Hey guys. I'm basically just putting this up here so I have a record of it somewhere. It's part of a verse that will probably never be written, because I have too many verses flying around already and who would read anything so wild and crazy anyway? I don't even have a name for it. But the verse wouldn't let me alone until I tried to sketch out a series of events for it, and this is a gesture in that direction. Maybe I should do something similar for the various stages of the FFV - might be productive, plotwise. Anyway, if you take the time to read, then I hope you enjoy it, and if you don't take the time, then I won't take it personally! Cheers. :)
Disclaimer: George Lucas owns the characters Gardulla, Anakin and Shmi Skywalker, the imaginary planets Coruscant and Tatooine (and various cities therein), and everything to do with the Jedi. All this other stuff is my own embroidery. I don't get paid for it, but it's still fun, huh?
Clan Ardel’s counterraid against Gardulla’s palace pays off – the Lorethan warriors break through the defenses and recapture more than two dozen miserable beings. Shmi dies in the confusion as it spreads across Mos Espa - even though they don’t belong to the Hutts any more – shot by wild blaster fire as she tries to shield her son from the ricochet. Evinne Ardel – beautiful, talented, with a careless arrogance to match – finds him hiding under his mother’s seared skirts and hauls him free.
“She died to save you,” she tells him, sharp blue eyes surprisingly compassionate after all. “Make it count, okay?”
Anakin isn’t even six years old yet, but he understands this: the need to make his life worth something, to honor Shmi’s sacrifice by not wasting it.
He clings to Evinne’s hand calloused white hand and follows her out into the light.
He’s almost ten before he meets Evinne’s main rival for the supremacy among Loreth’s rising young women, a girl a couple of years younger than himself named Arethryn Orun. She is pale and quiet, grimy and dedicated. They hail her as a hero for surviving, for trying, for failing gracefully again and again. She’s probably one of the most sincerely selfless people in the galaxy, and Anakin hates her on sight.
He’s Evinne’s lover even before he’s acknowledged as a man among men. That takes longer than he thinks it should, and (predictably, Evinne says) Anakin blames Stevan’s enduring hatred of him for the delay. But by the time he’s seventeen he’s standing in a circle of warriors with a torc around his neck and Evinne’s blue eyes shining with pride for him beyond the firelight.
They make love into the night, hot and fierce, joy burning in their veins, and in the morning they join the delegation to Coruscant, because they are the heroes and someone has to set it right.
The Council of Elders want him to marry Ryn Orun – that joyless, bitter young woman. He spits his defiance at them – “How can you ask this of me? No man in his right mind would marry her!”
As he whirls to storm out of the chambers, he catches a glimpse of her sitting in the shadows, her face white and stricken.
He doesn’t look back.
The Council has its way eventually. Evinne sides with them, pledging to love him forever even as she insists that the needs of Loreth are bigger than their desire for each other. He marries Ryn on a cold spring day, under skies that spit rain and sunshine together.
It’s a bad omen, but Anakin finds it grimly fitting for this union that should never have been.
Ryn doesn’t meet his eyes through the whole ceremony.
Anakin doesn’t know when he first realized that Ryn had feelings for him. It strikes him one day, on his way up the stairs as he makes his way back from Evinne’s bed, but even as it happens – that single, revealing instant in which Ryn jerks her eyes away from his face and moves aside to make room for him on the stairway, cheeks flooding with a wash of unexpected color – he recognizes it as something he’s known for a long time, maybe for years, and never thought about before. It’s just been there, in the background, and now here it is, at the center of his attention.
Ryn grips the railing tighter and shuffles past him down the stairs, her face carefully averted, her dark hair hanging like a curtain between them.
He catches the scent of lavender rising from her skin.
Evinne takes Ryn’s pregnancy philosophically. That is to say, she yells her fury at fate and throws several heavy objects at Anakin’s head, but she doesn’t cry (not where he can see, anyway) and she doesn’t turn him out of her bed. Anakin promises never to leave her, swears the baby won’t change anything, their lives and their love will still be the same.
Evinne is a war hero, a leader of troops, and a notable diplomat. But the greatest courage she has ever shown may have been in not saying “I told you so” when the baby changes everything.