by Love and Rock Music. (TCW) The first half of "Destroy Malevolence," as Anakin and Padmé make their way towards each other.
FAN FICTION : THE CLONE WARS ERA
A/N: This is technically my first Anakin/Padmé. It's been in the works since I saw "Destroy Malevolence" many months back, but I've only just finished it now. Hopefully it didn't come out too cheesy. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: All characters and locales of Star Wars: The Clone Wars are the copyright of Lucasfilm Ltd., and are reproduced here purely for entertainment and not for profit.
I'm being pulled inside the droid cruiser by a tractor beam!
He barely heard her next words, some nonsense about continuing the attack. Blood was pounding in his ears. Icy panic burned through his veins, and he was gripping his fist so tightly he felt sure the metal fingers were about to break through their glove.
Padmé here, in the middle of deadly battle! Trapped in the belly of a warship with General Grievous, who would be only too pleased with the leverage a Senatorial hostage would give him.
It took every ounce of self-control he possessed not to go tearing off to his fighter right now, forethought be damned. He required neither advice nor backup; the lightsaber on his belt was all he needed to destroy every single droid aboard the Malevolence, Grievous included. He'd even blow up the ship just to make it up to Obi-Wan. Then he would take Padmé and fly her right back to Naboo, and program her ship's nav computer so that this could never, ever happen again.
Instead, he exhaled slowly and gave the order to halt their attack. Every muscle in his body was tensed as he fought for emotional control, trying to keep the scope of his panic below Obi-Wan's ever-vigilant senses. He forced himself to act calmly and speak as if this were a trifling thing. But he would not be deterred:
If Padmé was inside that ship, then he was going in after her.
We came to get you off this ship!
She sighed. If she were honest with herself, she always knew he'd be coming to get her no matter what she told him. And really, he'd figured into her half-formed escape plans in the first place: Evade Grievous and the droids, and somehow locate and launch an emergency escape pod. Those pods had very little fuel; their main purpose was to distance passengers from the situation that had necessitated their launch, emphasis on safety before speed or navigation. Who had she expected to pick her up?
But still. She got herself into this mess, and she was certainly capable of handling the situation. She could very well avoid the droids and take responsibility for what had happened. She had destroyed her ship, kept Threepio out of trouble, and taken the initiative to find a com panel, all the while staying clear of General Grievous. Did they think she couldn't use her blaster? Obi-Wan and Anakin hardly need come to the rescue.
That was her rational, indignant, independent side of course.
The other half of her hung on his every word; it had been weeks since she had heard his voice, and so very long since they had been in such close proximity. Her whole body hummed with the knowledge of closeness, and in heart she was not fleeing from Grievous but rushing toward Anakin.
Pride and independence had lost all value. The center of the ship? She couldn't get there fast enough.
He's probably late again.
She didn't like to hold him to that standard, but it was true.
They met inconsistently at best. When they could manage it, his appearances were unpredictable and very brief. They missed each other more than once. She had waited for him without reward in the past, cursing the poor timing or last-minute change of plans that kept them apart. Sometimes there was only time for a quick kiss - enough to leave her breathless for more - before he had to dash away, leading her to suspect she was a detour on some Temple errand.
They'd never actually had that conversation. In those moments when they were together, the wheres and whys of how became far less important than the taste and touch of skin and lips, and the fact that they had not held each other for however long. Even now, her skin was tingling with the anticipation of reunion; she wanted to feel Anakin's arms around her so that every worry might dissolve away.
The empty vastness of the jet shaft stretched out before her. Waiting, again; and then a group of battle droids turned the corner.
No time like the present, she thought, backing away from the droids' fire. Now would be a good time for that heroic husband of hers to make his appearance.
He had no words for the warmth of relief that flooded his chest. It felt like the first proper breath he'd taken since Ahsoka said the word 'Naboo'.
There she was. Not dead, not harmed - though he could feel her anxiety from here. But she was fine, and he could breathe again. His senses were still alert for any trouble, but the tension of the unknown, the what if, left his body. She was within his sight at last.
He could be reasonable now that the weight of dread had lifted from his chest. Padmé was no fool. He owed her more credit than to believe she couldn't outsmart a few battle droids.
But part of him still couldn't believe she had expected him to let her stick it out alone on this horrible ship. How could she be angry that he'd come for her? As if he would ever leave her to any danger. The secret of their marriage was hardly reason enough to let her fend for herself, against the likes of General Grievous no less. She may be a dab hand with her blaster, but this was no place for soft, beautiful Padmé.
They jumped from the platform and his own heart soared. Nothing could keep him away from her. Battle droids, destroyers, even Grievous himself. It didn't matter.
He was here now, and nothing could touch her.
You have to trust me.
That made her smile a little. Trust him? How ridiculous. She wondered if he had said it purely for Obi-Wan's benefit, or if he truly believed she needed that encouragement to make the leap. Of course not! Anakin was here. She was safe as she was in bed. . . perhaps even safer.
Her mouth twitched again, and she chided herself for having such thoughts in so dangerous a situation. But she couldn't help it. Even with the broken track racing up to meet her, she felt relaxed. Protected. One little leap, and she would be within those arms.
She jumped, and she didn't even need to close her eyes. They were locked in the hold of his piercing stare, brow furrowed in unbreakable concentration as he pulled her against the will of gravity and into his open arms. She felt no fear as she went, despite the unrelenting air resistance and metal screeching of the rail jets. The floor that sped past far below didn't even faze her.
He caught her flush against his body, all in the pretense of rescue of course, and she had to resist giving him the desperate kiss waiting on her lips. She settled for what hopefully passed as a friendly hug.
Trust him? Oh, he would pay for that later.
He could afford to be teasing now.
Having Padmé safe and tangible in his arms was a feeling incomparable to anything else in the galaxy. The agitation from earlier was long forgotten. As it always did, her presence enveloped him in an overwhelming peace; every sense was focused on her alone. Even Grievous seemed a mere trifle now.
He pressed his face into her hair, inhaling the sweet scent that could only be Padmé. Holding her like this made all the trouble seem almost worth it. Certainly he would have gone through much more challenging obstacles to secure her release. The worry and the uncertainty, though, was where he drew the line.
Obi-Wan called something from high above them, a flicker of annoyance amongst total content. As soon he as felt his master fade out of his senses, he gave her a proper hello in the little privacy the tunnel provided. Alone at long last.
There were still tasks to be done, but he found himself marveling at how the shape of her body fit so perfectly in his arms, and the feeling of her beating heart against his chest. His mind wandered away from the present situation: Three months was very long time for a man to be apart from his wife. He felt Padmé's fingers creep up his chest, and the glint in her eyes told him they were on the same page.
Yes, stop talking indeed.
A/N: Forgive any canon discrepancies; I really know very little of the EU, and most of my P/A knowledge is just from the prequels. I watch The Clone Wars mostly for pairing plot fodder. Reviews would be lovely - tell me your favorite section! (Mine was the second-to-last, based off the "trust me" line.)