First fanfiction. Be kind. I borrowed alot from the movie for this first chapter to set up, but the rest is of my own imagination.
All characters and storylines are owned by George Lucas. Not me. You all know that right?
"Ani, I want to have our baby back home on Naboo"
He remembered that night like it was yesterday. She was standing out on the veranda, brushing her hair. It was a vision he would remember forever. That night, all he could think of was how much he loved her and how beautiful she looked. He had been away for almost 6 months fighting in the Outer Rim Sieges. He wanted to just stay in that moment forever and drink her in. Body, mind, and soul. So many thoughts and words were pouring through his mind, but all he could get out was "You are so beautiful". She was his love, his soul, his life. And the child she carried was proof of their love. He would do anything in his power to see that all was well with the two of them. Anything for his Padme.
"Ani, I want to have our baby back home on Naboo"
Anakin had been racking his brain for so long trying to figure out a way to make it possible for Padme. The main problem, it seemed, was with his schedule and responsibilities. Padme could take a leave of absence from the Senate without any problems or questioning, but for a Jedi that was nearly impossible. How could he possibly make this happen? She would go, of course, but to have her go there, without him, to have his child? He couldn't live with that. He couldn't imagine not sharing in that experience with her.
Things seemed to fall into place. He had been asked by Chancellor Palpatine to be his personal representative on the Jedi Council and he expected to be made a Master. Masters have much more freedom to travel and aren't questioned about their whereabouts daily. He would have been able to think of some excuse to be gone for a period of time and share in the birthing of their child. But, alas, the council threw a wrench into play. Not make him a Master! How very convenient for the council to make that decision. It was their way of "keeping him in line". It was outrageous! How could he be on the council, but not be a Master? He had no say in any discussions or decisions. He just was meant to sit there, like a child, while they, as always, decided what was best for everyone. And now they wanted him to spy on the Chancellor? It was against the Jedi code, the Republic, a friend, and a mentor. Treason. That is what they had asked him to do. And, of course, it was not to be on record. Deniability. Another convenient way for the council to use him.
At least the council had made finding General Greivous a priority. As soon as he was taken out, the war would end and Anakin would have more free time. Maybe that would be soon and he could ask for leave. What would be the reason? It's not like he could just say, "Hey, my wife is having our baby and I should be there. Can I go? Please?" He would have to put some thought into a reason for leave.
Anakin looked over at Padme lying beside him. She was so beautiful and peaceful in her sleep. She deserved more of a husband than he could give her. He had to spend so much time away from her that they barely were able to see each other a half a dozen times in the last 3 years. But they did use their time well. Her swollen belly was proof of that.
It was nearly dawn and he needed to getback to his quarters at the temple. If he timed it right, as always, he would be on his way back in just after dawn broke. Anyone in a position to question him would assume that he had been down in the gardens for his morning meditation. It was a ritual for him in his younger days, before Padme agreed to be his wife.
Padme sighed and rolled over in her sleep as he started to rise. She reached out for him. Even in her unconscious state of sleep she wanted him. Resisting the temptation to throw all caution to the wind, Anakin leaned down and gently nuzzled her neck and softly kissed her lips.
"Hey, Angel. It's that time. I have to get back" he whispered softly.
Padme sleepily opened her eyes. "Dawn already? The nights are too short when your with me, Ani. Stay with me awhile longer?"
"You know I would love more than anything in the world to do that, but we have to be cautious" Anakin said as he leaned down for another soft kiss. "Especially now, with our new addition arriving in a couple months." he said with his lopsided grin and a gleam in his eye.
His smile, when he mentioned their baby, melted Padme's heart. Actually, his smile always melted her heart. He could be talking about bantha fodder, with that crooked grin of his, and her knees went weak. "I know" she said. "Just doing some wishful thinking."
"Believe me, it's taking everything I have not to jump back in bed and ravish you! Bye for now, Angel. Have a good day and keep yourself rested. My son will keep you busy soon enough."
"You mean, your daughter will." She said laughing. "I love you, Ani."
"Love you too, Angel"
Padme lay there a while longer after Anakin left, daydreaming about the day their child would arrive. She hoped Anakin would be able to share that day with her. It was hard dealing with his Jedi responsibilities, but she was fully aware this would be the situation when she let herself give in to their love.
Padme would never forget the first time she admitted her feelings to Anakin. They were on Geonosis about to be put to death and she wanted desperately to let it out.
"Don't be afraid" he had said.
"I'm not afraid to die. I've been dying a little bit each day since you came back into my life."
Anikan looked confused. "What are you talking about?"
"I love you" she had said.
"You love me" That crooked grin she loved so much spread across his face. But then he turned away from her stare. "I thought that we had decided not to fall in love. That we would be forced to live a lie. And that it would destroy our lives." His gaze came back to her with those last words.
"I think our lives are about to be destroyed anyway. I truly...deeply...love you. And before we die I wanted you to know."
He leaned in to kiss her. She met him half way. Though light and soft, that kiss was the most wonderful kiss she had ever experienced. As they were pulled into the execution arena, there was a fearlessness about them. Ready to face anything thrown their way.
Padme wouldn't trade their time together for anything in the world. Though few and far between, their rendezvous, as she liked to call them, had always been enough to sustain her till the next one. Anakin's presence was so consuming. When they made love it was like no other experience she could imagine. Maybe it was his ability to control the force, but she felt like they were one soul. He knew exactly how to bring her to the peak of pleasure and she never failed to bring him to a frenzy. She had nothing to compare their experience with, nor did Anakin, but she couldn't imagine anyone having that same connection of souls she and Anakin never failed to attain. Even in the beginning, on their wedding night, it was pure ecstasy. Knowing their time together would be in short increments, they always made the most of it.
She felt herself getting flushed and warm just thinking of their lovemaking. 'I could reminisce all day about this' she thought. Tiredly, she willed herself out of bed and into the refresher. She had a lot of meetings today and might as well get a good start. It wouldn't be long before she'd need to take her leave of absence and wanted all ends tied up neatly. She was just beginning her 8th month of pregnancy. Wouldn't be long now.
Anakin made it back to his quarters just in time. He only had a minute to get in a quick shower and change of clothes before Obi Wan showed up.
"Where were you last night? I came by to give you a message after the dinner hour and couldn't find you anywhere?"
Quick think! "Sorry Master. I was at the Senate building speaking with the Chancellor. It got pretty late. We lost track of time. I returned around 11:00. I think. Why? What was the message?"
Strange, Obi Wan thought. Anakin was usually so mindful of time and place. "Well the message was from the Chancellor. He wants to meet with you this morning. Apparently, again. Why would he not have told you last night?"
Uh Oh! Think Anakin. "Forgive me, Master. I actually left him earlier. I was on my back here when I ran intoSenator Organa. Seems he was having trouble with his speeder and he asked me to take a look at it. I tinkered with it a bit. Then we took a spin around the city, just to make sure the problem was fixed. We lost track of time. That is what I meant. Senator Organa and I lost track of time. Not the Chancellor and I." Anakin shuffled his weight from leg to leg. 'Please don't keep questioning me', he thought. 'I hate having to lie to you. You still make me feel like a child.'
'Why does he sound so nervous?' Obi Wan thought. And how did the Senator know of Anakin's mechanical abilities. What in blazes is he up to? He has been acting so strangely since we returned from the Outer Rim Sieges. It was almost like his mind was somewhere else at times. Maybe this inactivity of representing the Chancellor on the council was getting to him. More practice and exercise. That's what he needs. Anakinis so energetic. He needs action to keep him focused. At least he hoped that was it.
"Fine then. Go. Meet with the Chancellor. You had better make it quick, though. We are scheduled to have a council meeting at 9:00 this morning." Obi Wan said. "I'll meet up with you then."
"Yes, Master. I will see you then."
Close call! Hopefully Obi Wan trusted him enough and would not try to verify his whereabouts with Senator Organa. He had given his master no reason for distrust. Well, at least to Obi Wan's knowledge anyway.
Anakin hated lying to Obi Wan. He truly wished he could share the truth with him about Padme, but there was no way to know what his reaction would be. Obi Wan followed the Jedi Code very strictly. There would be no question. He would turn him over to the council and he would be expelled. Maybe someday, but now was not the time. Maybe when Padme gives up her senate seat. Yes, maybe then.
Palpatine was sitting in his office plotting his next move. How was he to turn Skywalker? He would be the most powerful apprentice ever. With Skywalker by his side there would be no stopping the Sith.
He was so close when he had staged his own kidnapping by General Greivous. Anakin was in his grasp, but something pulled him back. Probably that nuisance of a wife again. Her power over him was stunning. He'd have him right on the cusp of darkness, but Skywalker would think about her and return to rationality. Just as he did after he killed Count Dooku. Palpatine could sense the change in him. And that Kenobi. Why couldn't Anakin have left him there on the floor? That would have been one less influence to worry about. Padawan loyalty! Ridiculous!
Of course, he would expect that loyalty from him in return for the tremendous world he would open up for Skywalker. A sith's life was not completely free, but compared to a life of slavery to the Jedi Council? No question.
His next move would be to rid himself of Senator Amidala. Palpatine wished he had foreseen their marriage. He could have ordered Dooku to take her out at all costs on Geonosis. That alone may have turned Skywalker. His anger and despair would have driven him over the edge.
That was it! Why had he not thought of it before? He would need to figure out a plan to kill off Senator Amidala. Also, if he could make it look like the Jedi were at fault, it would be even easier to turn him. This would take special attention to detail.
In the meantime, Skywalker himself was waiting in the ante chamber. He had summoned him to discuss what took place in the last council session. How foolish the Jedi Council had been not to make Skywalker a master. They were making this easier by the day to turn him.
"Let him in" he intercommed to his assistant as he sat regally in his chair like a serpent awaiting its prey.
"Anakin. Good morning."
"Good morning, Chancellor. What can I do for you?"
"I heard about your council meeting yesterday. Most dreadful. How could they not make you a master? Surely they can see what a very powerful Jedi you have become. Maybe that is the problem. They are worried about how to control you."
"That's possible. I have to admit my trust in their judgment has been shaken lately." He shouldn't have admitted that information. He felt disloyal.
Though he already knew the answer, he asked anyway. "They asked you to spy on me, didn't they?" He noticed the uncomfortable shift in Anakin's posture. "I had a feeling they would."
Anakin stammered and looked down at the floor. "I don't know what to say."
"There's nothing to say Anakin. They don't trust you. They are plotting something and obviously they are not involving you. Certainly, I am not included. I wonder what it is about the Jedi that make them distrustful of me, the senate, and democracy." Palpatine watched Skywalker carefully. He could sense his mind trying to work it out. The doubts were growing. He went on. "The Jedi are afraid of losing their power. That is why they are holding you back. You are far too powerful for them to control."
Anakin felt it necessary to defend the life he led. "The Jedi are not power hungry. They do for others. They think nothing of selfishness or power. Your confusing them with a Sith, I believe."
"The Sith and the Jedi are similar in many ways" Palpatine countered.
This was getting too deep. "With all due respect, Chancellor, I disagree."
"At any rate, we have found the location of General Greivous. He is hiding in the Utapau System. We received a hidden message in a diplomatic package late last night. I will ask you to advise the council of this and report back to me on their intended action." He leaned over looking directly at Anakin. "They should send you on this mission. You are the best choice by far."
"Thank you, Chancellor. I appreciate your faith in me. I will report back as soon as I have the information."
"Good, good. Just contact my staff, and I will meet with you." As Anakin rose to leave, the Chancellor stopped him. "Anakin, you can trust me, you know." Anakin stopped at the door and turned around. "If there is anything you are struggling with or need advice about, please feel free to burden me. I hope you know you cancome tome. On any matter. I have tremendous knowledge in the ways of the force and of life in general. Your seclusion of growing up in the Jedi Temple may have you at a slight disadvantage in everyday dealings with others."
Anakin wondered where this was going. How did the chancellor know he was struggling with personal issues? Had there been something he'd let slip out about Padme? No. He was always too cautious for that. "How do you know the ways of the force?"
"Oh, my mentor taught me all about the force. I am well learned in matters of the light...and the dark side."
Something about the way he said "the dark side" made a chill go up Anakin's spine. He felt the urge to leave. Something was trying to swallow him up. He was desperate to pull away from this...this...feeling of nothingness coming at him.
"Thank you Chancellor. I will keep that in mind. Now if you'll excuse me I need to meet with the Council" He turned and left the chamber.
As Palpatine watched Anakin leave, an evil grin spread across his face. That ought to do it. Palpatine thought. Enough doubt had been planted in Skywalker's mind to make the rest of his turn to the dark side go very smoothly.
Now to set into motion the other half of the plan. Killing Senator Amidala and framing the Jedi!