A/N: This is kind of a mental interlude, giving the characters' thoughts some clarity and some airing out. Remember- I don't mean this to encompass everything that they're thinking at the moment- people can think of a surprising amount of things at the same time- but one area. Padmé's is more focused on memory, and Anakin's on analyzing himself.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Interlude

Padmé:

During the Clone War, I had an awful secret.

Sometimes, after Anakin had come home to me from months of being away, and we had done nothing but make love for hours and hours until we could not move and we were sweetly sore to the depths of our bones, I would be glad, just in the space of a single thought, a nanosecond, that we were apart from each other for so long.

I knew that marriages born of reckless passion often do not last. Oh, not that I thought Anakin would leave me, or that we would fall out of love, never, (and never, never, never did I imagine this) but I knew we would grow comfortable, perhaps even dulled, in our love. It was good for us to have passion for awhile longer than some. Also, I knew other young married couples fought, but we never did. Our time together was so precious that even with the natural tendency the two of us, with our respective personalities and politics, would have had to argue, we repressed it and filled our time to the very last second with love as passionate as the arguments we didn't have.

Until the last time my Ani came home to me.

Anakin:

During the Clone War, I had an awful secret.

I liked it. I liked fighting….killing. Oh, I hated the deaths of comrades and friends, and I hated being away from Padmé, but I could lose myself in the…joy of fighting, and, in the darkest depths of my soul, of killing. I found solace in the thrill of godlike power causing death sent through me. Killing was my substitution for Padmé's love. Simply put- away from her, I was off my meds.

But that wasn't it. Her absence was a good excuse to make to myself, but the truth was I would have enjoyed killing even if she were a mile away and I went home to her every day. As long as, of course, she didn't know about it. Killing made me high like the things sold in the underbelly of Coruscant. It made me remember, after it was over, my words about someday being all-powerful. It made me feel all-powerful.

But I wasn't, and I'm not. Now I kill thoughtlessly, daily at the very, very least, directly and indirectly, and, like everything else, it brings me no feeling at all. No pleasure, no power, no sadness, no anger. Yes, it's true; Darth Vader isn't even angry anymore.

I'm acting.

The irony is, I think Obi-Wan- no, he was at least human until he coldly betrayed me- the rest of the Jedi Council, then- would consider what I am now- emotionless, cold- to be the perfect Jedi.

Instead, I am the perfect Sith.

But that's a lie; I'm not even that. I should be angry, I should feel more than ever before. But. I. Don't.

Until the first time my Padmé came back to me.