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A Last Quiet Night

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After their hard work on Coruscant, everyone longed for a few hours of quiet on board the ship. Padmé had already been freed from all the robes, the make up, the headdress and the hairdo and had retired to her bedroom. Eirtaé had also gone to catch a few hours of sleep in one of the quarters the handmaiden shared on board the ship.

Rabé and Sabé where still tidying up the dressing room and preparing it for the following day. They were both tired and anxious, dreading what the next few days would hold for them. And they knew that it was even worse for Padmé. After all, any decision she did or didn't make could mean life or death for millions of people.

When they were finished with their cleaning and preparations, Rabé and Sabé stood for a moment, not sure what to do now. It had been easy, distracting themselves, losing themselves in the hard work, but now that that was over, the prospect of going to bed, trying to catch a few hours of sleep, trying to rest before the next day would bring even more hardship and actual battle, was marred by all the dark thoughts that came unbidden.

Sabé's gaze fell upon the mirror, her own face looking back at her, make up free, her hair still covered by the hood of her handmaiden dress. It was odd, how after just a few days of wearing the make up and the headpieces, playing the part, her own face had become somewhat foreign to her.

Without planning it, she stepped closer towards the mirror and touched her face, imagining how it would be made up again tomorrow, how she would go back to the role she had chosen, the role that had turned out to be far harder than she had ever imagined. And this time, there would be no Jedi to take them away. They would fight for their freedom, for their lives.

Thinking about what was waiting for them on Naboo, Sabé couldn't help but let out a dry sob. The fear she had suppressed the whole day by keeping busy now came to the surface with an unexpected force. It seemed like her entire being was taken over by it and she had no idea how to stop it.

Then she felt a hand on her shoulder, very light, as if asking a question, asking for permission. She turned away from her reflection and faced Rabé, finding only understanding and comfort in the face of her friend and comrade. Now the tears came in earnest and Sabé found herself in Rabé's arms, sobbing quietly, both clinging to each other, drawing strength from the touch.

Sabé did not know how long they had been standing there, but at some point, they heard a small sound by the door to Padmé's bedroom and looked in that direction. Seeing Padmé standing there, already in her nightgown, her hair down and her face showing clearly fresh tracks of tears, both girls started moving at ones.

When they embraced each other, knowing that they shared the same fear and grief, knowing that no matter what would happen, they would stand by each other and be there for each other, all thoughts of responsibility and etiquette fell away. They were just three young girls united in friendship and mutual understanding.

None of them wanted to spend the next few hours alone, so they ended up in Padmé's bed together, holding each other close. At first they talked hesitantly about their fears, but knowing that they could share everything with each other, they soon opened up about everything, the Senate, the Jedi, the coming battle.

And finally, miraculously for a few hours, they found some rest and solace, sleeping next to each other, feeling each other's reassuring presence.