Between Darkness and Light There Is…Us
SPOILERS: I, II, III, but this is Obidala and not exactly by the book (well movie, but you know what I mean) in fact it is not very much at all like the movies. It does however spoil a great deal from my two previous parts of the Between Darkness and Light series, Part I: Human, Part II: Life.
DISCLAIMER: so not mine, but if you want to read a more detailed disclaimer, see Part I or Part II.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Well, here we go. This is so sad…this is the last part to my series! Anyway, it won't be like AOTC or ROTS exactly. But it will play pretty close to lines of AOTC in the beginning just to get us through to my new quirks and plot. Um, I know there is something more I should be adding by way to prepping you guys…but I seriously can't think of anything! I hate it when my mind goes blank. This story will a great dealer darken then the first two…but since I am pretty mild writer when it comes to 'dark' anyway it's mostly just 'gray'…and the evil stuff won't come in till later. These first few chapters will move kind of fast and they might seem a little dry…I think, I don't know it's hard to judge but if you don't like the first few chapters please, please, hang in there it does get better! And I promise Anakin finds out about Leia…and he does become Vader! I promise! …wow that is a lame promise…I guess that really is it! Much love –RaeAnne
Of Learners, Clones and Jedi
He's right outside my bedroom…Anakin. He isn't the little boy I met on Tatooine anymore. He's changed and I am sure it isn't for the better.
Right now in the early morning as he stands in mediation, I see a glimpse of his past. He'll furrow his brow and I see the anxious child face he had as he contemplated his pod racer, or he'll stand feet spread hands clinched behind him and the strain will melt and his innocence is reclaimed… for a moment.
What happened, when did it happen? What changed he isn't like the other Jedi…not emotionally disconnected, as Obi-Wan had been, but rather I see his emotions running either ice or searing.
Obi-Wan…my dear, dear Obi-Wan, I do miss him. We've been apart nearly three weeks and I've yet to receive a word. I am at least glad he took Artoo; it was a fight but I at least have the assurance there is something protecting him. I have been fortunate enough to get some information from the Council, they contacted me not long after arriving on Naboo and informed me that Obi-Wan was somewhere in search of a bounty hunter by the name of Jango Fett, but that is all I know. I know he'll return soon, but I miss him, our daughter misses him.
Leia, she's the light of my life, that little girl. She is just shy of two months and is looking just like her father. She has his beautiful blue eyes! I don't see her nearly as much as I like or as much as I should considering we are sharing the same planet and the same plot of earth.
But it takes a lot of preparation and ado to arrange a meeting. We must wait until I have 'retired' for the evening and Anakin is engaged in another task and then Sabé dresses as me and I sneak out to meet Paddy for a few hours in the arbor in the north gardens, someday soon though Obi-Wan and I will be reunited permanently with our daughter and we never again will separate.
He's caught me; well at least I took the time to dress. I would die if he saw me in my nightgown.
"I didn't mean to interrupt," I back away.
"Walk with me?" his question is so quietly put…so, I don't know sadly I can help but comply.
"For a bit, the sun will be high soon and the heat will be unbearable," I fall into step with him.
The sense of ease I used to have with Anakin is gone now. I can't put my finger on why, I can't explain but I feel uncomfortable. If Obi-Wan was here, I know I would feel better.
Silence drags as we move down the steps and start through the rose gardens; I wish he'd say something.
"Do you love me?"
…but no that.
"Of course Ani, you are a dear friend! I remember when I first met you…"
"Not like that!" he snaps making me flinch.
"I don't want to talk about the past, about me being a little boy… I am not a little boy anymore!" he glares turning to face the lake.
His temper has me intimidated a little, not a lot but there is enough anger and ice in him make me shrink back a step and shiver.
"Anakin," I shudder again as his eyes pierce me, the blue of his eyes nothing like the tender steal blue of Obi-Wan's, "I care for you as a brother. You are a Jedi; you aren't even supposed to love are you?" I find my voice.
"You sound like Obi-Wan," he grunts pathetically the temper waning.
"Obi-Wan is your Master, and I am sure he wants nothing but what's best and what's right for you," Oh Anakin, he does, I know he does! …As I do.
"He thinks I am nothing but a learner … I am the Chosen One you know."
Your pride Anakin…Oh your pride, Obi-Wan has spent so many restless hours and nights telling me of his fear of it. I didn't realize till now why he was so desperate.
"We are all learners. Kings, Queens, Presidents, politicians, Jedi Master and even the 'Chosen One' is to a degree a learner! We can never learn it all and we would be fools to think we could," I offer, glad to be off the subject of 'love'.
"Says who? You don't have to know it all…just more then the teachers and I do! I've done in months what many haven't done in years!" he spews eyes again lit with anger and pride.
"Ani, you are scaring me…Do you desire power that much?" I whisper not really that scared but I hope that maybe if he thinks I am he'll pause to think.
His face blanks, then creases in frustration, "I don't know…maybe. I don't know! I want to make the evil pay and the good free!" he tosses a stone heavily into the water.
Aw, so we've come to the real issue, his mother. Obi-Wan has always thought it was the real reason, "Your mother you mean? You want to give her, her freedom."
His head droops and I know I have hit the target.
"Yes. All these years I have been free solving the problems of the galaxy, brining justice but I still haven't been able to give freedom and justice to me mother! What kind of son am I?"
"You are making her wish come true Anakin! Your mother loves you so much, that is why she helped you gain your freedom. She wanted you to be all that you could be…she wanted you to be a Jedi. A mother loves her children endlessly; she wants them to achieve great things. To be better then them, to soar to their highest cloud; she wants her child to know no limits and to have everything they could wish for or need and asks nothing in return but to have the satisfaction to know she helped her child fly.
"You've made her proud by embracing your destiny…" tears have now seemingly spring from no where and stream down my cheeks.
I think of my daughter, could I give her up as Shmi Skywalker did Anakin? My little girl, could I do what she did? Sacrifice my years as a parent…knowing she would never again feel my arms, know my love or hear my words? Could I give up my daughter even if it meant her freedom and safety? I sob more at the thought.
"Anakin," I choke seeing tears glistening in his eyes, they give me hope that whatever darkness has started to root in his heart can be conquered. I reach out hugging him. I hurt for Shmi and for Anakin in ways I never dreamed I could hurt. I am a mother, I can't comprehend giving up a child, I am a wife a wife of a Jedi and have witnessed first hand the ongoing effects of the scars that are surgically burned into the heart of Jedi as they are tore from their mother. But Obi-Wan was a baby…Anakin a child, nine years of love to forget, nine years of a mother's tenderness to put away. The hurt must be overwhelming.
"Padmé…I love you, I really love you."
I squeeze my yes shut trying to pretend I didn't hear, trying to pull away.
Anakin watches from his seat inside a garden gazebo, watching as the woman he loves twirls in the rain.
Since they arrived, he had only seen a few smiles, only a touch of pleasure…until today. Today she lit up as the sky let loose with a fresh summer storm.
He wonders what woke her up. He thinks to his Master who is on some planet hunting his 'Angel's' would be assassins... Palpatine had cautioned him to watch. Watch and see if the connection was there; between his Master and his love.
Anakin had had great hopes of using this time with her to convince her of his love, to prove to her that his love was indeed real. But at every chance, a wedge seemed to be driven in…a wedge with a face that looked remarkably, if not exactly like Obi-Wan Kenobi.
"Anakin," Padmé calls to him stepping into the large white wooden gazebo, "Come on, isn't the rain such a nice relief from the dry heat?" she laughs brushing away slick waves of hair.
Anakin eyes her folding his arms across his chest, "I am from the desert, remember? Dry heat is what I grew up in."
She resists blanching at his granite words and acid glare.
"What is the matter Ani, why are you acting so strange?"
Turning his face from her, he stares out watching the steady raindrops make ripples in the smooth lake surface.
"My mother…she is in great pain. Its worse…more then it has ever been. Awful, mind numbing pain…" his voice sounds far off and flat.
"You see this?" Padmé breathes trying to catch a glimpse of any telling emotions playing across his face.
He brings his head slowly her way making eye contact, "Yes," his chin drops, "when I sleep only far more real then it once was, and now when I am awake. I just want to see her; I want to know she is okay."
Padmé swallows, a slight pain starting in her heart, "Then you shall see her."
What are we doing? I know that we are on a ship heading to Tatoonie, but what I don't know is what we are going to do once we get there. What will we say? What will we do?
I hurt for Anakin; I see the turmoil clouding his features. There is such goodness in him—I've seen it. The stories Obi-Wan has told me of his temper and pride…they contrast so much to the good, I know is in him…or had been in him.
I suggested we go find Shmi not just for Anakin but also for Shmi…and perhaps in a way for me. I want to look into her face and see the face of a mother who gave up her son. I want to cry with her and learn from her. What strength a woman like her must have! I also want to see the pride in her face, the love for her son as he stands before her the Jedi he left to become—I want that for her… and I want that for him. I want him to reclaim the love he had given up, it can turn him around, and it can save him.
I am a mother, I am a woman, I am daughter, I am wife and I am a friend…but I am not steel or unbreakable. I want to fix a crumbling world, I want to shrink away and weep. I want to put back together a shattered boy—man's life…but I don't even know where to start.
Clones! What in galaxy's name were they thinking! And that bounty hunter Jango Fett as the template? Heaven help us! I have found the mystery of the once erased plant 'Kamino' and have followed Fett to the planet Geonosis…my ship damaged in the process. Oh, and the spare parts gone…they were the reason my ship was only damaged and not destroyed.
I need to get a message to Coruscant there are big plans brewing here. But unfortunately, my long distance transmitter was one of the things most damaged, but it may just reach Anakin on Naboo.
Now, there is a situation I am none too pleased about…and I am cause of it. Well in a round about sort of way. I made Padmé go with him, I wanted her safe. So now, she is safe but not from the different kind of threat that Anakin presents. He has been infatuated with her since he was nine. And unfortunately, for me it was not the kind of puppy love one grows out of over time. No, I am lucky enough to get the pupil who is not only the 'Chosen One' but is also the kind who buries unrequited love down deep and lets his emotions swim on the top! And I send the hormonal teenager with my wife who he thinks he's in love with! I know, the most brilliant of moves, but he is the best (just don't let him hear me say that, he has enough of an ego as it is) and I may be using his 'love' for my wife a little bit thinking he will go the extra distance to keep her safe, when it comes to my family I am a desperate man.
"Work on that transmitter Artoo!" I grimace picking up a screwdriver and try and work on the navigation system so I can send a signal of where I am if…no when backup arrives.
"Beep, woo hoo," the droid answers and I swear if droids were able to have emotions this statement would be made in a tone of disgusted weary.
"Well it could be worse Artoo," I grunt.
"My mother," Anakin stares out at the desert, his words shallow and uncomprehending, "she's out there somewhere."
I hadn't expected this. Shmi gone…kidnapped by Tuskin Raiders. I feel the horror down to my bones and my words are gone. I want to say something; I want to help in someway. I want him to know I am here for him but I just stare blankly in my own befuddlement.
"I am going to find her!" he snarls sprinting for a speeder bike.
I stare mouth open too shocked to form a word. He zooms from sight and I am left letting the wind lose my hoarse words "be careful" leaving me to stare at the blistering orange suns setting.
"He'll come back," I say with more conviction then I feel as I enter the house.
"Of course," Cleigg nods waving me to a chair.
"Thank you Mr. Lars, you've been very gracious. I'm sure us showing up like this is very much an inconvenience," I give a lame attempt at a smile.
"No such thing my dear, Shmi's son is welcome here anytime as well as his friends. She spoke of him so often I feel I practically know him as well as my own," his voice sounds far off and I am sure I see tears glistening his sad eyes.
"I know he is glad his mother got her freedom and found love in the process…I think he just doesn't know how to show it."
"Big changes…I don't blame him. I love Shmi dearly, she was an amazing woman," his voice nearly brakes.
I know he has given up hope, but maybe Anakin will find her and then Anakin can reunite this family, his family.
"Shmi is a strong, loving woman. I didn't know her long but she had a gentle spirit about her even with all her hardships," I say softly remembering the warmth she showed me…Qui-Gon and Jar Jar when Anakin brought us to her home. She was a slave, she didn't have much but she offered to us what she had, I've never forgotten.
"You were her, weren't you?" his eyes narrow on me, scrutinizing.
"I was who?" I laugh nervously, a tremor running over my spine.
"The girl Shmi talked about…The beautiful handmaiden who cared for her son…" since he seems know he is correct he smiles. "She never mentioned your name but I am right aren't I?"
"I don't know about the beautiful part, but yes I was the handmaiden who looked after Anakin when he went to become a Jedi. The ship I was on incurred damage and we sought parts in Mos Epsa…" I replied, thinking it best to leave my former Queen status and current Senator title out of the conversation it seems to bring stiffness and formality that I don't desire to have with these kind people.
"She thought very highly of you, said you were a girl who flowed with…goodness, yes that is the word she used, 'goodness'. Said she was glad you'd be there to keep an on her Ani…" wistfulness makes Cliegg's voice heavy and that in turn makes my eyes teary.
I wanted to say more, I wanted to say something but emotion seems to choke me.
Thankfully, Owen Lars, Cliegg's son by first marriage, came in and rescued me from the depressing silence, "It's getting dark Father, and I've shut the power generators down for the night."
"Good, make sure and leave the house generator on to give Anakin a light home," Father answers son.
"I did sir."
What a fitting though, leaving a light on to bring Anakin back. Maybe somewhere in his heart there is a light of goodness fighting the evil, a light burning bright enough to call him back from his dimming path…
"…Count Dooku has many heads of commerce here…It's worse then we though…" I try and finish my transmission but droids seemingly from no where surround me, "Send on to Coruscant, hurry Anakin!" I pull my lightsaber out to buy time, knowing there are too many to attack on my own.
"Send Artoo!" I cry beating back a couple of droids even as I say it.
"What he's not on Naboo? Where is he?" I yell angrily barely deflecting a blaster shot as Artoo bleeps and woops from the ship.
"Tatooine? Of all the times to disobey me…! Send it Artoo, send it!" I manage as the droids close in.
I stand under the small covering on the steps watching the ever darkening sky. A sand storm is coming Owen said, and Anakin is going to be out in it.
I am feeling suddenly very lonely. Looking out at the never ending desert, the quiet is deafening. My heart begins to ache just a bit. Tatooine is untouched by the rumor of war, it's isolated and seemingly empty and here I stand so far removed from my reality. So far from my family.
Tears, I hate that they come so much more frequently then they once did. It seems I cry at nearly everything. I somehow am now feeling chilled even in the hot night, I pull my wrap tighter. War, my daughter will know war, it makes my knees shake, and it makes me angry. I just hope the war will be short and the ramifications little…and that she won't remember it.
Being a mother changes so many things. I want even more to find a peaceful resolution to this uprising; I want to create a world of good of love and of undeniable safety for my daughter. It may sound a bit odd, but having my daughter, a life to be entrusted with caring for, has made me in some ways braver. I would do anything to keep her safe. There isn't anything, I don't think, that is as strong as the bond shared by a mother and her child…well the bond of marriage is, so I guess really what I mean is that the things that bind a family together…the love the need to share hope and faith are unbreakable. I am forever tied to my daughter by blood and love…and I am forever tied to my husband by my love for him and his love for me…and by our daughter. Let war, let people, try and separate us…we are forever.
However assuring that is, I still feel a little out of control standing her with my daughter on Naboo, Anakin somewhere out in the sand and my husband out somewhere among the space and stars…I stand here with nothing to do but cry. And that does not one any good.
I squeeze my eyes shut willing my tears to cease and for some reason I think of something Obi-Wan told me a few days before we were married. He told me of his Master speaking to him, giving him guidance in his life…He said though Qui-Gon had become one with the Force he still watched out. Always watching Obi-Wan had said…I wonder if Qui-Gon is watching now? I think he maybe is…
"Qui-Gon, please if you can hear me…watch over Obi-Wan give him guidance as you did before, give him safety. And my daughter please let her be safe while I am gone…And Anakin…help him find his right path, help him find his way back…" I speak to the starless night and somehow feel better for it…
AN: Well there it is chapter one, whattya think? I hope you enjoyed, and thank you so much for reading!
I want to again thank all the wonderful readers out there who have kept with me since part one and through part two…there aren't enough wonderful adjectives to describe you guys! You guys rock! You guys are awesome, wonderful, fantastic, stupendous, amazing…marvelous, spectacular, fabulous…and the list goes on!
Much, much love—RaeAnne