Sometimes when she is around him, she feels like she can't breathe.

Most of the time it's a good feeling. When her breath is that short and the corners of her vision darken, Padmé sees stars spangling her view of the world. Usually at that point her view of the world is Anakin's face, or the curve of his bare neck and shoulder, or his robes sliding off his body. He looks even more gorgeous with stars.

When she first felt herself falling for him, she promised herself that she would never let him tame her, never let him become the center of her life.

When she broke that promise, she realized she was still falling. She wondered if she would ever hit the ground.

She hasn't yet, and when he's around, she's too busy trying to catch her breath to be afraid of the future.


Obi-Wan tries to talk to him, now and then. Sometimes they can have a normal conversation, laughing about the way R2-D2 got into an argument with a local computer, or the latest political stupidity in the Senate that they as fighting men are far above. Other times, Anakin is sullen and taciturn, merely glowering at his mentor. That's all right, because boys are like that.

Every so often, though, Obi-Wan will find himself struck mute, stunned into silence by a sudden vertigo. Usually, it happens when Anakin is looking at him a little too intently.

He never mentions these incidents to Anakin. He hesitates to dismiss them as his imagination--no Jedi worth anything is quick to do that--but he's not sure he wants to know what the young man he's come to love so much would think about it.


Anakin stands on the balcony sometimes, and he feels like maybe he's flying.