Author's note: Huge thanks goes to Cariel for beta reading this for me! D Also to be noted this scene takes place from a tale that is still in the makings and is to be called 'Obsession'. For those interested be sure to peek at Cariel's (user id. 296706) ficlets for updates!
Disclaimer: Not mine. None of it. Not even the pairing concept of Bail and Padmé or Dormé and Vader which is Cariels
With the fall of the Republic and the rise of a new empire, it seemed as though everything had fallen to chaos and madness. All that Padmé stood for fought for and was willing to die for now laid in ruins. Yet as she stood on the balcony of her suite the former Naboo Queen couldn't ignore the strange sense of calm that had gripped her spirit. It was a sense of peace that reminded her of the warm blankets she used to wrap herself in as a child after spending the day swimming and playing in the sand.Things were far from over, and far from being well, but for a brief moment in time Padmé felt something she hadn't felt in a very long time: hope.
The senator smiled briefly to the thought before growing serious as her eyes flickered to the entrance to her bedchambers. The door had been purposely left open as she was loathed to be completely separated from her dearest friend and dearest beloved, even if it was just the division of two rooms. But at the same time she needed a little room, to clear her head, to analyze, and in truth, convince herself that feeling this was okay, that she wasn't selfish for loving her best friend, that he loved her in return and that was okay too.
Padmé's entire life had been dedicated to helping and serving the public, defending the rights of humanity and standing up to the face of tyranny.
Those with power have great responsibility. Only the most humble people can truly understand and appreciate this, her mentor once told her. They must make incredible sacrifices, the sort that can take a lifetime to fulfill. Padmé wondered if she had sacrificed enough to deserve this small moment of joy. She doubted it, but couldn't deny how grateful she was for it nonetheless.
But by morning all of this would become a memory. Duty had to be served and though she longed for this calm to last an eternity Padmé knew the storm was coming. Whether her dearest friend and love would survive the storm of violence and darkness, Padmé couldn't say, though she desperately hoped so. Survival for Padmé was never something she really considered until now. This too she had none other than her beloved to thank for.
It's easy to die for a cause or a belief, but to live for one? It is not nearly as simple, or as selfish for that matter. Padmé furrowed her brow as she could hear Bail's voice echoing in her mind, reminding her of the discussion shared between them earlier that day. As loathed as she was to admit it, Amidala knew Bail was right. Once she believed her death would protect the lives of her handmaidens and of her family. Now Padmé realized deep down that there was more to it than just that.
Amidala felt she had failed her people, failed her duties as senator and ultimately, looking back, even as queen. With hindsight, Padmé believed she should have known better, but like so many, she had fallen prey to Chancellor Palpatine's ruse. Even though she would stand up against the self appointed Emperor, Padmé knew she was as responsible as the rest of the senate for placing him into power.
Because of this the temptation of suicide held a sense of invitation that Padmé never understood before. It just seemed the only way to make amends to the thousands of innocent lives whose blood now stained the hands of so many more. Just because she had assisted in the creation of the Alliance did not mean that her hands were clean or unstained.
But Bail didn't see it that way and politely chastised her for it.
The past isn't meant to be undone, Padmé. It's meant to give us wisdom, so we can prepare for the future and know how to handle the present. Suicide or a martyr's death is nothing more than an excuse to escape one responsibilities and duties.
The Padmé I know and have known for years has never run away from duty, nor would she ever consider such thoughts. Instead, she would sit back, evaluate her situation, and prepare her next course of action.
Padmé sighed deeply at the memory as her expression softened. Bail always did know what to say to make her clear her thoughts and put things into perspective. It was one of many reasons she realized that made her love him so much. The others were too many to count, but Padmé knew the greatest of these was his friendship. Never in her life had she met another who left her feeling comfortable enough to open up and remove the masks she always wore in the public eye. Neither had she ever known a friend who was willing to stand up against her without the reservations that came from those who saw only her titles. Bail saw her as a person, not a queen or a senator or even a resistance fighter. To him, she was just a woman with strengths and flaws like anyone else. Bail never once demanded that she become something or someone that she wasn't, nor did he ever judge her for it. In fact, Padmé had discovered on this fateful night that ultimately it was her imperfections, her quirks and her eccentricities that made him fall in love with her.
The admittance was still difficult to wrap her mind around, though Padmé was discovering it wasn't nearly as frightening as she once believed. How long she had kept her feelings from her dear friend? How long had she stood by and watched as the woman he was married and loved betray him only to later toss him aside because he couldn't give her a child? Padmé could no longer recall, but was only too aware of the fact it was well worth the wait. Had she succumbed to her desires and spoke of her feelings any sooner or had hesitated and waited until later, none of this would have come to pass.
In what felt like a lifetime ago, Master Kenobi once told her everything happened because it was the will of the Force. Though Padmé wasn't certain she believed in such higher powers, she couldn't deny the fact that they were now together because it was meant to be.
It was then that she found herself thinking of her dear friend and former compatriot Sabé Nabish. Though the principle handmaiden never once spoke of her feelings for the Jedi Master, it was obvious to her that they too shared a similar bond which she discovered she shared with Bail. She prayed that if there were indeed a higher entity that it would one day ensure that the desires of her friend, Sabé's heart would come to pass.
Despite the soft sound of footsteps departing from the room that only moment ago was occupied, Padmé remained lost to her thoughts. It wasn't until Bail's footsteps approached her from behind and slipped his arms around her petite waist that Padmé was able to draw out of her thoughts.
Though she had yet to grow used to this simple gesture of affection, Padmé couldn't deny the contentment and sense of peace that was found in his arms. Leaning into Bail, she slipped her own arms over his and gave it a squeeze before looking up at him. Their eyes met and though not a word was spoken, only a smile shared, so much was said and it was then that Padmé finally understood the meaning of harmony in the midst of chaos.