Feedback: That'll be great.
Rating: PG-13? R?
Category: Drama, Character Study
Spoilers: TPM, AotC, Ep III trailer in end notes
Summary: While visiting his mother's grave, Anakin takes a little time to unleash his inner Hamlet and think about those who have most influenced his life, especially Obi-Wan
Warnings: Not exactly slash, not exactly pre-slash, but unmitigated angst with hints of slash.
Pairings: implied Anakin/Obi, established Anakin/Padme, blink-and- you'll-miss-it Obi/Dead!Qui
Disclaimer: The Star Wars characters, situations, and everything else affliated with the franchise belong to George Lucas, Lucasfilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox.
Notes: Written in honor of the new Episode III trailer. Takes place directly after AotC. Let's say that Anakin went back to his mother's grave on Tatooine after his wedding but before heading back to Coruscant to kick ass in the Clone Wars.
Standing at his mother's grave, he wanted to say something about how his new bride in her white veil looked when kissed by the setting sun. How soft her pale hand must have been in his glittering one, with a phantom suppleness he now had to imagine.
So he did. He said, "Ma, you should have seen Padme. She's so beautiful. And she's a queen, you know. Well, not anymore, but she was." He laughed, a little embarrassed. "Her eyes remind me of yours… a little. Is that okay?"
He spoke softly, no more than a murmur, but his words seemed loud in the preternatural stillness of the desert landscape. He hated this place with its twin suns that burned his skin and made him dizzy. He loved this place with its cold nights when he would curl into the warmth of a familiar pair of arms.
His mother was buried in an unmarked mound in an uncaring planet. The graves at Coruscant, he remembered, were ornate with their seraphs of stone and curling greenery.
He would have wanted a pillar of marble and steel stretching toward the sky with her name engraved at the bottom, to stand until civilizations fell and oceans dried up. He would have liked to burn her body on a pyre, with all the ceremony accorded the death of a Jedi Master, burning and burning until not even ash was left. She shouldn't have been buried with only a handful of people around her. She should have died like royalty.
He knelt down and reached forward with one hand to where her face should have been. His fingers touched sand instead of her soft cheek. He picked up a fistful and rubbed the grains between thumb and forefinger.
"I love you," he said. "I would tell you that I love you enough for forever, if you would come back."
He felt hot tears at his eyes and he hiccupped. "Look at me, Ma, your Ani is crying. You would tell me to be brave and Master Obi Wan would tell me to hush. Padme would hug me. But I'm alone and there's no one to hear me. So I'll stay here and watch you as you sleep and if I have a few tears, you'll have to forgive me, Ma."
So he cried and when his eyes were dry, he did not rise. There were too many emotions churning through his heart. Anger at his Master, shame at his indiscriminate slaughter of the Tusken Raiders, and that omnipresent grief over all. He could not go back to Coruscant, where his Master would sense every sentiment in him and frown and lecture. His Master thought he was so young, but even he understood the gravity of war and knew that he make a pitiful warrior in this distracted state.
He closed his eyes, remembering his lessons on meditation, seeking to clear his mind and make peace with his spirit. Just like his Master had instructed him to do.
He ran over the words of the Jedi Code in his head until the words were meaningless. He thought of the screams of the Tuskens, telling himself `never again, never again.' He thought of telling his Master about his lapse of control, about those he had killed. He thought of his Master looking at him with contempt, the Jedi Council disowning him, his Master cutting off his padawan braid and grinding into the floor with the heel of a well-polished boot.
There was a low rich laugh and a voice that said, [I doubt Obi Wan has such a finely honed sense of melodrama.]
If Anakin were to open his eyes, he would see no one. If he were to listen carefully, he would hear only the wind. He didn't know where the voice came from, only that it reverberated in his head and resounded in his heart. He did not ask why or how, he simply accepted it. There had always been legends of dead Jedi coming back to commune with the living. And he had heard the voice before. [Master Qui Gon?]
[Your mother loves you, Anakin. She has always been so proud of you. Her little boy, her strong warrior. You always had all her heart.]
Even through his distress, Anakin had to smile from the warmth of the Jedi Master's voice. He felt like a child again and his next words were hesitant. [Is she there with you, sir?][
Trust what I say, Anakin. Do not press for more.]
He had to accept that. He could do that. Master Qui Gon had never lied to him, had never thought him too young to be taken seriously.
[Master, about the Tuskens… I… I'm sorry.]
[What's done is done.] There was a sigh, something akin to resignation. [I can't issue forgiveness, nor have I the inclination to do so. You will learn to live with yourself in time.] Almost visible were the vivid eyes of the Master, regarding him intelligent and somber. [Anakin?]
[Put your trust in Obi Wan. All will be right.]
Anakin hoped so. He felt a calm settle over him; he let the words wash over him, brokering in him a fragile compromise of his former tumultuous emotions but it was better, it was better.
Anakin opened his eyes to look upon the burial mound in which his mother rested. He bowed three times, his head touching the sand. He murmured a final "I love you." Then he stood up. He walked over the sand dunes and back to the Lars homestead. Master Qui Gon's words rolled through his mind and he clung tightly to them.
But with each step that he took from the gravesite, the more they slipped through his hands like so much fine sand.
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