Epilogue

Anakin's body was never been recovered from the ashes of the once great senate hall.

Where the building had once stood was now a pit, a crater of neutrality where no being could use the Force. It became neutral ground for all parties, declared a war monument by the Senate; those members who'd not been caught in the enormous blast. Master Yoda was lost, presumed dead in the explosion, as well as the Chancellor.

Obi-Wan Kenobi had been on board the shuttle, taking Padmé to Bail Organa's ship at the time of the explosion and escaped unharmed. Padmé went into depression, eating only to preserve the life she carried within her. A thorough examination revealed she was carrying twins, a bittersweet moment in which she'd broken down.

Anakin hadn't cared if they'd had a son or a daughter and, instead, he'd given her both.

To help relieve her stresses, Obi-Wan completed her escort to Naboo to assist her in explaining to the Queen the events that had transpired. Now more than ever the strong voices of the senate needed to be present and Padmé needed the outlet. The Queen had agreed to allow Padmé to participate on the condition she not over tax herself. Obi-Wan assigned himself to Padmé as a personal body guard until she decided to return to public duty.

She accepted once he explained that it was what Anakin would have wanted of him. She wasn't about to turn down Obi-Wan request to honor his fallen friend.

Under Padmé's guidance through Bail, the senate was slowly being rebuilt; baby steps were taken to bring the divided galaxy back into a single, united front. Negotiations were opened with all "separatist" worlds to have their grievances aired and addressed.

Through it all, Padmé stayed with her parents. Obi-Wan was always nearby, ensuring she ate when she needed to, but respecting her privacy as she fought through conflicting emotions with regards to Anakin's disappearance. She refused, even when thinking, to consider Anakin as dead. In her heart she didn't believe it; couldn't believe it. Not when he was so adamant that she'd die if he wasn't there for the birth of their twins.

And so, she hoped.

The day the twins were born, Padmé was being wheeled into the delivery room under the care of the best medical team the Queen had been able to employ when something stopped her.

"Wait!"

"Something wrong, Milady?"

Padmé paused, frowning, wondering what had caused her to stop them. She turned her head, looking this way and that and then shook it sadly. "I'm sorry, I thought I heard someone call my name."

The aid chuckled, patting her shoulder gently. "It happens a lot, Milady; you'll get-"

"Padmé!"

Padmé sat bolt upright as his voice echoed through the hallway. "Anakin?"

"Padmé!"

Padmé twisted, looking behind her and her eyes widened. His hair flew out behind him, his robes snapping as he moved swiftly, darting straight up to her side. She was only beginning to comprehend what her eyes had been telling her when his arms were around her, his lips hungrily on hers. Her eyes closed as she latched onto him tightly, her arms clinging to him desperately as she returned his kiss. There was no doubting it was Anakin. His touch, his kiss, set her senses aflame - despite the imminence of child birth.

Anakin pulled away slowly, looking down into her face for a long moment, waiting for her eyes to slowly open. "I love you."

"I've missed you." She returned. Belated tears flooded her eyes as she realized she could feel him, touch him; that he was real, flesh and blood. "Where have you-" a contraction hit at that moment and she gasped at the intense pain.

Anakin chuckled softly, kissing her briefly and nodding to the techs. "I'll explain everything later. I understand we're about to have a baby."

"Twins."

Anakin's shocked expression was all she'd dreamed it would be. "Twins?" His repetition was delighted. "Twins!"

She squeezed his hand as the techs began wheeling her towards the delivery room once more. "Anakin - are you coming? Luke and Leia won't wait much longer."

He shook himself, coming up beside her to take her hand in his and squeezed it gently as they passed through the doors into the delivery room. "I'm coming. And I'm never going anywhere ever again."

Fin


Author's Note: That's it, that's all folks. Don't ask me how Anakin survived - I'm going with the theory that Yoda's goodness cancelled out Palpatine's evilness and blew Anakin out the proverbial window - that or his fate wasn't yet completed. After all, they're going to bring balance, you know ;)