A/N: So, I re-read something I wrote during one my "send me a word and I'll write a paragraph long story" things on Tumblr, and it was a Superhero AU. I decided to turn it into something slightly longer and share it here!
"Don't be afraid," Anakin said, tugging the tight spandex of his trousers over a deep, angry cut that made his leg feel as though it were burning from the inside out. They didn't have time to dress it, or the countless other wounds they both bore. The blood soaked through the thin material in mere seconds, leaving a sickly red patch for all to see. He could handle the pain; it was Padme he was worried about. She hadn't spoken a word since their retreat back to the tower… Since they'd lost.
He watched her for a few seconds, standing by the window, gazing out at the blood red sky as Palpatine's army spread further and further through the streets, terrorising innocent people, creating chaos and – and killing their friends. It was over. The heroes were over. This city would be Palpatine's by dawn, and there was nothing Anakin or Padme could do about it. Part of him rallied, they'd faced worse odds surely, there had to be a way to fix this – there was always a way…
But there was no way to make things better. Not this time, not with just two of them left.
Obi-wan… Ahsoka… Rex, Cody, Aayla, Barris, Mace, even Yoda were gone… And the others. All gone.
He wanted to go to her, to comfort her and tell her everything would be alright… But three years ago, when they'd stood by an altar, pledging themselves to one another for life, he'd promised to never lie to her. That wasn't a promise Anakin intended to break, even now. She was too smart to believe him anyway. Screams from the people on the streets filled the tense air, and Padme lifted a palm to the glass, pursing her lips.
"I'm not afraid to die." She whispered at last.
Hearing those words leave her mouth tore at something inside of Anakin, the part of him that loved her, that wanted to protect her always roared in protest at her knowing such a fate awaited outside… But Padme was always the more realistic one between them. Anakin was the dreamer, the perfectionist… Even now he wanted to pretend like they had a chance out there, even for a little while. That they could somehow defeat Palpatine and his cronies and still live happily ever after. Maybe after this job, they'd open up the tower to the new generation of heroes, younger ones with unexplored powers and train them, eventually retiring to live their own lives, just like they wanted. Maybe, when the dust had settled, they'd start a family of their own, find a pretty house with a white picket fence and he could build a swing for the kids below the treehouse…
Tears sprung to the young hero's eyes suddenly as he imagined everything they could have had, everything they wanted to do… He was taking her to Paris this summer, for her birthday – he just hadn't told her yet… But they weren't going to Paris. They weren't getting that house with the white picket fence. They weren't going to raise a family.
"Padme…" He choked on her name, and eventually, she turned to look at him, and Anakin could see the tears that shone in her eyes. "I'm sorry."
She shook her head and came to him, white battle suit torn and dirtied and stained with blood he hoped wasn't hers. "No, Ani, don't do that. There isn't anything we could have done differently. Palpatine outwitted us, it was beyond our control." Her arms came up to stroke along his arms, breath shuddering as she forced it into her lungs. "I just wish we had more time."
They didn't have to go out there. They could shed the suits and leave… Try to make a life out there under Palpatine's rule somehow, try to be happy. They both knew they could, but neither dared say it. It wasn't really an option. Running away wasn't in their blood. How many times had she told him that it was their duty to fight for those who couldn't fight for themselves? This, right now, this was when that duty mattered most of all.
"I know." He dipped his head lower, closing his eyes and leaning his forehead against hers. "I know…"
They stayed like that forever, simply breathing one another in, enjoying their closeness, their intimacy for the last time until Anakin leaned lower to taste her lips, just because he could. Padme rose up on her toes, throwing her arms around his shoulders and he felt wetness on his cheeks, whether it was from him or her, he didn't care to know. Behind his neck, he felt her fist his cowl and slipped his long fingers into what remained of the bun she'd tied her hair into.
When they pulled apart, it was slowly, unwillingly, as the shrill shrieking outside grew louder, closer to the tower and a large explosion rocked the city, making the tower tremble. They were going to fall out there, but they would take down as many of them as they could before that happened. He couldn't stand to imagine who might lose who first. The horror they'd witnessed in the deaths of the others was too raw in his mind, he couldn't bear to think of Padme suffering like that. He'd rather die a thousand times than let that happen.
"We have to get back out there." She whispered against his lips, trembling in his arms and Anakin held her tighter suddenly, unwilling to let her go. "People are dying… We – we have to help them."
"I'm not ready…" He confessed into her hair, burying his nose into her dusty locks and felt her whimper. Did that make him a coward, to not want to go? To want to take her hand and run somewhere, anywhere else? Somewhere safe… Until they could regroup, find others like them and fight another day. But there was no safety out there not anymore. There was only the tower and it wouldn't take long for Palpatine to tear it down once the city had fallen. He'd find their names, their homes and their families if they ran… So they had to stay and they had to fight.
"Neither am I." Padme pressed her cheek against his chest and Anakin felt his eyes fill with tears again. "But we can't avoid this. It's our –"
"It's our duty, I know." He breathed and cupped her chin in his gloved palm, forcing her beautiful chocolate eyes to meet his own pools of blue. "We'll go to the heart of them and take down as many as we can before… If there's anyone who'll stand against him after this is done, they'll need as much leverage as they can get."
Padme nodded shakily. "I just hope someone's out there who'll fight him when we're gone."
His throat clenched sharply, and it took several moments to swallow down the thick lump that arose there. "There will be, Angel. There's always a new hope eventually."
More screams rang out from the streets and the pair gripped at the other's cheeks, taking their lips in a fierce, hard kiss that could never last long enough. When they pulled apart, each swallowing down a moment of grief for the other, Anakin reached behind his neck and tugged on his cowl, shielding his face as Padme's shaking fingers reattached her mask over her eyes.
"Stay with me," Anakin murmured, caressing her soft, bruised cheek with the backs of his fingers. "To the end."
"To the end." She promised.