"Kila! It's an emergency, I can't figure out what to wear!" Padmé screeched into the comm..

"What in the galaxy are you talking about?"

"The ball! It's in less than seventy-two timeparts and I haven't decided what I'm wearing!"

"Padmé, I hardly think that constitutes an emergency. And what do you mean, you don't know what to wear? You've always had more clothes than Bail and I put together. I'm sure you'll look stunning in whatever you pull out of that overstuffed closet of yours, as you always do, damn you."

"I need your help, Kila, please?"

The woman on the other end sighed. "I'm coming, I'm coming. This is rich, the queen of Naboo needs fashion advice…"

"Thank you thank you thank you!" Padmé hung up quickly so that Kila couldn't change her mind. She turned back to her closet. There was really nothing. And she knew it. She'd been looking for days, and…well, she didn't want to buy anything new, but she didn't know what else to do!

"Mommy, what are you doing?" Leia padded into the room.

"Oh, just waiting for Aunt Kila to come over and help me." Padmé sat on her bed.

"With what?" Leia crawled into her lap and hugged her arm.

"I need to decide what I'm wearing to the ball."

"The one you're going to with Obi?" Padmé cringed slightly inside, because she'd been trying to forget how ridiculous this entire thing was.


Leia was silent for a few moments. Then she looked up at Padmé and touched her cheek. "You always look pretty, Mommy."

Padmé blushed. "Thank you. It's…it's not a matter of looking pretty. It's a matter of…functionality, and being presentable."


She sighed. "Never mind. Aunt Kila knows what I need." I hope.

Kila arrived a few minutes later, and Leia said she was bored and went back to watching her holovid. As soon as the little girl was gone, Kila turned to Padmé with that mischievous grin and a glint in her eye.

"So? Tell me everything!"

"What?" Padmé tried to feign ignorance, but she knew full well what the other woman meant.

"You know, what's going on with you and Obi-Wan!"

"Kila," she laughed, acting ignorant. "There isn't anything going on between Obi-Wan and me."

"I can tell when you're lying, Padmé." The woman raised and eyebrow. "I want to know, before I help you find something to wear."

"Really, there's nothing," she insisted, dropping the laughter and the act."

And of course, you wish there was…?"

"No, I—"

"Honesty, Padmé. Honesty is a virtue."

The former senator sighed. "Isn't not badgering people until they give in to your demands also a virtue?" Kila just gave her a look. "Fine. I…find him attractive. But that doesn't mean anything!"

"Oh, no, nothing." Kila nodded in mock agreement.

"I found him attractive when I was fourteen, for Force sake! And anyway, he's a Jedi. I'm still in politics, I have a four-year-old to take care of, and I don't have time for that kind of thing. It's against his code, it's against my rules—"

"Hold one, what rules?"

"Well, I…I can't fall in love with a Jedi again. After what happened before? I just…couldn't possibly…"

"Padmé." The viceroy's wife took her friend's hand sin her own. "Obi-Wan is a very different man that Anak—the other one. The fact that you haven't fallen madly head –over-heels in love with him is evidence of that."

"But…I just can't! What about Leia?"

"You are joking, right? She adores the man! And he's so scrumptiously handsome, who wouldn't…"

"Kila!" Padmé proclaimed.

"Don't worry, I haven't forgotten I'm married. I was just pointing out."

"Well, don't."

The other woman sighed. "What would be so wrong with just giving him a shot?"

"Have you been listening at all? Besides every possible other thing that could go wrong, the code of the Jedi Order states that—"

"The Order doesn't exist any more, Padmé. Besides, why do you think they had that rule? So that Jedi wouldn't fall in love with a stranger and be heartbroken when they had to leave the planet on a new assignment. He's notgoing anywhere, in case you've forgotten."

Padmé was silent for a few moments. "Will you help me with the dress now?"

Kila sighed. "Let's see what you're got…" They spent two whole time parts ruffling through mountains of silk and velvet and bows and petticoats before Kila finally proclaimed a winner. It was just in time, too, because the Viceroy had come down to reclaim his wife.

"Uncle Bail!" Leia ran to Padmé's 'brother' when he came in the door. "Aunty Kila's here, too!"

"I know," he said, scooping the little girl up and putting her on his hip. "I came to stop her from driving your mother crazy." Leia giggled.

"I heard that, Bail!" Kila shouted, then started muttering, probably about what an oaf he was. He chuckled back.

"Good, maybe you'll come home and take it out on me instead of poor Padmé." Kila came storming out of the room at that, in a fake temper.

"I'll have you know I've been very helpful this evening! She now knows what dress she's wearing to your ball."

"My ball? You planned the entire thing." He smiled, seeing her getting flustered and leaned forward to peck her on the cheek. "Don't throw a tantrum in front of Leia. Save it for home, where you can put all that frustrated energy to good use," he whispered into her ear. She didn't give any hint that she understood what he was talking about, but calmed down quite a bit. "Now, take the little princess so I can have a word with Padmé."

"What for? Kila asked, always curious.

"Business," he lied, passing his 'niece' off and walking in to Padmé's room.

"I hope you're decent," he called.

"Oh, don't be silly, Bail," Padmé replied, turning from her task of hanging up the heap of dresses and smiling at him. "What's wrong? You barely ever come down here."

"I just wanted to have a word with you. About Obi-Wan."

"Oh, not you too." She groaned, collapsing on to the bed. "All I've heard all night is 'Obi-Wan will love this dress' and 'why don't you give Obi-Wan a chance?' and 'how can you possibly not think that you're perfect for each other?' It's driving me insane."

"Looks like I'm too late," he said, smiling. "I was going to warn you not to listen to her."

"How can I not listen to her? Bail, she makes so much sense," Padmé whimpered. "And I don't want her to make sense. I just want to go on like I've been for the last five years because I don't know what will happen if things change."

He paused for a moment, deep in thought. "Alright, I'm going to say something you might not like, and you might think she's put me up to it, but I'm telling you that she hasn't. You're not an overly-cautious person. Running for Queen of Naboo? Becoming involved with Anakin?" She winced at the mention of his name. "Starting this…this Rebel Alliance with me? All of that takes incredible courage and a willingness to put yourself into a place that could be pulled out from under you. It takes the courage to face a fall. And whether or not you decide to give Obi-Wan or any other man a chance, all this talk of keeping things the same is not like you. You've always been a person that's ready for change, and I don't know why you're not now."

"But my life is so complete right now. I have you and Kila and a beautiful, healthy daughter. I don't think about the things I don't have." She lowered her head, leaving the topic of Luke out in the air. "But I also have a wonderful friend in Obi-Wan. I don't want to change that or lose that because of some silly feelings that I don't know are even mine, or your wife's influence."

"Uh…maybe I should chat with her about that," he teased.

"Oh, Bail, you know she's not interested in him," she snapped. "She just wants to interfere as much as she possibly can."

"Kila does many silly and irrational things, but she doesn't do things that she thinks are going to hurt the people she loves. Maybe you should consider listening to her." He looked at the doorway. "Anyway, that's my two creds. I should probably get her home now. She's in one of her moods, and I love it when she's in one of her moods."

"Oh, shut up!" Padmé cried, flinging a pillow at him and making him duck, like they really were brother and sister. "I don't want to hear about that! Aren't we supposed to be discussing my love life?"

"Alright," he laughed. "When are you planning your next date with Obi-Wan?" Padmé turned over and screamed in to her pillow, and he left, still laughing.