Disclaimer: It's George's sandbox.
AN: Hello readers and welcome to Never Gone II, the sequel to Never Gone. I hope you enjoy and please let me know what you think!
Luke and Leia: 5
Never Gone II
Chapter 1: Changes for the Better
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
The galaxy is in a period of rebuilding and renewal. It has been a total of six years since Palpatine or Darth Sidious' death at the hands of Anakin Skywalker. For the most part, things have been relatively peaceful, with the exception of the always growing tension between Naboo and Cato-Neimodia. Anakin and Obi-Wan believe strongly that Aron Gunray is still in league with Count Dooku. The now Sith Master and his accomplices have not been seen nor heard from since their escape, however. The Jedi Order has continued to further deteriorate, as many Jedi have chosen to leave them in favor of employment under the Republic with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who have become the Republic's top agents and officers. Initially, Jedi began to leave when the Jedi Council became highly divided soon after Palpatine's death. The Council was severed on the issues of the Code mainly. Half wished for it to be rewritten to evoke much needed change and revitalization to what had become a stagnant order. The other half, which overruled, wished for the Code to remain the same. The initial leaving of Kit Fisto and Shaak Ti started the great rift in the Jedi Order. Initially, they took Aayla Secura, Nejaa Halcyon, who had already broken the code by taking a wife, Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee, Serra Keto, and Bant Eerin. Since then, many of the younger knights began to stray away to what most were calling the new order which had been effectively dubbed Knights of the Galactic Republic. The old Council has been openly critical of the new order, because of their less traditional and relaxed ways. Our story begins five years after Obi-Wan's marriage to Lea Naberrie and nearly six years since Anakin's fateful slaying of Sith Master, Darth Sidious.
Mace Windu and Pablo Jill sat in Chancellor Organa's office. If there was one thing Mace had learned that he didn't like in the last five years, it was having no control over anything.
"Please Chancellor, the Jedi Temple was once a symbol of peace and pillar of strength. We are only asking for funding to make necessary repairs," Mace asked.
"I'm sorry Master Windu, I truly am. But the Senate does not feel that the use of credits toward repairing the Temple is a financial venture they are willing to take. I know that you have fought change, but perhaps it is time to consider it. The Jedi order is dying. You have less than ten infants in the crechling, because most do not approve of your methods regarding infants," Bail stated.
"We have less than ten infants in the crechling, because a certain Senator from Naboo proposed that preposterous bill that made it illegal for us to make a judgement on whether or not an infant should be admitted to our crechling. We do not steal babies! We only do what's best for them," Pablo Jill argued.
"What's best for them? Or what's best for the Order? That is the question raised and debated. The bill passed, because people would rather see that Force sensitive child make their own choice when they are old enough. And if they choose to be trained, they can be admitted to the Knights of the Galactic Republic. Your Order rejects children over the age of five, even though your numbers are dwindling," Bail reasoned.
"The Knights of the Galactic Republic are a joke. They are nothing but glorified police officers and security guards," Pablo Jill spat.
"The Knights of the Galactic Republic have dedicated themselves to serving our good galaxy. During the Clone Wars and before, Coruscant was a cesspool of crime and filth. In the last three years, crime has dropped forty percent and those numbers grow as the days pass. Whether it is stopping petty theft or killing Sith Lords, the KGR are glad to perform any duty, none of which they are above doing. The Knights of the Galactic Republic have earned my trust and the trust of the people. I am deeply sorry that I cannot help you," Bail said. Mace Windu and Pablo Jill rose and calmly exited his office.
"Governor Bibble, we will not sign that absurd treaty," Padme said, as calmly as she could to the Governor over the Holocom.
"Senator, I do not like it any more than you do. But if we do not sign it, then we have to consider building an active military. If Cato-Neimodia does invade, it will be worse than the blockade," Sio Bibble argued.
"Chancellor Organa has already promised full military support from Coruscant and Corellia should Aron Gunray be foolish enough to invade. In the meantime, the Queen and I will discuss the construction of a Nabooan military. But we will not sign his treaty, which would allow them to trade for our natural resources and minerals from our mons. They have nothing we need or want and I will not allow them to suck our natural resources dry. If we sign their treaty, it would be the same as if they invaded and you know it," Padme replied.
"Then we need military presence in Theed," Bibble argued.
"I will speak with Senator Organa in the morning. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must end this meeting," Padme said.
"Of course Senator," Bibble replied, as the transmission blinked out.
Anakin entered Padme's office and shook his head when he saw her engrossed in some datapad and hunched over her desk. She glanced up and smiled at him. He came around her desk and planted a soft kiss on her lips.
"Hello to you too," Padme giggled, as he kissed her again, more passionately this time.
"What are you doing here already? We don't have to pick up the twins from school for a couple more hours," Padme said. Just a few short months ago, the twins had entered pre-grade school, which would prepare them for their entrance into the grade school the following year. Anakin and Padme had discussed whether or not it was safe for them to attend public school or get them private tutoring. Everyone knew whose children they were, but Anakin and Padme did not want that to control their lives. So, they had decided to allow them to attend public school in hopes of having something that resembled normalness. Since Anakin's work schedule was pretty much whatever he decided, he would often pick up the twins himself. If not, then it was usually Captain Typho accompanying Lea. Two years ago, Lea had a daughter that she and Obi-Wan named Jeena. Since then, Lea had taken to staying home with her and would continue to do so until Jeena got older. Lea often took the twins in the afternoons until Anakin and Padme came home.
"Well, I came to get my beautiful wife and take her to lunch before we go get the ankle biters," Anakin replied.
"Sounds wonderful. Anything to get out of this stuffy office. Can you believe that it's their fifth Life-Day already? Padme said.
"I know, it doesn't seem possible. I don't think I want them to grow up," Anakin replied, as he kissed her forehead.
"Me either," she replied, as she kissed him softly, before looping her arm in his and they left her office behind, work forgotten.
Anakin and Padme found a nice little café near Luke and Leia's school and ate lunch. Afterward, they set off on foot through a nearby city park, which would eventually lead them to the school.
"Things are getting serious Ani. What if Cato-Neimodia does invade? I can't put our people through that again," Padme said. Anakin squeezed her hand.
"I know that you don't like the idea of building a military, but maybe it is time to consider it. Naboo is a beautiful planet, with many riches and natural resources. Cato-Neimodia will probably not be the last to consider invading Naboo," Anakin said.
"You're right, I know you are. Naboo hasn't had a military in centuries. Governor Bibble is requesting military presence in Theed in the meantime. I just hope that it doesn't provoke a war," Padme replied.
"We have to hope that it will discourage an act of war, rather than provoke it," Anakin sighed.
"There is no easy solution to this, is there?" he asked.
"There never is my love. No matter what decision I make, some will not like it. Some will oppose me. And either decision could possibly have serious consequences on Naboo," Padme replied. Anakin wrapped his arm around her waist.
"You know that I'll always be here for you and that I'll always love you, right?" he asked. She smiled.
"Of course I do, it's what gets me through everything. Because I know that you'll always be there to hold me and kiss it all away," she replied, as she kissed him softly.
Obi-Wan, Lea, and their daughter Jeena waited on the landing platform at Republica 500. The ramp on the Nubian ship slowly lowered and first down the ramp were fourteen-year-old Ryoo and ten-year-old Pooja. The girls were a bubble of energy, as usual, and quickly ran to greet Obi-Wan and Lea with hugs. Sola and Darred were next, followed by Owen and Beru. And finally, Ruwee, Jobal, Cliegg and Shmi descended the ramp.
"It's so good to you both," Sola said, as she hugged them.
"It's good to see you too Sola," Lea said. Sola's attention turned to the little girl in Obi-Wan's arms.
"Oh, she's grown so much. Jeena, come see aunt Sola," Sola said, holding out her arms. Jeena giggled and let her father hand her over to her aunt.
"Look at this strawberry blonde hair," Sola said, as she ruffled her fingers through the small child's hair.
"And these hazel blue eyes. Somebody takes after her daddy," Sola said. Jeena giggled, as Sola tickled her tummy. Lea smiled and wrapped her arm around Obi-wan's waist.
"Well, she may have my coloring, but she's going to be as beautiful as her mother," Obi-Wan replied.
"Well, let's get upstairs. Dorme, Eirtae, and Sache are setting things up for the Life-Day party. Anakin and Padme went to get the guest's of honor from school, so they should be back anytime," Lea said.
Luke and Leia Skywalker sat side-by-side at their desks. They had often been told that they didn't really look like twins, but were more like miniature copies of their parents. But it was their mannerisms and closeness that showed they were twins. They teased and bickered with each other like any other siblings. But they were also very close and fiercely protective of each other, just like their parents were fiercely protective of them. Luke and Leia had a few friends and were genuinely likeable children. Some were intimidated by them, but mostly they got along well with others. Class was dismissed and as usual, they both headed for the patch of artificial trees on the outskirts of the school where someone was always waiting for them. Unfortunately, like in every school, there was always a bully. And this was one always took personal delight in tormenting the twins.
"Well, if it isn't the Skywalker pipsqueaks," fifteen-year-old Han Solo taunted, as he grabbed Leia's satchel off her shoulder and held it above her head. Han was a Corellian military brat. His father was a harsh Corellian general in the Corellian Navy and was recently transferred to Coruscant. He was harsh and usually bullied Han, thus why Han usually took to bullying others. And Luke and Leia were his favorite targets, mostly because his father hated most politicians, especially pacifist ones. He also hated Jedi and the Knights of the Galactic Republic.
"Hey, give it back you nerfeherder!" Leia yelled. Han smirked.
"Come and get it princess," he taunted.
"Give it back Han!" Luke yelled.
"Whatcha gonna do about it short stuff?" Han taunted and his buddies laughed. Han drew his arm back and tossed the bag away. Luke used the Force to stop the satchel in mid air and floated it to his sister.
"Thanks Lukie," Leia said. Han glared, as he watched Luke use the Force.
"Did daddy teach you that? Get out of here, you little freaks!" Han yelled. Luke and Leia scowled at him and walked away.
"Why does he have to be so mean?" Leia huffed.
"He's just mad, cause he can't use the Force and we made him look bad in front of his buddies," Luke replied. Luke and Leia rounded the corner and saw their parents waiting for them. They grinned and ran to them excitedly. Anakin and Padme embraced them happily. Then, together with the twins between them, they strolled through the park and back to their family speeder.
"Happy Life-Day you two. How was school today?" Padme asked them both, as they walked through the park together as a family.
"It was good, except this mean boy that always bothers us," Leia said. Anakin's attention peaked at the word 'boy' coming from his little girl.
"Boy? What boy?" Anakin asked.
"He's just a boy that likes to pick on us," Luke replied.
"How old is this boy?" Padme asked.
"Fifteen." Leia answered.
"Fifteen? Why is a fifteen-year-old boy picking on five-year-olds?" Padme wondered.
"He picks on everybody mommy, he's a bully," Luke replied.
"Well, that's no excuse. Maybe we should talk to his parents," Padme said.
"What's this boy's name?" Anakin asked.
"Han Solo," Leia answered. Anakin winced.
"Well, then it won't do much good to talk to his father, angel," Anakin said.
"You know him?" Padme asked.
"Well, I know of him. He's a General in the Republic Navy from Corellia. He's kind of a brute and he hates the KGR and Jedi for that matter. He's also not a big fan of politicians," Anakin replied.
"So, he's basically an overgrown bully, who probably bullies his own son, which is probably why the boy bullies others. And Luke and Leia are his favorite targets, because of us," Padme surmised.
"You're good," Anakin replied.
"Only because I know the type. I was afraid that something like this would happen if we sent the twins to public school," Padme lamented. Anakin slipped his arm around her waist, while the twins walked in front of them.
"Hey, besides this kid, Luke and Leia really like school," Anakin replied.
"You're right, I suppose we can't shelter them from everything," Padme said.
"As much as I wish we could, I know that we can't," Anakin replied. Suddenly, Anakin heard a commotion behind them and realized that the Holonet reporters had discovered their little outing in the park.
"Looks like the vultures have found us," Anakin said. Padme nodded, as she picked Luke up and Anakin picked Leia up so they could walk faster. They reached their speeder and strapped the twins in the backseat, before getting in and taking off.
Luke and Leia each blew out their set of five candles that adorned the large cake that Jobal and Shmi had baked. Everyone clapped and Padme kissed both her children on the cheek. She stepped back with Anakin and they watched fondly, as their children opened their gifts. Both sets of grandparents doted on their grandchildren and soon the hour grew late. Obi-Wan held an already sleeping Jeena, as he and Lea prepared to return to their apartment down the hall. Sola, Darred and the girls followed them, as they were staying in the guest rooms, as were Owen and Beru. Shmi, Cliegg, Ruwee and Jobal were staying in the guest rooms at Anakin and Padme's. After kissing their grandchildren goodnight, the two older couples retired for the evening.
"All right you two, you've had a big night, so it's bedtime," Padme told them. Luke looked up from his new toy.
"Ah, but mommy, we don't have school tomorrow," Luke whined.
"No buts sweetheart. Go brush your teeth," Padme ordered. Reluctantly, the sleepy twins obeyed.
Artoo rolled into the twins room and tucked himself in the corner. He turned on his small light, which served as a nightlight for the twins. Padme and Anakin tucked them in tightly. Their eyes were already drooping shut, as Padme kissed them both.
"Good night my angels," she said.
"Night mommy," they chorused. Anakin leaned down and kissed them each on the forehead.
"Good night my little man and my little princess," Anakin told them.
"Night daddy," they chorused. Together, Anakin and Padme closed their door quietly and headed for their own bedroom.
Anakin watched her fondly, as she sat at her vanity, brushing out her long curls. She looked back and smiled at him.
"You're staring again, my love," she teased.
"I'm sorry, but I can't help it. You captivate me. You always have and you always will," he replied. Even after nearly six wonderful years of marriage, he still had the ability to make her blush. She stood up and shed her robe, leaving her in a long sky blue nightgown, which hugged her every curve perfectly. Anakin pulled back the sheets and she climbed in next to him, cuddling close. Anakin kissed her tenderly, in a series of short, soft kisses. He pressed his lips tightly to hers and traced his tongue along her bottom lip. She eagerly parted her lips, allowing his silky tongue to invade her mouth. His tongue searched for hers and their tongues collided in a sensual rhythm. Padme felt those familiar tingles that she always felt throughout her entire body when he kissed her. His lips moved to her neck, leaving a trail of fire in their wake, as he slowly kissed lower. Their breathing became ragged, as they surrendered to the unbridled passion between them. Reaching into the Force, Anakin turned out the light...
A distant, unchartered planet in the outer rim...
He had come to this unnamed planet five years ago. Using his birth given wealth, he built a very large estate on a flat plane of the normally very rocky, arid planet. It was here for the last five years that he and his constituents were plotting their revenge. It was here that he had begun training his Sith apprentices. Yes, as the Sith master now, he had broken the rule by training not one apprentice, but many. His crimson saber clashed furiously with his top apprentice, whom he'd found four years ago. She was a Force sensitive Twi'lek and he had found her among other Twi'lek slaves on a slave transport coming from Ryloth. The transport had stopped on the planet he had happened to be hiding on to refuel for it's final destination of Tatooine. She was a red skinned Twilek, young and full of anger. He bought her from the slaver and immediately began her training. He showed her no mercy and taught her to act and feed on her anger. Out of all his apprentices', she was the fiercest and cruelest, with the a thirst for the blood of anything good and pure. But she had trouble controlling her anger when he needed her to.
"You've dropped your shields. How many times have I told you how important it is to keep yourself shielded until the time is right!" Dooku yelled.
"Is the time ever going to be right master?" she jeered.
"Yes, the time is nearly Darth Malina, but we must not expose ourselves prematurely," Dooku replied.
"You really think that even the glorious Chosen One could sense us out here on this barren rock? I don't think so," she replied with a cocky smirk.
"Do NOT underestimate him or your death will be the result!" Dooku said, as he slashed furiously and knocked her on her back.
"You will continue to follow my lead, my young apprentice," he told her. She scowled at him, but locked her mind shields down tight.
"Yes my master," she replied, as she left the training room in a storm. Dooku smiled slightly, knowing that if anyone could, she would be the one to kill the Chosen One...