"Your hair is longer."

"Only natural, my love."

"This is the first time…"

"That I've been gone for this long. Yes, I know."

Pause. "Four months."

Frown. Sigh. "It's felt like a lifetime."

"We knew it would be like this."

Silence. A purse of the lips. "Sometimes I wish…"

"Don't start this again. Not now," she pressed her hands to her temples, then removed them, straightening her posture and smiling lovingly, "Now, I want to hear about everything," she paused. "Well. Not everything…"

He smiled. "If you don't want me to tell you about the perils this war puts me in…" Pause, "Well, there goes all of my stories."

She winced. And then sighed. "I am hoping the next routine scar check will account to less 'battle wounds' this time. What was it last… ten? Eleven?"

"Twelve, milady."

"Gods, twelve," she laughed, but her eyes were someplace else. They returned to his hologram form after a second. "Oh, Ani…"

"I promise I'll see you soon," his gaze was piercing, even through the hologram static that was testament to their separation, "We are working our way back to the Core each week, each day…" He looked farther away as he continued, then returned his eyes to Padmé, "I have this feeling… I know I'll be with you soon, Padmé."

She pressed her lips together, forming a small smile. "I love you."

His eyes twinkled. "To the end of the galaxy and back, my angel."

Ahsoka couldn't sleep.

This wasn't uncommon. Truthfully, ever since being assigned to Anakin, she hadn't gotten a peaceful night sleep. Unless she was in her room at the Temple. Then she was comfortable. But, here. In hyperspace. Wherever the hell they were… she had so much to worry about. She worried about her master, she worried about the assigned clones, she worried about this piece of junk ship they were flying… everything.

She sat straight up. Folded her legs and pressed her knees to her chest.

She wondered if her master was asleep or worrying too. Reaching out to the Force, she sensed he was awake. Up. Not tired. Possibly worrying, too.

(Actually, it seemed like he never worried. Like everything would be okay, always.)

She pushed herself off her sleep cot and down the hallway, knowing that Anakin could sense her outside his room.

But then she heard something. Sounds. Whispers.

Probably just talking to Obi-Wan, or… whatever.

Clearly her master's mind was elsewhere. Because he would have sensed her by now. She had been standing here for quite some time… at least, it felt like long. He was still talking in there, chatting with whomever.

At first, she had respected his privacy. Then. She thought about it and decided she wanted to know whom Anakin was talking to—maybe he was seeking guidance from someone, maybe…

She closed her eyes and reached out with the Force.

(Bad idea.)

A woman.

Master Unduli?


This wasn't guidance he was seeking. They were just… talking. About everything. The war, the scars… the…

Wait a second.


She knew this voice, too.


Ahsoka's connection was lost as the door abruptly slid open. His eyes were slits and then closed as he pressed his gloved hand to his eyelids. He opened them, asking, "How much did you hear, Snips…" There was no question to his voice. Just, aggravation. Frustration. Sadness.

Enough to know that you're—"Well…" she sighed. "A good majority of it."

"Tell me."

"You and the Senator were just. Talking. I guess," she shrugged. Anakin motioned for her to come into his quarters.

There was a storm gathering beyond his eyes. He was thinking. He looked down onto his hands. Then, finally, back up at Ahsoka.

"Senator Amidala and I are good friends. We've been through a lot together and… we… we're there for each other."

She nodded.

Then she realized that was the extent of his description. He wasn't going to say anymore.

But she knew. Ahsoka knew that her master and the Nubian Senator were more than just 'good friends.' That 'good friends' excuse was just a cover-up. They loved each other. She knew it. She had heard it!

And she had seen it. Padmé had frequently found her way into war zone. Found Anakin. Her master's utter defiance whenever she was in danger. It was like a flame was lit—he had to help her, always, more than his normal self would for anyone. His Jedi mandate was always tossed out the window in order to defy all odds to save the Senator. To be with her. To make her safe.

Because he loved her.

The Jedi Code forbids that deep friendship. Attachment, Ahsoka. The voice in her head spoke loudly. She knew that Anakin's attachment to the Senator was forbidden, but, really. When had her master ever followed the rules?

Author's Note: Mostly likely will extend this in another one-shot. I just love Ahsoka.