An Open Secret

A Star Wars fanfiction by Andrew Joshua Talon, Mandemon and others

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fan based parody. Star Wars is the property of Disney and Lucasfilm Ltd. Please support the official release.

This takes place in the midst of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith...

Anakin was meditating in the temple, trying to make sense of his feelings. He really did want to believe in the Jedi, but the visions of Padme's death haunted him. Jedi Councils refusal to accept his appointment had hurt him, treating him like a mere spy. The Chancellor's talk about possibility of saving Padme had been tempting, but... it was the Dark Side of the Force he was offering. Could he really accept something like that? To abandon the Light? He didn't want to lose Padme, to lose his child, but who could he really turn to? The council had always hidden things from him. They didn't trust him. They were too dedicated to their code. After Ahsoka had left, he had no one left to truly speak to about this.

If he went and spoke about his marriage, about his child... But the chancellor understood. He understood Anakin, trusted him. Maybe...

"Oh, hello Skywalker," a voice broke his troubled mediation. He looked up, a familiar Togrutan standing over him with a gentle smile. Not the one he had been thinking of, but a kind presence nevertheless.

"Master Shaak-Ti, I didn't notice your arrival," Anakin responded, standing up slowly. Shaak-Ti nodded and handed him a small package.

"It is customary for Togrutans to give a small gift for upcoming parents, and I thought it might be good for you two."

His heart pounded in his ears, as the world seemed to fall out from under his feet.

"What?" Anakin managed to say, while his brain was running through countless scenarios. Shaak-Ti nevertheless was still smiling.

"Oh come now, she was practically glowing the other day. My sister looked exactly the same way when she learned she was pregnant," Shaak-Ti said with a wave of her hand, her gentle smile becoming almost playful.

Anakin grabbed her arm and pulled them out of the meditation room. He sought refuge in one of the many alcoves in the hallways of the temple. He released her, and spun around with wide eyes.

"But... but... It was a secret!" Anakin managed to say, his mind racing. How could they have been exposed, how much did the Council know? How could he protect himself and Padme?

"You two were indeed secretive," the Togrutan woman said, before tapping below her eye. "But some of us still have our eyes and once you noticed it the first time... it was kinda obvious. I think every Padawan in the temple actually knows, they are quite good at the rumor mill."

Anakin's hand moved towards his lightsaber. If someone from the Council knew, it might mean his expulsion, maybe even split from Padme. It might mean the end of everything. It might mean… Shaak-Ti was chuckling?

"What... what does this mean?" Anakin managed.

"Are you worried about expulsion?" Shaak-Ti tilted her head. "You do not need to worry. Those of us who know think it's quite cute. I think Yoda is hoping to be named a godfather once the young one is born."

That utterly short circuited Anakin's brain as his mind tried to process the mental image. He couldn't help it but start to laugh at the mental image of Yoda as a doting grandparent. A laugh Shaak-Ti shared.

"Uncle Yoda...," he managed to mutter, "Oh, I had not even began to consider that Council might know about us."

Shaak Ti reached out to rest her hand on his lightsaber arm. He tried to pretend she hadn't noticed him twitching for it. That was kind of her.

"Some of us do. Some are still in the dark. I think Obi-Wan suspects you two are more than friends, but he has always kinda slow on these things."

"I didn't think he was even able to think things like that," Anakin commented softly.

"Oh, he had his own share of adventures," Shaak-Ti said with a smile, but the smile at last dropped. "Unfortunately, his own insecurities torpedoes them, and this war has taken last of them."

Anakin winced as he recalled the fate of Duchess Satine, and how close she and Obi-Wan had looked. He wondered if that had been something Obi-Wan had intended to tell him about, before they had been interrupted. About what happened to her...

"I must ask... you do not intend to separate me and Padme?" He found himself asking.

"Heavens, no!" Shaak-Ti said with a shock, before having a devious smile on her face. "As long I get to be the godmother."

Anakin laughed, it felt... liberating to have someone know and not opposing them. The tension he'd been feeling in the Force was beginning to ease, if only a little.

"It's a deal." Maybe he could trust the Jedi little bit. Maybe it was time to finally really talk with Obi-Wan.

Aayla Secura was the next in his line of surprises, meeting him at the hangar with a smile and a set of Twi'Lek story-chains in her smooth hand.

"For your young one," she said cheerfully. "A collection of my family's fables and legends, as well as many of your own adventures I collected."

"Ah... Thank you, Master Secura," Anakin said with a small smile and nod. "Um... How did you-?"

"You talk in your sleep a great deal," Aayla said smoothly. Anakin's eyes widened.

"But - But - I - !"

"As does Senator Amidala," Aayla observed, still wearing a wicked smile. Anakin gaped at her. She then chuckled. "My, such unbecoming thoughts! So this is what married life does to a man!"

"Aayla, seriously," Anakin grumbled, covering his face. Aayla, still laughing, patted him on the shoulder.

"One must keep in practice if one is to use all of your gifts to your advantage," she said serenely. "No... One does not spend a lifetime learning body language and miss the signals you and the Senator send one another."

"And the Jedi who did miss it?" Anakin asked quietly. Aayla shrugged.

"Well... Sometimes the obvious escapes the most astute Jedi. After all, if you are an exceptional Jedi, whyever would you violate the sacred Jedi Code?" She smiled like the sun. "It would be inconceivable. Therefore..."

"Therefore, it must be impossible," Anakin muttered. Aayla nodded.

"Exactly," she said. "Now, I look forward to showing you how to tell these stories properly as their godmother."

Anakin coughed. "Uh... Shaak-Ti kind of made me promise her that she could take that role..."

He trailed off as Aayla's face became stormy, to an extent he'd only seen when she was in battle.

"Oh she did, did she?" Aayla muttered. She smiled at Anakin. "Well! I'm sure I can... Resolve things with her. And Padme."

"Uh... Aayla?" Anakin asked, uncertainly.

"Thinking unbecoming things again, Knight Skywalker," Aayla pointed out with a cat-like smile.

To be continued...