Despite what he might later tell Obi-Wan or any one of Padmé's friends, Anakin can't say he's terribly surprised when Luke says, "Y'elethu naiash," as his mother tucks him into bed one night. Issues of conjugation aside, it's a perfectly legitimate way to tell Padmé that he loves her.

After all, he and Leia have spent five years by this point listening to Anakin say it to her. It's only natural they would catch on.

"Y'elethu nailat," he corrects his son the second time.

Leia joins her brother in repeating the word, and so the lessons in Tal begin.


Unsurprising, again, is the day when the Skywalkers are called in to speak to the twins' teacher four years later. Whenever Leia's too busy messing with her calculator to drag her brother into some kind of trouble, Luke does a fairly admirable job managing it himself.

"I have to prep for a business dinner with Alaira Venet and Matrukê, can't you go?"

Anakin grimaces. "I won't be doing them any favors. That teacher doesn't like me, remember?"

"And whose fault is that?"

"I still maintain she spilled the jug herself."

"Uh-huh."

"Besides, I have a meeting in an hour. Snips and her kid go underground next week."

Padmé ends up going in to meet the teacher by herself, grumbling about manchild husbands the whole way there.

"No, no, Madam Skywalker," the voluminous Madam Egr-Ja drawls – and Padmé bites back the urge to correct her once again – "they've done nothing wrong. My only concern – and this may come from the very nature of their being twins – is that your children tend to be exclusive."

"I'm sorry, exclusive?"

"In their communication with one another."

"Oh, I see. I'm afraid that is something of a 'twin thing.' They spend so much time together – and especially considering their Force sensitivity – Luke and Leia just end up knowing what they other is thinking. Surely you've noticed at times they even finish each others' sentences." She throws in a helpless little shrug for dramatic effect.

Madam Egr-Ja coughs and twitches the muscle where an eyebrow would be were she human.

"Madam Skywalker" – Padmé clenches her jaw – "I was referring to their little made-up language."


"It's nothing to be ashamed of, darlings," she tells the twins. "But your friends don't speak it. It's just simpler to keep it in the apartment, alright?"

And Anakin, for whom Tal has never been anything but a family secret, doesn't take Luke and Leia's side.


Later, when both twins choose to study the Ai'braatal in their Superior, there's an unspoken agreement not to tell Dad.


Luke's gone off to intern designing podracers for the summer, and Leia knows he thinks she's lost her sabacc chips for turning down not only an internship with Mom but with a kriffing senator, but she has her reasons.

Vague ones.

So maybe it's not as glamorous as the fashion world, and maybe she'll be making more of a difference in the long run working with Senator Organa, but there's something about Dad's work that just makes her feel like she's needed – that anyone's needed, anyone who's willing to risk their safety every now and again. And not even that. TGE's always looking for an extra volunteer to house a few refugees, to donate some food and supplies – hell, even just come into the offices to do a little filing every now and then.

But Leia's interested in the big stuff, the high-risk stuff. There haven't been many high profile busts since Dad recruited Ahsoka Tano and Mael-Vat Kanish to help bring to light Zorba the Hutt's slave ring all those years ago, but there needs to be.

Leia's first trip to Tatooine is uneventful after the storm of convincing her parents she was both old and responsible enough to join TGE. Kitster Banai's contact falls through so there is no need for her to stay. The second trip (this time to Nal Hutta) actually calls for her lightsaber, and only twelve refugees make it aboard.

"It's not your fault," Melee Daiar says practically once Leia's finished kicking the door to the ship's head.

"They didn't make it," she says blankly.

"So go help the ones that did." Melee points to the passenger hold and gently pushes her in the right direction. There's a young couple and a father and his two children, but for the most part the escapees seem to be on their own. Leia stands in the doorway for a moment, awkwardly wondering what happens next. That's when she notices.

The woman is young, maybe even younger than she and Luke, and her hair is blonde and her eyes are dark and there's something about her that makes Leia think of palm trees and sandy islands and strange singing on a soft warm wind.

Except the singing isn't really all that strange.

"Ye l'onrei moa," she says in greeting, settling herself down, and the woman breaks into a smile.


He knows that Leia wants to be the one to help Aza with her Basic, but this is just one of those things she has to let go. Besides, it's not as though he ever offered. It just happened.

"Define 'just happened,'" she smirks.

Luke rolls his eyes.

"You know," he says. "We're around each other, she slips up, I help her out a little."

"Which probably wouldn't happen so much if you two weren't together every moment you're not at work," Leia delights in pointing out. She pinches him on the cheek and follows the aforementioned woman into his apartment. She doesn't know yet he's asked Aza to be a permanent resident once her six months at TGE housing are up.

Luke stands in the doorway for a moment, realizing he's going to have to lay low for a while to avoid Leia's pretentious variations on "I told you so."


"I already told you," Leia huffs, looking far younger than twenty-one, "I met him on Tatooine."

"But that's all your dad and I can get out of you," says Padmé. "You've been seeing this man for how long - ?"

Three years, Anakin knows but keeps to himself.

"A few months," says Leia.

"Exactly, a few months – even Luke and Aza have met him – and all I can ever get out of you is 'I met him on Tatooine.'"

"He works in, um, shipping," Aza offers brightly.

The twins both snort, and Anakin takes that as his cue. "Alright, enough interrogation," he says, placing a hand at the back of his wife's neck. "This is supposed to be a lifeday party. Didn't you three say you had a surprise for me or something?"


"It's a lovely gift, Anakin," Padmé says hotly later than night.

"I didn't say it wasn't."

"You told them to keep it."

"For themselves! They'll probably have more time to read it than I will, anyway."

"It's still the thought, Ani," she says, pulling off a shoe. "Have you ever even read the Ai'braatal?"

"No," Anakin says defiantly. Too defiantly. Padmé watches him for a moment as he sits down on the other side of the bed, looking out the window at the speeders and the darkening sky. His jaw is clenched a little too tightly, his hand running through his hair with a little too much intent. Briefly she closes her eyes.

Sidling up next to him, Padmé puts her arms around her husband. "It's never too late," she says, smiling a little sadly. "They can teach us both." Holding her tightly, Anakin breathes in her scent, and together they watch as the sun sets on Coruscant.