I actually started writing this fic around last May, and just added to it when I felt like it. Then other One-Shots got in the way and then came Mara the Rebel and then another plot that was a long time in the making and this got put onto the back burner.
Then on a day where I was avoiding my other writings due to a combination of writer's block and procrastination, I came back to this. A story where Anakin isn't a Jedi (But I'll leave it up to you whether or not he has the Force) and Padme isn't a Senator. Yet they meet still, this time around the beginning of when AotC would take place. References to the date were removed because I didn't want to have to haggle out the issue of Before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) and After the Battle of Yavin (ABY) dating system. The clone wars wouldn't be using that calendar, and wookieepedia is a little on the detail-less regarding the Old Republic Galactic Calendar.
But I digress. This is a one shot and definitely the only one of it. I started this before I had any confidence in writing chapter fics.
DISCLAIMER: STAR WARS IS GEORGE'S, BUT THIS AU IS MINE.
Ordinary out of the Extraordinary
Anakin Skywalker was an ordinary man. He was a mechanic on the backwater planet he grew up on, never having a solid reason to leave the step family one town over. Tatooine, with all its ups and downs was his home. The dust ball aggravated him to no end, but he never could call another planet home. He'd flown to Coruscant several times for Expos of the bigger ship-building companies. Incom, Kuat, Sienar, Corellian Engineering... They all begged for him to try out their brand new, top model ship. Their greedy fingers blended into Coruscant too well for Anakin's taste, and he'd never enjoyed the planet. He'd been to Alderaan once when he needed to dock for repairs on his way to one of the many expos. Though the planet was without a doubt gorgeous, the chilly atmosphere was a little too chilly for the desert native. He had toured the Corellian engineering factory a few years back, and that was the closest he came to liking another planet enough to move there.
Close, but not enough.
Tatooine was in all ways his home, and he intended to stay there to stay close to his mother and her new family. Owen, his step brother, was a close friend of his, and often called upon Anakin to service the Vaporators on their Moisture Farm. Though it was a good thirty minute speeder ride out there to Anchorhead and another ten to the farm itself, he didn't mind. He got to see his mother on a semi-regular basis and tease his brother about his new and probably last girlfriend.
A smile graced Anakin's face as he thought about Owen and his girlfriend, Beru. Beru Whitesun met Owen maybe a year ago, and after almost ten months of dallying on Owen's part, he finally asked her out. It was clear to Anakin that it was only a matter of time before he gained a sister.
These days, Anakin owned an old mechanic shop that had belonged to the slave owner of him and his mother years ago. The Toydarian, Watto had faced bankruptcy a few years back during a Techno Union Strike and to avoid losing everything, had sold it to Anakin. That was when he was only sixteen, three years ago.
The business was thriving now, utilizing Anakin's own mechanical skills to run an honest business. It was well know from Mos Eisley to Anchorhead that if you needed a ship or speeder part, or even a part for Vaporators and droids, you made the trip to his shop in Mos Espa. He never ran anything but an honest business, and that made his mother one of the proudest people out there.
It was a slow day for business on that Pre-Harvest day. Days like these came and went, and Anakin didn't treat it as lost profit, but mainly a chance to work on getting some speeders in the back up and running. He fiddled with the inter-planetarian coordinator for an older speeder model when a blue marked astromech rolled through the doorway. Anakin set the part down on the counter and sat up straighter. He hadn't been expecting to do business with a droid and pulled out his Binary Translator unit from its store drawer.
"Can I help you?" he asked the droid and a series of beeps sounded as the Astromech communicated. Anakin glanced down at the screen of the translator and read the translation.
"Yes, I am Artoo Detoo, and my master will be in shortly to better make the transaction. We need a part for a J-type 327 Nubian Royal Star ship."
Anakin raised his eyebrows at the type of the ship used. It was a more recent model, and he worried that he may not have the part, but luckily the Nubians rarely used parts that weren't interchangeable with those put out by Incom or Sienar.
"A Royal Star ship?" He questioned the droid.
"Yes, is that a problem?" a delicate voice sounded from the doorway. Anakin looked up and saw probably the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen before walking towards him. Though she wore more discreet robes to hide her slight frame from the suns, her face could be seen clearly as she removed her hood. Tight brown curls flowed out of her hood where they were pinned out of her face. Her face was flawless, with big brown eyes and and small mouth twisted into a smug smirk.
"Depends on the part," Anakin told her, smiling himself. "I thought these ships only went out to Naboo Royalty and Senators. You don't really see too many of them on this dust ball."
"And who says I'm not royalty?" she questioned, crossing her arms and raising an eyebrow.
"No one did," he shrugged. "Just stating a fact."
"Well, if you'd like to know, I'm not a senator or royalty," she smiled. "But I was and here I am."
"Well, your highness," he teased lightly, falling into easy banter with this stranger. "What part do you need?"
"A new sensor array. The sensors reporting the left wing went out when I made the jump to Hyperspace."
"How many Hyper jumps have you made since then?" he asked, wondering if they were related.
"Just one," she stated. "I pulled out of Hyperspace to make the jump to a closer system. I didn't want to be making the flight all the way back to Naboo blind."
Anakin nodded in understanding. He thought for a moment. "The 327 uses a standard Incom sensor array, doesn't it?"
"Yes, but when I was at the Palace, the Theed Palace Engineering had fine tuned the array to give a more precise readout to the computer so the astromechs on board could locate the problem more easily and therefore by more efficient."
Anakin nodded in thought. "Does this unit have a more precise readout of the upgrades your engineers have made?"
The woman glanced to the Artoo unit as it examined the Inter-proletarian Coordinator on the counter Anakin had been fiddling with before they came in. The unit spun its domed head before chirping a reply and rolling over to an old two-dimensional holo-projector. It plugged in and displayed the special specs on the Star ship.
Anakin walked over and read out the report, and smiled wryly. "You see this here?" he asked the woman, pointing to a part on the display. The woman wandered over to the display to see what he was talking about. "The upgrading they did here is very good, and better than most people over at Sienar can do, and maybe only a handful of mechanics can do with their own ships, but by diverting the optics for the sensors through the path with the power couplings, they start to cancel each other out. Like a magnet, but for the electrics of your ship. It's pretty easy mistake to make, since you only have this issue on custom ships like yours. Nubian ships are great, and some of the best personal planet ship builders but because they don't make all their own parts, it's easy to have issues like this."
"What exactly is the issue?" she asked, somewhat lost in the center of everything. Anakin smiled and looked down in apology.
"Simply put, you have a more precise system because of your engineers, but you have less than the max abilities of the sensor by their wiring," he smiled. "I can fix it for you in maybe a day's time and have your ship more precise than some of the most advanced Republic ships out of Sienar."
"Impressive," she nodded, leaning back away from the display. "When can you start the replacement of the Sensors and Rewiring?"
"I can take today to pre-upgrade the part I have so I have less adjusting to do once it's in your ship, and then I can take tomorrow to do the rewiring. From there I just place the new sensor in and adjust it so it's balanced with the right wing."
The woman nodded. She smiled, and looked down for a moment before speaking. "Well, if I am employing you, then I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Padme Amidala."
Anakin shook the hand she had outstretched. "Anakin Skywalker."
"Well Anakin, what time will you be by tomorrow to do the work?"
"Around 0700, I'd wager. Where are you docked?" he asked.
"Docking Bay 32, just across the way," Padme told him, gesturing out the door. The docking bay was right across from the shop.
"Convenient," he smiled.
"When I asked around for a mechanic shop, they told me to come here," she explained. "Said you were the best. And you wouldn't try to cheat me."
"I don't know about the first part, but definitely the second part. I'm not a bounty hunter or a smuggler," he smiled. "I run an honest business and I've profited from it."
"That's good to hear," she smiled. "You really don't find much honesty out here on the Rim anymore."
"No, and that worries me. If we just become smuggling backwater planets run by the crooked Hutts, then we're nothing."
"This is reasons why I wish I had taken the Queen up on her offer to become Senator for Naboo," she explained. "To try and change these situations."
"That's real honorable, but the Republic really only cares about the Core and Mid Rim planets. We're just a nuisance out here," Anakin shook his head. "I'd say its almost as bad as the lower levels of Coruscant sometimes, but I've seen some of what goes on down there. I'd choose the Rim and Hutt space over the Lower Levels any day."
Padme laughed. "How often are you out to Coruscant?"
"Not often," Anakin shrugged, walking back towards the back room. He gestured for Padme to follow him. "Only for the Expos put on by the ship manufacturers. Blue Milk?"
"Please," she smiled. Anakin reached into the cooling device tucked under a counter top and pulled out a plastic pitcher with a blue liquid inside. He reached to the corner of the counter and grabbed two dura-plastic cups and filled them with Blue Milk. He handed one to Padme and she took it. "Thank you."
"Don't thank me until you've tried it," he laughed. "Blue Milk is more of an acquired taste."
She hesitantly brought the cup to her lips as Anakin took a sip. She tentatively took her own sip and scrunched her face up at the liquid. Anakin laughed at her expression and she coughed a bit before setting the glass on the counter next to him.
"How can you drink that? It's so sweet!" she asked, eyes wide.
"Have you seen much water out here?" he asked her, smiling. She shook her head and he tipped his head touched his forehead to let her know she hit the mark. "Bantha milk keeps you hydrated. It's why the Tuskans use Banthas. And because there isn't all that much water, the milk is thicker and sweeter. Add more water to the bantha, the less sweet and colored the milk is. It becomes white like some of the Nerf Milk off Alderaan."
"That actually makes sense," she nodded, surprised. "I really didn't expect there to be a scientific reason."
Anakin shrugged and took another sip. "I have some spare water if you'd prefer that instead. Just a bottle, since it's still Pre-Harvest but you can have it."
"Thank you," she sighed, grateful not to have the blue milk again. Anakin passed her the bottled water and Padme accepted it, immediately taking a swig to clear the horrible blue milk taste. "So how often are the Expos you go to?"
"Maybe once, twice a year. Not very often," he shrugged. Padme looked down sadly for a moment before composing her features. Anakin continued, pretending not to have noticed. "What about you? Are you on Coruscant often?"
"More than I'd like," she nodded. "I go sometimes to sit in with ideas for the Queen, even though I'm not in the senate."
"How do you know the queen if you aren't with the senate?"
Padme blushed and looked down. "I used to be Queen on Naboo."
Anakin nodded, taking it all in stride. "So I was right to refer to you as 'Your Highness' earlier?"
"What? Oh, actually no, I..." she trailed off and noticed Anakin's grin. "You're mocking me aren't you?"
He burst out laughing. "Oh, No! I wouldn't dare mock a former Queen!"
She shook her head and joined in the laughing with him. They sipped their drinks for a little more before Padme picked up the conversation again. "So have you ever been to Naboo?"
"No," he shook his head. "Is it nice?"
"Force, yes!" she grinned. "You would love it! We have so many lakes and everything is green and lush! And the architecture is astounding!"
"Okay, okay! You had me at lakes!" he laughed, holding his hands up in defense at her sudden excitement. "And how would you know what I like, anyways? You've only known me for a few hours!"
Padme blushed again. "I just thought anyone who lives on a desert planet would appreciate something as green as my planet."
"Ah, of course," he nodded, sipping his blue milk again. "I've been to other planets, you know. Corellia and Alderaan."
"Corellia isn't nearly as green as Naboo, and Alderaan has too many mountains and the weather is far too chilly!"
"Cold isn't my thing either," he smiled at her. She looked up with a broad grin on her face.
"No, I can't imagine a desert dweller such as yourself would like the cold," she nodded, looking into his eyes. They held each other's gaze for a little longer before a series of beeps sounded and Artoo rolled into the room.
Anakin pulled the translator out of his pocket and glanced at the translation.
"He says a sandstorm is about to hit the city, about a parsec out," he said. He looked up at Padme and she regarded him with quizzical eyes.
"Are they bad?"
"Very much so," he nodded. "Foreigners get caught in them thinking them just a windy storm and in the middle of one winds can get so fast as to tear the flesh from your bones. Nothing left."
"Wow!" she said, looking slightly alarmed.
"Yes, either you want to get back to your ship now or your more than welcome to ride it out here," he told her, surprising him when he hoped she'd choose the second choice.
"Um, I think I'd feel safer riding it out here, if you don't mind," she told him, glancing around.
"I don't," he grinned. "Let me close the shop down to protect it and we'll head upstairs to my flat."
Padme nodded and Anakin went to the wide doors at the entrance for the shop. He typed a code into the control panel on the wall and a large door slid down from the ceiling. The room was submerged into relative darkness, save for the few lights in the corners. Anakin walked back towards Padme and then headed past her up the stairs, encouraging her to follow.
The reached the apartment above the shop and Padme looked around, taking in everything. It clearly belonged to a mechanic, with parts strew in several corners, a golden droid in one corner deactivated, and a tool box on a table.
Anakin immediately walked over to the golden droid in the corner and flipped a switch at the back of its neck. The eyes glowed to life and the droid immediately sat up.
"Hey, Threepio," Anakin said, turning to pick up a few speeder parts on the ground nearby to tidy up.
"Oh! Master Ani! Are you closed for the day already? My internal chrono reads it is a few hours prior to closing. Are they incorrect?"
"Nah, there's just a storm outside," he told the droid. "Threepio, we have a guest staying with us for the duration of the storm."
Anakin turned to more formally introduce Padme to the droid, grinning crookedly at her. "Threepio, this is Padme Amidala."
Threepio turned to Padme and leaned back a little in surprise. "Oh! Hello! I am See Threepio, Human Cyborg Relations!"
"Hi, Threepio," Padme smiled.
"I built Threepio when I was nine, so please excuse any programming errors," Anakin said, trying to rile Threepio up.
"My word! Programming errors? Master Ani, I assure you, all my programming is completely functional!" Threepio turned to Padme again. "You'll have to excuse my master, he seems to be a little off today."
Padme burst out laughing. "I've never seen a protocol droid with so much personality! This is fascinating!"
"Yeah, like I said, nine, but I like him this way," Anakin smiled. "I built him for my mother, to help her out, and I was pretty much told to take him by my family when I moved out a few years back. He's a little much for my step father. He doesn't particularly trust droids to do a farmer's work."
"Wow, we had so many different Protocol droids at the palace but they were always so stiff and impersonal," Padme said. Anakin put the last of the speeder parts in one of the corners and had made the place seem a little more inviting.
"Yeah, we had a few run through here when I worked for Watto."
"You worked in this shop when you were younger?" she asked, curious.
"You can take a seat if you want," Anakin gestured to the table as he took his own seat. "And, yeah, technically. I was a slave though. My step-father bought mine and my mother's freedom when I was fourteen. He'd fallen in love with my mother, and bought me too along with her. He didn't care if they ever went further romantically, he just wanted us out of slavery. He's the only father I've ever known."
"So how did you get this shop?" she asked, completely engrossed in the conversation.
"Bought it during the Techno Union Strike from Watto. Business was bad for awhile. Watto was Toydarian and haggled you for higher prices. He also sold parts that would only get you to the city limit. He didn't have a good reputation."
"But you do," she smiled, reaching her hand across the table to lay on his. Anakin's eyes flashed down to the hand before he smiled and looked at her.
"That I do."
"I have Bantha, have you ever had a Bantha steak?" Anakin called from his cooler unit. Padme leaned against the counter in his kitchen, sipping more water.
"No, we don't get food shipments from way out here on Naboo. It's strictly Nerf for any kind of foreign steak."
Anakin glanced over at her and grinned, pulling out two slabs of Bantha steak. "Bantha, in my opinion, is ten times better than Nerf."
"Says the man that drinks blue milk!" she laughed, and he shook his head. She watched as he prepared their steaks, seasoning them with a variance of spices from different planets.
"I'm going to let them rest for maybe ten minutes or so to let the flavor build," he told her, abandoning the meat and running his hands through a sonic cleanser. It was still so odd for Padme to grasp just what no water meant. She had explained to Anakin earlier about all of Naboo's lakes and how she'd never taken a sonic shower because of it. It was a commodity. Anakin had then explained how he'd never showered with water, just for the very opposite reason. It was so odd how opposite their lives had been, but how well they enjoyed each other's company.
"Okay, what do we do in the mean time?" she asked, following Anakin as he left the kitchen area.
"Well, I was just going to work on upgrading that sensor for you," he shrugged. "You are more than welcome to sit with me, or watch the holo, or even go hang out with Threepio and your Artoo unit down in the shop."
"I think I'll sit with you," she said, and Anakin glanced back and grinned at her. "It's so nice to have a break from the holo and all the issues surrounding the Separatists for once and just get away."
"That's kinda how everyday is here. What little of the core worlds news we receive doesn't really apply so much to us. I suppose some of the Separatists are hiding out here, but I haven't exactly seen any Nemodians out here."
Padme laughed and took a seat at the table where Anakin had set up his tools for the sensor upgrade. He picked up what looked like a relatively new part and started tinkering with several of the smaller pieces of it. She really had no idea what all the fine detailing Anakin was doing was. She could barely tell a Sensor Array from a Hyper-drive!
"So do you visit your family often?" she asked to make conversation.
"Yeah, I get out to Anchorhead maybe two, three times a month, sometimes a lot more if they're having issues with the Vaporators. What about you?"
"When I'm on Naboo I usually just stay at my parents house," she shrugged. "Otherwise I stay out in the Lake Country. It's my favorite spot on Naboo."
Anakin looked up and grinned at her. "I kind of have a soft spot for Mos Espa myself. I pretty much grew up here. I wouldn't necessarily call it my favorite spot, since I don't particularly like this planet, but it is the best out of the choices for me. Mos Espa is relatively short distance to Anchorhead and we don't have the crime issues as much as Mos Eisley does for a port."
"What's Mos Eisley like?"
"Pretty much the scum of the Galaxy in one small city," Anakin said bluntly. "Alot of smugglers, slave traders, a slew of Bounty Hunters, and your everyday petty criminal."
"Wow, that sounds horrible," Padme said, her eyes wide. "I never knew parts of the Galaxy could be quite that bad sounding."
"It can under the Hutts," he told her. "They employ most of the Bounty Hunters in the area and are a big part of the Slave Trade. They usually like to have all the smugglers that dock here under their commission too."
"And the criminals?"
"Are just criminals," he smiled. "They aren't criminals because of the Hutts directly. More like the byproduct of them."
"I can't believe Slavery is so prominent out here when it was abolished so long ago in the Republic!" Padme shut her eyes tightly and shook her head.
"Republic doesn't exist out here."
"I know," Anakin said solemnly, setting the sensor aside and looking her in the eye. Her eyes were so determined, so hurt and disgusted by what he'd told her, it was a wonder how they didn't shatter under the emotion she forced through them. He found himself quickly absorbed into that gaze, unable to look away, and watched as they went from the determined look to a softer, more intense look or curiosity and something else. He couldn't place what he saw under her gaze. It was something he'd never seen before.
They sat like that for a few more moments before Padme blinked and released Anakin from the intense gaze. "I should check on the steaks," he mumbled and stood before walking to the kitchen. The steaks were exactly the same as before, of course, having only been there resting. Anakin silently put on a pan over the cooking unit to heat it up in preparation to cook the steaks.
Padme sat still in the next room, a little shaken of what had just occurred. But the thing was, nothing had occurred. They'd just stared at each other. But the intensity of the gaze...
She stood and walked towards the kitchen archway. "I'm going to go check on Threepio and Artoo."
Anakin turned and nodded. "Alright, don't take long. These only need ten minutes, tops."
"Okay," she nodded. Anakin turned back to the workstation and began chopping some native vegetables. Padme turned and headed downstairs, for the first time in her life very unsure of herself. She'd never been in this kind of situation before.
And what situation is that? She thought meekly to herself. Sighing, she admitted the truth to herself. She was falling for Anakin, even after only knowing him for a few hours. But in those few hours, she'd felt happier than she had since... ever. Maybe even happier than when she'd won the election for Queen.
Up in the kitchen, Anakin leaned against the counter top and sighed. What was he getting himself into? Padme... Well, she was gorgeous to him. Probably to the whole Force-forsaken galaxy. He couldn't imagine a being in their right mine who would turn her away as anything but beautiful, including non-human species. But he had to stay away regardless. She was a customer, nothing more.
But he knew that wasn't true. The little prickle at the base of his skull told him differently, as did other more southern parts of his body. But knowing what he knew helped him in no way at all. He'd never fallen for a woman before, and his only dating experience was that of his years after being a slave. And there wasn't much there to begin with.
He would regret not acting on his feelings when she left, so he gave up. Why fight? He had no answer to that seemingly simple question, and yet the lack of answer was all he needed. He'd see how things played out, and if the opportunity arose, he'd act on it.
Padme wandered down into the main area of the shop following the sounds of angry beeps and twirls countered by a proper accent in just as angry of a tone. She smiled at the sounds. Artoo had so much personality for a droid, especially an Astromech, and he was often bored out of his circuits without human companionship. But it seemed finally after all her time with him that he finally found a droid with as much personality, if not more.
"Artoo, stop flustering old Threepio," she called teasingly. Artoo's dome spun around to look at her and she smiled. He let out a series of beeps and Padme grabbed her translator out of her pocket to read what he'd said.
He started it. And he is most incorrect about the workings of the hyper-drive
Padme giggled at the topic they were fighting over. Only droids... she thought to herself.
"Miss Padme, I'm sorry but your droid seems to be quite mistaken over the course of events," Threepio informed her. "He in fact started offending the state of the shop's tidiness, which I tend to myself. I don't mean to disregard my master, but he tends to be very messy in his work."
"It's alright, Threepio," she shook her head. "Artoo can be a bit feisty sometimes."
Artoo beeped out something and Padme glanced at the translator again. But you wouldn't have it any other way Mistress Padme.
"No, Artoo, I wouldn't, but do be kinder to poor Threepio. This is after all his home and you are a guest here."
Artoo whirled out an agreement and she grinned.
"You be nice to him too, Threepio," Anakin's voice sounded behind her, making her jump.
"Of course, Master Ani!"
"When did you get down here?" Padme asked, staring at Anakin. It didn't escape her notice the way the light his his face just so, defining all his features.
"A little while ago," he shrugged, flashing a grin at her. "I just wanted to watch how you dealt with the droids, and it appears your astromech has just as much personality as Threepio does."
"I noticed that too," she grinned. "How's dinner?"
"Done," he smiled, standing up straight. "C'mon."
He headed up the stairs and she followed, smirking lightly at the sounds of the droids' banter again.
"That smells wonderful," she commented as they sat at the small table where he'd placed the steaks. A small bowl of steamed vegetables lay in the middle, a long spoon poking out from the side.
"Here's hoping it tastes as good," he laughed and pulled out her seat. She took it, smiling kindly at him in response. After sliding her up to the table he walked around and took his seat across from her.
"So, tell me about you family," Anakin said while cutting a bite off his steak.
"There isn't much to tell," she said. She reached over the table and grabbed the bowl, spooning the odd vegetables onto her plate. "My father worked in politics and helped my career. He got me into the Legislative Youth Program when I was younger."
"What about your mother?"
"She's your typical housewife," Padme shrugged. "She wasn't crazy about me going into politics, but she accepted me nonetheless. All she wanted was for me to find a husband and start a family."
"Do you want that though?" he asked and she shrugged again.
"I suppose someday," she sighed. "But everyone on Naboo who has attempted courtship has been scarred off by my ideals. Not many are as strong willed as I can be at times."
"Too afraid of a woman besting them?" Anakin asked with a laugh and she smiled.
"I wouldn't know," she said. "But my sister, Sola, she's the one that fit my mother's image. She settled down, had my two beautiful nieces, and became a school teacher."
"Some people are meant for different lives," he said, taking a bite of the steak. She smiled and looked down, examining her vegetables.
"Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had just settled down like Sola."
"You'd be miserable," he said matter of factly. "If all you do is settle for things, you'll never reach your potential. You'll be sad and wondering what would have happened if you'd taken the path you're on now."
She thought that over for a moment, listening to the crunch her vegetables made in her mouth as she chewed. When she swallowed she smiled and spoke. "I suppose you're right. That is actually a rather wise thing to say. You sound like the Jedi."
"I've never met a Jedi," he shrugged. "What are they like?"
"Sticks in the mud," she laughed. "They are always going on about the code and they weigh every option three times. They rarely act."
"Sounds boring," he said and she nodded.
"They are. But I was referring to the wisdom of your point. That sounds like a Jedi. Thoughtful and calculated."
"I just said the first thing that came to mind," he shrugged.
"Well, it was smart," Padme nodded. He grinned and looked down at his plate in thought. "Tell me about your family."
"My family?" he asked rhetorically and sighed, leaning back and running a stray hand through his hair. "Well, my mother and I were slaves, you know that. Cliegg bought us, you know that. My step brother Owen is actually rather nice. He's probably one of my closest friends. He's probably going to marry his girlfriend. She's on the rather shy side. Doesn't say much but when she's does it's genuine. She tells you things straight."
"Did you know your real father?" Padme asked and he shook his head.
"I don't have one," he said, ignoring her raised eyebrow. "Mom always just told me she'd gotten pregnant without anyone, but looking back now I wonder what really happened. I don't bother her about it. She's either telling the truth or the truth is too harsh to tell. I just accept that she doesn't want to talk about it."
"That's admirable," Padme noted. "I'd probably pester someone until I knew the truth. I can't imagine growing up without my father."
"It wasn't that bad, really," Anakin said with a shrug. "It was just the two of us, and we were comfortable like that. There wasn't a real need for a third person."
"That makes sense."
Silence fell over them as they finished their food. The howling winds from the storm outside berated the house, setting an eery sound over the building.
"Why were you this far out in the rim?" Anakin asked and Padme looked up, mildly startled by the sudden resume in conversation.
"You said you were heading to Naboo," he explained. "But then the sensors fried. Why were you out here?"
"Technically I was still in the mid rim but I was on the fringes of the Outer when the sensor array crashed," she explained. "I was visiting an old friend who is a senator on Coruscant."
"Oh," he nodded.
"Why did you ask?"
"Just curious," he shrugged and she nodded in understanding. He glanced up at her empty plate. "You finished?"
"Yes, it was delicious," she said and he grinned.
"Thanks," he said standing and grabbed his dish as well as hers and went to the kitchen. He placed them in the sonic sanitation machine and walked back into the living area. "Sounds like the storm will be up and at it for a few more hours. I'll make up the couch and you can have my bed."
"Oh, it's fine," she protested.
"No," he cut her off. "I insist. I'd feel like a schmuck if I subjected you to that couch."
"Um, okay then," she conceded, still not comfortable with the arrangement. "Why don't we watch the Holo or something before we set it up though?"
"You're choice," he shrugged, setting the spare sheets he'd retrieved aside and sitting on the couch. She sat on the opposite end, trying to ignore the close proximity that suddenly made her heart beat faster.
He flipped through the stations, focusing more on the Core World channels rather than the sports events that played for the Rim. He landed on a mildly fuzzy broadcast from Alderaan that was playing some action thriller.
"What is this?" she asked, trying to place the movie.
"I have no idea," he shook his head. "I don't think it's Alderaanian though. Too violent."
"I'll say," she agreed. A speeder explosion occurred, and Anakin scoffed.
"That fireball would never be that big!" he complained, throwing a hand out to gesture to the movie.
"It's what the audience wants," she shrugged, relaxing into the worn couch.
"The audience is an idiot," he said. "There aren't enough fuel cells in the later models of speeders anyway to garner any fire let alone an explosion."
"Are you like this with every movie?" she asked and he shrugged.
"I don't really watch the Holo all that much."
"But surely you don't analyze every one you see for mechanical failures."
"Yes and no," he shrugged. "I tend to watch movies more closely when I'm with company so that I can talk about it later if the conversation lags."
"You sound like a politician," she remarked and he glowered darkly at her.
"I really can't stand politicians, you know."
"I was a politician."
"You're the exception," he said, flashing her a grin that sent her heart rate through the roof. She blushed and looked back at the movie, noting his attention transferring back to the movie from her peripheral vision. They watched in silence, though Anakin continued his scoffing and snorting at the various over the top explosions. Near as Padme could tell, the movie had something to do with an innocent fugitive running from CorSec. The whole thing felt rather far fetched to her. Speeders that broke out of the skylanes and dove straight down towards lower Coruscant, redeemed bounty hunters that returned to their old roots to help friends, and an explosion nearly every five minutes.
By the time the movie credits ran, she had stretched out, her feet laying next to Anakin's as they slouched into the worn couch. He'd tossed an arm over the back of the couch, his hand falling next to her shoulder casually.
"That had to be one of the most unrealistic Action movies I've ever seen," he said, and she laughed.
"What was with the sudden attack of Nexu's?" she asked, laughing at the absurdity.
"I have no idea," he shook his head, chuckling with her. "But a if I can get a hold of one of their never ending blasters I would. Those things never needed a charge."
"You saw that too?" she asked and laughed again. He nodded, reaching over and grabbing the remote to switch the viewer off. When the pale blue glow snapped off it was suddenly apparent how dark the room was.
The faint sounds of Artoo and Threepio talking filtered up the stairs, ensuring that the droids hadn't deactivated each other.
"Damn, that storm must have been a big one," Anakin said and Padme glanced back at him. She heard the continuous howl of the wind and shuddered at the fact that Anakin had shared with her about the winds.
"People really get their flesh torn from their bones?" she asked and he glanced back at her and nodded.
"Only thing left to identify them is a blaster and jewelry."
She shuddered and hugged her arms around her sides.
"You okay?" he asked, sitting back down on the couch next to her.
She nodded and gave a weak smile. "Just a little cold."
"Here," he said, pulling a blanket off the pile of sheets he'd brought out earlier.
"Thanks," she mumbled, accepting the blanket. She wrapped it around her lap, leaning back into the couch. She turned to look at Anakin and met his eyes, becoming trapped in them again immediately. "You have beautiful eyes," she mumbled, blushing as she realized she'd said that out loud. He grinned crookedly in response.
"You're beautiful all over," he said, and her mouth parted slightly in surprise.
"Wh—What?" she asked and he leaned closer.
"I said, Padme," he whispered huskily, leaning in closer to her. "That you are the most beautiful woman I have ever met."
"Oh," she said, swallowing thickly. "Thank you."
He grinned. "Would you be mad if I kissed you right now?"
She tried to speak but couldn't quite remember how her voice worked, and instead shook her head. He grinned and leaned in that last bit, capturing her lips with his.
Her hand reached up, cupping his cheek and holding him closer. Anakin fell deeper into the kiss, savoring the softness of her lips. Padme moaned lightly as he reached his hand up to cup the base of her neck and twist his fingers in her hair. She leaned in, pressing her self against his torso and leaning up over him to deepen the kiss further.
She pulled back, panting heavily against him. He blinked up at her, a grin crossing his face.
"You are beautiful," he said again and recaptured her lips. He leaned forward against her, pressing her down into the couch. Her legs unfolded and stretched out beneath him. She could feel every part of him against her, and that mere fact sent a thrill through her body. She'd never felt so close, so connected to anyone before. Part of her wondered if it was just the close proximity because of the storm, but the other part of her pushed that thought away. This was real.
He pulled back this time, still panting for air.
"Padme, if we keep going like this, we might not stop," he said and she smiled.
"So?" he echoed, though his voice held more incredulity. "What do you mean so? I met you today. Aren't women supposed to be all moral holding and not wanting things to move to fast?"
"Aren't men supposed to be taking advantage of the situation?" she counter, raising an eyebrow. "I'm twenty-four, Anakin. I can decide for myself how fast things move and I rather like this speed right now."
"If you insist," he said, recapturing her lips. She moaned slightly at the sudden return of contact and her hand came up and wound itself in his hair. His response was only press harder against her, feeling everything that made her.
She gasped slightly as she felt his need pressed against her thigh through their clothes. Suddenly, more than ever she wanted to feel him. All of him.
"Let's go to your bedroom," she suggested against his lips. He hummed in response, sitting up and pulling her with him. They stumbled to the door, barely breaking contact. He pressed her against the wall as he fumbled for the switch, groping blindly.
"Kest," he mumbled, finally breaking contact to look for the switch. His hand finally met the cool metal of the touch pad and the responding hum from the door sliding up allowed them access before sliding shut behind them in silence.
Padme awoke to utter silence. It took her a moment to remember where she was, but once she did she smiled happily and turned over to look at Anakin. He was still asleep, his arm draped over her stomach and holding her to him. The room was warm with the radiant heat of the morning suns, but Padme still snuggled deeper under the covers and into the warm embrace of Anakin.
He moaned slightly, shifting and tightening his hold on her. He buried his head in her hair, before gaining some consciousness. He smiled as he felt her small body against his and pulled back to look down at her.
"Morning," she said quietly when their eyes met.
"Morning," he echoed, stretching his muscles slight and sighing back against her. "How'd you sleep?"
"Really well," she nodded. "This is nice."
"Agreed," he said and pulled her tighter still against him. She pressed her face against his chest and placed a kiss over his heart, relaxing as she heard the steady thumping that signaled life. "We should do this again sometime soon."
"Getting caught in sand storm or sleeping together?" she asked playfully and he laughed against her.
"I meant waking up like this," he said. "But I wouldn't mind the sleeping together part either."
She laughed and leaned up on her elbow, pulling away from him slightly. A rush of cold air filled the gap between them and he shuddered slightly at the sudden loss of her warmth.
"Come to Naboo with me," she said seriously. He smiled and raised an eyebrow.
"What?" he asked, wondering if he'd heard her right.
"Come to Naboo," she repeated. "I don't want to lose this. It feels right."
"You've known me less than a day and already you want me to go to your home planet?" he asked and she nodded.
"I don't care how sudden it seems," she said firmly. "What I feel with you is nothing I've ever felt before and I refuse to let it go."
"My family is here," he said, not really protesting but more of stating a fact.
"We can come back and visit," she said. "You wouldn't give them up. You already said you dislike this planet. Here's your chance to get away."
"Get away with you, you mean," he said and she smiled and nodded. He leaned in and kissed her lips slowly, savoring the peace and relaxed air between them. "Okay," he said when they pulled apart.
"Okay?" she asked and he nodded, smiling.
"I'd have to come back for my shop eventually but I do need a vacation," he said and she grinned and gripped his neck and pulled him closer to kiss him again. This time Anakin pushed her backwards and hovered over her, kissing her slowly...
"So these aren't native?" she asked, pointing her fork at the slightly gray egg on her plate.
"No," he shook his head, pulling his egg out of the pan and onto his plate. "We get them from Dantooine, one system over."
"I thought Dantooine was too dangerous to inhabit?"
"It is, unless you know what you're doing," he said. "But there are a few hunting settlements scattered around the planet, and the old Mandalorian Bases are there too."
"I never knew that," she said, shaking her head and taking a bite of the mysterious food. "This is good."
"Don't talk with your mouth full," he chided lightly sitting down and taking a bite of his own food. She shot him a playful scowl and took another bite.
"So I'll get that sensor array up and running in the ship right after breakfast," he said. "I should have the wiring fixed by nightfall."
"Good," she nodded. "We can take off tonight if you want."
"Alright," he said. "I'll comm my family and let them know I'll be off planet for awhile."
"How long do you think you'll stay?" she asked and he shrugged.
"I don't know," he said. "But if things work out between us, I'd say awhile."
She smiled and looked back down into her food, suddenly focusing on eating. He smiled at her shyness and continued eating.
Padme had sat with Anakin the entire day, watching him work on her ship. She assisted him where she could, handing him tools, holding things in place, but all in all she wasn't that mechanically gifted to really assist him fully.
Except in the department of stolen kisses. It was true, she was falling further and further for him, as he for her. She knew at this point it was begging on futile to resist the growing attraction between them. They were too close at this point to truly separate.
As the twin suns set down just above the horizon, Anakin sealed the last compartment back up on the wing tip and and leaned back happily.
"Is it done?" she asked.
He grinned and nodded. "It's done."
She grinned and leaned in, capturing his lips with hers. They sat like that for a few moments, balancing upon the wing tip and sharing light kisses.
"I need to comm my family and then grab a few things," he said. "Should I bring Threepio?"
"Of course," she answered. "Whatever will Artoo do without him?"
Anakin laughed and hopped off the wing before extending his hand up to help her down.
"Milady," he said as she took his hand. Padme laughed and hopped down, wrapping her arms around his neck as soon as she touched the sandy ground.
"I do say, Skywalker you are the best mechanic," she said. He grinned. "However will I repay you?"
"I can think of a few things," he said huskily and leaned in. She reached up lightly on her tip toes and met his lips. They kissed for a moment longer before she pulled back and swatted at his chest.
"Go pack!" she said and he laughed.
"Yes, Ma'am," he saluted before exiting the hangar. He crossed the small street and reentered his shop. Artoo and Threepio were still bickering in the corner, and Anakin just shook his head at the sight before jogging up the stairs.
He headed straight for his room and grabbed a bag off the top of his closet, quickly filling it with Tunics and pants. He'd buy more clothes there, surely. All his Tatooine clothes were old and worn, some even bordering on threadbare. He grabbed his spare tool pouch and tossed it in as well. You never know when you'll need to fix something.
Then he went to the Comm station. He keyed in the link for his family's home in Anchorhead and waited patiently for them to receive the call.
"Ani!" his mother greeted when she picked up. "I wasn't expecting to hear from you!"
"Hi, Mom," he said lightly with a chuckle.
"Hello, Anakin," she greeted more formally. "But do tell me why you're calling. Are you alright? How's the shop?"
"The shop's fine."
"As pessimistic as ever."
Shmi chuckled. "Why did you call, Ani?"
"I wanted to let you know I'm taking a vacation for awhile," he said and his mother's expression furrowed.
"A vacation?" she asked. "What brought this on?"
He shrugged nonchalantly. "Figured I needed a break. Business is lagging right now, so I figured I'd take the opportunity."
"Anakin, you're not telling me everything," his mother said, narrowing her eyes at him. "I can see it in your eyes."
He sighed, running a hand through his hair.
"Alright, alright, Mom, sheesh," he said, holding his hands up in surrender. "I met someone."
"A girl?" she asked, her eyes lighting up.
"Yeah, she beautiful, Mom," he said. "Like an Angel."
"You still going on about those Lagos women? I told you not to listen to those Pilots," Shmi scolded, but her smile betrayed her.
"She's real," Anakin sighed. His smile answered every question Shmi had. "She's a real Angel."
"And you're going on vacation with her?"
"To her home planet," he answered. "Naboo."
Shmi laughed. "I heard it's mostly water."
"I heard that too," he smiled. "I don't know how long I'll be gone, but I promise to comm you as soon as I return."
"You better," she warned, invoking a motherly tone in her voice. "Now, go have fun. But by the Maker if you return married and I wasn't there to see it-"
"Mom, I just met her!" Anakin cried out, blushing lightly. "I promise to return unmarried."
"Good," Shmi smiled. "Now, go. Have fun. Don't forget to call."
"I won't," he grinned. "Love you, Mom."
"Love you too, Ani," she replied before terminating the call. Anakin grinned and grabbed his bag before exiting his flat. He jogged back down the stairs, shaking his head lightly at Threepio's weak name calling to Artoo. "Threepio, Artoo, you guys ready to go?"
"Yes, of course, Master Ani!" Threepio cried out brightly. "As droids we don't require nearly as much preparation as our Masters."
"Yeah, I know," Anakin nodded. "Come along, you two."
Artoo twittered out a happy reply, whistling to himself lightly as they headed towards the Hangar. Anakin palmed the security lock in place, and the solid weather door fell into place to protect the shop. He crossed the street and grinned as he saw Padme's silhouette through the cock pit window. The sun was hitting her frame just right to set her alight in a gold hue. She looked more like an Angel then than she did at high noon.
Anakin headed up the ramp and into the sleek interior. Artoo and Threepio were already there, parked by the couch. Threepio was going on about his dislike of space travel as usual and Anakin rolled his eyes. He tossed his bag down and made his way to the cockpit, walking up behind Padme and placing a kiss against her shoulder and neck.
"Hey, you," she said and tilted her head to kiss him. "Was wondering where you were."
"On the Comm," he answered, taking the copilot seat across the cabin. He glanced back at her, smiling yet again as he watched the way the suns lit up her profile. "You remind me of an Angel."
She glanced at him, mildly confused by the comment. "I'm not good enough to be an Angel," she said. "I thought last night would be proof of that."
He chuckled and shook his head. "No, you're definitely an Angel. But you're my Angel."
"That I am," she said, staring at him a moment before finishing the start up procedure. With very little turbulence, she lifted out of the Hangar and received clearance for departure. They flew up into the sky and passed the binary sunset up into space. The light indicating they had left the gravity field of Tatooine blinked and Padme grinned, punching in the coordinates for Naboo.
"You ready?" she asked, turning to him. The Nav Computer beeped lightly as it set the course.
"With you?" he asked with a smile before nodding. "Always."
She leaned over and kissed him lightly before pushing up on the Hyperdrive lever. The stars turned to star lines and with a final bit of pseudo-motion they entered hyperspace.
Fun trivia about this story: The title came first. I thought it up one night while trying to sleep and wondered what things for Anakin and Padme would have been like if they were merely citizens.
I do like how this little shot came out. It ended up at about 9,000 words, which is my longest ONESHOT yet. My longest story is still in production but hitting about 60,000 words. Not that that really matters.
Until the next story... REVIEW and MTFBWY!