Title: Seems So Real

Author: nostalgia

Rated: PG

Summary: Some observations.

Disclaim: Not mine, never said they were. Now stop hassling me and let me finish the story. Beta'd by SomeJediGirl and Di-Ana Wolf; my heartfelt apologies to both of them.

Etc: I've always had a twisted desire to write an Obidala. This is what you get. Title from a(nother) Buzzcocks song.

Etc 2: For SomeJediGirl, who demanded that I craft an Obidala, thus forcing me to finish this. This is all her fault.

It's ver' short, to make it be over as quickly as possible. Just close your eyes and think of England...

- - - - - -

The flowers were starting to bloom. The red ones and the white ones and the yellow and the blue. Orange petals made their annual debut in the shade of twice-yearly blossoms and plants that still flowered in time with the spin of long-lost planets. Gardeners scurried from tree to plant, filling tiny plastic tubes with pollens that mustn't be lost to the wind. They whispered to the plants as they scraped at anthers, shushed and comforted. They snipped cuttings to ship to other worlds, ran tests to find the best possible nutrients for their charges. It seemed to others such trivial work, but the gardeners kept working, kept their secrets to themselves.

There was a path through the garden, for visitors to explore without harming the delicate lives around them. It was grey and made of something that might have been stone. Today it had guided polticians and priests, thinkers and thieves. Tomorrow it would guide others, and the next day, and the next.

But for the moment there were only two people on this stretch of the path.

To an observer they might have looked like lovers.

Padme, who was a politician and knew about deportment, was walking slightly too close to Obi-Wan, who was a warrior-mystic and knew about illusion. They were smiling, which could be expected on a day so full of sunshine and in a garden so full of colour, but by now an observer would have suspicions, and would have begun to wonder.

It wasn't strange for them to be walking together like this, they shared memories and a mutual loved one. She trusted him, he admired her, they had the same dry sense of humour.

She'd had a crush on him at fourteen, when hormones and responsibility had briefly taken the same focus. She hadn't told him, but she mentioned it to other people occasionally, laughed about it among those she trusted. It was in the past.

She really was standing far too close to him.

He was from an order that valued chastity and denial. There was no emotion, there was no passion. But of course Padme had married a man like that, and reality rarely manages to live up to the ideal.

And who couldn't love Padme? She was resilient and resourceful, compassionate and charismatic. Men claimed she mixed the independence of a man and the vulnerability of a woman; women commented on her ability to combine the independence of a woman and the delicate vulnerability of a man. She was perfect.

An observer would have seen them kiss. Absurd, really, to do something like that where anyone could have seen them. Proof that the act was impulsive. But not unintended. Slowly - quite deliberately - they moved closer until their bodies met and their lips touched. A conscious betrayal.

He whispered something in her ear afterwards, looked at her as she nodded her agreement. Then he said something else, and she laughed and plucked a flower from the nearest plant and threw it at him. They walked on.

To an observer they looked like lovers.

Anakin blinked, but the tears wouldn't go away.