Chapter 1: Prologue
Obi-Wan had quickly learned that focusing on the minutiae of an event would only drive a person insane. However, here he was as his mind moved back to the little minutiae of that day almost a year ago.
For the moment, he stood in one of the lecture halls at Trinity College. It was empty only in reality. In Obi-Wan’s mind, he saw it filled with students. All of the students had grown up, moved on, but in that moment Obi-Wan saw those students frozen in time and scattered across the seats.
In his head, he wasn’t standing at the front behind the podium. Obi-Wan was one of the students sitting in the seats, much younger, no beard and hair cut short, but he was there. He saw himself.
He had been seventeen at the time on a trip with his school from Scotland. They had gone to hear several lectures on different subjects to a) show off Oxford and b) to hopefully motivate some of the slackers of the school. Obi-Wan had been surprised about going. Having lived at an orphanage all his life, the chance to go out and do things that weren’t mandatory by the school were always few and far between. It had likely been because he’d be gone the next year.
Now a part of Obi-Wan wished he hadn’t gone. That he’d stayed at the orphanage and listened to the stories as told by the other students once they’d come back.
But he had gone and sat down at the first lecture. It had been on theology and like most of the students, Obi-Wan was planning on being bored out of his mind for the next hour or, at best, being mildly interested.
Instead, the Professor had walked up, opened his mouth, and Obi-Wan had fallen hopelessly in love.
Well, it hadn’t quite happened like that but he had become utterly enthralled by Qui-Gon Jinn in that short time. Most of the students, despite their expectations, had enjoyed it as well but they still hadn’t been interested enough to approach the man. Obi-Wan had been the exact opposite and had practically run to the front to talk to the professor before he had the chance to leave.
That talk had lead to a phone number which had led to more talks and even get-togethers. First it had just been sitting in book stores or parks but then coffee had been added to the mix. After coffee it was getting a bite, then a proper lunch, and finally dinner. It had all developed over the course of two years and then? Obi-Wan had kissed him.
In retrospect, he had been lucky that he hadn’t gotten into Trinity College and that Qui-Gon had left for a teaching position in Northern Ireland before he even could. The age gap had been bad enough. If Obi-Wan had ended up his student, the backlash would have been much worse.
As it had stood, that had thankfully not happened and the repercussion was minimal. Nevertheless, at that moment Obi-Wan had never been happier to be an orphan. It had been easy to imagine the panic that parents would have likely felt about him being involved with a man almost twenty years older.
But after Qui-Gon’s death, all Obi-Wan had wanted were parents. Or just a parent. Some family member to ground him, to steady him after the accident. But there had been no one. There weren’t even friends, at least not ones that Obi-Wan could count on at the time.
He had hated the things said behind their backs because despite what Qui-Gon would say, Obi-Wan knew that the comments hurt, that the accusations had been harmful no matter how well Qui-Gon had presented himself.
Oh what Obi-Wan wouldn’t give to hear those nasty comments again though, to get those queer looks, and to see people rudely avoid them. If it meant that Qui-Gon hadn’t died then he would have taken it all back.
Instead, it was ironically Qui-Gon’s death that had made it finally click with people. That it hadn’t been a phase or part of a midlife crisis or that Obi-Wan had been after the money or any of the other ridiculous theories. It was only after the accident that people seemed to realize, “Oh, it had been real.”
The dreams-no nightmares-had been the worst part of it. They had ebbed away now that he’d come to terms with the event but they were still there.
He couldn’t watch movies either. That was another thing that had been taken away. The happy ones were just a bunch of lies and he wouldn’t risk watching another genre on the off chance of there being an over the top death scene. He’d always thought those to be unrealistic. Obi-Wan had found out instead that they were very real but did not bring closure like the movies said.
It had been a car accident. If it had been something simple, like a drunk driver or perhaps Obi-Wan had distracted Qui-Gon and caused him to crash, something stereotypical like that would have been easier. He had often figured the entire thing would have been over a lot quicker as well. Perhaps he would have gotten lucky and left the world at the same time as Qui-Gon. Or at least he might have had the luck of being knocked out and absent for the rest of the crash.
Instead, as they had driven back to Qui-Gon’s flat, by that time it had become there’s, a little girl’s drawing had fluttered off with a strong gust of wind. The girl had run into the street and a car had swerved to avoid her. It had gone into the opposite lane and t-boned another car. The vehicle behind that one had been driving to close and crashed and a truck that had been behind it had tried to stop.
The suddenness of it all had caused the poorly tied down pipes on the truck to come loose. As Qui-Gon had slammed his foot on the break, several pipes had come loose and a particular one cut through the front windshield, skewering Qui-Gon right in front of him.
Obi-Wan remembered how the shock hadn’t hit him all at once. The feeling had been closer to slowly being submerged in ice cold water. His movements had grown less frantic, his voice had become softer as he had realized there was nothing to be done. He remembered the blood that had blossomed forth, the way Qui-Gon had tried to hold on despite the fact that it had all been pointless. No one had come in time and even if they had, the doctors had said it was unlikely he would have made it.
With all that in mind, even now Obi-Wan couldn’t find solace in Qui-Gon’s last words. There was no relief in knowing that he had said, “I love you” and “be happy” right before he went. It only hurt more because Obi-Wan knew he had died in pain, not quick and merciful like the man had deserved. He had died with a pole through his stomach as blood filled his lungs and stomach acid dripped into his muscles and tissue. He’d died with tears in eyes and blood on his lip and one hand in Obi-Wan’s and it didn’t make it any better.
It just made it worse.
And now Obi-Wan stood where he had first seen Qui-Gon only a year after his death. There was probably something poetic in that. Qui-Gon had been so excited to see Obi-Wan’s first lecture, to see him in his first job. He had been willing to move anywhere. In fact, he had liked the idea of seeing a different part of the world and Obi-Wan could still remember sitting down with the man, looking over maps and books and all the possibilities before them.
But it was all gone and Obi-Wan was alone at the podium.
Brought back into the present, one of his hands came up to slowly run along his jaw line where a thick beard had grown. He had wanted Qui-Gon’s opinion, to see if he’d nod approvingly at the end result or laugh that quiet, soft laugh he had.
All this caused Obi-Wan to wonder if saying yes to the offer had been a bad idea, to lecture at Trinity College. Perhaps he wasn’t over Qui-Gon’s death like he’d thought. After all, he’d all but ran from Northern Ireland after that and with nothing in Scotland for him, he had floated through Wales until the lecture and temporary teaching position had popped up at Oxford.
It just wasn’t fair, a thought that Obi-Wan hated because it made him sound like a child again but it was so true. None of it was fair.
On the verge of tears with all of his weight resting on the podium, the only thing that kept Obi-Wan from crumbling then and there was a noise. His head immediately up and his entire body on edge, Obi-Wan closed off mentally and physically as his eyes focused on the only other figure in the room.
The look of the young man almost gave Obi-Wan a heart attack. His first thought was that he’d gone crazy and that he really was seeing a younger version of himself. However, after staring for a time that probably wasn’t appropriate, he realized that the face structure was wrong and the cloths a little more rebellious than anything Obi-Wan would have worn at that age. Really, it had been the haircut and complexion that had caused his mind to jump to the wild conclusion. And the eye color, blue-green just like his own.
Obi-Wan only realized how long and how awkward it must have been for the young man, boy really, as he was fairly certain he hadn’t blinked once. Obi-Wan did so and the boy finally relaxed without the unflinching stare on him.
The boy snorted, looked around, and then turned his gaze back to Obi-Wan. A rather arrogant and amused look came across his face as his mouth turned into a smirk and his eyes crinkled in laughter.
“You’re the teacher?” the boy asked with a laugh. “What are you? Five seconds older than me?”
Chapter 2: Two Students
Hope you guys are enjoying this. Thanks for reading!
Apparently the beard didn’t make Obi-Wan look that much older. Still, he had to have had nearly a decade on the kid. He wasn’t that young looking, was he?
Though he didn’t consciously realize it at the time, the interruption had taken his mind off of Qui-Gon and the feeling of falling apart was no longer there. Obi-Wan stood just a little straighter, trying to appear like he belonged there and was in control.
“Yes, I am the teacher,” Obi-Wan replied. In control or not, his mind still wasn’t quick enough to come back with a snarky comment.
The boy snorted again. “You don’t look like a politician.”
Obi-Wan frowned, the comment confusing.
“Cause you teach Political Science.”
A grumble rose to Obi-Wan’s lips as he muttered, “Philosophy. Political Philosophy. And for your information you don’t have to be a politician to teach either.”
As Obi-Wan watched the kid shrug, he wondered how he could have possibly gotten into Oxford of all places. Then again, there were arrogant pricks no matter where you went. He was probably ungodly rich and his parents had pulled some strings to get him in. Obi-Wan kept this to himself though as the boy continued to talk.
“Oh yeah, that’s what I signed up for. Even duller. It’s like theoretical mathematics I mean, what’s the point?”
Obi-Wan bristled at that. “Wait until the first class and I’ll tell you.”
“This isn’t the first class? Thought it was odd it was in the lecture hall.”
Honestly, Obi-Wan couldn’t tell if the kid was saying the truth or messing with him on purpose.
“No,” Obi-Wan got out, “this is my opening lecture. And classes don’t come back until Tuesday.”
“That’s right. The lack of students was a bit strange. Welp, thanks for the help teach,” the boy replied. He turned and left before Obi-Wan could say anything, the arrogant smirk still firmly in place.
Despite the absurdity of it, the annoyance helped Obi-Wan to focus and he reorganized his notes and got ready for his lecture. It was only afterwards that he thought of Qui-Gon again. It was a kinder thought though. Still covered in sadness but one that didn’t feel like it was crushing him.
Obi-Wan didn’t think about the rude boy until Tuesday came and he watched him walk into class. He looked more like the other students, tired and wishing they were still in bed. Nevertheless, that smirk came on his face as he saw Obi-Wan. His eyes only left Obi-Wan’s when he zeroed in on a young woman that was likely several years older than him. He whispered something to her and she hit his arm hard though she seemed unable to contain the smile on her face.
Turning his gaze away from the kid and young woman, Obi-Wan organized his notes and double checked that everything was connected. He didn’t need to but he couldn’t help the nerves. This particular class was a very basic course meaning that it was about five times larger than the more specific and career driven classes.
Obi-Wan cleared his throat when the time came near and it looked like the majority was there.
“My name is Obi-Wan Kenobi. I’m sure that most of you were expecting Mrs. Goralena when signing up for this. For those who don’t know, she is on leave time due to health problems and I am filling most of her positions for the foreseeable future,” Obi-Wan said as way of an introduction. “For those that are hoping this will lead to an easy grade, you are poorly mistaken. This isn’t like high school where you can slack off with a substitute because I am not a substitute. I am your teacher.”
Looking across the room, Obi-Wan waited for an objection. When none came, he started to pace back and forth. Beforehand, he had tried to decide how to present himself. Whether to write on the board provided or have a presentation ready or simply lecture. He did have a slide show for the first section but he decided to first give them his own understanding and reasoning behind what political philosophy was and why it was important.
He had decided that if he paced as well, he’d likely get out the nerves that were telling him to panic.
“Now, a fundamental question that political philosophy brings forth is “how do you want to live your life”. This may seem simple enough but it is not in reference to that newer TV set you want to buy or using money to eat out rather than staying in,” Obi-Wan said.
Once he had begun talking, it was easier to feel in his element. He was talking about something he’d studied for years, something he loved and was passionate about. He pointed to students at random, asking them questions or seeing what they thought on a certain viewpoint. The first few students had been a bit put off, not expecting the more interactive atmosphere what with the size of the class. However, the other students quickly caught on and questions and comments were quickly being thrown back and forth.
Were all the answers and questions intelligent and valid? Certainly not but the willingness to speak and be honest was just as appreciated.
It was actually jolting when Obi-Wan realized time was almost up. He hadn’t even gotten to the slide show.
He quickly racked his brain for a way to finish off the class. Raising his voice just a little to be overheard, he said, “So in closing, this class is the qualitative approach to politics. Nowadays, people have tried to quantify it, hence political science. However, it is key to remember that nothing involving humans can ever be completely quantified. This class is not about population sizes and graphing out the rates of economic growth of some made up nation or other planning out statistics. This class requires unique and individual thought. Now, as I’m sure many of you haven’t even opened the textbook, your assignment is to read the first chapter. I’ll see you next Tuesday.”
Obi-Wan quickly dropped his head and hurried to his computer. He was about ready to burst, utterly elated at what he’d just done. It was different from the student teacher positions he had held and interning and informal lectures. He had just taught his first class. He had students now. He was an actual teacher.
He thought of what Qui-Gon would have thought and smiled. Tears didn’t threaten his eyes and his heart didn’t clench. He simply thought of the proud smile that Qui-Gon would have worn. He wasn’t there anymore but Obi-Wan felt better knowing that the man wouldn’t have been able to keep the grin off his face if he’d still been alive.
His shoulders relaxed as he let out a breath he hadn’t even realized he’d been holding. With a sigh, he looked up and was shocked to see that the boy from before was standing in front of him with the young woman beside him. The rest of the students were running out and only a few remained, scrambling to grab their belongings.
“Cool lecture. Political science is definitely more interesting than I first thought,” the boy said. The young woman elbowed him hard in the side and the boy let loose a goofy grin. “Just joking. I know its political philosophy.”
“Are you sure?” Obi-Wan asked with a raised eyebrow. “You seemed fairly confused the last time I saw you.”
The boy smirked. “Not at all. I knew who you were. I was curious if you’d look anything like the other teacher.”
“Then you were just there to annoy me.”
With a shrug, the boy replied, “Sort of? Padmé forced me to come over and apologize for that but honestly I just wanted to help.”
Obi-Wan tried to keep the confusion from his face. “Help? What, did you think I’d forgotten the subject I was teaching?”
“No but you looked…sad. And distracted. I doubted those were the kind of emotions you wanted around right before a big lecture. So I went for spite and annoyance. I find it can fill a person with quite a bit of determination and get their mind off the thing that’s really bothering them.”
Obi-Wan didn’t know what to say to that but thankfully the young woman, Padmé, finally spoke and said, “Don’t feel like you have to believe him. I wouldn’t believe him either.”
A surprised laugh came through Obi-Wan’s lips and he nervously ran a hand through his hair. “Well, if that’s true, then thank you.”
“Oh, a hundred percent true,” the boy said with a grin. He stuck out his hand. “I’m Anakin by the way. Anakin Skywalker.”
“It’s nice to meet you Anakin. And you’re—”
“Padmé,” the young woman quickly said, throwing out her hand to shake Obi-Wan’s. “Padmé Amidala. You did a wonderful job today. I look forward to more.”
“I’m glad to hear it,” Obi-Wan smiled. “I especially loved some of the points you brought up. Very refreshing.”
“Thank you,” Padmé replied. “We’d better get going though. Other classes to go to and I’m sure you have another class to prepare for.”
“I do. I’ll see both of you later,” said Obi-Wan. He smiled and watched the two leave. Neither were from the United Kingdom. He was fairly sure that Padmé was from America but he couldn’t quite pinpoint Anakin. Obi-Wan mulled this over in his head when he was thrown off his train of thought as Anakin jumped in front of his view. “Yes…?”
“Will you be coming to the Fencing Club meeting?”
Obi-Wan sputtered, “I don’t…well I don’t know.”
“Well you should. I looked you up when I heard you were replacing the last teacher. It would be nice to have a proper teacher looking over everything who knows how to fence.”
“I’ll…think about it,” Obi-Wan finally got out.
“Alright, it is your choice. Just know it would be a shame if you decided not to.” Anakin grinned and then ran off, meeting Padmé by the doors. The two left, leaving Obi-Wan alone.
Obi-Wan had specifically avoided anything to do with fencing. He’d taken up the skill because of Qui-Gon and ever memory he had of it was connected to the man in one way or another. But Obi-Wan had made it through his first lecture and his first class. He had missed fencing. Perhaps he should give it a try…
With that in mind, Obi-Wan packed up his materials and headed out of the classroom.
Chapter 3: Fencing and Graveyards
Thank you again to everyone who is reading this. Please enjoy this next chapter :)
Though not the first one, Obi-Wan did go to the second meeting for the Fencing Club. He watched them practice, how they went back and forth and planned out their next competitions. They watched videos on their opponents, studied the movements and footwork, it was incredibly impressive.
When it was over with, Anakin said goodbye to his friends and then ran towards him. He had spotted Obi-Wan on the edge of the gathering and had often glanced at him throughout the meeting to see how he was enjoying it. Now he stood in front of Obi-Wan, waiting for what he’d have to say.
“Very striking. Particularly since you don’t really have a coach,” Obi-Wan added. “What happened to her?”
“Moved or something. Don’t really know for sure. I got in after she left,” Anakin replied. He sat down next to Obi-Wan. “Why don’t you offer up your talents? I’ve seen some recordings of your fights.”
Obi-Wan snorted. “Alright, did you just look me up or did you stalk me?”
“Honestly, just looked you up,” Anakin replied. “But I think you could really help the club.”
“You lot are fine on your own. Besides, why are you so bent on me joining?” asked Obi-Wan curiously.
“For one thing, like I’ve been saying, you’re damn impressive. For another, it’s difficult to imagine that it’s actually you in the videos I’ve seen.”
Obi-Wan frowned and put his hands on his hips. “Excuse you? Where went the compliments?”
“Oh, nowhere teacher. I just can’t see you actually fencing and winning anything,” Anakin cheekily said.
“And why is that?”
“Well you look like a starving, ginger tom in an alley. Doubt you can do much of anything.”
Obi-Wan’s eyes went wide at that. He usually wasn’t one to rise to the bait. However, he was up on his feet and hurrying over to the rack of foils. “Alright, I’ll show you who’s the starving tom.”
“Are you going to take your sweater vest off? I’d hate for it to get ruined.” Anakin laughed as Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes. “I can already tell this will be a piece of cake.”
With that, Obi-Wan lunged. At first, Anakin admittedly had the upper hand thanks to Obi-Wan’s brashness but he soon gained the higher ground and it wasn’t difficult once he cooled down to get the first and final point.
“Do you take it back now?” asked Obi-Wan as he eased into a relaxed stance.
“For now,” Anakin grinned. “That was a proper fight.”
No longer in a natural state of movement, Obi-Wan’s mind finally caught up on what had just happened. “That was improper of me.”
Anakin snorted. “Who cares? That was the most fun I’ve had in a while. Thanks teacher.”
Obi-Wan shook his head. It had been fun. He really had missed fencing. “Still…that was inappropriate of me.”
“Wouldn’t be if you were part of the club and simply…oh, I don’t know…training me?”
Anakin gave Obi-Wan a pleading look.
“I’ll…think on it.”
“That’s all I’m asking.”
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes at the obvious lie. He set the foil back on the rack. “I need to get going.”
“Shame. I suppose I’ll see you at the next meeting?”
“I’ll see you in class. The meeting is still debatable,” replied Obi-Wan.
“Fine, fine. See you later teacher,” Anakin grinned. “Just know that this place is always open.”
Obi-Wan smiled at that and headed out after gathering his things. Despite the idea that no teacher should necessarily like a singular student, he had found himself very much liking Padmé and Anakin. Both were polar opposites in many ways, their work ethic, mind sets, timing, but they were both extremely kind and very bubbly personalities. Obi-Wan always found himself pleased when one or both of them approached him after class or started a particularly interesting point while it was in session.
He wondered if it was because there wasn’t anyone else so he’d just latched onto the closest people that seemed happy to have him there. As long as he didn’t over step his boundaries, he’d be fine. They had approached him first after all.
For the next couple of weeks, nothing of much interest happened. Obi-Wan still spoke with Padmé and Anakin more often than any other student, they were the only ones where he knew their names really, but there was a date that was fast approaching. Thankfully it fell on the weekend and Obi-Wan didn’t have any classes at the time so it wasn’t difficult to get off campus and head to London.
Obi-Wan had finished all the papers, double checked that his notes and work for the next week was ready, and then took a bus to London on Friday. He had a small bag with him with cloths and food and checked into the hotel that he had booked. That Friday he mostly lounged about and read through a book. The next day, he got up early, showered, dressed, grabbed his bag, and checked out.
He headed to one of the graveyards. It was a cold day but the sun was out and warmed Obi-Wan against the chill of the wind. Once inside, he headed straight to the location already having memorized the path.
Zeroing in on a simple gravestone, Obi-Wan moved to it and sat down. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. With no better way to begin the one sided conversation, Obi-Wan murmured, “Happy birthday Qui-Gon,” and slowly began to recount what had happened since last he’d been there.
There was a lot to talk about and Obi-Wan didn’t want to leave out anything. He didn’t believe Qui-Gon could hear him, not really, but just on that slight off chance he could…it felt good nonetheless. He ate on and off when he got hungry, left once to find a restroom, but other than that stayed in the graveyard all day. It was growing dark when Obi-Wan finally came to his teaching position and what it was like at Trinity College and Oxford now.
Technically, he was supposed to leave once the sun was down but he hadn’t finished. He needed to catch Qui-Gon up on everything.
Night came and the air grew colder. Obi-Wan pulled his jacket about him tighter but he didn’t stop. He kept going even when his voice grew hoarse. Then the next thing he knew, he was being shaken awake.
“Sir? Mr. Kenobi? Are you alright?”
Obi-Wan rubbed at his face. Looking up, he saw Padmé. He frowned slightly and Padmé quickly asked, “Have you been out here all night?”
“I-yeah I suppose I have,” mumbled Obi-Wan. He wiped at his face again and shook himself awake. Finally, he realized that she had been holding out her hand. He took it and she helped pull him up. Obi-Wan brushed at his cloths and pushed his hair back into place. “Thanks.”
She smiled. “No problem. Just figured you’d rather be woken up by a familiar face rather than some stranger.”
“Speaking of that, is it your turn to stalk me?” asked Obi-Wan.
“What? No,” laughed Padmé. “What has Ani been doing? Dredging all sorts of odd videos and documents that you thought were lost to time to try and convince you to officially join the Fencing Club?”
“Something like that,” Obi-Wan sighed with a roll of his eyes. “It is odd though. Why are you here?”
“Same reason as you. Visiting someone,” Padmé responded.
“Right, sorry. Should have assumed that.”
“No need. I don’t mind talking about her. Just a little chilly though and I haven’t had breakfast. I’m guessing you haven’t either,” said Padmé. “Care to join me?”
“A teacher having breakfast with his student? It isn’t exactly proper.”
“A student finding a teacher who’s been trespassing all night? That isn’t either.”
“It was an accident,” groaned Obi-Wan.
“Still a felony,” laughed Padmé. “I’ll blackmail you if I have to. I hate eating alone.”
“Just come. Please?”
Obi-Wan sighed. “Only because you’re blackmailing me.”
“Perfect. Come on then. There’s a great café near here that should be open by now.”
Grabbing his bag and quickly following after her, they didn’t talk again until they were out of the graveyard. When they did, Obi-Wan began to say, “I’m surprised you know—” just as Padmé asked, “The grave that you were—”
“Oh, sorry,” they both said and then nervously laughed in synch.
Obi-Wan looked down and said, “Please, you go first. I insist.”
“Well, alright. I was just wondering about the grave you were sitting next to. If I go to far, just say so and I’ll stop,” Padmé replied, “but I couldn’t help but notice the name. Was Qui-Gon Jinn a professor? Specifically one of theology?”
Obi-Wan looked over with surprise on his face. “…yes. How did you know?”
“I thought so. My father knew him.”
“What is your father’s name?” asked Obi-Wan utterly shocked by this.
“That…that does sound familiar.”
“They weren’t good friends or anything. I just know that my father respected him a great deal. Knew each other in college times or something like that. I knew he passed away recently but not much else,” Padmé replied. “I never met him.”
“I never met your father so I guess we’re equally blind,” chuckled Obi-Wan. “But your last name isn’t Naberrie. May I ask…?”
“Amidala was my mother’s name. She and my father never married and I was given my mother’s name at birth. They were together but marriage just wasn’t their thing,” Padmé said.
“I’m assuming that she’s who you were visiting,” replied Obi-Wan, noting the past tense.
Padmé nodded. “She passed away two years ago. She’d never been completely healthy. Eventually, her body just couldn’t take it anymore.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Thank you,” sighed Padmé. “But I believe you were going to ask me something?”
“Oh, well…I thought you were American.”
She smiled. “I am though I admittedly had dual citizenship until I turned eighteen. My mother was English though and wanted to be buried with her family.”
“Then you’re studying abroad?”
“Yes, but only until the end of this semester,” Padmé replied. When they arrived at the café, she opened the door and Obi-Wan walked in. “I’ll be going back to America.”
Obi-Wan found them a table and politely pulled the chair out. As Padmé sat down, he moved to the other side and sat. “That will be a shame. Have you decided what you’re going into?”
He made a face.
“What’s wrong with that?” asked Padmé with a small laugh.
“I don’t like politicians.”
“You teach political philosophy though!”
“Teaching it and practicing it are two very different things,” Obi-Wan sighed. “Besides, I don’t trust them.”
“Do you trust me?” Padmé questioned.
“I did before you said you wanted to be a politician.”
“Well that’s not fair,” laughed Padmé. “Politicians aren’t all two-faced, no good, lying scoundrels.”
“Really? I somehow doubt that.”
“You’ll just have to meet my father.”
“Of course he’s a politician,” sighed Obi-Wan. “What is he? Mayor? Governor?”
“He’s actually part of the United States Senate at the moment,” Padmé said proudly. “And before you even ask, my mother was an ambassador for England.”
“No wonder you’re so good at debating. It’s practically in your blood.”
Padmé smiled just as a server came by. Padmé ordered for Obi-Wan before he could say anything.
“What if I don’t like it?” he asked curiously.
“Oh, I’m sure you will. You’ll just have to trust me, politician or not.”
Obi-Wan sighed and rolled his eyes. “Well, you’re not a politician yet so I suppose I will. Anyways, both parents are politicians, currently studying abroad, I must say that I’m curious as to why you started late. I would have guessed that this was your fourth year in college if it wasn’t for the rather basic classes I know you’re taking.”
“I worked with my father for a little while,” Padmé replied. “Thought it might be a good idea to get some experience in beforehand. Working with him is what helped me decide that I wanted to follow him. But what about you? What did you do before teaching here?”
“Uh, the odd jobs. Giving a lecture here, filling in there. Technically, this is my first official job. At least one that coincides with my degree,” he said.
“Where’d you go to school?” asked Padmé.
“Is this an interrogation?”
She shook her head. “Not at all. I’m just curious.”
“Alright, how about we trade then? I’ll tell you something and you tell me something. That way it feels less like an interrogation.”
“Deal,” Padmé replied. “So, where’d you go to school?”
“Northern Ireland? Interesting.”
Obi-Wan gave a small snort. It sounded like she was putting together a puzzle and he had just given her a key piece. “Alright, um, how did you meet Anakin?”
“Like I said earlier, I started late. Anakin only started this past semester so we had a few classes together. I liked him,” Padmé said with a small shrug.
“He can be pretty sulky.”
“Oh, certainly. The key is to know how to not put up with it,” Padmé replied. “Once you force that away, he’s really very sweet. Now, my turn. If you don’t like politicians then why teach political philosophy?”
“Political philosophy can be helpful to anyone. You don’t have to be going into politics. It helps you become more aware of yourself and how the world works around you and what it truly means to be happy. And for potential politicians, hopefully I can help create a sense of moral standing.”
Padmé laughed at his pointed look. “Alright, I can understand that. Your turn.”
“Besides the obvious family connections, what makes you want to be a politician?” asked Obi-Wan.
“Why does anyone want to be a politician? To make a difference.”
“Normally I would say that was a flat out lie and that it was for the ego, money, and recognition,” Obi-Wan replied which earned him a laugh, “but coming from you? I think I can suspend my disbelief for a bit.”
“Thank you. So, how did you know Qui-Gon Jinn?”
Obi-Wan had known that would come up. Thankfully, the tea for Obi-Wan and coffee for Padmé came. Both sipped at their respective drinks.
Padmé spoke again. “If you don’t want to talk about it, I don’t mind.”
“No, it’s just-well I suppose it’s still not a fresh wound. It’s been a little over a year. But…it was unexpected,” sighed Obi-Wan. The food came and gave Obi-Wan a moment to get his thoughts in line. When the waiter was gone, Obi-Wan continued. “I saw a lecture of his. We kept in contact and…”
“You fell in love.”
“Only if you know what to look for,” Padmé replied with a kind smile.
Obi-Wan returned it and looked down. He expected that she’d ask ‘the how’ next. Instead, she softly asked, “What was your favorite thing about him?”
He hesitated, not having expected that question. “I…I suppose his smile.”
“How romantic of you.”
“It’s just the honest truth,” Obi-Wan replied, blushing slightly.
“Do all people become sops when they fall in love?” asked Padmé.
“You don’t know?”
“I haven’t been in love. Not yet.”
Obi-Wan smiled. “I’m sure you will someday. And as for your question, I don’t really know. But how about your mother? What was your favorite thing about her?”
They went back and forth as they nibbled at their food and drank. Nearly an hour passed before they both agreed it was about time to head back to Oxford.
Chapter 4: Anakin Opens Up
I'm planning on updating every other day unless something comes up. So, please enjoy :)
The semester was halfway over and Obi-Wan had given out his first midterm. He watched as each student finished up and turned in their papers. The room slowly dwindled, the empty space growing and merging together.
When he got Padmé’s test, there was a note stuck to it. Obi-Wan frowned. Before he could say anything, she was already gone. The note read, please talk to Ani something is wrong.
Obi-Wan looked up and focused on Anakin. He’d been to preoccupied with the class as a whole, giving his first big test, and hadn’t taken notice of him. Now, he could see the way his shoulders were bunched up tight, the way his head hung, the lack of movement from his pen.
The class continued to dwindle and still Anakin didn’t move. Finally, it was just him and the boy.
Obi-Wan slowly approached his seat, about in the middle of the large classroom. He didn’t react when Obi-Wan got close.
“Anakin, are you—”
“Just fuck off, why don’t you?”
It wasn’t shouted. If it had been, Obi-Wan probably would have taken it fairly easily. Instead, the words were soft, cold, distant. It didn’t resemble the boy Obi-Wan had come to know at all.
“Whatever is wrong doesn’t—”
“Do you not know the meaning of fuck off!?” Anakin yelled. His pen scraped against the paper and was flung across the room.
Obi-Wan had never realized the boy was taller than him. Now, standing there, hands clenched, rage and regret and utter guilt rolling off of him, it was actually terrifying.
“I know the meaning,” Obi-Wan said, speaking softly and slowly. “But I need to know what’s wrong.”
“You’re what’s wrong! Just leave me alone!”
Anakin tried to shove past Obi-Wan but the older man grabbed hold of Anakin. He gripped him tight and pushed back, keeping him in his place.
“Whatever is the matter you have no right to act like this!” Obi-Wan suddenly yelled back. He looked into Anakin’s eyes and for a moment, he was sure the boy would hit him, would lash out.
Instead, he broke down crying.
Rather than pushing against him, Obi-Wan found himself completely supporting his student’s weight. He stumbled and slowly lowered them both to the ground. “Hey, Anakin please…please just…take a breath. Okay? Just keep breathing.”
Anakin was able to somewhat control his shuddering sobs but there were still plenty of tears.
“Um…just follow…follow me. Breathe in when I say to. Breathe out when I say to. Slowly,” murmured Obi-Wan, “in…then out…in…out…”
Obi-Wan could feel the tears spreading against his shirt as Anakin buried his head in his chest. His breathing was slowing down, but his grip was tightening, like he was trying to keep it in rather than easing it out.
“Hey, you don’t have to close off. Just ease it all out…slowly.”
He could feel Anakin crying again but at least it was somewhat calmer. Obi-Wan repeatedly let out calm, soothing noises as he ran a hand through Anakin’s hair, soft and careful. Finally, he heard a muffled, “Sorry.”
Obi-Wan pulled Anakin back. “If that’s in reference to you yelling at me, good. Never do that again. Otherwise, you have nothing to be sorry for.”
“I just-I can’t-I didn’t mean to-just-I wasn’t-I tried to stay silent—”
“Well clearly that doesn’t work,” Obi-Wan said softly. Anakin gave a half sob half laugh at that. “Listen, you don’t have to tell me what happened but you can’t keep this in. Whatever has happened you need to talk to someone about it.”
Anakin nodded shakily.
“Can I take you somewhere? Get you anything?”
He nodded. “Padmé. I don’t-don’t think she’s in a class.”
“Okay, is there a way to get in contact with her?”
Anakin got out his phone and held it towards Obi-Wan. “Please-just-I don’t think I can talk-talk clearly yet.”
“I’ll get in contact with her and grab the tests. Just…try and get yourself together,” Obi-Wan finally said. He quickly moved back to the front of the room while he looked through Anakin’s phone for Padmé’s number.
He found it and called her. She answered right away and Obi-Wan quickly said, “Padmé? Are you busy?”
“Mr. Kenobi? Well no but why—”
“Anakin needs you. Is there somewhere private where I can—”
“I’m in my dorm room now. Roommate is out, bring him here. He knows where it is.”
“Okay, thank you Padmé. We’ll be there soon,” Obi-Wan quickly said. He hung up and scrambled to grab all of the tests and papers. Throwing it all into his bag, he ran back to where Anakin remained on the floor.
“You know where Padmé’s dorm room is, right?” asked Obi-Wan. He helped Anakin stand. “She said we could meet her there.”
“Yeah-uh-just-just follow me,” mumbled Anakin. He’d wiped at his face. He was still red faced but he at least wasn’t sobbing his eyes out anymore. “This way.”
Anakin took Obi-Wan’s arm and pulled him along, clearly needing something to keep him grounded. Obi-Wan wanted to pull away once they walked outside the classroom. He was fairly sure that it wasn’t appropriate as far as student/teacher conduct went. However, pulling away from Anakin now would have just broken the kid. He needed Obi-Wan, damn the consequences.
So Obi-Wan supported Anakin, his arm wrapped in the boy’s as Anakin guided them to the dorm areas. Once in the building, they quickly walked up the stairs and then went to a numbered door. Anakin knocked on it and Obi-Wan expected that he would soon be leaving, passing Anakin onto Padmé. However, the moment the door opened, Anakin was dragging Obi-Wan in with him.
Before he could protest, Obi-Wan could hear the door closing behind him as Anakin pulled Obi-Wan to the sitting area. There was a chair and a loveseat but Anakin pulled Obi-Wan to the ground, burying his face in the older man’s chest again.
Obi-Wan looked around helplessly. He was completely out of his element. What was he to do? He looked for Padmé who had gone into the small kitchen area. She was making something, her hands moving quickly as she rushed about. It was a drink of some kind, a tea or something, and Obi-Wan watched as Padmé finished it and came over with a cup in her hands.
She sat on the floor and softly put a hand on one of Anakin’s arms. “Here Ani, drink this.”
Anakin finally eased off of Obi-Wan but didn’t fully let go as he took the cup. He gingerly took a sip. “She’s dead,” he mumbled. The words sounded irregular and broken on his lips.
“Who?” Padmé asked. She kept one hand on Anakin, rubbing soothing circles into his skin.
“My…she was the one who told me to come! She-she said I wouldn’t-there wouldn’t be another chance like this and-I just-I couldn’t waste it and to go but she-I wasn’t there and now she’s-my mother is dead,” Anakin finally got out. A new wave of tears came as his body shook.
“Oh Ani, it’s not your fault,” Padmé said softly.
“I should have been there,” responded Anakin. “I could have done something.”
Obi-Wan couldn’t help but see himself in Anakin. He had been a mess after Qui-Gon’s death, unable to see that there wasn’t anything he could have done. Despite this inner understanding, Obi-Wan wasn’t sure what to do or say. Thankfully, Padmé was doing a good job of soothing Anakin but there was still no way of leaving without being obvious. The boy still had a firm grip on him and clearly wasn’t planning on letting go anytime soon.
Padmé had repeatedly murmured kind, careful words of encouragement and support but when it seemed that Anakin had somewhat calmed again, Padmé softly asked, “What are you going to do?”
“I don’t-I don’t know,” he got out. “The funeral is-it’s already-I won’t even make it in time.”
Silence fell over the room as Anakin wiped at his face. He looked to Padmé and asked, “What did you-did you do when your mom died?”
“I wasn’t on another continent,” Padmé said kindly. “And we knew she wasn’t going to make it with her health. This is different.”
Anakin gave a shaky nod. “They-my step-father-he says it was quick. But I know it wasn’t. She was in pain.”
“I was going to get her out of there. I was going to make enough and go back and get her out of the Middle East and then the rest of them. She wanted to see so much of the world,” Anakin whimpered.
“If you let yourself focus on the regret, you’ll never get past it,” Obi-Wan murmured, speaking up for the first time. He looked into Anakin’s eyes. “Believe me, the regret is the worst part, but only if you focus on it.”
“What if I can’t focus on anything else?”
Obi-Wan admitted, “It’ll seem like that for a while. You won’t be able to see anything except the regret. But you’ll get to a forked road eventually and then you can choose to stay full of regret, or you can concentrate on the road ahead. I don’t mean you have to forget your mother, but you would learn to reminisce and remember the good times. Not the ‘what ifs’.”
“I don’t know if I can.”
“It doesn’t matter. We’ll both be there for you,” Padmé responded. Obi-Wan frowned at the word ‘we’ but didn’t say anything else. “Can I get you something else to drink?”
Anakin shook his head. Finally, he released Obi-Wan and stood up. “I need…thank you both but now I think…I need to be alone.”
“Call if you need anything?” Padmé asked.
“Yeah just…give me a bit.”
Before either of them could say anything else, Anakin had walked over to the kitchen counter, set the cup down, and was out the door and gone.
Obi-Wan slowly got up. “Uh…”
“Thank you,” Padmé said quickly. “I think it helped, you being here.”
“I don’t follow.”
“Well, you’re one of Anakin’s few true friends. He trusts you.”
Obi-Wan thought back to the times he’d seen Anakin with others, people in class, just around campus, in the fencing club, laughing and seeming to have a grand time. He had thought those were the boy’s friends.
Clearly, Padmé saw this in Obi-Wan’s eyes and replied, “He gets on well with everyone for the most part, but you have to remember that he’s very brash and emotion driven at times and doesn’t always think with his head first. That can make it hard to actually have people to count on.”
“I still don’t understand how he can count on me. We’ve only known each other for a few weeks,” replied Obi-Wan.
Padmé shrugged. “I don’t fully understand it either. We talked about it once. He described it as a pull, just a natural instinct that he trusts. Said he felt the same way about me when we first met. He said that if he was ever in trouble and couldn’t find me, he’d likely go to you. He’s in a completely different country after all. There’s no other relations to count on.”
“I suppose so. I didn’t know he was from the Middle East, “Obi-Wan said.
“Foreign exchange student. Got here on a full ride,” she replied.
“I’m assuming his mother pushed him to take it despite him wanting to stay with her. Hence the guilt.”
“Probably, though I don’t know for sure,” sighed Padmé. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, grounding herself in the moment. “Would you like something to drink?”
“I’m alright. I should probably get going actually…”
“Right, the midterm tests,” Padmé said and finally she allowed herself to smile. It was tired but genuine. She quickly kissed Obi-Wan on his cheek before he could stop her. “Thank you again. I know all of this was unexpected but it helped him. It really did. And I don’t know if I could have gotten him to let me in if you hadn’t been there too.”
Looking towards the ground to try and hide the red coming to his cheeks, Obi-Wan mumbled, “I’m glad it did. Uh, I better…I’ll get going.”
“Alright, I’ll see you at the next class if not sooner,” Padmé replied as she walked to the door. She opened it and said, “Do you mind if I call upon you if something happens? Just as backup if it’s needed with Ani?”
“No, I don’t mind though I should probably give you my number first.”
“Of course! Just hold on one second.”
Obi-Wan waited in the doorway as she rushed off to find a slip of paper. She ran back and he quickly scribbled his number on the paper. “I’ll see you later Padmé,” he said and then quickly left.
In hindsight, he should have gotten her number as well but he’d been in to much of a rush to get out of there. He was having trouble processing the entire situation. Part of him couldn’t believe it had happened, the entire experience was just so surreal.
And a friend? Did Anakin really think of him as that?
Obi-Wan wished that he could just throw that idea out the window but he had to admit that he liked it. He got on well with people but he hadn’t had friends, not true ones. And he liked Padmé and Anakin immensely. But Padmé was going to be leaving to finish school in America and Anakin would likely leave because of what happened with his mother. There was no point in getting attached now.
But he was undoubtedly attached.
In his conversations with them, together or separately, he never felt like he had to compare the situation to what could have been with Qui-Gon, not like with others. If even the thought of Qui-Gon came up, it wasn’t bitter like with other people but simply a happy, fleeting thought. Despite what he’d told Anakin, he had never felt like he had taken the path that said ‘move forward’. Or at least he hadn’t until meeting the two students.
But they would be gone and Obi-Wan would be stuck with his thoughts and a dead man. It was rather depressing to think on.
Yet he wouldn’t let his time with the two students go to waste. Even if there wasn’t a chance of seeing either of them again, he’d be there for Anakin and Padmé. And he certainly wouldn’t forget them.
Chapter 5: Till We Meet Again
Thank you for the comments and kudos and for reading and everything! Seeing as I didn't think this story would garner much interest, It truly means a lot. Thank you again and again and please enjoy :)
Several days later, Obi-Wan ran into Anakin, or more accurately the boy had run into him.
“Perfect,” the boy said. “I was looking for you. Come on.”
Thankfully, Obi-Wan hadn’t been heading for anything urgent but he was fairly sure that even if he had, he probably would have allowed Anakin to drag him off anyways. He hadn’t heard from Padmé in the past few days and hadn’t pressed, leaving them to figure it out on their own. Now, he was being dragged to where the fencing team practiced.
Obi-Wan never had officially joined it. He’d come to a few meetings, sparred with Anakin for a second time, gave some helpful tips when the members had tried to coax anything out of him, but nothing more. Now, he watched as Anakin crossed the empty space and went straight for the foils, ignoring any of the protective gear.
“Alright, come on,” Anakin responded. He grabbed one and gracefully threw it to Obi-Wan before grabbing his own. “Show me what you’ve got teacher.”
“Are you sure?” Obi-Wan asked uncertainly.
“Oh, just come on already!” Anakin lunged at him and Obi-Wan quickly sidestepped.
They went back and forth, quick and merciless to each other. Finally, Anakin miss stepped and tripped himself up as he moved to quickly. It allowed Obi-Wan to land another point and with that, Anakin relaxed and backed off.
He wiped sweat from his forehead as he let out deep and exasperated breaths. He fell to the floor and allowed his back to hit the mat as he stared up at the ceiling. Obi-Wan slowly walked over as he watched Anakin cover his face, his shoulders bunching together before relaxing.
“Thanks. I needed that.”
“You’re welcome?” Obi-Wan said questioningly. “I apologize, but I’m not sure what just happened.”
“No one would spar with me.”
“They were two afraid I’d practically kill them. Figured you’d be able to keep up with me,” replied Anakin.
“More like surpass you. I did score the point.”
Anakin let loose a smirk, the first one Obi-Wan had seen since learning of his mother’s death. “Yeah, I suppose rage doesn’t exactly improve one’s skills. Least not in the long run.”
Obi-Wan waited several seconds but when it was clear Anakin wasn’t getting up any time soon, he decided to sit next to him. He put his foil to the side and crossed his legs and looked at the boy. “So that was you getting out your anger?”
“I will say, it’s a step up from screaming in people’s faces. Though I can understand your teammates’ hesitancy in engaging you.”
“How are you?” asked Obi-Wan.
“That’s to be expected.”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it,” sighed Anakin. He finally turned his head to look at the older man. “Padmé said you lost someone recently. About a year ago? Does it still hurt?”
“Yes. Some days are worse than others.”
“How do you get over it?”
“You don’t. You learn to live with it.”
“Have you learned to live with yours?” Anakin asked.
“Don’t know. I’ll tell you when I find out.”
Anakin smiled at that, sad and pained but still there. “Who were they?”
“Ever lost a parent?”
“I wish I had been an orphan. Then I wouldn’t care.”
“I said some similar things immediately after my partner’s death. I tried to make myself believe that I would have been better off without him and he without me,” Obi-Wan replied. “But you don’t really believe that, do you? That you’d rather be an orphan?”
Anakin suddenly started crying again. It was spontaneous and unexpected. Before Obi-Wan could figure out what to do though, Anakin was up and pacing, the tears turning to anger. “I don’t know what to do. Why don’t I know what to do?!”
He kicked at his foil and dug his fingers into his hair. “Why don’t I know!?”
“Hey! Anakin! Anakin look at me!” Obi-Wan had jumped up and was now gripping the boy tight, keeping him in place. “You are wearing yourself thin jumping around like this! Just look. Look at me.”
After Anakin’s eyes flitted around the room, he finally focused on Obi-Wan.
“You don’t know what to do,” Obi-Wan huffed, “because no one does in situations like this! Just…life…it doesn’t come with a fucking instruction manual and-stop laughing! Stop it! I’m trying to give some sound advice here.”
Anakin bit down on his bottom lip. “It’s just-you cursing? I’m sorry it’s pretty funny.”
“If it gets you laughing, I’ll say every curse word under the sun,” replied Obi-Wan. “Fuck, shit, bloody wanker twat hellish…what else is there?”
Anakin howled with laughter. “Please stop! It doesn’t suit you at all!” The boy covered his mouth as laughter pealed out of it.
“That’s what I want to hear,” sighed Obi-Wan. “But life doesn’t come with instructions. Even if it did, people would probably still mess up because we’re horrible at following the rules. But there are constants in life and death is one of them. Regret comes with that, sometimes guilt too. Just don’t…don’t let it take away that laugh. It sounds much better when you laugh.”
Anakin smiled at that and then launched himself at Obi-Wan in a tight hug. “Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.”
“Hey, no problem,” murmured Obi-Wan.
After that, Anakin seemed to have a better handle of himself. There were still moments where it looked like he’d crumble or explode but as the days passed those became fewer and farther apart. Obi-Wan let him make up his midterm and before long, the semester was coming to a close. During that time, Anakin hadn’t said what he was planning to do, or at least he hadn’t told Obi-Wan, but for the moment it looked like he’d finish out the semester. It was two days before Obi-Wan was to give his final and he found himself in Padmé’s dorm for the second time.
She had called him over, thankfully not sounding too urgent. Obi-Wan was less worried and more curious coming to the door. Beforehand, he had once again thought about that dilemma of what he should and shouldn’t do as their teacher. However, he had likely already broken many of the social norms and in a couple of days they wouldn’t be his students anyways. Damn the social construct for now.
He knocked and Padmé answered the door with a warm smile.
“Hey, come on in,” she said.
Obi-Wan walked forward and watched as Anakin did an extremely unsuccessful flip with a pancake.
Obi-Wan snorted as the pancake slid off. Anakin tried to drag it back onto the pan, the sticky batter getting everywhere.
“Is this torture Anakin day?” Obi-Wan asked playfully.
Padmé laughed. “Actually, Anakin was the one who volunteered.”
“I was trying to look cool,” he whined.
“And you succeeded marvelously,” sighed Obi-Wan. “So, what is this?”
“Our way of saying thank you,” Padmé replied.
“You do this with all the teachers?”
“Only the best of them,” said Padmé.
“It was my idea though,” Anakin quickly spoke up as he continued trying to fix the mess. “Your final is the last one for me and after that I’m gone.”
“Oh.” Obi-Wan had known it was coming but it still hurt to hear it out loud.
“Yeah. I need to…I need to be there for them. But mom would have killed me if I wasted this time here, didn’t even get the credits and all that.” Anakin hesitated, turning silent before perking up again and adding, “So after your class I’m basically out of here. Figured you deserved a proper goodbye.”
“Well thank you for that but food isn’t exactly necessary, is it?”
“Oh no, it’s totally necessary,” Anakin grinned. “We’ve got some stereotypical American stuff curtsey of Padmé and we’ve got the stereotypical English food here and I made Shakshuka too.”
“I have no idea what that is but judging by everything else, I’m assuming it’s all breakfast foods,” chuckled Obi-Wan.
“Yep, perfect for mid day. Don’t you think?” grinned Padmé. “Here. Tea.”
“Thanks,” Obi-Wan replied. He took it and sipped at it. “Anything I can do to help?”
Anakin adamantly shook his head. “No way. This is just for you.”
Obi-Wan sighed but allowed it. Anakin looked truly happy. He wasn’t going to fight him on anything now. With that, Obi-Wan took a seat at the counter and watched the two of them finish everything off, his tea in hand.
“Hmm, interesting,” Padmé murmured as she took over the pancakes from Anakin, doing a much better job at flipping them.
Obi-Wan looked at her curiously. “What is?”
“You,” she smiled. “You’re not as hesitant like all those other times.”
“You could tell?” Obi-Wan asked a bit shyly.
“Oh, yeah, definitely,” Anakin added. “Padmé said it’s because you’re our teacher or something.”
“That does play a large roll, yes.”
“But you clearly don’t care about what a teacher should or should do now,” pointed out Anakin. “You’d be bright red right now and more awkward. So, what’s changed?”
“Few days and neither of you will be my students,” Obi-Wan shrugged. “No point in being bothered by it any more. I’ve enjoyed your company, both of you. Might as well make the most of this last moment.”
Padmé smiled. “I’m glad to hear it. Now, I probably should have asked you this beforehand but are you allergic to anything?”
“Not to my knowledge.”
“Good,” grinned Anakin. “Then you can’t blame us if you go into anaphylactic shock.”
Obi-Wan chuckled and rolled his eyes. They carried on, mostly with simple small talk and light banter as the food was finished and Anakin piled each plate full of food. Obi-Wan spoke a little about his early school life, what it was like in the orphanage and some about Qui-Gon. In return, he got the chance to hear about Padmé’s early childhood as well. Anakin spoke a bit about the past, how he’d never known his father, the fact he had a step-father and step-brother, but other than that let Padmé and Obi-Wan take the walk down memory lane.
They ended up sitting in the living area, Obi-Wan in the lone chair and Anakin and Padmé on the loveseat. Their talk turned to food as they went back and forth. Near the end of it, Padmé perked up as she grabbed a piece of paper on a desk off to the side.
“I almost forgot. This is a friend who I think you’d like to talk to.”
Obi-Wan looked curiously at the phone number and name. “Bail Organa…”
“He worked with my father before branching off on his own. I think you two could have some very interesting conversations.”
“He’s a politician,” Obi-Wan said, automatically making a face that caused Anakin to erupt into giggles.
“Hey, I personally think you could get some great incite from him. And he may make you change your opinion on how you feel about politicians.”
“I really doubt it,” sighed Obi-Wan but he pocketed the number anyways and the three of them quickly started talking again.
Even after they had finished a good section of the food, Obi-Wan stayed, talking to the two students, using the time he had left with them as much as possible.
When he left the flat, it was reluctantly and wishing he could freeze that moment in time. The next time Obi-Wan saw them, it was at the final. Anakin turned his paper in with a playful wink and then was gone. He got a second chance to see Padmé before she left though, not having to rush her leaving like Anakin.
The semester had ended three days ago but there were still staff and students getting their things in order and heading out for their break. Padmé and Obi-Wan sat on a park bench, warming their hands with a hot drink.
“So, you going to stay on until that teacher gets back?” asked Padmé curiously.
“Would you stay if they gave you a permanent teaching job?”
“I don’t know,” Obi-Wan admitted. “I feel like if I’m not careful, I could get stuck here.”
“There are worst places to be stuck.”
“True…but I don’t know. I don’t want to stay here all my life.”
“You should come to America,” Padmé said with a grin. “Even if it is for just a visit.”
Obi-Wan liked the idea of that but all he said was, “I’ll think on it.”
“Well, I think it’s an excellent idea. So, did you get Anakin’s number?”
“Shame on you! How do you think Anakin would feel if you never called him?”
“What? You thought he was just going to walk out of your life and that would be it? Did you think I would let you do that?” asked Padmé with a wiry smile.
“I-I guess yeah—”
“Well you don’t get to choose that,” Padmé said with a grin. She held out her hand. “Your phone.”
“Come on. Cough it up.”
Obi-Wan slowly got the phone out of his pocket and handed it over. Padmé quickly went through it and made a small tut-tut sound. “You didn’t even save my number. How rude.”
Obi-Wan blushed and looked down as Padmé finished adding the two contacts. “There. Now you don’t have a reason to not call.”
“I honestly didn’t realize that either of you would want me to.”
“Of course we would! You’re a friend now. You’re not allowed to just up and disappear,” Padmé grinned as she handed back the phone. “Now, I expect to hear from you by the start of next semester.”
Padmé laughed and glanced at her watch. “I have to get going now but I’ll hear from you. Right?”
“You sure? Because I don’t think I believe you.”
“I will. I promise. I’ll call you,” said Obi-Wan.
“Good, because I’d hate it if this was our last conversation,” she gave Obi-Wan a kiss on the cheek. “Good bye and good luck.”
Obi-Wan remained where he was for some time, flipping back and forth on his phone between the two new numbers on his phone. He didn’t know why, but he thought about deleting both of them. Perhaps a part of himself was still trapped, not wanting to move on. Actually having Padmé and Anakin as friends, actually calling them and talking to them just to do so, he’d be continuing his life. He needed to get past Qui-Gon, needed to learn how to let go and become part of something again.
He thought about deleting them both.
Instead, he called Anakin.
“I haven’t even said anything yet! How do you know it’s me?” asked Obi-Wan.
“Padmé gave me your number. And she told me you’d probably call.”
“Did she?” Obi-Wan couldn’t help the smile on his face, couldn’t help but laugh. He stood up and started to walk, not really going anywhere, just going aimlessly.
“She did. So, how is the end of the semester? No more students to be bothered by and all that?”
“It’s odd. I was just starting to get use to all those faces,” Obi-Wan chuckled. He continued to talk as he moved through the town, the smile staying firmly on his face with no chance of going away anytime soon.
Chapter 6: Change
Really thank you all so much for reading this and kudoing and commenting. I love hearing what you have to say and what I've done right or different or whatever. I hope you enjoy this chapter, especially since I'm finally writing one of my favorite characters in it. Enjoy :)
“Looking for a change of scenery? Got any ideas in mind?” asked Bail Organa.
It was the first time Obi-Wan and Bail had actually met face to face. However, thanks to Padmé’s insentience, they had spoken frequently over the phone and through emails. Two years had passed, yet nothing had exactly changed.
Obi-Wan had repeatedly gotten updates from Padmé and Anakin. He knew that while finishing school, Padmé had gotten an internship in her state’s government. Anakin had begun working for a company in their engineering department and had succeeded in a work visa to the US. They were living together.
He didn’t know how he felt about that. Obi-Wan had of course said congrats, that he’d always known, and just the typical things when people see their friends get together. But there had been other emotions there that conflicted and swirled together in an odd mix. His smile hadn’t been completely true and when he’d hung up that phone call, Obi-Wan had frowned. He could pick out a few emotions, disappointment, regret, jealousy, cheerfulness, and acceptance. None of it was directed at either of them and yet the confusion was directed at both.
It was difficult to understand, to comprehend, and Obi-Wan had tried to wrap his head around it. But no amount of thinking let him reach the conclusion. It was right there, in the back of his mind, itching and trying to get his attention but still shrouded in darkness.
The point that Obi-Wan had gotten from it, though, was that things had changed for them, for a lot of people, but nothing for Obi-Wan.
In all the two years that had passed he had remained in the sick teacher’s position. The year before, it had looked like the teacher would be back but then something else came up and Obi-Wan was there for two more semesters. He watched students come and watched them go. He was cordial with everyone, there were times when he had a nice chat with one of the faculty or a kid, but no true friends, nothing that made Obi-Wan feel like he was truly living his life.
He had thought he’d run from Northern Ireland to get away from Qui-Gon and leave that memory behind. Only now he had realized that he had done the opposite. He had trapped himself in a memory, the first memory. All he ever did was go to class, grade papers, and visit Qui-Gon’s grave. Speaking with Anakin and Padmé over the phone always allowed for moments of clarity, times when Obi-Wan knew he needed to leave, but that left when the call ended.
The only thing that had changed was Bail Organa. Occasionally, when in need of an opinion or personal thought for a paper or lecture or just anything, Obi-Wan would contact him. They often got into heated arguments and neither was above pettiness but despite this they never really drove each other away. Instead, they both enjoyed how they could rile each other up and then just come back, beginning another conversation easily.
In one phone call, Bail had commented that Obi-Wan was his way of a stress reliever. Obi-Wan had laughed and agreed.
Now, two years later, it looked like Obi-Wan had a chance to change. The teacher that he had filled in for was coming back for sure. However, on the other side of things, they had also offered him an official job at Oxford. If he wanted to, he could stay there, but if he did that, he’d likely never leave.
With that choice in the balance, at the same time Bail Organa had decided to go on holiday with his wife. He’d called Obi-Wan and asked if he’d like to meet.
Now they were sitting at a pub in London. Bail’s wife was off doing something and Obi-Wan and Bail sat across each other in a booth. Obi-Wan knew what Bail looked like but it was still odd, finally putting the voice and face together. He appeared kind and gentle but he could easily turn his expressions to assertive and closed off when needed. Obi-Wan had never seen him angry but he had heard it plenty of times over the phone when a conversation had gotten particularly heated. He imagined what Bail would look like angry and he decided it didn’t suit the man.
They didn’t talk about personal aspects often. If they did, it was often about Padmé since that was how they’d met. However, now that they were face to face, it was easier to slip into more personal information and casual talk that didn’t involve politics.
And now, with Obi-Wan stuck in his head, Bail couldn’t help the amused smirk that appeared on his lips as he repeated, “Are you looking for a change of scenery? Or deciding to go deaf instead?”
Obi-Wan sighed and rolled his eyes, finally coming back to the conversation. “Not deaf, blind obviously. Get with the times.”
Bail snorted. “Of course, how could I forget? So, where would you go?”
“I’m not sure.”
“But you need to get out.”
“You and Padmé are too good at reading me.”
“Comes with the job,” smiled Bail. “But exactly how far are you thinking of running?”
“This isn’t me running,” countered Obi-Wan.
“No…I suppose it’s not.” Bail fell silent, looking Obi-Wan over closely. It was fairly obvious that he was trying to find answers in Obi-Wan’s facial expressions and mannerisms. “You’ve come to terms with the death, but you don’t feel like you can actually get involved with people this close to the grave. You can’t have other obligations…well no. That’s not quite it.”
“You just going to pick me apart piece by piece until you get the desired answer?” chuckled Obi-Wan.
“Yes,” Bail said evenly. “Now, that’s not quite it because…you’d like to move forward. You know how to move forward, but the elements that will allow you aren’t here.”
Obi-Wan thought of Padmé and Anakin, of the ocean that separated them. He wondered if Bail could pick out their names on his face. “It’s not as simple as you’re putting it though.”
“Oh, nothing ever is,” replied Bail. “It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.”
“Then what would you suggest?” sighed Obi-Wan.
“Well first off, I’m assuming you want to continue teaching,” Bail said.
“Well, that already narrows the options. You need somewhere that has an available position, particularly in your field. And if we’re talking overseas, then you should probably look for a place where getting a work visa won’t be to difficult since this is a fairly quick decision that needs to be made. Hmm, ever thought of going to the states?”
Obi-Wan sighed. “Perhaps. Why…?”
“Anakin and Padmé are there. You’d get to see them and you haven’t had that chance since they left, have you?”
“That is a shame. Padmé keeps telling me how much she’d like to see you.”
“Really?!” Obi-Wan asked. He felt like he shouldn’t be surprised but he was.
“Yes, why wouldn’t she? It’s simply the work she’s doing for the governor of her state. It doesn’t leave much time for vacations and she is trying to make a name for herself,” said Bail. “I know she’s been trying to figure out a way to make a visit work, though that’s partially because Anakin hasn’t stopped shutting up about it too.”
Obi-Wan laughed. “Have you met him yet?”
“Oh yes. And I’ll say this, if he’s not talking about Padmé or some new, mechanical project then he’s talking about you,” Bail replied.
They both laughed. “But back to everything else,” Obi-Wan said, “America? Really?”
“What? I think it’s a valid option.”
“But I’ve never been and now you’re telling me to just pack my things and go there?”
Bail looked at him curiously. “You’ve never been to America?”
“No I…at some point or another I had wanted to. Plenty of places I would like to go but it just didn’t—”
“Even better. It’ll be like some great adventure,” smirked Bail.
Obi-Wan’s eyes narrowed. “Somehow, I feel that if I say no then you’ll pack all my things, blindfold me, and send me off before I can retaliate.”
“What makes you think that I haven’t done that already?”
“What? We’re in America now?” cried Obi-Wan, his eyes wide with wonder. They quickly dimmed though as he let out a sorrowful sigh. “Sadly looks a lot like England.”
“Alright you ass, you’ve made your point.”
“Careful congressman, wouldn’t want potential voters to hear that kind of language.”
“Anyone from Vermont here? Anyone? Anyone? No? I think I’m good,” grinned Bail.
“I’m just trying to be a good friend,” Obi-Wan replied. “The media is everywhere these days. You never know when they’ll pop up.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” sighed Bail. “But I am being serious about this. I can probably look into it for you. Or, if you’d rather not, then you can stay here and take up that teaching position at Oxford. It’s up to you.”
Obi-Wan hesitated, carefully thinking it through. Bail had been right about a good many things. And Obi-Wan did want to see Anakin and Padmé again. Being in the States would make that considerably easier. But he’d also be leaving everything he knew. Then again, he’d basically done that when leaving Scotland behind and following Qui-Gon to Northern Ireland. That was on a smaller scale but still a similar situation.
“I’m serious about this too.”
“Perfect,” Bail said with a smile. His voice suggested that he knew something that Obi-Wan didn’t but the other didn’t press and remained silent as Bail continued with, “I’ll get in contact with some people, pull some strings if I have to, and I’ll call you when I’ve found a place. Now, any plans tonight?”
“My wife and I are going to a concert and then dinner afterwards. We’d both love it if you joined us.”
“This is your vacation. Just the two of you. You don’t honestly want me tagging along, do you?” asked Obi-Wan.
“It’s just for a night. Besides, she does want to meet you.”
“Why didn’t she come and share a pint with us then?”
“There was that lecture she wanted to attend. About Oscar Wilde I think.”
“That’s right. Well, where is this concert then?”
Obi-Wan listened to the information and allowed himself to get dragged to the concert and dinner. He immensely enjoyed his time. Bail’s wife, Breha, was extremely interesting and wonderful to talk to as well. Obi-Wan hadn’t realized this but she was a member of the royal family of Spain. That gave plenty to talk about and they spent a great deal of time together long after they’d finished their meal.
Later, Obi-Wan didn’t hear from Bail again until nearly a week had passed. Nevertheless, he’d gotten a lot of paperwork in order and officially denied the offer from Oxford.
When Bail called, the first words he said were, “What do you think of Pennsylvania?”
“Well I know that you ass. Villanova University is looking for a teacher with your qualifications. They have some candidates already but are particularly interested in you. I have an interview set up for you next Tuesday if you’d like.”
Obi-Wan snorted. “Somehow I feel that their particular interest in me is because of you.”
“I may be an alumnus from there.”
“And I may have already purchased your plane ticket for you.”
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. “Good lord anything else I should know about? Buy me a house while you’re at it?”
“Though I do have some suggestions for places if—”
“I think I’m old enough to figure it out for myself, thank you,” Obi-Wan interrupted.
“Alright, just making an offer.”
“Well, send me the information and everything to my email.”
“So that’s a yes to the interview?”
“A maybe,” replied Obi-Wan. “I’ll look it all up for myself in a bit.”
“Alright-oh! I do have some ideas for hotels. Don’t worry, I haven’t already booked you a place,” Bail said, the grin evident in his voice, “but giving you the suggestions certainly can’t hurt.”
“Fine, send that along with the rest of it.”
“Great. Just know that the school wants a definite answer to whether you’ll be making this interview in two days time.”
“I think I can come up with a decision within that time.”
“Good. I’ll talk to you later,” Bail replied and hung up.
Obi-Wan then spent the next few hours researching the Villanova community. It was close to the capital which Obi-Wan took note of. He couldn’t remember where Anakin and Padmé lived specifically, or if they’d even told him, but he knew they lived in Pennsylvania. He was fairly sure that was partially why Bail had zeroed out the school too, alumnus or not. But either way, that meant a proximity where a visit could be possible. He could see Padmé and Anakin soon. It brought a smile to his face as he started to focus on the university itself.
In the end, Obi-Wan said yes and soon was at the airport and on his way to America. Seeing as he didn’t actually have a place back in England anymore and he didn’t want to waste money in by putting his things in storage, all his belongings were going with him, not that there was much. The flight went straight to Philadelphia and when he got out, Bail Organa was there waiting for him.
As Bail grabbed one of Obi-Wan’s suitcases, he gave the man a critical look and said, “Are you alright? You’re as white as a sheet.”
“Not exactly a fan of flying and there was bumpy turbulence.”
“Ah, I apologize for that. Not that there’s anything I could have done. So, I’m assuming you have a reservation at a hotel?”
Obi-Wan told him which one and Bail helped Obi-Wan get everything into his car. As they drove off, Obi-Wan said, “You know, you didn’t have to drive all this way just for me.”
“Oh, I know. But it’s always nicer when you’re meeting someone at the airport rather than being left to swim on your own. Besides, you’ve never been here before. Wouldn’t want you to get to confused with our strange ways.”
Obi-Wan snorted. “Yes, you people are practically aliens to us.”
“I wouldn’t doubt it. Also, it has been a while since I’ve visited Villanova. You just gave me an excellent excuse to go. Oh, and we’re having dinner tonight,” Bail added.
“What? To celebrate an interview that may or may not go well?” laughed Obi-Wan. “I should be buying you the dinner since you’re the one who set all this up.”
“Oh, it’s not me. It’s Anakin and Padmé who’ve planned it all out.”
Obi-Wan froze and his mind went blank. When Bail realized that he wasn’t getting a response, he politely asked, “Have you fallen into a coma?”
The man slowly blinked.
“They were surprised you didn’t tell them when I mentioned it,” Bail added.
“That’s because I technically don’t even have the job yet,” Obi-Wan said slowly. He was staring off into the distance. “I’m going to see them. Both of them. I’m going to finally get to see them.”
Bail nodded, extremely amused. “Yes, and after two whole years.”
Obi-Wan was silent for a time before finally saying, “You should have told me after the interview. My mind has gone fucking blank.”
Bail howled with laughter.
“Hey! It’s not funny! I knew what to say, what not to say, what academics and extra activities I should include and now…now I’m…going to finally see them.”
Bail laughed again.
“You’ve ruined me.”
“Well, I can assure you it wasn’t my intention,” Bail grinned. “But you better be in the mood for breakfast after this. Apparently that’s what’s on the menu at their home. Anakin has talked about nothing except his improved pancake flips.”
Obi-Wan blushed and bit his bottom lip to hold in the laugh. He remembered that day well. He wondered what they looked like, how they’d grown. He wondered about their home and what friends they had made and the projects that both were working on in their respective fields. It wasn’t like he hadn’t thought of these things before, but now he was going to get answers, at least of the visual nature. He’d be able to see it all for himself. When he saw them, he knew he’d have to envelop both of them into a bone crushing hug. He was on edge but excited and nervous and trilled all at the same time.
Oh, it felt awfully wonderful.
After dropping everything off at the hotel, Bail drove Obi-Wan to the university. As Bail went off to revisit the grounds, Obi-Wan went to his interview. Despite the conflicting emotions and thoughts swirling in his head, in the end he succeeded in appearing calm and collected, though he didn’t know how. The interview was ended with just a quick curiosity on how he had met Bail and then he was free to go.
Bail greeted him at the car. “I hope you didn’t throw up.”
“I didn’t,” sighed Obi-Wan. “Are we going now?”
“Yes, I hope you’re hungry.”
“Well I am. It’s nearly nine in London right now, but certainly it’s to early for dinner here.”
“Nonsense. And if it is, it simply gives everyone time to catch up,” Bail replied. “Now stop stalling and get in.”
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes but did just that as he restrained the urge to bounce up and down in anticipation.
Chapter 7: To Meet Again
As always, please enjoy and I forgot to mention in the last chapter that for those curious and who like music, I made a playlist of the same name for this on 8tracks. Thanks again for everything :)
The ride from Villanova to the little community where Padmé and Anakin lived seemed to short and to long at the same time. Obi-Wan felt like he should have changed into something else besides his typical sweater vests and button down shirts. He felt like he should have done something more in the past months, something more exciting to tell them other than ‘I’ve graded papers’. He felt like he needed more time simply to calm his beating heart yet wanted the entire trip to be over in seconds just so he would see them sooner.
About forty minutes passed before they were finally pulling up to a two-story home. It was one of the smaller homes in the neighborhood yet undeniably beautiful and probably rather old seeing as the houses around it looked like they held some historical significance.
They parked on the side of the road and as Obi-Wan got out, he wondered how he’d be able to walk to the front door. Thankfully, he didn’t have to make the first steps. As Bail closed his door and walked around his car, the door to the house was thrown open and a figure launched across the front yard.
“Obi-Wan!” Anakin squeezed him hard and succeeded in lifting the older man off the ground in the tightest hug possible. He gave him a hard, sloppy kiss on the cheek and then pulled back. “I can’t believe I’m finally getting to see you again! Trimmed you’re hair a bit too. I like it!” Anakin pushed a few strands of Obi-Wan’s hair to the side. “Better.”
“And I see you’ve grown yours out a bit,” Obi-Wan replied. He had the urge to brush back Anakin’s hair too but he held it in. Instead, he hugged Anakin back, getting his turn to do the bone crushing hug. “It’s good to see you too. Where’s Padmé?”
“Making sure I haven’t poisoned all the food,” grinned Anakin. He finally took a step back and broke all contact with Obi-Wan to focus on Bail. “Good to see you Mr. Organa.”
“Same to you Anakin. And please, just Bail.”
“Got it!” Anakin replied. Despite the more mature look of him, he had retained his boyish nature. “Well, come on!”
Anakin led them to the house and they walked into the main hall. On first inspection, it was very nice and well kept, but didn’t look as lived in as Obi-Wan had expected. Then again, Padmé was always talking about her meetings and press conferences and duties as an intern while Anakin could go on and on about another robotics project that he was working on. Obi-Wan supposed that quality time was few and far between.
As Anakin did a quick overview of where all the rooms were, Obi-Wan got a quick glance at the sitting room. A table stood out to him. It was old and looked like a family heirloom and had numerous photos on it. He made a mental note to look at it later but was dragged through the dining room and into the kitchen before he could take in any other details.
It looked like they were still in the middle of the cooking process as ingredients and utensils remained everywhere. Obi-Wan broke out into a smile again at seeing Padmé there. Unlike everyone else who were wearing casual clothes, Padmé was in a business skirt and blue blouse. Her messy bun and lack of shoes suggested that she had gotten home recently.
“Obi-Wan, you’re really here.” Unlike Anakin’s assault, Padmé walked in a calm, steady stride and brought Obi-Wan into a warm hug that she held for several seconds. When she pulled back, she gave a teasing pout and said, “Shame on you for not telling us you were coming.”
“Like I told Bail, I didn’t think that it—”
“Hey! No excuses,” grinned Anakin. “You’re not allowed to skip out on us. Ever.”
Obi-Wan sighed. “Fine. Doesn’t matter how insignificant it all is. I’ll tell you if I’m ever near.”
“That’s better,” Anakin replied.
Padmé had gone to Bail, giving him a warm hug and welcoming him as well before turning to the group. “I hope it’s not rude, but I just got home and I really need to change into something more comfortable.”
“Not a problem,” Bail said and Obi-Wan replied, “Go ahead.”
“Alright, I’ll be back in a second.”
As she hurried off, Anakin moved behind the counter and gestured at the mess. “Want to help?” he asked with a grin.
Obi-Wan smiled. “Sure, just tell me where something stops and another thing begins.”
By the time Padmé had come back with casual cloths and her hair down, Anakin had directed Obi-Wan and Bail to different stations and recipes. Padmé joined in and now with eight hands at work, it wasn’t long before the food was done or finishing up its last few minutes in the ovens as the mess was quickly cleared. Before it had all finished, Anakin had succeeded in doing a pancake flip much more impressive than the first one Obi-Wan had seen. He’d congratulated the boy on a job well done.
“Drinks?” Padmé then asked.
She and Anakin got a few questions in about how the interview went and if Obi-Wan would take the job if offered before the final timers went off. After setting up plates, they moved to the dining room where they sat down and the conversations became more in depth.
“How’s your step-brother doing? He got married, right?” asked Obi-Wan.
“Yep, to his girlfriend Beru,” Anakin replied.
Padmé asked, “How’s Oxford? Anything interesting going on?”
“Not at all. Very dull since you two left.”
“How are things with the governor?” questioned Bail.
“Well,” said Padmé, “alright but could be better…”
They went back and forth as Obi-Wan learned more about Padmé’s work and how Anakin was helping on a project researching artificial intelligence. He knew that Padmé’s father had taken Anakin flying and that he was thinking of taking lessons. Obi-Wan had adamantly said he would skip out on Anakin’s first run.
Obi-Wan even managed a few stories of amusing or annoying students when coaxed enough.
He also found out that Padmé would be going to DC in a few weeks to help with her biggest assignment yet and that it was likely she’d be finishing school early. He heard stories filled with laughter and others filled with annoyance. Obi-Wan couldn’t believe the one about how Padmé was tempted to throw another intern out a five story window.
“Aggressive negotiations had to be made,” she had replied to much laughter.
Not long after they had finished eating, Bail said, “I need to be heading out now. Do you need a ride Obi-Wan or…”
“We can get you taxi or drive you ourselves,” Padmé quickly put in. “If you don’t mind staying a bit longer of course.”
“Oh um…not at all. I’ll see you later Bail?” Obi-Wan said.
“Certainly. Good night,” said Bail and was gone.
“Alright,” said Anakin, “enough of chairs. Let’s get comfortable.”
Obi-Wan looked over confused as Anakin ran off.
Padmé laughed. “Come on. Let’s go to the living room.”
Obi-Wan grabbed the dishes with Padmé and put them into the dish washer. It took less than a minute yet by the time they both made it into the living room, the place had quickly changed since the last time Obi-Wan had passed it.
“Anakin, what are you doing?” chuckled Obi-Wan.
“Pillow fort. Now.”
Padmé let out a groan but it was obvious she was still amused. “You are twenty-one Anakin.”
“And yet you’re never to old for a pillow fort. Now come and help me with the roof.”
Obi-Wan hesitated but seeing as Padmé was going along with it, he finally pushed off his shoes and joined in. If anyone had ever said this would happen to him years earlier, Obi-Wan would have laughed at the ridiculous nature of it all. As it stood, he was laughing but more from joy than anything, though there was plenty of absurdity to be found as well.
“Alright,” laughed Obi-Wan, “we have the pillow fort. Now what?”
The three of them were all squished together with blankets around and over their heads and pillows everywhere. Padmé and Obi-Wan sat next to each other as Anakin remained splayed out in front of them, a goofy grin on his face. “No idea,” Anakin grinned. “I just really wanted to make a pillow fort.”
“Your emotions just run you, don’t they?” Obi-Wan replied.
“You bet. So, if you do get the job, will you actually take it?” asked Anakin.
Obi-Wan noted the hopefulness in his voice. “It’s either that or try and scramble for some part time job. Nothing will probably be available once semesters start.”
“There are other things besides teaching,” Padmé added.
“Oh, certainly but teaching is just…it’s what I love.”
“Then I hope you get the job,” Padmé replied. “You’re staying in a hotel right?”
“You should stay here,” grinned Anakin.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Padmé said.
From the way they were acting, Obi-Wan felt like they had thought about this idea for a while, perhaps before they even knew about him coming. “I couldn’t impose on you guys.”
“You wouldn’t be,” Anakin quickly said. “After Bail told us you were coming—” He gave Obi-Wan a playful kick. “—we both talked about it. There’s no point in wasting money when there’s a perfectly good house right here. And then it would be easier for us to help get you acclimated.”
“But if I do get the job, the university is a fair ways away.”
“Anakin’s work is back that ways. It would work out perfectly,” replied Padmé.
“You guys are serious,” Obi-Wan said incredulously.
Anakin smirked. “Why wouldn’t we be?”
“Obi-Wan,” Padmé said, her face turning serious, “if you honestly don’t want to, then just say it. Neither of us will hold it against you. But the offer is and will be open.”
They both waited, their faces accepting but still eager and hopeful for a specific answer. Obi-Wan wanted to say yes immediately but he felt like it was a bad idea if he did. He’d thought about both of them for so long and after this short time, it had already felt completely natural becoming a part of them again. But now they were offering him a room? It was insane. And what about the conflicting emotions inside him? That idea that he couldn’t quite reach? He doubted he could figure it out this close to both of them. As amazing as it was seeing them, having dinner again, catching up, making the stupid pillow fort, he shouldn’t just throw himself into their lives no matter how natural it felt or even if they were the ones offering. No, he should just stay at the hotel.
“Sure, why not?”
Anakin cheered and threw a fist in the air as Padmé hugged Obi-Wan tightly. “Oh this is wonderful! Obviously, you’re welcome to stay as long as you want but if you do get the job, we can both help you look for an apartment or home too.”
“And I’ll help you get your stuff,” Anakin piped up. “We can go now!”
“I’ll get the bedroom ready then,” Padmé replied. “That alright with you?”
Obi-Wan nodded and then burst into laughter as Anakin jumped up and brought down most of the fort.
“All that time wasted,” Obi-Wan sighed.
“Not at all. I’ll just rebuild it when we get back. Come on.” He grabbed Obi-Wan’s hand and nearly succeeded in dragging him all the way to the car before Obi-Wan convinced him that he should go back and grab his shoes first.
Once in Anakin’s car, the boy got the address and they were quickly off back to the hotel. The first thing Obi-Wan said while in the car was, “If your flying is anything like driving then remind me to never get in a plane with you.”
“What are you talking about? I’m a great driver.”
Obi-Wan just let out a groan.
Anakin just smirked and said, “Anyways, how much are we going to be grabbing? You said you brought everything with you, right?”
“Uh, just two suitcases and my book bag.”
“Are you serious?” asked Anakin.
“You brought your entire life in just two suitcases and a book bag?”
“You’ve got to have more.”
“Well, what did you bring with you when you came here?” asked Obi-Wan.
“I…just a bag really but that’s beside the point! I grew up in the Middle East. You grew up in Scotland! You worked at Oxford. You have to have more things.”
“Nope. And if you remember correctly, I grew up in an orphanage. For a long time I didn’t have many belongings at all.”
“Fine, you get a pass then. But I swear if all your outfits consist of sweater vests then, we’re going shopping.”
“Don’t worry. I also own one sweater.”
“Oh, so I didn’t realize that you were didn’t integrated into engineering,” Obi-Wan put in. “At least not during your Oxford time.”
“Well, I really became more involved when I got back home. It’s always been a natural gift of mine, fixing things, but I got an actual job and basically…ended up here.” A grin came across Anakin’s face. “I could probably go way more in detail but you look pretty tired what with the time change and flying that long and everything. But would you like to come to the labs at some time? I’m sure I could get you in.”
“Yeah, why not? I got to be part of what you do. I got to be your student. Now I want to show you what I do,” Anakin replied.
“That sounds like it would be fun. Thank you.”
“No problem. Oh, looks like we’re here.”
Anakin and Obi-Wan went up to the room and grabbed all of his things before going down and cancelled the reservation. Then they were driving back to the house. Once there, Padmé came out and grabbed one of the suitcases and then showed Obi-Wan to his room.
“I put some fresh sheets on the bed. There’s a bathroom across the hall and your closet is right here.”
“Thank you,” Obi-Wan said again. “I mean you…neither of you have to do this.”
“But we wanted to,” smiled Padmé.
“Yep,” Anakin agreed. “And now we can go remake the pillow fort!”
“You two can if you like,” laughed Padmé, “but I have work early tomorrow and whether you two realize it or not, it’s getting fairly late. Goodnight.”
She kissed Obi-Wan’s cheek and gave him another hug before kissing Anakin good night and heading out.
Anakin gave Obi-Wan a cheeky smile. “Pillow fort?”
“I’ll have to agree with Padmé. It is fairly late.”
“Oh, neither of you are any fun,” snorted Anakin.
“I will help you pick everything up though.”
“I insist. After everything you’ve done for me it’s the least I can do.”
“Well, if you insist…”
Anakin and Obi-Wan went back into the living room and began reorganizing it. As they did so, Obi-Wan got his chance to look at the old table full of photos.
“The table was Padmé’s father. Told her it’s suppose to hold the best of memories,” Anakin piped up when he noted Obi-Wan’s interest.
“There’s so many.”
“Yeah, a lot of the photos are Padmé’s. Some are really old, people she never even met. Here’s one of her mother though. You can see where she got her looks from.”
“Oh certainly.” Obi-Wan zeroed in on a specific photo. “Is this you?”
“Please don’t look at it. I’ve been begging Padmé to throw it in some dark corner.”
“Why? I think you look cute,” grinned Obi-Wan.
“Cute? Look at that haircut! I look awful,” Anakin cried though he was smiling all the same. “That’s my mother right next to me.”
“She’s very…” Obi-Wan paused, looking for the right word.
“Worn? Don’t worry, it fits her. She went through a lot. Toughened her up on the outside but she was still the kindest person on the inside.”
“You don’t have a picture of your father.”
“Nope, never even knew his name. Here’s a picture of my step-father and step-brother though. And there’s Beru too.”
Those were the only photos that specifically belonged to Anakin’s. There were two others though that had both Anakin and Padmé in them.
“When were these taken?” asked Obi-Wan curiously.
“Let’s see…that was at the airport, when I first came to America. And this one was is both of us at a theme park, the first I’d ever been to.”
“You both look happy.”
“Part of the best times of my life are in this table,” Anakin replied. “Speaking of which, I need a picture of you now.”
“Yep, you belong on this table as much as me. Course, I’m not going to take just now. No, it needs to be a special moment. But I’ll get a picture of you eventually.”
“I’ll have to stay on guard then.”
“What? Camera shy?” laughed Anakin.
“Perhaps a little.”
“Even better. It will make it a challenge for me. Thanks for helping clean up the living room though. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
“Night,” Obi-Wan replied. He followed Anakin out of the living room and then headed to the guest bedroom as Anakin went upstairs.
Now that he was finally alone, Obi-Wan had time to reflect on all that had happened. It began to truly sink in that he was in Anakin’s and Padmé’s home. He was actually staying with them, living with them for the foreseeable future. It made him happy but also made him hesitant. This close, day in and day out, Obi-Wan felt that he might make the wrong move, that if he wasn’t careful he could slip up. Like with the urge to push Anakin’s hair out of his face. It was something stupid and simple that most people wouldn’t have thought twice about. But for Obi-Wan, all he could do was think of that, or how he hadn’t been able to keep his eyes off Padmé’s lips when she smiled.
Obi-Wan shouldn’t have said yes, he knew that, yet he had to admit he slept better that night than he had in a while.
Chapter 8: Unpacking
Hey guys, important update. Because tomorrow is Valentine's Day, I've decided I'm breaking the updating once every two days thing and I'm updating three days in a row, today, tomorrow, and the day after. I'll be going back to the once every two days plan afterwards but I decided to have a little gift this Valentine's Day. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up and thanks as always for reading, commenting, and kudoing. Enjoy :)
Obi-Wan woke up more exhausted than he expected despite his peaceful, dreamless sleep. His inner clock was completely messed up and the only reason he knew it was daytime was because of the light coming in through the curtains. He rubbed at his eyes and eventually dragged himself out of bed. He grabbed something presentable to wear and headed out in search of someone.
No one was in the kitchen or in the living room so he decided to check one last room on the bottom floor before heading upstairs. He was fairly sure Anakin had said it was a work space after his quick overview of the house but he couldn’t remember for sure. He knocked and heard a muffled, “Come in.”
Opening the door, Obi-Wan was met with organized chaos. Drawings, some more technical than others, hung all over the walls along with pictures of mechanical joints and pieces. There was a small stack of books in one corner that all had something to do with engineering, a computer, and pieces of robotic equipment scattered about along with tools here and there. There was a roll of blueprints in one corner and a single light in the center of the ceiling too.
Anakin was lying on the floor, sketching something on a sheet of paper. He pushed himself up and dusted himself off, giving Obi-Wan a smile. “Welcome to my little workshop at home.”
“You sure? Padmé calls it the playroom,” Anakin chuckles. “She’s at work by the way. Left early this morning.”
“What time is it?”
“Only ten in the morning but don’t worry, I know how weird it can be adjusting to such a drastic difference in time. It took me ages to wake up at eight in the morning rather than four in the afternoon,” Anakin chuckled. “So, any plans today?”
“Not really. I just have to wait to see if I get the job. Should probably get confirmation in a few days,” Obi-Wan replied. “When do you go to work?”
“Took the day off,” Anakin said. “And don’t fuss. I did it because I wanted to. That and I had no idea when you’d wake up and didn’t want you alone your first morning here.”
“Well thank you for that.”
“No problem. Here, let me give you the full tour of the house. You’ve seen all of the downstairs, right? I’ll show you the garage and then the upstairs.”
Anakin took Obi-Wan too the garage. Neither Anakin’s or Padmé’s cars sat in it. Besides the small laundry area, the space was filled with tools, some fairly normal and common in households and others clearly meant for special use.
“An extension of your workspace?” asked Obi-Wan.
“Yep, if something ever breaks I can probably fix it though if you want to fix it yourself, feel free to scavenge about here. Now for the upstairs.”
Upstairs, Obi-Wan saw the extra bathroom, a hall closet that held mostly restroom necessities that he was free to grab if needed, the master bedroom, Padmé’s workspace that looked like a little library, and another guest bedroom.
“We tried to think of something else to turn this into but nothing really came to mind. Anyways, that’s the house. You hungry?” asked Anakin.
“I’m fine at the moment.”
“Well feel free to go through the fridge and cabinets. Take whatever you want. Do you need help unpacking at all?”
“Like, I know you don’t have much but I figured I’d ask.”
“I wasn’t…well I didn’t want to seem—”
“Obi-Wan, we’re not gonna just shove you onto the streets the moment you get the job or we decide we’re done with you,” laughed Anakin. “You can get comfortable here. The whole point of this was so it doesn’t feel like you’re stuck in a hotel.”
“I suppose but I didn’t—”
“Doesn’t matter, I forgive you,” teased Anakin. “Come on, I’ll help you unpack.”
“You don’t have to.”
“And I know that. Now come on!” Anakin excitedly dragged Obi-Wan back down the stairs and to the his guest bedroom. When Anakin opened the door, he let out a sorrowful sigh. “Really? It looks like you’re living in barracks or something. You don’t have to make your bed and repack your suitcase every night.”
“Sorry,” mumbled Obi-Wan.
“No need for that,” laughed Anakin. “Now, let’s see. There aren’t any hangers in the closet. I’ll go grab some and you start throwing your stuff out of those suitcases.”
Obi-Wan hesitated but finally unzipped one of the suitcases. Anakin was quickly back, throwing hangars all over the bed.
“Okay, we got the cloths but where are the valuables? You can’t have just packed cloths. That would be to sad.”
Obi-Wan snorted. “Other suitcase.”
“Got it! We’ll spruce this room up just right.”
As Obi-Wan hung up most of his cloths and folded the rest in the dresser, Anakin had set about organizing what had largely occupied the space in the second suitcase, books. He set them up alphabetically by title, then by author, decided to change it to publication date, and finally settled on color so the hue changed as your eyes went down the row of books.
Anakin brought out three trophies and his eyes widened in amazement. “Shit! I know you were amazing with fencing but it’s so different actually seeing the trophies. Damn these are impressive.”
Obi-Wan just chuckled. “I suppose.”
“Ah, stop being so humble all the time. Celebrate a little.”
“At a victory that happened years ago?”
“Point taken,” laughed Anakin as he set them up on the shelf beneath the books. “But you didn’t talk about fencing last night. Did you ever join the club?”
“Once you left I simply stopped again.”
“Well that’s a shame. I haven’t done it since I left Oxford but I’ve wanted to.”
“Why haven’t you?”
“Nobody to go with,” replied Anakin with a shrug. “And I’m not going to school anymore so it’s not as easy joining something like that. I don’t think your college has a fencing club either but I know there’s some pretty serious ones in the heart of Philadelphia. We should look them up some time.”
“I…actually that might be a good idea.” This time, Obi-Wan didn’t allow himself to hesitate and over think it. In truth, he’d missed fencing but had lacked the ability to actually pursue it again. With Anakin though, he could see himself taking it up again and enjoying it. “Yeah, I’d definitely join you in that endeavor.”
“Really?! Awesome!” Anakin cried happily. “Alright, now to put up a few more things…”
The next thing to come out were several photos that Anakin placed amongst the trophies. “What are all of these?”
“That’s me on the last day at the orphanage. They do it for all the kids, a little memento or something,” Obi-Wan replied.
“You keep in touch with any of them?”
“Not really. This picture was taken at my first fencing tournament, right before I scored the winning point.”
“Cool,” murmured Anakin. “This your college graduation I’m guessing.”
“And what about this one?” The last one Anakin was pointing to was a poorly taken, blurry and unfocused picture like someone had pushed it away mid snap. Despite the poor quality though, it was still clear enough to make out an older man with one arm wrapped around a much younger one and presumably the holder of the camera. He was in the middle of laughing while the younger man had one hand partially up covering the camera and blocking his face. The joy was still clear in his eyes and the shape of his smile though. Looking to the older man, Anakin glanced at Obi-Wan and said, “That’s him right? The one you lost?”
“Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan said softly.
“You both look happy.”
“It was our vacation, the only one we took together actually,” Obi-Wan replied, only just then realizing that. “We were at the sea side and I’d been taking some pictures of the scenery when he stole the camera and tried to force me into a picture.” Obi-Wan laughed at the memory, remembering the way he’d pushed at the camera and Qui-Gon and then tripped him up so that they tumbled to the ground in a heap of laughter. “Probably one of my happiest memories.”
“We could put it on the table out there.”
Obi-Wan looked over surprised.
“If it’s to personal, I get it. But for now you’re living with us and you have as much right to put it there as either of us.”
“I’ll…think about it.”
“Okay, you can put it out there if you ever decide to,” Anakin said with a kind smile. “Now, not much else in here.” He brought out an odd trinket.
“From that vacation,” Obi-Wan said.
“Neat.” Anakin put it next to the blurred picture. He then pulled out a framed piece of art that had fit neatly at the bottom of the suitcase. “And who painted this?”
“Qui-Gon. It was a birthday present.”
“It’s beautiful wherever it is.”
Obi-Wan snorted. “Actually, it’s of the place where we were living, sort of. I always complained about the view from our bedroom window. In response he did that, basically remade the view. Part of me thinks it was just so I’d stop complaining.”
Anakin laughed at that, this time less boisterous and kinder and softer instead. “We can hang it up in here if you’d like. I’ve got some nails and stuff in the garage.”
“That would be…sure. Thank you.”
“Cool, I’ll be right back.”
Obi-Wan looked over the painting as he waited for Anakin to come back. In reality, the view had been rather dull and lifeless. Qui-Gon had taken that and turned it into vibrant colors, flowing plants and trees, a perfect sky, and buildings that looked like glass rather than the old brick and concrete they’d been made of. He had made that ugly street look like paradise, and it had been that, even if only for a little while.
Anakin was soon back with the tools in hand. “Alright, it’s obviously your choice but I think we should hang it here-hold on a second.”
He quickly set everything down and fished out his phone. Looking at the text he held out a finger. “Sorry, have to go take my pills. Will be right back.”
Obi-Wan frowned, wondering what that meant as Anakin quickly ran off. Obi-Wan tried to remain unaffected but he couldn’t help but worry a little about why Anakin would be taking pills and apparently that showed on his face when Anakin came back.
“I’m not dying you know,” Anakin said with a laugh.
“Sorry. The mind jumps to places, you know?”
“No problem.” Anakin paused and let a smirk appear on his face. “You want to know.”
“It’s your own business—”
“Naw, I don’t mind telling you,” Anakin replied as he hopped onto the bed. “And it’s better to tell you rather than letting your mind go wild. Padmé made me see a doctor about a year ago. I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have pills that I have to take now. I’m forgetful as hell about that so Padmé always texts me when I’m supposed to take them just in case.”
“Oh,” Obi-Wan said, his shoulders visibly relaxing. “No dying?”
“No dying,” agreed Anakin with a laugh. “Ok, so where do you want this painting now?”
After the painting was put up, they had lunch together and then Anakin showed Obi-Wan what he was doing in his workspace. Obi-Wan let Anakin ramble about pieces and parts and all sorts of interesting ideas that he’d drawn out. Some were completely impractical with today’s technology but that didn’t seem to deter him.
When Padmé got home late that night, they all had dinner and listened to how her day had gone. Because of the hour, they only talked a little afterwards and went on to bed. Obi-Wan slept soundly, feeling like he had an actual home after all this time.
The next few days were odd. After that, Anakin ran off to work meaning Obi-Wan was alone for hours at a time. He didn’t mind it but it would clearly take some time before he got use to being alone in the home. Besides reading and reviewing the classes he’d be taking control of, he also spoke with Bail some. The man had gone back home on business but promised he would come down again soon.
Five days passed until Obi-Wan was called back and told that the job was his if he’d like it. He accepted it and told Anakin after the boy had come home early.
“That’s great!” Anakin cried and hugged Obi-Wan hard. “We gotta celebrate!”
“Do you really think that’s necessary?” asked Obi-Wan.
“Definitely! Come on, we can go to the store and get stuff for celebration food.”
“And what exactly is celebration food?”
Anakin grinned. “No idea. Let’s find out.”
Getting coats and shoes on and grabbing keys, Anakin dragged Obi-Wan to the nearest grocery store. As they walked down the aisles, Obi-Wan pushed the cart and Anakin danced around him, seemingly grabbing items off the shelves at random.
“Anakin, I don’t think we need that many bags of chips,” sighed Obi-Wan.
“You’re right. We should get the dill and barbecue ones too.”
“That’s not what I meant,” groaned Obi-Wan, though he was smiling all the same. It was impossible to follow Anakin’s logic as he went from snack food to buying flour and salt to grabbing an overpriced pineapple.
“I feel like we’re saving up for the apocalypse,” sighed Obi-Wan. “Or starting our own shop with as much variety as possible.”
“Maybe we are,” Anakin replied. “Hmm, I think we’re ready. Time to go.”
Obi-Wan shook his head and followed Anakin to the register where they briefly fought over who should pay. Anakin quickly solved it by shoving Obi-Wan back so he could quickly swipe his card before the other could stop him.
It took some time putting everything in the car and equally as long dragging everything into the kitchen when they got back. Before Obi-Wan could start putting items away though, Anakin had quickly grabbed him and started pushing him out. “Alright, you’re not allowed to come in until I say so.”
“What? Why not?”
“It’s a surprise,” smirked Anakin. “Now out and no peeking!”
“What are you? Five?” Obi-Wan laughed.
“Just out,” Anakin replied and shoved Obi-Wan away.
Though it was tempting to stick his head back in, Obi-Wan respected whatever Anakin was doing and went to his room to read. After a while, he got a text from Padmé saying that she’d be home soon. With that in mind, Obi-Wan inched out of his room and yelled, “Is it alright to come in yet?!”
“Not yet!” Anakin yelled back.
“Alright, just letting you know Padmé is on her way home!”
“Thanks! Now stay in your room!”
Obi-Wan snorted and did just that. About fifteen minutes passed before a knock came on his door. He opened it to see Padmé there.
“Oh, didn’t realize you were home.”
“Just got back. Anakin says you can come to the kitchen now.”
“Should I be afraid?”
“Horrified,” she said with a smile. “Oh, and congrats on the job.” Padmé kissed is cheek. “I knew you’d get it.”
“Thanks,” Obi-Wan murmured. His cheeks tinged with a blush. He followed Padmé into the kitchen and was shocked at what he saw. “What is that?”
Flour seemed to cover Anakin from head to toe and the apron he wore had done little in keeping his clothes clean. Some of his hair was even stuck together with what looked like batter. In front of him was a cake, completely finished and iced.
“What do you think?” Anakin asked proudly.
“You-it’s-why?” Obi-Wan finally got out.
“It’s for you getting a job,” Anakin replied. “And don’t you dare say I shouldn’t have done it.”
“I was going to say thank you,” Obi-Wan said. The smile on his face was soft and kind. “Really, thank you.”
“No problem,” said Anakin. “I’m just happy it means you’re stuck in Pennsylvania. At least for this semester.”
Obi-Wan laughed at that. “If all goes well, hopefully I’ll stay longer than that.”
Padmé and Anakin both smiled at that. Anakin said, “Good. We’d hate for you to just up and leave. So, first we’re having desert and then afterwards we’re bringing out all the other food in celebration.”
“Everything else?” chuckled Padmé. “What did you get?”
Obi-Wan leaned over. “You don’t want to know.”
She laughed. “Oh Ani, you went overboard again, didn’t you?”
“Completely,” replied Anakin. “So, how big of a piece do you want?”
They spent the next few hours eating and drinking and eventually, Padmé got an idea. For once, she didn’t have to run off to work early and Anakin had the next day off so they could allow themselves to stay up later than usual and Padmé dragged her boys to the living room and set up a movie. Obi-Wan went to sit on a separate chair but was pulled towards the couch by both Anakin and Padmé.
When Obi-Wan looked at them curiously, they just smiled and pulled him closer. They were all curled up on the couch. Anakin had one arm pulling Obi-Wan in close and Padmé was lying across them, keeping both stuck to the couch not that either minded. A small part of Obi-Wan wondered if he should have been more forceful about sitting by himself, that maybe he shouldn’t be sitting there curled up with them. But the warmth and happiness he felt in that moment was enough for whatever backlash could happen.
Chapter 9: He's Always Known
Thanks as always, Happy Valentine's Day, and enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The semester at Villanova University started up. And a routine was quickly put in place. Padmé would leave for work and then Anakin would drop Obi-Wan off at the university on his way to the lab. During the odd times when Anakin stayed extremely late, Padmé often came to pick up Obi-Wan or he simply grabbed a cab.
At the university, Obi-Wan allowed himself to be more ingrained with the community. He let himself truly connect with his fellow faculty members and make friends amongst them. The oddest friend by far was Mace Windu. Everyone seemed absolutely terrified of him. He certainly had a no nonsense attitude but his perfect poker face only amused Obi-Wan and made him want to crack it all the more.
Eventually, Anakin was able to get permission to show Obi-Wan his workspace as well. Going there was like entering a small little bubble of Anakin’s life that was special just for him. Obi-Wan imagined that Padmé felt the same way about her work and hopefully, one day Obi-Wan would think the same way about his.
He got to see the main laboratory and some of the projects Anakin was working on. He met Ahsoka Tano, a student who was interning there and under Anakin’s supervision.
“Yeah,” Anakin had said, “I hated her at first but Snips grew on me eventually.”
Ahsoka had punched him after that and Obi-Wan couldn’t help but see the very sibling like bond that they shared. He also met three identical triplets known as the Clones who all looked much older than they actual were. Out of them, Rex, the one who argued he was the oldest, seemed to be closest to Asohka and therefore Anakin who said jokingly, “I only bother to remember his name. After that, the others are just Rex2 and Rex3 by extension.”
Padmé also left for a week for work in DC. That had left Obi-Wan in charge of cleaning, because Anakin sure as hell didn’t know how to do that, and reminding Anakin to take his pills.
The week without Padmé gave Obi-Wan some opportune alone time to think though as one night Anakin decided to work late, leaving Obi-Wan the house.
He couldn’t help but feel confused at times. Did he love his place in their household? More than anything. They caused him to smile in ways that his mouth hadn’t moved in a long time, and sometimes they made him smile in completely new ways. But the way that sometimes Padmé or Anakin would look at him, or the way that he wanted to look at either of them didn’t seem…right. It didn’t feel wrong, but that in itself seemed like it should be wrong. When Padmé would kiss him on his cheek or he could feel Anakin’s body pressed up against him for seemingly no obvious reason but to be near him…Obi-Wan just didn’t know. He didn’t understand.
And he only felt more confused when he was privy to a passionate moment between the two.
Because he didn’t feel jealousy, at least not in the way that he might expect.
Then rather quickly, an occurrence happened that just muddled up Obi-Wan’s head even more.
Padmé had spent some time creating a list of possible apartments or houses for rent. One day, while she was off and Obi-Wan didn’t have classes, she dragged him to look at some of them. They started at the worst choices and headed up the list. It was fairly easy for Obi-Wan to pick out things that just wouldn’t work for the first few, allowing them to quickly move to the next place. However, when they arrived at the first listing that seemed like a good fit, Padmé linked her arm around Obi-Wan’s and said, “Hmm, no I don’t think this will do.”
Obi-Wan was tempted to say, “But you chose all these places?” yet he kept his mouth shut and listened as Padmé pointed out the problems, which in reality weren’t actual problems. Even the last place they looked at on that first trip which was practically perfect, Padmé saw some insignificant detail and said it wasn’t suitable.
It made Obi-Wan feel that Padmé didn’t want him to leave and Anakin certainly wasn’t pushing them to hurry in making a decision. Obi-Wan didn’t want to confront either on this and didn’t want to make it seem that he wanted to go, because he didn’t, but it didn’t make sense why they would want him to stay. It was their home. They were a couple. And they just had him, the third wheel hanging off.
But he didn’t feel like a third wheel which was part of the confusion.
At times, Obi-Wan had to admit it seemed like he was dating Padmé and/or Anakin depending on the situation. He often wondered if they realized it too. They had to have.
This fact was made even worse through two events.
The first was when he and Anakin went off in search of a proper fencing club. Once they found a place they liked and got to know the people involved with it, they came to find out that Ashoka’s step-father worked there and Ashoka was involved in it too. That led to plenty of moments of sparring and training between the three of them.
Obi-Wan enjoyed watching Anakin play the teacher. It didn’t come naturally to him and Obi-Wan doubted he could have taught a class, but he fit with Ashoka in a way that allowed him to get his ideas and purpose across to her. That part was fine but it was a moment when it was Obi-Wan and Ashoka standing on the side, watching Anakin spar with another member of the club, when things got more puzzling.
“You’re a lucky guy to have my teacher,” Ashoka said.
Obi-Wan jumped. “What?!”
“The way he looks at you,” she replied. “Please tell me you’ve noticed.”
“I-uh you must be-well it’s just- he looks up to me. That’s all,” Obi-Wan finally got out.
“What? I’m not a kid.”
Obi-Wan gave her a pointed look.
“I’m a teenager alright? Anyways, the looks he gives you are not ones of looking up to you or whatever.”
“And how would you know that?” countered Obi-Wan, his face red.
“Because it’s the same way he looks at his girlfriend,” she replied.
Obi-Wan didn’t know what to say about that and before he could muster up any words, a cheer went up around the room and Obi-Wan’s head snapped forward to see Anakin having scored the winning point. When he took off his helmet and turned to look at Obi-Wan, the corners of his eyes crinkling from the large grin on his face and this time, Obi-Wan had to look away.
The second event that brought up similar ideas and puzzlement was when Bail came back down and took Obi-Wan out to a bar, much like when they’d been back in London. The conversation had started out fairly normal, just asking about how things were going with each other and what work was like. That brought them into politics where they both happily argued back and forth for a time.
However, they eventually died down in their near yelling at each other and to help clear the air, Bail asked, “Have you found a place to live yet? Padmé told me she’s been helping you with it.”
“What? You don’t like her choices?” asked Bail with a smirk.
“What? No it’s…some of her options are great but…she doesn’t seem to think they’re right,” Obi-Wan replied. “That’s a bit odd, right? I mean, she is the one who’s looked all these places up.”
Bail shrugged. “I don’t know. I’d trust her opinion. It’s a very valuable one.”
“But don’t you think that’s…strange at all?” asked Obi-Wan, hoping for some concrete answer.
Bail shrugged and gave an indifferent look. However, it was that look that made Obi-Wan know something was up. It was the look Bail would put on in front of an audience when he didn’t want them to catch onto something.
“So it is odd,” Obi-Wan supplied. “Why would she do that?”
“Why are you asking me and not her?”
“Because…well I just don’t want to seem rude or…oh never mind,” sighed Obi-Wan. He knew he wasn’t going to get anywhere with the man, at least not now, so he waved his hand at Bail instead. “Change the subject or something, please.”
So Obi-Wan sat with the memories and comments and questions swirling in his mind, seemingly arguing both sides of every argument that his brain came up with. Some nights seemed longer than others as he tried to answer it and failed to come to a conclusion, or at least one he could believe. When he was with Padmé and Anakin, he often slid any oddities or questions to the back of his mind to examine later so he could properly enjoy his time with them, an instinctive action.
Yet in the times that he wasn’t with either, the questions just kept piling up with nowhere to go. Obi-Wan thought he was handling it well but apparently not when a teacher at the university approached him one day.
He jumped and turned. “Oh, Mace Windu, what can I do for you?” The man had a name that demanded it be said fully. For whatever reason, it sounded wrong saying the first or last name alone and everyone, even the students, called him by his full name without any title attached.
“Something bothering you Kenobi?” Mace Windu asked with a quizzical eye. If he didn’t have the perfect poker face on then he was likely looking at someone curiously which either made you feel like an ant or like you’d done something wrong.
“I’m fine,” Obi-Wan said slowly. “Yourself?” Mace Windu wasn’t much one for small talk. There was something that he was trying to get at.
“Fine, but not as preoccupied as you’ve been.”
“Do you have any family?” asked Mace Windu.
“Well no. I’m an orphan but—”
“Then it’s not a family matter. What friend is causing you this issue?”
“I don’t have an issue,” snorted Obi-Wan.
“You’re not stuck in your head for mere pleasantries,” Mace Windu responded. “I suggest that you solve it before it affects your job.”
“There isn’t an issue,” Obi-Wan repeated.
“So you say but I’ve seen it building up in you for some time now. Primarily because your attempts to make me laugh have considerably lessened over the passing weeks.”
“Well it’s-there’s a lot of papers to be grading right now.”
“No there isn’t,” Mace Windu easily replied. “You don’t have to talk to me about it but trust me, you’ll begin to overflow eventually.”
He walked off before Obi-Wan could respond to that and once he was alone, he allowed himself an exhausted sigh. Perhaps he would overflow and it would all become to much. Maybe he’d prove himself right and that moving in with them had been a bad move from the very start. But he didn’t want to bring it up. He didn’t want to make either of them angry or freak them out or confuse them on the matter.
Because by this point, Obi-Wan was no longer searching for the answer. He’d known it all along, from the moment Anakin interrupted him in that lecture hall and from when Padmé walked into that classroom. The feelings had always been there, even when he’d tried to stop making connections and shut himself off from society.
Now, Obi-Wan had to figure out what the hell he was going to do and how the hell he was going to deal with it. He needed to properly ground himself before the urge to trace Anakin’s lips with the tips of his fingers became to much or before he went for more than just a kiss on the cheek from Padmé. It didn’t help, all the little mannerisms that they did, how they acted around him like they were three and not a couple plus one. Obi-Wan needed to find a solid standing with the thoughts in his head because he knew all along what that answer to it all was. He was in love with both of them.
And he was completely fucked because of it.
I'm still going to update tomorrow but I've decided to update again today simply because this is a rather dismal place to leave off on on a Valentine's Day. So look forward to another update today.
Also, Plo Koon is totally Ashoka's step-father but I just have no fucking clue what he'd look like in a modern au.
Chapter 10: Finding that Peace and Happiness
Again, hope you all are having a good Valentine's Day and hopefully this chapter leads to a more satisfactory end for today. A new chapter will be up again tomorrow and then it's back to the regular, once every two days update schedule.
Despite the inevitable crash that would happen if Obi-Wan didn’t do anything, he remained silent. He just wanted a few more weeks of the peace and happiness that Anakin and Padmé brought him. Just a few more before he lost it all, because he knew he would if he came clean or, if he kept it bottled up inside, it would simply eat away at him until their presence no longer brought peace and happiness.
But just a little longer. That’s all Obi-Wan was asking for.
It seemed that in no time, months had passed and the semester was over. Anakin managed to convince him that they should throw another little celebration for the fact that he had finished his first semester at the new university. Intially Obi-Wan had been against it but of course what with how Anakin was begging him to throw it, Obi-Wan couldn’t say no. He secretly believed that it was more so to just throw a party in general.
Anakin of course planned everything out, bubbling with excitement over the whole thing. As Obi-Wan also helped with the planning, he’d realized that this would be the first major get-together that he had been to since living in the United States. He already knew that Anakin was bringing some of his friends from work, Ashoka and her step-father were going to be there, Bail and Breha and a few people Padmé worked with would be showing up, Anakin had even convinced Obi-Wan to ask some of the faculty from the university over.
It would be such an odd group of people that Obi-Wan would have normally assumed the entire evening would become extremely awkward. As it stood, Padmé was a natural with bringing strangers together and coming up with a topic to discuss or a little party game to break the ice and the large entourage remained joyous and boisterous for the hours they were there.
As the night came, Obi-Wan could feel the party dying down though only one person really seemed to be ready to end it which was ironically Anakin.
He was leaning heavily against Obi-Wan, his head jerking upright every once in a while to try and keep awake. Obi-Wan looked at him curiously. “Are you really tired already?”
“I’m not tired,” Anakin slurred.
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. “Throw off the drunk act. I know you don’t drink because of the medication.”
“I’m not acting drunk,” muttered Anakin in a very drunk matter.
“Really? Then why are you having trouble separating your words?” chuckled Obi-Wan.
“Uh, may have stayed awake um…four-forty-eight hours-ish?”
“Anakin! Oh I’m surprised you could stay coherent for this long. You’re sleep deprived. Why the hell would you stay up that late?”
“Well there was a project-yeah a project and then it, well I needed it to be done and then everything had to be readied for this so just um-yeah just stayed up.”
Obi-Wan sighed, “Well you’ve done a wonderful job but now I think it’s time you get to bed before you pass out.”
“Uh huh, come on,” Obi-Wan dragged him up and started to walk Anakin to the stairs. As he passed Padmé, he whispered what was going on and she hit Anakin for it.
“Ani, don’t do that again. If you have a huge project or something, we can put the stupid party off or whatever,” Padmé sighed.
“Oh I’m fine.”
“Sure you are,” sighed Padmé. To Obi-Wan she asked, “Need any help getting him in bed?”
“No, you control the party here. I’ll be right back,” Obi-Wan replied and then went up the stairs, almost fully supporting Anakin as he went.
He got him into the master bedroom and steadied him. “Alright, Anakin, do you need anything else or—”
Obi-Wan froze in his speech and his posture for three reasons. One, he was in shock and was fairly sure his heart had stopped beating as well. Two, Anakin had one hand in his hair, firmly keeping him in place. Three, Anakin had his tongue shoved into Obi-Wan’s mouth and his lips stuck on the older man’s lips.
And before Obi-Wan’s mind could finally catch up, Anakin was pulling back, patting him on the cheek, said “Night”, and then passed out on the bed.
He didn’t know what to do. The first thing he decided was that it didn’t mean anything. Anakin was sleep deprived. He hadn’t been thinking clearly. But he should tell Padmé. Even if it didn’t mean anything he should tell her. But there were still people downstairs. He didn’t…he couldn’t face them right now. Obi-Wan was afraid he might crumble.
Instead of going down the stairs he went to the upstairs guest bedroom and sat down. He covered his face with his hands as a shudder racked his body. He couldn’t take it anymore. He had to leave. It hurt to much being this near. Every day his heart felt like it had been picked apart and then smashed together as he tried to keep it inside. He loved them both and he couldn’t tell them because then he would truly be cast aside and he would have nothing again. The peace that he had built up would be gone and he’d be worse off than when he was at Oxford.
Time didn’t seem to pass properly as soon his head swung up at a noise. Padmé stood in the doorway.
“I was-it just didn’t-I needed to—”
“Obi-Wan, what’s wrong?” asked Padmé, interrupting his stuttering. She hurried over and sat beside him, putting her hands in his. “What’s so bad that it could cause tears?”
Tears? Obi-Wan wiped at his face. He hadn’t realized they’d fallen. “It’s-you should probably get back to everyone. I’m-I’m fine really.”
“Obi-Wan, it’s been over half an hour since you brought Anakin up here. Everyone else has left,” Padmé said softly. “And you’re clearly not fine. I’m not going to go anywhere, alright? Was it Anakin? Did he do something stupid?”
“What? I mean he did-it was just the sleep deprivation but—” Obi-Wan stopped himself and took a deep breath. “He kissed me Padmé. Before I knew what was happening he just…kissed me.”
“Well he’s an idiot. We both know that,” Padmé said with a kind smile and a searching look. “You shouldn’t feel guilty about it if that’s what this is.”
“No it’s not-I can’t do this anymore and I can’t keep it in and everything that’s happened has just confused me more but-neither of you will understand and you’ll push me away and I’ll be alone again and—”
“Obi-Wan,” interrupted Padmé. She repeated his name over and over again. “Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan, we would never push you away. How could you think that? What’s so awful that it’s bringing these thoughts to your head and tearing you apart?”
“Because it…because I don’t want to be alone and I want a life and I want it with both of you.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
Obi-Wan frowned. “But you-don’t you understand? I-christ…I love you. I love you so god damn much Padmé and I love Anakin so god damn much but it’s just…I can’t-it’s not right for me to stay here. Don’t you see that?”
Silence stretched between them and Obi-Wan began to feel sick. He knew the words that were coming. He knew that it would end in pain and regret and—
“And what if we don’t want you to leave?”
A chill ran through Obi-Wan. He didn’t understand. “But, you can’t mean that. Can you? It’s…I love you,” repeated Obi-Wan. “Don’t you understand that? I love both of you with all my heart and we can’t…it’s not sociably acceptable and you’re both together so—”
“Obi-Wan, we want you to stay. Not as two plus one but as three. And we don’t care what is sociably acceptable. We want you here and we don’t want you to go.”
“But…that doesn’t…why? You’re…you’re together. You’ve been together for over a year.”
“And that was plenty of time to know that we weren’t whole,” murmured Padmé. “I love Anakin with all my heart and he loves me. But we know that together we’re not complete and that we haven’t been complete since Oxford, at least not until you came to Pennsylvania. And then it felt right, felt complete again.
“We’ve known for a while but didn’t see a point in saying anything when you were still at Oxford. But once you were here…we both knew what we wanted but we simply didn’t know how to approach you. I’m sorry,” she said, “for not coming forward sooner about this. Anakin and I were afraid we would push you away that…you wouldn’t understand and that was the last—”
“You were afraid to push me away? I was horrified that I was going to push you away,” Obi-Wan said utterly dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He couldn’t believe this was real. “I love you,” he murmured.
“I love you,” Padmé replied.
“I love Anakin.”
“As do I and believe me when I say that idiotic boy is head over heels for you as well.”
“I don’t know…I don’t know what to—”
“Hey,” Padmé said softly. “You don’t have to decide anything tonight. Alright? I know this…well it certainly isn’t how myself or Anakin planned to come forward. I doubt you expected this either. Just…sleep on it, alright? And we’ll talk in the morning when Anakin isn’t loopy as hell. Okay?”
“Alright,” murmured Obi-Wan. “I…yes that sounds like a good idea.”
“Good.” Padmé shifted as if to leave but paused. “May I kiss you goodnight?”
“Um…yeah. I mean yes…yes.”
Padmé ran a hand carefully along Obi-Wan’s jaw line. She brought her face close and softly placed her lips against Obi-Wan’s. It lasted for several seconds, soft and sweet, and then she finally pulled back, a small smile on her face. “Good night Obi-Wan. I’ll see you in the morning?”
“Sleep well then.”
That night was a difficult one for Obi-Wan. Part of him couldn’t sleep, to high strung and in disbelief of what had happened. But a small part of him felt that if he fell asleep, he’d wake up and none of it would have happened. It would have been just a dream or made up memory. He was afraid of the morning’s outcome.
Obi-Wan managed to doze off some but he ultimately felt awful in the morning. It took all his energy and effort to get out of bed and all his courage to walk out of his bedroom. Because of that, nothing was left to get properly dressed and for the first time he padded around the house in his sleeping sweats and t-shirt. Going into the kitchen, Obi-Wan realized it wasn’t even six in the morning but he knew he couldn’t go back to sleep now. Instead, he slowly went about starting the coffee pot. He’d never liked the taste but for now, he needed something utterly bitter and hot burning the back of his throat to try and wake himself up.
He sat at the counter and sipped from the mug, each time his face scrunching up in disgust. He had managed to get halfway through it before he heard someone coming down the stairs. Biting his bottom lip hard, Obi-Wan mustered a deep and uneasy breath before turning around.
Anakin stood there, still in the same clothes he had worn yesterday. He at least had the decency to look bashful though his first words out were, “You look awful.”
“Thanks for noticing,” Obi-Wan muttered sarcastically. He went back to sipping at his coffee as Anakin moved forward and around the corner to appear in Obi-Wan’s line of sight again.
“Um…Padmé told me how…about what happened after I kind of made a fool of myself.”
“Alright, it sounds like I’m going to have to take Ashoka’s nickname from her and use it for you. You’re being quite snippy this morning,” Anakin replied as he crossed his arms.
“Excuse me for feeling emotionally drained,” sighed Obi-Wan.
“Yeah, you probably have a point there. Padmé helped explain how it affected you and looking back on it all, I guess I can see how confusing it would have been,” Anakin admitted. “But um…what Padmé said was…it was all true. Don’t think she’d go back on that just because it’s morning. I like her and I really like you too.”
“Somehow Padmé made it sound more romantic last night,” Obi-Wan deadpanned.
“Oh come on! I’m not good with words, alright?” groaned Anakin. He leaned against the counter and towards Obi-Wan. “Just…the point is I don’t want you to leave because if you do, something will be missing. I know it will. My life is complete with you here. And so what if you’re supposed to just love one person or some shit? I don’t care! I know that I love you and I love Padmé and nothing’s going to stop that.”
“Hmm, that sounded a little bit better. What’s your take on it Obi-Wan?” asked Padmé. She had just appeared in the kitchen and was dressed for work.
“It certainly sounded better than ‘I really like you’,” replied Obi-Wan.
Anakin gave him a half smile. “I know this has been…weird and none of us have really gone about the right way in coming clean on this. But if you really feel the same way I feel about you and Padmé, then stay. Please.”
“I want to stay,” admitted Obi-Wan. “I’ve always wanted to stay.”
Padmé finally walked in close and leaned against the counter next to Anakin. “Then stay.”
“I’ll…I’ve felt so disconnected for so long,” Obi-Wan said. “And I feel like I’m living an actual life, here with both of you. Part of me has always wanted to just leave everything and forget society. But to be honest, I’ve always wanted to forge on with both of you. I just never thought it possible.”
“Well I sure as hell won’t let you become a hermit if I can stop it,” Anakin replied with a smirk.
Padmé shook her head but smiled. “This will take time for all of us but if it’s as natural as we’re all making it out to be, I know it will work. Now, this is probably an asshole move but I do have to get to work.” She put a hand over one of Obi-Wan’s. “I’m sorry for the pain we’ve caused you. But try to get some sleep.”
Obi-Wan lifted up the cup of coffee. “Oh, that will go well.”
She snorted. “Just try.”
She squeezed his hand and Anakin placed his on top of theirs.
“Alright,” sighed Padmé. “I have to go. I’ll see you both tonight.”
She kissed Anakin and then Obi-Wan, grabbed her keys and was gone.
Anakin looked over at Obi-Wan and raised an eyebrow. “Am I forgiven?”
“Wait until I’ve slept properly and then I’ll give you an answer.”
“Ah come on. I’m sorry alright?”
Obi-Wan sighed and shook his head. Then he suddenly grabbed Anakin and pulled him into a hard kiss. “Blast it all of course I forgive you. No matter what it is, I think I always will.”
“I’ll make sure you hear of any trouble I get into first then,” chuckled Anakin.
“I’m sure you will,” Obi-Wan replied. He rubbed tiredly at his eyes. “I do have one question though. Did Ashoka always know?”
“Why? What did she do?” asked Anakin curiously.
“Well…she just seemed to know.”
“Then if I’m being completely honest, she may have been my confident,” Anakin replied. “It’s easy to whine to her about relationship advice.”
Obi-Wan snorted. “I have a feeling that Bail Organa was Padmé’s confident.”
“So everyone knew except for me,” Obi-Wan sighed as he fell against the table. “Of course.”
“I wouldn’t say that. Just everyone who matters,” laughed Anakin.
Obi-Wan let out a groan.
“So,” said Anakin. “What’s the plan for today?”
“You just said you probably wouldn’t be able to fall asleep,” Anakin replied.
“Well I’m going to try,” muttered Obi-Wan. He got up and walked around the counter, pouring the remainder of his coffee into the sink. “You do what you like but a bed is calling my name.”
Obi-Wan shuffled back to his room downstairs and fell forward when his knees knocked against the side of the bed. He let out a groan, completely and utterly drained in every way possible. He tried to calm down, his mind dying to sleep as his eyes wanted to remain open due to the caffeine running through his system. Nevertheless, he started to ease into something close to sleep when he suddenly felt hands grab his legs and pull him all the way onto the bed.
He let out another groan, his mind coming out of its haze. “Anakin…”
“What? You sleep like this and you’re gonna regret it,” Anakin replied.
After readjusting Obi-Wan and dragging a blanket over him, the bed dipped. Obi-Wan could feel arms wrap around him and a body press against his back.
“What are you doing?” grumbled Obi-Wan.
“Why not. Besides, I did stay up for two days straight. I have some rest to catch up on. Oh and I thought that tonight we could make something special. I was thinking of something from my home town but obviously any ideas you have are—”
“Keep talking and I’m kicking you out and locking the door.”
“Alright alright, I got it. Night Obi-Wan.”
“Shh,” hushed Obi-Wan. He closed his eyes and let Anakin’s grip on him tighten and pull him close. He finally fell asleep.
Chapter 11: Settling In
Okay, so there will be a two day wait for the rest of the chapters. Please enjoy this one and I hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks again :)
The first thing Obi-Wan did was place the blurry picture of himself and Qui-Gon on the table of memories in the living room. A sign of a chapter in his life that was done. No more trapping himself in the past. He was going to have a life.
Part of him was afraid that it would be uncomfortable, that from the moment they were all together again, it would be awkward and feel wrong. But if Obi-Wan was being honest, it was just like before. Their interactions hadn’t changed, except for perhaps the ease that they all felt now that everything was out in the open. Padmé of course apologized again though Obi-Wan said the same thing that he had told Anakin.
“I’m not angry with you Padmé. And I will always forgive you no matter the circumstances.”
Nevertheless, routine kicked in as that night Obi-Wan automatically headed to the downstairs bedroom but Padmé stopped him with a tug of her hand. She gave a little nod towards the stairs with an opening look on her face.
Obi-Wan didn’t allow himself to hesitate and nodded. With a smile, Padmé dragged him up the stairs. Once he was in the room, Anakin didn’t waste time in immediately tackling Obi-Wan, both falling onto the bed.
“You know,” he said, “you’re not allowed to leave now?”
“Never,” Padmé responded, dropping down next to them. She ran her hands through Obi-Wan’s hair as Anakin gently kissed his jaw line. “This took us to long,” murmured Padmé.
“Just gives us a good reason to catch up on lost time,” Anakin replied.
Obi-Wan swatted at a stray hand. He gave a pointed look to Anakin. “Don’t even think about tickling me.”
“So you are ticklish. Padmé, you hold him down, I got his sides.”
“No way,” she said. “Obi-Wan, I think we should gang up on Anakin.”
“I like the sound of that.”
Anakin pulled Padmé into a kiss. “You’re not going to do that. You love me to much.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” she said with a glance to Obi-Wan. “I think it could prove to be very amusing.”
“I agree,” Obi-Wan replied as Anakin started to trail kisses along his neck, “but he presents a rather convincing argument.”
Padmé laughed. “Better than the politician?”
“Hmm, now that is debatable.”
That night, the first thing Obi-Wan noticed was the warmth that two bodies could provide. He adored it, the feeling of both bodies pressed close to him and hugging him tight. When in the middle, Anakin wrapped himself around him and Padmé curled into his side. As days passed, he noted that it was best if Anakin was in the middle as Obi-Wan was able to wrap around his back and then Anakin wrapped around Padmé. They quickly agreed that Padmé in the middle was not a good idea as she somehow managed to steal all the blankets quicker and more successfully when in the center. That and she once pushed Anakin off the bed.
But overall? Obi-Wan was happier than he imagined he could have ever been.
During the break in between semesters, Anakin was able to get some vacation time and work was slow for Padmé allowing them plenty of opportunities to be together and get use to everything which really was very natural.
They started up date night, apparently something Anakin and Padmé had done on a fairly regular basis, only now with Obi-Wan. They went to movies and dinner, visited a museum, and a number of other wonderful things.
A fencing tournament that had been in the works for a while was something they went to as well. Padmé watched from the sidelines with Ahsoka’s step-father who had been injured before the tournament. Their school won the most competitions and afterwards they celebrated with their fellow partners and family.
While there, Obi-Wan took note of Ahsoka. She was speaking with Rex, who she had invited, but once the man had become momentarily distracted by something else, Obi-Wan took his chance to walk over.
“You did very well. Your step-father has taught you a lot. As has Anakin.”
“Yeah, you’re not a bad teacher yourself. You’ve done well with the newbies and some of the younger ones.”
“I taught Anakin and even if it was only for a semester, I’m fairly sure it prepared me for any student that would come my way,” Obi-Wan replied.
“I’m sure it did,” she laughed. “But I’m curious. You came over here for a reason, didn’t you.”
“Yes. I’m interested why you didn’t say anything. About…well Anakin and his feelings.”
“If you remember, technically I did,” smirked Ahsoka. “You can’t be angry with me. It’s not my fault you didn’t catch on.”
“I just wish you could have been…a little clearer. That’s all.”
“You should have just followed your heart,” Ahsoka said. “Things seem to work out a lot better when you do that.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Obi-Wan replied. He moved away when Rex came back, leaving the two to talk.
However, when it came to seeing Bail Organa again, Obi-Wan was not as polite.
“I flat out asked for your help and you just moved around the subject,” Obi-Wan said. They were sitting in Padmé’s and Anakin’s (and his he had to remind himself) home in the dining room as Breha and Padmé prepped the food. Anakin was out grabbing last minute groceries as Obi-Wan glared at Bail from across the table.
“If I remember correctly, you asked me to change the subject,” Bail smirked.
“Well you know what? I don’t care. You should have flat out told me. It was obvious the turmoil I was going through.”
“Padmé is a dear, long time friend of mine and I wasn’t going to go back on a promise made to her.”
“You could have told me something,” groaned Obi-Wan.
“Hey,” Padmé laughed as she walked in and kissed the top of Obi-Wan’s head. “If you’re going to blame anyone blame me. I did make him swear to secrecy.”
“So you did,” sighed Obi-Wan. “It simply would have been a lot easier if you hadn’t.”
They heard the sound of the front door opening as Bail chuckled. “Well clearly it all worked out in the end. As miraculous as you are Padmé, it only makes sense that two would be needed to look after Skywalker.”
“I heard that!” Anakin shouted. He came into the dining room, bags in hand. “What makes you think I don’t have to keep an eye on these two?”
Padmé and Obi-Wan looked at each other and then involuntarily started laughing.
“Alright, don’t rub it in,” Anakin replied with a roll of his eyes. “Remember who’s carrying the stuff for dinner.”
That night went well just like everything else. It was all fitting into place but there was of course one aspect that hadn’t been mentioned yet.
As far as how people took the relationship, being in public could earn them the odd look but everyone that mattered seemed to take the news of it in stride and either had already known or just went with it. That acceptance helped immensely. Nevertheless, there was still the question of Padmé’s father. Obi-Wan being an orphan and Anakin not close enough to his step-father to feel the need for a heart-to-heart, neither had really thought about family because despite the openness to everyone else and their community of friends, Padmé still hadn’t spoke to her father about it.
Nevertheless, it would have been ridiculous to think the issue would just disappear.
By this point, it wasn’t long before the new semester at Villanova started, which meant that they had to begin to get back into the groove of things. For the moment, they were gathered in the living room, all working on separate tasks as they prepared for the months to come. Anakin lay on the floor with his head on Obi-Wan’s lap. His laptop was propped up on his legs as he rapidly typed code on his computer, continuing the work for the AI project. Obi-Wan had a book to the side, one hand flipping through pages as the other rested in Anakin’s hair, catching up on new theories and ideas brought up about his subjects in recent months. He was leaning against Padmé who sat on the couch, papers surrounding her as she read and reread a draft that the governor had written up, checking again to see if there were any loopholes in his reasoning.
They were all comfortable enough until Padmé spoke. Her words were like electricity, causing both Obi-Wan and Anakin to jump involuntarily.
“I’ve been thinking about telling my father. I’ve invited him for dinner tomorrow night.”
Anakin sat upright, his eyes actually looking somewhat fearful. “Padmé…”
“It’s something I have to do,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that it would probably be easy to hide this what with how little I see him, but I won’t do that. Not to him.”
Obi-Wan still hadn’t met Padmé’s father and from what he knew, he sounded like a pretty good guy. But with the way Anakin was looking right now, Obi-Wan had to ask, “I thought you liked her father?”
“Well I do…but it did take him a while to warm up to me and he can be pretty damn intimidating when he wants to be.”
Padmé shook her head with a sigh. “He’s exaggerating Obi-Wan.”
“Uh, no I’m not,” Anakin replied. “He got use to me eventually, fine. Obi-Wan? He’ll like just fine. In fact, he’ll love him! He’d probably want to take him home afterwards.”
Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow at that.
“What? You’re adorable. Anyways, separately? Fine. But if he finds out that both of us are dating you, he is going to point the finger at me for…I don’t know…bringing my weird…Middle Eastern ways and corrupting his little girl.”
“He will not Anakin,” sighed Padmé.
“Yes he will. Your father may look like a big teddy bear, but bears can still rip trees apart. What is he going to do to me?”
“Nothing,” she said.
“Nothing? Padmé, we are going to be on Dateline because of him! There will be blood on the walls and cop cars and-stop laughing at me! I’m gonna die tomorrow night,” he whined.
“You’re going to be fine,” Padmé replied. “If he has any issue, I’ll talk to him. Okay? But he’s not going to fling himself across the table and strangle you to death.”
“I don’t know. He can move pretty quickly when needed,” Anakin said.
“Very funny.” Padmé glanced at her phone. “I think it’s time to call it a night before your imagination gets the best of you Ani.” She looked to Obi-Wan. “And don’t worry about what he said. You’ll be fine.”
Obi-Wan simply nodded. He trusted Padmé but he still couldn’t help the hint of uncertainty that he was feeling what with how Anakin was acting.
It didn’t help that the next day Anakin was completely on edge. He wasn’t pretending to freak just to mess with them, he was honestly scared of what was going to happen at dinner. It made Obi-Wan scared of what would be happening at dinner though he at least composed himself better than Anakin.
The doorbell ended up ringing at around four which led to Anakin rushing to a window and peaking from behind a curtain. He then grabbed Padmé, pushed her towards the front door, and proceeded to run into the next room. Obi-Wan followed him, partially because he wanted to make sure Anakin didn’t freak out to much, but also because Obi-Wan subconsciously wanted to avoid Ruwee Naberrie for as long as possible too.
“Hey,” whispered Obi-Wan. “Just deep breaths. Right? You’ll be okay.”
Anakin squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his hands into tight fists before easing up. “Alright I…I got this. Last night on Earth. Might as well enjoy myself.”
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. His hand came up to comfort Anakin but he immediately dropped it and put his hands behind his back. Padmé was standing there with her father beside her. Anakin was right, he did resemble that of a giant teddy bear. He was large and robust with silvery hair. He was smiling but Obi-Wan noted the creases in his face that had definitely not been caused by laughter.
“Hmm, I presume your Obi-Wan Kenobi,” he said, taking a step forward.
Obi-Wan mimicked him and stuck out his hand. “Yes, and you must be Ruwee Naberrie. It’s a pleasure to meet you sir.”
“Please, no need for formalities like that. The pleasure is all mine. I’ve heard plenty about you since the moment you taught my daughter. It’s good to finally meet you in person.”
Despite his words, Obi-Wan internally froze up. He’d momentarily forgotten that he’d taught both Padmé and Anakin. Well, not exactly forgotten. He just hadn’t realized the fact would probably not be a point for him in this situation. Yep, got with two of his students. Oh this was going to be a stressful dinner.
Still, he managed to keep the smile on his face and the only thing he did out of the ordinary was probably hold Ruwee’s hand a little to long.
“So,” Ruwee said, “exactly how long have you been staying here?”
“Um, about seven months now sir-Ruwee.”
“Hmm, that’s a bit long.”
“Well, nothing really fitting has popped up yet but Padmé has been helping me search for a place,” Obi-Wan said. It was a lie but only a partial one.
“Glad to hear it. And Anakin. Good to see you too.” Before Anakin could stop him, Ruwee had brought him into a fatherly hug. Nevertheless, Obi-Wan noted Anakin didn’t manage to keep himself as easily composed as he should have been. He was to stiff, to awkward in the hug.
At least Anakin succeeded in keeping his voice pretty even though. He simply nodded and said, “Good to see you too. It’s been to long since you’ve been over.”
“It has,” Ruwee agreed. “Tell me about your newest project.”
“Well, I have several but I’m still working on that blasted AI…”
At least talking about his work seemed to calm Anakin down. They gravitated towards the couches and chairs. Obi-Wan couldn’t help but hesitate when sitting down. Something that he could tell Ruwee noticed. It was honestly lucky that Padmé was planning on telling him tonight because if not, who the hell knew what Ruwee could have been assuming at that point.
Obi-Wan was asked a few questions and they had some nice conversations but mostly Ruwee concentrated on his daughter and Anakin, which was to be expected but it of course made Obi-Wan feel awkward as hell. Dinner basically went the same way. The only difference was the food that allowed a distraction for Obi-Wan rather than just uncomfortably rubbing his thumbs together.
He sat near Anakin and could feel the younger man twitching and tapping his foot insistently from nerves. Obi-Wan would press his leg against Anakin’s or manage to find his hand for momentary comfort but the moment the contact was gone Anakin started up again.
Once they were all finished eating, Anakin immediately stood up. “Don’t worry Padmé, I’ll clear the table. Be right back.”
“I’ll help,” Obi-Wan quickly offered and followed Anakin out before either could say anything.
In the kitchen, Anakin turned the faucet on as high as possible and dragged Obi-Wan out of the line of sight of anyone in the dining room.
“I am dead,” whispered Anakin.
“You are not dead.”
“Are you kidding me?! He probably thinks I’m cheating on Padmé with you and no father deals with a cheating bastard kindly.”
“What are you talking about?” Obi-Wan hissed.
“Uh, hello? Mister subtlety?”
“I’m sorry. Next time you’re panicking I’ll leave you there to panic!”
“There won’t be a next time because you followed me in here and just confirmed in his mind that I’m fucking you!”
“Well he’s got it halfway right.”
“Don’t you dare joke about this! Padmé is about to be minus two lovers and all I can say is that I wish there was a gun in this blasted house that Ruwee could grab so he could get all this over with quickly!”
“You are overreacting!”
“Who was holding my hand under the god damn table!?”
“Well you weren’t pushing me away.”
“That’s because pushing you away would have been to damn painful!”
Obi-Wan grabbed both of his hands. “Anakin, get a hold of yourself! It’s one evening. He’s not going to come at you or me with a shotgun or whatever the stereotype is and then everything will get back to normal. Understand? Besides, he’s in the next room and if we’re not careful he could—”
The facet snapped off and both Anakin and Obi-Wan jumped around and froze.
Ruwee Naberrie was standing there and he wasn’t smiling. For a moment, Anakin and Obi-Wan just stared at him, still and hearts frozen in their chests. He wasn’t doing anything for the moment which was the scariest part. He just stood there, one hand on the tap for the facet.
As Obi-Wan tried to figure out if he should say or do anything, Ruwee suddenly began to advance and both Anakin and Obi-Wan slammed their backsides into the countertop. They were stuck there as Ruwee stood extremely close to them, his eyes narrow and his posture stiff and ready like he actually might hit one of them. Padmé was nowhere to be seen.
His gaze slowly traveled from Anakin to Obi-Wan. Finally, he focused on Obi-Wan.
“If you ever hurt my daughter, you will regret the moment you ever saw her.”
And then he was just turning away and walked out of the kitchen. Like that. Just gone.
Anakin looked like he was about to collapse and Obi-Wan was honestly thinking of joining him when laughter erupted in the next room over. Padmé came running in, a bashful smile on her face as she pulled Obi-Wan and Anakin towards her.
“Oh dad, I said scare them. Not give them a heart attack,” she laughed.
Obi-Wan simply remained frozen, not knowing what to say as Anakin gawked at her.
“You two were just so awfully awkward,” Padmé responded. “I couldn’t help but ask my father to give you a bit of a fright.”
Anakin finally slid from Padmé’s grip and landed solidly on the floor. “Oh I hate you. I hate you so much right now.”
Obi-Wan blinked himself out of his stationary state and asked, “But then what-well what did he say about—”
“Ask him yourself,” Padmé responded and it was only then that Obi-Wan realized Ruwee had come back into the room.
Anakin shot upwards, standing shakily on his legs as he realized the same thing.
Ruwee came forward, his face kinder now but not exactly overjoyed looking. Obi-Wan waited to see what the man had to say.
“Don’t think I understand it. Padmé tried to explain it to me and frankly, I’m not sure I’ll ever fully get it. But what matters is if she’s happy. From the way she’s talked to me, it’s clear she loves you both very much and I know Anakin loves her. But you…what do you have to say?”
“Sir?” Obi-Wan asked uncertainly.
“How do you belong in this? Padmé says you are an equal. Are you? Do you love them both or is this you fighting for my daughter’s hand? Is this something that you see continuing or ripping you all apart?”
“I feel complete here,” Obi-Wan admitted softly. “I wouldn’t have a life if it wasn’t for Anakin and Padmé. And I’m hopelessly in love with both of them.”
Padmé smiled, one arm wrapping around Obi-Wan. Anakin reached out and squeezed his hand.
“Hmm,” Ruwee hummed taking note of it all. “That seems like a satisfactory answer. Now, if you excuse me, this is still a lot to take in. I think I will retire early tonight.”
“Let me walk you out,” Padmé replied, releasing Obi-Wan and looping an arm around her fathers. They stepped out of the room and the moment they did, Obi-Wan fell to the floor.
“Woah there!” Anakin cried out, keeping Obi-Wan from actually doing himself harm. He eased them both onto the kitchen floor. “You alright there?”
“Lost feeling in most of my body but other than that I’m fine.” Obi-Wan just stared off into the distance before he started laughing. Anakin slowly joined in and when Padmé game back, she found them both giggling hysterically on the floor.
“Now what has gotten into you two?”
Obi-Wan just shook his head. “I can’t believe that all just happened.”
She chuckled. “Well it did and it’s over with.”
“I still hate you for scaring the living shit out of us,” Anakin replied as he leaned against Obi-Wan. “My life flashed before my eyes.”
“That must have been rather boring,” Obi-Wan said.
Anakin snorted and elbowed him in the side. “Hush you. But seriously, when did you tell him Padmé?”
“When you two ran into here,” she laughed. “Actually, he straight out asked me if I knew you were sleeping with Obi-Wan which was rather amusing and I had to explain it all then and there. Honestly you two, it’s a good thing that wasn’t the case because you two were awful at hiding it.”
“Oh who cares now,” sighed Anakin. “It’s over and done with thank god.”
“Yes, that is true,” Obi-Wan murmured. “Hmm, what now?”
“I have three words,” said Anakin. “Bed. Movie. Cuddling.”
“That sounds like a wonderful idea,” Padmé replied. She held out her hands and Anakin and Obi-Wan took one, pulling themselves up. “I’ll finish up the dishes and—”
“Oh just leave them,” Anakin sighed. He pulled Padmé and Obi-Wan away from the counter. “I’ll get them in the morning or whatever. Just bed. Now.”
Padmé shook her head but allowed herself to be dragged away and up the stairs. They all quickly grabbed pajamas and got into bed. Padmé lay against in front of Anakin, her head on his chest as Obi-Wan curled in close to Anakin’s side and Anakin looped an arm around Obi-Wan’s waist.
Now with that issue behind them, they were all able to rest easy and enjoyed the remainder of the days before Anakin fully went back to work and Obi-Wan had classes again. When the new semester started up again at Villanova University, Mace Windu took notice of the smile that Obi-Wan had found himself wearing near constantly now and the almost skip in his step.
“I see you let go of what was building up inside you. I hope that it was in a safe manner,” Mace Windu said.
“I’d like to imagine so,” replied Obi-Wan. “I’m curious as to how you could tell.”
“It’s not that hard. There is an ease about you which I haven’t seen before. Should I expect your attempts in making me laugh increase again?”
“I look forward to it then. Good day Kenobi.”
“And to you,” Obi-Wan replied.
He walked into his first class of the day and even the tired, bored looking students couldn’t bring him down. With a smile, Obi-Wan snapped open his laptop and began.
Chapter 12: The Gala
And finally here's the next chapter! Thanks for reading, commenting, and leaving kudos. Please enjoy :)
The idea of an actual vacation came up several times. There were never any concrete plans yet the moment they seemed to get close to a final decision, something came up. It didn’t help when Obi-Wan was asked to take on two more classes or Anakin made a breakthrough in his AI program. Not to mention Padmé had begun campaigning and won the election for mayor of Philadelphia. None of these things were actual problems, hell they were thrilled for each other. But it did mean it was difficult for them to all be free at the same time for an extended period.
Then things became even more complicated when Padmé told them that she was going to try for the House of Representatives.
“Wait, you’re serious?” Anakin asked, his eyes wide. “You’re only just nearly done with your first year as mayor!”
“I’m not saying it’s going to happen now,” she replied, “but it is a possibility I’m looking into.”
“Padmé,” Obi-Wan said carefully, “I think you would make an excellent addition to congress but you do know that the media will be digging its teeth into your personal life. Our personal life. They could use our…relationship against you. And you’d be running against someone who’s won this district for…what? Eleven years?”
“Twelve actually,” muttered Anakin.
“I do understand that,” Padmé sighed. “Which is why this isn’t just happening now. It’s just a possibility.”
“What does your campaign staff think?” asked Obi-Wan.
“Well there are some possibilities. I mean, most of the city knows that I’m involved with both of you simply on assumption but if an actual statement is made then in later elections someone else can’t dredge this up and try to use it against me because it’s already out in the open.”
“And the other possibilities?” Anakin questioned.
Padmé’s eyes went steely at the memory. “Well, one woman suggested I kick one of you out and just end it. I politely asked her if she preferred providing for her family or going unemployed.”
“Christ, Padmé. Sometimes I’m afraid what it would be like to be on your bad side,” muttered Anakin.
“Well it’s true,” Padmé sighed. “I love what I do. I’ve improved this city and I think I can help these people even more. I know I can. And if I have a chance at helping this district, this state, I will take it. But not if it means leaving either of you behind.”
Obi-Wan gave a kind smile and squeezed Padmé’s hand. “That’s wonderful for you to say but this is your career we’re talking about—”
“And it’s something I will gladly bury if it means staying with you two. Don’t think for a second that I wouldn’t choose you two. Yes, there are times when I’ve put work above you two, when an emergency is occurring or a draft is due. But I will never just cast you both aside for the stupid job.”
“Well whatever the decision, when the time comes I’m ready,” Anakin said as he kissed her hand. “Whether it means helping you look for another job or fighting off camera wielding journalists.”
Obi-Wan snorted. “I agree. We’re with you all the way.”
“Honestly, what did I ever do to deserve you two,” sighed Padmé. “Thank you.”
The topic didn’t come up again until months later. Padmé told them about a special gala that she had to be at for the current governor. Anakin and Obi-Wan had been to a ceremony when Padmé first became mayor but other than that had avoided the other formalities, Anakin simply not wanting to get dressed up and Obi-Wan disliking being around all the politicians. Nevertheless, Padmé mentioned again the idea of making their relationship public.
“So you will be trying for the House of Representatives?” questioned Obi-Wan.
“And what does your campaign staff have to say?” Obi-Wan added.
“I won’t actually be campaigning until after my term as mayor is over with. And seeing as I’m only a little over halfway with my term, we can use the second half to see how much this will affect my ability to run this city.”
“So you’re going in for the long run, huh?” said Anakin.
“Hey, slow and steady wins the race,” replied Padmé.
“And what about the governor? This is his gala. How does Palpatine feel about you having plus two instead of plus one?” Obi-Wan asked.
“Oh, he’s completely gung-ho about it.”
Anakin frowned. “Now why do I feel that there’s a double meaning in that?”
Padmé snorted. “Oh, because believe me there is. He’s hoping that I completely ruin my political career and disappear from his guest list.”
“But didn’t you intern for him? I thought you liked him.”
“I thought I did too,” sighed Padmé. “But I’ve seen how he actually works, the corners he tries to cut for an extra profit, damn the lives. His values are completely off of those he publicizes. He’s a hypocritical old man who finds no worth in the people of this state.”
“And you wonder why I don’t like politicians,” sighed Obi-Wan.
“Oh, and besides that, he knows it’s my ultimate goal to get to the senate. At the gala, Palpatine plans to announce his candidacy for a place in the senate and he knows that if I can even remotely get near him, I will use all my pull to make sure that not a single law is broken in whatever he tries to succeed in.”
“Damn, I am so happy I’m not in politics,” muttered Anakin with a shake of his head. “So what do we do?”
“Look pretty and try not to piss anyone off,” Padmé replied.
Obi-Wan chuckled. “We’ll keep that in mind. Now, exactly how obvious will we need to make this?”
“Not to bad. I’ve contacted a reporter I can trust who will be writing an article that will basically make it public. Besides that, all you two need to do is both be on my arm when we enter and a kiss here and there.”
“Alright, now am I correct in assuming this is very formal?” Obi-Wan said with a raised eyebrow.
“Very, meaning we’re going tux shopping for you two.”
Anakin let out a groan.
“Oh come on. You’ve never even worn one before,” sighed Padmé.
“And they look pretty damn uncomfortable. Suits are bad enough but no thank you tuxes,” muttered Anakin.
“Now who was it that said they’d stand by my side no matter what?” chuckled Padmé.
“Oh, I’ll parade in the penguin suit for you. I’m just not going to like it.”
“Well you can’t be wearing a permanent scowl when we go. Understood?”
“Yes, yes. All smiles and dimples. Got it,” Anakin replied with a roll of his eyes. “So, when are we buying the suits.”
Padmé laughed. “We’re not just buying some random suit Anakin. These will be tailored. If I’m doing this, I’m not giving anyone a reason to drag me down, especially nothing as stupid as a poor fashion choice.”
“Do people really do that?” Anakin asked.
Obi-Wan shrugged. “Image is an important aspect in our culture. In some cases, it makes a bigger impact than any policy or ideal. But if it helps Padme, I won’t whine at all during the fitting process.”
“I would say thank you to that but we both know Anakin will whine enough for all three of us,” Padmé replied.
“Ha ha. Funny,” muttered Anakin. “Let’s just hurry up and get it over with ok?”
After the fitting, the actual purchasing of the suits, the buying of Padmé’s own dress, and the passing of five more days, the day of the gala had finally arrived. Like many of the other guests, they simply took a taxi to the event though there was of course a limo or two for the higher profile guests.
Getting out of the taxi, Padmé smoothed out her dress, a sapphire colored, strapless, mermaid styled evening gown. She watched as Anakin and Obi-Wan walked up, standing on either side of her. She smiled and looped her arms around each.
“Breathing is allowed,” she whispered with a small grin.
“I know it’s just…I have never been to something this extravagant,” murmured Obi-Wan.
“Welcome to how your tax dollars are being spent,” Padmé muttered sulkily. “You think your suits and this dress was expensive? Just add those prices together, times it by four and if you get lucky you’ll get close to what his suit probably costs.”
Anakin whistled. “If you wanted me acting polite, you probably should’ve waited on explaining just how much of an ass our governor is.”
“If it helps, I’ll do most of the talking,” sighed Padmé. “Now straighten up and smiles both of you. Unless if I say so, just stick by me. If I do get dragged off somewhere, just stick together. I’ll find you again.”
“Got it,” murmured Obi-Wan. His grip tightened. “Ready when you are.”
Padmé took a deep breath and then nodded. She guided them forward and walked into the venue. It was a museum, one which they had been to before, but now places were gated off and extra security was present as a woman waited at a small podium, checking off names as people came in.
“Amidala,” Padmé replied smoothly, “and these are my plus two.”
“Um…yes of course. Please enjoy the ceremony,” she replied and waved them onwards.
Going through, pictures were automatically being snapped, photographers and journalists hounding the entry way as they waited for people to arrive. Obi-Wan tried not to flinch from the glare and simply focused on moving straight ahead, keeping at the same pace as Padmé.
Almost immediately once they were out of the media crowd, they were approached by a wrinkled, older man with silvery hair. He had a trusting face but Obi-Wan could still tell it was a mask, a lie to calm and appease those around him, one that made you want to believe him. It was a face that made Obi-Wan uncomfortable but even more so when the man spoke.
“Padmé, how wonderful to see you here. Oh, and I forgot about your…situation. I’m afraid I’ll have to ask them to rearrange the seating,” Governor Palpatine said.
“It’s no problem. I’m sure it won’t be to hard anyways,” she replied as she slipped from Anakin’s and Obi-Wan’s arms and walked forward, accepting Palpatine’s embrace and kiss on the cheek.
It wasn’t just the face. The way the governor acted, how he spoke, it was the perfect disguise. A mask and suit so well designed that it made you want to believe that it was the real thing. Except for the quick glint in his eyes. The way that, for a split second, he looked at Padmé and something was revealed. He looked at Padmé like she was a prized animal ready to be killed and mounted on the wall. It made Obi-Wan wish he could just grab Padmé and run in the opposite direction and a quick glance towards Anakin showed he felt the same way.
Yet at the same time that Obi-Wan saw this, it was also just so clear how perfectly in her element Padmé was. He’d seen her work before but nothing like this. Every defense she had was up and ready along with every single dagger pointed at the man.
“Still, I just feel so awful about it.”
“Well, I could always leave,” Padmé said sweetly. “I’d hate for this to postpone your opening speech.”
“Oh, that shouldn’t be necessary dear Padmé. I’d hate for you to miss it,” Palpatine said warmly.
Padmé smiled. “Then I’ll stay. Now, enough of this apologizing back and forth. You don’t want to keep the other guests waiting.”
“So very true. I will see you later?”
“Of course,” Padmé replied. “The best of wishes tonight.”
“Thank you.” And then he was finally gone.
Obi-Wan felt Anakin’s hand suddenly shoot out and grip his tightly. “How the hell do you deal with that Padmé?” asked Anakin. “He barely even looked at me and I feel like he was fucking with my head.”
“Practice really,” Padmé sighed as she turned back to them. “But thankfully not everyone here is like that. Come on. There are plenty of people that I can introduce you to that won’t make your skin crawl.”
Padmé dragged them from group to group. Many had brought their significant other and it wasn’t difficult for Obi-Wan and Anakin to cement themselves into a conversation. For the most part, it was easy for Obi-Wan to follow much of what they discussed and for Anakin, his boyish charm helped with anything he didn’t follow.
After the majority of people had come, people gather in their seats, Palpatine gave his opening speech, and then it was time to eat and listen to the orchestra. The group at their table was a pleasant enough one and though it was rather obvious certain people’s opinions of them were negative ones, those people at least managed to remain cordial throughout the evening. Then came the final speech and people went about, mingling again before leaving. It hadn’t been to painful but Obi-Wan was thankful when it was clearly nearing time to go.
As they headed towards the front though, Padmé was stopped by one more person.
“Ah, Mayor Amidala, I was hoping to catch you before I left,” the woman said with a smile. She respectively shook Padmé’s hand and then pulled out a small recorder. A reporter or journalist then.
“It’s good to see you as well. Anakin, Obi-Wan, this is the reporter I mentioned,” Padmé said. “Aayla, this is Anakin and Obi-Wan.”
“A pleasure to meet you both,” she responded shaking both their hands. “Now, Mayor I’m curious as too…”
She asked fairly standard questions a few focusing on specific policies or plans that Padmé was working on and Obi-Wan and Anakin waited patiently near them. Near the end though, both peaked up in interest when they noted what the reporter was saying.
“You haven’t taken a day off so far. That must be hard.”
“Of course, but every minute that I can make a difference is worth it.”
“Nevertheless, you’re ahead of schedule in just about everything imaginable. Never has this local government run smoother.”
“I wouldn’t say that. I’m simply doing my job.”
“No need to be so humble,” Aayla chuckled. “But I am curious, surely even you must miss the idea of a vacation. Now with all this progress, you must have the time for one.”
“A short one, but a vacation nonetheless,” Padmé said.
“I’m sure it will be nice spending some private time with your boyfriends.”
Padmé nodded. “Oh, certainly. In fact, we’re leaving tomorrow so if you’ll excuse us, there is some packing that needs to be done.”
“Of course, thank you so much for speaking to me Mayor Amidala.”
“The pleasure was all mine. Good night,” Padmé replied. She then took a hold of Anakin and Obi-Wan and began pulling them away as they both looked at her confused.
Obi-Wan stuttered, “But-wasn’t there-didn’t you tell us you didn’t have time for—”
“I lied,” she said with a small smirk as she guided them out of the museum and towards one of the many waiting taxis. “I thought it might come as a nice surprise.”
“But for how long?” asked Anakin.
“But you can’t give us just a day’s notice,” Obi-Wan said. “What about work and—”
“I’ve spoken with both your bosses. You’ve been cleared for this vacation for about…three months.”
Anakin looked at her wide eyed as they moved into a taxi and Padmé gave the man directions. “Are you serious? You’ve kept this secret for that long?”
“Yep, and everything is already booked so you two don’t have to do anything,” Padmé responded with a grin.
Obi-Wan shook his head. “You know we would have been happy to help with all this. Why do it by yourself?”
“Because it’s a thank you for sticking by me in this,” replied Padmé. “I want us being public to be an ok thing but there’s going to be hell to pay from at least one person or another. And I know that I’m not the only one putting things on the line because of this choice.”
“Hey,” Obi-Wan said kindly. “We take all the good and the bad together. And it’s not like you forced us into this.”
“I know just…stop talking and accept the fact that I can spoil you both just as you spoil me.”
Anakin chuckled. “Fine, but I have to ask, is this staying secret until the moment we get there or can we at least know where we’re headed?”
“We’ll be in San Francisco for three days and the last two will be in Carmel-By-The-Sea.”
Anakin couldn’t help but laugh. “Is that honestly a name of a place?”
“Hush. It’s a beautiful little town,” Padmé said with a grin. “I figured we could have our fun in the city. I know some wonderful little areas to go to in both and I know neither of you have been to the West Coast. I hope it was a good idea.”
“A wonderful one,” Obi-Wan assured her. “I look forward to what you have planned.”
That night, Padmé helped the two pack for the trip, not that there was much to worry about. She had already gotten everything else ready, now it was just trying to choose the appropriate clothes for the five day trip.
For the first three days, they remained in the large city and though there were a variety of places that Padmé chose to visit or see or shop at, it was also clear she decided on the city more for Anakin, the younger man clearly enjoying the noise and bustle of the place, as the seaside town that they spent their last two days at definitely had Obi-Wan in mind.
By far, the most amusing part of the trip though, was that last night at Carmel-By-The-Sea. They’d arrived early in the morning and had gone for a hike. Most of the day they simply walked through the quaint streets, going into little shops and having a wonderful lunch at a small café. Now that it was evening though and everything was in their little hotel room, Padmé and Obi-Wan were having a wonderful last night in California. Anakin was pouting though.
Obi-Wan was floating in the ocean, looking up at the sky as the sun came lower and lower to the horizon. The calm was quickly disrupted though when Padmé suddenly tickled him.
“I am relaxing,” laughed Obi-Wan as he came upright.
“Hmm, well I think I have a better idea than that,” Padmé grinned. She looked at the beach. Anakin was sitting on a towel looking like the sand was lava. “You know, if we’re casual enough, I think we can dump him into the ocean.”
“That does sound like fun,” Obi-Wan admitted.
“See? And if we just drag him forward a bit, should be a lot easier to throw him in.”
“Alright, let’s go.”
Obi-Wan and Padmé made their way back onto the beach and walked over to Anakin who just glowered at them.
“Come now Anakin, we’ve been having a wonderful time so far. Join us in the ocean,” Obi-Wan smiled.
“There. Is. Sand.”
Padmé sighed. “If you had a phobia, no way in hell would I be doing this to you. But you don’t have a phobia. You’re just being childish.”
“Well, at least he admits it,” replied Obi-Wan. “So, is there any way we can convince you to join us?”
“Not at all.”
Padmé gave him a pointed look. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” said Anakin.
“Alright,” Obi-Wan sighed, “I’m sorry, but I have to do this.”
“Oh no! No-Obi-Wan! No stop it!”
Anakin swung his arms and legs wildly but Obi-Wan managed to grab him and throw him over his shoulder.
“Obi-Wan I swear to god you throw me in the god damn ocean and I will-shit!”
Anakin hit the water with a satisfying splash as Obi-Wan jumped in with him. He wrapped his arms around Anakin and pushed them out a little deeper into the ocean.
“Oh, I hate you,” muttered Anakin as he watched Padmé head towards them.
“Come now, isn’t it much better being out here with us?” chuckled Obi-Wan.
“Well I guess but the moment we walk back it’s going to be grainy and irritating and just…urgh.”
Obi-Wan kissed him as Padmé got to them. “If it helps,” he said, “I’ll carry you back.”
Anakin hummed. “Hmm, which do I care more about? My wounded pride or wet sand?”
Padmé laughed. “Wet sand. I know where you’re priorities lie.”
“You are absolutely right,” replied Anakin. “Besides, you threw me in.”
Obi-Wan chuckled and splashed at Anakin. “That seems fair enough to me.”
They messed about until the sun went down and then, true to his word, Obi-Wan pulled Anakin into his arms and lifted him above the sand.
“I honestly didn’t think you’d do this,” admitted Anakin.
“Well I can always put you down…”
“No, no, this is fine up here. Carry on,” Anakin replied with a wave of his hand.
Padmé snorted at the look of them and grabbed the towels as they headed back to their hotel room. After showering the salt out of their hair and off their skin, they fooled about and relaxed on their last night, falling asleep in each other’s arms. At some point in the middle of the night, Obi-Wan woke up to notice Padmé was gone but went back to sleep, not thinking much of it.
In the morning, she was already up and about but her spot was cold like she hadn’t been there for the rest of the night. She looked a bit pale but otherwise seemed fine. Obi-Wan took note but didn’t press the matter and soon, they were packing and heading back to Pennsylvania.
Chapter 13: Absolutely
I'm an awful human being. That is all. Enjoy.
About a week had passed since they’re vacation. The break had been nice but they all eased into their work and lives, just like before. Obi-Wan had noticed several more oddities with Padmé but once again, he decided it would be best if he let her come forward when she was ready.
Nevertheless, one day both Obi-Wan and Anakin were working late. That wasn’t to odd and it wasn’t surprising that Padmé was home before them due to the time. What was surprising was the dinner she’d prepared them.
“What’s this for?” asked Obi-Wan curiously as he looked at the ready table.
“I thought it might be nice to have a proper dinner together.”
Anakin shook his head. “Nope there’s something else. I can feel it.”
“Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t,” Padmé said with a sly smile. “So, how was your day?”
Both Anakin and Obi-Wan dropped the matter and they all slipped into what had become their normal routine of conversation. It seemed as if Padmé wouldn’t say anything until it finally appeared to be time to clear the table. But at that point, she stood up and walked over to them, sitting on the edge of the table. On either side, they looked at her expectantly, waiting for the words that would leave her mouth.
“There is…actually something that I’ve been wanting to tell you both,” Padmé sighed. “But I have to admit that I’ve been nervous about coming clean.”
Anakin put his hand in hers. “You’re alright. Aren’t you?”
“Yes I’m…I’m fine. I suppose at this moment, I fear what you both will say. This isn’t exactly a topic we’ve discussed,” she replied.
“Whatever it is, I know we’ll stick by you,” replied Obi-Wan. “You have nothing to fear in that.”
She gave them a kind smile. “I know. It’s an irrational fear but it’s here nonetheless. Still, I’ve done all this and there’s no point in backing down now. The truth is… we’re going to be having a new member in our family.”
Obi-Wan’s eyes widened as all the little details clicked into place. However, the shock didn’t take as he was brought out of it by Anakin’s comment of, “So what kind of pet are we thinking of-ow! What was that for?”
“She is pregnant you imbecile,” Obi-Wan hissed, his hand posed to nock Anakin upside the head again. “I can’t believe you said pet.”
“But-oh…oh!” Suddenly Anakin was up and swinging Padmé around as she tried to hold in her laugh. “You’re pregnant!”
Padmé silently nodded as Anakin set her down. She looked towards Obi-Wan, her gaze hesitant but hopeful.
Now that Anakin hadn’t said anything else idiotic, the shock was sinking in for Obi-Wan.
Padmé stepped out of Anakin’s grip and knelt beside Obi-Wan.
“I don’t know if you…if you ever wanted to have a child. And I understand that it’s a burden that you may not want to carry—”
“Never a burden,” interrupted Obi-Wan. He took Padmé’s hands in his own. “A child is a responsibility. One which I…I never thought I would be placed with.”
“That’s what I’m trying to say,” said Padmé. “You don’t have to be placed with—”
Obi-Wan interrupted, “And what I’m trying to say is that I will accept it. I’m not going anywhere. I love this family to much. And if that includes a child, I will gladly accept that.”
Padmé stood up again, pulling Obi-Wan with her and taking a hold of Anakin. She pulled them both into a hug. “I know there’s still plenty to talk about but thank you for being so understanding.”
“Hell yeah, we’re understanding. I’m going to be a dad. Obi-Wan we’re going to be dads!” Anakin cried excitedly.
Obi-Wan laughed. “A father…I’m going to have to get use to that idea, aren’t I?”
“Well, I think you’ll both make wonderful fathers,” said Padmé. “Oh I’m so lucky to have you two.”
Anakin smiled. “I think it’s us who are so lucky to have you.”
In the coming weeks, somehow the excitement that Anakin was holding onto didn’t seem to wane. He was constantly coming up with ideas and plans, even drawing up a blueprint for a crib, and constantly wanted to make sure Padmé was alright and if there was anything he could do.
Obi-Wan silently processed it all, still figuring everything out in his head. Nevertheless, Padmé seemed to appreciate this as it did allow her some break from Anakin’s rather heavy presence. Usually she didn’t even have to say anything. If she was feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, Obi-Wan simply dragged Anakin off somewhere so he could preoccupy himself. Either of them could have told Anakin to simply tone it down but there was little success of that working.
With weeks passing though and Padmé finally showing, it really started to become a reality to Obi-Wan that he was having a kid (it didn’t matter to him who’s it was biologically, that wasn’t what was important). He’d never thought of being a father and, if he was being honest, before things fell into place with Padmé and Anakin, he honestly had seen a future of him dying alone. Now he couldn’t help but worry about all the little things, who would watch the baby, the precautions they’d have to put in place, what they would need to buy, how they would keep up regular feeding times, doctor’s appointments, and just about everything else.
Nevertheless, the joy was there and Obi-Wan tried to focus on that. He’d worry about everything else when it came to pass.
For all of them, things seemed to be going great. Obi-Wan was assured his teaching spot for the next several years. For Padmé, despite a slight dip, was still remaining strong in the polls with citizens (the main drop was from religious fanatics and extreme conservatives but she hadn’t been popular with those groups anyways). Even Anakin finally had a major success in his AI program which he had named C3PO due to some of the components involved. He’d achieved in at the very least simulating anxiety if not actually creating it (though Obi-Wan honestly couldn’t follow his logic as to why anyone would want to do that).
But the point was that everything was good. They were happy and successful and about to have a baby.
Then Obi-Wan suggested a certain movie in the theaters to go see for their date night. Maybe if he had chosen a different time, a different place, or someone had come up with another idea nothing would have happened. Or perhaps the exact same thing would have happened. Or maybe something worse would have occurred instead. It was impossible to tell.
All Obi-Wan knew was that after the movie, Anakin took the wheel. Padmé sat in the back to give her room and so she could easily lean against the side of the car. The day had been exhausting for her and once the movie was over, she was ready to fall asleep. Obi-Wan sat in the passenger’s seat. He chatted back and force with Anakin about his opinion of the movie. They drove through the streets.
Anakin began to slow down for a red light but it turned green before he got near.
He eased back onto the gas.
Ahead of them, cars continued forward.
They couldn’t see around a corner.
They couldn’t see into the future.
It seemed fine.
Anakin passed underneath the streetlight—
They went spinning.
Obi-Wan yelled out.
Pain shot through his body.
Then it went black.
There was nothing, no thought, no movement, no feeling, no numbness, no life, no death, no nothing. Just a void. And then he just wanted to cry out as somebody shook at his shoulder. The slight movement brought everything back. There was a numbness in Obi-Wan’s right hand but pain ran through the arm. A spot on his left leg seemed to flare up and his entire body felt sore. When the shaky and repeated, incoherent words didn’t stop, Obi-Wan opened his eyes and strained them against the light.
He decided he should be in a twist of metal, shattered glass, and blood. But he saw a white ceiling and someone in scrubs over him. The words finally seemed to properly process in his brain as he began to understand them.
“I know this is uncomfortable but we always have to try and wake up patients after a certain amount of time has passed. We have to make sure nothing has gone wrong with the surgery.”
Surgery? Obi-Wan craned his head to look down at himself. Bandages were wrapped around his upper right arm. He couldn’t see his left leg but due to the similar feeling he was getting from it, he decided it was likely damaged in some way too.
“Can you tell me your name?” the nurse asked.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi,” he murmured, his voice somewhat hoarse. “What happened?”
“Tell me the last thing you remember first.”
“Pain,” Obi-Wan got out. “We were driving and then…the car was out of control.”
“Yes, a drunk driver ran a red light and hit the car on the driver’s side.”
“What about the others?” Obi-Wan whispered.
“Alive for now. I can’t tell you more than that.”
“You can’t just tell me that,” Obi-Wan responded.
“Sir, you’re not their family and I can’t release—”
Obi-Wan’s hand shot out, grabbing the nurse by her robes. “I am their family! You have to tell me! Are they going to make it! Are they—”
“Sir, let go of me now or I will have you restrained,” the nurse interrupted, their voice having gone commanding and steely though there was some shakiness as well. He realized he was scaring them.
Obi-Wan’s grip eased before finally letting go, defeated. “I’m…I’m…please just…I have to know they’re alright. I’ve got to know they’ll…”
As he trailed off, the nurse dusted off her scrubs. “I’m sorry sir, but there is nothing else I can say on the matter. Now, there are some rather standard questions—”
“Please,” Obi-Wan couldn’t help the tears coming to his eyes. This was happening all over again. He’d lost Qui-Gon. He couldn’t lose Padmé and Anakin. “I have to know…”
“Maybe so but I can’t break—” The nurse immediately cut herself off upon hearing the heart monitor going up. She was able to recognize what was happening. “Sir, just take a deep breath. You’re alright. It’s just a panic attack. Just keep your breathing easy.”
A sob escaped Obi-Wan’s lips. He wanted to scream. He wanted to thrash out but he remained still. His entire body trembled.
“You have to breath sir. You need to breath.”
Obi-Wan tried to. It was so hard. He felt like he was crumbling inside but something must have changed on the outside because the nurse then said, “I’ll see if I can…do anything. Just remember to keep breathing sir. I’ll be right back.”
Obi-Wan watched her leave and then turned his gaze back to the ceiling. Until he saw them, he wouldn’t be able to believe that they were alive. For the moment, he felt more alone than he ever had before. He could feel pieces of himself dying inside, falling away, like there would be nothing left but an empty shell. Everything had been perfect but now…
“Sir.” The nurse was back. “I need to be able to ask these questions. Are you alright if I ask these questions in front of someone?”
Obi-Wan hesitantly nodded.
“Alright, then you permit for a visitor?”
“Alright, ma’am you may come in.”
It was Padmé. She wasn’t in a hospital gown though there was a hospital band on one of her wrists. A butterfly bandage was on her face for a cut and a small bandage was wrapped around her left wrist.
She rushed over, her hands immediately moving over the familiar curves of Obi-Wan’s face and body. Obi-Wan brought the un-bandaged hand up and softly caressed Padmé’s face.
“You’re alright?” he whispered. She nodded, biting her bottom lip to hold back tears. “What about Anakin?”
“I don’t know. He’s still in surgery. They won’t tell me more than that.”
The nurse coughed. “I need to get this questioning finished with sir. Afterwards, the visitor can remain but I need to finish this.”
Obi-Wan resisted the urge to snap at the nurse. He had to remind himself she was just doing her job. “Fine, ask the questions.”
He rushed with the answers, simply wanting to get the woman out of there as quickly as possible. He did note the information of what she had to say about his injuries though. Two major cuts, the right arm would be fine, but he had to be careful not to rip the stitches on his left leg. A major artery had been severed. A rip could lead to him bleeding out.
“That is all?” Obi-Wan said hurriedly.
“Yes,” sighed the nurse. “Someone will be back to check on you within the hour.”
With that, she left and finally Obi-Wan allowed all of his attention towards Padmé. “What happened?” he whispered hurriedly. “What do you remember? Do you know anything about Anakin?”
“I…I was…both of you were knocked out,” Padmé finally said. “Most of the damage went to the front of the car. I mostly just got bruised and knocked around a bit. Once they stopped you from bleeding they were able to get you out but Anakin…his arm…they couldn’t get it…I think they amputated it at the scene.”
“Christ,” murmured Obi-Wan. “But will he live?”
“I think so but…I don’t know. Oh god I don’t know and…”
“I know,” Obi-Wan whispered, knowing exactly how she felt. “What about the baby?”
“Twins. We’re…we’re having twins,” Padmé said softly. “They’re fine but…Anakin should be here. He shouldn’t be…”
“I know,” Obi-Wan repeated, his voice cracking. He wiped at Padmé’s tears as his own pulled at his eyes. They simply remained with their hands tightly wrapped in each other’s, staying as near as possible as they waited for anything.
When someone came to check in on Obi-Wan again, they revealed nothing on Anakin’s condition.
They had to wait for another hour to pass before another nurse came in with something substantial.
“As I have come to understand that Mr. Skywalker has no family in the country,” said the nurse, “and you two are closest to him, I have permission to show you to his room.” Obi-Wan immediately jerked forward but the nurse held up a hand. “Once you’ve healed more so, you may visit Skywalker as well but for the moment it is to dangerous to move you to a wheelchair. Ma’am, if you’d like, I can take you to Skywalker’s room now.”
Padmé looked to Obi-Wan.
“Go,” Obi-Wan whispered. It hurt to say the words but if he couldn’t see Anakin, then he needed Padmé to go and see him, even if it meant being alone. “See him. Tell me that he’s alive.”
“I will,” Padmé promised. She kissed Obi-Wan softly. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Obi-Wan let his hand slowly slip from Padmé’s and watched her go. He tried to relax, to sleep, but he couldn’t despite the extreme feeling of exhaustion. The urge to get up and look for Anakin was there but knowing his luck, he’d break the stitching and bleed out. He couldn’t do anything and though he had told Padmé to go, oh how he wished she was still there.
Another nurse came, this time with food. Obi-Wan messed with it but he quickly found he couldn’t stomach anything. His nerves were stretched thin. All he could do was sit there and wait for something of importance to occur.
Finally, his physician came and gave him a more detailed rundown of his injuries and the recovery time. Obi-Wan noted that he would be able to leave in about three days as long as he took precautions.
The doctor nearly left before pausing and adding, “You may be given a psych eval. I need to know you’re not going to attack anymore employees. Your friend was bad enough.”
“I didn’t—wait. Anakin? What did he do? What happened?” Obi-Wan asked hurriedly.
“Hmm, basically the same you did except he took it a step forward and punched one of them.”
“What’s his state? Does he—”
“I can’t tell you specifics,” the doctor interrupted, “but he should be fine to visit you tomorrow. Or you him.”
Obi-Wan nodded. At least there was that. He hoped Anakin hadn’t done anything to stupid. Then again, he didn’t know the exact state of him right now. Padmé had been gone for so long…
Hours passed and Obi-Wan knew it was slipping into the night hours by how the bustle of the hospital began to die down and the light outside dimmed away. He hoped Padmé hadn’t been pushed out, at least not before he could see her one last time. He had a whole night that he would have to get through. He wasn’t sure if he’d make it without seeing her just once more.
Glancing at the standard clock on the wall, Obi-Wan saw that it was nearly one in the morning. It had seemed like eight only moments ago. Had he dozed off or was he really that out of it? Had he slept at all or had he just been staring at the ceiling? He couldn’t remember anyone coming in for the hourly check.
Obi-Wan looked around the room but nothing had changed except someone had taken the uneaten food. The next hour came closer and closer. He heard a noise and expected a nurse or doctor to come in but instead it was Padmé.
“What are you doing here?”
“What are you doing awake?” she countered.
“Couldn’t sleep,” Obi-Wan replied. He watched as Padmé took a chair next to his bed and he quickly took her hand in his. “Anakin?”
“Sleeping finally. Like you should be,” said Padmé.
“I heard he punched someone?”
“That’s…putting it lightly.”
“Padmé, please just tell me what’s happened. Tell me how he is,” stressed Obi-Wan.
“He…one moment he’d be fine and then…just break down…and at one point started yelling. He…Anakin doesn’t know what he’s going to do. He’s an engineer. He needs both hands and now…”
“There are prosthetics.”
“I know. He knows that,” sighed Padmé. “It’s just…he’s still in shock over it. Still…coming to terms. I think it would help if he saw you. He’s worried sick being unable to.”
“A doctor said I could probably go see him tomorrow. If not the other way around.”
“That will be good. For both of you I think.”
Obi-Wan was able to fall asleep with Padmé there. When he woke up, the sun was high in the sky and the blinds had been moved back. He blinked at the light and murmured, “How long have I been asleep?”
“Well, it’s one in the afternoon now so—”
“Anakin!” Obi-Wan’s gaze quickly turned to his other side. Anakin was sitting where Padmé had been last night. He wore a hospital robe and had an IV stand next to him. The stump was heavily bandaged but Obi-Wan didn’t concentrate on it long. He needed to see Anakin’s eyes. There was a still healing cut over one but he looked into Anakin’s eyes instead, looked at the pain, the grief, the exhaustion. Yet there was still the smile on his lips. Obi-Wan reached out a hand and traced Anakin’s lips, a motion he had done so many times but now was incredibly important. “Come here.”
Obi-Wan pulled him into a kiss, gentle and kind. Finally seeing Anakin had allowed for some momentary peace. “You don’t realize how good it is to see you.”
Anakin nodded. “Yeah. You too. I wasn’t sure if…if they’d let me.”
“Who? The doctors?”
“They’ve been…um…talking about my mental state. Talking about medications and…I just…I’m afraid of…I don’t know Obi-Wan. I don’t know what I’m going to do. And Padmé…she told me about the twins. Twins! We’re having twins but I…what am I going to do?”
“Hey, I’m the one who’s suppose to panic over the babies. Not you,” Obi-Wan said gently. “And you sound like you’ve given up before you’ve begun.”
“I…sometimes I think I can do it. Like I…I know of ways to get around this and that I’ll be able to continue with my work and then…right now I feel…”
Anakin was suddenly crying, flipping emotions like a snap of his fingers. The last major time this had happened was when Anakin’s mother had died.
Obi-Wan ran a hand through Anakin’s hair. “Hush…I’m here…I’m here…”
“I don’t-I don’t know-what will I-urhg!” Anakin jerked away and stood up, switching back to anger. It reminded Obi-Wan of when he had helped Anakin get his anger out by fencing. Neither were in any state for something physical.
“You’ll rip the IV out if you’re not careful,” Obi-Wan replied, keeping his voice calm but firm now. “Please just take a few deep breaths. Just calm down.”
“Why?! Why does it matter? How can you even still care?”
“How can I not? I love you Anakin. I love you so god damn much.”
“Wasn’t-wasn’t it you who told me like-there are no absolutes or some shit. Like-back at Oxford or something?” Anakin replied. The anger was still there but at least he seemed to be calming down now.
“Yes, I said that,” Obi-Wan admitted. “There are no absolutes. Except for the fact that I love you.”
“Shit…that’s like the dumbest, most sickly romantic thing you’ve ever said.”
“It’s true,” Obi-Wan replied. “Now come back over here. I can’t hold you from there.”
Anakin did just that, this time getting on Obi-Wan’s bed and leaning against him. “I don’t think I can do this by myself.”
“Then it’s a good thing you don’t have to,” murmured Obi-Wan.
He held Anakin until Padmé came to the room. For that day, they didn’t really talk. Words were said, mostly pointless and just there to fill the silence, and it was really just the presence of being around each other that was needed.
In the coming days, some moments were easier to actually talk. One day Anakin seemed fine and calm enough to discuss everything, what he was going to do, the choices of prosthetics, everything, and then the next moment he was hysterical over it all, sometimes even violent. It was the violence that worried Obi-Wan the most. Being stuck in the hospital, there was no easy way for him to release it.
After Obi-Wan was released, he momentarily went home to get a change of clothes with Padmé but immediately asked her to drop him off at the hospital again. Padmé still had work that she had to keep up with but Obi-Wan was on leave for another week. He’d spend that time with Anakin. The younger man only had a few more days before the hospital would release him.
On his last day in the hospital, Anakin was given a referral to a psychiatrist.
Obi-Wan expected this to either set Anakin off or that he would at least be totally against it. Instead, Anakin simply nodded. “I’ll go there. Thank you doctor.”
When Obi-Wan and Anakin were alone again, Obi-Wan turned to Anakin and asked, “You’re being serious? You’ll actually go?”
“What? Expected me to put up a fight or try and argue it back?”
Anakin sighed. “I would have. I wanted to. But I…Padmé probably didn’t tell you.”
“Tell me what?” asked Obi-Wan cautiously.
“I…it makes me sick just thinking about it but I…I wasn’t thinking and I hit her and I was just so angry and so confused and then it hit me what I had done and what if I had actually hurt her and what if I just stopped thinking and hit you or even hurt you or if I hurt our children and—”
“Anakin, slow down. Slow down,” soothed Obi-Wan. “It’s alright.”
“No it’s not alright! That’s the problem and I…want to just ignore it and try and bottle all this up but if I do that then…that’ll make it worse. Damn my pride I gotta keep you guys safe. I’m about to be a father god damn it. I can’t…I have to be thinking about you guys too,” Anakin finally got out.
“That’s very mature of you.”
“Is it?” Anakin perked up, looking shocked but hopeful.
“Most certainly. And Padmé and I will be with you every step of the way. Never think that you’re doing this alone. Whatever you need, we’ll be there for you,” Obi-Wan replied.
“Because the only absolute is that you love me and Padmé?” asked Anakin with a raised eyebrow.
Obi-Wan allowed himself to smirk. “Absolutely.”
Chapter 14: The Twins
Thank you for reading and the kudos and comments. I hope you enjoy this chapter.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Anakin attempted to close the hand. The robotic fingers obeyed. The joy on Anakin’s face caused a smile to appear on Obi-Wan’s. It was the second prosthetic that Anakin had been fitted with.
After the wreck, weeks had continued to pass. They had largely consisted of Anakin readjusting and going through the steps of counseling that he’d been recommended. In that time, fencing became fairly helpful as it only needed one hand to begin with. Anakin had to readjust himself, practice differently to help the balance, but getting into the usual routine of fencing allowed for a safe and easy way to get out any anger or discontent that might be brewing inside Anakin.
Padmé had healed well from her small injuries and the babies were both growing without any issue. Obi-Wan had also healed though to say that a bad dream never entered his sleep would have been a lie.
He wasn’t the only one. It was not uncommon for Obi-Wan and/or Anakin to wake up sweating and disheveled. But Padmé helped a great deal. She kept them both grounded. And as the time between the event and the present grew, it became easier to sleep in each other’s arms.
Besides getting use to everything at home, Anakin had to learn to adapt at work. Anakin managed with the help of Ahsoka and others. The software part was simple enough, typing it out just took a little longer. For the physical aspects of his work, it helped having Ahsoka or Rex there to hold things still for him among other things but it was already clear that the new prosthetic would help immensely. There were multiple grips he could succeed with it, even more because he could snap the thumb into different positions along with the elbow joint.
“Alright, now this one definitely reminds of Terminator,” said Anakin.
Obi-Wan couldn’t help but roll his eyes. “There are probably better things to compare that to.”
“Hey, don’t bash the Terminator,” chuckled Anakin. He tried a few other types of grips and moved the thumb back and forth for practice. He turned back to the doctor. “What else is there?”
The doctor finished describing the precautions and regular checks that Anakin should make. The doctor finished with, “And I’m sure you could fix any problem that occurs but I would highly suggest that you bring it back to us first.”
Anakin laughed. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
With that done, they were to meet Padmé for lunch. However, upon leaving, they got a call from her.
Obi-Wan answered. “Hey we’re just—”
“My water broke and I’ve started going into labor.”
Obi-Wan froze. “But-but-you’re not due for—”
“Four weeks. I know!” Padmé got out. There was a moment before she could get out anymore words. “I’m almost to the hospital. Meet me there.”
“Almost-Padmé, what was that noise?!” Obi-Wan asked hurriedly.
“Me honking at an idiot,” she got out.
“You’re driving?!” yelled Anakin. He had pressed his face up against Obi-Wan’s, listening intently. “Padmé why the hell are you driving?!”
“I was driving when it happened! It’s not like I planned it!” she growled.
“But you need to—” Obi-Wan was quickly interrupted.
“I know what I need to do and that is get to a hospital before I give birth in a damn car,” Padmé got out. “Now both of you get over to the hospital!”
“Alright alright, we’ll be there soon,” Obi-Wan quickly replied, hanging up as Anakin started the car. Obi-Wan glanced over. “I know this is serious but please obey the speed limits.”
“It takes nearly an hour to get to the hospital from here! Damn the speed limit!”
“Hey, if you have such a problem with my driving, then how about you learn to drive?”
“I haven’t had the time,” muttered Obi-Wan.
“Oh come now Anakin! You drove bad enough with two hands!” Obi-Wan cried out as a car nearby laid on their horn.
Anakin just gave him a wolfish grin in response.
Still, despite his driving, it seemed that the universe was against them. Getting into the city, traffic had quickly piled up around them. Then a wreck occurred and they quickly realized they were stuck. Obi-Wan looked over to Anakin.
“Don’t even think about it.”
They had been sitting there for close to fifteen minutes. Anakin nervously tapped his fingers against the wheel. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh yes you do. Don’t you dare pull up onto that sidewalk.”
“Well now that you mention it—”
“Anakin, the last thing we need to do is get arrested. Besides, everything is going to be fine,” Obi-Wan replied.
“You don’t know that. A number of things could go wrong. What if—”
“Don’t even start with that,” sighed Obi-Wan. “There are a million blasted what ifs. Just focus on getting us out of here and to the hospital.”
The entire time Anakin was jittery. Obi-Wan couldn’t blame him but it certainly wasn’t helping his own nerves. It was to early. What if something was wrong with one of the twins? Or both of them? What if something was happening to Padmé now? What if she ended up—
Obi-Wan mentally cursed himself for doing exactly what he had warned Anakin not to. Still, it wasn’t like there was much else they could do. Time passed as they inched forward, trying to get out of traffic. When they were finally clear, Anakin zipped forward.
“Alright, slow down there,” muttered Obi-Wan.
“We’ve wasted to much time already. It’s past an hour and a half.”
“The average time for labor is—”
“Well she was due in four weeks so let’s just throw out the idea that any of this is going to be average,” Anakin replied.
Obi-Wan just let out a small groan. “Well we can at least assume something is happening since Padmé hasn’t called in all this time.”
“Let’s just hope its good,” sighed Anakin.
They finally managed to get to the hospital and then after about five more minutes of looking for a place to park, they were able to get out and hurry into the hospital. Getting the information, they hurried to the room number they’d been given. Upon arrival, they saw Padmé was already decked out in a hospital gown. A nurse sat by her, holding her hand.
Obi-Wan quickly took one of Padmé’s hands. “Padmé, how are you doing? Does it look like the babies are due now? What—”
Anakin replaced the nurse and held the other hand tight. “Has the doctor been here yet? What about tests? Are you going to be alright? What—”
“Calm down, both of you,” Padmé interrupted. “Good lord, I should be the one freaking out here.”
“Sorry,” they both said in unison.
“It’s—urgh!” Padmé gritted her teeth as a contraction racked her body. She let out a huge breath. “It’s fine.”
“But what have the doctors said?” asked Anakin hurriedly.
The nurse coughed slightly. “Perhaps I could help. In the past thirty minutes, her contractions have become fairly regular. If this continues, it’s likely she’ll give birth within two hours.”
“But what about the children?” Obi-Wan questioned.
The nurse replied, “Being born this early, the children are more likely to have health problems but so far all tests have come back with encouraging results. And believe me, we have dealt with babies born much younger. The children should be fine if they’re born today.”
“Thank you,” sighed Obi-Wan. He turned back to Padmé. “Is there anything we can do?”
“Having you here is enough for now,” Padmé replied, gripping both her boys’ hands.
An hour passed and the contractions continued fairly regular. Anakin and Obi-Wan remained there the entire time, helping talk Padmé through each one.
About two hours went by before it started. Despite the early and unexpected nature, it went successfully and no further complications arose as Padmé gave birth to a boy and a girl. The doctor’s cleaned them up and swaddled them, handing both to Padmé afterwards.
Early on, Anakin and Obi-Wan had both agreed that Padmé should name both the children. In the time between that decision and now, Padmé had never revealed any ideas she had and neither had she asked to discover the gender of the two babies so both Anakin and Obi-Wan were left waiting in anticipation.
Obi-Wan held his finger out and let the baby girl wrap her tiny hand around it. “Hey sweet heart,” he cooed, a smile coming to his face. “Hey.”
“Luke,” Padmé suddenly said, her gaze finally leaving the two children to look at Anakin and Obi-Wan. “And Leia.”
“I like it,” grinned Anakin. “Hi Luke. Hi little guy.”
They were given a few more moments, simply looking in awe at the children, when a nurse came forward. “We need to take them for their tests to make sure they’ll be fine.”
“Of course,” murmured Padmé. She gave one last, kind gaze to each of her children before passing them onto the nurse. When they left her hands, she allowed herself to fully relax against the hospital bed.
Obi-Wan kissed her cheek. In a voice close to disbelief, he said, “We have a baby boy and girl.”
She nodded, her smile tired yet still strong and proud. “We do.”
Padmé remained in the hospital for twenty-four hours for recovery before being released. The twins were going to need to stay in the hospital for several more days due to their early births but all test results had been promising and it looked like they would be going home soon.
Anakin and Obi-Wan took Padmé home after seeing the twins again. They visited them daily until on the sixth day they were able to bring them home.
For Obi-Wan, now that the twins had names, the fact that he was a father seemed to be truly dawning on him. Little Luke and Leia, both still so small yet healthy children, were a reality. Obi-Wan could hold them, kiss their little heads, and tuck them in bed at night.
The guest bedroom on the second floor had been remade into the babies’ room so that it was easily accessible in the night. Two cribs sat in it, designed by Anakin and made by him and Obi-Wan. Both cribs were a soft green and the walls were cream colored. They hadn’t done much else with the room besides a few pre-bought toys and a changing station, a lot of time having to be taken into account due to the accident and Anakin’s disability. Nevertheless, they had everything they needed for the twins at the moment and plenty of plans to improve the room.
The first night that the children were there, Obi-Wan was the first to respond to their cries. It wasn’t time for them to be fed so Obi-Wan hurried out of bed and to the room next door in the hopes that the others wouldn’t be disturbed from sleep yet.
Luke was awake but silent, his bright eyes wide and staring. Leia was the one crying, almost as if she’d woken from a bad dream.
Obi-Wan took her in his arms, slowly rocking her back and forth. “Hey, you’re too young to be having bad dreams little one,” Obi-Wan cooed softly. “Shh, it’s alright.”
He continued to rock her back and forth, the motion easing her a bit.
“How about a little lullaby? Hmm? Maybe that will help,” murmured Obi-Wan. He racked his head for one of the ones that he remembered hearing at the orphanage. “There was a man lived in the moon,/Lived in the moon, lived in the moon,/There was a man lived in the moon,/And his name was Aiken Drum.”
Obi-Wan’s voice naturally slipped into a soft, Scottish accent as he continued the children’s song. It was a long one and he only got halfway through it before Leia finally seemed to drop off. He slowly allowed his voice to drift away, leaving the song behind as he gently put Leia back into her crib. He went to check on Luke next but the baby had closed his eyes and fallen asleep. Obi-Wan smiled and turned back to the opening of the room only to seen Anakin and Padmé standing there and leaning against the door frame.
“You now,” Obi-Wan said softly, walking towards them, “the whole point of me coming out here was so you two could sleep.”
“I couldn’t help it. You have a beautiful voice,” Padmé responded with a small smile. “I’m surprised we haven’t heard you sing before. What were you singing?”
“A song from my childhood.”
“I liked it,” Anakin grinned. “Especially the part about the hat made of cream cheese.”
Obi-Wan snorted. “It is a rather silly song.”
“But it seems to have worked,” replied Padmé. “Come, let’s get to bed.”
In the next few days, they had several visitors that came to see the babies, including Padmé’s father. Bail also came to visit with his wife. Leia seemed to take a particular liking to Bail. Unlike Luke who loved to be held, Leia was a bit more withdrawn and it took the three parents a few moments to figure out when she wanted to be held and when she didn’t. However, the moment Bail came near, she seemed to reach out for him.
“I must say, I’m a bit jealous,” chuckled Anakin after getting over the momentary shock. He gently placed Leia in Bail’s arms. “I’m fairly certain you won’t be able to get rid of her now.”
“Oh , I wouldn’t mind it to much though I think Padmé may raise some objections,” Bail laughed as Leia clung to him.
As Padmé laughed in return, Obi-Wan walked over and said with good nature, “Excuse me but I will gladly raise some objections too.”
“Of course, my apologies,” Bail replied with a small smile. “But I must say, it is tempting taking this one home.”
“You’re better off with Luke,” Padmé said. “You’ll stay awake all night with this one. Not that we mind of course. But that does bring up something I’ve been meaning to ask you. I want you to be the children’s godfather.”
“Padmé…” Bail said softly.
“Obviously you’d have to wait behind these two dorks,” Padmé said, her voice humorous before growing serious again, “but just…if something were to happen to all three of us, I know we could trust you.”
Bail looked to Anakin and Obi-Wan for confirmation. It was only when they both nodded that Bail said, “It would be my honor to be the twins’ godfather.”
“Thank you,” said Padmé.
As the coming weeks passed, with the help of friends and family, the twins’ room became a proper bedroom. A day was spent where they did nothing but paint the walls with bright symbols and colors. Around one of the windows they had painted a great tree, its braches reaching towards the ceiling and creating a brown crown around the room, filled with flowers and leaves. There were plenty of blankets and toys for both kids and Anakin had also started designing a mobile for both.
On maternity leave time, Padmé took care of both Luke and Leia when Obi-Wan and Anakin were at work but after a month had passed, it became clear that they would have to start rearranging their schedule of care for the twins.
The subject came up as one night, Padmé, Anakin, and Obi-Wan sat watching a movie with the twins. Padmé held Luke as Obi-Wan held Leia. When the movie was paused, Padmé took that moment to speak out and say, “I plan on going back to work next week.”
Anakin frowned. “Already? You’re still allowed something like two more weeks right? I don’t want you pushing yourself to much.”
“I agree,” Obi-Wan replied. “Technically, you haven’t even stopped working. You’ve just done it all from home. You are allowed to rest Padmé.”
“If I thought I was over doing it, then I would step down. But I have one more year left until my term as mayor is over and there’s still a great deal to be done. I still have a duty to this city.”
“You’re right, as usual. But it doesn’t mean we don’t worry about you. What about the twins?” questioned Anakin.
“Well, obviously I can watch them Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the weekend if needed since I don’t have classes then,” Obi-Wan put in. “But what about the other days?”
“Hmm, I should be able to bring them to work,” Anakin put in. “Keep them in the office and what not. And I’m sure Ahsoka wouldn’t mind looking after them a bit if needed. She loves them.”
“Alright,” Padmé said with a thoughtful look. “And on days where it’s just office work, I’ll bring them to work if need be.”
Obi-Wan nodded. “That should work. And both Leia and Luke are good at not making too much noise in the presence of others. The only important thing to watch out for is that Luke is in a secure area or being looked after. He’s already so curious. There’s no telling the kinds of trouble he could get into.”
Anakin laughed. “Very true. But this is good. We don’t need to hire anyone then and like I said, if all of us are busy then Ahsoka would love to watch them.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” Padmé said. “Just make sure that you double check at work. I don’t want you getting in trouble when your supervisor finds two kids have magically appeared in one of the offices.”
“I’ll make sure to do that,” grinned Anakin. “Though if all else fails, I can always blame Rex.”
“That poor man,” sighed Obi-Wan. “It’s amazing that he continues to put up with you after all these years. So, back to the movie?”
After the movie was done, they put the kids to sleep and went to bed themselves. The upcoming week became a trial to see if their situation would actually succeed. Luckily it did and a new routine was quickly created. Through their combined efforts, they were all able to continue working while still being parents and caring for the twins.
The work needed for taking care of both children eventually made Obi-Wan realize something else. He was in love with Padmé and Anakin. The moment the twins were born, he was in love with both of them. But more importantly, Obi-Wan now knew he was in love with his life. He couldn’t find a single aspect to argue about, even when getting up in the middle of the night to calm a baby’s cries.
Obi-Wan was content with is life in a way he had never been and there was still so much to look forward to. The years that he still had with Padmé and Anakin, watching Luke and Leia grow up, just thinking of all of it brought a smile to Obi-Wan’s face. He would be there for the little things like helping with homework and the big things like when they finally moved out, the sad times and the good times, all of it. He would be the father that he never had, and he couldn’t help but imagine that Anakin had the same thought process.
Would everything be perfect? No, it was ridiculous to expect that. But through it all Obi-Wan would have his family, he’d be a father, and that was enough.
But as months passed and Leia and Luke grew, Obi-Wan would quickly be given the opportunity to be even more.
The song that Obi-Wan sings is a Scottish folk song called Aiken Drum.
Chapter 15: Three Vows
A big thank you to everyone who has read, commented, and left kudos on this! Thank you very much! And for those interested, I am writing a sequel to this. It will focus on Leia, Luke, and Han but will obviously have references to this and of course a few obianidala moments in it to :) Thanks again and I hope you enjoy this last chapter.
In all honesty, the thought had never crossed Obi-Wan’s mind. If it had, he would never have thought to ask it and honestly, he would have assumed Padmé would be the one to bring up the idea. Instead, it was Anakin.
It was dinner time and Anakin was doing the correct, fatherly thing and teaching both Luke and Leia the proper way to play with their food. Some of Luke’s applesauce had somehow ended up in his growing, fuzzy hair and now Anakin was trying to wipe it out.
Obi-Wan laughed. “If I remember correctly, that isn’t the proper place for food.”
“Hush, I’m feeding them.”
“Really?” asked Padmé. “Are you sure you don’t want me to take over?”
“We’re doing just fine by ourselves thank you,” grinned Anakin. He helped reform a food pyramid as Obi-Wan rolled his eyes.
“I’m sure you are but I feel that I should interject,” Obi-Wan chuckled as he scooted over to Leia. As he helped feed her, he added, “So Padmé, how are your last months as Mayor going?”
“Very well. I’ve already set up a campaign strategy for Congress but I will have some free time between my time as Mayor and before campaign season starts,” Padmé replied.
Obi-Wan smiled. “I’m glad to hear that. You’ll have some proper vacation time then.”
“Yes. We should plan something,” Padmé smiled. She opened her mouth to suggest something but was quickly interrupted by Anakin.
He said, “What about a honeymoon?”
Obi-Wan and Padmé froze. “What?” they asked at the same time.
Anakin absent mindedly ran a spoon round and round in Luke’s food as the kid reached out with his tiny hands, trying to grasp it. “Well,” said Anakin, “I mean…you know just…we could uh…get married and usually…well…you know…people have honeymoons and stuff so—”
“Anakin,” Obi-Wan interrupted with a kind smile. “Are you asking Padmé and I to marry you?”
“Well I mean…not like it would be real in the eyes of the law but…well…it would be real to us and we could have a ceremony and just…well…yeah.”
Padmé couldn’t help the large smile that was on her face as she leaned over. “Have you been thinking about this for a while?”
“Uh, sort of,” Anakin admitted sheepishly.
“Anakin,” said Obi-Wan, “I would love to be married to you both.”
Padmé nodded. “I would love to as well. I am curious where this has come from though.”
“I just…I’ve always liked the idea. Seems stupid but just…my mother was really happy when she got married. She…she fit with my step-father. I just…I’ve always wanted to find someone to be able to make that official with. And I’d just like...well…to be able to call you my husband and wife…and you just mentioned that you’d have some free time so I figured I might as well just go for it and…I did,” Anakin replied. “Probably not the best proposal but…”
“No, it’s perfect,” replied Padmé. Then she perked up with an idea. “Obi-Wan, beforehand, you should marry one of us.”
“I’m a bit confused,” Obi-Wan admitted.
“Well, Anakin has gotten citizenship here so either one of us could work but if you were to marry one of us, then getting your citizenship here would be easier and that way you wouldn’t ever have to worry about your work visa expiring,” Padmé put in.
“That…actually wouldn’t be a bad idea,” admitted Obi-Wan. He hadn’t thought that far ahead to a time where he might not work. Basically what Padmé was saying was that she wanted Obi-Wan there for the rest of their life. Obi-Wan had assumed that he would always be there for the twins but he didn’t quite realize that would mean getting the chance to grow old with Padmé and Anakin. That he’d actually be spending the rest of his life with them. The closest word that could describe what he felt was pure and utter joy but even that couldn’t fully describe how he felt. “Yes, it would be easier for me to get citizenship and we wouldn’t have to worry about this later on.”
“Terrific,” said Padmé. “So, you’ll get married to one of us and then we can set up a proper wedding and honeymoon for all of us.”
Anakin asked Padmé, “When exactly will you have time to do all this?”
“Oh, in about six more months,” Padmé replied.
“Alright,” said Obi-Wan, “so we have that time to plan everything. Obviously this is going to be extremely unorthodox but I’m assuming we want somebody to be the officiator so to speak.”
“I…have a suggestion if you don’t mind,” Padmé said. “I’m sure Bail would love to take the role. And he and his wife could even take care of the children while we’re away on our honeymoon.”
“I think that’s an excellent idea,” Obi-Wan replied.
Anakin quickly agreed. “I like it. And…thank you both to saying yes.”
Padmé smiled. “How could we possibly say no?”
“Well…” Anakin said with a small shrug.
Obi-Wan laughed. “Believe me Anakin. Neither of us could ever say no to you. Now, I think Luke is getting rather frustrated about being unable to grab his spoon.”
Luke’s little fingers reached as far as he could, grazing the spoon.
“Alright little guy, sorry,” grinned Anakin. “Here you go.”
In the coming months, major plans were made and people contacted. Ruwee Naberrie honestly admitted how odd he found the situation, which was refreshing in a way, but he also gave his full cooperation to Padmé in making her happy and said that he would help in any way possible. Padmé was overjoyed at that.
However, a few weeks before the wedding, an amazing thing happened.
Luke and Leia were nearly a year old. Both had a small mop of blonde hair though Leia’s was already darkening. They were growing up strong and healthy but one day while Obi-Wan was at home and taking care of them both, Leia did a wonderful thing.
She was making noises from her and Luke’s play pen in the living room while Obi-Wan graded papers. Glancing up, Obi-Wan noticed that it wasn’t anything serious, she just wanted some attention, so Obi-Wan concentrated on finishing up the last few parts before he went over there when he heard something specific.
His head whipped up and looked over at the play pen. Luke was messing with a stuffed animal but Leia was still leaning against the play pen wall with an insistent look on her face. She didn’t make another noise at first, clearly expecting something to happen now that Obi-Wan was looking at her, but when all he could do was stare, she tried again.
Obi-Wan slowly got up and walked over, his eyes wide with wonder. She reached up with a little hand. “Da-dad.”
Obi-Wan grabbed her and pulled her into a tight hug. “You spoke! You said your first word!”
Leia gave him a confused look, not fully understanding his excitement, and start pulling at his beard, something that seemed to amuse her when nothing else would. Obi-Wan didn’t mind though, still grinning from ear to ear.
“Can you say it again? Dad…”
“No, just dad. Dad,” he coaxed with a laugh.
“Yes, good job. You can’t believe how proud I am of you,” Obi-Wan whispered. He knelt down and carefully picked up Luke. “You feel like saying anything?”
Luke produced babbling nonsense in response.
“Ha, alright little guy. You’re not ready, it’s ok,” chuckled Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan later called Anakin and Padmé about the news, too excited about it to wait until they were both home. As the time for the wedding came closer, Leia picked up a few words here and there, her vocabulary widening, but it wouldn’t be until the day of the wedding when Luke said his first words.
In the end, they had decided that Obi-Wan would marry Anakin, mainly because Obi-Wan was more likely to be available and able to respond if something was wrong and they also agreed that Anakin was the most accident prone so he would probably need someone who was able to run to his aid if needed (Anakin of course said that it was Obi-Wan that would need him and Obi-Wan kindly let him believe that). They got married at the courthouse, just a quick, simple ceremony to get it legalized, before going to the real ceremony.
The venue was at a lodging up in the mountains. The weather was perfect, bright blue skies and clouds passed overhead. Outside, friends and family had already begun to gather. Inside, Anakin and Obi-Wan both nervously messed with each other’s tuxes, fixing little imperfections that weren’t there to busy their hands. Padmé was in a different room, the finishing touches on her wedding dress being taken care of. In a few minutes, Anakin and Obi-Wan would walk out there and stand near Bail where they would await Padmé.
As Obi-Wan adjusted Anakin’s bowtie for the sixth time and Anakin’s fingers on the prosthetic nervously moved back and forth, Ahsoka and Rex came in, each holding Leia and Luke respectively.
Ahsoka gave a small laugh. “Guys, calm down. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this nervous.”
“It’s a big day, alright Snips?” Anakin defended. “Nerves come with the territory. How are the little guys? Luke staying out of trouble Rex?”
“I’ve kept him out of trouble but he’s been trying. Nearly managed to knock over a full vase of flowers,” Rex chuckled.
“Flower.” Luke’s hand reached out to the small flower on Anakin’s lapel.
“He said his first word! Obi-Wan, did you hear that?!”
“Well I am standing right next to you.”
Anakin rolled his eyes. “Hey, you couldn’t contain your joy when Leia first spoke. Let me have my moment.” He took Luke from Rex’s hands. “Come on! We have to tell Padmé.”
“Isn’t it bad luck to see the bride before the wedding?” smirked Ahsoka.
“I’m also fairly sure you’re not supposed to marry two people at the same time,” Anakin replied with a grin.
Ahsoka snorted. “Good point. Come on, she’s just a few rooms over.”
The group quickly went over where Padmé was with her father and a friend. Padmé laughed. “Have we changed the wedding for in here?”
Obi-Wan chuckled, “No but we have wonderful news.”
“Luke,” Leia said, pointing at her brother.
“Luke hmm? What has Luke done?” asked Padmé kindly.
“Flower,” Luke repeated, messing with the flower on Anakin’s lapel. “Flower.”
“You’re first word! Oh sweetheart,” Padmé grinned. “This is wonderful.”
Luke giggled, simply happy with all the attention.
Padmé looked to Anakin and Obi-Wan. “You both look wonderful.”
“As do you,” Obi-Wan replied.
“We’re actually doing this,” Anakin said.
“Any regrets?” teased Padmé.
“None at all,” Anakin quickly said.
“Good,” replied Obi-Wan, “cause you’re about to be stuck with us for life.”
“And I will be so lucky for it,” Anakin said.
Rex took a hold of Luke again and Ahsoka continued to carry Leia as they then left the room followed by Obi-Wan, and Anakin. They headed outside to where the friends and family were gathered. Ahsoka and Rex took their seats with the twins as Obi-Wan and Anakin walked up to the center of attention where Bail stood. He smiled at both of them. “Ready?”
“Definitely,” they said in unison.
Bail reached out a hand and adjusted the flower on Anakin’s lapel that Luke had messed with. “There, now you’re ready.”
About a minute passed and then the music started up and all eyes turned to Padmé. Her father slowly walked her down the aisle, her long, lace wedding dress trailing behind her. As her father let her go, Anakin and Obi-Wan moved to each grab one of her hands. Then Anakin and Obi-Wan joined hands.
Bail smiled at all of them before beginning with, “Family members and friends, we are gathered here today for the joining of Padmé Amidala, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker. This is a union not recognized by law but more importantly is recognized by all that preside here. Never have I seen a truer love than theirs, pure and complete. This is the marriage of three individuals becoming one, three who are better for their love of each other, three who have found a peace in each other that would not have been achieved without all members present. Unorthodox? Yes, but that does not make it any less wholesome. Now, traditionally I would ask for those who are against this marriage to speak or forever hold their peace…but I think we’ll just skip to letting them hold their peace.”
A ripple of laughter went through the group.
“Now, for the vows,” Bail finished. He looked to Anakin who was to be the first.
Anakin let loose a shaky breath and then his nerves disappeared from him and a calm seemed to fall over him.
“Padmé,” he said, “from the moment I saw you, you brought forth a feeling of utter devotion and love from me that I didn’t think possible. I couldn’t be prouder of every accomplishment you’ve made, and everyone I have ever met pales in comparison to the light that you are able to create both in yourself and in others. I have loved you since the day I met you and will continue to love you from this moment forth.
“Obi-Wan, despite all the oddities of the beginning of our relationship, I knew I was connected with you and when I left, it was impossible to not notice your absence. You’ve balanced me in a way that didn’t seem probable and have been the driving force that keeps me sane for seemingly forever now. You have taken everything I have given you, the good and the bad, and you continue to love me so deeply that I gladly drown in it. From the beginning you were important to me and now I know that I will love you for the rest of my life.”
Anakin placed one of the three rings that Bail held onto Obi-Wan’s ring finger. All eyes then turned to Padmé.
She began with, “Obi-Wan, since the day we met you have battled me intellectually and politically and I have welcomed every second of it. But it quickly grew that I did not just love your intellect but you, everything from your personality down to how you always give that small smile. I will always regret not immediately coming forward with you, not speaking my true mind and instead dancing circles around you. But the fact that you remained and you understood my position, I knew that if you could forgive me for that, I could forgive you for anything and that not having you in my life would make living incomplete.
“Anakin, from your boyish charm to your sincerity and steadfast nature I have loved you for so long. Even when I knew we were incomplete without Obi-Wan, I knew that I could make a life with you, that I wanted to make a life with you. Your incredibly spontaneous nature has made my life more rich and exciting because of it. You have created an unpredictability in my life that has made me better in every aspect possible because of it and I will forever be grateful for you asking Obi-Wan and I to marry you.”
Padmé then took the second ring and slid it onto Anakin’s ring finger. It was Obi-Wan’s turn now and unlike Padmé and Anakin, he had not prepared two separate vows. In his mind, there was a momentary second of panic as he wondered if his vow would be made lesser because it was directed at both instead of each separately. However, he quickly threw out that idea. It didn’t matter how he presented his vow to them, what mattered was the substance of it.
“Before I first came to know you, before I met you in Oxford, I was lost,” Obi-Wan began. “I could not find a purpose. There was no drive in me, to better myself, to become something, to even enjoy life. Before I even reached thirty, I had mapped out my entire life, a life full of solitude with nothing but memories as companions. But then you both entered it and I felt something in my broken heart. I wanted to be a part of society, to flow with it and simultaneously fight the current. I wanted to be involved with those around me, make a difference, impact those that I came across even if it was small. I didn’t want to simply coast through life till I died. I wanted to love, I believed I could love again and that you would love me. I wanted a life and a family, something of my own that said ‘I was here’ and that I didn’t allow myself to waste away to nothing, that I brought joy to somebody’s life simply by being in it. That is what my love for you two, and your love for me, did. I became someone again. You gave me my life back and now…” Obi-Wan’s voice finally cracked like it had been wanting to from the very beginning of his speech but he managed through it and continued, “…and now I’m going to have a wife and a husband, and I have a little boy and a little girl, and I am finally complete again. I love you both with all my being.”
Obi-Wan finally stopped and went to put the final ring on Padmé’s finger. With that, Bail finished the ceremony. “With the vows done, I pronounce this marriage true and eternal. You may kiss.”
As clapping and cheers came from the gathering, the most noticeable being the pleasant giggling and shouting from Luke and Leia, Obi-Wan kissed Padmé, Padmé kissed Anakin, and then Anakin kissed Obi-Wan before they all gathered each other into their arms. Anakin then pulled them both back down the aisle and out of the eyes of their gathering for the few moments that they had before the dinner and dancing started.
The first words came from Obi-Wan as he said, “I can’t believe I made you cry Padmé I’m so—”
“Shh,” Padmé hushed as she wiped at her eyes. She pressed a finger to his lips. “Tears of joy Obi-Wan. That was…beautiful.”
“Unbelievably beautiful,” Anakin agreed. “I don’t think I’ve ever been more in love with you than when you said your vows. They were perfect, my husband. And yours were as elegant as ever, my wife.”
Padmé smiled. “My husbands,” she whispered, caressing both their faces.
“My gorgeous wife,” Obi-Wan said, “and my perfectly imperfect husband.” Anakin allowed himself a smirk at that. “If I could freeze time, I would freeze it right here.”
Anakin nodded in agreement.
“It would be a wonderful moment in time to freeze,” Padmé smiled, “but we do have guests to entertain and two children awaiting our return. We’ll have plenty of moments to block out the rest of the world on our honeymoon.”
“Oh and I am looking forward to that,” Anakin said as he pecked Padmé’s and Obi-Wan’s cheek. “Come on, let’s go.”
Obi-Wan walked with them back into the groups of guests and into his life.