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able to be still

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This garden is rapidly becoming Obi-Wan’s favourite in the Jedi Temple, for reasons entirely unconnected to the inherent beauty of the room itself. Rather, it’s endeared itself to him by virtue of the lanky figure dozing against a tree trunk, armour and battle robes exchanged for soft wool. Although, Obi-Wan muses as he crosses over to his Padawan, the room’s not half bad. He’d heard about this room from both Anakin and Ahsoka, and neither of them had exaggerated its splendour. Pockets of wildflowers sway cheerfully in a faint breeze amidst lush grass and tall trees, the air sweet with their scent.

“Master?” a well-loved voice interrupts, hazy with sleep, and Obi-Wan doesn’t bother to fight the smile that breaks across his face.

He sits down beside Anakin, wincing as his knees protest. “I didn’t mean to wake you,” he says, but Anakin waves that away.

“Ahsoka only just left,” he replies. “We were meditating on the Living Force—yes, Master, even me—before she remembered she had a class.” His smile matches Obi-Wan’s. “I’ll never understand how she can be early to every meeting, even the boring ones about negotiations or supply runs, but somehow late to every single one of her lessons.”

“I’d blame that trait on you, but you always had a nasty habit of waking up exactly when the sun rose and ensuring everyone else woke up with you.”

Anakin prods him in the side. “I never woke you up.”

“No,” Obi-Wan agrees, elbowing him back, “you’d just go elsewhere in the Temple and leave me to either worry over where you were or drag you out of whatever trouble you’d got into.” He looks over in time to catch the wry amusement that flashes over Anakin’s face.

“I never could sit still.” His smile fades. “Somehow, that’s not a problem for me anymore.”

Obi-Wan squeezes his hand. They sit like that for a time, the Force quiet between them, before Obi-Wan turns his head to take in the room once more. “How did you find this place, again?”

“It’s not exactly hidden, Master,” Anakin says dryly, then yelps when Obi-Wan flicks a blade of grass at him. “The Room of a Thousand Fountains was full, and Master Ti told Ahsoka this room reminded her of Shili, so we came here instead. And…this place is drenched in the Living Force.”

Obi-Wan hums in acknowledgement. “Yes, I can tell.” His own talents have never lain in the Living Force, but years of living with and being bonded to first Qui-Gon and then Anakin have made him more aware of its presence. He smiles a little. Qui-Gon’s love of his plants had always been a source of confusion for him, but Anakin had taken one look at the veritable garden in their rooms and gone so thoroughly amazed that Obi-Wan had decided on the spot to keep every last leaf.

A weight against his knee drags him out of his memories, and he looks down to see Anakin stretched out along his side, his head in his lap.

“I want to bring Mace and Depa here,” Anakin says quietly, staring up at the tree canopy above them. His hand comes up to rest on his chest, as though feeling for the bonds that connect him to the other members of their family. “Especially Mace. I think it would remind him of Qui-Gon, in a good way. The way it reminds you.”

So perceptive. “As if it doesn’t remind you, too.” A white butterfly drifts past his left hand where it rests on the grass, inspecting a patch of buttercups near the tips of his fingers. “They’d like it here,” Obi-Wan agrees at last. “As we do.”

“As we do,” Anakin echoes.

Something warm slants through their bond. As if in response, the butterfly flits over to rest on Anakin’s cheekbone, bright against the gold of his skin, and if Obi-Wan were any kind of artist he’d paint Anakin like that, laid out amidst the flowers like the personification of spring itself.

Anakin yawns then, dislodging the butterfly, and Obi-Wan’s heart tries helplessly to grow out of his chest.

“Tired?” he murmurs, and Anakin hums.

“Ahsoka wore me out.”

“She does have rather a lot of energy. And you’ve hardly slept in days,” he can’t resist adding, because Anakin had woken him more than once in the last week leaving their bed at all hours of the night.

Anakin shrugs. “Duty calls.”

It’s an understatement. Duty dogs their heels incessantly, summoning Anakin to supply meetings and flight plans and Obi-Wan himself to strategy councils. “So it does.”

They sit like that for long moments, sinking into the Force, and Obi-Wan can feel the way Anakin’s signature sings amidst the effusion of life in the room, blossoming like a rose in its warmth. With his eyes closed and the scent of flowers all about him, Anakin’s Force presence feels like the sun high above Coruscant, like the untouched wilds of Alderaan, like life itself.

If I could stay like this forever, Obi-Wan thinks, just as Anakin whispers,

“Tell me the war can have us back tomorrow, because I want today.”

Obi-Wan strokes a hand through the dishevelled curls over Anakin’s ear, exactly where his Padawan braid used to be. “What do you want today for, dear one?” he murmurs back, the words scarcely a breath between them. Anakin’s eyes slide closed as Obi-Wan tangles his fingers in his hair and tugs gently.

“To be with you,” Anakin rasps when they open again, and Obi-Wan’s heart squeezes in his chest. He leans down and kisses Anakin’s brow, his fingers leaving his hair to brush over the lines around his eyes that do not vanish despite Anakin’s youth.

“You have me,” he says when the lump in his throat recedes enough. “You always have me, Anakin.”

“Don’t be rash,” Anakin says, but the rebuke is gentle, their bond full of care and such quietly stunned affection. “You have me too, you know.”

Obi-Wan leans down again; they kiss once, a whisper of a touch.

“I know,” he says to Anakin, to the Force cradling them. “Today and every other day, I know.”