There is an old Naboo legend her grandmother told her when she was just a girl. The Gods once decided whether pairs of lovers were destined for happiness or tragedy on the day of their union. They passed judgement based on their intended futures, what they were capable of... The depths of their feelings for each other. Those who are good not only for one another but also, the world around them, shall be rewarded with a day of sunshine, warmth and laughter, a gift from the Gods to encourage their love. However if the Gods did not approve, they sent thunderous rain, storms and darkness to show their displeasure. A very long time ago, if it so much as rained on the day a couple were to be wed, the holy men and women would refuse to perform the ceremony. The Gods knew what was best after all. And who were they to defy them? Padme thinks about this from time to time, glad the tradition has long since died out and become nothing more than a children's story.
However there's always a part of her that wonders if perhaps, the stories are true. If something as mystical and unexplainable as the Force can exist, is it really so unbelievable that the Gods could be looking down at them, attempting to guide them toward the right path?
A union, is not merely the exchange of wedding vows her mother told her once, it is also opening yourself to another, sharing an intimacy only those truly touched by love in its purest form can know. It is the intimacy of giving yourself to someone, mind, body and soul… These unions are watched and judged every bit as closely as the exchange of wedding vows. It's a beautiful legend; one Padme has always been fond of it, even as a grown woman.
She'd always wondered what judgement the Gods would pass on her own union one day…
When they'd arrived back in Naboo, everything had been beautiful, the rays of sunshine reached out, kissing everything and anything in their path and despite everything that had just happened, the world felt peaceful. Here, there was no war on the verge of breaking out, no escaped Sith Lord to hunt down or a crumbling senate to worry about. It was simply them, they had survived and most importantly they were together. That's all that matters. For a few short days, the troubles outside of their small bubble can't touch them, and though it shouldn't be, it is all too easy to forget all about them.
They decided against staying with her family again, despite her longing to see them after coming so close to death, to feel her father's protective embrace, her mother brushing her hair and speaking softly until she was calm, and Sola's strong support and sisterhood. However, this isn't the right time for any that, and they both know it even if neither of them says it aloud. Instead, they will reside within the palace for a night, and then the senatorial home she'd been gifted by the Queen all those years ago. Usually it was a cold, empty house, devoid of anything that made it feel like home. Being there always made her feel alone, isolated, but now she has someone to share it with, a light to fill the dark rooms.
Following the battle of Geonosis and Dooku's escape, she was sent back to Naboo for a few days of rest. Anakin wasn't required to accompany her this time, but he chose to anyway and she's glad to have this time with him… To be able to take care of him. Losing his hand is not something he's coping well with, she's caught him more than once staring at the prosthetic with such hatred that it threatens to shatter her heart. She will make him see that he's no different now than he was before, no less of a human for it.
After everything they said while being led into the execution arena, they both know what will happen this night. Neither of them has to say the words, it has been simmering between them, since their arrival and all through the tedious dinner with the Queen. She's never felt anything like this before… Anticipation, nervousness, fear, she's never felt them warring with one another inside of her this way before. Now her mind is plagued by thoughts of Gods and their judgments. She and Anakin would become one tonight; this was their union no matter what came next… And yet the sun shone for them, and the waters were still. She'd thought it was a blessing, evidence that their love was true and destined.
However, now, laying on the large canopy bed in her chambers, Padme watches the rain over her shoulder, through the large windows looking out toward the turbulent lake. She's never seen anything quite like this before, at least not here in Naboo. Rain falls in chaotic droplets, riding the howling wind as it crashes against the window in loud taps. A thousand knocks against the glass to gain her attention. The roaring wind is impossible to ignore, and in this moment, she doesn't try to. She knows it's silly, but deep down, she's slightly worried… This feels like a warning somehow, a bad omen come to frighten them off of this path. And yet, she knows there is nothing that can tear them away from one another now. It's much too late for that. The Force itself couldn't separate their hearts if it tried to. The wind roars louder suddenly almost in retaliation to her thoughts and the pounding of the rain seems to intensify along with it. And for a moment, it's as if Gods themselves are trying to break into the bedroom to end this before it begins.
She could easily rise from the bed, close the curtains and shield herself from the view and try to forget her worries, but she doesn't move. She's transfixed. If this is indeed a warning, it's certainly a desperate one… However it falls on deaf ears. Padme loves Anakin. And on the cusp of war breaking out between the Republic and the Separatists, she isn't sure what's going to happen next, or when she'll see him again when they leave Naboo this time. She can't wait ten more years for another chance. They need this, this union of their bodies, of their souls the Gods be damned. It's only a myth she tells herself, trying to bury the feelings that it is so much more than that.
She and Anakin are not meant for tragedy. They are meant for love, for each other.
This is what she'll tell herself tonight, she'll repeat it over and over again until she believes only that. She has to. They could be happy, if they can find a way to surpass the many obstacles in their path, and she thinks just maybe, they can do it… That perhaps there is a way for them, and they can find not only happiness but freedom within one another and still lead the lives they're supposed to. She may not have all the answers, but for this one night, that's alright. They don't need to know everything right now. They'll find their way.
The sound of the door opening and then closing again pulls Padme's attention from the storm outside, and across the darkened room she sees him, standing there, engulfed by the coarse Jedi robe he wears. Seeing him wearing a reminder of what he's sworn his life to feels wrong, it doesn't fit into this moment. It's a stark reminder of the betrayal they're about to commit for each other. They don't need any reminders of the outside world tonight. There would be plenty of that come morning, so for now, she wants only to think of them.
They watch each other for several long moments, and suddenly its nervousness winning the battle. She's never done this before, and she knows he hasn't either…
Slowly, Anakin pushes down his hood, revealing his face and her breath catches in her throat. He is illuminated by the moonlight, the only light in the room, and for a moment, Padme catches herself wondering if he is in fact an angel. He's the most beautiful thing she's ever laid eyes upon. It's clear he's waiting, for something, a sign to proceed, a show that she hasn't changed her mind about this, about him and she knows exactly what to do. Her hands shake and it's remarkably difficult to keep her breathing steady, but somehow she manages it.
She has every reason to be frightened by what's about to happen but fear is not what Padme wants to feel tonight.
She's been laying on her side surrounded by the satin sheets, and fur skins provided to keep her warm through the night, waiting for his arrival, and now he's finally here... Neither of them breaks the eye contact they share, and for a second, she swears she can see a hint of nervousness flash across his face before he smothers it. At least she isn't the only one afraid. Slowly, Padme lifts her arm, so it no longer rests on the pillow opposite her, so it no longer hides her breasts from his view and lays it along the curve of her hip, fingers resting on her leg. She's bare for him to see, covered only by the thin burgundy sheet wrapped around her waist. That is the only part of her concealed from his view; her legs too, are not spared from his wondering eyes. Strangely, under his dark gaze, she doesn't feel self-conscious as she thought she might… Quite the opposite really.
She feels powerful, wanted and sensual, things she's never felt before.
Anakin remains still for only a moment longer; before finally beginning to step further inside the chamber, coming closer and her heart stills for a moment. His greedy eyes are roaming all over her, taking in every inch of her body that he can and she feels ridiculous for ever believing he'd make her feel anything less than comfortable with this. As he reaches the first corner of the bed, he shrugs off the robe, and it falls to a heap on the floor, revealing he's only wearing a pair of black sleep trousers, and now it's her turn to admire him. He's nothing less than stunning… She pales in comparison to him. He steals the breath from her lungs with nothing more than a heated gaze. Outside, the storm rages harder, rain assaults the window so loudly she wonders if the glass will shatter before the night is done.
If her grandmother were here, she'd shake her head and warn them of the consequences defying the Gods carry.
But she isn't here. It's only them, lost in their love and the simmering want that burns between them. She's glad she released her hair from the coiled style it had been trapped in since they left Tattooine, letting the thick, long curls fall past her shoulders, tickling her back… He likes her hair down, prefers it even. He'd told her so the first time he saw it like this while they travelled. It seems only right to have it like this now, when they're on the verge of something they can never take back. It feels right to be at her most natural as she offers herself to him, to allow him to see her in a way nobody else gets to.
Finally, Anakin is standing before her, and Padme looks up at him, and almost drowns in the want she sees in his eyes. He sees it reflected in her own eyes, of that, she is sure because she wants him. She has ever since he came back into her life and she can't deny it any longer. She can't deny him of her love or herself his. It's her hand that moves first, and his flesh hand quickly follows, reaching out, fingertips grazing each other gently, and Padme's gaze trails upwards, from their hands, all the way up to his face… So handsome… So wonderfully flawed… And so completely and utterly hers. A loud, crack of thunder is quickly followed by a bright flash of lightening; illuminating the room for a brief moment and Padme has to say something.
"Ani…" She whispers, pausing as thunder grumbles loudly, followed by another bright flash of lightening, "nothing will ever be the same after this moment…"
This is his chance, to turn back, to leave her behind and devote himself to the Jedi Code fully… It is what he should do, what he is supposed to do, and yet, here he stands, looking at her as a starving man eyes a banquet. If anybody knew what they were doing… They'd both be ruined, but to Padme, he's worth the risk, and she prays he feels the same way about her. The risk they're taking together is equal; however he stands to lose far more from this than she does. His place in the Order, his friendship with Obi-Wan, the unspoken need to become a master, and make the sacrifice of his mother worth something… Padme knows it all. She knows him.
Anakin says nothing in response to her warning; however he slowly lifts their joined hands and brings her knuckles to his lips, holding them there for a long moment, savouring the touch and Padme's chest heaves… Will he always have this effect on her? Most likely, she will never simply grow used to him; he is an enigma, a wild animal whom only she possesses the skill tame. And she intends to…
He releases her hand, and Padme watches him slowly lower himself down onto the edge of the bed. His eyes break their connection and instead he focuses on his flesh hand as it tentatively reaches out – shaking – and touches her leg. She watches his face closely, though she's tempted to allow her eyes to follow his hand too… No, she wants to see him, watch his face as he explores her. She sees the amazement blossom, replaced quickly by a fresh wave of lust… She's overwhelmed. Nobody has ever looked at her this way before. To most, she is the cold, hard nosed senator, not a woman to be wanted and loved… But Anakin looks at her as if she is everything he has ever wanted, as if he doesn't quite believe she's allowing him to touch her like this and Padme is speechless under the weight of his want for her. He doesn't just want her body, he wants her he loves her, and that is worth everything.
It's only when Anakin's hand begins to trail higher, over her knee and higher still Padme looks away from his eyes, watching the hand slip beneath the satin covering her waist, and gasps, however she doesn't have long to think about the new sensations as he leans down, capturing her mouth in a heated kiss, plundering the warmth there with his tongue and swallowing her moans. He covers her body with his own on the bed, making her lay on her back, and Padme feels his hands everywhere, both the warmth of his flesh and the bracing cold of his prosthetic. The mix of sensations they cause is striking… She feels them along the curve of her hips, one trailing the length of her leg, the over the swell of her breast and she's powerless against his tender onslaught. She wraps her arms around him, and her hands dance along his back, feeling every muscle and every scar marring his skin. They never once stop kissing, fighting the need for air for as long as they can. Outside the storm reaches new heights of savagery but it is ignored entirely. Perhaps what they are doing is wrong, but if offering herself to the boy she loves is wrong then she has no interest in being right.
They love each other, and isn't that the most important thing in the world?
Still, deep down, as Anakin's hot mouth kisses a trail along the column of her throat, Padme feels something changing, not just between them, but something in the air is shifting, altering because of their choices. Good or bad, whatever's happening is because of them. It feels like the very beginning of something, something bigger than either of them can imagine, as if they've unleashed a beast by ignoring the paths they were supposed to walk. This… Whatever it is could destroy everything. She's always known it; it's why she fought her feelings for him so desperately… Before he'd walked into the room, Padme thought she was allowing this to happen, but now she sees the truth, she's powerless to stop it. They both are.
Gods have mercy on them.
"Great trouble I sense this night…" The Jedi master sighed, eyes closed as he attempts to connect with the Force, seeking answers Something has disrupted his connection, and unsettled the balance. Obi-Wan feels it too, deep in his bones he knows something isn't right. With a sigh, Yoda hobbles toward the window and looks out at the dark city surrounding the temple. Whatever it is, it's powerful enough to worry Master Yoda, and that is serious indeed. Something feels…Amiss. Perhaps it was Dooku? After all his escape would certainly have its consequences… No…It's not quite that simple which is precisely what's worrying him.
If it isn't the Sith causing the disruption, what can it be? Whatever it is, it is powerful, and he'd never felt anything like it before.
"What could this mean Master? I don't sense the Sith's hand in this…"
"No… Not to blame for this I'm afraid the Sith are. Something much closer to home I feel. Changed, something powerful has Obi-Wan. Whatever this disturbance is, not supposed to happen, it was." As he listens to the wise master, his fingers idly play with the edge of his beard, mind racing. With the Republic on the verge of declaring war with the Separatists, a disturbance of this nature is the very last thing they need. It's dangerous. They Jedi cannot be seen to be becoming weaker or else the Republic – democracy itself – will be in very grave danger.
"If we're about to be at war Master, we must get to the bottom of whatever this is and quickly."
"Use your feelings Obi-Wan… Feel the Force. Not the way of the Jedi wilful ignorance is. Danger, by sending your Padawan with the senator you sensed, you were right, only now I see this. Separated we must keep them."
His jaw slackened slightly… Anakin? Yoda feels he is the cause of this… How can that be? He knows the boy is attached to senator Amidala… But surely not to this extent? He wasn't sure Anakin could handle being in such proximity to Padme, the temptation would be too strong for his Padawan to resist. But what could possibly have happened to cause something like this? At the very worst, if he shared he senator's bed, it couldn't cause a disturbance this powerful… Could it?
"Keep them separated Master? How am I to do that?" If any of this is true, keeping Anakin from Padme was going to be a task far easier said than done. The boy doesn't take well to separations from his attachments. He would find ways of seeing her none of them could stop; it was not wise to underestimate Anakin.
"To be declared, war is. Easy to find logical reasons to keep the boy from Coruscant as often as possible it should be. Hmm… Almost complete, his training is. When he graduates to Knighthood, a Padawan of his own, we shall give him. Yes. His mind far from the senator we shall keep. Mend itself this disruption shall, and well, all will be."
Obi-Wan watches Yoda leave the room and sighs only when he is alone. What has Anakin gotten himself into? Something is happening… He just doesn't know what it is and worse, he feels they're all powerless to stop it now. Perhaps Master Yoda is right; separating them was for the best. Especially if his apprentice is to receive a Padawan of his own, surely Padme would be the furthest thing from his mind… Yes… He'd begin studying the younglings tomorrow, and find someone suitable.
All would be well, with patience, Obi-Wan was sure of it.