Giving Up The Secret
Author: Disco Shop Girl
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine, though I wish they were! I've just put words in their mouths
Summary: If they'd had the twins and continued to live their private lives, eventually their secret would be found out. Short 1 of 1 snippet
Padmé Amidala calmly reached out to deactivate her holotransmitter. She seemed completely serene as she relaxed back into her chair. Pensively her fingers came up to rest gently along the armrests.
This picture of peace could only exist on a talented politician. Because in truth her perfectly balanced world had just been tipped upside down.
The Queen had asked her to smooth over tensions that had been growing for some time. Typically the situation had been neglected for too long, and now her presence was required off-planet.
The sounds of the lake gently lapping at the shoreline just outside her study window were lost to her. The calmness and serenity of her surroundings as dusk passed into evening didn't register as the thought of having to leave the day after tomorrow pre-occupied her. As she sat there in silence, pondering to herself, she missed the sound of soft footfalls coming across the stone floor towards her.
He wasn't intending to creep, it was just that she wasn't paying attention.
She jumped physically as his tall body entered the side of her vision.
"You left me waiting, I thought something might be wrong," he explained softly.
Crouching down in front of her he reached out his fingers, running each palm up her cold naked arms.
She smiled a little stiffly at him, letting her gaze lose focus to a non-existent spot behind him. Though she didn't notice, he was expecting her to refute his worry. So when it didn't come, he was quite obviously unnerved.
Silence returned and Padmé didn't even hear their breathing. How his lungs almost automatically slowed their rhythm to match hers. His forearms covered hers expectantly, thumbs slowly rubbing circles along the inside of her elbows. But it didn't attract her attention.
Finally his bare chest began to feel the cold and he was aware of the evening passing on. He implored her evenly "tell me."
She blinked and her eyes focused back on his with a heavy-hearted grin.
"The situation with the techno union has become much worse. They have agreed to try and resolve the situation peacefully and a meeting has been arranged. Neutral space in two days."
She freed one hand and raised it to stroke his cheek fondly. But he would be hard-pressed to miss the regret in her eyes.
"That doesn't sound so bad," he tried to placate, obviously a little confused.
Weariness had enveloped her as the Queen outlined her plan a few moments before and Padmé now remained unable to move. Why was this happening now, of all times?
His eyes closed for a brief moment as she ran her thumb over one of his aging scars.
"I'd hoped to be together longer," she apologised openly.
His resigned grin spoke much of the nature of their relationship.
"Next time," his soothing voice washed over her.
There was another long silence as she studied his features. They aged further every time they were apart. Not into old age, but into maturity. Each time he returned he was more handsome than when he'd left.
"I'll stay with the twins," he reassured, his hand reached up to cover hers and hold it to his cheek.
Her eyes fell sadly and she turned away from him. Her hand dropped from beneath his loving touch, because what she had to say next would affect him too.
"The Queen expects hostility and asked the Jedi council to oversee the negotiations."
Before he could get a word in she continued
"because you are supposed to be nearby, they've assigned you."
She waited for him to understand the depth of their situation. His eyes briefly dropped down to the floor thoughtfully.
It was a mark of how much he'd grown as a man when all he replied was an "Aah," of sudden understanding. The fear of discovery he would have exuded not a handful of years ago was gone, and, like her, he now gazed at the worn stone with a whirring mind.
"Who will the twins stay with?" her forlorn voice reached out to him.
It didn't need to be said between them. No one knew of their secret family, and they had not intended for anyone to find out. It was at times difficult to juggle but for the past two years they'd managed.
He leaned forward and rested his head against her knees briefly.
She took a deep, calming breath and forced herself to relax. They'd overcome every obstacle so far, they would overcome this one too. She caressed his head and moved slightly to indicate to him that she wanted to stand.
He lifted his head and looked her in the eye seriously.
"What will we do?" he asked, worry clearly tinging the edges of his tone.
"It's too late to hire someone, or even find someone trustworthy. We only have tomorrow, which means we only have one choice."
He followed her from the room with a hint of agitated nervousness rubbing at him. The only person he trusted to look after his precious boy and girl was pacing two steps in front of him. And she wasn't an option.
"I'll have to take them to my parents and somehow explain."
She grimaced at the thought of having to reveal the twins existence to the beloved parents she'd shared a brief afternoon with only days ago. Maybe she could pretend they weren't hers.
"Alright. We'll tell them," he shrugged, his eyes caressing her from behind as he followed her into their bedroom.
"No, we'll keep you out of it. I don't know how, but if I tell them about us too it will be harder."
He climbed into bed beside her, fiddling with the blankets as they settled in.
"Except all anyone has to do is ask Leia her name and she'll gladly proclaim 'I'm Leia Skywalker'!" he reminded gently.
She groaned in remembrance of the baby's newest trick as she rolled onto her side and faced her young husband.
"You have to let me come too. We'll go early tomorrow and have a whole day, we'll sit down and explain to them," he proposed.
For a moment she wanted to resist that plan. But the more she thought about it, the more she could see no other alternative. The twins had to stay with someone. And Sola remembered Anakin's name well, she unknowingly ribbed Padmé about him often enough. With Leia so confident about who she was there would be no keeping him out of it.
"Alright," she conceded.
They lay quietly eyeing one another as each contemplated the upcoming day. Finally Padmé's eyes searched out the room's open door.
"Do you think they're asleep?" she asked quietly.
His eyes lifted to the ceiling briefly then murmured "yes."
He didn't need to ask why. They came together in a soft kiss, her hands already seeking the hard muscles of his chest as he pulled her close and rolled them over.
"Anakin," she whispered into his eager mouth as he wriggled, willing and pliant beneath her.
Anakin turned his forlorn gaze down to Padmé. She pressed herself into his side and almost demanded he hold her. So different from the way she usually insisted he leave her be to sleep.
"Will we talk to them before we go?" he asked into the dark room.
Her cheek pressed to his chest in desperate need of comfort at the thought of having to share their marriage with someone else.
"We'll just go," she said dimly.
She shivered briefly as his fingertips trailed along her back. Even her soft nightgown and his heat weren't keeping her warm enough.
Looking down at her briefly Anakin had to wonder just what was going on. She'd forgone her pillow for his arm and couldn't get much closer. Without even trying he could feel her need to be warm.
He didn't say a word as he reached for the blanket and drew it tighter around her shoulders.
"I think they'll be alright," he tried to soothe her.
It was obvious he wasn't having much luck.
"The twins or my parents?"
"I meant your parents, but the twins will be fine. It's only for a few days."
She nodded against him but didn't say anything. There was nothing to look forward to on this trip. The cruelty of having to leave their babies behind was bad enough, when she'd never spent time away from them without knowing they were in their father's care. But to then force her to stay a close but polite distance from Anakin when she would need his comfort the most, was dreadful.
"I don't think my parents will be 'fine' when I turn up with my Jedi husband and our growing twins," she grimaced.
He wanted her to move in nearer, as if he could somehow protect her from the horrors of the near-future. But she was burrowed about as deeply into his embrace as she could be. Settling, he let his hands stroke silently through her hair instead.
"They won't have enough time to hate me properly before I disappear. And I feel safe that they won't hate Luke or Leia. They couldn't."
His kissed the crown of her head reassuringly.
"They could hate me though. For not telling them," she confided quietly.
Grinning he confidently rebuked that immediately.
"No one could hate you. You have perfectly good reasons for keeping us quiet."
She didn't give him a reply and he didn't expect one. There was silence and he was beginning to drift off when she brought him back to life briefly.
"When you wake in the morning to meditate, wake me up too and I'll pack."
She rolled onto her back and pulled him with her. He didn't argue as she pulled his head to rest on her arm. Sensing her need for comfort he half sprawled himself over her. On an afterthought he took up one of her hands and clasped it with his own. That was when he felt her breathing become erratic beneath his ear.
Looking up he saw her vision fixed firmly on the ceiling as tears streamed from her eyes.
"Padmé," he whispered in surprise.
He raised his head to hover over her face anxiously. While she shook her head silently his fingers came up and brushed away her tears, then kissed her cheek with a lingering regret.
"You'll be fine, they won't hate you," he tried to encourage.
This was getting strange now. Her relationship with her parents, whilst loving, wasn't so terribly close to warrant this kind of reaction. Overreaction. The last time she'd been so emotional was before the twins were born and the chemicals in her body had been out of harmony.
Eyebrows furrowed he drifted a hand down to her belly and briefly held it there. Closing his eyes he looked for the telltale signs of life in the force. There was nothing there to find. He sighed in relief that they hadn't accidentally conceived another child but then looked up to her questioningly.
If this wasn't physical, then why such sorrow?
"I can't leave them," she sounded out to him in a choked out breath.
"You can. I'll be with you. If the negotiations carry on past a second day I'll interfere and make sure things start to be seen your way," he grinned.
He kissed her briefly to slow her tears. His words, however, only made her laugh.
"That wouldn't be fair," Padmé's voice washed over him.
As her fingers reached into his hair and played with his familiar strands to distract herself.
"Neither is interrupting our holiday," he reasoned.
"That's true," she admitted, trying to release herself to his logic.
"The twins are the most important things we have. We'll talk to them every few hours, we'll pester your parents to no end and we'll only be gone one night. Then we'll come back here and finish our holiday properly. Just you, me, Leia and Luke," he assured, as he looked her intently in the eye.
"Promise?" she grinned, letting her fingers drift across his cheek.
He grabbed her hand and pressed it to his lips.
With that he settled back onto her shoulder and let his tiredness take him over.