The familiar, infuriated shout echoed from the fresher, followed by a crash and a yelp.
“Sounds like it.” Anakin bent over the broken droid piece, a pair of magnification goggles over his eyes.
His droid, KAR-E, perched on the desktop, little metal legs swinging back and forth.
“Alright, what’d you do this time?” Obi wan stood in the doorway, a towel around his waist, looking suspiciously dry for someone supposed to be taking a shower.
“Yes, Ani, ‘do’. The shower won’t turn on.”
“Okay, okay, I just did a little rewiring work and I’m not done yet, okay?”
“So how exactly am I supposed to take a shower?”
“Well, you could just stay stinky, or you could turn the dial all the way to the right.”
Obi wan regarded him suspiciously.
Apparently, he did.
Two minutes later, several repetitive yelps floated our of the ‘fresher.
“Yep, its working.” Kari chirped cheerfully.
Obi wan stumbled out of the ‘fresher, shivering, and holding a gutted remote, torn wires hanging from it where it had been forcibly ripped from its place hot-wired to the shower dial.
“How’d it work?” Anakin asked casually.
“Well, first the water was 100 degrees below zero, then the shower shot lasers at me!” He gritted out form between chattering teeth.
Anakin nodded sagely in an admonishing Jedi master imitation. “Perhaps now you will be able to sympathize with poor, remote-abused padawans.”
Anakin spent the next month practicing with remotes on their hardest setting, blindfolded.
The shower continued to malfunction until it caught Anakin for the first and last time. It never malfunctioned again.
Ben Kenobi watched the boy with a sad, wistful smile, his startled yelp bringing back more memories than the boy would ever know. How long had it been, he wondered, since he heard that voice, seen that innocent, I-didn’t-do-it face break into a wide, mischievous grin? To long, Anakin was gone, he knew that… so why did he still search the black mask of Darth Vader for his laughing face? Anakin wasn’t there, he had seen that, seen it in the hate-filled face of his former apprentice as he had fallen into the pit. Seen it in the detached cruelty with which he cut down Mace, and Adi and Yaddle, and so many others. No reason, he supposed. He had failed the one person in the galaxy that had meant more than anything to him, he had failed the boy who had never failed to crack his Jedi-mask, the make him smile and laugh, and not care if others saw.
The one thing he had most feared. He had failed.
And then his eyes fell on Luke, his father’s lightsaber held against the remote. And it was like balm to his tattered soul. There was a new hope, and this time, he would not fail.