Oct 2002

Disclaimer: I don't own any this, all the characters (Except my original) are property of Lucasfilm etc etc.

AN: This is the sequel to my story "I Need You" (http://fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=976953) I suggest you read it before you read this one. Some things in this story won't make complete sense without the other one.


Hide Your Love Away.
Chapter 1


Padmé Amidala looked down in the cradle at the foot of her bed and smiled. Her twins, Luke and Leia, slept soundly, the hum of the ship a continual balm. She was exhausted. 63 and a half hours of labour was enough to exhaust anyone. She leaned back in her bed and closed her eyes, reaching up to rub her forehead. A gentle hand took its place and she opened her eyes, smiling softly. "Anakin."

He smiled at her, leaning down to kiss her brow. "Were you expecting someone else?"

She shrugged, "I'm so tired."

He gently eased her up and added another pillow behind her head, "Sleep, Angel. After that you deserve it. I swear I'll never put you through that again."

She laughed weakly, "Sure, my handsome husband."

"Are you sure you're alright?"

She nodded, "I'm perfect, Anakin. I have a loving husband who's kidnapped me from the universe and put me first, I have two gorgeous children who look like their father."

"Just Luke. Leia looks like you."

She smiled as he cupped her face in his palm, "Alright. I have two gorgeous children who look like us, and a ship to myself with a husband who waits on me hand and foot. Just let me sleep, Anakin, I'll be fine."

He sighed, "Sleep then, I'll wake you in a while."

She smiled gratefully and closed her eyes, Anakin watching her. She was beautiful, even drained from child bearing. He leaned down and gently kissed her before turning away. He went to the cradle and looked down at the tiny pink babies. Twins. Who'd have thought they'd create twins! He reached down and gently stroked Luke's face. The baby gurgled in his sleep and curled closer to his sister.

Anakin turned from them and left the room, heading towards the cockpit.

"How is she?"

Anakin settled himself back into the co-pilot's seat and leaned his head back warily, looking at his old Master, "She's tired. I can understand that. 63 hours of labour, Obi-Wan! Who'd have thought labour would last that long?"

Obi-Wan chuckled, clapping his young friend on the shoulder, "Congratulations, Anakin."

Anakin's smile was a half-smile, "Thanks."

"You did very well easing her pain with the Force during labour. You're probably not in much better shape than she is!"

Anakin chuckled, "Nope. Force I'm tired, I could sleep for a galactic week."

"Go join your wife. Oh, this came for you." Obi-Wan held out a data rod, "It's encrypted so I couldn't read it."

Anakin took it, feeling a tingle of dread race down his spine, "Thanks. I appreciate you staying with us Obi-Wan."

Obi-Wan shrugged, "It's what friends do, Anakin. Grab some sleep, I'll be leaving you two shortly, Master Yoda has need of me."

Anakin clapped his friend on the shoulder before retiring to the cabin at the back he shared with his wife. The message could wait until he was more awake.


Padmé woke to the sound of rustling in the room. Her eyes fluttered open to see her husband lifting one of the twins in his arms. The squirming bundle was place, carefully, in the crook of his arm, his face showing his wonderment as he looked down at it. Padmé wasn't sure how she knew, but he was looking down at his daughter. "Anakin?"

He looked up at her, a soft smile on his lips, "How are you feeling?"

Her head fell back against the pillow, "Sore. How're the twins?"

"Leia's a little fussy, but Luke's still sleeping." he carried the bundle to the bed and sat on the edge. "Want to hold her?"

Padmé's smile was wistful, "Can you give her up for five minutes?"

Anakin bent down and kissed his daughter on the forehead before helping Padmé sit and handed the baby to her mother, "I think I'll last for five. Or maybe I'll just hold both of you," he slid an arm around her shoulder as she held their child. "I can't believe I almost gave this up," he murmured near her ear, kissing her cheek.

She turned to look at him, "You came back. That's all that matters."

His smile was a slash of white in the dim cabin, "You brought me home."

They shared a lingering kiss until Leia made a whimpering noise and began to fuss. Padmé pulled back and gently pushed him away, "Go find Obi-Wan, it's got to be time for you to pilot soon. Give the Jedi a break and let him sleep."

Anakin slid off the bed, kissing her before he stood and nodded, "Yes, milady."

She grabbed a pillow and threw it at him, grinning, "Don't start that, Skywalker."

He grinned, catching the pillow and floating it back to her using the Force, "Just teasing, Angel."

She was baring her breast to the infant as he ducked out, closing the door behind him. He stretched, cracking his back. After 6 months on this ship, he was starting to feel cramped, regardless of the company. He made his way to the cockpit and slid into the seat. "You awake?"

Obi-Wan's eyes flew open in surprise, "What?"

Anakin chuckled, "I'll fly for a while, you go sleep for a bit."

Obi-Wan glanced at him but nodded, "Alright. Just remember this isn't a pod racer and you have delicate cargo on board."

Anakin rolled his eyes, "Yes master."

Obi-Wan's smile was warm, "Fly straight, Anakin. May the Force be with you."

"And with you. Sleep well." He turned forward as Obi-Wan left the cabin and relaxed in his seat. He could feel the occupants of the craft through the Force, feel where they were and relaxed. This was his home now. This was where he belonged. The datarod felt like it was burning a hole in his pocket as the occupants of the ship settled down into a background lull. He could feel Obi-wan dropping into a Force induced sleep, feel Padmé's amusement as Luke woke and demanded to be fed like his sister.

Shaking his head, he carefully shielded his thoughts and pulled the rod from his pocket. He gently tossed it from hand to hand, feeling as if reading it would change his entire life. He couldn't explain why. Shaking away the feeling he locked the cockpit door and slid the rod into his data pad. Text only. He grimaced, seeing the encryption code. The Chancellor had finally found him.

Anakin's hand clenched around the datapad unconsciously and he froze. The anger that was starting to roil through his system was controlling his reaction and he took a deep breath, consciously letting it drain away. Anger would defeat him and take him away from his family. He couldn't let that happen. His lips thinned to a flat line as he entered the proper encryption and the symbols on the pad formed words of Basic.


Skywalker,

Don't think you can hide from me, I know every move you make. Turn yourself into me on Couruscant in two standard weeks and I'll ensure nothing happens to your wife.

Supreme Chancellor Palpatine


Anakin closed his eyes. There it was, on file, a threat to his family. He opened his eyes and reread the message, sitting up straight. No, the threat was only to Padmé. Did Palpatine know they had children? With a wave of his hand he unlocked the door and got to his feet. Checking the autopilot to make sure they'd come out of hyperspace where they intended too, he left the cockpit. He had to speak with Padmé about this; she deserved to know.


Padmé was putting Luke back in his cradle as Anakin stepped into the small room. He waited until she was back in bed before coming to sit next to her. A gentle kiss on the back of her hand brought a smile to her face, "What's wrong, Anakin?"

He offered her the pad, "Palpatine hasn't been removed from power yet. He hides his trail too well for us to ever get enough evidence to make him resign. He's threatened you if I don't return to him."

She paled noticeably and Anakin wondered if he'd been smart to tell her so soon after the birth of their children. She was so fragile right now and, having seen her at her worst and her best, he forgot she sometimes needed to be coddled. She clenched her fingers around his and squeezed, "You aren't leaving me to go back to him."

He nodded, "I know, Angel, I wasn't even considering it." Liar, his mind shouted, of course you were considering it if it will save her.

"Then what will we do?" Her gaze went to where the twins were sleeping in the cradle. "Palpatine can't know about the twins, can he?"

Anakin bowed his head, "I don't know. He didn't mention them, but they have a strong Force signature. At least, to me they do, Obi-Wan says he can feel them, but only if he concentrates. There's a good chance that, without knowing they exist, he can't detect them in the Force."

Padmé shifted over in the bed and wrapped her arms around his chest, "Anakin, look at me."

He did as she asked and she could see the turmoil in his eyes. Her smile was soft, "If we have too, we'll take the twins to your step-brother. Palpatine will never think to look for them there. We have to go back and face him eventually, you have to face him, we can't keep running forever."

"I can't face him. I almost gave in when I was fighting the Sith to save you, how can I fight a Sith Lord and expect to win?"

"How can you not and expect to continue living, Anakin?"

He kissed her lingeringly, "I'll think about it, Angel, but sleep. I should go check the ship's course again."

She allowed him to tuck her in; feeling exhausted from their talk, and closed her eyes as he left the cabin. Sleep was long in coming for her disturbed thoughts.


Anakin settled back into the cockpit chair and looked at the starlines flying past. What was he going to do? He automatically checked the course, saw there was really no need for his attention, and sank back into his thoughts. Padmé was right, he realized. There were a lot of mysteries surrounding the Sith Lord who'd been his master. The council had been told just last month of his prior activities and, though they'd wanted to expel him from the order, Master Yoda had stepped in.

He frowned. Master Yoda sure spent a lot of time dealing with just his problems. Well, he wasn't a child anymore. He had his own children to think about now and it was time he started ensuring they had a place to grow up. A safe place beyond the reach of Palpatine. His lips flattened into a firm line. Padmé was right. The Sith Lord was his responsibility. Like it or not, he'd have to find a way to face Palpatine. Not only face him, but walk away intact. That, was going to be the biggest challenge of all.


Obi-Wan stood next to the hatchway that led to the small, one-man fighter he'd take to Courscant. "Are you sure you don't want me to help you through this, Anakin?"

He nodded, "Yes, Obi-Wan." He extended his hand, clasping the forearm of his friend and Master in a firm grip, "Thank you for all of your help. Tell Master Yoda..."

Obi-Wan squeezed the other man's forearm back. He was so young, not even 21 yet, and here he was dealing with the responsibilities of a family. A family in danger. "I'll talk to him, Anakin. Call if you have need of me. May the Force be with you."

"You too, Obi-Wan."

Obi-Wan smiled and ducked into the open hatchway, settling down in his fighter cockpit and checking the pre-flight sequence. It was primed and ready. He looked at Anakin, who had his hands on the controls to the hatch seal. Obi-Wan closed the cockpit and, raising a hand in farewell, waited until Anakin sealed the hatch. The small ship drifted away from the transport that was Anakin's home and refuge. At 200 metres, he engaged the engines and plotted his course for Couruscant.

Anakin watched as Obi-Wan's ship went to hyperspace and closed his eyes. Everything fell to him now.

He pushed away from the bulkhead and walked back towards the cockpit. He suddenly stopped in the hallway, his eyes gazing with disbelief at his wife. She stood, watching him, an infant in each arm. His strides were strong, sure, as he stepped towards her and gently took Leia from her mother's arms. "Should you be out of bed yet?"

Padmé's smile was soft as she cocked her head up at her tall husband. She wore a white nightgown, her feet bare, her hair unbound, and looked more like a child than a new mother. He felt his heart melt at her smile. Sliding an arm around her shoulders, he hugged his family close.

"I'm fine, Anakin. Honest. I'd like to join you flying the ship."

"With the twins?"

She nodded, pulling back. Leia and Luke had been hugged, gently, between them and the babies gurgled contentedly. "I haven't seen much of you since they were born with you and Obi-Wan piloting the ship. With Obi-Wan gone, I expect to see even less of you. I'm fine, really, I'd like to help run the ship again."

He smiled, "Alright."

"I know you don't... what?"

He laughed at her incredulous expression. She'd obviously expecting a fight. Taking the opportunity, he leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her lips, "I said alright, Angel. You need to feel needed and, to be honest, I'm lonely without your company. I'd like it very much if you'd sit with me in the cockpit."

Her smile was brilliant as she slid her arm back around his waist. "I'm glad you're not going to insist I stay abed."

He chuckled, "If you're well enough to be up and around, you're well enough to help. I know you're strong, Angel, I was just waiting for you to ask. Not that you have to," he amended hastily, "the long hours of labor were just taxing on you is all."

She laughed softly, ducking her head to nuzzle a sleepy Luke, "I know, Anakin. I'm going to put these two to bed and then I'll join you, alright?"

He nodded, allowing her to take Leia but not before he placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. He ran a cautious hand over the peach-fuzz on Luke's head as his wife turned to take the twins back to their cradle. His smile was sad as he stepped into the cockpit. How could he give them up into Owen's care if it came down to that? He loved his children, as much as he loved his wife, if not more.

"Anakin?"

He turned, laughing when he saw her. She'd changed into a baggy set of trousers and a loose shirt. His, if he wasn't mistaken at the length. He opened his arms and she went willingly, tilting her head for his kiss. He was affectionate by nature, and though she wasn't, she relished each of his caresses, his kisses. Anakin sank down into the pilot's seat, pulling her onto his lap as he broke the kiss and tucked her head under his chin, "Alone at last, Angel."

She smiled, "Alone, but unable to do anything about it," she sighed, "not for another five standard months anyway."

His arms tightened around her, "I love Luke and Leia, Angel, but I'm never putting you through that kind of pain again."

Her head came up, brown eyes meeting serious blue, "Is that your choice, Anakin?"

He nodded, "I felt everything you went through, ever contraction, ever spasm, as if it were my own body. I helped you what I could with the Force, but..."

She gently cupped his face, "Anakin, you didn't fail me. I know you feel like you did, I can see it in your eyes. I love you, Anakin Skywalker. You gave me, gave us, a precious gift in our children, I wouldn't trade anything for that, not even a pain-free labor. I can, and would, endure the pain if it means bringing another part of us into this galaxy."

"Even if it means they might someday be hunted, as I am?" he asked, his voice raw. He'd been humbled by her admission, but he needed to ask the questions.

She nodded, "Even if it means they may never know their father," her eyes filled with tears, "they're a part of you and I, and nobody can change that. Not Palpatine, not Master Yoda, not even death. They will be as strong, if not stronger, than you in the Force some day, of that I have no doubt. They love you, and so do I."

He ducked his head, burying his face in the soft fall of her hair. "I'm scared, Angel," he admitted brokenly, "I don't want to lose you, or the twins, but what if I'm not strong enough to turn away again, what if nobody is there to catch me?"

Her arms snaked around his neck, hugging him tightly, holding him in the shelter of her body and soul, "I'll always be here to catch you, Anakin. You've never let me down, I could do no less."

"I have let you down. I almost lost you because of my weakness."

She turned her head and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek, "No, Anakin. You fought for me, you found me when everyone else believed I was, I am, dead. You never gave up hope of finding me. In doing so, you have never let me down."

He shuddered in her grasp, "What did I do to deserve you?" he asked softly.

"You loved me."

In the darkness of the cockpit, the two lovers held onto one another as the stars sat in silent repose outside. Their future was fast approaching, their lives perhaps in jeopardy, but the safe haven they found in each other's arms couldn't be denied. Silently they held each other until the wail of a child brought them to their feet. They'd deal with the future one day at a time.