Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. It just created my own little AU sandbox to play in.
AN: Here's part 7! Enjoy and let me know what you think. It's time for an age check on the kids.
Luke and Leia: 10
Jayden, Jenna, and Natalie: 6
Nightmare on Coruscant: A Forever Destined Vignette
Padme held the stairwell railing, as she stumbled down the stairs with Leia in her arms. She stopped against the wall on a landing momentarily to catch her breath.
"Oh Ani...where are you?" she whispered to herself. She heard Leia whimper and she quickly started rubbing her back in a comforting manner.
"Shh...it's okay baby, Mommy's got you. I need you to be really quiet, okay?" she whispered. Leia nodded and buried her face, which was stained with tears, in her mother's chest.
"You can't hide from my heat seeking scanner. So, I wouldn't stop if I were you," Shane's voice taunted, making Padme's heart leap into her throat. She ran faster, as she heard him coming closer.
"Nooo!" Padme screamed, as he grabbed her by the hair and slammed her against the wall. He ripped Leia from her arms and tossed her to the floor on the landing.
"Leia!" Padme cried, as she reached for daughter. She yelped in pain, as he slapped her.
"I'm really going to make you scream in a minute, you little whore," he snarled, as he started bunching her nightgown up, until he could see her thighs. An evil, lustful smile came to his face.
"Usually, I don't go after women older than Erika was when I killed her...but you're an exception. You don't look a day over twenty-two," he hissed.
"You're a coward," she spat. His gaze narrowed, as he barred his teeth angrily.
"What did...you call me?" he demanded.
"You heard me. You're a coward. You prey on little girls and women who are weaker than you are. Then you hide behind your inventions and technological abilities. My husband is a gifted engineer too...far more gifted than you could ever be, because he doesn't use his talents for evil. You're not even half the man he is," she spat. He smirked evilly at her.
"Oh, you think you know me, do you, beautiful? Maybe, but I know you too. You were promised to a man by your father and then you cried rape. You prance around, looking the way you do and really expect him not to want you. You destroyed your family honor for passion. You threw away your roots and people who had known you all your life for the high life with the galaxy's hero. I've seen the way you parade him around, the way you hang all over him," he spat.
"It shows just how little you know about her," Riley said, as he arrived. Padme looked up and saw his face, which was illuminated by a light stick.
"Oh, but I do know her. She's just like my Erika and I'm going to make her pay, just like I made Erika pay," he snarled.
"Get your filthy hands off my daughter," Riley growled.
"Daddy...get Leia," Padme pleaded. Shane drew his blade and put it to her throat.
"Touch the little one and I'll cut her throat," Shane threatened.
"So, is this the father you hate so much?" Shane asked Padme.
"No, her bastard step-father is dead. He's burning in Sith hell for abusing my baby girl, right beside that little bastard that raped her. And you're about to join them," Riley growled.
"I don't think so," Shane said. Padme looked at her captor's arm, as it tightened around her neck. She sunk her teeth into his arm.
"Aaarrrgggghhh...bitch!" he screamed, as he threw her to the floor. Riley roared and tackled him. Padme screamed, as they went tumbling down the stairs.
"Daddy!" Padme screamed, as she scooped Leia into her arms.
"Get back to the apartment, sweetness! Anakin is on his way. GO!" Riley called. She hated leaving her father, but Leia was her first priority. Padme ran up the stairs, as fast as her legs would carry her. Shane made a choking noise, as Riley's hands flew around his neck. Shane's flailing ceased and he stopped moving. Riley sighed in relief and stood up. He produced a pair of stun cuffs, but suddenly felt a tiny pain in his neck. He pulled out a small dart and felt his head swim
"Gotcha. A genius like me can't be outsmarted by the likes of you," Shane hissed. He laughed, as Riley tumbled down another set of stairs. Shane pulled out his heat scanner and with an evil smirk, he began scaling the stairs.
"Message to all units, this is Anakin Skywalker. Our perpetrator is in Republica 500. I want a ground and air perimeter surrounding the building in a five mile radius. All power to the building has been cut off. Use of flood lights will be needed. My ETA is five minutes. Suspect is armed and dangerous. The safety of his prisoners is a top priority, Surround him and detain him. Do not take any shots. Skywalker out," Anakin said, as he tossed his comlink into the seat beside him.
"Hang on angel," he said, as he slammed the throttle down and wove through traffic.
Padme locked the apartment front door and laid Leia down on the sofa.
"Mommy..." Leia asked sleepily.
"It's okay angel, I'm right here," Padme replied.
"Where's Daddy?" she asked.
"He'll be home soon," Padme answered. She screamed, as there was a loud bang on the door.
"Oh my God..." Padme cried, as she picked Leia up. She screamed, as the door was blown off, thanks to a small thermal detonator.
"Your father is a formidable man, but not quite able to outsmart me," Shane boasted.
"You are in way over your head, you have no idea," Padme warned.
"Oh, you mean with your dear husband? You don't really think he'll risk hurting me while I hold two of the most precious things to him in the galaxy, do you?" he taunted, as he grabbed her.
"You're mine. Put the kid down," he ordered. She nodded.
"Nooo..." Leia whined, as she clung to her mother.
"It's okay baby...it'll be okay," Padme said, as she set her down in the chair. Padme yelped, as he grabbed her by the waist.
"Time to have some fun, beautiful," he hissed, as he grasped the straps of her nightgown.
"You remind me so much of my Erika," he said. Padme cringed, as his hot breath slithered down her neck.
"You have three seconds to get your hands off my wife," a welcome, familiar voice said in the darkness. Shane was suddenly surprised, as the lights came on in the apartment.
"I installed a back up generator recently. But you didn't account for that it seems," Anakin said.
"Daddy!" Leia called, as she started to get up.
"If you value her life, then you'll tell her to stay where she is," Shane spat.
"Stay right there for now, princess," Anakin said, as Shane put his blade to Padme's neck.
"I'll kill her...I swear I will," Shane growled.
"If you try it, you'll be dead before your blade can pierce her skin," Anakin replied. Shane smirked and fired his dart gun.
"Noooo!" Padme cried, as the dart hit Anakin in the neck. He pulled the dart out and examined it.
"Impressive. Let me see if I can get this right. Sodium Iodine, mixed with magnesium psyclonodite...with a serelium dioxide chaser," Anakin said. Shane looked astonished.
"How do you know that...and why aren't you asleep?!" he screamed. Anakin smirked.
"This is potent stuff. Do you know if took me almost four years to build a complete immunity to this stuff?" he asked rhetorically.
"That's impossible!" Shane exclaimed.
"Not for one with a midichlorian count of over twenty-seven thousand. There aren't many chemicals that I'm not immune to including, but not limited to truth serum and the ysalamir," Anakin replied. Shane backed up, still holding Padme.
"You have no where to go. This building is surrounded," Anakin warned. Shane shoved Padme into Anakin and then grabbed Leia, before bolting toward the veranda.
"Leia!" Padme cried, as her daughter screamed.
"Oh Ani...please don't let him hurt our baby..." Padme cried, almost hysterically.
"Stay here," he told her, as he ran after him. Shane dumped Leia into his speeder and drove off like a maniac. Anakin grabbed his hover glider out of the trunk of his speeder.
"No one hurts my family. This ends now, you psychopath," Anakin growled, as he leaned forward. His feet were strapped in, as he zoomed into traffic. He took his grappling cable out and tossed it high into the air. It latched onto the speeder and Anakin slowly began to pull himself in.
"Daddy!" Leia screamed, terrified by the man that held her arm.
"Sit down and shut up, you little brat," he growled, as he grabbed his blaster. Leia screamed, as Shane fired wildly back at Anakin. Anakin summoned his powers and absorbed several of the blasts in his bare hand, before inching his way closer. Shane was desperate and floored it toward a nearby traffic pole.
"Nooo...Shane stop!" Anakin cried, fearing for his daughter's life. He laughed maniacally, as the speeder crashed into the traffic pole. Leia's harness held her in for the duration of the crash, but snapped as the car tilted sideways. The door flew open, spilling Leia out. She screamed, as she dangled from the speeder. Anakin flew underneath her and put his hands on her waist.
"It's okay Leia, you can let go. Daddy's got you," Anakin called over her screaming. She stopped and looked down, before letting go and wrapping her arms tightly around her father's neck.
"It's okay princess, Daddy's got you now," Anakin whispered to her. Suddenly, a light saber blazed to life, as Shane put it to Anakin's neck. His face was a mess, bloodied and broken, having hit it on the steering panel.
"No one can outsmart me...and not even you can get out of this one, Chosen One," Shane snarled.
"That's where you're wrong," Anakin replied, as his eyes began to slowly darken, as he spotted fuel leaking from the speeder.
"I'm going to kill you and then I'm going to take your little girl back to my place. I'm going to destroy her innocence and then I'll take her body back to your lovely wife. Your whole family will suffer!" Shane screamed, as he stared into Anakin's frighteningly dark blue eyes.
"You're going to burn for all the innocents that you've mercilessly slaughtered. Coming after my family was your biggest mistake ever. Justice for all the meek and all the innocent will be served," Anakin said, as his aura ignited the leaking fuel. He held Leia tightly, as he slowly moved them away. Shane only had seconds left, as he raised his light saber to strike at Anakin and Leia. But he would never complete that strike, for the speeder exploded in a brilliant array of flames. Anakin buried Leia's face in his chest and shielded her hearing with the Force, as Shane screamed in agony. He was burning now and the Force was punishing him for his crimes. His cries faded, as a transport of Clone soldiers arrived.
"General, are you both all right?" Commander Rex asked him.
"Yes, thanks Rex. Have them get the fire out and then his remains can be delivered to the Temple morgue," Anakin said.
"Of course. We'll take care of this. You get that little one home to her mother," Rex said. Anakin nodded.
"Thanks," Anakin said, as he slowly leaned forward on his hoverboard and sailed back toward home.
Padme was a frantic wreck, as she paced back and forth on the veranda. That monster had taken one of her babies, but she knew her husband wouldn't let anything happen to her. However, that still did not lessen her worry. She saw or rather felt her husband in the near distance. Her heart flooded with relief, as he slowly landed on their veranda carrying their daughter.
"Mommy," Leia said, as Padme accepted her into her arms from her husband.
"Oh sweetheart...are you okay?" she asked, as she began checking her over.
"I think she's okay, but Barriss is on her way to check both of you out, as well as Tyler," Anakin said.
"Oh Ani, he hit Luke with one of those darts too...and Daddy! I have to go find him! He was trying to protect us somewhere in the stairwell!" Padme cried.
"Shh...I'll go find him, angel," he replied, as he kissed her tenderly.
"What happened? He didn't get away...did he?" she asked. He shook his head.
"He's dead Padme. He can't hurt anyone ever again," Anakin assured her. Padme sighed in relief. She wasn't sure if it was wrong of her to wish anyone dead, but she was glad that he was and could never try to hurt anyone again. Too many innocent girls had died at his hand. In some ways, Shane had become even more evil than Palpatine himself. The Sith killed thousands of people. They were faceless victims most of the time, not that this made it any better. But Shane was just as evil. He stared his victims right in the face as he tortured and killed them. He made each of their deaths personal. He stole their innocence and dignity. She hoped he was being justly punished in the afterlife for his crimes. Now, all his victims could finally rest in peace. Padme carried Leia upstairs and knocked on the twins' room.
"Artoo...the danger is over. You can unlock all the doors now," Padme said. The bedroom door slid open and her young ones rushed into her arms.
"Mommy!" they cried.
"We were scared!" Kimberly said.
"I know sweetie, but it's okay now. Daddy made everything better, just like he always does," Padme replied, as she hugged them, before putting Leia down.
"How is he?" Padme asked Neela.
"He seems fine. He's just sleeping," Neela replied. Padme brushed the sandy blonde hair from his forehead, before dropping a kiss there. Luke's eyes fluttered, as they slowly opened.
"Mom?" he asked, as he suddenly shot up.
"That man...where is he?!" Luke asked.
"It's okay sweetie. Daddy got to us in time. You were so brave the way you protected your sister and me. I'm so proud of you," Padme said.
"I failed you, mom. I couldn't stop him," Luke replied.
"But you stalled him. You gave me the extra time I needed to get here," Anakin said from the doorway. Neela smiled and excused herself from the room.
"Tyler just woke up. He's asking for you," Anakin told her. She nodded and descended the stairs, as Anakin sat down on the bed beside Luke.
"I'm so proud of you for the way you protected your mother and sister for me. I might not have made it in time if you hadn't slowed him down for me," Anakin told him. Luke hugged him tightly.
"I think you're ready for your next big challenge as my padawan," Anakin said.
"What's that?" Luke asked.
"The annual padawan tournament is in six months and I think you're ready to start competing," Anakin replied.
"Me? But most padawans don't start competing until they're at least fourteen," Luke exclaimed.
"Yeah, but you're special. And you're a Skywalker, after all. I was your age when I started competing. If you think you're ready, we'll start training right away," Anakin replied.
"You bet I am!" he said excitedly. Anakin smiled and hugged him. He pulled Leia into his lap, as the younger ones climbed around him. Padme felt tears well in her eyes, as she watched them interact. Anakin smiled at her and motioned her to him. She wiped her tears away and joined her family.
"Owww...man, I got one hell of a headache," Riley said, as he took the ice pack off the bump on his head.
"Now Daddy, keep that on," Padme scolded, as she placed it back on his bump and made him lay back down.
"Barriss said I'm fine, sweetness," he argued.
"Yes, but she also told me to make sure you take it easy. Now, stay put. I swear, you're worse than Ani," Padme said, as she continued to dote over him. Riley smirked at her and made a funny face at Kimberly, who was sitting on the edge of the sofa beside his legs. She giggled, as she saw her father come down the stairs with Barriss behind him.
"Is he okay?" Padme asked.
"Yes, he'll be just fine. Everyone is going to be fine, so my work is done here," she said.
"Thank you Barriss," Anakin said graciously.
"Anytime Anakin," Barriss replied, as she saw herself out. Anakin wrapped his arms around Padme's waist and kissed her softly. They turned, as they heard a speeder land on the veranda. Jobal was the first to run in and sat down beside Riley.
"I'm fine Jo," he assured her.
"Fine? That bump on your head doesn't say fine," she replied.
"Oh come on, you know my head is harder than that. Besides, I'd do it all again for our little sweetness," he replied. Jobal hugged him tightly.
"I love you," she said.
"I love you too Jo," he replied. The rest of their family filtered in and greeted Anakin and Padme, as well as the children with hugs. Anakin looked down and saw that his wife was getting all misty-eyed.
"Hey...are you okay?" he asked. She looked up at him and smiled.
"I'm fine, my love. I'm perfect, in fact. I always am when we're all together like this," she replied. He smiled and kissed her tenderly.
"Our love prevailed again, angel, and it always will," he said. She wrapped her arms around his neck, as they engaged in a passionate series of loving kisses. Then, together with their wonderful family, they congregated around the table for a family meal.
In the next vignette, six months have passed since the serial killer stalked Coruscant. Luke has entered the padawan tournament at only age eleven, as his family cheers him on. Meanwhile, it is a busy election year on Coruscant. Bail's final term has come to an end. At the overwhelming request of his people, he will be returning to his post as Senator of Alderaan as soon as a new Chancellor is elected. The two candidates for the next Chancellor are Senator Mon Mothma of Chandrilla and Senator Bel Iblis of Corellia. Having been friends with Mon for a long time, Padme is expected to endorse Mon Mothma for Chancellor. But Padme is unable to do so, because of her recent romantic involvement with Prince Xizor. When Padme endorses Bel Iblis, bitterness develops between the two women. But Padme suspects and knows that if Mon Mothma is elected, then Xizor will use his power over her to influence her decisions as Chancellor. The Republic's security depends upon their next Chancellor. Who will it be? Will the Republic be safe under the leadership of Bel Iblis or will Mon Mothma, blinded by her affection for Xizor, gain power and ultimately jeopardize the democracy that Padme has dedicated her life to serving? Find out what will happen in the next Forever Destined Vignette: Change of Command. Coming soon!