Run to You
Every sensation, every sound, every taste and feeling had given way to nothing more than an all-consuming pain. It had an intense grip on every one of his limbs, reaching to the very ends of his fingers and toes, perhaps even to the roots of his hair which was steadily giving way to the fire all around him.
He couldn't move, he couldn't even twitch for the way that pain held him in place.
He could only burn.
His eyes were open, but all he could see around him was an intense blood red, punctuated every so often with spots of yellow and orange.
He wanted to open his mouth, to scream and cry out for help, but he knew that the pain and the fire had robbed him of his voice.
As the burning continued, somehow he was able to look around with eyes that were half closed with fatigue and pain.
It was then that he caught sight of the white form of a retreating figure.
An irrational surge of anger filled him then.
He had done this….he had stripped him of his power, tried to kill him in his jealousy, turned Padme against him and sided with the Jedi over Anakin.
He wasn't sure which one of those things hurt worse, but the last reason did seem to ring through the clearest.
His friend had turned on him.
His master had left him alone.
His brother had turned his back on him.
His father had betrayed him.
Obi Wan had been all those things over the years and more to Anakin, his protector, his provider, his comfort and strong foundation.
Bile rose in the back of his throat as he fully began to process that the person to whom he had once thought was one of only few that mattered in the entire galaxy….was gone.
Even worse, he had done one of the things he had sworn years ago never to do.
He had left him.
Perhaps the realization of that was worse than the pain of his severed arms and legs. Suddenly it didn't seem to matter that Obi Wan had broken his body….he had broken his heart first.
Anakin was somehow able to turn his face into the hot dry earth of embankment and released a sudden scream of pain and anger and utter despair.
The darkness was closing in around him now and soon….soon it would all be over.
He felt a sharp stab of relief at that. Without Padme, without Obi Wan, without his mother….what was there left to live for?
Everyone he had ever loved had turned their backs on him and the galaxy was burning around him.
If they were gone, Anakin had no desire to keep on breathing.
His breath started to come in ragged choking gasps as the full weight of his abandonment crashed over him.
They had all left him behind….they had all betrayed him….they had all turned their backs on him.
You were my brother Anakin….I loved you….
A sudden gasp ripped from his lungs as the weight of Obi Wan's last words washed over him.
I loved you…..
A sudden memory tore through him, accompanying those words, a memory of him as a child, being held by Obi Wan after yet another crippling nightmare. He remembered his eyes being dried, a warm smile and a comforting hug.
He remembered Obi Wan's gentle eyes as he seemed to understand Anakin's pain and waited with him until the boy fell asleep.
Despite his rage, Anakin looked once more for the person who had been beside him through everything.
Obi Wan was gone.
The fear that overwhelmed him then was all encompassing, pushing out the anger and the hatred and even muffling the pain to a dull roar in the back of his mind.
A thick, choking, blackness of abandonment settled on his shoulders and the shock and fear and disbelief of that realization left Anakin gasping.
They were all just….gone….
And why do you think that is? Asked a new voice and a presence unlike anything Anakin had ever felt settled over him.
It wasn't painful, but it was heavy, blanketing his entire form in a vice like hold that prevented even the wind from reaching him and moving even a strand of hair.
It was almost as if a giant had reached down and pressed Anakin into the dirt with the palm of its hand.
He had never felt more powerless in his life, even as he had lain burning on Mustafar's lava bank.
It frightened him even more than the pain had, as the lack of control he had over his own body, despite its brokenness, was a reminder that things were still happening to him.
But here, underneath this pressure, even the sounds of the lava began to fade away. All sounds had been blocked off.
The smell of his burnt flesh and the coppery dark earth ceased to exist and Anakin all but found himself floating in a vacuum of weightlessness.
Most astonishing was the fact that the pain slowly began to drain away.
The shock of its absence left him gasping, and unbidden, tears sprang to his eyes.
This was it then…he was dying….
His relief was so strong that he forgot every other emotion that had flooded him before.
Finally….he could see his mother….there would be release from the pain….from the dreams and from the fear.
Even if he couldn't see Padme again….at the very least there would be release.
He could close his eyes….and there would be no more shadows.
He would be free.
A mournful feeling coursed through him at the sudden memory of Obi Wan's tears and trembling.
The pain of his master's lost love was almost worse than anything he could remember but he was able to release it, knowing that death would ease that pain.
Not yet….little one….
The pressure around him increased until Anakin was no longer conscious of anything but the weight.
All of a sudden Mustafar vanished, replaced by nothing but whiteness.
The pressure disappeared and almost pulled Anakin upward with it, as if he was caught up in a hurricane.
Then it dropped him, leaving him gasping like a fish on the floor of a place he didn't know.
When he was able to get the breath back in his lungs, Anakin found he was able to sit up and look around.
He sobbed with relief when he saw that his limbs were once more intact. He felt his face and realized the scar he had been given was gone. His skin was not leathery and caked with dirt and burns.
He was completely whole again.
But with the realization of his body, once more unbroken, clarity came once more, washing down over his mind like the iciest waterfall and suddenly…..
He remembered everything….
He remembered the pain and terror of the last few years. He remembered walking away from his mother, unknowingly for the last time. He remembered Obi Wan's cool exterior and Qui Gon's gentle reassurances. He remembered growing older under Obi Wan, finally earning his master's love and support but at the same time, keeping him at arm's length for fear of revealing his true heart.
Now he wished he had.
With that soundless, but deafening regret, everything else that had happened in the decade plus since he left Tatooine began to flood his mind and he gasped again, the memories forcing him onto his knees until his forehead was pressed to the floor.
The guilt was crippling, breaking him worse than the loss of his limbs, and unbidden, tears poured down his cheeks in utter remorse for the monster….the…thing…he had become.
And for what?
What had it all been for?
Everything he had done in an attempt to save those he loved had merely driven them away and rendered him a shell of his former self.
Anakin remembered everything he had had before all of this. All of the love of his master and his wife, his potential and ambition and drive, his unborn child.
All of it was gone.
A howl of animalistic grief ripped from his throat and he pressed his forehead once more to the ground, willing it to swallow him, just so he wouldn't feel anything anymore.
What he wouldn't give to make all of it, every last shred of agony, leave him forever?
All of a sudden, the pressure in the air around him dropped, nearly flattening Anakin to the ground with its intensity.
His grief fled for a fleeting moment as his weak mind tried to comprehend what was happening.
The voice was deeper and more resonant than anything he had ever heard. The command in it was absolute and brokered no arguments.
And all of a sudden Anakin Skywalker found himself on his feet, looking around wildly for the source of the voice.
Despite the noises he was able to still make, words just would not form on his tongue as he tried to figure out where he was and who was talking to him.
And then he could feel it surrounding him, a soft pulsing energy that was different to anything he had ever felt before.
Even though his emotional state had rendered him almost incoherent, he was not so far gone that he didn't remember what the touch of the Force was like.
But this feeling was different than any force presence he had ever channeled or encountered.
It was gentle, persistent, all encompassing and seemed to cover every part of him.
An anguished and relieved sob broke through Anakin's lips as he felt the presence, suddenly more comforting than anything he had ever felt in his life.
He had never been able to meditate well in his waking life, always being too impatient, too snarly, too anxious to sit and wait.
But if he had known that it felt like this, he would have sat and basked in the presence of the Force forever.
He couldn't even describe the feeling if he had been asked, but in many ways it was like an embrace from anyone he had ever loved, augmented to a degree that left him breathless.
He felt tears on his cheeks, because with the embrace came the memories of being embraced and being loved.
Unbidden, more memories of his life flashed to his mind of all the people who had ever embraced him, his mother, Qui Gon, Obi Wan, Padme.
Why? He suddenly thought. Why did it all have to go so wrong?
He remembered the Sith lord's yellow eyes and mocking tone, remembered kneeling before him and pledging him his service all so that he could save Padme.
And in doing so, he abandoned every principle he had ever held.
Though the comfort of the Force was still all around him, it did little for the self loathing and guilt that once more settled onto his shoulders like a familiar cloak.
Stars, he had been so wrong. He had been so colossally wrong about everything.
What he wouldn't give, to be able to fix those mistakes. To love without anger, to fight without hate, to live without suffering.
Those words Yoda had spoken to him so long ago crowded into his mind and he dropped his head so that his chin rested against his chest.
"Please," he whispered to no one in particular as the tears continued to come. "Please…forgive me."
He didn't know who he was asking forgiveness from as there was no one around.
The people he needed desperately to ask for repentance from were so far away that nothing would reach them.
What would you give? Asked the voice he had heard before. Its command seemed deeper this time, more insistent and keener on the truth of the words Anakin had given.
And Anakin answered without any hesitation, desperation and sorrow sinking into every syllable.
He wanted nothing more than to look those he loved in the eyes and see them gaze back at him without hatred or fear.
He wanted to wipe the terror from Padme's face and the intense grief from Obi Wan's eyes when he had realized the truth.
He wanted to erase all of it, the past, the present and the future, everything he had done.
Then you shall.
When the voice spoke again, it was in a booming timbre that deafened Anakin and sent him to his knees, covering his ears.
The Force around him began to shake until he could barely hold himself up and his skin began to tingle as if someone had doused him in ice water.
It was painful, it was wonderful, it was terrifying as he felt the Force shoot through, filling him up and emptying him out simultaneously.
Just when Anakin thought that he might tear apart from the sheer power racing through him, the roaring and shaking stopped.
He was unceremoniously released from the Force's hold and he began to fall.
The last thing he remembered before the darkness closed over him, was a sweet warmth and a touch on his cheek, as gentle as his mother's hand.
So, here we are. I realize that there are a lot of Anakin time travel fics out there, but I wanted to write my own specifically for the fact that I read one from the perspective of Obi Wan and it was exceptional. Along with the fact that I'm watching Clone Wars now and I know how it ends, to assuage my broken heart, I've decided to write my own fic. I hope you all like it. Don't forget to review!