CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR (Epilogue)

Yoda glanced at the family seated across from him in his personal chamber. The Force bound them together, that much was obvious. And if it were not for the loss of Master Windu, his heart would be fully content.

"Ask you here to discuss your plans, I did. Received your message, have I Obi-Wan. Sidious, a powerful and dangerous threat, he has become."

"With the council's permission, Master Yoda, I would like to resume my senatorial duties and reside in the Temple." Padmé hesitatingly stated, adjusting the weight of the bundled infant in her arms.

Yoda's ears perked at her request. "A senator in tune with the Force, benefit the Jedi it will. Allow you to reside in the Temple with your family, if training you will undergo."

Obi-Wan grinned, relieved at Yoda's words. It appeared that their bond was finally being approved by the Jedi Master. And if Yoda approved, then no one else in the Temple would come up against them. He happily slid his arm around Padmé and drew her closer to his side. They would be together, finally.

"If the council would also approve," Padmé began again, "I would like to act as a sort of senatorial liason for the Jedi. There are going to be important decisions to be made, such as electing a new supreme chancellor, and I would like to keep the Jedi informed."

"What to do about the army Sidious is forming, as well." Yoda replied gravely. "All Jedi, in full service needed will be." He met Obi-Wan's steady gaze and acceptedthe Jedi'snod of agreement.

Yoda then good-naturedly tapped his gimer stick to the floor. "Enough talk of dark things. Important ceremony needed, there is. Dedicate and name this baby, you must. Yes?"

"Yes, Master Yoda." Obi-Wan smiled and bowed slightly.

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Two days later, once again the handsome couple stood before him, offering up their child to the service of the Jedi Order.

Yoda held the infant in his arms, glancing down at the inquisitive features. 'A great Jedi, lost to us there was. One here though to take his place.' Yoda thought to himself. 'The Chosen One.' The baby grinned, meeting the gaze of the large green eyes looking down upon him.

Following the brief ritual of acceptance into the créche, only one question remained. The small crowd that had gathered for the ceremony, including Healer T'Pal, a trio of handmaidens now serving as nursemaids and assistants to the senator, Knight Bant, and the Naberries from Naboo, waited in anxious anticipation for Yoda to conclude the ceremony and hear the parents' reply.

"Decided what name to give this child, have you?"

Obi-Wan took Padmé's hand and looked to Yoda. "His mother and I give him a name that means 'warrior.' He will be called Anakin."

THE END...finally! ; )

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Final Author's Notes:

Oh my. This initially was going to be just a simple, fairly short story about a lifebond between Obi-Wan and Padmé that was heavily influenced by some of the Q/O slash I have been reading lately.

Somewhere along the line it blossomed into this expansive plot and the thing kept going...and going..and...you get the picture.

Around chapter 18, I contemplated ending it, but then had further thoughts on plot developments...and gave into them. Needless to say -- the reviews helped as well. I am surprised and still amazed that people are actually reading what I write. I am humbled and thankful that there are those who take the time to send me a note of encouragement. Believe me, it helps -- so much.

There were some plot changes along the way. I had intended all along to kill Padmé. But when I got to that point and reflected upon ROTS and read some of the reviews I had been receiving, I changed my mind. ROTS is depressing to me -- so I decided to cheer this story up a little bit and make her the fighter she should have been and not the emotional doormat Lucas ended up making her.

However, as in most of my stories, someone becomes an ultimate sacrifice for the greater good and this time around I chose Mace. Poor Mace. He is dear to me as a character and I hated to do it, but felt it was necessary.

I hope you enjoyed reading this story. Thank you so much for the reviews.

If you think I may have ended it abruptly -- YOU ARE CORRECT!

If you feel the need for this story to continue on with Anakin being raised as Obi-Wan's and Padme's son and how they deal with him being the Chosen One, and then his eventual turn to the Dark Side (following cannon) and how that happens -- then be my guest and write a sequel!

Or you could stay AU (my preference) and have Obi-Wan and Anakin defeat Sidious together in an epic Jedi versus Sith battle. (Sounds fun to me!)

But for me -- 44 chapters is enough. I could keep going I guess, but eventually I would lose interest and the story would suffer -- as would most of you. : )

I have other plans, you see.

A friend and I have decided to try and write our next Obidala story together and we are already working on it. (Something completely different than what we've written before.) : ) So be watching for that one soon.

May the Force be with you all.

Ticklesivory