This fits in (eventually) with my other Obi-Wan fic. There are adult themes, hints of child abuse, and I don't deny that Anakin had(s) feelings for Padmé. If any of that bothers you, you should move along, no harm, no foul. I consider the movies canon, and do not know/use any details from the books, games, etc. George Lucas is the keeper of knowledge, I'm just helping him out a bit. :-D
Thanks to crazydiamondsue for always knowing what I'm trying to say and fixing my mistakes. She's the best beta around.
In the quiet moments between battles, between rescue missions, when there were only training sessions at the Jedi Temple, in those times of stillness, Obi-Wan had thoughts that were not appropriate for a Jedi. When his mind was still, when he was at peace, he let his mind wander, mull, reflect. He had been taken from his parents at the age of one and raised in the temple, as was the Jedi way. Sometimes he thought he remembered his family - his mother, in particular. More likely, he wanted to remember her, and put others' faces in her stead. Like Padmé. Beautiful, strong, kind. Sometimes he hated her. Those were feelings not permitted a Jedi Knight, especially not a Master Jedi. Yes. Because she reminds me of my mother. That's why. There was that, but there was more.
Anakin had told him of his theory on love and Jedis. How the very nature of their being was to love. How it was their mission. Obi-Wan had laughed, clapped the boy on his shoulder when he saw the cloud pass over Anakin's face. He had kept his hand on the boy's arm while explaining that, yes, love was an important element to their duty, but it was a different type of love than others shared. Anakin hadn't understood. Of course, Anakin had never witnessed love before, growing up in the slave quarters of Mos Eisely. Had never seen a tender caress between two people. All he had known of love was the gentle, fearful love his mother gave him.
After Obi-Wan had taken young Anakin on as his Padawan, he helped soothe the child by listening to tales of his mother's love. Obi-Wan spent many sleepless nights thinking on love. On mothers. On their selfless love for their children. And Obi-Wan mourned, too. He came to see Anakin as a surrogate child. He was younger than most Padawans, but he was too old to attend classes with the Younglings. Obi-Wan had seen Master Qui-Gon as his substitute father. Had loved him, had learned from him, and wanted to provide the same relationship for Anakin. But there was something different between the two of them - Anakin had an insatiable need to connect. Obi-Wan expected Anakin to be a model student, to sit quietly, to learn. When the Younglings came to the Temple, they were taught not to need. Anakin had never learned that lesson, and in fact, seemed to have nothing else in him but need.
As Anakin grew, as he became stronger in the Force, something shifted between the two. Qui-Gon had died (murdered) before Obi-Wan had faced the trials and could be considered his Master's equal. Anakin had yet to reach the trials, but was Obi-Wan's equal nonetheless. They both knew it. Obi-Wan wanted to maintain order, but there was an indulgence for the boy he couldn't explain. And there was that need in Anakin that could not be satisfied. Obi-Wan no longer trained Anakin in fighting strategies, in controlling the Force. Instead, their training session consisted of the two men meditating, connecting their thoughts, and Obi-Wan would try to help the boy still his mind. Still his needs. The only training left for Anakin was to help him quiet his mind and come to terms that he was a Jedi, soon to be Jedi Knight, and must cast off the dreams only allowed to those whose life was different.
Obi-Wan stood at the window of his apartment and looked out at the madness that was life on Coruscant. He felt a familiar presence; the door opened.
"Master. All is quiet. Master Yoda says the Separatists are building their strength and that we must be mindful. That we should meditate and search for changes, for disturbances in the Force."
Obi-Wan felt his shoulders relax, and turned to face his apprentice. "You seem displeased with Master Yoda's words."
Anakin shrugged off his leather vest and placed his light saber on the table near the meditation room. "I just hate all of this waiting. It seems cowardly to wait for someone to attack."
"Do you dare call the Council and Master Yoda cowardly?"
"Forgive me, Master. I do not mean to speak against the Council. I'm just frustrated with -"
"The need to do something, yes, my young apprentice, I know. But we could use the rest, and your lack of controlling your frustrations means we still have much work before us."
Obi-Wan led Anakin into the meditation room. It was mostly dark and the main source of light was a soft, upward glow that began half-way up the walls. They sat facing one another, legs crossed in the lotus position.
"Clear your mind, Anakin. Reach out to mine. Let everything but the thoughts I send to you fall away."
They held their hands out, palms close but not touching. Obi-Wan felt calm wash over him. When he heard Anakin's breathing slow, he began.
There is no emotion; there is peace.
There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.
There is no passion; there is serentiy.
There is no chaos; there is harmony.
There is no death; there is the Force.
His intention was to complete the mantra that began all of their sessions. He cleared his mind, allowed Anakin mental access, and thought the mantra. At "there is no passion" a flood of images and emotions cut off all further thought. Pictures, emotions, scenarios, wishes all came pouring into Obi-Wan's subconscious from the younger boy's mind. Obi-Wan fell backward onto his hands, mouth agape, breath coming out in ragged gasps.
"Master! I... I'm sorry."
"Anakin. You have to learn to control your emotions. Did something happen today?"
Obi-Wan had an image of Senator Nebarrie in his mind. Along with very confusing images of her neck, her hands, darkness, an overwhelming need that caused his own blood to race.
"No, Master. I just... I will work harder at your lessons."
Obi-Wan looked into Anakin's face but saw only humiliation and penance. And need. Oh, yes, but that was always there. They would begin again. They moved back into lotus position, hands outstretched to one another, eyes closed and breathing slowed. Obi-Wan cleared his mind and began chanting in his mind the mantra to connect their thoughts. After repeating it twice, he opened his eyes and looked at his Padawan Learner. Anakin's eyes were closed, brows knitted together in concentration. His mouth was moving, murmuring the words under his breath. Obi-Wan's mind filled with the boy's thoughts. Palpatine. The Council. The citizens they had saved during their last rescue mission. Padmé. A dark room. Labored breathing. Murmuring voices. Obi-Wan's heartbeat began to race, matching the heartbeat of the image in his mind. He focused on his Padawan and saw Anakin's hands trembling. The darkness gave way to the fight against Count Dooku. Flashes of searing, hot pain. A hand falling to the ground. Images of Obi-Wan himself pinned under a large metal structure. Feelings of grief and anger and need so strong that Obi-Wan thought he could take no more. Images of Obi-Wan in repose. In quiet. Images of Obi-Wan smiling, obviously proud.
He broke the connection with Anakin, head slumped forward and hands to his knees to attempt to get his breathing under control. Anakin reached out and laid a hand on Obi-Wan's leg. "Master? I'm sorry. I do try. I... I will try harder."
"Anakin. Anakin, how can you carry so much in your mind? Cast off your emotions, cast off your feelings of aggression, of need. If you cannot learn to do this, you will never be granted the title of Jedi Master."
Anakin looked up at the ceiling, fighting to control his face. A few deep breaths, then he lowered his face in submission. "Yes, Master."
Something deep inside Obi-Wan clenched. The feelings of sorrow and need were new to him. He had always controlled his emotions, as was the way, but there was something about this boy... No, not a boy any longer. He is becoming a man, and is stronger than I. It is natural for him to be frustrated. Obi-Wan reached out, held Anakin's cheek with his hand, and soothed, "Anakin. You will be a powerful Jedi. Of this I have no doubt. The one lesson left for you to learn is to control all of your fears, your anger. They will weaken you, as will your insatiable need. I... I cannot understand that most of all. Do you not have all that you could ask for? Does the Council not provide you with shelter? Provide sustenance?"
"Yes, Master, it does all of those things. I don't know why I want more; I know that it is wrong. But... Perhaps I was too old to become a Jedi. I know there are other things in this world that provide peace and joy. And even though a Jedi shouldn't want these things, I do!"
Anakin hung his head and took a shuddery breath.
"What sort of things? A fancy ship? A summer home somewhere?" Obi-Wan was teasing, but an image from earlier came to his mind. "A woman? Yes, I can see why you think on her, she is lovely."
Anakin looked up sharply. "What do you mean? You don't- "
Obi-Wan laughed softly and clapped one hand over the boy's. "No, you needn't worry about me fancying Senator Nebarrie, beautiful though she may be. Perhaps you have forgotten, but I am sworn to forsake that life."
"So you've never been with... another?"
"What? When? With whom?"
"It... it wasn't anything I asked for." Anakin looked away and fidgeted with the edge of his tunic.
"Oh, Anakin. This was before? On Tattooine?"
Anakin stood and turned his back on Obi-Wan. He wrapped his arms around himself. Obi-Wan stood, approached his Padawan, and held on to the boy's shoulder.
"Anakin. I had no idea. I can't imagine it was love. That must have been very confusing for you."
"It was. Is. I... I would erase it from my mind, if I knew how. Or..."
Anakin stopped speaking and looked at the ground. When he spoke again, it was barely above a whisper, "Or replace it with something else. Something that wasn't so ugly."
Obi-Wan sighed, "Oh, Anakin," and turned the boy to face him. He held Anakin in place with his strong hands. "It's no wonder you look to a thing of beauty, such as the Senator. But that would fly in the face of all your training. There must be other ways for you to free yourself from the horrors you suffered."
"There is. She isn't the only one I love, Master."
~TBC~ Part Two picks up here
X-posted to ewan_hayden