It first happens on Tatooine, just like all things seemed to in those days.
Obi-wan meets the charismatic child that had won them the prize money for the parts to rebuild their ship, and he was instantly intrigued. Then, as he continued to talk to him, he suddenly realizes that he can see Anakin’s bright blue eyes, and he stumbles over his words a bit.
“Are you okay?” the boy asks, picking up on the sudden anxiety coming off of the Padawan, but Obi-wan shakes his head, backing out of the room. “I’ll be back in a minute,” he says shakily, and nearly keels over as soon as he realizes he can see.
He can see the soft tan of the walls, he can see the brown and white of his robes, and he can even see the sharp green eyes of his Master as he walked in, looking at Obi-wan questioningly.
He talks to Qui-Gon about it later, and the elder crosses his arms, looking at him pointedly. “What does this mean?” he stammers, and the man eventually shrugs, placing a hand on his shoulder and giving him a warm smile.
“Maybe it’s a gift. An omen that it must be you to train the boy.”
“But I’m still a Padawan!”
“You’ll know, in time.”
(Obi-wan felt as if his Master was holding something from him.)
(And after he vanquishes Darth Maul and loses him in a matter of moments in blinding color, he regrets going to Tatooine.)
ii. The Jedi Temple
Sometimes, when Obi-wan was at his wit’s end with his new apprentice, he doubted Qui-Gon’s wise words.
Anakin was becoming a handful, all twelve gangly years of him. Although he did have a few remarkable qualities (like the Force bond he had, which made Obi-wan feel smaller than ever, his lightsaber skills, his tinkering, and his uncanny piloting), it didn’t help that sometimes, it was like talking to a brick wall.
But other times, it was like talking to Qui-Gon again.
And this was one such circumstance.
Anakin wandered into his room late one night, after a particularly rough spar that day, wincing and rubbing the back of his neck, complaining about his tight muscles. Obi-wan had sat him down on the chair, and was beginning to knead the tension out of the young Padawan’s neck and shoulders when Anakin asked a question.
“Master, can you see color?”
Obi-wan’s hands paused. Should he tell him?
I don’t see why not.
“Yes, I do. Why do you ask?”
Anakin shrugged, and winced as he twinged a sore muscle. “It’s just, I never really questioned why I saw color. I just do, and I have for as long as I can remember.”
Obi-wan let the silence fall between them, but Anakin was never one for silence as he turned around, looking apprehensively at the older man.
“Master Yoda said it was because you met your soulmate.”
Obi-wan’s jaw dropped. “You shouldn’t question the ways of the Force so much, my young apprentice,” he said, quickly regaining his composure, and Anakin smirked.
“I guess. Goodnight, Master.”
And when Anakin walked out the door, Padawan braid swinging around his neck, Obi-wan gulped.
“Oh, dear,” he whispered, covering his face with his hands.
Anakin was his soulmate.
When Anakin was nineteen, it hit him.
Obi-wan had taken Anakin with him to track down the bounty hunter threatening to kill Senator Amidala, and after they’d lost him, the older man had taken the boy inside for a drink. It was an awful idea to begin with, but he had to make the boy brighten up somewhat.
(That, and Anakin all but pleaded for them to go inside the dingy club for a few moments.)
Of course, clubs were not a thing for Obi-wan, and after Anakin came stumbling over after a few drinks, he decided it was time to return to their shared quarters.
It took far too long to get Anakin into the elevator, and after trying to make sure his Padawan didn’t press all of the buttons because “Obi-wan, they’re so pretty”, he was dead tired.
He’d managed to get Anakin inside of the room and onto the bed, and as he closed the door, the air shot from his chest as he was slammed against the door, a hot and tense body pressed against his own.
Obi-wan turned around and jumped a little at the proximity of Anakin’s face to his own, and he tried not to notice the fact that his Padawan’s hands were next to his head, effectively caging him in, or the fact that his eyes had turned nearly three shades a darker blue, or that his eyes were effectively staring at his lips.
“What-” Obi-wan began, but Anakin’s lips on his own shut him up.
Obi-wan felt like he was going to explode. The color behind his eyelids spiraled in and out of focus, nearly making him sick, but he nevertheless wound his hands in Anakin’s short-cropped hair, and he felt his Padawan grin against his lips as he dragged his cold hands down his Master’s robes.
Anakin tasted like alcohol and strawberries, and it was intoxicating and-
Obi-wan broke away and pushed the boy away from him, staring at him in shock. “Why did you do that?” he whimpered, and Anakin’s expression broke him.
“I just…I just felt an impulse,” he said simply, running a hand over his face.
“Well, calm your impulses next time.”
“You enjoyed it!”
“I did no such thing.”
“Go to bed, you’re drunk.”
And as Anakin stomped to his bedroom, Obi-wan felt the color in his gaze flicker, and his heart sank.
iv. Coruscant (again)
It was the nights like these that Obi-wan cherished.
By all means, he loved getting missions, but it was nice to just sit back and relax with the firm reminder that he wouldn’t have to be going out and about anytime soon.
That, and the fact that Anakin’s bare, muscled back was in full view of him.
When his apprentice had gotten his Padawan braid chopped off, he’d instantly gotten closer to Obi-wan, closer than his former Master may have liked. There were the small touches he’d leave on his thigh or on his shoulder, and he’d hold eye contact with Obi-wan for extended amounts of time with an emotion that Obi-wan had never seen before.
He learned later that it was lust.
Obi-wan had taken Anakin out for his twenty-third birthday (because why not, honestly), and he’d managed to drag the poor man back to their shared apartment, and Anakin had slammed him against the door again. And this time, Obi-wan was ready.
No amount of meditation or concentration could help Obi-wan figure out his feelings for Anakin, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.
He smashed his lips to Anakin’s, who stumbled a bit in surprise, but reciprocated almost immediately. Obi-wan’s fingers found hold in his former apprentice’s new curly hair, and Anakin moaned into his mouth as he tugged on them.
Eventually, Anakin brought things to the bed, and those nights always ended with the two men practically drenched in sweat.
And it happened again, and again, and again.
Obi-wan wouldn’t be the first to admit it, but Anakin was his soulmate. He’d begun to see the brilliance of color on Tatooine when he’d first met the boy, and it didn’t matter how hard he tried to suppress his feelings for his Padawan.
And now, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, since Anakin was a full Jedi.
Obi-wan traced the muscles on Anakin’s back, and he felt the man shiver as his cold fingertips skated across his skin.
Anakin rolled over, propping his head on his hand and giving him the biggest lovestruck grin that Obi-wan had ever seen on Anakin.
“I think it was you.”
Obi-wan looked over at the man in surprise. “What was me?” he asked.
“The reason I started seeing color when I was young.”
Obi-wan groaned sarcastically. “How did you know?”
His former apprentice smiled widely, moving forward and catching his lips in a chaste kiss, his durasteel hand cupping his cheek, and Obi-wan melted.
“Just a wild guess.”
And as Anakin snuggled underneath Obi-wan’s chin (he never figured out how the man, at twenty-three years old, could cuddle and make himself as small as he was now) and Obi-wan carded his fingers through the man’s hair, he sighed.
Nothing could be better.
When Padmé’s ship had landed on the volcanic planet that Yoda had insisted he went to to defeat the new Sith apprentice (Obi-wan had a hard time remembering that Anakin wasn’t Anakin anymore), Obi-wan felt his legs turn to jelly.
I can’t do this, he thought shakily to himself, but nevertheless steeled his way to exit the ship.
The sight that greeted him was one he thought he’d never see.
Padmé was arguing with Anakin, who looked bigger and angrier than the last time Obi-wan had seen him, and there was an air of darkness surrounding his former Padawan.
Then, Padmé’s hands shot to her neck as Anakin outstretched his arm, effectively choking her, and it sent chills down Obi-wan’s spine.
“Let her go!” he yelled, and Padmé fell to the floor, unmoving, as Anakin turned to face Obi-wan. “You have turned her against me,” he growls, and it doesn’t even sound like Anakin anymore, his blue eyes dark in fury.
Your Skywalker, gone he is, consumed by Darth Vader…
“You will not take her away from me.”
“Your anger and lust for power have already done that.”
Obi-wan lit his lightsaber without even thinking, and he heard Anakin cackle. And he was completely unprepared with the anger Anakin had in his fighting as he launched himself at his former mentor with a roar of fury.
“You were the Chosen One!”
“I HATE YOU!”
Obi-wan wished he could never see again as he watched Anakin’s eyes turn from blue to an ugly yellow, and the remnants of his leg caught fire. Anakin looked up at him, only fury in his eyes as he ignited from the lava river flowing behind him. Obi-wan turned away and scrambled up the embankment, wishing for everything to just stop and trying not to listen to the unearthly howls of pain coming from Anakin as the red-hot liquid seared at his skin and tore him to shreds.
And as he watched Padmé die, holding her two children, Obi-wan felt something break in his chest.
“Hold them,” he instructed, all but shoving them at the droid and a very confused Bail Organa, and practically ran out of the hospital, sitting down on a chair outside of the room, and cried into his hands.
He felt a small hand on his arm, and he looked up to see Master Yoda looking at him with a concerned expression.
“Mourning the Senator, you are?” he questioned. Obi-wan shook his head, wiping the tear stains away from his cheeks with his hands. “No…I just…maybe if I had seen the signs, maybe if I had just been there for him, he wouldn’t have done this to any of us, to me,” he stammered, but Yoda stopped him.
“See the future, we cannot. Change what has happened, we cannot. But help their children, we must,” he said softly, tapping his walking stick on the ground to emphasize his point.
Obi-wan nodded, and Yoda limped back into the room with the Senator as the droid pronounced her date and time of death.
(It never occurred to him that he could still see in color.)
vi. The Death Star
Darth Vader never understood why he could still see in color.
After all, he had vanquished the Jedi scum that he had once called his friend and his soulmate. Everything should have gone gray by now.
If it had, he wouldn’t be able to see the red in his helmet’s lenses as he wheezed, feeling the darkness ebbing at the edges of his eyes as he collapsed, the boy carrying him with tears in his eyes, observing him.
“Help me...take this mask off,” he panted. He needed to see his son’s eyes, his son that looked so much like himself, so young and so reckless.
“No, Father. You’ll die,” the boy answered, his voice shaky in a plea for him to not do this. Vader smiled underneath his helmet.
He was so much like himself.
“Nothing can stop that now.”
And as the helmet was removed and Vader breathed in the clean air of the Imperial shuttle bay, his eyes flickering up to his son’s, who had his eyes and brought tears to Vader’s eyes.
“You were right about me, Luke,” he rasped shakily, but his son reached out and shook his arm, his hand an iron grip on it. “I’ve got to save you,” the boy cried, but Vader shook his head.
“No, Luke,” he whispers, reaching a mechanical hand up to cup his face, “you already have.”
And as he closes his eyes, ignoring the boy’s begging to stay alive, he drifted away, feeling light.
vii. The End
He opened his eyes again, and looked down, noticing that the black armor was gone, replaced by brown and white Jedi robes. He flexed his fingers and unsteadily took a few steps forward, unused to normal legs, and smiled to himself.
Then, he heard a name he hasn’t heard in years being called faintly through the whiteness.
The man turned, taking note that the black armor he wore was gone, and he felt whole again as he saw an old friend walk towards him, shrouded in light, a smile spreading across his face.
And finally, Anakin admitted that he was once again worthy of that name.
“Obi-wan,” he said, throwing his arms around his old friend, burying his face into his neck. The man curled his arms around Anakin’s middle, hugging him tightly as he pressed a kiss to his cheek.
“We’re okay?” he whispered, stepping away as he brushed a hand through his unruly curls, and Obi-wan smiled.
“We’re okay. You’re home.”
Anakin had never felt so light in his life as he walked into the blinding light with Obi-wan by his side, and finally, the chaos inside his soul was calm.