Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars.
AN: Here's chapter 25! Thanks for all the great reviews!
Never Gone II:
Chapter 25: Peace Reigns Again
Upon their arrival on Coruscant, everyone was exhausted. It was a challenge fighting their way through the sea of Holonet reporters. Chancellor Organa was clearly exhausted as well and promised them a press conference in a few days to answer their questions. There was much to do and talk about in the aftermath of Dooku's short, but no less devastating reign of terror. But for the next couple days until then, much rest and relaxation would be taken. These few days were spent together as a family. The morning of the third day since they returned. Anakin and Obi-Wan left early that morning for a Council meeting. Padme was up to see Anakin off, while the twins slept in. Padme changed and fed Anna, before spreading a blanket out on the floor for her with some toys. She was just learning to roll over and was content with that and a few colorful rattle toys. Padme sat on the sofa, just a few inches away, sipping at her morning caf. She rolled her eyes, as she read through the various stories on the Holonet news. All were speculated and ridiculously untrue. She knew that her and Anakin's presence at the press conference would be required later today for no other reason that to quell the outrageous rumors floating around. By Republic law, the actual licensed news agencies were required to report the truth once it was provided to them. This was Bail's exact reason for holding the press conference in the first place. Of course, nothing could or would stop the gossip and otherwise unlicensed agencies from spreading their trashy rumors. Fortunately, most people knew that you could not put any trust in the gossip rags. She rolled her eyes again and switched the datapad off.
"Good morning Miss Padme." Han said.
"Good morning Han," Padme replied, with a soft smile. Anna make herself known with a sharp yell.
"Good morning to you too squirt," Han replied. Anna grinned at him and went back to playing. Even at only three months old, she wanted to be acknowledged. Padme insisted that this was something she got from her daddy.
"Han, I don't think I've had the chance to thank you for rescuing me from Palo," Padme said.
"It was nothing. Besides, I got us captured again," Han replied.
"But you stopped him from giving me that drug. He would have raped me if it hadn't been for you. Anakin and I are both very grateful to you. You were brave and you helped protect my children as well. We will never forget that Han," Padme said.
"Well...yur the only mother figure I've ever known. I couldn't just let that sicko hurt you," Hab said. Padme smiled warmly at his concern, as she saw Luke come in.
"Good morning sweetheart," Padme said, as he came up and hugged her.
"Love you mommy," he said.
"Oh, I love you too, my little prince," Padme replied.
"Where's daddy?" Luke asked.
"He and uncle Obi-Wan had a Council meeting. They'll be back soon. Are you hungry?" Padme asked. He nodded.
"Okay. Why don't you go wake Leia and mommy will make breakfast," Padme said. Luke nodded and ran off to wake his sister.
"And that was how I defeated Dooku," Anakin concluded. He and Obi-Wan had just finished telling the Council everything that transpired aboard the Death Star.
"Amazing. And Padme and the children are all right?" Aayla asked. Anakin smiled.
"Yes. They are safe. Palo can never hurt her again," Anakin said.
"He did not...hurt her?" Shaak Ti asked vaguely, but Anakin knew what kind of harm she was referring to.
"He did physically abuse her when she fought him...but he did not get far enough. I owe Han Solo a great deal for rescuing her before he could...rape her. My son also deserves much credit. He protected his mother as best he could, even when Palo threatened his life," Anakin said. Mace looked surprised.
"Your five-year-old protected her? Mace asked. Obi-Wan smiled.
"Young Luke was determined not to let this man hurt his mother. He was very brave, especially for his age," Obi-Wan replied. Yoda chuckled.
"Picked the wrong wife and mother, this man did I think. Never stood a chance, did he?" Yoda chuckled. Anakin smiled.
"You're right master. He definitely picked the wrong family to mess with," Anakin replied.
"Vanquished the Sith, you have again Anakin and Obi-Wan. Owe you both everything, the galaxy does," Yoda said. Anakin and Obi-Wan bowed gratefully.
"Thank you master," Obi-Wan replied.
"However, correct Dooku was. Always evil there will be, as long as there is good. Let ourselves become arrogant and complacent again, we will not. Teach our future generations to be prepared for anything, we will," Yoda said. Everyone nodded in agreement.
"This session is dismissed. We will see you both tonight at the Chancellor's gala, which is being held if your honor," Mace said. Anakin and Obi-Wan nodded. They had insisted that such extravagance was not necessary, but there was no stopping Bail and his wife.
That afternoon, Padme joined them at Bail's press conference. After answering a multitude of questions, they returned home to prepare for that evening's gala.
Luke was dressed in his formal clothes and waited patiently next to his father. Han came out of his room, looking a little uncomfortable in the nice formal clothes Padme had got for him, which were similar to Luke's and Anakin's.
"You look nice Han," Anakin assured him.
"Thanks. I kinda feel funny going to this thing though," Han said.
"Han, you save Padme when I couldn't get to her. I will be forever grateful to you for that and I will never forget it," Anakin told him, as he patted the young man's shoulder. Leia came out wearing a pretty white dress, with her hair up in braids. She twirled and Anakin smiled.
"You look beautiful, princess," Anakin said, as he kissed her cheek.
"Thank you daddy," she replied.
"Yeah, you clean up good kid," Han said. Leia smiled.
"Thank you Han. You're not so bad after all," Leia said. Anakin walked to the bedroom to find Padme. He peaked in and saw that Dorme was finishing her hair. Dorme was watching Anna for them this evening and she picked up the baby, after Padme kissed her and exited the room. Anakin stared at the beauty that was his wife. She was absolutely stunning in her white dress. It was long and sleek, hugging her curves in all the right places. It was sleeveless, with the straps fastening around her neck, creating a teardrop shaped collar. It had a low cut back and it shimmered in the light. Her hair was up in a matching band, while her curls cascaded down from where they were fastened.
"Well, what do you think?" she asked.
"You...wow...you look like the angel that you are. One might say that you're missing your wings. But I know I know that you're just hiding them, so that know one will know," he replied. She didn't think it was still possible to blush from his comments after being married for almost seven years, but again, he proved her wrong, as her cheeks turned pink at his words. He closed the distance between them and captured her lips in a passionate kiss. Padme moaned into his kiss, as he tilted his head and moved his lips hungrily over hers. Padme giggled, as his kisses moved down to the nape of her neck.
"Down boy...there'll be plenty of time for that tonight," she told him.
"Mmm...promise?" he asked.
"Of course. Besides, since it will likely be late when we get home, Dorme is moving Anna's bassinet into her room for the night instead of waking her when we get home," Padme said. He smiled slyly.
"Remind me to thank her in the morning," he replied.
"Are you ready?" he asked. She nodded and took his arm.
Later, at Chancellor Organa's gala, he stepped up to the podium to make his speech.
"We have all gathered here tonight, because we have much to celebrate. Just days ago, our great Republic was once again threatened by those who wish to destroy our peaceful and prosperous galaxy. Many lives were lost," Bail paused for a moment out of respect to the deceased.
"But many more were saved, thanks to the gallant efforts of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. They had assistance from two young people I would like to honor as well. Han Solo and young Luke Skywalker," Padme smiled and calmly stood up, as Bail walked out carrying a case. He opened the case and Padme picked up the first medal. She placed it around Obi-Wan's neck and hugged him.
"Anakin and I owe you so much Obi-Wan. You've always been there for us," Padme told him.
"You owe me nothing Padme. We are family and I would do anything for any of you," Obi-Wan replied, with a gentle smile. Padme smiled and wiped a tear away. She picked up another medal and placed it around Han's neck, before hugging him tightly.
"I owe you a lot too Han and I'll never forget everything you did," Padme said.
"I'd do it all again...in a heartbeat Miss Padme," Han replied. She smiled and kissed his cheek, making him blush. Next, she took another medal and knelt down to her son. She placed it around his neck and kissed his cheek.
"Mommy and daddy are so proud of you sweetheart. You were so brave," Padme said, as she wiped another tear away.
"I love you mommy," Luke said, as he hugged her.
"I love you too Luke," she replied. She finally moved her husband and felt fresh tears misting in her eyes. She placed the last medal around his neck and hugged him tightly, bringing her lips close to his ear.
"I love you so much. You're my hero Ani...I couldn't live without you," she said, as she clung to him.
"I love you too. You're everything to me too angel," Anakin replied, as he brushed her tears away. She leaned in and kissed him softly.
"Freedom and peace are not something we will take for granted again. We will never forget the sacrifice of those innocent lives and we will honor those that died for us," the Chancellor concluded. There was applause and then the music and mingling began.
"May I have this dance, milady?" Anakin asked, as he kissed her hand.
"You may, handsome Knight," she replied, as she let him lead her onto the dance floor.
"Han, would you mind sitting here with the children for a bit?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Not at all. Go ahead," Han replied. Obi-Wan held his hand out to Lea and pulled her up.
"Do you feel up to a dance, darling?" he asked, his beautiful, pregnant wife.
"Of course, my love," she replied, as he led her to the dance floor. The night grew late and the gala slowly winded down. The Skywalker's and Kenobi's returned to their homes and put their sleeping children to bed.
As Padme entered their bedroom, she let her hair down and shook her curls out. Anakin came up behind her, burying his face in the curls around her neck and kissing her softly. He wrapped his arms around her slender waist and kissed her soft lips. She sighed in contentment and turned in her husband's embrace. His lips descended on hers again in a deeply, passionate kiss. Anakin's fingers found the fastening clip at the back of her neck and undid it, which released the straps of her dress. Padme kissed him with wanton, as his hands caressed her through her dress. Anakin raised his hand his hand and dimmed the lights with the Force, as their eternal passion for each other burned brightly and took them under its spell..."I love you angel," Anakin said, as he kissed her.
"I love you too, my handsome Knight," Padme whispered, as they came together, just as they would be for all time...
Six Months later...
The Skywalker and Kenobi families stood together on the landing platform. Lea cradled she and Obi-Wan's newborn baby boy. He had been born a month earlier and they had named him Jayden-Jinn Kenobi. Today, however, was a bittersweet day for them, as they were here to see Han Solo off. Thanks to Anakin's stellar recommendation he'd wrote for him, Han was given a position on a Republic cruiser for the army. He would be traveling the galaxy with them, performing various missions and duties for his superiors. It was a great opportunity that Han couldn't refuse, especially since Lando had also been offered a position alongside him. Padme hugged him tightly, sad to see him go, but happy for him as well.
"We're going to miss you so much. You don't be a stranger and you keep in touch, all right?" she made him promise.
"I promise. I'll visit as often as I can," he promised back. Anna babbled at him and he kissed her head affectionately.
"I'll miss you too squirt," he told her. Anakin held his hand out and Han shook it.
"Thanks again Anakin," Han said.
"There's no need to thank me Han. You got that job all on your own," Anakin replied, as he hugged him. Han knelt down beside the twins and they hugged him.
"We'll miss you Han," Luke said.
"Hey, this ain't goodbye forever," Han said to their pouting faces.
"Promise?" Leia asked.
"Promise kid. We'll meet again," he replied. Han waved goodbye, before he got on his transport. Baby Jayden began to whimper and Lea rocked him gently.
"I think someone is hungry," Lea said. Obi-Wan kissed her cheek and waved to Anakin.
"We'll see you back home later," Obi-Wan said. Anakin nodded, as they continued to wait for Han's transport to take off.
"I'm really going to miss him," Padme said.
"I know. He's really matured in the last year. He's going to be fine," Anakin replied, as he wrapped his arm around her waist. The Skywalker family waited till Han's transport had taken off and was out of sight, before they headed back to the speeder. They strapped the twins and Anna into the back, before getting into the front seat.
"Mommy, I'm hungry," Luke said.
"You're always hungry," Leia rolled her eyes.
"All right you two, we'll go get something to eat," Padme said.
"Maaammaa!" Anna babbled.
"Are you hungry too sweetie?" Padme asked.
"Daaadaa!" she called to get Anakin's attention.
"I say that's a yes. Let's go swing by and pick up Uncle Obi-Wan and Aunt Jeena. Then we'll all go to Dex's," Anakin suggested. The twins cheered and Padme smiled at him.
"That sounds great sweetheart," Padme said.
"Well, we have a lot to celebrate," he replied.
"Yes we do. It's a miracle that we're all together," Padme said.
"No, it's the will of the Force, angel. We're always going to be together," he replied.
"Promise?" she whispered.
"I promise," he replied, as he kissed her softly, before turning back to the controls.
"Okay, is everyone ready?" Anakin asked. His three children gave him their enthusiastic responses. Padme smiled at him and clutched his free hand in her own. He smiled warmly at her, as he took the speeder up and into the air. There was one thing that was certain in all their hearts. The Skywalker family would always be together and never gone from each other...ever.
The End...for now...
That's right...there will be a Never Gone III. It is still in the very early stages of development, so it will likely be a month or two before it debuts. But I can tell you for sure, it will begin fifteen years after this one. In the meantime, I will be continuing Forever Destined and starting a new fic that is titled 'Burning Vendetta'. It is another complete AU and I'm really excited about it. I hope to have the first chapter up next week sometime. I just want to thank everyone who reviewed NG II. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much I enjoyed writing it. Thanks to everyone again!
Special thanks to Lea-Lynn and Pyramid for always letting me bounce ideas off you. You guys are the best:)
Also thanks to all my reviewers! You guys make this fun!
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