'The Nursemaid's Tale' (A 'SW'AU)
Disclaimer: The'Star Wars' series of movies,TV programs, sanctioned novels, comic strips, video games, toys, etc. are the properties of George Lucas and his sanctioned co-writers, producers and I'm making no monies whatsoever from this fanfic.
A/N- This AU takes its start at the tail end of SW:ROTS and is told mainly from the POV of Padmé. I know that not everything in this conforms to previous Official ideas about the characters and settings but I'm doing my best to keep in the spirit of things. Please read and review but I ask the readers not to get too nitpicky with what doesn't exactly match Lucas's original, sanctioned vision. Will update when life permits.
Obi- Wan pulled himself the last meter of the rim of Mustafar where he saw an almost lifeless form of Padmé laying down.
"Padmé!" Obi-Wan yelled- and saw her stirring a bit.
"Threepio, Artoo! Down here! Immediately!" Obi-Wan ordered as the droids raced towards their fallen mistress.
"Artoo senses she's still breathing! "C3PO gulped after translating for the other droid.
"We must get her to the rendevous point! Hurry! I sense Palpatine's presence getting closer!" Obi-Wan exclaimed as Threepio carried the Senator's form into her cruiser but Artoo beeped.
"Artoo asks what has become of Master Anakin?" Threepio asked.
"He was horribly burned alive. It wouldn't be safe to even attempt to retrieve the remains and the shock of seeing him that way may prove too much for Padmé," Obi-Wan shuddered.
"But. .." Threepio sputtered.
" I know he constructed you but you can't stay with him- and we must leave immediately if we don't want to be captured by the Emperor!"Obi-Wan insisted.
"She's awakening!"Threepio translated after Artoo chirped what he sensed while Obi-Wan launched their ship into orbit.
"Unh, Anakin. .how could you? Our child," Padmé groaned-as she patted her abdomen.
"Mistress Padmé, you're unharmed!" Threepio beamed.
" I knew I pretending to collapse would be the only way to snap Anakin to stop trying to choke me. Where is he?"Padmé asked.
"I'm sorry to tell you this but. .. I tried to get him to see reason and fight off the Dark Side," Obi-Wan sighed.
"Is he. ..?" Padmé asked.
"No mortal could have survived that molten cauldron- even with the Force! "Obi-Wan exclaimed.
"I must see him one last. .." Padmé pleaded as she tried to pull Obi-Wan off the steering controls of her ship.
"NO! He was horribly burned. Nothing more than a cinder left. I can't let that be your last image of him," Obi-Wan groaned- as they went into hyperdrive.
"But his actions against the innocents. . ," Padmé convulsively sobbed.
"Please, we need to get you to a Medical Space Station to ensure you and the baby are safe," Obi-Wan pleaded as Padmé numbly nodded in agreement.
C3PO and R2D2 chirped and nodded- but didn't say anything else. There was nothing any of them could say but the mere presence of each other helped.
"I can't believe he slaughtered all those Padawans. They trusted him," Padmé sobbed while a Nurse Droid probed her to make sure she and the offspring were safe.
"I know. Palpatine wanted to use his Anakin for his Force strength to make his galactic rule as Emperor absolute," Obi- Wan groaned.
"But why would he have so easily turned against everything all of us taught him just to do Palpatine's bidding?" Padmé asked.
"The Dark Side he thought could protect you," Yoda replied.
"But how could he have thought I could live with myself under those conditions?" Padmé asked.
"The Dark Side causes one to consider passion over reason,"Obi-Wan sighed.
"You must think we were terrible to give over to passion but Anakin and I were wed so this child is Anakin's heir," Padmé exclaimed as she patted her abdomen.
"Heir?" Yoda, Obi-Wan and Senator Bail Organa asked.
"Artoo, you have permission to play the Ceremony Hologram," Padmé sighed.
Artoo did so and with it, it was concluded that Padmé and Anakin had been wed and Padmé was now his widow.
"If you are his widow and your child's Anakin's heir, ensure we must that the Emperor never either of you capture!" Yoda proclaimed while banging his staff.
"Sad that a fellow Nabootean could be so treacherous. Do you think he'd harm our child?"Padmé asked.
"He had countless children slaughtered. If he couldn't use your child for the Dark Side, he'd do the same without any hesitation," Obi-Wan sighed.
"I'm afraid you're right but where can we go? Our child isn't due for another six standard months!" Padmé pondered.
"What's that?" Threepio asked as the Nurse Droid buzzed a bit.
"What did she say?" Padmé asked.
"She said that you and your developing son and daughter are in excellent health and she sees no medical reason the three of you would not enjoy long lifespans for humans!" Threepio beamed.
"Twins!"Padmé, Obi-Wan and Senator Bail Organa gulped while Yoda nodded.
"You knew?" Senator Bail asked Yoda.
"Eight hundred years training," Yoda gloated.
"So there are TWO chances we have to restore order," Obi-Wan pondered.
"What are you talking about? You want to sacrifice my children the way their father was?" Padmé asked as she balled her hands into fists and wrapped her arms protectively around her abdomen.
"What good Anakin had rests lies with them and their powers will make things right- no matter what!" Obi-Wan pleaded.
"Yes, but as long as I'm alive, the Emperor will hunt me down to make me and the twins his own or terminate us," Padmé groaned.
Obi-Wan, Yoda, Padmé and the droids were quite uneasy but the silence was soon broken.
" I could provide sanctuary for you on Alderaan!" Senator Bail Organa suddenly exclaimed.
"Alderaan? What would I do there and would Yuermina approve?" Padmé gulped.
"Of course, just yesterday she asked me if I could find a nursemaid for Crown Prince Osric. .." Bail insisted.
"A nursemaid? But I don't have any experience. .." Padmé shuddered.
"It would be a good way to learn to take care of your own and your progeny could become ours!" Bail beamed.
"Will Her Majesty want another queen in her household?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Yuermina and I have holographically corresponded for years and she's been somewhat like a little mother to me," Padmé explained.
"We'd have to change your name, of course, and give you a good cover story so no Imperial spies could report on us," Bail pondered as he raised his right index finger.
"But the Emperor won't rest unless he's assured that Padmé and her offspring no longer exist," Obi-Wan sighed.
"I played dead for Anakin and it fooled him enough. We can do the same of Palpatine," Padmé gulped.
"Another look-alike have you?" Yoda asked.
"Yes, Sabé had a twin named Oosted- and if we can get word to her, I know she can do it for us!" Padmé beamed.
"But any transmission. .." Senator Bail Organa sighed.
"I can help out!" Yoda insisted as he went into a trance to call on Oosted.
"Mind meld is one thing but. ." Bail sputtered.
"Master Yoda is also a master herbal specialist. He once told me of an herb that can render a human into an unconscious state with the most shallow of breathing and the fewest heartbeats possible for a period of ten standard days, plenty of time for an open casket Nabootean Funeral Procession and interment," Obi-Wan explained.
"Then we can disinter her when no one is present and rescue her! That's brilliant!" Bail proclaimed.
"And unharmed the girl will be! Contacted her, I have and venture to Mustafar will she!" Yoda proclaimed.
"And I guess I will happen to find her lifeless form, then take her back to Naboo then stay for the funeral," Bail sighed.
"Your not on the Emperor's wanted list and it would be protocol for a Senator to attend another Senator's funeral," Obi-Wan explained.
"Not to mention a queen's consort to attend another queen's funeral but who will accompany Padmé to. ."Bail asked.
At that moment Artoo chirped and squealed a bit.
"Artoo suggests that since he is a fellow Nabootean that it's his duty to accompany his former queen and Senator to her new home and I might suggest that as a protocol droid, I would be well suited to help her adjust to Alderaan customs before her twins' arrival,"C3PO exclaimed.
" Master Yoda, Obi-Wan, why can't you come with me? My children would cherish being brought up in your brilliance!" Padmé pleaded.
"Accompany you, we cannot. Sadly. To separate exiles we must go," Yoda sighed.
"But we will make it our goals to live so we can teach them when the time is right!" Obi-Wan exclaimed.
"That face you make, worried about Anakin are you?" Yoda whispered as they walked away from Padmé.
"I can't tell whether he's in this dimension or the nether one,"Obi-Wan sighed.
"Sense I cannot either,"Yoda groaned.
"Surely the Force would tell us one way or. .."Obi-Wan sighed.
"Protection of his progeny, concern our first!"Yoda insisted.
"What happens if Palpatine goes to the funeral on Naboo?"Obi-Wan asked.
"To divert him from that, I will," Yoda insisted.
So, Obi-Wan soon flew Padmé's ship back to Mustafar with Bail following him in his own- and in Mustafar, he soon hid. himself in a transport to take him to his exile. Yoda had taken his own ship back and saw to it that no trace of it could be found as soon as he arrived at his place of exile.
Meantime, Bail found Padmé's lookalike Oosted on Mustafar's surface and gave her Padmé's clothing to wear with pregnant padding to simulate Padmé's condition before she squeezed her own neck to simulate the bruise Anakin had left on her mistress's neck and then she consumed Yoda's herb to simulate death while the funeral preparations went flawlessly with not a single Nabootean knowing otherwise. Palpatine was set to make a grand entrance of attendance when suddenly a riot broke out on Kessel due to vaporous gases causing an explosion from the mines that harmed no one but caused great panic amongst the miners. The Galactic Empire depended too heavily on Kessel's spices for the Emperor to ignore the riot thus, he abruptly cancelled his funereal attendance. Virtually all on Naboo would thus remember their Senator and former Queen's funeral as the last day of autonomy from the Empire. Five days later, Bail secretly disinterred Oosted from Padmé's vault then spirited her into exile unharmed.
"Artoo, control yourself!" Threepio chided his shorter companion who excitedly squealed as the rather cramped, dilapidated space cruiser entered Alderaan's upper atmosphere less than a day after they last saw Yoda, ObiWan and Bail.
"It's OK, Artoo! It does look like a good place for all of us to start over," Padmé laughed as she steered the controls of the used cruiser Obi-Wan had somehow bartered for her use.
"Mistress Padmé, is there anything else Artoo and I could do to help?"Threepio asked.
" Just know that no matter what happens to us on Alderaan, I'll always appreciate what you two did for us and what we've been through," Padmé sighed.
"This is Alderaan Space Control Tower, give us a landing code," the control tower barked from monitor.
"Here's the code. .. ." Padmé replied as she gave it.
"Your are clear for landing from Coruscant at Her Majesty's Personal Command in Landing Bay NX-789 Welcome Mamie Voluscian,"the control tower replied.
"Coruscant? But we came from. ..!" Threepio sputtered before Padmé put her hand over his mouth so the control tower wouldn't hear him before the transmission was over.
"Shh!" Padmé pleaded.
". . .and your name is Padmé Amidala Skywalker, Senator and former Queen of Naboo, widow of the Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker!" Threepio indignantly sniffed as Padmé took her hand off his mouth opening right after the transmission.
"I know! I know but I think Yuermina wants us to start anew- and that may not be a bad thing," Padmé gulped as she steered the craft to a rather dense and busy cluster of landing bays.
"Where's the Welcoming Carpet and Committee? Hardly fitting protocol for a Senator," Threepio sneered.
"Queen Yuermina wants me to be her Crown Prince's nursemaid so we'd better cease thinking of me as being anything more than that," Padmé deeply groaned.
"But Mistress Padmé . ." Threepio protested.
"The survival of my babies depend on everyone thinking me as a nursemaid," Padmé pleaded as she squeezed the tiny ship into its landing dock.
The ship's hatch opened and they were greeted by a silver protocol droid.
"I'm C7FO.Nurse Mamie Voluscian, Her Majesty,Yuermina VII, Queen Regnant of Alderaan has dispatched me to transport you and your accompanying servant droids to the Royal Palace in Aldera City," the silver protocol droid droned.
"Good to see someone familiar looking. I'm C3. ." Threepio started to say.
"I'm aware of your identities. No further talking necessary," the silver protocol droid barked.
"How rude!" Threepio sniffed.
Soon the hovercraft transport led them to the shining, wide streets of Aldera City which was dominated by a 3000 meter tall mountain- atop which was the 2500 room Royal Palace gleaming like a jewel surrounded by its own park over the classical city. Padmé couldn't help but be in awe of this gleaming new home but her resolve was slightly diminished when C7FO's hovercraft bypassed the wide, shining entrance gates of the Royal Palace for a smaller tunnel.
"The SERVANTS' Entrance!" Threepio gasped and would have said more but for a pleading look from Padmé.
Effoh parked the hovercraft as tunnel door sealed behind them.
"Follow me to your quarters," Effoh barked as the soon walked countless hallways and rode several elevators upwards until they were in marbled, white airy Royal Apartments.
"This is much better," Threepio gloated.
"Your Royal Majesty!" Effoh exclaimed as the older woman with dark brown hair in a shimmering white, embroidered gown came into the room leading a small boy of about two years old by the hand who ran up and hugged Padmé's knees.
"Leave us and take the Crown Prince with you for the time being, Effoh- and if I catch you spying on us, I'll have your memory erased!" Queen Yuermina commanded.
"Yes, Your Majesty!"C7FO gulped.
"Yuermee-!"Padmé started to say.
"Cease! You are Crown Prince Osric's nursemaid so you are to address me as Your Majesty and Ma'am," Queen Yuermina snapped.
"Yes, Your Majesty," Padmé groaned as she curtseyed.
"I know you have suffered the loss of your husband- just as I have the loss of my younger child," Queen Yuermina sighed in a more compassionate tone.
"Oh, Yuer. .Your Majesty," Padmé gulped.
"I was as far along as you with my firstborn daughter when all the stress of what's been happening in Corcusant and concern for the Senator/Prince Consort's safety caused a miscarriage. No one knows but the Senator/Prince Consort- as I erased that from the Medical Droid's memory,"Queen Yuermina explained.
"I'm sorry, Your Majesty,"Padmé sighed.
"But your progeny will become mine to make up for it," Queen Yuermina insisted.
"May I make one small request, Your Majesty?" Padmé asked.
"Very well, Mamie- and that's all any of us to address you by from this point onwards," Queen Yuermina sighed.
"Since I'm to carry then bear. .. the progeny," Padmé gulped- for she was still stunned at the idea of her own children being considered belonging to someone else entirely.
"Yes, Mamie?" Queen Yuermina asked.
" I was wondering if I could at least name them," Padmé sighed.
"So be it. Fair enough," Queen Yuermina sighed.
"Excuse me, Your Majesty, but what are our duties?" Threepio asked.
"Mamie will be the Crown Prince's nursemaid until. .my progeny are born. This would be a good time for you and Artoo to help her tend to her duties and, Threepio, you are to teach Mamie all the necessary customs of Alderaan. I don't want to have repeat myself," Queen Yuermina explained.
"As you wish, Your Majesty," Threepio proclaimed while Artoo sputtered a bit in dislike of his new mistress.
"I trust your quarters are sufficient. They overlook the Palace Lake and command a brilliant view of Aldera and some of the surrounding countryside," Queen Yuermina beamed.
"They're very pleasant, Your Majesty," Padmé insisted.
"Good. Now's the time to forget who you were and concentrate on being the best nursemaid possible to Osric so you'll have enough practice for my impending progeny! Effoh, bring the Crown Prince back to his quarters," Queen Yuermina commanded while touching the common-link at the last second.
The toddler Crown Prince ran in.
"Meet you new Nursemaid Mamie! She'll help you learn everything you need to know so you can be the best King possible of Alderaan one day!" Queen Yuermina beamed as she kneeled down and kissed her son.
"Is Papa here?" Osric asked.
"I explained to you that Papa is in Naboo attending a funeral of a dear family friend, Queen Padmé! Too bad you never got to know. I think you would have liked her," Queen Yuermina sighed as she looked straight into Padmé's eyes before she left her nursmaid's quarters.
"Excuse me, Mamie?" Threepio said- a bit confused about his former mistresses's new name.
"Yes, Threepio?" Padmé asked.
"But this might be a good time to explain that while Alderaan has been a representative democracy for millennia and the monarch is strictly a ceremonial head of state , the Alderaan Monarchy has been a strictly heriditary one with a predominantly male primogeniture succession- unlike the elected Nabootean Monarchy!"Threepio sniffed.
"Oh, it's for the best! We must keep telling ourselves that," Padmé deeply sighed as she clutched her abdomen but then allowed herself to be dragged off to Crown Prince Osric's Quarters by her new charge.