Title: One Half of a Tragedy
Author: Edie
Summary: Padme reflects on her relationship with Anakin, post vision. RotS spoilers.
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: All belongs to George!

One Half Of A Tragedy

The only time Padme accidentally finds herself drawn to Coruscant is at dusk, when the sun has just set and the whole city is bathed in its afterglow. While the traffic is no thinner, she can still close her eyes and try to pretend she is in Naboo, surrounded by the soothing noises and comforting colours of the Lake District. Unless she is expecting Anakin's arrival, she rarely ventures to the balcony of their rooms in the daylight, preferring her own imagined solitude in the evening. She thinks sometimes she is going to pace a hole right through the floor, waiting on him. Tonight is only different because she is standing still, eyes closed and hands gently caressing the fullness of her stomach.

Anakin has seen her death.

The thought shakes her to the very core but not for the reason that it should. She is not afraid to die and dying to bring life into the world seems a worthy end to her. She has known somewhere deep inside from the moment she met him all those years ago that her life would be short; that she is only playing out one half of a tragedy. She had told him that a secret union would never work and, while she is heavily involved in one, she still holds that she is right. It is impossible to turn a deaf ear to the gossip circulating through the Senate; hard to ignore the snide whispers debating the parentage of the precious life growing inside of her. She wants to go home to Naboo with a force so great it makes her knees feel weak and her heart hurt. If Anakin is right- if- she wants to die surrounded by family in the house she was raised in; wants more than she can say to hear the lusty cries of her child comforted by her parents as Anakin holds her hand and is an acknowledged part of her family. If he has indeed seen her future, she wants just once to be called Padme Amidala Naberrie Skywalker in a room full of people.

"I am Padme Skywalker, Anakin's wife," she whispers to the night sky.

Sacrifice has never been something that Anakin has understood as well as she, and he will never know how much she has truly given up to be with him. Once their child is born, the Senate will no longer have her and her family… She is not sure if her union will come as a disappointment to them. She has let go of everything for a husband she rarely sees, for a strange combination of boy and man who needs her entirely too much. Sometimes he seems little more than an elusive dream to her, one that visits her at night and is gone with only a hint of a promise before she can fully appreciate him, but she would do it all over again if it came to that.

Padme is not afraid of death but she is still terrified to go, even if it is not entirely for the right reason. Her tragedy cannot be complete without him and it is that thought that makes her muscles tense and her blood run cold. It is not that she does not believe he could not survive without her- it is that she is not sure how he will be alone. He puts her on a pedestal and if he does not have her-

Out of nowhere she thinks of his mother and the Sand People. She wonders how many people will pay for her own demise and grips her stomach hard with a cry of, "No!" before she can stop herself. But not the baby. Never the baby. Even if she feels sometimes that he is a stranger to her and entirely too much to handle, she knows he loves their unborn child just as much as she does. Could he have laughed with her over its hearty kicks if he did not love it? Could he have stared at her with such wonder if he did not plan on looking after their child should something happen to her? She thinks not, if only because the baby will be an extension of her. It is an extension of him at the very least, all the good in both of them combined into something wonderful. This, Padme can sense.

Valiantly, she ignores the fact that he had not regarded her stomach in quite the same manner after his vision.

One hand rises from the swell of her belly to clench her Japor pendant tightly. Anakin, she thinks, trying her hardest to make him feel her, wherever he may be. She is completely without knowledge of the Force but he has teasingly told her once or twice that he can sense her from anywhere and she needs him to now as his horrible prediction rattles around in her head.

"I won't leave you, Ani," she vows.

Against her damp cheeks, the night breeze suddenly seems impossibly cold.