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His fingertips graze his daughter's soft, pink forehead with gentleness he never thought himself capable of.

Anakin thinks those words over again. His daughter. His daughter. Leia Skywalker-Naberrie. He's absolutely confident that she will live up to the name. Yes, this small, squirming infant girl who is glowing with radiance and health, even in the dim blue light of this late evening, will become the pride of the galaxy. Of this he is sure.

His eyes move to the second dozing newborn sprawled beside the girl. His splotchy, red little fists are clasped around Leia's frail arm desperately, his tiny mouth agape as he breathes, shallow and soothing. Luke. A beautiful little boy, a perfect copy of his sister, right down to his upturned nose, his wisps of fuzzy colorless hair. Not even the Force can tell them apart. Anakin grins in despite himself. This is peace Master Yoda will never know.

The twins' crib is positioned against a window in their quiet nursery, something Anakin had insisted upon. Padme was unsure why exactly this small detail was so important to him, but she had seen the earnestness in her husband's striking eyes and complied, curious and amused. After the twins came into the world, were hastily swaddled by Sola and fast asleep in the room across the hall, Padme asked him of his motives. Her head was collapsed upon his chest as they laid in their bed, from which Padme could not find the strength to leave. Her voice was strained, she was trembling from labor and exhausted beyond reason, but her dark eyes were sparkling with the pride of becoming a mother and her pain was momentarily disregarded. Anakin smiled down at her, brushing a stray lock of hair from her cheek, wishing despairingly he could relieve her of her discomfort.

"The mothers on Tatooine would always rest their babies beneath windows," he told her quietly, stroking her disheveled hair back into array. "Or wherever there was a view of the sky. It was supposed to bring the child good fortune—they thought it shouldn't have to see anything but freedom for as long as it could."

And now he stands above the twins' crib, two weeks later, and listens contently to the lake waves lapping broad crescents against the shore, surveys the deep cobalt night and the white stars that pinprick its veil. The moonlight is draped over the infants, casting its soft glow over the children as if to claim them under its protection. Why this small inference brings him so much comfort, Anakin does not know. But it brings him ease, settles his anxieties of leaving them alone, even if he is only a few paces from their nursery. He cannot help but feel that they will somehow be snatched from him, lest he not hold them tightly enough. For these twins were now his entire life.

He looks upon Luke and Leia once more before turning and stepping quietly from the nursery. Padme will be wondering where he is.