wanted to help, even if what Anakin was going to say wasn’t the best. Something about being angry and burning Obi-Wan’s cloak. Whatever it was Anakin had to say was probably in the past, Obi-Wan knew he could handle it. It just seemed Anakin himself wasn’t ready to share yet, which Obi-Wan understood of course. 

Obi-Wan would wait as long as he had to if it meant Anakin would openly talk to him again. All Obi-Wan seemed to want at the moment was for Anakin to talk to him. He missed the way they used to talk. He missed hearing Anakin complain about stupid problems and hearing his odd view on things. Obi-Wan knew he himself didn’t talk a lot anymore. Here he was wishing Anakin would talk when he hadn’t done anything himself. Still, Obi-Wan had hoped that even without sharing their problems they could get along again. 

Deep down all Obi-Wan really wanted was to be close to Anakin again. He wanted back the Anakin who would constantly monitor him when he got sick, even after Obi-wan lectured him about a million times on how he was fine. He wanted the Anakin that even when he wasn’t supposed to, would stubbornly fly across the galaxy to save him. Obi-Wan missed lecturing Anakin too. He missed the stupid things Anakin would get in trouble for. A part of Obi-Wan even missed riding in a speeder with Anakin. He had never thought he would ever willingly want to get in a speeder with Anakin’s reckless driving again yet here he was, lusting for the chance. But in the end, it wasn’t the reckless driving or any of the countless activities they would get themselves into. In the end, it was the idea of their relationship Obi-wan missed. Because now that Obi-Wan had Anakin back, but they are so distant it’s like they don’t even know each other anymore. And the sad fact was, they might not truly know each other anymore. 

Obi-Wan was more than grateful Anakin had this second chance in the afterlife. But he couldn't help but feel selfish that it doesn’t seem to be enough. Enough for Anakin maybe, but Obi-Wan wanted more. He wanted something like they used to have. 

Laying his head on the table Obi-wan let out a sad laugh that sounded more like a sob. He missed Anakin so much. He had him and yet he missed him. He spent so long wishing he could see Anakin again and now when he finally got to see him he was still upset. He was upset because he can’t gain up the courage to talk to him. Obi-wan was constantly at war with himself to either run away or get down on his knees in front of Anakin and tell him all his pain. He wanted to get on his knees and beg Anakin to stay, to not leave him for a second time. 

Obi-wan knew he would fall apart even more than he already has if he lost Anakin again. Obi-Wan had spent so many nights sobbing over that man and yet here he was barely able to say hello. He couldn’t seem to ever share any of his emotions with Anakin. Obi-Wan wasn’t even sure he could do it if Anakin asked him to. Here he was upset Anakin wasn’t telling him anything when Obi-wan couldn’t even do the same thing in return. Obi-Wan’s hands flew to his face as he felt dampness in his eyes. He wiped his eyes quickly, trying his hardest not to let his eyes water more than they had already. Taking a few deep breaths Obi-Wan finished wiping off his eyes, he was getting far more frustrated than he thought he should be. 

It seemed Obi-Wan finished fixing himself just in time because the sound of footsteps could be heard making their way to the door. Obi-Wan pulled his robe over his head more, once again blocking his face from view. 

Anakin stepped into the house, quietly closing the door behind him. “You left the door open,” He stated. Not knowing what to say Obi-Wan nodded in response. He had lacked the motivation to close it. That and an open door seemed more welcoming than a closed one. Obi-wan glanced up slightly to see Anakin looking as if he wanted to say something. After a short moment, Anakin closed his mouth, seemingly giving up on what he was going to say. Obi-Wan tried not to sigh, he had hoped Anakin was going to talk to him. 

Obi-Wan heard Anakin walk over and sit on the stool next to him. Anakin still said nothing, just tapping his finger on the counter nervously. With his thoughts from earlier still in mind, Obi-wan took a deep breath and prepared to say something, something that had been on his mind for a while now. He hoped it would not make Anakin angry. “Anakin?” Obi-wan began in a small voice. Anakin said nothing, waiting for Obi-Wan. “I know this question may bother you, but are you truly set on going all eternity without eating?” 

Anakin’s response came almost immediately. “Yes,” He stated. “Why would you care?” Anakin asked, the question sounding more confused than angry. 

Obi-Wan thought on this for a moment before speaking. “I just want you to stop making yourself so miserable.” 

Anakin sighed. “I deserve to feel miserable,” Anakin responded in a saddened voice. 

Obi-Wan looked up slightly at Anakin who was looking down at the table with a deep frown. Obi-Wan looked back down at the table himself after a moment of just staring. “Do you really want to stay miserable for the rest of eternity?” Obi-Wan questioned. He hated seeing Anakin miserable. Not eating was also making Anakin’s mood worse than it needed to be, it made him harder to help. 

After a long moment of silence, Anakin spoke again, his voice showing the slightest bit of frustration. “No….but not liking it is the point. No one else will punish me for my past actions, so I do it myself.” 

Obi-Wan’s hands tightened on his robe. He understood all too well how Anakin felt. He understood the need to punish one’s self for things that happened in the past. “I see. But you do realize eating will put you in a better mood. And I think it will be a lot easier to help you control your emotions when you are not in such a sour mood.” Next to him Anakin sighed and turned his back to Obi-Wan, not responding to this. 

Obi-wan then sighed himself. He was hoping he wouldn’t have to resort to temping Anakin into eating but he was leaving him no choice. Closing his eyes Obi-wan imagined what he needed. A short moment later Obi-wan opened his eyes to see one of Anakin’s favorite food on the counter in front of them. There was a small plate with two cut open pallies on them. It was a fruit Anakin always spoke highly of. Obi-Wan remembered Anakin sharing stories about getting them as a kid on Tatooine. 

Obi-Wan turned slightly to look at Anakin. A small smile appeared on Obi-Wan’s face when he saw Anakin staring intently at the grey and orange fruit. “Pallies…” Anakin murmured to himself. 

Obi-Wan tried not to smile anymore. “And they are just for you.” 

Anakin stared at them for another moment before shaking his head and snapping himself out of his thoughts. “And I won’t be eating them either,” Anakin said stubbornly. “Nice try.” 

Obi-wan sighed. “Anakin….It wouldn’t make you a bad person if you ate them. Yes, you made bad decisions in the past, but you realize it. And now you can learn from your mistakes and prevent them from happening again. Punishing yourself doesn’t help anyone Anakin.” Obi-Wan scooted the plate closer to Anakin. “So make yourself a little less miserable for me.” With that Obi-Wan got off the stool and walked in the direction of his room. 

It was only a moment before Obi-wan stepped into his room that Anakin spoke behind him. “If I do this, it will make you happy?” Obi-Wan turned to Anakin who was looking at the counter. It was an odd question. 

“You want to know….if it would make me happy?” Obi-Wan questioned, sounding slightly confused. 

Anakin nodded. “Just tell me.” 

Obi-Wan smiled slightly. “It will,” he said as he backed into his room. Leaving Anakin with his own thoughts. 

 

***

 

From all directions Jedi screamed at him. Pain filled the room as he slowly relived all of the terrible things he had done. Most of these terrible deeds narrated by his victims. The council chamber seemed to get smaller and smaller the more voices spoke. The chamber crushing him with his own guilt. 

Anakin didn’t need people to tell him what he had done wrong. Even if he was not being yelled at now his guilt was sure to crush him for all eternity. As the Jedi spoke images of his past deeds filled his vision. He saw himself standing in an older council chamber with a bunch of Jedi younglings as he ignited his lightsaber. He saw himself marching through the temple with an army of clones, killing any Jedi in his sight. He saw himself killing the people he once saw as friends. He saw himself as Vader, hunting down and killing any remaining Jedi. He saw himself destroying an entire planet. 

More guilt slammed into him and it felt like he was carrying the weight of the universe on his heart as it beat faster and faster, trying to keep up with his overwhelming emotions. If he was still alive he was sure this guilt would kill him. But now he had no escape, he couldn’t run and hide. He was trapped, trapped by his guilt, and trapped in his dreams that only reminded him further of what he had done. Focusing back on the council chamber Anakin’s eyes met Dai Bendu’s. Dai Bendu was calm, mocking him as he watched him fall apart with guilt. Anger rose in him but he stayed still, the shackles he had created from guilt holding him down. 

Anakin gasped awake from his palace on the couch, coming out of his terrible dream. It was originally just about him in the council chamber, until it had transformed into something more. It had transformed into a reminder of his worst moments. 

Anakin tried his best to catch his breath, stumbling off the couch and nearly falling to the ground. His head was too cloudy to think clearly. There was a familiar anger filling him, an anger directed at himself. He felt this anger every day, every time he was reminded of what he had done. Anakin stumbled to the counter, leaning against it when he finally got there. 

As Anakin leaned against the counter his eyes scanned over it, eventually landing on a single plate. On his side of the counter lay a plate with half eaten pallies, the orange filling bright under the dim light attached to the ceiling. 

More fury filled Anakin as he stared at the pallies. He reached out and took the plate in his hand, bringing it closer as he stared at the fruit he had eaten half of. How dare he , Anakin thought to himself, more guilt mixed with anger building in him. As Anakin stared at that plate with his foggy mind more reminders of the terrible things he had done played in his head. He was pathetic, weak for not being able to resist eating. After everything he had done, how dare he even consider it. 

As Anakin stared at the fruit longer it became harder and harder to control the emotions that have been sitting inside him for too long. The stools seem to shake with the pure rage Anakin was giving off as he tightened his grip on the plate. A slow crack started from under Anakin’s hand, slowly moving across the plate. Anakin watched as the crack spiraled under the fruit, making short cracking noises as it spread throughout the entire plate. 

Ping. 

The plate snaps in two and finally….Anakin snaps. Before the fruit could fall to the ground Anakin threw the spiral cracked plate across the room. He watched with pleasure as it hit the wall and shattered into an abundance of pieces. The fruit splattered against the wall before hitting the floor in a heap of juice and skin. 

Anakin’s pleasure with seeing the plate destroyed was short-lived as fury once again filled him. Obi-Wan stepped out of his room in a panicked manner. Anakin watched as Obi-Wan looked at the wall then at the fruit splattered on the floor. Anakin clenched his fists at his sides as he stared at Obi-Wan. “How could you let me eat!” Anakin yelled, the furry he had been holding back not in the slightest hidden. Anakin knew it wasn’t Obi-Wan’s fault he ate, Obi-Wan had not forced him. He felt lost in his emotions, his head still foggy and making it hard to fully process his own emotions. “I was too weak to stop myself,” Anakin yelled. 

Obi-Wan appeared unintimited as he slowly walked a little closer. Anakin stayed in the same place, watching the other man closely. “Eating doesn’t make you weak,” Obi-wan stated, stopping a little further than an arms length away from Anakin. Obi-wan didn’t look at him when he said this, instead staring at his feet. 

Anakin took a step forward and Obi-Wan took a few back. “Yes….it does!” Anakin bellowed, his voice full of furry and emotional pain. “I deserved to be punished! I was too weak to do it! I’m weak! I make terrible choices all the time! I can’t do anything right!” Anakin yelled. He felt more and more emotions building up every moment he stood here. He had so much built up, so much eating away at him. He needed to speak, needed to tell someone of his pain. 

“Punishing yourself doesn’t help anyone Anakin,” Obi-Wan interjected. His voice was calm, but at the same time saddened. 

Anakin made a frustrated noise. “It does when I deserve it! I deserve a punishment. I don’t deserve to be here, I don’t deserve a second chance! I’m a bad guy Obi-Wan!” Anakin barely processed what Obi-wan had said, too caught up in his own emotions. 

Obi-Wan took a small step forward. “Anakin please calm down so we can talk about this.” 

If Obi-Wan was going to say something after this Anakin doesn’t let him as he became outraged. “Calm down! Calm down! What!? Are you scared of me? Scared I’m going to turn to the dark side!?” Pain continued to fill Anakin’s voice. Anakin watched as Obi-wan backed himself up against the kitchen wall, wanting to be further away from Anakin. A long moment of silence filled the room as Anakin thought about something. His face twisted even further. “Is that what you’ve been hiding!? Is that why you’ve been helping me!? Is it only because you are scared I’m going to turn to the dark side!? Do you even care about me at all!?” 

Obi-Wan was silent for a moment before speaking. “That is not...the biggest reason I am helping you.” Obi-Wan was silent for another long moment before, in a moment of strength, looking up from under his hood at Anakin, trying to will him to believe what he said next. “Anakin, I care about you. I always have.” 

Anakin froze in his place, staring at Obi-Wan in disbelief. There was a short moment where Anakin really believed him, believed that Obi-Wan could care about him after everything. In the end though, it was not enough, because Anakin’s guilt once again got in the way of his happiness as he found a way around the confession. “You don’t care about me, you care about the old Anakin. You care about the Anakin who used to be your friend, the Anakin who didn’t murder a bunch of Jedi!” Anakin found it impossible that Obi-Wan could ever care about him as he used to, not after all of the terrible things he had done. Obi-Wan shrunk slightly, looking down again. “The old Anakin is gone!” Anakin shouted, trying to prove his point and only hurting himself more in the process. “And now all that’s left is the shell of someone who was once a good man! A man who was so scared of being alone and losing the people he loved that he turned to the dark side!” 

Obi-Wan took a shaky breath, not having the strength to look up at him. Anakin felt another round of pain flow through him, the past once again cutting into his heart. “I never belonged with the Jedi! You all wanted me gone! I never belonged anywhere Obi-Wan!” Anakin’s hands begin to shake. “With Padme, I finally felt I belonged somewhere. And then I lost her! I pushed her away myself. I got so scared of losing her, losing my escape from the Jedi, that I turned to the dark side just to save it! But when I messed up and got rid of her, you were the only one I might have had left, and I tried to kill you! I had nothing! NOTHING!” Anakin couldn’t stop himself from rambling, from spilling these thoughts that had been in his head for almost half his life. The pain traveled deep inside him, becoming a part of who he was. Anakin finally had the chance to share his pain, communicate and tell Obi-Wan how he felt. Anakin didn’t pass up the opportunity as his mind continued to stay stuck in the past. “I thought I was alone before but as Vader, I truly learned what being alone meant. And only then did I realize that I didn’t need Padme to not be alone, because even if I hadn’t gotten her the loneliness would have been nothing compared to what I felt as Vader!” 

When Anakin finished his long speech he stared at Obi-Wan who now stared at him. Their eyes met and Anakin took in the almost heartbroken expression on Obi-Wan’s face. “I’m sorry you felt alone,” Obi-wan said in a quiet voice. 

Anakin choked at this. “Yeah, I bet you are! I don’t understand why you let me stay here! Why do you let me stay in the same house as you! Why you let me touch you! I was the one who killed you wasn’t I? Wasn’t I the one who murdered you Obi-Wan!?” Obi-wan looked back down, not answering him. This only seemed to give Anakin more anger. “Answer me!” Anakin demanded, feeling the weight of his past on his shoulders. 

At that moment Obi-wan looked up at him, tears filling his eyes. “Yes!” Obi-Wan yelled, built-up pain filling his voice. “You were the one who killed me! You killed me Anakin! The boy I raised, the man I considered my best friend, the man I loved! He killed me! He killed me and I bet you feel good about it too, finally got rid of your old Master huh!?” Anakin stared at Obi-wan with a shocked expression. His heart pounded in his chest and a single tear fell down Anakin’s cheek. Before he could respond Obi-Wan spoke again. “I was alone for twenty years! Watching your son! Watching your son because I cared about him! And I cared about you! I know in the end you probably didn’t care about me too much. But never, in a thousand years did I think you would be the one to kill me! I lov-” Obi-Wan cut himself off with a whimper. 

Anakin’s heart beat wildly in his chest. His balled fists shook by his sides with built-up emotion as he stared at Obi-Wan. He hated that he killed Obi-wan, that he was too weak to stop himself from being manipulated into killing the Jedi. He had cared about Obi-Wan deeply, and yet he had hated him. 

Anakin felt more fury for himself build up as he looked around for something to bring his anger out on. His eyes landed on the stool next to him. With the force, Anakin picked up the stool and threw it across the room. The stool hit the wall, the sound of metal clashing together filling the room as it hit the ground. “I hate myself!” Anakin screamed, all his fury and pain being built up into that one statement. 

Obi-Wan’s voice was quiet and rough when he spoke again. “You are not alone.” Anakin looked up at Obi-Wan and they make eye contact once again. When Anakin looked into the other man’s eyes his guilt showed him the things he had done to him. He saw him as an old man as he finally ended him. He saw the way he looked on Mustafar as they dueled. An image of Obi-Wan standing above him as he stared down at Anakin’s burning body flashed across his vision. ‘ I loved you!’ Obi-Wan’s voice rang out in his head as fire devoured his clothing and skin. If only Anakin would have known. Anakin thought about how things would have turned out if Anakin knew Obi-Wan had loved him. If only he had known Obi-Wan broke the code every time he looked at him, every time he thought about him. Maybe if he had known Obi-Wan had actually loved him, would help him….maybe he wouldn’t have turned to the dark side. Just the idea of Obi-Wan feeling something deeper towards him made him crazy. 

Anakin couldn’t control himself as he stormed over to Obi-Wan and grabbed both his shoulders, pushing him against the wall. With a tough grip, Anakin grabbed Obi-Wan’s cheek, forcing him to look up at him as their bodies got even closer. Anakin’s breath being felt against Obi-wan’s lips as he spoke. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Anakin choked out, his voice rough from all his yelling. 

Obi-Wan stared up at him with just as much hurt. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Obi-Wan whispered, never taking his eyes off of Anakin’s. 

Anakin couldn’t hold it together as he let go of Obi-Wan and stumbled backward. He stared at Obi-Wan for a long moment, finally processing what he had just done. Anakin turned towards the door and ran. He shoved open the door, running out of it and slamming it shut as he sobbed.

Chapter Text

The lights coming from the small cottage fade as Anakin ran down a dark path. Woods surrounded him and the sound of nocturnal birds chirped around him, hiding in the dark trees that swayed with the wind and force in unison. 

Angry and hurt tears streamed down Anakin’s cheeks as he continued running, the force letting him run for as long as he liked without becoming tired. Anakin picked up speed, wanting to get even further from his past and present mistakes. He couldn’t stop imagining it. He couldn’t stop imagining the hurt way Obi-Wan looked at him during their argument. He couldn’t stop imagining the way he pushed him against the wall in his desperation. He hated how scared Obi-Wan looked, how sad. Anakin hated the fact that he was the reason Obi-wan looked at him with such heartbreak. 

He felt so guilty, not just about his recent fight, but all the time. Every day seemed to repeat itself. Every day he would talk with Obi-wan in little amounts and every day Anakin was left with guilt over his past actions. The guilt would haunt his nightmares, control what he did in the day. He knew guilt was one of the things that had caused the terrible fight between him and Obi-Wan. Guilt and their built-up feelings. 

Anakin slowed his pace down to a walk. He took in a shaky breath, sounding out of breath from sobbing. Now that his tears slowed and Anakin got the chance to wipe his cheeks. He looked around the now unfamiliar forest, a forest he thought wouldn’t even be able to exist on a planet like Coruscant. 

His slow pace continued and Anakin looked to the ground as his thoughts returned to the argument he had with Obi-Wan. He looked back on how it started. He had felt guilty of course, this time about eating. Not allowing himself to eat, giving himself that tiniest bit of pain. It had been his way of controlling his overwhelming guilt a little more. It had almost been a way of owning up to his past actions and by eating he felt as if he was somehow ignoring all he had done. He deserved to be punished for the past, and if no one else was going to do it then Anakin was going to do it himself. 

Anakin thought back to what Obi-Wan had said not too long ago when he suggested Anakin eat. He had told him that he recognized his wrong actions, and that was all that mattered. Anakin didn’t know if that was just something Obi-Wan said to get him to eat or if it truly meant something. Sure he recognized his past actions were wrong, but that still didn’t justify destroying an entire planet, destroying the Jedi temple, slaughtering the Jedi who had once trusted him, and murdering younglings. Guilt stabbed his heart and he winced, once again being reminded of why he was punishing himself. 

Even after his guilt made itself known once again, Anakin couldn’t stop thinking about what Obi-wan said. Anakin wondered if maybe Obi-Wan was trying to say not eating was helping no one. Anakin sighed. Not eating was making it even harder to control his temper, the little pain in his stomach becoming increasingly more annoying as the days went on. When Anakin returned to Obi-Wan, eating was something he would have to consider. He feared doing so could make his guilt once again become overwhelming and uncontrolled. Stopping himself from feeling hunger might be a better option for him. 

Anakin took another deep breath, trying to calm himself down a little more. He focused on the later parts of their argument. It had escalated so far from the simple fight about eating or not eating. Anakin had gotten lost in his own emotions. He had been so worked up he began screaming about his built-up pain from the past. He had yelled about how alone he felt when he was alive and his past mistakes. It was the very end of the argument that hurt Anakin the most. It was when he looked at Obi-Wan and was brought back to Mustafar. 

Anakin rubbed a hand over his face, regret filling him. He should have never even touched Obi-Wan, pushing him against the wall was one of the worst things he could have done. He now had to worry about if Obi-Wan was going to be scared of him. Anakin was lucky if he got a pat on the shoulder. He had just been so caught up in the idea Obi-Wan had once loved him, so lost in the idea of what could have been; That he let his emotions completely take control of him. 

The idea of Obi-wan loving him in any way drove him crazy. It was like a drug that Anakin spent a good portion of his life lusting over. His whole life he had been so sure he would never hear Obi-Wan say those words. A big part of him feared Obi-Wan didn’t love him, that maybe he was just that good at following the code. To hear he could have possibly loved him as deep as Anakin had loved him was intoxicating. He hated that he didn’t find out the truth until moments before Anakin thought he was going to die.

Anakin remembered there were a couple of times he had admitted to Obi-Wan he loved him, only to have Obi-Wan reject him. There was one time in particular that Anakin found himself thinking about at the moment. It was a short while after he had his arm amputated by Count Dooku. Trying to remember the events of that day better Anakin focused on it, replaying that day in his mind. 

He remembered blinking awake to a bright, white room, the light above him hurting his eyes. He was forced to squint to help them adjust. A gentle hand on his shoulder startled him, causing his eyes to open wider as he reached out through the force to find whoever was with him. Relief flooded through him and Anakin opened his eyes up wider as he turned to his side and saw Obi-Wan standing next to him, a worried expression on the other man’s face. 

“Anakin,” Obi-Wan said gently, as if Anakin was a fragile object that could break at any moment. Anakin looked around the room. Discovering he was in the med ward, he tried to push himself up only to fall to his right side, the side his right arm should have helped keep up. Anakin looked to his right and his eyes filled with panic and dread as he saw a nub wrapped in a bright bandage where his arm should have been. Memories came flooding back to him as began to remember what had just happened to him. 

After a minute of just starring silently at the nub in almost panic, Anakin spoke. “I lost my arm,” Anakin murmured. 

He turned back to Obi-Wan to see him wearing a pained expression. “I am….I’m so sorry Anakin, I’ll help all I can. We can work through this as a team.” Obi-Wan gently squeezed the shoulder his hand had never left. Anakin noted Obi-Wan’s slightly puffy and pink eyes. 

Anakin looked away from Obi-wan, feeling ashamed. “I was reckless. I wouldn’t have gotten my arm kriffing chopped off if I hadn’t run into a fight I wasn’t strong enough for.” Anakin turned away even more, anger over his actions clear on his face. 

Obi-Wan sighed. “We learn from our mistakes Anakin, and I’m sure you have just learned from yours. I am not angry with you, do not torture yourself over this mission.” 

Anakin pouted. “Why not? It was my fault Dooku got away.” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “You are still learning Anakin.” Finally, Anakin turned to Obi-Wan who looked both tired and sad. The puffiness that surrounded Obi-Wan’s eyes had faded slightly, replaced with purple bags that sat under his eyes. 

Anakin looked at him for a few more moments. “Why do you look so tired?” Anakin questioned him. 

Obi-Wan rubbed a hand over his face. “Just...worried about you. Haven’t slept in a while, I wanted to be here when you woke up.” 

A gentle warmth ran through Anakin, his heart filling with affection over Obi-Wan openly admitting he was worried about him. Anakin smirked at Obi-Wan, suddenly feeling more confident. “I’m fine now, no need to worry about me...old man.” Obi-Wan rolled his eyes and sighed exasperatedly at the nickname. Anakin felt amused over Obi-Wan’s reaction, always enjoying getting a reaction out of him. He had always thought it was slightly funny to get a reaction out of him, he wouldn’t dare tell Obi-Wan this though. 

“I will never stop worrying about you Anakin,” Obi-Wan said in a slightly sad tone. Once again a warm feeling filled Anakin’s heart. He loved Obi-wan, he knew he did. He was a friend he respected deeper than he might respect anyone. Anakin wondered what Obi-Wan’s reaction would be if he told him his feelings. All the other times he had said something Obi-Wan hadn’t said those words back. Maybe this time would be different, maybe Obi-Wan would pity him and his missing arm. 

After a long moment of silence, Anakin finally gained up the courage to say something. “Obi-Wan.” 

Obi-Wan tilted his head.”Yes?” 

Anakin took a deep breath, his heart beating rapidly. “I lov-” Anakin cut himself off as he lost courage. A sharp sting hit his heart as he realized how stupid it was to even try to say something. He knew Obi-Wan wasn’t going to say it back, he was only hurting himself. Hoping Obi-Wan didn’t realize what he was about to say, Anakin turned back to Obi-Wan. “Never mind,” Anakin said in a hurt tone. 

Obi-Wan looked at him with a saddened expression. “Anakin, you know I can’t-” 

Anakin cut him off. “It doesn’t matter! Forget I tried to say anything.” Anakin tried not to let any more of his hurt show on his expression as he focused back on Obi-Wan. 

Obi-Wan looked like he was in pain. “I’m sorry, it’s the code. But I do care-” 

Anakin once again cut him off. “Master, it doesn’t matter. The conversation is over.” 

Obi-wan backed away from him, looking defeated for only a moment before his expression become unnaturally blank. “I’ll go see how things are coming along with your arm. They have a prosthetic for you.” With that Obi-Wan turned and walked out of the room, the door shutting swiftly behind him. 

Anakin was left staring at the metal door, his disappointment suffocating the air around him. He wished he hadn’t said anything at all. From now on Anakin wouldn’t waste his time telling Obi-Wan he loved him, not when he knew the answer every time. Anakin sighed, knowing he needed to give up hope on ever hearing those three words. 

Coming out of his thoughts Anakin’s hands clenched tightly by his sides. That had been the moment he had stopped trying. He would hint at it every once and a while, but he never said those words. He hated that Obi-Wan had waited so long to tell him. Especially when he knew how Anakin felt about him. At the time he wasn’t sure if Obi-Wan just cared about him and didn’t love him or if he was just hiding the fact that he loved him. 

Anakin now knew that Obi-Wan did in fact love him. He also knew how good Obi-Wan was at hiding it. Anakin had always wished to be able to freely show Obi-wan how he felt and tell him his emotions without being lectured on the code or not having his feeling reciprocated. 

He yearned to show Obi-Wan physical affection too. Even now, Anakin yearned to hug Obi-Wan. He wanted to pull him into a desperate hug just like he had the night he came running to him after a nightmare. Anakin liked the way Obi-Wan felt against him. He was warm and comforting, soft. 

Anakin smirked slightly. Obi-Wan was secretly a big softie , Anakin thought to himself. He had always known Obi-Wan cared a lot about other people. He could see a lot of that care with Master Jinn. How Obi-Wan didn’t just remember his first favorite flavor of tea but his second as well. Anakin could see it in the way Obi-wan still helped him even after everything that happened between them.

Anakin winced as he felt regret fill his insides. He probably shouldn’t have accused Obi-wan of only helping him because he was scared Anakin would turn to the dark side. Anakin knew he didn’t even have any proof that’s what was going on. He had regretfully assumed the worst. 

Now that Anakin’s head wasn’t full of overwhelming emotions he could think more clearly on the subject as well. Anakin could realize there were a lot of ways Obi-Wan had shown he cared at least a little bit already. Obi-wan had let him hug him even though he was uncomfortable with touch. He had comforted Anakin when he was upset. 

Anakin sighed. He loved showing and receiving that kind of physical affection from Obi-Wan. He would love a world where he could show Obi-Wan that kind of affection every day. 

Anakin stopped in his tracks, thinking longer on the subject. Why couldn’t he make this the world he always wanted , Anakin thought to himself. Maybe they could work out their problems, maybe they could finally communicate with each other. The only thing that stopped them was themselves. They could help each other, they could still love each other…..if Obi-Wan still wanted to that is. Out of all of this though Anakin knew what he needed to do. A strong sense of determination showed itself within Anakin as he imagined exactly what he could do. 

He could run back to the cottage. He could find Obi-wan and apologize for his actions, he could make it up to him. He would make it up to him. And finally, Anakin could give in to his desire to share his new respect for Obi-Wan. After years of hate, Anakin could tell Obi-wan he loved him. He would say it even if Obi-wan didn’t say it back. It would bring him a step closer to proving that Vader wasn’t coming back. And maybe admitting this would bring him a step closer to Obi-Wan. 

Anakin wanted to be done arguing and fighting, to be done with the lack of communication. He didn’t want to repeat what had happened tonight. From now on, Anakin would try his best to tell Obi-Wan what he was feeling before those feelings built up, and right now, Anakin felt the need to tell Obi-Wan he still loved him. After all these years he would tell Obi-wan he loved him. Anakin wasn’t sure in what way. He assumed it was as a friend, some kind of friend he was learning to once again respect, a friend he craved to constantly be near. 

Anakin’s heart thundered in his chest. His hearts only use being to guild him to the people he cared about most. Anakin took a deep breath, feeling the wind and force blowing around him just as it did with the trees and greenery. Anakin turned in the direction he came from. A strong gust of wind blew from behind Anakin, blowing his golden-brown hair into his face. His hair blocked his sight, making it harder to see. Yet standing here on the dark path surrounded by darkness Anakin was not lost. If anything he could see more clearly than he had ever been able to. He knew exactly where he was going, he knew exactly what he needed to do. The force whispered in his ear, urging him forward. The force would act as his guild. The force, his father, his mother, his guide, it would show him the direction he needed to go. It would show him to Obi-Wan. 

Anakin ran forward, the wind pushing against his back, it too urging him forward. Deep emotion-filled Anakin. An emotion so natural it would seem barbaric to get rid of it. His love was strong, maybe as strong as the force itself. It wasn’t just the force that pushed Anakin, it was his determination, it was his love. 

Anakin laughed out loud, the force humming around him, as if happy to see its child filled with joy. Anakin ran even faster, joy and love radiating through him. More emotions built up and Anakin needed a way to let them out, he couldn’t hold them back. “I still love you!” Anakin yelled at the top of his lungs, as if he had so much love he couldn’t hold it all in. He had so much determination to make things right. The wind answered him with a strong gust behind him. Anakin laughed out loud again. “I still love you Obi-Wan! I love you!” Anakin’s voice is filled with joy and determination he never thought he would feel again. 

A bird chirped to his side and Anakin ran in its direction. The cottage lights shone behind the bird as it flew in front of Anakin, leading him in the direction of the lights. The golden finch chirped happily at him, finally flying a ways in front of him and landing on top of the cottage. 

Anakin slowed to a walk in front of the cottage. As he got to the door he instantly reached out, his hand grabbing the doorknob and very quietly opening the door and stepping inside. He quietly closed the door behind him as he took in the scene in front of him. 

A sickening silence filled the room as Anakin took a hesitant step forward. Looking ahead of him, the stool to the counter still lay on the floor. The leg to the stool bent and sticking straight up unnaturally. His eyes landed on the wall in front of him and he could make out the splattered fruit covering some of it. Looking at the floor broken glass lay shining against the kitchen light. Everything was exactly as Anakin had left it. 

More worry filled him, his heart picking up pace again. As he took another step forward finally a small sound could be heard. Anakin froze, pain slamming into him as he heard the quiet sobbing coming from behind the door to Obi-wan’s room. 

Anakin took a step towards Obi-wan’s open door as he listened to the proof Obi-Wan actually cared. Hearing Obi-Wn cry made him sick. It felt unnatural. It was something Anakin wished he could banish Obi-Wan from doing. He had only ever seen Obi-Wan crying once, it had been the day Anakin fell, the day Anakin knew they would never forget. 

Anakin finally walked into Obi-Wan’s room, the sound of the quiet crying coming from the floor behind Obi-Wan’s bed, the side Anakin couldn’t see at the moment. Anakin tried not to scare Obi-Wan as he took another small step forward, each step he took causing Anakin’s heart to break more. 

Anakin couldn’t help but feel slightly scared to speak. He was scared Obi-Wan would reject his apology, reject his help. "Obi-Wan," Anakin whispered, his voice sounding rough and full of emotions. 

Obi-Wan’s sobbing turned into quiet sniffles. He walked forward more and only now does Obi-Wan come into view. He was holding his knees up to his chest, his head turned away from Anakin and his hood pulled up. Anakin felt his own tears threaten to spill from his eyes once again as he looked at his friend. Very slowly Anakin sat next to Obi-Wan. "Please don't cry," Anakin whispered. His sadness obvious in his voice, making it sound like at any moment he would burst into tears as well. 

Obi-Wan goes completely silent for a moment before whispering. "I'm sorry." 

Anakin furrowed his brows with confusion. "That's my line,” he said in a sad and gentle tone. 

Obi-Wan ignored him. "I'm sorry you felt so alone, that you felt isolated from the Jedi. I'm sorry I wasn't the greatest Master, I'm sorry I....." Obi-Wan's voice became watery, full of more emotion than Anakin had almost ever heard out of him. "I'm sorry I failed you,” Obi-Wan finally murmured, hiding his face against his knees. 

Anakin looked at Obi-wan in confusion. "Obi-Wan what are you talking about? A bad Master?" 

Obi-Wan nodded immediately, lifting his head slightly again. “I wasn’t there when you needed me. You couldn’t trust me with your problems. I was too closed off.” 

Anakin now pulled his knees against his chest, leaning against the same bed as Obi-Wan. "You weren't a bad Master Obi-Wan." 

Obi-Wan scoffed. "There is no need to lie Anakin, you fell to the dark side. The teacher is particularly to blame when their students fall,” Obi-Wan’s voice is full of bitterness, a bitterness Anakin knew Obi-Wan directed at himself. 

Anakin sighed. “Obi-Wan….” he stopped himself, trying to understand where Obi-Wan was coming from. His mind traced back over their recent argument. His mind landing on something Obi-Wan had said during their argument. Anakin had yelled that he hated himself, and only now did Anakin focus on Obi-Wan’s response. Anakin remembered Obi-Wan had responded, that Anakin wasn’t alone. Was Obi-Wan saying he hated himself ? Anakin wondered. Anakin took a deep breath, almost dreading asking this question. "Obi-Wan, you don't.....hate yourself for what happened do you?" 

Obi-Wan was silent for a  few moments. "I don't know....” Obi-Wan finally said. “I hate myself for a lot of things, but I hate that I wasn't good enough for you." 

Anakin felt a sick feeling fill his body. “Why would you think that? Obi-Wan.....you were enough." 

Obi-Wan shook his head. "Then why did you fall to the dark side!? If I was enough you could have confided in me! But you confided in Palpatine instead," Obi-Wan choked out most of the sentence, a bunch of emotion still filling his voice.

Anakin looked away from Obi-Wan and at the floor. "I thought you would tell the council if you found out about Padme, I turned because I was afraid she would die. I was trying to save her. And I couldn't tell you because you would tell the council, and I would be expelled.” I would risk being taken away from you , Anakin thought to himself. 

Obi-Wan sniffled. "I know that now, but Anakin......I knew about you and Padme before you turned." 

Anakin looked back at Obi-Wan, shocked. "Who told you!?" Anakin demanded. 

Obi-Wan sniffled again and wiped at his face. "Honestly Anakin, I'm not that stupid. Every time you were around her I could just tell, you constantly worried about her when she was the one in danger.” Obi-Wan is silent for a moment. “And the flirting…” he murmured. 

Anakin continued looking at Obi-Wan shocked. "Why didn't you tell the council?" 

Obi-Wan wiped at his eyes again. "Because I.....I trusted this wasn't an unhealthy attachment. And I didn't...I didn't want you to get expelled. Of course, I didn't know your relationship went as far as marriage, but I still didn't want to hurt you." 

Anakin's expression softened. "You mean I could have told you about her....you wouldn't have told the council?" Obi-Wan shook his head. Anakin looked away again, now lost in his thoughts about Obi-Wan. "If only I knew you would be that open....." 

Obi-Wan winced. "I know, things would have been different if I wasn’t so closed off,” The bitter tone in Obi-Wan’s voice returned. 

Anakin sighed. "Maybe...." He turned back to Obi-Wan to see him hugging himself even tighter with one arm, his other hand tightly fisted into the bottom of his robe. Anakin took a deep breath. "Obi-Wan, my fall wasn’t your fault. The Jedi were partially right about attachments. I was possessive, I let my fear for her cloud my judgment. None of that was your fault."

Obi-Wan sighed. "I know it's not all my fault, but you have to admit I played a big part." 

Anakin shook his head. "Obi-Wan, I don't know why you are so hard on yourself. You didn't make the final decision for me.” 

Obi-wan interjected. “But what about what I said earlier, about how the teacher is partially to blame when their student falls?” Obi-wan’s hurt was once again all too clear in his voice. 

Anakin responded quickly. “I wasn't your Padawan anymore, I had been making my own decisions for years. I know you were closed off but even then I should have gone to you. I was your friend. I should have known you would help me." 

Obi-Wan turned away further. "And yet you didn't know." Anakin felt frustration for Obi-Wan's stubbornness on the subject but he pushed it down. He knew Obi-Wan was hurting, getting frustrated wouldn’t help. Obi-Wan was just a little lost. Anakin was about to say something more when Obi-Wan spoke again. "I only ever wanted to help you Anakin, I cared so deeply for you. I cared more deeply than I ever should have." 

Anakin felt the urge to comfort Obi-Wan and reached out, grabbing his hand. Obi-Wan pulled his hand away and hid it before turning further away again. Anakin felt frustration at his rejection. He wanted to just take Obi-Wan's hand and hold it. He wondered why Obi-Wan wouldn’t let him comfort him with physical touch. Anakin pushed the frustration down again, reminding himself Obi-Wan wasn't comfortable with touch. Especially not after their argument. Anakin knew this still wouldn’t stop him from trying again though. He decided to apologize instead. "Sorry, I know you don't like being touched.” 

"It's okay Anakin,” Obi-Wan said quietly. 

Anakin continued looking at Obi-Wan sadly as more guilt built. "And I'm sorry about our argument, I shouldn't have yelled at you." 

Obi-Wan shook his head. "You had a lot building up." 

"No, I still shouldn't have yelled at you. At least you know how I feel but I, shouldn't have yelled at you after eating, or about my built-up emotions. I should have talked about it,” Anakin said regretfully. 

Obi-Wan scooted slightly closer. "It's okay Anakin, I forgive you." Anakin looked at Obi-Wan with a slightly happier expression. He would never know how Obi-Wan always managed to forgive him. 

Anakin found himself wishing Obi-Wan would look at him. He wanted to know for good Obi-Wan was done crying. "Why don't you ever look at me? You always hide behind your cloak.” 

Obi-Wan is silent before taking a deep breath and speaking. "I don't like the way I look." 

Anakin furrowed his brows. "Then why don't you look younger again?" 

Obi-Wan was silent for another long moment. "Because I don't deserve to. Whenever I look at my reflection I get to remind myself of how I failed, I deserve it." 

Anakin shook his head quickly. "Obi-Wan, wasn't it you that told me there is no use in punishing ourselves, as long as we own up to what we did wrong? You realize what you think you did wrong." 

Obi-Wan was silent for another moment. "You do listen to me,” Obi-Wan said in a slightly amused tone. 

Anakin sighed. "Yes Obi-Wan, sometimes." A small huff of amusement made it past Obi-Wan's lips and Anakin smiled. 

Obi-Wan sighed afterward, his mood shifting again. "I still don't feel ready, I don't have the motivation to." 

Anakin pouted in return, scooting even closer to Obi-Wan. "I still want you to look at me, there is nothing wrong with the way you look." 

Obi-Wan shook his head. "I'm old, not well kept, somehow tired looking. I even sound tired." Anakin’s pout got deeper. "No.....” Anakin thought on the subject of Obi-Wan’s appearance before smiling, coming to a conclusion that may make Obi-wan feel better about himself. “You look like a sweet old man that would sell baked goods." 

Another amused huff of air came from Obi-Wan. "No, I don't." 

Anakin nodded determinedly and thought some more. “No...I think you do. Come on Obi, just test it out for me. Try to sell me cookies. I really want to sell this appearance,” Anakin said jokingly, knowing there is no way Obi-Wan would willingly do that. 

Obi-Wan choked out what almost sounded like a chuckle. "Anakin, I'm not doing that." 

Anakin frowned. "Fine, but at least look at me.” Obi-Wan doesn’t move. "Please Obi-Wan," Anakin asked gently. 

Obi-Wan sighed. "I'm sure you will just see the tired old man I see." Obi-Wan slowly pulled off his hood, revealing his white hair. Obi-Wan shook slightly, as if he was scared. He still didn’t turn to Anakin. 

"Obi-Wan turn to me," Anakin demanded gently. He reached out, hoping Obi-Wan didn’t pull away. He knew Obi-Wan hated physical contact at the moment, but maybe he would let Anakin touch him this one time. Anakin’s fingers grazed against Obi-wan’s chin as he gently cupped Obi-Wan's cheek, turning him to look at him. Obi-Wan and him made eye contact as he took in Obi-Wan's face. He did look old, but it wasn't bad. It was an old face that had seen a lot, someone that went through too much pain. He looked unintimidating at the moment, soft. Anakin sadly noted that his expression was one of worry, probably scared of Anakin's reaction. Anakin studied Obi-Wan's face a little longer. "I'm trying to decide." Obi-Wan tensed up, preparing to hear something bad. "Maybe you don’t sell all baked goods, maybe you just specialize in pies." 

Obi-Wan gave a little chuckle, a little smile forming on his features. Anakin smiled as well. "You look sweet Obi-Wan, a sweet old man." Anakin reluctantly let go of Obi-Wan's cheek, knowing he's had enough. Obi-Wan's cheeks turned slightly pink before he looked away again, not pulling up his hood up this time. Anakin spoke again. "You were wrong Obi-Wan, you might look old, but not bad." 

Obi-Wan hugged himself. "I don't understand why you feel the need to compliment me." 

Anakin chuckled. "It is just my opinion, the truth Obi-Wan." Anakin could see a small smile form on Obi-Wan's face. 

Obi-Wan cleared his throat and changed the subject. "I don't want to talk about anything else that happened today. I think I want to go to sleep." 

Anakin nodded. "Okay." He got up and held out a hand for Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan didn’t take his hand as he got up, instead crossing his arms protectively over his chest. Anakin sighed and put his hand down. A question made itself known in Anakin's mind. "Obi-Wan, you let me see your face the first day I saw you, why did you decide after the council meeting to stop showing it." 

Obi-Wan looked at Anakin for a second before turning away. “The first time we saw each other again I didn't have time to think about it, but after that council meeting, I just got lost in my own head. I'm sorry Anakin." 

Anakin dismissed his apology. "You don't need to be sorry. You can show your face now, I want you to." 

Obi-Wan looked up at Anakin for another second and a gentle smile crossed his features. "I won't hide behind a hood if it makes you happy." 

Anakin smiled. "Thank you." He then began to walk out of the room when he remembered something. He had never told Obi-Wan he loved him. Anakin felt fear build in him. He looked out of Obi-Wan's room and to the couch he would have to stay on the moment Obi-Wan went to sleep. He didn't want to stay alone, he felt closer to Obi-Wan than he had in so long, he didn't want to be that far apart.

Anakin took a deep breath. "Obi-Wan?" 

Obi-Wan responded quickly. "Yes, Anakin?" 

Anakin looked down nervously. "Can I stay here? Just lay on the opposite side of the bed. I.....I don't want to be apart." There is a long moment of silence, Anksin’s stomach turned uncomfortably at the vulnerability of the question. 

"You would want to stay with me?" Obi-Wan questioned, sounding slightly confused. Anakin nodded and turned around, facing Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan gave him another small smile. "You...can." 

Anakin couldn’t resist smiling. "Yes!" Without shame, Anakin walked to the side of the bed closest to him and plopped himself down. He threw his shoes off and laid down on top of the covers. He heard Obi-Wan give a little chuckle before getting on his side. There was ruffling of Obi-Wan taking his shoes off and getting under the covers. Once Obi-Wan laid down they are left in silence. 

Anakin decided this was a good time to speak. "Obi-Wan?" Anakin couldn’t keep the slightest bit of nervousness from slipping out of his voice. 

Anakin heard Obi-Wan turn to him. "Yes, Anakin?" 

Anakin felt as if his whole time in the afterlife had led up to this very moment. Ever since he set his eyes on Obi-Wan again this is what he had been waiting to say. He could only pray to the force Obi-Wan didn't reject him this time. He didn't need to say it back. He didn't even know if Obi-Wan loved him, but hoped he cared, at least a little. "Obi-Wan," Anakin murmured again. Anakin’s hands tightened on the covers under him as fear and anticipation gripped his body. He knew that every time he looked at Obi-Wan after this, he would be reminded of his response to this confession. Anakin focused on the force around him, gaining confidence from it. The force once again urged him to make the right decision, the decision that could change everything. Finally, three whispered words filled the silent room.

 

" I love you.

 

Silence followed this confession. Anakin could only hear his heartbeat as his hands tightened against the covers under him. Right when Anakin thought Obi-Wan wasn’t going to respond he heard his voice. "Anakin...." The name sounded broken coming out of Obi-Wan's mouth, it sounded full of emotion. "Anakin...." Obi-Wan repeated again, the emotion doubling. Anakin turned to Obi-Wan to see tears streaming down his face. Pain and fear gripped Anakin's heart. He wondered if Obi-Wan didn’t feel the same way, if he hurt him with those words. Suddenly Obi-Wan grabbed his hand tightly, shocking Anakin. 

"Obi-Wan?" Anakin said worriedly. 

Obi-Wan's crying became slightly louder and he pulled Anakin's hand closer and held it close to his heart. "Thank you....." Obi-Wan murmured and Anakin was sure it's all Obi-Wan could get out when he was crying like this. Anakin laughed, a laugh of pure relief. He opened his mouth, about to tell Obi-Wan how relieved he is when emotions that weren’t his own came flying at him. Anakin gasped as he felt a spot in the back of his mind throb with light. It grew, a damaged hole repairing itself ever so slightly, giving him a brief connection. A connection to Obi-Wan. 

"Obi-Wan, the bond,” Anakin whispered. Obi-Wan, who had also gone silent looked up with an expression of shock. "I can feel you!" Anakin cheered and gave a loud laugh. "Obi-Wan I can feel you!" Obi-Wan's laughter joined with Anakin. With hard concentration, Anakin closed his eyes and sent pure joy through their still very damaged bond. Pain shot threw Anakin’s head but he paid no mind to it. Obi-Wan laughed out loud, a sound that filled Anakin's heart with so much love he started happy crying. "Finally!" Anakin yelled. "I finally have you, have the bond!" 

Obi-Wan was still laughing quietly. "Oh force Anakin. I swear to you this is one of my happiest moments. Oh, Anakin!" Obi-Wan said, sounding happier than Anakin had heard him in years. Anakin and Obi-Wan laugh together, a heap of tears and laughter. Joy radiated between them as they send as much as they can between the still mostly broken bond. Both winced momentarily as some pain shot through them while they sent emotions. In the end, they always laughed the pain off, just happy to be close to one another. 

That's how they stayed for the next couple minutes. Obi-Wan quietly laughing while Anakin laughed obnoxiously. It is only a short time later that they fall asleep together, Obi-Wan still holding on tightly to Anakin's hand as their broken bond radiated with life between them.

Chapter Text

 Anakin groaned as sunlight hit his face. His mechanical hand dragged across his features as if trying to wipe away the sleep. A warmth made itself known next to him and Anakin instinctively scooted closer to it, an odd sense of calmness filling him when he did so. Peace filtered around him in calming waves. The peace was reassuring, relaxing, but it didn’t last long. He should have known the moment he opened his eyes that peace would disappear. Because even in the afterlife, there was still fear; and a form of Anakin’s fear had been laying next to him. 

Anakin stared at Obi-Wan’s sleeping form. His left hand still held tightly in Obi-Wan’s grasp just as it had been when they fell asleep last night. Obi-Wan’s face was turned down, Anakin yet again unable to see his features. Last night they had been a heap of sad and relieved tears. The bond between them had finally opened, if only a little. It was a shock really, to find out that something so broken had fixed itself seemingly right after Anakin had confessed his love for his friend. Anakin assumed that bond had only felt hate radiate through it for years now, to feel something other than hate had changed it in some way. It was almost like the bond was a sentient being, needing compassion instead of anger to flourish. Anakin couldn’t help but wonder if that was the force telling them something, that they couldn’t build a relationship on hurt and anger, but instead needed to find the strength to admit their feelings, to show compassion they had never spoken of. 

The corners of Anakin’s mouth slowly move upward as he stared at Obi-Wan. He finally had him, the man he had been chasing after for years. Anakin wouldn’t lose him this time, he wouldn’t let Obi-Wan slip through his mechanical fingers like he did the last time. It finally seemed like he could get along with Obi-Wan. He obviously didn’t hate Obi-Wan like he used to, he didn’t want him to suffer anymore. He wanted Obi-Wan to be happy, he wanted him to be happy because he loved him. He loved seeing Obi-Wan’s smile, to see him show at least a little affection. Anakin wanted Obi-Wan to care about him too. He was desperate for Obi-Wan’s love. A part of him even felt Darth Vader had even been a little desperate too. 

Anakin had known he would never achieve that love and affection if he continued on the path he was on when he first entered into the afterlife. He hated it every time he and Obi-Wan got into a fight. Some days he wouldn’t even have the strength to apologize. Every time he snapped at Obi-Wan he knew he was pushing him further away and that’s not what Anakin wanted. He didn’t want to lose his temper, he didn’t want to snap at Obi-Wan every time he got a little frustrated. He knew achieving that task would be hard, but Anakin was willing to try; For Obi-wan, to keep Obi-Wan. 

Anakin startled as Obi-Wan mumbled in his sleep and began to wake up. Anakin’s whole body instinctively tensed up, scared of Obi-Wan’s reaction the moment he saw he was still holding Anakin’s hand. He imagined Obi-wan tossing his hand away and sitting up, finally realizing he had just been overly emotional yesterday and shouldn’t have forgiven Anakin for the fight they had after all. 

Slowly Obi-wan blinked awake, his eyes immediately landed on Anakin’s arm and hand. Anakin’s heart pounded in his chest as he watched Obi-Wan look over his hand. Obi-Wan hummed to himself and Anakin nearly gasped as Obi-Wan held his arm slightly tighter. 

Suddenly Obi-Wan looked up and they made eye contact. Their eyes lock in a seemingly unbreakable stare. No words flow between them as they both look at each other with a fear the other is more than likely unaware of. Anakin reached forward and gently grabbed the sleeve to Obi-Wan’s cloak as he found himself becoming more scared the other man would pull away. Obi-Wan’s breath hitched ever so slightly as he felt Anakin grab his sleeve. Suddenly a gentle smile made its way onto Obi-Wan's face. It wasn’t the biggest smile, yet it spoke of emotions Obi-Wan was still yet to let Anakin in on. 

Obi-Wan carefully opened his mouth to speak. “S-so….” 

Anakin huffed with amusement. “Yeah….” Obi-Wan let out one of those short, high-pitched chuckles he would use when someone said something odd. Anakin huffed again in response before his smile faded. “Obi-Wan….I still mean what I said last night. I know that...that sometimes I snap at you or act angry. But I…” Anakin fumbled for his words, trying his hardest to find any kind of word to describe his feelings. 

“I know,” Obi-Wan said softly. “The bond, it proved enough to me, at least some of it.” 

Anakin finally allowed himself to smile slightly again. He opened his mouth to say something else but was cut off by Obi-Wan. “I...I know your feelings are genuine, because of the bond. But...your kindness. You have been kind before but this...I almost feel as if….” Obi-Wan trailed off, getting lost in his thoughts. 

Anakin decided that was his queue to speak up. “Feel as if it’s unexpected.” Anakin looked away from Obi-Wan to stare at the ceiling. Regret mended together the words he said next. “After I ran out of the cottage, I thought about you a lot. I thought about the argument we had, and I thought about our past arguments. We...we fight too much. I feel bad. You have been nice to me and I keep losing my temper. That’s why I wanted to try and meditate those few times, because I know you don’t deserve it every time I lose my kriffing temper.” Anakin huffed annoyedly and turned further away. 

A quiet hum escaped Obi-Wan’s lips before he spoke in that gentle tone that came with age. “That is the reason you came back and decided to be nice to me? Because you felt bad?” There was something in Obi-Wan’s voice that made it sound like he didn’t believe what Anakin had said, like he thought Anakin was lying about a detail. 

He was right. Anakin was lying, if only just slightly. He had not mentioned how he wanted things to be how they used to be, but Obi-Wan would let that happen on its own if it was truly meant to. No need for Anakin to mention it. But Anakin hadn’t mentioned his fear, his fear of losing Obi-Wan again. It went hand in hand with wanting what they used to have. Anakin wanted their old relationship back, he wanted someone to care about him. He just wanted a connection after so many years of loneliness. He was willing to do a lot to get that relationship, and not lose what progress he already had. “Yeah...just felt bad,” Anakin murmured. Frustration for himself hit him as he realized what he was doing, he was once again not communicating with Obi-Wan. “Well…” Anakin mumbled out. Obi-Wan looked at him attentively. “I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want you to leave me. I have to be nice to you now, I want to be.” Silence followed Anakin’s confession. 

After a while there was a little sigh beside. “Anakin,” Obi-Wan whispered. “You are scared I will try to stop talking to you?” 

Anakin nodded. “Yes. I know you are supposed to be watching me right now but that has to end eventually. When it does...I don’t want to never talk to you again.” 

“Why would you care?” Obi-Wan asked immediately after Anakin’s admission. “Why do you care about me or even wanting to talk to me? I thought you used to hate me.” 

Anakin turned back to Obi-Wan. “I hated you as a Sith because I thought you lessened my powers. I hated you for what you did to me. But now...when I’m in the light, I understand. I loved you before I turned to the dark. Do I need a deep reason to love you?” 

It was Obi-Wan’s turn to look away as he took a deep breath and turned his back to Anakin. Metal fingers reached out to touch Obi-Wan’s shoulder comfortingly before being pulled harshly back as Anakin remembered how uncomfortable physical touch made the other man. He hated that he couldn’t touch Obi-Wan. He still felt a desire to just grab Obi-Wan and yank him against him, forcing him into physical touch. A voice that sounded oddly like Obi-Wan told him how dumb of an idea that would be. He would only push Obi-Wan away. 

They stayed silent for a while, both lost in their thoughts. It was a long while later that Obi-Wan finally spoke. “I can understand why you don’t hate me,” he whispered. Anakin smiled, pleased with this. He opened his mouth to respond when Obi-Wan spoke again. “But love is a powerful thing.” 

Anakin’s face twisted in frustration. “Obi-Wan, I thought you believed me when I told you how I feel about you. You just said-” 

“I believe you,” Obi-Wan interrupted calmly. 

“Then what’s the problem?” Anakin asked with slightly less frustration than before. 

A quiet sigh. “I am.” Only seriousness and truth reflected off Obi-Wan’s words. “I believe you. I just don’t understand. I did a lot to you...failed you-” 

“You didn’t fail me!” Anakin retorted. 

“Yes, I did. And I didn’t even take the time to talk to you on Mustafar. I could ha-” Obi-Wan is once again cut off. 

“I had already fallen!” Anakin sat up. “Obi-Wan I don’t blame you!”

“Well, you should!” Obi-Wan suddenly raised his voice, catching Anakin off guard and causing his heart to quicken. 

Anakin huffed with frustration. “Well, that’s too bad then, because I won’t! I became obsessed with power! The idea of stopping death. I thought we went over this last night!” 

“It doesn’t matter,” Obi-Wan murmured and sat up as well, pulling his knees to his chest. It seemed Obi-Wan didn’t want to talk about his emotions or the past at the moment. 

Anakin nearly hissed out his next words. “Now you aren’t communicating!” 

“I have nothing to communicate if it doesn’t matter!” Obi-Wan said in a raised voice. 

Hurt was clear in Obi-Wan’s voice, only proving to make Anakin more frustrated. “I didn’t want to make you upset. I thought you were happy last night!” 

“Of course I was happy! We got the bond back! And that was in the moment Anakin,” Obi-Wan turned even further away. 

Anakin hated the way it almost sounded like Obi-Wan was scolding him when he knew Anakin was in the right. They needed to communicate and Obi-Wan was preventing him from doing that. “That bond is just going to crumble again if we don’t communicate! Do you want to be closed off from each other again!? I’m trying Obi-Wan!” 

“Oh and I’m not trying?” Obi-Wan accused. 

“I never said that!” Anakin yelled, his anger in the force ripping the lamp right off the table by Obi-Wan’s bed. Obi-Wan turned to him and glared. Anakin nearly flinched back at the look. “Why don’t you just tell me what’s bothering you. Why won’t you communicate!?” 

“I can’t!” Obi-Wan finally said before turning away again. “Do you think I have practice in sharing my emotions!? Talking to you right now, even looking at you feels like one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever faced. The idea that you are here already feels like too much!” 

All frustration from Anakin’s body faded. “I...Obi-Wan…” 

“It...doesn’t matter,” Obi-Wan whispered, anger and hurt still in his voice. It was odd to think less than a day ago they were happy crying together. Less than a day ago they had one of the closest moments they had in years. And now all Anakin had worked for was slipping through his fingers, just how he swore to himself it wouldn’t. Besides, a part of Anakin felt Obi-Wan had summed up all of what happened last night in those three mumbled words. Anakin shook his head, his mind returning to what he had just done. He had lost his temper, it didn’t matter what happened last night if Anakin kept losing his temper.

Hurt filled his heart. His already overwhelming guilt threatening to break another piece of the tough yet fragile piece of flesh hidden behind his dark black clothes. He hadn’t meant to push Obi-Wan. He was obsessed, obsessed with the idea of losing Obi-Wan. He was scared of not communicating, scared of repeating what happened in the mess that was considered his past. He needed to be more careful. “I’m sorry I pushed you too far.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head. “I’m sorry for raising my voice.” 

Anakin chuckled slightly. “At least you didn’t destroy something.” Obi-Wan and Anakin looked down at the broken lamp on the floor. 

“Yeah...well at least you can handle sharing your feelings,” Obi-Wan retorted. 

Anakin snorted. “Well, at least you don’t lose your temper over literally everything.” 

Obi-Wan hummed. “Well, at least you can handle physical contact.” 

“At least you can eat food without freaking out,” Anakin mumbled. 

Obi-Wan sighed at that memory. “At least you don’t look like a tired, old man.” 

“Hey!” Anakin shouted in an offended tone. “A baker! We discussed this last night.” 

A small sigh escaped Obi-Wan. “Why do you feel the need to defend the way I look?” 

A slight sadness filled Anakin. “I have no right to judge people on their appearance. Not even at my worst moments as a Sith did I judge people for that.” Obi-Wan turned to him just slightly. Anakin elaborated a little further. “I...I really wasn’t in a place to judge people for such a thing. Especially with how I looked under my suit.” 

Obi-Wan looked at him sadly and opened his mouth to say something before that sad look was replaced with one of guilt and he turned away. Anakin was about to reassure Obi-Wan, tell him that it was in the past. He didn’t get the chance as Obi-Wan spoke again. “I’m going to get ready, change clothes,” he said simply. 

Anakin took this as his cue to leave. With a sigh, he got up and walked to the door. “I’ll be looking out the window.” He walked into the main room, listening as the door shut behind him. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan looked at his reflection in the small window next to his bed. His reflection was harder to see now that the sun was out but he was still able to just slightly make out his features. He pulled his robe tighter around himself, his feelings made up of self-conscious thoughts. 

As he looked at himself Obi-Wan wondered what Anakin could ever find ‘sweet.’ He still looked old, tired, almost sad. He was still, nothing special. Anakin seemed to be trying to prove a point. The way he complimented him, the way he tried to make up for his past actions. It gave Obi-Wan hope that things may finally get better. It gave him hope that things may not be completely helpless after all. 

Last night, they had gotten in one of their worst fights. After Anakin had left Obi-Wan had slumped against the wall, sobbing right then and there. Anakin had let out his emotions yet Obi-Wan still had too much built up, he always had too much. Crying seemed to be the only option at that moment. It made him feel helpless that something he almost used to fear was now one of the only ways to relieve the pain that had built up over years in his mind. 

Eventually, he had went to his room where he tried and failed to calm himself down. It was while he was quietly crying Anakin came back. He had felt so much fear when he heard Anakin say his name. He could tell by the tone of voice that what Anakin was feeling wasn’t anger. Obi-Wan had just been scared of the idea of someone seeing him so weak, so vulnerable. 

It was when Anakin sat next to him that he felt the most fear. But Anakin hadn’t said a single negative thing. In those few minutes Anakin had sat with him, Obi-Wan hadn’t felt as if he was laying in a pit of loneliness, a pit that kept him alone but safe from others. It was almost as if when Anakin sat down next to him he had pulled him out of that abyss for only a moment, showed him what things between them could be like. He showed him what it felt like to finally talk to someone about his pain. 

There was a change in Anakin, and that change was still there when he woke up next to him. Obi-Wan felt he may never know what happened after Anakin stormed out of the cottage. 

Obi-Wan became lost in thoughts of last night. As he thought on this a pattern appeared, a pattern that always lead to a single thought. The thought Anakin had admitted he loved him. Anakin saying those three words meant more to Obi-Wan than Anakin probably ever imagined. Those words were precious to Obi-Wan, giving him the desire to somehow protect them, save those words and that moment forever in his memory. 

With a deep breath Obi-Wan decided it was time he left his cramped room, he had spent enough time lost in his thoughts already. He knew the more he thought on what Anakin had said the more he would begin to doubt his words. As he turned towards the door the small sting of self-conscious thoughts filtered through his mind. He pulled up his hood, making him feel slightly better about himself. With a deep breath, he stepped outside his room. 

As Obi-Wan walked out he saw Anakin starring out of the window, without even seeing his features Obi-Wan already knew how intensely he was most likely looking outside. Anakin said nothing as Obi-Wan walked to the kitchen. Once arriving in the kitchen Obi-Wan began to make himself tea, not bothering to offer Anakin any out of fear of the negative reaction he may receive.  Not to mention the reaction he received after Anakin had eaten. 

Once he finished making his tea he stood at the counter slowly drinking it. The taste of honey filled his mouth yet he didn’t savor that flavor as he usually did. At the moment he was lost deep in thoughts, thoughts about Anakin. As if on cue, Anakin spoke. “That bird…” He said. “I feel like a recognize it.” 

Obi-Wan tilted his head in question. “Which one?” 

“The yellow one,” Anakin said. 

“Oh, you mean Patience,” Obi-Wan commented, knowing Patience to be the only yellow bird out there. She was special, not just in personality. It was odd, the longer Obi-Wan spent with those birds the more different personalities revealed themselves. 

Anakin finally turned away from the window, a slightly amused expression on his face. “You...you named a bird?” 

Suddenly feeling bashful, Obi-Wan looked back down at his warm tea. “I have names for all the birds,” He replied simply. 

Anakin snorted. “That’s so...so-” 

Obi-wan cut him off before Anakin could make fun of him. “So weird.

Anakin shook his head.No, I was going to so that’s so….never mind. But it wasn’t bad.” Obi-Wan hummed, slightly unbelieving but turned back to his tea. “Patience,” Anakin mumbled to himself. “Of course that’s its name.” 

“What’s wrong with the name Patience?” Obi-Wan asked in a slightly offended tone. 

Anakin gave an amused hum. “Nothing.” He paused before continuing. “I always knew that was your favorite word.” he chuckled. “You were always telling me to be patient.” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “Well, sometimes you struggle with being patient.” 

Anakin huffed. “Yeah...I know.” He said, not even bothering to argue. 

After that they sat in silence. Obi-Wan finished his tea and put away the mug. He now looked out the window as Anakin was. From the window above the sink in the kitchen, Obi-Wan could see the birds Anakin was looking at, all bouncing around and sitting in the trees around the area. He could hear the birds chirp at each other from inside, almost as if the beautiful birds were having a conversation with one another. He imagined what those little birds would talk about. He wondered if they were content, if they were happy to forever stay in the same place. He wondered if they would be content to stay in the same forest for all of eternity, only going away and hiding when winter came around. The more Obi-Wan thought about it the more he compared himself to the birds. Just as for the birds, every day for Obi-Wan seemed to be the same; at least before Anakin that is. Obi-Wan would wake up, meditate, and depending on how he felt either lay in bed, read, or go outside to visit the very birds he starred at now. His misery and unsettledness being the only things that kept him from getting bored. That same boring old schedule had been about all he could handle. 

The sound of Anakin standing up and pushing the chair away caused Obi-Wan to turn, losing his train of thought. “I want to go outside,” He said as he walked to the door. Obi-Wan nodded and looked back out the window, assuming Anakin wanted to be alone, needing a break from being cramped in a small cottage with Obi-Wan all the time. Surprisingly, Anakin spoke again. “Do you....do you want to come with me?” 

Obi-Wan turned. “You want me to go with you?’ 

Anakin coughed nervously into his fist before brushing that nervousness away and putting on a serious face. “You can join me if you want,” He rushed. “Up to you.” Anakin opened the door and rushed out of the house. 

Obi-Wan stared at the door and thought about it. He did want to spend more time with Anakin after all. He wanted to be closer to him again. He couldn’t do that if he hid from him all the time. With a sigh, Obi-Wan walked to the door and opened it, walking outside and closing it loud enough that it would alert Anakin. Slowly Obi-Wan made his way to where the birds were all gathered. He smiled fondly as he saw Anakin sitting by the weird looking rock, right next to the place Obi-Wan usually sat. It was almost as if Anakin had left his spot open for him, Obi-Wan thought optimistically. He walked over and with a deep breath sat next to Anakin in his usual spot. 

Anakin turned to him. “You came,” he said in what almost sounded like surprise. 

A little smile crossed Obi-Wan’s face as he looked down almost shyly. He simply nodded and began to look around for his favorite bird. Suddenly he felt a tap on his leg. Looking down he smiled, seeing Patience had landed there. She chirped at him, more than likely expecting food. “Hello my friend,” Obi-Wan whispered, not caring at the moment if Anakin gave him a weird look for talking to a bird. Before Anakin it wasn’t like he had anyone but Qui-Gon’s small visits anyway, who else was he to talk to? 

Obi-Wan held out his finger, Patience quickly hoping on. It was only a short time later that a bunch of birds had started gathering in front of Obi-Wan. He sighed, already knowing what they wanted. Closing his eyes, he imagined bird food sitting in front of him. When he opened his eyes he saw them all eating the seeds he had just imagined, all except for Patience. He turned to her only to see her starring at Anakin curiously. She gave a long whistle and looked back to Obi-Wan, tilting her head. Obi-Wan chuckled. "Would you like to see Anakin, my friend?" Patience turned back to the man in all black sitting next to Obi-Wan. "Hold out your hand." Obi-Wan gently said to Anakin. Anakin held out his palm and Patience hoped on. 

Anakin seemed lost as he looked at the small yellow bird, looking between Obi-Wan and the bird cluelessly. Obi-Wan huffed amusedly, oddly making Anakin smile at him in a way Obi-Wan might describe as sweet. It made Obi-wan’s heart pick up a little, making him wonder what he had done to deserve that smile. Anakin focused back on Patience. “Umm, hi there...Patience,” Anakin said awkwardly. Obi-Wan covered his mouth with his hand, trying hard not to giggle at Anakin’s awkwardness. Obi-Wan didn’t know why Anakin thought he needed to speak to the bird but he would let Anakin try anyways. 

Anakin scooted her closer to his face. “It’s umm...nice to meet you….” Anakin turned to Obi-Wan as if asking if he was doing this right. Obi-Wan gave him no hints, a feeling of happiness running through him over seeing Anakin talk to the bird in an oddly gentle, yet awkward way. It was almost like proof to Obi-Wan that Anakin cared if he was willing to embarrass himself talking to a bird for him. 

“I’m Anakin,” Anakin said to the bird. Obi-Wan huffed with amusement into his hand over Anakin’s awkward way of speaking. He felt slightly bad for letting him suffer, but then again he was enjoying this just slightly. Anakin began to talk more confidently to the bird, glancing at Obi-Wan to see if he got a reaction. “Why did Obi-Wan name you Patience? Is he obsessed with that word? He used to say it an awful lot I’ll tell you th-” Paitnece cut Anakin off by pecking him in the nose. Anakin smirked. “Jokes on you, I don’t feel any pain.” Patience curiously pecks Anakin’s nose more, most likely trying to see what would happen. Anakin made a frustrated noise and moved the fintech away from his face. “Now that’s just rude!” He stared at the bird for a moment and just to test it brings the bird back to his face. Patience started pecking his nose again and Anakin has to pull her away. 

"Okay! Enough for you! Do you use this behavior with Obi-Wan!?" Anakin scolded the bird as if it were a child. Obi-Wan finally gave a little laugh, shaking his head fondly. Anakin turned to him and that little smile from earlier was back. The smile soon turned into a smirk as he moved Patience in front of Obi-Wan’s face. "Look, you have every opportunity to peck." Patience stared at Obi-Wan before pecking Anakin's finger. Anakin huffed annoyedly. She then jumped onto Obi-Wan's hand who was holding it out for her. 

Obi-Wan pet her head. "Good bird." He looked back to Anakin to see him starring at him, looking slightly offended. 

"Good bird huh?" Anakin retorted. 

It was Obi-Wan's turn to be offended. "Yes, an angel." He turned back to Patience. "Aren't you an angel?" Patience gave a long whistle. 

Anakin pouted and turned away, deciding at that moment to change the subject. “What are the other birds named?” He questioned. 

Obi-Wan looked down at all the birds pecking at food. He pointed to a dark blue one. "Serenity." He turned to a brown and red one. "That's Harmony" He pointed to the white bird. "And that is Peace." He then pointed to the final bird, a dark purple one. "And that's Hope." He turned back to Anakin to see him smirking. Obi-Wan suddenly felt slightly embarrassed. "What?" Obi-Wan questioned, hoping his cheeks weren’t red. 

Anakin chuckled, scooting toward Obi-Wan just slightly. “Oh...It’s nothing,” Anakin said as his smirk got slightly larger. 

Obi-Wan had to turn away as his cheeks heated up. “Don’t pick on me,” he requested. 

Anakin chuckled and leaned closer. “I’m not. I love their...just slightly dorky names,” he said in almost a fond tone before laughing again. Obi-Wan felt very warm as he still avoided looking at Anakin. He couldn’t believe he was letting Anakin get him this embarrassed. 

“You don’t need to lie. Just stop making fun of me,” Obi-Wan said, this time his voice taking on a sadder tone. 

There was silence before Anakin spoke again, his voice now taking on a sad tone as well. “Obi-wan, I wasn’t.” Obi-Wan hummed unbelievingly. Anakin suddenly grabbed his chin with his finger to make Obi-Wan look at him. “Now you are just making me angry. I wasn’t. You just have to believe me.” 

Obi-Wan took a deep breath, now not embarrassed by Anakin but by himself as he realized how pathetic he was acting. “I’m sorry,” Obi-Wan apologized as Anakin’s hand slid slowly off his chin. 

“Don’t be,” Anakin huffed. “You blame too much on yourself already,” He mumbled angrily. Obi-Wan opened his mouth to respond to that before Anakin spoke again. “Let’s try mediation.” 

A deep frown made its way onto Obi-Wan’s face. “Anakin, are you sure?” Anakin nodded. “Is there a reason you suddenly want to do this?” 

Anakin shrugged. “It’s why I came out here in the first place. I thought I could meditate. And now I’m getting frustrated so maybe it will help.” 

“Anakin...you do realize that in the past meditation has only seemed to cause you frustration,” Obi-Wan suggested.

Anakin glared slightly. “I said it’s fine.” 

“Anakin..” Obi-Wan warned. “Why are you getting so frustrated?” 

“Because, you doubted me. Now help me meditate!” Anakin snapped. 

Obi-Wan looked offendedly at him. “Not if you are going to demand things from me.” 

“Obi-Wan I need to meditate! I’m already losing control of my emotions.” Anakin said, his frustration having grown since the moment things didn’t go as planned with the bird. 

“Just breath,” Obi-Wan commented, needing Anakin to relax before they got into any kind of meditation. 

Suddenly Anakin snapped at him, the built-up emotions from earlier and from what Obi-Wan just said lashing out. “I thought I made it obvious I don’t want a repeat of yesterday! I can't lose my temper like that again! I'm always losing my kriffing temper!" Anakin began to look genuinely angry at himself. "I can't control my emotions! A lot of times I can barely control myself! I hate it!" He looked as if he was about to get up and destroy something. 

Obi-Wan slowly began to scoot back. “Anakin…” he warned. 

He doesn’t get the chance to continue as Anakin suddenly stood harshly up and started pacing. “I’m a slave to my emotions Obi-Wan! I always have been! I swear, even now it feels as if my emotions could cause me to fall at any moment!” 

The birds that were just in front of Obi-Wan had disappeared somewhere into the trees, watching from a distance. Obi-Wan’s eyes widened and he scooted further back, intense fear filling him over what Anakin had just said. “Anakin stop,” Obi-Wan voiced with a slight shakiness. He had to remind himself that Anakin wasn’t aware of Obi-Wan’s intense fear of failing him a second time. 

Once again, Anakin didn’t listen. “My emotions, my anger. It controls too much. Force don’t let me fall!” He yelled as he began pacing. 

“Anakin stop!” Obi-Wan yelled, genuine fear in his voice. 

Suddenly Anakin spun around from where he was pacing. His eyes landed on Obi-Wan, fear filling them. “I’ve done it again,” He whispered. “I’ve yelled at you. Now I’ve hurt you!” Anakin began to back away, looking at Obi-Wan with a pained expression that quickly turned back to anger. “I hate myself,” He hissed. “Here I was talking about how I didn’t want a repeat of yesterday and yet I am doing the exact same thing now!” 

“Calm down Anakin we-” Obi-Wan is cut off harshly. 

“How!? I can’t Obi-Wan! That’s the problem, I cant!” Obi-Wan flinched back and Anakin’s knees almost buckled when he saw it, intense guilt more than likely radiating through him over Obi-Wan’s reaction. “I can’t stay...I need...I need.” Anakin slowly started to back away. “I need to walk around.” Anakin turned and began to walk away. 

Obi-Wan called after him. “Anakin wait!” Anakin didn’t stop walking away. Obi-Wan yelled again. “Anakin I thought we were supposed to be communicating!” Obi-Wan yelled, repeating something Anakin had said earlier when they laid in bed together. They had felt so close then, Obi-Wan thought. 

Immediately Ankain stopped in his tracks. “And?” He questioned. 

Obi-Wan sighed. “How are we meant to communicate if you don’t talk to me?” Once again Obi-wan’s voice rung with Anakin’s past words. 

A small amused huff came from Anakin’s. “Stop quoting me.” 

Obi-Wan smiled slightly. “Anakin...Do you want to be closed off from each other again?” Once again Obi-Wan quoted Anakin’s earlier words. 

Anakin turned at this. “Okay..” He said with amused annoyance. “Quote me one more time I run over there to tackle you. Stop it.” 

“Come sit next to me, I forgive you for yelling at me. Now don’t run off like that again….I thought we went over that last night..” Obi-Wan smirked only just slightly as he quoted Anakin in his last sentence. 

“You little-” Anakin cut himself off as he whispered under his breath. “Fine,’ he said louder. He slowly walked back over to Obi-Wan and stubbornly sat next to him. 

“I thought you were going to tackle me,” Obi-Wan commented. 

Anakin hummed. “You’re lucky...changed my mind.” Obi-wan rolled his eyes. Anakin is silent for a moment before adding. “I don’t want to lose you. When I lose my temper I scare you and push you away from me. I hate myself for it.” 

Obi-Wan hummed. “I don’t expect you to suddenly control your temper all because you’ve decided you don’t want to push me away. You spent years on the dark side, controlling your emotions won’t come naturally. That is why I will help you.” 

They both look at each other, understanding and sadness in their eyes. “You forgive too much,” Anakin said with a sigh. “We are constantly getting into arguments and you forgive me after every single one. What if one day I say something and you finally decide to stop forgiving me.” Obi-Wan sighed, knowing that after everything Anakin had done, that would most likely never be true. 

“Anakin, I assure you it won’t happen,” Obi-Wan tried his best to reassure. “I understand some of what you went through, I understand what being a Sith entails. Sometimes the things you say scare me, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to kick you out or push you away. And I won’t not forgive you for something you said while you were angry.” 

Anakin hummed. “There are a lot of bad things I could say…” 

Obi-Wan looked at Anakin sadly. “I know. But we can always calmly talk through it. I don’t want you storming off. Just...talk to me. I know sometimes I have a hard time talking to you about my problems but if you are willing to share I’m here.” It was almost like a flashback. Obi-Wan could suddenly feel his old bed and soft sheets under his knees as he looked down at a nine year old Anakin who had come running to him after a nightmare. There was once again a kid sitting in front of him who was scared of the future, scared of what he could become. Now when Obi-Wan cleared his vision, he saw a grown man who was scared of what was, a man haunted by his past. In the past Obi-Wan had been scared of the future as well, not knowing how to move on without his Master. But now, it seemed both him and Anakin had a reason to be scared of the past because Obi-Wan was haunted by his past as well. And that past helped determine how they could ever move on, it helped determine the future. Obi-Wan looked a now very changed Anakin in the eyes, a man who liked to be in control of his future and lost his temper when he saw that control slipping. A man who always wanted more than he could grasp, and who carried more pain than he ever wanted. “Remember, you can tell me anything,” He repeated in sync with his younger self. Obi-Wan could only prey Anakin would listen. 

 

*** 

 

Qui-Gon felt the force swirling around him, gently whispering a song of the past, present, and future. It whispered of all the plants and animals surrounding him. It showed him the birds outside and the people near his house that were happier than they ever imagined possible. Their happiness soothed away any worry, created what felt like a shield around him. It was a shield made of emotions and inner balance that felt so unreal one wouldn’t believe it possible to achieve while living. Everything was balanced. 

A sudden knock on the door interrupts him from meditation and he nearly whined as he opened his eyes, being harshly ripped away from the peaceful state he was in. Tahl, his now wife called from the other room. “Do you want me to get it!?” 

“No!” Qui-Gon responded quickly and hopped up, not wanting her to end up quitting whatever she was doing. He quickly walked to the door, not even bothering to find out if he looked presentable. 

Slowly Qui-Gon reached for controls for the door to open it. His hand carefully pushed a button, instantly opening the door. 

He froze up, starring straight ahead at the man who uncharacteristically appeared at his door with no invitation. 

“Master,” Qui-Gon greeted. 

A man with black hair and an intense gaze stared back at him. Qui-Gon spoke up again, not wanting the less than five seconds of silence to continue. “I wasn’t expecting you,” he said in an attempt to get the other man to explain himself. 

The man with an intense gaze that secretly softened for his apprentice nodded. "My arrival was unplanned. They request your presence in a meeting." 

Qui-Gon sighed, already having made it clear years ago he didn’t want to be involved in meetings unless it was urgent. He had hoped in the afterlife there would be no such thing as urgent, he was wrong. "What meeting?" 

The man looked seriously at him. "It is about Skywalker.”  

“What about Skywalker?” Qui-Gon hesitantly questioned, not liking where this was going. 

His old Master hummed. “They have not finished talking about terms...of punishment."

Chapter Text

The bright Coruscant sun shone in through the big and wide windows circling the Jedi council. A select few Jedi sat in big, cushioned chairs which just like the windows, encircled the room. The Jedi who were called to this meeting all glanced at each other curiously. Among these Jedi was Jocasta Nu, Shock Ti, Yan Dooku, Qui-Gon Jinn, Aayla Secura, and a temple guard by the name of Vinor Irar. The moment all the Jedi Irar expected to come were there he shut the doors to the council chamber before moving to the center of the room. The bright sun shone brightly against Vinors pale skin and black hair, making imaginary bags form from shadows under his eyes while his hair shone an even darker black. Looking at his very neat temple guard robes Qui-Gon assumed may even be a replica of the ones he wore while living, Qui-Gon thought he looked well put together for a simple meeting. He looked at Vinor Irar with curiosity. "Has Dai Bendu called this meeting?" 

In the center of the council chamber, Irar spoke with a serious tone. "No...I did." 

Dooku immediately gave an unamused hum. "So you have no power to punish Skywalker further? Why did you call us here?" Vinor looked at Dooku with well-practiced confidence, seemingly expecting this kind of question. "I gathered you all here today because all of you had some form of relationship with Skywalker at one time. Ayla was his friend, Shock Ti was eventually killed by him and seemed rather betrayed at the meeting, Qui-Gon found him as a young boy, Dooku was his enemy, and I think everyone knew Jocasta Nu. Vinor continued. "With that said, I was hoping, if we all collectively agreed Skywalker needed to get some form of punishment, we could go to Dai Bendu and express our concerns." The council room was completely silent for a moment. 

"So...you suggest we go against Bendu's orders?" Ayla asked with slight confusion. 

Irar turned to her. "Look, we are in the afterlife. Is there really a higher power here? He’s just the only one that can convince enough people that Skywalker needs to be punished." 

Joska Nu immediately speaks up. "No, there is not a higher power. But Dai is wiser, more experienced. I suggest we listen to what he thinks is right." 

Vinor stared at her for a couple moments before sighing. "Well, I disagree with what he thinks is right." 

Qui-Gon nearly groaned, briefly pushing a hand against his temples. "So if I have you correct, you called this meeting in hopes we would all change our minds over what should be done to Skywalker, go to Dai Bendu together to request he change his mind, and then Dai Bendu just changes his mind and punishes Skywalker for what he did? I doubt even a huge group of Jedi could make him budge. And that’s beside the fact half of us don’t even share your opinion." 

Everyone stared at Irar. Ayla snorted. "Okay, this is kind of du-" 

"Why don't we take a vote quickly. Who here is in favor of punishing Skywalker?" Shock Ti said, thankfully cutting Ayla off before she finished that sentence. Vinor is the only one that raised his hand, looking rather sad in the center of the room. For a quick moment, it looked as if Dooku was about to hold his hand up before he just held it still by his side. 

This slip doesn't get past Vinor's keen vision. He spun over to look at Dooku. "You were about to raise your hand? Why didn't you keep it up?" 

Dooku sighed. "I would be a hypocrite. I did bad things, several things I regret and-" 

Vinor cut him off with haste. "But you must admit none are as bad as what Vader did,” Vinor tried to convince Dooku, odd desperation hidden in the confines of his voice. 

Dooku hummed, looking frustrated over the fact Vinor interrupted him. "I helped start a war that killed thousands of innocents, I was a sith." 

Vinor crossed his arms. "Vader killed innocents, and slaughtered a temple full of Jedi with his clones." 

This caused Dooku to glare at Vinor. "It seems you are missing the point. I myself did atrocious things and was never punished for it here." 

Vinor narrowed his eyes. "We all know you weren't immediately sent to the afterlife. You may not have been punished here….but you were. Weren't you?" 

Dooku just stared straight ahead at the door of the council chamber. Qui-Gon furrowed his brows as he tried to get a better look at Dooku. There was a fear seldom seen by the Count. The way he was frozen reminding Qui-Gon of someone lost in a detailed memory of the past. It made Qui-Gon angry that Vinor used such a dark memory to prove a point. Dooku suddenly snapped out of it. "Yes, I hardly remember. But that...that is beside, the...the point." 

Every single Jedi in the room looked at each other with a slight frightenedness over Dooku's sudden unease. Even Vinor seemed to be taken aback slightly, more than likely not expecting such an uneasy reaction. Although, to someone as determined as Vinor, Dooku’s fearful reaction was only a quick distraction. Vinor cleared his throat. "Well, you must all admit Skywalker did something bad, how can you not see he deserves to be punished." 

Qui-Gon spoke up. "He brought balance to the force. He was immediately sent to the afterlife as well. In my eyes, I feel as if the force is telling us that he deserves to be forgiven. At least to an extent." One form of forgiveness could be leaving the guilt-ridden man alone, Qui-Gon thought to himself. Some people simply did not understand how to follow the forces will, he thought.  

Vinor narrowed his eyes at Qui-Gon over his suggestion. “Just because the force sent him to the afterlife doesn't mean Skywalker shouldn't be punished. Everyone here still has free will. He could be some kind of danger.” 

Ayla raised an eyebrow. “In the afterlife? Really? And how would he be a danger?” 

Vinor cleared his throat. “Well umm, well you see he….he could always emotionally manipulate people.” 

With a sigh, Shock Ti joined into the conversion. “Vinor, it seems as if you are not truly scared Skywalker will do damage, but are more so after your own form of justice...or revenge.” 

Qui-Gon sensed anger bubbling in Vinor as he looked at Shock Ti. “It is nowhere near revenge! If anything punishing him would avenge the ones who had fallen by his hands! He is a monster! A monster Master Ti! And nothing is being done!” Vinor turned to look around at everyone in the room as he continued his speech. That once very confident composure slowly slipped, becoming one of desperation and hurt emotions. “Dai Bendu did nothing! That’s why I called you all here! You were the only people who came to hear potential terms of punishment! We could do something together! We could prove to Dai Bendu he made the wrong choice! Can’t you all see that Vader is getting exactly what he wants right now!? He got out of punishment and the only form of responsibility that was put upon his shoulders was having to stay with an old hermit in the woods! Soon Dai Bendu will decide Skywalker is free to go and there goes Vader! Out of the woods and walking among us all like he did nothing wrong! Walking like he deserves to be here!” 

Qui-Gon’s eyes narrow and he stood up. “I think I've heard enough.” He began to walk to the door. 

“Where are you going!? You know what I say is true!” Vinor yelled at Qui-Gon’s back. 

Qui-Gon stopped for a moment to turn back. “You have a lack of faith in the force, it is disappointing. You go against its will. I will not mess with things that should not be touched. Not this time.” Qui-Gon opened the door and walked out. Dooku stood and began walking out with Jostca Nu following. 

Vinor looked at them desperately. “You Too!?” 

Dooku spoke as he walked away. “For once, I must agree with my former padawan. It is also useless to try and change Bendu’s mind.” 

Jocasta turned and began to walk away. “I am sorry Vinor.” 

Ayla got up and walked to the door. “So, I’m going to leave.” 

Vinor rushed to her, grabbing her wrists. “No Ayla. You were his friend. Didn't it hurt when he betrayed us all?” 

Ayla looked pityingly at him as she pulled away. “It’s in the past Vinor.” Vinor immediately turned to Shock Ti as she stood up. 

Vinor began pleading desperately with her. “Please Shock Ti! How can no one see this!? I spent years serving the Jedi as a temple guard. I spent years trying not to feel but now that I allow myself these emotions I feel anger! I feel anger over what he did! Do not tell me you don't feel anger too! Don’t lie to me, Master Ti!” 

Shock Ti looked at him with sadness. “See a mind healer Vinor. I feel your heart may be waining.” 

Vinor covered his chest protectively. “I will not be sent to hell!! My heart is fine! I only wish to avenge!” 

Shock Ti shook her head. “You must move on from the past before your anger festers into something much worse. You are in the afterlife. Find your happiness, this is your time to rest.” Shock Ti walked to the door. “Again I remind you, get help from a mind healer, many people still want to help.” 

Vinor watched silently as Shock Ti walked out the door and down the hall. He fell to his knees as they all left and the door closed. Vinor tried to yell past the door. “You will all regret this! I know you will!” 

 

*** 


Present / 2 Weeks later- 

 

Anakin sat trying to meditate with Obi-Wan by the gently swaying trees of the forest. Birds chirped with a happy tone all around them, beautiful sounding to most, distracting to Anakin. He already found it hard enough to meditate while in peace so constant chirruping was not helping him. He would just give up if he wasn’t sitting next to Obi-Wan that is. He could already predict that disappointed look the other man would give him the moment Anakin decided to walk away. Obi-Wan would hum neutrally as if what was happening didn’t bother him before looking away with that sad look in his eyes. It’s what he did whenever Anakin got angry and decided to storm off or when he would give up on trying to help himself. Anakin hated that look, it made him feel…..frustrated. Possibly because he hated the fact he was affecting Obi-Wan that much. He didn't understand why him storming off or giving up made Obi-Wan so upset. 

After a while, Anakin decided that it was a bad idea to walk away. However, he did decide meditating was useless so his mind focused on the past instead. His thoughts immediately went to Obi-Wan and their time spent together so far. There was a lot to think about. Slowly, Anakin let himself become carried away by his thoughts. 

 

*** 

 

5 days after council meeting- 

 

Anakin sat at the counter. The last two days had been uneventful. They had talked off and on briefly, no one had gotten extremely upset. Things were genuinely looking good. After Anakin had gotten up from the couch this morning he had spotted Obi-Wan drinking tea in the kitchen as it seemed he did every morning. After simply looking for a while Anakin decided to walk over and sit at the counter to tinker, possibly build some kind of droid. 

As he tinkered he would occasionally sneak a glance up at Obi-Wan. As he glanced at Obi-Wan he saw him with his second cup of tea in his hands as he leaned against the sink and stared at the wall in deep thought. This was not that unusual for the man as he often seemed to get lost in deep thought and two cups of tea in the morning was average. After watching Obi-Wan for maybe a month now Anakin was almost certain Obi-Wan had some kind of addiction to tea. He never even saw Obi-Wan eat, he just drank tea. Anakin was sure the only reason Obi-Wan even chose to feel hunger was because he wanted to drink tea. 

Dismissing his thoughts over Obi-Wan’s tea addiction Anakin focused back on tinkering, his thoughts slowly drifting to other topics. Many things filtered in and out of his mind. After a while, Anakin decided to share a topic with Obi-Wan. “Do you know what I miss?” Anakin said. 

Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes at the wall in thought. “Being reckless,” he commented dryly. Anakin sighed at him, even if he may be partially correct. 

“I miss racing,” Anakin corrected. “And driving speeders. There was just something about it. The idea you had complete control over this machine and yet had such a risk while driving it.” 

With a huff, Obi-Wan turned more toward Anakin. “So you do miss being reckless.” 

Anakin rolled his eyes. “Of course you would see it that way. It’s not about being reckless…” 

“Then what is it about?” Obi-Wan questioned, sounding slightly curious. 

“It’s about doing something that scares you and then realizing you were fine in the end. About realizing your risk was worth it. ” Anakin paused for a moment. “And giving you a conniption,” he added with a little smirk. 

Obi-Wan sighed but doesn’t say anything in return. Staring back at the wall in thought over what Anakin had just said. 



*** 



It was later in the evening when Anakin finished tinkering. Obi-Wan had gone outside quite a while ago to meditate and left Anakin at the counter. It only happened now Anakin was bored and finally wanted to do something that he decided to see what Obi-Wan was up to. The other man had left quite suddenly after their extremely quick conversation over racing earlier. He found himself starring at the same wall Obi-Wan had earlier, just wondering if maybe he had said something wrong to make Obi-Wan leave for so long. It only took a short while for Anakin to make himself crazy with anxiety and before he knew it he was storming out the door and onto the side of the yard where Obi-Wan watched the birds. 

When Anakin got outside and was confused when he didn’t see anyone. He looked around more, becoming even more confused when there was still no sign of Obi-Wan. He reached into the force, trying to feel Obi-Wan’s signature around him. Anakin turned his head to the woods and began walking into the forest as he felt Obi-Wan’s signature there. He didn’t know what Obi-Wan would be doing in a forest. Anakin hadn’t ever seen him out there. Slowly Anakin walked around a couple trees and stopped in his tracks as he saw a yellow speeder just sitting between some trees. 

It looked just like one of the old versions Anakin would drive back before and during the clone wars. Slowly Anakin walked forward and carefully ran his fingers across the side, absolutely mesmerized by the machine in front of him. It brought back memories, memories that almost made his eyes water with some kind of nostalgia. Things felt so right back then.  

The sound of crunching leaves sounded behind him. “Well, I see there was no need to go find you then,” Obi-Wan said behind him. 

Anakin quickly spun to face Obi-Wan. “You…” Anakin pointed to the speeder. 

Obi-Wan smiled knowingly at him before walking to the other side of the speeder. “Do you like it? You mentioned driving a speeder again earlier, and I thought it wouldn’t be a terrible idea if I surprised you with one.” Obi-Wan looked up at Anakin with slight nervousness, more than likely nervous this wasn’t something Anakin wanted. 

“Obi-Wan…” Anakin said with slight amusement. “You got me a speeder? Because I brought it up for a couple seconds earlier?” 

Obi-Wan began to look even more nervous. “Do you not like it?” 

Anakin covered his mouth for a second as a brief smile formed on his lips. “Obi-Wan….Obi, Obi, Obi.” He shook his head with fondness and smiled a little more when he saw an unamused look on Obi-Wan’s face over the nickname. “Why wouldn’t I like it?” Anakin finally said. “It is even the same color of the speeder I always used to drive.” 

Obi-Wan slowly climbed into the passenger seat after Anakin said this. “Oh, I know it is. I also know you are very picky when it comes to choosing your speeders so I do hope this one is good enough for your tastes.” 

Anakin nodded. “I…yes. What are you doing in the passenger seat?” 

A little smile formed on Obi-wan’s face. “Waiting for you to give me a conniption.” 

“A…a what? Anakin questioned. 

“Just drive Anakin,” Obi-Wan said, surprising Anakin when he rolled his eyes after he made the statement. 

Very slowly Anakin got into the speeder. He pushed a button and the speeder hovered higher above the ground. He let out a huff of air, his heart racing a little faster which in the afterlife usually just meant he was feeling a stronger emotion. In this case, that emotion was excitement. Anakin gripped the handles tightly. “At least there isn’t a risk of dying this time old man.” Immediately after saying this Anakin hurried to put a hand over his mouth. He hadn’t meant to call Obi-Wan ‘old man.’ It just slipped out. It was something he would call Obi-Wan to mess with him in the past. And he let it slip. He let it slip when he knew Obi-Wan was self-conscious about the way he looked. Shut up Anakin, he thought to himself. That’s how you repay him for the speeder, calling him an old man. Pathetic, stupid, dirtbag, worthless, you dumb-” Anakin’s thoughts were cut off by Obi-Wan chuckling next to him. 

“You know, I am really an old man now,” Obi-Wan said and once again chuckled to himself, shocking Anakin. “I suppose the name finally fits.” 

Anakin turned to Obi-Wan with a shocked and confused expression. “You aren’t offended. I swear it just slipped. I hadn’t meant to say it.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head. “It’s true. I am old….but so are you.” 

A little smile slipped back across Anakin’s face as he began directing the speeder through the trees and down a familiar path. “I wasn’t that old when I died.” 

Obi-Wan hummed. “Well yes, but if I remember correctly you started calling me old man when I was only in my thirties. So, I guess you're also the old man now.” 

Anakin huffed amusedly. “Not as old as you,” he said with a smirk, immediately making Obi-Wan sigh. 

They spent a large part of the afternoon in the speeder. They would talk quietly about the past and laugh with each other. Sometimes the conversion would become a little saddening and they would just stay quiet for a while. But to Anakin, this felt like the longest conversation he had with Obi-Wan yet. And the best part was they hadn’t even gotten into any serious arguments yet. 

The best part of the afternoon was the times he would pretend to almost run into a tree or when he would swerve a little too close to water and Obi-Wan would give him this warning look that made Anakin want to laugh even if he was supposed to be taking that look seriously. 

They were in the middle of speeding down the path when Anakin turned for a moment to see a sad expression on Obi-Wan’s face. Anakin become slightly worried, thinking he had offended Obi-Wan or took a few too many sharp turns. “Why are you sad,” Anakin asked seriously as he looked straight ahead.

Obi-Wan hummed. “Oh, nothing.” 

Anakin didn’t believe this for a second. “Obi-Wan, why aren’t you communicating? Are your feelings hurt or something? Is it me?” 

“No Anakin,” Obi-Wan said simply. 

“Then what?” Anakin demanded with an uneasy tone. 

Obi-Wan was silent for a few moments before responding. “I just…I missed you.” There was a slight sadness in Obi-Wan’s voice, a sadness it seemed Obi-Wan tried to hide as he looked awkwardly to his side after saying this. “That’s all. I was simply feeling nostalgic.” 

Anakin gripped the controls a little tighter as the speeder moved steadily ahead. He took a deep breath before speaking quietly in return. “I…I missed you to Obi-Wan. You were a good friend.” 

There was another long pause of silence before Obi-Wan whispered back. “And so were you.” 

 

*** 

 

8 days after council meeting-  

 

Obi-Wan sat outside looking at the birds with Anakin sitting by his side in the soft grass. The sun shone beautifully on the trees as they swayed gently and the birds chirped happily around them. Obi-Wan slowly let out a deep and relieved breath as he let the wind and force embrace him. “It’s beautiful out,” Obi-Wan commented as he once again glanced at the trees and their beautiful swaying branches and green leaves. 

“It is,” Anakin agreed softly as they now both watched the wind blow the trees gently. 

Obi-Wan spoke up once again, his voice calm and soothing like the wind. “For once, I feel completely at peace. I don’t know what did it, but I’m just so…relaxed.” 

Anakin chuckled. “I’m glad.” There is a long pause of silence. “Did I help with that feeling?” Anakin asked from what felt like out of nowhere. 

Obi-Wan turned to face Anakin, a little smile now on his face. “Just having you by my side has made me feel happier than I have felt in years.” 

As soon as Obi-Wan said this Anakin’s fond smile faded completely and was replaced with a blank expression. “You don't deserve to feel relaxed,” Anakin said with a serious tone Obi-Wan now knew was barely contained anger. 

“What…what are you talking about?” Obi-Wan questioned with poorly hidden nervousness. He was hoping Anakin wouldn’t get like this today. He would do this sometimes, where he would get upset and switch into some very angry man. 

Anakin stared at him intensely. “Don't you remember? You never helped me.” Fear ran through Obi-Wan as some feeling of impending doom washed over him. 

Suddenly the trees turn to ash and the birds that were just in front of him chirp out in pain as the scenery changes to the fiery lava banks of Mustafar. “I HATE YOU!” Anakin yelled in pain from behind him as Obi-Wan felt ash burn through his clothes as he crawled up the lava bank. In one hand he tried his hardest to grab onto burning rocks to help push himself up and in the other Anakin’s dented lightsaber was tightly gripped in his hand. As his eyes landed on the weapon intense guilt filled him. He knew this lightsaber was never supposed to belong to him. Finally, Obi-Wan was able to gain all his strength to stand up and look down at Anakin. His heart felt like it was shattering as he saw tears in Anakin’s eyes. “Master….help me,” Anakin rasped out at the bottom of the hill. Obi-Wan breathed quick short breaths as he backed further away and shook his head. This wasn’t how Obi-Wan remembered it going, it wasn’t supposed to happen like this. He couldn’t help Anakin, not like this. He couldn't forget what Anakin had done. He couldn’t ever forget. He had to let the force decide what happened to the man in front of him. Anakin cried out in pain. “Master….Obi-Wan please! Don't you want to help me!?” Anakin begged in pain, testing to see how long Obi-Wan could resit his cries for help. 

Obi-Wan nodded yet stayed exactly where he was. “You know why I can’t. You know what you did,” Obi-Wan’s voice became weaker the more he spoke. 

Anakin's face contorted in agonizing pain. “This is your fault…” he rasped. “Aren't you going to fix your mistake? Pull me up so we can be friends again. Just like we used to be.” Obi-Wan couldn’t help it as he let out a sob and shook his head again. He wanted it to stop, he wanted everything to stop. He thought about jumping down and joining Anakin to burn against the black ashes that promised an escape to misery. Obi-Wan took a step forward before stepping back again. He knew this must be some kind of dream, that scenery couldn't change so fast and he had already been through this part in his life. Anakin’s face changed from pain to pure anger and hatred. “How could you forgive yourself!?” 

Obi-Wan let out another hurt sob. “You told me I could!” A brief flash of a memory played in this odd dream. A memory where Anakin sat next to him against Obi-Wan’s bed and told him it was his own choice to fall. A memory that felt more like a dream where Anakin didn't completely blame Obi-Wan for what happened. “You told me this was your choice!” Obi-Wan yelled in a defense he knew even before he said it wouldn't hold up again Anakin. 

Anakin started maniacally laughing before crying out in pain again. “I burn by your hand! I will never forget what you did to me!” There is suddenly a long stretch of silence. “How could I ever forgive you…. old man. ” Anakin croaked out before the dream ended and Obi-Wan sat upright in bed, his heart pounding and his breaths coming out quick and unsteady. 

He looked around his bedroom, slowly realizing he was safe. In the corner of his eye, he saw a man sitting on the other side of his bed. Obi-Wan flinched before focusing to see Anakin slouching with his back turned to Obi-Wan. The other man’s legs were dangled off the bed and he sighed quietly to himself, seemingly not having yet realized Obi-Wan was awake. 

Anakin had been sleeping next to him a lot lately, always on top of the covers but he seemed to scoot a little closer each night. Obi-Wan slowly moved out of the covers, knowing he would rather not sleep again for the rest of the night. This caught Anakin’s attention and he turned to see Obi-Wan getting out of bed. Obi-Wan turned to Anakin and they stared at each other for a moment before Anakin turned back around without saying a word. This was the first warning that something may be wrong. He had expected Anakin to ask what he was doing leaving. “Anakin?” Obi-Wan said to get his attention, deciding to push his nightmare behind him for the sake of helping Anakin. Helping Anakin just as he felt he needed to in that dream. Except now he had the chance to comfort the other man, nothing held him back. Anakin merely turned his head slightly to the side so he could glance at Obi-Wan. For a moment Obi-Wan simply looked at him and In the moonlight, a frown was shown on Anakin’s lips. “What’s wrong?” Obi-Wan questioned him. 

Anakin hummed. “Nothing.” He turned his head to face his front once again. 

This caused Obi-Wan to become slightly worried for his former friend and moved a little closer. “Anakin, are you sure nothing is wrong?” 

There was a long stretch of silence, as if Anakin was hoping Obi-Wan would decide it was taking too long for him to answer and give up. “Yes,” Anakin eventually responded in a neutral tone. 

There is more silence as Obi-Wan tried to decide what to do next. On one hand, he could leave the room and get tea as he had planned, leaving Anakin here alone when there was obviously something bothering the other man. His other option would be to stay here and question Anakin further, this could either lead to an angry outburst over being pushed to share or an opportunity to comfort Anakin. In the end, Obi-Wan decided it was at least worth trying to comfort Anakin and decided to question him. “Anakin, remember you can tell me anything.” 

“Can I,” Anakin murmured. Obi-Wan was unsure if it was a question or just an annoyed statement. What he was sure of was that there was something very wrong with Anakin, which only fueled his need to know what was wrong. 

Obi-Wan took a moment to decide what to say next. “Anakin,” Obi-Wan once again started. “I just want to communicate with you. I desire the same communication you have been telling me we need for days now.” 

With an annoyed huff, Anakin got up. “You wouldn't want to hear about it.” 

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. “How are you sure of that?” 

Anakin turned to look at Obi-Wan. “I just know. It was a pathetic nightmare the force decided to torture me with.” Obi-Wan sighed and was about to reply when Anakin spoke again. “Sometimes, I really think the force wants to make my time here even more miserable. There are just some problems I don’t want to dream about.” 

Obi-Wan looked curiously at Anakin. “Whatever it is you dreamt about. I am sure we could work it out if we just talked about it.” 

“No, we couldn't!” Anakin responded with a hint of anger. “It happened a long time ago and I don't want to think about it!” Obi-Wan hummed, knowing this anger was more than likely not directed at him but at the circumstance and even the dream itself. 

“Anakin,” Obi-Wan said with only a hint of sternness. “If we don’t deal with the dream you know it will only continue to come back.” 

Anakin began pacing. “I know…” he said through gritted teeth. 

“How bad could this dream possibly have been? I am sure it will be much easier to deal with it now than endure the dream again. You seem very distressed,” Obi-Wan observed. 

Anakin stopped pacing and just stared at Obi-Wan as if he had said something wrong. “You don't know Obi-Wan. You don’t know what it felt like.” 

“Don’t know what what felt like?” Obi-Wan questioned. 

Anakin growled. “You don't know the pain this event caused. You never knew. You know sometimes you are real oblivious Obi-Wan!” 

It seemed to Obi-Wan Anakin was in one of his…special moods this evening. There were still times Anakin would get annoyed and angry and bring it out on Obi-Wan. Of course, this was to be expected as Anakin had spent years as a Sith fueled by hatred and rage, but it still didn’t change the fact there would be times Anakin would end up saying very hurtful things that tended to stick to Obi-Wan better than any of Anakin's compliments did. It was never all bad though, as Anakin had gotten a lot better at apologizing after these incidents. Despite Anakin’s angry mood, Obi-Wan tried to press forward, determined to help Anakin. 

“Well, if I’m so oblivious why don't you inform me on what happed so I can help you?” Obi-Wan retorted. 

Anakin glared at Obi-Wan before the glare turned into a more hurt expression. “This is all so pathetic. I’m supposed to be over this!” 

“Then why aren't you?” Obi-Wan questioned. 

Anakin bit his lip to repress a growl. “Because…because now that I look at you, I better remember what it felt like to….” Anakin trailed off and glared a the ground. 

Obi-Wan pushed again. “To what?” 

Anakin turned his glare back up to Obi-Wan. “You really want to know? Really!?” Obi-Wan nodded and Anakin became more annoyed. “Now that I look at you,” Anakin continued. “I better remember what it felt like to think I lost you?” 

Obi-Wan became more confused. “Think? What do you mean lost?” 

Anakin looked coldly at him, clear hurt on his features. “Yes, think. I thought I had lost you, but it was all just a little trick put together by the council. Yet another lie told to me by that group of people. Another lie you told me. I trusted you, and that day you broke part of my trust.” There is a long pause of silence where the Obi-Wan finally realizes what Anakin had dreamt about. Anakin turned away slightly, glancing at Obi-Wan to see what his reaction to Anakin's next words would be. “I thought I saw your lifeless body burning just as I had seen Master Jinns….I thought you were dead.” 

Obi-Wan looked down at his hands, shame filling him over his past actions and how he knew they made Anakin feel. He had hurt Anakin greatly when he had faked his death and went undercover to act as Rako Hardeen. He hadn't regretted the mission at first. He knew Anakin would be bitter towards him after that mission and Obi-Wan accepted that the mission was what was best for the order. But if he had known exactly how long Anakin would stay bitter, if he had known the incredible dent it would put on their relationship, Obi-Wan would have never done it. For a time after that mission, Obi-Wan thought he had lost Anakin completely. They had never talked outside of missions, Anakin avoided him in the halls of the temple. Anakin even went as far as to give messages to him using his padawan Ahsoka Tano, not being able to bare facing him. It was one of the hardest years of Obi-Wan’s life. It was when Obi-Wan truly realized how hard it would be without Anakin in his life. Little did he know at the time he would have to go longer than a decade without his former apprentice only a few short years later.

As Anakin watched Obi-Wan in thought he stepped forward. “What’s that look on your face?” Anakin bent down crudely. “Is it guilt Obi-Wan?” 

Obi-Wan nearly hissed over the way Anakin spoke to him. He looked Anakin in the eyes until Anakin had the decency to stand up straight. Obi-Wan recognized this angry side of Anakin, knew he had to treat him differently when he got like this. Obi-Wan knew that eventually his Anakin would return to normal. But that could take a while so for the moment he would try his best to calm the other man down. 

“Well,” Obi-Wan said in well-practiced confidence. “I do feel guilt.” 

Anakin looked like he didn't believe him. “You are just saying that so I don't get angrier. You are probably scared I’ll yell at you. Is that true? Are you scared I’m going to get angry and storm away?” Anakin asked in a mocking tone. A twinge of his guilt showed on Anakin's features but it was hidden quickly. 

Obi-Wan tried his hardest not to glare and lecture Anakin on the way he was speaking to him and the ashamed way it made him feel. Instead, he continued speaking confidently. “Anakin, please just listen to what I have to say,” Obi-Wan said with that same practiced confidence as before. Anakin looked harshly at him but said nothing, apparently curious as to what Obi-Wan had to say. Slowly, Obi-Wan began. “At first, I hadn’t felt extremely guilty about what I had done. I thought it was what was best for the order.” 

Anakin interrupted him. “Of course that's what you thought!? It’s always what the council wanted with you!” 

Obi-Wan glared at him. “Anakin, let me finish.” Anakin looked at him angrily, his arms crossed tightly across his chest. “Although I hadn't felt extreme guilt at first, it only took a short while after seeing your reaction to what I had done that my guilt started growing. I…” Obi-Wan tried to gather the right words. He had to brace himself as he knew he was going to have to share emotions he hadn't ever planned on talking about. “It hurt, watching you avoid me and look at me angrily whenever we saw each other. And the worst part about watching you grow further from me was the fact that a part of me even then knew…..I deserved it. I know now, and can fully realize, that I deserved the avoidance you gave me.” Obi-Wan looked down at his hands that held his robe tightly as his emotions bubbled to the surface. “I put a huge dent in our relationship after I chose to deceive you. I don't think our relationship was ever the same. I don't think we were ever as close as we used to be, at least that's what it felt like. You didn't deserve what I did to you. Both you and Ahsoka didn’t deserve that.” Slowly Obi-Wan glanced up at Anakin who’s face hardened as soon as Obi-Wan looked at him. “Anakin….I am sorry for what I did. And this is not me asking for your forgiveness, because I know after years of consideration that what I did will be more than hard to forgive. This is just me telling you that if I could go back Anakin, I would have never done that mission. I don't know if you knowing I regret my actions helps. But now you know that I always will.” 

Anakin’s face softens and he just stares at him for a couple seconds, processing what Obi-Wan had admitted. “You wouldn’t do that again?” Anakin's face hardens. “You wouldn’t lie to me?” Anakin once again looked at him harshly, testing him to see what his answer would be, trying to see if Obi-Wan was being honest with him. 

Obi-Wan could only look back at Anakin sadly. “I wouldn’t lie to you again Anakin. I promise.” 

“Swear it to the force?” Anakin questioned sternly. 

Obi-Wan looked Anakin in the eyes. “I swear to the force, that I won't lie to you like that again.” 

Anakin’s face slowly sunk from where it had been looking harshly at Obi-Wan to an expression of sadness and even a little guilt. He looked down at his feet and then back at Obi-Wan. “I…I was being harsh on you. I don’t know what came over me,” Anakin said in an apologetic tone.

Obi-Wan shook his head. “You were angry.” 

“That isn’t an excuse,” Anakin hissed, more anger circling him but this time more so directed at himself. “I should be over it, I really should. It happened so long ago Obi-Wan.” 

“Anakin, just because it happened a long time ago doesn’t mean you have to be over it. There are things that happened to me as a padawan I’m still not over,” Obi-Wan said. 

Anakin looked at him almost disbelievingly. “Really?” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Really Anakin.” 

Once Obi-Wan said this it seemed Anakin relaxed a little as his back untensed and he sighed. “I am sorry that I got so angry.” 

Obi-Wan gave a saddened smile, happy it was one of those times Anakin decided to apologize; even if this time Obi-Wan thought he may have deserved to be yelled at. “It’s okay Anakin, I forgive you.” Anakin nodded before looking at the floor in thought. As Anakin became lost in thought Obi-Wan thought back to his own dream. He nodded to himself, knowing that there was something he owned that didn’t belong to him. Slowly he stood up and walked to the closet, the entire time feeling Anakin’s eyes on his back. As Obi-Wan dug through the closet and pulled out a large chest Anakin stepped closer, curious as to what Obi-Wan could be grabbing. Slowly Obi-Wan pulled out a small box and took something out from inside it, hiding it behind his back. He slowly slid the chest back into the closet before walking over to Anakin, the item still behind him. “Hold out your hands,” Obi-Wan requested. Anakin did so and very slowly Obi-Wan placed Anakin Skywalkers lightsaber in the former Sith’s hands. 

Anakin examined it, slowly smiling. “Why….why do you have this…old man?” Obi-Wan tried not to shiver at the nickname, being brought back to his nightmare for a moment. He reminded himself Anakin meant that name jokingly and not as some insult. 

Obi-Wan looked at the lightsaber than at Anakin. ‘Well, I kept it until I could give it back to you.” Obi-Wan gave Anakin a reassuring smile before Anakin looked back to the lightsaber and examined it with a nostalgic look on his face. As Obi-Wan watched Anakin examine the lightsaber he couldn’t help but feel slightly sad over giving it up. It wasn't even his yet a part of him was still very attached to the piece of metal. But Obi-Wan had to remind himself that it was only a piece of metal with a crystal inside. A piece of metal Anakin created. That was the only thing special about the weapon, the idea Anakin made it. The weapon was just a little piece of Anakin’s mind that he now gave back to its creator. 

Anakin spoke after he finished examining the weapon. “Obi-Wan, why did you wake up in the middle of the night? Did you have a nightmare too?” Anakin questioned. 

Obi-Wan went to shake his head then stopped, he didn’t want to lie to Anakin. “I don’t need help,” he decided on saying eventually. 

Anakin looked at him skeptically. “Obi-Wan, do you really not-” 

Obi-Wan cut him off by placing a hand on Anakin’s shoulder, the physical touch always getting Anakin to go quiet for a moment. “I’m fine,” Obi-Wan reassured. Anakin stared at him a little longer before nodding. 

The rest of the night went smoothly. Anakin suggested they watch a holo movie together, something they rarely did even when they were friends in the past. But Anakin was so persistent Obi-Wan eventually gave into the idea. They both sat on the couch and watched peacefully, keeping a respectable distance between one another, until halfway through the movie that was. 

Obi-Wan had been lost in thought, not watching what was going on in the movie when a hand wrapping around his forced him from his thoughts. He looked down to see Anakin’s hand in his, squeezing around his hand tighter. Obi-Wan felt like little electric shocks went through his hand every time Anakin tried to touch him there. He was still unused to touch, even if he had already given Anakin a few hugs since he got here. Slowly Obi-Wan pulled his hand away from Anakin's grip. There was a huff of frustration next to him and Obi-Wan looked away. Anakin scooted further away again, making guilt fill Obi-Wan. He hadn't meant to make Anakin upset. He felt Anakin’s shields move higher up which surprised him as it was hard to feel things through their bond most of the time, the strong connecting their two souls still thin and weak from years of emotional pain. 

He looked back at Anakin who had his eyes glued on the movie. More guilt filled him and he looked down at Anakin’s hand. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if he just reached down and very carefully grabbed the other man’s hand. Obi-Wan was sure it wouldn’t be terrible, he could put up with it. He wanted Anakin to be happy in the end, he would put up with a lot to see the other man happy. Slowly and without looking at Anakin, Obi-Wan reached across the couch and grabbed Anakin’s hand. There was silence before Anakin squeezed his hand in a vice grip. Obi-Wan huffed with slight amusement when Anakin scooted closer again. His guilt subsided as they both went back to watching the movie, their hands still locked together. 

 

*** 

 

12 days after council meeting-  

 

The next day Anakin remembered starring into Obi-Wan’s room and watching as the older man stared at the window, his reflection lightly reflecting off of it. He watched as Obi-Wan’s hand came up to his face to wipe at his eyes before the old man sniffled and sighed, his arms now hugging himself. Anakin knocked on the door, making Obi-Wan jump slightly. Obi-Wan turned to him. “Oh, come in,” Obi-Wan said quietly. 

“What are you doing?” Anakin questioned. 

Obi-Wan shrugged. “Looking out the window,” he said simply. 

Anakin hummed. “Are you looking through the window, or at it?” Anakin stood next to Obi-Wan who looked at him before sighing and turning to look back at the window once again. “You seem lost in thought,” Anakin commented. He stared at the window as he saw Obi-Wan and now his reflection shining back. “Are you staring at your reflection?” Anakin pushed. Obi-Wan looked down and Anakin continued. “Are you focused on your looks again? I already told you, I think you look like-” 

Obi-Wan cut him off. “A baker, I know.” Anakin noted the slight tint of sadness in Obi-Wan's voice as he spoke again. “Maybe I don't want to be a Baker anymore." 

Anakin furrowed his brows. "Don't tell me you have been offended by that comment all this time and didn't say anything. I swear if that's the case I-" 

Obi-Wan cut him off again. "It's not. I liked the comment." Anakin became even more confused. 

“Then what’s the problem?” Anakin questioned. Obi-Wan sighed and shrugged and Anakin became more impatient.  "Come on, don't keep it from me. We are supposed to be more open!" 

Obi-Wan hummed. “It doesn't matter. I’m fine Anakin.” 

Immediately Anakin bit his lip as to not growl in frustration. “You aren’t, I know you aren’t. Why won’t you tell me? You promised not to lie.” 

This got Obi-Wan’s attention as he finally spit out. “I don’t want to look like an old man anymore.” 

Anakin spoke without thinking through what Obi-Wan had just said to him. “Why not? I told you that there was nothing wrong-” 

Obi-Wan cut him off. “Anakin….I want to change the way I look.” 

Still not thinking about what Obi-Wan was saying, Anakin spoke again. “Again, there is nothing wrong with the way you look.” Obi-Wan turned to him, amusement now on his features as he raised an eyebrow at Anakin. Anakin froze before realization finally hit him. “You want to change your appearance, you want to be young again?” 

Obi-Wan nodded and turned back to the window. "I've been thinking about it for a while. I stayed like this for so long because it was a reminder of the past when I looked at myself. I associated my own reflection with the look of failure.” Anakin looked sadly at him, not liking the sound of that. “I know I have failed in many places, but it's time to start over here. I don’t like the way I look, no matter what you say about it. I much prefer the way I looked when I was younger. I had more confidence in my appearance then." 

Anakin smiled at Obi-Wan, happy the other man had finally decided to do something that would make himself happy. "I am fine with however you look Obi-Wan. But it would be nice to see you like that again. And I'm glad you realize it's time to start over with me.” Anakin reached down and grabbed Obi-Wan’s hand, squeezing it briefly before letting it go. “When will you change your appearance?” Anakin questioned. 

Obi-Wan looked up at him. “I think…now.” 

 

***

 

Anakin sat outside of the fresher door patiently. Obi-Wan and him had agreed Obi-Wan would go in the fresher to be alone and then come out when he had decided what he wanted to look like. For all Anakin knew Obi-Wan could decide to look like a Padawan again, but Anakin highly doubted that's what Obi-Wan had meant by young. It was nice Obi-Wan had finally decided to move on from the past. He wanted Obi-Wan to be happy for both their sake. 

After a while of waiting a voice finally filtered out from behind the fresher door. "Anakin?" Immediately Anakin straightened up, the voice sounding so different yet so familiar and the familiarity of such a voice nearly brought tears to Anakin's eyes. It was odd hearing the same voice that had haunted his nightmares and appeared in his most pleasant dreams was right beyond the fresher door. "Anakin?" The voice repeated again and Anakin was quick to respond. 

“Yes?” Anakin felt nervousness pool in his gut as he stared intensely at the fresher door. He didn't know why he was so nervous. He knew this was the same Obi-Wan speaking to him that he had been speaking to for maybe a month or more now. It wasn't as if a different person was behind the fresher door now. It was just Obi-Wan , Anakin reminded himself. 

Obi-Wan spoke again. "I...I must admit. I'm rather....rather nervous," Obi-Wan shared. 

Anakin chuckled, trying to lighten the mood. It seemed both him and Obi-Wan were feeling nervous. "Don't be nervous. I'll still make you crazy no matter what you look like," Anakin retorted, making a little chuckle come from behind the fresher door. 

"You do make me crazy." The voice behind the door sounded slightly fond. "I'm...I'm glad you are at least aware of...of what you do to me." 

Anakin's eyes fill with unshed tears as that voice behind the fresher brought him a strong wave of nostalgia. It was just Obi-Wan , Anakin yet again reminded himself. "Y-Yeah, self awake now." 

There is a pause of silence before Obi-Wan responded "Anakin...are...are you quite alright?" 

Anakin cleared his throat. "Fine, fine. I...It's weird to hear your voice again." Anakin's voice continued to sound emotional. 

"Perhaps.... perhaps I should change back. Maybe I'm not ready to simply change so quickly,” Obi-Wan suggested with a hint of sadness. 

Anakin responded immediately. "No!" Anakin accidentally let the word just slip out of his mouth. He hadn't meant to sound so angry. He did his best to calm himself down."I don't want you losing progress." Although this was true, Anakin missed the voice he heard behind the fresher door. He missed the memories that voice brought along with it. He missed the comfort it gave, and the lectures that voice would give him. Anakin hadn't meant to get possessive over keeping it there. 

There was a sigh from inside the fresher. "If you... if you say so Anakin." There was a slight pause. "Are...are you ready?" 

Anakin slowly smiled, hiding the deep emotion that was flowing in him. "Are you ready, Obi-Wan?" 

Obi-Wan huffed from inside the fresher. "I suppose I am." Anakin's eyes were glued on the fresher door as finally, it opened. 

In the doorway of the fresher stood a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. His hair was in that mullet he had right before the clone wars and he looked just as Anakin had remembered before the war started. It was the way he looked right before everything started to go wrong , Anakin thought to himself as he looked over Obi-Wan. As he stared it seemed a single thought stood out against the others. Anakin hadn't remembered Obi-Wan ever being this.... attractive . Of course, Anakin had known Obi-Wan was good looking but he hadn't remembered him being this, stunning. He was still soft looking like he had been as an old man. But he looked far more confident, far more put together. Anakin found himself tracing Obi-Wan's jawline with his eyes and starring at his ginger hair that was tucked behind his ear perfectly. He found himself looking at Obi-Wan's blue colored eyes and his bottom lip which he bit briefly with nervousness. Anakin let out a breath as he subconsciously walked toward Obi-Wan. Their eyes met for a moment and Anakin stopped right in front of the other man. "You....you look...." 

Obi-Wan slowly gave a little smile. "Just as you remember?" Obi-Wan tried to finish for him. 

"Yeah...." Anakin responded, just going along with it even if Obi-Wan looked far more….different than he remembered. 

Obi-Wan smiled a little brighter. "Good, that was my intention." 

Anakin backed up slightly and nodded. "I'm glad you made the decision."

 

*** 

 

Present / Two weeks after council meeting- 

 

Outside Anakin watched all the birds eat, a white bird jumping onto his hand to eat the food he put there. Anakin turned to see Obi-Wan still had his hood up. He rolled his eyes and with his free hand yanked Obi-Wan's hood off. 

A charming face turned to him with a raised eyebrow. "What was that for?" Obi-Wan said, slightly offended and confused. 

Anakin smirked only just slightly. "What? I don't like when you hide your face." Anakin found himself once again catching Obi-Wan bite his lip briefly before the other man rolled his eyes at him. Obi-Wan looked back down at Patience who sat rather patiently on the Jedi’s hand eating seeds. Even after Obi-Wan looked away Anakin still couldn't take his eyes away from him. He wanted to memorize every single feature of his friend's face. It was just still so odd for Anakin to see Obi-Wan like this. 

Anakin scooted closer to Obi-Wan, their shoulders brushing. Anakin liked being close to Obi-Wan, it brought him a lot of comfort. He remembered when he was alive and with Padme, physical comfort was always her go to method of comfort. It always seemed to help Anakin calm down before she forced him to talk about what was wrong. Anakin felt that same need for physical comfort with Obi-Wan, especially seeing as Obi-Wan was the only one Anakin truly had here. He often found himself longing for a hug from Obi-Wan just as he had longed from a hug from Padme when he needed comfort. In the past he found himself wanting to be by her so he could hold her close to him, see her pretty face. He often missed feeling her lips against his. Anakin sighed and turned to look at Obi-Wan again who was focused on petting patience. He slowly smiled as he imagined holding Obi-Wan close to him as he used to Padme. He imagined sitting on the couch inside and watching a movie. He would slowly scoot over and eventually wrap his arm around Obi-Wan's shoulder. Of course, Obi-Wan would resist at first but Anakin knew with enough time Obi-Wan would give in. Maybe Anakin would even slowly slide his arm down to wrap around Obi-Wan's waist, just to have him even closer. He imagined Obi-Wan looking up at him and giving him that little fond smile Obi-Wan would give whenever Anakin didn't something right. Force how he yearned for that smile. Maybe Anakin would cup Obi-Wan's cheek, he wouldn't pull away. He would let Anakin touch him how he wanted. Then Obi-Wan would tell him the words he yearned for most. He would tell Anakin he loved him, and that they could forget about the past. They could be friends again. Anakin would agree, they didn't need anyone else. Everyone else hated him, what was the point of even trying to talk to anyone else if Obi-Wan accepted him. Obi-Wan was all he needed now. 

Anakin snapped out of his daydream and slowly grabbed Obi-Wan’s hand. He waited for Obi-Wan to pull away and was surprised when Obi-Wan let his hand rest in Anakin’s. Slowly Anakin squeezed Obi-Wan’s hand tighter before looking up to the sky. The sun still shone brightly through the clouds and little rays of sunshine landed on the tops of the trees. 

The sky was beautiful, the trees peaceful. And yet where there came so much beauty in the trees and in the sky Anakin still chose to turn and look back at Obi-Wan

Chapter Text

It had been less than a month since Obi-Wan passed to this place they called the afterlife. He wasn't sure how to feel anymore. He avoided the mirror, he even avoided his reflection in the window all because they reminded him of a past he wanted to leave behind. But sadly even avoiding mirrors and windows didn’t stop the guilt that always seemed to be running through Obi-Wan. 

He would spend most of his time inside this oddly placed, small cottage he found in a forest he hadn’t even known existed on Coruscant. He often found himself wondering if this cottage was somehow made for him. It was away from everyone else. He very little had people to talk to and sadly when people did travel out here they didn't stay long. He would have thought not having anyone to talk to most days would be a bad thing but it had proven useful for him as most days it was hard to actually hold a conversation with someone. 

Just today his Master Qui-Gon had visited. He had come at least once a week, something that both made Obi-Wan happy yet guilty as he felt he was a terrible person to hold a conversation with at the moment. During his former Master’s visits, Qui-Gon usually had to do most of the talking. And Obi-Wan loved listening to what has happened to him and he found it amazing Qui-Gon gained up the courage to marry the Jedi Tahl he was so obviously in love with before. And he loved his silly stories about the weird pets he took on and the weird animals he found wandering around Coruscant that day. But whenever Obi-Wan would be asked or pried at to share more about what happened to him, he would close himself off. He was only able to share little bits and pieces and Qui-Gon ended up having to go to Yoda for most of the information he wanted. And even then Qui-Gon rarely found out everything. 

Obi-Wan found himself constantly wanting to hug Qui-Gon again like he had when he first saw him. They had cried together and Qui-Gon had even apologized for the way he left. Something about how he was sorry he didn't get in more last words. Obi-Wan hadn't understood why he was apologizing, but he forgave him anyway. He loved him so much it made him want to cry all over again, just the idea Qui-Gon was actually here with him. The idea that if Obi-Wan had enough strength he could go walk over to wherever Qui-Gon resided and just talk to him, or at least try to talk to him. 

After Qui-Gon had left Obi-Wan had gone back to his room to sit in bed. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do but eventually, it had led to him getting lost in his thoughts. Those almost pleasant thoughts were soon cut short however when the holopad he kept next to his bed beeped. He didn’t use it very often but when he did it was usually Qui-Gon informing him he may be visiting or one of his old friends who somehow found a way to get into contact with him. 

Assuming this was an old friend and not Qui-Gon as he had just visited, Obi-Wan grabbed the pad and quickly rushed to a chair in the other room, setting the holo-pad on a small table in front of him. He took a deep breath, preparing to have to deal with a potentially negative conversation as whoever this was potentially realized the bad condition he was in.  

Obi-Wan answered the call and Satine’s form appeared standing in front of him, shrunk down for convenience purposes. “Satine?” Obi-Wan questioned as embarrassment over the way he looked ran through him. He wasn’t expecting to see anyone but Qui-Gon today and of course, he had thought about Satine before now but the woman he used to be in love with so long ago was not someone he had been expecting at the moment. 

Satine paused a moment, seemingly taking in the way Obi-Wan looked. As she did this Obi-Wan said nothing, only hanging his head down slightly as he couldn't think of anything more to say. Finally, she found her voice. “You… look so different,” Satine said in a truthful statement Obi-Wan could only nod his head in the agreement to. “I had felt it when you passed a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to give you time to adjust before I called,” she said and Obi-Wan hoped that Satine hadn’t waited this long because she had wanted him to call first. That would make him feel even guiltier than he already felt. 

It wasn’t as if he hated her. He missed her so much and just seeing her right now made him want to cry. But he didn't know what to say to her, if he should apologize. His mind told him he should, that it was the right thing to do after what happened to her. “I…I am sorry I wasn't able to protect you,” Obi-Wan said in a voice that sounded too sad for his own comfort. He hated thinking about his old enemy, the one who had practically chased him around the galaxy. 

Satine sighed. “Obi-Wan, that was not your fault. I thought you would know that.” Obi-Wan looked up at her sadly, once again getting stuck. Should he apologize again? Should he nod and move on? What should they talk about? He couldn't tell her what happened between him and Anakin and how he failed his own padawan miserably. And there was another thought he needed to focus on, whether or not he failed his Anakin. Was it Anakin’s fault or did part of the blame go on him? He was so confused all the time, so lost in his thoughts. Anxiety built in Obi-Wan, overwhelming him and forcing him to cover his face for a moment. “Obi-Wan? Are you okay?” Satine questioned in one of the kindest voices Obi-Wan had ever heard. 

He was still lost, more embarrassment filling him over his lack of speech. “I’m still sorry, about what happened. I….I just wish it had turned out differently.” Obi-Wan looked up at Satine and saw her nod. 

“I do as well, but sadly it just didn’t happen that way. But I’m happy now Obi-Wan. I live on Mandalore and have been enjoying my time here,” She tried to reassure him. 

Obi-Wan smiled at that, happy Satine has found some form of peace. “I am glad to hear that Satine,” He said to her, bringing a little smile to her face. 

“What about you Obi-Wan?” She questioned. 

There was silence for a while as Obi-Wan was unsure how to respond to this. “I…I have been….I’ve been okay.” Satine obviously sensed this was a lie, just knowing from the way Obi-Wan murmured it out. Before Satine could question what was wrong Obi-Wan spoke. “I don’t think I want to talk about myself, why don’t we talk more about you.” 

Satine shook her head, causing Obi-Wan’s anxiety to spike. “Why shouldn’t we talk about you Obi-Wan? Is something wrong?” 

Obi-Wan looked back down for a moment. “Well, I… Satine I can’t. I’m so sorry I’m messing this all up. It’s been years since I've seen you and I can’t even talk about myself.” 

Guilt continued to run through him as he looked back at Satine who was frowning. “Why don't I come over, maybe it will make it easier.” 

“No,” Obi-Wan said softly. He didn't mean to hurt her feelings but he couldn't let her see him like this. “I’m sorry, I wouldn't be any good to talk to Satine. And I have missed you so much, more than you know. But I don’t think I’m ready to have anyone else visit me. It’s hard to even have Qui-Gon visit and you know how I feel about him.” 

Satine was silent for a while before quietly speaking. “You are really that hurt by whatever happened? That you can’t even speak to me when we were so close before?” 

Obi-Wan went to shake his head then stopped himself. It was true he and Satine were very close. But they also rarely saw each other. Even visiting Satine in the past had been hard as he was so full of nerves. “It’s not that I don’t want to talk to you Satine it’s just I-”  

“You don’t want to see me, not right now,” she suggested. 

Obi-Wan looked at her sadly, afraid he may be hurting her feelings on accident. “Satine please, I don’t mean to offend you in any way. I just don’t know how to share what happened. There is so much and I…” Obi-Wan’s thoughts drifted to the past once again as he envisioned how he would even go about telling someone what happened. Would he start with his time on Tatooine? Tell her he watched Anakin’s son after the empire fell? Would he tell her about why he had to watch Anakin's son in the first place? Would he even be able to tell her what happened to Anakin? Obi-Wan paused for a minute, just the idea of Mustafar making his head ache and his eyes want to water. He missed him so much. He couldn't go a day without being reminded of him. Every little thing seemed to have some kind of resemblance to the man he used to know. Constantly thinking about what Anakin would say, what it would be like if Anakin made it to the afterlife, came back to him. 

“Obi-Wan,” Satine cut off his thoughts sharply and Obi-Wan nearly jumped as he remembered he was in the middle of talking to Satine. He would do that sometimes with Qui-Gon and when Obi-Wan was alive he even did it with Luke during their time on the ship traveling to the Death Star. He would be in the middle of talking and then trail off mid-sentence, not even realizing he had done so. He supposed that’s what happened when you spent so long with limited conversation. “Why don’t you want me to visit?” Satine questioned again. “I could help you.” 

Obi-Wan wanted to tell her that she would waste her time, that he doubted visits from even her would make things better. “I can hardly hold a conversation, I don’t need to inconvenience anyone else.” 

“Obi-Wan,” Satine said in almost a scolding voice. “You are hardly an inconvenience, I still care about you. Even if it’s been years since we have seen each other.” 

Obi-Wan shrugged. “I am an inconvenience. And I will become a burden on you if you try to continually visit me.” Satine tried to protest but Obi-Wan didn't let her. He had to stop her from making a decision she would regret. He would become a burden that never got better and just like Obi-Wan assumed Qui-Gon would figure out, she would see that he was a sad old man who was best at being a hermit. He was good at being alone and sadly there was no helping someone who just wanted to be alone all the time. “I just want to be alone most of the time Satine. I would get in your way and you would get in mine,” Obi-Wan said and he practically winced at his own words. “I care about you and I’m not going to let you visit me, I don’t want you burdening yourself.” 

Satine huffed, frustration clear on her face. “Is there no getting to you? Don't tell me you are insisting on being this stubborn right now? This is ridiculous Obi-Wan. Just let me visit you,” Satien tried to insist but Obi-Wan only shook his head, continually telling himself that he couldn't let her waste her time. She sighed, calming down just slightly. “Fine, why don't you call me when you are ready to have someone me visit.” 

Obi-Wan wasn’t sure when that would ever be, if there would even be a time where he would feel well enough to hold a conversation with someone. “I’ll try….” He said. “You don’t have to go now Satine. Would you like to talk more about yourself?” Obi-Wan felt he had already ruined this conversation. He simply didn’t want to end this on a bad note, just hoping that Satine would stay a little longer. Obi-Wan had never asked her to leave. He had simply told her she shouldn’t waste her time trying to visit him in person. But maybe what he had said came across that way. “Maybe you could try to call again?” Obi-Wan suggested in some weird attempt to get her to stay, he didn't even know why he said that. 

Satine sighed. “I don’t want to talk about myself Obi-Wan. I wanted to talk about you. But I see you are in a bad place right now, so I will wait until we can have an actual conversation.” 

More guilt rose in Obi-Wan. “Satine…I don’t know when that will be. Haven’t you waited a long time without me already?” Obi-Wan felt like his heart was squeezing painfully in his chest as he felt her begin to leave before he had even said goodbye. 

The slightest bit of sadness and maybe pity showed on her face before she sighed once again. “I have spent too long without seeing you, and I miss you. But it seems I can’t be the one to help you. You already said you would call me when you felt better. And I know that might be a while. But I’ll wait. I’ll wait Obi-Wan.” 

They stared at each other and Obi-Wan could already figure out this was her saying goodbye. So slowly he nodded his head. “Whenever that is. Whenever I am not lost Satine. I am sure the force will tell me to come to you,” Obi-Wan said and Satine gave a little fond smile. 

“Goodbye Obi-Wan,” She said and Obi-Wan couldn't help but feel as if they were leaving each other for years all over again. 

“Goodbye Satine,” He said one last time before the holopad went dark. Obi-Wan sunk down off the chair and pulled his knees up to his chest. “I’m so sorry Satine,” he murmured, still feeling as if he let her down, that he hurt her feelings. Guilt built further in Obi-Wan, and he felt too weak to do anything about it. 

 

***

 

Anakin sat up in bed, his heavy breathing drowned out by the rain pouring on the roof of the small cottage. The house was cold and yet Anakin felt as if he would burn up, Visions of his dream still flashing in his mind's eye. As he thought back on his dream fear ran through him just as the lightning ran across the sky above them. Thunder soon followed after the lightning, but it wasn't the noise the thunder created that startled Anakin; it was the man sleeping by his side. 

Anakin scooted away and stared at Obi-Wan's sleeping form. His hair was a mess all over the pillow and a peaceful expression lay on his face. He tried to copy Obi-Wan's peaceful expression, he tried to feel at ease after his terrible dream. Having Obi-Wan by his side helped, he had the comfort that Obi-Wan hadn't left his side. The simple idea of having Obi-Wan close to him gave Anakin hope that they could restart here, that things weren’t like how they had been in his dream anymore. 

Never again would Obi-Wan be able to leave him to burn as he had dreamt about just today. He tried to convince himself Obi-Wan wouldn’t leave him again, but lately that odd fear of Obi-Wan leaving him seemed to grow further on Anakin as time passed. He sighed and glanced out the window by the bed. Rain poured against it, making him feel as if this house was a bubble protecting them from the outside, a thought that made Anakin smile. He felt as if this house really was a bubble, safe in the forest. It protected them from not just the weather but the outside world. It protected them from everyone's emotions except their own. In this cottage some days it felt as if they were completely alone. Just Anakin and his Obi-Wan.  

Beside him Obi-Wan made a noise of protest and rolled over. Anakin pushed the covers higher up Obi-Wan's body as he finally began to feel the cold that slowly filled the cottage. He was glad Obi-Wan had allowed him to sleep under the covers now. Well, it wasn't as if Obi-Wan hadn't allowed it before, but Anakin needed to make sure Obi-Wan was comfortable with such a thing before he did it. And now that they were getting closer Obi-Wan had practically lectured him into just getting under the covers. Anakin supposed it made Obi-Wan feel guilty that he would just lay on top of the covers every night without a blanket. Of course, sleeping without covering was all Anakin’s choice and not Obi-Wan’s, but he assumed it just made Obi-Wan feel better knowing Anakin wasn’t forcing himself to sleep without blankets just so he could be close to the other man. 

Anakin scooted further away from Obi-Wan. It was so odd, Anakin was sure he fell asleep on the complete opposite side of the bed yet ended up practically on top of Obi-Wan in the morning. Anakin huffed amusedly to himself as he thought about it, wondering if even when unconscious his body still wanted to be close to Obi-Wan's. Anakin seemed to almost constantly be trying to get closer to Obi-Wan. He would continually scoot closer to him while they sat next to each other. Or he would reach out to the other man's hand or cup his cheek for just a moment when Obi-Wan allowed.  

Anakin laid back down in bed as he thought, once again scooting closer to the other man who had once again been the focus of his dreams, even if it wasn't a pleasant one. As Anakin stared at Obi-Wan's ginger hair he felt himself being pulled toward him. He felt himself move closer and closer until he was right where he had been when he woke up. His body wanted something, he wanted something. And Anakin knew by now that he really only wanted physical touch at the moment, to hold Obi-Wan’s hand or to hug him. And Obi-Wan was asleep, there would be no harm if Anakin were to touch him now. It would be so easy just to wrap his arms around Obi-Wan and hold his body close to his in a comforting way. 

Anakin reached out to the other man, about to touch his soft, tan shirt before yanking his hand back. Obi-Wan would be uncomfortable if he woke up and found Anakin's arm around his chest. He wouldn't like that Anakin didn't ask to touch him. And yet it would be so easy to pull away right before the other man woke up. And Obi-Wan understood how badly Anakin craved some form of physical comfort, and if Anakin was honest with himself he had just had a terrible nightmare. So in a way, in a twisted way, he needed this. Obi-Wan was the only person who could comfort him right now, he would understand. Anakin reached out and very slowly, as to not wake Obi-Wan wrapped an arm around the other man. He let out a deep breath as the stress from the dream was released from his body. He really needed this hug. 

“This was fine,” he told himself. it wasn't like he was hurting Obi-Wan now. Anakin slowly hid his eyes against Obi-Wan's head and took another deep breath. The other man's ginger hair smelt so comforting and filled him with a feeling of nostalgia only Obi-Wan could give him. Anakin froze as Obi-Wan mumbled in his sleep and rolled onto his stomach. 

This was no problem for Anakin and he quickly adapted to the new position, wrapping his leg around Obi-Wan's and curling his arm further around him. Slowly a blush rose to Anakin's cheeks as he became a little closer to Obi-Wan than he originally planned. “ This was fine,” he told himself for the second time. Obi-Wan would still understand how close they were, he would understand Anakin simply needed comfort. He knew how much Anakin liked physical touch. He wouldn't deny him. When the pink color drained away from Anakin's cheeks he allowed himself to become more confident, nuzzling his nose against Obi-Wan's shoulder. He sighed, finally feeling as steady as the rain outside had become. 

He wished he could fall back asleep again, but he couldn't risk Obi-Wan walking up with Anakin like this. He was scared Obi-Wan would get a little panicked before Anakin could explain himself. A voice hissed in the back of his head, telling him that there wouldn't be a need to hide if he truly wasn't doing anything wrong. Anakin quickly shut the voice up and focused back on Obi-Wan. He spent a while next to Obi-Wan, daydreaming about things they could do that day and topics he wanted to talk about. 

Anakin had been content, completely content. That was until Obi-Wan murmured a name that gave Anakin an emotion he hadn't expected on feeling while trapped in the protective bubble this house offered. Obi-Wan had been a little restless for a moment, mumbling something Anakin couldn't understand, so he had gone to petting Obi-Wan's hair, hoping the other man wasn't having a nightmare. 

Obi-Wan smiled in his sleep, causing Anakin to smile in return as he wondered what Obi-Wan was dreaming about. "Satine...." Obi-Wan had whispered the name into the quiet room with a familiar fondness, a fondness Obi-Wan may have even used on Anakin from time to time. Anakin repeated the name in his head, thought on it until the only feeling left in his gut was one that shouldn't have ever been there. He shouldn't feel this way, that name shouldn't get this reaction out of him. Yet the more Anakin repeated the name in his head the more intense the feeling got. He was jealous. 

He hadn’t known why; maybe it was because he was scared Obi-Wan would one day leave to go stay with his past love interest instead of him. Maybe Anakin was scared she would somehow convince Obi-Wan that he shouldn't be around Anakin. Or maybe, Anakin's mind dared to think, maybe Anakin was jealous of the fond way Obi-Wan thought of her. He wanted Obi-Wan's attention, and he hated the idea of splitting that attention with someone else. He selfishly wanted Obi-Wan to just be focused on him. A part of him didn't want anyone else in Obi-Wan's life. But of course, Anakin knew that wouldn’t be fair, and it wouldn’t make Obi-Wan happy. 

A small giggle disrupted Anakin's thoughts. He stared down at Obi-Wan as if he had insulted him before ripping his arm away with a frustrated whine. He sat up and scooted away, creating enough motion to wake Obi-Wan up. Anakin got out of bed right as Obi-Wan sat up and rubbed at his face. "Anakin?" He questioned and looked around, eventually seeing Anakin storming to the door. Anakin turned and stared for a moment, taking in Obi-Wan’s appearance. The ginger's hair was a mess, a fact that made Anakin want to smile for only a moment but the idea quickly faded from his mind as he remembered why he was leaving the room in the first place. Obi-Wan looked at him with slight confusion. "Is something wrong?" Obi-Wan questioned him and oh how Anakin wanted to just tell Obi-Wan how jealous he made him but he knew Obi-Wan couldn't control his dreams, so for the time, Anakin kept his mouth shut about that topic. 

"I just...had a nightmare," Anakin told Obi-Wan with false confidence in his voice. 

There was a long moment where Obi-Wan thought about this before finally whispering. "Need to talk?" 

Anakin shook his head. "No need..." He murmured before storming out of the room with the name Obi-Wan murmured and his dream about Obi-Wan leaving him still fresh on his mind. But there was no need to talk about their dreams, that name Obi-Wan had whispered in his sleep told Anakin everything he needed to know.  

 

***

 

It was close to evening when Obi-Wan stood in the kitchen drinking tea and looking out the window at the beautiful birds that chirped to their own unique songs. As he stared at the birds he thought about how happy they all looked, their joy clear in the pitch of the chirps. And the longer he stared the more he found himself wishing he could be as happy as the birds seemed, he wished he could live without worry. But it seemed even in the afterlife he couldn't escape the misery that came with having a past. 

Slowly Obi-Wan pulled his view away from the window and back to the warm cup of tea in his hands. The steam rose from it, filling Obi-Wan's nose with the scent of his favorite drink. The sound of Anakin cussing to himself at the counter brought Obi-Wan out of his thoughts, ruining the slightly peaceful moment. 

Anakin was in the middle of tinkering with Droid parts, one of the parts slipping from his hands and flying off the counter. He bent down and picked it up with a sour look on his face. It was a sour look that hadn't formed just from the misfortune of dropping a small Droid part, but it was a look Anakin had on his face since Obi-Wan woke up this morning. It worried Obi-Wan that Anakin was still not over whatever dream he had. With a deep breath, Obi-Wan decided to ask Anakin about it again, hoping he wouldn't annoy Anakin somehow or be frowned at. 

"Anakin, do you still not want to talk about that dream you had?" Obi-Wan questioned. 

Anakin sighed, distaste clear on his face. "No," he answered quickly. 

"Was it that bad? Maybe I could help you." Obi-Wan suggested and Anakin glared at the Droid parts in his hands as if it was the one asking it questions. 

"It's....it's not important Obi-Wan." It was Obi-Wan's turn to sigh. It seemed he was once again getting nowhere with Anakin. He was silent for a while, letting Anakin have a break before talking to him again. He assumed Anakin's dream may have revolved around something he felt guilty about, that he felt so guilty he couldn't bring himself to tell Obi-Wan about it. He could only hope that with time and patience Anakin would eventually bring himself to tell Obi-Wan about this more than likely terrible dream. Obi-Wan decided to talk to Anakin about something more pleasant, maybe just to distract his friend for a while but before he had the chance to speak Anakin questioned him. 

"Obi-Wan, I want to ask you something more personal?" Anakin spoke into the quiet room. There was no reason for Obi-Wan to object, not that he would want to deny Anakin an answer. 

"Yes Anakin. What are you wondering?" Obi-Wan answered politely, encouraging Anakin to speak what was on his mind. Anakin cleared his throat and when he looked up it felt to Obi-Wan as if Anakin was hiding all his emotions behind his shields. A serious expression was on his face, replacing the earlier pout. 

"I've been here....possibly a month. And yet I've only seen Qui-Gon visit once. Why has no one else come to visit you?" Obi-Wan froze in place for a moment, not knowing how to answer that. He supposed it was because he was so distanced from everyone else, that maybe everyone who ever tried to visit felt unwelcome. An uneasy feeling rose in Obi-Wan as he glanced at Anakin who was starring even more intensity at him than before. 

"I...I don't know Anakin..." Obi-Wan responded in half-truth. 

 "What do you mean you don't know? Were you mean to everyone?" Obi-Wan huffed fondly at that question before Anakin answered himself. "Of course you weren't. But who has tried to visit you?" 

Obi-Wan had to think about this. The first year he was here lots of people had contacted him and tried to communicate but Obi-Wan had been more than miserable his first year and he sometimes wouldn't even respond. In person Qui-Gon continued to visit, even if at times Obi-Wan had insisted he didn't need to come. He loved former Master even more for it. He loved that Qui-Gon wasn't ever put off by his sad attitude or his worst moments. Padme had tried to visit as well, and she had about twice until supposedly giving up, more than likely figuring out Obi-Wan wanted to be alone and she wasn;t helping. As Obi-Wan thought about all potential people how contacted him over the years Anakin became impatient. "Obi-Wan, please just tell me?" 

With a sigh, Obi-Wan turned to him, sadness painted on his features. "Qui-Gon visits. Padme visited twice." Obi-Wan thought back, nodding to himself as he remembered a few more people. "Quinlan came over to the house." 

Anakin looked slightly surprised at this before nodding. "You guys were good friends. But it sounds like that only happened once." 

Obi-Wan nodded. "Yes....I told him I wanted to be left alone, that I needed to figure out what was going to happen with me now. And he tried to reach out to check in a few more times. But nothing ever came of it. I always told him the same thing.” Obi-Wan hated the saddened tone to his voice. He didn't want to be sad about this. He was the one who pushed everyone away in the first place. Everyone avoided him for a reason, this was his fault. He chose to live out in the woods, he chose to avoid everyone, he chose to push those who traveled all the way out in the woods just to see him away. In the end, he was the one who chose to make himself miserable. 

Anakin stood up from his chair. "Is that it?" Obi-Wan shook his head. There had been other Jedi and friends who tried, but after the first year, everyone but Qui-Gon stopped visiting regularly. Anakin walked around the counter to stand in front of Obi-Wan. "Why is no one here now?" 

Obi-Wan looked up at Anakin. "It doesn't matter Anakin. I want to be alone. I only need you and Qui-Gon." Obi-Wan had convinced himself of this fact long ago. 

Anakin scoffed. "Obi-Wan it-" Anakin tried to continue but Obi-Wan cut him off. 

He didn't understand why Anakin kept pushing this. He didn't understand why Anakin suddenly cared about his relationships. "Anakin I'm certain that's all I need." 

Anakin didn't take this as an answer, still pushing Obi-Wan and testing his patience. "Obi-Wan I am sure there are people out there that still want to talk to you, why won't you just let them!?" Anakin asked, slight frustration in his voice. “Do you want to be a hermit?” Anakin said sarcastically. “Is that why you don't talk to anyone?” Anakin winced and turned away for a moment, it obviously having been one of those moments Anakin didn’t catch his words before it was too late. 

Obi-Wan placed his mug down quickly next to him, his emotions building up and running out of his mouth before he could catch them. "I pushed everyone away Anakin! That's why no one visits! It's my fault! You’re right, I wanted to be alone! I want this!" Obi-Wan tried to convince himself, for once being the one that lost his temper on Anakin and caused the other man to flinch back like he had been wounded. 

Obi-Wan hadn't meant to yell but it didn't seem to matter to Anakin who's surprise turned quickly to anger. "You want this!? Really!? You want to be alone!? You chose to live alone in the woods for four years with only your Master to visit you! Obi-Wan I know you were miserable! Don't pretend! I used to be able to count on my hand how many times you would smile a day and you tell me you wanted that! You wanted to be lonely because I know for a fact that's what you are!" 

Obi-Wan was taken aback by this, Anakin's words cutting into his heart and reminding him of exactly why he was out here in the first place. He didn't want to deal with these emotions, he didn't want to deal with conversations and people asking if he was okay because he used to never be and he didn't want to talk about what happened or what he had done because he believed he was a bad person and at the end of the day a part of him still felt like he deserved to be alone. Like he needed to be in time out and think about what he had done to the once kind-hearted man standing in front of him. He didn't want to be alone, he never did. But at the time he had thought he needed to be. He needed time to heal and he had always believed that his healing needed to happen while he was alone, telling himself that he wanted this loneliness just made coping with the fact he pushed everyone away so much easier. 

Obi-Wan's thoughts got away from him and he quickly tried to respond to Anakin. "Fine, I don't want this! I don't." Obi-Wan finally admitted, hoping this would cause Anakin to leave him alone. 

Instead, Anakin looked confusedly at him. "Then why don't you talk to anyone else. Why are you alone? Because you think you deserve it? Because you don't!" 

Obi-Wan sighed, quickly answering Anakin's question because he wanted nothing more than to end this conversation. "You're right. I thought I deserved it Anakin." Obi-Wan finally said. "I deserved to be alone. Well, I eventually convinced myself of that when I began to feel more guilty about the past. I convinced myself I was some bad person who failed you miserably. I also pushed everyone else away because I just couldn't deal with them at the moment. I was just sad...I am still a little." Obi-Wan took a deep breath, calming himself down. "But having you here has helped me heal more than I think I have in the past four years." Anakin just looked sadly at him then guilt washed over his face. Obi-Wan hurriedly reached up to hesitantly touch Anakin’s cheek. He knew physical touch would help Anakin and guilt was not an emotion Anakin should be feeling at the moment. "Don't feel guilty Anakin, don't." 

Anakin stared down at him and murmured. "There was no one else you talked to?" 

Obi-Wan shook his head. "Just a few more Jedi who contacted me through a holo pad, Bail, another old friend, but all that was only once." 

Anakin nodded, apparently getting the answer he wanted as he backed away. "I didn't mean for this conversation to be emotional." 

Obi-Wan sighed, his hand falling by his side. "It's okay. I'm the one forcing myself to be miserable." 

Anakin huffed at that, reaching forward and grabbing Obi-Wan's hand. "Just like me," Anakin said with a little smile and the words only rang true to Obi-Wan who smiled slightly in return. "I know you like to make yourself miserable, punish yourself. You don't need to do that." Anakin huffed, smiling a little wider. "Take your own advice." There was a pause of silence and Anakin sighed. "Who was this....old friend that contacted you?" Anakin then questioned suspiciously. 

Obi-Wan thought about this, his mind landing on Satine first. That conversation had not gone well and when he thought about the conversation it filled him with guilt. It had been Obi-Wan’s fault things ended up so bad in the first place. Slowly Obi-Wan drifted back into his own thoughts. Eventually, he snapped back to see a confused Anakin looking at him. "Obi-Wan? You were lost in thought." 

Slowly Obi-Wan nodded, already hoping he wouldn't have to explain in detail what had happened between him and Satine. "I'm sorry, I just got distracted. 

Anakin responded quickly, his voice gaining a more persistent edge. "Who was the old friend who contacted you?” 

Obi-Wan winced as Anakin became more impatient. "It was Satine," Obi-Wan responded truthfully. 

This got a blank stare from Anakin for just a moment, as if he was purposefully trying to remain as neutral as possible. "Why doesn’t she come visit? Why was it only once?" 

Obi-Wan began to push away. "It doesn't matter," Obi-Wan murmured, anxiety over the situation building in him. He didn't like thinking about the things he had said to her. Anakin stopped him from walking away with a hand on his arm. It seemed Anakin wasn’t going to let this drop, always being persistent when Obi-Wan tried to avoid communicating. When Obi-Wan looked up he saw Anakin giving him a serious look, quiet obviously really wanting to know what happened for an unknown reason. “Anakin, why do you care so much about this?” Obi-Wan asked. 

There was a pause before Anakin sighed. “Because I know that…that you used to love her. At least I assumed you did. And it makes no sense that you wouldn't be spending time with her right now. So what happened?” Anakin insisted again. “Just please tell me, I’ll be going crazy over what you’re hiding if you don’t tell me.” 

Obi-Wan looked away and moved his arm out of Anakin’s hand. He should have known Anakin wouldn't just give up on this topic, no matter how much Obi-wan tried to avoid it. He supposed he would tell him, if only to get this conversation over with. “I pushed her away,” Obi-Wan said before continuing with a sad sigh. “She called and offered to help me, to come over and see me.” He paused once more and guilt that seemed to always be associated with the past began to fill him as he continued with his story. 

“She talked with me for a short while, told me she missed me and that what happened in the past wasn’t my fault. But then when she insisted on coming over…” Obi-Wan paused. “I didn’t feel comfortable with her doing so and it lead to a disagreement. She kept insisting on seeing me and I could tell she was only insisting out of worry but…” Obi-Wan hugged himself as he whispered. ”I kept refusing. I told her that I didn’t need anybody to visit and I regret saying it but I told her that she would be in the way. I only said it because I was hurt and I didn’t want her to waste her time on me. She is such a good person. And I treated her poorly. I probably made her feel like an inconvenience.” Obi-Wan walked past Anakin with a hand on his head. “Before the call ended she said she didn't want me to contact her again until I had felt better. Until I was ready to actually talk to her. I don’t think she understood how long that would be… I hoped she would call again, even if I thought she should probably just forget me. But she never contacted me again, and I suppose I never had the strength to call her back in return…as I never felt well enough. I wasn't where she wanted me to be.” Obi-Wan moved the hand that was rested on his head over his eyes as more guilt filled him. 

He wanted nothing more than to just turn and walk out of the house. He would sit outside with Patience and just let his feelings out with only the birds to see him. The birds seemed to be the only ones that never judged him. Glancing out the window Obi-Wan sighed once again as he watched the very birds he wished to be with fly around happily. Anakin put a hand on his shoulder, startling Obi-Wan and bringing his focus back onto him. 

As Obi-Wan turned to Anakin he prepared to be given some disappointed or distasteful look, something that told him he messed up. But when he looked at Anakin he didn’t see that at all, instead, a more so sad or even pitying expression covered Anakin’s face. “I’m assuming you did to her what you did to almost everyone. You just decided no one should visit you, that no one should waste their time.” Obi-Wan wanted to wince and shake his head, tell Anakin he wasn't normally that distant but that would be a lie, so he slowly nodded. 

Anakin sighed and he looked away from Obi-Wan in thought, focusing on something Obi-Wan didn't know of. “Did you ever think of visiting her? In person?” Anakin mumbled out, and it seemed he was getting more unhappy as he talked. 

Obi-Wan shook his head. “No Anakin, I haven’t.” 

Anakin turned to him, a question on his tongue that he seemed to hesitate to ask. Obi-Wan caught Anakin’s hesitation and gave Anakin a questioning look. The other man sighed. “Don’t yell at me for asking this, I know it may be a bad time as you are clearly upset over remembering what happened in the past?” Anakin said in a serious tone. 

“What is the question?” Obi-Wan asked as Anakin tried to hide his nervousness from slipping into his expression. 

“Do you still want Satine…..romantically?” Anakin questioned and immediately began looking slightly embarrassed. “I just…assumed based off what you said in the past that you liked her…maybe even loved her.” 

Obi-Wan was slightly caught off guard by this question. He wasn’t exactly sure why Anakin wanted to know but he answered truthfully anyway. But he assumed it didn't matter why Anakin was asking, because he was right about Obi-Wan loving Satine in the past which made it a good question Obi-Wan supposed. But that was a long time ago, and now all Obi-Wan seemed to be able to focus on was the man standing in front of him. “No, I don’t think I am. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had found someone else.” 

Suspiciously, it seemed a wave of tension washed off of Anakin. “Oh, I guess I assumed that you would be.” Anakin cleared his throat, a hesitant look still showing on his face. “Did you want to go visit her?”  

Obi-Wan hadn't heard what Anakin said as he mumbled this out with a pout plastered onto his face. “What was that?” 

Anakin once again mumbled the same thing, not making eye contact. 

“Anakin, you are going to have to speak up,” Obi-Wan said. 

“I SAID, did you want to go visit her!?” Anakin yelled, now looking even more upset than before as he huffed. 

“Aggressive…” Obi-Wan murmured before even getting the chance to process what Anakin just said. Anakin mumbled an apology under his breath. Obi-Wan finally thought back on what Anakin had yelled and froze, anxiety rushing through him over the thought of seeing Satine again. He wouldn’t know what to say or how to act. He would more than likely have to apologize immediately and she may even tell him to leave her alone for the rest of eternity. “I need to think about it,” Obi-Wan said and walked over to the sofa and sat down, his head resting on his hands. 

As he sat down Anakin mumbled behind him. “I mean, you don’t have to see her. It was just a suggestion. You could just leave things where they were, wait for her to reach out.” Anakin sat down at the counter and fidgeted with droid parts. “If you don’t want to visit her it’s fine with me. You can just stay here…forever.” 

As Anakin mumbled Obi-Wan hardly heard what he said, already lost deep in his thoughts. He knew the longer he waited the worse things between him and Satine would become. It was already bad enough and he was sure Satine probably thought he didn’t like her. The guilt from waiting so long to contact her had been eating him up even just weeks after that call, so much so that he had pushed the simple thought of Satine to the back of his mind. He had pushed the guilty emotions she gave him away, already having felt like he could overflow with emotions any moment. He had been consumed by grief and as Obi-Wan thought back he remembered days where he couldn’t even get out of bed. He would spend hours lost in thought with nothing but his own voice to keep him company. He would stare at the ceiling then the wall and his covers until he couldn't handle his own emotions anymore and forced himself to go back to sleep. 

Of course he hadn’t contacted Satine, because the days he couldn't even get out of bed were no good, and the days he felt strong enough to stand and walk around he spent with the birds, and he needed to meditate. He also needed to make sure Luke was okay because he loved that kid. But despite his admiration for Luke he felt talking to him some days could be rather exhausting, as it was when Obi-Wan seemed to talk to anybody. 

And then there were the visits with Qui-Gon where he would try not to show his poor Master the terrible wreck he had become. Some days Obi-Wan would try to smile for him to stop Qui-Gon from worrying about him. But no matter how many times Obi-Wan put on a little smile or even had a decently normal conversation with Qui-Gon it never seemed to fool the man. 

In the end, Obi-Wan had no time to contact Satine because he was too focused on his own problems, on his own guilt and sadness. And he was sorry, extremely. So he supposed that since the days had begun to stand out more, now that he woke up feeling like he could actually get out of bed, now that he felt motivated to talk even if it was just a short comment, and now that he had made the step to change his appearance, he felt that maybe he was ready to see her after all; even if he felt he wasn’t completely healthy just yet. 

With that Obi-Wan stood up and faced Anakin who immediately turned to him after hearing him move. “I…I think I’m ready.” And with that statement, all Anakin could do was nod. 

Chapter Text

It seemed Anakin and Obi-Wan got into space the ship had arrived on the grey planet of Mandalore. All Obi-Wan had to do was watch as Anakin pushed a few buttons, and hyperspace appeared for maybe a few seconds before fading to reveal the dark planet of Mandalore in its wake. Obi-Wan could only hope Satine still resided here. 

He watched carefully as Anakin directed the ship to the palace he had been to many times before, the palace that used to be and hopefully still belonged to Satine's family. It looked almost exactly the same way it looked when Obi-Wan had first visited. The sun shone brightly over the dark castle with the pretty stained-glass windows that only hinted at its beautiful interior. As he stared Obi-Wan found himself being filled with nostalgia. He remembered coming here his first time as a Padawan. He thought he had been worried then, so concerned with what Qui-Gon thought of him. So worried over the idea of never being a Jedi. Things were so complicated, yet in an odd way, almost simple compared to now. Obi-Wan knew he had been lucky as a padawan despite his hardships with Qui-Gon, it was nice growing up without war, a luxury many did not have. 

As soon as Anakin landed the ship he opened the ramp and quickly made his way to it. Obi-Wan had to rush out of his co-piolets seat to follow him. “Anakin, slow down will you?” Obi-Wan requested as he rushed to the other man’s side. As soon as Anakin slowed down Obi-Wan rushed to stand in front of him, stopping Anakin completely. “Anakin wait, are you sure it is a good idea for you to come along?” 

Anakin looked confusedly at Obi-Wan. “Why wouldn't it be?” Anakin asked as he crossed his arms in front of him. 

Obi-Wan winced for a moment and looked behind him at the beautiful palace that could be clearly seen from where they landed. Not many people were walking around on this level, but that didn’t change anything; they could not risk Anakin being seen and recognized. Obi-Wan turned back to Anakin. “What if….someone recognizes you?” Obi-Wan suggested and Anakin’s whole face sunk. 

It seemed the other man was genuinely thinking about what Obi-Wan had said for a moment as his eyes narrowed. The moment was short-lived however, as Anakin shrugged after only a few seconds of consideration. “I’ll get a robe,” he said as if he had solved all their problems. 

Obi-Wan huffed. “Anakin, still. Our safer option is to have you stay on the ship. If you really insist on going that is fine, I just don’t want you getting yelled at by some stranger.” Obi-Wan could see it now. He would be off visiting Satine and when he met up with Anakin at the end of the day the other man would yell and pout and be a miserable mess, all because some stranger made him feel guilty. 

There was a long pause from Anakin as he further considered what Obi-Wan was saying before of course, he shrugged again. Suddenly a black robe appeared out of nowhere, landing on his arms before he slipped it on, putting the hood over his head. He stared at Obi-Wan from under the hood, his eyes hardly visible. Obi-Wan thought he looked rather depressed in his black robe, but at least it kept some of his face hidden. “Obi-Wan…” Anakin said after a moment. “I’ll be fine if I am yelled at, but I want to walk you to the castle doors, and I want to watch as Satine speaks to you again.” 

Obi-Wan looked at him confused. “Why would you want to do that?” He couldn’t think of any reason Anakin would want to see him and Satine talk. Obi-Wan assumed no one wanted to watch the argument that conversation might lead to.  

Anakin looked seriously at him, his mouth a thin line. “I can't have her yelling at you if I’m not there.” Anakin then slipped past Obi-Wan and walked quickly down the ramp before Obi-Wan could say another word of protest to stop him. 

Quickly Obi-Wan rushed down the ramp, not even remembering to call upon a hood as he closed the ship's ramp behind Anakin and him. Obi-Wan took on a steady pace next to Anakin before speaking. “You do know if she yells at me I fully deserve it.” Anakin shook his head and Obi-Wan continued. “After avoiding her for four years I do.” 

Anakin sighed at him. “You were obviously hurt, you didn’t have to talk to anyone. If she has the nerve to yell at you, she better have the nerve to do it in front of a former Sith.” 

Obi-Wan felt unease at that. “Anakin, I don’t need you getting involved. This is my mistake. If she yells at me I deserve it.”  

Anakin frowned. “I’ll try not to get involved, I promise. But I’m going to get angry if I see her scream at you.” Obi-Wan had to admit, if he saw someone scream at Anakin he would probably be a little angry or unnerved himself, even if the person had a good reason for doing so. He assumed he would let this slide, as long as Anakin didn’t end up yelling at Satine. Anakin had a habit of losing his temper at times, and that was fine when they were contained within the small cottage on Coruscant, but what made Obi-Wan nervous was the idea of him losing his temper on someone else. He hoped Anakin had enough sense as to not do that. It may be his job to wat h over ANkain, but Obi-Wan did not want to become some kind of babysitter that had to follow him around just so he wouldn't lose his temper in front of people. As they got closer to the castles door’s Obi-Wan felt himself moving closer to Anakin’s side. His heart pounded faster in his chest as he convinced himself both him and Anakin were walking towards a terrible situation. 

They finally got to the door and Obi-Wan hesitantly knocked. Guilt was already pooled in his gut as he backed up some and waited. A few seconds later a man with dark brown hair and a black uniform stepped out. Obi-Wan and Anakin both took a step back as they looked at the formally dressed man. "Who are you?" The man asked suspiciously. "I have never seen you visit before." 

Obi-Wan assumed this man must have been a resident in the afterlife for a while now and hopefully simply someone in Satine's earlier family who still resided in the palace. Although that was just a guess and he could be someone from another family completely. Obi-Wan made sure to swallow down his nervousness before he spoke, treating this almost as if he was at a negotiation. "I'm Obi-Wan Kenobi, I'm here to-" 

The man suddenly cut him off. "Obi-Wan? Wait….wait….I've heard your name....I've heard it." 

He thought for a moment as Obi-Wan and Anakin exchanged and glance before Obi-Wan looked back at the man. "I...I'm here to see Satine. Is she here? Does someone named Satine live here?” 

The man froze, possibly catching onto who he might be. "That's where I knew you. Satine spoke of you a while ago." Obi-Wan nodded. “Wait right here!” He yelled before rushing back into the house in a hurry. 

Obi-Wan backed up and turned to Anakin, nervousness clear on his features. He may have been relieved Satien was still here but he couldn't stop the overwhelming anxiety that came along with his guilt from filling him. Slowly Anakin reached forward and put his hand on Obi-Wan’s shoulder, causing Obi-Wan to tense for only a couple seconds before relaxing. “At least he didn’t yell at you,” Anakin commented after spotting Obi-Wan’s frown. 

A small sigh escaped Obi-Wan’s lips. “I doubt he knows what happened.” 

Anakin hummed. “You are probably right, but it was still a good interaction.” Behind Obi-Wan a woman slowly peaked through the crack of the open door, her eyes sad and possibly nervous. 

“I wish he would have yelled at me,” Obi-Wan murmured, causing Anakin to roll his eyes in response. Obi-Wan huffed, trying to relieve some of his stress to no avail. Anakin opened his mouth to say something more when he glanced at the door and tensed. His hand suddenly tightened on Obi-Wan’s shoulder, causing Obi-Wan to tense with him at the harsher touch. He backed away from the touch and thankfully Anakin let him go as soon as Obi-Wan backed away. Obi-Wan turned to see what Anakin was looking at before freezing as his eyes undoubtedly landed on it. 

In the doorway leading into the castle, Satine stood with her hand tightly gripping the side of the door and a shocked expression on her features. Obi-Wan stopped breathing as their eyes met.  Both of their lips were pressed tightly together, no one seeming to have the strength to say anything yet. For a moment he found it hard to believe this was really Satine standing in front of him. He found it hard to believe that the woman who he hadn't seen in person for maybe thirty years was so close he could touch her. She was just as Obi-Wan remembered her, maybe a little younger looking than when she passed, but this was her, really Satine. 

Obi-Wan thought she was still beautiful and somehow looked physically kind. It had been a while and no one had said anything so Obi-Wan gained all his confidence and whispered, “Satine….” It was all he could say before rambling out his feelings, unable to make this a slow apology as he had so much to say and felt as if Satine would push him away at any moment. He had been building up an apology for four years now. And every year he went without talking to her the more guilt filled this seemingly rehearsed apology. "I'm more than sorry. And sorry doesn't fix what I said to you but know I will always regret what happened last. Almost every single thing I said to you over comm all those years ago was terrible of me. I loved talking to you Satine and I do want to see you, but I was so hurt and I thought I would be protecting you from making a mistake by pushing you away. I truly thought I would be a burden, and I may have been right. But I can't help but feel I was far too harsh on someone as kind as you. I realize you were only trying to help. I know being hurt isn't an excuse for what happened, and now all I can say is I regret it. If I could go back Satine, I would have let you visit me every single day if you wanted.” The moment Obi-Wan stopped speaking Satine threw herself at him, pulling him into a hug. Obi-Wan gasped, freezing over the sudden physical contact. He heard Anakin growl under his breath behind him. Satine didn't seem to even hear as she squeezed Obi-Wan a little tighter. He closed his eyes, focusing on his breathing and trying to relax himself. 

"I was so worried," Satine whispered. 

Obi-Wan opened his eyes and looked down at her, not understanding. "What?" He breathed out. 

Satine took a deep breath in. "You were acting so out of character." She pulled away. "I felt you were hurt but I feared I would only make things worse if I were to reach out to you." 

Obi-Wan looked at her with shock, not knowing how Satine wasn't boiling with anger at the moment. "Satine," Obi-Wan began once again. "I said bad things, none of which are true but still. You....you should be mad at me. You should be yelling at me." 

Satine huffed, the smallest smile gracing her features before fading. "Obi-Wan, what you said was a little hurtful. But I know you wanted to be alone. And to be truthful, I was a little upset after you didn’t call me all those years, but my main emotion was always worry. I knew you were hurt, but I also knew I probably wasn’t the person that could help you.” Obi-Wan was unsure as to what to say, Satine’s words only showing him truth. She looked back at the castle doors in thought before turning back to Obi-Wan. "Come in with me, please. We should talk." Obi-Wan didn’t even hesitate before nodding. He wouldn't deny seeing her now.  

Satine motioned for him to follow and he had only taken a step forward when he remembered Anakin standing behind him. Slowly he turned around to face the other man. "Anakin," Obi-Wan murmured. 

Anakin sighed, looking skeptically at Satine before turning back to Obi-Wan. "I'll be going back to the ship," he said. "Just tell me if something happens." Anakin turned around and began walking back toward the ship without even getting an answer from Obi-Wan, forcing Obi-Wan to hurry forward after him. 

"Anakin wait," Obi-Wan called out behind him. 

Anakin turned back. "Yes?" 

Obi-Wan sighed. "I'll be back later okay, I'll try not to be too long.” He assumed it was a given he would be back, but he needed to make sure Anakin didn’t worry about when they were leaving. 

Anakin waved a hand, slight amusement on his face. "No, you haven’t seen her in years. I won't mind waiting. I have infinite possibilities in the afterlife don't I?" 

Obi-Wan smiled at that. "Almost, just don't go leaving the planet." 

Anakin smirked. "Don't worry old man, I won't." With that he turned and walked rather quickly in the direction of the ship, leaving Obi-Wan to stare unamused at him. As he watched Anakin leave he couldn't help but worry about him. He hoped he did not run into any trouble while Obi-Wan was gone. 

He sighed before turning back around and walking to Satine who was waiting by the doors of the palace. They stepped in together and immediately Satine started a conversation. "You brought Anakin I see." She said with a hint of nervousness in her voice. 

Obi-Wan could not blame her for being nervous, it seemed everyone in the afterlife knew Anakin and Darth Vader were the same person. "Yes, I did. I have been requested to watch him so he does not get off into trouble I suppose. But I trust him not to leave the planet without me for the time...." Obi-Wan said, his nervousness leaking into his voice. "I'll tell you more about it later...I assume we should further discuss our last conversation,” Obi-Wan said and when he looked back to Satine she nodded. They both looked at each other for a time, just staring into each other's nervous eyes. It seemed they both knew they had a more serious conversation ahead of them. 

 

***

 

They walked around the palace for quite some time, enjoying being in each other's company again. They talked for only a short while about their last conversation, and it seemed both of them agreed there wasn’t much more that could be said about what happened. In a way, they both messed up, although Obi-Wan consistently tried to take all the blame for their miscommunication. He even tried to make it up to her in some way. “Are you sure there isn’t anything at all I can do for you? No favors?” 

Satine laughed at him. “Obi-Wan,” She said fondly. “Stop offering to do favors. If you could do anything it would be to visit me more often, as I already said, I have missed you.” 

Obi-Wan didn’t know if there was any way he could refuse, not when Satine had asked him with such fondness and so kindly. “Okay, I will visit more Satine,” Obi-Wan said, trying to match her kindness. “If that is what you really want after I was rude to you.” 

Satine groans. “Obi-Wan, I told you ar forgive you my dear.” 

A small pout made it onto Obi-Wan’s face. “Yes but-” 

“No but!” Satine demanded, taking control of the conversation. “I will not have you overcome with guilt.” 

The pout that formed on Obi-Wan’s face slowly became a fond smile. He turned to her with that same fond smile that thanked her without words. “You are one of the kindest beings in the galaxy,” Obi-Wan told her, and he meant it very much. Satine was one of the nicest people he had met, she was kind even when she had every right to be mean. 

Satine blushed at that, giving a fond smile back at Obi-Wan. “You and your compliments,” Satine said with a chuckle. “But I’m afraid I might need to get more serious, are you ready to tell me what happened to you while I was gone? Do you want to talk about the past?” 

There was a long stretch of silence as Obi-wan considered it before he sighed. “I’m ready, I’ll tell you.” They looked at each other and Satine nodded, giving him room to speak. Obi-Wan felt nervous and unsure. But his guilt pushed him to share, that and his desire to make her happy. 

The conversation lasted a very long time. Obi-Wan began telling her the long story of what happened after she passed, never going into too much detail when it came to emotions as he felt it was clear in his voice how sad he had become. As Obi-Wan told stories of the past there were a few times he felt like crying, the grief over what he was saying building in his chest.  Whenever Satine would see that familiar moisture build in Obi-Wan’s eyes she would reach over and simply place a hand on his shoulder. Every time she did that it made Obi-Wan want to cry even more. It was relieving someone else was willing to just listen to him speak for such a long time. Some of the things he talked about he hadn't ever told anyone before. Although with time, he assumed Anakin would eventually find out. Obi-Wan felt his reaction may be more intense than Satine’s, which made him feel a little hesitant, but he was sure Anakin and him could get through it together. 

Eventually, Obi-Wan got to his time in the afterlife. He sped through this part as he didn't like getting into his more intense emotions and there were no major events that had taken place besides what happened with the empire and the return of Anakin. As his story ended he talked more about Anakin. “We are trying really hard to get along and we do actually get along some days. But there are still harsher arguments. But I feel more hopeful now that Anakin has come back. I feel myself…being happy some mornings when finding him next to me. And every morning when I wake up I know things might get hard and we may even get into a big argument but every time we do, we always seem to find a way to make up from it. Anakin doesn’t even know it, but he has given me hope that just maybe, I won’t continue to feel sad all the time. That there are still happy moments after the bad ones.” 

After this conversation, Obi-Wan took a deep breath, relieved he was done talking and had gotten so much out. For a moment he felt weightless, like moments from his past were no longer so hard to hold. Suddenly Satine jumped at Obi-Wan, pulling him into a hug that instantly made him tense. After a few moments, Obi-Wan relaxed and slowly hugged her back. The hug felt odd, but still slightly comforting. “I should have ignored you and stormed off to see you anyway. Obi-Wan…you needed help.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head as Satine pulled away just slightly, keeping her hands on his arms. “I don’t, I am fine. I have Qui-Gon and Anakin now. And maybe even you.” 

Satine huffed fondly at him. “Of course you have me. And, you may have not mentioned how you felt in some of these most definitely traumatic incidents, but I can tell you are really sad.” Obi-Wan went to shake his head but Satine spoke again. “Obi-Wan, maybe you should consider some form of therapy.” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “You sound like Qui-Gon,” he commented, remembering Qui-Gon recently suggesting finding other people to talk to or even trying to share more with him. 

Satine hummed. “Well, then I would say your former Master Qui-Gon is wise.” 

A little smile came over Obi-Wan’s features. “He is. And don’t blame yourself for not visiting, you didn't know how bad I had become.” 

Satine sighed. “Just there you admitted things were bad. I beg you Obi-Wan, go to some kind of therapy or mind healer; whatever you want to call it.” 

Obi-Wan was about to retort with one of his many excuses for not going when a man a little taller than Obi-Wan walked over to Satine with a big smile on his face. 

“Satine!” He yelled and pulled her into a big hug, making Satine groan. He didn’t even seem to notice Obi-Wan, not even sparing him a suspicious glance as all his focus fell directly onto Satine. Obi-Wan glanced away as he pulled her into a kiss. It seemed he had received his answer if he was wondering if Satine was currently with anyone else. He found himself genuinely happy for her. She deserved someone who could give her all the attention she needed, and they looked quite happy together from a first glance. Once they finish kissing he turned to Obi-Wan. “Who are you?” He said in a friendly tone. 

“I’m Obi-Wan, I see you are Satine’s partner,” He said in a kind but gentle tone. 

The man suddenly glared at him and let go of Satine. “Why are you here? You are the guy Satine was so upset about a while back.” Obi-Wan’s eyes widened and he looked to Satine who immediately shushed her partner. 

“That’s enough! We are not starting an argument! He was here to apologize over our last conversation. Besides, you do not even know the full story!” Satine lectured him which immediately made the other man wilt like a dying flower.  

“Sorry,” he mumbled more to Satine than Obi-Wan before giving Satine kissed him on the cheek. 

“Good boy,” she praised and gave her partner a little pat on the head that made him give a bashful smile. “Now, I need to talk to Obi-Wan for now, you see, we have quite a lot to catch up on. How about I make up for lost time later while you go off and practice your piano or whatever it is you like to do.” 

The man huffed. “Fine, but I get lots of kisses later!” He declared as he began walking away down the hall, his head still turning back to glance at Satine every now and then as he walked. 

Satine rolled her eyes. “Yes, whatever you insist upon. Now off you go on your way!” They waved to each other and Satine stared fondly after him. Obi-Wan smiled gently at Satine’s happiness. She seemed perfect for whomever that man was, the way they spoke to each other only seemed fond.  

After a long moment of silence, Obi-Wan decided to speak up once again. “I am once again sorry I made you upset,” He said, more guilt clear in his voice. 

She sighed. “My Obi-Wan, what did I tell you earlier regarding our conversation.” 

Obi-Wan reached up to fidget with his beard. “Was it, that you forgave me?” Obi-Wan said almost shyly. Satine could be more than insistent sometimes. It was an admirable trait at times, but it also meant she usually got her way. 

Satine gasped. “Finally, yes Obi-wan. That was it. Now come along, let's not focus on your past any longer. From this moment forward I want to see you smile.” The moment she declared it Obi-Wan he felt the corners of his mouth begin to move up. 

Smile was exactly what he did the rest of their time together. Satine brought him to a large dining room where they drank so many different flavors of tea, commenting on how good they thought they were as Satine blabbed about all that had happened to her since her death. She had been through a lot for someone in the afterlife, a time which many believed was supposed to be peaceful. She explained that for a couple years after her death, she tried to wait for Obi-Wan with the hope maybe one day they could be together. But she said that after a few years the loneliness became too much and she decided that her feelings for Obi-Wan were beginning to fade as their years apart continued to grow and she realized how extremely long she would most likely have to wait before they would be reunited. She explained that in a universe with so much possibility, she felt herself being pulled further and further from her past.

“It is almost like a guiding force Obi-Wan,” she had explained to him in the dining room that was filled with warm tea and bright sun. “Sometimes I would have these dreams, very odd dreams. Sometimes they would be unresolved bits from my past, unresolved emotions. Other times they would be made up scenarios that centered around some of my deepest fears. But in a way, I felt those sometimes frightening dreams guided me. They helped me find Dallen. My now Husband.” Satine then explained how she began having these weird dreams about some mysterious beach before she meet Dallen. She described seeing some back sitting by the shore, looking alone. And just as she went to talk to him the dream would end. She told Obi-Wan how she began seeing it almost every night as she slept until finally, she was so annoyed with constantly having the same dream over and over and gave in, investigating every planet with an ocean in the near galaxy. She said she just somehow happened to stumble upon some book about this strange planet, and in this book she described seeing the exact beach from her dream in a picture on one of the pages. “I had stayed on that beach for only a day before I saw Dallen sitting on the shores, just like in my dreams. I obviously approached him and we began talking and…” Satine showed her ring. “We discovered we were having the same dream about this beach. We even stumbled upon the same book that lead us there. I suppose we were just destined for each other.” She said with a dreamy look in her eyes. “Of course, my situation seemed to set itself up perfectly. And I’m sure other people dream about individuals for other purposes than simply love. I dream about friends from my past all the time, but it certainly doesn’t mean we are destined to be together romantically. Things were just…different with Dallen.” 

When Satine finished her story Obi-Wan couldn’t help but wonder what hints the force could be giving him. And if Satine could live peacefully now that she had found Dallen, when would Obi-Wan finally get his chance to live the peaceful life she seemed to have. He wished he could be happy like she seemed, he hoped that one day he would smile as much as she did. Maybe even one day he could find a partner like her, and they would travel the galaxy together. Or something such as that. Obi-Wan really didn't mind what they did, as long as he got to find someone who made him smile like Dallen made Satine. And maybe he could make them smile like that too. 

Later in the evening long after the conversation about dreams had ended and when the sun had nearly set on the beautiful castle, Satine and him walked to the castle doors. “You know, I am rather worried about Anakin.” Obi-Wan brought up, his thoughts focusing more and more on Anakin as the day got later. “I fear he wasn't able to stay on the ship all this time and wandered off. And wandering isn't bad but what if someone ran into him and yelled at him, or what if he didn't actually leave the ship and has been extremely bored all this time. I mean I am going to have to make up for that somehow.” Obi-Wan felt slightly bad for bringing up Anakin once again, as he had talked about him and Anakin’s past missions quite a lot today. But Obi-Wan couldn't help it sometimes, even the missions Obi-Wan got injured on were some of his favorite memories. 

Satine laughed at him. “Relax Obi-Wan, I am sure he is fine.” After a momentary pause she added. “You know, you talk an awful lot about Anakin.” For some odd reason she smirked at Obi-Wan. 

Whatever she was implying flew right over Obi-Wan’s head. “Of course I do, how could I not. We spend a lot of time together. And I have spent years wishing to be by his side again.” He let out a long sigh. “I am so relieved he is back. I would have wished things were how they used to be, but how things are now isn't terrible. We have made progress with each other. I just hope he isn’t too upset when I get back. If I am lucky he will pat me on the shoulder or something and smile.” Obi-Wan laughed at this thought. “Sometimes that man touches me just to touch me. I knew he always liked physical contact as a form of comfort before but he has seemed to seek it out quite a bit recently. You can’t tell him this but I don’t always mind the touches.” Satine’s loud laugh cut him off from his thoughts and he turned to her with a confused smile. “What?” he questioned and this only made her laugh again. 

“My goodness Kenobi, you sure like to talk about Anakin don't you?” Satine said and this made Obi-Wan blush from embarrassment. 

“What do you mean?” He questioned her with his deep embarrassed blush as she laughed again. 

“Oh nothing, you just seem fond of him, very fond. It’s nice to see you happy over something,” she responded and Obi-Wan smiled. 

“Thank you,” he responded, still not knowing why she laughed so hard over him simply being fond of something. 

She opened the castle door and her smile disappeared for a moment. “I assume this is where we part, but before you go….” She once again gave him a little smile. “I wish you luck with whatever relationship forms between you and Anakin.” 

Obi-Wan smiled back at her. “Thank you again. And I will try and visit again, truly.” 

Satine smiled brighter back at him and pilled him into another quick hug. “Goodbye Obi-wan. And I will be waiting for you,” She said as Obi-Wan walked out the castle doors. 

“Goodbye Satine,” he said and they waved, a sad smile on both of their faces. As Obi-Wan turned to the ship Anakin and him had brought to Mandalore, Satine watched him go, the door left open a crack, just in case Obi-Wan needed to come back. 

 

*** 

 

Anakin walked down a dark street. His hood was pulled tightly over his head and he assumed he looked intimidating compared to the people who practically skipped by him in their pure happiness. He seemed to stand out more while minding his own business with a hood over his head than he would if he skipped down the alley with an obnoxious smile on his face. But in the end, he refused to skip down the alley or even smile, he was far too jealous at the moment, jealous and confused. 

He knew he shouldn’t feel jealous, he felt foolish for feeling jealous. Obi-Wan wasn’t going to just send him back to Coruscant on his own while he enjoyed the rest of eternity with his former lover in her perfectly pretty palace. Anakin kicked a stone and it went flying into an alley, thankfully missing everyone. 

Once again he tried to convince himself he was only jealous because Satine was taking a lot of attention away from him, but it was becoming more and more obvious that wasn't the only reason; and whatever the other reason for Anakin being jealous was, a part of him didn’t want to know yet. When Anakin wasn’t thinking about how jealous he had become he found thinking about how bad he wanted to be back in that cramped cottage with Obi-Wan. He would sit at the counter as Obi-Wan drank tea and he would give Anakin that little smile he gave when Anakin did something right. They would fall into a conversation and Anakin would make sure not to lose his temper. He found himself imagining Obi-Wan and him sitting on that little sofa again and watching some dramatic holo film. But he wouldn't care what they were watching because he got to sit so close to Obi-Wan and- 

Anakin’s thoughts were cut off when a short human woman with dark skin and curly hair ran into his side. She gasped when Anakin turned to look at her. “I am so sorry!” She rushed nervously. 

“It is fine, you did not mean to run into me,” Anakin said and added a little smile, visible from under his hood so she knew what he said was sincere. He also did not want this woman to get even more nervous than she already was. 

She relaxed a little then held out a basket of biscuits. “Terribly sorry again but…do you think you could try one of my biscuits. I made them all on my own and I am worried they are not good enough for my mother. I hardly see her and she is visiting soon. I want to impress her you see.” 

Anakin looked at her confusedly. “Didn’t you try one yourself already?” he questioned and she nodded. 

“Well, yes I did. But I don’t trust my own taste buds. I need a second opinion. But I’m sure someone else around here could try one if you won’t. I-I’ts fine is you don’t want one.” She looked nervously at him then whined. “I’m bothering you, I’ll just go now…
 

“Stop,” Anakin hurried and she quickly turned around. “You aren’t…bothering me.” He sighed as he realized he was definitely going to make himself try this biscuit. He may freak out later, feel guilty about letting himself eat. But then again maybe not, he was doing this for someone after all. “I'll try your biscuit,” he said with way too much false confidence. 

The woman beamed up at him. "Realy!?” She then shook her head. “Sorry, thank you, sir. Please chose a biscuit.” 

Anakin chuckled at her and grabbed a biscuit. He stared at the biscuit a little while, asking himself if he really wanted to do this for a moment before throwing all his doubt to the wind and taking a big, surprisingly confident bite. Instantly he was surprised by how good the biscuit was. It was clear she had to have put a lot of work into this, it was one of the best biscuits he had in a while. That may have been because of the fact he hadn’t eaten practically anything with his mouth in years but then again he really believed it was just an extremely good biscuit. “You used the force to make this!” He accused as he finished the biscuit. 

She laughed. “I did not! I promise I didn't use any of the afterlife’s magic abilities!” 

Anakin shook his head. “No, you are lying to me. It is too good for you to simply just have made this,” he praised. 

She laughed again and smiled thankfully up at him. “It was really that good?” 

Anakin nodded. “Yes, it is. Your mother will love it,” he complimented. 

“Thank you so much,” She said and gave him a little bow. Anakin bowed right back as she rushed back into the building she came out of. Right as she turned back around to face him a strong gust of wind blew his hood straight off his head. Anakin quickly rushed to put it back on but it was too late, the woman had already seen who he was. 

Anakin froze as they stared at each other, their eyes meeting in weird unbreakable gaze. Her eyes traveled around his still visible face and Anakin pulled the hood up tighter, a feeling of slight panic setting in. She opened her mouth and the former Sith was sure she was going to scream, yell at him for what he did while telling everyone Lord Vader had arrived on the planet. “Thank you again….” 

“E-excuse me?” He studdered out rather embarrassingly.  

She huffed. “I said thank you again. You are good with compliments Sir.” 

Anakin starred surprised at her, wondering if there was any way this woman did not recognize him before he murmured, “Thank you. And you seem very kind. I am sure your mother agrees. Now I think it’s best you umm…uhh go back to your home. You wouldn't want your mother to visit while you aren’t home.” 

The woman gave a little smile. “No, I wouldn’t. Goodbye then!” She waved and turned around, walking back into the building she came out of. 

“Goodbye….” Anakin mumbled as she disappeared out of view. 

As he walk back to the ship later that day he went over the conversation in his mind. He almost couldn't believe it had actually happened. Either she didn’t know who he was, or she knew full well and not only wasn’t visibly scared, didn't scream at him, and was above all kind. It didn't make snese. No, Obi-Wan wasn't going to believe this either. He couldn’t wait to see the look on that man’s face when he told him some random stranger was nice to him. Not only that but the fact he ate something. Anakin smiled to himself, the smile soon turning fond as he saw Obi-Wan sitting at the bottom of the ship's ramp. 

He walked closer and once he came into view Obi-Wan looked relieved at him. “Anakin!” He yelled before standing up. “How did things go? Did you run into anyone?” Nervousness was clear in Obi-Wan’s voice as he walked over. 

Anakin shrugged. “Well yes, but it is a story for later. How did things go with you?” He asked as both Obi-Wan and him walked up the ramp and into the ship. 

Obi-Wan smiled. “So much better than expected. I can tell you more later if you so wish. But she…she said she forgave me. And I should be visiting again sometime.” 

Anakin smiled, noticing the lighter tone to Obi-Wan’s voice instantly. He could only hope that would last a little longer. “I am glad things went well,” Anakin said and he didn't even have time to ask more questions as Obi-Wan rushed to ask his own. 

“Now, who did you run into?” Obi-Wan asked quickly. 

Anakin sighed. “Just a woman.” He suddenly smiled. “But guess what?” 

Obi-Wan hummed. “She didn’t scream at you?’ he guessed. 

Anakin chuckled. “She didn’t, but she also offered me a biscuit. And guess what I did?” Obi-Wan looked suspiciously at him. “I ate it!” Anakin yelled before even giving Obi-Wan the chance to guess. 

Immediately Obi-Wan panicked. “You ate it!? What do you mean you ate it!?” 

Anakin laughed, finding Obi-Wan’s reaction very amusing. “Yes! And so far I’m fine.” Anakin sat down in the piolets chair and Obi-Wan sat down next to him. 

Quickly Anakin set a course for Coruscant. As he did he told Obi-Wan the rest of the story. An oddly fond smile made it onto Obi-Wan’s lips as Anakin spoke, something that confused him slightly as all he had done was try a biscuit for some woman and not get screamed at. 

“I shouldn’t have doubted you. I am glad you were kind today.” Obi-Wan commented. 

Anakin rolled his eyes as a small bit of blush made it onto his cheeks. “I tried a biscuit for a random woman. That is all. I am a former Sith, not some model citizen,” Anakin said, even if he enjoyed Obi-Wan’s complement. 

Obi-Wan just shook his head. “You didn't have to try the food, and it wasn’t as if you were just trying. You risked something to try that biscuit, it was a little selfless Anakin.” 

 

Anakin looked away from Obi-Wan, yet as he directed the ship off the planet he couldn't help but let Obi-Wan’s words stick to him. Maybe he had done something good for once, even if it was little. But Anakin really didn’t care what it was he did, as long as it got Obi-Wan to continue giving him that fond smile. 

Chapter Text

They had been having a normal day together. As usual, Anakin was at the counter, this time looking through some odd book and fidgeting with this droid he had been working on for a while now. Obi-Wan had been staring out the window and looking at the birds again as he drank his tea. He had decided to mix it up today and try some stronger flavor of tea. He decided to make himself some black tea, something that Obi-Wan once again confirmed to himself was not as good as his favorite flavor, but good enough. The odd thing about this cup of black tea was how warm and nice it would be at first. It would make him feel comforted, yet when he had swallowed all the black tea that once made him calm it left him with a bitter taste in his mouth. 

Anakin was in the middle of cursing under his breath at his droid when there was a quiet knock on the door. Slightly relieved to get away from Anakin’s cussing, Obi-Wan set down his tea and walked quickly to the door. He expected to see Qui-Gon, as it had been a while since the man had last checked in. Obi-Wan was very nervous to see him, he wasn't sure how his former Master would react to all the things Obi-Wan had done since the last time he saw him. He hoped Qui-Gon was okay with the way he looked now, even if deep down Obi-wan knew Qui-Gon would more than likely accept him no matter what he looked like. 

With a deep yet nervous breath, Obi-Wan slowly opened the door, only to find the person he saw standing in front of him was not at all who he was expecting. Not only was it not Qui-Gon who stood in front of him, it wasn’t even one of his former friends. 

“Obi-Wan Kenobi, I would like to come in if you would allow it. There is this thought pressing on my mind. My peace is interrupted because of it. It has been a long while since I have had to focus so intently on a subject and I must say the longer a focus on it the more it becomes clear that you are the only one who can truly give me the answer I need to finally put this bothersome idea out of my mind. I believe there is no one else that can give me more pure advice on the subject than you can,” Dai Bendu spoke calmly yet with the same straight face he always seemed to wear. He was still wearing the same outfit he had been wearing in that council meeting that seemed like it had taken palace ages ago. After a few moments of thought, Obi-Wan stepped back from the door, letting Dai Bendu in. “Also, you changed your appearance. It is a nice change,” Bendu commented in a second-hand thought.

Obi-Wan nodded. “Thank you.” He couldn’t think of anything more to say. 

Anakin stared at Dai Bendu as he walked in, having frozen up the moment he heard the voice of the man who had stared darkly at him in his nightmares for months. Obi-Wan felt bad for Anakin when he looked at him, he knew how much Bendu bothered the other man. But it wasn’t as if Obi-Wan could just send the man away. Even in the afterlife where there was no central government, he was still respected among many. Too respected to speak down upon. 

Dai Bendu’s cold stare landed on Anakin. “Hello, Skywalker,” he said, his voice neutral, making him seem slightly stern, maybe even mean. Yet even with his neutral and serious-sounding voice he still added a small smile after he spoke, as if he was somehow fond of Anakin in some way. It made him confusing and hard to read. 

Anakin stared at Bendu for a long while and Obi-Wan feared Anakin may say something he might regret, faced with the man that had only caused him guilt. Instead, Anakin simply nodded his head. “Hello, Bendu,” Anakin said in a voice that could have been described as mocking, as he copied Bendu’s neutral tone almost perfectly. 

Obi-Wan still did not release his breath, still nervous something might happen between the two after the harsh council meeting. Bendu turned to Obi-Wan and spoke again before Anakin could get in another word. “Obi-Wan, I have news. As you know there has been a thought pressing on my mind, a decision I need help making. I would like to question you alone so if you would please show me to a place we could talk privately it would be appreciated.” 

Obi-Wan nodded, curious as to what it could be Dai Bendu came to him about. He truly did not know why his opinion was anything special. But if he had to guess, Obi-Wan was sure this subject that bothered Bendu so greatly must involve Anakin, the one interesting thing that circled Obi-Wan at the moment. Obi-Wan motioned for him to follow as he walked to his room. As he walked, Anakin and him made eye contact, slight worry in both of their eyes. The contact only lasted a short while, as Anakin quickly turned away and began working on droid parts as if Dai Bendu’s presence hadn’t even phased him. 

Once in his room he watched as Dai Bendu closed the door behind them before locking it. Obi-Wan became even more nervous than he already was. The idea had could be yelled at right now popped into his mind, causing him to think about everything he or Anakin could have possibly done wrong since their time started together. Obi-Wan began to wonder if leaving the planet to go to Mandalore had actually been against the rules. If that was the case, Obi-Wan already had a retort. He would simply repeat exactly what Bendu said, he would tell him that he had only been told to watch Anakin; Bendu had never specified where. But then again Obi-Wan had let Anakin out of his sight, and had let him wander a city, and talk to random strangers without supervision. For all Obi-Wan knew Anakin could have left the planet and hid somewhere, asked the force to make it impossible to find him; If that was even possible, Obi-Wan wasn’t sure but the thought of Anakin leaving him better yet disappearing completely was enough to make Obi-Wan’s heart beat faster. Obi-Wan repressed a sigh as he supposed he did have reason to get in trouble after all.  

Dai Bendu walked toward him and stood a short distance away as he talked, making Obi-Wan have to look slightly upward. “I need you to tell me about Anakin. How is he doing Obi-wan? What is his mood like?” 

Obi-Wan was slightly confused by this question but answered truthfully. “He has been mostly…sad I suppose. He feels very guilty about the past, and he tends to beat himself up over it. He can get angry sometimes, lose his temper and all but I suppose that is to be expected. There are happy moments, times where we get along and I get to see him smile. But his main emotions, guilt and sadness to be honest with you.” Obi-Wan would have expected his nervousness to fade the further they got in the conversation, but eventually only found that it grew. 

Dai Bendu responded quickly. “Good.” The response made Obi-Wan choke in surprise. He couldn’t imagine why Anakin feeling this sad and guilty could be good. Anakin was miserable some days, so miserable it made Obi-Wan himself almost as sorrowful as Anakin was, and here Dai Bendu, the old founder of the Jedi ideals himself said that it was good his Anakin was drowning in guilt. It made Obi-Wan angry, an emotion rarely felt and even when he felt it he almost always let go of it. And Maybe Obi-Wan should have let go of this anger, maybe he should think through why Anakin’s guilt could be a good thing. But at the moment he couldn't, and he was about to respond only to be cut off by Dai Bendu’s laughter. 

“You were going to stand up for him, weren't you?” Bendu questioned and Obi-Wan was somehow left speechless for a moment. He wondered if his anger was that clear on his face, so clear that Dia Bendu could so quickly guess what he was going to say. The ancient force user had always been good at reading people, so Obi-Wan doubted that he even needed to have a physical reaction for Bendu to get an idea of what he was thinking. Obi-Wan supposed the knowledge to read people so clearly was just something that came with age. Dai Bendu laughed again. “That’s good….very good. It is nice to know he has someone to stand up for him. And I only said it was good because guilt is an essential part of growth. He has to realize what he did wrong in order to grow and become better.” 

Obi-Wan hummed, considering it. “Well, trust me when I tell you he knows full well what he has done.” 

Dai Bendu nodded, agreeing with this. “And still, I had to make sure he felt guilty because there should be no other reaction to what he has done. Knowing what one has done, and understanding it are two different things young one. In his case, there would be no way to become healthy without admitting he had done something wrong.” 

There is a long moment of silence between them where Obi-Wan became slightly lost in thought. “I understand your reasoning, and I almost feel bad for admitting you may be right as I've seen how sad Anakin can be sometimes. But once again, I truly understand, even if your way of making sure he felt guilty was rather harsh,” Obi-Wan said, referring to the council meeting. 

Bendu laughed. “I know Obi-Wan. I know you care deeply for him and dislike to see the man you would dedicate your life to so hurt. But we wouldn’t want him going to hell, would we? I know you haven’t forgotten he can revert back to his old beliefs.” 

Obi-Wan tried everything in his power not to blush in surprise. Bendu was really just layering on how much he apparently knew Obi-Wan cared about Anakin. He hadn’t known his appreciation toward his friend had been so obvious. Bendu had hardly seen him and Anakin talk to one another and yet he just knew Obi-Wan cared deeply for his friend. Another thing Obi-Wan would have to chalk up to Dai Bendu’s experience with people. “You are very blunt,” Was all Obi-Wan could think of saying at the moment. 

Bendu laughed before sighing, knowing they needed to return to the original topic. “Let’s sit down on your bed, we have a lot of talking to do,” Bendu said calmly and without even getting a nod walked over to Obi-Wan’s bed and sat down on the end. Obi-Wan sat down next to him. 

Once they were both comfortable, Obi-Wan spoke. “What is this thought that you say is pressing on your mind?” 

Dai Bendu clicked his tongue. “That is for you to find out later. I think it is best you answer my questions first. If that is okay with you that is?” Dai Bendu raised an eyebrow, making the simple thought of even saying no to this request vanish from his mind. 

Obi-Wan nodded. “It’s okay,” he reassured quickly. 

Bendu nodded and looked him over before finally asking a question. “This may take a while, but I request you give me a basic idea of everything that has happened so far. I specifically want to know about his struggles, don't try to lie about it either. But I doubt someone loyal to the Jedi like you would.” Dai Bendu said. “Besides, lying would only hurt your friend, wouldn’t it? We need to get him the best help.” 

Obi-Wan nodded, seeing Dai was trying to use Obi-Wan’s guilt to make sure he didn’t lie to him. It was smart, but Obi-Wan could still see it. At least Obi-Wan found comfort knowing Bendu’s motives were only good-meaning. “You want to know everything?” Obi-Wan questioned. He figured now that Bendu must be trying to analyze something, possibly figure out if Anakin was going back to his old beliefs or had been making progress. 

Dai Bendu nodded. “Yes, as much as you can tell me on what has happened with the former Sith so far. You can even summarize, you do not have to share anything extremely personal. Unless it involves something bad that is, something you think I might need to know.” 

Obi-Wan nodded and only a few moments later he started on their first day together. He took the liberty of summarizing, avoiding having to go into his feelings most of the time. As Obi-Wan explained he couldn't help feeling more and more nervous as Dai Bendu’s facial expressions seemed mostly negative. Every now and then Obi-Wan would get a hum out of him, or a “go on,” but it never sounded very encouraging. Dai’s reactions seemed neutral and negative until Obi-Wan got the part where they went off-planet. He hadn’t fully explained the reason they left, as Obi-Wan thought that too personal, so he simply mentioned he needed to see an old friend. It may not have been the greatest idea to talk about letting Anakin be on his own, but Bendu didn't give him a disapproving look, just hummed as if he had expected Obi-Wan to give Anakin that much freedom. Obi-Wan also assumed that if anyone was going to get in trouble for going off-planet it would be him and not Anakin as he was technically responsible for the man, at least in the way that he had to watch over him. Once Obi-Wan got to the part where Anakin told him he ate something, Bendu narrowed his eyes and nodded along intently, already having been told what had happened the last time Anakin ate something. 

Once finished with the story that took far longer than Obi-Wan expected he let out a deep breath and looked up at Dai Bendu for some kind of response. There was a moment of silence, a pause in which Bendu considered what was just told to him and decided what he should say next. “Skywalker,” He began in a thoughtful tone. “Needs to learn how to better control his emotions.” With that, he stood up and headed to the door. “Of course, we are allowed to feel free here but he can not let his emotions control him.” Bendu walked out of the room with a serious look on his face. 

Obi-Wan tried not to wince. He didn’t mean to get Anakin into any kind of trouble, he just hoped that wasn’t what he had just done now. As Obi-Wan walked to the metal sliding door he reminded himself that all he had done was tell the truth, well mostly as he even avoided sharing some of the more harsh things they have said to each other. 

Once outside his room he caught Bendu waiting for him next to the counter. Obi-Wan passed him, wondering if he should offer him a seat. But Bendu seemed very content leaning against the counter and now glancing out the window at the birds for only a moment. “I think I have made a decision,” he finally announced, turning to Obi-Wan. “I have figured out what I want to do with Anakin.” 

Both Obi-Wan and Anakin look at each other as soon as Bendu said this, the thought that was bothering Bendu now making a little more sense for both of them. It explained all the questions Bendu had asked and why he was so interested in Anakin’s mood. Although Bendu’s worries now made more sense, Obi-Wan couldn't help but wonder what Bendu was considering doing with Anakin. Obi-Wan hardly had time to turn back to Bendu to listen to what had had to say when there was a knock on the door. 

Immediately everyone turned, Bendu secretly smiling for some reason. Perhaps he liked making people wait for the answer he would give or maybe he just liked the drama and suspense the waiting brought. Obi-Wan rushed to the door, only one person in his mind as no one else ever seemed to visit. When he opened the door Qui-Gon stood with a gentle smile. “Hello Obi-Wan.” Qui-Gon’s gentle smile suddenly faded to shock when he got a better look at Obi-Wan's appearance. There was a long moment where Obi-Wan felt around his face and clothing, wondering what could have possibly made his former Master’s smile fade. It only took a few seconds of feeling around when Obi-Wan realized what it was that put his Master into shock, it was his younger appearance. Obi-Wan had looked older for about four years now, refusing to change the way he looked despite not being very comfortable with it. Qui-Gon suddenly reached forward and cupped his cheek, affection in the gentle way his Master touched him. "My Padawan....what did you do to your face?" 

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes, physically looking exasperated when really his anxiety over his former Master’s reaction was growing. “J-Just come inside,” He tried to say with that fond exasperation he would usually use with Anakin but it ended up coming out more nervous than fond. 

Qui-Gon didn't seem to even hear what Obi-Wan had just said as he continued to examine his one padawans face and hair. “I have never seen you like this, I passed before I could.” A slight blush formed on Obi-Wan’s cheeks as he realized the statement was true. It was obvious by now Qui-Gon would more than likely not have anything negative to say about his appearance, but Obi-Wan couldn’t help but be worried. A part of him had always craved for his former Master’s approval, it was yet another thing Obi-Wan could never help. In the past, it was rare to get a compliment from Qui-Gon. It wasn't as rare here, but the compliments and praise were never meant to be taken lightly, always well thought out before given. 

Qui-Gon put a hand on his shoulder, the same fond way Obi-Wan would do to Anakin at times to show his fondness. Obi-Wan had picked it up from Qui-Gon after all, it was something Qui-Gon always did that made him feel good, and in turn Obi-Wan had hoped it would make Anakin feel good too. Qui-Gon’s voice brought him out of his thoughts. “You look perfect Obi-Wan. You almost look like that brave padawan I once knew.”

Obi-Wan’s face softened and he smiled bashfully. “Thank you, Master,” Obi-Wan commented, making Qui-Gon smile a little brighter at him in return. 

“Of course Obi-Wan. It was the truth after all. You are one of the best padawans I could ask for. Even if you didn’t always feel like rebelling against the council with me,” Qui-Gon said fondly, only making Obi-Wan feel more fond exasperation. Qui-Gon stepped closer and Obi-Wan sensed what the other man might try and do. It surprised him, as they did not do that kind of thing a lot but Obi-Wan found he was in the mood for it at the moment. When Qui-Gon just starred at him, Obi-Wan rolled his eyes and walked forward, pulling Qui-Gon into a hesitant hug. At first he tensed as he always did when there was too much physical contact at once but with Qui-Gon he soon found it easier to relax. As they hugged Obi-Wan noted that it felt a little different from the hugs he had shared with Anakin. He didn’t tense quite as long, and he didn’t feel those butterflies he got in his stomach when him and Anakin got physically close to each other. Focusing back on his hug with Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan found himself letting out a sigh, some stress moving out of his body. 

In the background, a metal hand squeezed the counter tightly, worried or jealous. But the hand un-tenses when Obi-Wan turned around with a smile on his face. As Anakin looked at the former Master and Padawan pair, Dai Bendu didn’t miss the way Anakin’s shoulders tensed and his metal hand tightened its grip around the side of the counter. Bendu didn’t miss the way Anakin looked at Obi-Wan. 

As Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan hug, Obi-Wan couldn’t help but think about how much he appreciated and loved the other man. A part of him wished he would just be able to say it, but the more he thought about it the more nervous he got. Qui-Gon had been through so much with him, and Obi-Wan would be forever grateful for that. He remembered when they were first reunited. He remembered how they had hugged then and even cried together, missing each other very much. It was one of Obi-Wan’s fondest memories, even if it had happened after he passed into the force. 

Once they part the hug Obi-Wan motioned for Qui-Gon to come in who happily stepped in, the door closing behind him. It was only now that Qui-Gon’s eyes landed on Dai Bendu. “Oh, Grand Master Bendu,” Qui-Gon greeted with a bow of his head. 

“Master Qui-Gon,” Bendu greeted back in a friendly tone. 

After a moment of silence, Qui-Gon hesitated before asking Bendu a question in a quiet voice. “I have been meaning to ask you. But this man held a council meeting a short time ago. He claimed he was going to you-” 

Dai Bendu cut him off. “Ah, yes. I know precisely who you are referring to. They did indeed go to me. But I will not be sharing any of the details yet as I still have something I need to tell Kenobi and Skywalker beforehand.” 

Qui-Gon nodded and before anything more could be said Obi-Wan spoke up. “Bendu, you don’t have to stand up the entire time, you may sit at the counter.” Obi-wan had thought it rude to not at least offer him a seat. 

With a small smile Bendu noded. “Thank you, Obi-Wan.” He walked around the counter and sat down right next to Anakin. Immediately Anakin tensed, only making Obi-Wan feel guilty. He had forgotten Anakin was sitting there. 

Anakin looked at Qui-Gon, his face already showing signs of how uncomfortable he was. “Master Jinn, how would you like to sit up at the counter too, you are a guest after all.” 

Obi-Wan knew that if Qui-Gon didn’t accept the seat Anakin would just find an excuse to get up anyway, and it seemed Qui-Gon knew this too as he immediately accepted without protest. “Thank you Anakin, that is nice of you.” Anakin got up quickly and stood right next to Obi-Wan, so close their arms were brushing. Once Qui-Gon had taken his seat Obi-Wan looked back at Bendu, wondering if he would share what decision he had made. 

But it seemed that Qui-Gon had other plans as he spoke before Bendu even tried. “Obi-Wan, there is something I have been meaning to bring up with you,” He stated.

Obi-Wan looked to Qui-Gon. “And what would that be Master?” Obi-Wan caught himself once again calling Qui-Gon master, sometimes he would do it on purpose and others on accident. But whenever he did it he couldn’t help but see Qui-Gon’s mouth quirk up for just a moment into some kind of smile. 

“Well, recently Dooku has been asking to visit you quite a lot. You know he has wanted to see you since he heard of your arrival here. He asked me to bring it up with you next time I came to visit.” Obi-Wan thought about this for a few moments but before he could respond Qui-Gon spoke again. “Obi-Wan, I know you may be uncomfortable with this, especially since it is Dooku and we all know what he did during the war. If you were to say you didn’t want to see him for another four years even, I think we would both understand it.”  

Obi-Wan became hesitant. If he was alone here then maybe he would be more likely to relent and just let the man he knew even as a padawan come and visit but Anakin was here too. Anakin lived in this cottage with him, so it wasn’t all Obi-Wan’s choice. Unless Anakin wanted to sit in their room, but he wouldn’t make Anakin do that unless he was adamant about it. There was also the fact that Anakin didn’t just slightly dislike Dooku, it had almost seemed like Anakin hated Dooku in the past and it was possible inviting the man over could lead to an argument Obi-Wan would be in the middle of. In the end, he knew he would be the one to need to calm down Anakin. He never minded helping calm down his friend, but sometimes it could be rather difficult. 

Dai Bendu spoke up. “Well, I think it would be a good idea.” 

Obi-Wan looked at him surprised. “You do?” 

Bendu nodded, his wise face looking confidently between Obi-Wan and Anakin. “I can see your worry already. You are worried Anakin won’t get along with Dooku, that it will lead to a fight.” Obi-Wan nodded, surprised Bendu was able to guess. “I say you shouldn't let Skywalker here control your choices, invite Dooku over. We will just have to hope things don’t go bad, and if they do….I am here after all. I’m sure they both respect me enough to listen if I tell them to stop.” Bendu looked right at Anakin as spoke the last part. And as Obi-Wan turned around to look at his friend he saw Anakin bravely keeping eye contact with Bendu, looking unafraid or even unintimidated. 

With a gentle tug at Anakin’s sleeve the other man looked down at Obi-Wan. “Why don’t we talk about this quickly.” It wasn’t exactly a request as Obi-Wan pulled the other man by the sleeve to their room. 

They hadn’t even been there five seconds before Anakin hissed. “He’s testing me, he has been doing it this entire time. He wants to see if he can get me in trouble.” 

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow, although he had to admit to himself there may be a slight bit of truth to Anakin’s statements. “Why do you say that?” He questioned. 

Anakin huffed. “Well, I just think he wants to see if I can handle having someone I obviously dislike over. He wants to see if I’ll lose my temper and start screaming. I don’t exactly know if it’s to get me in trouble, but it seems like it Obi-Wan.” 

Obi-Wan considered what Anakin had said and hummed. “To be honest I think he’s trying to decide what your future will be like.” Obi-Wan turned and looked out the small window next to the bed. “He asked me a lot of questions about how you have been doing, a lot of questions about your mood.” 

A groan came from Anakin. “That could support the story that he is trying to find something I have done wrong.” 

Obi-Wan shrugged. “It’s possible. But he could also be trying to see if you are ready to be on your own. Maybe he simply wants to know if you are ready to be in the afterlife without having to be watched by me. This could go both ways Anakin.” 

A few seconds passed as Anakin considered. Eventually, he nodded with a sigh. “I guess you are right, like usual.” 

Obi-Wan chuckled. “Finally admitting I am usually right I see. Today is filled with many long-delayed realizations.” 

“I said usually, not always,” Anakin said as he defensively crossed his arms, although a little smile had formed on his lips. 

A very fond smile came over Obi-Wan’s face as he looked at Anakin. He truly did like always having the man by his side, he already felt better bout the situation. “Now, do you want me to tell Qui-Gon that I would prefer it if he had Dooku over another time?” 

Anakin shook his head. “No, eventually this will happen and chances are I will be here. Plus, I just know Bendu will get annoying about it if you say no.” 

“I doubt that,” Obi-Wan retorted. “But if you are sure, then I will approve him visiting.” 

Anakin nodded. “I approve.” Anakin was the first to walk out of the room, Obi-Wan quick to follow. They both stood in the places they were in before they left, with Obi-Wan against the wall with Anakin so close to his side their arms were touching. 

“I’ve decided it’s best Dooku just come now. Anakin has said he is fine with it and I am as well,” Obi-Wan said as he looked at both Qui-Gon and Bendu. 

Qui-Gon smiled. “Oh, I am glad. And if it gets too uncomfortable remember that he is prepared to leave.” Qui-Gon got up as Obi-Wan nodded in understanding. After getting up Obi-Wan explained Qui-Gon could go to Obi-Wan’s room to comm Dooku which Qui-Gon quickly did. Once Qui-Gon left Bendi, Anakin, and himself were the only ones awkwardly left. 

“Would you like some tea Bendu?” Obi-Wan offered as he made a cup for Qui-Gon. 

“No thank you young one,” He said kindly. 

It was Anakin’s turn to speak next. “Are you going to tell us the decision you made soon?” He pushed. 

Bendu turned to him seriously. “Not yet, I will wait until after Dooku has arrived and things have been settled.” 

Anakin did not look pleased with this decision and decided he would just look down disappointedly until Dooku arrived. It was a surprisingly long time before Dooku arrived. What Obi-Wan would have assumed would be something like fifteen minutes ended up being more like thirty. 

When there finally was a knock on the door Qui-Gon stood up and headed to the door, already having offered to open it earlier as he was currently the most familiar with Dooku. Before Qui-Gon could let Dooku in Obi-Wan made sure to stand next to Anakin. Qui-Gon opened the door and as he did Anakin grabbed onto Obi-Wan’s arm, his hand squeezing so hard Obi-Wan assumed it would be painful if he could feel pain. 

“Hello Qui-Gon,” Dooku greeted formally. “I hope you don't mind, but I brought a friend along with me.” Dooku then leaned forward to whisper to Qui-Gon. “I tried to tell him no, but he wouldn't listen.” 

Under Dooku, a wooden stick whacked his leg. “Heard that I did. Big ears, I have.” 

Obi-Wan’s eyes widened and he couldn’t help but feel slightly excited when he heard the voice of his old friend. He realized now he probably should have invited Yoda over. But he had been very focused on Anakin and what Luke was doing out in the real world. He heard Anakin huff amusedly as Obi-Wan began fidgeting quickly with his sleeve, something Anakin knew was something Obi-Wan did when he was nervous, or in this case excited and nervous. 

Qui-Gon motioned them both in and only now did Obi-Wan regret not having another sitting table beside the counter. He supposed he would have to direct them to the living area, but before then it appeared both Dooku and Yoda were impatient to have a conversion with him. Yoda waited patiently by the door after it was closed as Dooku came up to Obi-Wan. He looked him over for a long moment, taking in his appearance. They stared at each other and Obi-Wan had to admit he did not look in any way how he remembered him looking when he was a Sith. Dooku looked visibly younger, maybe in his thirties, and his hair was once again the dark black color it had been before it began greying. Despite all the physical changes, Obi-Wan still remained cautious over the man’s soul. He was worried there was more of that fallen Jedi still in the man, but he hoped most of it had faded. Qui-Gon had mentioned he was a lot kinder than he used to be. Obi-Wan could only hope he was right. 

Obi-Wan had been so lost in thought he hadn't noticed Dooku and him had both gone a considerable amount of time in silence. A long moment passed before Dooku finally spoke. “Obi-Wan, might I ask if you are still mad at me? I understand you more than likely are but…I suppose I just want to know where I stand with you.” 

Obi-Wan was surprised to see that Dooku looked slightly nervous, an emotion the other man had never truly shown around Obi-Wan. There was no doubt he was still at least a little mad, but he wasn't so mad and upset over the past that he wouldn’t sit and talk to Dooku now. After a moment of consideration, Obi-Wan shared his thoughts with Dooku. “Well, Master Dooku. I am not exactly mad at you. And by that I mean I am glad you made it into the afterlife. And I am even glad to see you now. I don’t want to waste time holding grudges in the afterlife Master Dooku….” Obi-Wan paused a moment before adding in a quiet but firm voice. “But I will never forget what you did.” Dooku nodded in understanding and Obi-Wan spoke again. “It hurt to know and see how far you fell, but I am so very glad you have made up for some of your mistakes.” 

Dooku looked at him almost fondly and nodded once again. “I will never make up for any of my mistakes Obi-Wan. What I thought at one point had been the right thing ended up leading me down the wrong path. But your kindness is more than I deserve Kenobi.” Dooku then took a risk, placing his hand gently on Obi-Wan’s shoulder and squeezing just like Qui-Gon would. Unlike Qui-Gon’s touching though Dooku’s hand made Obi-Wan tense immediately. There was still an obvious lack of trust between them, one Obi-Wan might not ever be able to fix. Dooku narrowed his eyes oddly at Obi-Wan for a moment before a gentle smile replaced the more serious look. “I never knew you could sound so much like Qui-Gon,” He finally said before removing his hand, letting Obi-wan un-tense slightly. This simple comment made Obi-Wan fill with pride. Qui-Gon gave a little fond chuckle in the corner. 

“Thank you, Master Dooku. That is very nice of you to say but if you expected me to go against the council’s orders already I think you are going to have to wait a while,” Obi-Wan commented with a straight face as he heard Qui-Gon sigh at the counter. Dooku smirked slightly, liking the reaction that comment got out of his former padawan. 

A few moments later Dooku turned to Anakin. They stared intensely at each other, as if each preparing for a battle with their eyes. It almost could be described as awkward if the eye contact wasn’t so weirdly intense. Anakin looked a little angry, something that made Obi-Wan nervous. Dooku was the first to speak. “Well, it looks as if we both made mistakes in our life.”

Obi-Wan winced as Anakin narrowed his eyes. Obi-Wan could already sense some bitter feelings between the two and Anakin hadn’t even spoken yet. “If it wasn’t for your war maybe I wouldn’t have fallen so quickly.” Obi-Wan nearly groaned after this comment. Anakin truly needed to relearn how he should talk to people in a civilized manner, even if he was given a comment that offended him. 

Dooku hummed in a disappointed tone. “You were just as bad as I was, if not worse, Skywalker.” Anakin and Dooku go back to that familiar intense stare. “Don’t go blaming me for your mistakes. You are the one who went against the Jedi way to kill me after all, after Palpatine told you to do so.” 

Obi-Wan was about to interject before he heard the last part. “What?” He questioned and looked at Anakin. A sudden guilty look came over Anakin’s face and he rubbed the back of his neck. Dai Bendu watched intently from the counter as Dooku moved back with an almost smug look. “It was…Palpatine who told you to kill Dooku? I thought you defeated him in battle. I thought you were forced to kill Dooku.” 

Anakin sighed and glared at Dooku one more time before looking down at Obi-Wan. “I did defeat him in battle. I outmatched him finally after all the years we were chasing him.” 

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. “What are you leaving out?” He questioned seeing as the guilt was still written all across Anakin’s face. 

Once again Anakin rubbed the back of his neck guiltily. “I had him unarmed. He was on his knees in front of me and I wasn’t going to kill him, I was going to take him prisoner but…” 

“Go on,” Dooku said with a glare. 

Anakin sighed. “Sidious told me to kill him, told me multiple times. And you know I trusted him so I just….did it.” Everyone went silent, everyone looking at Anakin with a slight bit of disappointment, but they would all be lying if they said they hadn’t expected an outcome like that. “It was one of my first steps to the dark side. And Sidious knew it.” 

Obi-Wan looked at Anakin with a saddened expression. “I wish you would have told me,” was all Obi-Wan could say. 

Anakin shook his head. “Obi-Wan, if I told you then you would have just told the council. Then I would have been taken away from the war effort or in the very worst case possibly expelled.” 

“No Anakin,” Obi-Wan said calmly. “We would have sooner done in an investigation on Palpatine. There was no reason he should have told you to do something like that.” 

Anakin looked to the floor. “Exactly, which means I have no excuse for listening to him. It was a mistake, no matter how much I disliked Dooku then. And you know I would have gotten in trouble Obi-Wan. And your know how much Palpatine meant to me, he was my friend. I didn't want to expose him when all I thought he did was make a heated comment that I foolishly listened to.” 

No matter how much Obi-Wan wanted to argue, he knew Anakin had just brought up multiple valid reasons, even if in the end it still didn’t make what Anakin had done right. Obi-Wan also knew that there was no point in lecturing Anakin on how he had gone against the Jedi code, as Anakin was no longer a Jedi and had already said killing Dooku was a mistake. “I understand Anakin, it doesn’t make what happened right. But it’s understandable why you didn’t tell anyone.” 

For a moment Anakin looked a little surprised, as if he had expected Obi-Wan to lecture him. “If I could go back, I wouldn't have killed Dooku. And if I had killed him when he was defenseless, I would have told you. But of course, I’m saying this after I know the consequences of those actions. So I guess I’m just saying…” Anakin turned to Dooku. “That I’m sorry.” 

Obi-Wan’s disappointment and hurt faded slightly, replaced by a drop of pride that watered the already blooming bouquet of pride that grew inside his chest; a bouquet of pride Obi-Wan one day hoped to be able to show fully to his once and maybe even still dear one. 

Dooku looked suspiciously at Anakin for only a moment before sighing. “I will think about your words. But if we are being honest with each other now, I must say that I deserved what happened to me.” Both Anakin and Obi-Wan looked with slight surprise at Dooku. Even more surprising was the fact that the two of them seemed to be the only ones surprised by that statement. But then again Obi-Wan and Anakin were the people who had talked to Dooku the least when it came to their time spent in the afterlife. Obi-Wan supposed that he just didn’t truly know Dooku anymore, not that he suspected he ever truly knew the man; even when Obi-Wan had been a padawan Dooku had always been more than slightly distant with him. 

There was only small talk with Dooku after that, everyone seeming done with the more intense conversations; everyone but Yoda that is. 

Obi-Wan had been lost in thought when he suddenly remembered his old mentor standing by the door, he looked down to see Yoda eyeing him already. Obi-Wan tensed a little, hoping he hadn’t hurt Yoda’s feelings by waiting so long to talk to him. They only looked at each other for a couple of seconds before Yoda walked forward, motioning for Obi-Wan to bend down. Obi-Wan carefully got down on one knee. Yoda looked him over for a minute before whacking Obi-Wan on the head with his stick. Obi-Wan grabbed his head in a surprised manner. “What was that for? And you do realize that doesn’t hurt at all.” 

Yoda huffed. “Idea of the whack, it is. Need you to think clearer, I do.” Obi-Wan had no idea how Yoda thought whacking him with a stick would achieve that. “Visited you sooner, I would have, if not warned by the entire temple that you didn't like visitors. Best to give you time on your own, I decided.” 

Obi-Wan frowned deeply. “I would have accepted you here Master Yoda. I enjoy your company,” Obi-Wan admitted in an almost shy manner. He truly did feel bad for not thinking to invite Master Yoda over. 

Suddenly Yoda whacked him on the head again. “Help now, that does not.” 

Obi-Wan winced. “I’m sorry Grand Master.” Obi-Wan couldn’t help but think he sounded like a padawan being lectured. Just when Obi-Wan thought the lecture was over Yoda suddenly pounced at his chest. Obi-Wan gasped, having no idea what was going on only to see Yoda’s arms wrapped around his chest. “What is this?” Obi-Wan asked, whatever Yoda could be doing not processing. 

Yoda chuckled fondly. “Giving you a hug, I am.” 

Obi-Wan’s eyes narrow in confusion. “Have you ever hugged anyone before Master?” Obi-Wan knew this was a sassy question but Master Yoda was going to have to deal with it. He had truly never seen the man give a hug. 

Master Yoda gave a familiar chuckle, amusement flowing in the force. “Helped teach me how good hugs could be, Master Jinn has,” Yoda informed. Obi-Wan looked up at Qui-Gon and smiled as their eyes met. Obi-Wan already found another reason to love his former Master. “So hug you now, I will,” Yoda spoke again, Obi-Wan’s eyes coming down to look at him. Yoda patted him on the arm. “Missed you, I have.” 

Genuine pride swelled in Obi-Wan’s chest. Years away from the Jedi had made Yoda a little more affectionate he assumed, although so far Obi-Wan was the only one Yoda had truly spoken to. As soon as they broke the hug Anakin bent down next to them. 

“Grand Master Yoda,” Anakin said in a serious voice. “I need to apologize.” 

Yoda raised an eyebrow. “Say, what have you?’ Obi-Wan smiled slightly at Anakin. Happy the man had decided to do this all on his own. 

Anakin bowed his head for a moment and sighed. “What I did, I never expect to be forgiven for. I now know what I have done wrong, and I will do everything I can to try and make up for it.” Obi-Wan watched as Anakin went on a long apology, listing a bunch of things he had done to the Jedi and how he wished he hadn't done any, about halfway through his apology Yoda held up a finger to him. 

“Skywalker,” Yoda said sadly. “Forgiveness, hard to give it is. Especially after what you have done. But think about forgiveness more, when see good actions from you I have. Trust you now I do. Brake that trust, will you?” 

Anakin quickly shook his head. “Of course not, I don’t plan on doing anything else bad Master Yoda. I want to make things right.” As he said this he glanced at Obi-Wan out of the corner of his eyes. 

Yoda smiled at him and nodded before suddenly whacking him in the head. “Had to, I did.” Anakin rubbed his head only to be whacked again. “Help you think straight, the whacks might.” 

Anakin laughed at this statement. “Do it again for good measure.” Yoda whacked Anakin on the head again and Obi-Wan chuckled, immediately causing Anakin to give a small smile up at him. 

 

*** 

 

The rest of the time people spent visiting Obi-Wan wasn’t bad. Obi-Wan had to admit he was a little anxious with so many people in his house at once but he at least wasn’t in tears. Throughout the entire day, Obi-Wan found himself wondering over and over what Dia Bendu wanted to say. Finally when the sun was setting Bendu stood up. “I have an announcement to make.” Everyone immediately looked at him. Bendu cleared his throat as his serious eyes scanned around the room before landing on where Obi-Wan and Anakin stood together. “Earlier this week, a man came to me insisting that Skywalker be locked up.” Anakin tensed, more than likely expecting the worst. “I listened intently on what he had to say, as it made me go into deep thought the rest of the week. Finally, I went to Kenobi to truly see for myself if Skywalker was ready for the next step, or if we needed to go back one.” Bendu looked right at Anakin. “After all that Obi-Wan had told me about his experience with Anakin so far, and from what I have observed today. I have decided that Skywalker will no longer be suggested to stay with Kenobi. I think he is ready to go out on his own. So Skywalker if you wish, you are completely free to go where ever you want, with or without Obi-Wan.” 

Anakin’s mouth completely dropped. “Y-You’re serious?” 

Bendu nodded. “I do not lie Skywalker.” 

Anakin slowly turned to an equally surprised Obi-Wan before suddenly hugging him. Obi-Wan gasped in surprise but was quickly let down. Anakin laughed. “Thank you Bendu,” he said seriously and bowed his head. As everyone else celebrated Obi-Wan couldn't help but wonder, how long until Anakin decided to leave him. He didn't mean to be rude or selfish, but the thought worried him. He knew he would need to meditate on the feeling. 

He turned to Anakin and put a hand on his shoulder. Anakin turned and smiled down at him. “I am proud of you Anakin. You have come a long way.” 

Anakin chuckled, the sound almost sounding sad. “Thank you, for saying that.” 

 

*** 

 

Eventually, everyone left, Qui-Gon being the last one still here. Anakin was now sitting deep in thought on the couch. Bendu had said something to him before he left, Obi-Wan knew he had because he saw it, but didn't hear it. Whatever was said it put Anakin in an unhappy mood, or if not unhappy then at least a very thoughtful mood. Obi-Wan had already tried to ask Anakin what he was thinking about, but Anakin had simply responded that it didn’t matter and brushed him off. 

Qui-Gon made for the door and turned to Obi-Wan. “Former Padawan of mine,” 

Obi-Wan turned to him with an amused smile. “Yes, former Master of mine.” 

Qui-Gon chuckled before growing serious again. “Are you okay? All these people here at once didn’t stress you too much did it?” 

With a sigh, Obi-Wan shook his head. “No Master Qui-Gon. I must admit I felt anxious but it wasn’t as bad as I would have thought a situation like that would have been. I trusted most of the people here.” 

Qui-Gon smiled. “I am very glad Obi-Wan. I don’t want to make you anxious either, so if there is ever a problem, please remember you have me. I promise I’m not a busy man and even if I was I would always have time for you padawan.” 

The statement made Obi-Wan’s heart swell, his admiration for his Master doubling once again. “Thank you Qui-Gon, I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for me. You are one of the people who have helped me the most these last four years and these last months.” Obi-Wan glanced at Anakin as he mentioned the people who have helped him before turning back to Qui-Gon. “I truly can’t repay you.” Obi-Wan huffed, his emotions getting the better of him. “I just care about you so much, I love you for all you have done.” Obi-Wan paused then covered his mouth as he realized what he had just said. Obi-Wan was sure he looked as if he had just muttered the worst cuss words imaginable. He looked almost guilty for saying it. But in reality, he was just scared as he could hardly remember the last time he had mumbled those words to his former Master; the man that he saw like a father figure. 

-

Behind Obi-Wan, Anakin stared in almost disbelief but also desire, for he wished so badly to have those words spoken to him, even if they were just muttered as an accident. He stared so deeply at Obi-Wan, his blue eyes digging into Obi-Wan to find where that love might have come from, trying to find some of that love for himself. He would even dream about those words sometimes, Obi-Wan whispering it to him. Friend to friend, at least that is the context he convinced himself of. Because he was almost certain Obi-Wan would never say it as anything more. And right after he thought about the more, Dia Bendu’s words rang in his head.

-

Obi-Wan took in a shaky breath, finally accepting he had told his Master those words. He knew he shouldn’t be scared, that the worst thing Qui-Gon could do was walk away. He would smile awkwardly and walk away. But Obi-Wan wished he could hear those words back, just once. Qui-Gon's mouth opened and Obi-Wan thought, maybe even expected Qui-Gon to close it again yet he didn't, and instead whispered the words Obi-Wan was somehow surprised to hear. "I....love you too, Obi-Wan." At that moment Obi-Wan had thought he would die all over again it took everything in him not to fall to his knees from relief for Obi-Wan truly didn’t even now understand how it felt to have your love reciprocated in such an open way. He supposed Anakin had helped during their time in the afterlife, when he had admitted he loved Obi-Wan and for the first time in a while, Anakin had made Obi-Wan feel like someone wanted him around but now his Master, the man he had looked to for guidance and praise for years gave him the best praises of all, he gave him his love. Qui-Gon opened his arms as Obi-Wan just stared at him. Only now did Obi-Wan realize there were the beginnings of tears in his eyes, the same way there had been tears in his eyes when Anakin had admitted he loved him. Obi-Wan seemed to have no control over which way he moved as he ran to Qui-Gon and they hugged. It was an emotional hug, a hug that tried to express everything words couldn't. 

“I’m glad you said it,” Obi-Wan whispered. 

Qui-Gon chuckled. “I’m glad I said it too.” It was only now that they truly needed to say their goodbyes. “I’m coming within the next week, and there is nothing you can do about it.” 

Obi-wan laughed fondly. “Okay, I’ll make sure to have your favorite tea ready.” A few moments later Obi-Wan watched from the open door as Qui-Gon hiked into the woods. He had chosen to walk instead of taking a speeder, always claiming to enjoy walking through the forest he had nicknamed “Kenobi Woods.” As Obi-Wan watched he couldn't help thinking about what he had said. Of course, the confession was big but it was how he got to this point that almost felt bigger. Behind him, Anakin sat on the couch, the man that unknowingly helped him so much that without him Obi-Wan may have never been able to admit how he felt to Qui-Gon. When he thought about telling Anakin how much he adored him, how every time he saw the man smile it made his heartbeat twice as fast. When Obi-Wan truly thought about just how much he loved the other man and then thought about admitting it; it ended up being more than ten times harder than things had been with Qui-Gon. And it shouldn't be hard to tell Anakin he love him, because Anakin had already admitted it to him. But Obi-Wan couldn’t help but feel that things could turn out how they did last time, and the moment he admitted it, things would be in vain and he would only be met with the opposite of his feelings. 

Obi-Wan turned to see Anakin still curled up on the couch, and he whispered under his breath so no one but himself could hear. “I love you, my dear one. Even if I’m too scared to say it.”

Chapter Text

The dessert was hot, and yet somehow Obi-Wan felt cold in its wide expanse. His heart felt slow, stalled. He moved in turn with the sand, moving only as fast as the wind allowed him. It was pointless, hopeless to be out here so long in an unforgiving desert; at least that's how things appeared. Only the hermit, the one they called crazy and old knew the true reason he was here. And if Obi-Wan was honest with himself a part of him truly was crazy for staying out here so long for a single boy. 

Sand whipped past him with a strong gust of wind, tangling his hair even further. It was only after years in the desert that Obi-Wan finally began to understand why Anakin had hated sand so much. When Obi-Wan finally reached his small hut he walked inside and shut the door quickly behind him. 

Recently, his thoughts began to get away from him. He found himself often looking out the door of his hut and imagining Anakin walking toward him. He would only seem like a small figure at first but when he got closer Obi-Wan imagined seeing his face, his wonderful face. And at this point in his life, Obi-Wan would take anything from him, he would take a snarl or a look of pure hatred even if it meant he got to see Anakin for just a moment. 

It wasn’t just his thoughts while awake that haunted him, his dreams were beginning to contain his old friend more and more. His dreams were picking up on his deepening desire to see Anakin again, he knew that must be one of the only explanations. Obi-Wan walked back further into the hut and sat on his bed before taking off his boots. The moment his first boot slipped off his foot a pile of sand came running out of it and onto the already slightly dirty floor. Obi-Wan groaned as he looked at the mess before deciding his hut was already a mess anyway and took off the other boot, a healthy amount of sand coming out of that one as well. 

Obi-Wan put his boots by the side of his bed and looked back at the sand, and for some reason, he smiled. He bent down on one knee and gently moved some of the sand through his fingers. “It’s rough, coarse, and it gets everywhere,” Anakin's voice spoke to him in his head, repeating the same line he had probably told Obi-Wan for years now. 

Obi-Wan smiled sadly at the sand before sighing, “I know it does.” He stood up and walked over to a chest he kept on the side of his room. He didn’t exactly remember where he kept his dustpan, he felt he may have shoved it in one of the many chests lying around his house so he got to looking. 

Once he chose a chest to look in he opened it slowly and began rummaging around. He was near the bottom when his hand landed on something soft. Curiously, Obi-Wan slowly pulled the object out of the chest only for his heart to drop the moment he saw what it was. 

He envisioned being on Padme’s ship, sadness filled him then. Padme had passed not too long ago and he wanted to find something, anything in this ship she had brought with her that he could give to the twins before they were sent away to their new families. He had highly doubted there was anything but clothes and weapons on that silver ship at the time, and sadly he had been right. The more he searched the more hopeless he became and he was about to give up when he felt something he wasn't expecting. 

Slowly reaching down into a small chest full of shirts he pulled out one of Anakin’s old robes, the top to one at least. He remembered pulling the shirt closer and examining it, wondering how it could have ever gotten on this ship with some of Padme’s clothes. A part of him didn’t want to know, but all he could remember then was staring at that familiar shirt for a long time before finally pulling it close to his chest as he held back the tears from his eyes. He knew couldn’t get emotional at a time like that, and for the time he would have to hold himself together the best he could. He folded the shirt to as little of shape as he could before shoving it in between his belt and his robes near his lightsaber, and Anakin's lightsaber. Obi-Wan had never told anyone what he had found, just that there was nothing the twins could bring with them. 

Back in his desert hut Obi-Wan stared at the familiar black robe with pained tears in his eyes. Once again he pulled the robe close to his chest, the fabric almost cool against his skin. He had promised himself so many years ago that he would hold it together, but he found he no longer could as he looked at the robe he nearly forgot about having. Obi-Wan gently held it against his face, and just closed his eyes as he breathed in. He was imagining it, he knew he must be because there was no one this old shirt could still somehow smell like Anakin. 

Behind him a strong gust of wind came in from an open window, the pile of sand on the floor blowing over and around Obi-Wan. But the sand had already been forgotten as Obi-Wan hugged that shirt to him. He leaned against the small chest and let his eyes water, his tears falling gently onto the shirt before he forced himself to put one of the only things he had left of Anakin away. He wouldn’t let himself mess up the shirt too. 

 

*** 

 

Anakin slowly woke up with a sigh, rubbing a hand over his face and looking at his surroundings. His arm brushed up against Obi-Wan’s, the other man’s skin feeling warm against his. With another sigh, Anakin grabbed his nightshirt from the bedside table and slipped it on. It might seem odd that he would sleep with his shirt off with his friend, but he had always slept with his shirt off, and Obi-Wan said there wasn't a problem with him taking his shirt off so there was no reason Anakin suspected he shouldn’t take it off to sleep. After slipping his shirt back on Anakin glanced at Obi-Wan, a soft smile coming over his face. As he looked at Obi-Wan he once again found himself imagining pulling the other man into his arms, his chin fitting perfectly above the other man’s head as if they were two pieces of a puzzle. The more Anakin imagined the stronger his desire to touch the other man became, and so slowly he lay back down and wrap his arms around Obi-Wan, pressing their bodies close. In return Obi-Wan only mumbled and leaned his back further against Anakin's chest. 

It was addicting, how he could hold Obi-Wan without the other man ever knowing. It was addicting how Obi-Wan would press back against him as if giving him permission to pull him even closer. It was almost taunting for Anakin and as he stared at his friend he began imaging what their day would be like this time. He thought about driving around in a speeder with Obi-Wan again, watching as he winced the moment they got a little too close to a tree. Anakin huffed amusedly into Obi-Wan’s hair as he imagined the kind of reactions he could try to get out of him today. Suddenly there was a noise under him. "Umm, Anakin?" 

Immediately Anakin froze. A thousand thoughts raced through his mind. He wondered if he should hurry away or just hold completely still and let Obi-Wan lecture him. Or maybe he should pretend he was asleep and it was an accident he was laying behind Obi-Wan. But what if Obi-Wan started panicking? What if this was too much? Anakin began to feel like a total idiot for trying to sneak hugs in the first place. After what felt like a week of sneaking hugs, just leaning up against Obi-Wan as he slept, it had finally caught up to him. He just felt as if he couldn't help it sometimes. He wanted the affection, and he needed it. But he didn’t just need those touches from anyone, he needed them from Obi-Wan. 

Anakin found himself stuck in place with his eyes wide open. "Anakin?" Obi-Wan questioned again, his voice sounding tense. 

Anakin held in a wince. "Obi-Wan?" That was all he could say at the moment as his mind still reeled to find a way out of the situation. 

Very slowly he began to move his arms away, and he felt bitterness rise in him when Obi-Wan relaxed the further away he got. "What.....what were you doing?" Obi-Wan questioned without turning to face him. Anakin wished he could lean against Obi-Wan again, he felt too cold now. He craved Obi-Wan’s comfort so badly but sadly Obi-Wan was awake and his illusion of comfort from before was gone until he fell asleep again. And now instead of comfort, all an awake Obi-Wan was giving him was anxiety, making him wonder wh an awake Obi-Wan wouldn't let him press close to him as an asleep Obi-Wan did. But he couldn't blame Obi-Wan. He wasn't used to that kind of touch, and he had been touch starved for years; Anakin had been touch starved as well, yet it just seemed one of them choose to run away from touch, it now becoming foreign to them, and one of them craved touch even more than they used to. "Anakin?" Obi-Wan whispered again and Anakin was snapped out of his thoughts again. 

"Yeah? I um? What was I doing?" Anakin tried his best not to stumble on his words as he continued. "Well, in my sleep I just...slowly....drifted closer..." 

Obi-Wan interrupted him. "Were you?" Obi-Wan paused a moment. "Were you giving me a hug?" He asked as if he hadn't just listened to what Anakin said, or maybe it was simply that he didn't believe it. 

Anakin scoffed, trying to sound offended. Like he didn't need to sneak hugs without permission because he desperately craved physical touch of some kind, but not just any physical touch, only Obi-Wan's. Sometimes even when they weren't in bed Anakin would imagine pressing up close against Obi-Wan and he would put his nose into his soft, ginger hair and wrap his arms around him and… Anakin cut the train of thought off, he was taking too long to respond. "I...wasn't trying...." Anakin gave a frustrated grunt. "Obi-Wan," he grumbled as if this were the other man’s fault. 

All he got was a chuckle in return. "You were trying to give me a hug," Obi-Wan whispered to himself. "Why...why are you sneaking hugs?" 

Anakin grumbled again. "Because I'm not! I wasn't sneaking hugs! I'm not nine!" Very slowly Obi-Wan turned, his eyebrow already raised. Anakin scoffed again and turned away, showing his back to Obi-Wan who chuckled quietly, a noise that secretly sped up Anakin's heart. He didn't know why his old friend had such an effect on him. 

"You were trying to sneak a hug," Obi-Wan repeated again. 

Anakin groaned. "Obi-Wan....stop picking on me. This is a mere accusation.” 

Obi-Wan just laughed softly at him. "You could have asked? I truly don't know why you are trying to sneak touches. Anakin please, we are supposed to be talking to each other and sharing and-" Anakin cut him off with a grunt as he turned around and wrapped his arms around Obi-Wan, pressing the other man against his chest. Immediately Obi-Wan tensed up, freezing like some frightened deer. 

"This is why I sneak the touches, because now you are all tense and frightened." Anakin couldn’t stop his frustration from leaking from his voice. 

Silently Obi-Wan sighed, his back flexing slightly against Anakin’s chest as he looked up at him. "Maybe, I wouldn't be so tense if I was prepared for you to grab me.” Slowly Obi-Wan relaxed. "Maybe I wouldn't have gotten frightened if you would have just asked to touch me." 

Anakin scoffed again. "You wouldn't have allowed that." 

“I'm allowing you to touch me now, aren't I? Obi-Wan stated. 

Anakin paused, looking down at Obi-Wan in slight disbelief. “Yes,” Anakin said a little surprised. 

Obi-Wan relaxed further, and in a moment that surprised Anakin greatly, Obi-Wan leaned further against his chest. Anakin could have sworn he was still dreaming. It just felt so good, so right to hold Obi-Wan close like this and for Obi-Wan to allow it. And Anakin began to think that it felt better to touch Obi-Wan knew he was being held than when he didn’t. "Anakin," Obi-Wan started. "I feel as if you still think you have to sneak behind my back to get things. But we are equal. Neither of us answer to the other. If you want or need something, no matter what, I want you to just ask." There was a long pause of silence. “I want you to trust me, and I want to trust you.” 

As soon as Obi-Wan said this an overwhelming thought came into Anakin's head. Of course, he wanted to trust Obi-Wan, he wanted all of what Obi-Wan suggested. But if he could ask Obi-Wan anything, truly anything, he wondered about all the things Obi-Wan may say yes to, what his limits were. 

And as he began imagining all the things he desired to ask, he couldn’t stop himself from just briefly imagining, if only just briefly in what should have been a fleeting thought, what it would be like if he asked to kiss Obi-Wan? And the thought overcame him, made him tense and tightly close his eyes for a moment as he tried to erase the thought, and yet he almost didn't want to. The thought made him feel good, the idea of it made him fill with a desire to do it. And it was wrong because Obi-Wan was his friend, a mere friend, and yet why did he enjoy the thought when he shouldn’t. He shouldn't, he shouldn’t, he shouldn’t, and yet he imagined it anyway. But this wasn’t a new thought, and for the past couple of days, he was ashamed to admit he had imagined it more than once. Obi-Wan touched Anakin's cheek and Anakin swore he was heating up a degree a second. "What did I say that offended you?” Obi-Wan asked worriedly. 

Anakin shook his head. "Nothing, my thoughts are getting to me," he rushed to reply, and it really was the truth. He tried to focus back on what Obi-Wan said before, that they were equals and he didn't have to sneak around anymore. He supposed that was right, but then again he could still lose Obi-Wan. It was now completely in Obi-Wan's power to kick him out if he wanted. Anakin focused back on his surroundings, and nearly groaned when he saw Obi-Wan still examining him worriedly. He looked so pretty, no he looked like just a simply attractive man. Sure he was pretty but not so pretty Anakin needed to date him. No, because Anakin hadn't ever dated a guy. And that guy couldn't be Obi-Wan; at least that is what he told himself. He was not going to fantasize about holding Obi-Wan's hand anymore, or smelling his hair, or kissing him... Anakin winced. He needed to stop thinking about Obi-Wan like that or it was going to cause a problem. "I'm fine Obi-Wan," Anakin reassured and brushed a piece of hair out of Obi-Wan's face, just like he used to do with Padme so he could better get a look at her. 

Anakin just looked at Obi-Wan, just stared at him after that. And in his mind, Dia Bendu's word rang in his ears. And helpless to his feelings all he could do was focus on those words. "Focus on your feelings Skywalker," he had whispered to him as he saw him staring at Obi-Wan, his eyes lingering longer than they should have. The way Bendu looked at him after that, it was a knowing look, as if he knew at that moment Anakin had been thinking about hiding away with Obi-Wan. Yet at the time Anakin pretended not to know what Bendu was talking about when he may have been speaking of Anakin’s feelings of desire. Bendu was too good at reading people, and Anakin didn't like it. Anakin had thought that was all Bendu had to say to him, but he was wrong as the next thing he whispered filled him with fear even now. "Remember not to repeat past mistakes." And somehow Anakin knew he hadn't meant his mistakes as Vader, (-if he had been referring to his desire- he had meant his mistakes with Padme. Later that day he had spent a long while thinking about it, unable to stop repeating those words as he thought about every way he messed up. And in the end, he knew Bendu was right, he knew that he had to make sure he didn't become possessive, or too reluctant to let go of Obi-Wan if his still friend wanted to leave. But he already knew that sometimes he couldn't help it. He didn't know what he was going to do, but he knew he needed to get over this.... obsession.   

 

*** 

 

The wind rustled the leaves of the trees gently, the sky bright and blue with a warm sun shining down on the surrounding forest. The birds sang and flapped their wings, revealing the beautiful colors of their wings as their songs filled the air. Wildflowers of all colors spread their pollen as the wind blew it from them. The forest and sky were beautiful today, the wind and leaves practically calling for his attention as they blew in the wind, and yet Anakin could not take his eyes off Obi-Wan. It was not the sky or the trees or birds that took his breath away but the man next to him. 

This obsession of his had just gotten worse. Over the last five or so days he had found his desire to be close to Obi-Wan just worsening, it had gotten so bad that some nights he refused to sleep just so he could focus on his feelings. There was no need to sleep in the afterlife so for the most part he could stay up with no consequences but he felt so crazy when he stayed up the entire night with Obi-Wan next to him just so he could think. He thought about a lot of things, his guilt, sadness, Obi-Wan. And the moment he began thinking of Obi-Wan the cycle would repeat and he would think about how guilty he felt for having intense feelings for Obi-Wan. 

Anakin internally groaned. It had been these same thoughts over and over again. He was constantly trying to find out what it was he felt for Obi-Wan but Anakin felt no matter how hard he tried he couldn't deny he felt something deeper than friendship for Obi-Wan, something strong and maybe even resembling love. But then Anakin found himself trying to rationalize his feelings, find out why he felt this way. He had considered the possibility that maybe he was only feeling this way because Obi-Wan was his only friend, and he was confusing feelings of having a crush with feelings of appreciation. He did appreciate Obi-Wan, even if he didn’t say it. He didn’t even really say the words “I love you,” a lot, but that was only because those words were slowly beginning to take on a different meaning. 

Anakin had often thought about talking to someone about these feelings, someone other than Obi-Wan of course. But then again he didn’t really have anyone. He would feel weird going to Padme considering their past and he was sure Qui-Gon would probably listen but it would still be odd considering they weren't really that close and he didn't want to bother the man with his pathetic feelings. Besides that Anakin truly had no one, well, almost no one. 

Despite the lack of people to talk to, Anakin had been thinking of one other solution. It was a solution that made him feel sad and slightly guilty but if his feeling continued, and even intensified, it may need to be done. It was becoming clear to Anakin that the more time he spent with Obi-wan the more intense his feelings became, and if that was truly the case the obvious solution would be to…leave. 

It would be very hard, and of course, he would come back when he figured out what to do with these feelings but he didn't know how long that would take. Anakin sighed out loud and shoved the thought to the back of his mind. He didn’t need to leave just yet, for all he knew this obsession would get a little stronger before fading and Anakin would see Obi-Wan as just a friend again, and not someone he felt a desire to press his lips against. 

“Is everything alright Anakin?” Obi-Wan questioned and Anakin turned to him with surprise, lost in his thoughts and not expecting to be spoken to. 

“Fine,” he responded simply. “How is your little bird?” He asked as he looked at the yellow bird sitting on Obi-Wan’s shoulder. 

Obi-Wan chuckled. “Patience is doing well today, such a good girl.” Obi-Wan pet the bird's head with his finger, Patience chirping in a happy tune as he did so. 

After Obi-Wan turned back to the other bird Patience turned to Anakin with a tilted head. He huffed amusedly and stuck out his tongue, just to see what she would do. Patience just stared at him. Anakin snorted and slowly poked the bird gently, and playfully in the side when Obi-Wan wasn't looking. Patience chirped at him and bounced on Obi-Wan’s shoulder. Anakin poked her with extreme gentleness again and she chirped louder. 

Anakin laughed quietly and narrowed his eyes, slowly going to poke her again before she began weekly pecking at his finger. Anakin laughed loudly, making Obi-Wan turn. “What are you doing?” He asked and gently put Patience in his hand. “You have Patience all wound up.” Patience chirped and stayed still in Obi-Wan’s hand for a moment, yet Anakin couldn't help but notice her just staring at him as she began to bounce a little again. Anakin laughed once again and Obi-Wan gave him one of those exasperated looks. 

Anakin tried not to snort again. “What?” 

Obi-Wan huffed. “Are you messing with Patience?” 

Anakin scoffed jokingly. “No…” Soon after this was said Obi-Wan and Anakin began bickering about whether or not Anakin was picking on Patience and then on the definition of picking on someone. The entire time Anakin just found things more and more amusing, which wasn’t helping as he kept accidentally smiling when Obi-Wan was trying to lecture him. 

The conversation was cut short when they both heard an unfamiliar bird call behind them. It was a little bit of a deeper call than most of the other birds’ calls, the bird sounding a little like an owl. Anakin spotted the bird that made the noise sitting on top of the weird rock structure that he had always seen on the side of the yard by the cottage. It was the rock structure where the rocks looked as if they were stacked on top of each other, as if the smoothish stones had been placed on top of each other and were barely holding on to one another. On top of the structure, a black bird sat, looking at all the other birds on the ground. 

Anakin found himself instantly drawn to the bird. It didn't look like it belonged in a bright forest like this, it looked out of place, somehow even darker looking when compared to the trees around it. The bird chirped again, the chirp long and drawn out like an owl as it flew over and landed next to Anakin. Slowly Anakin held his finger out and was surprised when the blackbird jumped on. 

The bird flapped his wings, ruffling his feathers. Anakin watched with even more surprise when he saw the bright red feathers that lay hidden on the inside of the bird's wings. Anakin examined the bird further and found himself smiling at it. “You are a misjudged one aren’t you,” he said as the bird cooed when Anakin petted his head. 

Obi-Wan curiously looked at the bird Anakin had in his hand. “I don’t know what kind of bird that is, I have never seen it before.” 

Anakin huffed. “He has such shiny-looking feathers.” 

Obi-Wan nodded in agreement. “Well, as you know I have named all the birds out here already, would you like to give this bird a name?” 

For a long moment, Anakin thought about what he could possibly name the misjudged bird. He chuckled. “Well, I could stick with your way of doing things and name my bird after a feeling or emotion, like peace or harmony or Patience” Anakin chuckled again at the thought before another idea came into his mind. “I know,” he murmured. Obi-Wan tilted his head curiously at him and Anakin smiled. He had thought it would be nice if he stuck with the trend of naming birds after emotions. But of course, he wasn’t going to name them after gentle emotions like Obi-Wan as he just didn’t relate to those feelings. He didn’t feel peaceful or patient enough to name them anything after such things. 

So taking a deep breath, Anakin told Obi-Wan an emotion he often found himself feeling. “I think I’ll name the bird… Passion.

Obi-Wan smiled fondly at Anakin the moment he whispered the bird's new name. “That is the emotion you chose then?” 

Anakin nodded as he looked at Obi-Wan. “I feel it more than you know Obi-Wan.” Anakin felt a lot more than Obi-Wan knew. 

 

*** 

 

3 days later 

 

Anakin stopped the speeder quickly outside the cottage, making Obi-Wan groan. “Must you always go so fast?” Obi-Wan stumbled out and walked to the door. 

Anakin snorted. “We are dead Obi-Wan, the worst that happens if I crash is we get a little dirty.” 

Obi-Wan gave him an unamused look. “We crash and I won’t ride in a speeder with you for a year.” 

Anakin huffed. “Such a stick in the mud.” Obi-Wan only gave him another unamused look before walking into the house. Secretly Anakin thought Obi-Wan’s fear of crashing even while they were dead was kinda cute, in an odd way. Everything about Obi-Wan seemed cute now, from the calm face he got while meditating to his addiction to tea. 

Anakin shut the door behind them both and slowly smiled when he saw Obi-Wan making himself more tea. Slowly Anakin walked to the couch and sat down, resting his elbows on his thighs and his head in his hands like he always did when he was in deep thought. This obsession with Obi-Wan had only gotten worse, gotten so much worse. He could now say in confidence he had a crush of some kind. He was sure he couldn’t be mixing up feelings of appreciation and feelings of desire now because feelings of appreciation didn’t give you….a tightness in your pants. 

Sighing silently Anakin closed his eyes in embarrassment for a moment. It was the other morning when Anakin woke up pressed against Obi-Wan’s back like he usually was nowadays. Except today was different. He had remembered having a very interesting dream about Obi-Wan before he had woken up. He had dreamed about meditating with Obi-Wan, where his former Master had that calm peaceful look on his face where his lips would curve up slightly in that slight smile. 

In the dream Anakin was looking at Obi-Wan lips intensely, imaging what it would be like to kiss him again. He remembered scooting forward and sitting so close to Obi-Wan that their knees touched before slowly leaning forward. Very slowly Anakin pressed his lips against Obi-Wan’s only to hear the other man gasp at the gentle touch of Anakin’s lips against his. And Anakin couldn't remember ever feeling like he had done something so right in his life as his dream Obi-Wan pressed closer to him, their lips not even moving as they were both frozen with hesitation. It was perfect the way their lips fit together and yet such a new feeling as Anakin had never thought Obi-Wan would be the interest of his desire and yet here he was, pressed up against Obi-Wan in an intimate way he dearly craved to repeat when awake. Yet when Anakin pulled away Obi-Wan looked at him in a way Anakin hadn't ever seen him look at anyone. He could see the desire in the other man's eyes as well and it only fueled his own as he leaned forward and kissed Obi-Wan again. 

He should have been freaking out, asking himself over and over again why he wanted this. He should be focusing on his feelings yet he couldn't help but be carried away. This kiss he gave Obi-Wan next wasn't like the last, it was passionate and almost needy and reflected all the emotions Anakin had built up inside for the other man. He wanted him, wanted him so bad that he remembered holding Obi-Wan’s chin in place so he couldn't leave him. The dream only escalated from there, what Anakin had thought would only be one kiss turned into a make-out session where he imagined them both kissing on the floor. 

As he dreamt about making out with Obi-Wan he became even more heated and when the dream sadly ended and he blinked open his eyes he had felt his erection nearly pressing against Obi-Wan’s back. 

Anakin had practically jumped out of bed when he realized, waking Obi-Wan up in the process. But Anakin hadn’t even spoken to him as he ran to the shower to…take care of the issue. It wasn't necessary to shower in the afterlife as there wasn't a thing as body odor anymore, but on occasion Obi-Wan would shower just for personal enjoyment as a shower was something he enjoyed when he was alive. Anakin showered sometimes as well, so he knew running to the shower wasn't something extremely off for him. 

When Anakin had gotten out of the shower late that morning he just simply told Obi-Wan he really wanted a shower. Obi-Wan laughed, of course, thinking it was funny he apparently wanted one so bad he had to run out of the room. As far as Anakin could tell Obi-Wan had no idea why he actually needed to get to the shower so bad. 

But his dream wasn’t the only thing that had been bothering Anakin recently. Just the other day he had asked Obi-Wan to meditate with him and, of course, Obi-Wan was cautious as meditation had never gone good with Anakin before but Anakin figured that if he truly couldn't meditate he would just get lost in thought for a while instead. 

So Obi-Wan and him both tried to meditate for a while and Obi-Wan had managed to fall into meditation like always yet Anakin was left unable to and eventually opened up his eyes again as he was too bored to keep them closed. As soon as he had opened his eyes though he instantly regretted it. The movement he saw Obi-Wan with his eyes closed, that calm and peaceful look on his face, Anakin was brought right back to his dream. The meditation had to be cut short for Anakin as he announced he was going to take a walk outside to better clear his head as meditation wasn't working. Obi-Wan let him go alone and just like that Anakin spent almost two hours in the woods. 

In the kitchen, Obi-Wan’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “Oh, Anakin?” 

With a hum, Anakin turned to face him. “What?” 

Obi-Wan looked back over the small calendar he was holding. Surprisingly the afterlife still had seasons and months although many didn’t really keep track of that anymore. Obi-Wan had started to better keep track just this past month as he claimed he hated it when his days blended together. “It’s your life-day tomorrow,” Obi-Wan stated. Anakin froze up, being put into deep thought again. 

“Huh,” he finally said. “That must mean today is….the day everything went wrong. It’s odd my life-day fell one day after the empire had formed. 

Obi-Wan sighed behind him. “We do not have to think about, or talk about that day right now if you do not want.” 

Anakin gave a fake smile. “Good, because I despise remembering that day.” He turned back around on the couch and went back into deep thought. 

 

*** 

 

The next morning when Anakin woke up he rubbed a hand over his face and glanced around curiously when he didn’t feel the familiar warmth of Obi-Wan by his side. He looked around the room and became even more confused when Obi-Wan was nowhere to be seen. He got out of bed and confusedly glanced into the other room to see Obi-Wan drinking tea in the kitchen. “What are you doing out of bed?” Anakin asked almost offendedly. 

Obi-Wan chuckled. “Oh, just thinking.” 

Anakin crossed his arms, nearly pouting. “About what?” 

Obi-Wan took another sip of tea and then smiled at him. “Maybe you could drive me around in the speeder this morning.” 

Immediately the pout faded from Anakin’s face and he smiled. “Let’s go then,” he said quickly as he hurried to the door with suppressed excitement. 

Obi-Wan laughed as Anakin went to open the door. Obi-Wan’s laughter made Anakin smile of course but he was confused about what it was about as he turned to face the other man. “You have to put a shirt on before you can drive the speeder Anakin.” 

Quickly Anakin looked down at himself. “Oh, right,” He closed his eyes and imagined a black tank top on him before hurrying out the door to the speeder. 

Obi-Wan sighed behind him. “Always so impatient.” 

Later as they drive in the speeder a conversation started between them. “Why did you offer to let me drive you around in the speeder?” Anakin asked. “Usually, it’s me that has to ask. And then you say, ‘fine Anakin, but please, do try to not crash this time.’” Anakin tried his best to put on a thicker Corusanti accent to imitate Obi-Wan, hoping to get at least a little reaction out of the other man. 

Obi-Wan sighed. “You are exhausting,” He commented and Anakin just smirked. “But today is a nice day, so I just thought it would be good for a trip in the speeder.” 

Anakin narrowed his eyes in thought. “That was the only reason? But…” Suddenly the realization of what was going on dawned on Anakin. “You are doing this because it’s my birthday aren’t you!?”

Obi-Wan hummed. “Possibly.” 

“Obi-Wan,” Anakin whined. “You should have learned by now I don't deserve that kind of thing. I was an evil person, one that deserved to be tortured for all of eternity for what he did, not get pampered by the former Master that he k-” 

“Enough,” Obi-Wan said sternly and Anakin kept his mouth shut. “For years you have celebrated my birthday and done something for me even when I told you not to. So consider this payback.” 

Anakin glanced at Obi-Wan for a moment. “So, this is payback for….celebrating your birthday?” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “That is correct.” 

Anakin rolled his eyes. “Fine,” he said after a moment of consideration. “But just know, you are celebrating a murderer.” 

Next to him, Obi-Wan sighed. “No, I am celebrating Anakin, the man that may have done some things wrong but is trying to get better and improve himself.” Anakin smiled slightly. He had no idea how Obi-Wan cared this much for him. If he was Obi-Wan he would hate him for what he did. It made Anakin feel even more guilty about having feelings he shouldn't have for the man he hurt so badly. He knew no one wants to be with a former Sith, especially someone like Obi-Wan. It also made him feel like he should leave before he tried something he regrets. Either that or Obi-Wan finds out about Anakin's feelings for him. He didn’t want to imagine the disgusted and disappointed look Obi-Wan would have on his face if he found out how Anakin truly felt about him. 

Obi-Wan spoke again after a while of silence. “I didn't do the math myself yet, I figured I’d just ask you about how old you were turning today?” 

Anakin paused in thought, having to do the math himself as he wasn't sure off the top of his head how old he actually was. He knew what year it was so that helped at least. After a while, Anakin hummed. “I think I'm forty-six,” Anakin said casually. 

The moment of silence was painfully long before Obi-Wan whispered. “That’s very young. I’m sorry you did not get to experience more.” 

Anakin sighed. “I wasn't really given a choice to live longer,” Anakin said absentmindedly, almost daydreaming as he said it. His attention was pulled back on Obi-Wan though when he heard the other man sigh sadly beside him. 

“I’m so sorry Anakin,” Obi-Wan murmured with his head down as Anakin realized Obi-Wan had taken that statement as directed at him. He had just accidentally made Obi-Wan feel like that was his fault. 

“No Obi-Wan, don’t apologize. I wasn’t talking about what happened between us. I was just talking about how I would slow Luke down if he had to drag me out of the death star with him,” he hurried to say before he put Obi-Wan in a pouting mood. 

Obi-Wan looked up at him with a slight smile when he heard that. “It was brave of you to sacrifice yourself Anakin.” 

Anakin hummed. “Well, I wouldn’t say sacrifice because I was already dying, and saving me would be hard, and would cause Luke a lot of stress. I just felt it was my time to go.” 

Slowly Obi-Wan shook his head. “Yet you still could have asked Luke to try and save you and I am sure he would have done it. You ensured Luke made it away from the death star safely by putting him in front of yourself. You were selfless. And now I will be proud of you whether you like it or not.” 

Anakin grumbled. “Fine, I like it when you a proud of me….just don’t deserve your pride.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head. “Well then, you are going to have to deal with my pride anyway.” 

The rest of the trip was spent with light conversations and Anakin asking what Obi-Wan had planned for later only to have Obi-Wan avoid the question. Eventually, the speeder ride came to an end and they walked inside. As soon as they did so Obi-Wan asked him what he wanted to do the moment they closed the door. It seemed clear now that Obi-Wan was very set on having them celebrate somehow, so Anakin decided he might as well just reluctantly go along with it. He did not feel in the mood to argue. 

First, he chose to watch a holo of his choosing. He chose some silly action movie he didn’t really watch as he seemed to spend half the time glancing at Obi-Wan when he wasn’t looking. He couldn't stop staring at him. He felt like a young padawan infatuated with his crush. But how could Anakin not be infatuated? He was so glad he had Obi-Wan by his side, he felt lost without him. He felt like Obi-Wan was an anchor holding all his reckless emotions at bay only for his desire and passion to slip away unnoticed. He didn’t know where he would be right now without Obi-Wan, probably sad and alone he assumed. He would deserve to be sad and alone. 

After the holo ended Anakin chose to play a game of Dejrik. Somehow Obi-Wan had gotten even better from the last time they played and beat Anakin in the first round only for Anakin to win the second. It went off and on like this for a while, Obi-Wan getting very happy whenever he won a match and yet still somehow still happy when Anakin won, acting as if he was proud of him for winning. Obi-Wan laughed and chuckled more than Anakin had heard all week. Anakin couldn’t help staring half the time, so fascinated by a sound he had heard a hundred times before. 

“Your laugh is so…nice,” Anakin said as he was once again distracted by one of Obi-Wan’s chuckles. Anakin had to admit he had been suspiciously affectionate this week when he was usually more distant. But he didn’t care, as all his thoughts seemed to be consumed by the man in front of him. 

After giving the compliment Anakin saw the blush on Obi-Wan’s cheeks and it got him all wound up again. “Thank you,” Obi-Wan had said kindly before beating him in the game once again. 

Anakin groaned and hit his hands against the table. “How!? I had all my defenses set up perfectly! I was well guarded!” 

Obi-Wan just gave him a smug smile. “Maybe if you weren't so distracted you would notice I had broken part of your ‘defenses’ long ago.” 

Anakin gave Obi-Wan a fake warning look when really he was panicking internally. He thought that it wasn’t that obvious he was distracted. He could only hope Obi-Wan hadn't found out the reason he was distracted was because he was busy listening to his former Master’s pretty laugh. Anakin grumbled. “I request one hour alone,” he said as he went to Obi-Wan’s room to hide from the universe for a while. 

While in Obi-Wan’s and kind of his room Anakin became bored. He had panicked and requested this hour alone without truly thinking out how boring an hour alone could be. He would feel weak if he backed out of the request now like he couldn't spend an hour alone with his thoughts. So instead of being left with his thoughts and fears about Obi-Wan finding out about his feelings, Anakin decided to just go to sleep and set some kind of alarm with a holo. Little did Anakin know that going to sleep was a huge mistake. 

He had a really bad, hot, terrible dream. Of course, in his moment of need, he would dream about making out with Obi-Wan in a speeder. Of course, that is what the force had blessed him with. But it wasn't only the making-out part that put him more on edge, it was the fact that his fears of Obi-Wan rejecting him were there even in his dream. He had dreamt about kissing Obi-Wan only for the other man to suddenly shove him and state that this was all one big mistake, and he wasn't going to let himself get that attached to Anakin. He had to watch as his dream version of Obi-Wan told him it was disgusting to feel the way he did and that he was still not strong enough to control his own desires. His mind forced him to watch as Ob-Wan slipped past his hand and stormed off. When Anakin had woken up he felt miserable. He felt almost disgusted with himself and felt a great desire to do something about it. Maybe it was finally time he put in more effort to try and end these feelings for Obi-Wan, no matter how much he wanted to hold onto them. Anakin stayed in Obi-Wan’s room longer than he said he would, and the entire time he was in that small room he made himself crazy with his thoughts, and slowly convinced himself of something might have not been the right course of action. But then again Anakin had always been the type to act without thinking through the consequences first. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan sat on the couch sipping tea as he waited for this hour Anakin had requested to be up. He was sure it had passed a while ago, but he didn't feel brave enough to disturb Anakin just yet. He also didn't mind waiting as he had been wanting to either focus on his thoughts or meditate all day now. So far everything had been very fun for the both of them, and Obi-Wan was surprised that they hadn’t gotten in any fights at all yet. It truly was a very pleasant day. Anakin had even gone out of his way to compliment him on his laugh of all things, slightly odd but it was nice. Or maybe he just complimented him in an attempt to distract Obi-Wan or stop him from winning the game. Whatever the reason was Anakin had been very lost in his thoughts most of the time anyway, so trying to distract Obi-Wan too was probably going to be useless if the other man stayed distracted the way he was. 

Anakin being lost heavily in his thoughts was something Obi-Wan had noticed a lot recently. It would worry him sometimes as Anakin stared sadly out the window at the birds or just stared at his hands. Then he would catch Anakin looking at him lost in thought only to turn away the moment Obi-Wan spotted him. 

A few moments later Anakin walked out of Obi-Wan’s room and sat down next to him on the couch. Immediately Obi-Wan could tell that Anakin wasn’t in a great mood. “What is wrong?” Obi-Wan questioned after looking Anakin over. 

Anakin only shrugged and continued to look down at his lap. “I don’t…I don’t know how to tell you. We are supposed to be celebrating my life day, let’s just go back to doing that.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head as he decided he couldn’t just let Anakin’s sour mood go. He was too worried about what turmoil Anakin could be hiding. “Anakin,” Obi-Wan said gently. “Tell me what the matter is.” 

A slow sigh came from Anakin and he looked up at Obi-Wan, his eyes looking sad and somehow tired. “I think I need to do something.” 

“And what is that?” Obi-Wan questioned. 

Anakin just stared at him for a while and slowly his hand touched Obi-Wan’s cheek, making Obi-Wan tense only for a moment as he wasn’t sure what Anakin was doing before Obi-Wan relaxed and gave a reassuring smile. Anakin gently held his hand there for a moment before pulling it quickly away, his face turning to that serious expression that told Obi-Wan that Anakin wasn’t in the best mood. ”You won’t understand, and you have helped me a lot Obi-Wan, but I have to go.” 

Obi-Wan stared in surprise at Anakin as he was flooded with different emotions. He began wondering what he might have done wrong to cause this, he wondered if Anakin had been that unhappy staying here the entire time. He was wondering about Anakin leaving the other day and Obi-Wan convinced himself that Anakin wouldn't leave because they relied on each other now. Him and Anakin have never gotten along perfectly, and Obi-Wan wondered if maybe this was a result of one of their past arguments, or maybe Anakin was upset Obi-Wan practically forced him into celebrating his life-day. Obi-Wan forced himself out of his thoughts and focused back on Anakin. "What do you mean you want to go?” Obi-Wan questioned, a hidden sadness in his voice. 

Anakin turned away again. "I can't stay. You helped me. And now I need to go." 

Obi-Wan opened his mouth in slight shock. "Where are you going? Will you come back?" Obi-Wan questioned in a far too upset tone. Seldom did he let so many of his emotions be heard so obviously and he internally scolded himself for making it so obvious. He knew he shouldn't have a problem with Anakin leaving, he knew he shouldn’t feel sad over it as Anakin had every right to spend his time how he wanted now. Yet Obi-Wan couldn't help but feel slightly selfish as he felt his fear of being alone again begin to control his thoughts. 

"I don't know where,” Anakin said, avoiding the second question as he looked seriously at the ground in thought again. 

Obi-Wan couldn’t help it anymore as he felt that familiar feeling of anxiety began to whisper nasty worries into his ears. "What do you mean you don't know?” Obi-Wan questioned. 

Anakin turned to look at him again and paused a minute, staring at his face before looking away again. "Obi-Wan, you don't understand. Don't argue on things you don't understand." Anakin tried to sound scolding, maybe annoyed, but after spending so long with Anakin, Obi-Wan could hear the hidden sadness in Anakin’s voice. It only worried Obi-Wan more, a part of him still very desperate to understand Anakin’s motives. 

Obi-Wan crossed his arms. "I have every right to argue. You are leaving without an explanation Anakin. It worries me.” 

Anakin glared at him. It was a glare full of hidden despair and Obi-Wan could see it. “You act as if I will die on my own.” 

“I know you will not die Anakin,” Obi-Wan retorted, feeling helpless as he watched Anakin slip away from him all over again without an explanation. “I just want to know, I want to know why you are leaving me? Did I offend you?”  

More visible pain colored Anakin’s face. “I need to figure things out on my own. Now just...leave me alone about it,” Anakin whispered in what could be described as a plea. 

Without truly thinking about it Obi-Wan gently grabbed Anakin’s arm only to have Anakin pull his arm away the moment they touched. It hurt a little, and now Obi-Wan understood how Anakin felt when Obi-Wan would pull his hand away from Anakin some days. Despite the slight hurt Obi-Wan continued. “Have you thought this through? Can you do this on your own yet?" It was only after he said this that Obi-Wan realized it had sounded almost as if he was doubting Anakin’s abilities to be on his own. The bad part was Obi-Wan was slightly, but he only doubted out of worry for all oh the things he couldn’t help Anakin with if the other man was on his own. 

"Obi-Wan, I don't need you anymore like I used to! I'm going out on my own and there is nothing you can do about it! You don't....you don't understand! And I'm sorry! I'm really sorry! And eventually, I'll be back! But I don't know when that will be!" With that Anakin stood up and began heading to Obi-Wan’s room, apparently having made up his mind about leaving already. Obi-Wan wanted to call out for him, he wanted to run after him and practically beg him not to go because he didn’t want to be left alone with his thoughts again, he didn’t want to be left alone with only the birds to keep him company. He wanted speeder rides where Anakin still couldn't stop pretending like he was going to crash. He wanted to watch those over-dramatic action holo’s that Anakin cared about so much. He wanted to sit by him at the counter and watch him put together nonfunctional droids only to take them apart right after. He wanted to wake up every morning with Anakin right behind him, Anakin’s chest pushing against his back in a way that secretly comforted Obi-Wan after the force haunted him with nightmares of the past. Obi-Wan felt like he needed Anakin, as somehow waking up alone in the morning felt deathly cold when he didn’t have Anakin’s arms wrapped around him. The cottage would be too empty without him, and it would feel more like a timeless hut than a home all over again. 

Anakin walked out of Obi-Wan’s room with his lightsaber and clipped it to the belt he was wearing. They stared at each other, and Obi-Wan felt a stronger desire to say something now more than ever. He didn’t understand why Anakin was leaving so quickly, why he couldn't just wait a little longer. He had thought Anakin needed him as bad as Obi-Wan secretly had, but he supposed he had been wrong. Anakin opened his mouth to speak, and his words came out as a whisper. “I know I’m leaving quickly, but maybe one day I will explain. A better day. I’ll be back..” Anakin paused for a moment. “I have to be,” He then whispered as he went to the door, Obi-Wan watching him the entire way. 

He got to a door, and Anakin turned as he opened it. The sky was getting dark and heavy with rain, making the path Anakin had to walk look gloomy. Yet Anakin looked determined as he faced Obi-Wan, paying no mind to the gloom ahead just yet. “Goodbye, Obi-Wan,” he said with a sad smile. 

Obi-Wan looked at him, and the longer he looked the harder it become to say the simple word ‘goodbye,’ because Obi-Wan couldn’t accept the fact this was a goodbye. “I will see you soon,” he said instead, and Anakin nodded at Obi-Wan, eye contact unbroken. And just like that, he left. The door behind him closed, blocking off the view of the gloom before him and leaving Obi-Wan to wonder where Anakin would go from here. 

 

*** 

 

Outside Anakin stormed to the side yard, needing to find an open area that wasn’t the side of Obi-Wan’s yard to take off. As he walked closer into the forest he spotted that odd-looking rock again, the one with the stones oddly stacked on top of each other and yet somehow connected. He kicked those large stones that made one, needing a way to release all his built-up emotions. Apparently, that was all it took though, as the stacked line of stones slid apart across the grass, toppling down and laying in a mess around the place they had been stacked. How was it possible, that the stones had spent possibly years stacked on top of each other, surviving storms and heavy rain, yet the moment Anakin pushed it himself they came falling down. He wondered if he had kicked harder than he thought. 

He looked at the stones for a few moments, still curious as to how they fell apart so easily. He felt a little guilty as he felt like it was his fault the stones had fallen apart from each other, like he had broken a sculpture of some kind that represented the years these stones spent together. But yet as Anakin continued his way into the forest he decided to leave the stones broken and separated. He didn’t really know why, but he figured he shouldn't waste any time leaving as Obi-Wan looked upset with him and he doubted he even wanted to see Anakin anywhere near his house for a while. 

When Anakin got to a small open space, about big enough for a small ship, he closed his eyes and imagined the ship he wanted before jumping inside. He stared at the ship's controls for a while, unsure as to where he should go. Suddenly the ship beeped without being touched and his destination was set to Naboo. Surprised, Anakin looked around as if someone in the forest had done that, yet in the force, he sensed no one. There was only one thing around him around everything, the force. “Okay, fine. I don’t know what is on Naboo anymore, but I suppose you are trying to guide me arent you?” The wind only whispered in response, his body getting an odd tingly feeling as he didn’t feel so alone anymore. The force knew what it was doing, and he would trust in its will. 

 

*** 

 

Back inside Obi-Wan sat in front of an open closet, holding Anakin’s old shirt in his hands. The shirt was a comfort item he hadn't dared part with, even in the afterlife. As he looked at the shirt Obi-Wan reminded himself that Anakin wasn’t sand, that he wouldn’t just disappear into the wind as he slipped past Obi-Wan’s fingers. Obi-Wan still has a binding rope tied to the other man that lay in the back of his mind, even if that rope was growing thinner. 

Chapter Text

The streets of Naboo were crowded as people of all different races and species moved around doing what they pleased with bright and happy smiles on their faces. The sun only helped to brighten everyone's smile yet Anakin kept his hood up, keeping the sun from touching his face and helping to prevent anyone from recognizing him. The longer Anakin walked past all the smiling people he began to realize he had no idea what or where he wanted to go. He hadn't known if there was even a place he could stay beside his ship which he parked in a hidden location by a lake. Anakin could only hope no one bothered it while he was gone. 

Anakin walked for a while before suddenly being drawn to a flashing sign a droid held. It told of a motel that was only a short distance away, which Anakin quickly decided to go to as he was already nervous about potentially having to sleep in his ship. A long building by the lake came into view as Anakin approached the motel the droid’s sign had told about. It was a pretty silver color and had flowers growing in pots under all the windows. As soon as Anakin walked in a droid greeted him at the front desk. The inside had red carpeting and calm yelling lighting, the entire lace giving off a cozy vibe. When Anakin stood at the counter to face the droid it scanned his face and beeped. “Anakin Skywalker! Welcome.” 

Anakin hissed. “Shhhh!” He hushed the droid annoyedly and ripped the card away from the droid's hand when he was given it. 

The droid spoke again, unfazed by being shushed. “Room Sixty-Six!” It announced and Anakin rolled his eyes, knowing that with his luck he bouned to get that number. “It is the room farthest away from any other sentient beings currently,” The droid then announced knowingly.

Surprised by the kind act, Anakin looked up at the droid. “Thank you,” he said and walked further into the motel to find his room. Eventually, he found it on the third floor and went inside. The room was small and had one large bed inside. The room was filled with natural light from the windows and sliding glass doors at the end of the room. Anakin walked to it and pressed a button on the wall, the glass door opening up to reveal a balcony. He stepped out onto it and finally allowed himself to take off his hood. He looked out over the lake and took a deep breath, relaxing just slightly. He knew his mind would be on Obi-Wan for the next couple of days, before hopefully fading just slightly. Yet a part of him still didn’t want these feelings for Obi-Wan to go away. Even if deep down he sadly realized it was for the best. His feelings always did more harm than good. The very least he could do was try to relax only slightly in this time he had to himself. 

 

*** 

 

The next couple of days were all the same. He would walk out to the beach near sunset and sit alone until it was too dark to even see his hand. Sometimes he would go out on that same beach in the early morning so he could be alone. He just thought to himself, focused on the past, and tried not to think about how much he missed Obi-Wan. He wondered what Obi-Wan was doing, how he was feeling, and if Anakin had offended him? 

Anakin shook his head as he walked through the streets of Naboo. It had been four days and his feelings hadn’t changed in the slightest. If anything his feelings for Obi-Wan had intensified. He longed now more than ever to see him and hold his hand. And as much as Anakin hated to admit it, he really wanted to kiss him. He wanted to taste Obi-Wan’s gentle lips and feel his soft hair. 

Anakin pulled his hood further over his face, knowing he shouldn’t be in the shower almost every morning with heated thoughts of his former Master. The worst part about it was the fact his crush seemed less and less like a crush and more like feelings of genuine love. Feelings of love wouldn’t leave Anakin's mind easily.

Turning off the main street Anakin walked through some woods and eventually got to a lakeshore. He looked around and found himself relieved when the nearest people he saw were far off in boats on the water. He sat down and took his hood off, too relieved and focused on the calming breeze and water to think about anything else. 

Anakin grabbed a stone and throw it into the water, watching as it skipped along, leaving ripple after ripple in its wake. Anakin thought that people were a little like skipping stones in a way. People were thrown into the galaxy just like a rock is thrown against the lake. The person leaves their mark, leaves their ripple. And then finally their life ends and their course stops, but their ripple keeps going. Until eventually even the ripple fades into the oncoming waves and no one remembers the mark you left. And it was now that Anakin let out a sad-sounding sigh, and wondered how long the beings in the galaxy would remember what he had done. And he knew even when the ripple he left in the galaxy had faded, Anakin would still remember all the pain and misery he caused himself. He knew Obi-Wan would remember too, and everyone who had ever loved him. Obi-Wan had left his own ripple in the galaxy, and Anakin shouldn't go on and taint it with his own. Obi-Wan was pure and wonderful and Anakin’s reputation and past would ruin him if people knew how close they had gotten. 

Anakin’s thought once again went back to Obi-Wan but he didn’t get to think about him long as a voice interrupted his thoughts. 

“Ani!” The voice had called out behind him, and Anakin froze. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan annoyedly flipped the pages in his book. He had been on the same page for what felt like hours just trying to comprehend what he read. Every time his eyes scanned over the paragraph he would get lost in his mind again and have to restart. He just couldn't stop thinking about Anakin, it was a constant worry pressing at the back of his mind and consuming all other thoughts. 

He was so sad about Anakin leaving for some odd reason. Obi-Wan knew he shouldn't be, but when he woke up this morning and reached behind him to check on Anakin only to feel an empty bed, it nearly brought tears to his eyes. Nearly because of course Obi-Wan wouldn’t ever let something that ridiculous make him cry, but that didn't change the fact that for a moment he felt like letting his stressed tears drip down his cheeks. 

He knew he shouldn't be sad because he was sure Anakin was coming back. But there was always that fear that somehow he had done something wrong and Anakin wouldn’t return to him. The longer Anakin was gone the harder it become for him to control his fear of losing the other man. He was even dreaming about it now. Just constant dreams of failing Anakin or letting him down. 

It was pathetic really, letting himself be so consumed by this familiar fear of being alone; so consumed by this fear of being without Anakin. Obi-Wan had been alone before and it was nearly miserable but it had never been the fact he was alone that made him miserable, it was the fact he didn’t have Anakin by his side. 

Obi-Wan slammed the book he had been trying to read shut. He had just looked over two pages and the entire time he had not processed a single word. Frustratedly he grabbed the book and placed it on the night table before laying back down and staring at the ceiling. He felt like a pathetic youngling throwing a tantrum when they weren't allowed to spend any more time with their friend. Attachment issues, that's what Obi-Wan thought he had. He would meditate and try to be rid of these annoying thoughts of the man he seemed to love a little too much. He let out a long, miserable-sounding sigh before closing his eyes and trying to force himself into meditation. 

It had only been a short while before a knock sounded from the front door. Obi-Wan eyes opened immediately and he sat up. “It couldn't be him, not so soon? ” He thought to himself as the very man he was trying to forget about came to the forefront of his mind. He quickly moved off his bed and embarrassingly ruched to the front door to open it. Only when he did open the front door he couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed as Qui-Gon stood in front of him. 

“You are disappointed to see me?” Qui-Gon questioned him, seeing the frown that had taken over Obi-Wan’s features. Obi-Wan immediately shook his head. 

“No, I’d love to have you hear. Come in.” Obi-Wan rushed to open the door further and motion Qui-Gon inside. 

Slowly Qui-Gon walked in, eyeing Obi-Wan with a suspicious look that made Obi-Wan want to crawl into himself. Qui-Gon stopped in the middle of the kitchen and looked at Obi-Wan as he closed the front door. “Now, tell me why you don’t want me here?” 

Obi-Wan stuttered. “O-Of course I want you here, Master Qui-Gon.” 

Without hesitation, Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow at him. Obi-Wan crossed his arms and tried to look unaffected, making Qui-Gon sigh. “Fine. Perhaps Anakin will tell me. Where is he?” Obi-Wan sighed sadly, bringing Qui-Gon’s attention back to him. “Is he not here?” Qui-Gon questioned, just making Obi-Wan shake his head sadly and walk over to one of the cabinets to get out tea to make for himself and Qui-Gon. “What happened?” Qui-Gon questioned and came over to stand beside Obi-Wan. “Was there a fight?” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “No.” 

“Then why did he leave?” Qui-Gon questioned him. 

Obi-Wan didn’t look up from the cups of tea he was making when he responded, “That’s exactly what I’m wondering.” 

There was only a simple hum from Qui-Gon before he spoke again. “Did he say he would be back?” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Yes,” he murmured softly. His hand gently grabbed the teacups and moved over to the sink to fill them with hot water. With delicate hands he moved the cups back over to the counter and grabbed the tea bag he would be using this time. 

As Obi-Wan did all of this, he could feel Qui-Gon’s eyes on his back studying him and trying to figure out what to say next. “Then why are you so upset? If he said he was coming back then I assume there is nothing to worry about.” 

Obi-Wan hummed sadly. “I just don’t know when he will come back is all.” 

“That is what is making you upset?” Qui-Gon questioned. Obi-Wan just shrugged, not helping Qui-Gon at all. He didn’t mean to be rude, but he really wanted to switch topics and he hoped his silence would encourage Qui-Gon to do so. Obi-Wan heard Qui-Gon sigh behind him. “You do this too often Obi-Wan, you let yourself be consumed by grief. I’m starting to think it’s time to reteach you how to let go of things. You…let yourself get so sad over the littlest things Obi-Wan and it’s fine to be sad every so often but you cannot let grief consume you like it so often does. You must know this Obi-Wan, that it is far from healthy. You must know how you are like som-” Qui-Gon was cut off by the sharp voice of Obi-Wan. 

“Yes, Master Qui-Gon! I know! I've had to live with myself for years now I think I would know!” Obi-Wan spun around only to see a surprised Qui-Gon behind him. Immediately Obi-Wan’s face sunk. “No…Master, I’m sorry I didn't mean-” 

“I see I have overstepped a boundary. I am sorry,” Qui-Gon cut off in an apology before walking to the door. 

Obi-Wan hurried to him to grab his arm. “No master, I’m so sorry. I've been so upset lately, I didn’t mean to snap at you.” Qui-Gon just looked sadly at him. “You’re right, I do let myself be consumed by guilt. You were just trying to help. I’m sorry I yelled. You did not overstep any boundary.” 

Qui-Gon sighed, relaxing slightly and gently removing Obi-Wan’s hand from his arm. “Obi-Wan, you have been without Anakin before I assume. I know he has been on solo missions before. What makes this time so different. Why are you so sad when Anakin could only be gone for a short while.” Obi-Wan hesitated. “Did he say he would be gone for a long time?” Qui-Gon questioned him. Obi-Wan shook his head. “Then why Obi-Wan? Why are you so sad to see him go?” 

Obi-Wan turned away, focusing back on the tea for a moment as he thought. “I don’t know. All I know is I can’t stop thinking about him. All the time Master. I wake up and I’m sad he’s not next to me. I drink my tea in the kitchen and I’m sad he’s not sitting at the counter. I miss our odd conversations and the droid parts he would always have scattered around the table and floor.” Obi-Wan turned and motioned to the messy counter. “Look, I still haven’t moved those stupid metal pieces and it’s been nearly a week since he left.” 

Qui-Gon studied Obi-Wan for a while before asking. “You both were just friends, Obi-Wan?” Qui-Gon asked in a far too suspicious voice. 

Obi-Wan looked confusedly at him. “Of course, what else would we be?”

“You tell me,” Qui-Gon said as he shrugged and leaned against the counter. 

Obi-Wan smiled amusedly. “Tell you what?” 

Qui-Gon just shrugged again mysteriously before changing the topic. “I was serious earlier Obi-Wan, you can’t let yourself over-focus on your negative emotions. Maybe I could try and just distract you from that grief for a while today? Would you like company?” 

Slowly Obi-Wan smiled before turning around and handing Qui-Gon a cup of tea. “I would love it, Master Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan said politely. 

Qui-Gon smiled back at him before sipping the tea. “My third favorite? Is there a reason behind the choice?” 

“Oh yes,” Obi-Wan responded. “I always give you your favorite, and I assume you have it a lot on your own. It’s probably gotten boring now so you probably tried to switch to having your second favorite more and now that's got boring as well. So I figured the third favorite was something you didn’t have too often and was my safest option.” 

Qui-Gon just stared at Obi-Wan for a long moment before sighing. “All of that thought, just over what kind of tea you would give me?” 

With a chuckle, Obi-Wan shrugged. “I have to make sure your tea is perfect Master.” All Qui-Gon could respond with was a fond roll of his eyes. 

 

*** 

 

Later that day Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan sat outside with the birds. Qui-Gon threw a new handful of birdseed on the ground which the birds immediately flocked to. 

Obi-Wan felt more relaxed than he had in a while. Qui-Gon truly helped today. They had played odd games and talked about weird missions they went on in the past. Obi-Wan hadn't smiled this much in a while either. Qui-Gon just understood him so much better than he used to. And now that they didn’t have the stress of being a Jedi on their shoulders, Obi-Wan was better able to understand Qui-Gon and even see a side of him he had never seen as a Padawan. He could be loving and passionate not just about animals but people as well. He was still stubborn and decently set in his ideals, but even now he kept an open mind and would listen to others' points of view, even if he knew it would never change his personal opinion. 

Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon had only been sitting outside for a short while when Patience flew over and landed on Obi-Wan’s shoulder. “Hello there,” Obi-Wan greeted the bird, gently petting her on top of the head. 

Qui-Gon gasped. “A harmony bird,” he murmured. “I don’t see many of those around Coruscant.” 

Looking to his side Obi-Wan studied Patience. “Harmony bird? Is that what she is?” 

“I believe so,” Qui-Gon responded as he began studying Patience. "They are very peaceful birds. Does this one visit a lot?" 

Obi-Wan nodded, a fond smile coming to his face. "I see her almost every time I come outside. Her name is Patience." He paused for a moment to gently pet her on the head, making her chirp joyfully. "She is a good listener I think, not that she can understand me. But she has always patiently sat and listened while I talk, without any explanation I know of." 

"Oh I am sure there is an explanation to it,” Qui-Gon replied confidently. Did you feed her when you first found her?" 

Obi-Wan shook his head. "Not right away. I was rather upset when I first met her." 

At first, Qui-Gon had frowned over the news but soon a smile came over his face. "Do you know why Patience's species are called harmony birds Obi-Wan?" Qui-Gon quizzed Obi-Wan who shook his head. "It's because many say they bring harmony to the woods. Harmony birds have been known to protect wounded animals from predators or guard over them. It's not known why they do it, but it's in their nature. It’s in the realm of possibility that this little one here assumed you were a wounded animal and began guarding you." 

A big smile slowly crossed Obi-Wan’s features. "Oh, you precious bird. Here." Obi-Wan summoned birdseed to his hand and let Patience hop down to eat some. Gently, he pet her head as she ate the seed. 

"Such a sweet bird," Qui-Gon said amusedly. 

“Oh yes,” Obi-Wan responded.”I must admit, I am very attached to her now Master Qui-Gon." Obi-Wan continued to pet Patience, watching as the now better-understood bird nuzzled against his finger. "Thank you," he whispered, and Patience only listened. 

 

*** 

 

Anakin couldn't believe where he was currently sitting. He gripped the wooden table he sat in front of tightly with his metal hand as he looked around the small dining room. It was a small cottage similar to Obi-Wan's, except slightly bigger as not only the rooms were bigger but the house was longer and more separated. There was a garden he could see on the side of the house as well, pretty pink and blue flowers growing in it. But of course, this wasn't anything like Obi-Wan's cottage; not just because of the design of the home, but because of its occupants. 

As Anakin waited he looked up and reached out to the center of the table. There was a clear glass vase with white flowers, and in front of it, there was a yellow glass bird in the shape of a finch. He reached forward and grabbed the yellow bird curiously. He thought of Patience as he examined it, and he thought of what was happening back at Obi-Wan’s cottage. The thoughts didn’t last long though as footsteps soon came to the entrance of the dining room. “Ani?” Came the familiar voice again. 

He had to close his eyes for a moment, unsure of how to react. His mother had found him somehow. He had been sitting by the lake and she called out his name behind him. He had turned and instantly saw tears come to her eyes as she recognized him. He hadn't known what to do. He wanted to run into his mother's arms and hug her, never let go again. But he also wanted to get on one knee and apologize profusely for every single thing he had ever done wrong. Shmi had ended up running to him and cupping his cheek, examining him and asking if it was really him. 

“Y-Yes mom, it’s me,” Anakin had said, tears already in his eyes as well. It had taken all his willpower not to cry right then, especially when Shmi pulled him forward and hugged him as if he had never done a thing wrong in his life. He had felt like he was a nine-year-old innocent kid when she hugged him. He had of course been unable to not hug her back. But as soon as he did the sickly guilt that always found its place in his gut began growing again, and this time it was slowly growing up and slithering around his heart before squeezing. Each second that passed he found yet another thing he needed to apologize for. Over time the guilt became so bad he felt paralyzed by it, just frozen in this embrace Anakin knew his mother would regret giving him. 

He had been reminded then why he had chosen not to visit his mother when he first arrived in the afterlife. He had known even on his first or second day here that he could not handle the guilt that would come with seeing her. He could handle Obi-Wan then because Ob-Wan had known what he had done. There was no hiding his sins from him. But with his mother it was possible she did not know, and he would have to sit in front of her and explain the terrible things he did over his lifetime and watch as horror twisted her features. 

Eventually, his mother and him had broken the hug and she quickly stood up with him. She had quickly requested Anakin come back to her home so they could talk and Anakin could only slowly nod in agreement, still in shock from seeing her. She had quickly, almost frantically, rushed him back to this cottage he was sitting in now. She had motioned him into the dining room before hurrying out of the room to get something Anakin wasn’t sure of. 

Now in the present Anakin opened his eyes slowly and turned to her. She had a young and kind face, her hair down and clean. She looked better than Anakin had ever seen her before. “I see you found my glass bird,” Shmi said fondly. 

Anakin looked down at the bird and quickly rushed to put it back on the table. “I’m so s-sorry, I shouldn’t have messed with your things. 

Shmi slowly walked forward and sat in the chair next to him. “Oh it’s fine, Ani, I could always just get another one.” 

Anakin waved her off. “No, it was rude,” he said, trying his hardest to prevent his voice from cracking in sadness. He could feel his eyes already begin to get watery. “You wanted to talk to me, mom?” Anakin asked. 

Slowly Shmi reached up and touched his cheek, in the very same way she had before she had died. “Anakin, you’re crying.” 

“No mom, I’m fine,” Anakin rushed to say before whispering in a broken voice. “A-Am I allowed to call you mom?” 

Shmi sadly shook her head at her son's state, unbelieving as to how he could ask that. But Anakin saw her simple head shake and his heart broke, assuming that had been her answer to his question. Immediately he began sobbing, unable to hold it back as he believed he had lost his mother. He put his arms on the table and hid his face against them as he was no longer able to hold back his tears. Shmi gasped and grabbed his arm. “Oh no Ani, come here. Don’t do that.” She grabbed his arm and sat him up, moving his face to rest on her shoulder. “You can call me mom, you can call me that. I didn’t mean to shake my head, it was just hard to believe you would ask that.” 

Anakin cried in relief, guilt, and sadness. His emotions were too overwhelming for him to handle as not for the first time in his life he thought he was going to drown in his sadness and tears. “I'm so sorry!” He cried brokenly. “I'm sorry!” 

Shmi rubbed his shaking back with her hand, keeping her touch gentle but her arm around Anakin firm and grounding. “Shhhh, I know. I know you are sorry.” Anakin just kept crying, unable to ever hide his emotions from his mother. He was unable to talk for a while, his tears choking him and preventing him from speaking. He could only listen as his mother whispered softly to him. “I know you are sorry,” she whispered again. “I’ll help you.” 

When Anakin finally began to calm down just slightly he choked out, “You s-shouldn’t help me.” 

Shmi just shook her head. “No matter what you have done in your life, I will always be your mother. I have waited so long to see you, and it would be foolish of me to shun you the moment I saw you Ani. I love you okay? I love you.” 

Anakin sobbed in relief and slowly nodded. “I love you too mom. I’m so sorry.” 

“Shhhh, I know,” Shmi said again. 

Slowly Anakin began to calm down. He pulled back and wiped his face awkwardly. He looked embarrassed as he crossed his arms over his chest and looked at the table. “I’m sorry for crying.” 

Shmi shook her head. “Hush with the apologies. I would be surprised if you hadn't cried Ani.” Slowly Anakin nodded and Shmi sighed. “I have heard a lot of what you did. I have even dreamt about some of it.” Anakin winced at her confession but Shmi just shushed him again. “It’s okay. We don’t have to talk about it. You are still my son and I love you. I am even proud of you for helping your son near your end. There is a reason you are here in the afterlife and not somewhere else. The force knows you are a good man.” 

Anakin shook his head. “No mom, I doubt the force made the right choice when it sent me here. I don’t deserve your help and I don't deserve to be here.” 

Shmi sighed again and shook her head. “You do deserve it. Don’t think so negatively Ani.” Shmi cupped his cheek again and wiped the remaining tears off his cheek. “Ohhh,” she cooed. “Does my Ani need another hug?” 

Anakin blushed. “Mom…” He complained bashfully. 

Shmi just chuckled. “I think he does,” she said as if talking to a cute animal. “Come here, give your mom a hug.” She didn’t really give him a choice as she gently pushed him back against her chest. Anakin chuckled quietly as they hugged, only making Shmi coo again. “Aw, there is my little Ani’s laugh. Could I see your smile?” 

Anakin whined. “Mom!” He complained bashfully before benign pulled back and having his cheeks pushed together by his mother. Anakin slowly began to smile. 

“Awww,” Shmi cooed. “You look so handsome when you smile.” 

Anakin just blushed and started grumbling. “You need to kick me out,” he said. “You know what I did.” 

Shmi shushed him. “I know, and I am disappointed in some of it. But now is not the time to talk about it. Oh, I know what I’ll do. Stay right here.” She said as she got up and walked into the kitchen. Anakin waited patiently before Shmi came back and set a pallie fruit in front of him. “I know you liked those as a kid, I hope you still do.” 

As Anakin looked at the fruit he remembered exactly what happened last time he had tried one. He remembered throwing the plate and fruit against the wall angrily and out of guilt. He remembered yelling and having that bad fight with Obi-Wan, “I did something really bad after eating these last time,” Anakin informed sadly.

Shmi frowned. “Why is that?” 

Anakin looked sadly at his mother and shrugged. “I was trying to make myself miserable. I thought by making myself feel hungry all the time could help me achieve that. Obi-Wan….my friend. He offered me some and I ended up eating it. A while after I did it I started feeling guilty for eating it, for letting myself feel less miserable than I thought I deserved, and I ended up getting in a fight with Obi-Wan.” 

Shmi sighed. “Oh Ani, do you still feel that way? Do you want me to take away the fruit?” 

For a while, Anakin stared at the fruit then slowly shook his head. In a moment of confidence, he took the fruit from the plate and took a big bite of it. Shmi looked at him surprised. Anakin took a deep breath, swallowed what he had in his mouth, and then put the fruit down. “There,” he said simply. 

“So brave,” Shmi told him and rubbed his arm proudly. 

Anakin smiled softly at her.  “Why don’t we talk about you mom? What have you done in the afterlife?” 

Shmi immediately shook her head. “Oh no, It is not as interesting as I imagine your story is. I want to hear all about what you have been up to first.” 

Anakin huffed but didn’t put up a fight with his mother. Slowly he began going over the course of events. He started with dying them with the council meeting and his time with Obi-Wan. He hadn’t gotten the chance to tell anyone this story yet, and he found it almost relieving now that he did finally get to share some of it. He got to about the part where he was debating leaving. 

Shmi looked confused. “Ani, why did you say you were debating leaving again?” 

Anakin sighed. “I didn’t say.” 

“Well, why were you?” Shmi asked. “It seems now that you didn't intentionally run into me here, so I am guessing there was another reason you wanted to leave. The odd thing is you seem so happy with Obi-Wan. There should have been no reason you wanted to leave.” Anakin slowly began to blush, his cheeks turning an odd red color. Shmi studied him then paused. “That makes sense.” She whispered to herself. 

“W-what?” Anakin said, trying not to seem suspicious in any way.

Shmi laughed. “Oh, that’s adorable.” Anakin looked confusedly at her as she cupped both his cheeks. “Do you have a little crush on Obi-Wan?” 

Anakin’s entire face began to turn red. “Crush?” 

Shmi just laughed again. “Aw, it’s okay. You don’t have to talk about it. But just tell me, am I right?” 

Anakin looked at the table. “I just…..want him to be mine forever. That’s it.” 

Somehow Shmi laughed even louder, making Anakin smile slightly. “Oh okay, I see dear.” 

Anakin sighed and murmured. “I left because I’m not supposed to like him like that. He would think I was disgusting.” 

Shmi suddenly frowned and grabbed Anakin’s arm, making him look at her. “You are not disgusting,” she said. “Obi-Wan does not sound like a bad person. He would not think you were disgusting even if he didn’t reciprocate your feelings.” 

Anakin shook his head. “But he could.” 

Shmi sighed and grabbed both of Anakin’s hands before looking him in the eyes. “You will never know if you don’t try. I know you are scared, dear. Be honest with me Ani, did you leave because you were scared of what Obi-Wan would think if he found out how you felt?” 

Slowly Anakin nodded, his features sinking in shame. “I just needed to find a way to get over my feelings. So I came here to be alone.” 

Shmi shook her head. “No Ani, that’s not how feelings work. You can’t just disappear for a while and expect your feelings to go away on their own. Embrace these feelings. Get closure even if that closure hurts your feelings.” 

Anakin frowned sadly, considering what his mother had told him. “I can’t….I can’t lose him, mom.” 

Shmi cupped both his cheeks. “If he is a true friend, you won’t lose him over your feelings.” 

Anakin looked down, knowing his mother was more than likely right again. “I’m just so scared,” He said. 

Shmi nodded. “I know, but remember, you will never know if you don’t try. He may feel similarly.” 

Anakin just laughed at the idea, Shmi having unknowingly placed hope deep in his heart. He thought for a second that maybe Obi-Wan did feel something similar, maybe his heart fluttered quicker when they woke up in the same bed, or maybe he secretly smiled at Anakin when he wasn't looking just how Anakin did to him. “Thank you, mom,” he finally said and Shmi pulled him into a hug. They sat there silently for a while before Anakin slowly pulled away. “Please, tell me about yourself now mother. I’m curious.” 

With a small nod, Shmi relented. “Fine,” She said before slowly going over what had most recently happened to her. Anakin was astonished to find out that she was no longer with the man she was married to on Tatooine. She was currently with another man she described as her ‘soulmate’ on multiple occasions. Anakin was concerned over ever meeting him. His mother was an angel but he felt the opposite of an angel most days. He was prepared for this man to hate him. He was slightly relieved when he found out he would be gone with his friend for two more days. 

“I’m so glad you found someone who loves you, mom,” Anakin said with a small smile. 

Shmi nodded. “I am as well.” They were both silent for a while, thinking about what to bring up next. She thought for a moment before bringing up Luke. “I can’t wait to meet my grandchildren. Of course, I want them to live long lives, but it would be nice to meet them,” She said then pauses\d. “You never mentioned visiting Luke. Don’t tell me you haven’t visited him.” Anakin rubbed the back of his neck guiltily and Shmi sighed “Anakin, you must do that spoon.” 

“Okay,” Anakin said, not even putting up a fight. 

Shmi cooed.”That’s my good boy,” She gave him a gentle kiss on his forehead. 

Anakin could only blush in return. 

Chapter Text

The wind blew gently around him as the force whispered in his ear. The sounds of leaves around him became quiet and the smell in the air became salty. Waves crashed against rocks and birds called out around him. The planet of Naboo faded into the background and when Anakin opened his eyes a new unknown planet came into view. 

A young man with blonde hair sat on a sandy beach, water gently brushing up the sand and stopping right before it his back. Anakin sat behind the young man, watching from the rocks as the wind blew his hair, blowing some dry sand into his face. Anakin winced and fidgeted uneasily. He was a ghost sitting on a bench and the sand still bothered him. 

It was as Anakin was swatting the sand blowing in his face that the young men in front of him tensed up. The force urged him to turn and as he did he came to look at a face that seemed so unfamiliar yet somehow familiar at the same time. As he reached out into the force he recognized the signature, yet it wasn’t how he remembered. He narrowed his eyes, and only after a few moments did he finally whisper, “Dad?” 

Anakin froze before looking away from the sand and putting his arms back at his sides. “Luke,” He said, a very small, maybe even hesitant smile making it to his lips. 

“But I didn’t…” Luke started, sounding confused. “I didn't call upon you? Or try to reach out to you. I didn't know if you could….come back?” Anakin’s hesitant smile instantly faded. He hadn't thought about the fact that Luke might not want to see him again. He may have saved his son, but saving someone didn’t necessarily make up for all the bad deeds you did to them in the past. I cut off his hand, Anakin thought to himself. 

“I need to ask you something serious,” Anakin said in a familiar serious tone. 

Luke tensed up even more. “What is it?” 

Anakin studied Luke, memorizing him slowly as if it was the last time he would get to see him. “Do you want me to be here?” He asked and held up a hand before Luke could respond. “Before you say anything, I can’t hurt you no matter what you say. I can just visit, and I thought it might be a good idea to check up on you. But Obi-Wan could always come in my place. You don't ever have to see me again if you don’t want.” 

Once Anakin had put his hand down he watched as Luke considered what he said before frowning deeply. Anakin had immediately taken it as a bad sign before Luke spoke. “I wasn’t scared you would hurt me. And I want you to stay.” He paused. “What am I allowed to call you?” 

A hesitant smile returned to Anakin's face. “You could call me whatever you like. You don’t have to call me father or a parental name.” 

Luke began to look hesitant. ‘Well, what if I wanted to call you…dad?” 

Anakin looked at Luke in surprise. “Are you sure? My name is Anakin, as I’m sure you have heard. I can go by that. Or Skywalker. Or ass. I respond to all.” 

Luke laughed, a genuine sound that made Anakin smile a little brighter. “I’m not going to call you that.” 

“Call me what?” Anakin questioned jokingly. 

Luke shook his head. “No, I will not be saying it. I know you have done bad things but that doesn’t change the fact you are my father.”Anakin smiled softly at Luke’s show of kindness. Luke thought for a moment before adding. “Ben would be disappointed in me for using profanity unnecessarily. He already gave me a look when I cussed that first day I met him.” 

Anakin’s smile faded just slightly in confusion. “Who’s Ben?” The name sounded so familiar to him. He could have sworn he had heard Luke use it before. 

Luke tilted his head. “Obi-Wan? I thought he would have told you by now that’s what he was called on Tatooine.” The pieces clicked together in Anakin's mind and he nodded. “Some people on Tatooine would call him ‘crazy old Ben.’ I kind of felt bad for him though because he wasn’t crazy, he just lived alone and away from everyone.” 

Slowly Anakin smirked over the nickname. “Crazy old Ben?” It was all Anakin had heard for a moment, that silly name. He began to feel a little saddened when he heard Obi-Wan lived alone, but he knew that was something he would need to talk to Obi-Wan about later. 

Luke slowly nodded before pausing. “I feel as if I shouldn't have told you that,” 

Anakin scoffed. “Oh no, you said exactly what you needed to. Crazy old Ben…” he repeated to himself. 

Luke just slowly smiled at him as Anakin thought to himself. “Luke,” he said again. “Would you like to tell me what you have done since I left?” Anakin had heard some of the things Luke had done from Obi-Wan already when the other man had visited. But he wanted to talk to his son, and he figured this was an easy enough question even if the answer might be long. 

Hesitantly Luke began his story. So far Luke had not gotten to do much, as it had only been a few months since the fall of the empire. But Luke had mentioned this Han man a lot, along with Leia. It still surprised Anakin that Padme had twins. It was hard enough to grasp the fact he had a son but adding a daughter made things almost even harder to accept. He was glad of course, but he knew he had forever ruined things with Leia. He helped destroy her home planet. He was a monster to her and Anakin was sure he would always be one. He was lucky his son was still willing to talk to him. He didn’t deserve either of them and he hardly deserved to be here as Luke spoke to him. 

As Anakin became lost in thought Luke continued talking about what he had done. Anakin heard him talking about helping the rebellion and his sister. He also heard something about impressively destroying stormtrooper bases on other planets. Anakin just began feeling more guilty. He wished he was there to help his kids with all this. He would help repair everything and then let himself be arrested and maybe even executed when they were done. 

The entire time Luke spoke he had a nervous aura around him. He restrained from fidgeting even if Anakin could tell he wanted to. It was as if Luke was scared Anakin would have a negative reaction to something he did and he would get yelled at. Anakin wanted to remind Luke that even if he had done something bad he hardly had the right to yell at him. He may be his dad but he was a terrible guide when it came to what was right and wrong. As Luke got near the end of his story he suddenly stopped. “You are frowning,” he said calmly. “Did I do something wrong?” 

Anakin was speechless for a moment, looking confusedly at his son. “Luke, it would not matter if I did or did not like what you had done. I have no right to yell at you. But to give you my honest opinion so far, what you have done is very kind. You have fixed a lot of my mistakes so far, and for that, I am proud of you. I know Obi-Wan would be proud as well. He talked about you a lot after his last visit and I think he will be happy when I inform him of your progress.” The best thing Anakin could think of was getting praise from Obi-Wan, so he assumed that idea would make Luke happy as well. 

Luke slowly smiled, “Thank you…dad.” 

Anakin couldn’t help but let himself smile over that. “You are truly comfortable with calling me that? After everything? I know what you said, about me still being your father despite doing bad things. But you must feel at least some hesitation.” 

Luke nodded. “You are Anakin aren’t you? Anakin is my father, Darth Vader wasn’t. Anakin was the one who saved me.” 

Anakin thought about that and soon realized Luke had a very good point. He decided he would add on to what Luke said. “I agree Luke, I am your father, Darth Vader wasn’t. But it is complicated.” Anakin paused. “I used to pretend I was two different people,” he began. “I would pretend Anakin was dead like someone killed him, and Darth Vader was all that was left. But that wasn’t true. I was always Anakin, a very messed up, saddened, broken Anakin. My wife had died and I believe it was my fault. I believed Obi-Wan had betrayed me, that not even the man who had always stood by my side did anymore. I had so much pain, and I took it out on everyone else. But no matter how many people I hurt it never repaired this hole that had burned through my heart.” Anakin sighed, trying to remember where he had diverged in that conversation. “Oh,” he finally said. “Well, I was just trying to explain to you that I was always Anakin and that there were never two different people. Although it seemed like there was, I know it probably looked that way.” 

Luke nodded along as Anakin spoke. “Did you ever feel like Anakin when you called yourself Vader?” Luke asked. 

Anakin only had to think for a moment before responding. “It’s complicated, but no. I felt like a grumpy old man when I was Vader.” 

Luke chuckled quietly. “A grumpy old man?” 

“Yes,” Anakin responded. “Vader felt like a grumpy old man, and Anakin felt like a reckless and sometimes confused teenager.” 

“Do you feel like a teenager now?” Luke asked with genuine curiosity. 

Anakin thought for a moment before shaking his head. “No, I feel like an adult, not old but not young. Although sometimes I feel older than I should, like the times I start feeling guilty about what I've done.”  

Luke nodded along again but didn’t comment on any of the things that were just said. There was a pause of silence where they both thought about what Anakin had just said before Luke spoke. “How’s Ben?” 

“He's fine, at least I think he is,” Anakin responded. “He won’t always tell me when something is wrong.” 

Luke tilted his head. “What do you both do in the afterlife?” 

Anakin laughed. “Well, I don’t know how much I should tell you about the afterlife itself. But Obi-Wan and I talk frequently. I would say we are close, closer than we have been in a long time. We keep each other company and sometimes sleep next to one another. He helps me a lot.” 

“Oh,” Luke said. “You both must sound like good friends.” 

Anakin just slowly nodded. “Yes….good friends.” Luke opened his mouth to say more but was interrupted when a woman in brown pants and a dark green vest walked out onto the beach. Her brown hair was tied up into braids behind her head and when Anakin got a better look at her he couldn’t help the sinking feeling that formed in his stomach. 

Luke looked up at her. “Hey Leia,” he greeted with a small smile. 

She nodded to him before glancing around. “Who are you talking to?” Luke tensed up a little before motioning his hand toward Anakin. Leia turned and looked right in Anakin’s direction. Anakin had thought Leia was not trained in the force, so he assumed he wouldn’t have to worry about Leia seeing him. But it appeared now he was wrong as Leia stared right at him for far too long. “What’s that?’ She said in an almost panicked voice. 

Luke looked between Leia and Anakin before speaking in a calm voice. “That’s Anakin, our father.” 

Leia gasped, looking shocked at him. “Vader…” She whispered. Anakin closed his eyes for a moment, preparing for the worst. 

Luke slowly stood up, also preparing himself. “Leia, please. He was asking about the progress I made, it was a quick visit.” 

Leia didn’t seem to hear him as she slowly glared. “How are you still allowed to be here as a ghost? Luke told me this could happen, but I didn’t think it was possible you could return after the first time.” Anakin could read between the lines of what Leia was saying. He believed she was telling him that she thought he would be in some kind of hell, therefore wouldn’t be able to return as a ghost again. 

Anakin studied her before speaking carefully. “I don't know how it’s possible either. But you do not have to worry about me getting in your way. I was only here to check in on Luke’s progress and see if I could offer advice. I will have to leave soon.” Anakin began to feel the familiar guilt and anxiety well up inside him. 

“I don’t know if I should yell at you, or just let you be. I’m sure you already know what you’ve done wrong, I don't need to tell you.” Leia's voice was stern and some would say void of emotion, but Anakin could hear the pain hidden deep in her voice. 

“If you want to yell at me then do so, I deserve it,” Anakin said simply. Leia looked slightly surprised, more than likely expecting Anakin to fight with her in some way. It was around this time that Anakin began to feel himself running out of energy. He knew this would look like an excuse to get out of her yelling at him, so Anakin used all his concentration to stay. He thought Leia deserved to have her voice heard. 

Leia looked seriously at him for a while before speaking in a saddened voice. “I just….wish you hadn’t made all those mistakes so long ago. Maybe then I wouldn’t have to dislike you so much.” Leia walked off soon after saying this, not waiting for Anakin to give her a response. Luke looked sadly at her retreating back. 

Out of everything Leia could have said, that was something Anakin hadn’t expected. It was also something that just intensified the guilt squeezing at his heart. Her words truly did simplify everything. If Anakin hadn’t fallen to the Darkside and joined Sidious all those years ago then things would be almost perfect. He would have both his children, he wouldn’t have to worry about his daughter hating him, and Padme might have been able to live out her life. Not only that but the war could have ended and his children could have grown up in peace. Obi-Wan would have been proud of him and they would have stayed close. Everything was ruined not just because of Sidious, but because of him. It’s possible he was the only reason Sidious’s plan completely worked. Without him and his mistakes, the galaxy would have been better off. He was a monster, he was a screwup, he was a weak man and he thought he deserved to rot. Everything was messed up, it was all his fault. 

“Dad!” 

Immediately Anakin concentrates back on his surroundings to see Luke looking confusedly at him. “You weren’t answering me,” Luke said, supposedly having called on him multiple times. 

“Oh…I’m very sorry Luke. I got lost in thought,” Anakin apologized regretfully. “I must also apologize because I think I’m running out of energy, I cannot stay much longer.” 

Luke looked sad, but understanding. “Okay, I guess this is goodbye then.” 

Anakin nodded. “I enjoyed talking to you. Thank you, Luke.” After a pause of silence, Anakin finally said the disappointing words. “Goodbye son,” He said, getting an odd thrill out of calling Luke his son. 

But Luke just smiled, not demanding Anakin take back what he said. “Goodbye,” Luke whispered, and Anakin’s surroundings faded. 

 

*** 

 

Later that day Anakin sat in his mother's kitchen getting ready to leave. He had spent two days at his mother's and throughout his time there he had only begun to miss Obi-Wan more and more. It would be sad leaving but he promised his mother he would return soon. He felt weirdly exhausted, a feeling he had not felt yet in the afterlife. The amount of concentration it took to visit Luke had been immense. He also used a lot of his energy, something Anakin wouldn’t have thought he had a supply of in the afterlife but he supposed the force controlled so the dead could not continuously harass the living. 

“Ani” Shmi announced, drawing Anakin’s attention back to her as he slipped on his black gloves. 

“Yes, mom?” He questioned as he walked slowly to the front door, she stopped him before he could get there. 

Before Anakin could react she pulled him into a tight hug that Anakin was all too happy to return. “Go give Obi-Wan a big kiss for me.” 

Anakin groaned and Shmi laughed at him. “Mom, I can’t just give him a kiss.” 

“And why is that?” Shmi asked as if she was asking Anakin to do the easiest thing in the galaxy. 

“Because I just can’t,” Anakin said as he internally scolded himself for imagining doing exactly what his mother told him. “He won’t like it,” Anakin eventually retorted. 

“And you know this….how?” Shmi asked. 

“I just know mom,” Anakin said with slight fondness. 

Shmi sighed. “Fine, but remember what I told you…” 

“‘You will never know if you don’t try,’ I know mom,” Anakin said fondly. 

Shmi smiled at him and reached up to cup both his cheeks, finally looking a little sad. “Remember to comm in at most a week.” 

Anakin nodded, pulling her into a hug one last time that day. “I promise to mom,” he reassured. They hugged for a little longer before sadly pulling away. Unknown to Anakin, Shmi had slipped something very small into the pocket of his cloak. She figured he wouldn’t spot it for a couple of days but she was okay with that. They sadly said their goodbyes before Anakin left, waving to his mom as he walked down the path away from her house. Sadness filled him and he reminded himself that he would be back to see his wonderful, forgiving mother again. 

Eventually, Anakin located his ship. There were leaves sitting peacefully on top of it and some mud stains on the legs. With a sigh, Anakin got on his ship and without even having to set the course himself his ship automatically set the course to Coruscant. A small smile graced Anakin’s lips as he looked over his destination before setting off. He felt his heart begin to pick up as he looked up into the sky ahead of him, the sky that would soon transform into the planet Coruscant. 

As expected before Anakin knew it he was on Coruscant, already flying his ship down and looking around for where he imagined Obi-Wan's house was located. Anakin assumed it would be about a fifteen or possibly thirty-minute speeder drive from the Jedi temple depending on traffic, but he knew once he got onto that dirt trail that led into the forest it was only a five-standard-minute walk and he would get to his cottage. Anakin was surprised that the ship suddenly turned without him telling it to, taking its path into a wooded area. The ship landed itself, (much to Anakin's surprise) and soon after landing on the planet Anakin opened the top hatch and crawled out. 

Everything was going fine until Anakin’s feet touched the ground, a weird hazy feeling coming over him. He had to grab onto his ship for support as his surroundings suddenly became blurry and an image of someone appeared in front of him. 

There was silence for a while, silence in a dimly lit, tan room where a man with ginger hair read his book on a bed. Anakin watched as Obi-Wan slowly looked up and gasped. They made eye contact and Anakin felt Obi-Wan’s presence in the force as if he was right in front of him. “Anakin?” Obi-Wan whispered, shock written across his face. Obi-Wan’s voice was faint and sounded far away. Anakin slowly tried to reach out and grab Obi-Wan, but as soon as he tried to take a step forward the vision faded and Anakin found himself standing where he had jumped out of his ship. 

Anakin looked around the forest confusedly. He wondered if he saw a vision, yet if it was Anakin knew it was rather odd as there was no point to the vision. It hadn't felt like a normal vision to Anakin. It felt too real, not blurry enough. When Anakin saw Obi-Wan he looked so real Anakin was certain if he just reached a little closer his hand would meet the flesh of Obi-Wan’s arm. The most confusing thing about it was that if it wasn’t a vision then Anakin had no idea what it was, as well as what had triggered it. 

Anakin turned back to his ship, reminding himself that he needed to get to Obi-Wan’s cottage. Anakin closed his eyes and made his ship disappear before glancing around the forest and heading in the direction he believed Obi-Wan’s cottage to be. 

It hadn't taken long for Anakin to arrive, the cottage being a lot closer than he had expected. He walked to the familiar front door, his mind and heart racing. Taking a deep breath Anakin pushed the button to open the front door and walked in. He looked around the house and took a deep breath, taking in his familiar surroundings and slowly smiling. He had missed this small, cramped cottage. He turned his head toward the bedroom when he heard footsteps. Obi-Wan walked out and stopped in the door frame. 

Anakin simply stared at him for a few seconds, taking him in after the week he was gone. Obi-Wan looked the same, his hair sitting near his shoulders the same way it always was and his beard trimmed like normal. He still wore his tan clothes and that baggy brown robe. Yet despite the fact Obi-Wan looked the same Anakin couldn’t stop thinking about how beautiful he was. Yet even if Obi-Wan completely changed the way he looked Anakin was sure he would still think Obi-Wan looked charming; yes that was a good word to describe Obi-Wan, charming. 

Obi-Wan suddenly cleared his throat. “You know, if you are going to walk into my house without knocking you should at least have the decency to say hello.” 

Anakin crossed his arms defiantly as Obi-Wan started smiling. “Well, you would be a fool for believing the man who walked into your house without knocking had any decency at all,” Anakin said jokingly. 

Obi-Wan laughed, a bright smile coming to the other man's face and making Anakin nearly beam in return. He caused that, Anakin thought to himself. He was the one that made Obi-Wan laugh. 

“Yes, I suppose I should have known, Anakin,” Obi-Wan said fondly and walked over to him. Anakin expected him to just stop in front of him or put his hand on his shoulder, but instead Obi-Wan smiled up at him before pulling him into a soft hug. Anakin looked surprised down at him before hugging him back. Anakin had missed him so much. 

As if Obi-Wan had read his mind he repeated Anakin’s last thoughts, pulling away from Anakin in a reluctant manner before speaking. “I missed you.” 

“I missed you too,” Anakin immediately repeated, his entire body getting oddly hot after hearing Obi-Wan say those words. It was rare when Obi-Wan said something affectionate like that so freely. Anakin’s smile faded after a few seconds as he remembered what he needed to say. “I’m sorry for leaving so suddenly.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head. “No, I am sure you had your reasons. I am just glad you are back, much sooner than I anticipated.” 

Anakin hesitated. “Is that a bad thing?” He hadn't expected Obi-Wan to want him gone, but he assumed it was possible Obi-Wan missed his personal space, or maybe Anakin had truly annoyed him that much. It made Anakin angry to think Obi-Wan might not want him. 

Immediately, Obi-Wan shook his head. “No, I like to have you here, Anakin,” Obi-Wan quickly said. He glanced around before pulling Anakin to the couch and sitting them both down on it. Once they were both settled on the couch Obi-Wan spoke again. “If you wouldn’t mind telling me,” Obi-Wan began “Where did you go?” 

“Naboo,” Anakin responded. 

Obi-Wan tilted his head curiously. “What did you do there?” 

Anakin huffed amusedly. ‘ Thought about you the whole time,’ he wanted to say. “I cleared my head, spent a lot of time by lakes.” Anakin paused. “Obi-Wan, before I tell you more about it, I have something pressing on my mind I would like to talk to you about.” Anakin had always been slightly impatient, and he wanted to stop a potentially long conversation so Anakin wouldn’t have to wait to share his concern. 

“Is something the matter?” Obi-Wan questioned with slight concern in his voice. 

Anakin shook his head and then stopped. “I don’t know. When I stepped out of my ship after landing on Coruscant Obi-Wan…. I saw you.” 

Suddenly Obi-Wan gasped. “That was real?” He whispered, his voice full of shock. 

So It wasn’t just a vision, Anakin thought to himself. He wasn’t surprised, but he was curious as to what Obi-Wan had thought it was. “Did you think it was a vision as well?” 

Obi-Wan hesitated, looking oddly ashamed for a moment or maybe it was hesitance that was written across his face. “Not exactly.” 

“Then what?” Anakin questioned. 

Obi-Wan looked him in the eyes before sighing. “I thought I was hallucinating, to be honest with you.” 

Anakin had huffed amusedly at first, thinking that hallucination was probably something he might have needed to consider more as well. But the more Anakin thought about that theory the more it became unrealistic. Usually, hallucinations occurred when he was lacking sleep or was severely lacking something else; in the afterlife there was nothing he could lack, which made Obi-Wan’s theory unrealistic. “Why did you think you were hallucinating?” Anakin decided to ask. “I just think it’s an odd theory, considering nothing is causing you to hallucinate in the afterlife.” 

Obi-Wan nodded, beginning to look sad. Anakin wondered if he had said something wrong. “I used to hallucinate sometimes, and somehow I thought it was more plausible than a vision. Although neither a vision nor hallucination sounds very plausible. 

Anakin narrowed his eyes. “When would you hallucinate?” 

Rubbing a hand over his face Obi-Wan sighed. “A long time ago… it’s complicated Anakin. I've hallucinated things like what I saw earlier today before so I assumed somehow I had begun hallucinating again.” 

There was silence for a while as Anakin looked at Obi-Wan confusedly. “Are you saying…that you have hallucinated me before What was it you saw earlier?” 

Obi-Wan hummed. “I saw you standing in my room, and then you reached out to me before disappearing. And yes, I have,” Obi-Wan admitted with a slightly embarrassed expression. 

Concern was the first emotion to hit Anakin. He grabbed Obi-Wan’s chin and held him still. “When? Why?” 

Obi-Wan smiled softly at him and grabbed Anakin's hand, moving it off his chin and simply holding it. “A long time ago. And I assume it was because I was too hot, dehydrated, or lacked sleep. Pair those three things with the fact I thought about you a lot and seeing you became a weirdly common hallucination. And once again Anakin, that was a very long time ago so cease looking so concerned.” 

Anakin put on a serious face and nodded. “You’ll tell me if you start hallucinating again, right?” 

Obi-Wan chuckled. “Yes Anakin, but I’m sure it won’t be happening anytime soon,” Anakin noted Obi-Wan looked touched. ‘Good, he did something right,’ Anakin thought. 

They both thought in silence for a while before Anakin spoke again. “So if it wasn’t a hallucination or vision then what was it?” 

Obi-Wan hummed. “I will put thought into it as well as ask Qui-Gon next time I see him,” Obi-Wan stated, and that was it for that conversation. Once again they both went silent, Anakin watching as Obi-Wan went into thought about something once again.

A few minutes passed and Anakin got bored of just sitting around so he stood up, pulling Obi-Wan up with him. “We have a lot to talk about,” Anakin said. “But it can wait until tomorrow. Until then I would like to make up for lost time,” he said as he pulled Obi-Wan into the bedroom. 

“Lost time?” Obi-Wan questioned. 

Anakin nodded. “Yes, now get on the bed.” 

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow at him but slowly did as he was told, sitting on the edge of the bed with his legs crossed. “Now what are we doing?” Anakin could admit his wording was odd, but Obi-Wan would see what he wanted soon enough. 

Anakin got on the bed and sat on the side he always slept on. “Sleeping together, like we always do.” He began kicking off his boots before taking off his gloves and setting them aside. He shrugged off his robe and threw it on the floor before pulling the covers back. 

“Sleeping next to each other? But it isn’t dark yet,” Obi-Wan said even as he took off his own boots and cloak. 

He watched Obi-Wan before getting under the covers, Obi-Wan quickly joining him. Anakin found it amusing how easily Obi-Wan went along with it. “It doesn't matter.” As soon as Obi-Wan got comfortable he wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled his back against Anakin’s chest. He noted Obi-Wan’s cheeks got slightly pink, he hoped he hasn’t made Obi-Wan uncomfortable. Anakin loosened his arm, giving Obi-Wan the chance to move more. He was relieved when Obi-Wan sighed and leaned back against him, his shoulders un-tense and relaxed. 

“I missed this,” Obi-wan whispered. He was silent for a while before speaking quietly again. “It made me sad to wake up and not have you next to me.” Obi-Wan huffed amusedly as if what he was saying was a joke. “I would reach behind me sometimes and be disappointed you weren’t there. It’s silly, it really is; you just make nice company sometimes Anakin.” Obi-Wan looked down, not risking meeting Anakin’s eyes. 

A wave of possessiveness ran through Anakin. ‘Obi-Wan needs you as you need him. He wants you by his side when he sleeps. He doesn’t let anyone else get this close to him. No one else is allowed to hold him the way you do,’ Anakin’s mind supplied. “It isn’t silly Obi-Wan,” Anakin finally responded. “I felt the same way. Why do you think this is one of the first things I wanted to do when I got back?” He whispered into Obi-Wan’s ear, resisting the urge to bite at it. The thought almost made Anakin shiver. He knew it would be wrong and dirty, and it would scare Obi-Wan. But it still didn’t stop the urge to do so. 

Obi-Wan sighed and relaxed again. “Thank you, Anakin.” 

They sat silently after that, Anakin holding Obi-Wan close and Obi-Wan leaning against him. After a while, Anakin began getting hot. “May I take my shirt off?” Obi-Wan nodded, his eyes still closed and relaxed. It wasn’t uncommon for Anakin to sleep shirtless so Anakin quickly took his shirt off without hesitation. Only a few minutes passed before Anakin felt Obi-Wan fall asleep. Anakin looked down at Obi-Wan’s face, reaching down and gently brushing hair away from it. He wished more than ever that Obi-Wan was completely his. “I wish you were mine,” Anakin whispered into the silent room, hoping that somehow the force would hear him and grant his wish. 

 

*** 



Anakin's laughter drowned out yet another one of Obi-Wan’s groans as he took a sharp turn with the speeder. Anakin laughed again, gripping the controls tighter. “We are almost there, I promise.” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “Anakin, for the third time. I understand we cannot die but that does not give you an excuse to almost flip over the speeder.” 

Anakin just laughed, something that annoyed Obi-Wan but also made him smile just slightly. He had missed Anakin, very much; no matter how much he wanted to lecture him about how to properly drive a speeder. Anakin finally stopped the speeder in what looked to be the middle of the forest.  

There was relief before Obi-Wan looked around confusedly as Anakin got out of the speeder and motioned him along. “Come on Obi-Wan, follow!” With a sigh Obi-Wan tracked along behind Anakin, curiously looking around every so often at the brown and green trees surrounding them. Obi-Wan may have been dead, but the forest around him couldn’t feel more alive. 

Finally, they walk into a clearing, a decent-sized flower field in front of them. Red and blue flowers were scattered across the field and small birds flew from grass blade to flower. Near the space where the forest ended, there was a red blanket laid out with a basket on it. Obi-Wan stopped in his tracks when he saw it and looked curiously up at Anakin. “What is this?” 

Anakin slowly smiled at him, rubbing the back of his neck. “Surprise,” he said amusedly. “I thought it would be nice if we actually went out and did something together for once.” 

As Obi-Wan walked closer he found himself deeply touched. He knew it wasn't an extreme inconvenience for Anakin to set all this up but it still made Obi-Wan very excited. He looked up at Anakin with a small a little more generous than usual. Anakin puffed his chest only slightly, looking proud of himself. Obi-Wan chuckled and walked over to him. With the slightest bit of hesitation, Obi-Wan leaned forward and hugged Anakin. Obi-Wan had always known how much Anakin liked hugs, and he deserved some kind of thank you for all of this. And besides, Obi-Wan liked hugging Anakin more than he would admit, even if he still got slightly hesitant with such open displays of affection. Anakin immediately wrapped his arms around Obi-Wan and pulled him impossibly closer. “Thank you,” Obi-Wan whispered before lifting his head up to look at Anakin. 

At first, Anakin smiled down at him before his eyes began scanning over his face, his smile fading slightly and an unknown expression coming over his features. It wasn’t a frown, yet it wasn't exactly happy either. Anakin cupped his cheek, looking down near his chin. Obi-Wan watched confusedly as Anakin looked deeply down, himself oblivious to what Anakin was thinking. Anakin leaned closer before letting go entirely, pulling back from the hug. 

He walked over to the blanket and sat down, Obi-Wan following his lead and doing the same. The sun shone brightly on both of their faces, Obi-Wan smiling softly at Anakin still. It seemed he couldn’t stop smiling after this surprise. Anakin reached into the small basket he brought and looked relieved when there was still food inside. “Anakin,” Obi-Wan started. “Why did you set this all up?” 

Anakin shrugged. “We hardly ever leave the cottage or the yard near it, I thought it would be nice to go somewhere else for once.” Three was only a short pause before Anakin changed the topic. “We should go into the city again,” Anakin said. 

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow at him. “And what if someone recognizes you?” 

Anakin frowned. “Then they do. Look, Obi…” 

“Obi-Wan,” Obi-Wan corrected jokingly. 

Anakin gave him an annoyed look. “Obi-Wan, I feel as if I’m preventing you from doing things. You never seem to leave the cottage, ever.” 

Obi-Wan had to admit he hadn't left the cottage or surrounding area almost at all since he found it. The only time he did leave was when Anakin had passed into the afterlife and he went to that council meeting with him. There was also that time with Satine, but that was a very short visit. “Anakin, it’s not you that's preventing me. It’s just the fact that if I were to leave I wouldn’t have anywhere to go. And you know how…sad…I felt before you got here. I hadn't felt like going anywhere.” 

Anakin’s frown only deepened. “What about now? If I wanted to go into the city of Coruscant to look around and see what it was like in the afterlife? Would you go with me? And you don't have to, of course, I could go alone if you don’t want to be seen with me.” 

Obi-Wan reached forward and grabbed Anakin's hand. “Don’t want to be seen with you? Anakin, all of the Jedi already know you are staying near or with me and I don’t care. If I’m seen by a random stranger in public with you I won't care either; I would only be concerned they would say something rude to you. So that said, of course I would go into the city to look around with you. If I had you there I’m sure it wouldn’t be too bad, possibly even fun.” 

Anakin looked at Obi-Wan with slight surprise. “You are sure?” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Of course.” 

Anakin gently smiled at him. “You always surprise me.” 

Obi-Wan smiled at him. A little time went by in silence before Obi-Wan spoke again. “Anakin, you never told me what you did on Naboo.” 

“Oh, I saw my mother and visited Luke,” he informed casually. 

Obi-Wan nearly choked. He couldn’t believe Anakin hadn’t said anything yet. “Anakin, that is a big deal. Why did you not say anything?” 

Anakin shrugged amusedly. “It is not that big of a deal.” 

Anakin began to smirk, telling Obi-Wan he knew full well that this was something they probably should have talked about before. “Well, how did it go?” Obi-Wan finally questioned. 

“I was worried at first about how things were going to go with my mother,” Anakin said sadly, his smirk fading. “For a while, I thought that she might not want me to even call her mother anymore; that she might disown me.” Obi-Wan had to admit to himself that this scenario made the slightest sense. Shmi didn’t seem like the kind of person to disown someone, from Anakin’s stories she sounded very kind, but after what Anakin did it wouldn’t be out of the question. Anakin continued. “She was kind to me and didn’t disown me of course or I probably would have rushed back to you, Obi-Wan.” Anakin goes on for a while about what happened with his mother, Obi-Wan nodded along, listening intently to Anakin’s story. He couldn’t be more glad things went well with Anakin’s mother. Next Anakin went into detail about seeing Luke. It seemed like a normal conversation and Obi-Wan was very proud of Luke when he heard of all the progress he had made. He only began to get upset when he heard what happened with Leia. 

Obi-Wan reached forward and rubbed Anakin’s arm. “I am sorry that happened dear one,” Obi-Wan said, once again using the old endearment. 

Anakin shook his head. “I did it to myself Obi-Wan.” No matter how much Obi-Wan wanted to argue against that he knew he couldn’t. “I wish I could change things but I know I can’t, so I will accept Leia disliking me.” 

Obi-Wan reached forward and gently took Anakin’s hand in his. “Be kind to her. She is a smart girl, she may see you have a good heart with time.” 

“I have a good heart?” Anakin questioned unbelievingly. 

“Of course you do. And I am not the only one who believes it, the force knows it too. I’m sure that’s why you are here,” Obi-Wan said confidently. 

“I think you are blinded by your attachment to me, Obi-Wan,” Anakin retorted. 

Obi-Wan hummed in thought. “Maybe I am. But I also like to think I know you better than most,” He said softly. 

Anakin sighed, looking back down at the picnic blanket in sadness. Obi-Wan knew Anakin thought he didn’t belong, and he would try to do what he could to change that mindset of his. 

The rest of the time they spent outside they ate little pieces of fruit and talked about Anakin’s time on Naboo. They also talked about what Obi-Wan had done. Obi-Wan had told him about Qui-Gon and what Qui-Gon had said about Patience. Anakin seemed to find it very amusing, even if it made them both a little sad to think about what Obi-Wan had been feeling when he met Patience. 

Eventually, they both stood up and got rid of all the materials they used for the picnic. When they were done Obi-Wan thought it went wonderful, and that he and Anakin had a nice conversation. But Anakin seemed to think otherwise as he glared down at where the blanket had been. Obi-Wan watched as Anakin looked back up at him with an upset look, yet somehow Obi-Wan could tell the upset look was not meant for him. “What is wrong Anakin?” Obi-Wan asked softly, putting a hand on Anakin’s arm. 

Anakin grabbed Obi-Wan’s hand and looked down at it before looking up and sighing. “Another time Obi-Wan, I’ll tell you another time.” And that was the end of the discussion. 

 

*** 

 

It was mid-day as the sun shone brightly over them in the sky, speeders zooming past and large buildings elegantly reflecting blue and yellow light. Coruscant was very similar to how Obi-Wan remembered it, with only a few major differences so far. He had once heard from Qui-Gon that Coruscant was supposed to represent what was best for the current occupants of the afterlife, and Obi-Wan could now say that he personally believed it. All the unnecessary buildings filled with factory droids were gone and all that was left were important historical skyscrapers and special buildings that were made up of apartments and fancy restaurants. 

Anakin laughed and pointed to a spot in front of them where a very large and wide platform covered in flowers and trees now lay. From where Obi-Wan was standing you could only see the tops of trees and some of the ground as it was lower than where they were walking but it seemed to be a very lovely park as far as he could tell. “It seems the force was annoyed with the senators too,” Anakin commented. Obi-Wan was confused at first and looked around before realizing that the park Anakin had been pointing at was covering the location the senate building had been. 

Obi-Wan huffed amusedly. “I suppose there isn’t a need for any kind of senate in the afterlife.” 

Anakin nodded with a snort. Behind them, a couple walked out of one of the tall buildings behind them. One of them turned toward Obi-Wan and Anakin's back, looking at them curiously. Anakin continued talking. “A lot of the senators in that building were no good people in my opinion. That's not to say there weren't some good ones but a lot of senators have a bad habit of lying.” A slightly disgusted look came over Anakin’s face. 

Obi-Wan thought on it then nodded. Sadly what Anakin said was majorly true. Not to mention Sidious himself had control of that building for so many years. But despite that, there were still people like Bail and Padme, bright lights in the dark temple building. “There was still Bail,” Obi-Wan commented, even if he knew Anakin had not known Bail all too well. “Oh, and Padme of course.” 

Anakin smiled faintly, a nostalgic kind of smile that made Obi-Wan feel partially bitter. He wished more than anything that Anakin could have the life that was taken from him back. Anakin may have ruined some things for himself, but often Obi-Wan wondered what it would have been like if Sidious had never gained control of the senate, or even if the Sith did not return. He wondered if Anakin would have been happily married still and if both he and Anakin would have still been alive. He used to imagine helping Anakin take care of his two twins; he would have loved that more than anything. Glancing back at Anakin and his small smile Obi-Wan couldn’t help but wonder where Anakin’s romantic love for Padme had gone. 

“You’re right,” Anakin finally said. “I think she was the most honest and brave senator in the entire building.” 

“Well, that's a very nice thing to say,” A soft, familiar voice said behind them. Immediately both Obi-Wan and Anakin made sure their hoods were up before glancing behind them. Padme stood, dressed in a long, form-fitting, red dress with her long hair down and curly around her shoulders. Obi-Wan noted she looked very beautiful and well dressed for someone who may have just been walking around. Obi-Wan glanced to Padme’s side at a man with slicked-back black hair and clean-looking stubble for facial hair. He could instantly tell these two were a couple with the way they were holding hands and leaning against each other. But besides that Obi-Wan could also see the man looking suspiciously at Anakin, taking a step in front of Padme protectively as if Anakin could somehow physically hurt her. The motion made Obi-Wan feel oddly sick. 

Anakin grabbed Obi-Wan’s wrist and nodded. “Hello…Padme.” Obi-Wan could tell Anakin was nervous, it was in his voice and body language. 

“It is a surprise seeing you Padme, but not a bad one,” Obi-Wan said kindly, even adding on a small, friendly smile. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to see Padme, she had been lovely to talk to those two times she visited, but Obi-Wan knew he had pushed her away. He hadn't meant it, but he had been very closed off and sad and he more than likely hurt her feelings on accident. 

“Obi-Wan,” she greeted, a brighter smile gracing her face. “You seem a little more yourself since the last time I saw you.” 

Obi-Wan nodded, feeling slightly regretful. “Yes, Anakin has helped quite a bit.”

 Anakin grumbled, more than likely disagreeing but unable to say anything as Padme spoke again. “I’m sorry Obi-Wan,” She said softly. “I know I haven’t visited in a while. It just seemed as if you didn’t really want visitors last time I was there. Not that you were rude, just…closed off.” 

Obi-Wan winced. “No need to be sorry Padme, I am the one who should be sorry. You were very kind and good company. But you are partially right, I was very closed off because a had a lot of very dark things on my mind. It was hard accepting that had happened before I died and I was very concerned with what was going on outside of the afterlife. I’m very sorry I pushed you away, you have shown me nothing but kindness and I should have shown more to you in return.” 

There was only a moment's hesitation before Padme walked over and pulled Obi-Wan into a hug. Obi-Wan had tensed at first before relaxing just slightly. She pulled back and smiled at him. “Stop feeling so guilty over everything. I'll make sure to visit more often now, alright.” 

Obi-Wan nodded, a small smile coming across his features. “Alright,” he agreed. 

Padme studied him. “You look so much younger, when did that change?” 

“Oh, just recently. As I said before, Anakin has helped me a lot,” Obi-Wan said, fondness leaking into his voice as he spoke of Anakin. 

Once again Anakin grumbled. “I didn’t help you that much Obi-Wan. You helped yourself.” 

Obi-Wan looked up at Anakin with a raised eyebrow. “Anakin, I have made more progress with my mental health in these couple of months than I have in the years I was alone here.” 

“But that doesn’t mean I helped you, it could mean you have just found peace,” Anakin retorted. 

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. “Anakin, I think I would know what has helped me, and you are one of them. Please believe me.” 

Anakin sighed reluctantly. “You truly mean it, even after all the times I lost my temper?” 

“The good times mean far more,” Obi-Wan responded and Anakin slowly smiled. 

Pande looked between them both. “Well, you two have certainly gotten closer again.” 

Anakin turned, finally gaining enough courage to speak again. “I believe we have.” He glanced at Obi-Wan who nodded. He smiled slightly and turned back to Padme. “I think things have been going really well. Not to mention he has helped me a lot as well,” Anakin emphasized and Obi-Wan could only sigh fondly. It was nice of Anakin to tell Padme that. “It is also…nice to see you again Padme.” He gave a small, friendly smile that Obi-Wan could only look fondly at. 

Padme once again looked between them as Obi-Wan and Anakin smiled at one another once again. She hummed, looking curious for a moment but not voicing her thoughts. Eventually, she hummed and nodded. “I’m glad you are okay Anakin. It’s good to see you as well.”

Anakin and Obi-Wan both nod kindly. “How have you and your husband been?” Obi-Wan questioned and Padme smiled softly. 

“Lason and I have been very well, thank you,” Padme responded. 

Padme motioned behind her at the man looking curiously at Obi-Wan and Anakin. “Nice to finally meet you, Lason,” Obi-Wan greeted. 

Lason genuinely smiled, something Obi-Wan had not seen him do yet. “Nice to meet you as well, Kenobi. Padme only says nice things about you.” 

Obi-Wan chuckled. “Well, that is only because she is so kind.” 

Padme sighed and shook her head fondly at him before walking back over to Lason. “Well, I don’t want to keep Lason here waiting too long, even if he would claim he didn’t mind. It was nice seeing you again, both of you,” She glanced at Anakin. “Visit me soon Obi-Wan,” She requested. 

Obi-wan nodded. “I will Padme, I promise.” 

Before Padme walked off she added. “Oh, and I don’t know what you two are doing here exactly. But there is this fancy lookout you should both check out, you can see a very nice view of Coruscant from there.” Padme pointed straight ahead. “It’s in that building with the dark blue light coming from the sides.” Finally, she walked off with a wave. 

“Thank you!” Obi-Wan called before he glanced up at Anakin to make sure he was alright. Anakin just smiled down at him in return before turning them around and leading him by the hand down the walkway. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan's hand was tight against his as they walked into the crowded lookout building, their matching gloves squeezing against one another. Anakin had thought it was a good idea to head to the lookout after Padme had recommended it. The whole reason they came to the city was to see how it had changed after all. 

Anakin weaved around a group that appeared to be drunk in the looby. He made his way to the lift swiftly, hoping no one else got in with them. Anakin pushed the button that had the small words “balcony 6” written under them and the doors thankfully closed before anyone else could get on. Anakin wasn’t sure why he chose the number ‘six’ out of ten, but it just felt like a good in between. 

He was beginning to think it was a bad idea to come to this ‘look out;’ the reason being simply that it seemed too crowded. But Obi-Wan seemed content and relaxed, so Anakin would try to be as well. 

The fit felt awkwardly silent after a couple of moments, so Anakin struck up a conversation he knew would get a reaction out of Obi-Wan. “How much alcohol do you think I could drink in the afterlife before I can’t get any more drunk? Do you think I could pass out?” He had truly been wondering ever since he saw that drunk group in the lobby earlier.

“How many…” Obi-Wan paused confusedly. “Anakin, why do you want to know this?” Obi-Wan asked suspiciously. 

Anakin smirked, getting one of the reactions he predicted. “What, I’m just curious.” 

“I’m not dealing with a drunk Anakin, don’t start,” Obi-Wan said in fake warning, or was he seriously concerned? Anakin couldn’t tell. 

“You haven’t even met a drunk me,” Anakin retorted. 

“Oh, haven’t I?” Obi-Wan said right as the lift opened. He walked out with a small smirk. 

Anakin quickly chased after him. He was beginning to regret bringing up being drunk, it was plausible he had accidentally been caught drunk by Obi-Wan. There were occasions he had drunk a little too much with the 501st on their way back to the temple after more successful missions. It was possible he ran into Obi-Wan on his way back to the quarters and completely forgot. Force, he hoped he hadn’t said anything stupid , even if he was almost sure it wouldn't matter now that it had been so long ago. 

Obi-Wan walked down a long hall in front of Anakin, looking at the doors to see which ones were closed and open. Eventually, they got to an open balcony and walked onto it. The metal doors closed behind them and Anakin watched as Obi-Wan looked curiously at a set of controls by the door. He pushed a button and tempered glass came out of the left and right sides of the square balcony, rising high enough that it blocked anyone else from seeing them yet allowing them to still look out of it. 

Anakin relaxed and took his hood down, Obi-Wan soon followed. “That was a nice feature,” he commented. “It’s nice to have privacy.” 

Anakin nodded, unable to agree more. He walked to the edge of the balcony and looked out over the brightly lit city. The sun was beginning to set behind the buildings, and Anakin couldn’t help but notice how bright and beautiful the sun made the Jedi temple in the distance look. He glanced over at Obi-Wan, his hair falling near his shoulders and neatly tucked behind his ear for the moment. Anakin smiled slightly, just admiring him for a moment. 

“Oh, and by the way. Yes, I did come into contact with a drunk Anakin once,” Obi-Wan commented with a cute, minuscule smirk. 

Immediately Anakin frowned. Way to ruin the moment, Obi-Wan , he thought with slight amusement. “Tell me what happened,” he requested. 

Obi-Wan laughed. “Oh, it was nothing serious, a very brief interaction,” he informed. “You had been drinking with the 501st I assume, you met me in the hall on your way back to your quarters I think. It was very odd because you just stared at me even after I asked if you were drunk. Then you reached forward and kissed me on the cheek before nearly knocking me over in a hug, and then stumbling off without saying anything.” 

“Don’t lie!” Anakin said before covering his mouth. 

Obi-Wan only laughed again and smiled amusedly in his direction. “I am not. It was very odd Anakin.” 

Finally, Anakin sighed, accepting it. “Okay, fine. I don’t remember that in the slightest.” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “I figured you didn’t, that is why I did not mention it,” he said softly. Anakin wanted to ask Obi-Wan if that is the only time he had interacted with a drunk Anakin, but instead he just smiled again and looked back out over the city of Coruscant. It was very beautiful when one took the time to fully admire it, something Anakin didn’t do often when he had lived here as a Jedi. “It’s so beautiful when you take the time to look at it,” Obi-Wan whispered. 

“Exactly what I was thinking,” Anakin said back. He turned to look at Obi-Wan who was currently putting his hands on the railing of the balcony and looking over the edge. He looked so calm out here, alone with only Anakin by his side. This is how it’s supposed to be, only us together in this seemingly infinite afterlife, he thought to himself. 

He wanted so many things he was scared he could never have. 

The urge to kiss Obi-Wan was becoming harder to resist the longer he looked at the man. He had tried to tell Obi-Wan his feelings when he had planned that picnic, but he had lost all courage when he held Obi-Wan and looked down at how happy he appeared. He hadn’t wanted to ruin the special moment between them, even if Anakin could only enjoy it knowing Obi-Wan was only his friend for the time. But now when Anakin looked down at Obi-Wan he couldn’t help but wonder how much longer he could wait. He was running out of patience as it felt like he had been chasing after the feelings Obi-Wan gave him for over half his life, not just a couple of months. 

Speeders passed by quickly and loud music came out from some of the buildings, and still nothing could distract Anakin from Obi-Wan. 

Obi-Wan glanced at him and upon seeing the frown that was on Anakin’s face became concerned. "Anakin, what's wrong?" Obi-Wan said in his soft voice Anakin craved to hear more often. He couldn’t brush his feelings off any longer. He couldn’t open his mouth and reassure Obi-Wan that everything was fine because he wasn’t fine. He was drowning in his feelings once again; once thinking revenge would save him from the overwhelming feelings he felt for Obi-Wan only to discover it was the exact opposite. He had always needed Obi-Wan’s love to stay afloat. He wanted Obi-Wan’s help in managing the crashing waves that he called his emotions. Anakin opened his mouth, and as expected found he could no longer reassure Obi-Wan. A life without Obi-Wan would be bleak, almost meaningless at times, but life with Obi-Wan only thinking of him as a simple friend was also one he didn't want to spend eternity in. 

"I can't," Anakin murmured. 

Obi-Wan grabbed Anakin's hand, pulling it to his chest. "Can't what?" 

Anakin shook his head. He was scared Obi-Wan wouldn’t look at him the same after this, but he couldn’t keep pretending. It was making him crazy, he needed to say something. "No," he finally said. "I just...." Anakin paused again before using the hand Obi-Wan was holding to pull him closer. He had eternity to make up for saying three simple words, he just needed to courage to murmur them. "I love you." It was the most honest he had been all day, and Anakin still wondered how those words came to be. He had loved Obi-Wan before, but not like this. He needed him now in a way he should have realized he needed long before. 

Obi-Wan looked softly at him, unknowingly oblivious to Anakin's feelings. Yet before he spoke Anakin noticed the way his cheeks had turned pink. "I care deeply for you as well Anakin," Obi-Wan said. 

He shook his head, still pleased with what Obi-Wan said even if Anakin felt Obi-Wan hadn’t meant those words in the way he did. "No Obi-Wan," he whispered. His mother's words echoed in his head, and he knew now he could no longer pretend like nothing had been said. He would never know if he didn’t try. "You misunderstand." Anakin reached forward with his mechanical hand and cupped Obi-Wan's cheek. "I love you," he said again. Before he could say anything else Anakin used his mechanical hand to pull Obi-Wan into a kiss. 

He felt Obi-Wan gasp and go still, shocked by what he was feeling. But to Anakin it felt so right, it felt like it was always meant to happen. Obi-Wan’s lips were soft and smooth against his, fitting perfectly together with Anakin’s. He had wanted this for so long, wanted Obi-Wan so bad it made him feel insane. He squeezed his hand, knowing he could not let go, could never let go of Obi-Wan again. 

You hold my heart Obi-Wan, it beats wildly only for you. Please don’t reject me Obi-Wan. Please let me have you Obi-Wan. Please let me taste you again Obi-Wan. Do not leave me Obi-Wan, not again. 

Chapter Text

 Do not leave me Obi-Wan, not again. 

 

“Anakin,” Obi-Wan whispered against the other man’s lips. His hands tightly gripped Anakin's robes while thoughts raced through his head. ‘Anakin kissed me. I kissed Anakin. Does he want me? Does he truly…love me?’ 

As Obi-Wan looked up at Anakin now he wondered why he felt so light-headed. He wondered why he had butterflies in his stomach. And most of all he wondered why he didn’t pull away when Anakin kissed him. A shameful part of him wanted to lean into this new form of affection. As Obi-Wan’s eyes met Anakin’s he couldn’t help but notice the way Anakin’s eyes dilated and the way he licked his lips and stared back down at Obi-Wan’s. He gasped as Anakin leaned down again and pulled him into another kiss. Still, he did not pull away, even if he knew this wasn’t supposed to be happening. He had practically helped raise Anakin and here he was kissing him. Anakin was once his Padawan. Slowly he felt Anakin's arms begin to wrap around his waist. 

Finally, Obi-Wan pulled back, deciding he couldn’t let Anakin go on any further even if it gave him a fulfilling feeling he preferred not to think about. Anakin looked at him with a familiar expression Obi-Wan hadn’t been able to read just yesterday but could now see as an expression of lust. But how was it possible that Anakin lusted for him? After all their time spent apart when Anakin fell to the Darkside how was this possible? As Obi-Wan thought Anakin tried to pull him close again but Obi-Wan once again resisted. “Anakin no, y-you are confused.” 

Anakin laughed quietly as if Obi-Wan had told a joke. “Did you not feel how right your lips felt against mine? Our lips fit perfectly together.” He cupped Obi-Wan’s cheek again. “Force Obi-Wan, I know it sounds crazy but I want you.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head again. “You must be…confused. Anakin I helped raise you, you were my Padawan.” 

Once again a small, familiar chuckle slipped past Anakin’s lips. “That was a long time ago Obi-Wan. You and I both know that I haven’t been a Jedi in a long time. We are both adults.” 

He grabbed Obi-Wan’s wrist tightly and Obi-Wan tensed. “But…” Obi-Wan felt himself breathing quicker, his anxiety getting the better of him. “But you…you have to be confused. Me, Anakin, me? You used to hate me.” Obi-Wan hated admitting it, so much so it almost physically pained him. 

“Have I not grown since then Obi-Wan.” Anakin retorted passionately. “I know what I feel, don’t doubt it.” Determination, lust, passion, desire, all emotions that flooded their bond. “Do you know why I left for Naboo?” Obi-Wan shook his head. “I left for Naboo because of my feelings for you. Every day my feelings were becoming more intense and I was scared I would ruin things between us by acting on them. I left in hopes that I could clear my head and stop myself from feeling such things. But it was foolish, because I couldn’t simply stop feeling something for you. In fact, my feelings just intensified.” Anakin began to look frustrated. “I want you so bad Obi-Wan. Don’t say I’m confused, because I've never been so sure.” 

“H-How?” Was all Obi-Wan could get out, but he didn’t give Anakin a chance to answer it as he pulled away. “I need to think, alone.”Anakin began to look bitter, but he nodded. Quickly Obi-Wan rushed out of the balcony and to the hall. Out of the corner of his eye he spotted the stairs and rushed there. He relaxed once he ran in and the door shut behind him. Looking around Obi-Wan could see large windows all around them on the stairs, allowing people to get a view even from here if they preferred not to take the lift. 

Obi-Wan looked up, deciding to slowly walk up to the top floor to clear his head before walking down. Soon after he began walking his thoughts began to catch up to him. He was having a hard time grasping what just happened. It was hard to believe Anakin would kiss him, and not only that it was hard to believe he could love him in such a way.  

The feeling of Anakin’s lips against his own was a feeling Obi-Wan never imagined he would experience and something he had tried to never imagine. It had felt wrong before now, it had felt like he was breaking some unspoken rule. Yet when Anakin kissed him just a few moments ago it had felt…good. And yet Obi-Wan felt as if it shouldn’t. He tried to convince himself that maybe he was just that desperate for some kind of affection. 

Obi-Wan took the time to try to process everything that had happened on the balcony a few moments ago. Anakin had told him he loved him, not in a platonic way but in a romantic one. But that didn't necessarily mean Anakin wanted a relationship with him, did it? It could have just been as simple as Anakin admitting feelings for him. But then again was Anakin ever simple? If Anakin risked admitting such a thing Obi-Wan assumed it had to be more than a passing fantasy. It was highly probable that Anakin wanted a relationship with him. 

And if that were true then what was Obi-Wan supposed to do, deny him? It should be the obvious answer, one easy to make. Yet the more Obi-Wan thought about the sad look Anakin would give him, the disappointed glare, the bitterness in his signature, the more the idea of denying him felt wrong. But of course, he couldn’t just consider Anakin’s feelings in this matter. He wouldn’t join a relationship with him just because he didn’t want to hurt Anakin’s feelings. But Obi-Wan already seemed to know that the sad looks weren’t the only reason he didn’t want to deny Anakin. 

A part of him wanted to imagine what it would be like to be with Anakin, if only just briefly. He wondered if the time they spent cuddling before they slept would get more intense. ‘ Would Anakin hold him tighter and pull him closer, even if now Obi-Wan was too scared to ask him too?’ He wondered if they would go out on more speeder rides and if a relationship would change their dynamic. ‘ If I let you in, will you like what you see Anakin? Will I accidentally push you away from me?’ Would Anakin get even more affectionate with him? ‘ Would he want to continually embrace me? Would he once again press his lips against mine?’ 

Obi-Wan wondered why he liked the idea of Anakin holding him so close. He wondered why he craved to be near the other man constantly. He wondered why he seemed to need Anakin so badly, and why he seemed to fall apart when Anakin was gone. He needed the other man with him so badly, to the point it was almost childish. Despite all he has been through and all of the teachings about attachment he received from the Jedi, he still could not shake away his need for Anakin. 

Obi-Wan groaned quietly in frustration. He needed to get advice from someone, someone who wasn’t Anakin. He only knew one person he felt close enough to at the moment who could advise on this. He felt nervous over the idea of talking to them about something as intimate as this but Obi-Wan was sure they could understand. 

He walked a little further before getting to a landing and stopping. He sat up against a window and closed his eyes, summoning a holo-comm in front of him. Obi-Wan took a deep breath, preparing himself before comming Qui-Gon who picked up after a few short rings. The image of Qui-Gon sitting on a mediation mat, surrounded by what looked to be holo pads and books, appeared in front of him. “Master,” Obi-Wan said, his tone breathy and nervous. 

Qui-Gon’s shoulders tensed. “What’s wrong? Where are you?” 

Obi-Wan sighed and fidgeted nervously. “A look-out center, I’m on a stairwell and- it doesn’t really matter.” Qui-Gon nodded, staying quiet like he usually did when he wanted someone to elaborate. “I don’t know what to do. And I truly don't know why it was you specifically I contacted…” Obi-Wan stopped hismelf. “Well I do know, it’s because you are the only one I can truly talk to about this but that doesn't matter at the current moment. I need advice for something extremely….personal.” 

“Then let me guide you to the best of my ability,” Qui-Gon said reassuringly. 

Obi-Wan smiled just slightly, but it only lasted for a moment. “I…” He stopped himself to gather his thoughts. “Anakin told me he has feelings for me….romantic feelings,” Obi-Wan murmured as if such feelings were taboo and wrong. 

Qui-Gon was silent for a few moments before responding, “I am surprised.” 

“I am as well, I did not have the slightest idea he could be harboring such feelings for me,” Obi-Wan said with a calmer tone than before. 

“I think you misunderstand what I am surprised about,” Qui-Gon said cooly. “I am surprised that you did not admit your feelings first. I was not sure how Anakin felt, but you…I had begun suspecting you were unknowingly gaining feelings for Anakin,” Qui-Gon commented. 

Obi-Wan stared wide-eyed at Qui-Gon. “You thought… I was the one with the feelings?” 

Qui-Gon gave a light and fond chuckle. “Well, you do only talk about him all the time. You talk about how you are worried for him, how much you miss him. Sometimes you talk about your past with him. And then when you lost him for all those years you became overrun with grief. I know you could still just be friends with him, but it comes to a point where I question how deep your feelings truly run for him. No matter what I say or what you do to try and overcome this attachment you simply seem unable to let go of him.” Qui-Gon paused and looked at Obi-Wan sincerely. “I know you love him, but maybe you should ask yourself what kind of love it is you feel for him. The line is sometimes thinner than you think Obi-Wan.” 

Obi-Wan still couldn’t believe what Qui-Gon was telling him. He understood Qui-Gon’s reasoning, but that didn't make things any less confusing for him at the moment. He sat there in silence for a long while, Qui-Gon waiting patiently for him. Finally, he gained enough courage to speak. “Master, I am scared of what it may mean if I have feelings.” 

Qui-Gon gathered his thoughts before carefully responding. “Be careful. Try your best to understand what you feel, and don’t jump into a relationship you are not ready for.” 

“Then please…help me understand what it is I’m feeling, Obi-Wan whispered. 

 

*** 

 

“I don’t understand why you think you have a right to be here!” The man Anakin now learned was named Vinor, yelled at him. He was one of the temple guards Anakin had killed with the clone troopers during order 66. All Anakin had to do to make this man angry was walk into the hall and accidentally bump into him. It was Anakin’s fault, for being so lost in his thoughts. But it was Vinor who hadn’t let it once he found out who Anakin was. 

The man obviously had a lot of built-up emotions and all of it came flooding out and landing at Anakin’s feet. Anakin knew he deserved to be yelled at, he deserved to have everyone in this building yell at him about the pain he either caused them or the galaxy in general. But it still made Anakin uncomfortable knowing that the longer this man Vinor screamed the more likely the entire building truly would yell at him. Two other men had already joined in the yelling, their names unknown to him. 

Anakin had only apologized, said nothing more. He would simply stand here until these slightly emotionally unstable men blew off steam. Either that or they realized there was no more use yelling because the man formally known as Darth Vader wasn’t going to fight them back; if that is truly what some of them wanted at least. The only upside to the entire spectacle is that Anakin was distracted from thinking about Obi-Wan. He had walked out into the hall in the first place to glance around for him, but it seemed the force decided he deserved to find someone else instead.

“As Vinor said earlier, I also don’t understand why you aren’t locked up somewhere. I get this weird force thing doesn't make any mistakes but you don't deserve to live without any consequence for what you have done!” The Male Bith standing next to Vinor yelled. Anakin wanted to chime in and tell the man that the statement he just made was an opinion, even if it was more than likely a very popular, and maybe even morally correct opinion. To many, even himself, Anakin believed he should have been punished. But even in the afterlife time continued to move forward, and Anakin would wait to see what the force had in store for him. 

“I am tempted to agree with you,” Anakin finally said. 

The Bith looked surprised. “So why don’t you lock yourself up?” He suggests as if it would be the easiest possible thing. In all honesty, Anakin hadn’t thought about locking himself up. But he supposed Obi-Wan would do everything he could to prevent Anakin from doing that. There is no doubt he would disapprove, even if it would do Anakin a favor. 

After a few moments, Anakin finally responded. “The Jedi Council already helped determine what should happen to me. They chose to trust in the force so I suppose I will as well.” 

That shut them all up for a moment before Vinor spoke. “Who gave the Jedi council the right to decide what happens to you?” 

“And what gives YOU the right to determine what should happen to me, Vinor?” Anakin spat out. 

This left Vinor speechless for a while and with a bitter look on his face. But eventually, he gained enough courage to hiss at him. “If you were truly a good person, If you were meant to be here, you would agree that you deserve to be punished in some way for what you did.” 

“I do hope you three are done venting, you are disturbing the people trying to relax here.” Anakin stared wide-eyed at Obi-wan as he walked over, his hands defiantly on his hips and his eyes narrowed on Vinor and the two men standing on his sides. Obi-Wan placed a hand on Anakin’s arm. Anakin could see the way Obi-Wan’s shoulders tensed slightly at the touch. 

“Why are you and Vader here Kenobi?” Vinor asked. 

“The same reason you probably are. We simply got curious,” Obi-Wan said calmly. “Oh and…” Obi-Wan added on before Vinor could speak. “I understand you are angry, all of you are. But I also am guessing you have been venting at Anakin for a while now. So we are going to leave.” Obi-Wan began pulling Anakin along and Anakin willingly went, more than happy to get out of this situation. 

“Don’t let him manipulate you, Kenobi!” Vinor called behind them. Anakin spun his head around and glared at Vinor. He had been trying not to glare so harshly the entire time Vinor had been venting at him, but he hated the idea of him trying to get to Obi-Wan, even if in Vinor’s mind he was helping. 

“That won’t be a problem,” Obi-Wan responded as he and Anakin stepped onto the lift. He quickly pushed the button to take them to the first floor. As soon as the lift door closed they both let out a relieved sigh. 

“Thank you,” Anakin murmured, unsure of what Obi-Wan was feeling but understanding that he at least owed Obi-Wan thanks for what had just occurred. 

“I don’t want people yelling at you Anakin, of course I helped,” Obi-Wan said quietly. Anakin turned to look at him but Obi-Wan just turned to face away from him. Once the lift opened they both quickly made their way through the crowd and out the door. Once outside they both began walking in the direction they came, both of them making sure their hoods were up as well. It was only a matter of time before they found a speeder, Obi-Wan getting into the passenger seat and Anakin getting in the driver's side. 

There was not a word spoken between them all the way back to the cottage. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan quickly walked into the cottage, taking a deep breath and relaxing now that they were finally away front the busy city. But the relaxed state didn’t last long as he heard Anakin close the door behind him, and all his tension returned. This would be it, Obi-Wan told himself. He would tell Anakin how he truly felt and they would settle this. 

Obi-Wan took a deep breath before slowly turning to face Anakin. The other man had a serious expression on his face, an expression Obi-Wan knew was just hiding his nervousness. Anakin spoke before Obi-Wan could. “Please….don’t try to beat around the bush or protect my feelings. Just tell me exactly how you feel, even if it’s harsh.” 

Anakin’s expression turned more bitter rather than serious and he crossed his arms over his chest. Obi-Wan could already feel his heart pounding in his chest as he grabbed the sleeves of his robe tightly. He looked up and met Anakin’s eyes, Obi-Wan’s nervousness increasing just a tad. He comforted himself with Qui-Gon’s advice from earlier, using it to encourage his next words. 

“Anakin…” Obi-Wan began. “I had no idea you felt such romantic feelings for me. It’s still hard to believe. Please tell me you are certain of what you are feeling, reassure me.” Obi-Wan knew he was making Anakin more nervous, but he needed to make sure Anakin was certain before he said anything else. 

“I told you earlier Obi-Wan, I have never been more sure. I wish you would stop doubting me,” Anakin said quite honestly. 

“I apologize for being so insecure,” Obi-Wan said, making Anakin frown deeply. “It’s hard to be so blunt with you Anakin, but since you insisted I will be.” 

Preparing for the worst, Anakin straightened his shoulders and looked intensely at Obi-Wan. So many emotions flowed between the two. The current emotions simply being a result of past ones. They had felt love to hate to love again. They went from two lost Padawans trying to find their way together, to two fully grown Jedi working side by side throughout a miserable war. They were all the other had sometimes and yet it still wasn’t enough to stop what happened on Mustafar. But Darth Vader’s hate had faded what felt like years ago, now leaving only Anakin's love in its place. And in Obi-Wan's next words he would decide what kind of emotions would fill their future next. 

“I believe…I have feelings for you as well, Anakin.” Obi-Wan’s voice was thick was anxiety and fear, scared Anakin would change his mind about his feeling, scared Anakin would decide Obi-Wan wasn’t good enough. He only wanted the best for Anakin. 

“What?” Anakin questioned in shock. 

Obi-Wan glanced back up at him. “It was hard accepting that I felt something like this for you. I was worried it was wrong in some way.” 

“How could it be wrong? It is not wrong.” Anakin quickly rushed to reassure, more than likely scared Obi-Wan would go back on his statement. 

“Well, you were once my Padawan…” Obi-Wan stated, guilty undertones to his voice. 

“That was so many years ago Obi-Wan,” Anakin said. “You helped me when I had no one, and you continue to help me when I have no one left but you. Every time I look at you I can’t help but think about how kind you are. And I can’t help but think about how much I wish I had all of that kindness to myself. I need you, I know I do.” 

“Anakin…” Obi-Wan choked out, his eyes glassy with emotion as he looked back down and hugged himself. “I need you too, I truly can’t help it.” He wanted to apologize for his need, because he had always seemed to need the other man. A Jedi wasn’t supposed to need someone in the way Obi-Wan needed Anakin. 

Suddenly Anakin rushed over to him, his arms wrapped around his waist and trapping him against the wall. “Say you mean it,” Anakin demanded. “Say you mean all of it.” 

Obi-Wan looked Anakin in the eyes. “I think I do,” Obi-Wan admitted. 

“You think?” Anakin questioned. Obi-Wan nodded and Anakin tightened his arms around Obi-Wan. He was silent for a moment before whispering to him.“Do you think it feels good when I hold you like this?” Obi-Wan blushed slightly before nodding, unsure where Anakin was going with this. “Say it,” Anakin demanded. 

“I like it when you hold me like this Anakin,” Obi-Wan said sincerely, a little smile coming across his face. 

Anakin gave a relieved look before leaning down and placing a kiss on Obi-Wan’s cheek. “Do you like that?” Anakin whispered into his ear. 

Obi-Wan fidgeted with the sleeve of his robe as he began to feel his body heat up even more. “Yes, Anakin.” 

Anakin firmly grabbed Obi-Wan’s chin and guided Obi-Wan to look at him. He looked him deeply in the eyes for a few moments before asking. “Did you think that…you liked it when I kissed you, Obi-Wan?” By now Obi-Wan was sure his cheeks were red. He could only hope his beard helped hide it. He gave a small, almost bashful nod. 

It was only a moment later that Anakin pulled him into a kiss. Obi-Wan gasped against his lips as one of the hands holding his waist moved up into Obi-Wan’s hair, holding him in place. Obi-Wan closed his eyes and allowed Anakin to deepen the kiss. Heat began to pool in his lower stomach when Anakin tightened his grip on his hair. Anakin broke the kiss and whispered against Obi-Wan’s lips, “Do you think that felt good, Obi-Wan?” He said in a teasing tone, his confidence returning to him. 

Anakin was right about what he said earlier, their lips did fit well together. He felt a need for Anakin that he hadn’t completely given into before so instead of answering Anakin’s question Obi-Wan leaned forward and pressed his lips softly against Anakin’s. There were a few seconds where Anakin froze before Obi-Wan let himself be pushed more firmly against the wall as Anakin began to kiss him deeper. For the first time, Obi-Wan began to kiss Anakin back, his legs feeling weak and unstable with want. 

“Say it,” Anakin said between kisses. “Tell me you want this.” 

Obi-Wan only hesitated for a moment. “I want this. I like it Anakin.” Obi-Wan gasped again as Anakin began kissing him intently. Obi-Wan’s hands tightened their grip against Anakin’s robe as Ankain’s tongue found its way into his mouth. Obi-Wan had never kissed this way before, whatever this was called. But it felt so intimate, and when he gently moved his tongue against Anakin’s he heard the other man groan. 

He never wanted the kissing to end. He felt so close to Anakin, in a way he had never imagined he could be. He tried to forget about the future, what Anakin would think when they finished kissing. He tried to ignore his growing fear that maybe Anakin didn’t like the way he kissed, or maybe he would get bored and pull away. Anakin groaned again, reaching down somewhere Obi-Wan didn’t see. Obi-Wan reassured himself by paying attention to the pleased noises Anakin made. If Anakin was getting bored Obi-Wan figured he wouldn't be groaning like he was now. 

Eventually, Obi-Wan pulled away for a moment, feeling unbelievably warm and sweaty. “You do like me,” Anakin said, a desperate tone in his voice. 

“Of course I do, I've been letting you kiss me for the past five minutes,” Obi-Wan retorted as if he had more confidence than the sliver that was left inside him. Anakin rolled his eyes and Obi-Wan chuckled, a fond, warm feeling coming over him. He could tell he was making Anakin happy, even when Anakin rolled his eyes he was smiling just slightly. “I don’t know how to not need you,” Obi-Wan admitted. “When you are gone I am left thinking about you. And when you are here you are all I think about. Even these things you do to annoy me make me more fond. And every moment I’m with you…my loneliness feels a little less…” 

“Lonely,” Anakin finished for him. 

They looked each other in the eyes before Obi-Wan whispered fondly. “Yes, that.” 

“You are sure you feel something deeper than simple platonic love Obi-Wan, you are sure? I just…I had myself believing this couldn’t happen, not after what I did to you,” Anakin whispered. 

Obi-Wan sighed. “When I ran off after you kissed me Anakin, I ran off to consider my feelings. Eventually, I realized that this need I feel for you..this want…” Obi-Wan’s voice became quiet. “I realized that it ran deeper than simply needing a hug off of you. I like it when you held me, but I also liked it when you… kissed me. And this isn’t simply a need for affection or some physical attraction because of course you are good looking but you are…you are Anakin. You are the man I would follow to hell if I had to just to guide you back to the light. I would follow you anywhere if only to guide you back to me .” Obi-Wan surprised himself with how open he could be with his emotions. It wasn’t as scary with Anakin as it used to be. “All I want to do is help you. I just want you happy Anakin.” Obi-Wan reached up and cupped Anakin's cheek. 

They stared at each other for only a couple more seconds before Anakin leaned down and went right back to kissing Obi-Wan. Now more confident, Obi-Wan kissed Anakin back without hesitation. As time went on the kissing became messier and more desperate, quickly falling out of Obi-Wan’s control. They broke the kiss for only a moment, Anakin hissing under his breath for a moment and reaching down again. “What’s wrong?” Obi-Wan murmured, out of breath. 

“N-Nothing,” Anakin quickly replied. 

“Anakin,” Obi-Wan said softly. “I just told you I want to help you. I’ll do anything you need,” he reassured. 

“Anything?” Anakin questioned with a lustful glint in his eye.

Obi-Wan began to realize what he may have accidentally implied. ‘ Would Anakin want to do something…sexual?’ He wondered to himself. “W’What did you have in mind?” Obi-Wan breathed out. 

Anakin looked at him for a long couple of seconds before leaning forward and whispering in Obi-Wan’s ear. “Tell me when to stop. Tell me if you don’t like something. Just say stop and I back away.” Obi-Wan nodded, so focused on Anakin that he didn’t fully notice how uncomfortable his pants were becoming. “I need you to stand on your toes,” Anakin murmured. 

Obi-Wan was slightly skeptical at first but hesitantly did so. Suddenly Anakin moved forward and pressed his erection against Obi-Wan’s. Quickly, Obi-Wan bit his lip to prevent himself from making any noise. He couldn’t believe he was doing this, that he was letting Anakin press himself against him in such a way. Yet he couldn’t help but hold still. It felt so good when Anakin gently rubbed their erections together. “Do you like that, Obi-Wan?” Anakin breathed into his ear, still rubbing their cocks together. 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Y’Yes,” he breathed. 

Anakin groaned and tightened his arm around Obi-Wan’s hips. Obi-Wan couldn’t help it when a small moan slipped past his lips, the way Anakin rubbed his cock against Obi-Wan’s getting the better of him. Anakin hissed and snapped his hips forward, knocking yet another small moan out of Obi-Wan. 

Anakin breathed heavily as he picked Obi-Wan up. Obi-Wan’s eyes widened as Anakin grabbed him under the thighs. “Where are we going?” Obi-Wan whispered as Anakin walked him over to the bedroom. He supposed it was an obvious answer, there weren’t many places to go in this small cottage. He guessed the better question would have been, what are we doing? 

“Going to your bedroom,” Anakin whispered as he got into their room and set Obi-Wan onto the bed. He pushed Obi-Wan to lay down before climbing to sit over him, a hand by either side of Obi-Wan’s head. Obi-Wan watched as Anakin moved one of his hands down and in the direction of Obi-Wan’s crotch. He moved slowly, waiting for Obi-Wan to object, but no objection came. Anakin grabbed Obi-Wan’s cock with the littlest smirk and stroked him through his pants. Obi-Wan groaned into his hands and Anakin’s smirk grew wider. He stroked him faster before letting go and placing his hand on Obi-Wan’s stomach instead. 

Obi-Wan frowned. “Why did you stop?” He whispered. Anakin slowly moved his fingers into Obi-Wan’s pants, heading down for his crotch. “Go ahead,” Obi-Wan whispered, realizing Anakin was probably waiting for permission. Anakin’s hand reached his cock and began stroking him through his underwear instead. Obi-Wan groaned quietly again. “W-Wait,” he murmured, Anakin stopping in his movements. “I want to…” Obi-Wan glanced at Anakin’s cock for just a moment. “Help you as well.” 

Anakin huffed. “Sit up then, Obi-Wan,” Anakin whispered. Slowly he sat up and reached his fingers into Anakin’s pants exactly as he had done to him. He reached down and grabbed Anakin's cock, Anakin letting out a shameless groan when Obi-Wan did so. 

In unison, they began stroking each other's erections. As time went on their movements became faster and the noises that slipped past their lips became louder. Obi-Wan began feeling overwhelmed, the feeling of climax coming closer. Anakin leaned down and pulled Obi-Wan into a deep kiss, only breaking to whisper one simple word against his lips. “Mine.” As soon as it was said Obi-Wan threw his head back in a moan as he came all over Anakin’s hand. 

Anakin groaned and soon he was crushing Obi-Wan under him as he leaned forward. Obi-Wan felt Anakin’s hot cum cover his hand as he climaxed with him. It was silent for a while as they sat the aftermath of what they had just done. The only thing that broke the silence was a simple word murmured by Obi-Wan. “Yours.” Anakin smiled softly at him, before collapsing back onto the bed. 

 

*** 

 

Later that night Anakin laid in bed with Obi-Wan. Once again Obi-Wan’s back was pressed against Anakin’s chest. Anakin’s shirt was off and Obi-Wan was in his thin sleeping clothes. Nothing seemed to matter to them at the moment except each other. Anakin fell asleep behind him and Obi-Wan was left alone with his thoughts. He thought about the future, wondering what was next and how long this new relationship would last. All Obi-Wan was sure of was that he would savor every moment of it, just in case a time came when Anakin wanted out. 

Chapter Text

Sun shone brightly into the room as Anakin blinked awake, a gentle smile coming over his face as he saw the scene in front of him. Obi-Wan had his back pressed against Anakin’s chest, his back arched just slightly, and his arm covering his face to block out the sun. Anakin reached down and very carefully moved Obi-Wan’s arm away from his face, setting it carefully against his side instead. He stayed still for a while after that, just looking at the other man's peaceful face in thought. His mind returned to last night. His vision filled with Vivid and recent memories of Obi-Wan and himself kissing passionately, touching each other in ways he had never believed they would. It was a dream and yet it was better than any dreams Anakin had ever had. He could hardly believe that it was real. He couldn't believe Obi-Wan could actually feel something in return for him after all Anakin had done. And now that something had happened between them all he could do was hope Obi-Wan wouldn’t change his mind. He needed Obi-Wan to know that they belonged together.  

Anakin’s eyes scanned over Obi-Wan’s body and he carefully pulled the other man against him. He couldn’t stop imagining the way Obi-Wan tried to keep that need and want out of his voice. All Anakin had to do was whisper to him and Obi-Wan would become flustered and red. It was odd how a man Anakin once knew as confident Obi-Wan was usually so confident became so much more hesitant last night. Anakin figured it was possible Obi-Wan was scared or apprehensive of something, although Anakin couldn’t determine what that was; possibly this new relationship itself. Anakin knew it was also possible that this was all just new for him, not just a relationship but sexual activity. Although Anakin was sure Obi-Wan had already slept with a lot of men and women over the years. The idea that Obi-Wan had not been sexually active before seemed almost out of the question. Obi-Wan used his appearance and charm in many negotiations, making it seem obvious that he got in bed with at least one senator. And if it wasn’t during negotiations then he at least slept with another Jedi, even if it was just once. He was so pretty, Anakin was sure there were Jedi lining up to do one of those one night, no strings attached, no emotions sex things some Jedi seemed to indulge in. Anakin was almost sure it was allowed for two Jedi to have casual sexual relations at least, as long as they weren’t devoting themselves to each other and getting overly attached. 

It made Anakin angry to think about, the idea someone else could have had Obi-Wan. It shouldn't make him mad at all, he was Anakin’s now and that was all there was to it. He wasn’t supposed to be worried that someone would come along and try to take Obi-Wan away from him. But Anakin wouldn’t let it happen, of course, even if sometime Anakin believed he didn’t deserve it. 

Obi-Wan was his. He was his in the way he spoke to him and gave him that smile he gave to no one else, and in the way he touched him and kissed him last night. Anakin rolled to lay further on top of Obi-Wan, his stiffening cock pressed against Obi-Wan’s bum. He tried to take a deep breath to calm himself down as he wondered what the civilized Jedi’s reaction would be if he woke up to Anakin not only sitting but rubbing his erection against his bum. He knew Obi-Wan would get red, probably stutter something out as Anakin rut against him. 

Biting his lip to prevent himself from making any noise he began to do just what he imagined, gently rocking himself against Obi-Wan’s bum as the other man slept. Obi-Wan squirmed slightly and he gave a quiet huff yet thankfully didn’t wake up. Anakin smirked, going a bit harder as he became more confident. He would dream about this some mornings, his thoughts so heated he had to run to the shower. He would imagine Obi-Wan waking up and begging him to continue. Begging wasn’t much like Obi-Wan, but it was Anakin’s fantasy so Obi-Wan would do whatever he wanted. After Obi-Wan begged him Anakin would then slowly pull Obi-Wan’s pants down before taking him. It would be a lot less complicated in the fantasy, they wouldn’t need to prepare each other and Obi-Wan would somehow already be ready for him. And once Anakin took him Obi-Wan would cry for him because Obi-Wan needed him. He was miserable without him, as miserable as Vader was without Obi-Wan. 

Anakin wouldn’t let Obi-Wan slip from his grasp again. And yet he still felt he did not deserve this. 

Finally, Obi-Wan opened his eyes just slightly, his facial expression turning to confusion for only a moment before his eyes widened and a gasp escaped his lips. 

Anakin groaned quietly, grinding himself harder against Obi-Wan. Once again Obi-wan gasped in surprise. “Anakin?” Obi-Wan questioned in that posh accent of his. “W-what are you doing?” 

Anakin chuckled deeply. “What am I doing? What does it feel like, Obi-Wan?” He whispered teasingly. 

Obi-Wan’s face heated up a shade. “Anakin,” he whispered again. “This is so…” 

“What?” Anakin questioned. “Uncivilized?” He guessed amusedly. “Do I need to stop Obi-Wan? Or do you like how… uncivilized this is?” Anakin teased. Obi-Wan quietly groaned and Anakin’s smirk just got wider. He then reached down and very gently began to rub Obi-wan’s cock through his pants. To Anakin’s surprise, Obi-Wan was already half hard. “So you do like it?” He whispered. 

Obi-Wan gave a quiet moan into his pillow before nodding. Anakin rubbed Obi-Wan’s cock faster, getting more moans out of Obi-Wan as he did so. Anakin decided to test Obi-Wan and reached into the other man's pants to stroke him. Once again Obi-Wan moaned into the pillow he had been hiding his red face in the entire time. 

He wondered why Obi-Wan hid all his moans in that pillow when Anakin had no shame. “Why do you hide those noises?” Anakin whispered to him. 

Obi-Wan shook his head, still groaning into his pillow. “They’re…they’re embarrassing,” Obi-Wan hissed. 

Anakin groaned. ‘But I like them.” Anakin did his best to pick up the speed of his strokes on Obi-Wan’s cock. As expected, Obi-Wan moaned loudly again, still hiding his face. Anakin was about to complain when his thoughts were put on hold by the feeling of an oncoming orgasm. His rutting had become faster and faster until Anakin could no longer take it. Finally, the build-up of pleasure hit him and he came in his pants and against Obi-Wan’s bum. Anakin’s body trapped Obi-Wan against the bed as he carefully thrusts out his orgasm. It only took a few more thrusts before Obi-Wan was cumming against the bed as well, moaning one final time into the pillow where the sound alone made Anakin want to get up and do all of this over again. 

They both lay down for a while processing what just happened. Once again Anakin felt he was dreaming. “Well, that was a unique way to wake up,” Obi-Wan eventually whispered into the silence. 

Anakin snorted and laid his head down against Obi-Wan’s shoulder. “Pretty uncivilized huh?” Anakin teased. 

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. “You are drawn to uncivilized things, Anakin.” 

“More like drawn to getting a reaction out of you,” Anakin said honestly, poking him in the cheek amusedly. 

Obi-Wan turned just enough to raise an eyebrow at him. Anakin laughed and pressed his nose against Obi-Wan’s cheek, happy that he was allowed to be this affectionate without overwhelming Obi-Wan. Once again they were silent for a while before Obi-Wan tried scooting away. “Where do you think you are going?” Anakin demanded. 

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes once again. “I’m getting up.” Anakin huffed, purposely sending his frustration at the thought through their bond. Obi-Wan turned around and gave him a slightly annoyed look. “Anakin, I’m all messy.” 

Anakin pulled Obi-Wan back under him and whispered. “You wouldn't be messy if you hadn’t tempted me; If you hadn’t looked so….” 

“Asleep, so asleep?” Obi-Wan questioned. 

“Sooo….enticing,” Anakin emphasized, making Obi-Wan get red again as he tried to scoot away. Yet Obi-Wan couldn’t get far as Anakin had a vice grip around his waist. “Stop trying to resist!” 

Obi-Wan groaned annoyedly. “Anakin Skywalker, my pants are soaked and it is your fault. So it is only fair that-” 

Anakin leaned forward and pulled Obi-Wan into a kiss, quickly getting him to be quiet for the time. He heard Obi-Wan sigh pleasantly against him, a warm feeling shooting down to Anakin's stomach over the sound. Once breaking the kiss he made sure to whisper against Obi-Wan’s lips. “Finally figured out how to get you to be quiet.” 

Obi-Wan gave him a glare Anakin could tell was forced before finally using all his strength to slip out of Anakin’s arms and off the bed. Sadly Obi-wan was right, the mess was mostly his fault and Obi-Wan was uncomfortable so he regrettably let the other man go. Obi-Wan stood up straight and Anakin smirked when he could see that wet spot on the back of Obi-Wan’s pants. Obi-Wan turned and spotted him looking before placing a hand over his bum in an embarrassed manner. Anakin laughed at him as Obi-Wan walked to the closet still covering his bum. “There is nothing to be ashamed of,” Anakin added. “I was the one that made the spot after all.” 

Obi-Wan hesitantly uncovered the spot but said nothing as he got out Jedi robes from the closet to wear. Anakin had no idea when Obi-Wan would decide to wear something besides plain, tan clothing but he supposed he would just bring up the topic another time. It didn’t matter at the time, especially since Anakin liked the idea of kissing Obi-Wan while he wore those Jedi robes of his. It made him feel like they had never died, or like things were how they used to be. 

He watched as Obi-Wan got changed into his Jedi robes. Obi-Wan was able to make all the dirt and cum that was on his body disappear just by closing his eyes. Anakin’s eyes followed the curve of Obi-Wan’s waist and the outline of his chest. He looked down as Obi-wan slipped his pants on, his eyes landing on Obi-Wan's bottom. He shifted slightly in bed as he became uncomfortable, an unwelcome bulge forming in his pants again. It was a very fast rebound, but it made sense in this heaven-like afterlife. 

He swore Obi-Wan knew what he was doing by changing in front of him. There wasn’t any way he didn’t realize Anakin would be staring at him. Obi-Wan finally finished changing and turned to Anakin with a small smile. “I’ll meet you in the kitchen then?” Obi-Wan asked. Anakin wanted to ask him to come back to bed but sadly a knock on the door interrupted him before he got the chance. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan glanced at Anakin confusedly, both wondering who could be at the door. “I suppose that’s Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan guessed as he walked over to the door. Obi-Wan walked out of his room and to the door confidently yet paused before his hand reached the button. An odd feeling of apprehension or what Obi-Wan might even describe as fear washed over him. For the first time he picked up a warning from the force, he felt something out of place in the calm forest that surrounded the cottage. He become more fearful as he looked back down at the button to open the door. He wondered if he should answer at all. Obi-Wan was sure he could get away with pretending to sleep. Yet if he did that he knew he would feel guilty. So instead of answering Obi-Wan simply reached out into the living force to try and sense the signature that lay behind that metal door. Immediately he picked up on the signature outside, a signature he had felt many times before. 

Obi-Wan quickly opened the door with a smile. “Master,” he said happily and stepped aside to let the other man in. 

Qui-Gon walked into the house, giving Obi-Wan a nod as the door shut behind him. “I came to check on you,” he informed. Obi-Wan’s memories of last night came flooding back to him. He had nearly forgotten that he had called Qui-Gon for advice. Obi-Wan supposed he owed his old Master a thanks. 

Obi-Wan smiled shyly as Qui-Gon leaned against the counter and stared at him. “Well,” Obi-Wan began. “Thank you.” 

Qui-Gon slowly smiled. “Is this you telling me things worked out?” He said in a teasing tone. Obi-Wan involuntarily blushed before hearing Qui-Gon laugh quietly a moment later. “Are you going to tell me what happened?” He questioned amusedly. 

Obi-Wan sighed and glanced down at his hands shyly. “It went well. I…I think at least. I am under the impression we are together. We hadn’t talked about what we would call this yet.” 

Qui-Gon lowered his voice down to a whisper. “You at least kissed him didn’t you?” 

Obi-Wan felt his face heat up another degree. “Yes…” He whispered.


Qui-Gon laughed again. “Good, I would be disappointed if you didn’t.” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “Yes master,” He said with slight fondness and amusement. 

“You have been fixated on Anakin for quite some time now. I had guessed you had fallen in love with him a long time ago. So I suppose it was only a matter of time before it all bubbled to the surface,” Qui-Gon admitted. 

“Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan complained. “Just because I was fixated does not mean I had some kind of crush. I was…I was just worried and sad.” 

Qui-Gon nodded. “I know, yet you can be worried and sad without being fixated. 

But that is not the point, the point is you finally realized these feelings.” 

Obi-Wan sighed once again but nodded, knowing Qui-Gon was right. He hesitated before walking closer to Qui-Gon and leaning up against the counter next to him. “I am still concerned,” Obi-Wan added before quickly continuing in a whisper. “I am worried that Anakin is the one that is confused about feelings, not me. He seems certain now but I…. fear that might somehow change with time.” 

Qui-Gon looked sadly at him. “Why do you think that?” 

Obi-Wan motioned to himself. “Well, I am not exactly perfect. And what if he only believes he feels these things because I am one of the only people he has had a positive interaction with…in…well…a while.” 

Qui-Gon shook his head before putting a hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder. “Obi-Wan, Anakin is more than likely not confused. I highly doubt he will change his mind either. It may be true he has not had many positive interactions but I must admit you two liking each other in a romantic way makes more sense than you seem to believe. You both have an intense past with each other, you both crave to fix what was broken, and you both loved each other in the past, even if it was in a different kind of love then. I will admit it’s possible that you are both confused and are just turning to this kind of love as a comfort. And I know saying that is not very comforting but what I am trying to prove is that things will work themselves out. I am certain some form of love will always be between you both.” Qui-Gon paused. “Besides, if you are truly worried about Anakin changing his mind then maybe it is best you bring it up with him.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head, too embarrassed and ashamed to bring such a thing up with Anakin. He was worried Anakin would judge him or think that Obi-Wan didn’t take him seriously. “It’s harder than it sounds,” Obi-Wan responded simply. 

“I know, but being here in the afterlife so long has taught me that sometimes all it takes for problems to be resolved is to talk about them,” Qui-Gon reassured. 

Right then Anakin walked out of Obi-Wan’s room. He was now fully dressed in his usual black attire with his hair pulled back into a small ponytail. Obi-Wan’s eyes followed him closely, watching intently as Anakin walked to the counter and sat down. Anakin nodded to Qui-Gon. “Hello, Master Jinn.” 

“Hello Anakin, have you been doing okay?” Qui-Gon questioned and Anakin nodded, about to respond when there was a tapping on the window. Outside, Patience impatiently tapped her beak against it. 

Obi-Wan huffed. “Yes, little bird?” Patience kept tapping the glass annoyingly so Obi-Wan sighed. “I'll be right back.” Obi-Wan conveniently walked out of the house and to Patience outside. 

 

*** 

 

As soon as the door shut Anakin turned to Qui-Gon. “I’m fine.” He paused before quietly adding. “Obi-Wan asked you for advice yesterday…about me? I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but I just happened to overhear…” 

Qui-Gon simply nodded. “He did, he just needed to be set on the right path.” 

Anakin hesitated. “May I ask you for advice as well?” Anakin didn’t want to force Qui-Gon to give him advice, but to Anakin, Qui-Gon seemed so wise and open-minded. If Anakin was still a Jedi he was sure that Qui-Gon would have been someone he looked up to. But of course, Anakin was not a Jedi so Qui-Gon was simply someone he admired. 

“Of course you may ask me for advice Anakin. If you need guidance and you think I can offer it then I will,” Qui-Gon offered. 

Anakin smiled, still having no idea why Qui-Gon continued to be so kind to him after everything Anakin had done. His smile quickly faded as he thought about his question. “I assume you realize that… something is going on between Obi-Wan and I?” 

Qui-Gon gave a knowing smile. “Yes, I realize. I had been wondering for a while if there was something romantic going on between you two.” 

Anakin sighed, wishing that were true. “Sadly no, but…do you feel it is morally correct for me to be with Obi-Wan?” He paused for only a moment. “I am not usually concerned about the morally correct, but I am in the case because I care about Obi-Wan. I will appreciate him and care for him but I did so much in the past, and Obi-Wan could so easily be with someone who doesn’t bring back memories of pain. He could so easily be with someone who wasn’t once…a Sith.” Once again Anakin paused, having a hard time gathering his thoughts. He was hoping for reassurance, for Qui-Gon to tell him what he was doing was okay. He wasn’t certain why he wanted this reassurance but maybe deep down he knew any more guilt would be too much for him.

Qui-Gon just waited silently, the silence supposedly meant to encourage Anakin to talk more and fill it. Anakin decided to just say what had been on his mind. “I don’t deserve Obi-Wan, I feel like I am…somehow hindering him. Does he truly want Lord Vader? Does he want a former Sith Lord? He can do better. I know what I was yet I can’t help myself when it comes to him. I want him so bad that I can’t simply sit by and watch him go off and find that other person who won't cause him pain.” 

Qui-Gon examined him as Anakin defeatedly leaned his head against his mechanical hand. “Well to answer one of your questions, it is not Lord Vader Obi-Wan wants; Anakin is who he wants, and that's who you are. He loves Anakin, constantly worries about him and wants to be around him. At this point in your relationship, the safest option is also the option I believe would make the two of you the happiest would be to continue on the current path. It’s probably best you do not suddenly end things. Communicate you're feelings and worries and see what he has to say. And to answer your question on what is morally correct, I would say once again that staying close to one another is your best choice. After all, there was a reason Dai Bendu made Obi-Wan watch over you. He knew you two could help each other. I think this was, in a rather sappy way…meant to be.” 

Anakin smiled at Qui-Gon gently. Surprisingly, Qui-Gon’s advice seemed to genuinely quell some of his worries. He figured that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all, that he could truly voice some of his worries now. Besides, Obi-Wan must have known what he was getting into when he returned Anakin's kisses last night. “Thank you Master Jinn, I will keep your advice in mind.” 

Qui-Gon nodded. “You are welcome. And I may have said this before but you may call me Qui-Gon.”  

“Are you certain?” Anakin asked, not understanding how he somehow earned the right to call Qui-Gon by his first name. 

“Certain,” Qui-Gon reassured with a smile to match. He couldn’t tell if it was forced. 

It was only a short time later when Obi-Wan walked back in and a more light-hearted conversation began. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan began bickering about some old mission they went on, apparently disagreeing on a chain of events and when and how it took place. At least they seemed to be enjoying the bickering, unlike Anakin who had no idea what was going on. But the conversation was short-lived as Qui-Gon soon announced that Tahl and he had something planned and she didn’t want him gone too long. 

After Qui-Gon left Anakin became slightly bored as Obi-Wan declared he needed to meditate and went into the bedroom. In response to this, Anakin decided he would lay on the couch and take a nap to pass the time. He knew he could read or tinker but the times he got the dreamless sleep always made him more relaxed, and Anakin figured once he woke up he could finally talk to Obi-Wan about what he brought up to Qui-Gon. 

 

*** 

 

Obi-Wan had been in the kitchen when he heard Anakin gasp from where he was sleeping on the couch. Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes as he watched Anakin sit up and rub his hands over his face and through his hair. He looked oddly out of breath, his hands were shaking and pulling at his messy hair. 

Not wanting to make Anakin suffer alone from what was most likely a nightmare, Obi-Wan walked over to the couch. “Anakin, are you quite alright? Did you have a nightmare? Do you want to talk about it?” 

Anakin looked panicked as he shook his head. “N-No! No….” 

Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes once again as he sat down by Anakin’s feet. “ He’s hiding something,” Obi-Wan’s mind supplied. “Anakin, please let me help you.” Obi-Wan moved his hand gently over Anakin’s thigh. 

Anakin glanced down at Obi-Wan’s hand and gently put his own hand over it. “Obi…” he sighed and looked away. 

“Anakin, please tell me,” Obi-Wan whispered. 

“I don’t need you to hate me,” Anakin said as he looked Obi-Wan in the eyes. Anakin should have known it was nearly impossible to make Obi-Wan hate him. 

“Anakin,” Obi-Wan whispered. “What is it you need to tell me?” The way Anakin looked at him made Obi-Wan’s heart speed up. 

Anakin hesitated before slowly beginning. “Do you remember those dreams I was having about my mother dying?” 

Obi-Wan tensed. “Yes… Is that what you dreamt about?” Anakin nodded and Obi-Wan immediately moved his hand to squeeze Anakin’s. “Did you want to talk about that? Or we could comm your mother instead.” 

Anakin shook his head. “No, we should not comm. I believe the force wants me to talk to you. The dreams I have are usually trying to tell me something.” He paused before adding. “I hate them for it. Dreams haunt me until I say something.” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Then please tell me about it.” 

There was a momentary hesitation before Anakin took a deep breath and slowly began telling Obi-Wan about his dream. He went over how his mother passed, and then how he couldn’t control his rage and sadness after. He went into only a small amount of detail when describing killing the tuskens, simply saying he killed them all, not just the men but the potentially innocent as well. “I didn’t tell you for obvious reasons…” 

“What do you mean obvious?” Obi-Wan suddenly stated. “Anakin…” Obi-Wan didn’t know how to feel. One part of him wanted to comfort Anakin and tell him that it was okay, he wanted to tell him it was all in the past. But another part of himself was writhing with guilt over never finding out and anger over not being told. For the first time in a long while, Obi-Wan genuinely felt like yelling angrily at Anakin. He couldn’t believe he wasn't told about what was more than likely Anakin's first step into the Darkside. Anakin was still a padawan, he was supposed to go to his Master when something went wrong, and yet Obi-Wan was somehow not trustworthy enough to hear about this act. “Why couldn’t you have told me?” Obi-Wan said a bit harsher than was needed. 

Anakin tensed up even further. “You would have told the council! I would have been expelled! I was suffering Obi-Wan, the last thing I needed was one of your lectures.” 

Obi-Wan now glared at Anakin. “One of my lectures!? Anakin if you had gone to me maybe you would have realized that I want to help you! I only ever wanted what was best for you!” 

Obi-Wan stood up and Anakin quickly followed. “You aren’t understanding!” Anakin yelled. “You wanting to help wouldn’t have prevented my explosion,” He said bitterly Obi-Wan glared. Anakin turned away before whispering. “Like I could stand disappointing you that badly at such an age,” Obi-Wan froze up as they both stared at each other, the tension in the room suffocating. 

A quiet knock sounded on the door, causing both Obi-Wan and Anakin to snap their heads in that direction. Obi-Wan had never seen such bad timing for a visitor. Plus the fact this visit was unplanned and he had not a clue who it could be. “Maybe it’s my mother,” Anakin whispered and Obi-Wan relaxed. 

“Do you sense her?” Obi-Wan questioned as he slowly began making his way to the door. 

A bad feeling began to build in Obi-Wan, and as he reached through the force he felt an oddly familiar signature, yet it was so different and new at the same time. Earlier when Obi-Wan went outside with Patience he had gotten a bad feeling well, yet it was dwelled slightly with the birds distracting him. “No,” Anakin suddenly said behind him. “That is not my mother,” Anakin cautiously moved to the counter and stood next to him, his body tensed up not only from their recent fight but from suspense. 

Obi-Wan took a deep breath. “I’m sure there is no reason to worry,” he told Anakin, trying to relieve some of his stress. It was odd how they were now looking to each other for comfort and protection after just getting into what could have been described as the beginning of a heated argument. “I’m sure it’s simply an old friend.” 

Obi-Wan could not have been more wrong. Opening the door a figure stood dressed in a black cloak, a hood covering his face and head as he glared at the ground. The man slowly peered up, his eyes piercing into Obi-Wan with an intensity very view carried. Yellow eyes met blue and Obi-Wan could do nothing but gasp. He backed away from the door but quickly regretted it when he realized he gave the man an opening to walk inside if he pleased. Yet the tattooed man stood perfectly still, hands behind his back and a passionate look in his eyes. “Hello…Kenobi.”

Chapter Text

“Hello…Kenobi,” The red-skinned Zabrak whispered in his deep voice. 

“What do you want!?” Anakin immediately demanded, already recognizing the man in front of him just by hearing stories alone. He moved to stand in front of Obi-Wan, trapping Obi-Wan in the house and Maul outside of it. 

Maul snarled for a moment before quickly replacing it with a more blank expression. “I know that I am known for having bad intentions when it comes to Kenobi but this time is different, I swear,” he said as he looked Anakin straight in the eyes. “I am in this…good version of the afterlife after all,” he implied. 

“Anakin, he can only hurt me with his words. So please move so we can talk and if he is cruel I will let you kick him out,” Obi-Wan said from behind him. Anakin reluctantly moved so Obi-Wan could face Maul. Somehow Maul tensed up even more when he saw Obi-Wan again. ‘Maul,” Obi-wan greeted. 

“Kenobi,” Maul greeted back, now moving to stare intensely into Obi-Wan’s eyes. The eye contact made Obi-Wan feel skittish. 

“You say you have good intentions but if that is true you at least need to tell me why you are here,” He informed in the calmest voice he could muster while talking to Maul. 

“Finally you ask,” he said before taking a deep breath, giving a rather dramatic and long pause before choking out. “Sorry,” in the tiniest voice Obi-Wan had heard. 

Obi-Wan found it hard to believe what he was hearing so he asked again, “What was that?” 

Maul growled before covering his mouth and taking another deep breath. “I…am….sorry,” he said as he uncovered his mouth. Apparently, those words weren’t the only shock waiting for Obi-Wan as he saw Maul’s eyes start to water as he broke that intense eye contact. 

“Well…” Obi-Wan said softly. “I wasn’t exactly expecting this but-” 

“Shhhh!” Maul hissed. “I-I wasn’t done yet! Years of agony and fear that I caused you and all you expect me to say is a simple sorry!? Raise your standards!” Maul lectured before huffing. Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow at Maul and Maul quickly looked away again. “Sorry,” he choked out again. 

He took another deep breath before continuing his supposedly long apology. “I apologize for what started this all, for killing your Master. And I apologize for everything I did after it to try and achieve my revenge. When I killed your Master I was in my own Master's control. It was his wish to have Master Jinn dead and I was not allowed to disobey him. That fact does not justify my actions that day nor any other day I was under his control but is simply one of the main contributors to my bad actions when I was young. As for trying to get revenge on you, that is entirely my fault. I did that of my own free will. I admit I was insane with hate for you and hateful of almost everybody and everything else at the time. All I knew some days was hate and you were the perfect target to direct all of my misery towards. That day we first met you did not only take away my legs but my spot next to Sidious and the life I was looking forward to living next to him. I believed I needed Sidious a very long time ago. He had promised me power and a place as a Sith but I now realize it was all a lie told me so he could use me as a weapon for himself.”

He paused, having to take a moment to gather his thoughts after his already long apology. “It took me years to understand all of the mistakes I had made, and it took me years to understand how to feel guilty for all of it. But now that I have seen the full perspective I can freely admit that…I am sorry, for everything I not only did to you but to everyone else in my life.” Maul’s voice cracked and he gripped his arm anxiously as his eyes became glassy once again. 

Despite his glassy eyes Maul once again looked at Obi-Wan intensely. Blue eyes met yellow and for the first time, there was no hatred between their locked gaze. Obi-Wan smiled sadly at him as Maul finally muttered again. “It is not a request for forgiveness when I tell you that I am sorry, it is simply an admission of truth. Guilt….it is finally what I feel towards you, my worst enemy,” he added on as if they were two old friends. He gave a sly smile before turning hesitantly as if to walk away. 

“Maul,” Obi-wan said in an effort to stop him. Maul turned to look at him with a bitter expression.  “I accept your apology.” 

“Why!?” Maul demanded. 

Obi-Wan hummed. “I am surprised to see how much you have changed. But I suppose that is what happens when you spend time on that… other side of the afterlife. But that is beside the point. I would have accepted the apology even if you had simply said sorry. As long as I know you feel guilt and want to make up for what you have done I would have accepted it.” 

Maul looks dumbfoundedly at him. “But….all the pain I caused…” 

“...Can still be forgiven,” Obi-Wan said simply. Of course, he was still slightly upset at Maul but he understood him in a way Maul never seemed to realize. He was a very abused man from what Obi-Wan could tell. And sure he may have also been a bad person but from what he had seen that is what he was raised to be. In Obi-Wan’s mind, all he needed was someone to help him. Sometimes it was hard to see this truth when he was still in part blinded by the pain Maul had caused him in his life, but a Jedi’s job was to look passed bias and see the truth and see the truth he would. 

“How!?” Maul demanded. 

Obi-Wan shrugged mysteriously. “I am a Jedi, forgive is what I do.” 

“That is still unexpected,” he said as he looked at him suspiciously. 

“And what were you expecting Maul? A duel to the death?” Obi-Wan said teasingly.

“Very funny,” Maul responded sarcastically. “I simply expected you to tell me how much of a disgusting monster I am, and then tell me to never show my pathetic face again.” 

Obi-Wan laughed. “No, and it is not only you that I forgive. I forgave Anakin here as well. So you see it is simply something I do. I now can tell it is good in both of you.” 

Maul huffed. “Fine, but I do not accept your forgiveness; can one accept forgiveness?” He then asked. 

Obi-Wan chuckled. “Not usually. But I understand your point. You do not think I should forgive you but I will try anyway. Now, where are you headed from here?” Obi-Wan asked curiously. 

Maul narrowed his eyes. “Not that it is your concern, but I do not know.” 

Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes in return. ‘You do not know? How long have you been here?” 

There was silence for a while before Maul mumbled, “Two days.” 

“Do you not have a brother? I would expect you to still be with him. Unless you two did not get along?” Obi-Wan asked. 

“We got along fine!” Maul hissed. “You ask so many questions. But if you must know where I have been, I have been finding out where you live and then stalking you while trying to gain to confidence to approach you!” Maul turned his back on Obi-Wan angrily. 

“You went to me first?” Obi-Wan asked in one of the many more questions he now had for Maul. Somehow he wasn't too alarmed by the stalking, it seemed rather predictable considering all Mau; had done in the past. 

Maul turned and glared, the question answering itself. “I hurt you the most,” he claimed. 

“Well, I don’t know how true that is but…” Obi-Wan was already beginning to regret asking what he was about to ask but he knew Maul needed help and it was only kind to give him that. There was something preventing him from going to his own brother, it showed Obi-Wan that there was clearly something wrong and Maul didn’t necessarily deserve to be alone after everything he must have been through to get here. “Why don’t you come inside so I can help you decide where to go next.” 

Maul stared at him in disbelief. “You want me…to go inside your home?” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “You need help, I see it. Let us make up for our past and help each other.” Obi-Wan backed up against the door to allow an open path for Maul to walk in. 

Anakin stood in the middle of what was supposed to be an open path with a shocked expression. “You are letting him in!?” Anakin demanded. 

“You heard what I said. I don’t need to be petty and refuse to help someone who clearly needs it. Someone in need is someone in need,” He responded simply. 

“But…” Anakin huffed annoyedly and Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow at him. 

“I still let you in, didn’t I?” Obi-Wan said as he reached over and gave Anakin's hand a squeeze. 

Anakin sighed but nodded. “Fine, but I don’t want him being disrespectful to you.” Anakin walked over to the doorway to look at Maul. “One rude comment and I throw you out!” 

Maul looked between them. “You are both serious? You want ME coming inside YOUR home?” 

“Not really,” Anakin responded before Obi-Wan slapped him in the arm. 

“Yes, now, please. The sooner you come in the sooner you can leave,” Obi-Wan said insistently. 

Maul gave a long, overdramatic sigh before walking over and after a moment's hesitation, into the cottage. He looked around the kitchen curiously as Obi-Wan shut the door behind him. Obi-Wan believed something had changed since the last time he saw Maul. “You are shorter,” he finally said. “You do not have mechanical legs.” He observed. 

Maul turned to him with his arms crossed protectively over his chest. Before responding Obi-Wan watched as he glanced at the window in the kitchen and then the one in the other room before looking at the bedroom door. “ He’s paranoid, he’s looking for potential escapes,” Obi-Wan’s mind supplied. “I would prefer not to be called short, but yes, my flesh legs have returned. This is simply how I appeared when I finally arrived in this…heaven…good place…whatever it is named.” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Well, when we arrive here we appear as how we wish. So obviously you wished for your legs back.” 

Maul looked down at his legs before nodding. “It makes sense,” he said simply before staring at Obi-Wan intensely again. Obi-Wan tried not to shiver as he made his way into the kitchen. 

Maul took multiple steps back when Anakin followed Obi-Wan inside. It seemed Maul had of course heard of Vader’s reputation; as most people in the galaxy had. Obi-Wan began making himself a cup of tea as he spoke. “So, Maul. You informed me you have only been here two days yet came here before reuniting with someone in your own family. Are you avoiding your brother?” 

Maul gave a long sigh. “How personal must we get?” 

“Would you rather me simply help you find your brother?” Obi-Wan asked. 

Maul paused before nodding. “That would be best.” 

Obi-Wan knew it would be easy. If Savage wanted to be found all Obi-Wan had to do was ask the force and the answer would come into his mind. Obi-Wan suddenly looks at Maul with narrowed eyes. “How did you find me?” 

“I arrived here on Coruscant first. I spotted you getting into a speeder only a short while after I arrived.” Maul paused. 

Anakin huffed. “And then you stalked us?” 

Maul goes silent before whispering. “Yes…” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “Well, it is like you I imagine. Now, all you have to do is close your eyes and ask the force where your brother is and if he wants you to find him, his location will become known.” 

Maul closed his eyes for only a short while before opening them again. “Dathomire,” he said. “I am glad he is here and not in the other side of this afterlife. I assumed he would be here. It has been a long time since he passed.” 

Obi-Wan smiled at him. “Now, are you going to go find him today?” He could instantly see Maul's hesitation. 

Maul nodded and slowly began walking to the door. Obi-Wan was hoping he could stop and tell Obi-Wan why he appeared so hesitant but he never did so. Obi-Wan sighed before Maul could get to the door. “Maul, why are you so hesitant to leave? It seems as if you do not want to see your brother.” 

Maul grumbled. “This is not meant to be any of your business.” 

“Well, I’ll regret it if I know you are suffering and I did nothing to help,” he said. Maul said nothing in response. 

Obi-Wan was also silent, hoping the long pause and awkwardness would eventually get Maul to talk. Finally, Maul sighed. “I hurt him like I hurt everyone. I was cruel to him at times when he was kind to me, and I should have known Sidious would kill him the moment that he spotted my brother.” 

“So you somehow led Sidious to his location and Sidious killed him?” Obi-Wan questioned and Maul nodded. “Well now is your chance to apologize,” Obi-Wan emphasized. “But I know that is hard, you may spend the rest of the day here if you wish considering it is late. But I will warn you when you arrived here your loved ones felt it. They know you are here somewhere.” 

Maul hissed. “Wonderful…” 

Anakin leaned down to whisper to Obi-Wan. “Are you sure letting him stay is a good idea? And why are you so forgiving? He killed Satine, didn’t he?” Obi-Wan sighed and nodded, making Anakin continue. “He isn't that good of a person Obi-Wan, we should let him figure out his own problems.” 

Obi-Wan shook his head. “Anakin, I have an eternity to either hold a grudge against him or forgive him. And now that I chose to try and forgive I admit I don’t need to help him; in fact, it might even be foolish of me to help, but he’s always needed help Anakin. Do you think anyone was there to help when he was alive?” 

Anakin turned to look at Maul who was staring down at the floor in thought, a bitter frown back on his face. Anakin sighed. “No…no because he was cruel,” he emphasized. 

“Don’t you wish someone would have helped you when you called yourself Vader?” Obi-Wan asked and Anakin went quiet. Obi-Wan rubbed Anakin’s arm soothingly. “He went through something at least slightly similar to what you did. You were both abused by the same person were you not?” 

“I don’t need a therapy buddy,” Anakin grumbled. 

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. “I’m just asking you to at the very least not get into any fights with him if he decides to stay. And let me help him. I don’t think he’s ever had help in his entire life, at least not someone who helped him the correct way.” Anakin reluctantly nodded and Obi-Wan turned back to Maul. “Have you decided what you would like to do?” 

Maul looked Obi-Wan in the eyes. “Have you forgotten how I hurt you? Did I not kill the people you loved?” He asked, returning to this topic from earlier. 

“I know, and it was cruel and vengeful. Would you like to do it again? Was that apology for nothing?” Obi-Wan asked. 

“Of course it is genuine,” Maul responded annoyedly before whispering, “I’ll stay, but only because I’m a coward who hates the idea of seeing his brother.” Maul walked with his head down to the living room and sat on the couch. 

Anakin narrowed his eyes. “I was almost certain he would say no.” 

“Maybe he finally accepts that he needs help sometimes,” Obi-Wan implied before leading Anakin into their room. “I’m going to give him a blanket and then tell him I’ll leave him alone for the night,” Obi-Wan said quietly. “There isn't much else I can do considering our history. I just wanted to give him a place to be where he wasn’t completely alone,” Obi-Wan said before grabbing a blanket and walking outside to hand it to Maul. Thankfully Maul took it right away while looking suspiciously at Obi-Wan. After Obi-Wan walked back to his room Maul laid down on the couch without even taking his shoes off. He pulled the blanket on top of him and used it to cover his head. 

Obi-Wan made sure the door to the bedroom was locked before going to bed with Anakin. Obi-Wan had to admit he was slightly disappointed when Anakin never took his shirt off, but he assumed Anakin was simply on edge from having a visitor in the house overnight. 

As he fell asleep he remembered the fight he and Anakin had gone through before Maul arrived. He turned to see Anakin’s peaceful face behind him. He had his eyes closed and his lips parted ever so slightly in a way that seemed to taunt Obi-Wan to touch them. He couldn’t stop himself when his fingers gently rubbed against Anakin’s soft cheek, tracing a finger along his jawbone very gently, carefully. Anakin’s eyes fluttered open and Obi-Wan’s fingers stalled. “S-Sorry,” Obi-Wan stuttered. “I thought you were asleep,” He claimed as if that would make his embarrassing act any better. Anakin snickered quietly at him and Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. “Oh stop,” Obi-Wan demanded as his cheeks turned pink. 

Obi-Wan tried to turn away before he felt Anakin's fingers on his chin, those comforting fingers slowly pulling Obi-Wan’s head to the side to look at him. Anakin took his other hand and traced it against Obi-Wan's jawbone just as Obi-Wan had done to him. “What are you doing?” Obi-Wan whispered. 

Anakin hummed. “What does this mean Obi-Wan? Why did you touch my face?” 

Obi-Wan scoffed, although it wasn’t very harsh sounding. “We were just in a fight, I had thought you were mad at me.” 

Anakin rolled his eyes. “We will get to it later,” he whispered annoyedly. “Now tell me why you touched my face” He now questioned in a more amused tone. 

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. “Anakin, it was nothing.” 

“Nothing?” Anakin said in that annoying voice he used to try and get a raise out of Obi-Wan. He traced his finger slowly along Obi-Wan’s jawbone before touching it against his lip. Obi-Wan suppressed a gasp, his eyes meeting Anakin’s for only a moment before Anakin stared intensely down at his lips. Only a couple of seconds went by before Anakin predictably pulled him into a kiss. 

Anakin’s kiss was messy and just got messier when Obi-Wan gained the strength to kiss him back. Surprisingly, Obi-Wan found himself liking how messy and uncoordinated the kiss was. It was just very…Anakin-like. Anakin finally pulled back. “We don’t need air here, we could kiss for as long as we liked.” 

Obi-Wan found himself repressing a smile. “I’m not going to kiss you for a full hour if that's what you are planning.” Force, he couldn’t believe they were even kissing for more than a second. Anakin just pulled him into another genuine, loving, messy kiss. 

Anakin groaned with fake annoyance when pulling back. “Why not, old man,” he teased him. 

“Old man?” Obi-Wan questioned. “I'll show you an old man.” He turned his back on Anakin. “I’m going to bed. Goodnight.”  

Anakin went completely silent, worrying Obi-Wan for a moment before he heard Anakin throw what was hopefully his shirt and not his pants on the floor before pressing himself against Obi-Wan. Anakin wrapped his arms back around him and Obi-Wan sighed before placing his hand on top of Anakin’s. “Goodnight, old man,” Obi-Wan whispered to his now beloved. 

“Still not as old as you,” his beloved responded. “But…goodnight.” Obi-Wan could only roll his eyes in return. 

 

*** 

 

“Master Skywalker, what are we going to do!?” So helpless, innocent, and yet Anakin watched himself as he killed nearly all of those younglings. But the dream did not end there. He watched nearly all of them as they lived a full life in a world untouched by Anakin and the Sith. Anakin was like a ghost being brought along and shown the potential these younglings had that Anakin took away from them. He felt sick, and yet so confused. All of this seemed so real, like a vision or memory more than a dream. When he sat up in bed with his heart pounding, he tried to think of why the force would possibly want to punish him by showing him such sad images. 

Anakin stared at the wall after that for a long while, processing what he just saw and trying to understand why he had been shown this. Tears streamed down his cheeks as the lives of those little ones played across his mind “Why?” Anakin whispered into the room. “Why show me this, torture me? I deserve this, I know I do. But why are you showing me this now my father force? Is this punishment?” No reply came from the force, because of course there wasn’t when this being that bound them all could not speak. But yet Anakin did not even receive a message through feelings or from an object around him. “What am I meant to do? Am I meant to speak about this?” Still no answer. Anakin would have snapped if it weren’t for the sleeping form next to him, the form that was much more peaceful than he could be even in sleep. 

Anakin let silence fill the room, except it wasn’t complete silence as Anakin could swear he heard a noise coming from outside of the bedroom. He wiped his eyes and took a deep breath. He felt like sobbing, he felt so weak, and yet he walked quietly to the bedroom door anyway with his hands clenched in fists. 

He knew it was a miracle Obi-Wan had not woken up yet, making him wonder if he should wake Obi-Wan up so they could talk about what happened; as if that would help, more than likely not. First, it was the Tuskins, and now he had dreams about the younglings. There must be some connection between them Anakin wasn’t seeing at the moment, not that he wanted to think about it. He felt too sick to think about it at the moment. 

Finally, Anakin got to the door and pressed his ear against it. Anakin narrowed his eyes as he heard what sounded to be crying coming from the other end. He hesitated, wondering if he should just ignore it or go out to help. He glanced at Obi-Wan lying peacefully in the bed. He so desperately wanted to be back there pressing up against Obi-Wan’s back as they slept together. Anakin sighed quietly. He knew Obi-Wan would want him to help, so with a reluctant huff, he opened the door and walked into the living room. 

Maul was sitting on the couch with his knees pulled to his chest and his head laying against them. He had his back turned away from the door when Anakin walked out. The moment Maul heard someone behind him he went completely silent. Anakin paused, beginning to regret this decision. He knew it was too late to go back now so with a sigh he spoke. “Are you….okay?” 

“Do you truly not know the answer to that?” Maul said harshly. 

Anakin stared at him blankly, speaking with the same blank expression. “It sounded like you were crying, so I asked.” 

“I arrived here out of literal hell two days ago, I am sitting on my worst enemy's couch because I am too much of a coward to speak with my own brother, and now I was caught pathetically crying. How do you THINK I am doing?” Maul glared at the moonlit window, shiny tears running down his red cheeks before he hastily tried to wipe them away. 

“All I did was ask if you were okay. If you wanted me to leave all you had to say was fine and I would go,” Anakin elaborated in an equally annoyed tone. 

Maul sighed loudly. “I am fine,” he grumbled. Anakin turned and was about to leave when Maul quietly added. “It was only a pathetic nightmare.” 

Anakin stopped in his tracks, a look of annoyance on his face but a feeling of hesitance inside as he spoke quietly. “Just so you know ahead of time, the force usually gives us these nightmares as signs something is building up inside of us and needs to be talked about. Just a warning….so you do not have the nightmare again.”  

Anakin began walking to his room again when Maul stopped him yet again with a simple whisper. “Thank you very kindly for the warning,” he said in a sarcastic tone. “I’ll be sure to tell one of my close friends or family members. Or I may even contact one of my many therapists.” 

Anakin turned around. “What is wrong with you? It was advice. You accept it without comment. You don’t need to be sarcastic about it. I warned you about being cruel while you were here.” 

Maul narrowed his eyes on Anakin. “Sarcastic? No…never…” 

Anakin rubbed a hand over his face. “It isn't funny.” 

“You taunt me by giving me advice I cannot follow.” Maul turned away. “I suppose it is only fair after how I treated your former Master Kenobi.” 

Anakin had to admit he was confused for a couple of seconds. “Taunting you? I don’t like you but I wouldn’t do that when you were already in tears.” Maul hissed at him, obviously not believing him. Anakin sighed and walked over, sitting on the far side of the couch away from Maul. “Go ahead, tell me about your nightmare.” 

Now that he was closer, Anakin could see the dumbfounded look Maul was giving him. It made Anakin want to snort at him. “You…you want ME to tell YOU about my private nightmare?” Maul questioned. 

Anakin nodded. “I wasn’t taunting you, and now I will prove it. I’m sure I can relate to the nightmare in some way. Just tell me what it was about so I can leave and you can go back staying here for a couple more hours or leaving before I have to see you again.” Anakin did not mean to be so harsh with Maul, but at times like this, he couldn’t seem to help it. He was staring at the man that hunted Obi-Wan just to achieve revenge on him. This man had made him miserable. Anakin's train of thought paused. ‘ I did that,’ his mind supplied. Had he not hunted Obi-Wan, made him miserable, and all in the name of revenge? 

Maul glared at him. “You truly want to know, Skywalker?” Anakin simply nodded, letting Maul consider everything that was just said. “I still do not understand. It is like you have forgotten or do not care about everything I have done to hurt Kenobi.” 

“I haven't forgotten,” Anakin immediately said. “I’ll forever remember every single thing he ever told me. To be honest I still hate you a little.” ‘ Like you hate yourself.’ 

Maul threw his hands up. “Then what is the point of this!?” 

“Just go back to bed,” Anakin responded annoyedly and turned around, about to walk back into his room when he saw an angry-looking Obi-Wan leaning against the doorway. 

“What is going on?” Obi-Wan asked in a stern voice. 

Anakin froze up for a couple of moments before responding quietly. “I went to check on Maul… he’s rude,” Anakin said with a side glance at Maul. 

“Only after I thought you were being cruel to me,” Maul retorted. 

Anakin sighed. “I wasn’t being cruel Obi-Wan, I swear,” he said as Obi-Wan gave him a slightly harsher look. 

Both Maul and Anakin went silent before Obi-Wan’s face softened slightly and he reached forward to gently rub Anakin’s arm who had gotten up from the couch to stand next to his partner. He then grabbed his hand and lead him back to the living room. 

“Maul, why did Anakin need to check on you?” Obi-Wan asked and Maul still stayed silent. 

“He was crying,” Anakin blurted and Maul hissed at him. 

“Well, you didn’t need to tell on him but at least I know.” Obi-Wan looked back at Maul. “Are you alright?” 

Maul hissed again at the question and Anakin gave an annoyed sigh. “I already asked him that and he got offended.” 

“Why?” Obi-Wan asked. “It is a simple question.” 

Anakin looked right at Maul as he nodded. “I know. He thinks it is obvious he isn't okay.” 

Obi-Wan opened his mouth to speak again before Maul said again, “It’s an irrational question.” 

“You being here is what’s irrational,” Anakin retorted. 

Maul snarled. “Oh, and what gives you such a right to stay here, Lord Vader?” 

Anakin glared harshly at him. “You and Obi-wan have never had one pleasant interaction before today, and I would hardly call your miserable apology pleasant! You two don’t know each other. He’s letting you stay because he pities you, though I’m not sure you even deserve pity!” 

Maul stood up. “I knew it was pity, and yet here I am anyway! Do you think I am not humiliated my former worst enemy has let me stay in his pathetically small cottage out of pity!” 

“If it’s humiliating then why are you wasting our time by staying here!?” Anakin yelled a bit too angrily. 

“I don’t have anywhere else to go!” Maul yelled. “Have we not established that fact long ago!? Hmm, let us think. Why has the sociopath come to his worst enemy's door before visiting his own brother? Hmm, out of guilt? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just like he STATED earlier and he’s ashamed of how he treated his brother! Oh, that’s it! Great listening skills my Lord.” 

“Listening skills my…. forget it,” Anakin stormed over to Maul, presumably to drag him out of the house. Maul screeched like a wild animal and fearfully jumped over a tall cushioned chair. 

Maul grabbed his double-bladed lightsaber Anakin had no idea Maul even still had and ignited both blades. “Do you not think I would predict something like this!? You FOOL!” Maul hissed at him and got into a defensive position. Anakin slowly began laughing. “What is so funny!?” Maul demanded. 

Obi-Wan gave a long, exhausted sigh. “Maul…we can’t feel pain here, no one can.” 

Maul stood still before whispering a quiet. “No…” He was silent for a while before turning to Obi-Wan. “I don’t believe you!” 

Anakin walked forward. “Let me show you.” He took a step back before slapping Maul hard against the face. Maul screamed and grabbed his cheek before pausing. Anakin tried really hard not to laugh as Maul processed what had just happened. 

“How….how did I not notice? I was so long in my own head I never thought to test…” Maul turned off his lightsaber and threw it against the ground. “Now I am the fool!” 

“We know,” Anakin said only to have Obi-Wan slap him on the arm from behind him. 

“Hush,” He told him before turning to Maul. “I must admit Maul I am slightly impressed. You came in here believing we could feel pain yet not once tried to hurt us. Well…for the most part. But I still give you credit for not bringing out your lightsaber until you felt threatened.” 

Anakin spoke again. “I still don’t know how you never figured out we don’t feel pain here. We obviously can’t die so why have pain?” 

“It is as I said, I did not have time to consider it,” he hissed quietly, sounding a little embarrassed. “What is a life without pain?” He asked before shaking his head. He looked up to Anakin. “You spoke of helping me by listening to my nightmare earlier. There is another way you could help me…” Anakin raised an eyebrow and Maul smirked. “Hold still..” He whispered before slapping Anakin swiftly across the face. A loud slapping noise filled the room followed by an exhausted sigh from Obi-Wan and Maul’s loud laughter. “I feel much better,” Maul informed soon after. 

“I’m glad,” Anakin replied bitterly as he rubbed his left cheek. 

“Now, both of you need to sit down and apologize.” Maul and Anakin glared at each other before looking away. “Apologize,” Obi-Wan insisted. “Please.” 

“Sorry,” Anakin said, caving into the demand. 

Maul sighed. “I am sorry.” They both looked back down. 

Obi-Wan’s expression softened and he even smiled slightly. “That wasn't so hard. Now, why were you so upset Maul?” 

“A nightmare,” he responded bitterly as he walked back over to the couch and sat down. Obi-Wan took a seat in the chair and Anakin sat across from him. 

“Would you like to talk about it?” Obi-Wan requested. “I know that may seem like an oddly personal thing to talk about, but I’ve come to realize that dreams-” 

Maul cut Obi-Wan off. “Repeat themselves if not talked about?” 

Obi-Wan nodded in surprise. “Yes, how did you know that?” 

Maul motioned to Anakin. “I told him,” Anakin said. “I even offered to listen but he once again thought I was taunting him. Told me he knew he had no one to speak to and was rubbing it in his face.” 

Obi-Wan frowned. “I am serious about letting you talk about this dream. Is it so personal that going over a brief outline of what happened would cause you distress?” 

Maul thought about it and then shook his head. “It was about Sidious, something that happened a long time ago when I was young.” 

Anakin listened attentively, slightly curious about what else Maul could tell them. Obi-Wan nodded. “Do you want to briefly go over it? I will not judge you for what you say.” 

“You are so kind it makes me sick,” Maul told Obi-Wan. 

“Thank you,” Obi-Wan responded amusedly. Even in the low light, Anakin could tell Maul rolled his eyes. 

“Fine. I will BRIEFLY go over it,” Maul informed before taking a deep breath and beginning his story. “My dream came in the form of memory,” he began in a dramatic voice Anakin should have known to expect just from the little interaction he and Maul have had so far. “I was looking out the window of a ship as I watched my home planet of Dathomire fade. I had just left my mother; I was told she hated me. I had trusted Sudious’s opinion as a five-year-old. I was impressionable and easily manipulated. Sidious used it to his advantage, he used the growing tension that was forming between my mother and me to turn me against her and eventually get me to willingly come with him to become a Sith.” Maul paused for a moment, looking down at his hands in deep thought. “I was lost then, the moment I stepped onto that ship I had lost my way.” He paused again. “No, the moment I laid my eyes on him my fate was sealed. He saw a child and decided he would use them to his advantage.” 

Maul’s words stung Anakin deep in his heart. He couldn’t believe he was relating to them as he slowly began to realize he wasn't the only child Sidious had manipulated for personal gain. Maul’s next words were so relatable Anakin could have been saying them about himself. “He made me think my apprenticeship with him was entirely my fault. And when I became older I would begin to wonder if this was truly what I wanted, he would simply remind me that I made this choice myself. There was no turning back when you have done so much wrong no one could possibly forgive you.” Maul paused and looked at Obi-Wan. “He made it so easy. Obey him and I would be a powerful Sith with a potential empire to rule in the future. You know I blamed my lost opportunity on you Kenobi, and part of it was your fault, yes, but without Sidious half of my deep misery would not exist. In the end, he was the one I truly wanted revenge on. I was a weapon to him, a dog, a slave. Whatever I was I had a leash on that was meant to be cut when I was no longer of use. To this day I still wonder what may have happened if I had never been separated from my mother.” 

The silence became intense once Maul stopped talking, everyone in deep thought about what was just said. Finally, after a long moment, Anakin broke the silence. “He did it to me as well…” Maul turned to Anakin. “Manipulated me when I was a child,” Anakin elaborated. He felt he may regret saying this, but Maul had experienced something so similar Anakin felt he had to share. He felt…connected to him in some weird way as much as Anakin hated to admit it. Maul stared intensely at Anakin as Anakin continued. “I remember going down to his office as a small child and receiving praise from him. He would tell me how great of a Jedi I was, he had a way of knowing exactly what I wanted to hear and telling me. Whenever I would have doubt about a wrong action or mistake I would go to him and he would tell me I did the right thing. Obi-Wan disliked him, I suppose he was right to do so. He did make it a lot harder to admit I was wrong. And besides that he made me believe he was my friend, someone who always had my back and would support me through my struggles.” Anakin paused in his thoughts before saying simply. “I loved him. He was…almost… like a father.” 

“I felt the same way,” Maul suddenly rushed to say. “He was not fakely nice with me like I assume he was with you, at least he wasn't after I joined him. Yet I was so young and without parental guidance so I began seeing him as a father. But it is like you said, something was missing.” 

Maul and Anakin stared at each other, and without saying it Anakin could tell Maul had thought of the same thing he did by how his face twisted. Love , that is what was missing in that equation. Even when Sidious was manipulating him when he was a small child Sidious felt no love or sympathy for him, for either of them. At least that is how it seemed now that Anakin looked back. 

“How did he treat you once you became his apprentice?” Maul asked. 

Anakin scoffed. “Like scum. Every mistake was met with some kind of beating or alternative punishment. I was lucky if I only go off with harsh words. Even my suit was punishment, the one I needed to live. I am sure you know what I am referring to. The suit was purposely designed to never be comfortable so I would always be in pain.” 

Anakin heard Obi-Wan take in a sharp breath yet when Anakin turned to look at him he could not see Obi-Wan’s facial expression, Obi-Wan’s back facing the moonlight. Anakin frowned to himself before turning to Maul as he spoke. “I did not realize you needed the suit to live. I thought it was for intimidation.” 

Anakin nodded. “It was designed to look intimidating. A part of me did not want others to know if I was human or some kind of droid. I believe some of my lower-ranking officers believed I was a machine. They weren’t completely wrong,” Anakin said bitterly. He then furrowed his eyebrows. “How did you know I was Vader? Did you find out while you were alive? It was not well known he was me.” 

Maul hummed. “It was very easy. Sidious wants power and what better way to gain it than by having the chosen one on his side? In his mind, I imagine he thought your prophecy of bringing balance could not happen if he constantly kept you in the palm of his hand. All he ever wanted was ultimate control.” 

Anakin studied Maul before nodding. “You are right.” 

It was Obi-Wan who broke the silence next. “He beat you as well Maul?” Obi-Wan asked the very obvious question. Maul nodded. “Even as a small child?” Obi-Wan asked. “What could you have done wrong then?” 

Maul paused a long moment. “He would find excuses. He mistreated me so badly that there were times I feared for my life.” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “I am so sorry, to both of you. I wish the Jedi protected you better Anakin and I wish the Jedi would have found you Maul, that way you may not have been influenced by that sick man.” 

Maul scoffed. “I would have fallen even if the Jedi had found me. And it is not like my mother would have given me up to you Jedi.” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “Maybe not, but I am sure there was some possibility you would have stayed on the light if you were raised by the Jedi.” 

Maul simply shrugged. They were all silent before Maul spoke quietly. “I thank you both deeply. Talking about these things… truly relieved me slightly. I do not feel suppressed by so much weight anymore.” 

Anakin hummed in surprise, not expecting Maul to act so thankfully toward them. “Of course. And what was your dream about exactly? You said something about you as a child and then you went slightly off-topic,” Obi-Wan said. 

Maul hummed. “I was on a ship with Sidious right after he manipulated me into joining him. He was my only form of guidance. I felt more lost than I had ever felt. I had a basic idea of what would come next yet was so clueless at the very same time. I knew a new chapter of my life was unfolding whether I desired it to or not.” 

Obi-wan smiled slightly. “So you are saying you felt lost then, just as you do now?” 

Maul paused before nodding. “Yes, I suppose the dream reflects my current situation.” 

Obi-Wan hummed. “I can assure you it will more than likely be fine. I say this because if something does go wrong I give you permission to come back here to hide for a short while.” 

Maul shook his head. “I still do not understand, you should be repulsed by my presence.” 

“Yes I should be, but I’m not,” Obi-Wan said calmly. “I feel bad, so maybe I am doing this out of pity, but at least hatred isn’t what I feel.” 

Maul stared at him before nodding and sitting in thought for a while. Obi-Wan gave him time to consider everything and decide what he was going to do next. “I think I will leave now,” he announced. “I am done sitting and waiting for what will be inevitable. I must see Savage.” He stood up and fasted his lightsaber to his belt. 

Anakin and Obi-Wan stood up as well. Obi-Wan gave Maul a genuine smile. “I am glad you finally have enough courage.” 

Maul nodded. “I am glad as well.” He began walking to the door before stopping when he got there. “I may see you soon?” He said in question, unsure if he was welcome back or maybe he was unsure if he ever wanted to come back. 

“Yes, as payment for staying here I expect you to come back briefly to tell me how things went with Savage,” Obi-Wan stated. 

Maul wrinkled his nose. “That is what you want?” 

Obi-Wan nodded. “Yes.” 

Maul sighed and opened the door. “Fine, briefly. And I will rub in your face how happy I am compared to you.” 

Obi-Wan beamed. “Excellent.” 

Maul growled. “You are supposed to be annoyed, not…never mind.” Maul stormed out of the house. 

Anakin watched as Obi-Wan smirked and walked to the door before yelling, “You didn’t even say bye!” 

Anakin heard Maul yell back something along the lines of, “You can’t make me.” 

Obi-Wan turned to Anakin and rolled his eyes before shutting the door. 

Anakin instantly relaxed now that it was just him and Obi-Wan. “Why did you get up?” Obi-Wan asked Anakin. “Did Maul wake you?” 

Anakin looked away. “No, another nightmare. They are getting worse. I had a dream about the younglings. First the Tuskins and now the younglings. You don’t think these dreams are connected do you?” 

Obi-Wan thought for a long moment. “I’m not sure. Is there something you need to share with me about your dream Anakin?” 

Anakin walked behind the counter and sat down, turning on the kitchen light as he did so. “No….you don’t need to hear about my immense guilt. Besides, it doesn’t exactly matter what else was seen in that dream as we were on another topic before Maul interrupted us.” 

Obi-Wan gave a long sigh and leaned against the far counter by the stove no one ever used. Anakin watched Obi-Wan look down in deep thought, waiting anxiously for the other man to speak his mind. “I understand,” Obi-Wan finally said. “You were scared of my reaction. I would have helped you, but I can't change the fact that dispite everything you were still scased of my reaction.” Obi-Wan paused before whispering. “Did you tell Sidious?” 

Anakin felt slightly ashamed as he nodded. Obi-Wan looked sadly at him. “He told you that you did nothing wrong didn’t he?” 

Anakin nodded again. “What else would he say Obi-Wan? You were supposed to be the one to punish me, not him.” 

Obi-Wan looked down solemnly before whispering. “A part of me, a very un-Jedi-like part of me, wants him to remain away from this side of the afterlife forever. I don’t want him to ever be redeemed.” 

Obi-Wan said this in such a quiet voice that Anakin had to strain to hear it. Yet even if it was nearly silent Anakin could hear the hurt that lay beneath those words. Anakin also wished Sidious would remain in some kind of hell for all eternity. He didn’t deserve to be redeemed after what he had done yet in the very far future Anakin knew he may have to see that disgusting old man again. He could only hope he would be ready in those thousands of years. 

Obi-Wan spoke quietly again. “What kind of person can hurt children..no…entire planets in the way he did. What pain did he experience to make him feel like he had to hurt others so badly in return? I cannot bring myself to believe someone can be born as evil and heartless as he became.” Obi-Wan’s eyes became slightly teary. “Children, you were both children,” Obi-Wan said in reference to Maul and Anakin. “He manipulated you both, turned you into something there was no way you were meant to be. I know you may wonder why I took such pity on Maul and let him stay but a part of me has always known the life he had was one he was in part forced into. If we were still alive and he asked for my help Anakin I would have done so. The afterlife has just given me the chance to do that very thing.” 

A question pressed on Anakin's mind, one he knew he shouldn’t ask but was tempted to anyway. “If you would have helped Maul…does that mean you would have helped me. If I came to you in that disgusting suit and my eyes still glowing yellow would you have helped me?” 

Obi-Wan looked him in the eyes. “Do you not know the answer to that…dear one?” Anakin’s breath caught in his throat and he just stared. Obi-Wan smiled slightly and looked down. “We would really have a problem on our hands if that happened wouldn’t we? I believe we would need to find a planet hidden from the eyes of the empire. We surely couldn’t stay on Tatooine. And we can’t forget the fact your suit made you very recognizable, we would need to change your suit somehow.” 

“Stop,” Anakins suddenly said. “You aren’t serious. You couldn’t help me, you wouldn’t even trust me in the slightest. Not only would we probably be caught you would die with me. Not to mention Luke would be left without a protector. Don’t lie to yourself Obi-Wan.” 

Obi-Wan looked him in the eyes yet again, his eyes glassy still as he whispered back, “Just let me believe.” It was all that was said before he began walking past the counter and to his room. 

Anakin stood up and grabbed his arm. Obi-Wan turned to look at him and Anakin pulled him closer. “I don’t understand you.” 

Obi-Wan huffed amusedly, giving Anakin that soft smile it seemed only Anakin was ever allowed to see. “Yes, I don’t always understand you either. But I suppose that is what makes things exciting.” 

“Why do you care for me?” Anakin whispered quietly, the familiar question having been asked at least a thousand times before. 

Obi-Wan gave him a heartbroken look that made Anakin regret asking. “I could ask you the same question,” he said quietly. 

Anakin sighed. “Obi-Wan…’ 

“Anakin,” Obi-Wan returned fondly. Anakin rolled his eyes. “What? Was that last ‘Anakin’ too fond for you? Here I was thinking you liked it when I tried to be affectionate.” Obi-Wan said as he began walking back to their room. Anakin narrowed his eyes and grabbed Obi-Wan’s arm again. Obi-Wan sighed, although it still sounded fond. “What is it this time?” 

“You are taunting me,” Anakin accused. 

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. “Taunting? I really don't understand how I am-” Anakin cut him off by pressing his lips quickly against Obi-Wan’s. He felt Obi-Wan go still before leaning against him and surprisingly kissing him back just as quickly. Obi-Wan’s hesitance was clear so to help guide him Anakin wrapped his arm around Obi-Wan’s waist and put a hand on his cheek. It was odd to be the one to guide Obi-Wan when Obi-Wan had been the one to teach him for so long. But Anakin had to admit he liked being to one to teach Obi-Wan for once. He liked getting to tell him what to do, being the one finally in charge. 

He imagined how flustered Obi-Wan had gotten the first time they kissed each other like they were now. He wished he could do that all over again. He would replay the memory for a lifetime. Obi-Wan suddenly pulled away with a gasp. Anakin opened his eyes to see the very same flustered Obi-Wan he was just imagining. “I…” Obi-Wan choked out. Anakin became confused before feeling Obi-Wan’s flustered arousal through their bond.

“You saw what I was imagining, didn’t you?” Anakin whispered. 

Obi-Wan blushed slightly. “I…yes.” Obi-Wan reached up and pulled at his beard. “I don’t look like that, do I?” 

Anakin smirked and pulled Obi-Wan closer to him. “It was a memory Obi-Wan.” Anakin lived to see the way Obi-Wan blushed after he said that. He smirked again before sending a made-up vision of Anakin reaching into Obi-Wan’s pants and grabbing his cock. 

Obi-Wan gasped and covered his eyes as if that would help. “You have a d-dirty mind,” he said as if it got rid of the fact Anakin could feel Obi-Wan’s hard cock pressing up against his upper thigh. 

Anakin thought for a moment, glanced towards the bedroom and then the fresher before whispering. “If I’m so dirty, maybe I should take a shower huh?” 

“Great idea,” Obi-Wan said. 

Anakin put on a pout. “All alone?” He teased. “I wouldn’t think you wanted me to be lonely.” 

 Obi-Wan sighed. “Anakin….” 

 

***

 

Obi-Wan still wasn't fully sure how it happened, but it only took about five minutes before Anakin had them both fully naked and in the shower. He wished Anakin would turn the heat of the shower down, he felt he would die all over again from a heat stroke. Although Obi-Wan had to admit the problem wasn’t the temperature of the water but more likely the way Anakin pulled Obi-Wan against him and sucked on his neck. Force, it made him hotter than he wanted to admit when Anakin began doing that. 

It was no secret now that they were both extremely aroused. Not only was Obi-Wan humiliatingly hard but he could feel Anakin’s erection pressed up against his stomach. He wished Anakin would do something about their erections already instead of pushing Obi-Wan up against the wet shower wall and trying to bite a mark on his neck. Sadly, Obi-Wan knew both he and Anakin knew that wasn't going to work, even if Anakin bit him like he thought it would. “Anakin,” Obi-Wan whispered in a rough voice. Anakin didn’t seem to hear him or just chose to ignore him as he kept sucking on the same spot on Obi-Wan’s neck. Obi-Wan decided to take matters into his own hands, quite literally, and reached down and took Anakin's erection into his hand. Anakin gave a loud groan and thrust into his hand. “Will you listen to me now?” Obi-Wan asked. 

Anakin whispered. “Yes?” 

He had no idea why the way Anakin said his name made him shiver. “May we take care of the problem?” Obi-Wan questioned and looked down at both of their erections. 

Anakin smirked. “Take care of how?” He said and began to let go of Obi-Wan. 

Obi-Wan went still. He wasn’t sure how he wanted to go about this. He was hoping Anakin would just decide again but as time went on and Anakin didn’t make a move Obi-Wan knew he needed to pretend like he had the slightest clue what he was doing. Obi-Wan’s mind searched for any kind of erotic movie he had watched over his entire life before landing on something he had seen when he was much younger. ‘ Yes, that was something people commonly did.’ He told himself. He hadn’t ever gotten around to doing this himself, but there was a first time for everything. 

Obi-Wan took a deep breath before slowly getting onto his knees. Anakin’s eyes widened, what Obi-Wan was implying shocking him before he regained his senses and ran a hand through Obi-Wan’s hair. “You want to….suck my dick?” Anakin questioned. 

Obi-Wan blushed. “T’That’s one way to put it, but yes.” He paused and looked Anakin in his eyes. “That is if you want it?” 

Anakin nodded. “Force, of course I want it. Have you ever done this before?” 

“I'll be fine,” Obi-Wan immediately replied, hoping Anakin wouldn’t ask any more questions. 

Anakin nodded and then tapped Obi-Wan’s jaw. “Go on then Master, open up.” 

Obi-Wan blushed bright red over the name, Anakin's smirk just growing wider when he saw the reaction he had pulled out of Obi-Wan. Carefully Obi-Wan opened his mouth only to have the tip of Anakin’s long length on his tongue, that tip slowly moving back toward his throat as Anakin pushed into his mouth. Anakin groaned and slid in until he felt Obi-Wan gag. He pulled back slightly as Obi-Wan reached down and stroked himself. 

Anakin reached down and grabbed Obi-Wan’s hair, tilting his head slightly so Obi-Wan looked up at him. “You look so pretty like this. I would have never guessed a few months ago that I would have Obi-Wan Kenobi on his knees in front of me.” Anakin teased and gave a shallow thrust into his mouth. He had to admit it was slightly uncomfortable, but it felt all worth it when he heard Anakin groan again. Anakin began thrusting gently into his mouth, his face becoming slightly slack with pleasure. Obi-Wan moaned upon seeing it, not knowing such a simple act could get such a reaction out of Anakin. Obi-Wan closed his lips tightly around Anakin's cock, Anakin groaning yet again once Obi-Wan did so. 

Anakin grabbed Obi-Wan’s head and held it still as he thrust carefully into his mouth. “Is this okay?” Anakin questioned and Obi-Wan moaned in confirmation. He stroked himself faster, nearing the edge already just by hearing Anakin’s groans alone. Obi-Wan continued to stroke himself until he heard Anakin’s voice. “I want to see you cum without touching yourself,” Anakin panted. 

‘That’s impossible,’ Obi-Wan thought to himself. He raised an eyebrow only to have Anakin give a sharp thrust into his mouth. Obi-Wan gaged and imagined that would have hurt if he could feel the pain of it. Yet even if he could feel the pain Obi-Wan wondered if that was part of the appeal to this act. Anakin groaned deeply. “Try,” he said and began thrusting a little harder into Obi-Wan’s mouth. Obi-Wan tried his best to hold still. He watched as Anakin watched him in return, Anakin's thrusts somehow picking up in speed and his groans growing louder. 

Obi-Wan let out a moan as his cock twitched again. His penis ached with built-up desire, every thrust from Anakin just building up more and more pressure. The more Obi-Wan thought about his cock the more it seemed to ache, almost pleasantly so. He whined to Anakin and tried to motion downwards with his eyes, asking to touch himself. Anakin gave him a lustful look that made Obi-Wan’s heart flutter against himself. He still couldn’t believe this was real. How did he deserve to have Anakin look at him in such an uncivilized way? 

It made him feel high to think caused that expression. “You want to touch yourself?” Anakin questioned and Obi-Wan hardly managed to give a hum in confirmation. Anakin groaned. “I-I thought you were going to try t-to…” Anakin suddenly went silent before cumming deep into Obi-Wan’s mouth with another groan. 

The look on his face, the sound he made as he came, and the way Anakin’s knees nearly buckled, it all made it so much easier when Obi-Wan eventually came all over himself and Anakin’s legs a moment later. Anakin groaned. “G-Guess you didn’t need to be touched after all,” he teased and gave Obi-Wan’s hair a small yank as this unbearably salty liquid filled his mouth. Anakin pulled out of Obi-Wan’s mouth with a pop, some of Anakin’s cum sliding out with it. Obi-Wan bent down to spit the liquid out when Anakin grabbed his hair and made him look back up at him. “Are you going to swallow it, Master?” Anakin said in that same teasing voice he had used when calling him that name earlier. 

Obi-Wan grabbed Anakin’s wrist and turned his head away. “ Ask nicely,” Obi-Wan said through their bond. 

“Please Obi-Wan,” Anakin said in a voice Obi-Wan considered kind enough to comply with. He rolled his eyes before looking at Anakin as he swallowed most of it, unable to get it all down before splitting the rest onto the shower floor. Anakin smirked. “Doesn’t that taste so good Master?” 

Obi-wan rolled his eyes again. “You wish it did.” 

Anakin laughed at him before bending down and pulling Obi-Wan into a kiss. He pulled back a moment later. “Salty…” He whispered. It was Obi-Wan's turn to laugh at Anakin as he grumbled. “You swallowed that all for me Obi…you must really like me,” Anakin teased him. 

“I am only slightly fond,” Obi-Wan retorted. “And it’s Obi-Wan.”  

 

*** 

 

Later in the night they lay in bed next to one another, both of them lost in their own minds. Obi-Wan thought about what had transpired in the shower, what went well, and what he could do differently if he and Anakin did that again. He still couldn’t believe any of this was real. Both he and Anakin had an eternity to go their own way and find peace and yet here Obi-Wan was getting Anakin’s cock shoved into his mouth. He had to admit he enjoyed it, mostly the fact something as simple as having his penis sucked brought Anakin so much pleasure. He wondered how it would feel to be on the other end. He just hoped he would be able to stand the entire time without embarrassingly falling onto his knees. 

“I want to marry you,” Anakin said out of nowhere. 

Obi-Wan laughed, thinking Anakin had to be joking. “What are you talking about?” Obi-Wan asked as he turned to look at him. 

Anakin began to look offended. “I was serious, I want to marry you. We should get married.” 

Obi-Wan’s chuckled. “Anakin, we cannot get married.” 

“Why not?” Anakin said amusedly. “I already know you really well. Padme and I only kissed once before getting married. You and I have done way more than that.” 

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. “Anakin?” He repeated. “What do you think is supposed to happen next in our relationship? Marriage would be far in the future.” 

“It would be?” Anakin asked confusedly. 

“Please don't tell me you thought people just got married right away,” Obi-wan said. 

Anakin just stared at him before stating, “I still don't see why we can’t get married.” He pulled Obi-Wan closer. “We were meant to be together.” 

Obi-Wan sighed. “There is still the chance you will change your mind. It’s too soon, I can’t marry you now.” 

Anakin pouted. “Fine…I’ll get you eventually,” he promised before turning away. “I’ll get you eventually,” he repeated quietly’ 

Obi-Wan smiled amusedly. “If you say so, dear one.”