Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars.
AN: Here's chapter 43! The final chapter. I hope you've all enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Enjoy the finale and please review!
Chapter 43: Peace At Last
It had been almost six months since the fall of the Empire and the new Republic was in its infancy. Elections were being held for a new Chancellor in just a few weeks. Not surprisingly Mon Mothma was running. Her opponent, which had Naboo's support, was Jas Iblis, son of the long deceased Bel Iblis. Padme was confident in Jas and expected him to be elected, especially since she had made it known that Mon was close to Bail Organa, whom people still considered a traitor. Bail couldn't return to Alderaan, unless he wished to be arrested. Therefore, he'd been forced to keep alliance with Mon in exchange for her protection on Chandrilla. This did not bode well for her political career. Padme had settled nicely back into her role as Queen. It was decided upon her coronation that the Queen would no longer don the traditional make-up, as she had before the Empire. They saw no benefit in hiding their Queen behind a mask and decided to abolish that tradition; at least for Amidala. Padme's well known name and face would lead Naboo into a prosperous future. As husband to the Queen, Anakin automatically attained the title of Prince Consort. But it seemed the people of Naboo wished to make him more, for not only was he the galaxy's savior, but also was royal by blood. Between the combined votes of the people and parliament, Anakin was instated as King. Though Anakin had absolutely no interest in politics, he did take charge of the Royal Guard, in which he appointed Marcus as his General. He also took it upon himself to begin building a military as well. He never wanted their beautiful planet to be defenseless again in the case of another attack or invasion. He left running the rest of the planet in the capable hands of his beautiful wife. Naboo had formed a strong alliance with Corellia and Alderaan, as well as several other planets. The Republic was coming together slowly, but surely. There were still Imperial factions in existence that wished to seize control again, but they had little power and were forced into hiding by the former alliance military, now turned Republic military. In support of Jas Iblis, in hopes of making him the next Chancellor, Padme was throwing a gala at Theed palace to bolster support for him. Many rulers and delegates were attending and the palace became a very busy place...
Anakin and Luke waited patiently in the living area of their spacious living quarters, which consisted of most of the north wing of the palace. Luke shifted impatiently in his formal attire occasionally tugging at his light blue bow tie and silk sash that he wore across his body from his right shoulder to his left hip.
"Daddy, how come we hafta wear these fancy clothes?" Luke complained.
"They're not my favorite either, little man. But mommy is Queen and we're her family, so we all have to dress nice when all the people come," Anakin explained.
"Daddy, look at me!" Leia called, as she toddled toward him and twirled in her baby blue dress.
"Wow...you look beautiful princess," he told her with a kiss to her cheek. He looked up, just in time to see his beautiful wife enter in an elaborate black and silver gown. His sash and bow tie matched, as his attire was also black with the silver trimming. Once again, she had succeeded in stealing his breath away. Her hair was done up in an elaborate twist and fastened at the back of her head with a silver hair piece. The dress had very thin silver straps. The rest of the dress was mostly black, with a silver design through the entire dress. The collar dipped low in a v and rounded over her bosom. The bodice fit her slender figure perfectly and the skirt fanned out slightly and fell to the floor, almost hiding the silver slides on her feet.
"You look...well, amazing doesn't quite do it justice. But you are surely the most beautiful woman in the galaxy," he said, as he gently kissed her cheek. She blushed faintly, as her husband stared at her in awe.
"Thank you, my love," she replied, as she looped her arm in his.
"Luke, do you remember what mommy and daddy showed you?" Padme asked. Luke nodded his little head and held his arm out. Leia grinned and looped her arm with her brother's. Anakin and Padme exchanged a smile, as they watched their children walk in front of them, as they headed for the palace's massive ballroom...
Anakin and Padme stood on a podium, greeting delegates, as they mingled. Much to their chagrin, the Holonet was also there, snapping every holo they could of the infamous couple and their children. Anakin's mother stood near them with their people, as well as the Kenobi family. Anakin spotted Obi-Wan conversing with a few he was still unfamiliar with. Upon the Empire's destruction, he and Obi-Wan agreed that the Jedi Order should be re-established. Gone were the days of old where the code allowed no attachments. The code was to be inevitably rewritten and thanks to Padme's full support and approval, construction on a new Temple would begin in Theed itself. It would soon stand proudly next to Theed palace. Once word of this spread, those Jedi that had survived the purge came out of exile and flocked to Naboo. There was only a select few and along with them, they brought their families, or the young padawans they had taken to train. The man Obi-Wan was conversing with was Nejaa Halcyon, who had come with his wife and son. He had hit if off immediately with Nejaa, finding that they both had a lot in common. Nejaa had accepted him, his family, and his people immediately. This had gone a long way to earn Anakin's trust. It was the same with the female Twi'lek, Aayla Secura. Her immediate acceptance had allowed them to strike up a fast friendship. The same could not be said for some of the others. Upon his first meeting with the illustrious Count Dooku, he'd been excited to meet him, for he had trained Qui-Gon. But the aged man had been cold and rather distant. Anakin couldn't get a clear reading on his feelings at all. It was then that Obi-Wan had told him it was in Dooku's nature to remain cold and aloof, even to those he knew. That only made Anakin wonder what the man could be hiding.
Master Kura or the Dark Woman, made no attempt to disguise her dislike of him, his wife, and his people. She was very disgruntled when Obi-Wan said she would have to accept him and the Dathomirians as a part of the new Order. She had proceeded to scold Obi-Wan's blatant disregard for the code. It seemed she had yet to let go of the old ways and Obi-Wan paid no mind to her tirade. And finally he met Ferus Olin, Siri's former padawan. He sensed Ferus' great admiration for Obi-Wan and instant dislike toward himself. He sensed perhaps a little jealousy toward his brotherly relationship with Obi-Wan, but figured that in time, Ferus may warm up to him. The new Council was led by Obi-Wan and consisted of Dooku, Kuro, Aayla, Ferus, and Nejaa as well. Leiana was also a member, as her people's representative. And as the planet's rulers, Anakin and Padme were also members. The new Council was shaky at best so far, but Anakin was hoping in time they would be able to put all differences aside and work together. His thoughts were interrupted, as Jas Iblis approached them and bowed respectfully. He was tall, though not quite as tall as Anakin, with dark brown hair. He had the muscular build of a warrior, much as Bel Iblis had also. He looked to be around Padme's age and wore the formal attire of a delegate, including a red cape. On his arm was a petite woman with very long black hair, matching eyes that spoke of a calm spirit, and a warm smile. She was lovely and Anakin could sense the love between the couple. Padme had been right; not that he had doubted her. But he could now see for himself why Jas Iblis was the right man for the position as Chancellor in their fledgling Republic. Love was prominent in his heart, yet he was also a warrior and would fight to protect what he loved, including their galaxy.
"Your majesty, I am honored that you have thrown such an extravagant event in my honor," he said.
"It is my pleasure, Lord Iblis. My husband and I want to make sure the Republic leadership is in the right hands. That will not be so if Mon Mothma is elected. She is blinded by her affection for Organa and does not realize that he will attempt to seize control of her post if he can once she is elected. She may not realize it, but we are probably saving her life by not allowing her to hold a position of power. My dear friend Breha was not so lucky," Padme replied.
"Nor was my father it seems. His death was always a mystery to us. We could never understand why the Empire chose to poison him. But it makes sense that it was really Organa behind it all along," he said, pausing for a moment.
"As I said before, we are honored to be here. Allow me to introduce my wife, Zarah," he said, gesturing to the woman beside him.
"It's wonderful to meet you, Lady Zarah," Padme greeted.
"A pleasure for me as well, your majesty," she replied.
"This is my husband, Anakin Skywalker," Padme introduced, as Jas and Anakin shook hands.
"It's an honor to finally meet the man responsible for the demise of the Sith," Jas said.
"The pleasure is mine, Lord Iblis," Anakin replied.
"This is our son, Cy," Jas gestured to the five-year-old, dark haired boy in front of his wife.
"It's nice to meet you too Cy. These are out children, Luke and Leia," Padme said, as the twins waved shyly.
"Why don't you two take Cy and go find Han and Wedge," Anakin said. The twins' eyes lit up when their parents finally deemed it was okay to go and play.
"Come on," Luke motioned to the other boy, who followed eagerly. They all smiled, as they watched their children scamper off to play. Lord and Lady Iblis conversed with Anakin and Padme, before they went to mingle with other delegates.
"This is a wonderful event. I daresay Mon Mothma will not be favored on the ballet," Leiana said.
"I hope not. Bail getting control of the Republic would be disastrous. He has become almost as vile as Palpatine was," Padme replied.
"Yes, well, I am confident that Lord Iblis will be elected. Now that I can relax, I realize I haven't danced all night. I would very much enjoy it if my only son would do me the honor," she hinted. Anakin smirked at his mother's not so subtle hint.
"Mom, may I have this dance?" he asked.
"You may," she replied.
"Save one for me, handsome," Padme told him. He kissed her lips softly.
"Always," he replied, as he led Leiana onto the dance floor.
"Queen Amidala...it is a pleasure to finally meet you," a male voice said. Padme turned and was met by the gaze of a male Falleen. She could already sense him using his known charms that the Falleen species was known for. A intoxicating type of pheromone that usually made it easy for them to seduce females, especially human ones. Keeping herself open to the Force, she focused her thoughts on Anakin, rendering his so-called charms useless.
"I am Prince Xizor of Falleen, your majesty," he bowed and then grabbed her hand, bringing it to his lips, before she could stop him. He was gutsy; she had to give him that, seeing as her husband was barely three feet away. Perhaps it was stupidity rather than guts, she amended. She quickly snatched her hand away, but remained professional.
"Prince Xizor, welcome to Naboo," she responded. He smiled and it was like the grin of a Nexu that was getting ready to pounce on his prey.
"Thank you, Queen Amidala. And I must say, you are ravishing. You are even more beautiful in person than on the Holonet," he said smoothly. Padme was not flattered.
"That is kind of you to say, your highness. I assume you have come to support Lord Iblis' candidacy for Chancellor, have you not?" she asked.
"Well...I would be happy to turn Falleen's support to him, but I must say I am much more interested in an alliance between our planets...I'm sure you agree," the prince leered. Padme could sense him releasing more of his chemical charms. He was making her nauseous and she hid a smile, as she saw Anakin carefully watching him. He respected the fact that she could defend herself, but she was sure it was taking every ounce of self control he had not to beat the living Sith out of the arrogant prince. She hoped Anakin wasn't picking up on the Prince's loud and impure thoughts he was having about her, for they were making her ill and would certainly warrant her husband's wrath. She quickly decided it was time to put the disgusting creep in his place.
"Prince Xizor, if you are sincere about supporting Lord Iblis' campaign and forming an alliance with Naboo, then my husband and I will certainly welcome you. But I think we both know that your intentions are impure," Padme said bluntly.
"Forgive me milady...but..." he was cut off again.
"Stop using your pheromones on me, Prince Xizor, for they will not work. I have been trained in the Jedi arts, by my husband no less and know how to remain unaffected by your chemicals. I also am very much in love with my husband and the impure thoughts I sense in your mind both appal and sicken me," she said.
"Your majesty...please forgive me," Xizor began panicking, since his ploy to seduce her had literally blown up in his face.
"My husband is the most powerful man in the galaxy. Were you aware? He could literally rip you apart without even laying a finger on you," Padme mentioned.
"Please let me explain. I was simply so entranced by your beauty that I foolishly forgot my manners," he tried to smooth her over.
"I'm sure," Padme replied, as Anakin came beside her and slid his arm around her waist. Xizor looked like he might faint, as he met Anakin's piercing gaze.
"Is everything okay, angel?" he asked, as he gazed at her with a smirk.
"Everything is fine, my love. This is Prince Xizor of Falleen," she introduced. Anakin shook the prince's hand, much to his chagrin.
"Nice to meet you, your highness," Anakin goaded at the terrified being. Xizor's eyes widened, as he saw something red flash through Anakin's arm and suddenly felt his hand being crushed. Anakin quickly released the appendage and Xizor stumbled away in fright. He and his entourage were quick to disappear.
"Are you sure I can't go rip him apart?" Anakin asked.
"Now Ani, he didn't get very far, so I can't let you go killing him for no reason," she half teased.
"He was trying to seduce you," Anakin replied pointedly.
"Ha...like he could. You know you're the only man capable of that," she said seductively.
"Mmm...I'll keep that in mind...for tonight," he replied, as he held her close to his side.
"Can I plant a thermal detonator on his ship?" he asked. She laughed and then smacked him playfully on the chest.
"No," she answered, laughing, as he pretended to pout.
"I'll make it up to you," she whispered sultrily to him.
"Mmm...please elaborate, my Queen," he requested.
"Well...I was thinking after we put the twins to bed, you and me in the Jacuzzi...swim wear optional..." she gaze him a sexy smile and a sultry gaze. He felt himself shiver in anticipation.
"I love you," he said.
"I know," she replied.
"May I have this dance, my Queen?" he asked.
"You may, my King," she replied, as he led her onto the dance floor. As they danced, they looked around to the people they loved. They smiled, as they saw Leiana cradling an infant, as Zac and Kendra danced with each other. Just a few weeks ago, Kendra had given birth to the couple's daughter. The baby was beautiful, with bright green eyes and already had a patch of fiery red hair. Zac and Kendra named her Mara Jade. It was customary on Dathomir to have daughters carry their mother's last name and son's to carry their father's last name. Zac and Kendra planned to be married soon. They looked to Zeph and Marcus, as the couple danced closely. After Marcus had proposed, the two were married just a few weeks later in a small ceremony in the palace gardens. Anakin and Padme had been their best man and matron of honor. Padme sighed deeply in contentment and rested her head against her husband's chest, as they swayed slowly to the music.
"I daresay your even has been an immense success, my Queen," Anakin said, as he kissed her hair.
"I just want to make sure the leadership of the galaxy is in the right hands," she said.
"Some consider you the candidate that should be running for Chancellor, you know," he mentioned.
"I know...but I'm happy here. This is the right place for us right now," she replied. He smiled.
"I agree," he said.
"Ani...look," Padme said, as she pointed to their daughter, who was on the dance floor, holding hands with Han. The children were swaying and some had stopped to observe the adorable sight. They exchanged smiles with Obi-Wan and Dorme, as they watched their children. The gala was winding down and guests began to depart after a speech from Lord Iblis, expressing his gratitude toward Naboo and all his supporters. The Iblis family was shown to a room in the guest wing for the night, while Anakin and Padme readied their twins for bed. The rulers of Naboo tucked their exhausted little ones into a bed and then quietly retired to their own room that was adjoined to the children's. Padme dressed in a long, flowing white nightgown, letting her hair down her back in a cascade of rich curls. Her husband donned black sleep pants and a matching button down shirt, which he left open. They stepped out onto their expansive veranda, where a bottle of red wine and two glasses were waiting for them on a small table. Anakin poured it and handed her a glass. As they sipped at the fragrant wine, they gazed up at the stars that blanketed the sky. Anakin set his glass down and wrapped his arms around her slender waist from behind. Padme shivered, as he placed kisses along her jaw and neck.
"Everything's finally okay again. Our dreams have finally been realized. Our Vendetta against the Empire is over," she said.
"Yes...it finally is. Not more murder, oppression, and tyranny. The galaxy is finally free and we'll make sure it stays that way," he promised. They both knew the fledgling Republic would struggle to survive the first few years, but they were confident that the freedom and justice that it was founded upon would only help them grow and prosper.
"We really made it," she said, tears shining in her eyes.
"Yes we did. No more running. No more hiding. The galaxy is finally at peace. The Force is balanced...I can feel it. I know what Qui-Gon meant by balance, all those years ago. And I'm going to keep the balance," he said.
"And I'll be there with you every step of the way," she replied.
"I love you. My life would be empty and meaningless without you and our children," he said.
"And so would mine, without you. But we never have to worry about being without each other," she replied.
"You're right, we'll be together forever and always," he said, as he captured her lips in a loving kiss that ignited their passion for each other. Neither seemed to notice that they were floating, as their lips met again and again under passion's spell. Nor did they notice the ghostly spirits of the Phoenix and the Seraph swirling above them, their wings entwined, as they danced in the milky night sky. Everything was as it should be now and would remain so, as long as the Force's Chosen Champion was together with his Angel of the Skies...
Thanks to all my reviews. I hope you all enjoyed this story. I really had a lot of fun writing it and don't quote me yet, but there may be a sequel later on. I have other projects to focus on in the next couple months, but I may decide to write a sequel with the coming of the new year. No final decisions yet, but I'll keep you informed. Again, I want to thank all those who read and all who reviewed as well.
Special thanks to PyramidHead316, my idea springboard. winks
Also, thanks to all my reviewers: Kenobifan, Harry2, PorcelainHart94, ibelieveintruelove, AnaDry, superfragile, Kaptain Kristi, ILDV, xRajahx, Obsessed Jedi Master, WeJm18, eleven-cat2, mind liger, MissLizzymizzy, Yuna-Flowering, mooneasterbunny, TnTornado, Anime-StarWars-fan-zach, Mo Angel, mrs.christensen247, faithful735746, mayor wallace, ladywan, Hannah Jane, ES army girl, Son of Anakin, Padme 52, grayangle, eirene1988, babybluemoongirl, One of those Girls, Captain Aubrey Sparrow, bahjcb, alwaysahappingending, Gater 101, Sakura 123, tanydwr, Xxsilent-soulxX, Jedi Daughter 1, clair-du-lune, Episode Skywalker, Noelani618, and Padme Amidala N. Skywalker.
And if you're all still thirsty for more Anakin/Padme (who isn't?), the first story in the Forever Destined vignette series is coming very soon, so look for it soon! Also, I will soon have a new story premiering soon that I am co-authoring with PyramidHead 316 under this pen name, so look for that also! Thanks again and bye for now:)