The simple phrase that changed everything. When Obi-wan had met Lord Vader, she had never imagined this. How would she tell Anakin? Would he be pleased? She hoped so, but their relationship was still a little too new to tell. "Thank you for checking, doctor," Obi-wan muttered distractedly before leaving.
Obi-wan had never thought about children before, since she had been in the Jedi Order. Now, she wasn't exactly sure how to feel.
She dressed hastily in a purple gown before going to meet Anakin for dinner. The entire day, she had been debating on how to tell Anakin. Finally, she decided to be up front and honest. No use ducking around the issue.
So, she opened the doors. Anakin was completing some paperwork on the dining table, and he had barely lifted his head to greet her before she announced, "I'm pregnant."
Dead silence. Anakin looked at her, eyes wide, before getting up and slowly making his way over to her. Obi-wan felt her heart beating out of her chest. Why wasn't he saying anything? Didn't he want an heir? He looked shocked, before quickly schooling his face into a more serious expression and gently placing a hand on her stomach, feeling the baby's Force presence.
Without warning, Anakin suddenly laughed and picked her up, spinning her around before kissing her full on the mouth. "Obi-wan! This is fantastic news! I can't wait to tell everyone, you're going to be a great mother," he said excitedly. She couldn't help but laugh in the face of Anakin's clear elation. She had been a fool to think he would hate the children. He had truly changed.
"You're not just saying that? I mean, this isn't just about having heir, right? You want to be a family?" Obi-wan asked nervously. She didn't want to raise her children as mini Sith Lords, raised to control an Empire. She wanted them to have kind and loving parents, who would teach them the importance of civil liberties and freedom. "Of course. I promise, we'll have an equal say in raising them," Anakin reassured her. "This is the best thing that's ever happened to me," he whispered softly. "I may have lost a family member, but I just gained one more."
For the next few weeks, Obi-wan couldn't help but think that maybe Anakin was overreacting ever so slightly about her condition. He started to read several books on how pregnancies could go wrong, and how to be careful when carrying a child. Every so often, he would spout some random fact about how eating too many apples could lead to a deformed baby. Honestly, Obi-wan loved her husband, but he could be a little ridiculous sometimes(not what she had expected from a Sith Lord, but oh well).
He was always extra careful with her as well, always accompanying her everywhere and yelling at a servant who had accidentally bumped into her.
Finally, the day came when they would officially announce the pregnancy to the Imperial Court, and therefore the galaxy. "Ready?" Anakin whispered, taking her by the hand with his other hand securely on her waist. "Better to get it over with sooner than later, people will find out eventually," she responded truthfully.
They entered the room where all of the nobles were gathered and took a seat on their thrones, as the other officials bowed to them. "Attention, everyone! I have an important announcement to make. The Empress is pregnant, and the doctor had just informed us that she will be expecting twins," Anakin declared.
Thunderous applause filled the room. "Finally, I thought she was infertile," a Duke whispered to his companion. "Indeed, I wonder why it took so long in the first place? Everyone knows the only reason Lord Vader married her was for the child. It's her sole purpose here," she responded.
Obi-wan, who had overheard their conversation, couldn't help but scowl. She was good for more than having children, thank you very much. She was a person who had the power to change the fate of the galaxy. And while Anakin may have initially married her for the heir, that's not why he stayed with her, why he cared so much about her health and her well-being as well as that of the baby's. Speaking of Anakin, where was he? She spotted him conversing with some generals, who were congratulating him, and she started to walk over towards him.
"My Empress," a General in a grey uniform greeted, stepping in her path and blocking her from Anakin. He didn't bow to her, but Obi-wan overlooked that fact. "Hello, General Tarkin," she returned the greeting, trying to step around him to get to Anakin. "My lady, I would just like to congratulate you on your child. Heirs for the Empire are always a cause for celebration..." Tarkin trailed on, talking something about dynasties and Royal legacies.
The general's attitude towards her children, as if they were some means to an end instead of human beings, greatly appalled Obi-wan, who barely managed to keep a straight face. Nodding to Tarkin, she grabbed Anakin and all but fled the room. Stupid Imperials.
Obi-wan turned on the holoprojector, only to see news of her and Anakin's announcement everywhere, all over the news. Didn't people have better things to do with their lives than gossip? A knock on the door led to Obi-wan turning it off before opening the door.
"Siri?" Obi-wan cried out in astonishment before reaching out and hugging her old friend. She and Siri Tachi had been very close during their time in the Jedi Order, but as Empress Obi-wan was not allowed to visit the Jedi as often as she would like. It was nice to see the knight again, but why was she here?
"Obi wan, it's so nice to see you. The Emperor graciously allowed me to some over for a surprise visit," Siri told her, her voice slightly strained. As soon as Obi wan closed the door and sat on the sofa next to her friend, Siri clasped her hands and looked at her worriedly. "Obi, I'm so sorry, how're you coping with all of this? It's just awful, atleast he waited a little bit after your wedding."
"Sorry?" Obi-wan echoed, not comprehending why Siri would say such a thing. She was delighted to be having a child, to bring life into the world. "It must be awful, having to carry that monster's baby, especially after what he did to you," Siri whispered, rubbing her arm soothingly. "We should've gotten you out while we still had the chance."
Immediately, Obi-wan realized what Siri was implying. "No, Siri, it wasn't like that at all. He didn't force me into anything, it kind of just happened, and I couldn't be more delighted about the twins!" she assured her best friend. "What are you talking about?"Siri asked warily, retracted her hand.
"I once thought as you did, Siri, but Vader isn't a bad man, he's actually quite kind, once you get to know him. He's a much better man than you think, and he cares about me," Obi-wan said, blushing softly. She looks up, only to see Siri's gaze filled with fury.
"Obi-wan, do you hear yourself right now?! Vader killed hundreds of our people! He's a monster who doesn't care about anything or anyone! How could you consort with someone like him willingly? Have you lost your mind?" Siri screamed, getting up from the couch, towering over Obi-wan.
Obi-wan stood up, refusing to be intimidating. "You haven't met him Siri, not like I have. That's just the person he was raised to be. I agree that he did horrible, inexcusable things, but that was more Palpatine's fault than his. He may not be perfect, but redemption is possible for him," she insisted.
"I don't believe what I'm hearing. You used to be so passionate about your ideals, Obi-wan. Ideals of democracy, and liberty for all. Now, look what has become of you. You're a fool who obeys her Emperor's every command," Siri said in a disgusted tone. "Siri, it's not like that. I've made it quite clear that I don't approve of the Empire, and I believe that Anakin intends to do something about it. We just have to wait, the Empire will come to an end. I won't allow my children to grow up dictators," Obi-wan said in a softer tone.
Siri shook her head, saying, "Traitor," before quietly leaving the room. "Siri, I'm still loyal to the Republic and the Jedi!" Obi-wan called out fruitlessly. Her heart clenched. She may have become Anakin's wife, but she hadn't grown complacent and given up on her morals and principles, which were everything to her.
"This will be a problem," Tarkin announced stiffly to the group of assembled officials. The officials all wore frowns on the faces, displeased with the news they had received earlier in the day. Tarkin shared their frustrations.
The general had never approved of Shmi's plan to have Vader wed the Jedi, and when he did, Tarkin had taken an instant disliking to the girl. It was clear that the idealistic Empress disapproved of the Empire, and worse, she tried to change it. That would simply not do, but as long as Vader didn't listen to her, they were fine.
However, lately Vader had paid more attention to his wife, shooting her longing looks when he thought no one was watching and listening to her suggestions. Tarkin worried about the degree of influence she had over the Emperor. But all his nightmares were realized when the announcement came that she was carrying Vader's child. If she delivered his baby, she would be a permanent fixture in the Empire, and would likely take it down from within. They had to stop that from happening.
"How will we get her to fall out of favor with the Emperor?" an official questioned. Tarkin put his hand on his chin, deep in thought. "Loren? What do you have on her file? Any youthful indiscretions?" he asked his assistant, who had gathered all the information he could find to take down Obi-wan. "Just one, General. Apparently she had a rather close relationship with the Duke of Mandalore, but it never really went anywhere."
"Well, we'll just have to rectify that, won't we?" Tarkin voiced out loud, smirking.
The Empress was going down. And it would be Tarkin who rose from the ashes of a broken love, claiming all that was truly his. If Obi-wan fell out of favor, so would her children. Which meant the next in line for the throne after the Emperor would be...
Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin.