Author Notes: I am more than aware of the fact that these characters are not entirely IC. This was written as a what if/AU/ tale and was meant to read in a fashion that mimics the style of the song 'Alice' by Cocteau Twins.

Also I'd like to dedicate this tale to Ansketil Rose who inspired me with the idea of these two being a pairing (had Palpatine been Padmé's age) and her mad sewing skills!

To Palpatine, Amidala was just a flawless mask, beauty with no substance. The Naboo Queen surrounded herself with powerful men and women, trinkets who hung onto her empty words.

To Amidala, Palpatine was just another lowbrow politician looking to claw his way to the top. A predator that moved through the crowds with ease, Speaking in a voice so sweet and wearing a smile that disarmed his prey.

A slight of hands, a hidden gesture exchanged between the queen and her handmaiden revealed another side to the mask Amidala wore. The queen words told one story, the subtle movements of her body told another. Behind that innocent smile was a viper waiting to strike. Palpatine could only observe in silent admiration as Amidala's conniving plans unfolded. There was more to Naboo's greatest queen than he once believed.

Schemes were made and plots were set in motion. The young queen moved through the crowds playing on their hopes and fears alike. Word play was an art and Amidala was the master; she was not the only one.

The sound of his voice (so elegant) and his mysterious smile did not catch her attentions. A slight of hand, an exchange of glances (twilight skies drowning in stormy waters) and her world was turned on its side.

The young man's invitation was made without a word spoken. Surely, this stranger did not understand the private language shared between the handmaidens and her. Blue eyes did not deny the facts, nor did they reveal the truth. His invitation was accepted without hesitation.

They came together under the great crystalline lights that shone over the grand ballroom floor. Clad in crimson, clad in onyx; their fingers intertwined as the haunting music of the coming winter continued to play.

"Do you enjoy Dejarik?" he asked in introduction, her knowing smile was answer enough. With them, words were no longer necessary.

The music played on as they danced and swayed, their intentions hidden, yet revealed through the dancers that twirled around them. With subtle smiles, they departed from the busy party carrying with them secrets that no one could understand.

Everything was about to change and only they knew it.

Palpatine was a talented Dejarik player; Amidala was his equal. Long hours spent over carefully crafted figurines of stone (tradition would demand no less) revealed truths that neither knew of the other or themselves.

Weeks turned to months and months into years. The queen became a senator, and the young politician became chancellor, as all around them a great war raged and roared.

Their pawns, faceless clones and replicated droids lived, fought and died for a game that only they, their masters, understood. Palpatine rose to power from behind the mask he wore, while Amidala's own mask, Padmé, diminished with time. Their games had become more than just stiff statues moving against a game board of carved stone; the domination and the tactics had consumed them both.

There were no secrets left unshared, only a mysterious awakening and truths they had denied for so long. A slight of hand, an exchange of glances and their worlds were turned on its side. His lips tasted her mouth first, cold as ice and fiery as abyssal flames. Slender fingers, so perfect and soft, caressed calloused hands, as finely crafted garbs fluttered to the ground.

"What have I become?" Padmé gasped in fear.

"Ask not what you have become, but why," the young Chancellor whispered in reply.

Padmé breathed her last breath before drowning in a storm of passion play, while the laughter of rustling silk sheets and sighs of pleasure filled the night.

The young Supreme Chancellor named Palpatine watched as the sun rose from the balcony of foreign quarters, his body covered in garbs of onyx. Shrouded beneath the finery of a satin robe his lover, Amidala soon joined him.

"The danger has finally passed," he said softly.

"And so it has," she replied. Her fingers slipped into his own as together they departed inside. Taking their seats on either side of a Dejarik board the two studied the sculptured pawns and each other intently.

"Shall we?" he asked, without ever asking.

"Yes," she replied, without ever answering.

Twilight eyes met Icy orbs, while the air became thick with anticipation and mysteries only they understood. The future they had plotted for so long had finally become the present.

Calloused hands wrapped around the sculptured form of a molator before moving it into the tactical position of the The Fork. While polished white nails slipped around the carved form of a Kintan Strider and moved it into the stance of the Death Gambit.

Outside, an aged republic withered away.