Title: Admit The Truth
Author: Disco Shop Girl
Author's Note: I wrote this snippet some time ago and thought I'd liberate it from my harddrive. It's not too heavy, just somethign I re-read while working on the next chapter of Hidden
Obi-Wan glanced down to his beeping comlink, and politely excused himself from Master Windu's conversation.
"Obi-Wan. I need to speak to you."
Anakin's voice. In a way Obi-Wan was relieved, he felt like they were drifting apart at a time when Anakin seemed to need more of his attention than ever before.
"Of course," he quickly assured, already heading for the docking bays. Somehow that always seemed to be the place you could find Anakin. "Where are you?"
"Docking Bay 2."
Obi-Wan grinned to himself. Some things never changed.
"I will be there in a moment."
When he did reach the hanger, Anakin was not flat on his back with tools in his hands. He was not anxiously hovering over the cockpit of a fighter. Instead, he was standing near a speeder, anxiously waiting for the Jedi Master.
"What is it Anakin?" he asked curiously, watching as his younger friend sprang into the driver's seat.
"I need to show you something. I need your," there was a slight pause and then Anakin finished "advice."
"Very well," Obi-Wan nodded, climbing into the passenger side more sedately.
Hiding his surprise that Anakin would even think of admitting he didn't know everything.
"Where are we going?" he asked as Anakin started the engines and guided them out into the streams of traffic.
Obi-Wan just nodded and relaxed back into his seat. He could be patient. As the ride dragged itself out in silence, however, that patience was beginning to be severely tested.
Finally they pulled up and Obi-Wan couldn't help the eyebrow that raised itself.
"Has Senator Amidala requested our presence?"
Anakin didn't say anything, just sprung out of his vehicle, already striding across the wide balcony.
"Anakin," Obi-Wan tried to stop him, startled as the security settings disabled themselves with a flick of his hand.
"Come," Anakin instructed.
Obi-Wan hurried after him. It was a startling realisation that they were trekking through what was obviously the Senator's bedroom, but before he could protest Anakin had already gone through the main door.
"Anakin! What's going on? Is the Senator even home?"
"No, there's a Senate Session running. There's something I need you to see," Anakin's muffled voice returned.
Obi-Wan followed him into a brightly lit room, stopping short in his tracks as he looked around. The colours were the same as the rest of the apartment, but the feeling was lighter, younger. A bassinet, a rocking chair, some small stuffed animals. There was a long silence between the friends as the master surveyed the room and the apprentice stood silently by, his hands hanging limply by his sides.
"This is where our baby will sleep," Anakin finally said in a soft voice.
Startled, Obi-Wan watched as Anakin walked over and gently braced himself against the edge of the bassinet. Inside, he knew as a Jedi he should be outraged, disgusted. He should punish Anakin, drag him before the council, and expose him to the galaxy. It didn't quite make sense to him, but with a smile of understanding Obi-Wan put a hand on Anakin's shoulder. He had never suspected that it would finally come to this, yet he wasn't surprised it had. If anything, it made him happy for Anakin, because thoughts of Senator Amidala had been the one thing that had made his apprentice happy through the long years of war.
"Congratulations," Obi-Wan said meaningfully, giving Anakin's shoulder a brief squeeze.
Anakin's hand trailed over the soft blankets thoughtfully. Refusing to meet his mentor's eyes.
"You're not mad?"
Obi-Wan grinned for a moment, then let Anakin go so he too could study the small bed.
"I'm not mad. I think I've seen this coming for a long time. Maybe not a child but you have always had an emotional connection to the Senator. I have long feared it could not be denied forever."
The silence fell again and then Obi-Wan had to ask.
"Was this a – planned – addition to Senator Amidala's household?"
"No." Anakin left the baby's empty bedside and sunk into the rocking chair. "But it is a welcome one."
He was surprised at just how well his friend's frame folded into the swaying device.
"I've had dreams," Anakin admitted softly. "Where having our baby…"
"What is it Anakin?"
Obi-Wan watched a thousand emotions play over Anakin's face, confusion dominating them all.
"I thought she was going to die. In childbirth."
Obi-Wan's face froze hard. If that happened it would destroy Anakin, he knew it. The last emotional link after his mother had died and he could infer from the fact that they were now planning to start a family that Anakin was deeply involved with the Senator, as he'd wished to be most of his life.
"Thought?" he asked, considering Anakin's choice of words carefully.
Anakin planted his feet on the floor and pushed the chair gently back and forth.
"Last night Palpatine and I had a conversation at the ballet. And Padmé was throwing up all last night so I had a chance to contemplate what he said."
Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. 'Padmé was throwing up all last night'. There were so many things wrong with that sentence. The use of her first name. The fact that he had been here during the night. In her bed to know that she was ill. Acknowledging that it was his child that was stimulating pre-natal responses in her body. And yet above all, the ease with which Anakin accepted his place in her life did not surprise him.
"He gave me quite a lecture on the nature of the dark side," Anakin revealed, picking at imaginary lint on the rocking chair's arm. "He knows too much about the Sith for a politician."
"Yes, he is quite the historian," Obi-Wan began before he cut himself off to consider what Anakin was saying.
"It is too much of a coincidence that I would dream of Padmé's death and then every time I meet him over the next few days he has some new tale of the power of the darkside for me. Soon I fear he'll come right out and offer me a way to save her."
Before Obi-Wan could reply there was a call of "Ani?" and the sound of movement in the living room. They both turned their heads to the doorway but did not move.
"Did you tell her you were bringing me here?" Obi-Wan asked.
Anakin shook his head, standing back up and walking out towards the sound of her voice.
"Ani I know you're here!" she continued to call. There was a carefree, almost joyous playful lilt to her voice. "If you weren't the baby wouldn't be kick–"
Padmé cut herself off as Obi-Wan emerged right behind her husband from the little nursery.
"–ing. Obi-Wan," she whispered.
She looked to Anakin questioningly.
"You changed your mind," she seemed almost happy about it.
By now Anakin had reached her side and was pulling her in for a quick embrace. He barely brushed his lips over her forehead before he murmured
"You took a chance and trusted me completely. I'm taking a leaf out of your book," he told her seriously.
But his face lightened considerably as he raised his hand and placed it very gently on the now incredibly obvious swell Obi-Wan could see.
"What is it about you? He always knows when you're around," Padmé smiled understatedly.
It was here that Obi-Wan butted in.
"Since it's Anakin's child we can assume they are incredibly sensitive to stirrings in the force. It probably knows exactly where its father is. May I?"
Padmé shied away, backing up as Obi-Wan moved closer with an outstretched hand. He quickly stopped moving, appalled at the reaction in the frightened senator.
"I was only going to feel for its presence. Don't you do this?" he asked, shooting a quizzical look at his apprentice.
Anakin went to reply, getting as far as opening his mouth before he shut it and shook his head in embarrassment.
"We don't want to know if it's a boy or a girl. And I didn't want to spoil the surprise."
He shrugged it off but gave Padmé's arm a quick rub.
"Jedi are better than med-droids," he grinned. "Don't worry, he won't hurt her."
"I thought you said you didn't want to know the sex," Obi-Wan grinned, placing his hand on Padmé's bulge and closing his eyes.
"Oh it's a girl, I know it," Anakin seemed to be teasing.
"Boy," Padmé shot back and it was clear they had some running debate.
Frowning, Obi-Wan probed the force deeper. They immediately stopped their banter, Anakin's hand reaching out to touch her too. The thought that something could be wrong was far more overwhelming than keeping the sex of the baby a secret. Obi-Wan shook his head, his frown slipping away, and pushed Anakin's hand back.
"It's alright," he murmured.
He continued to concentrate, then asked with a quiet, knowing grin
"This pregnancy. You've only seen a med-droid?"
"I didn't want questions asked about the father, why?"
Obi-Wan shook his head in amusement.
"Let me guess, you told it you only wanted to know if your baby was healthy, and it replied affirmatively."
"Yes. Is something wrong?"
"Something is wrong with the 21B line's user-interface, it's a standing fault you should be aware of Senator."
"What?" Padmé demanded, getting antsy.
"Padmé," he smiled reassuringly, opening his eyes back up.
He took one of Padmé's hands and moved it to the far left of her swell, then took Anakin's live hand and placed it on the opposite side.
Confusion covered the young couple's faces as he told them with quiet disbelief
"you're having twins."
"WHAT?!" came the simultaneous reply.
Padmé looked down in amazement, almost looking more afraid now than when she'd been scared it was unwell. Anakin's surprise lasted a split second before he broke into a soft grin.
"Really?" he smiled, putting both his hands now over his unborn children.
"This will be a good lesson in following protocol and not allowing Jedi to impregnate you, Senator," Obi-Wan told her with a totally straight face, although the comment was obviously tongue-in-cheek.
Anakin looked like a fool, grinning so proudly as he felt the movement of them both beneath his hands.
"Two? Are you sure?"
"Oh yes, quite sure."
He eyed Anakin thoughtfully for a moment.
"You are already quite far along, so this must have happened before we left for the Outer Rim Sieges. And you knew all that time?" he asked Anakin carefully.
Anakin's head shook, eyes not looking up to Obi-Wan's as he locked his gaze onto Padmé's, both sharing a soft, private smile.
"Only when we got back the other day," he enlightened his friend.
Then he leaned forward and pressed his mouth hungrily to Padmé's. Obi-Wan watched on in complete surprise as the Jedi whispered
"I can't believe there are two of them. I'm so happy, I love you so much."
And as Padmé's nails dug into Anakin's arms and returned his caresses eagerly, Obi-Wan's whole impression of the situation changed. This wasn't a simple fulfilment of Anakin's desires for a friend, who had let them get out of control, or a romance based on the impending birth of offspring, Anakin had truly captured Padmé Amidala's heart.
He quietly slipped into the kitchen, giving them a moment alone. He found Anakin's protocol droid moving over a food he didn't recognise and asked
"Could I have a drink?" trying to find something to occupy his time.
"Of course Master Kenobi," Threepio replied.
A drink in one hand and an exhaustion from Threepio's incessant chatter Obi-Wan could only return to the living room where they were now seated, side by side with their young hands enthralled on the bulge of her gown.
He cleared his throat to get their attention.
"Oh, right," Anakin grinned, stilling his hand for a moment and then pulling away.
"Please," Padmé indicated for him to take the long divan opposite them.
She too took her hands away from their offspring, her posture straightening as though this were a business meeting.
"There is more?"
"Yes," Anakin tilted his head confusedly. "If Palpatine is indeed the Sith Lord we have been looking for, then there is much more."
Obi-Wan unknowingly cocked his head in a similar fashion, as if just understanding the truth of the matter.
"My dreams," Anakin reminded, carefully not looking at Padmé. "I've probed the force around Padmé, I've meditated, I've done everything to try and learn more about the threat to her."
"And you've come up empty handed," Obi-Wan finished for him thoughtfully.
Anakin nodded in agreement.
"Yes. It has occurred to me that the only time there is a sense of foreboding is when I'm unconscious – least able to shield my mind."
"That is very perceptive of you Anakin."
The younger Jedi shot a look at the pregnant Senator, almost pleading with her to tell the next part. Her head shook slightly, a gesture that clearly indicated Obi-Wan was his friend, he would have to do the explaining.
"Last night we had a discussion, well, more a sharing of state secrets."
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes.
"I admitted I killed Dooku in cold blood –" here Anakin held up a hand to cut off Obi-Wan's shocked gasp. "We have much bigger fish to fry than my dabbling in the darkside," he admitted frankly.
"Padmé is part of a committee," he said the word like it was a disease, making Obi-Wan intensely curious. "We have discussed its purpose, and just in case you didn't understand me before, I don't like that you are on it."
The last comment was aimed directly at the Senator who narrowed her eyes at her husband. However his features softened as he took up her hand.
"Nevertheless, after some persuasion I understand the importance of its success and I –" here he turned back to Obi-Wan "I think we're going to need your help."
"First of all I must have your assured silence," Padmé spoke up, staring intently at Obi-Wan. "I was part of a pact not to discuss the very existence of this group outside of its members. Not even with our families. A leak would spell certain destruction for us all."
"Then why tell Anakin?" he asked, shooting a look at Anakin's thoughtful form.
"He deserved to know, I trust him," she said simply.
Anakin did not hide his small grin of pride very well.
"Very well, you are assured of my secrecy. What is this group?"
She shot a quick glance at Anakin who closed his eyes briefly, reaching into the force. Obi-Wan could feel him scanning the room, the space surrounding them for someone – a device, a spy, listening in. But nothing was found. He gave her a slight nod to go ahead.
"We are concerned about the Chancellor's increasing stranglehold on the Senate's power long after he should have relinquished it. We have been taking steps to move for his dismissal if this goes on much longer."
Obi-Wan nodded, his face grave. Internally he was surprised that the Senator would put herself in so much danger while she was pregnant. Then again, perhaps he shouldn't have been – she had always put her life on the line if she believed the cause was worth it. And this one definitely was.
"And you, Anakin? The Chancellor is your friend, you have always trusted him implicitly. This doesn't disturb you?" he asked carefully.
"Padmé can be very – persuasive," he admitted stoically. "And coupled with my suspicions about his unwanted influence on my subconscious she is doing the right thing."
"She is putting herself and your children at risk," Obi-Wan pushed.
"Don't worry, no harm will come to them," he said with a quiet strength that inferred nothing would be hurting them while he was around.
"If Palpatine does indeed seek your help, and he knows of this," he waved towards Padmé's midsection "then he may be more of a threat than you can handle."
"No harm will come to them," Anakin reiterated, not flinching a muscle.
"Very well. I feel this much knowledge should be brought to the attention of the Jedi council."
"No!" Padmé immediately leapt up, looking at Anakin like he'd betrayed her. "You can't!"
Anakin stood too, brushing a calming hand down her side.
"She's right. You can't tell the Jedi council, I wasn't even supposed to know. Besides, Palpatine monitors the council through more than just me. You must know that," for once Anakin sounded like the voice of reason, and Obi-Wan had to agree with him.
"Perhaps we can keep the details of your group, your relationship and your children quiet for now. Your suspicions that Palpatine is the Sith Master would be more than enough to go after him with if they are confirmed."
Anakin nodded, gravely serious as Padmé sunk back into the chair at his side.
"I think you should go to the council without me. I want them to trust me again, but I fear they would not take kindly to discussing the Chancellor's betrayal and possible downfall with me present."
Obi-Wan just shook his head, marvelling at this change in his young once-Padawan. If Anakin could be so responsible – could embrace responsibility as a faithful lover and anticipate fatherhood – then there might just be hope for them all yet.