Four years later
Master Yoda sat in the council chamber, waiting. It seemed he waited a lot lately; luckily he had enormous patience to match his enormous age.
Finally Obi-Wan entered the room, pulling his cloak straight as he did so. "I'm sorry masters," he said as he hurried to his seat. "The baby had us up all night, and..." he stopped when he saw Anakin hiding a smile behind his hand. "I'm glad you find this amusing," he commented as he sat down.
"It's just nice to see the always calm, always collected Obi-Wan Kenobi looking like …well, like you do right now," Anakin replied with a smile.
Obi-Wan frowned. "And how is that?"
"Well, your hair's a mess," Anakin began, "and you have spit up on your tunic," he pointed out.
Obi-Wan ran a hand through his hair. "You'd look like this too if you didn't sleep a wink last night," he muttered.
"Oh, I have," Anakin replied. "Been there, done that my friend. "It wasn't that long ago that Colin and Connor were newborns like your wee one."
Obi-Wan smiled. "Yes, true," he replied. "She smiled this morning," he told Anakin. "For the first time."
Anakin smiled. "You cried, didn't you?" he asked.
"I most certainly did not," Obi-Wan replied, smoothing down his rather rumpled looking cloak.
Anakin simply smiled, and knew better.
"May we begin now, gentlemen?" Yoda asked.
"Yes, yes Master Yoda," Obi-Wan replied. "Forgive me."
Yoda had not regretted changing the Code, for enabling Jedi to have families had been good for the new order; the offspring of the small group of Jedi that had come forth from hiding represented the future.
"Begin now, we will," Yoda said. "Where are the younglings?"
"I'll send for them," Anakin said, and activated his comlink. A moment later Luke and Leia entered the room.
Now sixteen years old, the elder Skywalker twins were nearing the end of their apprenticeship, and had developed into powerful Jedi. The medichlorian count of all four of Anakin's children was higher than anyone's had ever been, except for their father. Having already begun their apprenticeship under their father's tutelage, Connor and Colin were already well on their way to becoming Jedi knights as well.
"What do you have to report, Padawan Skywalker?" Neeja Halycone asked Leia.
"Early indications show that Master Yoda's initial readings were correct," Leia reported. "It seems that there is a youngling on Corellia who has demonstrated Force abilities."
Yoda nodded. "Your opinion, Luke?" he asked.
"I think we should invite the parents of this girl to bring her here for you to test her," he said.
Anakin said nothing, but smiled with pride at his two eldest children, at their poise and maturity.
"I agree, Luke," Obi-Wan said. "May we leave it to you to contact her parents?"
"I'll take care of it right away, Master Obi-Wan," Luke replied.
You mean we'll take care of it, Leia corrected him silently.
Luke rolled his eyes. Don't embarrass us, Leia, he replied.
Anakin, who had heard the entire conversation, covered his mouth to hide his smile.
"Thank you younglings," Yoda said. "You may leave now."
Luke and Leia bowed together, and then left the room.
Later that afternoon
"I can't believe Master Yoda is letting us go to Corellia," Leia gushed as she arrived home with her father and brothers.
Anakin smiled. "I'm not sure how your mother will feel about that," he said.
"You can talk her into it, Dad," Luke assured him. "Right?"
Anakin laughed. "Perhaps," he replied.
"Can we come too, Daddy?" Connor asked.
"Uh…well, I don't know about that," Anakin replied. "Mommy would miss you a great deal."
"Won't she miss Luke and Leia too?" Colin asked.
Anakin looked at the elder twins in exasperation. They merely laughed.
"There you are," Padmé said as she met her family in the foyer. The boys ran to her, surrounding her with hugs. "You hungry?" she asked.
"Yes!" they cried as one.
Padmé smiled. "Okay, up you go to wash up for dinner," she said. "You too," she added, looking up at her teenage twins.
Luke and Leia each took a little brother by the hand and headed upstairs with them as Anakin reached his wife.
"How was the meeting?" she asked as he kissed her cheek.
"Yoda wants Luke and Leia to go to Corellia," he told her. "Their first solo mission."
Padmé nodded. "I guess it's time," she said.
"Yes it is," he replied, relieved that she seemed to accept the news. He smiled as he remembered Obi-Wan. "Obi-Wan was quite a sight today," he told her as they started up the stairs. "I guess Hanna had them up all night, and he was a total mess. It was great," he grinned.
Padmé smiled. "I hope you didn't tease him too much," she said.
"Of course I did," he replied. "I've waited years to get the chance to do so."
"Well, it's just that…he can give as good as he gets," she said to him.
"I know that," he replied. "But I don't have to worry about that happening now that the boys are older."
Padmé lifted her eyebrows. "It's not the boys I'm thinking of," she told him.
Anakin frowned, not knowing what she was saying, and then stopped in his tracks. He looked at her. "Are you telling me what I think you're telling me?" he asked.
Padmé simply smiled.
I wanted to send out a message to all my amazing readers to thank you all for the incredible support you've given to me on this site. 3000+ reviews for this story !! That's incredible!!! Your reviews, positive comments and encouragement really mean a lot to me, and they inspire me to write every day.
I always find it sad to end a story, for me it's like saying goodbye to good friends. However, you know me well enough by now I think to know that there is always another idea knocking about in my head. In this case, two new ideas.
I've been working on two new stories that I am looking forward to posting soon. One is a vignette, a sequel to The Protector. It takes place ten years down the road, and is a short, light hearted glimpse at the Skywalker family. I have considered doing a sequel for a while, but decided I would do so as a series of vignettes. This will be the first- hopefully you'll enjoy it.
The second story I'm working on is a really different one- it's a Vader/Padmé story, only this time Padmé is part of the Rebel Alliance. I'm well under way with this one, and hope to be able to post on here soon.
Once again, thanks for the support, and stay tuned for the new stories coming soon!