Padmé's dinner the following evening with Palpatine was a casually-formal affair in which Anakin had somehow managed to be present. While she and the Chancellor discussed her future plans in medicine as well as the outcome of the trial, neither Anakin nor Padmé spoke of their personal plans. Secret was just that. Not even the Chancellor would be allowed to know. It wasn't that they didn't trust him; it was that they couldn't afford to let anyone know.

The Chancellor was a delight to have dinner with and over the course of the next few months; it became a habit for both her and Anakin to dine with him. They didn't discuss politics, but the new policies emerging from the Medical Syndicate after her trial and the breaks that had eventually won her freedom.

Between it all, Padmé and Anakin arranged a discreet Justice through the father of a patient of hers. He was sworn to secrecy, and glad of it, for he stated no one would have believed him anyway. He asked for only one thing in return for performing the ceremony in lieu of payment.

Anakin's autograph.

Anakin obliged, and they were married in her apartment with no witnesses. It was a small ceremony, an exchange of vows and the signing of official, sealed documents that were password protected and encrypted to prevent anyone gaining access.

Padmé kept one copy, placing it with her confidential files.

Anakin kept the other, the datarod eventually going with him to every place he was sent over the next five years searched for the droid general who had escaped their grasp on Coruscant.

Padmé was assigned permanently by the tribunal to the Jedi Temple as the Chief Medical Officer. She spent the better part of her next year doing rehabilitation with Master Windu. As an older patient he required a more restrained re-introduction to using his limbs. Stubborn, he over strained himself many times and Padmé sent him back to the bacta tanks almost monthly to recover from whatever injury he'd inflicted by trying too hard. For a Master, he had little patience.

Eventually, through Padmé's stubbornness and Master Windu's determination, they got him back on his feet and he resumed his duties just after the one year anniversary of his injury. Master Windu, thanks to her expert care, was now one of Padmé's staunchest supporters and he assisted in pitching several controversial treatments - successfully - to the Jedi Council and Medical Tribunals. Treatments that advanced and enhanced her care of the Jedi who were critically wounded over the next several years.

It was never discovered how Helkor had obtained the data recorder that had been implanted in Anakin's neck or who had changed the mixture of Mace's bacta. Padmé went to see Helkor once, discreetly, to see if he would speak to her, but the Twi'lek simply wanted to know how she enjoyed being the Jedi's whore. She brushed off the comment, simply smiled that secret smile and asked how he enjoyed being the prison's equivalent.

Their discussion hadn't ended well and she'd left without any useful information.

Anakin and Padmé's marriage was a carefully maintained secret, disguised as a close friendship. It wasn't difficult for them to make time together, and in certain instances, despite Obi-Wan's vocal objections, they were even paired in the later years on limited missions. It was after one of these missions, with Anakin having just been dispatched with Obi-Wan to chase down a rumored sighting of General Grievous, when Padmé first suspected, and then confirmed, that she was carrying Anakin's child...

But that, my friends, is another tale for another day.


Author's Note: *gasp*, I went and finished it. Whoops! On the bright side, there's a sequel! *Gasp* Yup, another "Padmé in the Medical Profession" full length story about her and Anakin and it's called: Doctor's Silence. I'll be starting to post it probably in about of month; it's undergoing revision right now.

Thanks for reading everyone, this was a real blast to write and has been a delight to revisit while editing for review!