Election Evening Title: Election Evening
Author: Amy Fortuna (amyfortuna@yahoo.com)
Rating: PG
Archive: Just tell me where.
Disclaimer: George owns her, I'm just playing here.
Summary: What did Queen Amidala feel like on her Election Night?
Notes: You know you're obsessed with Star Wars when you're watching election returns and come up with this.

****

I'm trying not to pace. Unsuccessfully.

My hair is an awful mess, and I'm so tired from the last few days of campaigning that I'd fall asleep on my feet right here, except that I'm so excited and nervous and terrified.

My parents are with me here in this little room that we've rented for the last few days in Theed, close to the palace, so if I win, I won't have to walk very far to make the acceptance speech. I'm exhausted -- no matter what happens, I'll get some sleep before long.

I almost wish I'd lose quickly so I can collapse.

Adding to the torture of tonight are the ever-present cameras. I'm beginning to hate Galaxy Press with a passion. Every time I so much as change my expression, a billion flashes of light go off in my face. My every move is captured for all the universe to see.

I look down at my dress, and it is wrinkled. Well, that's what happens when you've worn it for the last two days, campaigning frantically for votes. I'll be glad the public can't smell me, when a decision is finally made, and I have to speak.

The polls have just closed, and returns are beginning to come in from the earliest provinces. They're rural, and I haven't campaigned there as much as I should have, probably, as we decided early to concentrate on cities, where there is more discontent with the incumbent.

I glance over at my parents, sitting there calm and quiet, no trace of the nervousness they must be feeling. They're good solid country folk, and I'm glad to have them supporting me. I would have fallen exhausted long ago if they hadn't been behind me every step of the way.

When it comes down to the wire, I'm just a country girl myself, and I suppose I'm being awfully presumptuous to even try to win this. But I think...maybe, just maybe, this planet is ready for someone young and alive, someone who will fight like hell anywhere needed. Our interests haven't been represented properly in the rest of the galaxy for too long.

I love the people of Naboo with all my heart. There's a fire in me that just drives me on to win justice for them. Justice we haven't had.

King Veruna will get the surprise of his life, I think.

They want to interview me. They wave me over to the side of the room, and I step carefully over the wires to the press.

"Amidala, do you think you will win?"

I smile. "I certainly hope so," I say, very diplomatically.

"But you're so young!" one of them says. I straighten up; this is my favorite issue.

"Youth doesn't matter," I say, confidently. "What really matters is knowledge of the issues, personality, and passion. And I have all of those, to give to the people of Naboo."

Now I speak directly to what I hope will be my people. The cameras are no longer there. Instead I see all the faces I've greeted in the last months. "I can bring the people of Naboo together. I will provide justice for everyone, not just for the big corporations. I will keep the peace we have all struggled for."

I smile again and step back to my parents. My last interview before the results are in is over.

****

The rural results are tallied, and, to my own surprise, I have a slight edge. I'm amazed and thrilled.

"Being a country girl pays off, I see," my father jokes softly at me. I grin at him, forgetting the cameras for a moment.

And then there is the waiting. Hours of it. The networks show coverage of voters cheering at results, and some still standing in line. The turnout's big this year, larger than anyone expected. Because the race is so close, maybe. Coverage of my last rally is shown, and I scan the audience again, watching reactions to my words in a way I had not been able to do when I was speaking to them.

Local elections are given the rundown. Sio Bibble has been elected governor of Theed. Good. He's an excellent politician, if a bit conservative. Senator Palpatine has been relected with a large majority. Even though I don't really know the man, I'm glad to hear that. He's done well in the Senate for us.

Everything is going well. But my election is still "too close to call" as the networks say. The results from Theed are beginning to come in now, even though not everyone's voted. Two hours to middlenight, and people still standing in line. They value their democracy.

I was just as nervous two years ago, when I was elected governor of Theed. Maybe even more. I was terrified then. I'm cool, calm, and collected now.

Right. My stomach is a mass of fluttering butterflies, and my fingers would be shaking if I wasn't holding on to the chair arms with all my might.

I miss Winima now. She would know how to break the tension. When I ran for governor, she patted my hand and somehow got me to stop shaking. Kept me from screaming for joy when it was announced I'd won too. That would have been rather embarassing.

I won't do anything of the sort tonight. Just smile for the cameras, and make my speech, whatever it should be, on the steps of the palace.

The noise level suddenly goes up. More results? I'm on my feet, scanning the datascreens.

Theed?

They've projected that I've taken Theed?

I grin excitedly. By a large margin too. Guess I did a good job as governor. My mother hugs me, and my father flashes a smile at me. Only a few more to hear from, and we'll know. The race could still go either way.

We sit back down, as the cameras stop flashing. The smile is still on my face. I feel confident now.

****

Four more hours of waiting. We sit silent. I think about all the people frantically counting votes through the night. Everyone wants to know, all over the galaxy. But here on Naboo, others, ordinary citizens, stay up, watching the reports, cheering, groaning, maybe laughing in relief as they see what happened in their local area.

I'm nodding, almost asleep, when a cheer rings through the room. Instantly, I'm up, awake, and on my feet.

"The last results are in," an announcer says, looking excited in spite of his weariness. "Amidala has captured the last fifteen provinces by a margin of 52% to 48%, the closest victory since Queen Erina's eighty years ago. That makes Amidala -- Queen Amidala, I should say -- the winner in this tight race."

The announcer continues to talk, but I hear nothing else. I've won! I turn to my mother, saying something incoherent. She hugs me again, and I find I am crying tears of relief.

I'm Queen of Naboo. I smile at the press, and, with my family and friends, leave the small room, walking out into an early spring dawn, down toward the palace to accept my victory.

And as the sky blooms red above me, I welcome the beginning of a new age on Naboo.

~~finis~