Forever

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars or any of its characters.

Author's Notes: This is the 7th installment to this series. In order it is First Encounter, Heart to Heart, Sound Advice, A Pain Like No Other, Than it Shall Be, Reunion.

The week was going far too quickly for her liking. A part of her felt exhilarated to spend so much time with Obi-Wan, even seeing him in a light that she never saw. Carefree and without responsibility. He had shed his Jedi robes for more casual Nubian clothing so as not to draw attention to either of them. Padme glanced over to Obi-Wan as he looked out over the lake retreat where she had brought him to relax, away from the buzzing of the palace.

"So deep in thought," his deep voice broke through her thoughts. He turned and gazed at her with a soft smile on his face.

Padme gave him a smile in return but her face saddened as she walked over to him. "Our time is getting shorter," she said, almost a whisper. They had spent most of the time talking, having picnics, and a few times she had taken him to see the sights. Her favorite day so far had been yesterday when they had gone swimming. A blush warmed her body when she had seen his glorious body glistening in the sun from the water. His chest was muscled and well defined and her hands itched to touch his skin, but they hadn't taken that path once since his stay. The most intimacy they had shared was the caress he had given her upon his arrival. Not even a kiss had been passed between them. It was almost too frustrating to her.

"Why are you thinking of that?" Obi-Wan asked.

Padme blushed. Her eyes suddenly found the beautiful lake surrounding the retreat fascinating. "I fear that you will find another to replace me," she whispered. "That I will no longer matter to you."

Obi-Wan frowned. He looked out over the lake then back at her. "That will never happen," he said with so much sincerity that it brought tears to her eyes.

"How can we be certain?" Padme asked, her voice cracking. She turned and looked at him, tears clinging to her lashes precariously. "I want." She shook her head.

"You want what?" Obi-Wan asked, turning his body to face her. When she didn't say anything, he reached out and ran a gentle finger down her cheek. "Padme, talk to me."

"I want to be yours forever," Padme whispered. She looked away and down, feeling the tears release their hold and fell onto the back of her hand. "I don't want to think that another five years or ten years could separate us and we would meet someone new during that time. That you will more than I because I know no one can replace you in my heart."

Obi-Wan moved closer. "Padme, the Jedi Code does not permit us to have such attachments," he said. Padme felt her face fall and her heart physically ached at his words. Obi-Wan sighed and stroked her cheek. "But this is one time when I could give two dozen credits less what the Code permits us."

Padme's head snapped up as she gazed at him with sorrowful, yet hopeful, brown eyes. "What are you saying?" she asked.

Obi-wan took a deep breath, almost as if it could possibly be his last. With the rate his heart was beating, it very well could have been. "I am saying that I love you, and I'd be a fool if I denied it, denied us," he murmured. He closed his eyes, stepping closer to her even still. He opened his eyes and gazed into hers. "I know I have to leave at the end of the week, but I won't leave you forever, I can't."

"But how," Padme asked mournfully. "Like you said, you have to leave at the end of the week."

"Marry me," Obi-Wan said on impulse. He saw her eyes widen, and he knew his own had done the same. But his heart seemed to slow, it wasn't racing as much and he felt a soft wind caress him, as if a nudge of approval and he knew this wasn't a mistake. "We may be separated by distance, but we won't be separated legally, nor in our hearts." He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "The rest of my time here shall be our honeymoon. If you will have me."

"I will, always and forever," Padme said. She stroked his cheeks. "But what of those that."

"We tell those who need to know, who we want to know," Obi-Wan said. He thought a moment. "Master Yoda and Master Windu I shall tell, that is all."

"Not even Ani?" Padme asked.

"He would not understand," Obi-Wan said. "Specially right now. His crush on you hasn't faded, with time it should."

"And if it doesn't?" Padme asked, aware that the young boy had a crush on her when they met.

"Then I shall tell him he has no claim to you," Obi-Wan said. He grinned mischievously. "I saw you first, therefore my claim weighs more."

Padme smiled and moved closer to him. "You weren't sure which was me," she teased.

"I always have loved you Padme," Obi-Wan said. "Even before I knew you were the formidable Queen Amidala."

Padme smiled and ran a hand down the front of his chest. "My handmaidens and Panaka," she said. "That is all who I will tell." She looked up. "While I trust Boss Nass and Jar Jar immensely, there are times when they can not keep the best secrets."

"Does this bother you?" Obi-Wan said. "The thought of keeping our marriage a secret?"

"No," Padme said, shaking her head. "I don't want speculation or the like of people looking at us because of your role as an important Jedi not only to Naboo but also to the rest of the galaxy, nor my role as the Queen. At least my role will diminish in another three years."

"You will always be under scrutiny because of the difference you have made as the Queen," Obi-Wan said. "What of your parents?"

"Of course I shall tell them," Padme said. "They may even wish to be here while we marry."

"I'd like that," Obi-Wan said. "How soon do you think we can.."

"I shall contact Sabe and have her send someone over as soon as possible," Padme said.

Obi-Wan leaned down and brushed a kiss across her lips. "Yes, soon."

~~

The sun was setting later that day as Obi-Wan and Padme stood facing each other in front of the Nubian priest as they were married. Padme's parents, her sister, Sola's husband and the couple's children stood to the side behind them, watching with happiness as Padme married the man she loved. Sabe and Panaka stood with the other handmaidens, watching their Queen fulfill the dream she had since meeting the Jedi. Yoda and Mace Windu had sent their regards and congratulations when Obi-Wan informed them of his intentions. Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, Yoda seemed to suspect the outcome when he had agreed to allow Obi-Wan to return to Naboo.

The priest smiled at the two that hadn't taken their eyes off of each other. "I pronounce you husband and wife," he said. "You may kiss your bride."

Obi-Wan stepped closer, his eyes shimmering with the love he felt towards the woman before him. He watched her as he leaned down, and soon he found himself kissing the love of his life. His fingers tangled in her long tresses as they fell over her shoulder. Padme's hands came up to run along his arms as the kiss deepened further. They were so lost in each other that it took an amused chuckle and a clearing of the throat to separate them.

Padme blushed as she glanced at her father and brother-in-law's amused faces. She leaned into Obi-Wan's embrace as he held her closer to him. "Let's go celebrate," Panaka said with an amused grin, taking some of the pressure of the newlyweds. They all retreated into the house.

~~

Obi-Wan watched Padme approach the bed cautiously. He stepped up behind her and began massaging her shoulders gently till she was leaning against him, practically purring in contentment. With a sureness he never knew he had, he continued to work the muscles beneath his fingertips and he leaned down and pressed a kiss to her neck, then to her shoulders, slipping the straps of her nightgown off and down her arms. Padme turned beneath his hands and stood before him, unashamed of her form. Their hands began moving and soon they found themselves both shed of all clothing, in their bed caressing each other to a fevered pitch before they finally joined their bodies in love.

~~

Obi-Wan ran a hand over Padme's hair, sighing with contentment as she snuggled even closer, her body fitting against his as if they had been cut from the same cloth and were joined together again to complete it. He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her forehead, knowing they had little time before he had to leave. But on the other hand, they had each other. Forever.