Epilogue

Anakin and Obi-Wan

Anakin had been sulking now for two full days. Obi-Wan had stopped talking to him, and even R2 was a little tired of Anakin's sullen mood.

Anakin, though he didn't know it, had felt the same things Padme had. Harboring the feeling that saying goodbye was harder than just suddenly being forced to leave. Anakin would rather not say goodbye, than to feel like this ever again.

The Council had sent them to Cato Nemoidia. They were to capture Nute Gunray. Anakin was motivated to get this mission over and done with quickly, so they might end the war and return to Coruscant where he could be with Padme, finally.

Obi-Wan, meanwhile, noticing Anakin's grumpy mood, thought it was good that they were away from Coruscant for awhile. Maybe his former padawan would give up some of his adolescent fantasies of Padme.

Soon they would be in the midst of their mission, and Anakin would forget his grumpiness, and Obi-Wan could stop avoiding the young man (who was acting more like a teenager at the moment). Soon they would end this ridiculous war, and bring some sense to the hundreds of thousands of innocents who lives were lost in the course, including Senator Yennaj Monvé.

Padme

Padmé had spent the last few days meeting with Yennaj's family, and speaking at the burial ceremony. Yennaj's young son, Han, didn't really understand that his mother wasn't returning, and it broke Padmé's heart. Han's grandparents were much older than Padmé realized, and she worried for Han. Would they be around long enough to see that Han grew up remembering his mother and how much she loved him?

Soon there was nothing more Padmé could do. She had made sure Yennaj was remembered for her service, and she had fulfilled her promise to herself.

Padmé dreaded returning to Coruscant. She would be returning to an empty apartment where memories of Anakin would greet her at every turn. She realized the situation was getting harder to handle, and she felt she could buckle under the strain. But she had to put up a brave front, or Bail would expose them and she couldn't allow her own weakness to ruin Anakin's career as a Jedi. The Council needed him, the Republic needed him…

Padmé, suddenly feeling faint, leaned back in the pilot's chair, closing her eyes and breathing. That was when she felt it. Padmé bolted upright, her eyes wide with shock, and elation, and hope…

Padmé sensed a presence within her that she'd not sensed before. And as she realized the sensation it intensified, as if encouraged by Padmé's realization.

She could physically feel it growing inside her; Anakin's child.

Padmé placed her hand on her stomach, a smile of pure joy playing on her lips. No thoughts of the future or of what this might mean for both of them. All she felt was euphoric happiness. She would keep this news secret. Anakin would be the first to know.

So Padmé began counting the endless days until she would see Anakin and be able to tell him the wonderful news.


A/N: My goal was for the end of this story is to start close to where Labyrinth of Evil, by James Luceno begins. If you've read it, tell me how I did! Thanks for reading otherwise, and check out my other Star Wars fics…