I will warn you all now that this chapter is basically last chapter, just from Obi-Wan's POV. Stop reading now if you hate that I did that, and tell me that you hate that.
I have a thing where I like to see stuff from different POVs, but it might be because I'm a writer, lol. Thanks for being patient with me. :)
An explosion echoed through the Force. It was concentrated entirely on his bond with Anakin, and seemed to be doing its level best to absolutely destroy it. Anakin's shields went up, leaving Obi-Wan drifting in the aftershock alone and untethered, pain his only companion. It was sudden enough to steal his breath away, and across from him he watched as Anakin practically doubled over in apparent agony.
"Anakin!" He shoved his pain away from himself, leaping up and around the table to grab his old Padawan by the shoulders. His grip was firm, but the only response he got from the other was a moan of pain and light, constant trembling. "Anakin, answer me!" He pushed through their pulsating, bruised and damaged bond, brushing against the impossibly tight shields of his Padawan - since when did Anakin know how to shield like-
Blue eyes snapped open, widening when they met Obi-Wan's gaze, and even without being able to feel anything from the other man the Jedi Master could see the shock and fear and confusion written all over the his Padawan's face. "Anakin, what-?"
Horror overtook all of the other emotions in the younger Jedi's expression, and he was suddenly pulling away from Obi-Wan, stumbling out of his seat and onto the floor. "Anakin!"
Before Obi-Wan could even reach for him again, he began to vomit, and where worry had gripped the Master before, stark fear filled him now. He stood up, ordering people to keep back and give his protege room, noting that most of the people around them seemed to be dealing with sudden headaches that had no doubt been caused by the backlash from the primarily telepathic explosion. He pushed his fear into the Force, putting his hand to Anakin's back while he finished throwing up. "Anakin, you're not well."
A sound that could be interpreted as either a snort or a sob came from his Padawan, and he gripped his arm firmly. "Can you stand?" A half nod was the only permission he needed to pull Anakin to his feet, speaking quietly as he did so. "I think it would be best to leave now, don't you?"
Anakin's pale face was twisted with pain, but the dry statement still elicited a slight upturn of his lips. The sight filled Obi-Wan with hope and relief, though the younger Jedi's constant trembling told him that this problem was not going to go away anytime soon.
"Sorry about the mess, Dex." He raised his voice enough for everyone around him to hear, and Dex waved him off with two of his four limbs, his eyes on the pale and trembling Anakin.
"Don't worry about it, Obi. Go take care of yer boy."
"Thank you." Obi-Wan meant it, and he wasted no time in maneuvering his friend - his brother - out the door. Anakin was listless, and his eyes had closed (no doubt against the pain). He moved sluggishly, and Obi-Wan did most of the work getting them outside and away from the crowd.
The older Jedi was attempting to come to terms with just how close he had come to having his second training bond brutally severed, and supposed that he was probably only feeling a fraction of the pain that Anakin was currently experiencing. More of his worry was hastily pushed into the Force as he tried to remind himself to deal with the here and now.
Something told him that the here and now was going to be a long time in becoming normal again.
Obi-Wan helped Anakin sit down against the wall behind Dex's Diner, and crouched down a few paces away. Anakin was breathing hard, and sweat was beading on his neck, making his hair stick to his skin. For a moment, the older Jedi was gripped with the fear that his friend was sick; perhaps ill with something unheard-of. Some strange Force disease that hadn't been heard of in years (and wouldn't that be just like Anakin?). Despite the illogicality of that train of thought, he put his hand on the younger man's forehead, feeling no undue heat, but that constant trembling instead.
He sighed, uncertain how he ought to continue, even as those light blue eyes flickered open to meet his. He removed his hand as Anakin's hesitant voice reached for him, though his shields remained as tight as they'd been since the explosion. "O- … Obi-Wan?"
"Anakin … what happenedin there? A vision?" He began to prod at their bond, mindful of what appeared to be emotional damage all along it. A tear escaped the from one of the eyes, running unchecked down his Padawan's face, and he brushed it away as he prodded more noticeably, keeping the Force gentle along their bond. "Oh, Anakin ... what did you see?"
The question might have been a bad one - or it might have been good - but it definitely garnered a reaction. Tears streamed from Anakin's eyes even as the other end of their bond opened slightly, allowing Obi-Wan enough access to push calm and comfort towards his brother. He kept his feelings tightly hidden, but he was disturbed at the close control of their bond on Anakin's end, and extremely worried by the damage that he felt through the Force.
Words would not be enough for the young Knight, and as soon as he realized it, he pulled him into a hug. It was while he held his protege that he realized, to his surprise, that the crying was absolutely silent - having experienced Anakin's tears before, it left him more worried than ever. Obi-Wan couldn't recall the last time that Anakin had cried, let alone so ... silently.
The bond was still shut almost completely, and that's why it came as a shock when a small wave of elation came from Anakin, and he suddenly pulled from Obi-Wan's grip as he cried out, "Padmé!" His head smacked against the wall behind him, though that didn't deter him from attempting to rise clumsily to his feet.
"Anakin! What do you think you're doing? I'm certain that if Padmé were in need we would have been notified!" Obi-Wan's worry spiked as he held him back from the speeder they'd come in. The younger Jedi seemed to have lost all sense.
"Anakin. You just collapsed from something that caused a very large backlash in the Force. It almost broke our bond, and I'm certain that I'm not the only one that felt it. So until I'm also certain that you're not going to fall over dead, it's best that you don't go running off to save a senator that hardly seems to need it." Obi-Wan kept his arms around Anakin as he spoke, pushing calming waves through the Force and trying to understand why his Padawan felt so different.
Anakin wiggled in his arms only for a moment before giving up, and leaning once more into Obi-Wan's embrace - more cause for alarm. His eyes were closed again, and he hadn't stopped shaking. He was silent as he let his old master support his weight, and for a moment - through the tiny thread that was now their open bond - Obi-Wan felt a deep-rooted hatred that had him swallowing his worry once again, pulling back to look Anakin in the the eyes.
"Anakin, what did you see?"
The younger Knight looked away even as his com-link beeped, and Obi-Wan frowned as he reached for it. Whatever Anakin had seen, it was clear that it had not only affected him, but perhaps changed him.
The pain, the devastation, the absolute anguish that he felt barely radiating from his carefully controlled Padawan had him extremely worried as to what damage had been done. Was it a vision? Anakin tended to get those through dreams, and had never been so changed by one before.
His shields were ridiculously strong - stronger than any that Obi-Wan had felt before - and his lack of control over his body and emotions was extremely worrying.
"Skyguy? I- … Are you all right? I felt something and then you closed the bond, and- … what happened?" Anakin had slipped to the ground, leaning against the wall again to answer his Padawan, and Obi-Wan sat down in front of him, deciding that it was probably safer if Anakin was going to keep shaking like he had been since the explosion.
"I … I'll tell you when we get back, Ahsoka." The tears had stopped, but it was clear that they were on the verge of returning. Anakin sounded absolutely broken, and his voice cracked on her name.
"All right, Skyguy, but this explanation had better be good." Ahsoka - for her part - was clearly doing her best to sound as normal as possible. Obi-Wan knew that she was probably dealing with the same headache that he was currently ignoring, the inevitable result of almost having a Force bond completely shattered. What worried him was how Anakin was taking it, with more shock than anything else. It was as though he were oblivious to the pain itself, though his had to be twice as bad as Obi-Wan's or Ahsoka's.
"Please tell me you didn't close your bond off with her like that as well, Anakin ..." Obi-Wan spoke after the transmission ended, and Anakin's eyes began to shine with even more tears. Worry spiked again at the vulnerable sight, and he swallowed it to continue. "You've never been this closed before."
"Does it make you feel left out?" Anakin's voice was slightly petulant, though it was almost completely overridden by the awestruck tone behind it. Obi-Wan's tendency to guard his side of the bond more closely had always been a sore spot between them, but now it sounded almost as though Anakin were reminiscing.
It scared Obi-Wan.
"Anakin. What did you see?" This time, it was HIS com-link that began beeping, and he silently cursed the council even as he studied the face of his listless friend.
"Aren't you going to answer that?" Anakin had taken a long time to respond, confirming Obi-Wan's speculation that he seemed to be in absolute shock. His eyes were filled with uncertainty, and Obi-Wan responded as firmly and clearly as possible.
"It's most likely the Council, wanting to talk about the violent wave in the Force. I don't see what good that will do, however, when you're the one who has the answers." There was a long moment of silence between them, and Obi-Wan carefully prodded at his Padawan's closed side of the bond. Anakin averted his eyes, leaving Obi-Wan to call them back with a firm hand on his shoulder. "Anakin ... are you all right?"
Anakin's eyes filled once again with tears, threatening to spill out at the slightest movement. "I ... don't know."
"What did you see?" Obi-Wan put the Force behind his words this time, radiating more calm than he certainly felt. A spark came from the other side of the bond, and Anakin's breath hitched.
"I- ... I saw everything."
Well. I'm going to admit up front that I'm pretty shocked at how many of y'all liked this so much! It's so great to read all of your comments and see your kudos - seriously, thanks so much! But I am sorry, this chapter wasn't more, but I wrote it almost ... as a character study. I wanted to understand the situation from Obi-Wan's POV for if I ever continue it (which is looking more and more likely), so I wrote this. I'm sorry if I've disappointed you all. :/
Your comments are my lifeblood, so thank you for those! I'll do my best to decide where this could go without getting into too many complicated things, lol, and you'll probably see a continuance sometime soon!