Anakin reached out and pushed Obi-Wan’s hair off his forehead. It wasn’t often that he got the chance to see Obi-Wan like this. Soft, unguarded. HIs perpetual frown gone, replaced with the openness of sleep that made Anakin’s chest hurt, just a little.
He should have expected Obi-Wan’s quiet rebellion. While he occasionally offered up a retort – Obi-Wan wouldn’t be Obi-Wan if he completely refrained from sarcasm – he often refused Anakin’s bait and the banter that had previously dominated their relationship was gone.
Anakin had known the transition from proud Jedi to cosseted war prisoner would be difficult for Obi-Wan. In the beginning, Anakin had been glad for it. He’d wanted Obi-Wan to suffer, if not pain than humiliation. But as time passed, as they began to spend time together, as he watched Obi-Wan dote on his children, Anakin’s hatred began to evolve back into the adoration he’d once felt for his former master.
Palpatine was beginning to notice. He began needling Anakin in the most obnoxious ways. The rebellion, a constant source of conflict, was growing stronger and Palpatine blamed Anakin’s perceived weakness for it. That day, after the bombing of an important trade route, Palpatine had suggested a public execution to strike despair in the heart of the rebellion.
That was what had sent Anakin to these rooms; to his small family; to his solace. Rage slithered low in his stomach and he carefully pet Obi-Wan’s hair. While Obi-Wan’s death was unacceptable, an execution might still be on the table. Palpatine was beginning to wear out his welcome and more importantly, his usefulness.
“That he would dare deny me this,” Anakin muttered, leaning down and brushing a kiss against Obi-Wan’s forehead, reaching down to carefully run his fingers first through Luke’s hair, and then Leia’s. “That he would dare suggest I give this up.”