Chapter Seventeen

The steady beeping of the heart monitor greeted Luke and Leia as they awoke. The foggy lights of the Jedi Temple med-bay greeted them as they rose to consciousness together.

"Hey, you two," Padme said, forcing a smile on her face.

"Med-Bay again?" Luke asked curiously, a touch of humor in his voice.

"Yeah," Ahsoka said from her post up against the wall. With a glance about, Leia realized everyone was there. Bail, Breha... Anakin, Padme, Ahsoka and even Obi-Wan, whom she thought had gone to Yavin.

"I flew back for the occasion," Obi-Wan said, picking up on her thoughts.

"What occasion?" Luke asked, wracking his brain for a reason and not finding one.

"The death of the Chancellor, and your welcome back to the conscious plane," Anakin teased. "You two were out for five days again."

Leia sucked in a breath and glanced to Luke. "It's our birthday," she said quietly.

"What?" Ahsoka asked abruptly, pulling away from the wall.

"We're twenty-five today," Luke responded, glancing warily at his mother.

She gave a weak smile and clutched at their hands. "Happy birthday, you two."

"Thanks," Leia said, her voice choking up.

"What have we missed this time?" Luke asked, hoping to change the subject.

"The Jedi code changed," Anakin said brightly. "Attachment is no longer against the code."

"That's fantastic!" Luke grinned, then winced as his head was flushed with pain.

"I thought so," Anakin nodded, but he'd caught the face Luke had made, and knew exactly what it meant.

"And Ahsoka told me you two felt Palpatine's death, so you know of that," Obi-Wan continued.

"And Bail was elected Chancellor," Padme grinned up at Bail who blushed. Breha clutched his arm reassuringly and smiled proudly at her husband.

"Congrats," Leia smiled. "You could heal this galaxy."

"I thought Senator Amidala would have been a much better choice," Bail said firmly.

"I don't want to start a term on maternity leave," Padme shook her head fiercely. A small jolt fell across her stomach and she rubbed it tenderly.

"That's right," Anakin grinned and leaned down to kiss the crown of her head.

Luke saw Ahsoka's morose expression and sent a wave of hope to her through the Force. She glanced up and smiled weakly at the effort, but she knew all too well it was the last day she'd see Luke and Leia until they knew the truth in the future.

"What will happen to the clone army?" Leia asked.

"It's being dismantled," Obi-Wan said. "All those in service will be released as citizens to live out their lives."

"Which won't be all that long, unfortunately," Anakin sighed. "The accelerated growth with make them die just as fast as they were grown."

"Rex is fine," Ahsoka said, knowing exactly the thought process her master was going through.

"I know," Anakin sighed and shook his head.

"Uh-oh," Padme said suddenly and glanced down in panic at her stomach. "Ani..."

"What?" Anakin asked, looking concernedly at his wife.

"The twins," she mumbled. "I think they're coming."

"Oh!" Anakin said, standing in surprise. "Let's find you the healer on duty then!"

He immediately stood and helped her up, as she wobbled precariously. They exited the room and left everyone else alone.

"I don't feel so good," Luke mumbled. He fell back down to the pillow as Breha came around and ran her fingers lightly through his hair.

"Just lie back," Breha coaxed. "Relax."

Bail came around to Leia's bed, mimicking Breha's actions. Leia moaned slightly as another ripple of pain shot through her head. She reached out instinctively, her hand clasping Luke's firmly.

"I think it's time, Luke," she whispered, almost incoherently.

"Yeah," he replied, his eyes squeezed shut against the suddenly all too bright lights.

"No," Ahsoka moaned, stepping forward and leaning down against Leia's bed. "You guys can't go yet!"

"We have to," Leia said, passing a weak smile to the Torgruta. "Everything you might need to know is in those data-pads. Just give them out when it's time. You'll know when."

"But the pass-phrase-"she started to object and Leia shushed her.

"Just remember 'Solo', okay?" Leia said. "Once the time comes, think about it."

Ahsoka nodded firmly, and watched as Leia and Luke inhaled deeply once before their breathing stilled.

The heart monitor pinged once and shut off as programmed as their hearts stopped. Breha choked back a sob at the sudden relaxation of Leia's had in her own. The four occupants watched in awe as the two twins faded and disappeared, leaving only their robes behind.

All was quiet as they mourned the loss...

Padme knew the second the twins died. She didn't know how, but not a moment later the shrill cry of her child pierced the air, washing away the majority of the pain at the loss of the two who had invaded her heart.

Anakin gave her a sad smile, feeling their deaths as well.

"It's a boy," the healer said with a smile, passing the small bundle to Anakin. "One more push, Padme, you can do it."

Padme cried out in pain once more before a second cry pierced the air.

"A girl," the healer whispered, this time passing the small bundled child to Padme.

"Leia," Padme breathed and looked up at Anakin in question. He nodded once and smiled down at his baby boy in his arms.

"Luke," he whispered. "Luke and Leia."

There you have it! They've literally come full circle if you think about it hard enough. Sequel will be posted soon! Love you guys, and thanks so much for your wonderful reviews. You are fantastic. If you ever reviewed (even once), you have made my day. And for those that stuck with me every chapter (Fallon) you guys are amazing, and my reason for posting. So, thank you.

Review this and then go find the sequel under the title: A More Perfect Future: Rise of the Empire