Author's Note: Missing scene from RotS. Come on, you guys all know it was there. They feature every other main character from Epispodes IV-VI in Episode III - even Mon Mothma! Review. :)
It amazed her with how fast a baby could grow. It seemed like just yesterday that she had been shopping for bigger clothing - but here she was again, going maternity shopping -- again. Unlike most women, shopping was not a very fun experience for her. She's had too much experience with overdone makeup and hair and styles, that her new philosophy was, 'get in, get it, get out'.
Too bad it was much easier said than done.
Well, it was over now. She figured she had enough third-trimester clothing to last her the rest of her pregnancy. She quickly glanced around the level she was on on Coruscant, to make sure she wasn't directly in the way of anyone. She really wasn't; it was relatively empty here, as most people decided it was time to either go to bed or to hit the clubs - depending on their age.
She crouched down, setting her bags on the floor and starting to rifle through them for the receipts that the clerks always put in them although she always asked to have them. She liked to keep her receipts, even though she never returned anything she bought. If she ended up with something that didn't quite fit her the way it did in the store, it went straight to charity.
She blindly searched through the bags, her mind not really on her surroundings. Things were troubling; she didn't trust the Chancellor anymore, Anakin had been acting... well, not himself. He was disturbed - Obi-Wan and the council, she supposed.
Finally, clutching the four receipts, she went into her purse to put them neatly into the wallet and -
She searched for a few moments.
Where was it?
She looked up, and her brown eyes fell on a boy striding quickly and casually, around fifteen feet away from her and holding something in front of of him. She raised, suspiciously watching his back, her hands resting on her swollen belly.
"Hello! Boy!" she called, hoisting the bags up and walking quite swiftly for a woman of her... pregnancy.
He wheeled around, casually leaning his left hand against hip so whatever he was holding was deftly hidden.
What stuck her most was how much older than his age he looked, even though he seemed around... nine, maybe ten years old. He had hazel, laughing eyes, brown and tousled hair, and he was quite tall for his age. She watched a lopsided smirk sneak onto his face, making him look devilish - Padmé couldn't help but have her heart melt. The boy was positively adorable.
But she wasn't going to let him get away with her wallet.
"Do you have something of mine?" she asked, fixing him with the stern look she usually gave when arguing with other senators.
"No, ma'am," he said simply, nonchalntly, shrugging. "You coulda left it back in the store," he suggested, gesturing with his right hand. Padmé glanced at the department store she had just came from. It was possible...
But no. She was able to detect a liar, no matter how young or skilled or cute they were.
"May I have my wallet back?" she held out one of her slim hands, the other one resting above her large stomach. She saw the boy glance at it.
"How far along are ya?" he asked, changing the subject.
"Seven months. But that has nothing to do with my wallet," she reminded, refusing to let her guard down.
"So you admit?"
"I didn't admit anythin'. I just said it had nothin' to do with your wallet."
"... True. But now may I have it back?"
"Is it a boy or a girl?
"What?" she asked, disconcerted.
"I don't know," she said, cooly.
"Because I want to find out when I actually have the baby." Singular. 'I want'. Not 'we want'. Good. She didn't mention her husband. (She was getting better at this secrecy thing.)
"Oh. Okay." The boy paused. "I 'unno. If it were me, I wouldn't be able to wait," he said, shrugging, being careful to keep his left hand behind his hip.
"I have patience, and you have my wallet."
"Don't be so stubborn."
He grinned wider. "I'm not."
Padmé raised her eyebrows at him, setting on the sternest face she could muster. They stared at eachother for what seemed like hours, a battle of strong wills, and she could see the defiance in his hazel eyes. Finally, they lowered, and he brought his left hand out with her wallet. She took it, instantly opening it and checking through all that was there.
"Yeah," he replied.
She raised her own brown eyes to meet his again. She was impressed to see that he met her gaze once more.
"Do you make it a habit to steal from pregnant ladies such as myself?" she asked idly, now looking down to stow the receipts in their proper pocket. She looked up once more to see him shrug.
"Nah. Usually rich, fat old men. But you're look like a rich, fat, young woman. Besides, I'm pretty kret-- er, I'm pretty good at it."
She smiled despite herself. "There must be something else you're good at."
He seemed to ponder for a moment. Then: "I can fly."
"Yeah. Like, ships and stuff. I'm good at that."
"Then why don't you do that?"
"Because my - my employer won't like that." For the first time, he seemed faintly embarassed.
Employer, he had said. An orphan, probably, made to beg and steal for money. A waste of potential, he seemed clever. Well, maybe a bit too clever for his own good.
She frowned at him a moment. "What's your name?"
He watched her, suspiciously, then it looked like he reached a decision. "Solo. Han Solo. Why?"
Solo. That seemed to fit.
"I just wanted to know," Padmé answered, reopening her wallet. "Here, Han, take this." She held out a credit chip to him.
"I don't want it."
Now she was surprised. "You wanted it a few minutes ago."
"Not anymore." She watched him stand up straighter, raising his chin. Ah, so he had pride. Not a good mix with his... profession. "I'm not a beggar."
"You're a robber?"
"I guess. Or I earn my money, I've been known to do weird things like that." He grinned again. That half-smirk of his never ceased to amuse her.
"Take the credits, Han," she said, smiling softly.
"You can't make me."
"If I do, would you take them?"
He narrowed his eyes, not quite understanding.
"I'll report if you don't," Padmé said, smiling lightly, although she knew that she wouldn't do that. She tossed the credit chip to him; he caught it.
"Thanks. I guess."
"You're welcome. Don't you have to go?"
He seemed relieved that she gave him an excuse to leave. "Yeah. Alright, see ya, lady."
Han turned, and started to walk away. He looked over his shoulder, never breaking his stride. "Congrats on the babies," he said, with a smirk that she started to believe characteristic.
She raised her eyebrows, glancing down at her swollen belly. "Babies?" she questioned.
"Can'tya tell? You're the biggest pregnant lady I've ever seen."
Padmé laughed at his outright rudeness, and took one last look at his retreating back. Strange little boy... she thought. She stored the look of hazel eyes and a grinning mouth in the back of her mind, and they didn't resurface again for the rest of her life.