Title: Strangely Glad.
Author: Erin Maloney
Rating: G.
Distribution: The Archive. Force Haven.
Disclaimer: If I owned them, would I be writing this stuff instead of showing it?
Warnings: Very strange in places.
Pairings: past A/O.
Summary: Vader's thoughts.
Author's Note: It kinda contradicts "My Everything" but I like this piece.

There is a disturbance in the Force, more intimate than I've ever felt before.

More intimate and, contradictorily, welcoming for all that it signifies to me.
This disturbance should irritate me, bring me anger even. Strangely, it does not.

For I know that it is he, Obi-Wan Kenobi, my old Master.
A face from my past, one that I cannot erase from my old self's memories.
Nor do I want to, for he is mine in a way that cannot be defined by simple words.

My old...friend, for I do not think of him as my enemy. I cannot.
As I have said, he is the greatest of all the Jedi.

The greatest of the Jedi and worthy of the respect and admiration given the title.
He deserved...but, no.
That is the weakness within me speaking.

Obi-Wan is nothing more than a tie to the past that must be severed.
I am the Master now, as I will shortly show him for he waits upon me.
Seeing me, feeling my presence, this will tell him so.

Yet, he defies me still.
In his eyes, I am still nothing more than a child that must be tutored.
It was ever his way to try to bring me knowledge that I did not desire nor need.

He is...different than I remembered him being.
Physically, his strength is depleted.
It is not what it once was.

But there is a difference in his Force signature, one that I cannot place.
It defines him now as it never did before.
It matters not for I will make this man bow before me.

I will make him fear me, though I hear the strangled voice of the man I once was.
That sniveling Anakin Skywalker who cries out that we should not do this.
That I mustn't kill Kenobi.

I will not listen to that weakling who needed our former Master too much.
Needed him to deeply to reach for his full potential.
To tap into what made him, what made us, so powerful.

Obi-Wan bested me in a duel that I rightfully should have won.
Anger builds within as I approach this man, this brother, but it fades.
Though I will not be made a fool of again, I cannot kill him in anger.

I betrayed him.
He betrayed me.
In the end, whose betrayal was the greatest?

I may be Darth Vader but I cannot take his life so cheaply.
I will be the victor but I will have lost the greatest battle this day.
To kill him and free myself from this relic tainting my past, I will lose myself at last.

I will be free of the weakening taint he casts upon me.
Free from his powerful and harboring strength that keeps me alive.
Free to be the Dark Lord of the Sith that my Emperor desires.

I strike him down, feeling nothing but a numbness spread inside my heart.
It is as I once thought, so long ago.
On the day that I lost him, I would feel no more for my heart would cease to be.

Though he falls, he surprises me one last time.
My former Master, does something that I do not understand when his blade lifts up.
He leaves nothing behind but the brown robe that characterized his life.

I physically move even as I feel around with my senses and realize the truth.
Obi-Wan has once again managed to defy my power.
Somehow, he has removed himself from my reaching, grasping, desperate hands.

Hands that want to prevent him from leaving me again.
To punish him for condemning me to this fate, for leaving me to face it alone.
And, in my weakest moments, to hold him near so that I can hear his heartbeat again.

Obi-Wan has eluded my grasp as he has done all my life.
Leaving no trace of him behind, there was nothing to give to my Master.
He has harmed my Emperor far more cruelly than any mere betrayal could.

I find that I am...glad that he has done so.

The End.

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