This story is a request from Jedi Master Misty Sman-Esay. Enjoy everyone!
Title: When Wedding Bells Ring
Summary: Set during AotC. Padmé watches her sister, brother-in-law, and her nieces as she thinks about marriage and a certain Jedi… Oneshot.
Disclaimer: Sorry, don't own SW or its characters. Don't you know that the Republic banned slavery?
Their laughter rang in her ears as her nieces ran in circles around Artoo, singing a song they invented just for him. Off in the distance, Sola and her husband, Darred, laughed and watched their children at play.
Padmé sighed contently, watching them at play. She didn't have a lot of time before she had to leave. Her Jedi protector, Padawan Anakin Skywalker, was inside being interrogated by her worry-ridden parents.
Thinking about Skywalker made Padmé's cheeks flush. It was the strangest feeling. Padmé had had crushes before, but this was somehow different, particularly since she remembered the way he was when they first met. He had been a child then, so young and yet so old with all of the experiences and pains that a slave had to endure. She had been fourteen and had thought of him as a funny little boy, but even then he had been so intense.
The very sight of Anakin made Padmé feel exposed in some way. She couldn't understand the feeling, and she did not want to mention it to Sola for fear of being teased to death.
Sighing once again, Padmé watched her family some more and tried to remind herself that she needed to relax. Still, how could she relax? Whether she admitted it or not, she was here on Naboo to hide from assassination, not for vacation's sake.
Padmé shook her head. Surely something could keep her mind preoccupied.
Unfortunately, the first thought that appeared in her mind was a memory of a conversation between her and Sola just before she traveled to Coruscant to vote on the Military Creation Act…
"The Republic is all in a tumult, but not to fear, for Senator Amidala will put it all aright."
Padmé turned to face her sister, a little startled at the thick sarcasm in the elder one's tone.
"That's what you do, right?" Sola asked innocently.
"It's what I try to do."
"It's all you try to do."
"What is that supposed to mean? I am a Senator, after all."
"A Senator after a Queen, and probably with many more offices ahead of her," Sola pointed out as the sisters watched Ryoo and Pooja play tag.
"You speak as if it's a bad thing."
"It's a great thing," her sister replied in an honest tone. "If you're doing it for all the right reasons,"
"And what is that supposed to mean?"
Sola shrugged. "I think you've convinced yourself that you're indispensable to the Republic… that they couldn't get along at all without you."
"It's true," Sola went on earnestly. "You give and give and give and give. Don't you ever want to take, just a little?"
"Take what?" Padmé asked, not knowing what to say.
Sola motioned towards Ryoo and Pooja. "Look at them. I see the sparkle in your eyes when you watch my children. I know how much you love them."
"Of course I do!" Padmé insisted.
"Wouldn't you like to have children of your own?" Sola asked. "A family of your own?"
"I…" Padmé stopped. She did this a few more times before finally getting out, "I'm working right now for something I deeply believe in. For something that's important."
"And after this is settled, after the Military Creation Act is far behind you, you'll find something else to deeply believe in, something else that's really important. Something that concerns the Republic and the government more than it really concerns you."
"How can you say that?"
"Because it's true, and you know it's true. When are you going to do something just for yourself?"
"You know what I mean."
Padmé paused and then just laughed, facing Ryoo and Pooja. "Is everyone to be defined by their children?"
"Of course not," her sister replied. "It's not that at all. Or not just that. I'm talking about something bigger, Sis. You spend all of your time worrying about the problems of other people, of this planet's dispute with that planet, of whether this trade guild is acting fairly with that system. All of your energy is being thrown out there to try to make the lives of everyone else better."
"What's wrong with that?"
"What about your life? What about Padmé Amidala? Have you even thought about what might make your life better? Most people who have been in public service as long as you have would have retired by now. I know you get satisfaction in helping other people. That's pretty obvious. But what about something deeper for you? What about love, Sis? And yes, what about having kids? Have you even thought about it? Have you even wondered what it might be like for you to settle down and concern yourself with those things that will make your own life fuller?"
Padmé wanted to respond and say that her life didn't need to be any fuller, but she found herself biting back the words. She thought they felt hollow as she watched her nieces sing a song while dancing around R2-D2.
That was not the memory Padmé had in mind, but it simply surfaced in her mind and played itself out. Now she found herself actually thinking about what her sister had mentioned, thinking about having a family. What would it be like? Who would she marry? How would she live away from the political field?
Even now the words Military Creation Act seemed so hollow and unimportant as Padmé watched Ryoo and Pooja.
Padmé remembered her sister's wedding. It had been a beautiful ceremony. The wedding had taken place out in Lumao Bay, a beautiful bay bordering the southern edge of the continent. Many weddings would take place there, and her sister's was no exception. She remembered her sister walking out in a laced white dress alongside their father.
Lost in the scene, Padmé didn't even notice Anakin exiting the house with her parents until her sister began snickering and whispered, "Here's your boyfriend, Sis."
Padmé jumped and then eyed Sola irritably. "Stop, Sis!"
Sola only laughed, gaining a confused glance from Anakin and causing Padmé to blush horribly and look away in embarrassment.
Sola smiled and walked towards Anakin, muttering, "Let's see just how much he likes you,"
Padmé was very tempted to stop her, but she knew that would only confirm her feelings for the Jedi Padawan. Instead, she tried to ignore her and simply sat down on the stairs, imagining what her own wedding would be like.
She could see herself walking down towards her soon-to-be husband, arm in arm with her father. She could envision the beautiful dress she would be wearing, and she could see all of her family in the wedding. Ryoo and Pooja would be the flower girls, decorating the walkway to the front of the wedding. Sola would be one of her bridesmaids. Who would be the ring-bearer? The biggest question in Padmé's mind was: Who was the husband-to-be?
As these thoughts went through her mind, the image suddenly faded. All of the family and friends vanished into nothingness and the wedding itself disappeared. It all seemed so shallow when compared to the things Padmé was doing as a senator and the things that she had done as queen. No, marriage was nowhere in her near future.
Two weeks later she would be eating those words. Two weeks later she would be standing on the balcony of Varykino, hand in hand with her husband, sharing a passionate kiss.
It wasn't the grand wedding she had envisioned. It didn't have any of her family members present. There was no huge ceremony. It was just her and him and love.
In the end, that was all that really mattered.
Quite frankly, I normally don't do much of Anakin/Padme fics so I hope this one was adequate. Please review and let me know what you think!
The flashback is directly from "Attack of the Clones" novel, so I don't own it!