Padmé walked the length of her room, brushing her hands of her bedspread before sitting down. Anakin followed her, glancing around the room curiously. Artoo rolled in after him. Padmé tried not to think too hard about the fact that her future husband was standing in her bedroom. One that, as of yet, was not his home. Putting on her best politician face, she gestured to a large chair.
Anakin raised an eyebrow, giving a hesitant grin, before sitting down.
“You-you said you wished to discuss the assassination attempts, milady?”
She nodded, trying to conceal her thoughts in every way. It wouldn’t be good if he were to become aware of the maelstrom of emotions regarding him that swirled inside her. Not now, at least.
“Yes. As I said earlier, I want to find who’s after me.”
Anakin nodded, face serious.
“We will milady.”
Padmé bit her lip, before meeting his eyes. Force. She had forgotten how intense he could be. He stole her breath away. She took a moment to catch it before continuing.
“I have an idea on how to find who it is.”
Anakin leaned forward, arms resting on his thighs.
“What do you propose, milady?”
Padmé smiled back confidently, drawing herself up.
“That we lay a trap.”
Anakin’s eyebrows furrowed.
“A- a trap, milady?”
“Yes. This assassin is clearly after me. They failed earlier, it’s not unreasonable to assume that they will try again as soon as possible. When they come, we’ll be waiting.”
Anakin looked nervous, but not against the idea. Just like last time. She didn’t want to use her skills and knowledge of him against him, but if it could make this go smoother… and help her Ani’s self-esteem, then a little flattery couldn’t hurt? She leaned forward, their faces now not much more than a foot apart.
“I am aware of the likely excessive security that will be placed on me. I don’t like it. It’s an invasion of my privacy. I don’t completely understand how the Force works, but you are able to sense when something is wrong, correct?”
“Yes milady. It’s a bit more complicated then that, but essentially yes.”
“Would you be able to focus on my well-being in particular?”
Anakin bit his lip again, avoiding her gaze.
“It’s possible, but you might consider that an invasion of your privacy as well. However… I am able to naturally sense when danger is in the immediate vicinity. Simply being in your apartment gives me the general knowledge of the well-being of those within it.”
Padmé smiled. She knew all of this already, but she was always curious about the Force, unable to sense it herself, and Anakin was always very proud of his abilities in the Force.
“Perfect. Then I will proceed with the removal of the security I disapprove of. To any assassin, I will appear vulnerable. They will attempt to kill me once again. I’m sure you’ll be able to sense it. I have faith in you, Ani. You’ll be able to come in and prevent them from succeeding, along with finally discovering what my mystery assassinator looks like. Perhaps even capturing them. Does this plan sound good to you, Ani? I think we can pull it off.”
Anakin looked down, clearly thinking hard, before meeting her eyes, that familiar, confident smirk on his face.
“I believe that this will work, although I admit I don’t like the idea of leaving you unguarded.”
“Are you doubting Artoo, Ani? I thought you’d have more faith.”
She asked, patting the astromechs’ blue dome. Anakin grinned back at her playful scolding.
“Artoo is staying with you? Well that eases all my worries. He’ll definitely keep you safe milady.”
“So will you Ani. You saved me before you were a Jedi- twice. I have complete confidence in your abilities.”
Anakin sat up a bit with a slight blush, clearly preening a bit at her praise.
“Thank you, milady. I won’t let you down.”
“You never have.” She replied, voice becoming thick. He had always tried so hard to be there for her. He had made mistakes- Force had he made mistakes- but he had never truly wanted to hurt her. He- no. she couldn’t think about this now. He was right in front of her. None of that would happen. She wouldn’t allow it. Padmé let out a breath, before standing up and brushing off the front of her skirt to smooth wrinkles. Anakin stood up after her, giving a bow.
“Thank you for speaking with me, milady.”
He then turned with a flair of his cloak, sparing her a glance over his shoulder before leaving the room.
Padmé looked down at Artoo.
“I think that went well. So, can you protect me tonight, Artoo?”
The droid beeped an affirmative response with a swivel of his dome. Padmé smiled and patted her friend.
“I knew I could count on you.” He had never failed her or her family. He had served her, then Ani, then Leia and finally her Luke faithfully. All of them owed the little astromech their lives.
“Do you want to power down for a little bit? I should be perfectly safe right now and I need to prepare for my address to the Senate in an hour.”
The little droid beeped, before settling himself in a corner and powering down. Padmé walked over to her desk. She already knew how the senate meeting was going to go. Until then, she would record what she remembered from this time period. She walked over to her luggage, quickly pulling out her diary. Pressing her finger to the pad, it scanned her print before unlocking. It had been a gift from Sola when she was coronated. It contained all of her thoughts through her time as monarch and senator. It was one of the few places that she had ever been able to fully express herself. Sitting at her desk, she quickly opened a new page, titling it The Clone Wars.
Starting today: Assassination attempt on her life, Cordé and Versé both dead. She met with Palpatine, who suggested that Anakin and Obi-wan be assigned to protect her. She agreed, although reluctant. She met with Anakin and Obi-wan, who explained their job. She and Anakin made plans to find her would-be assassin. She addressed the Senate, although it ended with the Senate pushing back the vote. A Clawdite assassin attempted to murder her with worms. Anakin killed the worms, Obi-wan jumped out of the window, Anakin following on a speeder. Dormé attended to her and she slept in a separate room. The next morning Anakin and Obi-wan informed her that the Clawdite was a Bounty Hunter who appeared to have been working for a fellow Bounty Hunter in armor, who had killed her with a poison dart once they had captured her. Obi-wan was to continue the investigation on the Bounty Hunter, while Anakin would escort her to Naboo, undercover. They would ride a transport. They would discuss the Jedi Code, Obi-wan, and his mother. He would take a nap and have a nightmare- a vision about his mother. They would meet with the Queen, before having lunch with her family. They would then go into hiding in Varykino. That was when Anakin would begin to flirt with her. They would spend an afternoon in a meadow, where they would discuss politics. That evening, following a wonderful dinner, Anakin would confess his feelings for her, she would ultimately turn him down, despite sharing his feelings. That night, he would have another vision about his mother. They would head to Tatooine. After some searching, they would meet the Lars. They would learn of Shmi being taken by the Tusken Raiders. Anakin would go to save his mother, while Padmé got to know the people who would eventually raise her son. Anakin returned the next morning with Shmi’s body. They would have a small funeral, as is traditional on the desert planet. She would later confront Anakin while he fiddled with some machines and grieved in a workshop. He would confess to massacring the Tuskens of the tribe that killed his mother. She would comfort him. They would receive the message from Obi-wan. They would patch it through to the Jedi Council, before going to save Obi-wan. They would ultimately be captured, and she would confess her love. They would be placed in a gladiator rink with Obi-wan and three beasts. The Jedi would show up, causing the Battle droids to be set loose. The Jedi and her would ultimately be surrounded, before Master Yoda arrived with Clone Troops. She, Anakin, and Obi-wan would go after Count Dooku. She fell out of the transport. When she finally got back to them, Count Dooku was gone, Master Yoda was tired, Obi-wan had received serious injury to his arm and leg, and Anakin had lost his right hand and forearm. The Clone Wars were officially declared following Jar Jar giving Palpatine emergency powers. She and Anakin returned to Naboo where they wed in secret.
There was a knock on the door.
Padmé turned to look at Dormé as she entered the room.
“You need to dress for your address, milady.”
“Of course, Dormé. Thank you.”
The handmaiden merely smiled as she pulled a large, dark gown from Padmé’s closet.
Padmé was bored as she listened to the Senate squabble. She had quite literally heard all of this before. The Senator of Malastare had just finished speaking.
“-of Malastare that negotiations with the Separatists are continuing. Peace is our objective here, not war.”
Padmé nearly snorted at the Palpatines’ announcement. Standing up, she pressed the button to move her repulsorpod forward.
“My noble colleagues” Padmé began, “Only this morning an assassination attempt was made against my life. One of my bodyguards along with six others were ruthlessly and senselessly murdered.”
The other senators immediately began to talk amongst themselves.
“I alone was targeted.” She continued, “But more importantly, the security measure before you is the target. I have led the opposition to building this army and someone will stop at nothing to assure it’s passage.”
Padmé looked at the other senators, careful to avoid meeting Palpatines’ eyes. The senators immediately began voicing their opinions.
“Wake up, senators, you must wake up! If you offer the Seperatists violence they can only show violence in return! Many will lose their lives, all will lose their freedom. I pray you do not let fear push you into disaster. Vote down this security measure which is nothing less than a declaration of war! Does anyone here want that? I cannot believe they do.”
Padmé nearly laughed at the lies spilling from her lips. The senators around her shouted their support. For the most part, they did not want war. They were merely frightened.
“Orda! Orda!” Mas Ammeda shouted, waving his hands.
Padmé looked around, finally meeting Palpatine’s eyes. He looked as though he was eating underripe shuura.
“Due to the lateness of the hour and the seriousness of the seriousness of this motion, we will take up these matters later. Until then, the Senate is adjourned.”
Padmé returned the repulsorpod to its place, where she met Dormé.
“You were wonderful milady.” She greeted, as Padmé stalked down the hallways.
“Thank you Dormé. I just want to go home at this point.”
The handmaiden nodded.
“Of course milady.”
Padmé shifted restlessly in her bed. She was exhausted, but it was hard to sleep when you knew that someone was about to try and kill you. She shifted again, rolling on her other side. Groaning, she pulled a pillow over her head. She then sprawled out in the center of the bed. It wasn’t very dignified. Padmé stared at the ceiling. It was pretty. She had stared at it a lot when Anakin was gone. Especially that mark that wasn’t there yet. Or maybe ever. Padmé let out a breath and nuzzled her pillow.
I miss you Ani.
Padmé nearly screamed when she woke up. Anakin was above her, lightsaber out and four fizzling pieces of worm laying on her bed spread. Suddenly, there was a loud crash. It took Padmé a moment to realize that it was Obi-wan jumping through her window. Anakin muttered a Huttnese curse before running out the door. Dormé rushed in only a moment later, Captain Typho behind her.
“Milady, are you alright?” Her loyal handmaiden asked as she threw herself towards the bed, grabbing Padmé’s hands. Padmé smiled at her.
“Of course. Thank you for your concern. I was only startled by waking up to a Jedi jumping on my bed with his lightsaber out, before his master decided to take a trip through the window.”
Dormé laughed, her voice watery
“That would be startling.”
“Senator, we should move you to the other bedroom.” Captain Typho reminded, his tone stern.
“Of course Captain.”
Padmé ran a hand through her messy curls, as she placed her feet on the ground. Dormé nudged her slippers towards her and held out her robe.
“Here you are milady.”
Padmé slipped on the offered items and stood up, Dormé and Captain Typho standing on either side of her as she walked out towards the guest room which was prepared. She slipped into the clean sheets absentmindedly. What were Anakin and Obi-wan doing now? She wasn’t too worried. They were both capable young men, and they had been just fine last time. Dormé pulled the covers up on her while Captain Typho stood in the doorway, sternly telling Artoo to watch her carefully.
“Good night Milady. I shall you in the morning, barring any other mishaps.”
“Good night Dormé. I shall see you then.”
The handmaiden gave a quick bow before leaving, closing the door behind her. Padmé shifted under her sheets and blankets. Artoo whistled inquisitively. She smiled at the reliable little droid.
“I’m alright Artoo. Just thinking. It’s been an interesting night.”
Artoo beeped in agreement.
“I’m sure you were glad to see Anakin again though.”
Artoo booped noncommittedly. Padmé snorted, not believing the astromechs’ nonchalance for a moment.
“You like him.”
Artoo booped again before whistling in a display that Padmé translated as being along the lines of ‘I guess’. She rolled her eyes and mock glared at Artoo.
“You do. You’ve liked him practically since you met him. I mean, I doubt that that starfighter got set on autopilot by itself. The fighters are rarely in autopilot. The only reason it exists is to help a lost fighter find it’s way back or in case a pilot is injured and can’t steer themselves safely. It seems highly unlikely that autopilot just happened to kick in once you and Anakin were in the fighter.”
Artoo beeped loudly and whirled his dome, protesting his involvement. Padmé rolled her eyes, smiling.
“I’m sure. Good night Artoo. I’ll see you in the morning as well.”
The droid gave a soft beep, dimming his lights. They were the last thing Padmé saw before drifting off to sleep.