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Hope to the End

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Sometimes Padmé dreamed of her child.

When she woke, she knew it was only a mother's fantasy, a wish conjured up by her subconcious. After all, neither the doctors nor Anakin could even say what sex the child was. (Late in her pregnancy, after one particularly sleepless night, Padmé had broken down in tears. What if she had twins? She hardly felt ready to handle one, much less two.)

But the dreams seemed so real, more real sometimes than the waking nightmare of the decaying Republic and Anakin's increasingly strange behavior.

She was always on Naboo in the dreams, in a spring meadow filled with flowers, and a little girl with dark hair and her grandmother's mouth ran towards her through the grass, smiling and laughing. Her little girl, her daughter. They had not spoken of names yet, but in her mind Padmé could not call her anything but Leia.

Breha's eyes dropped for a moment to Padmé's loose informal gown, carefully cut to hide the hard curve of her belly. She knew, but she said nothing, only looked away for a moment. It seemed terribly unfair. Bail and Breha had tried for so long, only to receive heartache, while Padmé and Anakin had been careless once, and here she was, desperately trying to conceal her pregnancy while the Republic disintegrated around her.

"Let me take your wrap," Breha said, her voice perfectly composed. "Bail had to run back to his office. Some last-minute meeting about an upcoming bill. You know how it is."

Padmé did, too well, although she found Bail's dedication in the face of an increasingly thankless task rather impressive. It seemed scarcely likely such a bill would affect anything. Palpatine had effectively rendered the Senate toothless; they were reduced to requesting the restoration of democracy, at which point it was clearly too late.

They made polite small talk as a serving droid set the table and put out trays of savory tarts and elaborately sculpted cookies. Padmé had never quite managed to become close with Breha; Bail and Mothma were her closest friends in the Senate, but the Queen of Alderaan had always seemed a little distant. Kind and friendly, but Padmé had never felt that she was speaking to the woman behind the queen. She wondered sometimes if her friends had felt that way with Amidala.

"We are thinking about adopting a little girl," Breha said as she poured the tea. "The doctors have forbidden us to keep trying, but perhaps it is better this way. We can give a home to someone who needs it."

"Of course," said Padmé. "I think you will be wonderful parents."

Breha gave her a quick, warm smile, but her eyes were worried. "Do you think so?"

Impulsively, Padmé reached across the table and clasped Breha's hands in hers. "I know it."

Bail Organa and Padme Amidala in the Senate
Bail Organa and Padme Amidala in the Senate, Revenge of the Sith