Summary: These are not the regrets of an old man
Fandom: Star Wars
Original story: 20 Random Facts About Jedi by Tartanshell
With thanks to sloanesomething. I don't own these characters.
Stretch on Forever (the no regrets remix)
The ship shudders beneath him, and as the control jerks beneath his hands he allows his grip to loosen, allows the ship to take him where it wants to go. He will be led; he reaches through the Force, feels the pieces of his fighter slowly coming apart and exposing him to the stars, feels the missiles as they hit his fighter, feels the malevolence of the shooter coming upon him from behind.
He grabs the control once more, sure in his knowledge of his fighter, of his enemy. The fighter is an extension of his arm, of himself, and he flips and faces his enemy head on, and when he shoots his enemy shoots also, and when he hits the eject his vision is full of stars, and he trusts the Force to bring him home, or at least to the nearest friendly ship.
Obi-Wan opens his eyes; sits up.
That is the life of a star-field warrior, and it is no longer his.
He sets his feet on the ground, and goes about his business.
The nights in the Wastes become weeks, become months and years. Luke is close, but Owen has made his opinions clear and Beru will back him in this, if in nothing else, and Obi-Wan keeps his distance. He leaves presents by their door, old holovids and texts and tales of the stars, and he finds them returned to his doorstep in the day, still wrapped in the old cloth he brought with him to this distant world.
He measures the distance between friends; wonders at Yoda, at Anakin, at Padme.
Eventually he wanders into Mos Eisley, keeps himself warm with a drink and the conversation which floats around his head. He follows the threads of information, keeps tuned for noise of Palpatine, of the things that have come after, of the risks to the children, to Padme's children.
He considers his drink, thinks about his master.
He lifts his head at a murmuring by the door, and watches the entrance of a party, a droid, a whipwid, and a humanoid. The humanoid pauses, and the line of her neck is familiar, and anyone could be hiding under the makeup caked upon her face. Obi-Wan half-rises from his seat, unsure, but she turns her head, and Padme is gone.
Obi-Wan turns back to his drink.
He ventures into the Wastes, his robes loose about his shoulders and his lightsabre tucked out of sight, but easy to hand. He may be growing cautious in his old age, but the Wastes are vast and unknown, and he is uneasy leaving potential allies without contact. He is uneasy knowing they can disappear into the desert. He is uneasy knowing they are out there, and they are watching.
The stars are bright above him as he follows tracks across the sands. There is the tread of a Jawa trailer. He steps carefully into the footprints left by the banthas, deep where they have carried Sand People, shallow where they have wandered unharnessed. The tracks weave and separate, and the sandstorms brush the tracks away, until all that is the sand caught in his clothes, and the cries on the wind.
He follows the cries, and is glad for his lightsabre.
Later, he returns to his hut, and the Sand People keep their distance.
They remain allies untapped.
He visits Mos Eisley when he can; there is not much to do out in the Wastes, and the visits are frequent. It is here, alert and nursing his drink, that he learns of the Emperor, that he learns of the Emperor's right hand, the Sith Lord Darth Vader, encased in plasteel and ruthless, vicious, efficient.
It is not until he hears whispers of deaths that he feels sick to his stomach. It is then that he knows he should not have left Anakin behind.
He should have driven his lightsabre through Anakin's heart.
He stands; he does not return to Mos Eisley, not again. He will not risk it.
He leaves a note for Owen. There is no need for Luke to venture into Mos Eisley, no need for him to leave the safety of Tatooine's sands.
Owen does not reply, but he does not return the note, and Obi-Wan knows that on this, at least, they must agree.
He fears for Leia; wonders if she will avoid Darth Vader's gaze.
He thinks about Padme, about Anakin, about Yoda.
He misses his friends.
He keeps to the desert places.
Obi-Wan leans against his open door; crosses his arms and watches the twin suns setting across the Wastes. The early evening light is blue and purple, and the air is cool enough that he considers leaning against the wall of the hut. A quick look and he reconsiders the wisdom of such an act so early in the evening, the twin suns still whispering upon the horizon.
As the light fades, he watches the stars winking into view; watches the twinkling light pollution from Mos Eisley, ships and clubs and smugglers and braggarts and he remembers swaggering into ports just like it, the port here is like any across the galaxy and he remembers swaggering in, ordering a drink and watching his Master work the crowd. He remembers swaggering in, leaving Anakin to order a drink and watch him work.
He remembers a lot of things.
He goes into the hut, and closes the door.
He lifts his lightsabre; the Force surrounds him and flows through him, and his lightsabre hums. The arm of the drunkard on Mos Eisley was flesh and unfortunate, but the hiss and clash of his lightsabre with Vader's is familiar. Twenty years is no great distance, and there is no unease, no stiffness in his reach.
He hears the clatter of footsteps, and he looks across, and there is a sandy-haired young man, and a young woman with the calm reaction of her mother, and for a moment he is struck by their presence in the force, by the panic in his eyes and her firm grip behind her brother.
Obi-Wan closes his eyes.