|Never Gone III
Author: Lilac Moon PM
Final in the Never Gone series. Complete! Ch 25 up! Fifteen years have passed since NG II and peace has reigned in the galaxy far, far away. But a new evil is on the horizon that will threaten peace and test the Skywalker family once again. Anidala&moreRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Anakin Skywalker & Padmé Amidala - Chapters: 25 - Words: 89,923 - Reviews: 256 - Favs: 79 - Follows: 25 - Updated: 10-08-07 - Published: 05-28-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3562008
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars.
AN: Here's chapter 25 and the finale of this story! Enjoy and please review!
Never Gone III
Chapter 25: Never Gone
Padme stood quietly, dressed in a gorgeous silver gown, as she watched her children on the dance floor. It had been a year already since the deaths of Palpatine and Tarkin. Tonight's celebration marked the first anniversary of Palpatine's attempted takeover. It had been a year filled with sorrow, as they mourned the heavy losses they suffered. But it had been eclipsed by the great joy the Skywalker family had seen also. She smiled, as she saw her husband approach her with their first grandchild in his arms. He had been showing him off to everyone again. She smiled, as he made his way toward her. The three-month-old baby in his arms grinned at Padme. The baby's blue eyes sparkled, just like his grandfather's and Padme kissed his head, which had started to grow very fine blonde fuzz.
"There's my handsome boy," she cooed to him.
"And my handsome man," she added, as she kissed her husband softly.
"He's a big hit. The life of the party, aren't you little man," Anakin said, as the baby yawned and fussed a little.
"I think someone is ready to go down for the night," Padme said.
"Yeah, we should take him home," Anakin replied, as he went to tell Luke. A few minutes later, Luke and Kira followed Anakin over and both kissed their first born son. This night was doubly special for Luke and Kira, for it was this night a year ago that Luke had proposed to her and they had conceived their son. Once he was born, they saw no other fitting name for him other than Bail Anakin Skywalker. Little Bail was their absolute pride and joy.
"Are you sure you don't mind taking him?" Kira asked.
"Oh please sweetheart. You know Ani and I love having him. We'll be just fine, won't we baby?" she cooed to him, as he drank his bottle.
"Yeah, besides, grandma and grandpa have new toys for him to play with," Anakin said. Luke rolled his eyes.
"He's barely three-months-old and you guys are already spoiling him rotten," Luke half complained.
"Oh hush, we're grandparents and it's our job. Tell daddy he's being a killjoy," Padme cooed to the baby. Luke rolled his eyes again and Anakin chuckled.
"We'll be fine. Have fun and we'll see you for breakfast in the morning at Dex's. He can't wait to meet this little guy," Anakin said, as he placed his cloak over his wife's shoulders. Kira helped Padme wrap little Bail in a blanket and both parent's kissed him goodbye. Han and Leia had joined them by then, waving goodbye, before returning to the festivities. The celebration had left each couple reminiscing about the days that had followed Palpatine's destruction...
They arrived home at Republica 500 and all took a bedroom in Anakin and Padme's penthouse apartment, which was more than large enough for everyone. The building was surprisingly untouched by the destruction and they were grateful to have a place of solace. Once they were alone, Kira had finally broken down in Luke's arms and grieved for her father. He held her and rocked her gently, as she cried against his chest. Anakin had locked Isolder in a room for the night, telling him that he would be taken to prison tomorrow. Luke had to restrain himself from breaking his door down and pounding him into oblivion for hurting the woman he loved. But his mother promised that Isolder would be held responsible for Bail's death and that was enough for him. Kira's sobs had quieted and she pulled back to look up at him. He caressed her tear stained cheek.
"I was so scared that I was going to lose you too," she said.
"Yeah, but you're not. It's over now and I'm not going anywhere. We'll honor your father's memory and make sure people know what a good man he was," Luke promised. She nodded.
"I love you," she choked back a sob.
"I love you too," Luke replied, as he tilted his head and pressed his lips to hers in a gentle, yet passionate kiss. Kira moaned into his kiss and he broke their embrace momentarily.
"Marry me," he requested. Her eyes widened in surprise.
"I don't have a ring yet, but I sure would like to put one on your finger. We could go pick it out together and make sure it's the perfect one," he said. She gazed at him lovingly.
"Are you serious?" she asked.
"Of course I'm serious. I've been in love with you since we were twelve. Being your boyfriend makes me happy...but being your husband would make me even happier," he said.
"Oh Luke," he gushed, as she threw her arms around him.
"I want to be your wife more than anything," she replied, as she melted into his arm. Luke's heart swelled with joy.
"You've just made me the happiest man in the galaxy," he told her.
"You've made me happy too. But I know how we can make each other even happier," she replied. He raised his eyebrow playfully.
"How's that?" he asked. She answered him by lifting her tunic over her head and tossing it away. He smirked and swept her into his arms.
"I guess it wouldn't hurt to get a head start on our honeymoon," he said.
"I'm so glad we think alike," she replied, as he carried her to bed, where they would renew their love, indulge in each other, and begin healing with the power of love...
At the memorial, a golden plaque engraved with the names of the fallen Jedi was set in a marbled structure. When the Temple was finished being rebuilt, the marbled memorial would take a special place in the gardens. A similar gold and marble structure was constructed for Bail Organa. Once the Senate building was repaired, the memorial would be placed in the atrium. The funeral service was beautiful and a fitting tribute to those who had lost their lives. A few days after the service, Luke and Kira picked out her ring and announced their engagement to their family. Anakin and Padme were thrilled and threw an engagement party for their family and friends. Their joy was only compounded a few weeks later when they learned that Kira was pregnant. Desiring to get married before she started showing too much, wedding plans were bumped up and held just two weeks later. Kira chose to marry her beloved in the gardens of the Aldera palace on Alderaan at sunset...
"You look beautiful sweetheart," Padme said.
"Thank you," Kira replied, blushing slightly.
"There's a few things I need to check on. I'll be right back," Padme said, as she left the room.
"Are you ready?" Leia asked her best friend, as she smoothed her own baby blue maid of honor dress.
"Yes...I'm anxious and nervous at the same time," Kira said.
"I think that's normal," Leia replied.
"So, when are you and Han going to do this, now that the big lug has gotten around to proposing?" Kira asked, indicating the new engagement ring on her finger.
"Well, I think we're going to enjoy being engaged for a while, but we're thinking perhaps a spring wedding at Varykino," Leia answered. Kira nodded.
"That's about six months away. It should give your mom plenty of time to plan it," Kira said. There was a knock and Kira called for them to enter. Obi-Wan stepped in with a big smile.
"Well, it looks like you're all ready. You look absolutely stunning, sweetheart," Obi-Wan said.
"Thank you, Ben. And thank you for giving me away. It means a lot to me," she replied.
"Your father was a very good friend of mine and it is an honor. He would be so proud of you," Obi-Wan told her.
"Thank you," she replied, as her eyes welled with tears. He offered her his arm and they left to take their places. The gardens were lit beautifully by the waning sunlight and an Alderaanian priestess stood at the alter, patiently waiting to begin the ceremony. Many from the Senate were there and many Jedi as well, including all the Council members. Lea was escorted to her seat by her son, who then walked back and took his place in the wedding party. Anakin and Padme entered together, arm in arm, and slowly walked to their seats in the front row. Anna and Jayden entered first, slowly walking down the aisle until they reached the alter. Austin and Jeena were next and slowly made their way to the alter as well. Both boys were dressed in their finest Jedi robes. Anna and Jeena's bridesmaids dresses were a beautiful lavender color. The maid of honor and the best man entered next. Han led Leia to the alter in a black tux that had baby blue trimmings, which matched her dress. They took their places and smiled at each other, as the music intensified. Luke stood at the alter in his finest formal attire, as Kira entered on Obi-Wan's arm in a beautiful white gown. Luke looked at her in awe, as she seemed to almost float toward him. She was breathtaking and he found himself forgetting to breath. She reached him and Obi-Wan released her arm, as she joined with Luke and took his seat beside Lea. Luke and Kira turned to the Holy woman, as she began the ceremony.
"We are gathered here today to join these two, Luke Skywalker and Kira Organa in the bonds of Holy Matrimony. What we bring together on this day, let no one come between. It gives me great joy to perform a union such as this. Not often does friendship blossom into true and pure love that exists between these two. They met as children and have been inseparable since. Childhood love is a wonderful thing, especially when it blossoms into a lifelong commitment and everlasting love that plainly exists between these two," the Holy woman paused for a moment. Anakin and Padme smiled at each other and joined hands, as she continued.
"You both have chosen to write your own vows. Speak from your hearts now to each other in the presence of your company, as a public profession of the love you share," the Holy woman said. Luke took Kira's hands in his own, as he gazed into her eyes.
"I've loved you since we were just kids," he began, as he smiled at her. She returned his smile
"All my friends thought I was crazy, since I was probably the only twelve-year-old that would rather spend time with a girl than with them. I knew even then that I wanted to marry you. I even asked you to marry me when we were fifteen, remember?" he asked. She nodded, smiling brightly.
"For those that have never heard the story, I became insanely jealous when Kira's father hosted a delegate from Faleen. The delegate's son was up to no good and hovered over Kira all evening. I'm surprised you ever spoke to me again after the way I acted...and I remember that you didn't for about a week. Mom grounded me for a month for punching the delegate's son. Dad though it was hilarious though. I remember begging for your forgiveness and pouring my heart out to you and even asking you to marry me. And you not only forgave me, but you told me you loved me and that you would marry me when we were old enough. If the universe had ended that night, I would have died happy," he paused for a moment.
"We've been through a lot since then and I know that losing your father has been one of the hardest things you've ever had to deal with. But I promise I will honor his memory by taking care of you for the rest of our lives. I love you more than anything. I've always loved you and I will always love you. This is my promise to you," he finished. Kira was on the verge of tears and took a moment to compose herself.
"Luke...I've loved you too, for as long as I can remember. You've always been my protector. I remember how you always defended me when other kids picked on me, especially since I was so small when we were children. I've known even probably longer than you have that I wanted to marry you. You've always been the one and no other boy could even begin to compete, because you were, are, and always will be everything to me. And if you think I didn't enjoy it when you punched that Faleen creep, you would be incorrect. You've always been my Knight in shining armor. Daddy would be happy that you'll be here to love and take care of me...and our baby. I love you more than anything. I always have and I always will. This is my promise to you," she concluded.
"The Force will bless them and guide them through their journey as husband and wife. Luke, place this ring on Kira's finger, as a symbol of your love and commitment to her," He took the ring and slipped it on her delicate finger.
"Do you take Kira to be your wife? To love and cherish her for all time?" she asked.
"I do," he answered.
"Kira, place this ring on Luke's finger, as a symbol of your love and commitment to her," She took the ring and slipped it on his finger.
"Do you take Luke to be your husband? To love and cherish for all time?" she asked.
"I do," Kira answered.
"Then by the power vested in my by the All Mighty Force, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride," Luke lifted her veil and pressed his lips to hers in a passionate kiss. The audience applauded and slowly filed into the palace for the reception.
"We are gathered here today to join Han Solo and Leia Skywalker in the bonds of matrimony. What we bring together, let no one break. Speak from your hearts now and recite the vows you've written for each other," she began. Han nodded and looked into Leia's eyes.
"The first time we met, we didn't get off to such a great start. We were kids and I was a bully with a bad attitude problem. I was lucky enough that your dad cared enough about me to get me straightened out. I still made some bad choices and mistakes along the way, but you never held that against me. When we met again after fifteen years, we had both changed a lot. You had grown into the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen and I found myself falling in love with you in an instant. I never thought in a million years you could love a scoundrel like me, because I have nothing to offer you...except my love. You made me happier than I ever thought possible when you said you loved me in return. I'm going to spend the rest of my life loving you, cherishing you and protecting you. These are my promises to you," he finished. Leia blinked back her tears and took his hands in her own.
"You're right. When we first met, you were a bully. But I was a brat. I did a lot of growing up over the years too. And when you returned, I was drawn to you. I was happy when I was with you. We were meant to be, Han, and don't ever think that you're not good enough for me, because it's not true. You're the man I love and the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. Pay no attention to the muttering of some of the people I'm forced to work with. As mom and dad are fond of saying: those people wouldn't know love it smacked them in the face," she said. That drew some chuckles from those around them.
"We love each other and that's all that matters. And I promise to spend the rest of my life loving you, cherishing you, and yes, even protecting you too, because you know I can. These are my promises to you," Leia finished.
"True love overcomes all obstacles and truly that is what we see here today. Han, take this ring and place it on Leia's finger, as a symbol of your love and commitment to her,"
Han did so.
"Han, do you take Leia to be your wife?" the Holy woman asked.
"I do," he answered.
"Leia, take this ring and place it on Han's finger as a symbol of your love and commitment to her,"
Leia did so.
"Leia, do you take Han to be your husband?" she asked.
"I do," Leia answered.
"Then by the power vested in me by the All Mighty Force, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride," she said. Han lifted her veil and their lips met in a tender, yet passionate kiss. There was applause and everyone followed behind the wedding party for the reception. That night, everyone except Han and Leia returned to Theed, leaving them alone at Varykino for their wedding night. That night, they stood together on the balcony outside their bedroom, holding each other and watching the stars. Leia felt shivers run down her spine, as her new husband placed kisses along her neck.
"I think it's time for us to go inside," she said, in a seductive tone.
"Reading my mind?" he asked playfully.
"Of course. You better get used to it," she replied.
"You're high maintenance...but you're worth it," he replied, as he swept her into his arms and carried her to bed to consummate their marriage...
Anakin listened in contentment, as Padme sang a lullaby to their grandson. He walked to her and put his arms around her waist, peering down at the sleeping baby.
"You have a magic touch," Anakin told her, as he kissed her cheek. She picked up the baby monitor and they quietly closed the nursery door. They walked to their bedroom and undressed for bed. Anakin slipped on his sleep pants and Padme slipped into a short, white silk nightgown. They got into bed together and snuggled close, as they always did. As she snuggled against his chest, she noticed the contemplative look on his face.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked.
"Everything...you mostly. I was just thinking about everything we've been through since that day I came back into your life. It's amazing when you think about it," Anakin said.
"I know. We've created some amazing memories together," she said.
"And we've got ourselves in and out of a few precarious situations," he replied.
"That's because the power of love conquers all," she responded, as their lips drew closer.
"I agree," he replied, as they kissed, letting their love consume them, for several passion filled moments.
"I can't imagine my life without you and I never want to," she said.
"And you won't have too...ever. Our love was too strong, even for the most evil beings that have ever come into existence. They tried to tear us apart countless times, but we wouldn't let them," he said. She smiled at him, as he pressed his lips to hers.
"Ani...there's something I've been thinking about," she said.
"What is it?" he asked.
"Well, my third term is over in a little over a year...and I don't think I'm going to run for re-election," she replied.
"You want to retire?" he asked. She nodded.
"I know you still want to be active with the Jedi Council, but I was thinking you could semi-retire. We could do the traveling we've always wanted to do and spend time with little Bail...and any other future little ones our kids have. Then maybe later on, I could even teach a class or two," she said.
"You've really thought about this, haven't you?" he asked. She nodded.
"I love it," he replied.
"Really?" she asked.
"Of course I do, angel. I can't think of anything I'd rather do. Besides, I think we've earned the right to an early partial retirement," he said. She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly.
"I love you," she gushed.
"I love you too, beautiful," he replied. She melted into his arms after that, as he captured her lips with his own. The flames of passion ignited between them, as they entwined together as one...
Padme finished spreading the last table cloth over the last picnic table. Anakin and Darred had set up several in the meadow behind Varykino. Her mother, sister, and Shmi sat at one already, sipping at tea and chatting. Her father had passed on two years earlier in his sleep, due to natural causes. Padme missed him terribly, but was glad his death had been peaceful and painless. She had thrown an annual family picnic now to get them all together the last few years, despite everyone's busy lives. And now, they were anxiously awaiting everyone's arrival. She felt her husband's arms around her waist and looked up at him, as he kissed her cheek.
"Everything's ready. Sola and Darred are bringing all the food out now," he said. She nodded.
"Can you believe little Bail is turning six this week?" she asked.
"It doesn't seem possible. Time passes so fast," he replied.
"I know," she mentioned.
"Are you sure I can't get that really wizard speeder for him that we saw the other day?" Anakin asked.
"You can get him a speeder when he's sixteen...not six," she replied.
"But I was driving speeders when I was six," Anakin argued.
"You're the exception to the rule, my love. No speeder for Bail," she responded.
"Aw...but angel, it was a TX 9000," Anakin begged.
"Ani, you have a hanger full of ships and speeders to play with on BOTH Naboo and Coruscant. Do you really need another?" she asked.
"I guess not," he sulked.
"Besides, I like it most when you take me out for our cruises through the countryside in the yellow one with the open cockpit," she replied, as she combed her fingers through his hair.
"That one is a classic. It's a vintage model and worth a ship load of credits too," he mentioned.
"You and your shop talk," she teased.
"You and your political warble," he teased back, as he swept her off her feet. She squealed lightly and laughed, as he spun her around. Their lips met in a passionate array of kisses, as their hearts spoke to each other.
"Promise me you'll take me on that drive tonight?" she asked.
"Always," he replied, as he put her down and kissed her again.
"Well, it's good to see that some things will never change," Obi-Wan said, as he and Lea arrived.
"Hi, it's about time you got here. Where's everyone else?" Anakin asked, as he and Padme hugged them.
"They're coming. Lots of luggage to bring with little kids," Lea replied. Anakin and Padme smiled.
"We remember," they replied together. First, they saw Jeena and her husband Austin trekking up the path together. Once they reached them, everyone peered at the tiny bundle in her arms. Their first child, little Ben Martin, was four months old. Padme smiled, as she saw her youngest daughter coming with her fiancé, Zhane Typho. Behind them were her old friends and Zhane's parents, Dorme and Zac Typho. Anna had met Zhane when he began training in the Royal Guard and they fell in love. Zhane was very handsome, having inherited his father's jet black hair, but with his mother's texture, giving him soft curs. He had also inherited Dorme's complexion, though he had natural tanned skin and he had his father's dark eyes. Anna hugged her parents tightly and they greeted Zhane, Dorme, and Typho with warmth. Jayden followed them with his girlfriend, Arra, who was one of Anna's most trusted handmaidens and decoy.
They could see Luke and Kira coming next with little Bail trotting along beside his father. Kira pushed a hover stroller that had a pair of blonde haired little girls in it. Bail's sisters, Katelynn and Katherine, or Kate and Kat, as everyone called them for short, had just turned three a few weeks ago.
"Grandma! Grandpa!" little Bail called, as he bounded toward them. Anakin scooped him up and hugged him tightly. Padme hugged him too and kissed his cheek. They watched with smiles, as Kira and Luke let the twin girls out of the stroller. They toddled toward Anakin and Padme and were greeted with hugs and kisses.
Han and Leia arrived last with their three children. Jacen and Jaina, who were four, toddled along ahead of their parents. The brown haired twins sprinted to their grandparents and cousins with excitement. Han and Leia held hands, as Han carried their other one-year-old son. He had dark brown hair like Leia's and she and Han had named him Anakin. Padme and Anakin welcomed them all with hugs, as the family sat down to eat together in the gorgeous meadow. After they ate, there was much play, as they enjoyed the beautiful day and eventually trekked down to the beach after everyone had donned their bathing suits. Padme smiled, as she watched most of her family play in the water together. They had the kids in various flotation devices and laughter filled the air, as they played. She sighed, as she felt tears well in her eyes. Anakin must have sensed her wistfulness and trudged out of the water. He came up to her and she smiled at him.
"You okay?" he asked.
"I'm wonderful. I was just thinking about how wonderful it is that we're all together," she replied. He wrapped his arms around her waist and hugged her tightly.
"And we'll always be together, angel," he promised.
"The Force has blessed us. I still can't believe we somehow made it through everything we did," she replied.
"Me either. It just goes to show how powerful love really is. Some may not put much stalk in it, but for me, it's everything," he said.
"Me too. It's because of love that we're here together as we are. I love you so much, Ani," she whispered to him, as she pressed her lips to his.
"And I love you, Padme, my angel," he replied, as he kissed her again with all the passion and love he held for her in his heart. They held each other close, as the sun began to dip low on the horizon. They watched their children and grandchildren, joy filling their hearts. The love that they had forged so many years ago had only grown and flourished. They had created more than just a family together. They had created a legacy that would never be forgotten and never gone.
Well, this trilogy has finally come to a close. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. It was a fantastic journey! Thanks to all that reviewed!
Special thanks to PyramidHead 316 for always bouncing ideas around with me. :)
Thanks to Lea-Lynn. Love ya lots and miss ya! Know you're going through some rough times and I hope you are doing well.
Thanks to all my other reviewers: Klaw117, superfragile, Kaptain Kristi, MeyaRose, babybluemoongirl, xRajahx, Harry2, ibelieveintruelove, JediDaughter1, Saiya-jinn Queen, Hannah Jane, AnaDry, Mo Angel, Lord Falcon, Dawn 369, StarwarsKPgal 71, Captain Aubrey Sparrow, Queen Tigress, Yuna-Flowering, XxSilent-soulxX, wolfbait, wolfwhspers and HaChosenOne.
I hope you all continue to enjoy my futire projects! Thank you again, everyone!