Author's Note: Companion piece to Gravity. And dedicated especially to tiggeroxs. :)

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars, and I am not making any profit from this fanfic. But I do own Ryn, and Evinne, and this little one-shot.

Feedback is always appreciated.

The Birthday Wish:

Ryn felt Anakin's presence approaching and turned from the window as he entered without knocking.

He didn't say hello, just came to stand beside her, the light from Coruscant's reflected sunset gilding his skin and picking out the highlights in his hair so that he stood before her, a creature of gold.

"Evinne told me today was your birthday," he said finally, huskily, watching her with an unreadable, intense expression. If she hadn't known better, Ryn would have called it a hungry look. Avid.

Damn Evinne.



"Yes." Ryn's voice broke on the word, and she hated herself for it.

"If I'd known, I would have gotten you a better present."

"I didn't expect anything." Wait a minute. Did he just say a better present? What was the first --

Anakin smiled: his almost-shy, please-say-you're-proud-of-me smile, and untucked his hands from his sleeves. He clicked two pieces of metal together as his hands met and held out a single object to her.

His presence radiated so much brightness Ryn thought she might cry. It wasn't right for anything human to be so beautiful. She took the object in her hands and turned it over, not daring to look up at Anakin.

"I -- thank you. What is it?"

"A holocam," Anakin said. "I made it out of some spare droid parts. It's -- I thought, you could take holos to send home to your family. You can read holos on it, too, so if Kit sends you some, you could have them to look at ..."

Memories. He gave me memories for my birthday.

Ryn laughed on a sob, bringing a shaking hand to her mouth as she looked down at his gift.

"You don't like it?" Anakin said, suppressed panic hovering at the back of his throat, and Ryn shook her head vigorously, still not quite brave enough to look up at him, lest she lose the dignity that was hanging by a thread.

"I love it," she choked, reaching out to clasp his hand with her free one. "It's perfect."

"I wish I'd known sooner, I could have made you something better."

"I didn't want anything."

"It's your thirteenth birthday. You should have something."

All I want is for you to kiss me, Ryn thought, and then realized the wish had leaked through her shields when Anakin's warm fingers tensed under her own.

She opened her mouth to say I'm sorry, if she could just choke the words out past the knot of horrified embarrassment, but Anakin's voice, unbelievably, said, "Well, I guess I could give you one more thing."

She looked up then, because she couldn't not, and found Anakin looking down at her, smiling a little shakily.

No, Anakin, no, you don't have to ... But she couldn't make herself think the right words, much less form them with a mouth gone suddenly dry.

"Close your eyes," Anakin murmured, a low husky sound that thrummed low in her chest, and Ryn found she was helpless not to obey.

His fingers disengaged from hers, and with the fingertips of his left hand he traced the line of her jaw, then up to her lips as her eyes fell shut and her lips opened on a sigh. She felt his other hand stroking lightly at her waist, the gentle touch one might use with a fallen bird.

She felt his warm on her face, smelled the slightly sweet scent of his skin.

And then his lips were on hers, covering and teasing them in a hesitant, untutored motion that left her breathless and longing for more. She tilted her head automatically to let him deeper, and felt the slight change in Anakin's breathing as he took the kiss from careful to insistent and his fingers slid back to tangle in the hair at her nape, the hand on her waist gripping tighter.

"Unnnh," he breathed into her mouth, and Ryn couldn't have said it better herself. She was still holding the camera in her right hand, but her left trailed up his tabard of its own accord to run through his short curls and press his mouth tighter on hers as their lips opened together and suddenly there was nothing, no barrier between them, and Anakin's presence flared, bright-hot behind her eyelids, and somewhere Ryn could have sworn she heard drum-music, but maybe that was just the beat of her own heart, and she gasped and reached for more just as Anakin let go of her hair to wrap both hands around her waist and lift her onto her toes, pressing her close so they were front-to-front from knee to chest, and he sighed again, and she heard herself sob with pure ecstasy, and the universe tilted into place and ...

"Ryn? Have you seen my -- oh." Evinne's voice was like the shock of cold water, dashed over both of them, and Anakin and Ryn pulled apart, breathing raggedly, staring startled into each other's eyes.

What was that?

"Sorry," Evinne muttered, retreating through the doorway; but the spell was broken, and Anakin dropped his hands from Ryn's waist, backing away awkwardly.

"Happy birthday," he muttered, and fled.