by Valerie Vancollie
valeriev84 at hotmail dot com
Note: This fic appeared in the Star Wars fanzine Size Matters Not in May 2002.
Anakin slowly awoke, the white ceiling with its random pattern swimming into view as he opened his eyes. Briefly he lay there, simply breathing in the fresh air which was flavored with the sweet scent of the jasmines and roses that grew on the balcony. Letting out a contented sigh, he turned slightly to look down at his sleeping wife who was snuggled up against him.
Force, she was beautiful!
He could stay like this all night, just watching her. Memorizing the way her chest rose and fell with each breath, the way her long silky hair was spilt onto herself and the pillow, the occasional warm breeze picking up strands of it to play with before carefully laying them back down, and especially the peaceful and contented expression on her face. Far too often he had seen those delicate features marred with stress or frustration, more so on Coruscant where the pressure on her was greatest.
Which was one of the reasons why he had originally suggested that they get this house here on Naboo, so that they could occasionally escape from their demanding occupations and simply relax and enjoy life. Something that they hadn't been able to do a lot of, even though they'd only been married for six months. Politics constantly kept Amidala busy and the Jedi him. But not now. They'd finally managed to get away and had promised each other to just have fun for a while and indulge themselves while enjoying their marriage.
Glancing up towards the large windows that opened out onto the balcony, Anakin could clearly see the stars sparkling against the dark backdrop of space like diamonds on black velvet. Padmé insisted on leaving the windows open every night to let in the fresh air, something which was sourly lacking at the Republic's capital. Every now and then, a gentle aroma laden breeze swept into the room, playing with the long curtains so that they reached out towards the bed as if seeking to caress it and its occupants with silky fingers. With each breeze also came the soft, musical sound of the chimes hanging outside. A sound which, combined with the distant murmuring of the waterfalls, Padmé loved and which lulled him off to sleep every evening here.
A soft white light suddenly filled the room and reflected off the walls, giving the room a surreal feeling to it. Looking towards the window, Anakin saw a large shapeless shadow on the floor that slowly glided to the right, going from the floor onto the curtains, the doors and then it left upon briefly enshrouding the balcony in its darkened embrace. Remembering that it was supposed to be a full moon tonight, he carefully pushed aside the sheets, planted a soft kiss on Padmé's cheek and got out of bed.
Silently, he moved towards the window and stepped out onto the balcony. Looking up, Anakin caught sight of the light gray-blue cloud that had caused the shadow and saw that it had a few companions scattered randomly across the sky. All of them moved lazily, carried by the soft wind that made its presence known every few minutes. Anakin was glad to note, though, that none of the clouds was on a direct path of interception with the moon which was casting a circle of light around itself, dimming out the stars in its immediate vicinity.
Anakin smiled and moved towards the edge of the balcony, resting his arms against the cold marble of the railing as he turned his gaze downwards. Having bought a small house on the outskirts of Theed, they had a wonderful view of the waterfalls that cascaded down the abrupt ending of the plateau Theed was built upon. The normally clear waters were always darkened at night, making them appear to be composed of liquid ebony capped with white foam. But with the moonlight tonight the dancing water had a silvery tint to it that made it seem as if it consisted of a thousand precious jewels that sparkled as they tumbled down to the lake below.
As he reached out with the Force, Anakin reveled in the calm that bathed the entire scene. From the moment he had first arrived on Naboo it had become his favorite planet. A fact which hadn't changed in the years since that day. The planet was extremely beautiful and peaceful, much more so than any of the other planets he had visited. Its abundant waterfalls had also captured his imagination from the beginning. His fascination with water hadn't dimmed over the years and always earned him some good-natured teasing from Obi-Wan. His master had had more than his share of water and couldn't comprehend his apprentice's obsession with the liquid. Anakin didn't mind the teasing as it gave him an excuse to tease his master. As a result of this, their relationship had quickly evolved from a student-teacher bond to one of friendship and he was sure that it was partly due to the fact that he and Obi-Wan were closer in age than any of the other student-teacher pairs at the Temple.
Padmé moaned softly as she slowly awoke, instinctively moving closer to Anakin's side of the bed in search of him. Feeling only a warm spot on the mattress where he had lain, she opened her eyes and rolled onto her back. Looking at the chrono on her night stand, she saw that it was only two in the morning. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she sat up and looked around for her missing husband. Finally spotting his dark silhouette on the balcony, she smiled.
Briefly she watched him before she disentangled herself from the sheets and reached for her exquisitely embroidered summer robe. The robe itself was a bluish-green in color like the waters of Theed and only came half-way down her thighs, while the sleeves stopped at her elbows. She treasured it deeply as her mother had painstakingly embroidered the whole piece with miniature people, birds, and flowering trees and plants as well as boats and houses which were styled after the unique manner of those of her childhood village. All the embroidery was done in striking colors, yet each was in perfect harmony with the others. Being the last gift from her mother before she had died, it held a special meaning for her and she had made sure that her handmaidens washed it themselves with particular care so that she'd be able to use it for as long as possible.
Pulling the robe on around her and tying the sash, Padmé walked towards the window and stepped out onto the balcony.
"Hey there," she said as she approached her husband.
"Padmé," Anakin replied as he turned around and pulled her towards him.
"What are you doing out here?" Padmé inquired, lifting her head to meet his gaze.
"Enjoying the scenery."
"It is beautiful," Padmé admitted as she turned her attention to the view while leaning against the young Padawan.
"And peaceful," Anakin added, as he gently ran his fingers down her side, causing her to shiver.
"Ani," Padmé moaned, the sensation distracting her. "What are you doing?"
"Nothing," Anakin replied innocently as she turned to face him, her expression clearly indicating that she didn't believe him.
"You were the one who got out of bed."
"You were asleep."
"Not anymore," Padmé responded as she moved closer to him and reached up to wrap her fingers around his Padawan braid.
"So I see."
"Get down here you," Padmé said as she tugged at his braid.
"Ahh..." Anakin mock complained as he complied, but was cut off as their lips met.