“So Dragon?” Rex got the vode situated around the fires, all settled in for 501st Storytime.
While the men were laying to rest their brothers, Anakin had put in a call to Windu to inform him of the situation, and ask permission to tell the men about the time when he was an angsty teenager who pissed off his Master so bad that he went full Dragon. Mace had only snorted and stated ‘you mean last week?‘.
Those who thought that the Council Member was a serious no nonsense stick up his ass Jedi, had never spent time with said Master. Anakin himself had to admit, his own perspective of Windu had changed, when he learned about the Dragons. The two didn’t always see eye to eye, but he knew Mace had the best intentions, and was beyond stressed being Head of the Order.
He settled next to the fire, making sure Ahsoka was by his side. He had discussed with Obi-Wan just after she became his Padawan if they should tell her about the Dragon, but both decided it wasn’t a good time, especially in the middle of the war.
“First off.” Anakin glanced around the eager faces. Similar yet so different, each one unique in the Force, yet made of the same genetics. He loved his men, hated this war, and at times really wished they would let him off his leash so he could just rip Dooku’s head off and end it. Though deep down, he knew that Dooku wasn’t the end all of this war, and that worried him more than he wanted to admit. “This. This whole thing. Doesn’t leave his planet. When new shinies join, if they are trustworthy to learn this, they must fully understand not to gossip or talk about this outside our units. I mean it. This information doesn’t go beyond the 501st or the 212th.”
He took a deep breath. “Yes. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Dragon. As I’m sure by now Mythic has told everyone what he knows, and some of the horror stories he mentioned about the black market, Dragon Hunters, and yes even soup – it’s all true. There are reasons Dragons hide, and soup is the least of them.”
Boil growled low in his throat. “How many are there?”
“No one really knows.” Anakin shrugged casually. “Most people think they are myths or the species was tragically wiped out. If most worlds knew Dragons moved throughout the galaxy in plain sight.”
He didn’t even want to think about it.
“But the Jedi can be trusted.” Ahsoka looked at her Master. “Right.”
“Normally I would say without a doubt, but between Dooku and Krell, I don’t trust anyone beyond those who already know,” he stated sadly. Obi-Wan would’ve just stepped on Krell and been done with it, Anakin would be more worried what Dooku would do if he knew, thankfully Qui-Gon never told him.
“Being cooped up in a small human form can’t be healthy.” Kix frowned, still hating he had no idea how to even treat a Dragon. He already stole everything Mythic had, and was trying to do more research without looking like he was researching a creature that didn’t exist. “When was the last time the General was able to be himself?”
“Honestly, this is the first time I’ve seen him transform since the war.” Anakin ran a hand through his hair, noticing that the length was getting a bit too long. “There’s a place at the temple for him to transform, but it’s restrictive he can’t really run around. Normally, we would’ve visited planets that have distant temples so he could frolic.”
That got some of the men to laugh.
“How did you find out?” Rex asked, smiling softly. He hoped when Cody and the General came back from wherever they ran off to, he was still in Dragon form. He would like to really see him, not just stare in shock.
“Well now to the embarrassing part of the storytime.”
“Sir, we live with you. That’s every night.”
From this point onward, Echo was no longer his favorite.
“I’ll make sure Rex puts you on latrine duty.” Blatantly ignoring Echo fistpumping with his Captain. “I’ll admit I wasn’t an easy teenager to live with.” He ignored the snorts coming Torrent Company, as far as he was concerned Ghost Company was now his favorite it didn’t matter they were the 212th. “When I hit sixteen I thought I was an all powerful Jedi. I knew everything, and that my Master was just holding me back.”
“Sir, you were an di’kut.” Rex gave him a knowing look. “General Kenobi still kicks your sheb when you two spar.”
“Yes I was.” He had to agree, and at times he cringes at the stupidity that came out of his mouth during that time. “And one day, Master had it with my teenage angsty shit, and let me have it…”
‘I’m stronger than any Jedi here!’ Anakin yelled, anger sparking around him. He was tired of being looked down upon by Masters, Knights and other Padawans. They were nothing compared to him, he was the Chosen One, he had more power than they would ever understand. ‘I’m more powerful than the Council, and they treat me like a child. I should be doing my own missions, yet I’m stuck with you. You, who couldn’t save his own Master…’ He didn’t feel the shift in the room, how everything suddenly went still. ‘… Qui-Gon was a better Jedi than you will ever be!’
Anakin bit back the smirk, he knew how much bringing up Qui-Gon hurt his Master, and he always backed down, like a coward. He would never be strong enough to take on Anakin, which was enough proof that he deserved a better Master, a strong one – just like the Chancellor had told him.
Only this time Obi-Wan wasn’t staring at him in disgust or horror, instead he turned his back on his raging Padawan, sat down on the bench near the entrance of the large oversize garden. It was one Anakin hadn’t seen, it was towards the back of the Temple, actually he wasn’t sure where they were, he had been busy ranting about his idiot teacher who corrected him on the proper way to handle diplomatic situations dealing with slavers … as far as he was concerned there was no diplomatic way, it was just best to kill them.
He paused for a moment, confused by his Master’s actions. He had taken off his boots, removed his belt, along with his out set of tunics, then folded his cloak over all of it making sure his Lightsaber was tucked into the fabric. He softly walked over to Anakin.
‘So you think you’re powerful?’ he asked.
‘Yes!’ He pulled the Force around him, shoving all his emotion at his Master. He smirked, when he saw him flinch.
‘You think you can just take anyone on? That just raw power and your ego is good enough to save yourself, or others?’
‘I’m unstoppable!’ he yelled. ‘I’m more powerful than any of the Jedi…’
The roar scared the crap out of him, as did the sudden red monster that was standing over him. Before he could even react and grab his Lightsaber one of the creature’s paws flicked out, smacked him to the ground, then pinned him. The head tilted down until the snout was in Anakin’s face. ‘How powerful are you now? Are all of my lessons about how to handle a superior foe floundering around in that empty head of yours?’
‘Master?’ Anakin stared at it in shock. ‘I don’t understand.’
‘Of course you don’t, because you’re an arrogant hot headed child. You think power is the best weapon in your arsenal. If you can’t wield the power, Anakin, it’s pointless. Being a Jedi isn’t about crashing through a window and saving the day. It doesn’t mean whipping out your Lightsaber and flashing it around like some holo porn star! It’s about knowing who you are, knowing your limitations, knowing that you will do everything you can to help others.’ He lifted his paw and let his Padawan crawl out from under it.
He sat down on his haunches, and stared at Anakin with a mixture of disappointment, annoyance, and affection. ‘Yes, you are the Chosen One, but it means nothing if you don’t know how the Force works, how to control it, and not let it control you. Power will only get you so far before it burns too hot for even you to handle. The arrogance and anger that you have showcased will only lead you down one path, one I do not want for you.’
‘You’re a Dragon.’ He stood up, taking a few hesitant steps forward, hand out smiling when Master Obi-Wan put his snout into his palm. ‘I only heard of your kind, never saw. There were way too many Dragon Hunters on Tatooine for the stories to be only myth.’
‘Yes I am. And now that you know, what will you do to protect me?’ He rubbed against his Padawan, making him laugh slightly. ‘You know we’re hunted.’
‘Couldn’t you just kill them!?’
‘If it was that easy we wouldn’t be hunted now would we?’ Kenobi laid down on his stomach, crossing his front paws in front of him. ‘You would consider me powerful?’
‘Yes! Look at you.’
‘But not in my human form?’
He frowned, then sat down in front of his Master. ‘There’s an objective lesson in here, isn’t there.’
‘Yes my Padawan.’ Kenobi laughed lightly. ‘Anakin, even the size I was as a young Dragon, I wasn’t able to defend myself against Hunters. Power isn’t about brute force. It’s what’s inside you.’ He nudged his claw against his chest. ‘You now see me powerful, when five seconds ago you were yelling that I wasn’t good enough to save my own Master.’
‘Couldn’t you have?’ He didn’t mean for it to come out as accusational as it did, or maybe he did.
‘At the time I was twelve feet high, and about sixteen feet long. You’ve seen those walkways, at what point would I be able to transform, let alone be any use in the fight?’
The look he gave him was so his Master it made him snort. ‘Which kinda makes your point.’
‘Well I wasn’t going to say anything.’ He chuckled lightly. ‘And what if Maul had survived, told the Sith Lord I was a Dragon, that the Jedi have a Dragon.’
‘Is there more?’ He wanted to reach out and touch, feel if the scales were soft, run his fingers over the whiskers.
‘I see you told the hormonal angsty teenager about the deep dark secret.’ Mace Windu stepped around Obi-Wan to glare at Anakin. ‘Was this wise?’
‘We talked about this.’ He glanced down at the Council Member. ‘He needed to know, and well it seemed today was a good day to make a point.’
Mace stared at Anakin for a few moments, then sighed. ‘I’m trusting you with this Padawan Skywalker. This isn’t something to boost your ego, or brag to other annoying angsty teenagers. This is serious.’
‘Look I know you don’t like me…’
‘Skywalker you haven’t given me enough to like or dislike. You came to us, a scared ten year old. If it wasn’t for your Master, we would’ve never known your history on Tatooine as Jinn may have left off some important information. You’ve had a rough life, not just as a slave, but trying to find a spot at the Temple. Don’t think for a moment that us adults don’t know what it’s like to deal with peers who are assholes.’
Anakin blinked a few times, not sure how to handle Master Windu so … normal. Let alone relaxed, he was wearing only his inner tunics, and was barefoot. ‘Wait. You didn’t know I was a slave?’
‘Not until sometimes after Naboo.’ Kenobi’s tale twitched in irritation, distracting Anakin from whatever his Master was saying. ‘ANAKIN!’
‘Sorry. This is just so wizard.’ He blushed lightly, finally reaching out to touch the long snout. The whiskers tickled his hand. ‘Everyone treats me like an outcast.’
‘You could talk to me about it.’ Obi-Wan leaned further down, rubbing against him, getting a small laugh out of his Padawan. ‘I know a few things about not fitting in. Like Master Windu said, we all know what angsty teenage drama is like. No one is immune to gossip, teasing, and even bullying.’
‘They shouldn’t treat me like that.’
‘They shouldn’t treat anyone like that.’ Mace gave him a pointed look. ‘Unfortunately you’re always going to be gossiped about. You came to the temple as a ten year old, your Master is the youngest Knight to take a Padawan, and you are powerful. Arrogant, and need to learn control, but everyone can see the power. Because you have that power, you have to be the better person.’
‘But why!’ He yelled, anger still simmering at the surface. ‘Why do I have to, why can’t they be nicer.’
‘Because people are assholes.’ Mace’s blunt statement started him slightly. ‘Even Jedi. The more power, the more strength, the more you have to be controlled or tyrant you will become.’
‘How very Yoda of you.’ Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. ‘How would you plan on making someone stop being a bully?’
‘Force them…’ Anakin paused thinking about that statement. ‘Then I become the bully.’ He suddenly felt tired, he slumped onto the ground, feeling defeated. ‘But I’m tired of it all’
‘I know.’ Master Kenobi laid his head next to his Padawan. ‘I was bullied, and very angry as an Initiate, so desperately wanted to transform and knock Brock into the wall, but Mace helped me keep my focus. Sadly Brock never did grow out of it, and even in the end when I tried to save him, he refused help.’
‘Because he was too angry?’ Anakin petted his Master, feeling weirdly calmer while doing it.
‘To prideful.’ Mace added to the conversation. ‘And if Obi-Wan had showcased himself, everyone in the temple would’ve known, including Brock, who was working with Xantos, and if he had learned about the Dragon, he would’ve sent Hunters.’
‘You can be pissed, upset and hurt. Just have to recognize the emotions, and understand the difference between responding to the emotion or because of it. If you lash out in anger, it hurts both of you. If you know you’re angry and calm down before confronting – you’re acknowledging the anger but not letting it control you.’
‘Why did you show me this?’ He asked. ‘Why now?’
‘I was actually waiting until you were ready, well then you pissed me off with your angst and drama, I figured it was a good object lesson.’
Anakin stared up at his Master, then smirked. ‘You are really a little shit aren’t you.’
Mace laughed openly. ‘Padawan Skywalker, the fact you believe your Master is the perfect Jedi, who follows all the rules, and is the darling of the Council – shows you’re an idiot.’
‘I resent that.’ Anakin couldn’t really help the laugh. For the first time in a long time, he felt freer, happier. ‘Master Windu, you’ve known all along about Master?’
‘Yes kid, I helped raise the annoying tooka.’ He gave Obi-Wan an affection pat on the nose. ‘It was nice to have another running around.’
Within a blink of an eye, a much larger Dragon stood before him. Dark as night, scales shimmering purple, the snout held a set of vicious teeth, the two horns on top were menacing, but the eyes were filled with mischief. He stretched out his wings, before laying them against his long body.
Anakin Skywalker, knew at that moment something had changed, not just for him but for all three of them. ‘Oh you have to take me for a ride.’
‘Don’t even think about it.’
“Did you ever get that ride?” Rex asked.
“No, the bastard.” Anakin was still angling for one, even suggesting it would be a good strategic plan against the seppies, yet still no ride.
Kix facepalmed. “Do any of you Jetii understand the need for self care? Something so big shouldn’t stay in something so small. Let alone treatments for the human side, may not work on the Dragon side. We’re going to need to figure something out for General Kenobi. He already doesn’t sleep or eat enough.”
“I do know in Dragon form they eat a lot more. Obi-Wan is basically a Water Dragon, so he tends to like fish, but I know, well, that he got used to not eating way before I was his apprentice, because of missions and what not. Matter of fact … ” he paused for a moment. “I’m kinda glad Cody isn’t here because the man would lose his mind if he knew about this.”
“Don’t worry sir, we’ll do it for him.” Boil assured him, not likely the way this was going.
Kix was taking notes, to send them to 212th’s Medic Snap, who had been on loan to General Koon, when he paused and looked at his General. “Sir, how concerned should we be, and more importantly should we take weapons away from the 212th.”
Anakin smiled softly, though with a sense of sadness. “The person who you would want to kill is already dead. When I found out my world perspective changed, you would think that learning about the Dragon did it, but let’s face it I’m stubborn.” The incredulous looks he was getting from the men and his Padawan was not shocking. “Also Master Windu is a protective bastard of those he cares about, and Obi-Wan is one of those people.”
Well, that knocked the wind out of Mr.Angst when he was younger….
Excellent as always, my General.