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And I will try to fix you

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A few minutes past his next class, Padawan Anakin Skywalker was running late.

 

Anakin arranged his books in a hurry, stumbling a few steps as he ran, panicked. Honestly, he didn’t even know if he got the right books.

 

In his first years in the temple, Anakin was still learning to read and write basics, had a lot to know during his first few years, and hated not knowing and not being able to do them.

 

He often got humiliated because of it, but soon enough, he learned to stand up to the other boys his age who picked on him for being unable to do things at his age. Sometimes he would simply just curse them out in Huttese, a language he’d learned to read and write since he was a little boy on Tatooine.

 

As Anakin ran to his next class, a few young, high-pitched voices called out to him suddenly.

 

“Padawan Skywalker! We need your help!”

 

The called Padawan turned to look back, seeing a bunch of younglings running to him clumsily.

 

Anakin contemplated if he should just keep walking and act like he didn’t hear the younglings, but he’d already turned to look at them.

 

This wasn’t the first time he got tardy this week, either, and Obi-Wan, his Jedi Master, would definitely get mad if it happened again. The younglings did look like they needed help, too.

 

No one wants Anakin’s help, because believe it or not, he was rarely helpful. So, if someone needed his help, it had to be serious. Even if it was just from a bunch of five-year-old kids.

 

Anakin looked back at his classroom which was only ten steps away, then he looked at the younglings again, who were giving him puppy eyes.

 

Anakin sighed, walking towards the children.

 

“What do you need help with?” Anakin asked.

 

One of the younglings at the back stepped forward, holding up his hands where a small toy droid rested, though it looked quite big on the youngling’s tiny hands.

 

The droid looked broken and it had a few loose parts on it. Anakin gasps softly.

 

“What happened to it?” he asked again.

 

The youngling holding the droid said, “We don’t know... We were just looking for Master Yoda when we saw someone about to throw out this droid, we looked for you to see if you can fix it.”

 

“Does Master Yoda know you’re out here?”

 

When the crèchelings shook their heads, Anakin gawked. Anakin knew he was doomed if he was seen talking with the younglings outside of the Crèche. While he was late for his next class, too.

 

For now, Anakin had two choices:

 

One, look for Master Yoda, hand over the younglings to him, and go to his next class. Maybe he could just fix the droid tomorrow because, like the younglings, he wouldn’t just leave it to be thrown out, too.

 

Two, go to the Crèche room, fix the droid with the younglings until Master Yoda arrives, and skip his classes. At least he wouldn’t leave the younglings roaming around the temple unsupervised.

 

Anakin’s thoughts paused when a Togruta youngling spoke, “Can you fix it?”

 

Anakin stammers, shrugging, “I-I don’t think I should—”

 

“Please? You’re the only one who’s good at fixing droids.”

 

Anakin bit his lip, trying to make a decision.

 

Soon enough—

 

“I’ll just go get my tools, and you guys should go to the Crèche room now before someone sees you roaming around here. Wait for me there, okay?” Anakin instructed, and the younglings nodded as they understood.

 

—Anakin went for the second choice.

 


 

A few minutes later, Anakin’s hands which were full of books were now replaced with tools.

 

Anakin silently entered the Crèche room, seeing that the younglings were there, too, waiting quietly. However, Master Yoda still wasn’t there.

 

“Master Yoda’s still not here?” Anakin questioned, shutting the door behind him. The younglings only shook their heads.

 

Anakin sat cross-legged between all of them, settling down his tools.

 

“Let me see the droid again?” Anakin requested. A youngling brought out the droid again as Anakin accepted it.

 

Anakin observed it while the younglings watched with curiosity.

 

“What happened to it?”

 

“I think it’s a her,” Anakin replied, the crèchelings’ heads tilted in confusion.

 

“A her? It’s a girl?” A few of them asked.

 

“Yeah,” Anakin nodded, showing then the label of the droid. “her name’s DALA.”

 

D4-LA41. DALA.

 

The younglings beamed, “How can you fix her?”

 

“Here, I’ll show you.” Anakin invited the younglings to sit closer.

 

During the whole hour when Anakin was fixing the droid, he also entertained the younglings’ questions about it and it was fun talking to them. It was fun seeing their curiosity with his tools and with the parts of the droid, after all, he was once a curious boy, too.

 

Once Anakin was finished setting the wires and tightening loose parts, he held the toy droid in front of the crèchelings.

 

“Do you guys think she will work now?”

 

The younglings beamed and nodded enthusiastically, “You fixed her! Of course, she will work now!”

 

Anakin pushed the ‘on’ button of the droid and she beeped while the lights on the droid shone blue. The flaps on the droid, which seemed like it was her wings, opened as the droid flew away from Anakin’s palm.

 

The younglings clapped their hands happily, cheering as Anakin chuckled.

 

Then, the doors opened.

 

Through the door that opened, walked a firm-looking Obi-Wan Kenobi.

 

“Anakin Skywalker.” Obi-Wan began in a tone he used for lecturing a reckless teen who loved to skip classes.

 

Anakin hastily stood up, immediately hiding the beeping droid behind him. The younglings stood up, too.

 

“We’ve been looking for you for an hour! You’ve missed two of your classes and you were here all along!” Obi-Wan threw his arms up, “Why are you even here?” he asked.

 

“I was just keeping the younglings company. I ran into them when they were wandering around the temple unsupervised.” Anakin replied sheepishly, still hiding the droid behind him.

 

“You know you shouldn’t—” As Obi-Wan began to continue his lecture, the droid started beeping behind Anakin.

 

Obi-Wan paused, asking skeptically, “What was that?”

 

Anakin pursed his lips, and so did the crèchelings.

 

“Nothing.” the Padawan replied, but the droid beeped a few more times. Louder, too.

 

Sighing, Obi-Wan brought his hand up and used the Force to grab whatever Anakin was hiding, Anakin’s hands and body jolted forward. Once Obi-Wan had the thing Anakin was hiding, — which was unsurprisingly a droid — he sighed exasperatedly. Of course, Anakin skipped class to fix a droid, his Padawan had done that way too often.

 

The droid flew away from Obi-Wan’s hand.

 

“Okay, first of all,” Obi-Wan started, “How did Anakin end up here with a droid? And where’s Master Yoda?”

 

A youngling answered, “We don’t know where Master Yoda is, we looked for him around the temple ‘til we saw that droid broken, so we asked Padawan Skywalker to fix the droid.”

 

“And I—“ Anakin began, but Obi-Wan cut him off.

 

“Not a word from you,” Obi-Wan says, pointing a finger at his Padawan.

 

“Sorry. Continue.” Anakin says with a sheepish smile.

 

“Anakin… You know better than to skip class to fix droids. This isn’t the first time this has happened, you know that.” Obi-Wan says, then faced the crèchelings, “And younglings, you shouldn’t be disturbing Anakin when he’s supposed to be at his class.”

 

Anakin licks his lips with a small nod, while the younglings simply let out a soft, “Yes, Master Kenobi.”

 

The Jedi Knight sighs again, “Master Yoda will be out of his council meeting in a few minutes, wait for him here, younglings.” The younglings simply nodded.

 

As Obi-Wan and Anakin walked out of the Crèche, the droid beeped again, distracting everyone from the tension of Obi-Wan’s recent lecture. Even Obi-Wan and Anakin who were walking out of the Crèche turned to look back at the droid.

 

“Shut it down.” Obi-Wan simply said, exasperated.

 

“Her.” the younglings said in chorus. Anakin almost laughed but he didn’t want to anger Obi-Wan more, though Obi-Wan still noticed it.

 

“All right, shut her down. No more droids for today. Especially you, Padawan.” the Jedi Knight said firmly as he held his hand up to confiscate the droid, laying hardened eyes on Anakin with the last sentence. Though it was mixed with fondness.

 

“But she didn’t do anything! She might as well be with the younglings!“ Anakin argued, the droid still beeping.

 

“The younglings aren’t old enough to own a droid,” Obi-Wan replied.

 

Anakin shrugged, thinking of his next words wisely, “I— I could have her.”

 

Obi-Wan stared.


Obi-Wan stared at Anakin with eyes that said,
Are you serious?

 

Anakin just stared back with the same expression and a nod which he meant, Yes, I’m serious.

 

“And why should you, Anakin?” Obi-Wan challenged, crossing his arms.

 

“I know Binary, I understand droids,” Anakin said with pride, copying his Master’s stance.

 

Okay … Obi-Wan was not expecting that answer. Obi-Wan’s firm stance softens a bit from shock, he certainly did not know that. But he thought about it, maybe that was the reason Anakin loved droids.

 

“Can you now?” Obi-Wan asked disbelievingly. Not that he didn’t believe him, he just thought it was nearly impossible, because he, himself, couldn’t do that.

 

Anakin just nods his head, “Uh-huh, I could talk to her and she could be my friend.” he takes the droid in his hands again as Obi-Wan tilts his head in confusion.

 

“How about the other Padawans? Aren’t you friends with them?” the Knight questioned.

 

Anakin bit his lip and shook his head, “No, and I’d rather be friends with droids anyway. They’re much nicer to me.”

 

Obi-Wan was not expecting that either.

 

Much nicer ’? Were the other Padawans still not nice to him? Obi-Wan had noticed and acknowledged Anakin’s negative situations with other Padawans but were they still not nice to him?

 

Before Obi-Wan could ask what Anakin meant, the latter asks first, “So, can I keep her?”

 

Obi-Wan sighed, it did seem like Anakin needed a friend. It’s been years since Anakin had been at the temple and he’s never seen him get close with anyone from his class. And after hearing that the Padawans were still not nice to him, it was probably the reason Anakin never wants to go to his classes.

 

“Fine, you can keep her.” Obi-Wan answered, and before Anakin could jump around happily at the approval, the former added, “But— You are banned from droids ‘til further notice.”

 

Anakin’s face suddenly drops, “Oh, come on.” the Padawan whined.

 

“You know the rules, my very young apprentice. You will get this back when you start focusing on your studies.”

 

Anakin only stares at Obi-Wan with his usual poker face, not giving in.

 

“I mean it,” Obi-Wan says sternly.

 

Anakin sighs defeatingly, putting the droid on Obi-Wan’s held-out palm.

 

“Thank you,” Obi-Wan said, deactivating the droid before placing said droid in the back pocket of his robe.

 

As Master and Padawan walked out of the Crèche, Obi-Wan gave a lecture the whole way to the main hall of the temple.

 

Throughout the lecture, Anakin simply replied with a guilty, “Yes, Master.” But as it ended, he flew his arms around his teacher.

 

Obi-Wan steps back, startled but accepted the hug either way.

 

“I’m sorry for disappointing you, Master,” Anakin says, his voice muffled. Obi-Wan smiles softly, patting the head of his young charge.

 

“It’s all right, little one. Even if you’re limitlessly reckless, you will never truly disappoint me. You’re still growing, and I understand. I was once reckless, too, but sometimes I feel like you’re going to be the death of me.” Obi-Wan admits with a slight chuckle.

 

“Don’t say that, Master, you’re the closest thing I have to a father.” Anakin genuinely responded, still hugging Obi-Wan.

 

”Then why don’t you listen to me?” Obi-Wan says with a sigh, though a warm feeling bloomed in his chest once Anakin told him that he viewed him as the closest thing he had to a father.

 

Anakin buries his face in Obi-Wan’s robes, his voice muffled as he said, ”I am trying, really, Master. I love you and I don’t want to cause you pain.”

 

Obi-Wan smiled at the response, but his face dropped once he realized what Anakin was doing.

 

Of course, Anakin was trying to get his droid back.

 

“You know I can feel you doing that,” Obi-Wan said dryly.

 

Anakin only snickers cheekily, pulling off the droid from Obi-Wan’s pocket after hugging the latter.

 

“Were you only saying that to try to get your droid back?” Obi-Wan asked with slight sadness.

 

“I meant what I said, though! I’m not that evil.” Anakin protested as Obi-Wan sighed exasperatingly, rolling his eyes but with a fond smile. Obi-Wan eventually gave up.

 

Suddenly, they heard Master Yoda’s walking stick echoing through the halls.

 

“Padawan Skywalker,” Yoda called, walking towards the Master and Padawan. “An emergency in the council, I had. For watching over the younglings, I thank you.” Yoda says.

 

Anakin just nodded with a small smile, “I hope I’m not in too much trouble with my classes.” he says sheepishly with DALA in his hands.

 

Yoda shook his head, “In trouble, you are not. Excused you from your classes today, I have. Take good rest, you should.”

 

Anakin and Obi-Wan were taken aback.

 

“Really?” the Padawan gasped. “Why so suddenly?”

 

“Why so suddenly, you ask? Hmm, being oppressed by other Padawans, you are, young Skywalker. Much frustration, I sense in you. That, I have noticed.” Yoda explained.

 

Anakin’s expression froze, “Oh.” he says weakly.

 

“Want to be a Jedi, do you not want anymore?” Yoda asked. Anakin shook his head almost immediately.

 

“No, Master Yoda, of course not! It just gets… hard… sometimes, I guess.”

 

Yoda nodded, “Then, a rest, you need.”

 

While for Obi-Wan, he sighed softly. He had a great sense that was the reason.

 

Anakin’s face only remained with a worried expression.

 

“Worry, you should not. Talk to them, I will. And tell Master Kenobi about your struggles, you should. There for you, he is.” Yoda nodded again, and so did Anakin who had a sad smile remaining as he avoided Obi-Wan’s eyes.

 

“Get some rest now, you should.” Anakin nods for the last time, and the three Jedi notice that the younglings were walking toward them.

 

Yoda then turns to the younglings, “Younglings, to Padawan Skywalker, have more to say, do you?”

 

The Togruta youngling in front spoke up, “We’re sorry for disturbing you, Padawan Skywalker.” the other younglings agreed.

 

Anakin chuckles, maybe the younglings weren’t that bad after all. They weren’t as clingy and noisy as he thought.

 

“It’s all right. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have DALA as my friend now.” Anakin replies as DALA chirped happily. Obi-Wan’s eyebrows slightly raised, Dala must be the droid’s name.

 

“We can be your friend, Padawan Skywalker.” a youngling volunteered.

 

Anakin nods, “That would be nice.” the crèchelings beamed.

 

“Will you show us how to fix droids again?”

 

Anakin shrugged, replying, “Maybe.”

 

“All right, younglings. Let Padawan Skywalker go now, we should.” Yoda said.

 

Then, the younglings waved Anakin and Obi-Wan goodbye.

 


 

Now, Obi-Wan and Anakin were walking around the temple as the former is trying to decide what to do in Anakin’s free time.

 

Anakin is walking ahead of his master, talking to the small droid that is flying beside him. While for the Knight, he only watched his Padawan with a fond, genuine

 

Though deep down, the Jedi Knight felt useless.

 

Obi-Wan thought he’d done enough to stop Anakin from getting picked on by other Padawans. Apparently, he hadn’t. It sounded stupid that he hadn’t done enough to stop simple teasing — or at least that’s what Anakin calls it, Obi-Wan disagrees — but it was clearly affecting his Padawan and he’s not gonna let that happen.

 

Anakin’s voice that’s happily talking to DALA was the only thing that distracted Obi-Wan.

 

Anakin looks up at the sky, pointing at the land speeders and ships that flew on the lower levels of Coruscant. DALA chirped, it seems like she was asking something.

 

“That yellow speeder?” Anakin asked, pointing to the sky as DALA chirped in agreement.

 

“Oh, that’s actually one of my favorites. I hope I could take it for a ride one day.” Anakin replied as Obi-Wan tilts his head in approval. Anakin does understand droids.

 

Anakin chuckles, “I like speeders that don’t have roofs.” he stated.

 

The droid beeped loudly.

 

“You, too?” Anakin asked, surprised.

 

The droid lets out a questioning beep, and Anakin slightly pouts., “I wish I could, but I don’t have a license yet.”

 

DALA chirps sadly, but it was soon followed by another beep.

 

“Sure, sure.” Anakin replies, “You just got fixed, after all.” he continued as he takes DALA into his palm and presses the button to deactivate it.

 

Then, the droid deactivated.

 

Now that DALA was silent, Anakin was silent, too.

 

Until Obi-Wan breaks it.

 

“Do you have anything you want to do today?” Obi-Wan asked.

 

Anakin merely shook his head, “Can’t really think of any.”

 

The Padawan continues, “If I just knew that looking after the younglings would earn me a rest day, I would’ve done it every day.” he said playfully, but Obi-Wan felt that that topic was serious.

 

“You know well that’s not the reason why,” Obi-Wan says sharply.

 

Before Anakin could reply, Obi-Wan cuts to the chase, “What has been happening, Anakin? What weren’t you telling me?”

 

Anakin shrugs, simply replying,  “I don’t know…”  

 

“Anakin.” Obi-Wan calls sternly.

 

“It’s stupid, Master. I’ve just never got along with the other Padawans.” Anakin murmured, “Why do I even expect? No one likes an outcast who knew nothing at nine years old. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t swim, I hadn’t even seen rain before. They always humiliate me when I try to read in class, and would constantly remind me of the times when I couldn’t. Since those days I’ve always felt that I’ll never be good enough. It just frustrates me every time.”

 

“It’s probably my fault, because I’ve never done anything good enough to have the title as the ‘Chosen One.’” Anakin finished rambling, fiddling with the deactivated droid.

 

“But you are good enough, Anakin. Even more than that, if I may add.” Obi-Wan answered, “You living up to your title or not doesn’t make you any less good enough. You should know that, young one.”

 

“I just don’t understand. Why should I even have a title? Everyone hates me because of it, and I never even claimed to be the Chosen One. That was Qui-Gon. No one believes it, not even the council. So, why are you still training me? You probably agree with them, anyway.” the teen continued, letting out his anger.

 

The Jedi Knight’s heart froze.

 

Did Anakin really think that about him?

 

Did Anakin underestimate how much he cared?

 

Was Anakin feeling like this because of him?

 

“Why do you think that?” Obi-Wan asked shakily.

 

At the soft tone of Obi-Wan’s voice, Anakin instantly regretted what he said. But the latter still admits.

 

“You became a Jedi Knight just because you were forced to train me,” Anakin whispered. “Isn’t that enough?”

 

“It does sound unpleasant when you put it that way.” Obi-Wan lets out a sympathetic smile, “But for your information, my young Padawan, the right term is ‘entrusted you to me and I chose to train you.’”

 

“Still—” Anakin started to protest.

 

“Still, nothing.” Obi-Wan cuts in firmly, “I won’t let others determine how much I care about you, nor will I let others determine how good enough you are. Do you understand me, Anakin?” 

 

Obi-Wan’s shields cracked, and he lets it be. It surprises Anakin, though the teenager stayed silent. Usually, Obi-Wan shielded himself in situations like this, which is probably why Anakin doubted him so much.

 

But now, Anakin didn’t.

 

Once Obi-Wan’s shields were down, he smiled, hoping Anakin felt the way he felt. And the latter did.

 

As the Knight looked into his Padawan’s eyes, they could both feel love. Familial love. Brotherly love, to be specific.

 

Anakin looked away, biting his lips as he felt guilty for doubting and willfully underestimating Obi-Wan’s love for him all because of people who shouldn’t be concerned about how they care for each other. It really was unfair.

 

Through their bond, Obi-Wan heard a small, guilt-filled voice ringing.

 

I understand. I’m sorry, Master.

 

“Oh, Anakin…” Obi-Wan starts sadly, “There’s nothing to apologize for, it’s all right.  I’ve once had my doubts, too, if I was ever good enough to train you.”

 

“What?” Anakin asked disbelievingly, “Why would you think that? You’re more than good enough to train me. You’re a great master, the best I could ever have. I’ve learned so much from you.”

 

“Now you know how I feel.” Obi-Wan points out, chuckling, as Anakin did, too. Obi-Wan continued, “But thank you, Padawan. You’re the best student I could ever have, too.”

 

Anakin smiled, and their bond within the Force sang. Obi-Wan smooths down his Padawan’s short hair, placing Anakin’s Padawan braid between his fingers. When did he grow so much? Obi-Wan thought. The boy was only fifteen and he was already reaching Obi-Wan’s height, who knows how tall he’d be once time continues to pass by.

 

“Master,” Anakin suddenly called, “I just thought of something to do.”

 

“What is it?” Obi-Wan asked.

 

“Can I… teach you how to fix droids?” Anakin asked shyly.

 

Obi-Wan nodded with a smile, “Of course, little one.”