Tsum-Tsum T-shirt, by Disney

by Grant Gould (for

by master--burglar
by master--burglar
by Love and Rock Music. (TCW) The first half of "Destroy Malevolence," as Anakin and Padmé make their way towards each other.

The Anakin and Padmé Gallery

Desktop Calendar // March/April 2015





by Rhonderoo


Chapter 1


Padmé Amidala awoke to red-gold streams of sun coming from outside the tall, grand windows of her bedchambers at Varykino, her beloved lake retreat. She looked to the small glass jewelry box which had her name written beautifully in gold on the side. It held her new most prized possession: her wedding ring.

However, it was not fond memories of being back at home that prompted her small secretive smile this morning, it was the feeling of a warm body next to her and a strong arm draped over her middle.

It had taken a moment for reality to set in, and her smile widened as she said softly to herself, "Not Padmé Naberrie, it's Padmé Skywalker now."

Beside her, her husband stirred, but didn't wake.

Padmé cautiously turned towards him, trying not to wake him; she couldn't help it, she just loved to look at him. He had the most beautiful eyes, in waking and sleep, his long lashes sweeping his high masculine cheekbones softly. No man should be this beautiful, Padmé smiled to herself.

She knew he was as tired as she after the events of the last couple of days, and hesitated to wake him, but she couldn't resist running her fingers lightly through his russet blond hair. Years of training, and the strong ability to feel things before they happened snapped Anakin's eyes open before she touched him.

"Good morning," he smiled, immediately relaxing, "and how was your evening?"

His eyes held a glimmer, on his face a knowing smile, for he knew exactly how her evening went - it had gone gloriously. After weeks of dancing around and Padmé denying her feelings, the couple had decided to grab what happiness they could and get married in the short time that Anakin would be on Naboo, escorting Senator Amidala back after the harrowing events on Geonosis. While on the journey over, both had decided that a secret marriage was much more attractive than a long empty life devoid of true happiness. What came now was destiny, as Anakin liked to say.

"Oh, I believe that last night would classify as one of my better nights..." Padmé teased, as she moved her mouth closer for a kiss, "I believe I could get used to having a Jedi underfoot... most of the time," she teased. In reality, she could stay in this room forever, without food or water, the way she was feeling right now. She smiled to herself, and how long ago was it that galactic politics and careers felt like the most important things?

She looked into the warm, handsome face of her husband, thinking, I must have been crazy.

"So what do we do today, visit your parents and sister?" Anakin said. "Or we could see some paintings in the museum, or we could just stay right here." The latter was said with a devilish gleam in his eyes.

Padmé chewed her bottom lip. In her haste, she had not thought of telling her family. Would they be upset or disapproving? Somehow, Padmé didn't think so. Her family had always wanted her happiness, and although this was sudden and could be detrimental to her career, she still had no doubt that if it made her happy, it would make them happy. And it made her happy. 


Later that day, the hoverlift stopped outside the Naberrie home entrance. Well, here goes nothing, Anakin thought to himself, or everything. He had a feeling it had been different when he was the Jedi protecting their daughter, somehow now he had to fit in as a new husband. A wave of trepidation rolled over Anakin, somehow it always felt he was trying desperately to get someone to like him, and somehow it felt as if they never did.

The door swung open to find Ruwee, Padmé's father standing there. "Well hello!" he boomed, smiling jovially.

"Padmé?" called a feminine voice from inside. It was her mother Jobal.

"Hello mother."  Padmé smiled.  "You've met Anakin, my protector."

"Anakin," Jobal said, her smile wide, "how nice to see you again!

"Come, come inside," she said as she shooed them in.

After some conversation and much warning that Padmé should not ever put herself in that kind of danger again, the conversation turned.

"Well, spit it out, my daughter."  Ruwee always knew when his younger daughter was trying to get at something.

Padmé looked at her hands in her lap. She had worn her ring this morning, knowing that while she was on Naboo would be one of the only times in a long time she would be able to wear it in the open like the treasure that it was. Soon it would go on a chain around her neck to be kept close to her heart, and out of sight, she thought miserably. A tiny, infinitesimal shudder of dread scurried across her at the thought of returning to Coruscant to a life without Anakin, and what would come in months and years ahead.

"Padmé..." Anakin softly nudged, sensing her parents' impatience to know what was going on, for they knew - something was going on.

Still looking at her ring, Padmé said, "Anakin and I married yesterday." There was a small silence as her parents digested the information their daughter had imparted. Beside her, Padmé felt Anakin swallow.

"I see, had you been planning this long?" Ruwee was the first to speak.

"No sir," Anakin felt the need to speak, if only to stop his heart from beating so fast.

"We felt it was right, after what we've been through," Padmé said. "My whole life, I've put things first that have come to not even be worth the heartache."

"While on Geonosis, Anakin and I were almost executed." Padmé heard Jobal's sharp intake of breath. "I came to the conclusion that I could live the rest of my life with the weight of the galaxy on my shoulders and come to my end childless, alone and disappointed, or I could take the happiness that destiny is offering me and trust that this is for the best. And when I am with Anakin, I am so very loved, Mother and Father." Padmé looked at them beseechingly.

"This completes me in a way that I could not have imagined. Sola had told me before of the peace that comes of giving yourself to another and having another give themselves to you. I am happier now than I have ever been." With that, Padmé looked down, willing herself to swallow the tears that come to her eyes. She had not known the depth of her love of Anakin until that moment, and it hit her like a permacrete ball in the chest.

Anakin reached over and took her hand in his. He's so strong and his comfort is always there, she thought to herself. She looked into his eyes.  I'm here, I'll always be here, they were saying.

"I love Padmé with everything that I have, please... let me take care of her." Anakin wanted them to say something... anything.

"You have taken good care of her so far; I suppose we couldn't ask for a more qualified husband to keep Padmé safe.  What will happen in your order?"

Padmé shifted in her seat, "Anakin and I must keep our marriage a secret, unfortunately." She looked down again; she seemed to find great interest in her lap this day. She knew if she looked up she would lose her composure, and she so wanted her parents to know that her marriage was not to be thought of as a bad situation.

"I'd like to hear from Anakin, if you don't mind, Padmé." Ruwee seemed to be searching for something. "What happens if the Jedi find out that you've married and broken your code?"

Anakin winced.

He said slowly and quietly, "I will leave the order if need be. I love her that much. She is my life now."

Ruwee sighed. "If you're happy, and this is what you feel is your calling, we are happy for you, Padmé."

Ruwee turned to Anakin and extended his hand, "Welcome to the family, son. Now, shall we go find Sola and her family and tell them the wonderful news?"

Anakin visibly breathed a sigh of relief, and then smiled warmly at Ruwee and Jobal. His beautiful smile shows his heart, thought Jobal. She silently thanked the gods; her daughter could have done much worse.


As they lay together later that week, Anakin watched his wife sleep. How had he gotten so lucky? He had dreamed of lying beside her for the last ten years. At one time Anakin thought that no one could take his mother's place in his life. A Jedi were to form no attachments, and his mother was considered an attachment, but no matter how hard he had tried, he could not close the door on his life with his mother.

As far back as he could remember, family was what he wanted from this life. Somewhere along the way, the Force had decided that his life would take a different path. Whatever "the Chosen One" was supposed to do, sometimes he felt as if he had no control and he was being led like a blind man through this life, by some unknown hand that pointed ominously at the crossroads of his life, never leading him to the true Jedi way. He had always wondered why it seemed so easy for Obi-Wan and the other Jedi to remain detached from their emotions and feelings and he could not. The more he tried to please Obi-Wan, the more he seemed to displease him. Sometimes he could see himself saying and doing things that were not the way, and like someone looking on from outside, could do nothing to stop his treacherous words or halt his impatient actions. My emotions rule me, he thought wearily.

With that he looked back at his wife and knew that somehow this couldn't be wrong. For what was the Force for, if not to lead us through love? How could love be wrong? He closed his eyes, giving in to slumber, he would need his rest, for tomorrow he would begin the sad journey to Coruscant - without Padmé.

Chapter 2 

Padmé nibbled at her breakfast, she was too excited to eat. Dreading the ordeal of getting into her traveling clothes, she put off donning her under layers until after she'd eaten. It had been six months since she had had to wear her senatorial attire. Exhilarated at the thought of going back to Coruscant, she could hardly finish her meal. Dormé appeared at her door.

"Are you ready to begin dressing, milady?"

Dormé had returned to Naboo two days before to be relieved of her duties as Padmé's decoy in the Senate, for Padmé felt it more than high time that she got control of her life back. With control she would also get the added and most important pleasure of seeing her husband again, at least for a short time. She was using this Senate session as an excuse to go back, but in truth she wanted to celebrate her husband passing the trials one month earlier. She knew that now that he was a Jedi Knight, it wouldn't be long before he was on the battlefield. This thought caused her blood to run cold in her veins. Even though she had come to tolerate the time away from him, she could not live without him. She wanted this war to be over so that she and Anakin could get on with their lives. There was no hope of Anakin and herself getting any significant time on Naboo with the war going on. Anakin had told her that they would deal with the Jedi finding out about their marriage when and if the time came.  

It had been six months since they parted on Naboo after their wedding. Anakin had gotten a real replacement arm for the prosthesis he'd been wearing during their honeymoon. Even though the new arm was unnoticeable and lifelike, she still thought with a twinge of sadness that she would miss the temporary one. It certainly didn't hinder him at all, Padmé thought. She felt her cheeks go red.

Obi-Wan watched Anakin stride across the hangar floor. Anakin waved at Obi-Wan. Force, has he always been that tall? His height was imposing, but in a more powerful than menacing way. Anakin wore his confidence like he wore his new arm - comfortably. He wasn't prideful. In fact, a few months after Anakin's return to Coruscant; Anakin had approached Obi-Wan with the subject of the trials. Obi-Wan had seemed more open to the idea, for truly Anakin had seemed more at peace in the last few months than he had ever seen him. Maybe with the Senator Amidala episode behind him, things could go back to normal for his Padawan. Maybe they could even get better, and then Anakin confessed the events on Tatooine. He did eventually take his trials three months ago, but the delay was a precaution the council felt they must take.

Anakin crossed in front of Obi-Wan's ship and extended his right hand. "I can't tell the difference!" Obi-Wan marveled. Anakin pulled him into a loose embrace.

"Yes, the medical droids have done well," Anakin said with a slight blush. Losing his arm was still a sore subject and he didn't like to dwell on it. His pride was still hurt and he had to occupy his mind with other thoughts to keep images of creative ways to hurt Dooku at bay.

After the incident on Tatooine, Anakin felt he didn't know himself or his own strength in the Force. It scared him. He still had nightmares of telling Obi-Wan and Master Yoda. It had not been pleasant, and had landed him in front of the Council with serious repercussions, and the delaying of his trials.

In the end, the council allowed him "solitary time" - to heal his emotions and meditate on his wrongdoings. He had done that in confinement at the Temple. After that he went straight away to Naboo, as being alone tormented him more than anything. He tried to grasp the reason, but couldn't.

Anakin pulled himself back to the present. He smiled at Obi-Wan and said, "Should we head to the Senate building?"

"Of course, after you," Obi-Wan said. He was a little unused to the new Anakin that he was seeing. Anakin seemed to lose himself in his thoughts more these days, seeming somber and quiet when in the company of other Jedi. In fact, the only time that Obi-Wan saw Anakin loosen up was when working on his saber technique, which he'd heard was becoming more and more impressive.

As the two Jedi knights made their way into the Chancellor's chamber, Anakin lagged behind. He was feeling trepidation at going inside. This was the first time he'd been in front of some members of the council since he was sent to confinement for his ordeal on Tatooine. Now, as was then, in the back of his mind he thought - I wonder if I look married, if I look different, or do I even look like a Jed? How strange, sometimes I don't feel like a Jedi anymore. He sighed to himself. He must learn to focus, he was a fighter pilot now.

"Welcome, my Jedi friends!" Chancellor Palpatine sat behind his large desk behind a panoramic window and looked at Master Yoda, Master Windu, Master Ki-Adi-Mundi, Obi-Wan and Anakin. "It's so good to have you back with us safe and sound. I'm afraid I have some news on our current situation." Chancellor Palpatine looked at Master Yoda.

"I feel we may have to step up our attacks on the Separatists and we'll need the Jedi to lead these efforts," the Chancellor said. A wave of dread swept over Anakin. He felt as if the galaxy was spinning out of control, and he and the Jedi were being caught in the maelstrom. 

Chapter 3

Padmé gazed out the window of her senatorial chambers at the Coruscant sunset. She tentatively put her hand to the glass and smiled. This was the window replaced after Master Obi-Wan jumped out onto an assassin droid. That seemed like ages ago, when in truth it had been little less than a year. She smiled again, remembering her surprise at seeing a grown up Anakin on that same day. How things develop in our lives. Tomorrow she would back in the melee of egos, agendas, and bureaucracy. 

"Artoo, hand me that wrench!" Anakin had been working on his ship for the last two hours. Since leaving the Chancellor's chambers earlier, he had felt the need for some solitude. Well, he supposed it wasn't total solitude, Artoo was here. Anakin smiled to himself. He had become quite fond of the droid. He didn't know if it was because it was Padmé's droid, or because Artoo seemed to give unconditional love... like a pet. You never had to worry that you were being judged with the little droid, unlike his counterpart Threepio. Even though he was created by Anakin himself, he could dance along the edges of Anakin's nerves. Want to think about what you're doing, Skywalker? He had tightened a bolt too hard and stripped the threads. Great, you'll never get this done... He had been given second command of the unit after a very short time. His pilots were always teasing that perhaps he should let the mechnodroids do the repairs, but that was almost against Anakin's religion: if there was any fixing to be done, he would do it!

He was just finishing up when his comm unit went off. "Skywalker here, go ahead." His greeting was met with a series of beeps. His heart leapt to his throat. She was here! Anakin gathered his cloak and lightsaber and ran to the elevator. He had to get cleaned up and meet with the council to receive his orders. After that, there was a certain senator who had been sorely neglected...

Master Yoda roused himself out of his meditative state to the last rays of the sun for the day. His meditations these days were little more than cloudy, murky images of what could be. The Dark Side had so embedded itself in the future that sometimes it felt it would stifle him as he thought of it. It was a creeping awful thing, winding its way around the Senate pods and the Council pillars. He felt as if he could almost touch it, then it would snake itself around his consciousness and disappear, whispering of things that would come.

Funny, it was at this time that he thought of the young Jedi Knight Skywalker. He always sensed that when he was in the room with the boy that he felt he wasn't good enough to be in Yoda's company. This had gotten better over that last few months, but Yoda still felt that deep down Skywalker felt he was a lost soul to be sacrificed to the Force.

Yoda and Master Windu had been watching him in the kai kan sparring sessions, and had marveled at how the lightsaber and he seemed to be one. Anakin had the unique ability to keep the saber moving in one fluid movement, never stopping. It was beautiful to watch. Obi-Wan should be proud. Yoda sensed something else about Anakin that disturbed him though. He sensed at times that the Knight was unsure of his path, and that was not something the Jedi needed right now. One thing was for sure, he and Mace agreed that this boy had more raw power in the Force than anyone they'd ever come across. It seemed to flow from inside his body through the tip of his lightsaber - every move hypnotizing.

Obi-Wan and Anakin stood in front of the council. They had been called along with 45 other Knights to receive their orders. They were the last in the room. Anakin was beginning to believe that they were going to be there all night. His comm unit had blinked at him two different times; she's going to kill me.

"We're sorry that we have come to you last, but we felt there were things to say to the two of you that we should discuss in front of you only." Mace Windu face seemed to mirror the sobriety of the whole room. "Obi-Wan, you will be assigned to serve under Senator Bail Organa. Your job is to gather the troops assigned to you from Alderaan, and gather on Geonosis. You will leave in a week." Anakin felt Obi-Wan's apprehension through the Force, for he was going into the front lines.

Anakin felt a moment of fear and sadness. What had it come to that this may be the last time he would see Obi-Wan? He made a decision then and there to lay everything on the line. Things that used to seem important no longer held value in these times of trouble. How worthwhile was his life if he was living it in secret?

"Anakin," Mace turned to him now, "you have been selected to Chancellor Palpatine's private service, he has a job at an outpost on Dantooine that he believes requires your skills. You will be given a regimen of new troopers called stormtroopers." Obi-Wan looked up at Master Yoda in amazement. Anakin was surprised himself.

"You will report back to the Chancellor on the progress of the new outpost. He has promised you time off for visits back to Inner Rim while on the assignment so you won't completely be out of touch, but you must leave day after tomorrow," Mace continued.

This was a pretty prestigious post, and something a more seasoned military commander would normally take on. Chancellor Palpatine did believe in him though. He believed in him as much as his Council, or maybe more, he thought to his chagrin.

He hid his smile. This meant more time in Coruscant airspace, while assigned to Dantooine. Even if he couldn't make to Naboo as often, maybe he would at least get to see Padmé on Coruscant, especially if his news to the Council was received badly. Anakin shuddered. His life was about to change, that much he knew with a certainty, but the galaxy was changing with him.

Anakin took a deep breath and spoke the words he'd been getting the nerve up to speak for the last ten minutes. "Masters Yoda and Windu, I would like to speak to you again tomorrow, before leaving for my post, if you agree."

"Agree we do, Jedi Skywalker, speak now we can if you'd like." Yoda sensed some turmoil in the young man.

"I'm sorry, I know we are all tired, I'd rather come before you tomorrow, if I may," Anakin said.

"Of course, Anakin," Mace offered up, "you may stop by after your morning sessions."

Anakin bowed, "Thank you, Masters."

Obi-Wan looked at him curiously.

"You should probably be here too," Anakin said as he looked at the floor; he couldn't look him in the eyes.

Padmé lay on her bed. She had been up waiting for what felt like hours. In reality it hadn't really been that long, but she hadn't seen Anakin in months and she missed him terribly.

She had gotten to see him briefly while the senate session was going on. She fingered the ring that lay against her breast. He had looked at her with so much intensity that she wanted to scream to these people that this was her husband and the stupid rules that governed this Republic were outdated and barbaric, but that might have been a little out of line. She had trouble controlling herself where Anakin was concerned.

He had changed some. He seemed to have grown a little taller, if that was possible. His shoulders seemed wider, and he no longer had the innocent baby face she had so loved. His hair had grown into long sandy blond locks that touched his shoulder and he wore a modified beard that covered his upper lip and chin only. The blond beard gave him an air of elegance, but he also looked a bit the rogue. No, he didn't look the same, but he still was the most handsome man in the galaxy, even if he did look a bit more menacing.

His face had a more adult air, and Padmé knew that he had seen things in the six months of battle that had probably robbed him, and robbed them of their innocence. She heard a rustle at her bedroom door. She held her breath, her heart beating fast, she knew who it was. She jumped up and ran to her husband's arms.

"Oh Anakin, I was beginning to think I wasn't going to see you tonight!" she whispered as she stood on her toes to wrap her arms around his neck.

"I did too," he smiled looked down at her. His appearance might have changed some, but it was still the same lopsided grin she loved that smiled back through the beard.

"I missed you so much," Anakin said as he picked her up and walked to the bed.

"I missed you also, what kept you?" Padmé asked.

Anakin told Padmé of his assignment.

"When will I see you again?" Padmé asked, lips trembling.

Anakin took her chin between his fingers. "I hope very soon, angel."

Anakin stood up. "Padmé, I want to tell the Jedi Council of our marriage." His sentence hung in thC/i>, trust your feelings. What do they tell you? Reach out to the Force, you'll find your answers there," Obi-Wan pleaded.

"Do not insult my intelligence, Obi-Wan! I trusted you to see her to Alderaan safely. I put her on that freighter through the regions I knew the Jedi were entrusted with. I put my trust in you and you turned the other way when she was in danger. And for your information, I am through putting my trust in the Force!"

Obi-Wan watched in horror as Anakin came perilously close to the edge of the cliff that over looked the ledges into lava. Obi-Wan became aware of the lava lapping at the ledges in waves, like a bright red ocean.

"I heard the many times that you talked of my training and how it shouldn't have come to be. You and the Council saw my grief over leaving my mother and you used it against me. Don't you see? The only time I have been happy was shared with my mother and Padmé. Now they are both gone!" Anakin was screaming now. His face had gone from the rage of a Sith, to that of a scared little boy.

"Anakin, please..." Obi-Wan was getting desperate.

"Did you know I was going to be a father? Did you know that? I gave Padmé my lightsaber to give my son. Where is the Force for him now?" Anakin laughed cruelly and backed away from Obi-Wan, towards the cliff's edge.

"I didn't know that," Obi-Wan said sadly, he had to tell him that this was all in vain, that Padmé lived, but didn't want to risk upsetting him this close to the edge of the cliff, if he could just talk him away from the overhang, he could tell him...

Suddenly Anakin held his lightsaber up in front of his face. Obi-Wan saw in the Force what was about to happen, but before he could stop it, Anakin toppled to the ledges below. He hit the back of his head on a large overhang and fell to the edge. Obi-Wan watched in horror as the lava lapped against him. Anakin didn't move. He felt Anakin's presence leave the Force. Obi-Wan fell to his knees. Obi-Wan buried his face in his hands. For the first time in his life, he doubted the Force. He felt sick and leaned over to retch. How could life be so cruel? In a matter of seconds, Anakin had gone from husband and expectant father to the end of his life. What about the prophecy - where did that leave them now? Where had it led Anakin? He got to his feet, and made his way to edge of the cliff, he thought to try to get to Anakin's body, but it was gone.  


Chapter 13 


Yoda, Mace and Bail listened sadly as Obi-Wan recounted his tale. He told them of Padmé's pregnancy, and of Anakin's plans to get her safely to Alderaan.

"Get her away from Coruscant, we must," Yoda said.

In the last few days, everything had come to an evil fruition. Palpatine had taken the title of Emperor and taken over a majority of power in the Senate. It was now a given that he was the Sith that the Council had felt. They were fairly certain that he had turned Anakin against them by falsifying Padmé's death to Anakin and blaming the Jedi.

It was felt by Yoda and Mace that they must get Padmé back to Naboo for safety, even if it was on another part of the planet. In her grief, she had acquiesced. Her unborn child was the only thing keeping her hanging on, Obi-Wan felt sure. Her face had lost its color, calling attention to the haunted look in her eyes.

As if she could tell he was thinking about her, she quietly came into the room where the three figures spoke.

"I've heard rumblings the Jedi are fugitives." She looked at Obi-Wan sadly.

"It seems suffering is our lot in life," she said wearily as she sat down beside Obi-Wan on the sofa. The ship should be close to the Naboo system soon.

Obi-Wan looked to the two droids sitting unmoving against the wall. As a precautionary measure against the Emperor, their memories had been wiped, although the R2 unit kept a fraction of his for practical reasons.

Padmé hadn't wanted to be present as Ric Olie and Typho had performed the wipes, as she felt it was another death in her family. The droids had been with her and Anakin since they were children. She especially hated to see Threepio's go, taking all things of Shmi and Anakin's life on Tatooine with it.

She looked ouly you and your interests I am thinking of, young Skywalker.

"I'd like to help you Anakin, as I said many times before, you are the most gifted Jedi I've ever seen, and I'd hate to see your talent go to waste." Chancellor Palpatine moved from behind the desk.

"If your Council insists that your marriage be severed, come to me, and I will do what I can." He reached up to put his hand on Anakin's shoulder.

"I'm going to let you get to your duties. I just wanted to show my support and tell you to beware; many would try to keep your talents for their own benefit. I'm afraid that not only you, but your wife, my good friend Senator Amidala, would pay the price."

Anakin's face went white at the thought of the Jedi - or anyone - else harming Padmé to keep her from him. The thought made him frightened and furious at the same time. He was sure that control would be beyond him. His previous dealings with having his loved ones taken from him had proven that. It was a thought he could not behold, having his wife taken from him... or worse. He looked down at his hands, they were shaking furiously.

Palpatine seemed to be watching him cautiously. Anakin bowed, "Your Excellency, have a pleasant day." With that, Anakin's cape swirled around him as he strode from Palpatine's quarters.

In the Jedi temple, the Council was interrupted by a lone messenger bearing a note to Master Windu. After reading the message, he passed it to Yoda. It simply said, Your chosen one has married. The truth is there, ask him.

Anakin watched as Obi-Wan came up the hall in the council waiting chambers, he smiled, even though his heart wasn't in it. "Master Kenobi," he bowed.

"Good morning Anakin!" Obi-Wan seemed genuinely glad to see him this morning.

Obi-Wan noticed the tight lines of apprehension around Anakin's eyes and mouth, and ripples of sizzling foreboding snaked up his consciousness through the Force. "Is there anything I should know before going in to the Council this morning?"

Anakin looked as if he was going to say something, at that time Mace Windu appeared at the door. "Please come in." He looked at Anakin and then to Obi-Wan.

Once inside, Anakin felt his insides freeze up. This was it. They knew. He cursed himself for not doing his duty and leaving the order earlier. He had that choice when he married Padmé. The choice for a wife, for a family, for love... and for life... The rule forbidding attachment was a strict one, one that Anakin had tried but could not live with. He felt things more strongly than his peers, of that he had no doubt. It could be a blessing; most times it was a curse.

"Anakin," Master Windu brought him out of his reverie. "I believe you have something to say to us."

Anakin bowed, waited a minute, and then started. "Forgive me, Masters, for I have been keeping something from you." The Council stared, nothing showing on their faces.

"Upon returning to Naboo after the Battle of Geonosis, Senator Amidala and I were married." He heard Obi-Wan's swift intake of breath.

"I realize the shame I should feel as a Jedi Knight, but I can't. I love my wife more than life itself. I know this is to curse oneself in the Jedi's eyes." Anakin stopped momentarily. He took in the faces of his masters somberly.

"Tell me, Anakin, would you have brought us this news had you not been found out?" Master Windu asked. His look was wary, but intense.

"Yes, I had planned on telling you this morning."

Anakin could feel his shame turn to anger. He remembered standing here as a nine-year-old while this Council talked of him like he was nothing, certainly not standing here in front of them. They had told Qui-Gon that he would not be trained. What would have become of him had they not changed their minds, he did not know. Perhaps he would have died on the streets of Coruscant.

He drew himself up and then carried on. "I am quitting the order."

Anakin could hear Obi-Wan through the Force, "Why are you doing this?"

Anakin continued, he closed his mind to his master. "I have never been good enough. I have gone from being a slave on Tatooine, to being a slave of the Jedi Council. If we aren't allowed to attach ourselves to others, what are we saying? Do we really know of love? I have not breached these walls since arriving here when I was nine, except with Obi-Wan. I haven't felt a part of anything until I married Padmé."

Yoda spoke for the first time. "Perhaps there is another way, Anakin Skywalker. Perhaps penance you will do. If you give up your wife, remain you can. Come too far, you have, to let it all go now. Finish what you have started, Skywalker."

With that Anakin turned to Obi-Wan, "You were right, I did not have it in me, Master. You should be pleased, the Jedi are rid of me."

Anakin saw the hurt and anger on Obi-Wan's face. He softened. "I am sorry that you were given this assignment against your wishes. You deserved better." With that Anakin turned and swept out. 

Chapter 5 

It had been a year since that day, Anakin thought. It had been a year to the day since he had walked out of the Jedi order.

He and Padmé had moved from the Senatorial apartments to Naboo. Padmé still had her duties and Anakin was now in the Chancellor's guard over off world holdings.

Anakin had his ship, but that was almost it, he thought cynically. He had received a note from Palpatine right after he resigned from the order, stating his future was not in jeopardy with the Republic and that he always had a place. Now he could live a normal life.

It hadn't worked out exactly that way, but it was better. He hadn't been able to speak with his wife in over a month. He missed talking to her, among other things.

He had seen things that would be in his mind forever. He had been part of battles in the war that would haunt him forever. No longer was it just droids and clones, now humans were involved. Whole systems had pledged allegiance to one side or the other. It had gotten worse than any had foreseen.

It also didn't look as if it would be over any time soon. His dead soldiers' faces still haunted him. Once he had been deserted on a rim planet. Senator Bail Organa's ship had been hijacked and crashed on the planet. He had to physically carry the almost dead Senator through five miles of swamp before his old friends -- the Jedi -- had arrived to whisk him away. Anakin had repaired his ship with leftover parts from the Alderaanian ship, and was able to carry himself back to Dantooine.

Organa had thanked him, saying he owed his life to Anakin. He would someday like to repay him, he had said. As they carried Senator Organa off, Obi-Wan could only look at him. That had hurt Anakin more than he had thought it would. There had been times when he had let his anger and hurt at the Council control his thoughts and feelings.

It seemed to take over from somewhere deep inside. It took over deep inside the little boy that had withstood their arrogance. His nightmares had returned soon after leaving Padmé's side. The dreams always whispered of shadows and sadness from somewhere he could not touch. The only time he slept was at his wife's side. Her presence was the only thing to soothe him when he got like this.

"Lieutenant, come over here please," Anakin summoned one of his officers. "Send a message to the Chancellor and tell him I will be taking one of the personal leaves he has so generously offered me. I will be gone for three weeks. I will have my comm and my mechnodroid Artoo."

Padmé let herself into her bedroom in her senatorial apartments; Dormé had laid out her evening outfit. She looked over to her bedside and noticed her COM link blinking. She ran to it. There could only be one person who had her personal COM link code. Padmé's heart leapt to her throat. He was calling her! She felt giddy and she hadn't even checked her message yet!

She turned the comm on and pressed "playback." Ermé her handmaiden's voice came over the speaker. Padmé felt a wave of disappointment.

"Milady, your quarters in the lake country have been prepared for you. Your husband sends his wishes for you to join him; he says he grows impatient and lonely."

With that Ermé giggled. Anakin was home!  "Dormé! Call Captain Typho; tell him to prepare my ships. My documents are in my office for anything needed while I'm gone! Tell them I don't know when I'll return. I'm taking an extended leave!"

"Is everything alright, Milady?" Dormé came rushing in the room as if the hounds of the underworld were at her feet.

Padmé grabbed her in a hug, "No, everything's fine! My husband is home!"


Anakin paced at the docks of the Naboo retreat; he saw the gondola pull up and smiled. It seemed forever since he had looked upon his wife's face. When this war is over, we are going to get started making babies, like we should be.

He bent over the gondola and offered Padmé his hand, helping her onto the dock. She took his hand and pulled him to her in a kiss.

"So you did miss me!" Anakin smiled mischievously down at her.

She marveled at how tall her husband was each time she saw him. It was like falling in love all over again.

He gave her a wry grin and winked, "I was thinking of how much I was missing shuura fruit and couldn't wait to get home."

Padmé hit his shoulder and grabbed him in another lengthy kiss.

"Uncle Anakin, Aunt Padmé!" Ryoo and Pooja, her sister's twins came running towards them.

Ryoo launched herself in Anakin's arms. The girl had a soft spot for Anakin and the feeling was definitely mutual. There was something that tugged at Padmé's heart when she watched him with the little girl. Someday she would present him with his own daughter. She smiled a small smile. Maybe they could start tonight...

"Tomorrow is the Life Festival, Uncle Anakin and Aunt Padmé. You will join us," Ryoo stated.

Anakin laughed, it was an order, not a request.

Padmé laughed, "Well, if we must."

She was more content than she had been in months. She had her family and her husband here. Not only that, her husband was in one piece, and looking better than ever. He felt like home to Padmé now. "I see the hair is a little shorter now, commander." She winked.

"You know the military. I wouldn't go shorter than my Padawan days, and I wouldn't trim the beard." Anakin smiled down at her. "There are some things in which a man must have his way."

The group made their way into the portico. Anakin put Ryoo down to run in the courtyard. "You know we really need one of those little girl things." He winked.

After dinner Padmé lay in her husband's arms on the sofa. She thought it funny how a little over two years ago she had sat on this same couch and told Anakin there could be no future for them. She smiled. Destiny proved that it had its own mind and knew of the way things should go.

"I would give two Republic credits for your thoughts, but who knows how long they will be worth anything..." Anakin smiled down at her.

"I was just thinking it's time to go to bed, Skywalker." Padmé stood up and took his hand, placing small kisses on his fingers. She watched his eyes go from ice blue to smoky indigo and smiled. She let go of this hand and ran to the bedroom. "What are you waiting for, Skywalker?"

Anakin had missed her tinkling laughter. 

Chapter 6 

Anakin tried to pull himself out of his fighter. He had barely landed on Dantooine when the thruster that had been hit in the dogfight exploded. The world went black.

When he woke up, he was in the medic chambers of the off world outpost with a medic droid poking furiously on his prosthesis. "Ouch! It's working!" he barked.

Anakin had no patience for pain anymore. In fact, Anakin found his patience with many things sorely lacking these days. His men avoided him like a plague; for they knew he was like a wounded reek lately. He hadn't been home in three months, not only that he'd only been able to speak to his wife once. He wasn't sleeping. The nightmares forever haunted him. He was beginning to hate this rock called Dantooine. And now, he was lying in a medic chamber, bandaged, tired, sore, depressed and so very weary of it all. He tried to get some rest while he was still medicated, but he soon gave up.

"Good afternoon, Commander Skywalker!" said a feminine voice. It was the Dr. Vylkra, the off world physician assigned to Dantooine.

"If you promise to get some sleep, I'll tell the lieutenant to bring your holoimage that arrived this afternoon. That is, if you promise to get some sleep." She winked.

"I don't want a holoimage. All they bring is more bad news. Tell the lieutenant that unless it is from Palpatine himself, I'm not listening to it." Anakin was tired of his squadron playing nursemaid to every one that got out here and got into trouble. It was usually because their leader was some Jedi, who hadn't the foggiest about military strategy or tactical maneuvers.

"Right away sir, I'll tell the lieutenant to just throw that holo from Naboo right away." Dr. Vylkra bit her lip as she smiled.

"No! Don't you dare!" He sat straight up with a wince. "Is it my wife? Have they checked the image yet? Gods, I hope it's not bad news - I grow very weary of bad news."

He flopped back down on the bed with a sigh, wincing again. He felt a hundred years old. "Quickly, bring it to me, please."

"Yes sir." With that Dr. Vylkra left the room. When she returned she had a palm-sized holopad in her hand.

Anakin pressed the playback switch and waited; his heart beating out of his chest.

"Hello, Ani." Padmé's image flickered then became stable. "I thought about waiting until you came home again to speak with you, but time is passing and I don't know how much longer I can wait to share something with you." She was smiling. Anakin breathed a sigh of relief.

"I hate to tell you over holovid, but it doesn't diminish the joy I'm sure you'll feel - as I do. We're going to have a baby, Ani!" She laughed and pulled the camera away to put her hand on her flat stomach. "What do you think of that?"

"I must go now, I'm expected in the Senate in a couple of minutes. I got the news two weeks ago, and am now about to burst with excitement. Come home to me and our baby soon, Ani. Please be safe." The image flickered off, and Anakin sat staring after the image.

Dr. Vylkra came back in. "Sir, are you alright? It wasn't bad news I hope."

Anakin let out a laugh and fell back against the pillows. "Not at all Vylkra, I'm going to be a father! Can you believe that?"

"Congratulations sir! You must hurry and heal so that you can visit your family." Dr. Vylkra took some metrics from his readout.

"You're on your way!" She turned and left the room. 

Chapter 7 

Padmé woke up early. She looked at her husband; he had gotten in late the night before and went straight to bed. He hadn't been sleeping on Dantooine; Padmé knew and hated to wake him.

He would be home for a month on furlough because they were setting up another squadron and command unit at Sullust. This one would be Anakin's unit. He would control all squadrons and the ground units. A few command unit leaders were stationed here on Naboo for security purposes until the outpost was finished.

Padmé was relieved on one hand that he would be out of the day to day battles, but also knew that the responsibility made it more dangerous and demanding and she was likely to see less of him in the coming weeks and months. The battles had become extremely harsh, and reports came into the Senate of fighting in the mid-rim, extremely close to home.

Every time Padmé heard talk in the halls of units that had felled or of the death toll, she would listen hoping that she wouldn't hear her husband's name. She looked at him again. She grazed his cheek with her hand. He looked a little more tired and haggard, but was still the most handsome man in the galaxy in Padmé's eyes. She still couldn't believe she was married or that she was having his child.

They had just gotten to talk for few minutes before they went to bed, kissing each other briefly and going to sleep. Padmé woke early for breakfast. It was the beginning of Life Festival on Naboo. She was a little heavier around the middle these days, she thought with a wry smile. She could barely get out of bed without having to call for Dormé or Ermé. Before she could get herself out of bed, Anakin rolled over, put an arm around her thick middle, halting her progress.

He smiled, "Good morning." He looked a lot better this morning than he had last night.

"Good morning, my prince." She kissed the tip of his nose. He kept his arm on her abdomen a moment and seemed to be concentrating. "Ani, what are you doing?"

"Just a moment, I'm trying to wake our baby." He grinned.

"You really don't have to do that," she teased. "He has been moving constantly for the last couple of weeks, until it feels like I will get no rest. He fell into a contented slumber last night though, he must have felt you come home."

"So what makes you so sure it's a boy?" Anakin asked, winking.

“I'd kind of like a girl with brown hair and brown eyes to utterly coddle and spoil. I'd give her anything she wanted, the stars, the suns of Tatooine, a speeder bike... she'll be my little girl. I'd like to see you try to tame a little girl with your spirit, it would serve you right. Having to chase after her every time she almost gets herself hurt - because she's too stubborn to know what's good for her. A little of your own medicine, that's what I'd like see you get."

He winked again. "What do think of that, hmmm, Senator?"

Padmé hit him on the arm. "I bet that's what you'd like, but I'm going to get my gentle, sweet, wise boy. He will really be like me, unless he gets impatient like you."

Padmé's look turned serious, "I want him to have your hair and your eyes, and your smile. I want him to have your honor. I want him to have your passion for life and your sense of humor."

She laughed at him then. "Don't worry, if we don't get what we want, we can always keep trying."

Anakin reached up and kissed her then, "My thoughts exactly."

Padmé stood up and stretched. Anakin stood and put a hand on her stomach, he then bent on his knees and put his head against her abdomen, listening. He felt a small movement and turned and put his forehead and his hand against her middle.

He spoke quietly, "May you always know I am with you, whatever happens, in the end I am with you."

Padmé looked down at his face. His eyes were closed.

She felt tears prick her own eyes, "Ani, what's wrong? Why are you saying that, of course you'll be with him."

He seemed to be telling their child something through the Force, and it made her a little anxious.

He looked up at her and smiled. His hand was still on her large stomach. "Of course I will be." 


"You called, my lord." Tyranus bowed to his emperor.

"Yes, Lord Tyranus, it is time we began our attack. Are your troops gathered?"

"Yes, your Excellency, we await your command."

"Good, good, you have done well, my apprentice, you have done well. Before sunrise, we attack Naboo. I want nothing left of the planet surface when your droids are done."

Tyranus gauged his master for moment, to see if maybe this was a trick. This was his home planet, after all, wasn't it? Then again, the Emperor was not one to dawdle with games. He bowed, "As you wish, my master." He strode out of the room, his cape swirling behind him. 

Chapter 8 

Padmé laughed as she watched her niece Pooja hang on Anakin's arm. Ryoo was chortling to be next. "Uncle Anakin! Pick me up next!"

"You next!?! Why, you weigh a Corellian ton. You will have to pick me up!" Anakin was having as much fun as the children.

She watched him with them and knew he was going to be a wonderful father. He seemed so in tune with her nieces' emotions that it puzzled Padmé sometimes. He was an open book with children and Padmé suspected that the girls identified with the childlike jubilancy and spontaneity deep inside her husband. Yes, he could be rash, sometimes even reckless, yet often she worried that the war and the Jedi had "tamed" too much of that out of him, even to his detriment.

That night, as she lay sleeping in her husband's arms she dreamed of meadows and picnics [and fire] and a little girl with dark hair and a blue eyed little boy, she and Anakin were there – together with their... children? In the dream, Anakin carried the girl to the blanket, where he swung her with a laugh onto the blanket. Suddenly a wall of flames erupted around Anakin as if it were a cage, the tongues of flames taunting her as she tried to reach for her husband and lover. He looked at her then, his eyes pleading... Help me, Padmé! I can't leave her! Who was he talking to? She couldn't touch him, she tried to grab his hands and pull, but her hands went right through him as if he were a ghost. She turned to her children. They looked up at her somberly, with sad, knowing eyes; shaking their heads as she came towards them... then they disappeared...

Padmé awoke with Anakin shaking her.

"Padmé! Wake up!" Anakin was leaning over her on his elbow. He had the most frightened look she ever seen on his face, and they had been through their share of frightening times. "Are you alright? You were screaming."

Padmé continued to stare at him, horrified, her eyes wide as saucers... it seemed so real... Anakin was stroking her hair from her face, it was wet, her gown was wet. She must have been sweating, she thought. "I'm okay. It was just a nightmare." Something in her whispered that she should not bother Anakin with this, as if it would make it real to speak of it out loud. She rarely dreamed, she was one of those people that could sleep dreamlessly and had been all of her life. If she did dream, she never remembered them... Anakin had nightmares all of the time, she supposed he had learned to deal with them at this point in his life, she thought sadly.

She looked at him, and put a hand on his cheek. If this is what it was like, she never realized what he must go through. She imagined waking from your horrors every morning to face new ones in reality.

"I'll be fine, I heard these come with pregnancy." She moved his hand to her abdomen.

He smiled down at her, "I love you."

He sensed he needed to be the strong one this time. He had a fierce desire to strangle the life out of anything that would present itself to cause his wife pain or heartbreak. Be it real or imagined. It frightened him that he couldn't protect his wife from his nightmares now, it seemed. Visions of his mother flashed before him.

"I love you too, Anakin," Padmé said seriously as she reached up and kissed him.

He mentally shook the encroaching darkness that was skirting the edges of his consciousness away. He folded his wife into the crook of his arm and pulled her head to his chest.

"I will always protect you Padmé, I swear to you."

I swear to you. 


A distant explosion rocked Anakin out of his uneasy slumber. What the Sith hell is going on? Suddenly, unconscious movement moved him into action, as the Force slapped his focus to his wife.

Padmé quickly got out of bed. "Oh gods, they are attacking Theed." She moved fast, despite her cumbersome state. She went for the handmaidens' rooms, "Dormé!"

Anakin was on autopilot, "Artoo, Threepio! Get in here quick!" he said as he threw on clothes.

Suddenly the villa was a mass of confusion and panic. The droids came shuffling quickly into the bedroom.

Padmé returned with Ermé, Rose and Dormé on her heels. All were struggling with clothing.

He looked at the droids, focusing on Threepio. "You two stay right there until I tell you to move," Anakin ordered.

As he pulled his boots on, he looked at his wife, "You ladies do the same." He tried to soften the words.

"I'm going to find Typho and secure a ship." He ran down the hall and out the door.

Anakin returned with Captain Typho and three Nubian security guards. "Come on, we have transport in the city, but it's filling up quick. We aren't going to have time to get you into the queen's transport. It's at the palace."

"Once we get off the island, there is a Corellian freighter at the dock. They are pretty fast," Typho said as he glanced uneasily at Anakin.

"What about the people?! We have to get transport for people into the Gungan City at least!" Padmé's voice rose as she whirled on Typho.

"You and your handmaidens are not going to the Gungans, Padmé," Anakin said. His tone was grave.

"I can't just leave!" Panic rose in Padmé's throat. It was not a feeling she was used to. She was usually the calm one, the one in control. The war had obviously matured her husband a great deal - a good thing.

Anakin's voice booked no argument as he swept around to look at her, his cape moving in one smooth, fluid motion. He jabbed the gloved finger of his artificial hand at the air as if to drive the point home. "You are getting off planet. I mean it, Padmé."

He threw some clothes into a small bag. He whirled around and grabbed his lightsaber, hooking it on his belt faster than he believed he'd ever done. He found the green lightsaber from the battle on Geonosis and threw it in his bag.

The explosions seemed to be getting closer.

He grabbed a blaster, just in case, he thought silently, and hooked it into his belt.

He picked Padmé up and moved faster than she'd ever seen. Fear was starting to snake itself into Padmé, up from her belly, slowly wrapping a cold hand around her heart.

Please just let my baby make it through this. Let all of us be safe and together in the end. Keep my people safe. Keep my Ani safe. She prayed fervently and silently. She remembered the nightmare she'd had earlier.

She had been through many battles and troubling times, but this felt different. The gray seemed to envelop her vision as she tried to will positive things to happen. She felt helpless against this dread that seemed to seep into her from the very air.

She looked up at Anakin's face. How strong and grand he is. His beautiful, handsome face is a map I can read in my sleep. She jerked from the thoughts quickly.

Why in Naboo's hell am I thinking like this? I am in the middle of deserting the planet of my birth! She felt distanced from her body as these feelings wound their way around her. It was as though the Force were protecting her by making her thoughts simplistic, almost childish.

The group moved quickly out into the night and to the dock. Anakin's boot falls were hypnotizing to Padmé as they hurried across the patio of the lake house. His steps smooth as he carried her, trying to protect both her and his unborn child. Soon they would be on a ship and their lives would be forever changed. Padmé knew this, as surely as the sun sets in the evening, Padmé knew this.

As the gondolas pulled up to the dock at the freight station, the hairs stood up on the back of Anakin's neck. Why did this feel like the last time he would see this place?

He looked down at Padmé, who had laid her head on his lap to overcome the nauseous feeling the water was giving her. He was really starting to worry, his wife was pregnant, and her condition was not one he was familiar with. He had rarely, if ever, seen her in this state. She was almost a rag doll and the fear seemed to be overcoming her. This was the woman who had led a ragtag group of security officers against the Trade Federation, for Sith's sake!

The gondolas slid into the docks at the harbor in Theed. Padmé sat up. Anakin pulled to her to him. "Are you okay?" He asked anxiously. He realized he had shaken her slightly, and pulled her close. "I'm sorry; I just can't stand the thought of you..." He didn't get to finish his sentence.

An explosion rocked the gondola even though it was coming from a few miles away. They wouldn't have time to get the Gungans. Anakin silently hoped that they would be able to hold their own, if they needed to. Gungan City would be hard to stumble on if they didn't mean to be found.

As they got out of the boats, they saw people were frantically trying to find loved ones. The explosions in the distance rattled window panes.

Padmé glanced wildly around, seeing her home planet becoming ruins around her.

Anakin grabbed Padmé by the upper arms. "Listen to me. You can do nothing about this at this moment. When you are safe, we can get word to the Jedi and the military."

"Padmé, listen to me, you have to be brave. We will get you somewhere safe, maybe Alderaan. I will come to you. I'll see if I can get Bail Organa involved, he owes me. Maybe Obi Wan too. We'll get the Chancellor involved, it'll be alright sweetheart, I promise," Anakin pleaded.

Padmé looked him blankly. He knew her world was literally crumbling around her. He felt a sudden rage at the Separatists that threatened to overtake him. How dare they hurt his wife?! He had stood by and watched this long enough. This must be taken care of. The galaxy was falling apart around them and people that he loved were getting hurt.

He would have to get word to the Chancellor soon. This was his planet too. Explosions went off around him, knocking him out of his reverie. Anakin could now see Droid battleships landing in the distance. His heart fell into his stomach. A feeling of dread came over him. This war was hitting close to home now.

Anakin saw the Corellian freighter pull up and pulled Dormé and Captain Typho off to the side.

"I will try to get as many people as I can on board. You'll have to count and make sure the ship doesn't get too full. Send for more ships as soon as possible."

He bent lower. "Whatever you do, make sure that this Millennium Falcon gets off the ground first. I want my wife safe, Typho." Anakin's eyes smoldered, and Typho knew he was dead serious about getting his wife off first and foremost.

"What about you?" Typho asked; surely Anakin wasn't staying on planet.

"I've got to get to my ship and get word to the fourth sector," Anakin said. "The Chancellor and Jedi will need to know also. The Jedi will need to keep these people safe. No one suspected that they would be so audacious as to attack the capital city of Naboo. They won't get away with this."

"I certainly will. Take care of yourself, Anakin." Typho's worry leaked through his façade as left to board the freighter.

People were running everywhere. Parents were searching frantically for children; wives were desperately seeking their spouses. Families had gotten separated in the melee. The citizens of Theed watched as their world changed forever. Anakin grabbed children to load up onto the ramp of the freighter, distracted momentarily from finding his wife and their droids.

He made his way to the small huddled forms as the crowd was drawn into chaos, vying for positions on other freighters. When he made it to where Padmé and her handmaidens were standing, he saw how it was affecting Dormé, Ermé, and Rose. Padmé was trying to be strong. She rested both hands on her middle in a protective gesture, causing Anakin to glance down in worry.

"I'm fine as I can be." Her eyes had a hollow look to them. This wasn't going to be easy, even if it was only until he could get his ship to Coruscant and back to Alderaan.

He swore to himself no matter what happened he would be back to comfort his wife before her head touched the pillow this very night. He noted absently that it would be dawn soon.

He pulled her off to the side, close to him. Her face barely made it to his chest; he was so much taller than she. "I'm going to have to go to Coruscant. I must warn the Chancellor and the Jedi Council. I'm going to try to get in touch with Bail and Obi-Wan also." He didn't know why he had the sudden gnawing at his soul to get in touch with those two, but he did, especially Obi-Wan.

"No, Ani! You can't leave without me!" Suddenly Padmé was struck with terror like she had never known before. "If you're going to Coruscant, I want to go with you!"

He knelt so that his face was almost even with hers. "You can't, Padmé. It's not safe. This is more than a mere assassination attempt. We have to think about our child, our daughter." He winked. He was consciously trying to bring some levity into his tone.

She brought her hand up to his cheek. "I love you, Anakin Skywalker." He kissed her hand, bringing it to his heart. "I will be back, Padmé."

"Take this with you." She pulled out the wedding ring she wore close to her heart.

"Take it... and I will keep this by my heart." She brought the japor snippet out of her dress that had been given to her by Anakin long ago as a child to "remember" him by, as if she could have ever forgotten.

Anakin stood up. "I have something I want you keep safe for me."

Anakin looked cautiously down at Padmé. He reached down and unhooked his lightsaber from its place on his belt and turned it over in his hand. It had always been there like a friend when there was none. He had lost it many times over and always it was returned. It was his gift from the Force, of that he felt sure. It fit perfectly in his hand, and had conquered many enemies. It felt warm to his touch. It had brought him back to Padmé many times. It cried "Skywalker" in every way, and he knew that was the only legacy he would ever have.

Anakin leaned down, he spoke the words soft, as to lessen their impact. "If it's a boy..." He spoke the words soft, but they were intense.

He covered her hand with his on top silver hilt of the lightsaber. "Take it, go on."

Padmé looked up at him with large, anxious eyes. She was afraid now. "Anakin," she whispered, dread washing over her in waves, "please don't talk like this, you can't go without your lightsaber, what will you do for a weapon?"

"I have the lightsaber from Geonosis and a blaster. I'll be fine, Padmé. Besides, it will only be for a couple of days at the most, right?" He smiled his lopsided smile. He tried to keep his thoughts light as nine kinds of hell broke loose around them. It wasn't working.

"Right," she spoke the words softly, knowing this could be the last time she saw her husband. Life was cruel, and didn't always make exceptions because you wanted it to. She touched his cheek again and they held each tightly for as long as possible, then with a final fierce kiss, Anakin said, "you have to go."

"I love you Anakin." Padmé couldn't see for the tears now, and she slowly lowered her hand.

"I'll see you in two days at the most, two days," Anakin promised and turned to kiss her one last time.

Typho was coming over. "It's time to go, Senator Amidala." Padmé turned to go. She felt Anakin's eyes on her as she left. She couldn't look back, because her heart was breaking.

Chapter 9

Anakin watched the Corellian freighter take off and leave the atmosphere of Naboo. He should have been running to his ship, but he couldn't. He stood rooted there as if the core of the planet drew him towards it. Please be safe... both of you.

The explosions seemed to be getting closer, but they didn't bother him. A strange feeling of slowness overtook Anakin as he turned and finally started for his ship. This is all a nightmare, that's it. I am going to wake up on Dantooine tomorrow and this will have been just an illusion brought on by too many hours in my ship... He knew though, that this day would not come to pass without a reckoning, he could feel it through the Force, and it scared him to death. He sped his pace up.

By the time Anakin took off in the fighter, the day was fully there. He saw the devastation as he lifted up, and felt a catch in his throat. His wife's beautiful capital city lay in smoking ruins. He had loaded as many people onto the freighters as he could. He tried to get in touch with Coruscant again, to no avail. He was starting to get very uneasy with the whole situation. He couldn't even find Obi-Wan in the Force. Has he turned away from me completely?

Finally he was able to get a hold of Bail Organa's aide. The voice coming over the other end was fuzzy, almost incoherent. "Office of Alderaanian Legislature, how may I help you?"

"I need to talk to Senator Organa immediately." Anakin was sure he was either in the Capital or on his way. He had a feeling that there would be chaos in the Senate today, and that communications would be erratic.

"May I ask who is requesting communications?"

"Anakin Skywalker. The senator will remember me from Belkadan. It is extremely urgent that I get in touch with him." Anakin was on the verge of using a mind trick. He did not have time for this.

He was surprised when Organa's visage greeted him next. "Anakin, what can I do for you? Is there something wrong? I have to admit it is a pleasant surprise to hear from you."

Was he insane?  Surely it was all over Coruscant holovid that Theed had been the victim of a Separatist attack...

"Bail, we are under attack at Theed, I'm in my ship returning to Coruscant. I need to speak to the Chancellor and the Jedi Council as soon as possible."

Organa's face registered complete surprise. "There was an attack on Theed? When was this, Anakin?"

"It happened in the early morning hours. My wife and I were awaked by explosions. Which is why I've come to you, Senator Organa. My wife is on a ship headed for Alderaan with as many refugees as we could fit on the ship. Can you make sure that she is taken care of? I'd like to call in the favor you would grant. I don't know who is behind the attack, and as you know, she's been the victim of several assassination attempts."

Bail frowned in concentration. "This appears to be more elaborate than an assassination attempt, though."

"Those are exactly my thoughts, Senator. That's why I must get in touch with the capital. This has hit home. Both my home and the Chancellor's have been made victim of this attack." Bail thought Skywalker's voice had an edge to it that didn't warrant many more questions. He truly felt for whoever was behind this when the young pilot got his hands on them, or his lightsaber...

Bail turned and flipped on Holonews. "There is nothing on the holonetwork about this. How can this be? How could we not know?"

"Senator Organa, I must ask you to get me to the Chancellor. Will you be able to locate Senator Amidala? After I'm done at the capital, I will be there to bring her to Coruscant. I didn't think that Coruscant would be as safe as a first option, as it would be likely that I'd send her there."

"Of course, Anakin." Bail stood. "I'll tell him to comm you; let us know what landing platform you'll be arriving at when you get in atmosphere. I'll alert my officials now as to the arrival of your wife and the refugees from Naboo."

"Thank you, Senator." Anakin ended the transmission. Now he just had to get to the capital, find Obi-Wan or Windu, and then he could get to Alderaan. It couldn't happen quickly enough. He couldn't get over the deep seated dread that was pulling at his consciousness.

Is this the Force foretelling something I already know deep in my heart is about to come to pass? He shook himself out of it, he had to think about the now. Still... weren't dreadful premonitions his trademark? Hadn't everything that had been terrible in his life been whispered to him from the Force, taunting him of his inability to change his destiny...?

He flipped the navigational switch to bring up the landing screen. He tried to distance himself from the eerie thoughts forming in his mind as he sequenced for arrival on Coruscant.

After getting his coordinates, he commed the Chancellor's office to let his aides know where he would be landing and requested an audience with Palpatine. He was a bit taken aback when Palpatine himself appeared. His face held the weight of the galaxy in it and Anakin suddenly had the coldest feeling he'd ever felt inside.

"Hello, Anakin." Palpatine paused, looking as if he were searching for words.

He started to say something, then stopped.

"Good afternoon, your grace." Anakin waited. He studied the image, the Chancellor appeared almost lethargic with grief. Of course, he had just heard of the attack on his home.

"I have bad news, my young friend, but it can wait. Senator Organa and I will meet you on the landing pad."

Anakin swallowed hard; surely he knew Anakin knew of the attack, he was there. He had escaped. Confused, dread stifling him, Anakin simply replied, "Yes, sir."

Bail watched as the handsome pilot sprinted toward him and the Chancellor. This wasn't going to be easy. Things were happening fast in this war, very bad things. He had just gotten briefed in the Chancellor's office, and had barely had time to send a transmission to General Kenobi that he would need to get in touch with him as soon as possible. This was going to be a very long and sad day, indeed, he thought with despair. 


Chapter 10

Chancellor Palpatine held out both hands to Anakin as he approached. Anakin looked down at his outstretched hands with a mixture of surprise and caution. Anakin thought it odd that he would seek to comfort him, he had become mentor and someone that Anakin could talk to, but he couldn't say they were that close. He often relied on the Chancellor for advice and Palpatine had done many things for him, but these didn't warrant the look of fatherly worry displayed on the Chancellor's face. What was going on?

Palpatine grabbed Anakin by the forearms and squeezed. "Forgive me son, for bearing the burden of bad news on you like this.

"Senator Organa, would you permit us to be alone? I'll send for you tomorrow and we can discuss the events that have transpired here today." The Chancellor looked at Bail Organa with a knowing look.

Organa frowned, Anakin Skywalker was starting to look like a very dangerous animal that had just received a blow to the head, but not a killing blow. Organa knew it was fear, plain and simple. The Chancellor should just tell him and get it over with. Bail was tempted to question the Chancellor when Palpatine looked at him sharply. Apparently he felt closer to the young former Jedi and thought this was something that should be done alone. They were surrounded by the blue senate guards. Feeling helpless for the young pilot, Bail turned and left for his quarters.

"What is it?" Anakin felt as he did when Cliegg Lars was detailing his mother's capture by the Tusken Raiders on Tatooine.

By now he knew there was bad news and the grief and fear were threatening to well up in him and lash out. His heart was beating out of his chest and he held on to the green lightsaber to steady his shaking hands.

Palpatine studied him closely. "There is no other way to say this than outright, my young friend. I'm terribly sorry. Your wife's ship was attacked."

Anakin jerked violently away from the Chancellor. "What are you talking about?"

Anakin paced in a circle and rounded back on Palpatine. "I saw it leave the atmosphere. My wife is fine, I would know it if she'd been hurt!"

He was practically shouting now. He would not say the word died.

"Do you not know who I am? I would have felt it if something had happened to her! I would have felt it through the Force, it is impossible to even think that I would not have felt the presence around my wife and unborn child disturbed!" He turned to Palpatine, eyes blazing.

The guards moved closer. Palpatine was calm.

"Come with me to my office, we'll talk there. We'll find out what happened. I have ways. Come young Skywalker, we'll get to the bottom of this." His voice was low. It had an oddly calming, almost hypnotic sound to it. Anakin followed him, numb to the core.

This couldn't be happening; he had just watched her ship take off that morning. Most the Jedi led troops were patrolling the area around Naboo, Obi-Wan's was one of them, and he knew this.

Palpatine opened a viewer and gestured for Anakin to sit. "I'm afraid I saw everything, so I know it to be true. Your wife was a victim of the Jedi's uselessness."

Anakin set his jaw. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying, my young friend, that your former master was in the quadrant and was told to hold off by his Council. The area around Naboo was but an afterthought to the troops stationed outside of its perimeter. They were content to let it fall, while protecting the planets surrounding it."

Palpatine continued, "For a long time now, the Jedi and I have seen things through different eyes. Now it has resulted in the destruction of most of my home planet. It is time to put this war to an end. Instead of acting to end this conflict and get on with the business of rebuilding that galaxy, the Jedi want to remain peaceful, even at the sight of the demise of someone they considered to be a friend."

The Chancellor leaned forward at his desk and pressed a button. The image of the Corellian freighter leaving the planet appeared along with two other military ships. The pictured blinked and the next instant the freighter was hit with a fiery blaze, wreckage flying off into space. Anakin felt his heart freeze. A black haze swam at the edge of his vision.

He stood as a cold hand of determination crept up his body and around his consciousness. He thought of his wife and the child. He had to squeeze his eyes shut to keep hot tears at bay.

"What is the next closest planet?" Anakin asked softly.

"Anakin, please, there is no hope..." Chancellor Palpatine pleaded.

"Where is the next closest planet?" Anakin shouted. Two of the royal guards started towards him and were rewarded with a force push that landed them squarely against the back wall, twenty feet or so away, clutching their throats.

Palpatine eyed him cautiously and looked to holomap on his desk. He pressed a series of buttons, then said, "Vjun, the next closest planet is Vjun, I believe."

Anakin turned and strode from the room.


Chapter 11

Anakin landed his ship on the planet that was Vjun. It had a very unique atmosphere in that it was an ice planet like Hoth, but burned with volcanoes at the summit of its mountains. There was only one group of native sentient beings as most others couldn't take the climate for long periods of time.

His data showed that they were basically primitive, relying on equestrian creatures for food and transportation. It also showed that the landscape was pretty barren. Only the natives could ride the Graayas, as they shared some sort of symbiotic bond. None of this dampened his resolve. He told himself that he had promised Padmé that he would not fail her, and he intended to keep his promise, or he would die.

He reached a village and found directions to the summit where he had plotted that the ship must have crashed. He was running on adrenaline now. The natives were unsettled by his determination to get to the summit at all costs. Using the Force as he had done with the reek on Geonosis so many years ago, he was able to take a Graaya. He mounted the black creature that resembled the horse of Naboo, except that it had a horn on the forehead and two tusk-like teeth coming from the side of its slender muzzle. He rode off to the mountain as fast the powerful creature could go in the snow drifts, his cape flying behind him.

He reached the bottom of the summit within a couple of hours. He topped an outcropping of tall crystal like rocks and saw the freighter. Or what was left of it. He dismounted quickly and ran to the wreckage. There wasn't much left, it appeared that it was an escape pod that had been jettisoned. Would Typho have tried to get her off a dying ship or was there time?

He picked through most of the wreckage. The explosion must have been terrible, rending pieces no bigger than his hand. His heart lifted that there appeared to be nothing that pointed to the fact that Padmé had been in the pod.

Then he saw it.

An object lay in the snow, its brown cord broken. He walked over to it as if in a trance, for he'd seen it before.

He had made it and given it to a young queen long ago.

He fell to his knees as he picked it up, this time he couldn't stop the tears. The wind became torrential, and lightening struck at the planet's surface as he cried out in black rage at the heavens of this forsaken planet. His failure came to face him fully as he rocked back and forth. Not just her, but his child.

The failure he felt at his mother's death was small compared to this. His mother's death had eaten at his soul for a long time, this devoured everything he was. As a cold calculating numbness wound its way through every other part of his heart but the place designated as hers, the wind died down. He stood up and put the japor snippet in his pocket.

He knew what he must do, he knew as sure as the voice that whispered of the betrayal of everything he'd known drifted past his ears. They had not been happy with his decision to marry. They felt it a blight upon the order. They had never accepted them as one of them truly. The pain of that had been healed with the balm of his wife's love. They feared him... Yes, he knew what he must do now. He knew - for one of the military destroyers had been from the base that Obi-Wan called home now. He looked up as he felt a presence he had not felt in a long time. 

Chapter 12

Obi-Wan landed his ship where the coordinates put the wreckage from the empty Falcon escape pod. He made his way past the wreckage and looked up to the fiery summit above. Anakin stood with his back to him.


No movement came from his former Padawan. He stood still, a quiet storm coming from his presence in the force. Obi-Wan felt a shiver snake up his spine. He tried to reach out through the force to his former student. Suddenly a wall in the Force violently slammed down between Anakin and himself, causing Obi-Wan to stagger with the intensity of it. It was black and made his head swim.

Anakin turned, pure unadulterated rage burning in his eyes, the fires from the mountain top reflecting in their depths.

"You let her die," he said quietly. No more of the impetuous, impulsive boy left in him. His voice was oddly calm, deadly calm.

"Anakin, what are you say..." Obi-Wan didn't get to finish his sentence as Anakin somersaulted and landed in front of him, bringing the green lightsaber around to Obi-Wan's face.

Obi-Wan drew his lightsaber; he would tire him like before. Obi-Wan was on the defense instantly. He had no time to parry Anakin's blows; he stumbled over a rock, losing his balance for an instant. He recovered in time to block a blow from his left. Anakin was possessed. It seemed to Obi-Wan he wasn't even exerting himself. His blows came harder and faster as they moved up the summit.

Obi-Wan tried to pace himself so that Anakin would start to tire out. The dread that had snaked itself around Obi-Wan's heart told him that this fight would not be like the others. One of them, if not both of them, would be hurt. Anakin's skills had grown in the past few years. He no longer fought by the seat of his pants, relying on his bond with the Force totally to compensate for his lack of patience with the lightsaber. Today he fought with the calculation of a Jedi Master, and it scared Obi-Wan. He parried another blow, this one landing a little close to his arm, the heat from Anakin's lightsaber touching his skin.

He began to see signs of exertion in Anakin, along with something else, a strange resignation.

"So what will being the Chosen One do for me now, Obi-Wan?" Anakin was talking out of his head now, of that Obi-Wan was sure.

"Anakin, please, trust your feelings. What do they tell you? Reach out to the Force, you'll find your answers there," Obi-Wan pleaded.

"Do not insult my intelligence, Obi-Wan! I trusted you to see her to Alderaan safely. I put her on that freighter through the regions I knew the Jedi were entrusted with. I put my trust in you and you turned the other way when she was in danger. And for your information, I am through putting my trust in the Force!"

Obi-Wan watched in horror as Anakin came perilously close to the edge of the cliff that over looked the ledges into lava. Obi-Wan became aware of the lava lapping at the ledges in waves, like a bright red ocean.

"I heard the many times that you talked of my training and how it shouldn't have come to be. You and the Council saw my grief over leaving my mother and you used it against me. Don't you see? The only time I have been happy was shared with my mother and Padmé. Now they are both gone!" Anakin was screaming now. His face had gone from the rage of a Sith, to that of a scared little boy.

"Anakin, please..." Obi-Wan was getting desperate.

"Did you know I was going to be a father? Did you know that? I gave Padmé my lightsaber to give my son. Where is the Force for him now?" Anakin laughed cruelly and backed away from Obi-Wan, towards the cliff's edge.

"I didn't know that," Obi-Wan said sadly, he had to tell him that this was all in vain, that Padmé lived, but didn't want to risk upsetting him this close to the edge of the cliff, if he could just talk him away from the overhang, he could tell him...

Suddenly Anakin held his lightsaber up in front of his face. Obi-Wan saw in the Force what was about to happen, but before he could stop it, Anakin toppled to the ledges below. He hit the back of his head on a large overhang and fell to the edge. Obi-Wan watched in horror as the lava lapped against him. Anakin didn't move. He felt Anakin's presence leave the Force. Obi-Wan fell to his knees. Obi-Wan buried his face in his hands. For the first time in his life, he doubted the Force. He felt sick and leaned over to retch. How could life be so cruel? In a matter of seconds, Anakin had gone from husband and expectant father to the end of his life. What about the prophecy - where did that leave them now? Where had it led Anakin? He got to his feet, and made his way to edge of the cliff, he thought to try to get to Anakin's body, but it was gone.  


Chapter 13 


Yoda, Mace and Bail listened sadly as Obi-Wan recounted his tale. He told them of Padmé's pregnancy, and of Anakin's plans to get her safely to Alderaan.

"Get her away from Coruscant, we must," Yoda said.

In the last few days, everything had come to an evil fruition. Palpatine had taken the title of Emperor and taken over a majority of power in the Senate. It was now a given that he was the Sith that the Council had felt. They were fairly certain that he had turned Anakin against them by falsifying Padmé's death to Anakin and blaming the Jedi.

It was felt by Yoda and Mace that they must get Padmé back to Naboo for safety, even if it was on another part of the planet. In her grief, she had acquiesced. Her unborn child was the only thing keeping her hanging on, Obi-Wan felt sure. Her face had lost its color, calling attention to the haunted look in her eyes.

As if she could tell he was thinking about her, she quietly came into the room where the three figures spoke.

"I've heard rumblings the Jedi are fugitives." She looked at Obi-Wan sadly.

"It seems suffering is our lot in life," she said wearily as she sat down beside Obi-Wan on the sofa. The ship should be close to the Naboo system soon.

Obi-Wan looked to the two droids sitting unmoving against the wall. As a precautionary measure against the Emperor, their memories had been wiped, although the R2 unit kept a fraction of his for practical reasons.

Padmé hadn't wanted to be present as Ric Olie and Typho had performed the wipes, as she felt it was another death in her family. The droids had been with her and Anakin since they were children. She especially hated to see Threepio's go, taking all things of Shmi and Anakin's life on Tatooine with it.

She looked out the window and murmured, "Deliver us."

Suddenly the ship rocked. Ric Olie's voice came on the comm. "We've developed some trouble with the hyperdrive on this freighter and we may have to land soon."

A tremulous smile played on Padmé's face. "Just like long ago - on a trip to Coruscant."

The ship rocked again and Bail, Mace and Yoda came into the room. "We're going to have to land on Dagobah," Mace said.

At the ship's next lurch, Padmé stood up, clutching her abdomen. "I think it may be time..." 


In an underground bunker in Coruscant, three medical droids worked on what seemed like a lifeless patient. As tubes were checked, and readings posted, the med droids reported everything to their master. If he lived the next 24 hours, they would be able to start the procedure on him. He must be special as the Emperor watched this case from bedside many times. The patient had a long way to go before he could be considered ready.


Mace worked with the med droids to make sure Padmé was comfortable. The med droid, in his ministrations, had found that there were to be two children. Padmé had been surprised she didn't know. Obi-Wan worried about her. She hadn't looked strong since Anakin's death, but she fought bravely to bring her children, his children in to the world. Finally, after many long hours of labor, Padmé gave birth to first a little girl with Anakin's face, and a little boy with his hair and eyes.

At the same time in Coruscant in the underground bunker, the mysterious patient's eyes flew open and his heart monitor was roused out of its subdued state by a frenzy of activity. 


Chapter 14


Obi-Wan, Mace, Yoda and Bail Organa discussed plans as Padmé fed the twins. She had named them Luke and Leia, after Anakin's two middle names. Leia's being the feminine form of his second middle name. She cooed to them and held their fists in her hand. Obi-Wan had taken a midichlorian count at their birth, and their fears had been confirmed. Both had inherited Anakin's monumental presence in the Force. This meant that they would have to be hidden away.

"Padmé, I must talk to you." Obi-Wan had gotten the unfortunate duty of telling Padmé of the decision that the twins must be separated.

She looked up at him knowingly, her face a mixture of pain and resolve. "I can't keep them, can I?" she said through tears. "What am I going to do, I can't let them go."

Obi-Wan looked down through his own tears, he felt as if he would hurt forever. "You will be strong, Padmé; it is for their good. You will be able to keep Leia with you on Alderaan, but I'm afraid Luke would be too strong for the Emperor not to find him. He will stay on Dagobah with Yoda."

"No!" Padmé was determined her son would have a family. "He can't stay at this place. He needs to be with other children and have a home. Promise me that Obi-Wan, please! Anakin has a step-brother and step-father on Tatooine, please, Obi-Wan. He should keep his father's name, and live near his father's home."

Obi-Wan thought about it and decided to approach Master Yoda.

It was decided that Luke could indeed go to the Larses, Anakin's family on Tatooine. Obi-Wan would stay and look after him as much as he could, after taking care of what was left of Jedi business.

Padmé couldn't hold on for a long goodbye. She packed Luke's stuff, and turned to Obi-Wan. "I have something that I want you to make sure he has. It's his father's lightsaber." She handed the lightsaber reverently to Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan felt a catch in his throat and felt the tears stinging behind his lids as he carefully handled the lightsaber built by his Padawan so long ago. He put it carefully in the knapsack. He then turned and pulled out a pouch from his own knapsack. He handed her the pouch, in it he had put an object he had picked up off the ground at Vjun. She looked at him curiously.

"Open it when you are alone on Alderaan." He smiled and closed her hand around it. He then gingerly picked up the infant Luke. Leia was wailing, sensing the presence that was her brother being ripped from her life. Padmé was crying profusely now, and touched Luke's forehead with her lips.

"Your father would have been so proud, little one. You have his heart," she whispered as she kissed him. She then turned and walked back towards the front of the ship. Obi-Wan got in his ship and left, and left with her son. Like so often these days, Padmé's heart was breaking in two.


Six months later...

Padmé and Leia made it safely to Alderaan under Bail's protection. As she finished her morning meal, she looked at her daughter. Leia was sleeping peacefully in her crib. Padmé turned to the window. As she looked out over the gardens of the Viceroy's palace, she pulled the pouch Obi-Wan had given her. She had kept it all these months in here dress pocket, afraid to open it. Only now did she feel she had the strength to bring it out.

She opened the pouch. She tilted the object into her hand and gasped, it was the japor snippet Anakin had given her so many years ago. She closed her hand around it and held it to her lips. She opened her hand and looked at the inscription that had been put there so long ago - Always, Anakin. 


On Coruscant, a lone figure looked out over the balcony of Imperial Center. He pondered the events that drifted in and out of his consciousness over the past several months. He remembered asking the Emperor to let him die upon waking after his "accident," no longer possessing the will to live without her. But it wasn't meant to be. He had heard upon waking that the Jedi had been purged. This should bring him sadness, but it did not, as he had his hatred of them to sustain his living hell in the suit that now encased his body.

He was due for a holovid session with the Emperor on his private balcony. He made his way out to the balcony to greet the crowds, as he stood by his Emperor; Palpatine lifted his arm and said to the crowd. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Lord Vader!"

The crowd, hungry for control and peace after the long war, thundered their applause.

Darth Vader bowed and made his way back to his garden. Under the mask, Vader's face became a mask of sadness; he put his hand in his garment and drew out a single gold band. He put it in the trunk of things he had saved from Naboo upon his return and slid it to the chamber where he meditated. It was too late for such things.


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