Title: Waking Nightmare
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story or the world in which they belong to, that honor goes to Mr. George Lucas.
Summary: Anakin is forced to face his inner demons shortly after rescuing his Master from Ventress's clutches.
Note: Rating K, this is just a short one shot that popped into my head one night after I read the dark horse comic about Obi-Wan's imprisonment by Ventress during the Clone Wars. This event is not very well known, well at least I hadn't heard of it till recently, and I think it's kind of a big turning point for both men and the implications of what might have happened had Obi-Wan not returned...
Anakin sat up, sweat drenching his sleeping tunic and his breathing coming in sharp gasps. As he searched wildly around his darkened room he tried to regain control. He brought his knees up to his chest and rested his head on them. His slicked undone Padawan's braid hung limply at his side. He tried to banish the last images of his reoccurring nightmare that had been plaguing him ever since his Master's alleged death on Jabiim. However, as much as he tried he could not get the image of his lifeless Master out of his head. His heart was pounding and he was shaking.
"It was only a dream…" he mumbled out, because it was.
His Master wasn't dead, he was alive! Anakin had found him and rescued him. After two weeks of intensive healing his Master had finally been allowed to return to their quarters and sleep in his own bed.
No he most certainly was not dead! He was alive, sleeping just down the hall in the room right next to Anakin's. Running a hand through his short hair, Anakin found it hard to hold back the tears that were threatening to form. No, Obi-Wan was not dead, but for almost 4 whole months he had thought he was just like the rest of the galaxy.
But when he had found him there had been so much damage that had he not found him when he did his Master would have died. Even now, after all the care and healing there was still damage, he was still very weak, and not everything that had been broken was physical. Hating to admit it to himself, Anakin knew that it was a miracle that Obi-Wan was alive at all. After what he had been through Anakin knew that he owed the force big time for still having his Master.
As his breathing evened out and he began to calm down, a new sensation struck him. Through his bond with his Master he felt waves of distress, panic, and agony rolling off of Obi-Wan's force signature. Again fear leapt into his throat stealing his breath away.
Before releasing Obi-Wan into his care the healers had warned him that a relapse was possible and that he should be monitored closely for any signs of trouble. With that in mind he flung himself out of bed and sprinted to his Master's bedroom. As he entered Obi-Wan's room he could feel the tension and stress rolling within the force centered around his Master.
Echoes of pain, fear, despair, anger and agony stopped Anakin in his tracks. Unable to move Anakin's gaze fell on the figure lying in the bed.
The dim light streaming in through the window fell across Obi-Wan's face casting a ghostly pallor to his skin and illuminating his features. There was a thin sheen of moisture accumulating on his brow and all the blood seemed to have drained from his face which was twisted in a grimace of pain and anguish. He thrashed around slightly, his head moving from side to side at times. His breathing was shallow and an occasional groan escaped his otherwise tightly shut lips. Even in the pale lighting the bruises and cuts on his face were still visible. They seemed to especially stick out against the pallor of his skin. Yet, they were a thousand times better then they had been when Anakin had first found him.
Suddenly Obi-wan began to speak. At first he couldn't make out what his Master was saying, but slowly his mutterings became louder and more coherent. As Anakin listened he suddenly wised he had been born deaf.
Obi-Wan's hoarse voice filled the silence: "No don't… No, No… don't do this Ventress… please… no, not… Not Anakin… leave him alone… No! For force's sake I will do anything just… leave him… alone… yes…Yes I give up!... please just not Anakin… NOOOOO!" he cried his voice rising in volume until he screamed out the last part. That was enough to get the horrified teenager to his Master's side. Anakin turned on the lamp and sat on the edge of the bed.
"Master! Master, it's me, Anakin! Please wake up. It's only a dream. Master Please!" he called out to his struggling Master. Afraid of further hurting the man who was for all intents and purposes his Father, Anakin gently shook his mentor's shoulder while simultaneously calling out to him.
Finally after what seemed like ages Obi-Wan's eyes fluttered open. His breathing was ragged and his unfocused gaze was panicked and haunted. As the world came into focus Anakin who was leaning over him, watched as the sliver of recognition and relief alighted his Master's face as he looked up at him.
Slowly, almost painfully Obi-Wan smiled tiredly up at him.
Whatever Anakin was about to say died on his lips as Obi-Wan's hand came up to rest gently on his cheek. "Anakin?" muttered Obi-Wan softly, sounding way too much like his mother had when he had found her barely clinging to life. "What's wrong my Padawan?" he asked weakly seeing the distress of his pupil.
In an unsteady voice Anakin answered: "Master you were having a nightmare about… her. You were talking in your sleep and… I had to wake you I couldn't let you go through it again!... I won't let her hurt you anymore Master!..." he chocked, tears falling freely down his face. Obi-Wan's eyes dimmed at the memory of his dream briefly. Gently he wiped away Anakin's tears and ran a hand through his short hair.
"I know Anakin. I'm sorry; you shouldn't have to go through it either. It's okay" he said soothingly trying to reassure his upset Padawan.
But Anakin shook his head vehemently, "But it's not okay! She hurt you Master! She should pay for what she did to you, but she's still out there… You nearly… I thought I had lost you…" he began, his breath hitching.
Without hesitating, Obi-Wan drew Anakin to him. Soft sobs racked the boy as he leaned into his Master's embrace, carefully hiding his face in the crook of his Master's shoulder. Gently Obi-Wan rested one of his hands on the back of Anakin's head. With a soft sigh Obi-Wan rested his cheek on the top of Anakin's head.
"Oh Anakin, but you didn't lose me. I'm right here, because of you. You found me young one and brought me home, that's all that matters. It will be okay, everything is going to be okay now. I promise. I'm not going anywhere and no matter what happens you'll never lose me, I will always be with you" he murmured quietly.
At his words Anakin threw his arm around his Master's chest as though his grip alone could make Obi-Wan's statement true. Anakin knew that he should be the one offering support and comfort to his wounded Master, but that had never been them. Obi-Wan was always the strong one, no matter what and Anakin needed him to keep being the strong one, and he would be. He was Anakin's pillar that kept him firmly rooted in the light. No matter what he knew he could always count on Obi-Wan to bring him back from the brink and he needed that so desperately.
Still, Obi-Wan's pain-filled words kept repeating themselves over and over again in his head: "yes… Yes I give up!"
The idea of Obi-Wan giving up under any circumstance let alone willingly was unthinkable. However, what frightened him the most was that he had done it for him apparently, for the sake of his Padawan Obi-Wan had given in to force knew what. If someone like Obi-Wan, the ideal Jedi who followed and lived by the code was willing to give up… to surrender… to give in… could fall, because of attachment, just to save the life of someone he cared about; then what did that mean for him? Even as the reassuring murmurings and steady heart-beat of his Master lulled him to sleep, he couldn't help but worry.
If Obi-Wan that perfect Jedi could be broken and willingly fall because of his attachments, where would that leave him? He knew that without Obi-Wan he would be lost… without the steady strength and comfort that his Master supplied him he would be left teetering on the brink of an abyss. Without that sense of home that his own attachments supplied him with, he would fall too… he would even plunge in willingly…