Disclaimer: See chapter 1.
Special thanks to Senyor Fier Mensheir for his advice!
There was once a god who was different from other gods.
He had a son who he loved and cherished
One day, they faced an evil god in battle.
And the evil god killed the god who was different.
But the Son killed the evil god in turn.
But revenge was empty, and the son was alone, all the same.
There are no droids here .
It is something that saddens Naruto.
As a young boy, when the shackles of slavery seemed especially tight, he had worked with droids, working with the little mechanical beings with furious intensity. Watto, that grumpy Toydorian was not all that enthused. At least until he somehow jury rigged that first power converter back to life. In later years, when the chains of slavery were replaced by the confines of black cloying armour, he had been convinced that his only true friends had been those very droids.
But droids are also slaves.
He knew this then. And he knows this now. In many ways, he was a droid also. He followed his instructions so exactly, following his programming, from his first breath under the suns of Tatooine, to that last sigh on the Death Star. How was he anything but a droid? Even now, he was a droid following his own self-inflicted programming , almost in a daze. R2 had managed to be more than that.
R2D2, he sometimes muses, was more free than Sidious at the height of his power, so far beyond any living being in his choices and his existence choosing to live and love in.
Naruto also knows that R2 was with Luke, just as R2 was with Padme and then him. It is comforting in a way, that there was someone to take care of his son in his adventures.
And yet, they are not happy thoughts.
Naruto smiles sadly.
But now, in this world, so full of life, he found himself missing working on 3PO. He wished for a hypospanner, a fusion cutter, anything that would have given him a link to that past.
Regret and nostalgia are not a good combination for Naruto. It draws his mind to morbid thoughts. And his mind reaches to the thoughts that were always just beyond his power to disappear.
Watto, was a far better master than Palpatine ever was. The Jedi, for all their flaws were never really slavers either. In the end, he had been just another deluded fool playing at being a Sith. "I see through the lies of the Jedi!" he had crowed so triumphantly in his rage.
He always was a fool.
Perhaps that is why he is prepared to do his penance alone. Even if Padme would have knocked him in the head and told him to get on with life. Even if she would have laughed lightly and drawn him into a kiss. And he would have chuckled in good humor before listening to her.
But Padme is not here. And he is all too painfully aware of that fact.
His penance is for Padme. And it is for Luke. And it is for everyone else he tortured and murdered and wronged. So he does his best not to hurt anyone at all. He takes solace in the silence, the simple peace of being alone. For once, away from everyone he loves, he finds a quiet peace, tainted by his eternal longing for his own family.
But still, he misses the droids.
That quirky 3P0; the loyal R2; even the hapless battle droids he slaughtered by the thousands. He misses them all.
Naruto smiles sadly.
Naruto however, was never one to be idle.
He has found something else to work on.
Chakra is not the force. It is something else. It is similar to the force. It might as well be something of the force. But it is not the force.
The first time Naruto accesses his Chakra, there is a burst of blue light within him that stuns him. He barely keeps conscious. He feels the world around him in an entirely new way. All life is Chakra. All life is force. It is something Naruto will spend long hours meditating on.
When the masked ninja shows up in the vicinity, watching yet waiting, Naruto tilts his head curiously. They remind him of the emperors hands, and his inquisitors. Yet there is something more pure about them. Even in the bloodshed and the rage and emptiness that defines her purpose, she is not tainted by the dark side. This one is not a Sith.
It is fascinating.
It is distressing.
Naruto stretches his senses and discovers that the whole village is filled with these Sith-but-not. They are everywhere. They guard the gates. They patrol the roofs. They are the Hokage that is their military and political leader. They are the proud fathers, and the doting mothers, and the uncaring children and the rebellious teenagers and everyone in between. They are here and they are full of life and love, anger and sorrow, joy and hate. And yet…they are just people in the end. It is wonderful and heart breaking at the same time.
He wonders, in the traitorous part of his mind, if he would have been a better person as one of these ninja. They had no Jedi code to forbid their attachments. No Sith code to command their solitude. They were ordinary people. Even the worst of these assassins and murderers is somehow more rational and stable than the most level headed Sith.
The day that Naruto discovers Chakra is the first time he weeps.
He sits in his forgotten corner and lets the moisture trail down his cheeks. It is beautiful and wondrous and his heart bursts with an envy that is beyond any emotion he had ever felt. His masked shadow observes but does not interfere.
He thinks of Padme and Luke and Leia. He looks at the children in the room with him, happy and free to laugh and live. And he thinks of the children he never held. He remembers the son who's arm he cuts away in a graceful sweep. He thinks of the daughter he drugs and tortures in the depths of a galactic abomination. He also relives that fateful moment that his love turns to hate and he squeezes the life out of the one being he would have given up everything for.
Peace is not for Naruto Uzumaki. It is the shadow he cannot grasp. So he torments himself with his memories.
Naruto is 5 when he decides to start tailoring.
The matron is confused when this slip of a child politely requests an exact set of cloth and thread and other supplies to start working with. As a ninja, she is not worried about trusting kids with sharp objects. As a survivor of the monster trapped in the guts of this boy, she is reluctant to give him anything that might possibly cause anything an injury.
However, as an individual entrusted with the care of this child by the Hokage, she grants him his request. She wonders what this boy will do with it.
It takes a day for the supplies to arrive.
Naruto starts by measuring.
A long strip of measuring tape is quickly put to use as the boy measures things. He measures the obvious things, like his hands and feet and waist. And he measures other things, like the diameter of his neck and the length of his forehead. It is perhaps, even more confusing than the boys request.
Naruto spends three days on his task. The brown and grey fabrics are efficiently measured and marked, and he requests that the Matron do the cuts his arms are too small to do correctly.
And then he begins to stitch.
For hours, Naruto sits and monotonously puts needle and thread through cloth, making clothes that are familiar but also bizarre. Everyone in the orphanage stops to watch him at various times. There is something fascinating about this boy that no one dares to approach, who sits calmly and carefully makes his stitches.
And then, the product is finally revealed. It is a deceptively simple looking set of clothes. But these are not ordinary clothes. For they are the fashion of robes that Obi Wan wore during the clone wars, when he took off his armour and meditated in the temple. But nobody recognizes it here. And Naruto is rather glad of that fact.
He is breaking his own small promise. He decides that he wants to seek some of the peace that Obi Wan himself found precious little of. It is an attachment, but one he finds himself eager to hold on to. Obi Wan, is perhaps the most and least of his regrets.
Naruto looks like some strange monk now. And he is content to leave it at that. Nobody questions him about his new wardrobe, not even the Matron who provided him the supplies. Yet Naruto breaks his silence to whisper his own answer to that unanswered question.
"He was a good man."
And strangely, she somehow understands this non-answer.
Naruto requests to join Ninja Academy the next day. The Matron tells him she will talk to the Hokage.
Naruto nods and smiles sadly.
She does not ask.
This time, he does not answer.
A/N: knocked off a second one. Hope you enjoyed it.