mattlauercansuckit: (Chaos)
[personal profile] mattlauercansuckit
title never change what's been and gone
author [livejournal.com profile] patientalien
rating PG-13
word count 1227
summary RotS AU, Padme sees Anakin slipping away and decides to take matters into her own hands.
notes written for the "disappearing" prompt on my [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] blaaksable for the idea. I don't feel like I did it justice. Sequel to all the things that never were. Title from "Stop Crying Your Heart out" by Oasis


-----





Anakin's deployed to the Outer Rim when Padme gets the test results back. She is in turns elated and terrified, and spends several sleepless nights trying to decide what she is going to do. She wants a family. She wants to keep their secret. She does not want to terminate the pregnancy, but she does not want to have to make Anakin choose.

She decides to keep the baby, and let the chips fall where they may.

-----


The Holonet news hints that Anakin has been killed in action. Padme turns it off, and turns to her work; she can't bear the thought of him not returning home.

-----


The Chancellor is captured by Grievous, and there is panic. Coruscant has never experienced an attack like this before, and no one knows what to do. Padme does not know what to do. She tries to remain calm, tries to carry on. She hears rumors that a Jedi team is being recalled from the Outer Rim to rescue Palpatine, and she can't dare hope. She watches from her balcony as the battle unfolds in the upper atmosphere, and then she gets a message. Count Dooku is dead. Palpatine has been rescued. Anakin Skywalker is coming home.

-----


Anakin claims to be happy with her news, but she can see the panic in his eyes. She wishes she could mention Ahsoka, how good he was with her. She can't, though; he has no memory of her. Obi-Wan had explained to her what had happened, claimed it was because he knew she and Anakin were close and he didn't want there to be any additional strain on Anakin's mental health. "Do not mention her," he had implored, "whatever you do. As far as Anakin is concerned, Ahsoka never existed."

It had pained her to agree; Ahsoka had been her friend as well. But Anakin is her priority, so she stays her tongue.

-----


She wakes and realizes Anakin is no longer beside her. She ventures out to the veranda, asks what's wrong. He hedges, and she presses. He is dreaming of death again, and Padme tries to reassure him. She cannot imagine dying in childbirth, not on Coruscant. Not on Naboo, either, honestly. She rubs his arm and watches the sun rise.

-----


Anakin stops sleeping. Oh, he lies in bed beside her, pretends to fall asleep, but she knows he is not. She can see it in the deep shadowing beneath his eyes, the moodiness. He refuses to seek help from Obi-Wan, refuses to talk to anyone but her. He is even, she realizes, beginning to distance himself from her as well. It hurts to watch him stalk around their apartment, grieving something that hasn't happened yet.

-----


He begins to grow paranoid, accusing her of conspiring against him (Like everyone else, he had snarled), against the Republic, against Palpatine. He is quick to anger, quicker to despair. She never knows which Anakin she is going to be talking to. When the question comes up of a Jedi she trusts implicitly, Anakin does not even cross her mind. It hurts, knowing that.

-----


His clothes hang off him; he looks sick, like he's being eaten from the inside by some unspeakable horror. She tries to get him to talk to her, but all he can do his shake his head and repeat his vow to keep his dreams from coming true. "I've found a way to save you," he breathes, and her blood runs cold.

-----


She invites Obi-Wan into her home. Her decision, she knows, will change everything, and may cause more trouble for them both. But she trusts Obi-Wan, knows he is seeing the changes as clearly as she is. "Thank you for coming," she says, and closes the door.

-----


Obi-Wan is hurt by her admission, but he schools his features into passivity. "This course of action," he says carefully, "will need to be approved by the Council." He ducks his head. "You know what that might mean."

She nods. She has accepted the possible consequences. And even if Anakin is punished for his indiscretions, at least he will no longer look like the living dead. At least the dread she feels whenever she thinks about the future will be quelled. "It will save his life," she says softly. She can't help think it might save hers, as well.

-----


Obi-Wan comm's her the next day. He tells her the Council has agreed, unanimously. There will be no punishment, because there will be nothing to punish. A clean slate in those terms, and the galaxy will be safe.

Anakin comes to her that night, and she wraps herself around him despite his moodiness. He does not recognize that she is saying goodbye.

-----


When Palpatine is unveiled as the Sith Lord, and it is announced that Anakin Skywalker is the hero to free the Republic, she breathes out a sigh of relief, then trembles as she realizes this is a victory she cannot share with him.

-----


Bail Organa is elected Chancellor. Though nominated, Padme accepts, instead, vice-chancellorship. She has a family to consider, now, and single motherhood will take up much of her time.

Luke and Leia are everyday reminders of what has been lost. She loves them with everything she has, and though she does not regret her decision, exactly, she still cries as she feeds them. They will never know their father as anything more than a name on the Holonet, a stranger.

-----


As the twins grow, she shifts between following Anakin's progress with the Jedi (he takes another apprentice, is elected to the Council as a full Master), and trying to push all thoughts of him from her mind. When the person you're trying to avoid thinking about is plastered all over the holonet, though, it is difficult. She considers cancelling the service, then decides she is being ridiculous. She is an adult, this was her choice, and she needs to adjust. It doesn't make her bed any less lonely.

-----


He looks just as she remembers him, tall and broad-shouldered, unruly curls fanning his face. "M'lady," he greets with a bow, and turns his radiant smile to her children. They hide behind her skirts, unsure of this stranger. "May we speak in private?"

Her heart leaps, wonders if he remembers. But he remains politely detached, even when Padme has ushered the twins out of the room with Dorme. "Your children have been identified as being very strong in the Force," he tells her. "And the Council would like to extend the offer to train them as Jedi."

Padme feels something within her slam shut. She has never even considered this may be something that would come up, she had assumed Obi-Wan would have prevented such a thing from happening. "I..." she stammers. Would she have her children endure the same kinds of hardships their father had. "I apologize, Master Skywalker," she says, finally, "but I cannot allow that."

Anakin looks almost disappointed. "I see," he replies, stands. "Thank you for your time." He bows again, heads towards the door. Pauses on the threshold. "May I ask, m'lady? Who is their father?"

Padme hardens her features, and her mind. "There is no father," she replies, and tries not to think about Anakin's stricken expression as the door slides shut between them.

Date: 2011-11-02 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ms-erupt.livejournal.com
Oh Padme. Something about her sort of quietly sacrificing what she thought might've been a happy life with Anakin when she see's what's happening to him is both a relief and also so, so devastating.

Date: 2011-11-03 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] patientalien.livejournal.com
It's kind of hard to veer away from canon in that respect, honestly. :\

Date: 2011-11-02 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blaaksable.livejournal.com
I think you did it perfect justice. Poor Padme. :( But it's awesome that Anakin became the Republic hero. I felt totally relieved when I read that, lol, despite that being the point of Padme's action.

Randomly, been watching Clone Wars, and I love how well it sticks to the prequels' spirit.

Date: 2011-11-03 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] patientalien.livejournal.com
LOL - well, knowing me I could have gone to the other extreme and no one would have been surprised. ;)

YESSSS. I love the fact it doesn't take itself, or any of the characters, too seriously.

Date: 2011-11-03 02:33 am (UTC)
beatrice_otter: Vader and Leia (Vader and Leia)
From: [personal profile] beatrice_otter
This is a very interesting what-if. I enjoyed it. It works well at this length, but if you ever decided to write more that would be awesome

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