Set in a universe where Anakin killed Palpatine and stayed a Jedi, but after the birth of the twins, grew farther away from Padme as their secret family got harder to keep.


To the left, to the right. Around, around again, like a terrible, addicting, dance that you can't break from. She is your equally anguished, depressed partner, who has nothing but you to hang onto. The harsh words, the cries, and the unceasing arguments are your hazardous waltz.

The steps go in circles with the music, because neither is wrong or right, equal to blame, equal for a crime, for this sin.

"Then we'd be living a lie, one we couldn't keep even if we wanted to. I couldn't do that, could you Anakin? Could you live like that?"

Yes, he would do anything for her.

He had done everything for her. He had saved the Republic and kept their family in secret for her, who couldn't allow him to leave the Jedi. He had done his best to be a father, toiled to return to her, and only grieved her in her absences. Absences which, even at the end of this godsforsaken war, were frequent.

Their injustice had taken its toll.

Where once they had been young, naive lovers, they were replaced by a couple who had changed, ripened, wizened, and no longer could agree on anything other than their children. And even on that point, they had quarrels. They didn't know where they had lost themselves - each other. Had it been somewhere along this road of betrayal and fear that had slowly rotted the roots of their blossoms?

Or had it simply been fleeting, like the beauty of a rose? Delicate and beautiful while it lasted, but only temporary?

He wanted to know how they had become this way; one night they would argue, she would send him away angrily, and he would comply with a mounting temper. In a few more days they would let go and forgive and move on, indulging in an intimacy and passion that seemed only to last until more conflict arose. This was their twisted, encircling, trapping, eternal dance.

"Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo; so long ago when there was nothing but our love. No politics, no plotting, no war."

He wishes that she would allow him to sweep her in his embrace, that they and their babies could run away and never look back. But as prepared as he was to give up his dreams for her for them, she couldn't accept.

He understood how hard it would be for her to let go of responsibility and reveal the truth, but there was a time when she too wished that they would run away together to breakaway from the mess of the galaxy.

It wasn't like that anymore.

"I truly. . . deeply, love you. And before we die I want you to know."

Sometimes he wishes that they would have died, rather than made to survive in this daily game of fighting and failing and hurt.

The twins were now young, young enough that they couldn't understand what Mommy and Daddy were always shouting about in the bedroom. Why, for days on end, Daddy might not come back to see them.

Today is just one more of those days in which he will not see his children or his wife, and it certainly isn't by choice. She has decided to shut him out now, out of some fear he cannot identify. What is she hiding that she won't let him, of all people, see?

"Anakin, how long is it going to take us to be honest with each other?"

They had been evading that question for the past four years.

In the lone alley of that shabby Coruscant district, Anakin answered it.

As long as it takes to be honest with ourselves.

It is a reality that, in this lonely desperation, he is willing to accept. Maybe, just maybe, he's also willing to amend and admit.

Anakin's confession?

He had loved her ever since he had set eyes on her as a scruffy, dreamer of a slave boy. Even in those peasant clothes, he knew that she was someone special, someone that understood.

When he had agreed to marry her, he'd had no idea what it really meant. He didn't take it as seriously as he should have.

As she had trembled and panted, "Ani. . . I'm pregnant" His mind was still lingering over the man he'd murdered an hour ago.

Every night after that, he'd dreamt of her death, of her screams and pleas, and it had almost turned out to be true.

And when he had learned the truth of everything, he had considered the Dark Side, gone awfully close, but somehow managed not to grasp it.

Once that had sunk in, he had felt betrayed and bitter. He had been under the influence of the Dark Side's revenge while he had done the galaxy its greatest favor, and had been exhilarated by it as he ran through crowded streets to see his wife give birth.

But it is this last admission which even he still shudders to think about, makes him sick. It is the fact that he was tempted to terminate his own children -his son, his daughter- in the face of Padme's near-death. And, had not the medical assistants interceded. . . he would have killed them.

"I'm not going to die in childbirth Ani, I promise you."

Now he slams his fist against the unstable, echoing wall outside the cantina. He can hear glass breaking close by, but he doesn't care. He cannot handle her insecurities, or his, any longer. This circle must stop somewhere, and he, with his infamous irrationality and brashness, is the only one courageous (or is it stupid?) enough to draw the line.

Setting off in a run, cold wind bites at exposed bits of skin, and his heart is beating faster than ever before.

Even in the dark hours of this night he can sense her presence, which is awake. The lights are dim, but with keen eyes he can detect the smallest glow through the door. He can tell that she is pacing in an attempt to clear her thoughts. It is habit he knows well.

Using his powers to open the the locked door by Force, he can see Padme's startled expression.

Her barriers are going up, he can tell, because as he approaches her she begins to expect more of the same, weary battle that each has been fighting with the other for almost a year.

"What is it?" She turns her back to him, he sees it covered in her long brown hair and sleeveless blue embroidered nightgown, the same that she wore during labor.

Gingerly, lovingly, he caresses her shoulders and then holds his hands in place as her reaction is icy and stoic. Because of his lack of a response, she reiterates in a quavering tone,

"What is it, Anakin? What do you want?"

Still silent, he turns both their bodies half way around so that they are facing each other.

Her face is held tight, her eyes are moist, and her mouth is held as if it is ready to scream. He strokes the side of her lovely alabaster face.

"To be together with you again." Anakin gazes at Padme intensely, and she can't bear to look at his pleading eyes. She tears from his grip and his gaze to look through the window - something inside of her being has been moved, adjusted maybe. It leaves her with shame and guilt and every other piece of this galaxy she has had the misfortune to cross.

"I-I. . ." she tries to breathe, but finds that her throat is flooding. "I don't know how, Anakin. I don't know how!" Her voice is only as loud as she will permit, yet he hears it like she is shrieking at him.

This time, he doesn't even take the time to allow her to move.

He envelops her in his arms, his soul, his mind, everything of himself that he has the power to give her. He embraces her with his love, which is just as innocent and pure as it was fifteen years ago. It is overwhelming and enlightening.

As her tears flow onto his shoulder, she allows every part of her being to be bared. They are truthful to both themselves and to each other, forming one complete person until they cannot distinguish between one another, and all that they know is their love.

And for the first time, the music that surrounds them is neither silence nor harsh words, but an indescribable harmony. This dance they dance is no longer a single circle, but a floor that can lead anywhere they choose.

They hold onto one another tightly, hugging and smiling and sobbing at the same time, but all the while, swaying to this melody of theirs that cannot be found in any other place but the heart.