by the Yellow Dart

(This story can also be found at the Pad-Ani Fanfic Archive (www (dot) padanifanfic (dot) com).)

Coruscant's yellow sun peeked through the clouds, spreading its light through the city, illuminating all of the great structural masterpieces and the traffic that flew past. The beams of light fell on Anakin's cheeks, and he felt the vaguest sensation of warmth. But then it changed.

Sitting in the Counsel Chambers with his head in his hands, Anakin barely noticed as the sky turned from blue to yellow to green to gray in a matter of second. What he did sense was the abrupt loss of warmth when he found himself shivering.

He stood and walked through the Council chambers to the window. As he gazed into the sky, he saw the large, dark clouds push together, strangling the sunlight. The sea of buildings beneath him turned to black, but one building became a beacon to the light. This building, 500 Republica, had always been a symbol of all that was good in the Galaxy to him. He found his eyes drawn to the light.

Anakin barely noticed the traffic flying below the window. His eyes were drawn to the focused light; her light. Padmé symbolized all that was good in the Galaxy. She was the voice of truth, justice, and nobility and a staunch defender of democracy and peace. Even as the Galaxy underwent its cataclysmic metamorphosis, she had been outspoken against the war. She was a beacon of rationality while the rest of her treasured Republic crumbled around her.

Padmé was the holder of his light and all that was good in him. Without her, he would surely whither. His light would extinguish, and darkness would overtake him. He heaved a sigh and looked away from the window.

If he strained his eyes, he felt like he could almost see her standing on her balcony and looking into the same menacing sky. When he needed her most, she was so close, yet so far away. The light taunted him. The sun shone on her building, like it was urging him to run to her.

Through the storm that raged in his mind, he reached for her. The light taunted him. The darkness called to him. But the only way he could reach her was through the light.

He waded through the darkness in his mind, following a path of light. At the moment he touched her, it felt like a light saber had pierced his heart.

Their love had entwined their senses, and he always felt her pain.

A stray tear made its way down his cheek, and he reached up to brush it away. He knew Padmé was crying, too. She was afraid for him.

No matter how conflicted his emotions were, he knew he had to go to her. No one needed him more. Not the Jedi. Not the Sith.

She was his anchor, and he would not know what to do if she lost her strength.

He closed his eyes and nodded.

"I can't live without her," he breathed.

He tore through the temple and raced to the landing platform. He jumped into a nearby speeder and sparked its ignition.

"Anakin?" She flew into his waiting arms, her nightgown flowing behind her.

He clutched her body to his and pressed his lips against hers, devouring her lips with an unbridled hunger, in a attempt to reassure himself that she was alive and safe.

She pulled away and touched his face. He was sure she felt the tears he was trying not to cry, but she didn't even flinch. Her voice shook when she asked, "Are you all right?"

He nodded, unable to speak. Her beauty captivated him, like it had done since he was nine years old. She was still the angel he had imagined her to be all those years ago. He crushed her against his chest and pressed desperate kisses on her forehead. Her warm tears fell against his chest, and he felt his own tears spilling down his cheeks.

"I was so worried." Her voice shook, and Anakin's heart broke. It was as if she knew exactly the turmoil in his mind.

Anakin pulled back and used his thumb to brush her tears from her cheeks. "I'm so sorry."

Her fingers laced through his wild hair, and she brought her face so it was here millimeters from his. "Whatever it is, you can tell me."

He shook his head, but leaned in so his lips brushed against hers.

"Let me help you."

"Please, Padmé, I need you to hold me." He put his hand against her swollen belly. "Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo."

Padmé nodded and wrapped her arms around him. He fell to his knees and rested his head against her belly. The child within moved, and he closed his eyes.

At this moment, the Force buzzed around him, and everything felt right.

The distinction between darkness and light, Jedi and Sith no longer mattered. No more politics. No more war. For Anakin Skywalker was nothing more than a husband, a father and a lover. And that was his destiny.

The End.

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