Disclaimer: In now way am I associated with Lucas Films Ltd. I'm just a really, really, really big Star Wars geek.

Things Have Changed

Late into the night the door-chimes rang at a small cottage on a back-water world. A brunette woman opened the front door, rubbing the sleep out of her eye. "Do you know what time it is?"

She sounded different than she had twenty-three years ago. From the twang in her voice it was apparent that she had adopted the local accent in an attempt to blend in. But hiding from the Empire hadn't saved her now.

"Hello, Padmé." Darth Vader, the most feared man in the galaxy stood before the once famous senator. After two decades of mourning, he had found his wife, his great love, his angel. And now he had found her alive. Part of him seethed. How could the woman he loved have hurt him so by pretending to be dead?

"It's Nomi, now." The women said simply as she leaned against the doorframe as if the most feared man in the galaxy was just another solicitor.

She was just as beautiful as she had been on their wedding day. Her hair fell in soft curls around her face that housed to soulful brown eyes that at one time had held such life above a mouth that used to always shown him a smile of pearly teeth. It took him a moment to stop staring at her.

"Would you like to come in? No use standing on my porch all night." She moved back from the door into her house. Vader followed her in.

The house was done in simple prints and fresh flowers everywhere. Vader felt rather out of place as a cyborg among the plush furniture and draping curtains.

"I don't suppose you want anything to drink?" His former wife called from a room further down the hall.

"No." Vader walked down the hall following the sound of chinking cups. He found him self in a bright kitchen. She was at a stove top with a tea kettle.

She turned slightly as he entered. "Have a seat." She motioned towards a kitchen table.

"I'll stand." Vader wondered if he would have broken one of the craved wooden chairs with his mass of mechanics and armor.

She indifferently shrugged. She poured hot water from the kettle into a cup filled with tea leaves and took a seat herself. "Why are you here?"

"No beating around the bush, I see."

"Not at two in the morning."

Beneath his black mask, Vader smiled. Still a spitfire.

"Why are you here, Vader?" she repeated.

"I knew that you didn't die at Mustafar. There was something in me screaming that you were still alive."

She seemed to wince as Vader brought up old memories.

"I dreamed of finding you again. Being with you, my wife."

She looked into her cup of tea instead of at him. A secret wedding flashed through her mind: sunset on a terrace in the Lake Country, a lace wedding dress, "him" kissing her gingerly for the first time as man and wife. But that was so long ago. "Things have changed."

"Padmé, you shouldn't be here. I remember a woman who was willing to fight for the betterment of the galaxy. You should have stayed with me to help the Empire."

"It's a galaxy I don't know anymore. There's nothing for me out there."

Vader paused for a moment. Not sure how to say it. "Padmé, I found him. I've found our son."

She looked up at him, surprised. Despite herself she could feel tears forming in her eyes. "Luke?"

"He is alive, though he is a rebel." That last word was said with venom. "He is ignorant and is helping those traitors to sowed seeds of chaos in the galaxy. He needs his family."

She didn't say anything to this news. She just stared straight ahead.

"Padmé . . ."

"It's not Padmé anymore." She shook her head furiously. She had given up that name when she gave up everything of her old life . . . including her son.

"You will always be Padmé to me." He reached to touch her cheek with a gloved hand. But she smacked it away.

"How would you feel if I called you Anakin again?"

They both knew how he would feel. Their names brought up painful memories. Memories of love, loss, and betrayal.

"I'm sorry . . . Nomi."

Vader watched as many emotions played across her face. It was obvious that she was remembering the last time they were together. The excruciating pain that she was showing was heart-wrenching.

If the galaxy believed that Darth Vader had a heart, it would be breaking right now. "What happened to you?"

She shook her head as memories of her old life came up. "I was dying. I didn't want to live without you. I gave birth and then closed my eyes. But Obi-wan and the doctors just wouldn't let me go."

Even hearing the name Obi-wan made Vader's blood boil. The man had been dead three years, but he was still the bane of Vader's existence. That man had hid his son and wife's locations from him.

She continued with her story, "I was in a coma for three days. When I finally woke up, I went through a hard depression. I wanted nothing to do with the universe, my friends, or even . . . my child. So, when Obi-wan proposed his plan to keep Luke safe and hidden I didn't protest at all. I played dead at my funeral, said my goodbyes, and ended up here. It was years before my depression started to get in check and I began feeling remorse for letting go of my child." Her voice started to choke. "But I can't take it back."

"I'm sorry for your struggles."

"I didn't know heartless monsters could feel remorse."

Vader could tell that they would be able to solve anything here. "Come with me. If for nothing else then for Luke."

"What would I say to him, Vader? 'Hi, I'm your mother who gave you up when you were a few days old'."

"We could start over. We could have the life we always wanted."

How could he say that? "We could never start over. Not after what you did."

"What I did?!" Vader pointed an accusing finger at her. "You're the one who brought Obi-w—"

"Please . . ." her voice wasn't above a whisper, ". . . just leave."

Vader's hand dropped back to his side. Too much had changed between them. She was right they couldn't be together again. "As you wish . . . milady."

She looked up at him as he said those words. It had been twenty-three years since anyone called her that. She began to seriously consider how much she missed her old life of politics, helping her people, and even . . . the man she had loved. How would things have been different if she had chosen differently on Mustafar? At that last thought, she followed Vader to her foyer.

Before he was out the door, Vader turned back to her. "I did it all for you. To save you."

"But you couldn't save yourself," she whispered to his back as he walked away.

She watched as the black figure that once was Anakin Skywalker disappeared into the night. Never to see him again.

And so the woman that used to be Padmé Naberrie went back inside her house to go back to bed.

A/N: I made a point not to used Padme's name to show that she had given up that life. Same thing with the name Anakin. The only time they are used is when the characters are refering to each other and how things used to be.