Summary: AU in which Anakin never turned. Anakin has to look after his six-year-old twins for the day and gets more than he bargained for.
Modified: 26 March 2008
Anakin and the Twins
The golden sunlight blazing into the Naboo Senator's official residence was hinting at a near perfect day for parks, picnics and other outdoor fun.
However, Senator Padmé Amidala didn't notice. She was too busy studying that morning's newsfax.
A barely audible groan came from beside her. She looked down at her husband of the last eight years, who was lying face-down on the pillow, with his arms twisted outwards at strange angles.
"Anakin, dear, I have to go into the office. Do you think you'd be okay with the twins today? I promised to take them out."
A moderately positive grunt. Padmé went back to reading.
Soon, Anakin rolled over, rubbing his eyes then stretching his arms around Padmé's waist.
"Why do you have to work today, angel?" Anakin asked, sleepily.
"Another Palpatine follower, stirring up trouble, as usual."
"Can't Jar Jar handle it?"
"I couldn't do that to him. He's been down at the office all week. I might contact him, though, and see if he can help you look after the twins."
"Are you suggesting I can't handle the twins without Jar Jar's help?!" Anakin said, letting go of Padmé and sitting up slightly.
"Ani, that wasn't what I meant. You know the twins can be a handful, and Jar Jar always loves to see them. I just thought –"
"Padmé, I think all those years of Jedi training equipped me to handle a couple of six-year-olds –"
A loud crash sounded out in the hallway, then the booming noise of feet running down the hall. With a couple of twin-shrieks, Luke and Leia exploded into the room, running full-speed towards the bed.
A metre before it, Luke sprung into the air, and came down flat on Anakin's stomach.
"Oooh! Luke!" Anakin winced in pain.
Leia crawled up the middle and wrapped her arms around Anakin's neck.
"Morning Daddy!" she giggled.
"Guess what, Dad!!" Luke yelled.
Anakin looked back at his son, who was now sitting cross-legged on his chest.
"Mom's taking us out! Aren't you Mom? We're going swimming!!"
"I'm really sorry, but I have to go to work today, Lukie. Your father's going to take you."
"Awww, Moooooom!" Both twins whined in unison. They crawled over until they were sitting on her.
"Hey, what's wrong with me?!" Anakin said, "We're still going to have fun."
"But Mom buys us icy-fruits if we're good!" Luke said, pouting.
"We eat them in the park!" Leia added.
"We can do that," Anakin said.
"Yes, I promise," Anakin said, "I'm just as good as, if not better than, your mother."
Padmé flicked her brown-eyed gaze on Anakin, and he gave her a smirk.
The twins shared a look, then brightened immediately.
"You two get ready," Padmé said, "And share the bathroom!"
The twins were already out the door.
Once everyone was dressed and ready, Padmé came to say goodbye.
"Ani, don't hesitate to comm me if there are any problems."
"Stop worrying! We'll be fine, right kiddos?"
"Right!" they yelled, jumping up and down in excitement.
Padmé leaned over and kissed Anakin goodbye, then crouched down and drew the twins into a hug.
"Be extra good for your father," she said.
"We will, Mom."
Padmé climbed into the air-speeder, and they watched until she had gone.
"Right, twins." Anakin glanced down at his children. They were already dressed to go swimming, complete with mouth breathers, goggles and flippers. "All ready?"
"I'm in the front!!" Luke yelled, pushing his sister aside to climb into the speeder.
"NO! You're always in the front!"
"Are too! Dad, can I please be in the front?" Leia looked up at Anakin, with pleading brown eyes.
"How about you take turns?" Anakin suggested, "Leia can be in the front on the way in and next time Luke can be in the front."
"No fair," Luke said, "Why does she get to go first!?"
"Because I'm older," Leia said, pushing her brother away and climbing in.
"You are not! Dad, tell her she's not older!"
"Am so!" Leia said.
Anakin put his hand on his forehead as he started the speeder's engine.
"No one is older," he said, "You're twins."
"See?" Luke said, "Ha!"
"Now can you two keep quiet until we get to the pools?"
They were silent for precisely three seconds.
"Are we there yet?" Leia asked.
"No, angel, we've only just left home."
"How much longer?" Luke asked, "I wanna go for a swim!"
"Soon," Anakin said.
After repeating that conversation twenty times, the Skywalkers arrived at Theed city public swimming pools. The twins jumped out of the vehicle and went speeding towards the building.
"Wait!!" Anakin called, quickly trying to lock the speeder.
The twins didn't stop. When he finally made it inside, he was met by a stern looking lifeguard, who held both twins in a firm grip.
"Are these your children?" she asked, icily.
"Ah, yes," Anakin said, reaching out a hand for each twin.
"I'll have you know they were about to dive straight into the deep end of the adult pool. Where's their mother?"
"Ah, sorry about that," Anakin said, "I'm sure they didn't mean to. They're just a little excited."
"Hmmm." She frowned at Anakin, then returned to her job.
"From now on you two are not leaving my sight," Anakin said, "Understood?"
"Come on, Dad," Luke said, dragging him by one hand while Leia dragged him by the other. "Indoor pool! Indoor pool!"
Once they had entered the shallower pool, Anakin took a seat on the side and watched the twins play in the water. He was soon joined by another father who was looking after his own children. He offered Anakin his hand.
"Hello. Ceg's the name. So which two are yours?"
Anakin was about to answer, when he was interrupted by –
"DAD! Watch me! Watch me!"
Anakin watched as Leia stood on the side and jumped in the water. He smiled and gave her a thumbs up.
"Well, that's my daughter," he said, "And my son is . . ."
He glanced around quickly, not seeing Luke, "Uh . . ."
"DAD!! Watch me!!"
Anakin looked across to see Luke about to jump in the deep end. He stood up in shock.
"Luke! No! Come back!"
Anakin stretched out with the Force to prevent Luke from jumping in.
"But you let Leia do it!" Luke whined.
"That was in the shallow end."
"But I can swim!" Luke insisted.
"Stay where I can keep an eye on you."
Anakin returned to his place on the bench and let out a weary sigh.
"They're a handful, huh?" Ceg said.
"Tell me about it," Anakin sighed wearily.
"Dad, watch me!!" Leia called.
Anakin watched as Leia ducked under the water and touched the bottom. Anakin smiled at her and nodded.
"Big podrace on Malastare this weekend," Ceg commented, reading his newsfax.
"I know," Anakin started, "Be interesting to see if Baxa can still hold his own against –"
"-can still hold his own against-"
"What Luke?!" Anakin said.
Anakin watched as Luke dived under the water, then came back up. He forced himself to look impressed.
"What were you saying?" Ceg asked.
"Just that Baxa is going to get some competition from –"
"Dad! Watch me!"
Anakin looked at Leia.
"No, Dad! Watch me!"
Anakin glanced back at Luke who was on the opposite side of the pool.
"Are those your children?" a lady asked, her hands over her ears.
"Luke, don't touch those," Anakin said, looking across at his son. Luke was poking at the speeder controls.
"I'm hungry," Leia said, "When are we having lunch?"
"We'll have lunch at the Museum," Anakin said.
"Are we there yet?" Luke asked.
"No!" Anakin said.
"Daddy?" Leia asked.
"What is it, angel?"
"Have you seen my flippers?"
After driving all the way back to the pools, picking up Leia's flippers, then driving back to the museum, the Skywalkers were now eating lunch.
"Dad, can we see the spaceships first?" Luke asked.
"No, can we see the clothes first?!" Leia said, "I want to see all those dresses Mommy used to wear."
Luke frowned. "Spaceships!"
"Luke, don't yell!" Anakin said, "We'll see both, stop arguing."
"But the spaceships first, right Dad?"
"Look, we'll flip this spoon," Anakin said, "Face down, it's spaceships, face up, it's dresses."
"What if it lands on its side?" Leia asked.
"Then we go home," Anakin said. He tossed the spoon in the air. It came down in his food. Luke and Leia squealed with laughter.
"It's face up," Anakin said, "Dresses it is."
The twins were laughing so hard they didn't even care. Everyone in the cafeteria began to stare. Anakin sighed.
After looking at the halls of Naboo's fashion history, they moved on to the historical ship collection. They were gazing up at a shiny yellow N1 Naboo Starfighter.
"That's the first ship you ever flew, right Dad!?" Luke said.
"I want to fly one!" Leia said.
"Maybe when you're older, angel," Anakin smiled.
Luke tugged at his sleeve. "Dad!"
"I need to go fresher."
Anakin sighed. "I asked you if you needed to go after lunch!"
"But I didn't need to go then!"
Anakin looked around, finally spotting a sign.
"Leia, I want you to stay right here while I take your brother to the refresher. Understood?"
Anakin went off with Luke. When he came back, he was surprised to see Leia with a security guard. A mother and young daughter stood nearby. He rushed up quickly, and the security guard turned to speak to him.
"Is this your daughter?"
Anakin nodded. "What happened?"
The women spoke up. "Your unsupervised child hit my daughter!"
"I did not!" Leia said, "It was just a push! Like this!"
She demonstrated on Luke.
"Ouch!" Luke said, rubbing his arm.
"Why did you push her?!" Anakin asked.
"She called me a liar!"
The girl spoke out from behind her mother. "Did not!"
"Did so! I told her you flew one of those ships, and she called me a liar-liar-pants-on-fire!"
"I'm sorry," Anakin said, turning to the woman, "She doesn't usually behave like this."
The women's hard expression did not soften. "Perhaps if she wasn't left unsupervised . . . where's her mother?"
"Why does everyone ask that?" Anakin said, exasperated, "I'm her father. Isn't that good enough? Are you implying that I am somehow incapable of looking after my own children?"
"Sir –" the security guard started, in an annoyingly patronizing tone.
"How would you feel if their mother had died, huh?" Anakin said, "You wouldn't be so quick to judge me then!"
Anakin's rant was interrupted by a clang behind them. They whirled around to see Luke looking embarrassed.
"Whoops!" he said.
That 'whoops' was followed by a whole series of clangs as the security barriers around the N1 starfighter came crashing to the floor in a domino effect.
"Sir, I think it's time for you to leave," the security guard said firmly.
"Ha! Dad got us thrown out of the museum!" Luke said, "Wait til Mom finds out!"
"I didn't get us thrown out!" Anakin said, "That was the two of you. Leia Skywalker, you know better than to push people!"
"Ha ha!" Luke said, "Leia's in trouble!"
"And Luke, why, in the name of the Force, were you playing with the security barriers?!"
Leia smirked at Luke, then climbed into the front.
"I've had enough," Anakin said, turning on the speeder, "We're going home."
"Noooo!" the twins whined, "Icy-fruits! Icy-fruits! Icy-fruits!"
"In the park!" Luke said, "You promised!"
"You told me your mother did that when you were good," Anakin said, "And you two haven't been very good today."
There was an eerie silence for a few seconds. Anakin took a glance at the twins, suspicious. Then they both burst into tears.
"Oh no you don't!" Anakin said, "I'm not falling for that old trick!"
The twins began to cry harder, Leia sounding especially distraught. Anakin tried with all his strength to ignore it. He lasted three seconds before crumbling under the torture.
"Okay, okay, we'll get icy-fruits and eat them in the park."
"And candy!?" Luke asked, tears drying up instantly.
"Yeah, yeah, icy-fruits and candy," Anakin sighed, "Anything, just don't cry!"
Despite himself, Anakin was glad they had stopped at the park. While the twins were eating, it meant they weren't getting into trouble. He lay down on the grass under a tree.
"I'm going to have a nap. You two go and put those candy wrappers in the trash-compactor."
"Race ya," Leia yelled at her brother.
Anakin watched through half closed eyes as Luke and Leia raced each other to the rubbish bin. The peace only lasted a few milliseconds before they were back. They sat side by side on his stomach and began to bounce up and down.
"Come on, Dad!"
"You two have more energy than a thousand lightsabers!" Anakin moaned.
Luke jumped up, and grabbed a stick. He started swinging it through the air, making humming noises. He twisted around and around, eventually making himself dizzy. Leia giggled when he stumbled, and jumped up to push him over.
A brief scuffle later, and Luke jumped back on his feet.
"Look at me!" he yelled, "I'm an colo claw fish!"
"So what!!" Leia said, "I'm a sando aqua monster! Rrrooooarrrr!!"
They leapt on each other then went tearing around in circles. Anakin rolled his eyes. He was about to settle back down to sleep when he felt a spit of water on his arm. Glancing up, he saw the blue sky had disappeared under a thick layer of clouds.
"Luke! Leia!" he called, "It's going to rain. Come on, back to the speeder!"
He might as well have been talking to a tree. They completely ignored him. A light drizzle began to fall.
"Kids!" he yelled, "Come on! Luke! Leia!"
He saw a flash of brown hair, and went chasing after Leia. With some careful use of the Force, he managed to grab her and scoop her up. "Now, where's your brother?!"
The drizzle became a downpour. Anakin squinted through the rain.
"Daddy, I'm getting wet!" Leia complained.
"I'm sorry, angel, but we can't go home without your brother."
"I don't see why not!" Leia said.
Anakin was about to stretch out with the Force, when Leia spotted him.
"There!" she pointed.
Anakin turned around to see Luke jumping in a muddy puddle.
Anakin ran over. Luke glanced up, then slipped, falling into the mud. He laughed, then began to roll.
"Look at me, Dad! I'm a space slug!"
"Luke, get out of that mud!"
Anakin put Leia down and rushed to pick up his son. Luke dodged him playfully, then threw some mud. It missed Anakin, however, and hit Leia in the face. Leia screamed, then retaliated with a mud ball of her own. In a couple of seconds, Anakin couldn't even tell which twin was which.
"No!" Anakin moaned, "You kids! You'll make me –"
"- turn to the Dark Side one of these days!!" the twins finished in unison.
Anakin raised an exhausted hand to key in the security code for the door.
"Is that you, Anakin?"
Padmé. She was home.
He trudged wearily into the lounge. His eyes widened when he saw Jar Jar, then he quickly straightened.
"Wesa Lukie and Leia?" Jar Jar inquired, "Mesa been lookin' forward to seein' them!"
"Yes, Anakin, where are the twins?" Padmé asked, sounding suspicious.
"Ah, they're out in the hangar. They're just hosing each other down."
"Hosing each other down?!"
"See, they got a little dirty –" Anakin started.
He was interrupted by a couple of twin giggles. Luke and Leia came tearing into the room. The hose seemed to have made the mud worse, not better.
"Uncle Jar Jar! Uncle Jar Jar!" Luke yelled, jumping up and down.
"Uncle Jar Jar!" Leia said, "Look what I can do!"
Leia began spinning around and around, her arms stuck out straight. Anakin raised his hands to his forehead, and nervously met Padmé's icy stare.
"Anakin Skywalker, are those children on sugar?!"
"Oh," Anakin said, "So that's what it is –"
"I leave you with the twins for one day. ONE DAY! And this is how you return them! Filthy and hyperactive!"
Anakin glanced at Jar Jar, embarrassed, but found his friend was laughing.
"Yousa look-a-like yousa need a drink, Ani," Jar Jar said, standing up.
"Jar Jar, that sounds like a great idea –"
"Oh no you don't," Padmé said, "If you think you're going out drinking after returning the twins like this . . . get yourself upstairs and make sure those twins are sparkling clean in time for dinner."
"Yes, angel," Anakin sighed, trudging towards the door.
Padmé came up half an hour later, to find Luke and Leia sitting happily in a bath. They were taking turns splashing each other.
"You two hop out now," she said, "Get dressed in your PJs for dinner."
She continued into the bedroom, and found Anakin stretched out flat on his stomach, fast asleep. Her heart melted, and she leaned over to kiss him.
He stirred, and propped himself up slightly. "What . . . what time is it? Where are the twins?"
"The twins are fine." She gave him another kiss. "I'm sorry I yelled at you before. I know they can be a handful."
"They're impossible!" Anakin said, "They need to be kept on leads! I don't know how you do it!"
She flopped down beside him, and they lay in peaceful silence for a few moments.
"Jar Jar offered to take the twins tomorrow," Padmé said.
"You mean we'll have the house to ourselves?" Anakin said, brightening up.
"Uh huh." She smiled at him and he grinned back.
Anakin leaned over to kiss her, then stopped when he heard the door slide open.
Two pyjama clad twins were silhouetted against the light.
"Coming," Padmé called. She stood up and reached out an arm to help Anakin up.
"Is Daddy okay?" Leia asked.
"I think we wore him out," Luke added.
"You did," Anakin said, "I'm so tired I can't even bend down to pick you two up."
"Awwww!" They came and stood in front of him, reaching up.
Anakin used the Force to drag them upwards into his arms, and the twins squealed with excitement. He flipped them upside down and gripped them around the middle, tucking one under each arm.
"Let me down!!"
"Give me one of those," Padmé said, reaching over and scooping up Luke.
Anakin flipped Leia back up, and she folded her arms around his neck. They headed downstairs.
"Guess what, Daddy?" Leia said, "Uncle Jar Jar is taking us clam hunting tomorrow!"
"I know," Anakin said, smirking at Padmé.
"What will you and Mom do while we're not here?" Luke asked, from Padmé's arms, "Won't you get bored?"
"Enjoy the peace and quiet," Padmé said.
"Play cards, probably," Anakin said.
He and Padmé shared a knowing gaze.