Chapter 40

The Ties That Bind

Obi-Wan came downstairs before Padmé, his head tilted at an inquisitive angle. "Whatever you two are concocting, it smells delicious."

Sabé had her hands full chopping fruits into several small cups to be served with their breakfast. Anakin was still frying up the pancakes, but had added shredded tubers and some kind of native sausages. She smiled at him as he entered the kitchen, tilting her head as he placed a gentle kiss on her cheek. "It was Anakin's idea. Speaking of his ideas, he's asked if we want to get married this afternoon with him and Padmé."

Obi-Wan blinked. She was never one to beat about the bush, that's for sure. He looked at his former padawan, whose head was bowed, his shoulders shaking in silent laughter. The way Sabé had phrased the question obviously amused him. He looked back at her. "So soon?"

"Well, why not?" she continued chopping the fruits and placing them in the bowls. "It makes sense, the Holy Man will already be here and we obviously can't get married in any kind of Jedi ceremony since marriage is against the code. It makes sense. Or don't you want to marry me?"

He blinked, sputtering, "I... Sabé! I'm the one who..." he took a deep breath. "I'm the one who asked you, remember? I just didn't think it'd be this fast. I think it's a great idea."

She laughed, placing the knife on the cutting board and turning to face him. "Is that a yes, then?"

He nodded.

She threw her arms around his neck with a smile.

"Did I miss something important?"

Anakin, Obi-Wan and Sabé looked up as Padmé stepped into the room. She was dressed in a simple white skirt, a decorative pale peach shirt molded to her from shoulder to waist. A long scarf was wrapped around her waist, the emerald green creating a nice contrast.

"They like the idea, Angel," Anakin told her grinning. "Obi-Wan just agreed that it's a good idea for them to get married at the same time we do."

Padmé clapped her hands. "You can be our witnesses!"

"Actually..." Anakin grinned mischievously. "I have one other witness that none of you have seen yet. I'll bring him up after breakfast. The table is set and these are just about finished, so it you all want to take a seat, I'll bring in breakfast."

"I'll help," Sabé volunteered. "Since I helped prepare it."

Anakin chuckled, pulling the last of the sausages off the stove. Unable to be left out, Obi-Wan and Padmé insisted on helping and the four were quickly seated at the table. Breakfast was a relaxed affair with banter and teasing between the two women that hadn't been there in a long time. With the main threat to Padmé's life gone from the planet, the atmosphere was much more relaxed. Breakfast passed quickly and they lingered over the fruit cups, Anakin lifting one of Padmé's fruits from her bowl with a cocky grin. Obi-Wan shot him a look of disapproval but Anakin simply shrugged. Now that he was a Knight, Obi-Wan could complain all he liked, but it wouldn't make much difference.

PadChapter 40

The Ties That Bind

Obi-Wan came downstairs before Padmé, his head tilted at an inquisitive angle. "Whatever you two are concocting, it smells delicious."

Sabé had her hands full chopping fruits into several small cups to be served with their breakfast. Anakin was still frying up the pancakes, but had added shredded tubers and some kind of native sausages. She smiled at him as he entered the kitchen, tilting her head as he placed a gentle kiss on her cheek. "It was Anakin's idea. n a portion of the deck where the trees and roof of the cottage kept the rain out. They were waiting for the Holy Man to arrive, and Anakin paced back and forth. "I can't bring him out here." He complained, "The water will rust him."

"Who?" Padmé asked curiously from her seat on the railing.

"If you'll come back inside I'll show you."

Padmé followed him curiously, their friends on her heels, as Anakin led them into the cellar of the house. On a work bench in the far corner was draped a huge sheet. An eerie sense of deja-vue overcame Padmé as she stared at the blanket, Anakin going to lift it from the highest point. Her breath caught in her throat. "You... but how did you? Where did you find him?"

His grin was boyish. "Do you remember the pile of parts I brought back from Tatooine?"

She nodded slowly, "I think so."

Anakin waved to the droid before him. "I rebuilt him. I guess mom had been giving him coverings."

Padmé stepped closer to Anakin, slipping her arms around his waist. Her eyes sparkled. "He's perfect."

Anakin chuckled. "You still say those words with the same infliction."

She winked at him before looking to where Sabé and Obi-Wan were waiting by the steps. She beckoned them closer. "This is Threepio. A protocol droid Anakin built when he was still a boy on Tatooine."

"I'd turn him on, but I don't have the right power supply yet. The Holy Man said he'd be bringing it."

Padmé hugged him again, grinning. "Well, just leave him off for now, we can take him with us when we leave."

Obi-Wan and Sabé expressed their amazement at his mechanical talents as they left the cellar, Anakin having carefully recovered his droid. Stepping back upstairs, he let his senses run through the house. The storm was still pounding away outside, but the cottage was snug. He inhaled deeply as they stepped back out onto the terrace to await the Holy Man. It was over an hour later when they caught sight of a small hovercraft on its way to the island. The four exchanged anticipatory glances. It was almost time to take the first step of the rest of their lives.

Anakin straightened his robes for the fourth time, shifting the fabric across his shoulders. Obi-Wan, standing silently next to him, chuckled. "You're sweating. Relax."

He slanted a look at his friend. "How can you be so calm?"

Obi-Wan offered him a smile, "How can you be so nervous?" he countered. "We're about to take an important step, Anakin, one no Jedi has taken with the approval of the council in the history of the order. There's no reason for you to be nervous."

Anakin shifted from foot to foot, glancing towards the entrance of the main room. He and Obi-Wan stood near the fireplace, the Holy Man off to the side. The robed man was quiet and spoke little by way of introduction. The astromech he'd brought with him, a very familiar blue, domed droid, has supplied his credentials. In respect for Artoo, and with the parts they'd brought, Anakin had managed to get Threepio up and running. The droids would serve as recorders for their vows and then have their memory cores coded to prevent tampering. Anakin sincerely hoped he wouldn't have to wipe their memories if the coding didn't work.

"Easy for you to say, Master, you're not receiving your bride-to-be's nervousness."

Obi-Wan chuckled again. "You're a knight now, Anakin. You don't have to call me Master anymore."

"Old habits die hard." Anakin returned, shifting again.

Sabé and Padmé stepped into the room together a few moments later, drawing their gaze.

Sabé wore her dark green handmaiden's cloak, with the hood down, her hair done up in a simple style. She saw Obi-Wan's eyes open in surprise and knew she'd chosen well. Her choice to marry him in the trappings of her own station and rank, just as he and Anakin wore their Jedi cloaks, had been a good one.

Padmé held Anakin's gaze and stopped just inside the doorway. She wore a simple white gown, a pale blue sash woven around the loops at her waist. Her hair was simple, falling free around her shoulders, her feet bare. She saw Anakin notice and his lips kicked up into a half smile. She stepped forward with Sabé, the droids amazingly silent as they stood off to the side. Meeting his clear blue eyes she felt every doubt, silent and not, wash away. This was right. This, here and now, was where she belonged and no matter what the future would hold, she and Anakin would face them together. She took his hand as Sabé took Obi-Wan's and turned to face the fire.

The Holy Man stepped in front of them. "We will do this one couple at a time since you have elected to say your own vows." His voice was deep, soothing almost in timber, and Anakin tugged Padmé off to the side, nodding to their friends.

"Let them go first." Padmé stepped closer to him as he spoke, resting her head on his shoulder. She was still nervous about what she'd have to say. Maybe watching Sabé and Obi-Wan speak first it would alleviate her fears.

"Very well." The Holy Man turned to the other couple and smiled. "Marriage is not something to be entered into lightly. It is a commitment of yourself, your whole self, without holding anything back. For better or worse, in the good and the bad times until death. If you should hold any reservations about speaking your vows, speak now."

Obi-Wan met Sabé's gaze and she shook her head. He smiled slightly and then did the same.

"Very well. Sabé, speak your vows."

Sabé closed her eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath as she ordered her thoughts. Since the Holy Man had arrived she'd been struggling over what she would say. Now, suddenly, she knew. Opening her eyes, she met Obi-Wan's gaze and spoke from her heart. "This has been a long time in coming, Obi-Wan. From the day we met, you a brash young Jedi Padawan, I a handmaiden disguised as a Queen, I felt drawn to you. I saw a young man with an enthusiasm for life that rivaled my own, a kindred spirit. A lot of time has past since that day. We've both grown older, more mature, yet that fire still remains. Tempered with time and experience, it drew us together again. I did much to get your attention and you fought, valiantly, for your ideals. I love you, Obi-Wan, for your strength of character and conviction. For your ability to see your own flaws, and those of others, and accept them. And most of all, I love you for loving me in return. With these vow I pledge myself to you. No matter what the future holds, I will stand by your side until death should part us."

Obi-Wan smiled and squeezed her hands. The Holy Man turned to him. "Obi-Wan, speak your vows."

Obi-Wan smiled a little. "I have never met anyone like you before, Sabé, and I never will again. You came out of nowhere and challenged me to be better than I was, to change and accept differences. I stand before you now, as a Jedi Knight with the approval of the Jedi Council, to make my pledge. You blindsided me, and I don't care. I love you for your perseverance and your ingenuity and, most of all, for your generous heart. I have seen much in this galaxy Sabé, but never another such as you. I vow to love you, to stand beside you, as a husband and friend, until death should part us. I love you."

She smiled, tears glittering in her eyes.

"I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride."

Obi-Wan leaned forward, meeting her halfway, as they sealed their vows in a tender kiss. He pulled her close, hugging her tightly for a few moments before releasing her. Sabé laughed softly, her smile wide and glowing as she stepped back into Obi-Wan's embrace. He wrapped an arm around her waist and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek as he motioned to Anakin and Padmé.

Padmé smiled back at Sabé, buoyed by the beaming face of her friend, and faced the Holy Man with Anakin. Anakin's hand was sweaty in hers and she was reassured to feel he was as nervous as she. She squeezed his hand as the Holy Man began to speak the ritual words.

"Marriage is not something to be entered into lightly. It is a commitment of yourself, your whole self, without holding anything back. For better or worse, in the good and the bad times until death. If you should hold any reservations about speaking your vows, speak now."

Anakin shook his head, looking straight into Padmé's eyes as she smiled and shook her head in return.

"Very well. Padmé, speak your vows."

Padmé swallowed with difficulty, suddenly finding a lump in her throat. She opened her mouth and, slowly, began to speak. "I first met you as a young boy. You were the boy who saved us by winning a race; who was a slave that promise to marry me. Many years passed from that day until I saw you next and you repeated that vow. At the time I thought it was a fantasy and standing here, today, I'm so very glad that it's not. When you accidentally formed the Life Bond with me, I was terrified to be known that intimately by anyone. Anyone but you. You are my life, my soul and my love, Anakin, and I would never want anyone else. Whenever you need me, I vow to be here. For you, for always. You are my strength and I will love you until the day death separates us and beyond. This is my pledge to you."

Anakin swallowed hard, deeply moved by her words. The Holy Man turned to look at him. "Anakin, speak your vows."

He licked his lips, sliding a pair of hair cutting sheers from the sleeve of his robe. Slowly, he got to his knees in front of her, twisting the sheers between his fingers. "From the moment I met you in Watto's shop, not a day went by when I didn't think of you. You'd wrapped yourself around my heart from that day and never left. For the last tend years I have been dreaming of this moment, of being married to you, and only you. You were my first and only love, Padmé. It is to you that I owe what I have become today. Because of your love, I have been Knighted, accomplishing one of two dreams. Today you make the other come true. I love you, Angel. For your strength and courage, for your steadfast belief even when I have lost control. I can never repay you for the gifts you have given me. You are my anchor, my light, my heart and my soul. You are my reason for living. I will love and cherish you until the end of time, this is my vow to you."

The Holy Man moved to speak but Anakin slowly placed the sheers across his palms and held them up to Padmé before he could speak.

"Today is the day I have truly become Knighted. I give to you my childhood," he bowed his head, closing his eyes. "My apprenticeship is at an end, I am yours to do with as you please."

Padmé carefully took the delicate tool. The edge was sharp, freshly sharpened and she bent slightly, grasping the end of his padawan braid and following it to the base of his skull. Very carefully, she placed the sheers at the base. "Then I give your life back to you, Anakin." She whispered softly, cutting through the braid with one deft movement. She caught it in her hand and moved the shears away from his head. "Rise."

Anakin slowly got to his feet, taking the shears from her and placing them on a nearby table. She offered him the braid but he shook his head, looking back to the preacher. The Holy Man was smiling, nodding his approval and held up his hands. "I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride."

Anakin turned to her and Padmé stepped closer, angling her head. His mouth came down slowly, a soft caress that spoke of commitment and love. Of forever. He slowly raised his head, meeting her gaze and she lifted her hand to stroke his face. His padawan braid, soft and pliant, rubbed against his cheek and her caught her hand. "Keep it," he murmured softly.

She nodded. "I plan to." She stood on tiptoe and kissed him again, drawing him down for a moment before releasing him. They pulled away, turning to face Obi-Wan and Sabé and the couples exchanged hugs and tears. Anakin met Obi-Wan's gaze and saw approval in their depths. Approval and respect. "Well done, Anakin. Well done."

Anakin's smile was slow but sincere as he pulled Padmé back into his arms, kissing the top of her head. Obi-Wan smiled back as Sabé hugged him tightly, placing a soft kiss on his jaw. "Thank you Master. You too."

Artoo whistled in the corner and Threepio placed a hand on top of his domed head, as if resting. Humans. He'd never really understand them or their rituals, but his maker was happy and that was all that mattered.


Author's Note: Thank you so very much for reading, I hope you've enjoyed my view of what a twisted web Anakin and Padmé have managed to weave. Trust me when I say I intend a sequel - it's just a matter of finding time to write one lol! Thank you very much if you've written comments about my work, I really enjoy readig the feedback you all have for me. It's wonderful to know so many of you are enjoying my writing! If you'd like a response to your comments, e-mail me at and put the title of this story in the topic. I'll try and get back to you within a few days of receiveing your e-mail. Thanks again!