"These last weeks have been very calm."
Padmé nodded, not looking up from her plate. She could hear how short he said those seven words, how they both just wanted to sit there in silence. Even though he was right about the calmness during these last weeks, the Clone Wars seemed to have taken a rest, they both knew that during these last weeks, the calm weeks, had been the worst ones of their life together. It was as if their relationship had dried out with the war. Suddenly, it was like they were just friends, not husband and wife.
She took a bite of the food and chewed it, having a hard time to swallow it. Anakin Skywalker, sitting in front of her, did the same. None of them said a word. Since he had spoken last, she felt that he waited for her to say something. He was desperate to keep their flame alive, he brought gifts every time he came to see her and stayed over the night even more often. But she couldn't help but feel uncomfortable around him. It was almost like being stalked.
"No more systems have left the Republic", she said after a while. It sounded so stupid. He already knew about it, he was a Jedi! And still, what else could she say? What could she possibly talk about? She wasn't even sure that she wanted to keep their flame burning.
Of course, she was still worried every time he left Coruscant for some new mission together with Obi-Wan. She was always worried that it would be the last time she would ever see him again. Maybe that was what made it so hard for her to keep the flame burning; it was her anxious waiting for his return that had kept their passion alive. Now, when he'd been stranded on Coruscant for basically a month, except for some routine flights to the closest systems, she just didn't worry that much.
Except for Anakin, she was often visited by his mentor and friend Obi-Wan. They'd been friends since before she met Anakin, though only a few days longer. She always found it easier to discuss things with Obi-Wan than with Anakin, maybe because of that they were just friends and would never become anything else. He was a good listener as well and he was the one who'd helped her through these tough weeks.
When Anakin left after lunch, she sank down on her couch, trying to organize her thoughts. She needed to break up with him before this charade killed both of them. She wasn't in love with him anymore, or was she? Was it possible that her love for him had just changed? Maybe she wasn't worried about Anakin as soon as he left because of that she knew he always survived. That might be a reason for it, right?
The voice startled her and she immediately rose. Obi-Wan was standing out on her veranda, looking at her with a worried look on his face.
"Nothing", she answered after a brief moment of silence, forcing herself to smile. It only made his wrinkles deeper.
"You're almost crying, I know something's wrong", he said, walking up the steps to her. "Padmé, I'm here for you. What's wrong?"
As he stood before her, her old friend, she just couldn't help but lean against him and let the tears fall. He wrapped his arms around her, not saying a word, just let her cry out. She was certain Anakin had never done this for her when he saw she wasn't okay.
"Is it Anakin?" Obi-Wan asked as they sat down. She nodded, wiping away her tears.
"I'm not sure about him anymore, Obi-Wan", she said. "Part of me wants to leave him, part of me doesn't. Still, I know almost for sure that I do not love him anymore."
Obi-Wan looked at her for a while, his eyes studying her face. It was a long time ago since he had seen her so upset. That time, it had been because of Chancellor Palpatine's sudden move to attack, something that Padmé definitely didn't think the Senate should do.
Maybe that was why he loved her. He had realised that he did a couple of years ago, when he and Anakin had returned from Ansion and been assigned to protect Padmé from an assassin. It was right before the Clone Wars had started, and when the war had started, Padmé was suddenly married to Anakin. There was no time for him to tell her how he felt as she was happy with her Anakin. Now, she suddenly wasn't happy with him. She even said she didn't love him anymore.
"Then leave him", he said silently. He had meant to just think those words, they sounded too harsh to say, but now he'd said them. Padmé was staring at him.
"I can't", she said after a while. "I'm sorry, Obi-Wan, but… I just can't."
Obi-Wan knew he had already opened his heart too much, but what he'd hid in there for so long wanted to come out. The words screamed to reach his throat, but he didn't want to upset her more than he already had. Therefore, he rose and walked back down the stairs to his waiting ship. Right before he reached it, he stopped and turned. Padmé was looking at him, tears in her eyes. The words were burning his throat now, he needed to leave quickly if he was going to stop them. But her beauty froze his movements and the few seconds he would have needed were soon goon.
"I love you", he said clearly. The words seemed to startle her and he felt her eyes burning his back as he quickly left her apartment. On his way back to the Temple, he called himself the biggest fool in the universe over and over again.
Padmé stared at the empty spot were Obi-Wan's ship had been only moments ago. He loved her? He loved her? It didn't sound real. Obi-Wan was one of the most devoted Jedis she'd ever met. He wasn't someone who easily broke a rule, unless he had no other choice. Was that it; didn't he have any other choice? She suddenly heard a movement behind her and turned on the couch. Anakin stepped out from her bedroom and she felt her heart stop. How long had he been there? How much had he heard? From the look on his face, she realised that he knew it all.
"I know everything", he said sharply, his eyes dark with anger. "Is that why you haven't helped me to find our love again?"
What was he saying? Did he really think… no, it wasn't possible. Not Anakin!
"What are you talking about?" she asked.
"You… and Obi-Wan!" Anakin screamed, blowing up a vase using the Force. Padmé screamed and backed away.
"I thought there was a reason for all of this", he said. "But this… was beyond my imagination! You've been cheating on me with my best friend, with a man I called my brother only hours ago!"
"I haven't been cheating on you!" Padmé screamed back. "Obi-Wan is my friend, nothing else."
"I heard what you said!" Anakin bellowed. "You said you didn't love me, he said he loved you… that's enough! I understand everything perfectly clear now!"
Obi-Wan rushed past Padmé and stood like a wall between them.
"Anakin, calm down!" he called out. "It's not what you think!"
"Liar!" Anakin bellowed. "The Chancellor was right all the time!"
Both Obi-Wan and Padmé were startled by these words.
"The Chancellor?" Obi-Wan asked in surprise.
"He was right about you two, but I didn't believe him! Not until now!"
He ignited his lightsabre and rushed towards Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan quickly parried the attack, but Padmé could see that Anakin was driving his friend backwards.
"Padmé!" Obi-Wan called out. "Get away from here!"
"Anakin!" she screamed. "Anakin, listen!"
It was just like Anakin's anger drained away as he heard her plead and he took a step back.
"What have I done?" he whispered, looking at his lightsabre.
"Anakin, I want you to return to the Temple immediately", Obi-Wan said in a harsh voice. "Meditate over this until you see the truth."
Anakin nodded, ashamed, and walked away. Obi-Wan followed him as he walked out of the apartment, then put away his lightsabre and turned to face Padmé. He wanted to apologize for what he'd said before, but he just had the time to open his mouth before her lips met his. He tensed, but as her hands carefully stroke his face he relaxed and responded, deepening the kiss and pulling his fingers through her hair. It was a wonderful feeling.
"Obi-Wan", she whispered, breaking the kiss. "I want you to know… that I love you."
He smiled, feeling that he was flying. Then he kissed her again, pulling her close.
As he broke this kiss, he fell silent for a while, just looking at her.
"Is it the Order you think about?" she asked.
"I've already left it", Obi-Wan answered. Padmé looked startled.
"But… the Order's been your life!" she protested.
"I would hate to live a lie", Obi-Wan answered. "I have already for these past years and it hasn't been a good feeling."
"I want you to come away with me", Obi-Wan said. "Somewhere where the war isn't raging, where we can be alone."
Padmé continued to smile as she kissed his cheek.
"I know just the place", she whispered.
He woke up with the sun shining in through the bedroom windows. Though, he didn't really mind being awake. Now he was once again able to look at the beautiful woman beside him, lying with her head on his arm, one of her hands placed on his naked chest. He smiled. If he'd know that this was how it felt to be in love and being loved years ago, he would have left the Order even earlier.