mattlauercansuckit: (I'm really hungover Obi-Wan)
[personal profile] mattlauercansuckit
title every waking hour
author [ profile] patientalien
word count 807
rating PG
summary Anakin was the last person who should be in the cockpit of a starfighter
notes Written for the "insomnia" prompt on my [ profile] hc_bingo card. Title from "Losing My Religion" by REM

Anakin Skywalker doesn't have time to sleep. The responsibility on his shoulders can't be taken on by anyone else, requires his full attention at all times. Even when he does find himself with a few scant hours and falls asleep (usually the moment his head hits the pillow), he is soon awake again, nightmares slashing through what should be a peaceful time. Falling back to sleep is usually impossible, so he roams his ship, alone.

On the way to yet another mission on yet another horrible world, Anakin can't believe how incompetent his battalion can be. He doesn't understand why they can't prepare themselves - they were bred for this, weren't they? And his apprentice is just as bad, following him around, asking for directions to very simple tasks. She looks at him with fear and concern when he snaps at her to figure it out on her own.

His eyes burn; he rubs them, swallows a yawn. He can't concentrate, doesn't quite remember what he is trying to do. Ahsoka approaches again. "Master?" she asks, hesitant. Anakin grinds his teeth; she doesn't have to act like he's going to hit her.

"What, Snips?" he asks, whirling around on her.

She draws herself up, trying to make herself look taller. He is taken aback at her sudden ferocity, the glint in her eyes. "Stop acting crazy," she demands. "You're making everybody nervous." She backs down, chews her lip.

Anakin runs a hand through his hair. "I'm not acting crazy," he informs her. He's not, he's acting the same as always, it's not his fault no one can do their own jobs properly all of a sudden.

She gives him a look that implies she doesn't believe him. "Oookay." She almost-but-not-quite rolls her eyes, and that makes Anakin angry.

"Are you just here to critique me?" he asks sharply. "Because if so, go make yourself useful somewhere else - I sure as hell don't need you." She looks hurt, and he's glad for that, glad he can have such power over someone else's emotions.

She storms away. Anakin rubs his eyes and slumps against the bulkhead. When he opens his eyes again, he's lost a half hour.


Ahsoka doesn't think Anakin's the best person to lead the air strike. She knows he hasn't been sleeping well, if at all, and it's beginning to show in ways besides his chronic headaches. He's clumsy - and Anakin is never clumsy. He's irritable - sometimes he's that, but rarely so scathingly. He's forgetful - losing track of conversations easily. He looks pale and drawn and his eyes are red-rimmed and sunken.

He's the last person who should be in the cockpit of a starfighter right now, but he's not hearing it from her. He barely hears it from Obi-Wan, who is accompanying them on this particular mission. Ahsoka is glad for the older Master's presence; he is usually the only one who can talk sense into the Hero With No Fear (or, Ahsoka notes ruefully, Common Sense).

"Ahsoka can lead the fighters," Obi-Wan is saying as Ahsoka enters the War Room. She hangs back to listen. Obi-Wan is speaking softly, arms drawn up into the sleeves of his robe. "She's perfectly capable, you've trained her well."

"Not against Grievous," Anakin snaps back, shaking a finger at Obi-Wan violently. "She's not ready for that."

"She's done it before," Obi-Wan points out, putting a hand on Anakin's shoulder. Anakin jerks away, and Ahsoka resists the urge to agree with Kenobi - she has faced Grievous' fighters before, on her own. Sure, she lost many of her men, but she had survived, and she's gotten so much better than she was. Her Master will never see that, though, even at his best.

"It's not her place," Anakin growls and stalks across the room. "It's mine!" he exclaims suddenly, slamming his hand down on the holo-table.

Obi-Wan crosses the room to join him. "You need to sleep," he says gently, and Ahsoka can sense the affection Obi-Wan has for her Master. Obi-Wan brushes a lock of Anakin's hair back, and Anakin rests his head on Obi-Wan's shoulder. They're so in-tuned, so intimate, and Ahsoka is glad all over again that Obi-Wan is here.

"I need to win," Anakin replies, eyes closed.

"You need to sleep," Obi-Wan repeats, and Ahsoka senses a glimmer of the Force. He leads Anakin to one of the benches flanking the room. "You need to sleep," he says again, and Anakin nods, stupidly, lowering himself onto the bench and lying down. Obi-Wan drapes his robe over him, and says once more, "You need to sleep." As soon as he's sure Anakin is, Obi-Wan turns to her. "Are you ready to prep your fighters?" he asks.

Ahsoka nods. "Thank you, Master."

He nods in return, and they leave the room together.
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