Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. I just created my own little AU sandbox to play in.
AN: Here's the newest vignette! Two years have passed since the events in Revenge, but when you're a Skywalker, things are rarely normal. Add to that fact, their numerous enemies have joined together with the Sith and evil lurks all around them. Can the love and legacy that Anakin and Padme have created stand strong against their infinite enemies? The Forever Destined saga continues with this new adventure that will be the beginning of many. Growing up is never easy and for the Skywalker children, this is no exception. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show…or story rather. But first, here's a quick age check on the kids.
Testing the Waters: A Forever Destined Vignette
Luke and Leia: 16
Jayden and Jenna: 13
Marcus Olin: 12
Luke pounded on the fresher door for the fourth time.
"Leia…you've been in there forever! I need to get ready too!" he called with irritation. His voice was much deeper these days and he had grown from a small, undersized fourteen-year-old to a tall, handsome young man. His mother was fond of telling him how much he and his brother both looked like their father. Luke still wore the traditional padawan braid by his left ear, but he had grown his hair out a little and it was sandy blonde and shaggy, much like his father's. Most padawan boys wore a more traditional style, but being that Anakin was a very untraditional Master, he wasn't concerned that his son chose not to wear the traditional style, as long as he wore his braid.
"Leia…come on!" he called again.
"There are two other freshers besides this one! Go use them!" she called back, as she carefully applied her mascara, huffing in annoyance as her twin brother banged on the door.
"Kimberly and Jayden are using them! Jenna is waiting too! Hurry up!" Luke called in annoyance. Leia finished and checked herself in the mirror. Just as her parents knew she would, in just two years, Leia had grown from a small, skinny fourteen-year-old to a petite brunette beauty, much like her mother. She took a deep breath. She was very nervous about today. While her brothers and sisters would continue their educational classes at the Temple in addition to their training, Leia would be attending Coruscant's finest secondary educational facility. It was located at the Coruscant Galactic University in the north wing of the campus, where students from age sixteen through eighteen attended. Their skills were analyzed during those two years and then they were accepted into the University if their scores were deemed high enough. Leia wasn't at all concerned about doing well in her classes. She was a very gifted student with a wealth of knowledge in both politics and Galactic history. She worried about what most kids worried about and that was fitting in. She was different and her parents were famous. Sometimes, she had trouble fitting in with the other padawans at the Temple, as did her brothers and sisters. She knew fitting in with kids that weren't trained in the Force and that had little to no Force sensitivity would be difficult. She decided that she looked okay in her fashionable knee length blue dress and white lacy sweater. She wore her hair in twin braids, which she looped in a fashionable style at the back of her head. She finally opened the fresher door, much to Luke's relief.
"It's about time. I thought you fell in," he griped. She glared at him.
"I almost did, because you can never remember to put the seat down," she retorted.
"Whatever. I'm going to be late for class if I don't hurry," Luke said, as he dashed into the room. At the Temple, his mornings were spent in class and his afternoons were spent either in training or on patrol with his father. This was the same for his siblings as well. They had classes in the mornings and then training with their respective Masters in the afternoons. Leia was especially nervous for this reason as well. She would be going to a school where she knew no one and without any of her siblings in sight, nor the Masters that she had grown up around. She was so used to going to her classes at the Temple and learning Galactic history from her Grandfather and Galactic law from Master Luminara or Physical sciences from Master Fisto, who made even the most boring subjects entertaining with his fun attitude. But in this new environment, she would be alone with no friends. She was more than a little nervous, but if she wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps, she needed to attend the University. But as always, she wouldn't show her worry to her family and she would act as if nothing was bothering her. She went downstairs into the kitchen and found her younger siblings already eating breakfast with her parents.
"Morning sweetie," Padme said, as she put a plate down in front of her. Leia put some shurra fruit on it, but Padme noticed she skipped on the scrambled gondark eggs. She picked at her fruit and Padme put a hand on her shoulder.
"Are you okay?" she asked. Leia sighed. It was hard to hide one's feelings in this family.
"I'm fine…just not very hungry," she replied.
"Are you nervous about your first day?" Padme asked knowingly.
"Maybe a little," Leia replied.
"You'll be great Princess. You're pretty and smart. You'll make friends in no time," Anakin assured her.
"Thanks Daddy," she replied, as he put his plate in the sink.
"Finish up you three, we need to go soon," he told them, as he and Padme headed into the living area. About that time, Luke started down the stairs. About halfway down, he jumped down and landed at the bottom with no trouble, much to his mother's disdain.
"Luke…what I have I told you and Jay about jumping down the stairs?" she asked.
"Sorry Mom," he called, as he hurried into the kitchen to eat. Padme shook her head and Anakin chuckled. She turned and wrapped her arms around his neck. Their lips met in a tender kiss.
"So, are we still on for tonight?" she asked.
"Of course, a date is a date. Besides, your favorite opera show hasn't had a showing in a long time. That's why I bought the best seats in the house as soon as I found out the show was re-opening. So tonight, you and I are going out for a romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant and then to the show," he replied. She smiled.
"And of course, there is the post date," she added.
"Post date?" he asked with avid interest.
"Uh huh, the post date is where we come home to find the kids in bed, a bottle of red wine chilling in the fridge, and me changing into a sexy little piece of attire I just bought," she replied. He pulled her against him and pressed his lips to hers.
"Bring on the post date," he whispered seductively.
"Oh believe me, I'll make it worth your wait," she replied.
"I'll bet you will," he said, as their lips met again in a series of passionate, loving kisses. About that time, the kids came out, ready to go.
"Hey Mom, is it okay if Natalie comes over tonight?" Jayden asked.
"Sure sweetie, but make sure you ask Grandpa Riley and Grandma Jobal tonight. I'm sure they won't care, but they're going to watching all of you tonight while your Dad and I go out," Padme answered.
"Mom…don't you think I'm a little old to be babysat?" Leia asked.
"Well, I don't know, looking after your brothers and sisters is a big responsibility," Padme replied.
"I'm the same age as Leia. I don't need a babysitter either," Luke insisted. Padme looked to her husband.
"What do you think?" she asked.
"Well…they are sixteen. I'm sure they'll be fine," Anakin replied.
"Okay, you and Luke can be in charge tonight," Padme said.
"Great!" Leia said with excitement.
"We'll go over the house rules before we leave tonight. For now, we all need to be going," Padme replied. The kids piled into the speeder with Anakin, as he headed to drop Leia off, before taking the others with him to the Temple. Padme got into the other speeder with Tyler and Typho, heading for the Senate building.
Anakin slowed the speeder, as he brought them down in front of Leia's new school. The campus was huge and she would only be navigating the north wing, which was very large in its own right. Leia gazed apprehensively at the sea of kids before her. Unfortunately, those close enough to see them had already stopped to stare. She wasn't even inside yet and everyone already knew who she was.
"You'll be great, Princess," Anakin told her encouragingly.
"Thanks Daddy," she replied, as she got out and shouldered her satchel. She watched her father and siblings leave, before turning toward the school. She saw kids staring at her, as she passed by and turning to each other to whisper things. She kept her head down and walked up the steps into the school, before heading to get her class schedule.
.Leia spent over fifteen minutes getting her schedule and locker assignment, while her councilor fawned over her. Leia loved her parents very much, but sometimes, there was nothing she wouldn't give for a little anonymity. She knew her parents felt the same as well, but this was the reality of their life. They were who they were and Leia knew she was just beginning to learn how to deal with public attention, including both adoration and scrutinizing criticism. Her mother dealt with it everyday at work and Leia didn't know how she managed it so flawlessly. She finally found her locker and used her pass card to open it. She put her things in it, before glancing at schedule.
"Well, well, it looks like we have a celebrity in our midst this year ladies," a snide female voice said. Leia cringed and turned to find three girls, a year older than her, approaching. Two of them were blonde and the other had raven hair. They were very pretty, but wore a lot of makeup and provocative outfits.
"Um…I'm Leia," she said, trying to seem friendly and open.
"Oh, we know who you are. Your family is always all over the datatabs," the raven haired girl said snottily, as she held up one of the publications.
"Well, you can't believe anything you read in those trashy things," Leia replied. The girls looked at each other.
"Really? That's not a very nice thing to say. My Dad owns the Coruscant Caller and it's a very reputable publication," she sniped. Leia's temper flared.
"That's funny…I was positive that my Grandpa Dooku owned or at least had stock in all the reputable media organizations," Leia replied. The tallest blonde grit her teeth, as her friends stared at Leia in disbelief. So much for fitting in.
"You may think that just because you're a Skywalker that you can say and do as you please…but you would be wrong. I own this school and you'll do well to remember that," she said, as she barred her white teeth.
"Well, if you know that I'm a Skywalker, then you also know that I don't take orders from just anyone. And this isn't your school. My family provides sizeable funding for the entire University. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have class," Leia retorted, leaving the three girls behind. She had wanted to fit in so badly, but she knew it wasn't meant to be. No matter what, she would stand out. So, she decided that she would be herself and make the most of this opportunity. The reason she was here was to study political science and follow in her mother's footsteps. And that's exactly what she planned to do.
Commotion erupted in the lower market place, as a masked assailant recklessly pushed his way through the masses. People screamed, as they were pushed out of the way. The man carried a bag full of credits from the bank he had just robbed and because of his short temper, he had shot two security guards. He wasn't too worried at first, as he was confident that he could outrun any ordinary police and even Clones on patrol. But he had a stroke of bad luck, for their was now a Jedi padawan after him. Still, he wasn't too concerned about a dumb kid. He turned and fired a round of blaster bolts recklessly. People screamed in terror. Luke flipped forward into the air and used the Force to deflect several bolts from hitting people and absorbed the rest with his blade. He landed and kept running in pursuit. At the end of the next block, he met up with his father, who was coming from another direction.
"He went that way!" Luke called, as he prepared to keep running. But Anakin stopped him, as he watched the man keep pushing his way through the crowded street.
"Dad…he's getting away!" Luke called impatiently.
"Patience Luke…and no, he's not," Anakin replied, with a smirk.
"Why do they always run?" Anakin asked, mostly to himself, as he watched the escaping criminal in amusement.
"Um…Dad, shouldn't we go after him?" Luke asked.
"I always catch them, yet they always run," Anakin said, as if he didn't hear his son.
"Dad…" he called impatiently.
"Wait for it," Anakin replied, as he motioned for his son to watch. The bank robber ran past several vendor stands when suddenly, one of the stands slid in front of him, having been pushed by an unseen force. He fell over it and landed on his back. He scrambled to his feet and tried to run again, but a holo banner fell from a building and narrowly missed him. He backed away and fell backward over another vendor cart and into a pile of crates.
"See…all that patience stuff that your Uncle is always chattering about actually works sometimes," Anakin told his son, as Obi-Wan and Ryoo arrived.
"Oh very funny Anakin. You could have caught him without making a spectacle. Rather reckless, don't you think? But then again, it's you, so that's nothing new," Obi-Wan teased.
"What you call reckless, I call style," Anakin retorted, as he grabbed the criminal by his tunic and pushed him against the wall, allowing Ryoo to cuff him.
"Come along Ryoo, let's escort this gentlemen to his new home…the prison," Obi-Wan said, as he dragged the man toward their speeder.
"Sometimes, it's better to rely on the Force to help us, especially since it stopped him from possibly hurting someone. That being said, we still must always be cautious…but not too cautious," Anakin instructed. Obi-Wan shook his head in amusement,
"Leave it to you to teach a lesson while taking down a criminal in true Skywalker fashion and by that I mean absolute insanity," Obi-Wan teased again.
"But that's the best way to teach. I'm a very hands on instructor," Anakin replied.
"Yes, well only you could pull off some of those stunts," Obi-Wan said, as he and Ryoo got into the speeder.
"We'll see you back at the Temple later," Anakin called, as he and Luke headed back to their own speeder.
"Are we going to get Leia now?" he asked.
"Yep…I wonder how her first day was. She was trying to hide it, but she was pretty nervous this morning," Anakin replied. He was worried about his little princess, even though she wasn't so little anymore.
"Well, she spent enough time in the fresher this morning. I thought she was never going to come out," Luke complained.
"She just wanted to look extra nice for her first day, even though she's her mother's daughter and she doesn't really have to try when it comes to being beautiful," Anakin replied.
"She spent two hours in the fresher," Luke complained. Anakin chuckled.
"Son, that's women for you. I've spent many hours waiting on your mother, but the finished result is always well worth the wait. No one ever said we were supposed to under stand it, but you'll learn to deal with that when you get married someday," Anakin replied, as they hopped into Anakin's yellow open-cockpit speeder.
"If you say so," Luke replied. Anakin smirked. He knew his oldest son had a crush on a certain fiery haired fellow padawan, though he was adamantly denied even the thought. He shook his head in amusement. Luke and Leia were so different, yet so alike in the fact that they were stubborn and hardheaded as both him and Padme put together.
That afternoon, after the Senate session ended, Padme and a few of her Senate friends convened back at her residence for tea and to discuss the legislation they wished to see brought to the floor in the near future. They did this often, usually at her place or Bail's. In addition to Padme and Bail, several other Senators were in attendance as well. They included Bana Breemu, Senator of Humbarine, Chi Eekway, the Pantoran Senator from Wroona, Terr Taneel, Senator of Neelanon. Justin Kelzine, Senator of Chandrilla and Mon Mothma's replacement, and finally Aiden Bryant, Corellia's new Senator that replaced Bel Iblis when he took the office of Chancellor. While Padme enjoyed their company, Bail was the only one she really considered a close friend. Bana was a good friend, but her morals left much to be desired by Padme. She had been married four times and had numerous affairs. Padme usually never saw her with the same man twice these days. But her political views matched many of Padme's own and she could think of far worse people in the Senate to associate with. Chi Eekway, though she had now been a Senator for many years, was still fairly naïve. Nonetheless, she always had her people's best interests at heart, though she had a hard time making the tough decisions that came along with her position. Terr Taneel, like Padme, had been married for many years to the same man. Her views and values were much like her own, though it was well known that she and her husband had their problems. They had been fighting a lot lately and she had been seeking personal advice from Padme. Padme tried to give her advice, but many of the issues she and her husband were often arguing about seemed rather petty to Padme. She was eternally grateful that her marriage was so strong and that her trust in Anakin had never wavered or faltered. As for their newest friends, they were both very young, with very little experience. Like she had once been, however, they were prodigies in their own right in the political arena. Both were from aristocratic families and had been groomed for public service all their lives. Aiden had served as an aide to Bel Iblis and he had been so impressed with the young man that he had recommended him to fill his post. And the majority of the people of Corellia agreed with the choice. As for Justin, he had his work cut out for him, as he had the task of repairing Chandrilla's image in the Senate and the galaxy. He was young and a little impulsive, but Padme saw the makings of a great lawmaker in him.
Threepio trotted in with a tray of tea, as well as some fruit and rolls.
"Thank you Threepio," Padme said, as she poured a cup of tea for herself, before passing the kettle along.
"So Padme, I see you have tickets to the opening show at the Galaxies Opera house tonight. I'm envious. They were sold out when I tried to buy them," Terr mentioned. Padme smiled.
"Yes, I'm not quite sure how Anakin did it, but he somehow got those tickets. Grandfather does make an annual donation to the opera house though, so that may have had some pull," Padme replied.
"I can't believe your husband still takes you out on dates. I asked mine to take me out on a date and he acted like it wasn't required for him to romance me anymore, because we were already married," she replied with disdain.
"It's hard keeping the spark alive with just one person. I admire yours and Anakin's ability to keep the romance fresh, but I guess I don't have the attention span to stay with just one. I've only been dating my current boyfriend for a couple months and I'm already bored," Bana spoke frankly.
"Well, it has nothing to do with attention span and everything to do with love. And I could never get even close to bored with a wonderful man like Anakin," Padme replied. She really did consider Bana to be a good friend, but they were as different as night and day. And she could only take so much of Bana's type of personality. She was what many considered to be a man-eater and she had seen Bana give her husband an intense look of seduction more than once. Fortunately, Anakin didn't notice any other women, except her. Padme heard a familiar commotion on the veranda and smiled, as her father had arrived home with Jayden, Jenna, Kimberly, and Natalie as well.
"Hi Mom!" Jayden called, as they came inside.
"Hi sweetheart, how was your day?" she asked.
"Great…can I have a snack? I'm starving!" Jayden replied. Padme laughed.
"Of course you are. There are some cookies in the kitchen, but don't eat too many. Your Dad and I are ordering dinner from Dex's for all of you before we leave tonight," she told him.
"Thanks Mom," Jayden called, as he went to the kitchen for cookies and blue milk.
"Hi Daddy," Natalie said, as she hugged him.
"Hi sweetheart, did you visit your Mother while you were at the Temple?" Bail asked. She nodded.
"She's looking strong today," Natalie said with hope. Bail forced a smile. Despite the front they put on for their daughter, Breha's condition had not improved in the last two years.
"That's wonderful. I'll be going to spend the evening with her. Padme and I were discussing it and we decided it would be okay if you want to spend the night with Jenna," Bail responded. She smiled.
"Thanks Daddy," she replied, as she went to join the other kids in the kitchen.
"They're getting so big. I remember when they were just toddlers and they were running all around here during our meetings," Terr mentioned. Padme felt bad for her. She was married to a very insensitive man who had always been too busy to start a family. It was clear that Terr wanted children, as she always enjoyed seeing Padme's and Bail's.
"I know. Sometimes I miss having babies around the house. But then Anakin reminds me that Luke and Leia will be grown in just a few years and someday we'll have grandbabies to spoil," Padme mentioned. As she said that, Padme saw her husband land the speeder, which carried her two oldest children as well.
"I guess it is getting late in the day, so we should all be going," Chi mentioned, as they rose.
"Master Skywalker…so nice to see you," Bana said, giving him an appreciate stare.
"Senators," Anakin bowed politely, while his eyes found his wife. She smiled at him. The Senators, except Bail filed out the front door and toward the lift that would take them to the bottom level.
"Hi honey, how was your first day of classes?" Padme asked. Leia didn't look happy.
"It would have been great had I just been another student and if everyone hadn't been staring at me all day like I'm some kind of freak. And it would have been better if the three most popular girls in school hadn't put a target on my back already. They hated me the moment I walked into "their" school," Leia replied glumly.
"Oh, I'm so sorry sweetie. Are you saying that you'd rather go back to private tutoring?" Padme asked. Leia shrugged.
"I don't know…maybe. There were a few nice kids I guess. And I saw Lando briefly. He's going to the University," Leia mentioned. Padme smiled.
"First days are always hard. I was terrified on my first day as Senator. There were some people that weren't very nice at all, but then I met Bail and we became good friends. So, why don't you give it a couple more days and if you still don't like it, I'll get your tutor back," Padme promised. Leia nodded, deciding that was fair.
"Okay," she agreed, before going to join the other kids in the rec room. Bail smiled.
"I see school hasn't gotten any easier," Bail mentioned.
"No, if anything, it's gotten worse," Padme replied.
"Well, I should get over to the Temple to see Breha. Thank you again for letting Natalie stay," Bail said.
"We love her like our own and we love having her," Padme replied.
"She's not getting any better. I know she stays strong in Natalie's presence…but she's tired. If it weren't for the intense healing trances that the Temple's healers put her through every few days, then I would have lost her long ago," Bail said distraughtly. Padme's heart broke for Bail, as he put a hand on his shoulder.
"I'm sorry…I shouldn't burden you with all this," he said.
"That's what we're here for. We're friends and they will find a cure," Anakin assured him. Bail nodded.
"I know. I was extremely touched when the Council commissioned a team of healers and Jedi to begin scouring the galaxy's medical facilities and meeting with professionals in the field to look for answers and similar cases," Bail said.
"I know they'll find some kind of lead and as soon as we know where to go to find a cure, I'll be on my way to bring whoever or whatever back to Coruscant to treat her. We are not going to lose her," Anakin promised. Bail nodded.
"Thank you both for being such good friends," Bail replied. They bid him farewell for the evening, before turning to each other.
"Well Mrs. Skywalker, I believe you and I have a date," he said. She smiled.
"We do and I'm going to go upstairs to get ready. I bought a new dress and I had you in mind when I bought it," she said sultrily.
"Lucky me. I'll order dinner for the kids and then you and I will make our reservation," he replied. She smiled.
"I can't wait," she said, as she ascended the stairs to get ready.