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Title: Dejado Mi Barca

Author: Summer
Rating: PG
Pairing: Obi-Wan/Anakin, slash optional
Disclaimer: Star Wars is the property of Lucasfilm Ltd. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: Darkness means many things to Obi-Wan.
Challenge: Lyrics from My All by Mariah Carey
Note: This is my first Obi-Wan/Anakin and it's a quick and dirty one off as I'm frighteningly short on time for the next few weeks. As such, all feedback (concrit especially) is, as always, welcome.

Obi-Wan misses him most at night.

It's the way dusk on Tatooine takes him by surprise each and every time. The twin suns blaze so brightly during the day that their presence is missed twice as deeply when the moons begin their reign. It doesn't help that planetary physics conspire to make the setting of the former and the rising of the latter unbearably rapid. Obi-Wan always feels a bit unsettled by the rising darkness because it's not until it overtakes him that he quite realises what has happened. It's then that he's left alone with a blackness so thick it feels as though it's touching him and its caress is nothing short of a violation.

The penumbra, as always, is Anakin. Obi-Wan remembers innumerable days of joyful light and nights whose shadows hid nothing more than a smile. With only the stone walls of his dwelling and the sand drifting aimlessly past to keep him company, Obi-Wan is nothing but a slave to his memories. That he should be so here on this planet he finds oddly fitting.

One of the first things he remembers about Anakin is how he felt in the dark: sure, steady, neither taking nor giving, simply a constant presence. When Anakin first entered the Temple, it was decided that sharing Obi-Wan's quarters more kindly approximated lodgings to which he accustomed and, with a successful transition of paramount importance, he was exempted from the Padawan dormitories. It was the first of many exceptions that were made for the extraordinary boy.

Anakin was pleased with the arrangements. He neither wanted nor needed Obi-Wan's protection nor company; it was simply another's presence in the Force that brought him comfort. Obi-Wan had been surprised it did not take more: Tatooine was light years from Coruscant in more than just distance and he'd half expected to wake to a quiet vigil taking place at his bedside or a body gaining quiet entrance to his covers. Anakin, though, never wavered. He'd taken so easily to darkness right from the start.

As he grew, he began to dream: nightmares, prophetic visions of the sort Jedi weren't often prone to, or just the sounds of his soul Obi-Wan couldn't be sure. Anakin never wanted to spoeak of that which disturbed his slumber and, secure in the knowledge he was speaking of it to Master Yoda, Obi-Wan was content to let his own questions lie. Instead, they sat in silence in the small kitchen area with tea Obi-Wan had prepared.

It was then in the silence, more than any other meditation or training, that Obi-Wan and Anakin truly began to know each other. It was a shared sense of mourning, Obi-Wan for the life he could have had and Anakin for the life he'd never wanted to have. The Force was moving within them, between them, sowing the seeds of the bond that would come to define Obi-Wan's life so profoundly he thought it would always feel like mourning just to think on it.

I

t was out of necessity that Obi-Wan had started varying their tea, reaching into the dark corners of the cupboard when he'd feared his stores were empty. It wasn't until the morning when Anakin had smiled and said, apropos of nothing, "Alderaanian," that Obi-Wan had even known he'd noticed. After that they'd never drunk the same tea twice and Anakin had never gotten it wrong. It hadn't even occurred to Obi-Wan that he could; looking back through time and distance, Obi-Wan can now see his faith in Anakin was unshakable even then.

There had been plenty of disagreements much later, voices raised in anger and frustration and the pain of hope, memory, and Obi-Wan knows now, love. He'd played the staid, patient Master to the best of his abilities and then beyond them, resolute in his desire never to demand a slave's easy subservience to his Master.

Obi-Wan knows now he only became contentious in return when he realised his Padawan was straying from their rooms under the cover of darkness. Initially he did not want to let himself know; the easiest person to lie to, he knows now from experience, is oneself. He knew the boy -- though a young man by then, he was by turns eager and loathe to admit -- was in no danger and he made no move to discern his destination. It was the first of many allowances that was only a mistake in thin disguise.

Their disagreements became more frequent, more heated, more vocal. Each time it happened Obi-Wan could feel the bond they'd forged in silence breaking away, piece by inevitable peace. Some tried to intervene, by commiseration, mediation, and dispensation of advice, but all to no avail. Had Obi-Wan listened to what Anakin was not saying, he'd have known Anakin was thinking only of Obi-Wan's time with Qui-Gon while Obi-Wan was thinking only of Anakin's time with his love.

And that it was a love, Obi-Wan was certain. It was the only thing Anakin would have fought that ferociously for and Obi-Wan is shamed to know now that he didn't know then his love was all Anakin wanted.

Matters between them steadily worsened until Obi-Wan thought they could worsen no more. It was then he'd been called to Senator Organa's private offices on an issue of some delicacy and noticed the scent wafting softly on the air, all but its very last vestiges dissipated. It was a scent he'd come to associate with Anakin, a bit too light to be earthy but reminding him distinctly of home. When he politely inquired of Bail who his last guest had been, he knew he shouldn't have been surprised to hear it was Padmé.

They raised their voices to each other yet again that evening, though Obi-Wan can't now recall what for. All he remembers is a frustratingly useless meditation and tossing and turning in time with the shadows walking his room.

Anakin woke him well before dawn and though Obi-Wan had inquiries and protestations and further words of anger, he followed Anakin's lead when he felt the silence around them like something palpable. It brought with it the comfort of a dear and trusted friend and when Anakin led him to a training salle, he went willingly. Anakin's blade lit the darkness he'd refused to lift with illumination banks and came at Obi-Wan without heat or rancor in the steady, reassuring cadence of Shii-Cho. It was a form so long ago mastered as younglings it, too, felt like comfort. They fought without fight, a paradox inherent in their relationship in so many other manifestations, and when they were through Obi-Wan felt the reparation of their relationship taking hold in the silence.

It happened again the next night and the next, then not for several days. Anakin never made mention and Obi-Wan had begun to wonder whether he had dreamed or hoped their nighttime excursions to life. It was only when Anakin came to him next that he'd realised Anakin was dividing his time between those he loved. It was no longer necessary, as Obi-Wan had learned the lesson needed, but it became clear Anakin was doing it by choice when he said the next morning, again apropos of nothing, "Enemies take many forms, Master. Darkness is a cover for many things, not least among them an attack. I'd hate to think you were neglecting my training."

Obi-Wan had surprised himself by laughing and he knew then that theirs was the stuff of legends.

The darkness had never needed to be physical; he'd thought more of Anakin than anyone or thing in the weeks Ventress had held him prisoner on Rattatak and that darkness had been only in his mind and the Force. The dampening mask he'd been made to wear blanketed him in a darkness so heavy and impenetrable he'd felt he wouldn't even had known if it had consumed him. It was Anakin who'd kept him sane, who'd given him strength, Anakin who'd come for him when he was down to his last rations of both, Anakin who'd led him out of the darkness because of a faith in him as unshakable as that of a Master's in his Padawan and a cup of tea.

They'd fought for and because of each other; rescued and been rescued; wounded and been wounded; built and destroyed; dreamed and defied; laughed and loved and heart and soul and even as he thinks of it now, Obi-Wan feels the night around him like a smothering ocean in depths he was never meant to reach. The darkness has consumed the man he loved like brotherhood and broken precepts and left the pyre of his faith burning in the midst of a world full of fire.

The last time he'd seen Anakin as a man, when they'd said goodbye even though neither of them had known to mean it, it had been in the full view of a morning sun. Obi-Wan sometimes thinks that was their greatest mistake.

When his grief subsides enough for him to come back to himself, he's looking at double sunlight nearly identical to that which plagues his memories. All he can do is wonder where the comforting cover of night's darkness has gone and wait for it to come again.

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