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
Shall We Dance?
Disclaimer: All characters belong to the all mighty George Lucas. If I did own anything from Star Wars... I'd be married to Hayden. :-D
Summary: Trying to put a light hearted Padmé/Anakin romance, without the looming dark side, "hey Paddy I'm leaving you," stuff. So, voila, how about a nice fancy Theed Palace ball. Woo! So I tried to be as witty as I could with Anakin and Padmé, so expect a lot of silly humor and mushy stuff. Btw, this takes place within a year of their marriage. In my mind, no one really knows about their love yet, except a few people who Padmé mentions. Anyway, that done: please read on, and review if you please. Thanks for reading!!
Shall We Dance
"Padmé, you know we can't-"
"It will be fine Ani-"
"But what if someone recognizes me, I mean, I am wearing my Jedi robes and-"
"Then you'll have to take them off."
Anakin laughed as he paced back and forth in Padmé's bedchamber of her Coruscant apartment. "Oh, that'd do a whole lot of good. I'll just run around nak-"
"No that's no what I meant," Padmé answered with her own laughter, carefully laying dresses in her packing cases. "I meant I'll find something for you to wear."
"Shhh," she walked to him and placed a finger over his lips. "It will be fine. Besides," she said with a smile, "it's been so long since we've had a moment to ourselves. Don't you miss spending evenings alone?"
"You know I do, but..." he looked down at Padmé and rolled his misty blue eyes. Anakin kissed her forehead. "Oh alright. But I'm warning you, if we get caught it will be your fault."
"I know, I know." Padmé said, waving her hands in the air as she went back to packing. She carefully placed a black satin gown in the case and ran her fingers through all the clothes, counting to herself. "It is a Naboo royal gathering," she pointed out when she was done. "No one there will know you, except for Queen Jamillia and a few of her attendants, and the Queen already knows."
"And Sio Bibble?"
"Away with his wife. She has not been in the best of health."
"Panaka? Captain Typho? Dormé?"
Padmé looked up from her clothes and ran the names through her mind. "Captain Panaka will have no idea who you are as long as you don't say your name, Captain Typho was injured in the last battle, and you're crazy if you think that I haven't told Dormé yet."
Anakin chewed his lip. "Well, I guess it will be safe."
Padmé smiled with reassurance and started to walk to her vanity table. "It will be, I promise."
Smiling, he grabbed her from behind and wrapped his arms snugly around her waist. "So," he whispered in her ear. "If I'm wearing nothing, what does that mean you'll wear?"
Padmé burst out laughing and struggled in his grip. "You will be wearing clothes, and even if you weren't, it would never be appropriate for a senator to act in such manners," she said, raising her chin regally. "Even if it was her unruly husband."
"Unruly eh?" He quickly kissed the side of her neck several times and released her. "You're right, it would be inappropriate of you." A mischievous grin spread over his face and he raised his finger as if to make a point. "You know you could-"
"Don't even start," she said, forcing down a smile. "Obi-Wan is going to be here any moment to discuss your 'protection plans' for me, then where would you be?"
He slowly lowered his finger and nodded in agreement. "Good
"Padmé?" Anakin called down the hall of Padmé's small quarters in the Theed Palace, running his hand up and down his arm uncomfortably. "Are you almost ready?"
"Yes, I'm just finishing up!" was the answer.
Anakin sighed and paced up and down the hall again. Only an hour since they arrived and they still hadn't had any time to relax. He fidgeted under his new clothes. The gray silk shirt felt strange on his skin. It felt so...foreign as it slid over his body like water. He had never been dressed in such fine clothes. Even at other parties he had attended, he had simply worn his Jedi robes. After all, Jedi were not allowed to own such clothes.
He placed a hand on his hip unconsciously, running his sweaty fingertips over the red, silken belt, wrapped several times around his waist. A sudden flame of alarm raced his heart, as his fingers failed to meet the comforting metal of his lightsaber. Slowly he relaxed as he remembered. His utility belt was thrown over the chair in Padmé's room. She had refused to let him carry it around, although she did let him stuff his lightsaber down the back of his boot. Anakin let its comforting warmth seep into his leg and up into his body, calming his muscles.
Anakin relaxed slightly and took a deep breath. This was supposed to be a fun night, not a time for worrying. After all, it was the first time he had spent an evening with his wife in over five months. The thought of her dressed in her finery made him smile. With the Clone War raging around the galaxy, Padmé had had little time for such petty things as fashion and parties. As the War had lulled to an uncomfortable stalemate at the moment, she had relaxed a little. Just the thought of holding her in public, dancing with her to music...he sighed. It would be like their early days in marriage.
Whirling around, Anakin scolded himself for letting his senses down. He seemed to be letting her do that to him. He inwardly smiled at himself. She was his wife, after all.
However, Anakin's thoughts were halted as his eyes beheld the lovely woman before him. Padmé smiled bashfully and Anakin only smiled dumbly in return. She was beautiful. Her hair flowed gracefully down her back, simply adorned with a headband. A silky feather tuft finished her unusually plain hairstyle. Padmé smoothed out the skirt of her black dress, which fell fully to the floor, flaring out at the bottom. The back scooped loosely down to the small of her back where the material gathered softly. A sheer black material encircled her upper arms and tight leather bands highlighted her wrists.
Anakin let out his breath and shook his head. "Padmé, you look beautiful," he whispered, gently taking her into his arms.
Padmé smoothed out the material of his blouse and smiled gratefully up at him. "Thank you. You look very handsome as well."
He stared into her eyes a moment more before murmuring, "I love you," and letting her go.
Padmé looped her arm gracefully through his and leaned close. "I love you too."
Anakin smiled at the pressure of her head to his arm. "Now," she continued, as they started walking to the door, "how shall we present ourselves at the party?"
"Fiery, passionate, lovers?" Anakin asked hopefully with a cheeky grin.
She laughed despite herself. "Funny, Ani, but no."
He forced his smile away and thought seriously. "Can't I be courting you?"
Shaking her head reluctantly, she pushed a button on the wall and the door to her apartment opened. They stepped out into the glassy, marble hallway and she held his arm closer. "It would cause too much gossip. I don't want to draw attention to myself, let alone you."
"A friend from school?"
"I went to a girls school."
"Well blazes Padmé, haven't you had any contact with the opposite sex?"
"Of course I have," she said, defensively. "You remember Palo-"
"Oh not him. I can't be Palo, I don't have dreamy enough eyes," Anakin spat, jealousy dripping from his words.
"Oh hush," Padmé said, looking up into his eyes. "Your eyes are four hundred times more beautiful then Palo's. Besides, you are my husband, so what does my contact with other men matter?"
Anakin looked down at her and smiled once more. "Because I'm your overprotective, loving husband who wants to protect my lovely bride."
She merely rolled her eyes and nodded to a guard who walked by. "Thank you...I think."
Laughter escaped Anakin's lips and he quickly kissed the top of her feather-tufted head. "Your feathers tickle," he pointed out, wrinkling his nose.
"Don't change the subject."
"I was only saying-"
Padmé let out a laugh then playfully slapped his arm. "Fine, you'll be my lover."
"Thank you," Anakin said, holding his head high in an arrogant manner as he too nodded to another guard.
"But we're only so if someone asks, all right?"
"And if it's someone important, we're friends from school?"
Padmé nodded in defeat. "Yes, friends from my all girls school."
"Did I tell you how much I loved you today?" Anakin said, craning his neck to catch her eyes.
"Only four times already," Padmé answered, letting him kiss her on the lips briefly before the descended the stairs into the crowded lower floors of the palace.
Suddenly, Anakin cocked his head. "Wait a parsec."
"What's wrong?" she asked, worriedly placing a hand to her headpiece.
He lowered an eyebrow. "If you went to an all girls school...how did you meet Palo?"
Padmé smiled and bit her lip. "Did I say all girls?"
Anakin giggled like a boy. "Did you sneak to the boys important government school?"
"There was a boys and girls branch of the Legislative Youth Program, so what I told you was true." She smiled guiltily.
"The boys and girls school were located half way across Theed."
Anakin widened his eyes in mock surprise. "You mean, my ever so proper senatorial wife broke a rule?"
"I was twelve," she pointed out, defensively. "And I-"
Anakin silenced her as he entwined his fingers with hers. "The real life of Padmé Amidala-"
"Stop it," Padmé teased. "We're getting to the bottom of the stairs. Now, we have to be cool...composed." She raised an eyebrow. "Do you think you can handle it."
"My lady," Anakin said, looking forward and standing up strait, "I am a Jedi after all. Concealing my emotions is my specialty."
"Good," she said, giving his hand a squeeze. A few seconds later she added. "Of course, you don't have to be too reserved." Looking up at him she finished tentatively. "We are lovers...after all."
His smiled widened and Anakin nodded. "That we are, Padmé dearest."
She smiled back and barely noticed as the people began to come into view.
Anakin had never been so bored in all his life. People were crowded along every hallway, and in every room, sipping random drinks from shiny glass tumblers or talking about politics. Anakin leaned against the wall in the ballroom, staring across the way at Padmé, who was engaged in a very "interesting" conversation with two additional senators. At least, it seemed interesting...an hour and a half ago. Anakin forced himself to look away.
Some quiet night to themselves. Even if he could pull her away from politics for a moment, there'd be no where to go to be alone.
He sighed heavily and looked back at Padmé. Her laughter rose above the rest of the endless chatter and he smiled. She glowed when she laughed.
"Anakin Skywalker?" a heavily accented voice asked, jarring him out of his reverie.
Anakin turned to his right and smiled at the sight of Queen Jamillia. "Good evening your highness," he said, bowing low. "You look very beautiful this evening."
She smiled and placed a thankful hand on his arm. "Thank you very much." After a moment's pause she motioned towards the room. "Are you having a pleasant time?"
"Yes," Anakin nodded, forcing a smile. "The palace looks beautiful."
The Queen shook her heavily decorated head. "I'm not either. Besides being hot and weighted down in these horrid clothes, talking about politics for hours is depressing."
He burst out with a short laugh and led her to the refreshment table, where he poured her a glass of punch. "I can agree with you fully, your highness."
Smiling warmly, she looked over at Padmé. "She looks lovely tonight, doesn't she?"
He followed her gaze and shook his head. "What do you mean tonight?" Anakin said with a smile. "How can she not look beautiful."
The Queen looked back at him. "You love her very much, don't you?"
Nodding, Anakin took a sip of punch and kept his eyes on Padmé. "More than anything."
"More than your Jedi code, even?"
He quickly turned his head. Guild flooded his veins and he was reluctant to answer. "Yes," he said slowly, deciding the Queen deserved nothing less than the truth.
He was surprised when she smiled. "Do not feel guilty Anakin, your secret is safe with me. I promise."
"And I am grateful for that, your Highness. Thank you."
Queen Jamillia nodded and began walking away. "I believe it is time for some music, what do you say?"
He sighed. "Only if I can have the honor of the first dance."
"Ah, to cause some jealousy, I think?"
"Can't a gentleman ask the queen for a dance?"
She smiled knowingly. "Only if the gentleman's wife is ignoring him."
Anakin raised an eyebrow but she waved her hand and the band struck up a lively three step dance. Queen Jamillia walked back over to him and let him take one of her hands, and place the other on her waist.
"What do you wager she'll do when she sees you?" she asked in interest as they started to dance.
Shrugging, Anakin threw Padmé a glance. "Either she'll won't see me at all, or she will see me, and won't take her eyes off of us the whole dance." He smiled down at the queen. "Then she'll be mine for the rest of the night."
"Ah, but Master Jedi, you're using mind tricks. For I'm sure that you can see exactly what she will do."
"This is a fact your highness but, Jedi can only see what might be, not what will be."
Jamillia smiled again and looked over his shoulder.
"See anything?" he asked, hoping severely that Padmé had noticed them.
"She sees us," was the hushed answer.
"She is looking at you, seeming very guilty. Shall we stop?"
"Of course not," Anakin said as Jamillia looked up at him. With a sincere smile, Anakin added, "Who said this dance was to get the attention of my wife?"
"I am honored, master Jedi," the Queen said, wryly as the dance played on.
In a few minutes, the band stopped playing and Anakin and Jamillia stepped apart.
"I thank you, Anakin Skywalker," Queen Jamillia said, dipping in a curtsey. "It was a pleasure to dance with you."
"It was my pleasure, your highness."
"Now," she said, looking over Anakin's shoulder once again. "I deem it is time for you to dance with your wife."
Anakin nodded and the Queen walked away.
"Ani," a small voice said behind him.
He turned around slowly and felt inwardly relieved that Padmé stood before him. Her hands were clasped in front of her and she was frowning.
"Oh Ani, I'm so sorry," she said, stepping forward and quickly wrapping her arms around his waist. "I lost track of time, and didn't even think of how you were carrying on." Looking up at him, she spoke softly. "Please forgive me."
Anakin was unable to hold back a warm smile. "It's alright love," he said, cupping her face in his hands. "I had a pleasant conversation with the queen while you were away."
"But not for an hour and a half," she pointed out, placing one of her hands over his.
"True, but you apologizing makes up the remaining hour."
Padmé sighed and smiled as he pressed his forehead against hers. "Some romantic evening," she said dryly.
"We still have half the evening left," Anakin said, sliding his hands to her waist. Slowly, he started moving his feet to the song now being played, leading Padmé with him.
Padmé took one of his hands and placed the other on his shoulder. "And I promise that I won't talk politics any more."
"Why shouldn't you?" Anakin asked. "It is a party at the Naboo palace, the political center of your cause."
"Even so," she said, kissing him briefly on his lips, "I want to spend the rest of the night with my husband."
Anakin smiled and kissed her himself, lips lingering on hers a little longer than polite.
"Ani," Padmé said slowly, when he had pulled away. "Remember-"
"I know, I know. I just thought you needed that."
Padmé couldn't help but smile and she stepped closer to him as they danced, resting her head on his chest. Anakin took their hands and pulled them close, placing a kiss on her knuckles.
Who said politics wasn't romantic?
"The most beautiful thing you've ever seen?"
Padmé pursed her lips and looked up at the ceiling. "Hmm, that's difficult. I've seen so many things," she said, looking back at Anakin. "And what might you say my dear?"
He smiled at her and kissed the tip of her nose. "You."
She smiled sweetly as he pulled back and spun her under his arm at the queue in the music. When she twisted back into his arms she looked into his eyes. "Hardest thing you've ever had to do."
"Watch you unconscious at the bottom of the sand dune and know that I couldn't be by your side."
Padmé's expression softened and she placed a hand on the side of his face. "You really aren't kidding when you say you've thought of me every day since I met you."
"I'd never lie about anything like that," he said, holding her close.
"Alright," she said lightly, "one more question."
"You haven't answered the previous ones," Anakin pointed out with raised eyebrows.
"Oh all right," Padmé said with a sigh. "Most beautiful thing I've ever seen..." pausing she smiled at him. "The sunset at our wedding."
Anakin smiled and spun her again. "And the hardest thing?"
At that Padmé stood silent in his arms as they flew around the ballroom, surrounded by other dancers. After a moment of quiet thought she looked up at him with sparkling eyes. "Telling you I didn't love you."
Eyes brimming with tears, Anakin merely stared at Padmé as the music faded and they stopped dancing. Padmé smiled warmly in return and stood on tiptoe to kiss him on the lips. Anakin held her as long as he could before she pulled back and took his hand.
"Come," she said, leading him towards the wide open door to the terrace. "The moon is out."
He smiled and followed her obediently.
"Excuse me, my lady," a voice asked, breaking through the crowd and music.
Padmé stopped and turned to face the voice bearer. "Yes?"
The figure stepped from behind the shadow of Anakin and smiled at her. "Hello Padmé."
Her eyes widened and she let go of Anakin's hand, bringing them to her mouth. "Palo?"
Anakin turned abruptly to meet a set of icy eyes and dark, curly hair gathered at the nape of a man's neck. His heart twisted in his chest and he instantly felt a strong anger towards whoever this handsome young gentleman was.
"Ah, you remember me," he spoke, his silky voice stinging Anakin's ears with a sour echo.
"Of course!" she replied running to his open arms. "How could I forget you."
"How could I forget you," Anakin repeated in his head with distaste. "Why it's your dreamy eyes and dark curly hair!" he continued picturing Padmé's polite answer.
"I could never forget those eyes," she said as he kissed her cheek.
"Nor yours," Palo said, smiling. "What has it been, five years since we saw each other last?"
Anakin's eyes widened and his jaw dropped. She'd seen him since she was twelve?
"Six," she answered with a smile. "So what brings you back?"
He pointed behind him with his thumb. "New painting for the palace. Queen Jamillia tired of my old one."
"That was my commission," Padmé said with a laugh. "How could anyone tire of it? It was beautiful!"
"Not nearly as beautiful as you," he said, brushing some hair from her face.
Anakin's nerves boiled over and he quickly stepped to her side, wrapping a protective arm around he waist. Padmé gasped and instantly stepped away from Palo's touch. "I'm sorry Palo, I forgot to introduce Anakin. Anakin you recall Palo."
"Yes," Anakin said through clenched teeth.
"Anakin is my..." she paused and looked up at Anakin.
"Lover," he put in, quickly and firmly.
She frowned at him but turned quickly back to Palo when he said, "Ah, but it seems I am too late."
Padmé stepped away from Anakin's grasp. "Not nearly. May I have this dance Palo?" she asked, glaring at Anakin.
"Why," Palo looked at Anakin and shrugged, "of course."
Anakin lowered his eyebrows and considered drawing his lightsaber and striking "dear beautiful Palo," down with it.
"Wonderful," Padmé said with a smile. "Now, if you'll please give me just a minute, I need to speak with Anakin."
"Of course my lady," Palo said, bowing gracefully as she pulled Anakin by the arm to a nearby pillar.
Anakin began to point to Palo but Padmé slapped his arm down.
"That was extremely rude Anakin," she scolded.
"It's Palo," Anakin said, leaning down to look here in the eye. "We were just talking about him earlier this evening. You said he didn't matter!"
"I said my past relationships didn't matter, not the people. Palo and I were very good friends. We were only teenagers!"
"And you're now a woman, Padmé. You're my wife and I will not allow you to spend time with him. Not when this night was supposed to be for you and I." His expression softened and placed a hand on her arm but she shrugged it off. "It's not just him...it's just. You already ignored me this evening, don't do it again. Especially for that...prince with the dreamy eyes, waiting for you over there."
Padmé took a step back. "He's no prince, and you're no comparison," she spat, taking another step away from him. "I may be a woman, and your wife Anakin," Padmé added, the volume of her voice softening, "but you're still a boy." With that she turned abruptly and walked swiftly towards Palo who waited on the edge of the dance floor.
Swallowing hard, Anakin watched painfully as Padmé took his hand and led him into the crowd away from view. Tears of hurt and anger welled up in his eyes and he ran out onto the adjacent terrace. It was empty except for a few scattered guards and he ran to the railing. The night was clear and sprinkled with stars. The moon loomed overhead, nearly full.
Anakin stared hard at the moon, trying to convince himself that it was only his jealousy that was driving him mad. That it wasn't her fault...
But it was Palo!
He saw, as well as anyone, how she took his hand and embraced him, and spoke of his eyes. Those stupid eyes. Anakin clenched his teeth and looked away, down at the roaring waterfall only 20 feet below.
Romantic evening indeed.
"Why master Anakin," a familiar voice wavered in the night air. "I thought I solved all your problems but an hour ago?"
Anakin closed his eyes, not in the mood for jokes, by any means.
Queen Jamillia took a step further out onto the terrace. "Anakin? Are you alright?"
"Why did Palo have to paint the picture for the throne room?" he asked abruptly, turning around in a rush.
The queen to a step back. "I beg your pardon?"
"Palo...you know, dark, curly hair, and dreamy eyes?"
The queen pursed her lips as she ran the description through her head. "I'm sorry?"
"The painting, in the throne room?"
"Yes," she said, as he gestured into the palace. "It was horrid, I wanted another."
"And you hired Palo."
Jamillia shrugged. "I know not who I hired. Why do you ask?"
Anakin covered his eyes and shook his head in frustration. "It's nothing."
"Who is he? A long lost lover of Padmé's?" she asked with a laugh.
Looking up, Anakin nodded slowly.
The queen bit her tongue. "I apologize." After a moment's pause she asked cautiously, "How do you know of this...Palo?"
He sat down on the edge of the railing. "A year ago, when I was her bodyguard. We were up in the lake country, after visiting you. We were having a picnic up in the shaak fields and asking random questions. Favorite food, fondest memory, worst fear. You know, to get to know each other again." He paused and looked at his feet unconsciously. "We were doing that tonight too."
Jamillia blinked a few times and walked to his side. Leaning casually against the railing. "What did you ask her, in the shaak fields?"
Anakin looked up, speaking in a slow and dreamy voice. "Her first love."
The queen looked down, understanding instantly who Palo was.
"It's been a joke between us. You know, 'I bet Palo would have done it,' or 'Well I'm sure he was more handsome.' I never thought...never foresaw his presence in her life again."
"If I had only known. I would have reviewed the invitations more properly."
"Oh, your highness," Anakin said with a sigh. "Please, it is not your fault. Nor Padmé's, or mine..." he looked away. "At least, not my fault he attended the ball."
"Did you say something to her? Something that offended her?"
He shrugged. "Not directly, that I recall. I was just upset at her actions towards him. Manners or no manners, I'm her husband, and we came here to be together." Anakin looked at his feet again. "She called me a boy."
Jamillia looked down again. "She did." Placing a hand on his arm she spoke soft, comforting words. "The thoughts of a man, and the thoughts of a woman are two entirely different things, Anakin."
Looking up in interest, he caught her gaze.
"Women," she said with a thoughtful sigh, "are very quick at taking offense. Men," she said, looking at him once more, "are very quick at making judgments."
Anakin tried to hide a smile. "So I suppose it was both our faults."
The queen bowed her head in indifference. "And possibly Palo's. If he knew you were the Senator's lover, he would have asked you for permission to dance with Padmé. That is, if he knew proper Naboo etiquette. So in a way, Palo was not making it any easier for you or your wife."
Anakin raised his eyes to look inside the ballroom. he saw glimpses of Padmé's feather tufted head and fought the silent urge to steal her from Palo's arms. He merely looked down again and shook his head. She was already upset at him, and breaking more rules would not make things better.
"What shall I do?" he asked quietly, gazing inside once again.
Jamillia followed Anakin's eyes and looked thoughtfully at Padmé. "She loves you as much as you love her, you know," she said, instead of offering an answer. "You should know that her faithfulness is not an issue."
Anakin opened his mouth to object but the queen stood up and motioned for him to remain silent. Anakin stood up as well and bowed as she prepared to leave the terrace.
"However," she said with a nod, "Padmé knows you love her very much as well, and she should also see your reasons." Jamillia smiled. "I believe both of you have been absent from these affairs, and each other, for so long that you have forgotten what it feels like. You have forgotten how to sacrifice for moments of happiness for the other." She began to back away. "Let her have her dance. I'm sure she isn't enjoying it nearly as much as you think."
Slowly, the Queen of Naboo turned and walked inside the palace, leaving Anakin alone on the terrace. He took a deep breath and looked up at the stars again. Sacrifices, he thought. Like the Jedi order, her honor, and mine, our time to ourselves. Our lives. He smiled. "How I love her," he whispered to himself.
He stood up and walked inside, brushing by circles of people talking. He neared the entrance to the stairway, but turned around. The Queen was standing near the doorway and excused herself from a conversation.
"Master Anakin," she called softly.
"Yes, your highness?"
"That day, in the shaak fields, you asked for her first love."
"Yes," he nodded, glancing at Padmé again.
"Did you answer?"
Anakin shook his head.
"What would you have said?"
He looked back at the queen and smiled. "Her."
Queen Jamillia smiled and nodded her head slightly. "Well, goodnight Anakin. Thank you for attending the party."
Anakin bowed and kissed her hand politely. "It was my pleasure your highness. Enjoy the rest of your night."
"I shall try," she said with a laugh.
Anakin quickly turned and jogged up the stairs. He would just have to spend the
rest of the evening alone. That is, if the queen was wrong.
Within five minutes Anakin heard the door slide open to Padmé's apartment. The gentle clicking of her shoes echoed off the stone floor and he smiled to himself. The queen was a wise woman, indeed.
"Ani!" she called into the seemingly empty apartment. "Ani, please be here! Oh Anakin," she cried once again.
Anakin's eyes widened and he stood from the chair in her study. She sounded close to tears. He ran out the door and into the sitting room where she stood, skirts in her hands as if she'd been running.
"Oh Ani!" she cried, running to him and throwing her arms around his neck. "I thought you'd left!"
"Left?" he asked, holding her tight against him. "Why would I leave?"
"You were so angry when I went to dance. Oh, it was so stupid of me, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean anything I said. You're far better than Palo. I've never told you how much better you are, and I will, reason by reason if you want. And you're not a boy, by any means. You are a prince, I've always seen you that way. Oh Anakin, you're not a boy," she said, tears falling from her cheeks and onto his shoulder.
Anakin ran his hand down the back of her head. "Oh Padmé," he sighed, lump in his throat. "Please, don't cry. I was jealous, and hurt that you didn't want to dance with me. I was being childish, and I'm sorry."
"No," she said, through her tears, but Anakin lifted her chin and nodded.
"Yes," he whispered. "I'm sorry. Please, let us not dwell on this silly evening."
Padmé nodded and wrapped her arms around him again. "It would have been better if we'd spent a quiet evening here instead. Here I've wasted your entire night with my silly antics." She looked up at him and shook her head. "I've been a horrid wife."
Anakin merely laughed and shook his head in return. "I've been a bad husband."
Padmé stepped back in surprise at his words. "What did the Queen say to you?" Padmé asked with a grin. "You seem a changed man."
He cocked his head. "How did you know?"
She smiled coyly. "As if I could keep my mind off anyone but you during that horrid long dance."
He laughed again and leaned close. "I'll tell you some time when you're angry with me."
Padmé giggled and leaned closer. "I'd like that."
"I bet you would," he said in a whisper, lips brushing against hers.
"Mmm," she sighed and tilted her head so he could kiss her. She slid her hands up his shoulders to his neck where she entwined her fingers in his hair. It's nice, Anakin thought to himself, how we can make up by kissing.
They pulled apart reluctantly and Padmé frowned. "We lost our entire romantic night out," she said, sadly.
Anakin looked behind them to the open bedroom door and raised and eyebrow. "Well, you know, we do have this lovely place to ourselves."
Padmé turned her head and gave him a sidelong glance. "No people."
"No politics," she added with a smile.
"And no Palo," Anakin said.
"Can I ask you a question?" Padmé said, running her fingers along the neckline of his blouse.
"Anything, my darling," he said in a low, whispery voice.
She smiled as she chewed the corner of her lip. "Say I didn't have anything for you to wear tonight, and you weren't allowed to wear your Jedi robes. What would have happened?"
"Well, I believe I already told you what I would do," Anakin said, as they backed towards the bedroom.
"And I?" she asked, raising her eyebrows as Anakin trailed kisses down her cheek and neck. "What if my baggage was lost on our flight to Naboo. What shall I have done?"
"Oh but love, a senator should surely not act in that way," he said, lifting his head.
"Then who says we would have to go to the ball," Padmé asked as they crossed the threshold into the bedroom.
Anakin pressed the button and the door closed. "Well then, I'd say we'd have the whole evening to ourselves."
Padmé traced a finger down his jawline. "Let's pretend it happened, shall we?"
He smiled wickedly and said, "Let's," before covering her lips with his.
Padmé pushed them backward onto the bed and broke the kiss. "I have one question."
Anakin groaned. "What?"
"That day, when I first told you about Palo?"
This question seemed strangely familiar. "Yes," he said slowly.
"You asked me who my first love was."
She leaned close and kissed the edge of his ear. "Who was yours?" she whispered.
Anakin smiled and ran a finger down the line of her neck to her shoulder and down her arm. "It was you," he said.
Padmé lifted her head and looked at him. "Me?"
"It's always been you."
She smiled and was about to say something but Anakin's hand slid up her neck to
cradle the back of her head, and he pulled her down for another kiss. "It
will always be you," he added before they slipped deeper into their
romantic evening, finally alone.
Anakin awoke the next morning full of nothing more than complete happiness. It swallowed him completely as he lay comfortably in the sheets and he sank deeper into his pillow. Last night, despite the politics and the infamous Palo, had been amazing. He smiled to himself and couldn't help but run last night over in his head.
A small sigh escaped his lips and he turned over, expecting to find Padmé sleeping soundly beside him, as always. To his surprise her side of the bed was empty, littered only by the indentation of her body on the mattress. Disappointment slowly filled his veins and the thoughts he had gained a few minutes ago slithered out of his head, useless now that she was gone.
He sat up in bed and stretched his arms over his head. When he finished he sat glumly in bed, feeling ignored...again. A slight clatter in the next room caught his attention and he absently reached out with the force to feel what it was. He cocked his head as his feelings told him of only one person filled with so much warmth and light.
"Padmé?" he asked, hoarsely calling though the apartment.
There was no answer and Anakin shrugged as he slowly stood out of bed. He pulled his heavy Jedi trousers on and ran his fingers sleepily though his tousled, sandy hair. He stepped quietly over the smooth stone floor and left their bedroom, following his ears to where the noise was coming from.
His intuition correct, he was lead to the kitchen where Padmé was bent over a bowl, mixing something with a utensil. Anakin smiled and leaned against the counter at the entrance to the room. "And what, may I ask, dear wife, are you doing out of bed."
Padmé gasped but held firmly to the bowl in her hands. "Oh Anakin," she sighed, a smile forming over her lips. "Don't scare me like that!"
Anakin stepped closer to her and stared curiously at what she was making. "You didn't answer my question," he prompted looking into the bowl.
"I am," she started, pulling whatever she was making away from his wandering eyes, "Getting a picnic ready for us." Padmé flashed him a smile and began stirring again.
"A picnic?" he asked, sounding astonished.
"I thought we deserved a whole day to ourselves, since last night was a disaster," she said, keeping her eyes on the bowl.
"Not in my books," Anakin said out loud to himself.
However, Padmé heard him and raised an eyebrow. "Technically that was today, husband dearest," she added with a sarcastic flourish.
Standing up from his perch near the counter, he stepped behind Padmé and wrapped his arms snugly around her waist. He kissed her provocatively on the back of her head and then the side of her neck, covered partially by her curly hair. "Can't the cooking wait?" he asked, pleadingly.
She giggled and leaned back against him. "No."
"I'm already up and dressed."
"In your night gown..."
"Which is an improvement from how I woke up this morning," she finished with a laugh.
"You're impossible," he sighed against her hair, letting her go. He placed one final kiss on the top of her curly head before stepping away. "But," he added raising a finger, "Being the perfect husband that I am, I will grant your wish for privacy and let you to our picnic."
"Perfect?" she asked in surprise, placing the bowl on the counter and turning to face him.
"A prince, I believe," Anakin reminded her, crossing his arms.
"Ah yes," Padmé said, stepping towards him, crossing her arms in return, "I remember now." She neared him and slid her arms around his waist. "You're my prince aren't you?"
Anakin smiled and leaned down to press his nose against hers. "Mmm."
Padmé wrinkled her nose and rubbed it against Anakin's. "My prince," she repeated in a dreamy manner as Anakin lowered his lips over hers, wrapping his own arms around her. He could feel her fit into the mold of his arms, as if they were destined to fit together like this.
Slowly, Padmé pulled back, their lips separating. "Well, prince," she started, a toying smile on her lips, "I have to finish cooking."
Anakin dropped his jaw in a rejected fashion.
"Don't stand there sulking," she said, focusing on her cooking once more. "Go get dressed in something light, it will be warm out there today."
"But Padmé, you know I don't have anythi-"
"Don't start that again please." Padmé smiled at him. "You remember very well where that got us last night. I'll find something for you in a moment. I just have to finish this sweet loaf."
Anakin sighed in defeat. "Well, can I help then?" he asked hopefully, wanting more than anything to be with his wife at the moment.
Smiling gratefully, Padmé pointed to the picnic basket on the table across the room. "Be a dear and back what I've all ready made into the basket."
He placed a swift kiss to her neck and began packing the basket, hoping beyond
belief that no one got in their way today.
The warm Naboo sunshine seemed to make the fields sparkle that day. As always, Anakin was in a state of disbelief at the beauty of Padmé's beloved home. Why anyone would leave its comforting shelter for a job, he would never know.
"Over here Ani!" he heard Padmé shout, from a few meters off. She waved to him from under a huge tree, it's shade covering a large portion of grass and wildflowers.
Anakin hurried to her, eager to spend a quiet, romantic afternoon with his love. As he neared the tree, Padmé sank slowly to the ground, spreading her pale lavender dress evenly around her ankles. Her hair spilled over her bare shoulders in its natural tendrils and the sunlight lit up her smiling face.
Letting out a short laugh, Anakin began emptying the basket. "Are you situated now?" he asked, a playful smile still littering his lips.
She looked up from tiding her skirt and hurriedly pulled her hands away. "It's a habit. Besides," she added with a laugh, "you never know who will show up."
He rolled his eyes as he closed the picnic basket. "Please don't say that. Knowing your luck with the future, he will." Anakin settled himself comfortably beside Padmé and handed her a fruit.
"You speak of a he?" she asked, taking the fruit and resting her chin on his shoulder curiously. "If it is the he I recall your distaste for, fear not, he is on his way back to his own city."
"Far away?" Anakin asked cautiously.
"Further than you can imagine," she assured him, kissing his cheek before taking a bite of the soft, spongy fruit.
"I don't know, I can imagine pretty far."
Padmé merely laughed and handed him his own fruit, urging him to push she subject aside. Anakin laughed to himself and lay down on the grass. Padmé followed suit and lay on her stomach beside him. "So tell me, oh perfect husband," she asked, running a finger over the soft material of his tunic.
"You may not have loved any other girls, but I'm sure you were at least attracted to a few, weren't you?"
"Nope," was the simple reply.
"Oh come on!"
Anakin shook his head and took a bite out of the pickled shaak tongue he now held in his hands.
"I told you!" Padmé pleaded, jutting forth her lower lip.
Laughing in amusement, Anakin lifted his hand and pushed her lip back into place with his finger. "Don't even try it with the lips thing." After a moment he looked back at her. "You've never done that," he noted curiously.
"There's nothing to tell!" he cried, lifting his hands over his head, shaak tongue and all. "Every time I saw a girl all I thought of was how she was no comparison to Padmé Amidala, queen of Naboo."
"No you didn't," she said, lowering her eyebrows.
"Yes I did."
"You may be a Jedi, but you're also a man, and have the same hormones as anyone else. Come on, at least tell me of the girls you met on your travels. You're favorite ones."
"My favorites?" Anakin asked with a laugh. 'You make them sound like a child's dolls."
"I don't care. Tell me, come on, I have to know someone to look out for."
"Well, if it's looking out for, I'd best tell you about Princess Carmina."
Padmé lifted herself and took a piece of sweet loaf. "Ooh," she said, mocking excitement as she lay back down and stared intently into icy blue eyes. "Do continue."
Anakin laughed. "She was princess of Corellia, Obi-Wan and I went there just a few months before we met you in Coruscant last year." He shrugged. "Very snooty, spoiled-"
"Beautiful?" Padmé added, hopefully.
He shrugged. "I guess. She had blonde hair, blue eyes, you know, the usual princess-like qualities."
An astonished laugh escaped her lips as she gawked at his last statement. "The usual princess qualities? What about the usual Queen qualities, what of them?"
"We're getting off topic," he noted, placing a finger over her lips and winking.
With a roll of her eyes, Padmé urged him on and took another piece of sweet loaf.
"Well, we had been assigned to settle some arguments involving her mother's treatments of the produce farmers. I guess her family wasn't known for nobility and the farmers refused to supply produce to such ungrateful employers." He waved a hand and continued, "It's a long story, but it's not important. The princess offered immediately to show me around the palace, deliberately ignoring Obi-Wan, which of course made him very jealous."
"She was extremely...forward, I guess you could say."
Her eyes widened. "She didn't...you know...make any moves on you. Did she?"
Anakin shrugged and looked into the sky, obviously amused with himself.
"Did she!" she repeated, pushing his shoulder.
Anakin rolled over on his back as she did so and shook his head. "No, nothing happened. She just wouldn't leave me alone the whole time we were there. It was like I had this shadow." He shuddered. "It was actually sort of creepy."
"Did you play tricks on her?" Padmé asked, eagerly. "You know...mess with her mind? Make her like Obi-Wan instead, or levitate her food."
The two exchanged a glance at her comment and smiled warmly at the memory of their sunset supper. "No," he said finally. "I should have though. Obi-Wan would have enjoyed himself, no matter what he says now."
Padmé laughed again and handed Anakin a flask of liquid. "Well, I don't think I'll have to worry about her."
He sat up and took a small sip from the flask. "Oh really?"
Shrugging she followed suit. "I think I could defeat her easily."
"In what, pray tell?" Anakin asked, an amused look in his eyes. "A debate?"
"No!" she cried, defensively. "Although, I probably could. But I mean physical activities."
"Oh," he said with a nod. "You mean like battles on desert planets and running through your own palace with a gun. Yes, I'm sure you'd have her beat in one round, love."
"Oh you!" Padmé laughed, pushing him onto his back again and pressing her fingers to his sides, peals of laughter escaping from each. Anakin quickly grabbed her wrists and halted her tickling.
"Besides," he added as she struggled in his arms. "With all her princess-like endowments, I doubt she could have ran that well." He opened his mouth with a howling laugh and Padmé slapped him playfully on his arm.
"You are awful Ani, simply horrible!"
He clutched his sides with laughter and nodded. "I am," he managed finally. "I am, yes I know."
Finally Padmé collapsed onto his chest with her own laughter. Anakin slid his arms around her and held her tight. "Well, I find Padmé-like qualities much more appealing," he said, kissing Padmé on the top of her head. "They're far better than Princess Carmina's."
"Well, I should certainly hope so," she said back, looking up at him. "Because this Padmé loves you very much."
Anakin smiled at her and ran a finger down her face. "And so does this Anakin," he said before she kissed him softly on the lips.
When she pulled away he was smiling and he slowly pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. "We should have picnics more often," Anakin said as they sat up, still entwined in each other's arms.
"We should spend more quiet time alone," Padmé said leaning against his chest. "I can't imagine why I wanted to go to that party at the palace anyway."
"So we could remember why we never go to those things."
She laughed and buried her face in his tunic. "Of course, silly me."
Anakin looked down at her and could not help but feel like the happiest man in the universe. To be in love was a wondrous feeling in itself. But to be loved by someone in return, despite flaws or obstacles, was the most amazing feeling he had ever felt. He could spend countless hours just staring into her eyes or watching her sleep, and he would never get bored. Even now, as the soft breeze blew her hair against his chest, and as the sun filtered through the branches above them to give her skin a golden glow, he would be content to stay here forever.
Padmé sighed against him and held him tighter. As if she read his thoughts she said, "Let's live here forever, shall we?" She closed her eyes. "Let the universe have its conflicts and wars. Let the Jedi have their Order and the Senate have their debates. All I want is you."
His heart thumped in his chest and he throat tightened into a knot. He wrapped his arms tightly around her and rested his cheek against her hair. "I love you," he whispered into her hair. "Gods only know how much, Padmé."
"No," she whispered back, lifting her head so their faces were touching. "I do."
Anakin let the tears fall down his cheeks as they sat there in the fields under their tree. And it was Padmé who comforted him, who made him smile and laugh, who took away his pain and suffering. It was always Padmé.
He didn't remember how long they sat there under the tree. All he remembered was the soft beating of their hearts together, and the weight of her head on his chest. They watched the sun sink into the hills, filling the sky with endless threads of colors. The fields were tinted with oranges and pinks and Padmé lifted her finger to point to shapes in the clouds.
But Anakin didn't care about the clouds. He didn't care about the sunset, or the
stillness of the air, or even the quiet of the evening. All her cared about was
his love, who sat willingly in his arms, loving him to his fullest, and
sacrificing everything...just for him.
"Hey Padmé," Anakin asked, eyes fixated on the planet looming before them as the Naboo cruiser slid out of hyperspace.
Padmé flipped a switch and turned to look at her husband who sat in the pilot's chair beside her. "Yes?"
"You don't really have to go back to work until tomorrow, right?"
She shrugged. "Not really. I could go back today if I needed to, but I suppose one more evening can't hurt. Why? What do you have in mind?" she asked, an eager smile on her face.
Anakin looked briefly over at her from his seat flashed her his usual cheeky grin. "We'll keep that a surprise until I land."
"What?" Padmé laughed. "You can't drop something like that and expect me to wait for an answer. What is it Ani?"
Anakin laughed as well and turned back to the traffic lanes of Coruscant. "I can't tell you until my mind is completely open, and right now there's traffic into Coruscant, so you'll have to wait for ten cycles or so."
Sighing in annoyance Padmé shook her head and switched the boosters off. "I don't know why I put up with your games."
"Because you love me," Anakin remarked in a high pitched, mocking tone.
They both laughed and sat back as their decent into the heavily populated planet
"All right Anakin," Padmé said, stepping onto the landing platform and crossing her arms. "We're stopped, your mind is completely open, and the traffic has cleared. What's your plan for our last night."
Anakin dropped her bags beside his feet and handed Padmé her cloak.
She hurriedly wrapped it around her shoulders and took his hands in hers. "Why must you torture me so?" she asked, bouncing on the balls of her feet. "You have me all excited, I want to know."
"Hold on a parsec," Anakin said, pulling on his own cloak. "Let me get situated." Finally, when his cloak was comfortably resting over his shoulders he stepped close to her and smiled once more. "I say, we go to one of those wild dance clubs."
Padmé's eyes widened. "In the bowels of Coruscant? Are you joking?"
"We can't go there, you know that. We'd both get pulverized."
"Which is why we dress up," Anakin said, leaning close and looking into her eyes. "It will be fun."
"For whom?" she asked dryly.
He stood up strait, upset she didn't like his idea. "I thought you'd think it was fun. We could do something unlike we've ever done. No one will know where we are."
"That's what worries me," Padmé said, picking up a bag and motioning towards the taxi that pulled up on the side of the platform. "What if something happens. No one will ever find us."
"And that's a bad thing?"
She looked over her shoulder and frowned. "It's not funny, Anakin. As a senator, I cannot openly attend one of those...filthy places. If someone found out who I was they could pull some insane stunt and injure us both."
"You know I won't let anything like that happen to you," he said, as they slid inside the taxi.
"The Senate Apartment Complex, building ten please," Padmé said to the driver as they flew off into the crowded traffic lanes. "I know Ani," she spoke again, this time to her husband. She leaned to her side and rested her head on his shoulder. "I know most of the scenarios in my head won't happen, I just don't like to think about what will happen if they do."
Sighing, Anakin nodded and looked out the window. "So what do we do then," he asked, glumly.
Padmé lifted her head and tried to catch his eye. "Were you really that set in the idea?"
He turned back to her with a shrug. "I just wanted to have some fun. But I understand fully why you don't want to go, really I do. You're right anyway...as usual." He forced a smile and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "It's fine, we'll just have a quiet dinner at home."
Padmé looked down and nodded slowly. "Yes," she said, resting her head
against his arm again.
Later that evening Anakin sat in the sitting room of Padmé's blue apartment, skimming through a news chip on her holo pad. "Hey Padmé, they found that guy who's been vandalizing all the taxis here," he called into her bedchamber.
There was no answer and Anakin shook his head, eyes scanning over the headlines again. She'd been acting strangely since they returned home. Perhaps the call of politics was getting to her again, automatically pushing him out of priority. They had spent such a lovely day together yesterday...couldn't they have a fun evening tonight as well?
"Anakin?" he heard Padmé call from down the hall. He lifted his head attentively. "Come here for a second, I need an opinion on something."
Anakin placed the holo pad on the table in front of him and walked to her bedchamber. He peered his head around the doorframe and raised an eyebrow. "Padmé? Where are you?"
Suddenly his eyes widened in shock as she walked out of the closet. She placed her black, gloved hands on her waist and walked in a small circle.
"What do you think?" she asked with a seductive smile.
Anakin swallowed in surprise and shook his head. "What are you wearing?"
Padmé ran her hands down the sides of her tight, red dress, and shrugged. "We are going dancing, aren't we?"
He couldn't help but smile wide at her remark and feel completely stupid for ever feeling angry. "I wasn't sure," he remarked cautiously. "I thought it was too dangerous."
Waving an arm, Padmé walked over too him and placed her hands around his neck. "Dangerous shmangerous," she said as Anakin wrapped his arms around his scandalously dressed wife. "I'll chance it as long as I have my protector with me."
"With an outfit like that," Anakin said, eyeing her tiny dress, compared to her others, mounded with fabric, "you might need more protecting than I thought."
Self-consciously, Padmé stepped back and looked down at herself. "Isn't it appropriate? I thought everyone down there dressed like this at night."
He ran his eyes down the length, or lack of length, of her bright red, skintight, knee length dress. The sloping neckline and short length revealed more skin than Anakin had ever seen of her fully dressed, he thought with a slight blush. Her hair was pulled tightly into an elaborate up-do atop her heavily made-up face. She stood nearly five centimeters taller than usual with the black, mynock wing hide boots she wore.
"They do," he finally said, finding his breath ragged in his throat. Chuckling slightly he shook his head. "I just barely recognize you in all that."
Padmé smiled and clasped her hands together. "So this outfit is suitable?"
Anakin nodded, eyes unable to leave her frame. "For the club...but I'm not so sure I want you walking around the underbelly of this planet dressed like that."
She laughed and took his hand. "Oh don't get all protective again. Come on, we'll get you dressed too."
"Not like that you won't," he pleaded before getting pulled
into the closet.
"There," Padmé said, clasping the collar of his equally tight fitting shirt. "What do you think?"
Anakin twisted his head uncomfortably and pulled at the collar. "Are you sure it has to be this tight?"
"I don't know, you're the one who's been down there last. Don't you remember?"
"Last time I went to a club I was looking for the bounty hunter who was trying to kill you. As if I could focus on everyone's outfits," he said, looking down into her eyes.
She smiled and ran her hands down his defined shoulders, now surrounded by a dark navy fabric and highlighted with wisps of silver. "Well, this time you can." Padmé kissed his cheek and stepped out of the closet.
Anakin shook his head and followed her out. "Don't count on it," he said to himself, doubting the sanity of his original idea.
"You'll have to wear your Jedi boots," Padmé said, handing him his worn, leather shoes. "I'm afraid I left your other nice ones in Naboo."
He sat on the bed and began slipping them onto his feet, pulling them over the satin pants she had found for him. He always wondered where she found these clothes, and why she had them in the first place, but he avoided the question. When he finished he watched as Padmé walked in and out of the bathroom, digging through cupboards, and in tiny boxes on her vanity. When she was finally done she pulled the cord on her small purse and looped it snugly around the wrist.
"There, I'm ready. Do you have everything you need?"
Anakin patted the side of his pants where his lightsaber was stuffed into a pocket.
Padmé walked to him and slid her arms around his waist. "Are you alright Ani? You look upset."
"No, I'm not upset. I'm just unsure if this really was a good idea." He placed his hands on the side of her face. "I'm really going to have to hold you by the hand tonight, love," he remarked in a lighter tone. "Someone will steal you right from me if I'm not careful."
"So I suppose that's a compliment, then?" she asked with a laugh.
"For my stunning wife," Anakin answered, kissing her briefly on the lips. When he pulled away he looked her in the eye. "You're sure you want to do this, because I'm not so sure anymore?"
"I'm positive. We'll keep a low profile and enjoy our night."
"Our last night," he pointed out, glumly.
"Only our last night to go out. We're both home for a few weeks, aren't we?"
"As long as General Ackbar doesn't call the Jedi to the front again."
Padmé nodded slowly, eyes still locked on his. "Well, then let us hope."
"Yes, hope that this war ends soon so we can go dancing every night," he remarked with a smile.
Laughing, Padmé took one of his hands and led him towards the door. "Come, if we go earlier we'll miss the rowdy crowd."
"Is there a difference?"
"Oh hush, come on."
"The Outlander's Club," Padmé asked, half a full cycle later as they stood outside the brightly lit entrance. Her finger was pointed questionably at the sign above her. "Are you sure?"
"It's where Obi-Wan and I chased the changeling," Anakin said with a shrug. "It seemed nice enough. It's the only club I know exactly."
She bit her lip and looked skeptically inside. "Well, if you're sure."
Anakin stepped beside her and wrapped a protective arm around her waist, holding her close against him. "Don't worry, I won't let you out of my sight."
"Oh, now I feel really safe," she joked, leaning to him as they walked inside.
"I'm only joking my wonderfully protective, Jedi husband."
He placed a gentle finger over her lips. "Shh...no Jedi tonight. People down here are jumpy at those sorts of titles. I don't want anyone to recognize me."
Padmé nodded and looked around at all the barely dressed women and the overdressed males. The music blasted loud in their ears, as well as the many alien tongues shouted above the noisy clatter.
The holo screens were still covered in popular holo-games and Anakin felt an urge to try the pod racing game.
"Look Ani," she said, pointing to the same screen. "Podracing. Are those holo-games? Oh, you should try it! I want to try it!"
Laughing at her surprised outburst, Anakin led her to the bar. "Do you want a drink?" he asked as they both sat on a stool.
Padmé shook her head. "Not just yet."
He nodded to the bartender and pointed to a bottle of light green liquid. Soon he had a medium sized glass of Jawa wine in his hand. Padmé took one sip and her face twisted with distaste.
"It's horribly bitter!" she said, swallowing it down. "What is it?"
"Jawa wine," he laughed, taking another sip. "I guess it's an acquired taste. Obi-Wan and I drank it all the time on our travels and it's basically the only drink I really like."
Padmé cringed again as he took another swig. Just then a lively song began echoing off the durasteel walls of the club and her eyes lit up. "Oh, I've heard this song on the music chips!" She took Anakin's glass of wine and placed it on the bar. "Come, let's go dance."
"To this?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. "It's so fast, I don't think I've had lessons in this step dance."
Padmé laughed. "You'd think I'd know less about dancing. Ani, this isn't 'step dancing'." She pointed to the dance floor were various humans and creatures were dancing in a slightly obscene, and very close fashion.
Anakin's eyes widened. "Dance like that?" he said, as she pulled him off his seat. "You want to dance like that? Wait a minute. You know how to dance like that?"
"It isn't a matter of knowledge, it's just a matter of, I don't know, attitude."
Anakin let out a chuckle. "Attitude?"
"Oh come on," she said as they reached the crowded dance floor. "Afraid to dance with me my love?"
"Afraid, no, embarrassed, yes."
"Embarrassed? What's to be embarrassed about, it's only me!"
He nodded, "And the entire night life of Coruscant."
"And they matter because?"
Anakin blinked and shrugged his shoulders. "Because..."
"Because they're far more important people than you and I, and we should pay heed to them?"
He laughed and she only smiled wider. "Just move how your heart tells you." Still he glanced nervously around. Padmé took his face in her hands and fixed his eyes on hers. "It's only me love, and I could care less how well you dance. All I want is to be here with you and have fun." She pulled their faces close and pressed her forehead against his.
Slowly Padmé started to move to the beat of the song, twisting her legs and hips, the movement slithering up her entire body. Anakin could feel her body touch his every now and then as he tried desperately to mimic her moves. Padmé simply smiled at him, happy that he was even trying.
Soon they had both slipped into a comfortable rhythm and Anakin practically forgot about the others around him, except when one of them would bump into his arm. After a few fast songs, a softer, more romantic song filtered through the sound projectors and Anakin let out a large sigh.
"Finally," he said, taking Padmé's hand and placing the other on her waist.
She only giggled and looked up at him. "I'm surprised, Ani."
"Surprised that I seem to know more about modern dance than you do."
Padmé lifted his hand from her and placed it on her waist. "Dace clubs do not feature such...civilized dancing." She motioned to the others with her eyes.
Anakin followed her glanced and observed the once obscene dancing couples, now dancing as if they were one body, standing so close together he thought it impossible.
"What is it?" she asked, noticing his disapproving stare. "Unwilling to hold me so close."
He immediately pulled her to him; eyes still lingering on the crowd. "Are you kidding?" Finally looking down he smiled at her. "Just surprised you want to dance like this."
"I thought we were trying something new and fun?"
"We are I just-"
Padmé kissed him on the lips. "Don't think," she said after a moment.
Anakin closed his mouth and held her closer, their faces resting against each other. As silly as it felt shuffling his feet around in an unorganized manner, Anakin quite enjoyed dancing this way. Rather, he enjoyed holding Padmé this close in public.
Padmé turned her head and rested it tenderly on hi chest, nestling herself closer in his arms. He lowered his head and pressed his lips against her hair.
He couldn't help but think of the following day. Although both he and Padmé were stationed on Coruscant for quite a while longer, both were involved in heavy matters and their additional involvement with each other might cause ruin to both their causes. Anakin's training, although he now was a Jedi, was persistent and his combat skills were increasing. Padmé, on the other hand, was vital to the senate and her strong ideas had earned her a place in the Republic Protection Committee. The Committee required persistent leadership and guidance and all members were needed.
Fortunately for both of them they had secured four days during the lull in the war to sneak away by themselves. Obi-Wan, although still unhappy with Anakin and Padmé's decision to marry, was understanding of their desires and did all he could to ensure their safety and contentment. Anakin was thankful for that, indeed.
Slowly, the song faded and another upbeat one started, pulling him out of his pleasant thoughts. Padmé held him tight for a moment, embracing him quickly, before letting go and backing away. She looked up at Anakin and smiled. "I've had enough dancing for one night, shall we head home?"
Anakin smiled back and kissed her on the forehead. "As you wish."
She wrapped an arm around his waist and he around her shoulder as they exited the now crowded Outlander's Club. The night was damp and stale at the bottom of the planet, the sky barely visible underneath the towering buildings above. Padmé attempted to scope out the sky but sighed in disappointment.
"This planet is really awful," she said, eyes still searching above. "From the planet's surface you can't even see the sky."
"You're just spoiled from Naboo," Anakin pointed out, looking up as well.
"That may be true, but a city covering a whole planet is terrible."
"Perhaps we should move away, far away," he suggested as they walked to where they parked their speeder.
She smiled and looked back down. "Under our little tree."
They remained silent at the thought of finally being free from their obligations and being able to live together in peace. It would be quite a long while before anything was remotely possible. Lost in thought, both Padmé and Anakin were surprised when they stopped in front of their silvery, roofed speeder.
Anakin helped Padmé inside and then climbed in himself. "Home?" he asked as he flipped on the booster engine.
She nodded slowly, the thoughts of their tree still swimming in her head.
Before lifting off the ground Anakin looked back over at his wife. "Or maybe not," he said, with a smile.
"You want to see stars, so let's go see some."
Padmé lowered her eyebrows in confusion. "Where?"
Anakin leaned back in his chair and took the speeder into the air. "Leave it to me."
"I don't like the sound of that."
"You will, trust me."
"If I must."
Anakin laughed and took one of her hands. "You should, really."
"Well, then I'll take your word for it," Padmé answered, squeezing his
Padmé had slowly drifted off to sleep by the time Anakin lowered the speeder onto solid ground. He shut down the engines before leaning over and kissing her softly on the cheek. "Padmé," he whispered against her skin. "We're here, love."
Her eyes fluttered open and she took a deep breath as the heaviness of slumber wore off. "I drifted off. Blast," she sighed, turning to look at Anakin.
He chuckled and motioned outside with his head. "This won't take long, don't worry."
Stepping outside he hurried around to her and helped her out. She leaned against him as their unusual night caught up with her. "Where are we?" she asked finally, looking around their unusual landing spot.
"Atop your apartment," he answered, waiting for her reaction.
"Are you serious?" Padmé inched towards the edge and looked down. "My goodness, it's high," she said, backing up to Anakin once more.
Padmé did so obediently and immediately smiled. "How lovely," she sighed, eyes sparkling under the starry sky. "We're lucky the sky cleared tonight."
"And the moons," he said in a soft voice, pointing to the two small moons, shining a pearly white.
"They're beautiful." Nestling her head against his chest once again she spoke softly. "Thank you for a lovely weekend, Ani," she said, holding him tight.
"You're welcome." After a moment he added, "Thank you for a lovely weekend, Padmé."
She laughed and looked up into his eyes. "You're welcome."
Anakin lowered his face to hers, kissing her with all the love he possessed. Padmé returned the gesture with just as much fervor, dreading the rise of the sun.
When they both pulled back, they embraced tightly, basking in each other's warmth and love. "I love you Anakin Skywalker," Padmé whispered in his ear.
"And I love you, my Padmé."
When they returned to her dark apartment, the hour was late and both were longing for the comfort of slumber. After stripping from their gaudy clothing, they slipped into their bed and entwined their arms again, wanting nothing more than the closeness of the other.
"I'll have to leave early tomorrow morning," Anakin said as she pressed her forehead and nose against his.
"So I'll say goodbye tonight. I don't want to wake you."
"No," she objected.
"I want to wake with you, to say goodbye then. Let's not ruin our night with the weight of farewell."
Anakin's breath wavered as oncoming tears stung his eyes. "Very well." With that, he turned his head, kissed her cheek and said, "Goodnight my love."
She smiled in return. "Yes, sleep well, Ani."
Lowering his head, he lay it against her chest. Her arms slid up his back and shoulder, and fingers snaked into his hair. It took only moments before both fell asleep, caught in their pleasant dreams until the cruel light of the sun woke them from their heaven together.
It had been a lovely weekend, filled with warm embraces, loving kisses, sweet
nothings, and most of all their pure and abounding love. More than cause sorrow,
their pleasant time together sparked hope in both their hearts. Hope that some
day their lives would be free, and they would be able to live together in peace,
as they were intended.
Tada! Ok guys, I'm sorry to say that this is the end of this story. Just this story, mind you. I may get a break in school and start another 'No Dark Side Mushy Story.' We'll see. Until then, THANK YOU for your lovely reviews and words of encouragement. I had more fun than you know writing this ultimately pointless fic, and it's even cooler to know that people like it as much as you do. So, bravo to my readers and please, feel free to check out my other stories. I'm afraid not all of them are as light as this, but I do believe they all have some sort of mushy Anakin/Padmé romance. Enjoy!
P.S. on the final note of my story, please read I've Missed You, as it talks about their free, peaceful lives, at last. And I intend on updating that story with a Padmé's p.o.v., when school hits a lull...hopefully SOON! ttyl!!