"Obi-Wan, there's still good in him...I know..." she said hoarsely.
Her last moments of her life were spent looking at her friend cradling her new born son. Although her last words were of Anakin, her final thoughts were on Obi-Wan. She needed to give him hope. She wanted to say more but her strength was spent.
All her life she had drawn strength from her inner well of purpose. Some would call her a fighter, although she preferred not to use that term. She was just very determined. Every obstacle she tackled, every problem had a solution and every battle she fought hard for a peaceful resolution.
But this was a battle she was losing. She heard the term "lost the will to live" mentioned by the medical droids and staff yet they were far off the mark. Her life force was being drained. The unexplainable bond, sprung up in the midst of her pregnancy that connected her to her husband was being manipulated by a phantom dark force, determined to syphon off her life for his. It took every fibre of her being to protect her children, making sure they lived when she could not. It was the ultimate self-sacrifice, one a mother would gladly do. She birthed them and that was enough.
She looked into those blue-grey eyes of her Jedi protector, brimming with tears. He had something to live for now, a purpose to fulfil, some good to do for the Galaxy that was so lost in darkness. She did not want to leave Obi-Wan to falter aimlessly into unbounded grief and despair. He already carried enough burdens and sorrow.
So now at the end she was glad he was with her. She was in safe hands beside him, already forgiving him from sneaking onto her ship earlier, for who knows what would have happened if he had not been there to protect her?
She said her final words as her vision blurred, his face fading from her view until all was just a bright light.
But it seemed that the Force had other plans. As her head fell to the side, she felt herself being drawn up to a bird’s eye view. It was all very strange, seeing her dead body below, yet being a translucent corporeal form with a blueish tinge. She was now part of the Force, and understood that she had a small time now to observe but not to interact with the ones she left behind.
While the two Jedi and the Senator were meeting, Padmé spent the time with her babies. Luke was sleeping peacefully whilst Leia was wide awake; contentedly looking at all that was around her. Padmé’s heart was overflowing with love for these two miracles and she tried not to think about their uncertain future, just focusing on the little time they had together. She didn’t know if they were force sensitive, although being Anakin’s children they probably were. She wondered if they could feel her presence. Luke slept happily on as she told him that she loved him. Leia seemed to respond by wriggling more as she bent down beside her cot.
“Hello my sweet baby,” Padmé said. Leia’s huge brown eyes stared into hers. Sadness overwhelmed Padmé as she realised that she hadn’t had a chance to hold her babies, and that she never will.
“Look after your brother. Be strong and brave. I love you both so much,” she said. Leia reacted by cooing a little.
Just then, the door opened and in walked Master Yoda followed by Bail. Hearing Leia being vocal, Bail immediately went over to pick her up. Cradling her gently, he began talking excitedly to her. “I’m going to be your new daddy Leia. We’re so happy that you’ll be part of our family – my wife, I mean your new mum, will be so overjoyed to meet you. You’ll be a princess of Alderaan – that’s your home now. You’ll love the mountains, the grassy plains…” Bail continued on, telling the little girl about her new life. Padmé was happy that Bail and Breha would look after Leia – she couldn’t ask for anyone better to raise her and knowing their previous difficulties with having children, she knew that she would be treasured. However it still made her incredibly sad.
“…You look so much like your mother Leia. Padmé was a good friend, so kind and brave. She will be sorely missed.” Padmé was thankful that Bail acknowledged her and that Leia would know about her life. Smiling, she turned to see Master Yoda meditating silently besides the still sleeping Luke. They both looked so peaceful together with their Force signatures rays of sunlight in the Force.
However worry took over as there was a piece of information that she was yet to become privy to - who would look after Luke? Was he to become a Jedi? Would Yoda or Obi-Wan look after him, both or neither of them? She needed to find out before she left. She calmed herself, knowing that she could trust Obi-Wan to do the right thing, always looking out for her best interests.
Padmé realised that she had yet to see Obi-Wan emerge and wondered where he was at. The Force directed her to his location, his presence luminous in the Force. She found him back at the medical suite where her still body lay, her hand clasped in his. He was weeping openly.
Padmé had never seen him like this. Even at his fallen Master's funeral, he was as stoic as all the other Jedi present. She had supposed that he did his grieving in private, but Anakin had often complained how he didn't seem to feel, he was too rigid, too self-controlled. In other words, he didn't behave like Anakin. To the contrary, the evidence before her was that Obi-Wan did feel. In fact she was a little surprised at the depth of his emotion.
He spoke tenderly to her, in a tone she had never heard him use before. His manner had been courteous, gentle and humorous when she was alive but this was new. She heard his whispered confession of love with amazement. She would never have had suspected that he harboured feelings for her, and it seemed that this was a new revelation for him too.
He told her about what would happen to her children. It pained her that they would grow up apart but she knew the danger of the Emperor. Obi-Wan was the one person she could trust in the whole galaxy. Even above her husband. She had suggested time and time again that they confide in Obi-Wan, but Anakin had rebuffed the idea each time. She did not fear the Jedi Master's censure, only the loss of his good opinion of her. She started to wonder what would have happened if she had fallen for Obi-Wan instead of Anakin when she felt Yoda approaching. Obi-Wan did too and so he gently kissed her on the forehead and bowed before taking leave of her.
"Goodbye Padmé. Until we meet again," he said.
As Obi-Wan strode down the hallway, he was met by Master Yoda. Their eyes met, meaning exchanged without words spoken.
"No death there is, the Force this is, young Obi-Wan," counselled the Grandmaster, citing the familiar code. Obi-Wan nodded numbly.
The Force was telling her that her time was nearly up. She had one more parting remark to make, even if he could not hear her.
"Thank you Obi-Wan for your faithful friendship and love. I will watch over you as you watch over my children. Reach out into the Force and I will be there, along with so many others, to help you."
Her final gift was to stroke his cheek, the Force enveloping him in warmth to renew his soul. She saw his features ease and his shoulders relax a little. He took a deep breath and was filled with a sense of peace, enough to relent the tide of woe for now. It was enough to garnish a hint of a smile behind his beard. Yoda looked curiously on, also feeling the Force surrounding Obi-Wan. The Force had always favoured young Kenobi but in that moment it seemed to be gathered powerfully around him.
"It's time to go Padmé," said a voice. Padme turned to see the image of Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan's late master. She nodded, taking in the last view of Obi-Wan bidding Master Yoda their final farewell.
Obi-Wan once told her about his late friend Tyro Caladian, a Svivreni Senatorial aide. He had showed her the proper custom to send off as they believed saying goodbye in any language was bad luck. She thought it was charming then, but fitting now. She raised her hand with spread fingers as Obi-Wan went to fetch Luke.
In the traditional adieu, she said, "The journey begins. So go."