Sabé's Quest
By Ticklesivory

Further details below


The last of her personal items were carefully placed into the travel case when the sound of soft footsteps approached from behind.

"Are you sure you want to do this? The palace has been your home for the past ten years."

An equally soft voice spoke and the young woman turned away from her suitcase open upon the bed and faced her companion.

"It's not the same now and you know it. There's a ghost here and I can't take it any more. It's time I thought about my own future, and you should too."

"I've taken an oath to protect the queen. As you did."

She turned back to her case and latched the closures. "Not to this queen, I didn't." Her voice crystallized as she spoke, although she tried to keep the bitterness hidden. "I used to be First. It's difficult to be anything else."

"You know the procedures, the protocols. You lived by them day after day."

The bags were heavy in her hand, more than they actually were, but she assumed it was the heaviness in her heart that was adding the extra weight. She chose to ignore her companion's statement and turned upon her with a forced smile.

"If you need me, I'll be at the Senate on Coruscant. Take care Rabé."

Sabé had been plagued with doubts about her decision, but the vows she had taken were broken when Padmé Amidala's body had been consumed by flame. She owed nothing to this new queen. Her devotion was now to the senator from Alderaan, who had seen something in Sabé that she thought had been neglected. A keen wit, courage, and intelligence that would serve the senate well, Senator Organa had told her.

But now, standing in the luxury of the personal home of the senator washed away any lingering doubt that she had made the right decision. Someday, the young woman decided. Someday, she would have a home like this. A husband, a family. Something she would have never gotten had she stayed on Naboo.

With no romantic prospects in her near future, Sabé figured that she would do as Lady Organa had done and adopt a child. Sabé just hoped that she would be as lucky as the Organas had been. Leia was a beautiful child. Her long dark hair curled around her chubby face and matched the dark brown of her eyes. When Sabé met her, even as a toddler, the intern was taken aback by the soulful gaze of such a young one. However, Leia was just a child and played as one, exhausting herself until she rapidly succumbed to sleep.

As Senator Organa's personal assistant, Sabé attended him in every situation, during all working hours of every day. It was a sacrifice, but well worth it. She was watching him, learning from him. Her previous knowledge of Naboo politics paled in comparison with those of the galactic senate, and Sabé realized she had much to learn.

However, she was surprised when the senator asked her to accompany him home. He wanted Sabé to meet his family, he had said. She happily went along, pleased to serve him, and eager to see his home and family.

These were dark times in the senate and rumors were spreading of a rebellion, but the senator didn't seem affected by them. He went about his daily, grueling routine, although his arguments with his peers seemed more prolonged and louder than they used to be. It was refreshing to see the man out of his element, relaxed in his home.

Sabé strolled through the long hallway of the senator's residence, studying the holopics that lined the walls. She assumed this was a family gallery, as many of the pics resembled the senator. One particular image of him as a boy that hung at the end of the gallery caught Sabé's attention and she stared at it for several moments until a conversation drifted in from a nearby room and a particular name snapped her hearing into focus.

Padmé.

"I just don't understand, Bail. It seems cruel. You should tell Sabé what happened. Tell her who the child really is. Surely, you can trust her."

"I promised Master Yoda, Breha. I gave him my word. Leia's identity must remain a secret. For her own safety. Telling Sabé that she's really Padmé's child will do more harm than good."

A gasp from the doorway ended the quiet conversation, and the pounding of Sabé's feet against the marble floors matched the pounding of her heart, drowning out the senator's cry of her name as Sabé raced up the stairs and to the toddler's room.

The young woman sank by the bedside of the child and stared at the innocent young face, dimly lit by the glow of a bedside nightlight.

Why hadn't she noticed before? The dark curls, the mischeivous brow, the gaze of one who had seen too much but had actually seen very little. It was Padmé born again.

"Sabé."

It was the senator's whispered voice in the doorway, but the young woman couldn't turn away from the sleeping child, until a light touch landed upon her shoulder and a gesturing hand motioned her out into the hallway.

Once Leia's door had slid shut, the senator turned to her, his face lined with worry.

"How much did you hear?"

"Enough." Bitterness once more filled her, and the anger she had thought had been put away for good once more boiled up. "Why didn't you say anything? Padmé's parents think their grandchildren are dead! It's a heartless thing to do, Senator. Lady Organa was right. It's heartless and cruel."

The Alderaanian prince's chest heaved with a sigh. "For her protection. The twins…"

"The other baby survived too?" Sabé interrupted, however Bail continued on.

"The twins' location must remain a secret. Their father must not know they are alive. Do you understand this?"

Anakin.

Sabé mulled over the information in her stunned mind. Anakin, the Jedi-turned-Sith, the destroyer of the Temple, the emperor's right-hand man. The children had to be hidden from him for obvious reasons.

But why deceive Padmé's loved ones? Keep them from her family? Surely, Ruwee and Jobal deserved to know their grandchildren had survived. All this time, they believed them to be dead. Necessary perhaps, but surely there was another way.

The truth, it seemed was more gray than Sabé had originally thought. She had never truly believed the story about Padmé dying in childbirth of a broken heart, going into an early labor, and sacrificing her children's lives as a result. Ridiculous. Padmé was too strong for that. She would never allow a man to affect her so.

If the children had survived, what had really happened? How had Padmé really died?

"I see that you have many questions." Senator Organa interrupted her thoughts. "And knowing you the way I do, I realize you aren't going to let this go until you have all the answers."

Sabé opened her mouth to ask the first of many, but was stopped by an upraised hand, requesting her silence.

"But I must inform you, I cannot tell you anything. I've already erred by allowing you to overhear a conversation that never should've taken place. Perhaps you know too much already, and I should have you permanently eliminated."

A smile crept over the Prince's face while Sabé smirked half of one herself.

"There is someone who would possibly be willing to share this information, and can tell you more than I can. I'll give you a month's leave to find your answers, Sabé. But I expect you to be back at your post at the end of that time."

"Yes, your highness." Sabé answered, her mouth now turning up into a full smile.

The irony of his present situation did not escape Obi-Wan Kenobi as he stood upon the threshold of his desert home. How long ago had it been since he had sworn to his Master that he would never step another foot on the wretched planet of Tatooine? Not that long ago, but it seemed like ages. A lifetime. A lifetime of disappointments and surprises.

It seemed sometimes as if the Force had a sense of humor.

There wasn't anything humorous about the present times, however. With Darth Vader on the prowl, searching out every last Jedi to rid the galaxy of all that's good, sometimes Obi-Wan came to despise his mission. He should be out there securing what was left of the Order, protecting anything worthwhile. Instead, he was stuck on an overheated rock, watching over a two-year-old boy. But only from a distance. The boy's uncle wouldn't let him near the house. Didn't want Obi-Wan "infecting" his mind, so he said.

The situation would be overwhelming and discouraging if not for for the one thing that secured his happiness and saved his soul from despair.

Shoving the restless thoughts from his mind, Obi-Wan sent his Force sense out toward the east where a sandstorm was brewing, and a worried frown set across his brow. He hurried back inside and shuttered the windows of his home, although the sand always seemed to manage to find a way in anyway, and began to brew another pot of tea.

His mind elsewhere, the knock upon the door startled him. It wasn't like Obi-Wan to be caught unawares, and he scolded himself as he headed to open the door, unsure of who it could be, but sensing no danger.

A gaping mouth was quickly shut due to the sand beginning to swirl as he was met with a pair of dark eyes that seemed vaguely familiar set in a face he could never forget.

"Sabé? What in the hell are you doing here?"

He was a sight for sore eyes, but she was hot and she was tired. It was a long ways from Alderaan to Tatooine, and she needed a drink. But it was best to get to the point, Sabé figured. She had already wasted a week and a half of her time off getting here and it would take that much time to get back, which gave her one week to find her answers, and she was going to discover them, no matter what.

"I've come for information, Kenobi." Sabé stated bluntly as she entered the home.

"Very well." Obi-Wan replied while shutting the door. "Would you care for some tea? I just brewed a fresh pot."

"That's fine, but then we talk."

Sabé had never been one for distractions. Obi-Wan knew this. The young woman was all business and of a serious nature -- much like her employer was when he first met her.

The memory brought a smile to Obi-Wan's face. The streets of Theed, the confident, young queen believing she could fool the Jedi with a disguise.

"Do you take sweetener?"

"No thank you."

"Please, have a seat."

The two of them sat across from each other in the cramped kitchen area that opened directly into the common room. The home was small, but comfortable. The location was a bit inconvenient, and Sabé wondered why in the world anyone would want to live in the Jundland Wastes. It had taken forever for her to find him.

But she was wasting time.

The cooling tea washed away the grit from her mouth as she set her eyes firmly upon the Jedi's face. He had aged a bit since she had seen him last. All bearded with signs of gray along his temples. Living the life of a Jedi had to be difficult, and it showed in his face. Perhaps she should back off a bit, unless, of course, he ended up being uncooperative.

Her tone was less demanding the next time she spoke. "I know about Leia. Senator Organa told me."

Raised brows across the table prompted an explanation.

"It wasn't his fault. I overheard a conversation between him and his wife. And then I had to know everything. He wouldn't tell me though, so I came looking for you.

"What happened Obi-Wan? And I want the truth."

He sat back, taking his mug with him and stared at the shuttered window as though he could see through it. It was some time before he spoke and Sabé willed herself to be patient.

"There was a wedding." He began, lost in memory. "I had no idea…."

It was one empty mug and visit to the 'fresher before the story was completed and Sabé sat in awe of what Obi-Wan had been through, of what he had sacrificed and lost, but the anger still raged within her. The whole thing seemed so unnecessary, and before she could stop herself, the words tumbled from her mouth. Accusatory, hurtful.

"How could you not know what was going on? Right under your nose? You're a Jedi! You're supposed to be able to sense such things. She was in pain and you did nothing! You were right there with her when she died and you did nothing!"

"I can't stop people from dying, Sabé. Not even Yoda has that power."

"But you should've done something. You should've taken her away from him! Killed him! Something!"

"Have you not been listening?" He was leaning across the table now, a firey glint to his gray-green eyes and Sabé leaned back in light of the confrontation. "I did what I thought was best. I did everything I could to save them both. I was just too late."

"So she died because of your blindness."

Obi-Wan leaned back then, crossing his arms and Sabé was appalled to see the hint of a smile appear upon his bearded face as his eyes glanced toward the doorway.

"I never said she was dead."

Confusion knitted Sabé's brows as the house was filled with the heat of desert wind bringing with it a swirl of sand as well as a petite, robed figure.

A figure whose dark eyes peered out between layers of a light-colored wrap. Large, brown eyes that opened wide in surprise before fingers tore at the cloth that protected her face from the sand.

Sabé's own eyes stretched wide as the layers disappeared and the face which they disguised was revealed. She knocked the chair she was sitting in over in her haste to rush across the room and into her friend's arms, squealing with delight as her quest for truth brought her more than she had ever hoped for.

"Padmé! You're alive!"


Voted First Place at the Obidala Fan Forum in the category of "Padmé Does Not Die." November 4, 2007