Chapter Twelve

One year later at a dirty, rough cantina in Tatooine, Anakin sat at the bar swallowing another drink. It had a horrible taste and he didn't even know what he was drinking but at least it helped ease a year's worth of pain. His days were spent either at some bar or in working every once in awhile as a mechanic. He made decent money but the majority of that was spent right where he was, drinking away his sorrows.

When you try your best but you don't succeed,
When you get what you want but not what you need,
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep,
Stuck in reverse.

He sighed and rested his chin on the edge of his glass. He couldn't help but think of the family he left behind. Every day, no matter how hard he tried, he thought of them, wondering how they were doing, trying desperately not to imagine what his child looked like. Sometimes he wondered if he had done the right thing but then he could only shake his head and stop that train of thought. There was no use contemplating what might have been because it would never be. The one thing he knew for sure was that his family was better off without him. No matter what his state was or how miserable he was, he was willing to endure that so his family didn't have to suffer. He had saved them from a lifetime of pain and anguish. It was all he could do after what he did. He had almost ruined everything that was good and worthwhile in his life and the only thing he could do for them now was to not be anywhere near them.

And the tears come streaming down your face,
When you lose something you can't replace,
When you love someone but it goes to waste,
Could it be worse?

It was a sad existence but he grew accustomed to his way of life. He would wake up in the morning, to an ever-empty bed, and then he went to work. There was a domesticity about it that he had never had as a Jedi and he at least enjoyed that part of his new life. But loneliness was never too far away and it was a nuisance that never failed to rear its ugly head.

He knew that his child's birthday was coming very soon from what Obi-Wan had told him and that was a day he was dreading. He knew it would take all the strength within him not to just pick up and go to them. But he couldn't do that. Not ever. His child would never have to know what a monster his or her father had been. And Padme wouldn't have to be bound to a man that had tried to kill her. It was better this way.

He trudged back to his home and collapsed into bed. He passed out within moments, dreaming of the family that was going on without him, dreaming of the family he would never be a part of.

Several hours later, Anakin's alarm went off and he dragged himself out of bed, only to practically slip on the mail that was at his feet. Cursing softly, he hastily picked up him mail, pausing to glance at the contents of it for only a moment. One caught his eye and he glanced at it again, now seeing the flourished handwriting that could only belong to one person. There it was in black and white right from Naboo. With shaky hands, he tore open the letter and dared to read what she had to say.

Dear Anakin,

I'm not sure how to begin this. It's been so long since I've seen you or heard your voice that I can hardly think of the right thing to say to you. I thought you should know that you are the father of twins. I named them Luke and Leia and they're going to be a year old in two days. I've been too scared to write to you before now but now that our children are almost a year old, I thought it was time you knew.

Obi-Wan told me you were on Tatooine and as you probably already know, the twins and I are on Naboo, we live at the Lake Retreat actually. The Queen gave it to me out of gratitude for my service and I gladly took it. I almost didn't because of all the memories it held for me but I couldn't turn it down because of the memories. I treasure them Anakin and I won't let them go. I won't try to find you or ask you to come back to us but I want you to know that you can back anytime you want to. I love you Anakin, and I always will, no matter what. I still believe that there's nothing we can't work through together and I won't ever stop believing in the love I know still exists between us. You're in my soul and you'll stay there until the day I die. I love you and our children love you.

Padme

His trembling hands let the paper fall to the ground and his legs gave out from under him as he sank to the floor. He began shaking uncontrollably and the tears he had held for the past year tumbled down his cheeks. With his head rested in his hands, a deeper heartache grew within him that he never thought was possible. He had thought that nothing could be worse than what he was already feeling, but he had been wrong. What he felt now cut into the deepest parts imaginable.

She was so understanding. It seemed like she had even forgiven him for what he did. And what she had revealed to him was beyond anything he could comprehend. Twins? Luke and Leia. His son and daughter. He was overjoyed and saddened at the same time at this new information. They would be a year old in two days and he was missing everything. They had to be getting so big, maybe almost walking and talking now.

His weary eyes fell to the letter on the ground and then, for the first time in a year, his life held meaning again. Everything made sense and he knew where he belonged. There was only one thing left to do.

Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones.
And I will try,
to Fix you.


It was a beautiful day for a picnic and that was exactly what Padme, Luke, and Leia intended to do. Tomorrow was a special day, one that she was certainly not going to forget. Her babies were going to be turning a year old and she was overwhelmed with emotions. She was proud of the way she had managed on her own, Obi-Wan had known she could do it, but she hadn't been so sure, especially the day that Anakin walked out on her and their children. Leia was a handful, always on the go, causing trouble, and had taken her first steps several weeks ago. Now, she was motoring around like walking had always been a second nature to her. Luke, on the other hand, was a quiet, passive child that rarely acted up but was always smiling and laughing. He hadn't progressed as quickly as Leia, which worried Padme a little despite her belief that Luke would be walking in no time.

She sighed and turned to Leia, who was trying to put grass in her hair and Luke, who was proceeding to eat some moist dirt. She chuckled at the sight of the two and found herself wishing for the hundredth time that day that Anakin was there to share this with her. He should be there and many would call her crazy for sending him that letter but she couldn't stop the words from being written and the letter to be sent. It was something she had to do and she certainly didn't feel right that Anakin had no idea he even had twins. If anything, now he would have that knowledge. But she couldn't help but hope that he took her words to heart and followed them home to her and their babies. She loved him too much to not at least try. She owed it to herself and to her children.

And high up above or down below,
When you're too in love to let it go.
If you never try you'll never know,
Just what you're worth.

"Momma!"

Leia reached up, telling her mother that she wanted to be held. Padme quickly obliged her and soon, they were twirling around in the meadow, circling and laughing together. Leia's sweet laughter echoed across the meadow and Padme found herself laughing right along with her.

Leia's laughter abruptly halted, which caused Padme to turn to see where her daughter's gaze was now transfixed. Her mouth opened to speak but no words would form. Her shock and disbelief was too great and she gaped now at the figure now walking towards her. The drained prodigal had returned and he was now standing two feet away from her and looking very uncertain.

The tears stream, down on your face,
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes.
The tears stream, down on your face tonight.

Tears welled up in her eyes and he hesitantly brought up his hand to wipe them away. She smiled softly, her gorgeous brown eyes glistening which brought him a new surge of strength and hope. His hand rested lightly on her cheek, then moved his hand to caress his daughter's hair and he was just about to speak when Padme grabbed his arm and stared at something a short distance away from them. He followed her gaze and watched on in astonishment at the small boy who could only be his son.

Luke stood up on wobbly legs and cautiously took a small step toward the gaping group. He almost fell over but was caught by two strong arms. He looked up uncertainly at the strange face and took a moment to study his features. The man seemed nice and was smiling down at him reassuringly and now lovingly so he softly smiled back.

"Come on, you can do it. I know you can." Anakin whispered to his son. He helped Luke steady himself then slowly took a few steps back, motioning for Luke to walk to him.

"Come on, Luke."

Luke took an uneasy step, then another, and then a few more until he was safely in the arms was this kind stranger. Anakin looked down at him, pride and love welling up inside of him. He smiled down at his son and then at Padme, who was now at his side with Leia in her arms.

He looked back down at Luke and said softly: "I'm your father, Luke."

Luke smiled back at him. "Dadda?"

Anakin grinned down at his son and nodded. "Yeah, that's me."

Leia's face lit up with excitement and she threw her arms up towards him. "Dadda!"

Anakin laughed lightly and gently took Leia's hand. "Hello Leia."

Anakin positioned it so that he could hold both his children in his arms and now, his reason for living was here. These children needed him to be there and now, he would never make those horrible mistakes again. He stiffened slightly when he felt Padme slowly slide her arms around him, then relaxed at her touch. She stood up on her tiptoes and pressed a light kiss to his lips, then one to each of her children's cheeks. He looked from each member of his family to the next and knew he was home to stay. One look at each of their faces rooted him in the ground and that was where he intended to stay for the rest of his life.

Padme reached up and lightly stroked his hair and kissed him again, longer this time with more passion behind it. No words needed to be spoken for them to know what the other was thinking and feeling. There was no need for apology and regret. All that was needed was right in his arms, something he should've known a long time ago. He smiled faintly at the remembrance of the last time he was in the meadow with Padme. She had been twirling around and laughing very much like she had just been with Leia and he realized that now she was not the only one who was free. The chains of darkness and guilt were broken. He was now free to be in the light and to be happy with his family. He was where he belonged.

The past was gone. Stubbornness, fear, pain, nightmares, evil fianc├ęs and Sith lords, Jedi Councils, and hidden marriages were far behind them and they would never look back. The future was right in his arms and he was never letting go.

Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones.
And I will try,
To Fix you.

THE END.

"Fix You"- Coldplay