Author's Note: Oh, wow! I am so sorry about the wait, everyone! I have been so busy with work and finally moving into a new house that I haven't been able to do any sort of writing! I have been gunning to continue and knowing that y'all beautifully wonderful people and been pushing for me to keep going has really helped me. I super appreciate it! Promise you, I haven't forgotten about my stories! I have a bit of free time now so I'm really going to crack down and write for more! Thanks for being patient and sorry again for the wait! Let me know what you think and enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Warnings: Language, OOCness, unbeta'd.
Word Count: 5,565
Obi-Wan stares at them, not sure he heard them right. He's got to be imagining it. They didn't just say that.
"Did you say their connections were that they were both found on Tatooine and that they were 'old' when discovered by the Order?" Obi-Wan says, staring at them with the most unbelievably blank expression. His eyes are narrowed and his jaw is dropped a bit. He's not sure he understands what they are trying to get at. If that is their only similarities, than Obi-Wan isn't all that convinced of the connections that they are trying to allude to.
"Amongst other things," Zhar says.
"Revan was extraordinarily powerful, and like Zhar said, believed to be the Chosen One, as well," Dorak says slowly, glancing over at the other old masters, as if wondering how much to give away - which only serves to make Obi-Wan more curious.
"There was always a darkness lurking inside of Revan," Atris says, her voice flat. "He tried long and hard to ignore it from the beginning of his training and ultimately into his brief Knighthood before going to war and being swallowed by that darkness. For it was as powerful as he."
"Anakin is afraid to lose those he loves," Obi-Wan admits, "but he isn't drowning in his darkness. Sure, he had a bit of a slip-up, but he's managed to pull himself back. It's why he's being promoted. We as Jedi know what it is like to touch the Dark Side, to feel it so strongly and yet to be able to pull away isn't something so easily done. Especially not when the pain stems from losing someone we care for. Surely you must be sympathetic to his plight."
"Yes," Kavar admits, holding out a hand to stop whatever Atris was going to say, "and to lose a mother, after not having seen her in a long time... I can't imagine the sort of pain that comes from that. But what I think Atris was trying to get at was that -" He looks away, as if losing his thought, or trying to find how to broach the subject.
"Revan was dear to me," Vrook says, looking over at the other masters, giving Obi-Wan the impression that this would be new information to them. "He was lost. More powerful than any I had ever seen, but very lost and in so much pain, I don't know how he bared it. He never complained and was always trying his hardest, and while meditation and lightsaber forms came to him easily, he always questioned the Code. He couldn't wrap his mind around our most basic of philosophies and cause many people to start questioning them as well."
"Revan was enigmatic," Zhar says after a beat of silence when Vrook doesn't go on. "Revan was brought to us by another..." he hesitates, as if not sure what to call this person, before moving on without elaboration, "and was without a home. Without a true purpose. He was lost, in more ways than one. He wanted to return home but didn't know how and when in wartime the opportunity finally presented itself, he wasn't able to return."
"What does that mean?" Depa asks. "He wanted to return home, but could not? And when he finally could... he couldn't?" Her eyebrows pull together.
"Revan forsaken his goal of returning home to bath in the blood of his Mandalorian enemies," Atris says sordidly. "He had yet to fall to the Dark Side but it was not hard to see that there was only one way for him after refusing the one thing that he cherished."
"Atris," Kavar chastises with his tone. "Don't mislead them." He looks between the masters. "Revan was well loved by the Republic. A great General in their war against the Mandalorians and when the call for him to finally return home, something he's desperately wanted, he ultimately denied himself. Revan never really took to our teachings, but it was a very... Jedi-like action that we were surprised. He remained battling in the war because the Republic needed him too. They wouldn't survive without him there to guide them."
"Yet, his very action of denying himself the ability to return home - his greatest desire - ultimately turned him to the Dark Side," Obi-Wan says slowly, eyes widening.
"No," Atris snaps. "Revan was consumed by his lust for battle, returning home meant nothing to him any longer. His people were not space worthy, their planet not even somewhere traveled. Revan went through great pains and then returned to battle and never bat an eyelash at it's destruction."
"Atris," Zhar gasps, purple eyes wide.
Atris turns her wintery blue eyes to the pink twi'lek. "You think I am wrong?"
"You are," Vrook cuts Zhar off before he can retort. All eyes turn to him. The balding white man looks down, eyes flickering back and forth recalling something deep in his memories that troubles him. "Revan felt great pain at the destruction of his people, for he was the last one left. The sole survivor of his race, and in his pain, he destroyed something equally as precious to the Mandalorians."
The silence that follows is deafening.
"Forgive our rambling," Kavar finally says, looking around the room with the most troubled looks on his face.
"When it comes to Revan..." Dorak says slowly, "we tend to bicker on and on. But to the point we wanted to reach with Skywalker is that we just want to be cautious. He hasn't done anything too out of the ordinary yet, and there is more similarities that weren't discussed, but my fellow Masters and myself grow weary of this talk. Revan was great. A great person. A great Jedi - while he was one. And an even greater Sith Lord. We just want to make sure that what we deal with now is the true Chosen One and not Revan incarnate."
Obi-Wan did not like these new masters. As he did not like the foreboding feeling settling in the pit of his stomach.
"I love you," Padme says, holding Anakin's hands - one fleshy and the other metallic - within her own. In the corner of her eye she can see the setting Nubian sun on her shoulder and see both Cliegg and Shmi being their only witnesses, aside from R2-D2, to watch them get married. Anakin's smile the first time they wed was soft, sweet and loving, but this time, his smile is brighter than the sun itself. It's like all the stars have aligned for the perfect moment - for both of them.
Padme loves him. She loves him so much and probably a hundred times more now than she did the last time they married. She knew for certain this time around, without a shadow of a doubt, knowing everything she does about who he became and how he got there - mostly - and how he was with Rush Clovis, that Anakin Skywalker was the only man for her. She loved him solely and deeply. He was the only one that she was meant to be with. It's like they were born for one another. Padme honestly believes that. She would rather be with Anakin, or no one.
If they aren't together, they would both die alone.
"I love you," Anakin says, and Shmi lets out a little squeak of happiness from where she's practically sobbing a few feet away next to Cliegg, a huge smile on her face. She couldn't have been happier. Padme is happy that she's here. She knows how much Shmi means to Anakin. While Padme isn't at all close to her family, she knows how much his mother being here means to Anakin. And her being here means something to Padme too.
The droid talks through their commitment to one another. Basic vows said at all marriages on Naboo. As unfortunate as it is, it is rare for people to marry for love on Naboo. It is one giant political playing field on Naboo. Padme didn't hate it or think that it was a stain on the Nubian people. They were just more political than most other planets, and that was fine with her.
Padme never thought that she would marry. She has always been very devoted to her job, her people, her planet and to the Republic. She never thought that someone would catch enough of her attention to woo her. And if she did ever marry, she never anticipated that it would be with someone whom she actually help deep affections for.
Like her first time marrying Anakin. She is amazed by the simple fact that she is marrying a man not for political gain or because it was arranged by her estranged family, but because she honestly loved him. And he loved her. Their love was mutual for one another and Padme is honored that it is, and she is marrying per Naboo's courts.
"Do you have any words, Anakin Skywalker?" the droid asks, turning toward him.
"Nothing so eloquent," he says, not looking at anyone but Padme. He's probably referring to the beautiful texts that the droid was quoting before that neither of them were probably listening to - Padme knows she wasn't. Partly because she already knew what he was going to say, and because she was too busy staring into Anakin's adorably happy face.
"I wanted to say," Anakin says softly, "that you are my everything. You are my heart and my soul. Everything that I am and were and could be, will all be yours. My love for you will outlast our lives and when the day comes many, many years from now, we will be together in the Force, too."
Padme smiles back at him, loving to hear his words just as much the second time as she did the first time around. He was just as sweet, just as sincere, and in a way it makes Sakura happy to know that even though the death of his mother weighed heavily on Anakin's heart, it didn't influence the way he felt about her in the moment that they were married. At least she knows that his feelings from the very beginning were pure.
"That was beautiful," Padme says softly, feeling a tear stab at the back of her eye that she quickly blinks away, but it's like a floodgate. She wants this to all be okay. She wants Anakin and her to be happy together for the rest of her life. She wants peace for her people - both on Naboo and in the Republic - and she wanted everyone to be happy and prosperous.
She is scared of the pain the future could hold. People could hurt Anakin, make him hurt others. But she doesn't want that. She doesn't want Anakin to be abused by anyone. She doesn't want people to use him for his amazing abilities and his beautiful heart. If Padme could, she would lock him up somewhere beautiful and wonderful where he would never have to worry about anything else in the galaxy ever again. But she knows that's not an option. Anakin is like a bird. He has to be able to spread his wings and fly. It's important for him to be able to move about and do things.
Padme wants him to be safe and sound, but she doesn't want him to be unhappy. Pain is a part of life. Padme knows this, but she isn't happy about it. She wants Anakin to be happy and live his life to the fullest, but sometimes that involves pain.
Padme is scared for the future, though. She's scared what it will hold for him. She trusts Anakin. She does. She just wants to keep him safe without suffocating him with her presence.
"I love you, Ani," Padme says softly, squeezing his hands tightly, knowing he can only feel one of them. "I can't imagine my life without you. I know in my heart that you are the only one for me."
Anakin blushes - blushes - like a young boy in love. Padme simply can't get enough of his beauty and his innocence. He is perfection. She loves him so deeply and wholly, he's going to be just fine. Even as he was choking the life out of her, Padme could see Anakin warring inside of himself. There was still deep rooted good in him, Padme is absolutely certain of that. So long as the goodness is still in him, than she knows that she can never fully give up on him.
As the ceremony comes to a close, they seal their marriage with a kiss. The moment, like any and all shared with Anakin, is perfect. Just them. Their peace. Their love. Everything is going to be alright. Even Shmi, who is off to the side, is crying tears of joy. Cliegg has his arm over her shoulder, holding her up as she laughs and cries at the same time, a watery smile sent their way. She practically throws herself in Anakin's arms when he pulls away from Padme to try and sooth his mother.
Padme's heart could only be filled with more joy and happiness is her children were there with her. But she has to shake the thought away. She is going to try and be as happy as she can be on her wedding day. The rest of her life can be spent pining over her children, wishing that they were with her, but today, she'll dare to be happy, if only for a little while.
"Mom," Anakin laughs, holding Shmi tightly to his chest, his smile nearly splitting his face in half. Shmi shakes her head, wiping the tears from her cheeks, and laughing softly. "Mom," Anakin says again, "stop. Please."
"I'm happy, Ani," Shmi mumbles, letting out another laugh. "I can't be happy that you are married? I knew this day would come from the moment I saw you." She looks over at Padme, large brown eyes locking onto Padme's. "You and Ani were always meant to be together. I just know it." Her smiles is loving and watery.
Padme blushes, reaching out to take Shmi's hands when she steps away from Anakin and offers them to her.
"Thank you for saying that," Padme murmurs, embarrassed. She didn't get to spend a lot of time with Shmi, but the woman seems to be very fond of her, which she's happy about. She's just... surprised by it all. She was willing to bet that while she seems like such a nice lady when they first met all those years ago, that she wouldn't be so trusting, so immediately. So wholly. But she is.
Padme isn't mad in the slightest, but she is in awe. The Skywalker family will never cease to amaze and impress her.
Someone shakes her, gently. Padme groans, waving her hand around a bit to try and push the thing shaking her away. She rolls onto her back, her entire body aching from training the day before. Today was suppose to be her day off. She has to rest before class later on in the evening. She is exhausted. A few minutes longer, that is all that she needs.
"Padme, wake up," the gentle voice of her father whispers, giving her another little shake.
"Ask brother..." Padme mumbles.
Her father laughs. "Well, little lady, your brother happened to have left earlier this morning. He already knows and will be returning earlier in the evening so that the four of us can have dinner together."
"I'm not hungry..." Padme mumbles again, sucking in a lungful of breath before letting it out slowly, drifting back to sleep. Then the words settle into her mind and her eyes are flying open and she shoots up, turning large brown eyes toward the face of her father. His dark brown eyes like her own. She takes after her father. His dark hair and eyes the same, lightly tanned skin. She was a splitting image of her father. Her personality, though, much like her mother.
"Mother?" Padme asks, dark eyes widening more. "Mother is here?" Her heart is racing and her head is spinning from the sudden movement, but she ignores it. She is more focused on the handsome, young face of her father. "Is she?"
Her father grins, showing off two rows of pearly white teeth. "That's right, baby girl. Mom is here. She's waiting for you out on the balcony in our room. Be gentle, though, she's very tired."
Padme shoves her covers off and runs out of the room. Thirteen years old, and the girl runs desperately toward her parents room as if it's been hundreds of years since she's last seen her mother. But in fact it's only been about a year and a half. Her bare feet slap against the marble of the floor beneath her as she rounds the corner into her parents room and then all the way across it to the doors on the other side of the room only to stop.
Leaning against the concrete railing, looking out over the rainy scenery beyond, is a woman with long blond hair, falling to her waist. There is a large, vast city beyond drenched by the never ending downpour. Large spires in the distance that attract the lightning to them, using the spires to convert the electricity into energy to power the city.
Her long, pale, arms cross over one another on the railing, her ankles crossed as well. The pinnacle of relaxed. She tilts her head a bit before uncrossing her ankles and pushing away from the railing, turning around slowly to look at Padme, her face young and smooth and beautiful. A beauty mark on her cheek identical of her own and one at the corner of her eye, on the lower lid.
"Padme..." her mother says, eyes twinkling happily. "My beautiful Padme."
"Mommy!" Padme runs across the room and into her mother's arms, turning her cheek to the side and rest it against the smooth skin of her mother's chest. Padme squeezes her eyes closed and relishes in the long desired feeling of being in her mother's arms. She loves her father, she does, and she's a daddy's girl to boot, but she doesn't get to see her mother very often and loves every single moment that she gets to spend with her.
Her mother interlaces her fingers through Padme's long, curly brown hair - so much like her father's - letting her nails lightly brush against Padme's scalp. The actions are slow and loving. Padme's mother rocks back and forth slowly, in a very soothing manner.
"Padme," Padme's mother whispers, her voice holding a very thick accent that she has never placed. "My darling girl. I have missed you so."
"I missed you, mommy."
"I wish I didn't have to leave all the time," her mother sighs, squeezing Padme tightly to her. "I feel like I am missing your entire life, my little love. Before I know it, I'm going to be getting panicked calls from your father broken hearted about you dating a boy."
Padme laughs, squeezing her mother's waist tightly, keeping her eyes closed. "You won't be broken hearted?"
Her mother laughs softly, her voice light a gentle song. "No, I'm not afraid of you growing up. It's your brother that I don't think I'll be able to handle."
Padme smiles, knowing that her brother holds a special place in her mother's heart. He was her miracle baby. She didn't know if she would be able to have children and then she had Padme's brother and she said her life finally had meaning once more. She loves Padme, and Padme knows that she does. But there is just something special about the connection between her mother and brother.
"Why?" Padme whispers, letting out a little sigh, relaxing in her mother's arms.
Her mother lets out a long, drown out sigh, filled with worry for the future. "Because you are strong, my beautiful girl. You aren't easily impressed and have eyes for only one person. Your brother is gentle. Kind. He is good. Caring. He will allow everyone in the galaxy to hurt him and damage him beyond repair. His goodness is endless and eternal and I worry about darkness snuffing out that light. You, my beautiful girl, cannot be tainted. The goodness will never leave you. You will always find a way. If it leaves your brother, he will be destroyed. That is why I'm afraid."
"Of a girl?" Padme asks, opening her eyes to stare out over the rainy city.
"Of everything, really," her mother murmurs. "There is a lot of evil out there, Padme, and it tries to disguise itself as good."
Padme pulls away, still keeping her arms wrapped around her mother, but looks up into her pretty blue eyes. "What do you mean?"
Her mother looks tired, faint creases around her eyes from constantly rubbing at them in her exhaustion. She looks like she hasn't had a good night's sleep in a long time. Padme feels so bad. She doesn't know how to help her mother, only that she wished that she could do something. She has to focus on school and hope that she'll be able to learn everything she can help her parents. Until then, she will have to just stare on and wait.
"Evilness isn't just mean words and nasty looks. Sometimes something as simple as, 'inaction is the only action' can be perceived as evil. Knowing something must be done but not willing to do it, is evilness. Talking things through is good and helps us better understand one another, but choosing to do nothing when something must be done may not be evil, if I can correct myself, but it is at least negligent. If we have the power to help people, Padme, we owe it to ourselves and others to do what we can to help," her mother says, pushing away loose strands of curly hair from her face.
Padme nods, leaning her cheek against her mother's chest, eyes lowering in contemplative thought. "Yes, mother..."
"Are you nervous about returning to Coruscant?" Padme asks, pulling the sheets around herself, looking down at Anakin. He's laying on his back behind her, running the long, pale fingers of his left hand up and down the smooth skin of her back, running the digits over the only blemish, the newly formed scar on her middle to lower back from the nexu swipe.
The skin is freshly healed, it's a light pink color and sensitive to the touch. Padme shivers at the loving touch from her husband - Force, it feels wonderful to think about that again. He was her husband! - and smiles at him before looking away. She rubs at her shoulder a bit, feeling the ache returning. Her left shoulder was still in pain from its dislocation. She needs to put the sling back on.
Anakin sits up and kisses her right shoulder a few times, then her neck, before pausing to see her rubbing persisting. "What's wrong? Does your shoulder hurt?" He sits up completely, reaching out and touching her shoulder, running his hands over them, thankfully the metal hand is warm. He runs his fleshy fingers along the backside of her shoulder, feeling it for a moment before pulling back and looking around for her brace.
"I don't know where it is," Padme says, moving her shoulder around a bit as Anakin slips off of the bed behind her before reappearing in front of her with the flesh colored brace. "Oh, you found it!"
Anakin smiles faintly before slowly helping her put it on. "I'm sorry," he says, smiling falling away. "We should have kept this on."
In the flurry of motion, removing his robes and her dress when they returned to the room, neither of them were thinking about that. A part of her had to agree with his statement, she has to wear it a little while longer, but it was a pain. "Yes, but it makes it hard to move around."
Anakin's smile returns a bit. "I think that's the point." He helps strap it into place before slowly wrap his arms around her waist and lower his chin to her other shoulder, closing his eyes. He presses his lips against the smooth skin of her shoulder. Padme smiles, relishing in the warmth of her husband wrapped around her. His skin is hot - it's always hot - and the cool night air filters in through the window, making her shiver.
Anakin snuggles up a bit closer, using his body to warm her more. After a long, comfortable silence, staring out the window across from them, listening to the sounds of the night, Anakin asks, softly, "Are you okay? You're um, body, I mean."
Padme laughs lightly, shaking her head. "I'm alright, Ani. This isn't my first." As soon as the worlds left her lips, even before his body tensed up behind her, she knew that she had made a mistake. She felt his entire body go rigid. She turns around slightly to look at him with wide brown eyes, watching the surprise and hurt flicker across his face. "Oh, Ani..."
Anakin looks away, jerkily. He's blinking rapidly, trying to process the words she just said, like he couldn't believe them. He closes his eyes tightly, creases forming between the beautiful steely blue orbs. He lets out a long, slow breath.
"I'm sorry," Padme says softly. "I didn't mean to... I shouldn't have said that. I'm so sorry." She reaches out and touches his cheek, running her fingers up and down the smooth skin there. Anakin shakes his head slowly, still processing her words before opening his eyes again to stare at her. "I'm sorry," she says again.
"I don't know what I was thinking," Anakin mumbles, shaking his head and pressing his cheek back against her shoulder once more. He presses his lips against her shoulder again. The action is slow and subconscious.
"Anakin, please," Padme murmurs, "don't think about that. You are my husband, I love you. You are the only man in my life and I love you more than anyone else." She turns around more, dislodging his cheek, to be able to look him right in the eye. "Please, understand that. Please. There is only you. There was always you, and there always will be."
Padme can't wipe out the flings of the past, even with Anakin. She can't pretend that they didn't happen, because that would be lying to him. Anakin has had enough people lying to him about everything, she shouldn't be piling on - at least any more than she already is. She hasn't lied to him, not really, but not telling him about herself and what happened, is dishonest in it's own way. She wished that coming clean and admitting to the horror that happened in her past wouldn't somehow destroy him, but she's scared. Maybe the time will come, but she doesn't think now is the time.
Especially after having survived drop an emotional bomb on Anakin about him not being her first. It's messing with his head a bit now, but it's small fry in comparison to everything else she has burning inside of her.
Anakin blinks a few times, staring into her eyes. "I guess I just..." he hesitates, before shaking his head - again - moving back to lay down. Padme follows him, laying down at his side, turning onto her side to look into his eye as he turns too, to face her.
"What?" Padme prompts. He needs to talk. She'll listen to everything he has to say. This is small fry in the grand scheme of things, but it's important to him right now. Padme knows that she isn't perfect and that she'll never pretend to be, but she has to be there for him more. She has to let him know how much she loves and cherishes him. He deserves to have her upmost attention and all of the truth - even if she can't do that just yet. He deserves the absolute best.
"Nothing," Anakin says slowly. "I guess I just had this perfect image of you and us, that I never thought about your life being different than what I imagined." He didn't intend for it to be, but it certainly felt like a slap in the face. The look must have shown on her face, because his eyes widen in surprise. He leans in closer, looking remorseful. "No, Padme, I didn't mean it like that-"
"No," Padme shakes her head, reaching out and cupping his cheek. "I know. I know." She scoots closer until her nose is just barely an inch away from his. "I know you didn't mean it like that. We haven't seen each other in a long time, Ani. We will spend the rest of our lives getting to know one another. No matter what, I will always love you."
Anakin studies her face, as if trying to see something, but isn't able to. He nods slowly, blinking a few times. "Yeah. I love you too. I don't know what I would do without you."
The tiny, dark voice in the back of her mind worried about that too.
The time it took to get back to Coruscant was spent in relative silence. It was hard for Anakin to say goodbye to his mother, but she needed to stay on Naboo for a bit longer so that Galdrina could look after her. Their goodbye is short and sweet, Shmi gently stroking his cheek and promising to see him again soon and to take care of himself. She loved him and wanted to keep himself safe.
"Are you nervous about this war?" Padme asks, trying to fill the silence in the cockpit. Her and Anakin were close enough that she can easily reach across the small space and rest her hand on his arm, just above prosthetic.
Anakin stares at the hyperspace lines as if they are hypnotizing him. "No," he says softly. "I'm not nervous about the war itself, I'll be okay." Padme doesn't doubt that, but she does always worry. She wanted to say that but realized that he was going to speak again, he just needed a moment to organize his thoughts. Once he seems to figure out what he wants, he says, "But I do worry about everyone else. This war is going to claim a lot of lives. If there was something that I could do to somehow end this war a moment sooner, I would."
It's like he stole the desire right from her mind. He has no idea the numbers of people that will be displaced, injured or killed in this conflict, but Padme does. At least she has an idea of it, and it's staggering. It's painful to think about it, even now, even though it hasn't happened yet. Padme desperately wished that there was something that she could do to stop this all from happened, but her only idea would be to stop Count Dooku, but that's not really something that she can do, and even if whomever else was successful, who's to say Palpatine doesn't just find someone else to take his place?
And there is still the problem with the other Sith that she doesn't know about. The one that came out of literally no-where. She was nothing when compared to Force Users. Really, all she can do is try to steer her way through the mess that is building up in front of her and hope that she can prevent as many catastrophes as possible and hope that the rest will simply fall into place. The Sith can only be dealt with by the Jedi. Padme will have to do what she can.
That's all she can do.
They exit hyperspace just outside of the space around Coruscant, running into the Republic planetary blockade. As Anakin is giving entrance codes to allow them to land on the planet, Padme turns away and looks out the window, rubbing her hands together swiftly, building friction to warm them. She is used to the chill of space and is dressed modestly for the cold, yet it feels like all of the heat has somehow left the galaxy.
For the Reviewers:
1. Aggiefan15: Who's the say that they won't be? XD Haha, maybe! Revan and Bastila reincarnated as Anakin and Padme? Hmmm.. XD I guess so!
2. Khathar: Atris is just a nasty person in general - and in some ways, so is Vrook - but I'm not going to make two dimensional evil people. There is a reason for their anger, that isn't so different from each other. We got just a glimpse of Vrooks today.
3. HaywireEagle: We shall see, then.
4. changingdestiny40: Oh, okay! Good! I was worried that such an honest question went unanswered. I wouldn't want to mislead someone in a direction that wasn't for plot conviniance. Haha! Yes, I was gunning for just Anakin/Padme and probably Obi-Wan/Satine, because there isn't enough love for them. :3
5. Bobboky: Thanks!
6. Karin Ochibi-chan: Thank you so much! I'm sorry about the wait!