Title: Duty
Timeframe: not too long after Geonosis (in the universe where general timeframe is defined as "a long time ago" this qualifies as a precise information ;P )
Character(s): Padmè Amidala, Anakin Skywalker (and a kind-of Anakin/Padmè)
Genres: tipping in the direction of a Darkfic, plus shades of Tragedy
Warnings: dark thoughts and emotions
Summary: Duty:

1) something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation

2) the binding or obligatory force of something that is morally or legally right; moral or legal obligation

3) an action or task required by a person's position or occupation

4) the respectful and obedient conduct due a parent, superior, elder, etc.

Disclaimer: If it has escaped your notice, I'm not George Lucas. For one, I don't have a beard! SW and all else belongs to him (unless you spy something resembling plot in the fic, then I take the blame... I mean credit... for that).

A/N: This is a very long time in coming birthday fic for Mathematica. For a while I was thinking I'd never finish it *wipes brow* Think of her while you're reading and wish her everything the best!
A/N2: I was aiming for a darker Padmè in that fic. However, ROTS canon Padmè kept interfering, so I'm not exactly sure how well it went... Please tell me?


"Duty"

... I'm doing all right, Padmè. It's not as bad as it could've been.

Yours,

Anakin

She trembles. Only slightly, but she berates herself for even allowing herself that. It's not a time to allow oneself a weakness. And she's not a person who would.

Her elegant finger is steady and firm- decisive- when it presses- softly, to avoid any unnecessary sound- a 'delete' button.

No sound may mean that the action never took place. Likewise, there was no message to delete. There was none. She made sure of that, leaving no traces of the short missives- of him- on her personal communicator.

He's still alive.


... You know, there is no day- no night- when I don't think of you. Even here, in the distant worlds I was once sure of never seeing, despite being a Jedi, you are still my world. I love you. And I'll come back to you soon. I promise you that.

Anakin

She never answers him. Says it's too dangerous, too traceable. As if his life- and hers- wasn't dangerous by the essence itself. But she's older than he, and she thinks she knows the dangers better. At the very least, she understands them better. And she will not be a fool. Never.

Her face has learnt well how to transform itself into a mask. And she uses it to meet her purposes. She was a queen, after all. And now she's an able politician. She will deal with it.


... and the place reminds me of Naboo. It's not Varykino, more like Theed, maybe. But it's still beautiful. The Seps seem to be in retreat; that's good, I'm tired of losing every campaign we start...

She remembers Varykino. Because Varykino will always remind her of herself; of her choice, the situation she found herself in there, once.

She's still the same person, and she would make the same choice again, if the situation forced itself upon her again (only that would be some bitter parody of time- ellipse, a reoccurring nightmare and determined set-in-stone fate).

There is an unnamed passion with which the 'delete' presses into the pad of her thumb. Padmè Naberrie- not Amidala, never her, she needs her to stay coolly in control- begins to hate.


...I wish we could go back to Coruscant. The Council suspects that some Separatist's leaders- maybe even Dooku- are preparing something in the Outer Rims. We'll most likely be joined by a few other Jedi teams to search the most likely planets...

Padmè trembles with rage; she begins to know the feeling, recognise it. It is pale, and it is lips burning with salt-covered blood, and it is dangerous.

She begins to see herself in that image.

It controls her blood, her heart, her coiling insides and the words that are tipping- the flow of words she doesn't want to recognise- from her tongue, almost. She keeps them in, though, because it can't control her mind.

And as long as her mind stays cool and collected, the rage can have everything else.


There are no forthcoming messages. Not from him; as any busy and respected politician, Amidala has her hands fool, and the buzzing of her comm never stays silent for a longer period of time. She can live by herself, like before, and the normalcy of that is refreshing; hours spend behind her desk, long committee meetings, loud quarrels in the Senate bring her relief, and she's alive.

She will stay alive, and do her duty.


It's not often that Senator Amidala of Naboo allows herself time to recollect. Thinking of the past- even the past that brought grievous consequences- was futile, unless said thinking could bring a solution to present- or future- problems. She knows that the resolving of that matter is truly out of her hands. As powerful as she was, she could do nothing.

Now she has time. Even worse is that she's completed all her duties for the day, and there're no social events to busy her wandering mind.

She remembers herself, remembers herself there, with him. And remembering that, she feels forced, as if a solid physical presence wanted- no, desired greatly- to tear the carefully designed walls on her memory and life, to think about him. It is as if he was here (only hopefully, he can't be, right? She knows he has power, she knows he is strong in the Force, but she never could understand what it precisely means. Could he wrap himself around her thoughts, could he influence her by his sheer, ferocious potential?)

(it works only on weak minds)


She stares, immobile, at the beeping object on her desk, stiff and angry at the audacity of the sound. She gets up to read the new message, and she does, slowly and carefully, attentively. Padmè imagines the viciousness with which she'd delete the message, his face flickering before her mind's eye, how he'd look if he could see that, see her and the desires flashing behind her eyes. He'd be desolate, maybe even broken, angry...

She squashes the thought, managing to keep herself in check. She could not.


... and Obi-wan mentions that we will have a longer leave when we return (finally, if you ask me). Do you think you could take some break from that tedious Senate so we could go to Naboo?... We don't know what has happened to them, master Obi-wan says we will try the mountains in the south, and if we don't find the missing Jedi there... And is that selfish, my love, that I catch myself being thankful it was Varian and master Lern, and not myself and Obi-wan? I could only think that I'd have never seen you again, and count the hours we've spent together. 367, to be exact. ... maybe it'll be safe enough on the next assignment to use holocomm without fear of the enemy intercepting the transmission...

I miss you, Padmè,

Anakin

She did all this out of duty. Because that was right. And necessary.

She has nothing to be sorry for.


He would have been lost. Lost and angry at the whole universe, and there'd have been nothing to root him to the common sense and duty. She had known it. Much more than that: she had seen it. She had seen the after-effects of Anakin losing the reason for sensible and right actions. And he needed something else, then, to keep him focused and working for the better of the Republic.

She has done her duty.

She's stayed by his side, she's married him by the shimmering lights of Varykino's lakes, and now she also has a duty to her husband.

Stay loyal in body and mind. Love him with the whole of her being. Think of him day and night. Be his.

(and she is thinking of him, sometimes there is nothing but him, and she resents him for that even further; he's taken her life and turned it into the reflection of his own)

Padmè darkly thinks if that's what Sola had in mind so long ago, when her sister was speaking of the virtues of married life. To be only the half of a person, instead of a whole on her own. To be consumed by raging emotions when a situation called for a cool mind.

She dreamed of that. And it was so wrong now. She could forgive herself for being weak in a dream. For dreaming at all. Reality gave it all a cold check, and she knew she wasn't the person from that dream.

Somehow, it has begun to matter when she started to live through those old dreams. She is the only ill-fitting piece.


I'm so grateful I have you, Padmè. Having something so normal- and... good- to think of, to escape to, when all around there's only blood and screams. Thanks to you I can remain sane. Obi-wan always used to say I need to find a spot in me that is sure of the good in the universe when I was meditating, that without it I'll never do it right. I've never known what he was talking about. Now that I have you, I believe we can do it. I need to believe that... Barriss was trying to save him, she's done all she could, I swear... And what are we doing here, carrying thirteen year old children with blaster wounds into the med tents? They should've been treated for colds, or sprained wrists from their lightsaber trainings.

It's all crashing down on us, Padmè.

Anakin

She is seething by the time she reaches the end. She knows how vile she was- she probably even looked the part- for hating him. But that was the only feeling that was left to her, other than hating herself, and she still needs something besides that.

She can still remember how it all has started, if she tries very hard. The memory is fading, though, becoming carefully obscured by the boiling veil of her new creation, of the person born in her insides.

She had decided; by her own free will, in her own private dark corners, that a sacrifice needed to be made in order to preserve Anakin Skywalker for the effort of war, for the continued existence of the Republic and democracy.

He has needed her by his side; and therefore, she'd stay by his side, as his wife. She's completed the martial vows with him, and they have become one.

She's done it to cool his raving hot heart, his furies.

She can still remember their wedding night. His tanned muscular body and her own pale one, both entities staying in control of the situation, he of the sex, hot and exhilarating and full of him, and she of their locked souls.

She's done her duty; she'd one day like to wonder why she clenches her fists in an unbridled lust for something and why she grinds her teeth every time the comm signals an incoming message. But she's too busy for that now, pretending to read while her mind firmly shuts down, preventing any trembling or shuddering from betraying her.

The End


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