Written in honor of Valentine's Day (as well as the recent 1 hour special CW episode(s)).

It figured that Padme would have her epiphany not long before her own death. In the moment of seeing Rex rush to Ahsoka's side before anyone else could run to catch her, and despite the reassuring words they all muttered to one another, she could see it in his eyes. One by one they were all losing faith, and it started with the collapse of their Jedi.

Padme knew the clones were loyal; they were bred to be that way. And of course they would need to have base compassions, to make them more than just what they were. But to see such compassion come from a clone was something unknown to Padme until that moment.

In order to ease her mind, she had tended to Ahsoka briefly, but moved on to tend to the clones around them that were all so ill. It was all she could do to keep her mind off of what she saw, though Padme couldn't resist the urge to look back at them every now and then as she moved from clone to clone.

He held her with such love and such caring that Padme had to keep telling herself it was just because she was his commanding officer, and he'd have to care about it. But there was something in the way he cradled her head in his lap, whispered reassuring words to her, and gently caressed her features that Padme knew it went beyond simple loyalty. Captain Rex had feelings for Ahsoka Tano, and it remained to be seen if she returned such feelings.

Padme would be the last person in the galaxy to ever remark about such a relationship, or even question it in her own mind. She, herself, was married to a Jedi when such things were forbidden; so she couldn't condemn someone else if she would not condemn herself. It was probably the impending death that allowed for such a close attachment to surface for the eyes of others, the fact that the padawan probably couldn't hold on much longer and that the man who loved her wanted to hold her in his arms one last time.

As for Padme, she had to try hard not to wish that was her in that position; lying in the arms of her beloved husband, listening to comforting words and feeling his gentle touch. They were all dying, and all running out of time. Each one of them, the senator knew, craved such a touch as Ahsoka was receiving from Rex.

A couple of the clones sat close to each other, tried to talk and forget about what was happening, another pair of them sat close, though seemed to be too timid to seek the comforting embrace of their brother. Padme wished she could do more to help all of them, but she was just one person who was also sick. All they could do was sit and hope, hope beyond hope that help would arrive before any more of them succumbed to the virus.

With one final glance, Padme looked upon the forms of a clone and his Jedi, her eyes finding it hard to stay open and focus. With a gasp for breath as she tried to speak, the senator passed out, caught by a nearby clone she had been aiding. The last thing she remembered seeing was a single set of tears streaming down Rex's pale cheek as he held Ahsoka close.