Than It Shall Be

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Star Wars. I only own the plot that I am working with.

"You look beautiful," Obi-Wan's gentle voice said from behind Padme. She turned and blushed, her hands unconsciously smoothing down the pink folds of fabric. She felt giddy and very much like a teenager under his intense gaze, but she kept her back straight, her chin lifted as the strong woman, the strong Queen that she was.

"Thank you," Padme said.

Obi-Wan bestowed a gentle smile upon her as he moved further into the room. "It's so quiet now," he said after a moment.

"Mm," Padme said as he stepped up to her and they gazed out over the grounds of Theed in front of the palace, already beginning to fill with onlookers awaiting the celebration that would honor their victory over the Trade Federation and that would welcome the Gungans into their fold. "Soon we will be very busy."

"That's why I came now," Obi-Wan said, almost sadly.

Padme looked at him. "What is wrong?" she asked.

Obi-Wan took a deep breath and gazed into her eyes. "Immediately after the ceremony Anakin and I must leave," he said. "We must return to Coruscant to begin his training. I wasn't sure if I would have the opportunity to say goodbye."

Padme felt tears forming in her eyes. "Goodbye?" she asked in a whisper. "Surely it can't be forever."

"I do not know, m'lady," he said softly. "I do not know what the Force has in store for me or my Padawan." He lifted her hand to his lips and kissing it. "Goodbye." He turned and walked to the door, his back straight as a board.

"And what of us?" Padme asked before she could hold her tongue. Obi- Wan paused and did not move. Padme bit her lip, her heart aching. "I mean."

Obi-Wan turned. The look in his eyes stopped her from speaking. With long strides, Obi-Wan was in front of her again. The look in his blue gaze was intense but the hand that reached up to gently cup her cheek was gentle, like rose petals touching her skin.

"I can not deny what I feel," he whispered. "But do you foresee it being right at this point in time?"

Padme bit her lip again to stop its trembling. "Will it ever be right?" she whispered.

"Do you want it to be?" Obi-Wan asked with a mischievous glint to his eyes.

"More than anything," Padme whispered.

"Than it shall be," Obi-Wan whispered. He bent his head just so, his lips brushing hers. "But for now we must let each other go."

Padme's eyes flickered open, glistening with unshed tears. Each night she relived that day five years ago when the man who had her heart walked from her life. An occasional transmission passed between them, and the same thing was said at the end every time. Than it shall be.

"You had that dream again, didn't you?" Corde asked as she walked into Padme's room with breakfast. Upon her second term of being the Queen, two of her handmaidens had chosen to not renew their duties, and two more had replaced them. Corde and Dorme where the two handmaidens that Padme had grown close to, replacing Eirtae and Rabe.

"Why can I not just let him go?" Padme asked, wiping the tears that had fallen away. "It's been five years, and still that memory comes to me."

"Perhaps he is unconsciously reminding you of something through the link you two share," Corde said as she placed Padme's breakfast in front of her. "You let the one you go love and if they come back to you, then they are meant to be yours forever, if they do not return, then it is not meant to be."

"My heart doesn't want to believe that," Padme whispered, poking at her food.

"If you feel so strongly, then invite him to come back to Naboo and see you," Corde said. "Surely he hasn't changed that much in five years."

Padme raised her eyebrow. "I have," she said. "I've grown up."

"He was also older than you," Corde pointed out.

"That doesn't mean he hasn't grown," Padme said defensively. "Ben was still in the status of a child so to speak when Qui-Gon was killed, leaving him to pick up things and begin anew with Ani."

"Then why not see for yourself?" Corde said. "And if you can't invite him, then take a diplomatic mission to Coruscant and find a way to go see him."

Padme tilted her head and grinned. "Do you think I should?" she asked.

"Definitely," she said.

"All right. I will."