Sorry it took until this evening. :-S This story is a sort of tie-in to “You Can Not Catch Nor Hold the Wind“. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy. 🙂
With Storms So Violent
I had never known before what it was to meet someone different. Well, except Siri, of course, but she is different in an entirely unique way. I know what it’s like to be different myself. For so many unspoken reasons, I did not quite fit in at the Temple. I never knew quite why, but at least I did know that there was one. I never fit in at home; never before has there been a Kenobi with blue eyes. It’s a genetic freak of my family. But never before had I met someone as different as Anakin Skywalker.
Now, I tend to like things that are safe and familiar, and I prefer to err on the side of caution. People call me “reckless” at times, but what they’re really seeing is the result of a sense of humor that borders on insanity. I’m really partially insane and just very good at hiding it. I would have to be crazy after all the almost-heart attacks I’ve experienced in my life, and yet I do go on living in this way… this occupation. I’m not addicted to the adrenalin rush, like some people who live in the danger zone are. I don’t love danger. But I don’t fear it, either. Where other people rush out of a “situation,” I go in. It’s what I’ve been born and bred to do; it’s so deeply ingrained in me it might as well be in my blood. I don’t risk my own life for fun, like thrill-seekers do; but I risk it to keep other people safe. And to do that, you have to either ridiculously brave or partially insane. I think I’m the latter. I was probably born with an almost fatally low level of whatever neurotransmitter is most related to a fear response. I free-climb cliffs without safety equipment, and then jump off them again as soon as I reach the top on a regular basis. But I’m not stupid. Most surgeons will tell you, brain damage doesn’t work that way. No, it actually doesn’t. But being either extremely, ridiculously lucky, Force-blessed, or destined for a much worse fate does. My impulsiveness only tends to kick in in the middle of a mission, while the attackers are trying to kill my master and I.
Anakin Skywalker is entirely different. He would jump off a burning building without safety equipment for the thrill, not to get out of the fire. I could almost say that he has no common sense whatsoever. After all, it is possible to be both brilliant, and lacking in any sense of self-preservation at all. Because, to do Anakin justice, he is brilliant.
Just boastful about it. Goodness knows where he gets that, I certainly never have flattered him.
Where I have a sense of self-preservation that’s on automatic override when someone else is in danger, Anakin just doesn’t seem to have one, from my point of view. There is, after all, a difference between having no sense of self-preservation and being actually suicidal.
What’s more, we are—quite literally—hot and cold. If I am ice, he is fire. If I am winter’s cold brightness, he is the burning heat of summer.
There are some advantages to being as different as we are. We temper each other’s weaknesses and bolster each other’s strengths. But in the end, it is our differences that defeat us at every turn. My own caution and strong reliance on intellect and reason seems to irritate him, with his reckless bravery and preference for intuition and impromptu planning whilst in medias res, and my quiet, reclusive, studious and non-effusive manner is in direct opposition to his personality. He was summer, I was winter.
As my brethren burned in the pyres of midsummer, I came one last time to meet my apprentice in the smoking heat of Mustafar, but not as a master. I came as a friend, to try and redeem him, and if that failed, I knew I would have to kill him.
Ironic, how our hopes were turned against us.
It was in the blazing, molten rivers of Mustafar that I cut Anakin down. But I did not win. No, I lost. I lost everything. The ice around my heart melted away and I cried. I cried for the first time in my life. The heat was his friend; he destroyed me, with three words. “I hate you.” I don’t remember what I said to him after that, but even if I threw his words back in his face, my heart was screaming, “I loved you like my brother!”
I lost. But perhaps that was right. After all, it is the way of winter to give way to summer. I just never thought it would happen with storms so violent.
Nineteen years later, and I was finally beginning to feel alive again. My long-since frozen heart was thawing out again. I had forgotten—after summer come autumn, winter, and then spring again. There was hope. There was new life. And though the storms would return, I hoped again.
There would be balance to the Force.