Padme's family was shocked to discover that she was alive, that Leia was her daughter, and that she had a son. When they heard the entire Skywalker story, they couldn't believe it. Padme, Luke, and Leia stayed for several days on Naboo. By the time they left, Padme's family was more than thrilled to have them back in their lives, but they were still in shock. Later on, Luke brought Leia to Tatooine to introduce her to Owen and Beru, who were thrilled to finally meet their niece.
Meanwhile, it was announced to the galaxy that the Empire was over and democracy would be restored. Rebels no longer had to stay in hiding and there were celebrations everywhere.
Anakin was staying at an apartment on Coruscant. He did not bother returning to his mansion, the house he planned to have a future with his wife and his children, where they would rule the galaxy. He left Darth Vader and didn't want to have anything to do with him anymore or to be close to the dark memories he had of hurting Padme and his children. Since Padme, Luke, and Leia have gone to Naboo, Anakin remained in touch with Yoda and Obi-Wan, who have given him guidance about his future. He would always regret what he did as Vader, but he was ready to move on and do good by the galaxy from now on. He would make it all up to his family.
There was a knock on Anakin's door. Anakin wondered if it was Yoda again. Yoda had been staying on Coruscant since he no longer had to stay in hiding.
When Anakin opened the door, he was surprised to see Leia and Luke.
"You're back?" Anakin said.
Luke nodded. "We returned last night. Mother is staying a little bit longer."
Anakin let the two in and closed the door. "How was it?" He asked.
"They were very shocked." Luke said. "They couldn't believe it, but they were happy to have us in their lives."
Anakin smiled. "I'm really happy you found your family. It's my fault that you have been separated from them."
Luke shook his head. "Don't go there again, Father. Please."
"Why not? It's true. I'm sure Padme's family must hate me."
"They hate what you've done. But that was all Vader. You're our father, Anakin. And you're a good person."
"You really believe I'm a good person?"
"Yes, I do. I don't think Vader was, but you are."
Anakin turned to Leia. "And how about you, Leia? What do you think?"
Leia looked uncomfortable. "I definitely think you are a much better person than Vader. I know that."
"Perhaps. But I never should have allowed myself to be consumed by the dark side. That was my biggest mistake and my biggest regret."
"But it's over now, Father," Luke said.
Leia intervened. "We can't pretend it never happened though. However, I am ready to move forward and I am glad to have you as an ally. Maybe in time, I can accept you as my father as well."
Anakin was deeply touched. "Thank you. I know I don't deserve that, but that really means a lot to me. I am so grateful to have you both. I just wish..."
"You want Mother to forgive you," Leia finished.
Anakin nodded sadly. "I know she never will. And I know I don't deserve it."
Luke shook his head. "She needs time. You can earn her forgiveness."
Anakin remained doubtful, but smiled at Luke anyway.
In the mid-afternoon, Anakin, Luke, and Leia met up with Han, Bail, and Breha, and attended a meeting on Coruscant about the future Alliance and getting things back in order for the new Republic. It didn't take long for all the Rebels to realize what a difficult task it would be. There were no leaders or a new Chancellor, and it would take some time for elections to go up. Also, there was the question of how to round up members and officials of the Empire, and what to do with them. Some of them would have to be arrested for their cruel deeds.
After the meeting, Anakin, Luke, Leia, and Han lingered around, still discussing about the future and its possibilities.
Leia said, "I was thinking that perhaps we should have elections now for temporary leaders. Their terms would be short, until we can set up elections for longer terms. Also, it would give the temporary runners a chance to prove themselves if they want to run again for a longer term."
Luke replied, "That's a good idea."
"I agree as well," Anakin said as he nodded.
"Perhaps Mother would like to run as Senator again," Leia suggested.
Anakin smiled. "She was a terrific Senator. It would be great to see her do what she loves again."
"I think I'm going to return to Naboo. I would like to see Mother and ask her if she would like this."
"I will escort you out." Han said as he and Leia got up to leave.
As they exited the building, Leia asked Han, "So what do you think of my father?"
"Which one? Vader?" Han said.
"Yes, but he's Anakin now."
"Well, I have to admit that it's weird to think of him as the same evil Sith lord."
"I know what you mean. After all the years I've known him as Vader, I would never have expected this."
"Yeah, tell me about it. But I can see that he's sincere about his feelings for you. And I'm grateful to him for saving your life as well as Luke's."
"I am too." Leia sighed. "However, I wish I could learn how to build a relationship with him. Luke has forgiven him."
"But it is hard to forget everything he's done. All that trouble we've been in was because of him."
"And Palpatine. And besides, Palpatine was the one who tricked my father into joining the dark side and then he brainwashed my mother when he found out she was alive."
"No arguments there."
"I suppose I just have to see how I feel from now on and whether my feelings for Anakin can change or not."
Han kissed Leia's forehead. "The important thing though is that the war is all over now and you're safe."
Leia smiled. "You're right."
Luke and Anakin were left alone.
"You seem sad, Father," Luke said.
Anakin looked at his son in surprise. The boy was indeed strong in the force. He was so glad that his son didn't succumb to the dark side like he did.
"I'm just thinking about your mother and how I ruined her life," Anakin replied.
"She will heal in time."
"I still can't take back the years of pain I caused her or your sister."
"We've all been through so much. And Palpatine is at fault too for breaking our family up. He is pure evil and only cared for his greed. You wanted to protect Mother. I know she doesn't see things that way right now, but in time, I am sure we will all be a family. I know it will happen."
"I wish I could believe that."
"Don't wish it. Fight for it."
"But what can I do?"
"Leia is with Mother right now. Go to them. Tell them how you feel and how we can find our way again. Don't give up."
"I don't want to ruin their time together. It is my fault your mother didn't get to raise you two."
"Naboo is where we all belong though. When I was there, I felt that. I felt that this is where we're supposed to be."
Luke shook his head. "You're wrong. When I was there with my family, I felt something was missing. And that was you. You're supposed to be there with us."
"If you really love Mother, tell her that. Tell her you want to stay married to her. Tell Leia you want to be her father."
"They won't accept that."
"Maybe at first. But eventually, they will. You have to try."
Anakin regarded what Luke was telling him.
"Go to them," Luke insisted.
Padme was surprised when Leia suggested about running for Senator again. "I've been in a coma for twenty years. Do you really think I'm right for this?"
Leia smiled. "Mother, look at your reputation. You were an excellent Queen at 14, and you were an amazing Senator. You're perfect for this."
"A lot has changed," Padme said sadly. She and Leia were standing outside the terrace of the lake house, gazing at the island across the lake. The sun was shining and Padme felt at peace, although the place gave her many memories, memories that she didn't necessarily want to face.
"You seem troubled," Leia remarked.
Padme slowly nodded her head.
"I love you," Leia said.
Padme turned to Leia and touched her cheek gently. "I love you too, very much. And I am so sorry for all that you suffered and that I couldn't give you the life I wanted to give you. But I want you to know that I am extremely proud of all that you have accomplished and the woman you have become."
Leia placed her hand on her mother's and said, "I think you miss Father."
Padme sighed. "Of course I do. I loved him."
"I know you did. I saw it."
Padme frowned. "What do you mean?"
"When I was hiding here before, I was seeing visions."
"Visions of you and Father. I saw a vision of you getting married, right here on the terrace. R2 and 3PO were also here, in the vision."
Padme's eyes widened. "That did happen. Your father and I married here over twenty years ago."
"I think I saw it because of the force. I didn't realize I had it at the time, so I wasn't sure if what I was seeing was real or not. I also saw you two out in the fields, laughing and flirting. I could see how much you two loved each other. It made me feel warm inside and reminded me of how I feel for Han."
Padme smiled. "That was a long time ago. But you're right. We were very much in love. We had to keep it a secret because Jedi weren't allowed to be in love."
"I think the love still exists. I know how I feel for Father, but I can feel it in me that he loves you very much. And I can feel that you feel the same way. It's very strong."
"It is true. I do love you mother."
Leia and Padme turned around to see Anakin standing behind with Luke at his side.
"What-what are you doing here?" Padme asked in surprise.
"I wanted to talk to you," Anakin said, softly. Padme just stared at him.
"I'll leave you two alone. Luke, let's go sit in the living room." Leia took Luke's hand as they both left their parents alone.
It was quiet for a moment before Anakin spoke again. "I've missed you."
Padme looked away from Anakin and back at the lake. "I've been thinking about us, since I've been here. This place brings back a lot of memories."
"It does for me too. I remember when we got married here. I never thought I'd return to this place."
"So why did you come?"
"Because I want to face the past. I want to remember us, how things used to be."
"You know we can never go back there again. Even though we are at the lake house right now and we have those memories, we both know what the reality is now."
"I know that. I know nothing will ever be the same again. We have two grown children now, who we never got to raise. And that is all my fault of course. But I want you to know that I love you and I want to make things right."
Padme was quiet for a moment before she said, "I love you too."
Anakin looked astonished. "What?"
"I never stopped, despite everything. Even Leia realizes that."
Anakin stared at Padme deeply for awhile before saying, "This reminds me of the first time."
Padme looked puzzled. "First time?"
"The first time you told me you loved me. We were about to be executed in that arena on Geonosis."
"I remember. We thought we were going to die."
"All these years, I thought you were gone, gone because of me...it tormented me."
Padme looked angry. "And yet you stayed as Vader, even after you realized what it had cost you."
Anakin shook his head sadly. "I felt lost. The pain of you losing you and our child was unbearable. I didn't know how to live with that kind of pain. So I allowed myself to be consumed by the dark side. I decided to let my previous life of Anakin go."
"But you came back now."
"Because of you and our children. You're all alive. It's a miracle that I have my family, when I never knew I did before. You all made me remember my life as Anakin and what I stood for, what I fought for. I realized I was wrong. And now I am tormented by my guilt."
Tears welled up in Padme's eyes as she was overwhelmed by Anakin's words. She threw her arms around him. "Oh, Ani! I've missed you!"
Anakin was caught off guard for a moment but soon returned the embrace. "I've missed you too, Padme, more than you can know."
Three months later...
"This is probably one of the most happiest moments of my life," Luke said as he helped Anakin adjust his robes.
Anakin smiled. "Same here." He and Padme were renewing their vows, on the terrace of the lake house, where they married over twenty years ago. Anakin was happy that this time, his children would be there beside them. He still couldn't believe that Padme had forgiven him. He knew it was very difficult for her, but she did it because she still loved him and knew that he was Anakin again and would never, ever, return to the dark side. Ever since she had forgiven him, she felt at peace.
"Are you ready?" Leia asked her mother as they were in her bedroom, getting ready.
Padme let out a breath nervously and said, "I think so."
Sola finished placing her veil over her head and said, "It makes me so happy to be part of this day with you, when I never thought this would be possible."
Padme squeezed her sister's hand and said, "Me too."
Ryoo and Pooja were the first to walk down the aisle, followed by their mother Sola. Leia then preceded down the aisle and smiled at Han who was sitting out in the front. Luke and Anakin beamed at her. Anakin couldn't believe that he failed to realize that Leia was his daughter, Padme's daughter, all these years. They had been enemies and he had kidnapped and tortured her which he still winces when he remembers it. But there she was, beautiful and healthy. He was so proud of her and happy to have her in his life. She and Luke, the children he thought he never had, were everything to him.
Padme then entered. She was wearing a beautiful and elegant white dress. She looked at all her family and friends and was so happy that this time, she didn't have to have a secret wedding, but a wedding she could share with all the people she cared about. They all smiled at her, happy that she was alive and that she had found happiness back. None of them held the things she did as Killer against her, not even her children who suffered because of her. They were all aware of the true person she was and she believed they felt similar to Anakin as well.
Padme continued down the aisle towards Anakin. Both were smiling brightly at each other. They were being married by Obi-Wan's spirit and after renewing their vows, they were again husband and wife, for eternity.
Following the ceremony, there was a celebration held in the fields.
Anakin said to Luke, "I would like you to become my apprentice so that I can finish your training. I know as Vader, I wanted you to become a Sith. But now, I would like to help you become a Jedi Knight."
Luke smiled. "I would be honored."
Anakin turned to Leia. "And you, Leia, if you're ready, I would like to train you as well. You are strong in the force and I think you will become an excellent Jedi."
Leia hesitated before saying, "I'll think about it. I would like to continue my career in politics. But, if I have time, I suppose it would be great if I explored my powers."
Anakin looked slightly disappointed, but nodded his head in acceptance.
"It has nothing to do with you," Leia said quickly. "I have come to accept you as my father and I don't think of you as Vader anymore, despite our history." Leia paused and slowly stepped forward, and for the first time, she embraced Anakin.
And in that moment, Anakin's heart felt truly mended and whole again. Luke, Padme, and Han beamed at the two of them.
Later, Han and Leia were walking around and noticed Tamal shyly coming their way. Leia grinned at the kid.
"Princess Leia?" Tamal said, timidly.
"I just wanted to say sorry for being rude to you before. I didn't know you were my cousin then, but I am happy to learn that you are."
Leia bent down and hugged Tamal. "That's alright, Tamal. I forgive you and I am happy that we're cousins too. I hope that means we can have tons of fun together."
"I would like that too," Luke said as he came at their side.
Tamal happily agreed, before running off to play.
Leia turned to Luke and said, "I suppose I owe you an apology too."
Luke looked surprised. "What for?"
"I was skeptical that we could have our family back. But somehow we got it. You were right."
Luke shook his head. "I understand why it was hard for you. But now is that everything is the way it should be."
Leia smiled as she saw their parents dancing in the distance. It reminded her of the music box. "They do look happy."
"I love you, Padme," Anakin said.
"I love you too," Padme said. The two leaned in to kiss.
Thanks for reading my story. Please leave your reviews! :)