Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars!
AN: Hello everyone and welcome to the two part Forever Destined Vignette, titled Winter Festival. This takes place six months after Dinner, Dancing, and Danger. Whether you celebrate something this time of year or not, this story can be enjoyed by anyone. Happy Holidays to everyone! Enjoy the story!
Winter Festival: A Forever Destined Vignette
"Blast it. How the hell did Darred find Sola so quickly?" Obi-Wan said angrily, as his father sped toward the Theed countryside.
"This leak that they have arrested could have told him that she was in the village this morning or in Theed. And then, there is the Holonet. You know how they follow Anakin and Padme everywhere. It was public knowledge that we were going to be here, days before we were," Qui-Gon reminded. Obi-Wan scrubbed his hand over his face in exasperated anguish.
"We will find them, Ben," Qui-Gon assured him.
"I know...I just hope we're not too late," he replied...
Darred loomed over her and Sola screamed, as he yanked her up by the hair and shoved her onto a table, holding her arms and pinning her legs.
"My ex-wife...the little Jedi whore. I saw you with him, you cheating tramp. You still belong to me, Sola, but you've forgotten that and it's time you remember," Darred said, as he reached for the zipper on her dress.
"No...Darred please. Not in front of Ryoo..." Sola pleaded, but then yelped, as Darred slapped her again.
"You're letting that Jedi scum raise my daughters! It's time I make you pay for your treachery," he yelled.
"You never gave a damn about them! Obi-Wan is a wonderful father to them! Pooja doesn't even remember you and I wish Ryoo didn't!" Sola yelled angrily. She cried out, as he backhanded her again. Darred pinned her arms down and loomed over her. Sola fought and struggled, as her disgusting ex began kissing her neck.
"Stop...please stop!" Sola cried, as Ryoo sat stricken with fear for her mother.
"This is just like old times, love," he leered.
"No...no..." Sola sobbed, as she felt his hands under her dress, trying to pry her legs apart.
"You always were beautiful and you were foolish to believe I'd ever give you up for good," Darred said, as he kissed her neck.
"Your snippy little sister was always a hot little thing too. Maybe I'll go after her next. That other Jedi can't be with her all the time," Darred leered.
"You sick monster! You stay away from Padme!" Sola cried.
"Please Sola...do you know how many people in our village there are that would like to make that little Sith witch pay! And after I'm finished with you, I'll go after her and let the good villagers take out their anger on the little Senator," Darred said, angrily wrapping his hand around her neck.
"But first, I'll deal with you," Darred said, as he prepared to rip her clothes off, when suddenly, he heard a snap hiss. He turned to see eleven-year-old Ryoo standing there with an azure bladed light saber in hand.
"Get away from my mom, you monster," Ryoo ordered. Darred smirked.
"You had better put that sword down, brat, or you might get hurt," Darred sneered.
"Leave her alone," Sola yelled.
"Shut up, you little slut," Darred spat.
"I mean it! Get away from her now...or I'll..." Ryoo paused.
"Or you'll what?" Darred taunted and Ryoo was silent.
"That's what I thought. You don't have the guts, kid. Now beat it, while daddy has a little fun with mommy," Darred sneered.
"You...are not my father! My father is a Jedi! My father is great man!" Ryoo screamed, her little voice thick with emotion.
"I am your father, you ungrateful little nuisance and I guess I'll have to teach you a lesson too after I'm done with mommy," he snarled, as he took off his belt and snapped it harshly.
"No Darred...please don't hurt her!" Sola pleaded.
"Dammit, I told you to shut your mouth!" Darred screamed, as he wrapped the belt around his hand and raised it, preparing to bring it down on Sola's face.
"No..." Sola screamed. Ryoo stretched her hand out and stropped his hand using the Force. Suddenly, Darred felt like his hand was being crushed and he dropped the belt. He stared at the girl in angered disbelief, as he advanced on her. Suddenly, Darred was lifted into the air and thrown into the far wall. He looked up in a daze, only to see Obi-Wan Kenobi standing in the doorway.
"Get away from my family," Obi-Wan ordered gruffly.
"So...we finally meet at last, Jedi. And by the way, they belong to me," Darred snarled.
"No...they don't. You're not worthy of them and I should kill you where you stand!" Obi-Wan said, as he slammed Darred's back against the wall.
"But it's not the Jedi way. You have, however, added two counts of kidnaping, assault, and attempted rape charges to your murder charge. And I'll personally see to it that you spend the rest of your life rotting in a tiny prison cell," Obi-Wan said, as he shoved him into the hands of the authorities. Obi-Wan rushed to Sola and began helping her to straighten her clothes. Qui-Gon knelt down beside Ryoo and pulled the child into his arms.
"I tried to stop him, grandpa," Ryoo sobbed.
"You did very well, Ryoo. We are so proud of you," Qui-Gon told her. He kissed the child's forehead and went out to help the Officers with Darred. Obi-Wan scooped her up and she hugged him tightly.
"I love you daddy," she cried.
"And I you, young one. I am so very proud of you for protecting your mother until I could get here," Obi-Wan said, as he kissed her hair and carried her out to the speeder, before going back in for Sola. Darred was put on a prison transport for Rori and they headed back to Theed.
Padme saw Sola coming and rushed to her.
"Oh Sola...I was so worried," Padme cried, as she hugged her big sister tightly.
"I'm fine now, baby sis," Sola assured her. Anakin hugged her too and then scooped Ryoo up.
"We're proud of you squirt. You're going to make a great Jedi someday," Anakin said. Ryoo smiled at her Uncle's approval.
"Thanks Uncle Ani. Does this mean you'll teach me to ride your hover board?" Ryoo asked.
"Sure," he replied.
"You better not," Obi-Wan said sternly.
"Well, I guess your dad says no, so we can't," Anakin said. Obi-Wan nodded and looked away. Anakin winked at her and she smiled brightly. They decided they'd had enough of the city for one day and headed back to Varykino.
Back home, Obi-Wan took Sola inside to relax. And Ryoo was getting an ice pack put on her bump, while happily eating the cloudberry ice cream her grandmother's had provided her. Anakin and Padme took Pooja, Luke, Leia, and Kimberly into the yard to play in the snow, while Jayden and Jenna went in with Shmi and Elana for a nap. Anakin and Padme sat on the porch swing with Kimberly, watching the twins and Pooja romp around in the snow. Kimberly ran around on the porch, occasionally bending down to touch the powdery white snow with her mitten covered hands and then brought some to show her parents.
"Snow!" she called, as she held some in her hands to show her parents.
"Very good baby. You like the snow, don't you?" Padme cooed.
"Uh huh... it cold mommy," she said.
"Yes, it's very cold. In fact, I think it might be time to go in and get warmed up," Padme replied. Kimberly put the snow to her mouth and licked it.
"Oh no baby, don't eat the snow. That's dirty," Padme said, getting up and brushing the snow off her mittens. Anakin just laughed. Kimberly giggled at her father.
"Daddy!" she called.
"Come here tiny angel," he called. She skipped to him and he plucked her up, putting her in his lap. Padme took her mittens and beat the snow off them, before putting them back on.
"We play in the snow, sweetie, we don't eat it," Padme said, trying to hide a smile.
"And it doesn't help when you laugh at her. If she thinks you think it's funny, she'll do it whether she's supposed to or not," Padme replied.
"Sorry angel. Maybe you should "punish" me later for being a bad boy," he said, wriggling his eyebrows at her. She smirked.
"I just might. Careful what you wish for, my Jedi," she replied, as they stood up.
"Kids...let's go in. I bet your grandma's have hot cocoa for us!" Padme called. The children scrambled onto the porch and they all filed inside for the day, which was slowly turning to early evening.
Sola lay comfortably spooned against her husband in their bed. He kissed her neck, trailing down to her bare shoulder.
"You know, I was supposed to let you rest," he said.
"But I am perfectly fine now. I always am after you make love to me," she replied. He kissed her lips softly in response. He caressed her beautiful face.
"I'm so glad I reached you in time. I shouldn't have let you out of my sight in the first place," he said. Sola shook her head.
"I'll not have you blame yourself. None of us knew Darred had escaped. And everything has turned out fine. We're safe and home with our family where we belong. And we're going to have a wonderful Winter Festival feast, open lots of gifts, and enjoy our time together," she replied. He smiled and kissed her passionately.
"Let's go clean up and get ready for dinner. I'll race you to the shower!" she giggled, as she hopped out of bed. Obi-Wan was right on her heels, as they rushed into the fresher...
As they sat down to dinner that evening, they all took a moment to thank the Force that they were together like this, safe and happy. They were thankful that they had enough to eat and had a warm home. But most of all, they were thankful for love and each other. Once their moment of silence was over, conversation wafted around the table, as everyone took to eating. It was a wonderful feast with things like Shaak ribs, Dewback fillets, Cloudberry sauce, an assortment of home grown vegetables, and all kinds of wonderful deserts. After dinner, the kitchen droids were turned on, as everyone retired to the family room. By the far wall stood their beautiful Winter Festival tree, in which had lights strung upon it and was decorated with an assortment of ornaments. They had helped the children decorate it earlier in the week and Padme had started a tradition a few years ago of having special ornaments made with each of their names scripted on them. It was a tradition that stuck and they each would hang their ornament on the tree after evening meal on the eve before the last day of Winter Festival. Being the patriarch of the family, Yan was first, placing his near the top. Elana was next, placing hers next to her husband's. Qui-Gon and Shmi were next, hanging their's under Yan and Elana's. Jobal went next, placing hers next to Shmi's. Anakin and Padme placed theirs under Qui-Gon and Shmi's, alongside Obi-Wan and Sola's. Ryoo and Pooja hung their's next under their parent's ornaments. Luke and Leia placed their's under Anakin and Padme's, while Anakin helped Kimberly to do so as well. And finally, the couple held little Jayden and Jenna and helped them place their ornaments on the tree as well. Once that tradition was complete, they all sat down to exchange gifts. They first watched with great joy, as the children opened their's and played happily with their new toys. Then, they exchanged gifts between each other, before each couple exchanged gifts with one another. Anakin handed Padme a slim, rectangular gift and she smiled at him .
"Oh Ani..." she said.
"Happy Winter Festival, angel," he said, kissing her cheek. She carefully peeled the paper off and then gently opened the velvet case, gasping at the beautiful bracelet inside.
"Oh Anakin...it's beautiful," Padme said, as she examined the charms on it.
"It's a charm bracelet. I thought over the years we could keep adding to what's on it already," he said. She turned and kissing him tenderly.
"I love it. It's so beautiful," she replied, as he placed it on her wrist. She opened the silver heart shaped locket charm and found a family holo inside. On one side of the locket charm was a beautiful crystal angel charm and on the other side of the locket was another crystal charm in the shape of the Jedi symbol. Next to the Jedi symbol was the japor snippet he had made her when they first began dating. Three more charms adorned the bracelet as well. A twin sapphire charm set in crystal, representing Luke and Leia. An amethyst charm set in crystal, representing Kimberly. And finally a twin ruby charm set in crystal to represent Jayden and Jenna.
"Oh Ani, thank you. It's so wonderful," Padme gushed, before pressing her lips to his in a sweet kiss.
"I have something for you too," she said, as she presented his own gift.
"Open it," she urged. He smiled curiously at her and tore the paper off. Inside the box, he pulled out what looked like an album. It was leather bound and had "Skywalker," scrolled across the front. He opened it and found a page which held items like a petal from an angel blossom she had preserved and his padawan braid. It was filled with holos of them in their early days together and items that meant a great deal to them. There was a full page for their wedding holo and each of their children. Then the pages were filled with more family holos and other significant items.
"I've been working on it for a while. It's a memory book and something we can continue to add to," Padme explained.
"It's beautiful Padme. I love it," he replied, as he kissed her. She smiled.
"There's something else in the box," she told him. He dug in it and found a small. He opened it and found an ignition key. He looked at her and she giggled.
"It's the key to your new swoop bike that's out in the garage," she said.
"The new T-9000 model?" he asked.
"Of course. It's blue too, just like your eyes. I do, however, expect to be taken for a ride when it's a little warmer tomorrow," she said.
"Count on it, angel. Thank you," he said, as he placed another box in front of her after kissing her again.
"Here. This is for you too," he said. She looked at him in surprise.
"You're spoiling me," she teased. He laughed.
"Just open it," he replied. She did so and dug inside the box. It's contents shocked her to the core. She picked up a couple of the books and opened the covers, finding her name inside or sometimes her grandmother's name. She sifted through the books, as tears fell down her cheeks. She finally reached the book of fairy tales her grandmother had give her. She remembered the terrible day that her father had ripped it away from her.
"How...how did you find these? Father told me he destroyed them after I ran away to live with my grandmother," Padme said.
"He must have actually took them to Theed and sold them. I went to one of the bookstores in Theed, because I wanted to replace some of the titles you told me about. But these are pretty old and they didn't have older books at the first store I went to. The clerk suggested that I try the discount bookstore...so I did. I found your favorite one, the book of fairy tales, first. When I saw your name in it, I couldn't believe my luck. I paid the owner and his employees to help me scour every book in the place for ones that had your name in them or the name Winama in them and this is what we came up with. So, I bought them all," Anakin explained. Padme threw her arms around his neck and he felt the wetness of her tears on skin.
"Thank you so much," she sobbed.
"I may not be able to right all the wrongs from your childhood, but I'll right the ones I can," he told her.
"But you have righted all the wrongs. You have no idea how terrible things could have been had I not met you. You're everything to me. These books meant a lot to me too and I can't believe you managed to find them when I was sure they were lost forever. Thank you," Padme cried. Anakin held her tightly in his arms and kissed her hair. Sola and Obi-Wan held each other close, as they observed the younger couple. The others also felt joy swell in their hearts for them as well.
"Mommy...are you okay?" Luke asked, looking up form his toy.
"I'm fine baby. In fact, mommy is very happy. Come here, all of you. Mommy wants to read you a story. Their children and their nieces gathered around her, as she sat comfortably nestled in Anakin's arms. The others listened avidly as well, as Padme read her favorite fairytale...
"Mommy, will you read us another story tomorrow night?" Leia asked. Padme kissed her forehead.
"I sure will baby. Goodnight my loves," she cooed to them.
"Night mommy," they chorused. Anakin kissed them too and they proceeded to tuck their other little ones in, before retiring to their bedroom.
"Once there, Anakin took her in his arms and kissed her passionately.
"Happy Winter Festival, angel," he whispered.
"And to you as well, my Jedi," she whispered, as their lips met again. Anakin swept his beautiful wife into his arms and carried her to bed...
The next day, which was the last day of Winter Festival, was spent together. They played in the snow and went ice skating on the lake. Padme and Sola then took the children in to warm up. Anakin had gone out to the garage and Padme soon followed, leaving the children in the good care of their numerous grandparents. She smiled, as she saw her husband examining his new, shiny blue swoop bike.
"Hey handsome...how about that ride," Padme said from the door. He smiled and took her hand, as she approached. He swept her into his arms and swung his leg over the bike. They had their cloaks wrapped around them and Anakin would keep them both warm.
"Where to, beautiful?" he asked.
"Surprise me," she replied, as she pressed her lips to his. He ignited the engine and revved the bike. Padme clung to him, as he sailed out of the garage and onto the open road. The young husband and wife enjoyed their ride and even stopped at a small, quaint café along the way for a hot drink. They returned to their children that evening and the entire family watched the fireworks display from the veranda. They were shot off in Theed every year and signified the conclusion of Winter Festival and another year. Tomorrow began a new year in their lives, which they were all sure would be filled with love and happiness, just as the last few had...