A new story! Yep. I wanted to work on one of my others, but they all seemed predicable for some reason, and I haven't thought of anything random to throw in, so I decided to write a new story, with a random objective. That being, no objective at all.
I honestly don't know where the inspiration for this came. I've been thinking about "The Sound of Music" all day, so that might be it. I think Maria and Georg's relationship is one of the freshest in the world. And I have no idea how that works into this story, except it does.
Anyway, yeah, a new Anakin/Padmé story, and I hope you guys like it. I wanted one that didn't have pregnancy in it, but still had lots of romance, and a new side to the two of them together. Please comment and review, and let me know what you think of it!
Anakin Skywalker was nervous.
Anakin Skywalker was never nervous.
Nor was he intimidated.
Which made this situation even more unusual.
Because he was intimidated.
And he knew how bad it was because every Jedi in that room was cringing from the intensity of his Force signature. Try as he might, he could hide his thoughts and feelings, but not the overwhelming fear that was dominating his being. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Master Windu rub his forehead, a grimace on his face.
"Relax, Anakin," hissed Obi-Wan beside him, leaning in so that he didn't have to raise his voice.
"You tell me how and I'll do it," answered Anakin with a clipped tone.
"You're kidding, right?"
"Just do it!" It was clear from his whispered urgency that Obi-Wan, the closest Jedi to Anakin, wasn't going to take his intense presence in the Force much longer.
So Anakin did as he was told. He breathed. In. Out. Slowly. Just like he did during training… or meditation. Which he was now regretting not having completed that morning. He needed meditation. Force, did he need it! And it was the one thing he'd skipped because he hadn't deemed it important.
Idiot, he told himself, but kept breathing. After a moment; What's taking so long?!
"Patience, Anakin," said Obi-Wan, and Anakin knew his aggravation could be sensed. "We haven't been here that long."
"Easy for you to say," hissed the young Knight in response. "You're not the one getting married."
"Lucky me." The reply was meant to sound bored, but when Anakin shot his old Master a look, he saw a smug expression on the man's face. Lucky him indeed. He always did have the easy role, unlike Anakin, the "Chosen One", or so they kept saying.
Turning back to the vast audience in front of them, Anakin thought maybe now was a good time to start counting the congregation. For no reason, other than to stave off his boredom… and irritation. He got to fifty-three, then gave up because people kept moving around, and not even a challenge of that sort could make him forget what awaited him. He hooked a hand under his tunic to loosen it, suddenly feeling very hot and finding it hard to breathe. He wondered if he should mention it to Obi-Wan. He was sure there was some ventilation problem that he needed to look into. He wondered if she'd kill him when she saw the state of his tunic, if he slipped out to check the systems.
I could get them scanned over before she even gets here, he thought. Either that or suffocate.
Then he leaned toward Obi-Wan and spoke aloud.
"Why couldn't we elope? I mean, what's the point of so many people? It doesn't make it any different."
"Yes it does," answered Obi-Wan grimly. "You've easily got a thousand witnesses right here. If you eloped, where would the witnesses be? You could easily claim to be married, and not have actually done it."
"So the Council still doesn't trust me." It wasn't a question.
"Trust you, yes. With her, no."
"I'd be a good little boy."
"You'd be innocent as a virgin, Anakin. In fact, you'd be a virgin. You wouldn't get within a thousand parsecs of her if you were left to your own devices."
"And how can you be sure we're going to do anything anyway? Are you going to post a hundred witnesses in our bedchambers tonight?"
Then he saw Master Windu staring hard at them, at the very moment Obi-Wan did, and the question was left hanging. It wouldn't do for the pristine Jedi Master to catch the less than decent conversation taking place at the alter.
It was well that it happened, for at that moment, when Anakin's attention was again turned toward the doors at the end of the massive room, the doors opened, and the moment he'd been dreading for months now had finally arrived. He took a deep breath and glanced at Obi-Wan, who shrugged in response, then they both turned back to the doors, even as the first of the procession started down the aisle.
The procession lasted for a good half hour. There were any manner of people involved. Family, friends, younglings chosen for their cute faces. Two dogs were chosen to carry the rings. They were well trained dogs. One, a golden mutt named Thunder, belonged to Anakin, the other, a sassy black bitch named Lady, was her's. And each carried a pillow in their mouths with the rings. But, adorable as they seemed together, the entire length of the aisle was one long growling match, with a few strikes every once in a while. They did what the electromagnetic collars around their necks told them to, but that didn't mean they liked each other. Anakin, for one, was just about to leap forward and relieve his dog of the nasty device when Obi-Wan grabbed his arm and all eyes turned once more toward the doors. Even Anakin was taken aback.
There, standing in the doorway, on her father's arm, was the most beautiful woman in the galaxy. She was short; much shorter than Anakin. And small, though her size contradicted her strength. Her body was beautifully curved, and in just the right places. Big brown eyes looked out from her gorgeous face and long brown hair flowed in curls down her back. Anakin was alright with that. The only thing he liked most about her was her hair, which was never down, always up. Except now. Maybe she'd noticed.
The veil was sheer, so much so that Anakin could see her eyes from the other end of the room. They were on him. And he chose to meet them, not roll his eyes like this was the worst day of his life. Which it was, but if she was happy, he guessed he could allow himself to be lenient. From her perspective, it wasn't every day you married a Jedi Knight. So he'd let it pass.
Then, with growing irritation, Anakin noticed that they were waiting for the fighting dogs to get down the aisle. Which was no easy task. It was a long enough distance to begin with, made only longer if you had to wait for everyone else to get in place. Anakin rolled his eyes then, and glanced at Obi-Wan, who again shrugged.
Then the dogs were in place, and the music started, and in slow, measured steps, Senator Padmé Amidala, the future wife of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, started down the aisle on the arm of her father. And much as Anakin wanted to drop his ceremonial cape and make for the nearest exit, all he could do was watch. He knew every second that passed lowered his chances of escape, but the flow of her dress was mesmerizing, and the closer she got to where he stood, the more he could see the lines on her face, which told him that she was no happier than he was.
Then she was standing there, and the music had stopped, and the holy man was saying something. And Ruwee lifted Padmé's hand to Anakin, who took it without knowing what he was doing. Then she was walking toward the holy man, and with a jolt, Anakin realized that all eyes were on him. With one final pleading glance at Obi-Wan, he turned and fell into step with her as they made their way to the holy man, who then proceeded to speak over them.
Anakin closed his eyes and tried to breathe carefully. He could feel Padmé standing beside him, in a similar state as he was. She wasn't a Jedi, so she couldn't easily hide the torrent of emotions which were threatening to overwhelm her. Anakin focused on those, blocking out all but a murmur of what the holy man was saying.
Through Padmé's emotions, Anakin was able to sense several things. Firstly, that she was scared, more so than he was, and that fear was mainly about whether she could make him happy, whether she'd be a good wife, whether she could do what he asked of her. She was also intimidated, just as he was. And deathly nervous. And she knew that every Jedi in that room could tell what she was thinking, which Anakin was impressed that she knew about, and was trying extremely hard to hold her emotions in check. A valiant effort, but pointless.
Then the holy man was telling them to join hands and they were forced to turn toward each other. Anakin found himself staring at Padmé's hands, but knowing how strange that might appear, he raised his eyes to look into hers, which were staring straight ahead, at the front of his tunic. A moment later, she too lifted her eyes to meet his. And in that way they stood, as was expected of them, and the holy man continued to speak, his voice echoing through the great hall.
Anakin answered the questions he was asked, as did Padmé. Their answers were short and blunt, and the manner of their separate tones made it quite clear that neither of them wished to be there. Then Anakin gave his consent to joining the marriage, and Padmé did likewise, with an eye roll that only he was able to see. And the dogs came foreword, almost on cue, as Anakin observed, and with a great sense of hate, which he knew was not allowed in the Jedi Order, he visualized strangling the person who had ordered the electromagnetic collars.
Probably Master Windu, he thought smugly.
Then the dogs were there, and both he and Padmé retrieved the rings, and almost robotically, placed them on each other's fingers. It was all methodical, almost hypnotizing, the manner through which the ceremony took place, and Anakin almost wished that someone would slap him so he wouldn't fall asleep through boredom.
And finally the holy man pronounced them man and wife, and when they were bidden to kiss, Anakin leaned down and kissed Padmé on the cheek, as she did likewise to him. It was not what anyone had wanted, but it's what they got, and so the room erupted in violent cheering. Anakin glanced back at Obi-Wan, who was smiling proudly, then he gave his arm to Padmé, who took it, and together, they descended the stairs from the dais.
At the bottom of the stairs were the two dogs, and almost on impulse, Anakin waved his hand and the electromagnetic collars broke free and fell clattering to the floor. Then the dogs were no longer bound, and as such, proceeded to kill each other. There was a great growling and barking, and a black ball of fur, followed closely by a golden ball of fur, flew down the aisle toward the open doors. Anakin glanced at Padmé, who's eyes were shining as they hadn't done through the entire length of their engagement, and almost together, they started running down the aisle after their dogs. Padmé yanked off her veil as Anakin threw off his cloak, and she hitching up her skirts, they took to their heels. And as they disappeared through the doors at the end of the massive hall, the audience suddenly realized that the bride and groom had disappeared, and were frantic to follow.
Alas, it was a pointless endeavor, for no one ever found Anakin Skywalker, nor Padmé, or any sign of the dogs, and the reception was a boring affair as a result. Obi-Wan Kenobi had disappeared as well, but who cared to mention that?