Hi Folks! Although I've been lurking around here for some time, this is my first post so any comments, hints or suggestions are more than welcomed. This is a short little piece I did over the holidays. It is definitely AU with the premise that Anakin vanquished Palpatine, thus never turning to the Dark Side.
Disclaimer: The car belongs to GL, I am simply taking it around the corner for a spin.
A/N: Kudos goes out to Pokey1984 who encouraged me to post this. If you like it, sing your praises to me. If not, blame her :). Enjoy the show!
"Make a wish!" exclaimed Jobal Naberrie as one year old Luke and Leia looked at their Life day cake with glee, especially since it had a lit candle flickering above it. Both Padmé and Anakin whispered in the twins' ears to blow out the candle, but both were too fascinated with trying to place their pudgy hands into the chocolate frosting.
Becoming impatient, Pooja leaned over, about to blow out the candle when her mother rebuked, "Don't you dare, Poojy…its your cousins' first Life day, not yours."
She sighed dejectedly as she retorted "But momma…"
"No buts, young lady."
Padmé chuckled as she bobbed little Leia on her knee, watching the display. Noticing that the burning candle was getting dangerously close the cake, Anakin finally took mercy on his starving niece and used the Force to extinguish the candle.
He then quickly clapped and lauded, "Yea Lukey…good job," as the rest of the Naberries applauded the toddler's supposed effort.
His wife eyed him suspiciously as he gave her a shrug of resignation. Anakin whispered to her,"I didn't want any wax to get on the cake you spent hours making."
Padmé smirked as she shook her head and reached for a plate. Noticing that her sister's hands were full, Sola came over to the table and began cutting slices for the rest of the family. As her mother and sister were handing out plates to the rest of the family, Padmé smiled warmly at her little daughter in her arms. She also caught a glimpse of her son who was attempting to eat his piece of cake with his hands, despite his father's attempt to distract him with a fork full of cake, making speeder sounds.
How much difference a year makes she mused quietly. While thankfully she gave birth to the twins without incident, the events that led up to that momentous occasion still caused her to sometimes wake up in a cold sweat. She was so close to losing everything; Anakin, the twins, her very life. Not a day has passed since those terrible times that she didn't thank the Force for smiling on them; especially during special moments like these.
Anakin looked at his beloved curiously as he saw the serious look that had spread across her face. When he opened his mind to sense what she was considering, he flashed his lopsided grin.
"I know, angel. I am thankful as well," he said softly, as to not be heard by the others.
Their tender moment abruptly ended when Ryoo, who had quickly consumed her cake was pleading with her mother. "Can we please go out to play in the snow for a bit? Please, please, please!"
Sola sighed deeply as she looked outside. "It's coming down hard. Why don't you wait until later?"
"But Mom, it will be dark soon and then you'll say its too late to go outside." Pooja whined.
Hearing their request, Anakin chuckled as he winked at Padmé. Knowing his intention, she smirked as she reached for Luke with her free arm.
"I'll take them out for a bit, if you don't mind." Anakin offered to Sola.
She gave him a look of gratitude as he grabbed his heavy cloak. He then announced to his nieces, "Last one out is a smelly shaak." The two girls cheered triumphantly as they quickly snatched their hooded cloaks to join him.
As Anakin stepped out into the rapidly accumulating snow, he sighed deeply as he suddenly wished he was back inside. Even though he had spent a few winters on Naboo, his desert origins still made dealing with extreme cold temperatures a challenge.
Before he even had a chance to turn back, several rolled up snowballs flew past his head as he saw his two nieces grinning wickedly. They were both already reaching down on the porch to make more ammunition. Knowing that both Ryoo and Pooja would not miss on their next volley, the young Jedi Master quickly ran away from the house, behind a snowdrift.
Sensing that the two young Naberrie girls were getting ready to attack, Anakin rolled up several snowballs and lined them up. When they tried to surprise him by spliting up and coming around the snowdrift from opposite ends, Anakin used the Force to scoop up two snowballs into his hands. While the two brown haired girls ogled at the sight, he twisted away and launched both snow balls, which hit them both on their torsos.
As Anakin cackled at their disgruntled looks, his amusement was brought to a screeching halt when a very large snowball smacked the back of his head. Both Ryoo and Pooja giggled incessantly as he turned to view his assailant. Standing a few feet away was an overly amused former Queen, wearing a heavy red hooded cloak, holding another ball of snow in a ready position.
A maniacal grin swept across Anakin's face. "Oh you are in so much trouble, Milady."
Before he could reach down to gather more snow, he felt two mounds of snow pelt his back as another wave of giggles erupted. Taking full advantage of his lapse of concentration, his two supposedly angelic nieces decided to launch a retaliatory strike against their unsuspecting uncle. Completely amused, Anakin voraciously gathered some nearby snow and hurdle it towards the laughing girls. They in turn did the same causing the three of them to become completely covered with snow and ice.
With Anakin's attention diverted, Padmé stood a safe distance to watch the humorous display. It warmed her heart to no end to see her husband completely happy and relaxed. His obligations to the Jedi Council, as well as being a new Dad, had kept him on a rather torrid pace. Returning to the moment, she chuckled to see her two nieces and her husband, now completely exhausted, laughed at one another as they assessed the damage their attacks on one another wrought.
Before the onslaught could resume, a rather annoyed Sola stood on the front porch with her hands placed on her hips, trying desperately not to crack a smile. She cleared her throat, catching both of her daughters' attention.
"I said you could come outside, not get drenched in the snow. You two, inside now!"
In unison the two girls cried, "But Mom…"
Sola raised her right eyebrow in annoyance, making it perfectly clear that there was no room for argument. Both Ryoo and Pooja made sad eyes at their uncle, attempting to persuade him to intervene; however, their silent pleas were missed when their Aunt Padmé hurdled another snowball at him.
The Jedi Master grinned at his wife evilly. "Impressive, angel. Most impressive…but now, you will pay."
The distinguished former Queen of Naboo let out a high pitched squeal as her Jedi Master husband ran after her wielding two giant snowballs in his hands. Padmé ran as fast as her legs could carry her, as she made her way behind the house in an effort to elude her rapidly gaining attacker. Sola just shook her head as she went back inside to warm up by the fireplace.
Holding his only grandson, Ruwee Naberrie stood in his living room while watching his daughter and son-in-law chase each other through the snow. He chuckled lightly as Luke pointed outside and muttered, "Mum ma an da da."
The grandfather beamed proudly at him. "Good Luke, now can you say grandpa?" The toddler looked at him perplexed as he pulled at Ruwee's bottom lip with complete fascination. Jobal quietly walked up to her husband and wrapped her arm around him as she tickled her grandson's tummy.
While they stood together watching the two heroes frolicking in the snow, a strange grin eclipsed Jobal's face. "Now there is something I thought I'd never see."
Ruwee turned to his wife and gave her a curious stare. "Which is?"
"Our daughter completely letting go."
A slow smirk crossed the proud father's face as he watched the young couple shower each other with snowballs. "Well, after everything they've been through, they definitely deserve to have some fun."
The Naberrie matriarch smiled at her husband happily as little Luke giggled at his parents. They were both completely distracted by Anakin and Padmé's antics that Jobal didn't at first feel the slight tugging at the hem of her dress. The proud grandmother beamed brightly as little Leia made a motion with her arms to be picked up. Jobal cuddled her and was still astounded at how much she looked like Padmé when she was a newborn. It still felt like only yesterday that she was the young mother with a long future awaiting her family…
Smack! Anakin wiped the remnants of a crushed snowball off of his face as he turned to see his wife laughing away merrily.
With mock anger, he bellowed, "Very funny, Milady," as he brushed himself off. The young Jedi Master then raised his arms in a show of surrender. "Truce?"
Quite proud with herself, Anakin's bride nodded affirmatively while he batted a suggestive wink at her. As he moved over to her, he subtly reached over to grab a handful of snow. Not removing his gaze from her, Anakin wrapped Padmé in his arms to give her a deep kiss. At that same moment, he positioned his hands around her back and then pulled away part of her cloak so he could drop the snow down her shirt. The young mother shriek as the frigid, wet snow trailed down the length of her back.
"All too easy." He proudly boasted.
Contorting her face, Padmé declared, "That does it!"
Before Anakin could finish laughing, he suddenly felt the wind knocked out of him as the barely five foot three inch woman launched herself, sending him into the snow. Taking full advantage of the element of surprise, Padmé straddled Anakin as he tried to get up; all the while she was hurriedly flinging snow at him.
As she continued the assault, she demanded, "Now we will discuss a new treaty."
Completely freezing and wet, but laughing heartily, Anakin flailed his arms as he yelled breathlessly, "I surrender angel, I surrender!."
Looking at him suspiciously, Padmé feigned a scowl. "I am not convinced. You are going to have to prove to me your good faith, Master Jedi." She raised an eyebrow as she continued her mock leer. "And I warn you… no funny business…"
Anakin smirked as he reached up to grab his bride's hands, to draw her down to him. Slightly chuckling, but trying to maintain her aura of seriousness, she asked, "What are you doing, Ani?"
"Trying to convince you, my angel."
At that moment, he gently pressed his lips against hers and despite the cold; both Skywalkers were suddenly feeling warmer. As the two lovers couldn't get enough of one other, the young man whispered sweet nothings in her ear causing her to giggle in delight.
While they were relishing the moment, they became acutely aware that they were being watched. When the couple looked towards the house, they both saw Ruwee and Jobal shaking their heads as the twins were observing them with complete amazement. The former Queen got back onto her feet and offered her hand to her drenched husband. Anakin offered a slight pout as batted his eyes at his wife.
"Come on, Master Jedi. We don't need to put on a show in front of our family.'
He nodded in agreement and then wrapped Padmé in a tight embrace. Standing in the middle of the yard, shivering from the cold, the former Queen was about to guide her husband up to the house when she felt him quietly sobbing against her. She slightly pulled away to look at him.
"Ani? What's wrong?"
Giving her a sheepish smile, he muttered, "I love you so much, angel…you and the twins are my whole universe…"
Becoming startled, Padmé gazed at him with concern. "Tell me, what's troubling you."
"Nothing. That's why I'm crying…"
She was about to shake her head in confusion when he added, "It's these simple moments together when I realize how much I stood to lose if I had…"
Before he could continue, Padmé softly placed two fingers on his lips and smiled at him affectionately. "That's why we must always be thankful for all our blessings and hold on tight to each other so that nothing can ever tear us apart."
Wiping away a remaining tear from his eye, Anakin smiled at his wife as he again wrapped his arms around her. As his chin rested on top of her head, the revered Jedi quietly said, "Happy Winter Fête, my angel."
Padmé, who was safely secured in the arms of her husband and best friend replied, "And a Happy Winter Fête to you too, my beloved."
After they shared another loving kiss, the young mother beamed. "How about a nice cup of hot chocolate?"
Anakin smirked as he reached for his wife's hand to led her inside. After hanging up their wet cloaks, and laying out blankets, Padme went into the kitchen to grab two mugs of hot chocolate. When she returned to the living room, Anakin was already a sleep in front of the fireplace with both Luke and Leia cuddled up next to him.
The young mother's heart went a flutter as she saw her little family snuggling. She smiled happily as she continued to watch them. Indeed, these simple moments were really what life was all about and all their struggles were now a distant memory.