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All We Can Do

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Anakin has always considered his master rather unflappable. Obi-Wan Kenobi can take anything with a smile and carefully crafted clap back. Right now, though, he seems pretty flapped. Anakin doesn’t think he’s stopped ranting to breathe in twenty seconds.

“- the level of stupidity required to make this much of a mess. Honestly, anyone would think you’d been raised by incompetent fools! You lack any subtlety at all, you get your secret wife pregnant and then you allow a SITH LORD to nearly TURN YOU! Do you know how much work I have to do, Anakin? How much paperwork you cause me on a normal day? How many lives depend on me? Do you really think I have any time at all for this nonsense? I just killed the Chancellor, and now you think you can blame me for your faults! You couldn’t wait a few fucking hours to implode the entire Republic? Just because of a few dreams clearly planted by a Sith Lord? You are not prone to visions Anakin, and you know as well as anyone that trying to prevent visions can set in motion the events you fear!”

Obi-Wan is pacing. Anakin, Padme and fucking Yoda sit on the couch in front of him. Asajj Ventress is standing in the corner, laughing. Cody looks as stoic as always, solid support for Obi-Wan.

“Do you have any idea how much I have sacrificed for you? Never once have I regretted it, until this moment. You should’ve been a crechemaster. Or a pilot. I should’ve said fuck you Qui-Gon Jinn, you don’t deserve my fucking loyalty. The terrified traumatised boy does not need to be a Jedi Knight, he needs a home and stability! Instead, I listened to the words of a dead man and his fucking prophecy. I haven’t slept in four days Anakin, and you still call me to clean up your messes? Do you know how lucky you are that I didn’t pass out in the middle of that duel? I don’t remember the last time I ate! I just fought Grievous, and then you call me to deal with Sidious?”

“Master-” Anakin tries to interject but Obi-Wan steamrolls right over him.

“And you, Master Yoda! Your bullshit nearly cost us the Jedi Order. No attachments, no attachments. Lead to the Darkside they do. Do you really think any of us would still be in the light if we weren’t attached? Teach us how to deal with love and our power, instead of cutting us off from it! I would have fallen a million times over if I didn’t have a reason to cling to the Light! And stop with all the preaching, children don’t give a shit. If you’d stopped for a second and been kind to the little slave boy we might have avoided a lot of pain.

“Padme, I expected better of you. Marrying a man five years younger than you who just lost his mother? Ridiculous! A secret marriage. This could ruin your whole career! And then not getting proper medical care? Are you insane? I- I had a point with all of this…”

“General,” Cody rests a hand on his shoulder, “I think you need to sleep.”

“I’m sorry!” Anakin bursts out, throwing himself at his master, “I’m so sorry, Obi-Wan.”

Cody tries to push him off but Obi-Wan pulls him into his arms with a strength Anakin is fairly certain he doesn’t really have. His Force signature is like a balm to Anakin’s own aching soul. His master is so Light. So full of power and kindness and love. Why had he ever resented him? How could he ever think Obi-Wan didn’t care for him?

“It’s alright,” he whispers into his hair, “It’s alright, dear one.”

Cody snorts but says nothing. Anakin thinks he might be taking most of Obi-Wan’s weight.

For his part, Anakin sobs into his former master's shoulder. And Obi-Wan embraces him, all of his broken parts and barely healed hurts. Obi-Wan forgives him, for all the mistakes he nearly made and the ones he actually did.

¬

Obi-Wan is exhausted. Anakin cried himself to sleep in his arms, but Obi-Wan doesn’t have the time for something so trivial. Everyone needs to stop looking so goddamn concerned. He has at least another week in him before he collapses.

After he’s tucked Anakin into bed, he turns to his audience, “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.”

He doesn’t stumble on his way out the door.

He’s fine. Definitely completely fine. No cause for concern here, no sir. Distantly, he realises he’s dissociating. No matter, he can work through it. It’s hardly the first time.

“General,” Cody lays a hand on his shoulder, a copy of what he did earlier, “General, the war’s over. You can take a break.”

How did Cody follow him? Did everyone follow him? A quick glance around shows that no, no one else followed. Just Cody. Huh. Why did Cody follow him?

“The war is never over, my dear commander,” he finds himself saying, “Not until everyone who fought it is dead.”

Or free. Ah, that reminds him, he needs to get the clones citizenship.

“General,” Cody repeats, firmer, “You need to take a break.”

Obi-Wan shakes his head, “No, I have a lot to do. I need to set up negotiations with the Separatists and release all the information on Palpatine's corruption and find somewhere for you and your brothers to stay. Oh and I have-”

He’s cut off as Cody hugs him.

What?

“General,” he says, “General, you are exhausted. You have multiple injuries from the two battles you took part in. You haven’t eaten in days and you’ve been through a horrible emotional experience. You need to take a damn break. Let everyone else do their damn jobs for once.”

¬

It’s a mark of how tired the General is that he doesn’t argue. Obi-Wan’s body melts against Cody’s. He can feel his ribs through the layers of robes and his blacks. They really are lucky he didn’t pass out in the middle of fighting Darth Sidious.

Cody is angry. He’s angry that his brothers have fought and died in a pointless war. He’s angry that the Kaminions put chips in their heads. He’s angry that General Skywalker nearly betrayed them all. Right now, none of that anger serves a purpose. So instead, he’s going to take care of his general. It’s all he can do.

Protect the man who will fight for them. Take care of his friend in the aftermath of an awful battle. It’s all he can do.