They say when human soul mates meet the oldest stops aging or (becomes younger) until the youngest is the same age. No wonder Obi-Wan began to to grow a beard after he met Anakin.
To start off he hadn’t noticed at all.
But you could forgive Obi-Wan for not taking note of his own aging since he wasn’t that vain.
After two years though…
There was no change and snagging Bant by the elbow to examine him properly confirmed it. Obi-Wan hadn’t aged in two years just like he suspected, even if his hair and nails grew, he was not aging at all.
Pressing his face into his hands he had taken a decision.
He grew a beard, making himself look older in the process and hiding away the evidence of what was going on, that he had meet his soulmate in the shape of a boy fifteen years his junior.
Because he wasn’t stupid.
Obi-Wan was many things, reckless, attached, emotionally stunted, demanding… but not stupid even if he could be willfully blind.
He knew it was Anakin, could feel it in the way the blonds bond drew on him, explaining the level of depth they now shared to a more understanding degree and wasn’t that just creepy.
And so with that willful blindness he knew he had and an durasteel will, Obi-Wan closed his eyes and his ears to Anakin as a soulmate and reminds himself firmly that this is his padawan as he grows the beard and teaches the boy.
The boy who becomes a man eventually and Obi-Wan can take the blinds off and tell him.
A man who can and will fall in love.
But not with Obi-Wan.
And that burns him like acid, as corrosive to his heart because its his own fault, he knows its his own fault because he’s the elder of this part.
His responsibility to tell and… and…
Obi-Wan presses his face into his hands and tries not to cry.
Its a moot point, because the waterworks will not be kept at bay by his hands alone and he’s been strong for so long, waiting…
He just figured… if he waited for Anakin to be his age…
Shoulders trembling, Obi-Wan gave into the quiet despairing tears because anything harder would scorch his fragile soul to ashes.
The blind mans eyes, that’s what Obi-Wan has.
He knows perfectly well where Anakin goes, who he commcalls and who he talks to… shares bed with.
But if he allows himself to consider it, if he thinks about it…
He dives into the war effort as hard as he can, letting the sound of blasters and his men fill the Force and the air around him and the guilty pleasure of Anakin at his side, Anakin possessive protectiveness in the Force.
Anakin sleeping in the same tent as him, his breath soft and steady.
Its a small measure of relief and succor for a wounded soul.
And then he gets a diplomatic mission with Mace, requiring him to shave his facial hair. The Korun takes one look at him and grabs him by the shoulder and cups his chin, tilting his face left and right while staring at him with wide eyes of realization.
Obi-Wan only shook the others hands off him. “It doesn’t matter, lets just go Mace.” He mumbled, pulling his hood up to hide his youthful face.
It didn’t matter.
After all, it was only Obi-Wan’s forever shattered heart. It did not matter.