Thank you to all my readers. For the favorites, follows, reviews, and your patience.
This is the last chapter of this story, but it is hardly the ending. As Count Dooku said, "This is just the beginning."
Now I'll warn you, the ending is kind of odd. Originally, I was going to end with Anakin and Padmé holding Luke and Leia. Then I added in the Naberries. Made sense. Also I decided to foreshadow future stories. The Naberrie story is mostly over, but now we start delving into Anakin's story. Again, setting up for future stories.
A few days later...
While Padmé rested or tried as her doctors ordered, Darred helped Anakin finished the nursery. Darred even added a few touches of his own to the nursery. Along with a few others bits of advice.
It gave them time to let Anakin some time to share some of his worries with Darred. Not his nightmares, but another set of worries. About being a father. About bonding with not just one, but two babies.
Yes, of course they were his children, but still...he couldn't help but worry. He had been gone for over five months.
Almost half a standard year.
Maybe it sounded silly, but Anakin worried about bonding with his children.
True, Anakin had the Force. They had it too. He could sense them. Feel them in the Force. But that still didn't stop him from worrying. What if they didn't know him? Realize he was their father? Or what if he didn't feel a connection with them either? He wanted to be the father he never had.
"Take the night shift," Darred advised.
"Hm...night shift," Anakin moaned under the covers later that night. For once in quite some time, Anakin was actually sleeping.
Sleeping, not dreaming or having nightmares, but actually getting some rest.
Anakin moaned again, as Padmé began to shake him.
"Anakin, Anakin!" Of all times he choose to be sound asleep.
"Huh...what?" Anakin raised his head. What did she need now? "Angel," He rubbed his eyes. "What time is it" Anakin looked at his bedside chrono. She had to be kidding! It was only 0400 in the morning. "There are only a few hours until breakfast," He closed his eyes and put his head back on the pillow. "What do you need?"
"The medcenter," Padmé breathed. "Let's go."
Anakin moaned, "Angel, you can have the medcenter in the... What?" Anakin had never shot out of bed so fast in his entire life. "Why?"
"I said, I'm ready," Padmé breathed again.
Padmé had never seen such panic in Anakin's eyes. Regardless, she didn't care. "Yes, now!"
Anakin sped out bed to grab their clothes and bag.
Padmé groaned. It was going to be a long night.
The next day...
Fourth floor of Blue Valley Med Center, right outside the Lake Country
Anakin Skywalker kissed the forehead peeking out of the white and green bundle. Judging by how he held the bundle, one never would have guessed that Anakin had once had doubts.
A single tear ran down his cheek.
It was a tear of joy on this joyous day. It was the first proper hold after the birth of his children after they were tended to by the medical physicians.
His daughter, Leia was here...
His son, Luke was here...
His wife, Padmé, the woman who was his heart and his very soul was here...
...and they were alive.
All three of them.
It was also a tear of loss on this joyous, but bittersweet day.
"You look so much like your grandmother," Anakin said quietly. While her eyes were now tightly shut, she had dark, beautiful brown eyes. Even chocolate curls. Yes, she reminded Anakin not only of her great-grandmother Ryoo, her grandmother Jobal, but of his own mother Shmi. Her grandmother.
If only she were here to hold, love, and adore them. It was not fair.
Anakin leaned down so they were now face to face. He kissed her hand which was balled into a tiny fist. Then Anakin kissed Leia's nose. He smiled. Anakin had seen many things in his life. Hundreds of battles. Countless worlds and systems. But he never knew something- two somethings could be so tiny and so perfect.
But also a tear of joy. "Your mother too." Again, she was alive.
The Jedi looked up from his daughter to his wife, who was holding their son.
Still resting in her medcenter bed, Padmé was glowing. Holding a white and blue bundle. Sticking out of the bundle were two tiny hands and a head with a wisp of nearly pure blonde hair. She held them briefly after the birth, but this time she could really hold. Padmé was not nearly so tired, groggy, and sore. Well, still store, but not as much and she barely even noticed.
"My little prince," Padmé called her firstborn son, Luke Skywalker. He was everything she imagined him to be.
With Leia in his arms, Anakin sat down on the edge of the bed.
Padmé gently pressed her nose against Leia's forehead then Luke's. Breathing in deeply, "They smell like us."
Anakin shook his head in disagree, but with a smile, "Maybe Luke, but Leia smells just like you." Like the Nubian meadows and the flower, the Nubian leia.
Anakin had given her nearly a dozen Nubian leias on their honeymoon. A year later, on their one year anniversary, Anakin had also somehow managed to send her some even while he was still away. To this day, Padmé still had not quite figured out how he managed to do so.
While Padmé knew Leia reminded Anakin of his mother, and she did see the resemblance. Padmé saw more of her sister, Sola in her newborn daughter.
"Oh my," Padmé looked closer at Luke's foot sticking out of the bundle.
"What?" Anakin asked curiously. Looking at their children.
"Luke has your feet," Padmé grinned.
Anakin brushed the tiny foot with his flesh hand. "Well, maybe," He brushed the tiny ankle and foot, "But the toes are definitely not mine." His head began to lean in towards his wife's cheek. "Nor are their lips." Anakin smiled and leaned in to kiss his wife, unfortunately there was a knock at door.
"Knight Skywalker, a moment."
An Anakin gently handed Leia off to her mother after she placed Luke on her lap and securely between her legs.
"Got them?" He asked. Making sure they would be okay. He had not left her side in over a day.
"Yes," Padmé nodded. "Hurry back," She called out, watching him run off. She smiled down at her children. "Excited to see your aunt and grandparents?"
Anakin followed the middle aged human male to his small, but cozy office.
"Yes?" He asked when they arrived.
"After every infant is born, we run tests and well, we found something."
Anakin shrugged in grey tunic, "They're Force sensitive." No surprise there. He did not need blood samples to tell him that. Anakin sensed it long before they were born.
Even Padmé despite not being Force sensitive, somehow knew. Which didn't make any sense to Anakin. Maybe it was one of those "motherly intuition" sort of things she spoke of once.
Now could he go back to his wife and new family? He didn't want to be late when his in-laws came.
"Yes, yes, of course we expected that," The healer explained. "But this deals more with their...paternity."
"Paternity?" Anakin sat up straight in his chair.
"Yes, well, as I stated, we run certain tests on newborns." He finally found his reading visuals in his pockets. "Particularly if we have no available medical or family records of one or both parents." In this case, they were familiar with the mother. Senator Amidala was actually born at this medcenter, but they knew little of the father's medical history. They probably could have contacted the Jedi on Coruscant, but it was just much quicker and easier to run the extra tests. "One of which is genetics tests." To make sure the babies are fully human or to see if see if they are only partially human." Initially, one might think that sounded a tad prejudiced, but there were reasons behind it.
Over two millenniums earlier, on a world called Dac, a human mother gave birth to a seemingly healthy baby human girl. Hours later, the baby died. The medical team had been unaware the child's paternal grandfather was a Kel Dor. The same species as Jedi Master Ploo Koon, who's species required breathing devices off their to filter out oxygen while off their native world of Dorin. Meaning the child would need such a device or perhaps a small operation to have the child's lungs accept oxygen.
The news sparked outrage. Leading to the Republic Senate to pass the Baby Hana Law. Where unless the healer was familiar and had files of both biological parents' medical and family histories, they were mandated to run extra tests, including genetics. Even most, if not all Outer Rim healers and medical teams ran this practice.
Anakin couldn't breathe, "What's wrong?" Padmé was fine. He was been asking over and over again if she was fine all through the birth which got on his wife's really fast, but he never imagined anything could be wrong with the twins.
"No, no," The healed apologized. "I pardon for making it sound life threatening, it's not-"
"Then what?" Anakin was growing impatient. His hands were now digging into the arms of the small greel wood chair.
The healer adjusted his reading visuals. "Your mother was human, correct?"
Anakin suddenly felt a lump in his throat, "Y-yes," He croaked.
The healer hesitantly asked, "And your father?"
"I...I never knew my father," Anakin replied quietly.
"Oh," The bumbling healer said. "I see." He studied his notes again. "And your mother never said what his species was?"
Anakin's blue eyes grew. "W-what are you saying?" He was beginning to sweat. "That I'm not human?"
"You're only half human, the other half of you...well, that's a little more difficult to say." The healer scanned through the flimsiplasts. He adjusted his reading visuals. "The species appears to be a humanoid of some sort. Judging by your human appearance possibly even a near-human." He looked up to the young Jedi. "To be perfectly honest, we don't know." The healer gave a puzzled look. "It's something we've never seen before." Being on Naboo, his patients were mostly humans and Gungans. Even a few Geonosians or other species whose homeworlds were nearby the Chommell Sector. "If you and Lady Ami- I mean," He wasn't sure which name she was going by. "You and your wife would like, we can send a sample to a lab off-"
Anakin's entire body was shaking, "No!" He did not need to know. He did not want to know. "No, thank you. Unless you feel it's something serious..."
"No, not at all, Master Skywalker." The healer promised. "We ran excessive tests, Luke and Leia Skywalker are completely healthy. They and their future descendants should live long happy and healthy lives."
Anakin did his best to remember how to breathe, "Good...that's- that's good." He then did something he rarely did, he silently thanked the Force. Moments later, Anakin looked up and waved his hand of flesh, "You will forget this conversation."
The healer blinked several times. "I will...forget this conversation."
As Anakin got up and left, silently wished he could forget this conversation just as easily.
Four of the Naberries had just arrived. Much to their dismay, two of them had to go to class, but they would see their new cousins later.
They would of been there sooner, though it had taken time to get through security. Captain Typho had locked down the entire third, fourth, and fifth floor of maternity's wing.
"Watch the head dear," Jobal reminded her husband. She then kissed the tiny head of her first grandson.
"I remember, I remember" Ruwee said while cradling his new grandson. After all, he had done this twice before.
They couple looked to their daughter, Padmé, "What do you call him?"
"Luke," Padmé answered. She couldn't help but try to look around her parents. Where was Anakin? What was keeping him? Was everything alright?
Ruwee looked from Padmé down to the tiny bundle.
It was a old name on Naboo. It meant "light". Which was a fitting name for these dark times and for the Jedi, but the name had a more personal meaning to Ruwee.
The name of another Naberrie.
Ruwee and Jobal had discussed naming their son, Luke or Jon after Jobal's father. Sadly they were never blessed with son. Between moving to Theed, finding work, having enough income, and then Padmé's career took off so it never happened.
Speaking of the last name, Naberrie, "Which last name will they have?" Asked Sola.
"Skywalker," Padmé replied.
Luke Skywalker and Leia Skywalker.
On Naboo, younglings tended to take their father's last name. Unless the mother came from a more prominent family. In this case, both families and names were prominent and well-known. Well, Naberrie was more well known on Naboo. Not on a galactic scale. While Skywalker now on more of a galactic scale, but either would work.
For a time, Padmé considered hyphenating the names, Naberrie-Skywalker. However, she considered it was rather a long name for two small children. She felt one great last name was more than enough. She sensed one name already came with enough pressures. Again, both would be too much.
Besides, her nieces, Ryoo and Pooja would already carry on the last name, Naberrie.
While Anakin was the last of his line. Padmé also sensed it was important to him. To not feel like he was the only Skywalker in the Galaxy. His mother was gone. He never knew his father. He wasn't close with his step family, the Lars. So she wanted him to have this.
In a way, this was also Padmé's way of softening the blow that she had decided to not take her husband's last name...when she found the right moment to tell him.
Again, where was he?
While Padmé kept keeping an eye out for her husband, her sister couldn't take her eyes off her new niece and nephew.
Sola was especially taken with Luke. He was so soft, cuddly, and...just breathtaking. They both were.
Darred was beginning to notice how Sola looked at Luke and Leia.
Yes, losing her job had been a small setback, but they would figure it out.
"No," Darred said quietly. So she could only hear.
"What?" Sola said innocently.
"I know what you're thinking." Yes, they had tried for a son, but it hadn't worked out. Now was not the time. One, she lost her job. Two, he would be approaching forty in a few short years. Three, they planned to travel more once Pooja went to art school or wherever it is she wanted to go. They couldn't do that with a new baby.
They were done.
Sola narrowed her eyes. They would talk about this later.
Padmé couldn't help but smile at her sister and brother-in-law. It sounded like an argument she and Anakin would have.
Padmé finally spotted him down the hallway.
After finally escaping her family and assuring them she was alright, Padmé guided the hover chair several doors down the hall to her husband. "Hey, where have you been?"
Anakin didn't look at her. He sat there on the bench in a dark corner. Anakin was looking down at the floor or maybe at the documents in his right hand. His left hand was shaking. Even, his grey tunic seemed somehow darker now. Finally, Anakin spoke after several moments. "The doctor said...he said...we- we can go home later this afternoon."
Anakin was a loss for words.
That wasn't like him.
"They told us that earlier," Padmé studied her husband carefully. "What did he really say?" He had been perfectly fine earlier. What was it? Something had upset him.
Anakin spoke quietly, "Nothing." It sounded just like another time she asked him what was bothering him. The night of his dreams.
"Anakin." Padmé said in her commanding voice. Also known as her Queen Amidala voice. would it always be like this? As she told him on that night, how long is it going to take them to be honest with one another?
"The healer was...informing me of Luke and Leia's Force sensitivity," Anakin said. He handed Padmé the document. It wasn't a lie.
At the time of birth, the subject, Luke Skywalker has over 20,000 midi-chlorians per cell.
At the time of birth, the subject, Leia Skywalker has over 20,000 midi-chlorians per cell.
While this was nothing the couple didn't already know, Padmé also this subject might make Anakin a bit...uneasy. Worrying about what sort of pressure that would put on their children's shoulders. Most of all, worrying what the Council might do.
Padmé also noted the small hole in the document. Meaning it had once been attached to one or more documents.
So where was it?
Whatever it was, Anakin clearly did not want to talk about it.
Fine, but Padmé wasn't giving up, "Alright," Rain check, for now.
Anakin started to get up on his wobbly legs, but Padmé stopped him.
She touched his shaking arm, "Hey," Padmé smiled at him. "You know I love you no matter what." He could always tell her anything.
Anakin did his best to smile, "I love you too."
Anakin got up from the dark, shadowy bench.
As Anakin and Padmé went back to their room, the shadowy bench, no...
The shadow moved.
The shadow became a cloaked figure.
Revealing a cloaked figure.
A cloaked figure made its way towards the nearest turbolift.
A sinister smile formed under the cowl of his cloak, "Everything is proceeding as planned."
And that's it, for now. What do you think? We will see some more of the Naberries in the next story, but I would call it more an Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan story. Like Surprises: Free.
***Don't forget, the next installment of the Surprises universe, Surprises: The Price of Freedom is coming soon. Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan deal with the consequences. ***
Trivia: The part about the baby Hana is my own creation. Considering the diverse number of species, it would make sense. If two very different species have a child together, the baby could have a special need like water to breathe. Next, we don't know the name of Ruwee's father or either of Padmé's grandfathers. Thirdly, Anakin's grey tunic is symbolic. He's not exactly light, but he's hardly where he was at in Revenge of the Sith...or is he?
As for who or what was watching the Skywalkers there at the end, we will find out in an upcoming story that takes place after Surprises: The Price of Freedom called, Star Wars: Renaissance.
Again, review please, let me know you think.