The End of the Clone Wars

The call from Padmé had come that day. Just three hours earlier. He had been agonizing over this decision ever since.

They were having a baby.

He rubbed the back of his head where it ached almost constantly now. It wouldn't be long that he could stay with the Jedi anyway. He couldn't do this much longer. A decision had to be made, and he felt totally incompetent to make it.

He had been poisoned by a Durrown who attacked him during an attempt to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine. The Chancellor had been saved, but, at first unknown to Anakin, he was slowly dying from the poison injected into him through the Durrown's electrotentacles. Eventually Mace Windu, the only Jedi who had been present when Anakin had been attacked, had remembered something he read in a magazine about Durrowns and hurried to warn him.

He had not felt any symptoms then, but soon enough he began to ache all over his body and feel lightheaded frequently. And the Temple med experts said there was no cure. None of the other Jedi knew it, not even Obi-Wan, but he could die within a month or two.

The baby was due in three.

No, Padmé had not called him to tell him about the baby. He'd known about that for quite some time now. She had called to remind him that they needed to make a decision. He'd been putting it off because he didn't want to face the facts, and she knew it.

There were two options.

They could stay, or they could leave. Stay, or leave. They could attempt to fight it out for their children and the galaxy, to the bitter and mortifying end, or spend their last days together in peace on Naboo, where their child could be born and grow up close to his or her grandparents on the lush and blissful planet he and Padmé both loved.

His comlink beeped for the fourth time. The Council members wanted him down at a confidential meeting to send him and Obi-Wan to Chamino. Possibly Ahsoka as well. No wait, Ahsoka's gone.

He wanted to follow her away from the Order, yet at the same time, he wanted to stay and fight.

He grit his teeth, stopping his pacing and flopped down on his bed. There were no right answers! There were so many things the Jedi believed in that he disagreed with; he'd looked back at the ancient Jedi Code and found so many flaws; it was the only thing he'd really applied himself to studying on the rare occasion he found himself at the Temple with nothing to do. Generations of Jedi had changed the Code to mean things that were completely different from what they used to. Whole sections had been added and taken out. And Anakin believed the Order was suffering because of those changes—those compromises—they had made. Leaving would make a terrific statement about his beliefs, but not as great as the Order would need to change their ways. Staying, on the other hand, gave him a chance to throw himself into one or two final missions, possibly saving hundreds of beings before his death.

His comlink beeped again, loudly. He couldn't THINK when the thing went off every five minutes! Couldn't the Council give him some space? Without thinking, he wrenched it from his utility belt and hurled it out the open window, and it fell five stories to the ground below, landing with a smash.