Act II, Scene XXIII.

Summary: The fireside scene from Attack of the Clones, with a twist.

Notes: This was written as a response to the Dare Challenge at TF.n. I was dared:

Rewrite the canon scene of your choice as Shakespeare might have written it. The sequence of events should stay the same but the dialogue is all yours. Ideally it must include at least one genuine Shakespearean quote as well.

Act II

Scene XXIII. A room in the Naberrie's lakehouse.

Enter ANAKIN and PADMÉ

PADMÉ:

My guest, protector, friend, the hour grows late,
Yet I am loath to part. Some troubled thought
Is writ upon thy face, and though my heart
Misgives thy fateful words must render naught
But grief and sorrow to us both, yet speak.

ANAKIN:

Ten years and more have passed since first we met.
Then I was but a child. We parted soon,
And ne'er again our paths did cross till now.
Yet every moment since thy angel light
Didst break upon my vision, I have held
Thy memory dear within my heart. Each morn
The break of dawn less radiant shines than thy
Remembered smile. Each indrawn breath infused
With thine own fragrance, lotus-flower sweet.
Each night, as in imperial majesty
Thy world once ruled, thou reign'st Queen of my dreams.

PADMÉ:

I cannot bear to hear such words. Forbear;
It is not seemly thus for thee to speak.

ANAKIN:

Yet speak I must, these words that long have burned
In silence stayed on my unmoving tongue.
Though then I loved thee as a child, now I've
To manhood grown, and love thee as a man.
To stand here by thy side, yet touch thee not
Is torturous pleasure, precious agony,
Sweet pain, yet should I leave thy presence dear
Aught else would be to me the airless void
Between the stars, which steals both life and breath.
Just once thy lips touched mine. The memory still
Engulfs my soul in hot tormenting flame.
With that forbidden kiss, a branding iron,
Thy owner's mark engraved upon my heart
In lines of fire that never more shall fade,
But harden, and remain eternal scars.
I know not anymore what I should do.
I place my fate within thy gentle hand.
I am thy slave; I'll do whate'er thou bid.

PADMÉ:

I am amazed, and know not what to say.

ANAKIN:

Say only whether thou my suffering share.

PADMÉ:

I dare not answer. We should bid good night,
And speak no more impossible desires.

ANAKIN:

O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

PADMÉ:

What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?
The world is real, not built of airy dreams.
Thou art a Jedi; I in Senate serve.
The road that thou wouldst set thy feet upon
We cannot follow. Neither thy desire
Nor mine can alter that.

ANAKIN:

Thou dost desire!

PADMÉ:

Thy future thou shalt not forsake for me.
The cost would be too high, the price too dear.

ANAKIN:

Thou bidst me honor reason as my guide,
But never have my feet calm thoughts pursued,
But swiftly followed where my impassioned heart
Hath led. I doubt not I should happier be
If I could pluck the blossom of my love
For thee, and with a wish and sigh of breath
Send ardor flying hence like downy seeds
Upon the wind. But passion's roots have sunk
So deep within my heart that to attempt to pull
The tough stem forth would only serve to drag
My heart still beating from my lifeless breast.

PADMÉ:

Though sweet temptation woos me to thy side,
Enticing with forbidden pleasures' hope,
I'll not surrender.

ANAKIN:

No. But even so
We could in secret love, by dark of night,
Or when concealing shadows cloud the sight
Of all who would gainsay our covert tryst.

PADMÉ:

Live in eternal falsehood? Exile truth
Beyond all compass? Counterfeit cold looks
To cover hands' hot touches? I could not
In such deception dwell, I fear. Couldst thou?

ANAKIN:

No, neither could I bear such vile deceit.
The effort to keep such a secret hid
Would rend our lives asunder with the strain.
Thou hast convinced me. We would be destroyed.

PADMÉ:

'Tis settled, then. We shall not fall in love.
I pray thee, speak no further of these vain
And hopeless longings. I shall do my best
To wipe from memory all that thou hast said
This night, and still regard thee as the same
Dear friend that thou hast always been to me.
Good night, good night, may thee with sleep be blest,
And all thy troubles sooth with peaceful rest.

Exit Padmé

ANAKIN:

She bids me sleep? I shall not sleep in peace
For many nights, I fear, if e'er again.
She has refused me. Easier far to die
Than live with that rejection. Yet I must.
My lady lives, and I am charged to guard
Her steps. My heart shall burn forever in
A fiery hell of unrequited love,
Yet for her sake I'll bury the fire deep
In ashes cold and dank, that I may keep
Her safe. Let love lie banked against the night
It shall not wake again to heat and light.

Exit