Anakin leaned on the railing on Padmé’s balcony, looking out across Coruscant. The Temple was in view, giving him a sense of calm he usually didn’t have when it came to the home of the Jedi. He didn’t like the fact he was being called back, while Obi-Wan was being sent out to take on Grievous, by himself. Something wasn’t right, and they both knew it.
The moment the Resolute had landed, he had been summoned to the Chancellor’s office. He pushed it off, stating he needed to make sure his Padawan was settled. He sent Rex, along with members of Torrent, with Ahoska to the Temple, with instructions to not let her out of their sight. He wanted to make sure they had back up, in case of worst case scenarios.
“Ani.” Padmé called out as she made her way into the living area. She dumped her headdress, and shaw onto one of the couches. “How long have you been waiting?”
“Not long, my angel.” He walked across the room, pulling her close and giving her a kiss. He ran a hand across her cheek. “Are you okay? You look pale.”
“I just got back from seeing my personal healer.” She gave him a kiss on the cheek, then settled into his arms, feeling more at ease.
“Are you sick?” He pulled back slightly, giving her a once over, reaching out with the Force to try and read if something was going on.
“You’re not pregnant are you?” Anakin smirked, it was a joke between them since Obi-Wan had sent them back to Naboo with protection. While he had been embarrassed, Padmé had laughed at his Master’s cheekiness. He was sure their friendship was sealed from that moment onward. She had assured Anakin that when they decided to take that step, they’ll have a very frank conversation about what they wanted for the future. “Obi-Wan would kill me, give you a disappointed look, take our kid and raise it with Cody.”
“It’s been six months since I last saw you Anakin!” She rolled her eyes at him, while running a hand over her flat stomach. “And why exactly would Obi-Wan be raising our kid with his Commander …” Her eyes went wide as a broad smile on her face appeared. “Did those two finally admit they have feelings for each other?”
“It’s not my place to tell.” He gave her a wink, making her giggle. “You can invite Obi-Wan for dinner, when he gets back from his latest mission. So if you’re not pregnant, thank the Force, what’s wrong?”
“My cycle was off, really off. I started bleeding two weeks early, so went to see the healer. It would seem my contraceptive wasn’t just working, but completely ineffective.” She settled down onto one of the couches. “With as many attacks and threats I’ve had, we figured best to give me an implant at the moment, which would give Rabé time to figure out who doctored with my medication, while Sabé talked with Commander Fox, to see if any other Senator had anything mixed up. At least this wasn’t life threatening, but can you imagine if someone switched a Senator’s medication that was!”
“Shouldn’t you have talked to me about the implant.” The look she gave him, had him cringing and taking a step back. “I mean…”
“You are not my husband, and you have no say on the decisions I make about my body.” She snapped, standing back up ready to take him head on. “And I’m pretty sure we had this discussion after Geonosis, until this war is over, we can’t. This is no time to even contemplate marriage let alone children. Besides we’re already raising Ahsoka and Rex, plus the 501st.”
The last part eased the sting of her rebuke, but he knew she was right. “Well not the 501st, I think Obi-Wan adopted them.”
“Along with our future kid?” She laughed lightly, sitting back down. She was tired, between the back to back meetings, and her cycle out of whack, she was pretty much done with the day. “And how did you lose custody of the 501st?”
He gave her an altered story of what happened, and how he ended up telling the 501st and 212th some of Obi-Wan’s history. He had never told her about the Dragon, it wasn’t his place. He trusted her with it, and he was sure Obi-Wan would have no problems, but with everything going on, there hadn’t been time, and the less he said the word Dragon out loud on Coruscant the better he felt.
He handed her favorite tea, along with some sweets he found in the cupboard. It wasn’t the first time he spent most of his time holding her, while she suffered through her cycle. It had scared him the first time, not really having dealt with that aspect of a woman’s biology. He was thankful, she had explained a few things, as it would help him with his Padawan. Though Ashoka was Togruta and not the same biology as Padmé, he at least was more prepared to handle her going through puberty. Or at least he hoped, if not, he was going to hand her to Obi-Wan and run.
“I actually had a question for you.”
She knew by his tone, this was serious. Padmé set the cup down on the table, shifted until she was facing him. “Okay.”
“Obi-Wan actually suggested I ask you, and I want you to be honest. Not that you’re not always honest with me, but I really want you to tell me whether it hurts or not.”
“Ani what’s going on.” She took his hand, holding it tightly, sensing his nervousness.
Anakin had always had a hard time expressing his emotions, sometimes even controlling them. It took a lot of patience to let him work through them, and figure out when was the best time to step in and help. The few conversations she had with Obi-Wan, it was something they had been working on years, before they came back into her life with a bang.
“When the Chancellor called me back from the front…” He instantly felt her tense. “Obi-Wan told me to talk to you before I went to see him.”
“Why?” She started to run soothing circles along the back of his hand. The one she figured out quickly was touch, helped ground Anakin to the moment. He had noticed Obi-Wan doing it with touches to the arm, squeeze to the shoulders, lean into his side. Anakin had started to do the same with Ahsoka, helping her focus on the moment instead of the terrors around them from the war.
“Part of the story I can’t tell you yet, as it’s not mine to tell, but basically Ahsoka and Rex along with Fives and Echo asked about my mother, and I told them what happened. Fives pointed out that despite the Chancellor knowing how I felt about her, he never offered to buy and let her live on Naboo, but more importantly he commented how it seemed odd he was my mentor.” He needed to get this all out, before they argued like they normally did about the Chancellor, though he didn’t actually feel any rash anger or hurt feelings. He paused for a moment, letting that sink into his consciousness … with a shake of his head he continued. “I talked to Obi-Wan, and he mentioned that when I came back from meetings with him I was angrier, and that I should ask you…”
Padmé stood and walked over to the balcony, arms wrapped around herself. She took a few calming breaths, before turning back around. “When you see him, then come to see me, there are times I’m terrified of you.”
Shocked rocked through him, he had never realized he scared her. “My angel I wouldn’t hurt you.” But then he hurt Obi-Wan, and still didn’t remember it.
“I wasn’t always sure.” She started to pace, hands moving as she talked. They had never talked about this, and she was honestly surprised that Anakin was willing to. So she would be honest, like he requested, good or bad. “You would talk about tossing democracy, and let Palpatine just have full control to end this war. Sometimes you would be so angry at everything, wanting to hunt down Dooku and rip his head off. I want this war to end, but the way you would talk about scared me. Then you would go back out there, comm me weeks later crying that your men were dying for nothing. The times you didn’t talk to him, you were my Ani, who brought me tea, made me laugh, loved me, let me hold you when you had nightmares.”
Anakin stood, moving cautiously towards her. “Do you mind if I ask something else, this isn’t to acuse, but I’m curious.” She nodded, this wasn’t quite what she expected for the evening, but it wasn’t necessarily bad, matter of fact it may turn out for the better. “Why didn’t you, as Queen of Naboo go get my mom?”
“I…” She frowned, shoulders slumped. It was something she didn’t want to talk about, but as they were being honest. “I wanted to. I was so pissed at Master Jinn for not bringing her, even confronted him. He told me that as a Jedi you would have to let her go, and in some aspect I got it, but she helped us and deserved our help. He informed me the Jedi couldn’t save everyone, and he didn’t have enough to save you both. I growled at him, and stormed off. Then we were facing the Senate, the Trade Federation, and we lost Master Jinn. I had every intention of sending a team back to Tatooine, then I just didn’t. I don’t know why. I’m ashamed to say that it wasn’t until you told me about your dreams, that I even remembered her. Hence I was ready to travel out to Tatooine, but you said she wasn’t there.”
“She wasn’t.” He reached out, pulling her into his arms, holding her close. “Master Obi-Wan had her moved to his home planet. She’s happily married, with a stepson, new daughter-in-law and last I heard a grandkid is on the way.”
“What does this have to do with the Chancellor?” She stepped back, looking at him curiously. “I, well honestly, I wasn’t happy he was mentoring you, not because I thought he was doing something wrong. Naboo has many mentors to help younger politicians, I as Queen had a series of them. I was more concerned with how it would look. Naboo’s Senator, turned Chancellor on my declaration for a Vote of No Confidence, was mentoring the Jedi who saved Naboo – it would look like we were catering to the Jedi or the Jedi would be favorable to us.”
“Obi-Wan, like you, said every time I came back from being with him I was angry. It took some time, but between him and Master Windu, I was able to control my anger. I thought at first it was me being an angsty teenager, but I’m wondering if it was more.” He turned and looked at the Jedi Temple, not feeling that simmering anger under his skin. “If you’re telling me I was as bad with you, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s more than being an annoying teenager.”
“What does that mean?” She asked sitting back down on the couch, hand over her heart, not sure she wanted to contemplate what he was trying to tell her.
“Was Papaltine with you, alone after the battle? Did you talk to him about going back for my mother?” He had a theory working since Fives pointed out, and he wasn’t liking where it was going.
“Well yes, he was our Senator, and we needed to discuss who to replace him…” Her eyes went wide at the implication. “Ani?”
He held out his hand. “We need to talk to Master Windu.”
Commander Fox stared at Quinlan Vos with an exasperation that one only had when they were in the Jedi’s presence for more than a minute. How did he end up working with the overbearing, renegade Jedi, who gave no kriffs about rules and regulations?
“You know General Windu would pardon me if I shot you.” He gave him a pointed look, hand itching for his weapon.
“I’m sure he would.” Vos laughed lightly, he was pretty sure the Head of the Order would pay Commander Fox to shoot him. “But then who would help you with these underhand dealings to find out who’s trying to harm Senators. Especially the ones we like.”
He took a calm breath, counted to ten a few times, wondered if he could be transferred to the 212th, he knew General Kenobi took care of his verde … never mind he heard Cody’s ranting about his insane General, and from rumors he heard around the Senate, he was friends with Vos, which meant he was totally off his rocker.
Maybe General Koon, though Wolffe was a territorial bastard. He couldn’t even think about General Secura, though she would understand his pain as having been Quinlan’s Padawan, but he knew Bly would just shoot him, without a second thought. Ponds had already threatened him, if he thought about stealing Windu. And he couldn’t see a future of picking up discarded articles of clothing while following Master Fisto – which left him right where he was, dealing with Quinlan.
“What did you find out?” Vos might drive him insane, but he was good at his job.
“Someone really wanted Senator Amidala to be off her contraceptives. So far there is no other mix up of medications. Just hers. Let’s face it there are people who think the female of any species is inferior, because of their ability to reproduce. Mixing up her contraceptive could sideline her for a meeting or vote, especially as she is very outspoken for reaching out to the Separatists to start peace talks, and even more vocal about Clone rights … Or it was a very very big coincidence they failed weeks before her Jedi boyfriend came back.”
When Commander Fox had asked him to look into it, he wasn’t sure if it was an actual thing. It seemed more along the lines that someone had innocently mixed up the prescription, not like that hadn’t happened before. But the more he dug into the situation, the odder it became. He talked to Rabé and Sabé, they were blunt about the Senator’s cycle, both surprised he didn’t flinch. He pointed out that General Aayla Secura was his Padawan, and he learned a hell of a lot, to help her through puberty and made sure scum didn’t get near her.
When he discovered that one of the interns from the Chancellor’s office had been snooping around the medical offices, he got even more suspicious.
“Are you telling me some fiend out there wants to torture the Republic by having Skywalker breed?”
Quinlan inhaled the caf he was drinking, then spat it all over the Commander’s desk, stuck between choking and laughing. “When you put it like that it sounds stupid.”
“Not really.” Fox grabbed napkins and began to clean up his paperwork, while glaring at the Jedi. “Everyone knows the two are involved, they aren’t subtle, but they aren’t doing anything to influence the other. But if she got pregnant, the scandal would send her back to Naboo. The vod would lose a Senator who was on their side, while the GAR would lose a general. Because there would be no way Skywalker wouldn’t follow her, let alone the impact it would have on how people perceive the Jedi. The dynamic duo of Kenobi and Skywalker, goes down to one. And we both know half the galaxy is out to get the General, and if we were to lose him, because Skywalker wasn’t there to back him up.”
“Well first off, never underestimate Obi-Wan, let alone that Commander of his.” Quinlan had heard the joy in his friend’s voice, when he told him that the two had finally Mated. “Despite the fact it sounds like a vast conspiracy that only the gossip mongers would spread, it has enough consequences in it that we should talk with Mace.”