A/N: I'm going to conclude this story in this chapter, so prepare yourselves for a long sit. Plot bunnies are biting with other story ideas, so I decided I wanted to finish this one asap. Thanks for reading it, and be sure to leave a review at the end and tell me what you thought about it. I'd appreciate it.
The trip to Naboo wasn't going to take long and Obi-Wan was glad. Much longer, and he would've had to face Padmé. Not that there would've been an opportunity otherwise. As soon as they had boarded the ship, she had confined herself to one of the sleep cabins and hadn't re-appeared. Obi-Wan decided she was mourning her loss, and the thought sent a chill through his body.
How had things gotten so construed? Why would the Force tie him to a woman who allowed herself to became tainted with the Dark? There was no way he could be associated with her now, and even if he could find a way, the council wouldn't allow it.
All of his life, he had had been taught to avoid the Dark Side of the Force; that those infected by it harbored only the most evil intentions.
Which made him wonder about Padmé's intentions. She seemed determined, even more so than usual, but what choice did he have but to do as she had so bluntly asked of him?
The path, no matter how twisted before, now seemed set before him. They would take Padmé back home, wish her well, part ways, after which, he would begin his life as an Agricorps worker. The Force, apparently, had made a mistake.
The Republic shuttle Obi-Wan was piloting shuddered as it entered Naboo's atmosphere, following the young man's request for permission to land. Permission had been granted readily once the technician discovered their cargo.
This was it. Within just a matter of minutes, it would all be over. The bond would be broken, and his dream to become a Jedi Knight would vanish.
The realization stole Obi-Wan's concentration as he stared blankly through the portal into dissipating cloud cover over the city of Theed, not noticing the appearance of his Master next to his side.
Qui-Gon took a seat in the co-pilot's chair and gazed at his apprentice. "The Queen has expressed her appreciation for our assistance and has requested an escort to Galactic City."
The unexpected news brought Obi-Wan out of his somewhat depressing reverie and his head spun round to look upon the solemn features of his Master.
"I assume it's a private matter as she would not give me any further information. I granted her request. We'll leave for Coruscant in the morning."
"Great." The young Jedi murmured as he adjusted the controls and prepared for landing. Why was the Force prolonging the inevitable? How much longer was he going to be made to suffer?
She hadn't been gone that long. The palace appeared the same, filled with the same people, the same artifacts, the same colors and smells. It had been her home for nearly five years.
Then, why did she feel so out of place?
Padmé realized, as she stepped through the tall arched doors of the throne room, that although her home had not changed, she obviously had. There was a stirring in her soul, a discomfort and a feeling that she had to get up and move. Go somewhere. Do something.
The only respite to the gnawing feeling was the appearance of her best friend and comrade, Sabé.
"I'm so pleased to see you." The young woman announced with a broad smile and moist eyes as she pulled Padmé into an embrace. "I feared the worse when they told me you were taken by a Sith warrior. Did he hurt you?"
"No. He didn't hurt me." Padmé pulled back and stared long and hard at her friend, daring her to notice the changes inside. It was almost as a challenge. Was it evident? Could she see it in her eyes?
Padmé smiled when Sabé returned her steady gaze. She wasn't disappointed.
"Come." Sabé stated, taking Padmé by the arm. "Come rest in your quarters. We obviously have much to discuss."
She knew it was a dream, but she couldn't rouse herself, and it kept occurring over and over, although with different outcomes.
The two Jedi would appear, and there would be a horrific lightsaber battle. During one scene, the Zabrak would fall. In another, Obi-Wan would fall. And either time, her scream would split the silence, her heart breaking in two.
But why? Why would she be concerned over the injury or possible death of the man who had treated her so badly and without regard? She understood her reaction to the death of the Zabrak. He had become her friend, her mentor, and teacher. She respected him and admired him.
However, the tears she bore on her face when she finally did awaken were not shed for the Zabrak, but for the fallen young Jedi, whom she had just witnessed being run through by a red laser sword.
"Mi'Lady? Are you all right?"
Sabé swept into the room, gathering her sheer white robe about her and bringing Padmé fully awake. She must've cried out in her sleep to bring in the handmaiden whose own sleeping quarters were just beyond her door.
"It was just a dream."
Padmé squinted in response to the soft glare of light which shone from the lamp Sabé had switched on and felt the bed dip as her friend perched herself upon it.
"About the Sith?"
"He wasn't a Sith." Padmé replied, slightly annoying at having to repeat herself. She had already explained this to Sabé earlier. "Not any more."
"I'm sorry. It's just difficult to believe he could change so drastically. And so quickly."
"He did. He was nothing but kind and gentle with me. He taught me a great deal."
"You miss him." Sabé noted, reaching forward to brush away a tear, which was rolling down Padmé's cheek.
"Of course I do, but that's not what my dream was about. Not the final one, anyway."
Sabé waited as the Queen gathered her thoughts. Earlier, Padmé had explained very little, merely telling the handmaiden about her abduction and a bit about her training. She had initially believed the Sith had taken Padmé as his apprentice, but Padmé adamantly denied that. He had never asked her to do anything of questionable morals or demean her in any way. He had taught her to control her emotions, to commune with the Living Force, to guard and protect her mind. Not exactly things she considered part of the syllabus for training to become a Sith.
"It was about Obi-Wan."
"You mean, that kind, good-looking Jedi Padawan who brought you back?" Sabé answered with a playful grin, which quickly disappeared upon noticing Padmé's irritable scowl.
"That so-called kind Jedi Padawan used me, Sabé. He implanted a bond within my mind without my knowledge or my permission!"
"What sort of bond?"
"A lifebond. A lover's bond." The young queen answered back, pulling herself up into a more comfortable position and not missing the look of amusement on Sabé's face. "This is a most serious offense, Sabé! Don't look at me like that!"
"I'm sorry! I just can't imagine what that would feel like. Can you read his thoughts? Can you speak to him in your mind?"
"I've spoken to him, yes. It's how he found me."
"That is so cool."
Padmé's eyesight shot up from where she had been studying the designs on her linens, glaring at her friend incredulously.
"What? What are you so upset about? Think about it! Inside of you is a connection to the soul of a man, created by the Force! He has tied himself to you. Out of all the women he has encountered, he chose you."
"I'm afraid, I don't quite see it that way." Padmé interrupted in her defense.
"Then look at it this way." Sabé argued. "You won't be alone any more."
Padmé's eyes drifted back down at the bed to hide the fact that Sabé's statement hit the mark. Her friend realized this weakness in her. They had discussed Padmé's pangs of loneliness and desire to fall in love many times. It nearly angered her to discover that Sabé was now using that knowledge against her, but when Sabé's hand shot out to cover her own, Padmé released her anger into the Force and allowed her senses to read Sabé's intentions. She could sense her friend's devotion and concern, and she gripped Sabé's hand in response.
"It's not the way I imagined it would be." Padmé replied quietly. "I had always dreamed I'd meet someone maybe through a friend, at a party or something. Our eyes would meet, and we would be immediately attracted to one another. He would be charming and good-looking, and he would make me laugh."
"We all have that dream, Mi'Lady. But that's what it is. A dream. Reality is always different. And tell me, how do you know Obi-Wan is not all these things? Have you even given tried to get to know him?"
"I didn't want to. I was too appalled at the way he took advantage of me."
"Well, relationships don't always happen the way we want them to. But at least it's happened for you. I say, give this one a chance before you decide to throw it away."
The last time Padmé had allowed the bond free reign in her mind was during the earliest time of her abduction. It had glowed brightly and powerfully and had kindled fires of desire and lust within her body. However, at that time, she had been under the influence of a heavy sedative administered by the Zabrak, and had blamed her reactions upon the drug.
She remembered feeling very much wanted, however, and not by the tatooed warrior. His feelings for her had remained entirely platonic and nurturing, like an older sibling or parent.
However, the times she had had contact with Obi-Wan through the bond, a feeling of protectiveness, coupled with a sense of warmth flooded her mind. Would it be the same now? Even when she had been so cold toward him?
She had to admit that during those times, she had felt extremely safe and calm, as if just being in the mental presence of him was enough. How much stronger would the actual physical presence of him be?
Curious now, and unable to sleep, Padmé looked over to Sabé on the other side of the bed. She had insisted upon staying in her room and now breathed in a steady rhythm. Once assured the young woman was in deep slumber, Padmé allowed herself to touch upon the bond.
It lay deep within her mind, protected and shielded, but once released, its brilliancy flooded her senses, scurrying to occupy every deep recess, every hidden part of her self which she had previously denied it. It quickly grew and soon overtook the boundaries she had kept it in, until it morphed into something she could not control. A stalking, hungry beast, which had been denied nourishment far too long.
Obi-Wan felt it the moment Padmé had released their bond. Unable to sleep, he had taken up a stance outside on the balcony of the guest quarters he had been assigned to. His Master was deeply asleep in the adjoining room, but it was a wonder he too hadn't experienced the electrifying jolt that leapt through the Force and caused him to stumble upon the balcony. This time, however, he maintained his grip on the railing and didn't lose his balance, catching his breath and trying to maintain his center.
The Force urged him back inside the room, and drew his attention toward the doorway, where he witnessed the appearance of a most beautiful sight.
Padmé stood there, panting as if she had run down the hallway. Her dark hair was cascading down in waves over shoulders completely bare minus a thin slip of material which belonged to the somewhat sheer nightgown she was wearing. Her feet were bare as well, but it was her eyes that drew and captured his attention. Wild and wide, they displayed the hunger he was beginning to feel himself.
When he had first felt the bond become free, Obi-Wan had thought it was the beginning of the end, but now here she stood. Had she changed her mind?
He didn't have time to answer his own question before the young woman literally ran across the short distance and into his arms, sealing his mouth with a searing kiss.
Obi-Wan was too startled to think, and too enraptured now by the proximity of her body, the smell of her hair, the warmth of her skin, and the way her hands were freeing him of his sleep tunic, to deny her what she obviously wanted. What they both needed.
"Get this damn thing off." He heard her animalistic growl as he removed his shirt while her fingers untied his leggings.
He flinched when her hand wrapped around his erection, but thankfully, she retrieved a small amount of control and eased her touch, smoothing his length with her caress.
"I need you inside me."
Her whispered plea was spoken between sucks upon his earlobe as they both backed toward the bed. When Obi-Wan's knees hit the mattress, he collapsed upon it, finding Padmé immediately atop him, straddling him.
"Wait." He felt his own control slipping, but this was going much too fast. He didn't just want sex with this woman, he wanted to make love to her. It was what he had dreamed about. "Slow down, Padmé."
She muttered something akin to a growl, before she attempted to lower her body onto him, but Obi-Wan stopped her with a grip to her shoulders, gently flipping her over onto the bed. He hovered over her, staring at her for a while.
Reaching inside her mind, he was amazed at how much the bond had grown. It was out of balance, mostly developing within her, and he allowed his own side to match and meet its intensity, drawing the stray blue strands tightly together. Upon its completed weaving, Padmé shuddered beneath him and arched upward.
He captured her sweet lips with his own, plundering her mouth with his tongue, swirling and playing inside while she writhed beneath him.
Now that the bond was fully intertwined, he understood her desperation. It had been denied too long and demanded completion now. There would be time for romance later.
Obi-Wan took his engorged penis in his hand and guided it quickly into Padmé's slick entrance, swallowing her cry with his kiss. After allowing her time to adjust to his size and to the pain of her first intercourse, he began a slow, rhythmic thrusting, watching her face and reading the bond for any sign of discomfort.
She quickly relaxed and urged him forward, opening her eyes to watch his face, and wrapping her legs high around his waist.
The pace he set was furious, but it was what they both needed.
Almost bringing his erection completely out, he would then slam it back into her, forcing the breath from her small body, but she gave as much as she was getting, arching her back and forcing her hips upward to match his movements, supporting his rhythm with a tight grasp upon his buttocks.
Obi-Wan changed his angle slightly, releasing her legs and bringing one up high, held by his hand, while the other found her breast. When his fingers pinched the rosy nipple, Padmé lost what little control she had left and came with a cry.
The look upon her face as she orgasmed and the sight of their joining was enough to shove Obi-Wan off the edge as well, and he thrust once more deeply, feeling his release shooting into the willing body beneath him.
Out of breath and dizzy, he fell upon the bed next to Padmé, drawing her into his arms.
She came to him without hesitation and curled closely to his body, laying her head upon his chest. Skin moistened with sweat, he didn't realize the droplets which fell there were her tears, and soon the young Jedi drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Obi-Wan stood outside of the Palace Security Station waiting somewhat impatiently for his Master.
They were looking for Padmé. When he had awakened the next morning, a smile covering his face, he had reached for her, only to find the side of the bed she had occupied was empty.
He had gone to her quarters to find them empty as well. And then he had gone to his Master, desperate and worried.
"Well?" Obi-Wan asked when Qui-Gon made his appearance.
"She's gone on to Coruscant without us. She had her personal pilot take her early this morning."
"How long ago?"
"Nearly two hours." The Jedi Master noticed the concern on Obi-Wan's face. "Did something happen?"
"We consummated the bond last night."
"She came to me, Master. She was quite…convincing."
"Did something happen to upset her?"
"I don't think so." Obi-Wan replied, raking his fingers through his short hair. "She slept in my arms. I don't remember her getting up."
"Don't worry, Padwan. We'll figure this out. I'm sure everything will be fine."
Once again, the older man's hand fell upon his shoulder, although it didn't quite shake the discomforting feeling Obi-Wan was currently experiencing.
The Jedi's emergency message to Master Yoda had been heeded, and Padmé's appearance before the Jedi Council had been delayed.
Obi-Wan found Padmé waiting in the antechamber of the Council Tower. She rose when he entered, but discovered her shielding was back in place. He could not contact the bond on her side at all. The same as during the trip to Coruscant, when he had tried to speak to her multiple times.
"May I speak with you?"
"There's nothing to say, Obi-Wan."
"I believe there is. You're obviously upset with me."
"I shall ask the Council to wait. You two may speak in the meditation chambers to your left." Qui-Gon motioned to a doorway next to the reception area and Padmé frowned at the somewhat sympathetic grin she was receiving from the Jedi on duty there.
Reluctantly, she followed Qui-Gon's direction, and entered a dimly lit room, whose windows were shuttered, filtering the sunlight into numerous soft, horizontal lines.
"Why did you leave Naboo without us?"
Padmé sat down upon one of the many round cushioned stools in the room and waited for Obi-Wan to do the same.
"There's something I need to do here."
"And you couldn't wait for me to take you? Do I repulse you that much?"
The unexpected tears that formed in the young woman's eyes brought the Jedi from his seat and onto his knees in front of her, as he reached out to grasp ahold of her trembling hands.
"What is it?"
"It's me! It's my fault! I'm a selfish, hideous creature! Why would you want to be bonded to someone like me? I used you last night. Just like you used me. I'm no better than you. Maybe we do deserve each other."
The young woman's endearing sniffles touched Obi-Wan's heart, until he realized what she had said.
"What do you mean, 'just like I used you?'"
"Don't play dumb Obi-Wan." With a swipe of her hand across her face, Padmé was on her feet and pacing the small room. "I know about the bond requirements. I know you'll be denied knighthood if you don't secure a bond. What I really don't understand is how you could do it. How could you force me into something like this? Did you not care what I thought or how I felt about it? Why didn't you just ask me?"
"I…." The young man stammered, trying to comprehend her accusations, while now pacing himself. Did she really think he had a choice? If so, then that would explain a lot.
"Padmé, I had nothing to do with it. The Force is what decides who is bonded to whom. I was just as surprised as you were."
"What?" The young woman stopped her pacing and stared at him, her makeup now smeared underneath her eyes. "But that's not what the Zabrak told me. He said you used me."
"I understand your feelings for him, that you loved him, but…"
"I wasn't in love with him." The young woman declared quietly, causing Obi-Wan to sit back down.
"Maybe you should have a seat. We obviously have a lot to talk about."
Padmé hesitated, but returned to her previous position, drawing her hands together in her lap.
"He trained me in the Force. He was nothing but kind to me, Obi-Wan. He was my teacher and my friend."
"But he was a Sith."
"No, he wasn't. He told me he decided to leave his previous life. He had a duty to fulfill, one which included me. He taught me for a purpose."
"I'm afraid I can't tell you yet, but it's why I came here." Padmé attempted a small smile to ease the worried look on Obi-Wan's face. "You're going to have to trust me."
"I do. The problem is, you don't seem to trust me."
Silence filled the dimly-lit space for a moment as Obi-Wan leaned forward, steepling his hands together and staring at the floor. What he was about to say was painful, but he meant every word. He just hoped Padmé would see the truth in it.
"I know how difficult this bond has been for you to accept. If you don't want it, then I want you to remove it. Your happiness is what's important to me, Padmé. More important than being a Jedi."
This time, the tears that fell from Padmé's eyelashes were from relief and joy as she opened the bond to allow the truth to pass from Obi-Wan to her. He really meant it. He hadn't used her. He was falling in love with her. Just as she was with him.
Going to her knees, the young woman placed her lips upon the clasped hands.
"I accept the bond with you, Obi-Wan Kenobi. I ask that you stand by my side as I address the council, and stay by my side whatever may come."
"I can do that." Obi-Wan answered with a smile, as lips were traced with delicate fingertips.
Yes. The young woman decided as her touch glided over a cleft chin, dimpled cheek, and coppery brow. This is definitely a face she could love.
"Let's go shock the Council, while I pretend to know what's going on." Obi-Wan teased.
His playfulness surprised Padmé and caused her to chuckle. Perhaps, Sabé had been right. Obi-Wan may just be everything she had dreamed of.
Queen Amidala stood before the full twelve-member Jedi Council, their presence in the Force weighing fully upon her own. Their acknowledgment of her talents was recognized and accepted as she received a nod from the eldest member, Master Yoda, while Master Mace Windu frowned with concern.
"Aware we are of your bond." Yoda announced as Padmé felt Obi-Wan's hand slip into hers. "Your presence before us is not required."
"I do not come before the council in regards to the lifebond." Padmé announced, feeling the ripple of curiosity amongst the council members.
"I come before you with information. Information which the Council has been seeking. You are aware I have been trained in the Force and I am fully prepared to fulfill my destiny."
"Which is?" Master Windu leaned forward, hands steepled, brow furrowed.
"To destroy the Sith Lord. I know who he is."
A/N: Awwww, don't yell at me. That's where I intended on ending this fic all along. I wasn't interested in the battle scene. Needless to say, it screams sequel, but at this moment, I'm not sure I want to write one. I'll have to think on it.
Thanks to all of you who followed this story and left reviews. I greatly appreciate it.