Title: Going Back to Yesterday
Author: Alethia/ Jennifer
Timeframe: a couple of years post ROTS
Characters: Padmé, Anakin/Vader at the moment, but expect Bail Organa, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Emperor Palpatine and assorted others to appear eventually.
Genre: Drama, Angst, Romance
Warnings: This will not be a pleasant ride. It is a dark fic and this is the edited version of it, since the unedited version is too highly rated to be posted here. There are also spoilers. Read at own risk.
Rating: Edited: PG.
Summary: AU. After giving birth to the twins, instead of dying, Padmé slips into a coma. Two years later, she awakens to find the galaxy much changed from when she last knew it. But the formost thing on her mind is seeking out her husband…
Notes: This started out as a random idea, as most all fics do, I'd assume. Getting back into the fandom after an almost three year absence, this idea popped into my head and after a bit of wrangling with it, I got it to work. At least I hope so…
I don't want to keep you from the story, so I'll just quickly say that this is the edited version and that if you wish for the unedited version, you'll have to PM me. But please no one under eighteen or the legal age in their country.
I'd like to thank Kimberley (VaderLVR64) for being a wonderful beta and Jennifer (hansgirl1031) for being a great friend and sitting up with me on IM, talking about all sort of things and, most of all, making me write. I don't think I could do this without either of you two.
I'd like to get some kind of updating schedule going, but I don't know if that's possible or not. I am in school and am very active outside of school, so I have times when I disappear completely and times when I'm on here for hours. Just all depends and things change quickly, so I can never tell before hand. But I'll try to update fairly regularly.
Questions, comments? Either post something or PM me. I usually do check PMs every day.
And without further ado, since I meant to make this short and didn't quite succeed, I present to you:
Going back to Yesterday:
"I cannot go back to yesterday, because I wasn't the same person."
"Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes."
Carl Gustav Jung
I love you.
Her last words to him before he left.
She trails a hand down the glass of the window, a barrier keeping her from the outside, from him. The glass is cold to her touch, although it is a warm day, with the sun shining and a slight breeze. Flattening her hand against the glass, she leans towards it and lightly presses her lips to it. Drawing away, she can see the mark her breath has made on the glass, flawing its perfect sheen.
Like she herself is flawed.
Once thought of as perfect, a role-model for the entire Galaxy, she is now reduced to nothing. Less than nothing, she adds in her mind, her lips lifting up into a slight smirk; for she has no place anymore, no where to go, no one who cares.
But he has been gone, gone so long that she wonders if he will ever return to her.
She does not think of them as separate beings anymore. They have become too close for that. Instead, they are one entity, one heart, one mind, one soul, bonded together in the sweetest of rituals. When he leaves, he takes a piece of her with him and leaves a piece of himself with her, keeping them forever joined.
Drawing on this hidden part, she brings it to the surface, needing to revel in its comfort and heat. She feels so cold, so alone, that she needs every comfort and particle of him that she can get. Yet as she reaches for it within her mind, the feelings and pictures that it brings forth are mutated and fading. How can this be, she wonders, as she concentrates on him even more. But the harder she thinks of him and their love, the more it fades. And soon, she knows, soon it will be gone.
Opening her eyes, her hand still touching the glass, she finds that the day has become darker. Clouds have filled the sky, the wind has grown heavy and there is a certain…feel…in the air, one that she cannot place. He could, she knows. He is so powerful in things like that, able to bend the Force to his will, yet she has none of his abilities. They are linked in everything but that.
Yet with the child…
The child you no longer bear, she reminds herself. Yes…that child that once connected them both even through the Force is gone now, to parts unknown. She does not know what has happened to it- she remembers nothing. Only that…something…happened and she then found herself in this place.
This prison, she wants to say, but the words don't go on past her lips. Such a beautiful place cannot be a prison. Resembling the Lake House, her Senatorial Apartment and even with some tones and influences of her own childhood home, it is beautiful. It is everything that she ever wanted in a home, mixed with touches of him. He is there- she can feel him as she sleeps, feel him as she wakes, she can feel him as she stares out of the window, waiting for him to come back to her.
Yet the doors are locked, the windows shut and she is left in her solitude. She knows not how long she has been here, waiting for him to come to her again. Waiting for him to appear on the horizon; waiting for him to embrace her as he used to; waiting for him to touch his lips to her; waiting for them to fully and completely become the one entity that they are, once again.
Yet is that possible, a darker voice inside her chides. Can you truly become one again, after what has happened?
What has happened? She searches her mind for some reminder, some clue of what has been, but she receives none. Except his fading image…
Come back to me, she pleads, concentrating only on that one thought.
Come back to me and hold me in your arms.
She turns her head towards the one door to the rooms in which she is held, wishing, willing it to open, but it does not. It stands there as unyielding as ever, large and white, almost mocking her.
Like a trooper.
Trooper? This word is unknown to her, strange and foreign in her thoughts. Why would such a word come to her? Is it perhaps something beyond her memories? Something before the time she awoke to find herself here, in these painted and precious rooms, in her idyllic prison?
Shifting her blanket, she allows her legs to uncurl from the bench and touch the floor. With the crinkling of her dressing gown and nightgown, she stands wavering on her feet, holding an arm out to balance herself with the wall. Her legs are weak, so weak, as if she has not stood in hours…days…months…years…centuries. And perhaps she hasn't. She has no knowledge of time in this place. The days darken into night and lighten into day, but it has become a monotonous process that she barely notices anymore. She knows only that it has been long, very long, since she has moved from the bench by the window, where she sat to wave to him as he left her.
And even that memory has dulled in the passage of time.
Teetering on her feet, she reaches a foot out and tries to take a step. It has been so long since she has moved she believes she has forgotten how. One foot in front of the other, she reminds herself as she slowly makes her way from the bench and into the main area of the room. Her vision is wrought with blackness, she can barely stand. Yet she still takes those steps forward, as images of him appear unbidden in her mind, strengthening her resolve even more. She pushes on even as the images grow darker, mutilated, full of despair. She does not know what is propelling her, what forces her to walk, but she knows she must.
Something is wrong…
Something is happening…
I need to find him…
I need to find him NOW!
She fights to keep standing as she reaches the center of the room. She fights with all her might to keep his image before her eyes, even though she can feel it being jerked away. She fights for him, for her, for them as her vision goes fully black and she topples to the ground.
And she prays with her last breath that things will somehow be better…
When she awakes…
If she awakes…
She stirs lightly as the sun touches her prone form, still lying in a crumbled heap. Yet it is not just the sun that wakes her, but a delicate touch on her neck, her back, her arms, her chest, her lips. Her eyes fly open, startled from her sleep as she feels his tender lips pressing against hers, a feeling she has not felt in such a long time…
His dark blue gaze bearing into hers as his lips slowly massage her own; she begins to lose herself in the feelings he invokes, before she suddenly pulls away, full of disbelief. He is here, her mind forms, yet she cannot comprehend that it is his lips that moved against her own, his eyes that look into hers and his hands that caress her body.
Smiling softly at her, he reaches out and pulls her against him, holding her tightly. "I love you," he says as he slowly strokes her back.
"Anakin…" She breathes out, slowly beginning to face the reality that in some twist, he is here with her now, holding her against him, enveloping her in his warmth and comfort. This is what she has lacked during her stay here, what she has missed since before she can remember. His arms tighten around her as he pulls them both up into a standing position, cradling her against his chest, her head tucked into his shoulder.
"I love you so much, Padmé," he whispers softly into her ear and she shivers. It feels so good to be held by him again, drawing on his strength and presence. She wants to forget this time of isolation and continue her life, sheltered in his arms. Her own Jedi Knight…
Jedi Knight? She pulls away slightly and frowns. He also looks towards her worriedly, his brow furrowing. "Is there something wrong," he asks, slowly rubbing her back, trying to ease her tension. Jedi can't read minds, perhaps, but that doesn't mean they can't pick up on strong emotions.
"No-nothing," she says, swallowing. "I just think of these strange…words…sometimes." She tilts her head to look into his eyes, trying to reassure him by smiling. "It's nothing, Anakin. It's just been so long since you left."
He isn't placated. "What words, my love?"
She senses something strange from him as he says this, but she ignores it. After all, what could it be? He is simply tired from his long journey. "Well…" She draws out, "I compared the door to a trooper, what ever that is." Was that today, she questions herself, or has much time passed since then? Will I ever be allowed to leave here?
He frowns, though she does not know if it is at her thoughts or statement. But he can't read thoughts, she reminds herself. Yet she could feel a slight touch in her mind that disappeared shortly after she felt it and it makes her wonder.
"Trooper…" he runs his tongue over the word trooper and she wants to lean into his protective embrace, as if even speaking the word will bring something unbidden and unwanted to them. "Are there any other words that you seem to remember, my love?"
"Yes," she answers him, wrapping her arms around him tighter. "Two more…they seem so foreign to me, yet also familiar- Jedi and Jedi Knight. Do you know what those are?"
Now she is positive that she has seen something flash in his eyes, turning them from their normal cerulean depths to a deathly yellow and back again. What is going on, she questions, but does not dare voice it. It does not really matter, she assures herself. All that matters is that you're back in his arms.
But it does matter.
It will not leave her alone now, that she has seen the flash in his eyes, nor his…anger… at the words. "Anakin," she speaks, "don't let those nonsense words worry you. They are nothing…"
Yet are they?
She tries to remember, but it has been so long. Jedi…there was a Jedi Order and a Code and a Council. And they… she pauses in her thoughts, trying to recall pictures and memories from a time long gone. They- they used the Force, like Anakin does. And then, as her mind wraps itself around the notion, she bites back a gasp as it all comes tumbling back.
Anakin was a Jedi Knight.
"No I wasn't." His voice is strong, breaking her out of her thoughts. "The Jedi don't exist, Padmé." His voice is forceful. "They're just a story you made up in your time here." He holds her close to him, pressing her against his long, hard body allowing no space to come between them. "Don't worry, dearest. I'm here now and that's all that matters."
"You're here now…" She mumbles, suddenly feeling sleepy. And yet her mind won't let go of the Jedi. "But it still feels so real…"
"That's why it's good that they don't exist, darling. Because they had ways to twist your mind and thoughts and they meddled in the affairs that had no concern to them. It's a good thing that they no longer exist."
"So then they did exist?" She pounces on his words, pulling back slightly, though his arms don't allow her to move away from him. She stares into his eyes.
Again the flash is there, yet this time it seems to stay longer and his grip on her tightens. "Once," he says, from behind clenched teeth, "once the Jedi existed. But they were corrupted and they were killed for that."
"Killed?" She gasps. She doesn't like killing, though somehow she knows she has killed before, out of necessity. If only she could remember…
"Killed," he confirms, his eyes meeting hers. "But it is no worry now, angel. Those times are gone. The Jedi are all but extinct and you shall worry about them no longer." And with those comforting words, he leans down and lowers his lips once again to hers.
She meets his lips with her own, trying to gain comfort from them, yet still unsure of everything. Anakin is back, her heart tells her, there is no reason to fear anymore.
Fear leads to anger and anger leads to hate…
She stiffens, trying to remember, but he moves his arm away from her back and instead places it behind her head, restricting her movement and forcing her lips to stay connected to his. Slowly he traces her lips with his tongue and unconsciously she grants him access to her mouth. She loves him, loves him more than anything and it feels so good to be kissing him again, so intimately, like she has shared with no one else. Yet there is something at the back of her mind, something she can barely sense; something that tells her that all is not well.
She tries to pull back from his kiss, but his grip on the back of her head won't let her. She begins to panic, ignoring the passion that he is awaking in her, ignoring the sensual kiss with a promise of more. She can only think about the darkness that she realizes is in her mind, slowly growing and taking hold.
Fire and lava and smoke and pain…lots of pain…
She struggles, yet he presses harder, devouring her mouth with his own. Something is happening, she can sense it, but she does not know what. Finally his mouth leaves hers and she gasps for air, air that she has been unable to receive these last few moments in her panicked state. Conflicting emotions rise within her- it seems like an eternity has passed since they were last together and she cannot wait for their joining as one- yet the darkness grows in her mind.
The Jedi have betrayed me, don't you betray me…
She struggles again, but it only causes him to tighten his grip on her. She will not deny that she feels desire as well, for his ministrations are awaking her senses in a way they have not been in a long time. Yet she fights to remain in control of her feelings.
You're breaking my heart…
What is going on? What are these memories that keep appearing before her eyes? Are they really memories? She wants to say something, but becomes distracted as he lightly sucks on her pulse point, creating a wave of desire that flows through her. Unconsciously she leans into him, moving her arms to his shoulders, stroking his back, pressing herself against him. His encouragement helps put her into an unthinking state, where she is propelled only by her feelings and nothing more. There will be no more thoughts of darkness.
Or will there?
Wait for me. I love you…
Love washes over her and though she does not want to lose herself in his ministrations, she knows that there is no fighting them anymore. He is too strong for her and he does not seem to notice or acknowledge her hesitation, but only her body and his desire for it. Something has changed in him. Before, when he was with her, he would hate to be interrupted, but when she asked him to stop, for whatever the reason, he would. He might not be happy about it, but he would respect her wishes. Now, however…
But what can she do? He is so strong…and it does feel good the way his lips have left her neck and now move to her shoulder that peeks out from her nightgown, the nightgown that he himself has somehow pushed away, bearing that particular shoulder to his hungry gaze and mouth. She can feel his hands reaching up now, sliding the dressing gown from her shoulders, down her arms and letting it pool on the floor. She opens her mouth to protest against the lost of warmth- of comfort- for some reason, that nightgown meant something to her, but before she can get a sound out, his lips have claimed hers once again.
I love you, I love you, I love you…
The words replay in her head, over and over again. She does not know if they are her own or simply words he has placed in her mind. She does not want to feel the feelings he manages to bring out in her, but she cannot help it. It is addicting- and does she even want it to stop?
Lightning flashes as a body flies through the air…
The vision brings her out of the passion induced state she is in and reminds her that things are not all right. This is not just her husband trying to make love with his wife. This is a man who has been gone for a very long time and is desperate for his wife's touch. This is a man who has been touched by some darkness that threatens to take control of him. This is a man who has died, risen and returned to her…different than he was before. This is a man, who has changed.
This man, who stands before her, she realizes with a shock, is no longer her husband.
I don't even know who you are anymore…
He senses it within her. She can feel the way his eyes bore into her as he slowly draws his lips, his hands, his body away from her. She may be completely undressed- wearing nothing, as usual, under the nightgown- but he is still completely clothed, his flushed cheeks, his mussed hair the only signs that something had gone on between them.
If not for his thoughts.
His eyes bore into hers and it is as if all barriers between them are broken. She can feel his innermost thoughts and feelings, although she does not have the training to separate and analyze them. She can only watch as they play in his mind, clashing and bouncing off one another, a tangled mess that she has reduced him to.
Everything I have done, I have done it for you…
She can read it in his eyes. They have changed again, turning that inhuman color that she has learned to hate, although she has only seen it in flashes, and only since today. Yet it seems much longer…
"Padmé", his voice is deep- deeper than she knows it. "Tell me what you see."
"What- what I see? I-I don't know what you're talking about?" She forces out, trying to smile as she slowly tries to back away from him.
She does not get far. In one stride he crosses to her, grabbing her shoulders and holding her out in front of him. She wants to go limp in his arms, but does not dare face the consequences.
For there will be consequences…
"Tell me, Padmé." His grip tightens. "I grow weary of your games."
His grip digs into her shoulders and she knows she will be bruised later. But she does not dare cry out, knowing that at the best, it will do nothing and at the worst, it will only serve to fuel his anger.
Red descends on her vision, then blackness, then nothing…
"I-" She swallows, bringing her eyes to meet his. "I see…red, lots of it and then it- it- it turns into black and there is nothing. There is lightening, and power. Fire…ash…then I see stars. Pain, oh so much pain…" She cannot fight the urge to go limp anymore, her strength fully leaving her body. She hangs like a doll, nothing more, in his strong and forceful grip, lacking the strength to even lift her head.
"Darkness…" She mumbles to the floor, her vision wavering, "So much darkness, a shadow that overwhelms you, me, us…tell me, Anakin, please tell me what troubles you…"
And suddenly it is all over. With a tenderness she can hardly comprehend that he could possess, he cradles her softly, tucking her head under his. The visions gone from her mind, receiving only calm, pleasant feelings full of love, she allows herself to relax in his embrace. This is the man she married, loving and comforting. This is the man who fathered her child, which was conceived in a loving dance, one that can be performed only by those who are deeply in love and inter-connected through that love. This is the man that softly picks her up and carries her to bed, lying her gently down upon it and slowly caressing her features.
And this is the man who contains a darkness so fierce within him, that it is only a matter of time before it lashes out again, from its cage within his mind.
She lies on the bed, only a thin blanket covering her body, but she does not feel cold. She watches with lowered lashes as he comes over to her and her vision blurs, taking in the details she has not seen in such a long time. An odd sensation forms in her mind, flowing throughout her entire body- as if she really isn't there, but only as an observer.
She feels out of place here, as if the sensations and feelings flowing within her cannot last. She is free at the moment- but how long will this freedom last?
So this is how freedom dies…
The words bring her back to reality. They awaken her mind again, the unbidden and unwanted images appearing to her. And the darkness- it threatens to overcome her, a shadow that grows as she feeds her light to it, devouring the light of the love she and Anakin shared…the light of the one entity they have become again.
And she watches as the darkness begins to gather, to condense, to morph- into Anakin.
Anakin is the darkness.
Anakin is the very thing that you have feared all along.
Anakin is the darkness that has haunted your dreams at night.
Anakin is the darkness that has ripped you away from all that you have ever known.
And with a scream, she jerks herself up from the wires and machines that have monitored her condition for the last two years, her eyes dark with worry as she fights to regain her breath, tears falling from her eyes as she tries to remember it all.
"Anakin…my Anakin…what has happened to you?"
And the small machine, which monitors every movement she makes, blinks as it sends a message.
She has awoken…