One Last Encounter

AUTHOR: Abigail

SUMMARY: There was only way that Padme and Anakin could have remained together...

CHAPTER 1: Hesitation

RATING: PG right now…but that will most likely change in the next chapter, for reasons that you don't need to know. (Evil sinister laugh!) :D

DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything that was created by George Lucas (characters).

NOTE: This story takes place during Episode Three, and contains MAJOR SPOILERS! So don't read if you don't want to. Reviews (good or bad) are encouraged, for motivation and appreciation is what keeps me writing. This is my first time writing a Star Wars fic. so please ignore any technical issues that may be wrong in the story…Please enjoy!

Anakin Skywalker stood before the fiery lava. The heat radiated onto his face, causing the deep and passionate anger within him to boil up again. His piercing eyes looked out over the vastness of lava domes, which were spurting lava everywhere, covering the ground with a quickness like death itself. Death…he thought to himself. Death, like those of the Padawan children. Their distorted bodies twisted in agony and laying on the floor like broken dolls. Their death was because of me, Anakin thought to himself. He relished in this, feeling the darkness grow in him, deeper and stronger.

He knew that it wouldn't be long until he was the strongest Jedi that ever came to be. More powerful than those before him and those that thought they were above him. His mind flashed back to Master Windu's death, the way that he had so easily manipulated the Jedi's death into his own hands. Anakin laughed silently.

Of course, Anakin tried to reason with himself that all of this power, glory, and darkness were for Padme. Padme he said to himself. Anakin tried to picture her in his mind. He saw her struggling, gasping, crying out…hurting. A small ache throbbed in his heart, thinking about Padme this way. But her image soon dissolved into nothingness when he returned to reality. Yes…reality…The dark side of the force rippled through him again, seducing his soul. Death became so fresh in his mind that he could taste it. Behind him in the Conference Room, Nute Gunray and the other Separatist leaders lay strewn about. Looking back, he was reminded of that acrid taste of blood in his mouth, the staunch smell of burning flesh. He could feel his lust to kill growing again…

He peered out over the edge of Mustafar, the heat of the lava once again reaching his face. It won't be long, until I kill again…he thought. I can sense it…and I will grow even stronger. All for Padme.

Anakin did not realize that across the soon dark horizon, a ship was flying in, silent and stealth like. It landed on the other side of the Conference building, a discreet landing strip. Out walked a dark figure, their façade hidden by the robes they wore. Silently, they crept towards the Conference room, waiting for Young Skywalker to notice them.

Anakin could feel their presence the second they stepped off the ship. The force was like that…strongly sensitive to anything unusual, and different. He didn't feel the need to turn around, but decided to wait for them to make the first move, if that's what they intended to do. I will kill them anyways…whether their purpose is to harm me or not. The blood in his face grew warm again, and a freshness tinged his cheeks. His eyes sparkled, like mystical orbs as he completely succumbed to the dark side, body and soul.

After waiting for several minutes, Anakin realized that this "person" was not interested in his game of cat and mouse. He began to take a few steps backward, away from the ledge that overlooked the spewing volcanoes. Reaching out toward his light saber, he followed his senses towards a large rock that deftly hid whom Anakin presumed to be his next victim of lustful murder. Anakin activated his saber and quickly stepped behind the rock, swiftly raising hisweapon to lash upon………..

No one was there. Anakin stood in his pose for a moment, trying to pick up on anything…anything at all. A scratch, a waver, a distant rustle. But no one was there, and no one had been there. Had his Jedi senses betrayed him? Suddenly, the powerful waves of the force racked his body, and he quickly turned around to see himself face to face with his hidden friend. Anakin's senses failed him once again, as he stood their, jaw agape, but still a firm grip upon his weapon. The robed figure before him appeared too small to be a full grown man or any alien from the Outer Rimfor that matter. Their head was lowered, in a position like that of prayer, causing their hood to cover their face. Anakin finally notice the light saber they held in their hand, that opalescent blue, aimed directly towards his face, like a warning…Warning…

Yet Anakin waited. For what? Kill them now. Slice off their head. Lust over their lifeless body. Don't even give them a chance. Don't hesitate. Hesitate. Anakin hesitated, held back, and waited. Something stirred deep within him. An unusual feeling of familiarity…

Before Anakin could even collect another thought, the hooded figure's head rose up, gently lifting their face until they met Anakin's surprised gaze. Startling eyes…such a pristine blue…those eyes. For a moment, the dark force subsided within Anakin and a warm smile crept upon his face. He let his mind slip back to those eyes…the eyes that kissed him goodnight, followed him on Tatooine, and stared at him from afar during meetings of the Senate. "Padme…" he whispered, almost inaudibly.

But the feeling shifted and he could feel the force return again, as he met the blue saber with his own red one, the echo of their collision slightly ringing in his ears.

"I see that you have secrets, Anakin Skywalker…" the figure whispered firmly. "Or perhaps you prefer Darth Vader?"

"I see you have been keeping secrets from me as well, Padme," Anakin spoke.