Author's Note: This came out of the forum post about a vid on youtube which said that one of the original elements of Padmé's reunion with Anakin on Mustafar had her armed with a knife. My muse decided that she and Obi-Wan had a conversation during the journey, he gave her the weapon, leaving the decision as to what to do with it, up to her.
Vid Link: youtu.be/FOXF4NyHPTY
Forum Discussion Link: http://obidalaalways.proboards.com/thread/866/padmes-death-info-added-excerpt?page=2 (post by misschris, May 23rd 2017)
Rating: The usual rating for a Star Wars movie, scenes of violence which readers may find disturbing, and an open ending, designed to let your imagination fill in what happens next, but what is for certain, not the canon of Episode IV, a variation, on that theme.
Is This a Lightsaber I See Before Me?
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1.
The cold metal of the lightsaber hilt was pressing against her back, a constant reminder of her intentions. Padmé took care to make sure it was both securely in place and easy to reach before she left the shuttle. As the gangplank began to lower down towards the surface of Mustafar she did her best to clear her mind and focus on the moment. It was vital that Anakin did not sense her precautions.
She could see her husband emerge from the volcanic mists, looking as much as she had last seen him, on the landing pad outside their Coruscant apartment. Concern spread across his face at the sight of her.
"Padmé, I saw your ship," he said, "what are you doing out here?"
"I was worried about you," she replied. "Since the fire at the Jedi Temple, Chancellor Palpatine has declared himself Emperor. He says that the Separatists have been defeated and the Jedi rebellion foiled."
"What he said is true," Anakin confirmed. "Together we have brought peace to the Republic. Now we don't have to run away more. You can have our children on Coruscant and we can start making the things the way they ought to be."
"Anakin, what do you mean?" Padmé asked him. "Where are the Separatists?"
"They have been taken care of," Anakin replied, his tone harking back to a moment on Tatooine, that she thought she would never be reminded of again.
"But what about the Jedi?" she found herself asking, in a voice she hoped sounded calm, but was afraid that in reality it was betraying how fearful she had become. "And those in the Senate, what will become of them?"
"They will follow the fate of all those who do not believe in the Empire," Anakin answered. "Now, my love, let us go home. We have spent enough time in this terrible place."
"Yes," she agreed, "we have."
Padmé opened her arms, allowing him to believe that she needed the comfort of his embrace. As soon as he taken the final step to close the space between them, she reached behind her back and withdrew the weapon that was pressed against her skin. Her actions felt distant from the reality of the situation, from her thoughts and feelings, yet she was perfectly aware of what she was doing. She felt blindly with her fingers for the button which would ignite the power of the kyber crystal. The sound of the blade igniting seemed unnaturally loud against the backdrop of the volcanic planet, as though a hush had enveloped them, isolating them from everything within the universe.
Anakin cried out as the blade tore into his flesh. The blow had caught him completely by surprise. He staggered back from her, his face a mixture of disbelief and horror, as the truth of her blow struck home.
"What have you done?" He asked as he collapsed on the ground.
After that, events were somewhat overwhelming. It was only later that she came to recollect them properly, once everything was over.
She had stood before Anakin as he collapsed for what seemed like a long time, until Obi-Wan emerged from the skiff.
Once he checked that she was unharmed, he had gone to the prone form of his apprentice, his hand hovering above her husband's forehead for a moment, before he retrieved his weapon and made shift to carry him.
Padmé remembered following him into the ship, watching as he laid Anakin out on the bed in the cabin between the cargo bay and the cockpit, leaving Artoo to watch over him. With one last glance, she followed Obi-Wan towards the helm, watching as he took over the piloting of the skiff.
It was a quiet journey to Polis Massa, the asteroid field where he had agreed to meet with Master Yoda and Senator Organa at the medical base which was located there. She was in no fit state to speak and he choosing to honour her silence with quiet compassion.
Anakin lay upon one of the medical beds. The wound she had inflicted upon him was repaired by the surgeon droids, but for the moment he remained unconscious, the same state which Obi-Wan bestowed upon him before they left Mustafar.
The Jedi Master in question came to stand beside her, viewing his former apprentice through the transparisteel that lay across the waiting bay outside the ward.
"Master Yoda could not defeat Palpatine," he revealed, his tone quiet and solemn.
"What happens now?" she asked him.
"He desires to go into exile," Obi-Wan answered. "From what I understand, Senator Organa has plans regarding the Senate's response to the Chancellor's coup. A secret resistance, which shall require time to gather strength before it can become public."
"What about Anakin?" She queried. "And you?"
"Master Yoda asked if I will watch over you and the twins," Obi-Wan said. "He believes that Palpatine must have sensed their existence. You will be danger." He paused, considering. "As for Anakin, he too is in danger. He will remain within this state until his inner turmoil is resolved. When he wakes, he will need the light to guide his way."
"Who will provide that for him?" she asked.
"An old friend," Obi-Wan replied. "Someone who has become one with the Force, who has learned of a way to communicate with the living." He paused before elaborating further, the words proving difficult to find. "Qui-Gon. Apparently he has been talking to Master Yoda for some time."
Padmé could feel the unspoken turmoil behind his struggle, the serene force aided composure which Obi-Wan usually possessed was under considerable strain. "Where will we go?" she asked instead, knowing he was not ready to talk any further about this just yet.
"I do not know," Obi-Wan admitted. "I had thought Tatooine, Master Yoda informs me that there are people related to Anakin there."
"Sort of," Padmé confirmed. "When we went there before the Clone Wars, we found out that Anakin's mother had been freed. She later married the man who freed her. He had a son, who had a girlfriend. They were kind to me."
He seemed to understand the implication there, that Anakin had not bonded with the family his mother made for herself after he left with Qui-Gon. "Where would you suggest?" he asked her.
Padmé was startled, she had not expected to be consulted, or given a choice. The last time he protected her, it had been under the guidance of the Council. The reminder that they no longer existed cut her to the quick.
"I had hoped to give birth on Naboo," she said at last, when she felt ready to speak. "There's a house in the lake country which my family owns. I spent time with Anakin when he was protecting me." she paused, trying not to remember that time, afraid the innocent memories would overwhelm her current state, cause her to feel what she once felt for the man currently lying unconscious beyond the waiting room they were standing in. Feelings she was not yet ready to reflect upon. It was hard enough to focus on the present moment, let alone the past, or the future still to come. "I thought I could go there and no one would ever know." she shook her head now, silently admonishing her past naiveté. "I do not think Naboo or Tatooine would work."
"I agree," Obi-Wan replied. "We need somewhere far beyond the reach of Palpatine's power. Somewhere unknown to him."
Padmé privately wondered how far Palpatine's power could reach over the galaxy. If he was aware of what had happened on Mustafar. If he was aware of what was happening here, of her children. The thought of him getting hold of her children was terrifying.
Suddenly she felt Obi-Wan grasping her hand, causing her to face him. "It will not happen," he vowed.
Strangely, those four words held more power within them than any of the promises Anakin had ever made to her. For a moment she could not look away, memorised by the look within his eyes, the expression on his face, the conviction within his tone.
It seemed a long time before either of them let each other go.