Significant Brain Damage
Summary: Can I be influenced by reviewers asking about body hopping time travel and an amazing uncompleted fic, Synchronous by Tykimikkitty. Yes, yes I can. So this is the prompt of Luke Skywalker in Anakin Skywalker's body. Only there is no paradox, and no fix it. Obi-Wan finds himself retraining his old apprentice who has permanent amnesia while also taking on Anakin's Padawan, being a General, a Council member in the middle of a Galactic Civil War, and fighting for a Republic he's beginning to lose faith in. Clone Wars, Grey Jedi. P.S. I have dyslexia which is a language disability, and obviously I don't own Star Wars, regrettably so.
Chapter 1 - Truly Dead
Luke had very slim hopes of getting out of this alive. That his one hope rode on his father turning to the Light side and helping him destroy the Emperor did not bring him any sort of comfort. Yet it remained a possibility, and besides, the plan wasn't to survive this. The plan was to distract his father and the Emperor long enough to give the Rebellion time to act without two of the most war minded people in the galaxy having enough time and focus to retaliate.
That too, however, was a slim hope.
Vader was speaking, "So, you have accepted the truth."
Luke responded, coolly, "I've accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father."
His father turned to face him, "That name no longer has any meaning for me."
Luke tried and failed to keep the heat from his voice, " It is the name of your true self. You've only forgotten. I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully. That is why you couldn't destroy me. That's why you won't bring me to your Emperor now."
The figure who Ben said was more machine than man now, pondered that, before switching the subject, "I see you have constructed a new lightsaber." He ignited the lightsaber and examined the humming green blade.
Master Qui-Gon Jinn's kyber crystal at its heart, the Jedi who had started this all into motion.
"Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are powerful, as the Emperor has Foreseen."
They stood a moment, then Vader extinguished the lightsaber.
Luke tried, even with Leia's warning ringing in his mind, "Come with me."
"Obi-Wan once thought as you do."
Luke stepped closer then stopped. His father stood motionless.
"You don't know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master."
"I will not turn...and you'll be forced to kill me."
"If that is your destiny."
"Search your feelings, Father. You can't do this. I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate."
Almost regretfully, yet not with enough remorse to change, he said, "It is too late for me, son. The Emperor will show you the true nature of the Force. He is your master now."
That remark burned. Ben had been meant to be his teacher, but because of Darth Vader killing him, that had never been.
Luke stared at him a moment longer, feeling his own hopes die.
Leia had been right.
"Then my father is truly dead." Luke could no more keep the sadness from his tone than he could from his heart.
He finally understood Ben's division between Anakin and Vader. They weren't the same person. They couldn't have been.
And could you have done better? a voice asked in his mind.
Luke's thoughts were steadfast, I would never have turned to the Dark Side.
Yet you know not his history.
Luke felt his ire raise at this bodiless voice filling his mind, I know that, but I'm not him. But if I had been in his shoes, I wouldn't have fallen. I would never have betrayed Ben and the people I loved.
The voice laughed at him, Careful of your wishes, Chosen One, when you wish not for your father but to be your father. There is no going back. Surrounded by love, yet alone, for different reasons but a similar path you might find yourself on. Be careful, Chosen One.
Luke felt his knees go weak as the Force encompassed him. He didn't feel the pain of hitting the floor.
Vader's shouting his name echoing in his mind was the last he heard, before the Darkness and the Light stole him away.
The Force had chosen.
General Obi-Wan Kenobi had seen a lot of death in his life, especially in the last two years. He had lost soldiers under his care, civilians he had promised to save, and Jedi whose lives winked out like stars swallowed by black holes.
Obi-Wan had survived losing his Master, he had not, however, expected to survive losing his apprentice.
"Come on, Padawan," he said over the beeps indicating the erratic faltering of Anakin's heart, "you're too hard headed to be taken down by a head injury."
Ahsoka Tano stood beside him, "Skyguy, you are not allowed to leave us like this."
Anakin's eyes opened and Obi-Wan's own heartbeat galloped with traitorous hope even as the medics swarming around the Jedi General were becoming frantic, even as Obi-Wan felt Anakin's life slipping away into the Force, the old training bond between them stretching thinner and thinner with every passing breath.
"Please, Anakin," Obi-Wan whispered, reaching across that bond as Anakin's heart stuttered.
For a brief moment, those blue-blue eyes met Obi-Wan's desperate gaze, before falling to Ahsoka. "Snips," Anakin exhaled as the light fled from his eyes, the man's heart flat-lining.
And though the medics tried to restart his heart, Obi-Wan felt his Padawan's life dissipate into the Force, the bond between them breaking.
Jedi Knight, General Anakin Skywalker was truly dead.
Obi-Wan put a hand on Ahsoka's shoulder, and she turned into him, wrapping her arms around his waist as a sob ripped from her throat. Doubtless, she had felt her own bond with Anakin sever.
He held her, unable to tear his gaze away from the medics detaching wires and tubes from Anakin's still form.
Not two minutes had passed and he could feel the ripples extend outward as their troops learned of the General's passing.
This is what war was.
War was not peace, it was death, and it was suffering, and loss after fruitless loss.
Obi-Wan couldn't help but feel responsible.
Qui-Gon had taken Anakin from his mother and Obi-Wan had raised him for slaughter.
How had the Jedi Order become this? Instruments of chaos and pain rather than peace and hope?
He asked those questions of himself, of the Force, and quite remarkably, the Force answered. The Force answered in a rush of power, of Light and Darkness.
And Anakin who had been lying dead on his cot, took in a gasping breath, his eyes flying open, and his back arching.
Ahsoka turned with a sound of distress as Anakin managed to roll himself off the bed. Falling with thud, Anakin scrambled back across the floor as if in fear of the medics trying to help him.
Obi-Wan stepped in front of Ahsoka, his hands upheld to Anakin who blazed anew in the Force like a newborn star. The bond between them was still broken, but that didn't matter: he was alive.
Holding out his hands in a universal sign of no harm, Obi-Wan approached Anakin who had curled himself up in the corner, looking around him as if expecting to be attacked. His blue-blue eyes were filled with terror and his body was shaking uncontrollably.
Considering he had just spent the last three minutes as a dead man, it seemed an unsurprising reaction.
"Anakin," Obi-Wan coaxed softly, "it's okay, Anakin, you're safe. You're safe. We're here with you."
That wild gaze focused on him, the confusion sharpened rather than dissipating, "-Ben..?" his voice was rough, questioning as if unsure of who Obi-Wan was, "Ben Kenobi?"
"Well, he got the Kenobi part right," Ahsoka attempted to snark, but her worry was clear in her voice.
Obi-Wan approached closer, and when Anakin didn't flinch from only stared at him in confusion, he went to his knees before his old Padawan so that they were at eye level, "Anakin, it's me, Obi-Wan Kenobi."
"Obi-Wan," Anakin echoed, then he asked, "We're both dead, right? I don't remember…" he trailing off as he reached forward to touch Obi-Wan's face, "Your hair is red… Why?"
Obi-Wan blinked at him, but didn't move away from the uncharacteristic touch, "I was born that way, Anakin. What do you remember?"
But Anakin's attention had wavered to the room around them. Ahsoka dropped to Obi-Wan's side, "Hey, Skyguy, how are you feeling?"
Anakin's hand dropped from Obi-Wan's face, "I'm- my head hurts."
Obi-Wan reached out to grab his arm, Ahsoka taking his other side as he said, "That happens when you get caught up in explosions from foolish 'on the fly' plans." They helped him back to the bed. He was still shaking but didn't fight them.
"Where am I?" he asked, "Are we dead?"
"No, Anakin, we are not dead," Obi-Wan said. Though you did sort of die, he thought with a pang. He backed up, standing beside Ahsoka who was holding onto Anakin's good hand as the medics began reattaching equipment.
"He's stabilized," the medic said, and his voice was relieved, but his face showed that they weren't out of the woods yet.
"Anakin?" Anakin asked. One medic took charge with the tests, flashing a light in his even pupils.
Obi-Wan's relief vanished, "Yes, Anakin, your name-"
"Hush," the army medic hushed him, "I will do the test, you two may remain but you will leave if I order it."
It was not how the clones typically spoke to Obi-Wan, but then, normally they didn't have to watch their Generals die and come back to life.
"Sir, what is your name?"
Anakin blinked at him, then looked to Obi-Wan, then down at his hands, which he flexed. He seemed to take particular interest in the metal one. Uncertainly, he finally answered, "I'm Anakin Skywalker?"
No, Obi-Wan was not reassured by that tone, not at all.
"How old are you?"
Obi-Wan's jaw tightened, Anakin had yet to turn 22.
The medic didn't react to the wrong answer, just moved on, "Where were you born?"
Oh good, a firm answer.
"Who is this?" the medic pointed at Obi-Wan.
"Obi-Wan Kenobi," he answered with a half smile, a gentler expression than Obi-Wan had even seen directed at him.
"And who is she?" the medic indicated the young Troguta still holding onto her Master's hand.
Anakin looked at, observed her, and then his eyes went wide, "She's a Jedi!" And there was wonder in his voice.
Obi-Wan felt as if he almost had to brace himself against the flux of power in the Force. Anakin had always shone brightly, but this- something had changed. Was it possible he became more powerful? More intuned with the Force perhaps?
"Yes," the medic said slowly, "she is a Jedi, but who is she?"
"Er-" Anakin looked to Obi-Wan as if for help, then back at Ahsoka, before he shrugged, "I don't know, Obi-Wan and Yoda are the only Jedi I've met before." And then he blushed, putting his free hand to his head, and mumbled something that sounded like, "...wrong answer… would have known..."
Obi-Wan's mind had gone blank at this statement. Only knew himself and Yoda? What kind of answer was that? Did he mean he only thought he knew two Jedi or could only remember two Jedi?
Ahsoka squeezed Anakin's hand, "You don't remember me?"
He shook his head, and winced at the resulting pain, "No, I'm sorry." The words were kind, kinder than Obi-Wan had ever heard Anakin be to anyone in years.
"How can you not remember me, Master?"
The change in Anakin was instant, he looked outraged as he ripped his hand back from hers, his heart excellerating as he hissed, "Don't call me that!"
Ahsoka looked hurt and confused as she stumbled back a step.
But Obi-Wan suspected the reason for that reaction, at least knowing that Anakin remembered Tatooine but not the Jedi, "She's not a slave, Anakin. Ahsoka is your Padawan."
Anakin blinked at him, the outrage falling behind a smooth mask, even as he asked, "Padawan?"
"A Jedi Padawan learner. You are her Jedi Master," Obi-Wan said, wrestling with his own mounting anxiety.
"Oh," he said, "I didn't know that."
Ahsoka corrected him, "You mean you don't remember that." She turned on the medic, "But he will remember, won't he?"
The medic, who had been writing down notes on a pad, said noncommittally, "He may."
"He can't lose his memories!" she nearly shouted.
"It is possible. He was medically dead for three minutes after cranial trauma. Significant brain damage may have occurred." A droid that had been scanning the back of Anakin's head, beeped in response. "I would like you to observe more of his memory loss so we can assess any progress he makes, or any possible regressions. General Kenobi, if you would? Keep the questions relatively simple. You can tell me which answers are wrong or correct at the end."
Obi-Wan nodded, folding his hands as readied himself for the nightmare unfolding before him. "Anakin, do you remember when we first met on Tatooine?"
Anakin blinked at him, "Didn't you always know me?"
"Do you remember Qui-Gon Jinn?"
Anakin nodded, "You had his lightsaber." Then his face lit up, "He's the one who found me."
Obi-Wan fought not to frown at that answer, he wasn't wrong, but there was something off about his wording. "What colour is my lightsaber?"
"Blue," he said firmly.
"What colour is your lightsaber?"
Not so firm.
"What do you remember of the Jedi Temple?"
"There's a Jedi Temple!?" he asked, a light of curiosity and awe filling his eyes. It was an answer he might have given at age nine. The Anakin he knew tended to be rather bitter of late about the Temple. He almost never wanted to spend time there unless he was sparring. But to forget it existed entirely...
"Well," Ahsoka sighed, "At least he didn't just forget me."
"Anakin, do you remember being my Padawan?"
Anakin looked at him, face sad, "I remember you."
"Do you remember me training you?"
He hesitated, and said cautiously, "A little."
"Do you know who Padme Amidala is?"
"No," he said without a flicker of recognition.
"Jabba the Hutt?"
Anakin smirked, "Yes."
"Really? You remember Jabba, but not me?" Ahsoka asked.
Anakin offered her a half smile, "I wasn't friends with him or anything, Ahsoka."
On a whim, Obi-Wan asked, "How about Boba Fett?"
"Yep. Though, again, not friends."
"Where do you remember him from?"
"Er- Tatooine, he worked for Jabba."
Boba Fett was a young boy, it was possible he worked for Jabba, but Obi-Wan knew that they hadn't met on Tatooine.
Anakin paused, "Yes, I've met Rex."
"How did you meet him?"
"During an attack on a base."
Vague, but not wrong. Obi-Wan didn't press, "R2D2?"
Anakin's smile was genuine, "Yes, I know R2."
That was normal at least, probably the most normal response yet.
"Do you remember making him?" Ahsoka asked.
Anakin's eyes widened, then he had a bad reaction. A very bad reaction.
He started laughing, "Anakin made C3P-O? Really?"
Ahsoka shared a worried look with Obi-Wan before she said, "Yes, you did."
Anakin wrapped his arms around his waist, "He built that fussy droid!" He howled with laughter as if Ahsoka had just told him Darth Maul had made the droid.
But the laughter aside, Obi-Wan was worried sick about his Padawan talking about himself in the third person.
"Anakin," he said gently, sitting down on the cot, "What is the last thing you can remember?"
He sobered instantly, and his voice was strained, his gaze going distant as he said, "The Force."
"What about the Force?" Obi-Wan asked.
Anakin looked at him, but it was a stranger's intelligence behind those blue-blue eyes as he said in an almost flat tone, "It chose me."
A chill went up Obi-Wan's spine, "Choose you for what?"
Anakin stared at him for a long moment then asked in turn, "Obi-Wan, where are we?"
"In a medical bay on a Republic starship," the medic answered. "General Skywalker, do you know why you're here?"
Anakin stared at him, "Head trauma?"
"Quite," the medic said in a clipped down, "It is my diagnosis that General Skywalker needs to be taken off active duty until he is healed."
"When will he start remembering us?" Ahsoka asked.
The medic shook his head, "I cannot say, I do not want to give you any false hopes. It is a miracle the General is with us at all. He's, besides the pain he's undoubtedly in, unexpectedly well. He shows no more signs of internal bleeding and the swelling has gone down. The memory loss is concerning, but he will live."
Yes, Obi-Wan thought, it is a miracle that he is alive. But without his memories… is he still Anakin?
AN: I know another fic, how dare I? But I've been updating the Queen Does Not Need to Know at least once every week. So, if you enjoy my plot bunnies please drop a review :D