Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars.
AN: Hey everyone! Welcome to the next FD Vignette. If you like fairy tales, then you'll love this one! Padme kisses her husband good night and falls asleep into the realm of a VERY strange dream. Will it end happily or will it become a nightmare? This one's just something I had to write for fun, so enjoy and let me know what you think:)
Snow Padme & the Seven Jedi: An FD Vignette
Padme leaned against the door and watched them fondly. Anakin sat in a rocking chair in Jayden and Jenna's bedroom, reading to their five beautiful children. It had been three months since Winter Festival and he was reading from one of her favorite books of fairy tales. Each of their children listened avidly to their father's story, as he read one about a fair maiden escaping the wrath of an evil Queen and meeting a handsome prince. She hadn't read that particular fairy tale in a long time and found herself enjoying it immensely, especially as her husband read it.
"...And they lived happily ever after," Anakin said, concluding the story.
"That was such a great story, daddy," Leia said.
"Yeah, it was okay, but it needed more fighting," Luke replied. Anakin laughed.
"Okay little ones. It's bedtime," Padme called. Luke and Leia scampered down and to their mother, who hugged them both.
"Go brush your teeth and mommy and daddy will be in to tuck you in," Padme said. The twins skipped off to their room to do so. Anakin handed a sleepily Kimberly to her, as he lifted Jayden and Jenna into their crib. The young parents kissed them both and Artoo bathed the room in a blue glow, watching over the youngest Skywalker's. Next door, Padme placed Kimberly in her bed and they each kissed her head, tucking her in. Luke and Leia were next and soon, all their children were tucked into bed for the night. Padme sat at her vanity in a deep blue, silk nightgown, brushing her long hair, while watching her husband from her mirror, as he undressed for bed.
"See something you like?" he teased, catching her staring. She licked her lips playfully.
"Very much so," she answered, as she turned to him. He leaned down and pressed his lips to hers, eliciting a humming noise from the back of her throat. She giggled, as he picked her up and gently spun her around. For them, the honeymoon stage had never ended and probably never would. They were more unique than any other couple and shared a love that few could comprehend. It wasn't that they were perfect, because they weren't. They did little things that annoyed each other and even had arguments, though the word banter seemed more appropriate, for neither of them ever saw a reason to raise their voice at the other. They weren't perfect, like some suggested, but they were perfect for each other. And they had mastered the one thing most people couldn't. Love. Their love encompassed and surpassed all else, making the little things seem all the more insignificant. They managed to balance their demanding careers and raising five children well, still finding plenty of time for each other. Of course, this was largely successful, thanks to the support of their loving family. As his lips parted from hers, following a very passionate, lengthy series of kisses, she smiled at him.
"You know, I think I enjoyed the fairy tale more than the kids," she mentioned.
"Really?" he asked playfully.
"What was your favorite part?" he asked. She smiled at him.
"I think you know," she answered. He leaned in for another kiss.
"Yeah, I think I do," he replied, as he trailed kisses along her jaw line and her slender neck, nipping sweetly at her soft skin. Padme pulled the bedclothes back and climbed in. He followed and took her in his arms, spooning her against him, as always. She sighed in contentment, wondering if he had any idea just how wonderful she felt when she was in his arms, so safe and loved.
"I know," he answered her thoughts. She blushed slightly, as he kissed her lips tenderly.
"I love when you hold me like this. I love being in your arms," she said softly, as she rested her head against his chest, tracing the lines of definition.
"I know and I love holding you too. And I'll hold you in my arms, always and forever," he said.
"Promise?" she asked. He gave her that half smile that made her swoon.
"Seal it with a kiss," he answered, as he enveloped her mouth in a deep, plundering kiss. When their lips parted, she was left limp and breathless. Only her Ani could make her feel like that with a simple gesture. She cuddled against him and sighed in contentment.
"Goodnight, my handsome Jedi protector," she whispered.
"Goodnight, my beautiful, sweet angel," he responded, as they both drifted to sleep in each other's arms. Little did Padme know, she was about to have a very strange, vivid dream...
The planet Naboo was a beautiful place. Indeed, it was sometimes called the jewel of the galaxy, for its extensive natural resources were rich and life was vibrant there. This was why Count Dooku of the planet Serenno had chosen to relocate after his own planet had been ravaged in the great Sith Wars many years ago. He and his fellow Jedi had helped save Naboo from the same fate and as a result, the people of Naboo declared him their King. He and his beautiful Queen Elana served the Naboo graciously and had a son, who grew into a powerful Jedi and a good man. When the time came, Dooku and Elana stepped down, retiring from their post, letting their son Qui-Gon be instated as King. Qui-Gon had a son with his first wife, a princess from Chandrilla. Unfortunately, when little prince Obi-Wan was just two, Kira died of a fatal illness. It was fifteen years before Qui-Gon met and fell in love with another woman. Shmi Skywalker had come to work as a servant in the King's palace. Being a former slave, Shmi never believed she could be anything more than a servant. But Qui-Gon fell deeply in love with her and she with him. He married her soon after, crowning her his Queen. And a year later, prince Anakin was born. While Anakin spent a majority of his time in the palace, training and being groomed into the next King, Obi-Wan spent a lot of time with his grandfather in a secluded, secondary Jedi Temple in the forests of Naboo, having no interest in becoming King. They visited their family in the Temple often, but preferred the simple life in the forest. At this particular stage in Anakin's life, he was not much enjoying palace life. He was coming of age soon and female suitors were coming out of the woodwork, hoping to be the woman he chose to marry. But Anakin couldn't be less interested in any of them. Most were empty headed bimbos or women of political power who were frighteningly older than him. He stood next to his parents, waiting to meet another woman who had deemed herself worthy of him. Anakin hated this. He wanted to find the woman of his dreams. A woman he could talk to, laugh with, and who would love him for who he was, not just for his looks or the power he could give her. His parents wouldn't force him to marry anyone he did not truly love, but they were anxious for him to settle down.
"Mother, why must we keep doing this?" Anakin whined.
"Now Ani, as the next King of Naboo, the people are anxious to see you settle down in your coming of age. We must be gracious and at least give audience to any potential brides, even if you choose none of them," Shmi said.
"Well, I don't want any of them. People need to butt out and let me find my own bride. I'm not marrying this Queen or whatever she is. Force mother, I heard she's twenty years older than me!" Anakin cried, causing Qui-Gon to chuckle.
"He has a point, my dear," Qui-Gon replied.
"Be that as it may, we would upset the royal family of Nubia if we did not at least give their Queen an audience. Be nice Ani, she lost her husband a few years back," Shmi said.
"Oh yes, and inherited an entire Kingdom to herself. I'm sure she was all torn up about it," Anakin replied sarcastically. Shmi sighed, as the Queen entered with her entourage.
"Your majesties, may I present, Queen Dahlia of Nubia," her royal guard introduced. The middle aged Queen was beautiful in her own right, but far too old for Anakin. Not to mention, Qui-Gon could sense her intentions for Anakin were anything but pure.
"Your majesties, it is an honor to meet you at last," the Queen said, as her eyes rested upon Anakin.
"And you must be Prince Anakin. You are far more handsome than I could have imagined. I would enjoy it immensely if we could get to know each other better," she said, giving the prince a seductive stare that made Anakin cringe. The woman was undressing him with her eyes and right in front of his parents too. Qui-Gon took mercy on his son.
"Actually your highness, Anakin has a task to attend to for me. You'll be dining with my wife and I this evening. Anakin may join us if he returns in time," Qui-Gon said. Anakin sent his father a silent thank you. With a quick bow, he disappeared from the throne room, not being able to get out of there fast enough. Once in the palace garage, Anakin hopped on his favorite swoop bike and zoomed out onto the open country rode behind the palace.
Though Naboo had gracious rulers that held the people's best interest at heart, there was an area which their jurisdiction did not reach. A cluster of the mountain villages was governed instead by the evil Governor Danae and his vile son Palo. They oppressed and brainwashed their people. Men ruled and women were treated as second class citizens, expected to obey and have no freedoms. The young Palo was coming of age as well and his father had decided it was time for him to choose a bride. But Palo, arrogant and selfish as he was, would only accept the fairest and most beautiful woman as his bride. Therefore, his father had called upon a powerful sorcerer for help. He lent them a magic mirror that was supposed to tell them who was the fairest and most beautiful girl in all the land. Palo would marry this girl...whether she wanted to marry him or not. He was only seconds away from learning her identity, though he was skeptical about this supposed magic mirror.
"Father, this is silly. I am not saying those words to a stupid mirror," Palo complained.
"Son, if you want the fairest, then this is the best way to find out. I'll not have you spending a lot of wasted time looking for her on your own. The sorcerer promised that this would work and it will, if he knows what's good for him," Governor Danae replied. Palo sighed.
"Fine," he said, standing in front of the mirror.
"Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" he asked. A silvery face appeared in the mirror and talked to him, nearly making Palo jump out of his skin.
"You seek the fairest maiden in all the lands, I see. And see her you shall," the mirror answered, as its image swirled to that of a small country village and a quaint house at the top of a hill. A beautiful petite brunette, with doe brown eyes and an alluring smile appeared in the mirror.
"In the small village of Valencia, this young woman resides with her family. She is by far the fairest and none other can compare. Her father, mean and greedy as he is, will accept any price for his daughter's hand. Snow Padme is her name. She is a free spirit and will not be easily tamed, but you shall find no other beauty that compares to her," the mirror said. Palo smirked evilly, as he stared at the young woman with possessive eyes.
"Then it is Snow Padme that I will marry. Free in spirit she may be, but bend to my will, she shall," Palo laughed evilly.
Padme Naberrie, or Snow Padme, as she was known, because of her fair beauty, took her daily trek through the forest, picking delicious, sweet cloudberries from the abundance of trees. She came from an oppressive village with a father that often punished her for her free spirit and strength of will to never give up on her dreams of being free. No matter how harsh her father was, she still had hope that one day, she would escape her village and live the life she craved. She set her basket of berries down and settle against a tree, pulling a book from her satchel. She loved reading, but could not do so at home. Her father disapproved of anything that encouraged her free will. A few moments later, she noticed a few rabbits and squirrels that had gathered around her. This didn't startle her, for animals were often drawn by her peaceful spirit and calm demeanor.
"Hello little friends," she said, as she placed some berries out in front of them, continuing to read, as they gathered in her lap. Padme read and before she knew it, several hours had passed. She knew then she had to hurry home, for her father did not take kindly to her being out late.
"Oh my, I lost track of time," she fretted, as she packed her books back into her satchel and picked up her basket.
"Goodbye little friends," she called, as she hurried back toward her village. Padme stashed her book satchel in a nearby tree trunk outside her village where it would not be found, before returning to her father's house atop the hill. When she arrived, her father was outside on the porch, waiting for her and looking none too happy.
"Hello father," Padme said.
"Where have you been?" he asked.
"I was out picking cloudberries and lost track of time," she answered, not meeting his evil eyes. He jerked her by the arm, as she tried to walk past him.
"We have guests and you will greet them graciously. Then, we'll deal with your disobedience tonight. You'll come out to the workshop after they leave," Ruwee ordered. Padme suppressed tears, knowing what would await her in her father's shed. Her tardiness would earn her a brutal lashing with her father's woven whip. He pulled his youngest daughter inside and Padme saw their guests for the first time. She felt an overwhelming dread fill her, as she realized their guests were none other than Governor Danae and his son, Palo.
"I apologize for my daughter's tardiness, your liege. I assure you that her disobedience will be dealt with in severity," Ruwee promised.
"Yes...she must be taught to learn her place," the Governor sneered, as he approached. Padme took an involuntary step back, as the Governor raised her chin with his finger.
"You are as fair as they say, young one. You will marry my son at sunset tomorrow evening," he demanded of her.
"What?" she asked in disbelief, as Palo approached her.
"Yes Padme, you are mine now. If you'll allow me, Mr. Naberrie, I would very much like to spend a few moments alone with my future bride," Palo said. Padme's head was swimming and she felt very dizzy.
"I don't..." she started to say, but yelped, as her father pulled her arm roughly again.
"You will do as I say or you'll regret it," Ruwee threatened. Padme felt Palo take her arm and pull her outside onto the porch.
"I have sought the most beautiful woman on Naboo to be my bride...and you are that woman, Padme," Palo said.
"I do not even know you. I am not ready to marry anyone," Padme refuted.
"Your father says you are and my father paid him a hefty amount of credits for your hand," Palo replied. Padme gasped.
"I am not a piece of property that can be purchased!" Padme yelled. Palo grabbed her arm and pulled her to him.
"I will tolerate no disobedience from you. You'll do as I say and never question me," Palo said sternly, as he forced his lips onto hers. Padme whimpered in protest and tried to push him away. But his surprising strength held her in place, as his mouth tore at hers in a possessive manner. He pressed her back against the house and fear ripped through the young woman.
"You belong to me now, Snow Padme. Accept your fate and submit to me," he demanded. Padme glared daggers back at him in defiance.
"I'll never submit to you," she defied. He smirked evilly.
"Then I am afraid our wedding night will be rather unpleasant for you, darling. Because you will be my wife...in every sense of the word," he promised, as he released her, just as the Governor exited the house. Ruwee bid them farewell, sucking up to the Governor to the fullest with lavish compliments. Once they were gone, Ruwee's icy gaze rested on his daughter. He grabbed her arm, before she could run and dragged her to his shed.
"This is no one's fault but your own, Padme. You force me to discipline you, because of your defiance. I will tolerate it no more," Ruwee said angrily, as he shoved her toward a long, metal bar that rested just above her head. He lifted her arms and forced her to grip the bar, as tears were already streaming down her face. Padme heard the whip crack and she screamed. It was several, agonizing lashes later, before he ceased, leaving his daughter in a sobbing heap on the dirty floor. Padme barely made out her sister's voice, as she came and practically carried Padme to her bedroom.
Padme lay whimpering and sniffling, crying out painfully, as Sola applied bacta to the torn flesh on her back. Sola did this often and cursed their father silently every time she did. The bacta quickly started to take care of the pain once it was applied and would heal her of any scarring as usual.
"Oh Sola...what will I do?" Padme sobbed. Their father had promised her little sister to one of the most evil families on the planet and Sola was deeply scared for Padme. She too had been forced into marriage with an abusive man. It was much too late for her to escape and she had never been half as brave as Padme. She had to see that her little sister ran away from here...and never returned, even as much as that would pain her.
"Run Padme...you must run away," Sola whispered.
"But...where will I go?" Padme sputtered.
"It does not matter, as long as it's not here. Go where this evil man will not find you," Sola whispered, as she got up and began packing a few of Padme's things in a large satchel.
"What...what are you doing?" she asked.
"Saving your life, baby sister," Sola answered. Padme watched her pack, wondering if she could really do this.
"But father will check to make sure I am in bed," Padme said in shaky voice.
"Then you will leave after he checks," Sola answered. She succeeded in putting Padme's packed things under her bed without notice from her parents or husband. Padme and Sola shared a long, tearful goodbye and everyone in the Naberrie house readied for bed. Padme lay there, underneath the bedclothes that night, fully dressed. She waited and closed her eyes, as she heard the door creek open. Her father stood there for a few seconds, satisfied that she was in bed. She waited a few moments, peeking out the door, waiting for the light in her parent's bedroom to go out. Once it did, she carefully pulled out her satchel and put the straps on her shoulders. Quietly, she opened her window and climbed out, before gently shutting it again. As fast as her legs could carry her, Padme escaped into the dark forest in hopes of finding her freedom...
So far, Padme's dream is nothing but a nightmare. Will she get her happy ending or is this doomed to be just a terrible nightmare? Find out in the next installment soon when Padme meets seven very strange Jedi. And maybe...just maybe, a prince too. ;)