A/N: Endings are hard and I had more loose ends that I thought. But see the bottom for a Ridiculously Long Author's Note. :)

To Die for the Republic


"Okay, I have to go. Hopefully everything's going well with you, and the Separatists are behaving themselves. Well," I amended, "as much as Separatists can, at any rate. Which is probably not at all, seeing as we're at war with them and everything... So maybe ignore that part, and we'll try 'Stay safe and don't let the Separatists get you down!' And I mean that literally as well as figuratively. That Grievous guy sounds—"


I winced. "Right. Yeah. I really got to go. Hope you get this message soon and, when you do, let Anakin know we all say hello! Bye, Obi-Wan."

I disconnected the comm link and quickly dropped it into my pocket. I turned and smiled at Eirtaé.

Eirtaé frowned back.

I widened my smile a bit, hoping a large smile would hide my wince. "You look beautiful, Eirtaé. That dress is just—"

Eirtaé sighed. "Save it, Sabé. Are you all ready?"

"Of course I am!" I grabbed my cane and showed it to her. "Even my cane is ready! Look at how pretty the ribbons are—purple and grey to match my dress and your decorations!"

Eirtaé glanced at my nicely decorated cane before looking back at me, decidedly unimpressed.

Clearly, the cane would not be enough to successfully distract her from the fact that I had ducked into the hallway to leave a comm message for Obi-Wan an hour before her wedding. Not that I'd really expected it to, but it had been worth a try.

"Right. Um, well, I'm ready." I stopped brandishing my cane at Eirtaé and instead used it to stand up and walk over to her. "We still have a little while before you walk down the aisle, right?"

"Yes," said Eirtaé quietly. "But that's not really the point."

"You're right." Guilt started to churn in my stomach. "Sorry."

Eirtaé's smile didn't quite reach her eyes. "It's okay. I understand. Everyone has a lot on their minds right now."

That, if anything, made me feel worse.

As we started to walk down the hall, I gently bumped her shoulder. "It's not okay, not really. It's your wedding day! The only thing any of us should be thinking about is you and Ras."

"With the war—" Eirtaé began.

I cut her off. "Forget about the war! Today is your day. And the Beckinsdale Inn looks perfect—you definitely picked the right place for this—and, seriously, look at yourself! All those days holed up with Wicaté definitely paid off!"

Eirtaé smiled slightly, glancing down at her beautiful, one-of-a-kind wedding gown. "She did a good job, didn't she?"

"A good job?" I asked incredulously. "Just a good job? She did a fantastic job!"

Eirtaé's smile grew.

I did my best to continue to talk excitedly about the wedding as we slowly made our way back to the room that had been set aside for the bride and bridesmaids to use.

The more Eirtaé and I talked about her wedding, the easier and more natural our conversation became.

By the time we rejoined the rest of the bridesmaids, I had managed to push the war to the very back of my mind and Eirtaé's smile actually looked genuine.

Her smile faded a bit, though, when she got a look at the rest of her bridesmaids.

While everyone was dressed in the beautiful lavender dresses Eirtaé had picked out for us, I couldn't help but think that we didn't really look much like a bridal party.

Padmé was glaring at her datapad as if it had personally wronged her and she was determined to make it pay.

Saché had a broken nose and a large black eye that could only be partially covered by make-up. She and Yané were huddled in the corner, talking intently.

Rabé stood in the middle of the room, speaking into her comm link and looking surprisingly exasperated.

"No, Auntie. I don't know. I was a royal handmaiden but—" Rabé paused before huffing in response to whatever her aunt had said. "Obviously, but it's not—" She caught sight of me, Eirtaé, and Eirtaé's slowly fading smile.

I gave her my very best pleading look and Rabé immediately responded.

"Look, Auntie, I have to go. I'll talk to you later." Rabé disconnected the comm link and hurriedly put it away.

"Sorry about that. One of my little cousins is thinking about running for office and my aunt Tillia has gone completely mad worrying about it. She's been comming me nearly non-stop for the past three weeks." Rabé rolled her eyes before quickly smiling at Eirtaé and walking over. "But never mind that now! How are you, Eirtaé? Excited?"

Eirtaé opened her mouth but, before she could say anything, there was a loud gasp.

"Oh, Eirtaé!" Padmé was now looking at Eirtaé instead of her datapad. "You look magnificent!"

A small blush darkened Eirtaé's cheeks. "Thank you. Wicaté outdid herself."

"Ras is going to be a total wreck when he sees you," Saché snickered, strolling over to us with Yané close at her heels.

"Do you think he'll start bouncing again? Like he did at the rehearsal?" Yané asked curiously.

"Oh, definitely," I grinned. "He'll be smiling like a lunatic and bouncing like one too, no doubt. He might even start serenading Eirtaé when she walks down the aisle."

Eirtaé's smile was real and huge again. "He better not." She sounded immeasurably fond.

"He might," said Yané seriously. "It is Ras Winí, after all."

As Eirtaé, Yané, Rabé, and Saché began chatting excitedly about the upcoming wedding, Padmé surreptitiously pulled me to the side.

"Have you had any dreams lately?" she whispered as our friends continued to talk happily.

My heart sunk and I sent her a sharp look. "About the girl, you mean?"

"Yes. Have you?" she asked again.

"No. I haven't." And, surprisingly, I had found myself somewhat disappointed by that. The girl who burned had saved my life twice with her information. With the war still raging on and her ominous words about Naboo burning hanging over my head, I wouldn't have minded dreaming of her again, even if the dreams were unsettling. However, she had yet to make another appearance. "Why?" I asked Padmé.

Padmé bit her lip. "There are some worrying rumors and—"

"What are you two whispering about?"

My head jerked up to see Rabé staring at us, looking faintly accusing as Eirtaé's smile, once again, started to fade.

Inwardly, I swore, even as I scrambled to find a lie. Eirtaé didn't know about the girl who burned and I certainly was not about to fill her in on her wedding day.

Padmé remained suspiciously silent next to me, so I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "Sorry! Padmé was just trying to convince me—again—that Coruscant's Midwifery program is just as good as Naboo's. Probably not the time to talk about my future career though. Not when you're about to walk down the aisle!"

"You still haven't decided between programs?" Eirtaé demanded, looking exasperated. "It's been almost a year since you decided to be a midwife and you finished all your general medical credits months ago!"

"It's an important decision!" I scowled, even though I was inwardly elated that she believed my lie. "Important decisions take time!"

Eirtaé rolled her eyes at me. "You've had time, Sabé."

"Yeah, well, maybe," I huffed. "But it's—"

An impeccably dressed woman glided into the room. "Hello ladies. Everyone's ready for you. Are you ready for them?"

We all turned to look at Eirtaé. She had frozen, her face suddenly white.

"Of course we are. Just give us a minute, and we'll walk right on out," I responded as soon it became clear that Eirtaé was not going to say anything.

The woman faltered but hitched a smile onto her face. "Of course. I'll be right outside when you're ready. Your father is waiting for you in the hallway too, Miss Anidale."

The woman walked out of the room and the door slid shut behind her.

"Eirtaé?" Rabé asked, walking forward and gently laying a hand on Eirtaé's arm.

"I love Ras," said Eirtaé, staring at the floor blankly.

"You do." I smiled at her encouragingly. "And he loves you."

"He does," said Eirtaé, still looking at the floor.

We were all quiet for a moment, as Eirtaé took in slow, deep breaths.

Finally, Saché rolled her eyes and demanded, "If you love him and he loves you, what's the problem?"

"Saché!" Rabé hissed, whacking her on the arm.

Eirtaé, though, instead of getting angry, giggled. She tore her gaze away from the carpet, gave Saché a blindingly bright smile and laughed again. "You're right, Saché. There isn't a problem."

"Are you ready, then?" Padmé asked.

"Yes." Eirtaé nodded firmly. "Yes, I am."

Without another word, she whirled around and marched out of the room as we scrambled to keep up.

The rest of the wedding seemed to fly by.

Ras bounced up and down on his toes when Eirtaé walked down the aisle towards him, grinning so widely I thought his face might crack. Eirtaé, for her part, kept her blue eyes locked on his brown ones throughout the entire ceremony, looking at him as though she thought he was the only person in the galaxy.

At the reception, Ras, much to Eirtaé's delighted exasperation, did end up serenading her with a very out of tune love song. Jans's best man speech was adorably incoherent, as he kept stopping his prepared speech to stare at the newlyweds and comment on how perfect they were for each other. My maid of honor speech was also partially incoherent, as I started crying towards the end of it. However, Eirtaé cried at my speech too, which made me feel better about my own tears.

Ras literally spun Eirtaé off her feet during their first dance and, throughout the entire wedding and reception, I couldn't stop thinking that this was the happiest I'd ever seen Eirtaé.

As the night began to draw to a close, I found myself sitting alone at one of the elegantly decorated tables, watching Eirtaé and Ras dance. As they slowly turned on the dance floor, Ras leaned down to whisper something to Eirtaé. Eirtaé let out a small, startled sounding laugh before hitting her husband lightly on the arm. Ras just beamed down at her.

I grinned at the pair of them, feeling an odd sense of misplaced pride. In truth, I really had very little to do with the two of them finding each other and getting married. Still, though, I couldn't help but feel a little bit smug. I had always known they'd be perfect for each other.

"They look so happy, don't they?"

I jumped, startled, and turned to see Padmé slide into the seat next to me.

I smiled at her. "Yeah, they do."

"I wish—" Padmé trailed into silence, staring at Eirtaé and Ras with something that might have been longing.

"Padmé?" I asked.

Padmé shook her head and gave me a small smile. "Sorry, Sabé. It's nothing."

Except, obviously, it wasn't nothing. So, I waited.

As Ras laughed at something Eirtaé told him, Padmé finally spoke up again.

"I miss Anakin," she said softly.

My happiness dimmed a bit. Padmé had married Anakin nearly a year ago, but I didn't think they'd spent more than a few days with each other in all that time. At the very least, I knew that I had barely seen Obi-Wan at all since the war had started. Thinking of him brought a small ache to my chest. And it had to be so much worse for Padmé and Anakin.

"I'm sorry," I said, wishing there was something I could do.

Padmé sighed. "You have nothing to be sorry for. I knew what I was getting into."

We sat together in silence, watching Eirtaé and Ras.

As the song ended, Eirtaé practically floated off the dance floor with Ras at her side, the pair of them seeming to radiate happiness.

The ache in my chest eased. Anakin and Obi-Wan were far away, fighting a war that was growing worse and worse by the day. And if the girl who burned was right—and she had been right so far—Naboo might burn some day soon. Sometimes, it seemed like the galaxy was growing darker by the hour.

And yet, Eirtaé was beaming up at Ras like he hung all the stars and the moons in the sky. And Ras was looking back at Eirtaé like he wished he could stare at her forever. As the band began to play a cheerful, fast paced song, I saw a grinning Rabé and a laughing Saché drag Yané out onto the dance floor. All around me, people were smiling.

And, now that I thought about it, I was pretty sure I knew the song the band was playing.

I abruptly stood up, grinning down at Padmé.

"I love this song!" I announced.

Padmé stared at me, a smile starting to grow on her face.

"C'mon, Padmé!" I laughed. "It's time for you to be out-danced by a woman with a cane!"

Padmé laughed as I grabbed her elbow and pulled her to her feet, dragging her over the dance floor to Rabé, Yané, and Saché.

No matter what happened with the war and no matter how dark things seemed to get, life would still go on. Happiness could still be found.

So, instead of worrying about what might happen, my friends and I danced the rest of the night away.

The End (for now)

A/N: I kind of can't believe it, but we've finally reached the end of To Die for the Republic. Wow.

And, now that we're at the end, I have some things to say.

First: Fic #3

We're two-thirds of the way done with Sabé's story! One-third to go!

So, here are three facts about Fic #3!

1. Fic # 3 is going to be titled To Change the Galaxy. The categories are going to be Adventure/Friendship and the characters will be 'Handmaidens', 'Obi-Wan K.' and 'Padmé Amidala'. If you see that while browsing, it's the follow-up to Republic and Queen. It should be up in either late January or early February.

2. Once it's up, I'll post a short A/N and leave it tacked onto this story for about a week before removing it. If you have this story on alerts, you should get that, and if you have me on alerts, you should get a message about the first chapter. Also, just so you know, I won't be posting anything that is not To Change the Galaxy, so if you add me to your author's alerts, you don't have to worry about me cluttering up your inbox. (1/2016 Edit: Galaxy has now been posted!)

3. Similarly to Queen and Republic, To Change the Galaxy will roughly correspond with Revenge of the Sith. While Queen was basically a behind the scenes at the TPM and Republic was kind of an extended prologue to AotC, Galaxy is probably going to be more of an extended epilogue to RotS, if that makes sense. It will also be more AU than Republic was, just like Republic was more AU than Queen.

Second: Thank you

Thank you to everyone who's reading this! Thanks to all of you who've stuck with me since I started Queen over five years ago (!), to those of you who've stuck with me since I started Republic three years ago (!), and to all of you who have joined me somewhere along the way. I have had so much fun writing this and I am so grateful to all of you who read what I wrote!

Also, thanks to everyone who took the time to review and let me know what you thought of the story! Thanks to all of you who told me when something in the story could be improved, and to all of you who let me know what you liked. I really feel like your reviews helped me learn and grow as a writer. And, let's be real here, all of your lovely reviews also just left me grinning like an idiot, and wondering how I got so lucky. Over 700 reviews? And all of them helpful and/or kind? You guys are the best! Thank you!

Finally, thank you to those of you who spent your time and energy helping me out. Thank you to Sweet Christabel, for making the fantastic cover image! Thank you to Neverana, who hung with me and beta-ed for me for, like, two or two and a half years and consistently gave me wonderful, helpful feedback! Thank you to Nouvel Oblique, who came in and beta-ed for me during the home stretch, and was so great at pointing out strange sentences and when things didn't quite make sense! Go check them out—they rock!

Third and Finally: Closing Thoughts

You guys are all incredible.

I had an absolute blast writing this and I learned a ton (Mainly: Plots are hard and subplots are even harder. If you ever feel like re-reading Republic, try and see if you can find all the dropped subplots. There are a lot of them, some more obvious than others).

I am really, really excited about starting the third story! Hopefully, I'll see you some of you there. And, if I don't, thanks again for sticking with me and reading Republic. Hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it!

Also, um, I really do love hearing what you guys think so if you have any thoughts/opinions/feedback on the story, I'd love to hear it, no matter when you're reading.

But, yeah! Thanks guys! You're the best! :D

(Also, by the time Galaxy is posted, The Force Awakens will have been released and we'll all, hopefully, have seen it! I am so excited for that movie, you have no idea!)