DISCLAIMER: I do not own Star Wars or any of its characters - this is just a weird AU idea that came into my head.
Padme could feel herself fading. Her center of consciousness was sinking down inside her head; her vision was blurring; her breath was weakening. She was barely aware of the medical droid reaching inside her and pulling out a small crying figure.
"It's a boy," Obi-Wan declared.
Padme struggled to get her eyes open enough to see her newborn son, but it seemed that her eyes would not obey her command. Flashes of him entered her eyes as she blinked rapidly. Her mind flew through her memories, fiercely trying to remember what she and Anakin had decided to name their baby if it were a boy.
"Luke..." she whispered.
A second wave of pain rushed through her body, and again she was fading. It seemed as though she was rushing somewhere between the living and the dead, that she was at that dreary, empty place in the middle. But suddenly, another baby's cry briefly drove her back to full consciousness, the reflex action of a dying mother.
"It's a girl," said Obi-Wan.
Padme forced her eyes open to get a good look at her daughter, and this time, her eyes complied. Her eyes met the tiny eyes of the baby, and for a long, lingering moment, they simply stared at one-another, letting their souls touch. An invisible connection seemed to pass between them, a wordless understanding of their special bond as mother and daughter. In the eternity contained in that fleeting second, death was unreal, pain was unreal, suffering was unreal, all was unreal except for the warm innocence in the child's eyes.
"Leia..." Padme finally whispered.
Her thoughts slipped again, slipped to her husband, her husband who was now evil. A memory came into her head, a memory of his kiss, his kiss filled with pure love and passion. The person who had given her that kiss was now gone forever, and yet her barely-conscious mind was refusing to believe it. Her soul was begging the dark side to let him go, begging him to return to her the way he was.
"Obi-Wan..." she murmured, "...there is still good in him..." With that, consciousness completely left her.
Obi-Wan held the baby boy in his arms as he watched Padme sleep, sensing her growing weaker by the moment. He tried to reach out to her with the Force, tried to find a way to heal her, but how could he heal her when it was unclear what was wrong with her?
He turned to face Bail Organa, who was cradling the baby girl - clearly he was growing quite attached to her. "Do you think she can survive?"
Bail continued to look down at the infant. "She's premature, but she appears to be strong and quite healthy."
"Not the baby," Obi-Wan snapped with more than a hint of annoyance. "The mother."
Bail finally looked up with a solemn expression on his face. "I don't think so," he said with a heavy sigh.
Obi-Wan turned to the medical droid. "Is there nothing you can do to save her?"
The droid seemed to hesitate. "Well...there is one thing we could try, but it is a very risky process."
The droid seemed to hesitate again, as though he was actually contemplating the usefulness of his idea. "Carbon freezing," he finally said. "It is not usually used as a medical procedure; rather, when it is used with the living, it is most often used to transport prisoners, but there is a small possibility that it might save her."
"If the procedure is carried out successfully, it will put her into a state of hibernation," the droid explained. "All her bodily functions will slow down to their minimum level, sustaining her life, but barely. It is possible for people to remain in hibernation for months, or even years. In a few rare cases, terminally ill people have been carbon-frozen and then reawakened when a cure for their illnesses was discovered."
Obi-Wan's eyes widened. "I'm afraid I still don't understand. Didn't you say that there was nothing wrong with her physically? How can you find a cure when there seems to be no disease?"
"In this case, finding a cure would not be the purpose," the droid continued. "If she is put into hibernation for a few days, and then reawakened, the stimulation from coming out of hibernation would disturb the process of her death, and thus she would be out of danger. But, as I said earlier, the freezing process is very risky. Many have not survived it. There is a very strong possibility that the freezing would kill her." He turned to face Padme's body. "But if we do nothing, we are definitely going to lose her."
Obi-Wan gazed over at the dying senator. She moaned slightly, and her lips silently seemed to be mouthing out a word Obi-Wan didn't need Force powers to make out. The torturing dreams of her husband were slowly overtaking her, slowly killing her. And yet, her perishing body was still showing youth, showing a future, showing that it needed to live.
"All right," Obi-Wan finally said. "Do it."
As Padme's still-unconscious body was lowered into the freezing chamber, Obi-Wan felt pangs of regret. Why had he agreed to subject her to this experiment? He didn't know much about carbon freezing, but he could sense that it was not painless. As she was frozen, Obi-Wan felt jolts of intense pain from her body. Her body seemed to be silently screaming in anguish, screaming for it to end. Obi-Wan's breath quickened. What had he done?
Finally Padme was lifted out - or rather, a carbonite box with Padme's shape sticking out of the top was lifted out. Obi-Wan could no longer feel her pain, but he could no longer feel anything else from her, either. No thought, no feeling, no life at all. Nothing.
"The freezing procedure was a success," the medical droid was saying. "She's in perfect hibernation."
Obi-Wan struggled not to tremble as he looked down at Padme's frozen face cast in the carbonite. "And now what?"
"We wait," said the droid. "We keep her here for a day or two to allow her body to grow accustomed to the hibernation, and then we reawaken her, and hopefully that will set her back to normal."
Obi-Wan continued to stare at Padme's carbonited form, still in disbelief that he had actually allowed this to happen to her.
"You and Senetor Organa should take the children to a wet nurse if they are to survive these few days without their mother," the droid instructed.
Obi-Wan managed a small nod. "You're right. I'll be back in two days for when you reawaken Padme."
Padme was stored in a chamber underneath the medical ward, where she would not disturb any of the living patients or take up any space where the patients in more dire need could go. The medical droids planned to reawaken her two days after her freezing, when she would be reunited with Obi-Wan and her children and they would then find a safe hiding place from Darth Vader.
But unfortunately, they did not plan on Darth Vader attacking the medical ward the very next night.
The next morning, what little was left of the ward looked like a war zone. The broken bodies of droid and patient alike littered the floor. None were spared: not the young, the old, the strong, or the weak, for the man formerly called Anakin Skywalker could no longer discriminate. Word had gotten out that the senator Padme Amidala had been at that medical ward the previous day, but the reason why she was there remained a mystery, except for the few who were hiding her children. Although her body was not found among the rubble, it soon became widely believed that she was dead. Neither Obi-Wan nor Bail Organa knew about the underground chamber where she had been placed, so in time, they too began to believe that Padme was dead.
As the years went by, an Empire rose and fell, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Bail Organa, and Darth Vader all died, and Padme's frozen body was forgotten...