DISCLAIMER: All characters are property of Lucas Films, LTD. I am not profiting from this work in any way.
This vignette is a Sequel to my story Don't Worry.
Era: PT – Between Episodes II and III
Genre: Romance, Angst
by The Yellow Dart
Darkness crept around her bed, only interrupted by soft flames of light through her large window. Padmé knew sleep would elude her again tonight, just like it had nearly every night since he'd been gone. The sun would rise in just a few hours; morning would signal the start another long day of sleepwalking through the senate.
"I can't do this any more," she moaned. She had taken up talking to herself in his absence. Since she couldn't share her pain with anyone else, she needed some sort of outlet. Their marriage had to be a secret -- at least until after the war.
Night was the worst time for her; she felt so small in her large bed. She had never been scared of the dark as a child, but now it terrified her. If only Anakin could wrap his strong arms around her lithe frame and make her feel secure and loved. Then she would be able to sleep, nestled against his strong, warm body.
"Anakin, I need you." She hated how selfish she had become.
Padmé yawned loudly and stretched across the bed. If she imagined hard enough, she could still sense his scent on the pillows; she could almost feel his soft breath against her cheek. But she couldn't feel his arms around her.
"I used to have no trouble sleeping. Why did you do this to me?" It wasn't really his fault. She worried about him. She missed him. She needed him. The thought was quite disconcerting.
Before she knew the power of true love, she had been unaware of how alone she really was. Now that she had experienced a world with him, she couldn't bear to be without him.
A queen at the age of fourteen, she used to be strong. Solitude had been her sanctuary. Now she was sure she would crumble without his support.
Where was that powerful young queen she once was?
She heaved a woeful sigh. "It's crazy. And I'm talking to myself, so I have to be crazy."
All common sense told her she couldn't be so desperate. She lived in a real world, not in the midst some lovesick pity party.
Yes, Anakin was fighting a war and he was in constant danger, but she also had an important job in the senate -- a job for which she needed to be awake. And that meant she had to sleep. Now.
Still, she couldn't close her eyes without seeing his handsome, smiling face. And then . . . Was it a doom-filled premonition or merely a haunting dream filled with the sights, sounds, and pain of war on a distant planet?
What if she was seeing the world as he experienced it, through the portal of her dreams? Sometimes, like tonight, she saw him writhing in pain. Suffering. Dying. Slowly. Painfully.
She shivered and pulled the blanket up to her chin. No warmth could sooth her ice cold fear. She turned onto her other side and pulled his pillow to her chest; it was a poor substitute for the man she loved. Her bed was still just as empty as it had always been.
Regardless, she had to sleep! She buried her head against the pillow and tried to close her eyes again. Her heart raced again when she focused on his handsome face.
Her heart raced with fear. She had no idea where he was or what horrors he would face even now as she slept in the safety of her warm bed.
He might never come home again.
No wonder she couldn't sleep. "Ani, I need you," she breathed. She sighed deeply and again flipped onto her other side. Her eyes stayed propped open, unable to face her dreams. She stared out the window, studying the night sky, but not really seeing anything.
"I'm here," his familiar soft, deep voice wafted through the cold dark air.
It couldn't be. "I'm crazy." She buried her head in her pillow. "I'm really crazy."
"You're not crazy, Padmé. I'm here."
She knew that voice so well. "Ani!" Was her Jedi warrior really home?
"Padmé." He said her name so reverently, like she heard it so often in her dreams.
She pulled the pillow away from her head and was greeted with the image of a tall, handsome man standing in the shadows of her doorway. Those familiar deep blue eyes stared at her with an intense passion she had missed desperately. "Are you really here?"
"I'm here." He silently took a step into the room, and she could see all of him. It looked like he was ready to climb into bed with her, dressed only in a pair of black pants. His metal hand shimmered in the moonlight against his bare, sculpted chest.
"Are my eyes open? Are you a dream?" Her breath caught in her chest as she studied the man in front of her. It was the Anakin she had seen in the holo just last night.
He was not the young husband she remembered, but he was undoubtedly still her Ani. It had been so long since she touched him. She longed to run her hands through his curly blonde hair; she was desperate to kiss his muscular chest. She wanted to feel his lips against hers.
"Are you an angel?" He rapidly closed the distance through her room stood at the foot of her bed.
Padmé opened her mouth to respond, but Anakin quickly wrapped his arms around her neck, leaned in and pressed his lips against hers. She wasn't sure how he had crossed the room so quickly, but she didn't bother to ask.
When their lips touched, she felt all of her pent-up pain and fear dissolve. The puzzle piece that had been missing from her life was now reunited, and her heart was full again. She laced her fingers together behind his head and fully surrendered herself to the feel of his lips against hers.
"Oh, Padmé, I've missed you so much." He ran his hands up and down her back in an irregular pattern.
"You have no idea how much I've missed you." She was desperate to touch every inch of his hard, warm body. If this was real, she wanted to take full advantage of her opportunity to commit his new appearance into memory so she could access it at any lonely moment. She ran her hand down his well-sculpted chest and back up along his face.
He pulled back and stared into her eyes. "I'm so sorry. I wish it didn't have to be this way."
She sighed. "I know." She ran her hands along his face, taking special care to avoid his newly-healed scar. Her fingers inched their way through his soft, curly hair until she reached the back of his neck and she gently cradled his head between her hands.
"You shouldn't have to suffer like this." He turned his head and planted a soft kiss on one of her hands. "It is my fault. I hate this war."
Instead of answering, she pulled his head towards her then brushed her lips against his.
She offered no resistance when he pushed her back onto the bed and pressed his lips hard against hers. She surrendered herself to the passion swirling through her body. Her lips instinctively parted when his tongue demanded entry, and she closed her eyes and passively let him explore the warm depths of her mouth.
He pulled away from the kiss, and she released a delighted sigh when his lips brushed a path against the side of her face and down her neck. Her husband's head stilled and she felt his long moan against her bosom.
"I'm exhausted," he breathed.
She held him close and ran her fingers up and down his muscular back, trying to soothe all of the horrors of war he had experienced. "You must be. You've turned down the opportunity to rip my clothes off."
Anakin laughed against her chest. "I'm too tired to do anything other than kiss you tonight."
"It's okay. I'm so happy you're home."
"I had to come home. You sounded so worried last night. I couldn't bear another day apart."
"How long do you have?"
He laughed. "Until they find out I'm gone."
"What!" She swatted against his back.
"I'm just kidding." He turned his head up and smirked. "Obi-Wan knows I'm gone. I have at least three days."
She narrowed her eyes. "Are you sure."
"Would I lie?"
"Yes!" It didn't matter why he was here or how long he had. She was grateful for the time she had to hold him, kiss him, and love him before he left again.
He took a deep, shuddering breath. "I had to show you I'm not hurt . . . and that I'm still alive. I've missed you so much."
She could tell that through all his well-crafted bravado, he was scared. Even though he had grown up so much, he was still the boy she had met on Tattooine and the young man she had married.
War had changed his appearance, but not his soul.
What would she do without him if she ever really lost him? She chewed her lower lip thoughtfully. "Ani, I thought you were dead; I was so scared."
He took a breath and looked down at his hands. "I'm not worried about myself. They might call me the Hero With No Fear, but no one knows how terrified I am that something might happen to you when I'm not here to protect you."
She took a deep breath. "Ani, if I'm not supposed to worry about you, then you can't worry about me either."
He shook his head. "This is different. I know you aren't sleeping, Padmé. You'll make yourself sick."
How could he know? "I'm fine, Ani."
He tilted his head up to look into her eyes. "I'd leave if you asked me."
"What are you talking about?"
"The Jedi. The war. I would leave if you asked me to."
She pushed him away softly. "Ani, I love that you'd throw your life away for me, but I can't ask you to do that!"
He looked up at her with the innocent eyes of a little boy. "I don't want you to make yourself sick worrying about me. We can go to some far off world away from all of this and start our lives over."
"You're crazy. We all have sacrifices to make." She threaded her fingers through his hair and planted a soft kiss on top of his head. One of her hands disentangled from his messy curls and ran up and down the hard muscles of his back and sides.
It was just like one of her many dreams of him, but this time he was real. Warm flesh, soft skin, hard muscles. "I know you said 'Don't worry,' but I have to worry. I love you. And when you're so far away, I can't help but be frightened for your safety. But, Ani, I can't tell you not to go. You have your duty, and I have mine."
He nodded woefully. "After the war . . ."
"I know. After the war, we have the rest of our lives. But right now, I'm just happy for whatever time we have together."
His voice grew heavy with sleep. "I love you so much."
"I love you, too, Anakin." She stroked his cheek with her thumb. "We can only be happy for the moments we have."
"The moments," he repeated.
She shifted so he could wrap his strong arms against her small body and she could snuggle against his muscular chest. This was the security and love she had desired to feel for so long. Tonight, she would sleep, finally nestled against his strong, warm body.
Before she let her eyes close to meet the sleep that finally appeared before her, she placed a soft kiss on her beloved's cheek. Even though their time together was so short, she would always be happy clinging to the memories they shared during their stolen time together.
Feedback of any kind is greatly appreciated.
Than you for the feedback, shina937 and Hopeless4life! I am so glad you enjoyed it. I just wanted to clarify, that this is far from my first fic. I've written over 50 Lois and Clark: the New Adventures of Superman fics, several ER fics, and a few Friends fics. This is my first Star Wars fic, though.