Fingers loosening, eternity, and dying breath. The sound of the heartbeat fading was almost impossible to understand, but somehow she caught and held it, listened deep, and let it go.
"You were not meant to love this way," she whispered in her mind to the still face before her. "You should not have followed me here to this moment where time stretches to breaking, but stayed in your childhood home, married a man, raised a family."
Bond and blood and hearts melting, those years ago. Their skin so close it was almost as though they were one.
"I look just like you," Cordé had whispered, in the intervening years between Queen and Senator, when change swept Padme's life clean, when choices had to be made. "I could be your decoy if you decide to take the place."
Unspoken were the words: "We would not have to be parted."
A backlash of pain licked Padme's mind in the Now, a snapping bond. They had not quite achieved mindspeak, but could always feel each other in the Force.
"Our secret weapon," Cordé had whispered when they forged the bond, in bed on a sunny morning, letting the shadows play across the room.
"Our secret weapon," Padme had agreed, and kissed her, bitten her just until blood rushed to the skin.
"We shall never be defeated!" Cordé laughed the words. "You and I, and none can stand before us."
And Padme, for an interval of delicious years, had believed her.
"Senator Amidala, please!" She heard Typho speak, but could not make herself move.
"Cordé...." She let the words slip out into the place where the bond no longer was. "Cordé, come back!"
And all through the echoing silence of the next days, Padme's mind rang with words unvoiced.
"I failed you...I failed us."