Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. It all belongs to George.
AN: Here's chapter 32! This is the final chapter, but there will be a sequel. More details at the end of the chapter on that.
Chapter 32: Love Can Ignite the Stars
Lea's ship landed at the Temple, where Obi-Wan waited to greet her. The ramp dropped on her ship and she rushed down and Obi-Wan caught her in his arms. She clung tightly to him for a few moments, afraid that he would disappear.
"I'm so glad you're okay," she said.
"I'm fine my love," he replied, as he leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to her lips. Lea couldn't keep the tears back any longer and began to softly cry into his chest.
"Lea, it's all right. Everything is fine now," Obi-Wan replied. She sniffed.
"I know, I don't know why I'm crying. Just hold me," she snuggled against his chest, as he tightened his hold around.
"Always, I love you Lea," Obi-Wan told her.
"I love you too Obi-Wan," she replied. Their lips met in another deep, passionate kiss.
Padme sat quietly in front of Anakin, softly cleaning the saber burn on his chest. He watched her, mesmerized by her more than usual. She finished cleaning the burn and the bacta's pain killers were quickly kicking in.
"Ani, what exactly happened out there?" Padme asked. He looked up at her.
"I'm not entirely sure myself. Master Qui-Gon spoke to me and told me to let go. I don't know what he meant really, but I listened to him and tried to do what he told me. Then suddenly, it was like this light filled me and all I could think about was how much I love you and how much I needed the strength to save you," Anakin tried to explain.
"Ani, you were glowing. It...it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen," Padme said, admiration shining in her eyes. He pulled her into his lap and gently stroked his fingers through her long brown tresses.
"I think the Force merged with me Padme, though I don't really know how or why," he replied.
"You're the Chosen One Ani, no one can deny that now," Padme replied, pride shining in her eyes.
"But what does that mean exactly? Was I just chosen to destroy the Sith?" Anakin asked.
She smiled, and brushed her fingers through his hair.
"I don't know my love. But I do know that you're mine first and always. I know that you're my husband and the father of my children. I know that you're a hero and that you just saved the galaxy today. And most of all, I know that I love you more than anything and that we'll be together forever," Padme said passionately, as she cupped his face in her hands. Anakin reached up and took one of her small hands in his own and kissed her palm.
"I love you too. You're my everything Padme. I couldn't exist without you," he told her, as he gazed into her captivating brown eyes.
"I couldn't live without you either," she replied, as she stared back into his sapphire eyes. He gave her a crooked smile, as he kissed her hand again. She felt herself melting under that gaze and a shiver of anticipation run down her spine, as he leaned in and pressed a kiss to her shoulder. She felt herself go limp in his arms, as he covered her mouth with his own in a soul searing kiss. The fire of their love burned brightly and consumed them, as they became one...
Once Anakin and Padme's ship arrived on Coruscant, they were mobbed by the Holonet reporters. Fortunately, Obi-Wan and Lea were waiting for them and whisked them home to Padme's apartment. Once they arrived home, Anakin and Padme retired right away, both being exhausted.
Lea stood on the veranda in a long, lavender nightgown. Obi-Wan stood behind her, his arms wrapped around her mid section. Lea leaned her head back against his shoulder. Obi-Wan softly trailed kisses down the nape of her neck.
"Lea, there's something I need to ask you," Obi-Wan said softly. She turned to face him.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Lea...I love you, more than anything. You've changed my life in more ways than I ever imagined possible. You've shown me that there is more to life than duty and responsibility. You've taught me what live is and that true love does exist and that it's not just something out of a fairy tale. What I'm trying to say is that I want to spend the rest of my life with you," he said, as he clasped her hands in his own.
"Lea, will you marry me?" Obi-Wan asked. Tears welled in her eyes and a few escaped down her cheeks.
"Yes...yes..." she cried, as she flung her arms around his neck. He hugged her tightly, before pulling back os he could kiss her passionately. Soon, their kisses became feverish and Obi-Wan scooped her up.
"Take me to bed, my love," Lea whispered. His lips came crashing down on hers again, as he carried her to their bedroom...
The next few months brought the beginning of a heavy clean up process for the Republic that would take time. The damage to the once dying Republic was great, thanks to Palpatine's rule. An extensive investigation into Palpatine's dealings and all those linked to him was being headed up by Anakin and Obi-Wan. Just within the first six months, hundreds of arrests were made, thanks to them both. Thanks to Obi-Wan and Anakin's investigation, those in league with the Dark Lord were exposed and arrested. It seemed that many knew who and what Palpatine was and chose to follow him with the promise of wealth and power. Indeed, Anakin proved that Panaka had been behind many of the assassination attempts on he and Padme. Unfortunately, Panaka had escaped with Dooku and Tarkin and disappeared. Six months after Palpatine's death, Bail Organa of Alderaan was elected Supreme Chancellor, thanks to heavy support from Padme and many of his other colleagues. The danger to Padme's life, as well as Anakin's life was not completely gone. There were many that would have loved nothing more than to see him dead. Palpatine's death had cost them their wealth and freedom, thanks to Anakin. But after seeing him actually kill the Sith Lord, there was reluctance among even the most hardened assassins to take him on. Several planets remained resistant toward the Republic and refused to join. The most vocal being Cato-Neimodia, where Gunray's nephew, Aron Gunray, continued his campaign against the Republic. A young, charismatic Neimodian, he was immediately installed as Viceroy upon his uncle's death. He made it no secret how much he hated Naboo and its Senator and her husband. He blamed Anakin for his uncle's "murder" as he liked to call it and tension between the two planets only increased. Once things started to settle down, the Jedi Council called Obi-Wan and Anakin to a special meeting.
Anakin and Obi-Wan were admitted to the Council room. There were two chairs in the center and Mace motioned for them to sit down.
"We have called you both here today to discuss something very important with you both. First of all, we owe you both an apology. It seems you were right about the Sith Lord. Without the both of you, the Clones would have turned on us and the Sith would have risen to power. We ask that you both accept our apology for not acknowledging your suspicions," Mace said. Both Anakin and Obi-Wan nodded.
"Thank you masters," Obi-Wan said.
"In light of what happened on Mustafar, none of us can deny that you truly are the Chosen one, Anakin. We believe that despite your attachments, you belong here in the order. That is why we have decided to make an exception for you both and allow you to join us," Mace said. Anakin's brows furrowed in confusion.
"An exception? You mean, you're not going to change the code?" Anakin asked. He looked around the room. He couldn't get a clear reading on Yoda's feelings, but that was nothing new. Mace was confident in what he was saying. Adi Gallia and Pablo Jill were as well. And he even detected a bit of contempt toward he and Obi-Wan, as he always had from them. But Shaak Ti, Kit Fisto, and Ki Adi Mundi's emotions were all conflicting and unsure.
"No, the code will remain unchanged. We do not feel that attachment is right for everyone," Mace replied.
"Shouldn't you allow the individual to decide whether or not attachment is right for them?" Anakin argued. Mace shook his head.
"Our code has served us well for centuries. Only a few have fell to the dark side," Mace reasoned.
"Served you well? The Jedi have become stagnant, because they refuse to change," Anakin replied.
"This is not a subject that is up for discussion, Skywalker," Pablo Jill said. Anakin glared at him.
"But he is right master Windu. How can you expect the other Jedi to live by the code, when Anakin and I are exempt?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Nothing has changed for them. They will be expected to adhere to the code, as they always have," Adi stepped in.
"The order is dying. By revising the code, perhaps we can repair the image of the order to the people of the galaxy. Because, I'll be honest, many have lost faith in the order," Obi-Wan said.
"No thanks to you or Skywalker," Pablo Jill bit out. Mace put his hand up to silence the other master.
"That is why we hope you will join us. With the both of you to advocate for the order, we can rebuild our image among the people. You can encourage parents to give their children to the order to help rebuild us, for we have suffered greatly at the hands of Palpatine and the Clone Wars. The people may be more apt to let their children come to us when they see that your own are being raised here in the temple," Mace said. Anakin's eyes widened, wondering if he'd actually heard right.
"My children will not be raised in the Temple. They will be raised at home with their mother and I," Anakin replied icily.
"Surely you jest, Anakin. You're children will likely be strong in the Force. They will need to properly trained," Adi said.
"Properly trained? In other words, trained to know no love! I wouldn't have defeated the Sith if it hadn't been for love. I would never deny my children of knowing how vital, important, and wonderful love is! Nor will I help you steal children from their parents! And I will not be a poster boy for something I don't believe in, like your hypocritical code! So you can forget it!" Anakin yelled.
"Obi-Wan, do you share Anakin's sentiments?" Mace asked sternly.
"Yes, I agree with him. He is right. We will not be used. Unless you consider changing the code for all Jedi, we cannot be a part of this," Obi-Wan replied. Mace nodded.
"Very well then. This meeting is over," Mace replied. Obi-Wan glanced around the room at the other members. He could sense that the council was very divided on a lot of matters. The question was, how would it effect the future of the order? That was something only time would tell.
"I don't believe them! They have a lot of nerve! Like Padme and I would ever let them raise our children. And what does master Jill have stuck up his ass? And master Windu? I think all his hair fell out, because it got bored with him. Does the man know how to smile? He and master Gallia should enter a scowling contest, but then again, maybe not, because it would probably never end," A small smile crept onto to Obi-Wan's face. It was quite often that Anakin went off on one of his little fits. And Obi-Wan usually found them quite funny.
"...if there was an event in the Galactic Olympics for who is the most hypocritical Bantha rear in the galaxy, they'd all be going for the gold! Take about a bunch of old idiots that really need to get laid!" Anakin finished his rant and Obi-Wan chuckled.
"Feel better?" he asked, with a smile. Anakin sighed.
"Yeah," Anakin replied, as they arrived home and parked the speeder.
Lea stood facing Obi-Wan, as the Nabooan sun dipped below the horizon. He smiled and lifted her veil. He drew her into a passionate kiss, sealing their union. The Naberrie, Lars, and Skywalker families watched on happily. It had been one year now since Anakin had defeated the Sith. The Republic continued to rebuild itself and the Jedi Order continued to deteriorate. Obi-Wan and Anakin had become highly respected and sought after agents for the Republic, handling many duties. The Republic was going through many changes, but the Jedi stayed the same. Because of this, they were slowly fading away, yet they refused to do anything about it. It pained Obi-Wan greatly, but only the Jedi themselves had the power to change their fate. And what fate the Force had in store for the once great order had yet to be seen. Obi-Wan held his new bride in his arms tightly, as they shared their first dance together as husband and wife.
Much later, Anakin and Padme stood out on the balcony under the blanket of stars with their four-month-old twins. Luke and Leia babbled incoherently, as Anakin and Padme talked softly. Padme leaned her head against his shoulder and sighed with contentment.
"Oh Ani, before you came back into my life, I never would have imagined that I could be so happy," she told him.
"Me either angel," he replied, as he kissed Leia's head.
"And I never imagined that I could love three people, as much as I love you and our twins," Anakin told her. She smiled brightly at him, as they shared a soft kiss. Luke yawned and soon, his twin yawned as well.
"Come on, I think it's time to put our little angels down. Then, mommy and daddy can have some quiet time together," Padme said, as she kissed Luke's head. Anakin chuckled.
"Well, I'm not sure how quiet it's going to be," Anakin gave her a sly smile. She giggled, as they entered the nursery. The twins had already had their evening feeding, so Anakin and Padme changed them and then placed them in their crib. Anakin wrapped his arms around her waist, and looked down on their sleepy children, as Padme sang them a soft lullaby. Once they were asleep, Padme picked up the baby monitor and they retired to their bedroom.
Anakin watched her, entranced by her beauty as usual, as she brushed out her long curls. He slowly stepped toward her and wrapped his arms around her waist, while placing soft kisses on the nape of her neck. Padme turned in his embrace and kissed him passionately. The twin moons of Naboo shined down on them, bathing them in a silver glow. Padme allowed herself to be swept into his arms, as he plundered her mouth with his searing, wanton kisses. Soon, Padme felt like she was floating and indeed she was. Anakin grinned at her, as he resumed kissing her soft, full lips. Padme's eyes opened wide, as she felt them rise higher and higher.
"Ani, the twins," she said.
"Relax angel, they're asleep. I'll know it if they wake up," Anakin said, as he took them high enough, so the view of Rori, one of the moons, seemed a lot closer.
"Obi-Wan would be very grumpy if he knew I did this," Anakin chuckled.
"And why's that?" she asked.
"Because, I'm not supposed to use the Force to levitate myself unless I absolutely have to," he replied. Padme smiled.
"Well, this is very romantic, so I'd say it's justified," she replied. Anakin smiled and kissed her sweetly. Padme melted in his arms, as their kisses grew passionate and deep. Slowly, Anakin lowered them back to the veranda, before sweeping her into his arms and carrying her back into their bedroom. Their love and passion burned brightly, as they loved each other. There were many things about the future that Anakin and Padme Skywalker were unsure of, but their undying and powerful love, was not one of them. Anakin often remembered the words Padme had told him when the parted all those years ago when he was just a boy.
"You're never gone Ani, because in my heart is where you are,"
Their love had brought them back together ten years later and those words had held true. They would be together forever and Never Gone from each other ever again.
To be continued in the sequel...Never Gone II. Coming soon!