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Care, Trust, and the Force (of course)

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The battle was going quite well until Anakin managed to fall off a cliff. It was a rather tall cliff, which is probably why he heard a chorus of yelling from his men as he slipped over the edge and began to plummet to the rocky terrain below, but luckily, Anakin had the quick thinking to use the Force to push himself to a small ledge. Only a few meters down. 

Still, he lands hard, his body slamming like a rag doll into the cliffside. He manages to roll, but not before a loud cracking sound rings out like a cannon shot, and Anakin cries out. 

Oh boy, I've done it now. He thinks as he lies haphazardly on his side. His arm is tucked underneath him, but he can feel his hand against his elbow of the same arm-- that is definitely not the direction his arm should be. Anakin squeezes his eyes shut, tears soaking through as the sharp pain pulsates up his arm. He hasn't felt this kind of pain in a long time, and the adrenaline of his fall is making it hard to connect to the Force to suppress it. So he lays for a moment, breathing heavily and slowly to try and calm himself down. 

I need to get help. Call Obi-Wan... Commlink! He suddenly remembers it on his uninjured arm and raises it to his lips. 

"Obi-Wan, come in," he says, his voice tight with pain. 

"Anakin? What's wrong?" he replies immediately, the echo of blaster fire in the background.

"I fell... Pretty bad." 

A pause. The sound of droids getting absolutely obliterated. Obi-Wan is back, his voice low and calm. His sick voice, Anakin recognizes. Whenever he was ill as a padawan, Obi-Wan's voice would get really quiet and really calm, halfway between a constant lullaby and the tempo of a mind-healer. Like it did back then, it immediately soothes him. It'll be okay. Obi-Wan will help. "Okay, Anakin, turn on your tracking beacon and I'll come get you." 

"Okay, Master," he swallows thickly. 



"Can you tell me how bad it is? What is hurt?" 

He does a quick assessment. He doesn't think he hurt anything else too bad. Maybe a mild concussion from the whiplash of landing so abruptly, and definitely some cuts and bruises pretty much everywhere. But the arm... that's what has his stomach turning. 

"Broken arm. Bad broken." The kind with the bone sticking out. He nearly vomits at the thought. 

Anakin was eight when he watched the owner of his good friend barge into their lunchtime and begin to beat him. The slaver was convinced Jas had stolen from him, though Anakin had watched a traveler steal the compressor bolt when he came over to pick up his friend. Trying to defend him only earned Anakin a blow to the side of the head that had the world spinning, and he laid on the ground and watched helplessly as the owner took Jas's arm and snapped it in two. His friend screamed, so loud others ran into the shop. They only watched as he collapsed, squirming in the sand as it quickly turned red around him. Someone had the sense to pick him up and throw him into the street. Yelled at him to go back to work. When he showed up back at Watto's, unable to go two minutes without sobbing, Watto had a rare moment of mercy and let him go early. 

Anakin dreamed about the incident that night and many nights after. Dreamed about the stark white bones sticking out of his friend's arm. Pointed, like they'd been sharpened like a blade.

He learned the next day that the way the bones broke severed his vessels. Jas bled out on the floor of his master's shop, and his master kept the stain there as long as it remained to warn others of the consequences of stealing. Ever since Anakin hasn't been very good about broken bones. 

Obi-Wan knows this. "Alright," he says, even softer. "I'm coming, Anakin." 

He lowers his arm back onto his hip, realizing his entire body is quivering. Anakin feels like a kid again. A padawan. A slave on Tatooine. Anything but a Jedi Knight in the middle of battle. But he doesn't care right now. He's in too much pain to fight, too far down to Force-leap back up even if he had the strength to manage it. He would need a proper evac, but his energy is waning and he just wants to sleep it off. 

"No time for sleep, young one." Obi-Wan's voice surprises him, and he nearly jumps up at the sound. He hadn't heard him jump from atop the cliff or land next to him. 

"Obi-Wan," he says tearfully, curling in on himself even more. 

His former master approaches him slowly, his eyes scanning over him with an emotionless expression. It must be bad, he isn't saying anything... Finally, he kneels next to him, placing a hand softly on his shoulder. 

"Alright, we're going to sit you up."

"But my arm--"

"I know. Trust me. You don't have to look, but I need to check it."

He nods, biting on the skin of his cheek. Obi-Wan helps him roll to a sitting position, positioning him so he's sitting with his back against the cliffside. He immediately shuts his eyes, turning his head in the opposite direction. He will take no chances of having to see such a gruesome sight. But he can feel Obi-Wan doing the usual checks. Ribs, brushing dust off his cheek, straightening his legs out. It's methodical, soothing. It takes his mind off the pain that continues to radiate up his arm and shoulder. 

"Anakin," he finally says. "Open your eyes." 

Panic surges through him. 

"Master, no, you know I can't." 

"I know you're afraid--" 

"I can't." 

A hand on his cheek. Another on his shoulder. "Trust me. It's not what you think." 

Feelings of calm and peace are being filtered through the Force, and Anakin fights back the sob and slowly opens his eyes. He sees the horizon first, the side of the planet not affected by the war because it's too mountainous. Slowly, as slow as he can, he pans toward Obi-Wan, who kneels at his side, looking at him with clear eyes and a slight smile. 

"It hurts," he says, deliberately keeping his arm out of his peripheral. 

"I know, but it will hurt less once you look." 

Well, that doesn't make sense! But Obi-Wan's eyes are saying trust me, and so he does. Anakin looks down at his arm, expecting the worst, but rather than a mangled mess of bone blood, and skin, he sees an entanglement of metal and wires, his prosthetic half torn off. He blinks, stupefied. 

"But... but it hurts," he says as he reaches over timidly to feel the edges of the durasteel that have snapped clean off. The stump of his arm is tender, and a little beat up, but otherwise uninjured. "Why does it hurt?" 

Obi-Wan slides over to his side, sitting next to him with his back against the cliff. "You haven't had this long. Your brain needs more time to remember there isn't an arm there anymore," he carefully pushes aside the broken prosthetic on the hinge it now has, placing his own arm underneath so that at his perspective it sorta looks like he has a real, flesh forearm and hand there. "Flex your fingers on the other hand," he says, and as Anakin does, Obi-Wan mirrors him. Shockingly, the pain fades, becoming more of a dull ache from landing hard on the rock than the horrible agony of a broken arm. "See?"

He feels dumb now. His tears of pain become tears of shame, and he pulls his arm away, dragging the prosthetic across Obi-Wan's lap. "I'm sorry," he mutters. 

"For what?" 

"I pulled you out of battle! Acted like a little kid and I'm not even that hurt!" 

"Anakin," he says softly, still in that damned sick voice. "The pain was real. It was going to feel real until you could see it was not, and I knew you weren't going to look," he looks down at the ground. "Understandably so. There was little I could do to help you on Geonosis, so I am happy to be here to help you now." 

He looks him through his teary vision. He never blamed Obi-Wan for his arm, but he suddenly realizes maybe Obi-Wan blames himself. 

Losing his arm was a shock, but Padmé has helped him a lot with accepting it as it is. Technology is so good the only thing he's really lost are the more sensitive aspects of his sense of touch, but he still has his other hand for such things. Sometimes he even forgets he has the thing... obviously. But did notice that Obi-Wan always seemed wary of the thing. For a while he thought he was disgusted by it or something but... if he felt guilty for some reason...

 They sit in silence for a long moment. Long enough that two comms with nonurgent codes come into Obi-Wan's commlink but he silences them. 

"How did you know that would help?" he asks when his tears finally dry up and they hear the distant sound of gunships overpowering the little blaster fire that remains.

"Research. I wanted to know what to possibly expect after you got your prosthesis. How to get you back to as normal as possible as quickly as possible," he says softly, looking off into the distance as though he's embarrassed. But it makes Anakin smile and a feeling of warmth. He can just imagine him spending hours in the archives trying to make heads or tails of medical literature. Force forbid, he may have even gone to the Halls of Healing to ask for advice, which is unheard of for him to do on his own fruition. It's all just... the most Obi-Wan thing he's ever heard. 

"Well... thank you, Master. Really," he says. The rattle of an approaching gunship comes from around the corner of the cliff. Rex stands in the open end, pointing in their direction. "I'll try not to forget I already lost this hand next time." 

A chuckle. Obi-Wan jumps to his feet while rolling his eyes. He holds out his hand to help Anakin up as well. "I do hope there won't be a next time."