Title: Sola's Questions
Author: Disco Shop Girl
Summary: Sola has questions over Padmé's death. Angsty A/P reflection
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine, the settings and events talked about aren't mine, and this is fiction.
Taking a final step Sola's eyes rested on the grave of her beloved sister. The grass had already started to grow, to blend the fresh loss of their family with that of so many others. Padmé had been consigned to the earth, as if her body had never walked upon it.
Her eyes couldn't stop themselves from moving to the Plaque of Remembrance. A list by the people of the achievements of their tireless saviour. Who'd spent most of her life in their service. But beneath all the official accolades were the few lines that recognised the acts she committed for herself. The love of those around her, she had occasionally been allowed to feel.
Beloved daughter, sister and aunt. The child of father unknown lies forever interned, unborn in her womb. Her death was sudden and its reasons unknown, and took her from us before her time. We miss you.
She sunk to her knees in front of the earth. Like Padmé's life the plaque bordered so closely on completion. Father unknown, child unborn. Unwed. At the end, had she even known her sister at all?
Sola bit her lip, then pulled back the covers and slipped into bed next to her husband.
"I want to talk to you about something," she murmured to him as he fiddled with his pillows.
The indirectness of her manner made him stop to look at her in surprise.
She lay down without the usual kafuffle and for the first time really let her sadness show in her eyes.
He rested his head next to hers and reached out to cup her cheek.
"What is it?"
She closed her eyes, leaned into his hand and couldn't help the single tear that slipped out.
He reached out and pulled her into his chest.
"Padmé?" he whispered into her hair, his heart tightening for his wife.
"I want to talk about her but everyone makes me feel guilty. I'm so trapped with my thoughts…"
She felt his tears falling against her neck and clasped him tight.
"Please let me," she whispered to him. "I have to talk about it. It's haunting me."
She could hear the lump in his throat, could hear how he was struggling to breathe properly around it. But she also felt him nod.
Sola was almost bursting and was relieved to finally have someone let her get it out. Her grief at the appearance of her sister's dead body two months ago was still so overwhelming, because she had so many questions that no one would answer. Or even listen to.
Now it was time to ask the one thing that nobody in their family – no one at all wanted to acknowledge.
"Who was she pregnant to?"
There. It was out.
Darred didn't make a sound.
"I – I've been thinking about it," Sola pressed on.
Because she needed to say it. It was killing her to keep it inside. It was killing her that no one wanted to acknowledge what was so obvious.
"She didn't tell us. And she was so –"
Sola suddenly gasped in a breath.
Be strong. She told herself. Spit it out Sola!
"Big. Ready to deliver. Why wouldn't she tell her family, not even her mother or her sister?"
There was a long pause as she fought a fierce battle against the tears.
"Maybe she was – afraid?" Darred murmured.
Obviously uncomfortable but listening for her benefit. Interacting for the benefit of his wife's sanity.
"Of what? She wanted a family. After Ryoo was born she really started to think about kids. I was thinking, that maybe it was because of the father."
"She might have been afraid of him? Or s-she may not have known him? A one night stand?" Darred asked hesitantly.
The emotion was starting to disappear and he was obviously picking up on her line of thinking. Like one of history's great intrigues.
"I think she feared – something. But what could she have to fear from a one night stand?"
Darred said nothing and Sola pressed on.
"I think he was more than that. I think he meant something to her."
"That makes no sense. She would tell us about someone who meant something to her. She would tell you," Darred refuted.
"Unless she couldn't," Sola whispered.
"Sola don't be ridiculous. There is no reason she wouldn't be able to tell her sister! To tell you. She trusted you."
Sola removed herself from his arms, pulled away a little and looked at him solemnly.
"She never brought home a boyfriend."
"A boyfriend. She never brought one home. Except the Jedi, whom she claimed was just a friend. Even though he obviously loved her."
"Sola that's ridiculous. Jedi, they wouldn't, none would, she wouldn't – I didn't meet him but she was not pregnant to a Jedi."
"She didn't tell us she was pregnant. She had to be afraid. If she was at all afraid of the father, she would have never gone through with the pregnancy. But she did. So she must have been afraid of something else. She brought home a Jedi who was clearly in love with her and now they've all been hunted down and killed and Padmé is dead!" Sola finished in a scream.
"Shhhh," Darred calmed, pulling her close as she choked up.
He held her head to his shoulder and caressed her back. He had no words of contradiction, only softly spoken, calming thoughts.
"He escorted her back home that time. Remember? He'd had a new arm attached two days before and he was escorting her home? Why? Why would he do that? Why wouldn't they send someone else? Why send someone at all? The threats against her had ended."
Sola was desperate for answers that couldn't be found. Would never be found.
"I think she loved him too. I think there was something going on. And I think it was their baby she was carrying. Why did she die Darred? How did she die? How come no one wants to know?"
"Sola this is rather far fetched," he whispered.
"Is it? He was her friend, and he wasn't there at her funeral. The Jedi are being wiped out, I think he has been too. Why kill a senator? Even the leader of the opposition? I think she was pregnant to that Jedi."
"Padmé was far too intelligent to be having affairs with Jedi," Darred stuck up for his sister in law who could no longer do so for herself.
"I agree. Far too intelligent for an affair."
Stark silence fell in their bedroom. Long silence. Even their breathing was hushed.
"What are you saying?" Darred asked in shock.
His eyes jumped as his wife did from their bed.
"Look," she said, flinging open the box at the end of their bed.
"No. Come look."
Sighing he climbed out of bed and padded over to the old box.
"What?" he asked softly, not understanding.
"Have you ever looked in this box?"
She pointed to a smaller box on the left hand side.
"That's mum's wedding dress."
"Ok," he shrugged.
"I packed it back into its box and put it in here after our honeymoon, and I haven't touched it since."
"Ok," he said cautiously.
"It was on my side of the bed."
"But," he glanced up to make sure.
Now it was on his side of the bed.
"And I haven't moved anything in this box, I've just added things. The box has moved from my side of the bed to yours."
"What exactly are you saying?" Darred asked, crinkling his forehead.
"It changed sides on its own."
"Let me just make sure I follow what you're accusing your beloved only sister of. Sneaking into our bedroom, taking your mother's wedding dress, marrying – a Jedi – and sneaking it back."
Sola didn't reply immediately, but reached into the box with one hand and carefully removed the dress's box lid.
"It has a flower caught in the hem," she pointed out, very softly. "Those flower in summer. We were married mid-winter. In the mountains. And these flowers grow in the lake country."
"Do you know when I discovered this had moved?" she whispered. "Five years ago."
"Sola…" she could tell he was looking to berate her again but the evidence was all there. "Maybe one of the girls moved it?"
"Anakin," she choked over his name. "His name was Anakin. He came back and they disappeared for two or maybe three days. They went to stay in the lake house though she didn't need protecting and he had should have been in a medcentre, Jedi or no."
"No," Darred seemed to have finally had enough. "This is all ridiculous. She has not been married for five years! And she definitely did not have any interactions with a Jedi! Have you forgotten who Padmé was already? That's a relationship that wouldn't have possibly worked! For her, or for him."
"That was mid summer, when they went to the lake country," Sola ground out in response.
"Why is she dead? How did she die? Where is the father of her baby? When and why would she possibly have a one-night stand? That's not Padmé."
"Neither is seducing a Jedi Padawan."
"That Jedi Padawan did not need seducing. He wanted her."
"That didn't mean he got her!"
"Anakin Skywalker. The Hero With No Fear. Did you know the holonet news broadcasts love him? Had his face on day in day out for years? And suddenly he disappears and hasn't been on in months. Where has he gone? He was smitten with her five years ago when this box moved and he disappears just as my pregnant sister dies? What better reason to hide a pregnancy, hide a marriage, than the fact its to do with the most famous Jedi of all?"
Darred was silent. She headed back to her side of the bed and he reluctantly followed.
"I want to go to Coruscant. I want to look in her apartment."
"It's not safe," he said quietly, stretching out on his back.
"I want to see something," she said quietly.
"What? What could you possibly hope to see?"
"Not see, find."
"Please, can we just go? Just for a day even? Please Darred, I need to know. I – I'm tormented by how little I knew of her life. I'm tormented that she felt she couldn't tell me. If I could find proof she only did it to protect us…"
Sola confidently walked towards her sister's bedroom. Darred lingered at the doorway, clearly uneasy about being in the dead woman's apartment.
"I still don't know what you're looking for," he said quietly.
She glanced around, then headed towards the cupboard.
"If I were Padmé and I was hiding things the same way I did all my life I'd probably put it,"
Sola was down on her knees in Padmé's wardrobe feeling behind her long dresses.
Her breath suddenly caught.
"Here," she finished.
Her hands grasped a wooden box and she tugged to pull it out into the light.
As soon as it emerged from between the dresses she could see it for what it was and clamped her hand over her mouth.
"What is it?" Darred asked worriedly at his wife's reaction.
He moved forward and looked over her shoulder, peering down at the object between her knees.
Then he stumbled backwards, only the wall behind catching him.
A box. Any Nubian could identify what it was. Beautiful, familiar in its ancient form. And the letters across the top spelled out one word very clearly. One name. Leaving no doubt to the question – had Padmé's pregnancy involved a father beyond conception? Yes.
"Oh," Darred managed to get out. "Oh Sola. Oh. Oh"
Shaking, Sola reached out to lift the lid. She needed to know. Needed to be horrified by what she knew she would find. The fact that the open box before her contained only one thing washed over her in a crashing wave of grief. Loss.
Suddenly the lid was falling forward to slam closed as she let it go and pulled away.
"Oh Padmé," she choked. "We have to go," she suddenly barked.
She rushed to her feet as he asked
"Wh – what?"
"Now. Get me out. Get me out of here. I want to go home. Right now," she was almost retching.
As she fled he followed, without turning to look at what they'd found. She rushed from the building with Darred close on her heels, determined to be as far away from her sister's memory as she could. At least for now.
Neither noticed the dark figure trying not to run in almost aching desperation down the street towards the building. While they couldn't be far enough away, someone else couldn't move fast enough to be close to what remained of Padmé. The memory of Padmé and the promise that for such a brief period of its dark consciousness had lived within her stomach.
Six months. It had been six months since they'd lost Padmé. Before the masses attended her grave, in commemoration tomorrow, Sola came by herself. To lay simple flowers her sister had loved on her grave. Weeds, really, that grew in the meadows up in the lake country. She had no idea why they had become Padmé's favourite as she grew into adulthood, but they had.
And now they lay over her grave.
Sola looked up to torture herself with the inscription once more. Almost mouthing its familiar words before her eyes could find it.
Now it was as incomplete as Padmé's life had been ridiculously complex. In a way none of them had ever known. She'd been pregnant to a Jedi. They were both dead and their child had never been born. Killed for – what?
Sola read the lettering as her mind still screamed in agony. With questions that would never be properly answered. What she'd thought would reveal it all had only agonised her more. Why hadn't Padmé confided in them? Any of them? As she started her own family!
Beloved wife, WIFE!
She blinked. Someone had been here. Someone had changed it. But who? Who knew it? Who could possibly have the ability to change the lament of a gravestone?
Her eyes turned back horrified.
Beloved wife, daughter, sister and aunt. The much-wanted much-wanted?
Who could possibly –?
Beloved wife, daughter, sister and aunt. The much-wanted child of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker his name.
His name was on her gravestone. Someone knew of his deception within his own order, and wished to tarnish his reputation forever. Someone else knew of them. But who?
Beloved wife, daughter, sister and aunt. The much-wanted child of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker lies forever interned, unborn in her womb. Her death was sudden and its reasons inexcusable,
Sola's grief started to slide. Away. Pushed by waves of anger. Hatred. Exactly WHAT had happened to Padmé and her baby, THEIR baby? Inexcusable! Someone knew how she'd died!
Beloved wife, daughter, sister and aunt. The much-wanted child of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker lies forever interned, unborn in her womb. Her death was sudden and its reasons inexcusable, and took her from us before her time. We miss you.
Then she saw something small, written to the side. Hidden but noticeable to one who visited this site so often.
This time, I beg you to wait for me Padmé.
Anakin. These words were from Anakin. And her sudden brief imaginings of a lust-inspired marriage with the Jedi were swept away. There had been something much deeper going on. But something worse. He knew of her downfall. And worst of all, Sola had a sudden image of a new level of suffering she would never achieve. Was certain would consume an ordinary being and drive them to madness. His power was his curse. It had kept their marriage secret. But now, his power consigned him to something much much worse. Because though his wife and child lay interned in the ground – Anakin Skywalker lived.