Sabé set up the shelter where they would be staying. She prepared four beds, allowing herself to hope even when logic told her that there was none. Obi-Wan and Padmé had been gone too long. Leia watched her silently, clutching at the soft rag doll that Padmé had made for her first birthday. Her eyes seemed larger than usual and Sabé could see her fear clearly.

"Come here, Leia," Sabé said, holding her arms out.

Leia jumped up and ran to her, burying her head in Sabé's shoulder.

"I'm not going to see them again," she sobbed. "I want my mommy, Sabé."

Sabé felt her own eyes tear up. Leia was gifted in the Force, and Sabé had a feeling that this was not a little girl's fear speaking. She had seen how Leia could see through the walls the adults around her put up. She was too old for her age, and Sabé trusted her gut instinct. She hugged Leia harder and silently vowed to watch over the girl for as long as she lived.

* * *

"She's dead then," Bail said flatly.

"Yes," Obi-Wan said, his tone matching the Senator's and his eyes dead in his face. "Vader is going to bury her in Naboo."

"What about Leia?"

Obi-Wan ran his hand over his lips. "Take her in as your own. Adopt her. Teach her to be as good a stateswoman as her mother was. Padmé would have wanted it to be that way."

"Wouldn't it look suspicious that I obtain a daughter so soon after Padmé's death?"

"Wait six months or so. Get word to Sabé and let them stay in the desert for that period of time. Leia will be safe here."

"What about you?"

"I will return to Tatooine. Protecting Luke is all that will concern me from now on. Leia is your responsibility."

"May the Force be with you, Obi-Wan."

"And you, Bail. Love Leia like she's your own daughter. Don't let her mother down."

"You didn't let Padmé down, Obi-Wan."

"She's not here, is she? Tell Leia that I'm sorry I didn't get to tell her the stories she wanted to hear."

The Jedi turned and pulled his hood over his face. Without another word, he left Bail's office. Bail took a deep breath and sat back in his seat. He opened a link to Sabé's secured channel.

"Bail," Sabé said worriedly.

"I have news," he said simply.

* * *

Obi-Wan walked through Mos Eisley, breathing in the familiar Tatooine air and succeeding in getting a lung-full of sand for his effort. He coughed lightly and kept on going, carefully concealing himself from those around him. He was numb now, but the voyage home had been difficult. He barely slept for his dreams were filled of Padmé and he kept on trying to reach out for her, but she kept on floating further and further away from him.

His small home seemed more lonely now and he entered it with a heavy heart. To his shock, the light to the emergency communicator between himself and the Lars' was blinking. Rushing to it, Obi-Wan turned it on and a fuzzy hologram of Owen Lars appeared.

"I don't know where you are, Kenobi, but Luke's behavior has been worrying us for the past few days. He hasn't been sleeping well and when he wakes from what little sleep he manages to get, he weeps. Beru and I don't know what to do, and she believes that it's because something had happened to either Anakin or Padmé or Leia. Please contact us as soon as you receive this."

Obi-Wan took a deep breath and sat down. He did not feel up to speaking with Owen, unable to deal with the other man's animosity just then. Instead, he closed his eyes and reached out to Luke, finding the sleeping little boy's presence in the Force to be a grief-striken red blip. It was a grief only to be matched by Obi-Wan's own, except Luke did not kow why he felt the way he did. Obi-Wan soothed Luke with his warm thoughts, sending out messages of love and caring. Luke began to calm down and Obi-Wan felt relieved. Deep down, the boy knew his mother had died, but on the surface he did not understand the sorrow that he felt, and it scared him. Obi-Wan knew right then that Luke must be taught how to use the Force...it was just a matter of when and how.

However, the Jedi could not deal with that problem just then. He broke the connection, feeling weariness overcome him. He took off his dusty cloak and laid down on his bed.

Good-bye, Padmé. I will find you again one day, was his final thought before he drifted off into a troubled sleep.

* * *

Vader watched Padmé's remains disappear amidst the flames of her funeral pyre. He shed no tears as he watched her burn, his grief spent on the way to her home planet. Naboo was filled with memories of her, of them, of the early days of their passionate relationship. It took all he had inside not to leave right then. He owed it to her to stay.

When the last embers of the fire died down, Vader turned, his cape whipping around his legs. The sky had darkened as a storm approached. The weather had been perfect when he had arrived; the sky a light, calming blue, and fluffly white clouds floated overhead. It was if Naboo knew that one of its daughters had fallen. Looking over his shoulder one last time, Vader took a mental snapshot of his wife's final resting place, vowing never to forget her. Despite their separation and their differences, he would always love her.

Good-bye, my Angel. 'Til we meet again.

With quick, sure steps, he returned to his ship. He had a rebellion to see to.

*~*THE END*~*