Chapter Seventeen

Mace Windu waited with some trepidation for the arrival of their next guest. Senator Amidala was scheduled to appear before the Council in just a few minutes.

Her appearance was prompt but slightly unanticipated.

The obstinate young girl he knew from before had been replaced by a confident and serene looking young woman. There was assurance in her strideand seriousness to her countenance, but Mace could also detect a deep sorrow.

"Masters." She nodded her head dutifully to the six of the twelve Jedi in attendance, before reaching within her dark velvet robe and withdrawing a long silver object.

She looked at it longingly before approaching Mace and placing the lightsaber in his outstretched hands.

"He rebuilt this while on Naboo. He wanted you to have it."

A slight smile lit her face that did not quite reach her eyes.

"I am keeping the rest of his things, if that is all right with the Council."

Several of the members simply nodded their heads.

"We are sorry for your loss." Ki Adi Mundi said respectfully.

"It is a loss to us all. Kenobi will be missed." Adi Gallia added.

"Fulfilled his destiny, he did. Proud you should be." Master Yoda's words did not have their intended effect, as Padmé returned an empty smile to the Council before turning to leave.

Yoda spoke once more, stopping her movements and she turned around to face him.

"Go now, where will you?"

With slight hesitation, Padmé glanced around the room and once more focused on Yoda's concerned gaze.

"I've decided to retire from public service. I'm moving back to Naboo to be near my family."

A murmur of regret moved through the Council but Yoda nodded his head in understanding.

"You will be missed here in Coruscant, senator." Mace Windu meant his words and the sincerity of them did not escape her, as she genuinely smiled at him in return.

"Oh, you'll be seeing me again soon."

The darker Jedi's eyebrow shot up questionably.

"As soon as our son is old enough," she gently caressed the bulge of her stomach hidden in the layers of the elaborate Nubian gown, "I plan on bringing him back to the Temple to be trained as a Jedi."

Mace no longer looked surprised, but completely stunned. Padmé grinned just a bit wider before turning serious once more.

"I promised Obi-Wan."

A slight smile lit her face again and she turned and left the majority of the council members staring after her in silent awe.

Mace, as usual, turned to Yoda for answers, but to his surprise, the small Master held the familiar introspective look of an occurring vision of the future, and as usual, Mace urged him to reveal what he had seen.

A slight dread, as usual, filled his heart.

"What is it?"

Yoda turned to him, a wide grin distorting the wrinkles on his green face.

"Nothing." He replied. "All is well."

- FINI -

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AN: I am just slightly depressed now! I most definitely will have to redeem myself (and Obi-Wan) next time around with something HAPPY!

Argh! This was tough. I wrote this mainly as a challenge to myself -- just to see if I could pull off writing a tragic love story. I think I did.

You can blame Puccini and the Wachowski brothers for this one. (I was listening to Madame Butterfly a lot while I wrote this, and there are some similarities to the movie The Matrix in this story.)

At first, I thought I was going pretty dark by turning Obi-Wan into a Sith...but then I thought, Ok, I'll redeem him by making him the Chosen One. Yeah, that's good.

But then I thought, Hey! I'm supposed to be writing a tragedy here!

So, there wasn't anything left to do but turn him into a martyr. (Sorry about that!)

Hopefully I did it justifiably and believably.

Thanks for the reviews. The next one I write won't be so painful. I promise...I think. ; )

May the Force be with you all...