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Royal Tribulations

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Her eyes fluttered open. Obi-wan slowly rises from the bed, finding herself in some medical ward. Everything seemed a little fuzzy, and her head was pounding. All of a sudden, memories of the events that occurred before she blacked out flooded her mind.

The kiss. Vader. Children.

All the blood drains out of her face, and Obi-wan's hand immediately goes to her stomach. Are the twins alright? She's relieved to feel their steady presence underneath her fingertips, two little balls of light.

The door creaks open, and a female doctor enters the room. "We did a thorough examination, Empress, and luckily your twins appear to be fine. However, I would prefer it if you stayed here for a week, and afterwards check in with me daily and do not wander too far from the Imperial Palace. We want to minimize your distress or... grief levels, for that increases your chances of miscarrying the babies," the doctor warns, before shooting her a sympathetic look.

The message is clear. The doctor is well aware of what happened down there, and she wants to prevent something like that from happening again. Her eyes dart around the room furtively before she comes over and whispers to the Empress, "Your twins are fine. Vader wanted to lock you away in the dungeon until the birth, but I convinced him that that may also lead to a miscarriage. The only reason you have to visit me daily is not because there's anything wrong with your kids but because... well... you seem like a decent person, my lady, and I didn't think you deserved to be locked up down there."

Obi-wan squeezes the other woman's hand and nods, touched by the stranger's compassion. The doctor returns the gesture before hurriedly leaving the room. It's no secret that the Emperor hates her now, and Obi-wan can't honestly blame the woman for being so nervous to talk to her.

Slowly, she gets out of the bed. Images flash through her head of the Jedi younglings. Seeing them dead... it breaks something inside of her. Her master had always taught her that all life was precious, and seeing them so senselessly cut down...

Tears slip down her cheeks, but she brushes them away. Crying will solve nothing. All she can do in quietly honor their sacrifice for the greater good. A sacrifice that did not have to be made if Vader did not jump to conclusions! He threw away everything that they once had, his heart too tainted with darkness to let anything pure fill it. Did her words of mercy and compassion mean nothing to him?

Fury courses through her veins, and Obi-wan has a sudden urge to throttle the man. He had no right to take innocent lives just to torture her! She has never hated him more than that moment. The fact that Siri has probably told the Jedi everything, and she is likely not welcome back there, leaves her in even more despair. Hate leads to suffering. Her old great-grandmaster's words come back to her, and with difficulty she manages to calm herself down.

However, that doesn't change the fact that she was right all along.

Vader was a murderer.

 

Vader has barely said a word to her, and he has barred her from attending sessions with the Court. Not that her opinion matters anyway; it certainly didn't matter when she vocally objected to the use of a new superweapon called the Death Star and was immediately shut down. Satine is executed, and Obi-wan feels despair once more, despite the fact that he is the reason she is in this situation in the first place. Another death on her conscience. She is left to herself. With no friends, husband, or companion, Obi-wan has never felt more alone. At times, it is the sole thought of her babies, the children, that keeps her going.

Anakin, the kind man who used to love her, is gone. Vader has taken his place, and she doubts that he will ever come back. He has been consumed by anger over the supposed "deception." The Empire has become more ruthless than ever, and they have started hunting Jedi once more.

Meanwhile, Vader deliberately goes out of his way to make her life miserable without physically hurting her or the children. Flaunting his mistresses in front of her, bragging about massacres on Republic worlds, taunting the Jedi in her presence; the list goes on and on. She can see the hatred and betrayal in his eyes, and she says nothing, simply taking any punishment he sees fit to give her. She can do nothing else; he is the Emperor, and if she retaliates, she's afraid he'll hurt the twins. Nothing she says will make a difference anyways. He won't believe her.

Even then, she doesn't particularly feel like begging forgiveness for something she didn't do from a child-murderer anyways.

The screams of the children still haunt her, and it's rare that she sleeps without nightmares, without seeing their bodies in her dreams. Externally, she pretends to accept defeat. She keeps her head down and takes all his abuse, even when he outright states that the only reason she's still in the Palace is because she's carrying his heirs.

His heirs. Not his children. Everything he does is so impersonal now.

But internally, a fire rages in her heart, and she knows what she must do to quell it. It will likely result in her execution, but it's the only option left available to her now. Vader cannot be allowed to take any more lives.

And that's how she ends up in Vader's room. He's sleeping, with some random woman lying next to him in bed. It doesn't matter now. She grips the silver knife in her hand, slowly walking over to the edge of the bed, knowing what she must do. She suddenly remembers how she acquired the knife...

"Happy Birthday Obi-wan!" Qui-gon laughs and spins her around. She laughs with him, nestled in his arms, the man who is like a father to her. He has been away for awhile, fighting some campaign for the Republic on the planet of Naboo, and it's good to have her Master home.

He kisses her cheek before putting her down and saying, "We won the first battle. The monarch of Naboo gave me this as a gift of gratitude, but I thought it would suit you more." He presents her with a beautiful, silver ceremonial knife. Intricate carvings run alongside the hilt, depicting scenes of Naboo's history.

She is surprised by the gift, as Jedi are not supposed to have possessions. However, she accepts it and treasures it anyways.

Especially since, when Qui-gon leaves the next morning, he never comes back.

It's ironic that she's using a ceremonial knife for this, something that is only supposed to be used in ceremonies, but in a way it's fitting, too. Vader, who has survived so many lightsaber duels with the greatest Jedi of the age, killed by his wife, struck by a simple dagger.

Her hand trembles as she gets a good grip on the knife. She knows that another will likely take his place, that this will not be the end of the Empire, but it may weaken it. She remembers their time on Varykino. Falling in love. She hates herself for loving him even now, when he clearly despises her. And now her children will grow up without a father... all for the greater good, she reminds herself. Atleast her children won't grow up monsters. Yet, there's no denying that this deed will irrevocably break something inside of her, because she still loves Vader, despite everything.

But to save the lives of others, she will gladly sacrifice her soul.

And so, taking a deep breath, Obi-wan plunged the knife downward.

Straight to Vader's heart.