this is a disclaimer.

but we make our own mistakes

The first time Anakin comes home with that scar over his eye, he tells her he got it slipping in the shower.

Ridiculously, Padmé almost finds herself believing him. It's that grin of his, that easy open laugh, the twinkle in his eyes. He's a very good storyteller.

Oh, not a good liar. No. Anakin can't tell a lie to save his life. There's a streak of straightforward honesty in him a mile wide, and nothing can summon up that ferocious glare of his faster than listening to her planning a campaign to pass a new Bill in the Senate. (She can't help being sneaky. It's a job requirement, just like he's required to be good with a lightsabre.)

But Anakin likes to tell stories, differentiating between the two in a strangely subtle way Padmé can't quite follow, if she's honest with herself. Perhaps it's telling that he most enjoys telling stories about himself and Obi-Wan and their daring exploits: exciting stories, wild ones, crazy ones. Aggressive negotiations and thrilling dogfights in space. Perhaps it's not lying if both storyteller and listener are aware that it didn't really happen, or at the very least didn't really happen like that.

She asks him about it one night in bed, propped against his chest with his arms around her waist and her legs wrapped artfully around his right one. No sign whatsoever that she might be a bit heavy for him.

"I like telling stories," he says. "They're important, you know. It's how you learn."

She giggles. "Learn how to slip in the shower?"

He sniffs. "Learn why it's important not to."

"I like that scar, actually. It makes you look very dashing."

Padmé says it without thinking, and then bites her lip, horrified, wishing she could take it back. Liking a scar - you stupid girl, who knows how he really came by it -

It's not tension exactly; just a kind of pause, as if he's evaluating her words.

Then his breath ghosts along her cheek in a soft laugh. "I'm glad you approve, milady."

She relaxes again. "There's a whole genre of Naboo literature devoted to heroes like you," she says. "Tall, handsome, mysterious, fetchingly scarred, long dark cloaks and deadly blades..."

Anakin snorts. "Romance novels."

"Not just! The inspiration came from a novel written -"

"Novels," he interrupts, "are not stories."

Then he yawns, making her smile. "You're tired."

"Been a busy week," he says, and now his words are a bit slurred, sleep creeping up on him.

Actually, sleep's probably rushing him. He's only been home with her for six hours, and they've spent a not inconsiderable part of that time engaged in some quite strenuous, if thoroughly enjoyable (not to say downright ecstatic) activities.

She shifts her weight a bit, meaning to roll aside and let him sleep. He shifts too, sliding down the bed and spilling her onto the mattress next to him, curving around her so that they're spooning instead of her lying on top of him. They'll probably roll away from each other in the night and wake up at opposite sides of the bed, but it's lovely to fall asleep like this, and it's even lovelier to open her eyes in the morning and crawl back to his arms, knowing when she gets there she'll be greeted with a kiss and more.

Her fingers run across the warmed metal of his right hand, thin and light but strong as transparisteel, and all this talk of scars and stories makes her mind wander to a meadow on Naboo where he first started telling her the stories he loves.

"Didn't you have a scar here?" she asks, sleepy herself all of a sudden.

Anakin shifts. "Yeah - when I was a kid a pirate pinned my hand to the counter" - yawn again, bigger than the last - "pinned my hand to the counter in the shop with a knife when Watto wouldn't deal with him."

Sigh. Silence. Slow steady breathing. Padmé thinks he's slipped into sleep.

She feels like she's been hit. Pinned his hand - as a child, pinned his hand -

Oh, really. What about those scars across his back, those three thin white lines near-invisible except in sunlight and under close scrutiny? He's got six different stories of how they came about, each more fantastical than the last.

Still, this one was different - Watto's never featured in his stories before...

There's a first time for everything, Padmé tells herself firmly. She'll wake up tomorrow and crawl back into his arms and make love to him until long past breakfast time, and then she'll ask again, and Anakin'll probably tell her a circus knife-thrower pinned his hand to a wall when he and Obi-Wan came to arrest him.

Or something.

Pinned his hand to the counter.

The uneasiness follows her into sleep, but in the morning she forgets it, and the scar she meant to ask about.