A/N: hey guys! This is my first Star Wars fanfic. I hope you all like it. This is meant to be a short story that will lead up to a longer one about the Skywalker family and the twins as teenagers. I will update as fast as possible, but school is really hectic right now.

Disclaimer: I don't own star wars. If I did, I would start making the third trilogy and cast myself as Mara Jade.

Keeping the Darkness at Bay

Chapter 1- Boy or Girl?

Anakin stared down at Count Dooku, the light of the two lightsaber's reflecting off his face and showing the real fear that Dooku had of being killed. It serves him right, Anakin thought. He was torn between killing the man or putting him in stun cuffs. Chancellor Palpatine sat there ordering him to kill Dooku and part of him wanted to, but part of Anakin was telling him that, no, he should not kill Dooku.

"He is too dangerous to be kept alive, Anakin," Palpatine implored. "You must get rid of him." Anakin wavered for a moment before he heard another voice giving him advice; this one in his mind. There is no need to kill the Count, young one, it is better for him to die at the hands of justice than at the hands of a Jedi. The voice was eerily familiar and Anakin almost instantly placed it to Master Qui-gon Jinn. Another thought came to him at this moment. A memory, of sorts, of something Obi-wan had said to him. If you can avoid killing someone by your own hand, even if it is justified, then do not kill them.

With a gasp of clarity, Anakin turned off both sabers. He realized that he had almost killed a defenseless person. Killing defenseless people or innocents was a surefire path to the dark side. He made a vow to himself then and there that he would never kill an innocent again as he had on Tatooine or someone who was defenseless as he had almost just done. As he bound Dooku, he felt as if something had been lifted from his mind.

Ani, I'm pregnant. Those words repeated in his mind over and over again as Anakin lay trying to fall asleep that night. He had to be the happiest man in the galaxy. Not only was he married to the most beautiful person in the galaxy, but he would soon have a child. A child! A family! The chance to raise and pamper his child as he had never been. With these thoughts, he fell into a deep sleep that was soon to be disturbed.

"Anakin!" Padmé shouted in pain. He could see her clearly, but could not reach out to her to help her. He wanted to reassure her that he would be there for her; she wasn't alone. Unfortunately, all he could do was watch as she thrashed in pain, calling for him. He watched, horrified as she slowly let go of life while giving birth.

Anakin woke with a gasp. He looked over to reassure himself that Padmé was there beside him and alive. She was both and he took a deep breath to calm himself as relief washed over him. The vision was troubling and part of him wanted to rush out of the room and tell someone, but he couldn't. No one knew of his marriage to the beautiful senator and to tell someone of his vision would be to disclose their secret. But, what if it hadn't been a vision at all? What if he only had this nightmare because he was just as worried about being a father as he was excited?

He thought on that possibility for a moment before he assumed a meditative position on the bed. He immersed himself into the force, desperate for answers. Nothing came to him during his first frantic search for answers from the force so he slowed down his thought process and calmed himself down. Once he was fully calm, he felt something he had not felt in the room before. There were slight traces of darkness in the room surrounding both him and his wife. The force whispered to him that it was this shroud that had caused the nightmares, not it, and that the nightmare was not to be trusted. He still held some doubts about the falseness of the nightmare, but he had more pressing matters to attend to. There was a darkness surrounding him and his angel and he wanted it gone.

Anakin focused on his happiest memories with his wife. He pulled the love and happiness from them to him. He used these light and uplifting feelings push away at the darkness. The darkness, not quite so weak, pushed back at the shield Anakin was attempting to put up. Anakin, not one to be deterred, pulled together every happy thought he could recall and shoved. The darkness was swept away with a vengeance and a slight breeze.

Padmé started slightly as the breeze passed over her and looked up at Anakin groggily. She put a hand on his arm as he lay back down next to her.

"What's wrong, Ani?" she whispered lovingly.

"Nothing, sweetheart. It was just a nightmare," he replied smoothly. His angel's eyes widened in worry.

"Was it about the baby?" she asked. Anakin considered lying to her, but dismissed the idea almost instantly. Padmé was someone who wanted to know all of the outcomes: good, bad, or otherwise. She was tough and would only be upset by his silence.

"Don't you lie to me, Anakin Skywalker," she whispered fiercely when his silence seemed to be too long. Her words only solidified his belief that he would be in for it if she ever found out that he had lied to her.

"No, it wasn't about the baby," he reassured. She gave him a look that clearly said to spit the rest of it out. "I—I had a nightmare that you died during childbirth. And that I wasn't there for you when you were giving birth. You kept shouting for me and I never showed. What kind of husb—?" Padmé stopped his words with a kiss.

"You are a wonderful husband, Ani. And it was only a nightmare. I know you. You would go through hell and back if you had to just to be at my side when I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy," she told him. Her last sentence made him smirk.

"And what makes you think it is a boy? I for one think you are going to have a girl; a stubborn little princess that is just like her mother," he countered. She raised her eyebrows at him. "I have not looked to determine the sex of our child with the force. I just think that you are going to have a girl."

"Motherly intuition makes me think it is a boy. And what would be wrong with having a boy?" Padmé challenged him.

"Absolutely nothing. But with a girl, she will be our little princess," he responded. "Tell me; however, what you think would be wrong with a girl?" Anakin smirked at his angel as he turned her line of questioning back on her. Their banter continued for a bit more before both fell into a peaceful sleep.