This is actually an older piece that I wrote but never posted. It might never have been posted if not for Rosalie looking for it on my blog (I probably sent it to her for review before forgetting all about it) for hours and never finding it. I am so sorry about all those hours you spent looking for something that wasn’t even here, Rosalie. 😦
It’s a bit introspective and my style has changed quite a bit since I wrote it–I can tell quite clearly. I hope you all enjoy this journey deep into the Archives! ;-D
Just In Case
Obi-Wan gripped the pen between his fingers. It had been a hard fight with himself to decide to do this, but duty won out over personal feelings.
As it always had.
Obi-Wan reached for the ink, checked it. Per traditions, he was using a quill and an ink bottle. He had tempered this quill himself for letter writing, years ago, when he still had enough time for that sort of thing. This quill had never been used. He had a bunch of them set aside. When he ran out, he would have to resort to a metal-nib calligraphy set. But for now, he preferred the feel of the quill. He had always preferred the feel of wood to that of plastic, keratin to that of metal.
He had had to force himself to the desk. It was going to be a struggle against his emotions to write this letter, especially knowing the circumstances in which Anakin would be reading it. Obi-Wan swallowed hard. His duties to Anakin outweighed any concern for himself. He would write the letter. Obi-Wan swallowed again and began.
To Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight, from Obi-Wan Kenobi, member of the Jedi Council, greeting.
My Dearest Friend,
Obi-Wan stared at these first words, as if mesmerized by the beauty of his own neat, elegant handwriting. As far as dress, bearing, and taste went, he was all for simplicity. However, when it came to his hand, to calligraphy, that was a different matter. When writing letters, he could be extravagant. After all, it wasn’t for him. Obi-Wan looked at the salutation. It was well merited. He began again.
By the time you are reading this, I will be walking with Qui-Gon in those beautiful glades I told you of, in my dream. I will have gone to become one with the Force. I am not going to give you some sugary, supercilious nonsense about not crying. I’m not going to tell you not to cry. It wouldn’t make any difference, and besides, I want you to cry.
Obi-Wan went back and underscored the word “want” to add emphasis. He continued on.
I want you to cry. Tears aren’t all bad. They can heal as well.
Obi-Wan paused, thinking. What was he going to say next? How could he tell?
Anakin, Anakin, Force knows it’s been far too long since we’ve had a heart-to-heart. I miss you, I feel as if you’re drifting away from me. You’re keeping secrets from me, I can tell, but I’m not going to ask about it. Maybe I’m making a mistake by not asking, but I can’t ask. I respect you too much.
Obi-Wan looked up at the wall. “What do I say now?” he asked aloud. This duty was a heavy one, but it was a reality that time had only underscored, not alleviated.
One of these missions, he was not going to come back. This truth had been brutally ground into him, burned mercilessly into his awareness, ten years ago with Qui-Gon’s death. Would it have made it easier for him if Qui-Gon had left a last letter? Perhaps, perhaps not. Obi-Wan quickly wiped away a tear that had escaped from one eye. He had come to accept it. The question was, would Anakin?
Obi-Wan dipped the pen again. He sighed.
I know how much you’ll miss me, but in the end, you’ll understand. I’ll be with Qui-Gon while you’re reading this. Please, don’t be any sadder than you need to be.
A tear rolled down Obi-Wan’s cheek and splattered on the page. Hastily, he wiped it off before the paper could wrinkle. He couldn’t stop the memory that rose to the top. A Padawan, trapped away from his master. That same master, run through by an evil creature that was the return of the Sith. A scream of anguish. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Was that me? Obi-Wan wondered. He brushed the thought away and continued to write.
Please, don’t be angry with me for failing to take care of myself. I am not a child, Anakin, not anymore. I know what it is like to loose the mentor you all but worshipped. I have a request to make, Anakin.
Obi-Wan closed his eyes against the burn in them. A red glow suffused against his eyelids. Hold back the dark. the voice of his childhood whispered. Be the light you were born to be. Obi-Wan opened his eyes, but did not see the familiarity of his own room. Instead, he saw the cell in which Ventress had held him. Anakin is dead. That voice, all over again. Pain. His pain. He barely felt it. It was nothing beside the gnawing agony. Obi-Wan fought off the memory, back into his own room in the Temple. His blue-gray eyes clouded over. Ventress. The woman who had hated him, wounded him, scarred him for life…
And then saved that same life.
Obi-Wan knew what confusion was like. Ventress had been really hating herself, more than him. He had been like that, when his own master was murdered. Days later, he wondered if it really had been him to kill the Sith. The duel had been fought as if he himself was hiding elsewhere, his fingers in his ears and eyes squeezed shut. He had wanted to die.
So it had come as a surprise when the enraged onslaught had resulted in the Sith’s death instead. The one clear thing about that moment was his own feeling of vindicated satisfaction as the Sith fell backwards into that pit in two pieces.
Maul. The man who had murdered Obi-Wan’s master, ripped away whatever fragments of Obi-Wan’s childhood the Jedi had left to cling to, and then cheated death and returned to make Obi-Wan suffer. What Maul did not understand was that Obi-Wan had forgiven him. Obi-Wan could never suffer like Maul had. Obi-Wan’s suffering was not that of hatred, but that of choice. Hatred was eternal pain. He knew that from what he had learned at the Temple, not from personal experience, thank the Force.
Anakin, too, had saved Obi-Wan’s life, but not in that same ostensible manner. He had given Obi-Wan purpose beyond Qui-Gon’s death. He had stopped Obi-Wan from being a lost child, still trapped in childhood and always with the past, never the present.
Or the future.
Obi-Wan closed his eyes again, willing to relax them against the painful glare of black on white. Thousands of hours staring at viewscreens and data readouts had not done much for his eyesight. He might eventually need contact lenses. Live in the moment, Qui-Gon’s voice floated into his awareness. He took a deep breath. Right. Ever since Mortis, he had known that Qui-Gon was at least not completely gone. He did not know how or why, but he did know that he had carried Qui-Gon with him, in a sense. It should not have surprised him, seeing the close and strong nature of their bond. It stood to reason that, should Qui-Gon be still existent on a plain where he could speak to Obi-Wan at times, he would be innately linked to Obi-Wan still. Obi-Wan smiled at the memory of Qui-Gon. The pain had not gone away, but at least it did not dim the memory of the happy times any more.
Obi-Wan looked back at the page and frowned. It was a farewell letter. It was only the second farewell letter he had written in his life. All Padawans wrote a farewell letter to their families on their thirteenth birthday. It was supposed to be the last contact they had with their families. Of course, there was no rule against writing further letters, but the farewell letter was really the beginning of the end. It was meant to be a comfort to the family, should they hear of their son or daughter’s death in action, and a last farewell, a last admission of love. Dutifully, Obi-Wan had written his, though almost two weeks after his birthday; missions had gotten in the way.
But this was different. It was a farewell letter to Anakin, should Obi-Wan be killed in the Clone Wars. Obi-Wan had never felt the need before to write one. However, all that had changed with Raydonia, and Mandalore.
Get on with it! Obi-Wan told himself forcefully, roughly pushing himself back to the present. He stared at the last line for a moment, then continued.
Please, for my sake, if Dooku or Grievous or Maul or someone like that is the one who kills me, do not take revenge! It would destroy you.
Other than that, mourn me, and then move on, and be glad for me, because I will be with Qui-Gon and Adi, and all the others who’ve gone on before us. I was born to be a Jedi, I lived a Jedi, and I will die a Jedi. Death is merely part of living. Like other parts of life, it has a potential to be painful, though it doesn’t have to be.
Do not worry about my sister, brother, and so forth. They came to terms with who I was and that I was in constant danger years ago. Do not feel obligated to write them, unless you want to.
I have no regrets, Anakin. I have tried my best in thousands of missions, and if I made mistakes I at least did my best to put them right. Take care of Padme for me—she may not understand. Be a good master to Ahsoka, and say something kind to Bant.
Farewell, Anakin. Until we meet again.
Your faithful servant,
Obi-Wan carefully sealed the letter, and with it the ghosts of his past. He addressed it to Anakin with a few neat strokes. Still thinking quietly, he dripped the wax onto the flap, then stamped the seal ring down on it. It was a standard enough seal, the Order symbol. Obi-Wan had given up on the five-petaled rose insignia that was his birthright upon ascending to the Council, though he still had the seal. It was a mere memento, nothing more. Placing the letter in the desk, he carefully locked it and placed the key on the mantel. Should he be killed, he had no doubt that, in looking through his things, Anakin would find it or receive it. The past dealt with, Obi-Wan left the room.