Roses, Chocolate, and the One You Love

Summary: It is hard celebrating Lover's day when the person you love is away at war. Vignette.

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars. I'm just borrowing George Lucas's characters for a bit.

Padmé gave a long sigh as she trudged out of the Senate chambers.

"I feel the same way, Senator." Bail Organa responded with a weary sigh of his own. "There seems to be no end to this war.

Padmé stopped and turned towards her colleague, frowning at him. "There has to be a diplomatic solution to this. We can't let the Separatists destroy the freedoms we now have."

"I agree with you, but there are others who do not see things as we do. That is why we have been in debate all day."

Padmé shook her head in disappointment as both she and Bail began to walk away from the Senate chambers together. "I keep praying that tomorrow they will change their minds, but with each passing day I fear all is lost."

"I fear what will happen if we wait for another tomorrow." Bail voiced sadly, a shiver running down his spine as he pictured a galaxy without democracy. "More star systems break away from us everyday creating more division."

A shiver equal to Bail's rippled through Padmé's body, but she pushed it aside. She could not watch the Republic crumble and voiced this strong determination in her reply. "Then we must work harder to end this now!"

"Of course." Bail agreed once more, stopping at a junction in the hall. One way led out of the Senate building to a landing platform where his speeder was parked, the other way led to his and Padmé's offices. "Are you not leaving, milady? It has been a long day. Some rest will do you good."

Padmé shook her head. "I've got a few things to clear up at my desk before calling it a night." Then trying to remain polite, she enquired, "What are your plans for this evening."

Bail smiled, "Breha has come in for a brief visit and I am taking her to dinner to celebrate the holiday."

"Holiday?" Padmé's brow furrowed as she tried to figure out what day it was. She had been keeping herself so busy lately that she had forgotten what day it was.

"It's Lovers Day!" Bail stated jovially. "A day to spend with the one you love."

Padmé's face paled instantly as Bail's words brought up one thought… Anakin. Anakin was away on some Force forsaken planet, fighting in a war that put his life in danger. It was his absence that had driven Padmé to throw herself into her work. She could not stand the thought that at any moment she could receive word that Anakin Skywalker had been killed in battle. Her work also helped fill the loneliness she felt at his absence. They had been separated for most of their married life, and Padmé had lived alone before their marriage, but her love for Anakin had created a desperate longing within her that only his presence could fulfill.

Nights were always the longest for Padmé. Her routine consisted of scanning the holonet for some news that her Jedi husband was alive and well. Since Jedi Knights were not allowed to love and equally not allowed to marry Senators of the Republic, Anakin and Padmé had been forced to hide their relationship from the galaxy.

So not only could she not receive regular messages from him, but the few times they had been able to be together they were forced to go into hiding. Padmé would not have minded the hiding as much had Anakin constantly been by her side, but that was not possible with the war. While he slept in cramped quarters aboard a Republic cruiser, she endured sleepless nights in a cold and lonely bed.

"Senator? Are you all right?" Bail asked softly, placing a gentle hand on Padmé's shoulder as he witnessed the young woman's morose expression.

Padmé fought back tears at the thought that she would have to spend Lover's Day alone. Before Bail's comments she had not recognized what the day was, but now that she had been reminded her heart ached. All across the galaxy, couples would be exchanging flowers, chocolates, and other tokens of affection with each other while Padmé sat up in her lonely apartment. Most people could be together on this day to celebrate their love for one another, but that was not possible for a Jedi Knight and a Senator of the Republic.

Fighting to keep her voice steady and plastering a false smile on her face, Padmé answered Bail's previous question. "I am fine. Just... just busy." Padmé wanted to run upstairs to her office and delve into her datapads to try to block out the painful images of her husband that were currently running through her mind.

"Are…are you sure?" Bail asked skeptically, noticing the glassy look in Padmé's eyes. Trying to be kind and understanding he added. "You work yourself to hard, why don't you come to dinner with me and Breha?"

"No!" Padmé shouted rudely. She blushed scarlet when she saw Bail step backwards at the sharpness of her tone and immediately softened her tone in apology. "No, thank you. I cannot impose. This is a special day for the two of you."

"It is not…." Bail began, but was interrupted by the Nubian Senator before he could finish.

"No Bail, I'm serious. Honestly, I have a lot of work to do. So enjoy yourself, I'll be fine." A tear threatened to fall from Padmé's eyes at the end of this statement, but she covered it up by turning sharply on her heel and marching towards her office. She knew it was rude, but she could not let Bail see her distress. It would lead to awkward questions.

"Senator!" Bail called out sharply, but the young woman disappeared around a corner without answering. For a moment he considered going after her, but based on her departure it was best to give her some time alone. He was not sure what had upset Senator Amidala, but with everyone's emotions running high due to the war, anything was possible.

Padmé locked herself inside the refuge of her office before gently pulling up the silver chain around her neck. She absentmindedly rubbed her fingers along the carvings on the Japor pendant her husband had made her long ago. This gift had been given to her ten years before they were married, when they were still children, but it was one of the few mementos she had from him and it brought her comfort to hold it now.

With one hand on her necklace, Padmé used her other hand to rummage around her desk for a data pad she had yet to read. Keeping herself busy would help keep her mind off Anakin and how much she missed him. She hoped this method she had been employing for the last few months would continue to work.

If Padmé was being honest with herself, Anakin was always on her mind, even at work. She was only motivated to inundate herself with various senate documents in the hope that one of them would hold the solution to end the war and bring Anakin home to her for good.

Padmé had just gotten herself lost in a proposal to send envoy's to the Separatists when a sharp knock was heard at her door. "Who is it?" Padmé called out at the door, rapidly pushed her necklace back down the front of her dress to conceal it.

"Delivery for Senator Amidala." A young male voice answered back.

Annoyed at the intrusion, but curious to see what had arrived; Padmé got up from her desk and unlocked the door. Padmé gasped when she came face to face with a man hidden behind a large bouquet of red Nubian Roses.

"There was no name given with these, milady." The young man explained as he handed the bouquet to Padmé. He held it steady for a moment before he was certain she had a hold on it. Padmé's hands shook as she grasped the bouquet. "I was just told to deliver this to your office."

"They're beautiful." Padmé stated bringing her nose forward to smell the fragrant flower. "Thank you."

"You are most welcome, milady." The young man stated with a smile. He showed himself out of Padmé's office when her attention was drawn away from him and to the bouquet of flowers in her arms.

She knew immediately who had sent the anonymous flowers, but she had wondered how Anakin had managed it. Her spirits had been momentarily lifted at the sight of her gift as she realized Anakin had not forgotten this important day. He might not be there to celebrate with her, but as always, he had found a way around that.

Smiling to herself, Padmé settled the roses on her desk so she could finish reading the datapad she had been working on, previously. However, all thoughts of returning to work vanished when she glimpsed a small slip of paper shoved down into the middle of the roses. Her heart rate accelerating at the sight, Padmé carefully slipped one of her hands into the bouquet and gently pulled the piece of paper out.

It was an ordinary piece of white paper, but the handwritten message on it brought tears back to Padmé's eyes. Written in Anakin's rough handwriting were the words, "I love you."

"I love you, too." Padmé stated with a sob as she brought the piece of paper to her lips and placed a gentle kiss on it. She then buried her face in her hands as tears fell uncontrollably from her eyes. She missed Anakin so much and it pained her that they could not be together on this holiday to celebrate love. It seemed a shame that two people whose love was so pure could not celebrate it on this day.

Padmé cried in her office for a couple hours before she decided she was not doing herself any good by sitting around and moping. Brushing aside her tears and forcing her chin to stop quivering, she gathered up her roses and made her way to her Senate apartment. On her journey home, she tried to think of some way she could get a message to Anakin without it raising too many eyebrows. She just wanted to tell him she loved him too, it seemed important that she let him know.

As she walked into her lavish Coruscant apartment she was already running through various cover stories she could tell to Obi-Wan and any other interested parties so that she could contact Anakin's ship. She had absentmindedly threw her bouquet of roses on her couch before striding purposefully to her comm. unit. However, before she could punch in the codes she needed for the transmission she heard a strange rattling sound coming from the cooling unit in her small kitchenette. Not considering the ramifications for her own safety, Padmé turned on her heel to investigate the disturbance. Her eyes grew wide with shock and delight as she spotted a familiar intruder rummaging through her cooling unit.

"Anakin! What are you doing home?"

Anakin abruptly pulled something out of the cooling unit and hid it behind his back as he slammed the door close. He grinned widely and his eyes sparkled as he caught his first glimpse of the woman he loved. "I convinced Obi-Wan we needed a few days leave."

"And he agreed?" Padmé asked, running to her husband and wrapping her arms around his neck to draw him into a tender kiss. All the sadness and loneliness that had filled her heart over the last few months instantly vanished as Padmé's lips melded with Anakin's. For his part, Anakin was more than willing to return the kiss with a desperate hunger of his own. As much as Padmé missed him, he missed her ten times more. It had been agony being separated from her and he was glad to be home for this short visit.

Momentarily pulling away, Anakin answered Padmé's question, "No, but by some stroke of luck the Council called him back for some meeting, so we were able to return home in time for today. Happy Lover's Day, my Angel!" Anakin declared boisterously. He was pleased to see the joy and surprise spread across her features.

"Happy Lover's, I'm so glad you are home and safe." Padmé stated, tugging at the front of Anakin's Jedi tunics to draw him in for another kiss. Slightly breathless when her lips left his again, she added. "I got the roses, they were beautiful."

"You are beautiful." Anakin added, running the fingers of his left hand down her cheek while his right hand still concealed something behind his back.

Noticing her husband's odd stance Padmé quirked an eyebrow as she asked, "What are you hiding?"

A roguish smirk spread across Anakin's face. "I do believe the last time you described this holiday to me you informed me it was a time for flowers, chocolate, and being with the one you love."

"Yes, but that doesn't explain what you are hiding." Padmé added her brow furrowing as she tried to solve this puzzle.

Anakin gave a jovial laugh. "Well, as I see it, you have your flowers and you have me. Now…" Anakin pushed a bottle of something into Padmé's hand, a mischievous twinkle glinting in his eyes as he finished his statement, "…all you have to do is figure out what to do with the chocolate syrup."

Before Padmé could respond, Anakin scooped her and the bottle of chocolate into his arms and carried them both back to their bedroom. They might not be able to show their love publicly and their time together would be short, but Anakin and Padmé were not going to pass up a chance to celebrate this Lover's Day, together.