Fandom: Star Wars
Prompt: written for swficchallenge's Challenge #9 - Love
Characters: Anakin and Obi-Wan
Word Count: 825
Warnings: None. No slash, sorry :)
Anakin followed his Master's Force signature down to the Temple gardens. He was determined to find out what Obi-Wan was hiding. He'd been so distant the past couple days. It was worth skipping class to find out what he was up to.
Anakin was more curious than worried about his Master's whereabouts. He suspected that the solitude Obi-Wan claimed he needed was... not very solitary. Anakin's favorite theory was that he was stealing moments with a secret lover. Obi-Wan Kenobi, perfect Jedi: following the Code to the letter by day, giving in to lust by night. It's not even dark yet, he noted, snickering slightly to himself.
He found Obi-Wan in a secluded grove, sitting on the ground, leaning against a tree. Was he waiting for someone? Even from thirty-odd meters away, Anakin could tell he wasn't happy. His melancholy presence in the Force was accentuated by his slumping posture. He dared not move closer for fear of Obi-Wan sensing him. He ducked behind some shrubbery and waited for something to happen.
After a few minutes of watching Obi-Wan do absolutely nothing, Anakin became impatient. Spying on Obi-Wan was far more boring than he'd anticipated.
Then he heard it. A gasp, followed by... a moan?
Anakin sharpened his gaze. His Master's head was now tucked against his knees, which were drawn up to his chest. His shoulders were shaking.
Obi-Wan was crying.
Without hesitation, Anakin rushed to his side. He didn't care what the reason was behind Obi-Wan's tears. He didn't care that he was interrupting a private moment and that Obi-Wan might be upset with him for doing so. He just had to make those tears stop. "Master, don't cry," he offered lamely. He laid a hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze, fully expecting a rebuke.
To his surprise, his Master pulled him into his arms and sobbed even harder. Anakin patted his back awkwardly. "Ssshhh, it's okay," he soothed, growing more curious by the minute.
Finally, his tears subsiding, Obi-Wan pulled away. He wiped his face on his sleeve and looked at Anakin somberly. "I get a little sad around this time of year... the anniversary of Qui-Gon's death."
Anakin bristled slightly. Now it all made sense. "You loved him," he stated simply, not bothering to keep the note of bitterness out of his voice.
"Yes, I did," Obi-Wan admitted. He stared ahead at nothing, frowning, apparently lost in his thoughts.
Anakin regretted his intrusion now. He started to rise to his feet, but the motion seemed to snap Obi-Wan out of his reverie, and he was stopped by his Master's hand on his arm.
"Don't go," Obi-Wan implored quietly. He waited for Anakin to settle himself on the ground again before continuing. "It's a bittersweet time for me... as it's also the anniversary of you becoming my Padawan. And I'm grateful for that."
Anakin snorted. "You never wanted to train me. You just got stuck with me. It's okay, you don't have to say nice things. I'll leave you to your memories."
Obi-Wan shook his head. "That's the thing. I'm... I'm glad you're here. And I want you to know that... I feel proud and honored to be your Master. I don't resent it at all. I... " He paused, as if weighing his next words carefully. "I never told Qui-Gon how much he meant to me. I don't want to make that mistake with you."
Anakin blushed. "Master, you don't have to--"
But Obi-Wan cut him off. "Yes, I do. You know that attachment is forbidden by the Jedi Code. The exception to that, in my opinion, is the bond formed between Master and Padawan." Obi-Wan looked him in the eye squarely. "I love you, Anakin."
Anakin squirmed and looked away. He was not accustomed to Obi-Wan showing such tenderness, and he could feel the sincerity behind those words. "I love you too, Master," he mumbled. He couldn't remember ever feeling this awkward and this ecstatic at the same time.
The pair sat quietly for a moment. Then, as if sensing his discomfort, Obi-Wan cleared his throat and started to rise. "Come on," he said sternly, extending a hand to help Anakin to his feet. "You're supposed to be in class. I don't even want to hear your excuse for why you're not."
Anakin glanced up and saw the twinkle in his Master's eye. He grinned and grabbed the offered hand to pull himself up. "Yes, Master," he groaned in mock exasperation. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone you were crying... as long as you don't tell anyone I cut class."
Obi-Wan's laughter was quite a welcome sound after his earlier sobs. Anakin smiled. He was glad that he'd spied on him. If he hadn't, who knows how long Obi-Wan would have been sitting out there by himself, feeling miserable? His perfect Master wasn't so perfect after all, and even more perfect than that: Obi-Wan loved him.