Afternoon Fic: The Dragon General (Part Six)

Part One

Part Five

“One would think after Obi-Wan revealed his Dragon self, I would’ve learned not to judge by appearances or worse piss off a Dragon, but well…”

“You’re a di’kut who doesn’t learn?” Rex asked innocently.

Anakin’s eyes narrowed at him. “You know I could just hand the 501st to Obi-Wan and lead the 212th.”

“Not going to happen sir.” Boil gave him a pointed look. “The General would just take the 501st and leave you planetside.”

Skywalker crossed his arms over his chest, contemplating a few moments. “Accurate.” Which had got the men to laugh lightly, settling the tension in their bodies.

Ahsoka gave him a soft smile. “Don’t worry Skyguy I would come visit you.”

That set everyone off, as Anakin dramatically placed his hand over his heart. “You too my Padawan?” She leaned into him, enjoying the closeness to her Master. She felt as if something good was happening, as if the Force was suddenly filled with joy and happiness, instead the normal pain and darkness that went with the war.

“So what did you do?” Waxer asked. “I mean it takes a lot to piss off the General.”

“Oh it wasn’t Obi-Wan I pissed off, he was annoyed but he has a level of patience with me that I’ll never understand, but am eternally thankful for.” Anakin wrapped his arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer. “Honestly, he’s not going to be happy I’m telling you this, but at the same time he’ll understand. It’s something that needs to be stated.”

“To quote the General.” Boil gave a look to his fellow vode. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

“I’m sure most of you noticed that Obi-Wan is a damn good General, for being a Jedi.”

Ahsoka looked up at her Master, taking a moment to think over the last two years. “Master Kenobi also is a Council Member, and very influential in many things, hence he’s sent out on diplomatic functions.”

“Despite your apprenticeship, not all Jedi’s see battle as Padawans. Matter of fact outside this war, many never would’ve ended up in the middle of hostile situations. A lot of missions are peaceful negotiations, that could lead to some violence, but not straight out war.” Anakin patted her shoulder before removing his arm and leaning forward clasping his hands together. “I thought it was normal to be in the middle of battle situations, until a few of my agemates informed me it was rare. I discovered that the only reason I was, was because Obi-Wan had always been sent to these types of negotiations, due to his skills.” He paused for a moment. “Skills he unfortunately learned under Master Jinn.”

“His Master, the one killed by Maul?” Rex remembered hearing the story from Cody.

“Yes, the same bastard who somehow survived being cut in half, and has become as much of a nuisance as Grievous. But that’s another story.” He took a moment, calming his own emotions over the situation. At times he still could feel the righteous anger over Master Jinn’s death, wanting to blame his Master for not being faster, stronger. It usually took him a few moments to shake it off, it was just old echoes of emotions. “It was getting close to the Anniversary of the battle of Naboo, Master Obi-Wan was getting quieter, and I was getting pissed that no one seemed to care that we had lost, in my opinion, the greatest Jedi who ever lived.”

There was nothing but silence over the campfire.

“Quinlan Vos is a scary bastard when he wants to be. He’s also very loyal to Obi-Wan, though they drive each other insane, and I’m pretty sure at one point they were more than friends, but I still can’t get that confirmed.” He ignored the credits exchanging hands between some of the 212th. “I walked into our rooms … ”

‘Why are you this upset?’ Quinlan handed Obi-Wan a glass of good Corellian Brandy. ‘You can’t tell me you’re still mourning the bastard.’

‘Quinlan, despite everything he was my Master, and I learned a great many things from him.’ He downed the drink. ‘And we need to stop having this conversation every year.’

‘Well when you need to stop crying over the bastard, the one I might point out was ready to toss your ass to the side for the brat.’

‘That brat is my Padawan.’ He stood and moved over to the side of the room, grabbing the Brandy to pour another glass, actually debating whether it would be rude if he drank directly from the bottle.

‘Only because Jinn was stupid enough to run ahead and get himself killed.’

‘How dare you!’ An angry shout echoed through the small living space.

Obi-Wan closed his eyes, hands rubbing his forehead, hoping to stop the Anakin induced headache.

Quinlan turned on the young Padawan. ‘Welcome to the real world, where Qui-Gon Jinn isn’t the greatest Jedi that ever lived. You should be thanking whatever deity you want, that Obi-Wan is your Master, and not some hot headed Bantha Poodoo that thought it was a good idea to leave children behind in war zones!’

‘Quinlan Vos!’ Obi-Wan yelled, glaring at his friend.

The Shadow didn’t back down, instead stalked towards Anakin. ‘You want to get angry. You want to scream at me? Want to attack me for degrading your precious hero.’

‘He saved me!’ Anakin yelled.

‘Yeah kid he did. But ask yourself this.’ He got up in Anakin’s face, which really proved that Quinlan was insane, considering the amount of anger and power that was radiating off him. ‘Why didn’t he save your mother?’ He glanced to Obi-Wan who was now sitting at the kitchen table, head laying on his arms.

‘He couldn’t save both of us. She sacrificed herself for me.’ Anakin snarled, hands shaking as he got into the Knight’s face. ‘He was a great fighter, and if my Master was better he would still be alive.’

‘Your Master is one of the best duelers in the Order. One, I might add, you can’t beat, so you think you could’ve done better? An underweight ten year old who looked like he was six could’ve taken on Maul? Grow the kriff up. And maybe you need to remember Padawan lesson 101. When you work as a team … ‘ Quinlan poked him in the chest ‘… you never leave your teammate behind. Though considering the amount of times you’ve left your Master behind seeking glory, maybe you did deserve the asshole.’

‘Neither of you will be as great as Master Jinn!’ He yelled using the Force to send Quinlan flying across the room, who landed on the coffee table, scattering data readers all over the floor, and destroying the items on it, along with the table itself.

He stood, hand on his lightsaber, glaring at Anakin, daring him to make another move.

He didn’t miss the fact Obi-Wan had got between them.

‘Padawan Skywalker!’ Anakin stiffened at the sound of Master Windu’s voice. ‘You will come with me.’ He turned towards the door, then paused. ‘That wasn’t a request.’

“Well that explains why Master Vos doesn’t like you.” Ahsoka commented. She had always wondered. The Shadow was cordial to her Master, but not friendly. He never treated her any differently, and always teased Master Obi-Wan.

“Despite the fact I grew the kriff up, he’s loyal to Obi-Wan and you know I’m okay with that, someone needs to watch his back, especially as he sucks at taking care of himself. He now has Commander Cody, and the 212th which is good.” Anakin felt pride among the men. “But if I had thought Knight Vos was protective, it was nothing compared to Master Windu.”

He was fuming by the time they reached the back garden. How dare that pathetic nobody, who didn’t understand that if it wasn’t for Master Jinn, Anakin wouldn’t be here. He was meant to be a Jedi. Master Jinn had seen that, and saved him. It hurt that his mother wasn’t with him, but she loved him enough to let him go.

Master Jinn was what all Jedi’s should be. He understood the need to go off course and fight for what’s right. He was a rebel against the constraints of the Council, who just held people back from their full potential!

He deserved better.

He deserved Master Jinn.

The Chancellor assured him that Master Jinn was a far better Jedi, than the one he had.

And he didn’t have him because his Master was too slow. So he was a Dragon, and that was kinda wizard, but he still failed Master Jinn. If he’s supposed to be the best, then he could’ve saved Qui-Gon …

‘Are you done with your anger induced pity party?’ Mace turned on him, hands clasped behind his back as he stared down the angsty teenager.

‘No one cares about Master Jinn!’

‘That’s not true.’ Windu gave him a pointed look. ‘Qui-Gon was my crèchemate. I miss him daily, he was very insightful and glowed in the Living Force.’

‘Then why does everyone make him into the bad guy!’ Anakin demanded. ‘Oh poor Obi-Wan. His master was so mean. Obi-Wan didn’t save him! Why aren’t they talking about that!’

‘Can’t save someone if they leave you behind,’ he argued. ‘You were a child, and you’re acting like one now. You refuse to see fault in your hero. He saved you, and because of him you are on your way to being a great Jedi. So of course you see him as the greatest thing that ever lived, but you have no idea who he really was. He was a stubborn bastard, much to his own detriment. He got something stuck in his mind, nothing changed it – hence he practically tossed Obi-Wan to the side to train you.’

That had made him pause. ‘Master Obi-Wan was Knighted.’

‘After he killed Maul, when you met him he was still Qui-Gon’s Padawan.’ His gaze was hard, and there was something about it that made sure Anakin couldn’t turn away. ‘When he said he would take you as a Padawan learner, I’m going to guess that was the greatest thing ever as far as you were concerned.’

‘Well yeah. I should’ve been his Padawan.’

‘The Force obviously had other plans,’ Mace sighed. ‘Now I want you to imagine how you would feel right now, if Obi-Wan decided to take another Padawan.’

‘He can’t, I’m his Padawan.’ Mace gave him a look, Anakin only stared back. ‘What?’

‘You are not this dense!’ he yelled. ‘Qui-Gon practically renounced Obi-Wan in front of the Council by claiming you, he half haphazardly tried to state Obi-Wan was ready for his trials, but in reality he had not even approached us about it. He was willing to toss his Padawan to the side without a thought because of you!’ He poked Anakin in the chest. ‘And you know it’s not the first time he tossed his Padawan aside for someone he felt was more important.’

‘Wait. What?’

Anakin stepped back, then started pacing trying to remember that time. He had been so happy that he would be a Jedi and that Qui-Gon would train him. Once he was a Jedi, he could go back to Tatooine and free the slaves, save his mother. He was so focused on Master Jinn he didn’t even pay attention to Obi-Wan, why should he, as far as he was concerned he was a nobody. He only really noticed him, because he was always around Qui-Gon, and that was supposed to be his spot …

He was not this stupid.

Was he?

He sat down and for the first time ignored everything that had ever been told him. The whispers from the Chancellor, the snide comments from Knight Vos, the taunting from other Padawans, and let go of his anger.

Anakin remembered the sharp pain he felt at that council meeting. The scream of grief that seemed to echo around him. He focused not on himself but Obi-Wan, and realized his Master’s world was being destroyed, while he was getting everything he wanted. The agony was thick, but the determination was stronger. Master Obi-Wan pulled the Force around him, and carried on with the Mission, not knowing if he would even be a Jedi at the end of it.

He blinked only to see Master Windu in front of him, shielding his shattered emotions from the rest of the Temple. ‘Who else was more important?’ He wiped the tears from his eyes.

‘Do you want this story? It will not put Qui-Gon in good light.’ Mace made sure he understood the consequence of this moment. ‘It won’t change that he saved you. As it doesn’t change that Qui-Gon was a good man, and in his way he cared for Obi-Wan, but the Council made their own mistakes with those two. Qui-Gon was lost in grief over his previous Padawan, you know about Xantos.’ Anakin nodded, growling lightly the man was an outright bastard. ‘Yoda got in his head that Obi-Wan was Qui-Gon’s redemption. Except if a man doesn’t want to be redeemed…’

‘Tell me.’ He had to know this, something deep inside him was twisting and changing, and for once it felt light and good.

‘The one thing we didn’t tell Qui-Gon at the beginning of their apprenticeship, and I’m not even going into that debacle, was that Obi-Wan was a Dragon. It was my decision, and well as much as I cared for my friend, I didn’t trust him not at that point with this information.’ Mace took a deep breath. ‘Until Qui-Gon came back from a mission without his Padawan.’

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