Author's Note:

Hi there! This is my very first published SW fanfic (I've had pieces of various others on my hard drive for 3.5 years). This story was on one of my blogs, and it actually led someone to start reading my other fanfics, so I decided I'd dig out this fic, polish it up a bit, and post it officially here on FF-dot-Net.

This story has been near and dear to my heart for a long time, and it's time people got the chance to see it.

==Across the Stars==

The Rising Sun

A secret, a separation, a crash, a tragedy… can Anakin's and Padmé's recent marriage survive? So soon after their marriage, a terrible tragedy pushes their relationship to the breaking point.

There is hope for the family in the future, if only they can survive this…


The Crash

"Hold on tight, Padmé!"

Padmé nodded wordlessly, gritted her teeth, and clutched at the armrests of her seat till her knuckles were white. She forced her eyes to stay open though reflex told her to squeeze them shut.

Sweat broke out on Anakin's face. His hands clenched the steering yoke of the shuttle so tightly that the servos in his mechno arm protested. His fear heightened his grip on the Force, and he called upon the Force to hold the ship relatively steady as it veered down to the planet's surface in crash collision.

The atmosphere buffeted them hard. Thank God that the inertial compensator, unlike most of the ship's systems, hadn't failed. If it had, he and Padmé would have been crushed by now.

Padmé. So recently his wife. He was her guardian – he had to protect her. To save her from any and every danger.

His grip on the Force slipped and the shuttle careened. He desperately tried to grab hold of it again, but it was too late. The mountains filled the viewport.

"Anakin!" Padmé cried, hand flying instinctively to her still-flat abdomen.

"Hold on!" he repeated.

Seizing the armrests again, Padmé's eyes squeezed shut, not in fear now but in desperate prayer. Father in Heaven, keep us safe! Keep us safe! Keep us safe...

"We're almost there!" Anakin gritted out.

The ground rushed up to meet them violently, and their crash-webbing could not restrain them. Both were hurled forward at the control consoles, and their world went black.

Pain was the first thing he was aware of.

His body was full of pain. It seemed that every muscle and bone in his body ached. His mechno arm was strangely numb. Something warm and wet plastered his forehead, where a sharp pain throbbed.

He opened his eyes and groaned. The protective shell of his right arm was gone, shattered by the crash's impact.

The next thing he saw was that he was gracelessly spread out over the console. Then he tilted his head just enough to see Padmé – she was spread out over the console, too, but still unconscious.

"Padmé?" he tried. His voice was shaky. He pushed himself up, grimacing as he realized that not only did his bones ache, but his left collarbone was fractured, too. Oh, this is good.

"Padmé." Still no answer. She was out.

The cockpit was a mess – it looked literally as if a tornado had run through it. Damaged equipment lay between him and Padmé, who was only about four feet away. Slowly, carefully, he pulled himself onto and over the twisted pile, his collarbone protesting cruelly. He eased over to her side and…

Blast! If I lift her, my shoulder is going to go. He clenched his damaged right hand into a durasteel fist. Okay, okay, just use the Force.

He reached out for the Force and directed it towards his wife. Her body slowly rose off the console, and backward into his right arm. She sagged into him, her head lolling up to face him. Blood snaked out of the right corner of her open mouth. Her whole left cheek was one blackish-purple bruise. Anakin winced. This was probably nothing compared to the time that that nexu had ripped her back open in the Geonosian arena, but… Wounded was wounded.

"Padmé," he said again, kissing her. "Padmé," he said louder, "it's time to wake up."

Her body shuddered before her eyes fluttered open. "Ani," she whispered in a shaky breath. She frowned and feebly reached up to his face. "Your forehead. It's covered with blood."

"Just a cut," he assured her. Blood… I should have known it was blood.

"My chest… hurts. Ribs… I think a couple are broken." She coughed, and cried out in pain.

Anakin felt fear spike in her. "What's wrong?" he demanded, blue eyes wide and concerned.

He felt her try to tamp down her fear as she replied, "It's nothing. I'm just – worried."

Not, reassured, he frowned but let it go as he looked up and around. "I've gotta get you outta here. This thing is gonna blow soon. I'll get you out, then I'll get out the emergency packs."

"Make sure you get my travel case," Padmé urged.

Her travel case? "Padmé, the emergency packs are a little more important than your wardrobe."

"Anakin!" Her voice was sharp – she'd never spoken to him like that before. He wasn't even sure that he'd ever even heard her use that tone. Just as his temper was about to flare, he realized something: her sense in the Force radiated fear. "Please," she pleaded softly, "just trust me. Do as I say."

Anakin nodded, confused inside. He supposed that he'd just never understand women, just like Gilraen Starrider said. "Can you stand?"

"I think if you're helping me…"

With the help of the Force on Anakin's part and prayer on Padmé's, the young couple managed to make it about a hundred meters from the shuttle. Padmé rested on a fallen tree while Anakin quickly retrieved her travel case and the emergency packs. He had to make two trips, and as he left the hatch the second time, he felt a surge of warning in the Force. He broke into a dead run, and made it about halfway to Padmé before the shuttle exploded. The force of the blast blew him down to the ground.

"Anakin!" Padmé's scream was lost in the roar of the fire.

She felt a sudden reassurance in the Force. I'm okay. I'll come when it's safe for me to get up.

Padmé nodded to her husband's telepathy, and then remembered that he couldn't see the gesture. Be careful.

She felt a telepathic boyish grin, and had to smile in reply. Aren't I always?

As long as Anakin was safe, Padmé would to get in the playful last word. No comment.

The whole galaxy could be exploding around them, just so long as Anakin was still okay. That was all that mattered. Well, that, and then the other…

Author's Note – WARNING:

This thing is MAJOR AU. ¿Comprende? I mean, there are no words to describe just how MASSIVELY AU this story is!

1. From here, the Star Wars saga changes dramatically. ...Most AUs do this, though, so that's not so bad.

2. In this AU, the GFFA has a link to Earth – it's part of my old backstory that I never fully fleshed out, and it's just something that would be really hard for me to take out now. Anyway, it's fun, having the characters know Earth stuff. When this fic begins, it's 23BBY in the GFFA, and A.D. 1989 on Earth. *winks*

3. Because of the link to Earth… well, that justifies something that Kathy Tyers actually suggested, via the Sunesi, in New Jedi Order: Balance Point: the existence of a Creator. In this story, that's fleshed-out into something more Christian. Hopefully, whether you agree with that or not, you'll continue to read the story and enjoy it in spite of the occasional Christian tone. If not, well, I'm sorry to lose you on the very first installment of the fic. =( But it's something that's an intrinsic part of my story and myself – I can't change that.

All that being said, you know the drill: Read and Review~!