Title: The Flower Girl.
Disclaimer: Not mine. None of it.
Beta: And on that note a HUGE! Thanks to Cariel for beta reading this for me!
Authors Note: This was inspired by a fanvid created by Cariel called Eternal.
The beautiful, but ragged street urchin came into the Tatooine prince's life during the spring festivals of Naboo and left with the rain.
"Would you like a water flower?" she asked kindly in introduction, revealing from her worn satchel a clear glass ball filled with water and a beautiful crimson bloom. It hung from a tan coloured twine that looked to have been braided by the girl herself.
"How do I get back to the palace?" was his reply.
She gave a smile that made her freckles dance and nodded to his demanding question. She was not intimidated by his obvious royal linage or the titles that decorated his uniform. He was impressed. As the young girl took his hand, the boy noticed it was as calloused as his own. He liked this too but didn't know why.
There wasn't much time to get to the flower girl; just enough to make an impression he would never forget. When she guided the visiting prince back to his temporary palace, he bought all the water flowers she carried in her worn satchel. He didn't know how to say thank you and so he expressed it in this way. She didn't seem to mind and was just happy to be able to have money for food and for shelter.
As the spring rain began to fall from the sky, the street urchin promptly scampered down the stairs of the palace's entrance and soon disappeared into the crowds once more.
He never knew her name, but would never forget her smile or the feel of her fingers in his own...
It was summer on Naboo when the teenaged prince—soon to be crowned king—arrived once more. The celebrations no longer fascinated him in the same way anymore but demanded his attention and thus he had no choice, but to return for the summer gatherings. It wasn't the only reason he was here.
The water flower known as naceae—or idaceae depending on the dialect—were in full bloom now and he longed to find more of the beautiful crimson blossoms to add to the small collection that now grew in his mother's desert garden. However he desired to find the beautiful little flower girl even more. But without a name and only a passing memory to act as a lead, the young prince knew such a possibility would not be likely.
Every day he sought her out, scouring all the festivals, the water gardens and even the shanty villages where it was believed she might have lived.
It wasn't until the eve of his departure that he saw her in passing. No longer was she the little street urchin with the oversized satchel resting on her hip, but a beautiful young woman lost in the embrace of an older man.
The Tatooine prince returned home heartbroken, but not empty handed. His ship held the scent of naceae for days after and his garden already thriving, soon flourished with its new additions. While the small but beautiful garden was able to provide his dying mother a moment of joy, even it wasn't enough.
By summer's end, the teenaged prince lost his mother to sickness and his heart to a woman he had never known and believed he would never have a chance to.
The drought was severe, starving not only the small garden of its water, but the people of his kingdom. The warrior king was no longer a broken-hearted teenaged boy but a hardened young man. He had travelled the galaxy in search of water and food for his dying subjects. Though his cause was a noble one, his bloodlust was not. No one dared aid Tatooine's warlord king or his starving people. The more desperate the situation, the fiercer the Tatooine king became. If they would not share their abundant resources by peaceful means, then he proceeded to use force. It was not long before all of Tatooine's resources were being used for military purposes and recon.
He came to Naboo in a last desperate attempt to convince the queen that his people's plight was a serious one and that war was only an attempt to retrieve much needed water and food. Though a tactical genius and a master of technology, the warrior king was not a political man. His pleas fell upon deaf ears and it was with a heavy heart that he sought a moment's rest from his thoughts in a local cabaret. It was there that he saw the beautiful and now renowned flower girl-turned-singer.
Her voice was sultry, thick with silent invitation and a mystery that ensured every man she encountered desired her. The Tatooine king, however, knew better and knew of the sadness laced in her passionate song. Every man wanted her, but none were brave enough to love her.
It was an invitation he could not resist.
"Would you like to talk?" he asked kindly in introduction.
"I would much prefer a drink," was her reply.
She laughed when he spoke of how he first met her and he fell silent when she spoke a little of her past. Both came from such different worlds but it didn't matter as there was something between them that neither could understand nor cared enough to try. When words and drinks ran dry, passion became the sole means of communication.
By morning the king awoke alone, the flower girl now known to him simply as Dormé had once more left with the rain that now poured outside. This time she left nothing save the soft scent of water flowers to mark her memory.
It had been three years since the death of the last water flower that grew in the small garden, about as long since Anakin had seen the flower girl.
The rain came now, a first in years for Tatooine. It was not gentle or beautiful as it was on Naboo; it was fierce and unforgiving. What the flood didn't destroy, disease and famine ruthlessly took.
Now the Naboo turned their eyes to the dying Tatooine people. While it was not too late for them to be saved, time had run out for Anakin.
Disease had eroded away much of his muscular figure, while starvation and lack of nutrition ensured that his volatile campaign to save his planet had come to an end.
It was only then that Dormé, the flower girl, returned into his life and as always, she did not come empty-handed.
She came during his darkest hour, when his dying lungs struggled for air and his heart was barely able to fulfil its duty of pumping life into his veins. She was as beautiful as a dream, but as real as the flood that had destroyed much of his home.
Others were there to bring food and clean water to the dying people, but it was only Dormé that Anakin saw and it was only Dormé whom remained by his side throughout it all. He never asked why she chose to return to him now, for it was not necessary; she never once apologized for keeping their daughter a secret from him as this too was unneeded.
Her touch was soothing and held a power to heal that medicine did not. Like the broken water flowers she often found outside of old restaurants and gardens, Dormé was able to give life where none was ever expected to survive.
The flower girl was more than just a heart's desire, she had become the light in his darkest hour.
When spring returned, the warrior king finally professed his love to her and by summer, Tatooine heard the proud proclamations of love exchanged between the king and his beloved queen. By fall, their daughter was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her new brother.
By winter, their son entered the world. With his arrival, the naceae once more begun to flourish and blossom bringing with its gentle scent the promise of spring.