"Are you ready?" he asked, as his blue eyes flashed with mild amusement.
"Yes, I am. I suppose." she looked pensive a moment, then continued. "It's just hard to get back into my 'Senator' mode, that's all. I think I'm still stuck in 'Mom' mode."
Anakin laughed softly. "You'll be fine, Padmé. You're the one that's going to put the galaxy back to order. That's all. Not too much to ask." He bent down and kissed her before she strode through the doorway and onto the platform that would enable to address the thousands of beings before her.
"Is she nervous?" asked a voice beside him, and Anakin turned to see Obi-Wan standing beside him, smiling softly, arms crossed over his chest.
"She is." he answered, and looked back out to the platform, where he could hear the crowd quieting and his wife's amplified voice ringing out through the chamber. She was speaking of the defeat of evil, and of the end of corruption and the beginning of peace. She was telling them of how the few Jedi refugees that had survived the Purge were no longer enemies, but friends of the New Republic. And finally, she was asking for them to join her in a new era of democracy, a new era of freedom.
There was a moment's silence at the end of her speech, then a deafening roar as the delegates and Senators rose to their feet in support of Padmé, Bail Organa and all for which they stood.
Beside him, Obi-Wan grinned. "We have just entered a brand new time, my old Padawan." The Jedi Master walked over to a nearby lounge chair and practically fell into it, showing some of his exhaustion from the past few days, days that they had spent preparing for this moment. He rubbed his tired eyes. "What next?" he asked, stifling a yawn.
"Let's see. Nothing until tomorrow; we have a meeting with Master Yoda and the Jedi refugees."
"Oh. Excellent. As long as it's not more politicians."
Anakin chuckled. "No more politicians, dear Master." The young Jedi collapsed in a chair beside his former Master, and looked over. "You know, Obi-Wan, that is quite the hairstyle on you. Are you trying to be more 'cool' for your daughter?"
The older Jedi ran a hand over his extremely short hair. "Not if I can help it."
His Padawan's face sobered. "Still no news of her origins?"
Obi-Wan shook his head. "No, nothing. I wonder if I'll ever find anything about her. I mean, the DNA reports certainly corroborated what the Chancellor had said- which I admit, I had doubted- but I can't find anything else out about her."
"And how is it between you and her?"
Obi-Wan turned his face to him and gave a half-smile. "It's going well. I never expected to be in this situation, so it makes it slightly awkward at times, but I'm trying. And she is too. It will just take time." At this, his half-smile turned into a grin. "How are the twins?"
Anakin groaned, and his friend chuckled. "They are... twins. A handful. And I am often thankful that I have Threepio and the nanny droid to help me, otherwise I think all hell would break loose. But there's no where else I'd rather be." At this, the two friends exchanged meaningful looks. A long moment passed, and then Anakin whispered something barely audible to Obi-Wan, something that Anakin had obviously deliberated on for a long time.
"Do you believe in second chances?"
And the other Jedi remembered Coruscant and the fall of the Temple, and he thought of Utapau and the betrayal of his troops. He remembered Mustafar and the destruction of everything he knew, but also of salvation and the renewal of old. Finally, he thought of the little girl that now called him father and the answer was clear in his mind.
"Yes, I do."
The two Jedi sat and reminisced of all the things that they had lost and of all the things that they had gained and time stopped for a second and eternity. The Force flowed through the silence between them.
"Well," said Anakin, breaking the silence and returning time to its normal flow, "I suppose we should go and get aforementioned children."
Obi-Wan rubbed his eyes once more. "Yes, we should." He reluctantly got out of his chair, and watched Anakin do the same. And as they made to leave the room to go and fetch their offspring, he looked back to the convocation chamber and thought of what the future might hold.
'Oh, brave new world...' he thought, remembering a quote he had heard once, long ago. He smiled, and followed Anakin out of the door.
And here is the end of our tale. I want to thank everyone who ever reviewed this or who even just hid in the shadows and read it. I really, really enjoyed this story. I can't say that I won't write a sequel to it, that is to say, another story in this alternate universe that I've created, but I can say that it won't be soon. I also know that there were a lot of people who wanted to know who Rowan's mother was, and to that, I have to say I never really intended to say who it was. I mean, I have my own wish of who it would be, but I think that I like it more without Obi-Wan knowing. Who knows, perhaps I will write another story dealing on that subject!
Anyways, this is quite the long Author's Note. Thanks again to everyone, it's been a fun ride!