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Sigh No More

Chapter Text

Darth Vader watched from the landing platform of Mustafar as the ship's ramp lowered.

He could feel Padmé on board, her life force bright in the now lifeless darkness of the planet. He had sensed her when the ship had first entered the atmosphere, instantly drawn towards her. He could faintly feel Obi-Wan as well, though the remnants of their bond were heavily shielded. From both ends.

He watched their two figures stand together, silhouetted by the bright inner light of the ship as there was a brief exchange between the pair.

Vader knew that Obi-Wan was here for him because he’d fallen, because he was finally who he was meant to be. Dark. Powerful. Obi-Wan must have dragged his heavily pregnant wife along for the ride to try to turn her against him, to try to use her against him.

Despicable, Vader thought venomously. He would show Obi-Wan what he had learned.

He stood silently watching, feeling the heat of the planet envelop him, Vader’s anger simmering beneath the surface like the lava below his feet. The burning scent of sulphur permeated the air and he blinked ash away from his face.

A minute passed and Padmé's shape drew back into the ship. Obi-Wan walked down the ramp alone.

He walked steadily towards Vader, his head held high and robes billowing behind him from the hot air swirling around them. He looked as high and mighty as he always did.

Vader could bring him low.

"What do you want?" Vader barked out, stance rigid and closed, his eyes carefully tracking his ex-mentor’s movements.

Without replying, Obi-Wan reached to his belt and unclipped his lightsaber. Vader immediately tensed before him, his hand reaching for his own 'saber. Obi-Wan shook his head minutely and moved slower than before, body language non-threatening, and didn’t even light the blade when it was in his hand. When Obi-Wan knelt on the ground in front of Vader, he felt the frown on his face deepen.

Obi-Wan reached forward slowly and took Vader's hand in his.

"What do you want?" Vader asked again, staring down at his old Master, his hand tense and refusing to follow where Obi-Wan was attempting to lead it.

Obi-Wan placed his lightsaber in Vader's hand, his own pressed over the top, warm and firm. He twisted Vader’s hand until he relented and the blade end was pressed against Obi-Wan’s chest, exactly over his heart.

"I want you to kill me," Obi-Wan breathed out, staring down at their intertwined hands.

Vader inhaled sharply, eyes wide as he stared down at the scene below him with strange detachment.

This weapon is your life, a voice in his head echoed.

Surely he had misheard?

"What?" Vader asked, voice sharp.

He was tempted, so very tempted, to strike his old Master down where he knelt. What a foolish old man! Did he not realise how much more powerful Vader was now? He felt his own grip tighten on the lightsaber hilt, his resolve strengthening.

Words spilled out of Obi-Wan, his hand tightening over Vader’s, an absent thumb stroking over the back of his hand. "I've dreamt of this for weeks. You stand here and kill Padmé when she tries to reach you, then we fight, through lava and fire, and I kill you…”  A tear slipped down his cheek and he took a shuddering breath. “Every night, the same thing and I can't let that happen. So kill me instead; take out all your rage and hatred and mistrust on me because I… I failed you." Obi-Wan swallowed and stared up into Vader's golden eyes. "Kill me and keep Padmé alive. Take her and your children far away from Sidious where they'll be safe."

Vader stared down in disbelief, unsure of even where to begin.

Obi-Wan had seen this? He was the one to cause Padmé's death? But Palpatine had said he could save her? Obi-Wan would choose to die to save her and their child?

”No," Vader breathed out, feeling conflict swirl up through his chest, tight and painful.

He'd sworn his allegiance to Palpatine hadn’t he? And here he was, torn over the death of one Jedi? A Jedi he’d thought didn’t care for him. He should kill him.

"Please!" Obi-Wan begged, his eyes unfocused but his grip firm on the lightsaber over his heart. “You were my brother, Anakin, I loved you. This is the only way I can help you now. Please, just—

Something snapped in the back of his mind and everything slammed into sudden focus.

“Loved?” Anakin blinked away more ash that had landed on his face. “And now?"

Obi-Wan shook his head and closed his eyes, the particles in the air moving around him. "I still do." His hand clenched painfully hard over Anakin’s, his fingers shaking faintly. "But it all hurts too much now. Please, just make it stop."

Anakin realised what he was going to do the moment before it happened, feeling the twitch in his Master's hand and a sharp warning in the Force.

"No!" Anakin cried, wrenching the lightsaber away from Obi-Wan's chest as the familiar snap-hiss echoed between them.

Obi-Wan crumpled before his eyes, falling sideways onto the hot earth. A hoarse cry escaped Anakin's lips, and he fell to his knees beside his friend, the ground of Mustafar burning up through his clothes.

"Obi-Wan?" He asked quietly, hands fluttering over his body.

He received no response.

Anakin rolled him over so Obi-Wan’s head was cradled in his lap and was relieved to see the shallow rise and fall of his chest. Not dead. Anakin searched frantically over his form, his hand catching at a tear in the fabric on Obi-Wan's left arm. Anakin inspected it quickly and found evidence of a lightsaber burn slicing across his skin, thankfully not too deep. It was the only wound he could find. He blinked down at his old Master. Why was he unconscious?

He stared into Obi-Wan's face, only now noticing how pale and thin he looked. His face was streaked with soot and sweat, breath struggling past his chapped lips. Was he sick? He didn’t remember Obi-Wan being unwell before he left for Utapau.

"What happened!?"

Anakin glanced up as Padmé approached and shook his head.

"Did you kill him?" She asked quietly, standing still some meters away. Her voice was high and thin, disbelief at what she was seeing colouring her voice. He felt his chest tighten.

"No," he breathed out, "he wanted me to, though."

There was a long pause. “Ani, what’s going on?”

“I don’t know anymore.” He couldn’t bring himself to look up, his hand now pressing down on the lightsaber wound on Obi-Wan’s arm.

He heard Padmé walk closer and felt a tentative hand rest on his shoulder, softly stroking down his arm. “Ani, love,” she started gently, but he could hear the tremor in her voice, “let’s just go. We can bring him with us. Let’s just run away like we imagined.”

He could.

He could go with Padmé, with Obi-Wan. Take them both and go far, far away from Sidious. Raise his child far from whatever was left of the Jedi Order and the Republic.

He could kill Obi-Wan and return to Sidious having proved his conviction and brought his wife home alive, victorious. She would never have to die. He could raise his child near his Sith Lord and Master, and the ruins of his entire life.

“Ani?” she asked, hand threading through his hair.

He nodded and pressed against her touch. “Okay.”

“Okay.” She pulled back. “Okay. Right.” He had never heard his wife so flustered or at such a loss for words. Force, he’d done this. “Can you carry Obi-Wan?”

Anakin stood and reached down to Obi-Wan, curling his arms beneath his knees and arms, pulling him up and tucking him close to his chest. He frowned; Obi-Wan was lighter than Anakin remembered him being.

He followed Padmé back to the ship. 

Once inside, Anakin placed Obi-Wan on the bed and sat down beside him with his legs off the edge. Anakin ran a shaking hand over Obi-Wan's forehead and hair, noting how the dark brown of Obi-Wan’s robes contrasted with the pale blue patterns on the sheets. 

He and Padmé had spent many long hours in this bed together. Any spare moment in between battles during the war they would curl up together beneath these blankets and plan a better life for them both, and later, their child. Hours spent in her intimate embrace, feeling for all the galaxy that everything could turn out alright.

Now Obi-Wan lay there, looking like death, with the galaxy burning around them. In this light Anakin could see how ill he really looked; skin pasty and cold beneath his touch, and his breath was still coming short and sharp and pained.

“Obi-Wan… I’m so sorry,” he whispered, leaning over his Master. Anakin pressed his lips to Obi-Wan’s forehead, eyes squeezed shut, his left hand cupping his master's face. “Kriffing hells, this is all my fault.

How could he have let any of this happen!?

“Ani?” Padmé sat on the end of the bed facing toward her husband and Anakin could see the endless questions in her eyes. He had never been more proud of her when she finally asked, “Where should we go?”

“Tatooine. For now at least,” he decided. “I told Palpatine I’d never go back there. He won’t look there. At least for a while.”

She nodded her head toward the cockpit of the ship. “Come help me set the course.”

“Okay.” He ran a final hand through Obi-Wan’s hair. “Then we should take a look at Obi-Wan. I don’t think he’s well.”

Her eyes flickered over the man on the bed and she pursed her lips. “I think you may be right. Let’s do this quickly then.”

He followed her out to the cockpit and took the seat beside her.

“I’ll disable any tracking devices and change the registration signature of the ship,” Padmé said, digging into the right hand console. “You set us a course.”

He nodded and went to work immediately, plotting a course around where he knew Republic—Empire?—stations and troops were. They worked in silence, the occasional bout of muttering filling the air. Anakin finished before his wife did, his skill and knowledge speeding him up. He sat and watched her work while he waited.

She was so beautiful. He found his eyes lingering on Padmé’s form as she focused intensely on her task, her slim frame curled protectively over the swell of her stomach. She was due in the next month and he admired her for still being so active while so heavily pregnant. A light flush covered her cheeks and a few stray hairs fell out from her plait while she worked, her clever mind and fingers working to keep them safe.

“I love you,” Anakin admitted quietly.

Her entire body stiffened and she glanced hesitantly at him, a frown colouring her features.

He’d never received that reaction before. “Padmé, I-" Anakin began.

“We are not talking about any of this right now,” she gritted out. “I’m too angry at you to have a civil conversation about any of it.”

She set her jaw and turned back to her work, completely ignoring him.

A few more minutes passed before she sat back and said, “Finished. We should be untraceable now. You take us off, I’ll check on Obi-Wan.”

Padmé stood up and walked back to their cabin without a backward glance, leaving Anakin sitting alone.

Force, he had fucked up so badly.

Anakin sat at the console, staring out at the volcanic activity on Mustafar. How could he have let this happen? He’d always fought for the right thing: keeping the Republic safe, keeping the Sith and the Separatists at bay, keeping Padmé and Obi-Wan and Ahsoka safe. He’d hated the Council and the Order at times, but he didn’t want them dead. And he’d joined the Sith. Sure, he’d now finished the Separatists off once and for good, but Force, at what cost? What had he been thinking?!

He cut off that train of thought. He had to get them both to safety first.

Anakin refocused and fired the ship into gear. He flew it manually out of the atmosphere, watching the red and black of the planet get further and further away until only the blinking lights of space surrounded him. He hit the hyperdrive and watched the stars blur together.

They were really doing this.

Anakin let out a long breath as he watched the stars fly by.

His job done, Anakin walked back to the bedroom and leant against the doorframe, watching quietly. Padmé sat cross-legged in the centre of the bed, a bag of medical supplies open beside her. Gauze, bandages and pills lay scattered around her while she stared down at her patient. A wet cloth lay across Obi-Wan’s forehead, and a bandage was wrapped firmly around his upper left arm.

“Is he okay?” Anakin asked from the doorway.

“I’m not sure,” Padmé admitted quietly. “He should recover from the wound on his arm, it’s the illness I’m concerned about.” She sighed. “How long until we reach Tatooine?”

“Nearly a week. I’ve taken us on a longer, more evasive route,” he informed her.

“Time to sleep then.” She proceeded to tuck Obi-Wan beneath the sky-blue blanket, before sliding under it herself. “You too, Ani.”

Anakin blinked at the strange sight of his former master asleep beside his wife. It unnerved him less than he thought it would.

“Stop thinking,” Padmé demanded. “Come to bed. You need to sleep.”

So he did.

Chapter Text

Padmé awoke feeling warm and contented. Her bed smelt familiar, a warm mix of her and Anakin; a comforting intertwining of spice and flowers. Padmé curled closer to the body beside her, his arms wrapped around her body and inhaled.

…that was not Anakin.

She opened her eyes slowly and frowned at the wall of brown. What?

Padmé’s brain finally kicked into gear.

It was Obi-Wan. She’d let him sleep in their bed.

Padmé shifted slightly, pulling away from the other man, but found herself trapped. Anakin was apparently plastered against her back. She couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry.

Gods, what had her life become.

She sighed internally and mulled over her options. Leave Anakin and Obi-Wan unsupervised in a room together (No!) or stay in the warm cocoon of blankets, wrapped up in the two of them.

Padmé decided that remaining where she was was going to be her best option. Leaving them was just begging for trouble, and they already had that in bucketloads. Besides, she was comfortable and warm and still so very tired. She would deal with them both later.

Sleep tugged at the edge of her consciousness, drawing her down into darkness, so Padmé willingly followed.

Anakin was up and about when Padmé woke next. Anakin’s heavy footsteps paced through her wardrobe, with intervals of the sharp slide of a coat hanger or pull of a drawer. Obi-Wan was still curled up next to her, breathing softy.

“Ani?” Padmé asked quietly, sitting up and rolling away from Obi-Wan. A quick glance at him showed he was still dead asleep, looking slightly less gaunt than the night before.

Anakin’s head appeared in the doorway to her wardrobe. “Yeah?”

“What are you doing?” Padmé gestured him back into the room, followed him in, and attempted to quell the nervous roiling of her stomach.

“I was trying to find something to wear.” Anakin stood at the centre of the small space, his robes half pulled off of himself, a small spattering of ash on the carpet around him. Padmé sighed, remembering she’d allowed him to sleep in the bed while he had been wearing that. The sheets must be filthy.

The cupboard on the left of the room that housed her dresses had been opened with most of the items of clothing shoved to one side. The dark wooden drawers to the right had been pulled open and riffled through, underclothes and accessories peeking out of their compartments.

“You know I don’t keep your things out in the open,” Padmé admonished and slipped past him to the back wall where a large painting hung. It was something modern and popular and colourful. Padmé didn’t particularly care for it, but it served its purpose. Feeling around the side of the picture, her finger caught on the switch. The painting clicked and swung open gently.

“Your things are in there,” Padmé informed him, and made to leave the wardrobe.

Anakin leant forward as she passed, making a quick attempt at leaving a kiss on her cheek. Padmé pulled back, taking a step further away from Anakin. She shook her head, not looking at him, and left the room.

Food. Breakfast. That was a good idea. Some food and a break from feeling like she was walking through a minefield whenever she and Anakin shared a room.

Padmé wanted to hate him for what he had done. A tiny part of her wanted to just smack him in his idiotic, awful, kriffing handsome face. She wanted to scream at him about how stupid and selfish he’d been. It went against everything she had ever fucking stood for, how could he—?!

Stop. Padmé sucked in a deep breath. Breakfast. Good idea.

Padmé entered the kitchenette and managed to scrounge up some bread and spreads, mechanically following the motions, switching the kettle on and digging crockery and cutlery from the cupboard. Somehow, she ended up with a cup of caf and toast sitting in front of her. She barely remembered making it.

She scarcely even tasted the food. Padmé objectively knew she’d put something on the bread, it just didn’t seem terribly important. She stared ahead, focused on absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing, Anakin standing over Obi-Wan with his ‘saber held to the chest, Anakin’s eyes—no, nothing… Anakin’s glowing—no, no. Not that. Caf. Caf was good.

Padmé tipped the contents of the mug into her mouth… it was cold.

She grimaced down at the mug, offended it had betrayed her in this way, just like fucking everything else—!

The mug shattered on the wall. The sound bright and sharp and oh, so gratifying. The remnants of the caf slowly oozing down the wall.

Padmé dropped her head into her hands in frustration. At herself. At Anakin. At fucking everything.

Ignoring this was clearly not helping.

After a short period of staring blankly at the pale blue countertop, she supposed that she had hidden for long enough. Padmé had heard Anakin patter into the cockpit a good hour or so ago. It was time to meet this head on.

Padmé picked the broken cup shards up off the floor and dropped them in the recycler, the pieces clinking down into the bowels of the ship, before finding a towel to mop up the caf. Leaning down was such a damn pain this late in a pregnancy. When she made it through the birth—which she fucking well would, Anakin and his visions be damned—and when she had forgiven him for all of this, they were both having some serious talks about upping their contraception.

Speaking of, she was fairly certain Anakin hadn’t eaten. That seemed a good a pretence as any to go speak to him. Padmé threw another few slices of bread into the toaster, the warm smell of toast permeating the room, before she slathered jam over it. It was better than nothing.

Picking up the plate, Padmé walked steadily out of the dining area and entered the cockpit, placed the food on Anakin’s lap, before she backed up to to sit in the other chair in an attempt at keeping some breathing space between herself and Anakin. She felt distinctly… nervous around him. She remembered vividly the crushing feeling in her chest when Obi-Wan mentioned the younglings—

“Have some breakfast,” Padmé said softly to the room. “What are you up to?”

Anakin glanced down at the food, then back over to her, his eyes a very welcome blue in the bright lights of the control panel.

“I wanted to check the ship was still on course,” Anakin said, taking a bite out of the toast. “Thanks.”

Now or never.

“Ani,” Padmé began, staring out at the stars streaking by them, “what happened yesterday?” Anakin stopped chewing. Padmé briefly glanced at him and found his eyes fixed directly on her. She went back to staring out of the ship. When he didn’t speak, she continued, “Obi-Wan already told me a lot about… your fall, and Palpatine.. but what happened down on Mustafar? I don’t understand that.”

Another minute of silence passed, accompanied by the sharp feeling of Anakin staring at the side of her face, before he finally spoke. “Obi-Wan wanted me to kill him.” Anakin said, voice only barely above a whisper.

Padmé turned her head and finally looked at him. She hadn’t seen this particular expression on his face since he was a child. Soft and open and slightly crushed at the edges like a discarded piece of paper.

“He said…” Anakin struggled for a few moments, a frown flashing across his face. “He said he’d had a vision or something about yesterday. That— that I killed you.” Anakin’s eyes had gone bright and shiny. Padmé looked away, “That he killed me.”

“Then why would he—?” Padmé asked.

Anakin shook his head, blinking hard. “I think he planned to take your place. Let me kill him so that I wouldn’t—” A sharp inhale. “Padmé I could never—Not him, not you. But I wanted to. I wanted to kill him… Force, what if it had been you?”

Padmé could feel tears pricking at the edges of her eyes and furiously blinked them away. Gods this was so fucking awful. How had their lives come to this?

Anakin made to move across the space, sliding forward in his chair, eyes soft and comforting, but Padmé held her hand up and shook her head.

“I—I’m going to need some space, Ani.” Padmé said, voice quiet and shaky as she stood up. “This is… it’s so much… and I just—”

“Padmé,” Anakin pleaded quietly, eyes glistening, his hand reaching for hers, “I want to fix this.”

Nope. She was not feeling up to this right now.

“You, eat. I’m going to go check on Obi-Wan,” Padmé said firmly. She turned on her heel and fled the cockpit. Deep breaths, she reminded herself, and willed her panic away. She felt the knot in her chest loosen when Anakin didn’t follow her.

Padmé returned to the bedroom and found it empty. A quick look in the fresher and wardrobe revealed it to be devoid of Obi-Wan as well. She knew she should have kriffing tied him to the bed. If Padmé made it through this flight without lashing out at either of them, she suspected it would be a miracle and she might perhaps have earned a medal. She ducked her head into the lounge, but found it empty, before retuning to the kitchen and found Obi-Wan seated at the table.

Padmé watched Obi-Wan lean against the bulkhead of the ship from his chair, listing gently with it as it flew, clearly unsteady in his seat. She could see how his hands trembled on his lap, how his eyes were unfocused and far away, sunken in his pallid skin.

Gods, he still looked terrible.

She moved to sit across the table from him, hands folded delicately on the surface in front of her. “Obi-Wan?” Padmé asked quietly.

He blinked once, and turned his gaze to hers. “Yes, Senator?”

She frowned, “Padmé, please.”

He nodded.

“How are you doing?” she tried.

“I’m fine.” He smiled at her, the expression thin and wavy.

Padmé found it wholly unconvincing. “Would you like a cup of tea?”

Obi-Wan shook his head. “No, I’m fine.”

She pursed her lips together but didn’t push it. Padmé sat with him a few moments more before his eyes lost focus and he was clearly no longer in the room with her. Something wasn’t right here, she was sure of it. This was not the Obi-Wan she was used to who was all smiles and quips and intelligent conversations. Certainly never one to turn down a cup of tea when it was offered.

Padmé took a deep, steadying breath.

She was floundering and she knew it. Obi-Wan had clearly crashed and burned. Anakin was a complete mess she couldn’t even begin to clean up. She was stuck in a ship, on the run, pregnant, with two men who were clearly drowning beneath something she didn’t quite understand.

This was hopeless.

She stood up and walked back into the lounge leaving Obi-Wan to his own thoughts.

Padmé sat on the couch, staring out at the stars as they flew past at speed, hands curled around a pillow she’d pulled to her lap.

She couldn't see a way through the situation.

Padmé flopped sideways on the couch, clutching the pillow to her chest as the tears spilled out. Anakin had turned to the Dark Side. He had killed people, children. A sob ripped from her lips, ragged and pained, and pressed her face to the pillow to smother her cries. Her chest hurt, tight and hard, from the pain in her soul. Gods, how could this have happened!? Anakin was so good, so sweet, but he’d—and Obi-Wan was trying to hard for them both, had been ready to die for her. Whatever had she done to inspire that? How could he ever think that was okay? Padmé sobbed hopelessly, wetness spreading along the cushion, hands curled tight. What was she supposed to do?

Padmé lay there for some time, body curled up on the couch, sobbing desperately for the life that had shattered to pieces around her.

Finally, she took a deep breath and allowed her muscles to relax, a few tears still slipping past her lids. “I can do this.” Padmé told the empty room, “I’m capable. I’m strong. I’m doing my best.”

Padmé slowly put herself back together. She wiped beneath her eyes where she knew some of yesterday’s makeup would have run, then let down her hair, combed her hands through it, and tied it back up. Padmé straightened her clothes and stroked her round stomach, whispering, “We’ll get through this, darling.” She placed the wet pillow back on the couch, dry side out. It would have to do.

Okay. Padmé pushed her residual sadness away and focused. Little steps.

Firstly, she wanted to clean herself up. She felt hot and clammy and she’d been in these clothes since yesterday, so a shower and a change of clothes were in order. Then, a proper meal would be a good idea. Anakin had only had that toast, however long ago that was, Obi-Wan didn’t look like he’d had anything, and she was already peckish. That would give her a mission to follow for now. She could do that.  Padmé set out for the bedroom.

After a beautifully long, hot shower and a thorough scrubbing, she threw on a fresh dress and headed for the kitchen.

One hour and multiple pep talks later, she had prepared a traditional Naboo dinner. Obi-Wan hadn’t moved from his seat at the table while she worked, and judging by the sounds, Anakin was still in the cockpit. Deep breaths, keep smiling. She had this.

She called Anakin in to where Obi-Wan sat at the table, and placed dinner beneath their noses.

“Everyone was looking hungry so I thought we could have dinner together,” Padmé said and sat down between the two.

“Thank you, Padmé,” Anakin said, a gentle smile on his lips. “It looks lovely.”

“Yes,” Obi-Wan agreed absently.


Anakin happily tucked into the meal (she’d expected as much, Padmé knew he enjoyed the dish as much as she did), digging into the meat and vegetables with gusto. He kept sending hopeful, tiny smiles at her whenever he caught her eye as they ate. Gods, he was gorgeous, but there was no way he was getting of at all easily for any of this. If there was one thing she was certain of after having some time to think, was that he was going to kriffing well beg for forgiveness by the time Padmé had her way.

She watched as dinner progressed that Obi-Wan only picked at his food. He was mainly sliding it around the plate, occasionally lifting a small portion to his lips, before reluctantly eating it. Watching him, she felt a dark suspicion cross her mind.

“Obi-Wan, when was the last time you ate?” Padmé asked quietly across the table.

“I—I’m not…” he trailed off.

Anakin looked up from his plate at the silence.

“Obi-Wan?” Padmé prompted again.

“I suppose a week ago,” he mumbled, and his eyes dropped to his plate.

“What?!” Anakin burst out.

“Oh.” She was unhappy that her theory was looking as though it may be right, and tapped her hand on Anakin’s, trying to indicate he should settle down. “And you last slept…?”

“Last night.”

“Before that,” she clarified. Padmé felt guilty for pulling this up in front of Anakin, but he needed to know what they were dealing with as well. Anakin needed to know he wasn’t the only one falling apart here.

She had a terrible inkling that Obi-Wan had fallen headfirst into a well of depression with a few suicidal tendencies. In all honesty she couldn’t say that she hadn’t seen something like this coming knowing what both men had dealt with during the war.

That Anakin had fallen into the Dark Side was not the reaction she had seen coming, but again, there was a tiny corner of her that was not completely surprised. Anakin though, seemed the more stable of the two of them just at the moment. Padmé vaguely wondered whether the extreme venting of anger and fear had somewhat purged it from his system. Cross that bridge etc. etc. One problem at a time, she reminded herself.

Obi-Wan sighed. “A few days, I think.”

Obi-Wan,” Padmé chastised gently.

Anakin couldn’t hold himself in check any longer, voice cracking out, “Why would you do that to yourself?”

“I didn’t think it would matter,” Obi-Wan admitted quietly, shrugging. “I wasn’t expecting to live past Mustafar.”

It felt like someone had punched her in the gut and all the air had fled her lungs. Knowing that he had intended to die for her and having it presented to her was apparently a completely different thing.

“Obi-Wan,” Padmé said quietly, reaching her hand across the table and placing it on his.

The reaction was immediate. Obi-Wan’s hand jolted away from the contact, hiding beneath his robes. He stood abruptly, saying, “I have to go,” and darted out of the room.

Padmé rubbed her hand over her eyes. That could have gone better. She glanced at Anakin who had gone very pale, staring at the place where Obi-Wan had been sitting.

“I don’t understand,” Anakin said into the empty space, voice unsure.

“Obi-Wan… isn’t coping,” Padmé started. “You’ve been at war for 3 years, Anakin. I’m surprised one of you hadn’t crashed before now.

“Battle fatigue?”

She nodded, appetite gone. “Or something similar. Now, if you could clean up dinner, I’m going to talk to him.”

He huffed. “Don’t you think I should…?”

“No,” Padmé said firmly. “Given the last week, I don’t think you are going to be the best thing for him right now.” She saw him flinch. “Sorry, Ani. Not yet.”

He nodded jerkily and set about cleaning up. Padmé left the room, heart heavy in her chest.

She entered the lounge and moved to kneel in front of where Obi-Wan sat, head cupped in his hands, elbows on his knees. The brown of his robes contrasting with the rich reds of the room. He’d curled up against the legs of the couch, not even bothering to sit on the cushions, just tucked up on the floor. Padmé placed a gentle hand on his knee.

“I couldn’t sleep without watching Anakin kill you,” he began after moments of silence, still huddled up. “The visions would hit at night, sometimes during the day, there was no escape—I can’t keep food down. Force, just thinking about it makes me feel ill.”

She stroked her thumb over his knee, listening.

“Everything was so hopeless. The war just kept going with no end in sight, constantly on the back foot and a step behind the enemy. I knew Anakin would turn, I kept seeing it, and I kept trying to help him but nothing worked. I only ever saw that one encounter. Only Mustafar. I didn’t know what came before…” His voice caught and his fingers tightened minutely. “And finally I thought that maybe I could take your place, let him kill me and keep you safe, to give you an opportunity to help him where I know I couldn’t.”

Padmé slid her hand up his arm and stroked soothingly, allowing him to talk.

“I just wanted everything to be okay, but now all the Jedi are dead, something I hadn’t seen coming.” Obi-Wan was breathless and trembling beneath her fingers. “We saved Anakin, but I failed to save everyone else.”

“Oh, Obi,” she hummed and moved to sit beside him, swinging an arm around him and pulling him in as much as she could for a hug, still moving her hand up and down his arm.

“It hurts, Padmé. I can feel their deaths in the Force. I just want it to stop.” His breath hitched. “I want it to be over.”

“You can’t save everyone,” Padmé said quietly. “And you need to be eating.” She was not going to let him kill himself this way. Padmé was going to pull them both through this whether they liked it or not.

“I know,” he said.

“Is there anything I can do for you?” she tried.

Obi-Wan shook his head, finally looking at her, his eyes surprisingly dry, and tapped a forefinger against the side of his head. “Not with this.”

Padmé sighed. “Okay. Is there anything you would like to eat? That you think you could keep down?”

“Bread, or milk, perhaps?” He looked strained, but trying.

She’d take it.


Chapter Text

Through sheer determination and a desire for Padmé to stop staring at him like he was a wounded loth-cat, Obi-Wan managed to keep down the bread and bantha milk that she had brought him.

Padmé had sat beside him on the floor while he slowly ate, her small hand resting only centimetres from where his leg was splayed out before him. Padmé had said nothing, just sat there and stared out the view-screen, providing the only kind of comfort Obi-Wan felt he could accept right now.

The food had settled uncomfortably in his stomach, heavy and churning. Obi-Wan had needed something different to focus on, anything but the galaxy at large and Padmé was a welcome distraction. Her delicate face was lit by the stars and the lamp beside the couch. Padmé’s long, curly hair fell loose over her shoulders. She always cut such a stunning figure, and Obi-Wan could very clearly see how Anakin had fallen head over heels for such a beautiful woman with such a kind heart and sharp intelligence. He could feel her soft Force presence beside him, gentle and constant, wrapped tightly around the two shining, tightly woven signatures within her. Both were beacons of hope in a very dark and empty galaxy, and already they shone so brilliantly. Obi-Wan wanted to wrap himself around Padmé and bask in their combined glow and protect all three of them from everything.

Instead they both sat, side by side, partners in quiet grief and contemplation.

“I’ll be back,” Padmé said suddenly, turning to Obi-Wan a soft smile on her lips. “A certain someone is attempting to smother my bladder.”

Obi-Wan nodded. “Of course.”

He held out his hand and helped Padmé push herself upright before she walked out of the room, the light fading with her.

Obi-Wan returned to staring out the window, the couch at his back warm and soft.

He wondered what would come next. He wondered where they were going. He wondered if any of them could ever hope to fix everything that had been broken over the last few days… weeks… years.

Anakin had seemed fine at dinner, his eyes no longer the bright corrupted yellow of the Sith, no longer burning himself up from the inside. There was something simmering beneath the surface, Obi-Wan knew, but it was more like the Anakin they were all used to.

“Obi-Wan?” He looked up to see Anakin standing in the doorway to the lounge.

Anakin was wrapped up in a deep purple robe and black pants that he must have had stashed in the Senator’s wardrobe. It was a more relaxing visual for him. Obi-Wan was still reeling from everything that had and hadn't transpired on Mustafar, and he had to admit, as much as he seemed to have settled, Anakin made him decidedly nervous. It felt awful to be afraid of someone he loved, someone he had partly raised, someone he had trusted with his life for years. It was somehow even worse knowing that in a battle, Obi-Wan would be the victor. He had no real reason to fear his former Padawan, and yet the feeling lingered.

“Yes, Anakin?” he replied.

Anakin came into the room, pausing in front of Obi-Wan and gestured to the space to the left of him where Padmé had been sitting. “May I?”

There was no way Anakin had missed Obi-Wan’s faint twitch at the gesture, but said, “Of course.”

Instead of sitting beside him, Anakin knelt on the ground in front of him a good metre away.

Anakin took a deep breath, fingers pulling at the hem of his shirt. “I wanted to ask if you wanted help.”

Obi-Wan blinked. “With what?”

“Your head,” Anakin clarified. “Your shields are a wreck. I thought you might like help putting them back up?”

Obi-Wan hummed, swallowing back down his sharp response that feeling the deaths of thousands of Jedi while your shields were down would do that to you.  He had been trying to build his shields back up, but it had not been working by any definition of the word. However, Obi-Wan wasn’t sure how he felt about Anakin in his head.

No, that was a lie, he felt exceptionally uncomfortable about it.


Obi-Wan felt his whole body recoil. “Don’t call me that.” He wasn’t his master. In so many ways. Anakin had discarded him and chosen the Sith Lord. Chosen Sidious.

Anakin just frowned at him.

Obi-Wan sighed. “While the assistance would be appreciated, in all honesty, Anakin, I don’t want to see what’s inside your head.”

As he spoke, Obi-Wan heard the telltale steps of Padmé reentering the room before she moved to sit on the floor, creating a triangle between the three of them. She sat silently; not interfering, just watching. Obi-Wan knew she was the sanest of the three of them at the moment, and in his opinion, having her monitoring them was not the worst idea.

Obi-Wan could feel himself constantly flipping back and forth emotionally between wanting to yell at them, wanting to punch Anakin, and wanting to curl up and cry until it all just went away. He was playing a game of emotional roulette.

“Why not? You already know the worst of what I did,” Anakin said sulkily.

Obi-Wan clenched his jaw, glaring his ex-Padawan down. “Knowing you killed younglings, and watching you do it, are two completely different things!” Evidently yelling was winning.

Anakin recoiled. “What do you mean?”

Obi-Wan pulled in on himself, but refused to look away from Anakin. Padmé’s eyes filled with tears, though she remained quiet.

“I—I don’t remember that. I wouldn’t do that!” Anakin looked between Obi-Wan and Padmé, turning a faintly sick colour.

Obi-Wan swallowed. “I saw the security footage, Anakin.”

“I never went back to the temple!” he protested loudly, bordering on hysterical, “I would never do that! How could either of you think that?!”

“It was you on the security feeds.” Obi-Wan pressed.

“You came to see me, after the Temple was attacked,” Padmé added quietly, tears collecting in her eyes. “You said the Jedi had tried to overthrow the Republic.”

Force, to have to think that the father of your children had killed younglings.

“No. No! Look in my mind, Obi-Wan, I never went back to the temple! I didn’t return to Padmé, I went straight to Mustafar! Why would I ever—!?” Anakin was vibrating with tension. “I— I know it was my fault that Master Windu died, and I definitely killed the Separatist leaders, but I swear I never went back to the Temple! Obi-Wan, please! I don’t know—”

He couldn’t bring himself to say it out loud, so he gestured Anakin over to him. Anakin crawled across the distance until he was kneeling between Obi-Wan’s splayed legs, still tense and quivering. Obi-Wan had never been so glad to be staring into blue eyes, the hue helping to soothe his fears.

Obi-Wan’s hands shook when he took Anakin’s in his own and said, “Show me the whole day.”

Anakin nodded, and closed his eyes.

Obi-Wan felt his Force presence slide up against his own, hesitant and jittery. Obi-Wan let out a deep breath, but kept his eyes open, desperate to see the blue light in Anakin’s eyes. He let their signatures meld together, allowing Anakin to lead and walk him through the memories of his day.

~ ~ ~

Obi-Wan watched himself leave for Utapau. His robes fluttering in the breeze, feeling the pang of worry Anakin had felt watching him leave, feeling so strongly that he should be going with Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan could already see the dark circles under his own eyes.

He saw Anakin go to visit Padmé in her apartment. Feeling lost, feeling doubt, and floundering to find solid ground beneath his feet with Padmé trying to reach him, a far off raft in a stormy sea. Anakin pledged that he had found a way to save her, the beginnings of a realisation forming in the back of his mind.

He saw Anakin return to the Temple and listen to Cody deliver his message to Mace, Ki-Adi, Yoda, and Aayla. Anakin’s worry for Obi-Wan increasing, adding to the tight coil growing in his chest. Anakin hoped he was unhurt after his fight with Grievous, knowing how often Obi-Wan would hide his injuries without someone to make Obi-Wan look after himself. Mace sent Anakin to tell the Chancellor that Grievous had been neutralised.

He saw Anakin arrive at Chancellor Palpatine’s offices, watched as Palpatine manipulated Anakin, compounding his distrust of the Jedi and his fear for Padmé’s life. Carefully watering seeds he’d planted in Anakin’s mind long ago.

He saw as Anakin realised the truth of Palpatine’s identity. The sharp shock that the man he’d looked up to for so long wasn’t as he appeared, feeding more confusion and fear into him. Obi-Wan could barely breathe for all the emotions pouring forth in Anakin’s memories.

He saw Anakin pull his lightsaber on Palpatine, holding it up to his neck: conflicted, confused, lost. Obi-Wan heard more of the insidious whisperings and promises from Palpatine before Anakin made the decision to turn the Chancellor over to Jedi.

He saw Anakin go to Mace, confess what he had just discovered, and watched Mace do his best to keep Anakin away from the Sith. The Korun never had any skill in dealing with Anakin.

He saw Anakin left behind, sitting in council chambers lost in his own head. Palpatine was the Sith, he deserved what was coming to him. Palpatine was his only hope for saving Padmé. Those two thoughts consuming his mind. The Jedi or Padmé? Anakin knew deep down that he would always choose Padmé and felt bone-crushing sadness and regret as he stared out the window to Coruscant. He desperately hated everything about this situation, but he had made his decision.

He saw Anakin run into the Chancellor’s office to find Mace standing over Palpatine, ‘saber drawn and held pointed at the Chancellor’s chest. Palpatine tried fighting back, lightning exploding from his fingertips, before Mace drove the lightning back toward him with his lightsaber.

He saw the true face of the Sith they had been hunting for so long. Watched him melt and transform to the monster Obi-Wan had seen on the news-feeds after Utapau. Face sunken and wrinkled with bright, glowing eyes. A true Sith Lord straight from a crèche-tale.

He saw Anakin plead with Mace to do the right thing, to allow Palpatine to go to trial, but Mace chose otherwise. Acting on fear and instinct and lost in his own head, Anakin reflexively disarmed Master Windu, and watched in horror as the seemingly sick and defeated Palpatine rose up, lightening sparking from his hands, and drove Mace over the edge of the destroyed window.

He saw Anakin fall.

~ ~ ~

Obi-Wan couldn’t stop the tears that cascaded down his face, still staring straight into blue. He could feel the pain and fear and doubt coursing through Anakin, as he saw joining the Sith his only way forward. He felt sharp, hot hatred burn through him at Palpatine. How he had orchestrated it all so perfectly, manipulating all of them towards their own destruction.

How could Obi-Wan have failed him so badly? He’d thought Anakin had know how much they all cared for him. He’d thought that Anakin was so good deep down, even with his outbursts of anger and the poor choices he sometimes made. Obi-Wan had thought he’d done his best. He was clearly wrong. He’d done what Qui-Gon had asked. That and more, coming to love his Padawan so terribly. Obi-Wan wanted to grab a hold of Anakin and never let him go. Wrap him up in his arms, and keep him and Padmé safe from Sidious and all the other shit the universe had ever thrown at them.

The memories took on an unusual, cold tilt. A slightly slick feeling. A strange grey hue.

~ ~ ~

He saw Palpatine command him to go to th——————— and kil————————, then to Mustafar and kill the Separatists. The Sith’s bright eyes boring into Anakin’s, a dark feeling curling tightly around him.

The memories fragmented. A blaze of light. A scream. A flash of Padmé’s face. The slick, cold, dark feeling melting through each moment, feeling strange and decidedly wrong. Obi-Wan could feel how Anakin’s mind slipped over these, refusing to acknowledge them.

Suddenly, he saw Anakin leave Coruscant to Mustafar, taking one of the Chancellor’s ships, mind unnervingly fixed on his instructions. The slick feeling still there, but lessened now, like a cold hand resting on your shoulder. Obi-Wan could feel the fire inside Anakin burning, hot and steady.

He saw Anakin enter the Separatist base and kill every last one of them. Fast. Efficient. Merciless.

He saw Anakin watch as Padmé’s ship landed in the bay. Felt Anakin’s joy at feeling his wife’s Force presence. Felt his anger toward Obi-Wan, the desire to destroy him pushed to the fore of his mind, the cold presence still resting on his shoulder.

He saw from Anakin’s eyes as Obi-Wan knelt at his feet, lightsaber pressed against his chest—

~ ~ ~

Obi-Wan wrenched away from Anakin, mentally and physically, hands cradled against his chest, balled into fists, his back pressed hard against the couch. He didn’t want to know what Anakin had thought of him in that moment. Didn’t want to have to see how pathetic it was.

After a few moments he was able to calm down, wiping the last of his tears from his face, and managed a quiet, “I’m sorry.”

Anakin was still just sitting in front of him, hands folded in his lap and watching Obi-Wan quietly.

“You really do love me,” Anakin said finally, disbelieving.

“I What?” Obi-Wan didn’t follow.

“On Mustafar,” Anakin continued breathlessly, “you said you loved me. I wasn’t sure how true that was.” Anakin’s fingers fiddled with the edge of his shirt. “Your head is a wreck, Obi-Wan, but I could feel how much you love Padmé and I. How badly you want to keep us happy and safe. I’d never noticed before. I always thought you were the model, emotionless Jedi you always to professed to be.”

Obi-Wan pressed his lips together. “Well, nobody’s perfect.”

Anakin rolled his eyes and frowned. “It’s not a bad thing, Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan couldn’t think of how to reply to that.

After a beat, Anakin seemed realise he wasn’t going to respond and glanced back over to Padmé.

“Oh,” Anakin breathed out softly. “Darling?”

Obi-Wan turned and found Padmé staring at him, wide eyed and blotchy skinned. Her eyes boring into his soul, looking at him as though he held the universe in his hands.

Obi-Wan supposed he held her universe.

He gave her a weak smile. “It wasn’t Anakin.”

“Oh thank the Gods,” Padmé let out in a rush, curling forward as much as she could, and placed her left hand on Anakin’s knee, the other holding her up. Padmé’s fingers curled around the fabric of Anakin’s pants tightly, her fingers shaking along with the rest of her, head bent toward the carpet. Obi-Wan could feel the agony-relief-fear-love-anger radiating off of her in waves, and could see the droplets that landed on the carpet between the three of them.

After a moment of shock from Anakin, Obi-Wan watched as he tentatively slid his hand over Padmé’s hand, softly curling his fingers around hers.

Obi-Wan looked away.

It had been Anakin. At least, Anakin had been at the Temple, even though his mind refused to acknowledge it. The fragments of the memories had been there, but not all of them. Not anywhere near enough. The attack would have taken hours. Those memories weren’t there, but something else had been. Obi-Wan had a terrible feeling he knew what that something else was.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin asked.

Obi-Wan returned his focus to the others in the room. Padmé was sitting up again, slightly closer than before, her hand still griping tightly to Anakin’s leg, knuckles white.

“Yes?” Obi-Wan replied.

“Did you still not want help with your shields?”

Obi-Wan paused. The worst of what was going on inside Anakin had already been laid bare to him. Continuing to live with his shielding so shattered, feeling everything, all the time, was exhausting and ripping him apart from the inside.

“Help would be… appreciated,” Obi-Wan decided.

“Now, or in the morning?” Anakin asked. “I think it’s going to take a while.”

Obi-Wan looked to Padmé who looked completely wrecked. “The morning.” He decided.

Anakin nodded.

Catching his eye, Padmé protested, “Don’t put it off because of me.”

“I need a break anyway,” Obi-Wan said quietly and hauled himself up onto the couch.

The pair of them attempted to get Obi-Wan to sleep somewhere else, indicating that he was welcome to share their bed again, but Obi-Wan refused. He wrapped himself up in his ashy cloak, curled up on the couch, and watched the stars fly past.

He didn’t sleep.

When Padmé came to see him in the morning, she frowned at him knowingly, but only said, “I brought you some breakfast,” and placed one of the plates she was holding on his lap.

Two pieces of toast with butter. Obi-Wan was thankful she had stuck with plain foods and not asked how he had slept. In return, he didn’t mention how tired Padmé looked. Obi-Wan suspected she hadn’t slept either.

She sat beside him, the long blue sleeping robe she wore spread out like a flower around her. The pair of them ate in silence.

“Anakin still asleep?” Obi-Wan asked quietly when he’d finished the first slice.

Padmé nodded. “Completely dead to the world.”

“Are you okay?” Obi-Wan asked.

Padmé paused and then sighed. “I really don’t know. I still love him, but I’m so very angry at him. I don’t know where to begin to make this better.”

Obi-Wan let out a small laugh. “I know that feeling.”

She smiled at him. “I figure we take it step by step. Just make it through this flight, then work what to do when we make it to Tatooine.”

“We’re going to Tatooine?” That answered one question. “Why?”

“Anakin thinks Palpatine won’t think to look for him there, considering how much Anakin hates the planet,” Padmé explained. “Evidently Anakin told Palpatine about what happened last time we were there."

Obi-Wan frowned. “What, before Geonosis? What happened last time?”

Padmé’s head whipped around, her eyes wide. “Anakin didn’t tell you?”

Obi-Wan felt cold tension curl in his stomach. “No.”

“I’m going to fucking kill him,” Padmé declared. “Right. I’m telling you then. Anakin had his chance for three years. We are having no more secrets in this house.”

Obi-Wan felt a chill cover him as Padmé related the events to him. He could barely breathe, listening to her retelling of Anakin’s attack on the Tuscan villagers over his mother’s death. Force, he should have known. Anakin had been jumpy for weeks after Geonosis, but Obi-Wan had chalked it up to the new war and his ‘secret’ relationship with Padmé.

Anakin stormed into the room as she finished up her retelling.

“What are you doing?” Anakin yelled.

Padmé glared up at him. “Doing what I told you to do three years ago, Ani!”

“You have no right!”

Padmé stood, stepping into his personal space. “I have every right! There have been too many secrets between the three of us, and look where it’s gotten us!”

Obi-Wan watched as Anakin clenched his hands by his side, and the lamp sitting on the side table shattered suddenly.

“Right!” Padmé’s head swivelled to take in the damage. “I’m not talking to you while you’re like this.” She stalked out of the room, her head held high.

Anakin scoffed after her, turning on Obi-Wan. “Can you believe that!? She had no right to tell you!” Obi-Wan made to open his mouth and protest, but Anakin continued, uninterested, begining to pace in front of the glass. “That was my business—my mother! How dare she just decide to tell you whatever the fuck she wants! I told her that in confidence! I chose not to tell you, that was my choice! You would have hated me! You would have told the Council—”

Obi-Wan could feel the hot rage rolling off of Anakin in waves, battering at his unshielded mind and burning it’s way across the remnants of their bond. Anakin seemed to have completely forgotten he was actually there in the room with him, ranting senselessly about it. Sith hells it hurt. Anakin was so bright and powerful, the heated anger felt as though it was burning through Obi-Wan’s skin.

Obi-Wan dropped back to lying on the couch, a pained groan escaping his lips, eyes squeezing shut in an attempt to block out the heat.

It was gone in an instant and a hand hesitantly touched his face.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin asked, voice panicked.

Obi-Wan let out a relieved breath, his whole body relaxing as he opened his eyes. Anakin was knelt over him, all anger seemingly gone or at least shoved behind shields.

“I’m so sorry,” Anakin said, eyes wide and concerned. “I got carried away. I forgot.”

Obi-Wan just blinked up at him. Anakin was terribly pretty from this angle.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin was back to sounding worried.

“I’m okay,” Obi-Wan said finally.

Anakin frowned down at him. “We should fix your shielding now.”

Obi-Wan nodded. “That’s probably a good idea.”

He moved to sit up, but Anakin held his hand to Obi-Wan’s chest. “It could take a while, you may as well lie down.”

Obi-Wan returned to lying on his back, staring up at the ceiling. He watched Anakin move so he was sitting beside him on the edge of the couch and leant over Obi-Wan. He pushed all thoughts of how attractive Anakin was completely out of his head. He needed to focus.

“Ready?” Anakin asked.

Obi-Wan nodded. “Yes.” It was a blatant lie, but this needed to be done.

He closed his eyes and felt Anakin’s Force signature brush up against his own again, much calmer than yesterday. They set to work, Obi-Wan leading, attempting to erect shielding how he wanted it, before being bolstered by Anakin, his power sliding through Obi-Wan. It felt warm. Not burning as it had earlier, but comforting, like stepping into a warm bath or climbing back into a bed you’d only just left. Anakin soothed over the painful areas in his mind; the places where he’d felt weak bonds snap as Jedi had died. Obi-Wan felt his eyes fall shut as his mind slowly quieted, lost in Anakin’s surprisingly soothing presence.

It took a long time, that much Obi-Wan could tell. Individually pulling up each layer and section of shielding, restoring to how it was before this all began, and adding a few new areas as well. Obi-Wan never wanted to feel like that again.

Once they were finished, Anakin sent him an extra surge of healing energy and they gently tested the walls. Anakin poking about in his head, prodding here and there. Satisfied, Anakin started pulling back, taking his warmth with him.

Reflexively, Obi-Wan’s mind latched onto him, attempting to stop his retreat. For the first time in weeks he didn’t feel like he was cracked around the edges, ready to fall apart at the slightest touch. He didn’t want to let this go. He knew he had to.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin asked quietly, voice much closer to him.

“Sorry, I know,” Obi-Wan replied. “Give me a moment.”

Taking a deep breath, Obi-Wan carefully unhooked himself from Anakin, reluctantly letting him go. Slowly and unwillingly, Obi-Wan was alone in his own head again.

Force, it felt infinitely better. Obi-Wan couldn’t feel everything around him anymore. He couldn’t feel the gaps in the Force as strongly as he had before. Obi-Wan didn’t feel like he was losing parts of himself to the void.

“Oh,” Anakin murmured, surprised, “our bond is back.”

Obi-Wan’s eyes blinked open suddenly. Anakin was now lying beside him on the couch, pressed up against Obi-Wan. When had that happened?

Turning his focus inward he realised Anakin was right. Their old bond was back, the luminous strand connecting his former Padawan to him. He could faintly feel Anakin’s confusion at the realisation.

“Apologies. That was probably me,” Obi-Wan admitted. “I shouldn’t have held on so tightly.”

Anakin leant up to look at Obi-Wan. “Don’t worry about it. I’m glad it’s back.”

Obi-Wan closed his eyes feeling like he could sleep for the first time in weeks. He breathed out, “Me too. Thank you, Anakin,” and dropped into welcome unconsciousness.

Chapter Text

Anakin blinked at Obi-Wan. Had he just—? A gentle snore escaped Obi-Wan’s lips and Anakin smiled widely. He had completely passed out. Anakin stared down at him and gently ran his fingers through Obi-Wan’s auburn hair, focusing on how soft it felt against the pads of his fingers. Obi-Wan looked almost calm in slumber; the lines around his eyes had relaxed, and his mouth was gently resting open. In Anakin’s opinion, he hadn’t looked this relaxed since the beginning of the war.

Anakin had been so frustrated and angry at Obi-Wan. He had been horrified to hear that Obi-Wan and been neglecting his health so badly over the last few weeks and furious at himself for not noticing it, being too wrapped up in himself to pick up on Obi-Wan falling to pieces beside him. The bottom of his stomach had dropped into his feet when Padmé had confronted Obi-Wan about it over dinner. Anakin had wanted to yell at him, then shove him into bed, wrap him up in blankets and keep Obi-Wan there until he was better.

He’d listened to Padmé though. Anakin could see how he unnerved Obi-Wan, how his old friend would recoil from him, often not quite looking at him if he could help it. It hurt each time it happened, a tight, sharp pain in his chest at the knowledge that Obi-Wan was afraid of him.

And yet Obi-Wan still—miraculously, wonderfully—loved him fiercely. He’d felt it when he’d shown Obi-Wan what had happened the day he’d fallen. He’d felt it in the bright, welcoming sensation in Obi-Wan’s mind as Anakin had helped pull his shielding back up. He’d felt it in the moment that Obi-Wan refused to let go of him, his mind latching on tightly to Anakin, a spike of fear and loneliness shooting into Anakin’s head. It had taken all of Anakin’s willpower not to latch onto Obi-Wan’s mind as well. Or to lean down and kiss him. That… that had certainly crossed his mind with Obi-Wan lain prone beside him, warm and contented. To be perfectly fair though, he considered, that was not exactly a new impulse. Either way, considering their bond was back, Anakin suspected he hadn’t been as successful as he’d initially thought at resisting holding on to Obi-Wan.

Anakin could distantly feel Obi-Wan now, calm and placid as a clear ocean, not the cold and tumultuous stormy sea Anakin had been able to feel for the past few days. Anakin had no idea how Obi-Wan had been living like that since the Republic fell. Just being in his mind had been like rubbing his hand against a cheese grater.

When Obi-Wan had keeled over on the couch during his tirade about Padmé, Anakin’s heart had just about stopped in his chest. He hadn’t realised that he’d let his shields slip, drowning the room in white-hot frustration and anger. Suddenly hearing Obi-Wan’s pained cry had stopped him short, slamming his shielding up. All his anger quickly dissipated to be replaced with frantic worry, his heart pounding against his ribs. For a brief moment, Anakin was certain he had mentally shattered his friend. Obi-Wan had initially been unresponsive to him and just stared vacantly at Anakin for a good minute or so while Anakin had internally panicked. He’d come around eventually, but it was a tense few minutes.

He needed to fix all of this. He needed to get himself under control. He couldn’t keep hurting those he loved.

Anakin could still feel his own mess of emotions twisting around him, alternating hot and cold, and constantly expanding and contracting in his chest. He was still furious at himself. He felt regret at his actions and what his actions had allowed to happen. He was terrified of what the future held.

He should go apologise to Padmé. She was right. Anakin should have told Obi-Wan about Tatooine years ago and Padmé didn’t deserve his anger. Anakin was confused as to where that burning fury had come from. Sure, he’d been mad that Padmé had decided to tell Obi-Wan without asking him, but somehow it had been dialled up to eleven and had just erupted out of him.

He had to do better.

Anakin knew that this was a miraculous second chance. He had Padmé and Obi-Wan doing their best to protect him, when they themselves could barely even look at him. They had thrown everything away to keep Anakin from Sidious—

He didn’t want to think about him.

Anakin was about to become a father, he had to do better.

Anakin tucked himself closer to Obi-Wan, resting his head on the couch, his face pressed into Obi-Wan’s neck. He was warm beside Anakin, his soothing presence running along the newly recreated bond. Anakin took a deep breath in, attempting, for the first time in what felt like years, to meditate.

Anakin lowered himself down, carefully turning over his thoughts and putting them away. Slowly, his mind settled, warm and comforted in Obi-Wan’s embrace. Anakin absently observed that Obi-Wan still smelt distinctly ashy. A quiet thought noted to organise clean clothes for him.

Anakin’s mind worked its way back into calm and reflection.

It felt good to let it all stop for for a time.

“Ani?” Padmé’s voice broke through his quiet.

Anakin sat up, carefully separating himself from where Obi-Wan lay.

“Is everything alright?” Padmé asked, her eyes flicking between himself and Obi-Wan.

Anakin glanced down. “He’s sleeping. We fixed his shields.”

Padmé visibly deflated. “Oh thank goodness.”

Anakin stood up and moved toward Padmé, who immediately stiffened again. Anakin’s heart sank but he pressed onwards. He could do this. “Padmé,” Anakin spoke quietly, not wanting to disturb Obi-Wan. “I’m sorry about earlier. You were right, I should have told Obi-Wan about Tatooine. I didn’t mean to take that out on you.”

A pause.

“Alright. Thank you,” Padmé replied finally, a ghost of a smile at her lips. “Could you clean up the lamp you broke?”

Anakin grimaced. “Yeah, sorry. I didn’t mean to break it either.”

Try to be more careful in the future, Ani,” Padmé said. “Some things are less easily fixed.”

Didn’t Anakin know it.

He nodded and exited the room to find a bag to dispose of the lamp fragments. Anakin moved quickly; carefully picking up all the pieces, tucking the wiring away for his own purposes, and throwing out the rest. Obi-Wan slept through the entire scene, not moving once, even when Anakin had draped a thick, grey blanket over him.

Anakin kept Padmé company over the next four days as Obi-Wan slept through it all. Padmé had suggested he was finally catching up on all the sleep he had missed, and Anakin had agreed. He had been helping Padmé where he could—meal preparation, cleaning, checking the flightpath—until Anakin had stumbled into a closet looking for a broom, and found Threepio and Artoo deactivated in a corner.

“Oh!” Padmé said, poking her head in when he called her over. “I completely forgot I left them in there. I didn’t want either of them interfering on Mustafar. You know how they get.”

Anakin had laughed. “Very true.” He reactivated the pair of them.

What followed was a tirade of binary from Artoo. How dare he go without him, what had Anakin been thinking, etc. and an assortment of curses Anakin was sure he hadn’t taught the droid. Anakin had barely managed to hide his smile, amused by his indignant fury, before Artoo shot oil in his face and stormed off, whirring angrily.

Padmé was laughing hysterically, a spot or two of oil on her face as well, contrasting with the pink of her cheeks.

“Yeah, laugh it up,” Anakin groused wiping at his face.

Padmé just grinned at him. “You kind of deserved it. You hurt Artoo’s feelings!”

Anakin just huffed at her and suffered through a good thirty minutes of Threepio complaining at him, and then trying to properly clean the oil off his face, muttering about how uncouth Artoo was. Anakin had missed the pair of them. Even if they did both drive him up the wall at times.

From there, Threepio helped keep everything neat and tidy and Artoo continued to sulk, choosing to loiter in the cockpit and keep them on course. Now out of chores to do, Anakin often took to lying next to Obi-Wan and meditating. Padmé did something similar, often sitting beside Obi-Wan and just staring out the window. She would casually rest her hand on his shoulder or arm and just stop for a time. It twisted something deep in his chest, but he pushed it aside.

Obi-Wan was still so warm and calm as he slept on, and it helped Anakin fall away into quiet and recenter himself when he meditated. He was finding that it aided with controlling himself. It didn’t always help though. He’d broken a door in frustration at one point, thoroughly melting the wiring so the door remained permanently half open. He'd also levitated everything in the kitchen by accident when he had been worrying about what to do once they hit Tatooine. Each time, Padmé had frowned but left it alone. Their conversations were stilted and awkward, both stepping around the major issues between them. Anakin felt off-kilter without Obi-Wan there with them, balancing them out.

Aside from meditation, Anakin had also decided to try to rebuild the lamp he had broken from the wiring he’d salvaged and some discarded head-dresses of Padmé’s that she’d said he could have. She’d started sorting through her clothes, deciding what she would keep, and what they would sell once they reached the desert planet.

Between the two of them, in short spurts of awkward conversation, they had decided to try and briefly stay with Anakin’s family, and then purchase a moisture farm out in the desert. Even on the off chance that the now Empire would come to Tatooine, they were unlikely to be checking out the remote farms.

It was a good plan, and they could scrap and sell Padmé’s ship for funds. On top of which, Padmé being the eminently well organised woman that she was, had taken a large portion of funds out of her emergency bank account back on Coruscant in a variety of currencies, so they at least had something to start with. Anakin had been surprised to learn that Padmé had been ready to run before she even knew the full truth of it all. It made him oddly proud.

Even so, Anakin could feel the distance between them. Padmé barely ever let him touch her, always leaving a gap between them. The only time they ever touched was accidental. A brush of hands when they reached for the same thing, or a bump on the hip when they misjudged a doorway or forgot the other was there. Anakin had taken to faking sleep for an hour or so in the morning so he could rest a casual hand on her. He wanted to gather her into his arms and hold her close. Stroke his hands over her skin and tell her and their child that it was all going to be okay. Press kisses all over her face, along her neck, down—there was no point in entertaining such a far off prospect. Anakin absently wondered where they would stand after the storm had passed.

He could remember a time when they could barely keep their hands off of each other. The constant small touches of the newly-in-love, testing each other out, reassuring themselves that it was real, and basking in the warmth of another person. A time where Anakin couldn’t name a surface in their home that hadn’t been defiled by the two of them. And now here they were, revolving around each other like magnets of the same pole.

After all of this, Anakin desperately hoped Padmé still loved him.

On the final day, Artoo evidently decided he was done ignoring Anakin and trundled into the bedroom, whistling that they had arrived. Anakin had praised him and asked if Artoo could land them a short distance from the Lars residence. Artoo had whistled the affirmative, quickly rolling back to the cockpit.

“You wake Obi-Wan,” Padmé told him after they had fully landed. “I’ll go speak to Owen and see if they mind putting us up for a short time.”

“Yes dear,” Anakin agreed and set off to wake Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan was exactly as he’d left him. Securely wrapped up in the blanket Anakin had placed on him days ago, breathing softly.

“Obi-Wan.” Anakin took hold of Obi-Wan’s shoulder and gently jostled him.

It took a few tries, but eventually Obi-Wan came to, his blue-green eyes fluttering in the sudden light. It was good to see the colour again. There had been a small worry in the back of Anakin’s head that he wouldn’t wake up again; that he’d fucked up rebuilding Obi-Wan’s shields.

“Oh, Anakin,” Obi-Wan said groggily. “I— fell asleep?”

Anakin laughed. “A while ago. We’ve made it to Tatooine.”

Obi-Wan sat up at that, frowning. “That— it should have taken days!”

“It did,” Anakin admitted. “We left you to sleep; thought you needed it.”

“Oh,” Obi-Wan said.

“Come on, let’s get you some cleaned up.” Anakin pulled Obi-Wan up off the couch and took him to the bedroom.

“Fresher?” Anakin asked, and Obi-Wan nodded, disappearing into the small bathroom.

Anakin ducked out to the kitchen and found some berries and a slice of bread in the bags Padmé and he had filled yesterday. He returned and waited patiently for Obi-Wan to return, absently eating one of the berries.

A short time later, Obi-Wan emerged and sat on the edge of the bed, wrapped securely in a towel, his damp hair smelling of Padmé’s floral shampoos. Anakin pressed the juna berries and bread into Obi-Wan’s hands, ignoring the twitch in his fingers, and looked at the pile of food pointedly. Anakin then entered the wardrobe searching for something Obi-Wan could wear.

“Where are we, specifically?” Obi-Wan asked, his voice raised. Anakin could only just hear it with his head shoved in the secret compartment behind the painting. Anakin reentered the room holding a pale blue tunic and dark blue trousers. He thought they would be the most likely of his clothes to fit Obi-Wan.

“We’re at my family’s place,” Anakin said. “Cliegg and Owen. My mom married into the Lars’ before she… died. We’re hopefully going to stay with them until we find somewhere permanent. Padmé has gone to talk with them now.”

“Of course,” Obi-Wan replied.

Anakin waited patiently for Obi-Wan to finish the food and Obi-Wan made the excellent decision not to argue with him about it. Anakin was going to make sure Obi-Wan was looking after himself.

“Force, I’m so tired,” Anakin said finally, handing the shirt and trousers he had chosen to Obi-Wan with one hand, his other rubbed at one of his eyes. Anakin had been sleeping, but it hadn’t felt restful, and having so many feelings rushing around him all the time, was exhausting. Obi-Wan took the items from him, their fingers brushing past one other within the fabric.

Obi-Wan sighed. “It’s been a trying week.”

So true.

“I don’t know how either of you could ever forgive me,” Anakin murmured, feeling cold. It was a thought that had been bouncing around his head for days, ever since he’d felt the affection Obi-Wan held for him. How did either of them not hate him?

He was never going to escape what he’d done. It was like a noose hanging gently at his neck. Waiting.

“I’ve already forgiven you Anakin,” Obi-Wan said softly. “I’ve been in your head. I understand why you did it.”

Anakin didn’t understand it. How Obi-Wan could just forgive him for any of it. Obi-Wan should hate him. Anakin had fucked up on a whole new level.

He could barely get a breath in.

“How can you stand being here!? You flinch every time I move near you!” Anakin cried. “Why have you forgiven me!?” He paced around the bedroom. “I fell! I failed in everything you ever taught me!”

“Because I understand!” Obi-Wan exclaimed.

“Ha!” Anakin laughed darkly. “You know nothing! You’ve never even come close to the dark side. You’re so fucking good!

Obi-Wan just stared at him, his eyes tight. “Closer than you think,” He stated, voice toneless, then bundled up the clothes Anakin had given him, and strode out of the room.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin called, but heard no response. “Fuck!” he exclaimed and fell backwards onto the bed. Force, why could he never just keep his kriffing mouth shut! He rubbed his hands over his face.

Anakin lay staring up at the ceiling, contemplating the particular shade of cream it was. It was better than reflecting on every fuck-up he’d ever committed.

After a number of minutes, Anakin heard footsteps returning to the room. He sat up and was surprised to see Obi-Wan standing there, now dressed. He looked good, the colour highlighting his eyes nicely. There was also a satisfying curl in Anakin’s stomach at Obi-Wan wearing his clothes which he pushed aside.

“Apologies,” Obi-Wan said. “I needed a moment.”

Anakin said nothing, not wanting to break this as well.

Obi-Wan sighed, and said, “Padmé said no secrets,” though he sounded like he was speaking more to himself than anyone else.

Anakin’s focused in on him, interested. Obi-Wan ran his hand through his hair, eyes quickly alternating between looking at Anakin and literally anywhere else. Anakin thought he looked decidedly nervous, but it was not a look he had seen on his Master very often, so he wasn’t entirely sure. He was about to ask him if he was okay when Obi-Wan started talking.

“When Qui-Gon died. I very nearly fell,” Obi-Wan said quietly. “I was angry at him, I was angry at Maul; I was terrified my Master was going to die, and that I’d be left alone in my grief.”

Anakin sat in stunned silence.

“I gave in to it briefly,” Obi-Wan admitted, “charging Maul with fury and abandon, but he ultimately defeated me that way, and pushed me into the melting pit. I was able to re-centre myself and remain clear headed to defeat him.” Obi-Wan sat down beside Anakin, eyes open and soft. “However, I do understand how easily it can happen; through fear and worry for those we love. I’m definitely still… upset about it all, but I forgive you. You did what you thought was best for Padmé.” Obi-Wan gave him a wry smile. “Even if it was the absolute worst way to go about it.”

Anakin let out an involuntary small huff of laughter.

Something in him felt a little lighter. The tight, clawed grip around his heart lessened just a little and Anakin found he could breath that tiny bit easier.

“Thank you, Obi-Wan,” Anakin replied quietly.

Anakin resisted the urge to smother Obi-Wan and instead extended his hand to wrap around Obi-Wan’s where it sat on the bed beside him. This time, Obi-Wan didn’t pull away at all and turned his hand palm up, curling his fingers around Anakin’s hand.

Human contact felt amazing.

Anakin fell back against the bed, tightly gripping Obi-Wan and projecting contentment along their bond. Obi-Wan allowed Anakin to run off with his hand and turned, softly smiling down at Anakin. His entire body felt warm at that smile.

“Sorry boys, I got caught up talking to Beru,” Padmé called from the hallway. “Where—? Oh, there you are.” She appeared suddenly in the bedroom. “Come on, you two. Anakin, let him go, we have work to do.”

Anakin shot up off the bed, dragging Obi-Wan with him, following Padmé back out of the room. “Are we staying?”

“Owen said they can have us for two weeks at most, but yes, staying for now,” Padmé replied, heading up to the cockpit. “Artoo!” she called, “Turn all systems off and come out, we’re staying here! Threepio, come here and help me with this!”

There was an affirmative whistle from Artoo and everything in the ship around them switched off. “Gods, that droid is good,” Padmé said, proudly. Her cheeks were flushed pink from the warmth coming from the lowered ramp, her eyes bright with purpose. “Right, Anakin, grab the bags we packed from the wardrobe—”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Obi-Wan, if you could pick up the bags of leftover food and kitchenware? They’re just by the door to the kitchen—”

“Of course.”

“Threepio and I are going to go around and find all the little leftover bits,” Padmé explained. “Take all of the bags into the house, Beru or Owen will show you where to put them. Then if you could come back and pick up whatever I’ve grabbed?”

“Okay,” Anakin agreed, and Obi-Wan nodded.

Padmé shooed them away.

Anakin went back into the bedroom and found the bags they had placed by the door of the wardrobe yesterday. They were filled with only the essentials and nothing that would make them stand out. He picked them up and exited the ship.

The farm looked as he remembered it. The dome poking out of the top of the ground like a half buried egg, with moisture collectors scattered around the flat land. Tatooine was still the same cool, red-orange he always associated with his home-planet. It was warm out in the light of the suns, and Anakin paused and turned his face up to the light, basking in the heat. It felt incredible after a week in a temperature controlled ship.

“Good to be home?” Obi-Wan asked, sliding up next to him, bags in hand.

Anakin shrugged, unsure how it felt about it. “I suppose.”

Obi-Wan nodded and they walked up to the Lars farmstead in silence. Owen welcomed them heartily, and ushered them down into the house and into an unused bedroom. It was a large, empty room. It boasted only a double bed at the centre of it and a chest of drawers to the side.

Owen explained it had been Cliegg’s room before he’d died. “He couldn’t bear the loss of Shmi,” Owen said, “then his leg became infected and we didn’t catch it fast enough. There wasn’t anything we could do. He was glad to be joining Shmi at any rate.”

Anakin expressed his condolences, saddened at Cliegg’s death. In Anakin’s opinion, Cliegg had been a good man, freeing Shmi where Anakin could not and he had loved her like she deserved. Anakin could have asked nothing more of him.

From there, they both returned to the ship and collected what Padmé had put aside; blankets, pillows, and another bag of miscellaneous items. The ship now emptied of what they wanted, the three of them exited down the ramp and returned to the farm.

Owen and Beru made them feel welcome and helped them unpack for a time, before they both had to return to the moisture collectors in the afternoon. Padmé seemed brighter and happier with a purpose, bustling around the room, organising and sorting their belongings. Obi-Wan seemed at a bit of a loss as to what he was doing, but helped where he could. Padmé kept shoving things into both of their arms and pointing them in a direction.

With all of that done, Padmé decided she needed a nap, Obi-Wan disappeared, wanting to check the holo-net, and Anakin wandered aimlessly until he found himself outside.

He suddenly wanted to see his Mom.

Her grave stood exactly where he remembered it being, tall and proud above the flat horizon-line of the Tatooine landscape. He walked over slowly, drinking it in, feeling a familiar burst of sadness at the sight. Anakin trailed his robotic fingers over the top of the stone, occasionally catching on the rough surface.

“Hey Mom,” he murmured and knelt down in front of the stone, holding up his mechanical hand. “This is new, huh?” Anakin sat quietly in front of the stone and softly relayed the past few years to her. His wife. The war. His wayward Padawan. His unborn child. The friends he’d lost. The friends he’d made. The colossal fuck-up of the last week. “I’ve made so many wrong choices. I want to be a good parent. I want to be as good as you, I just don’t know what to do, Mom.”

Anakin didn’t receive and answer. He wasn’t surprised.

“Hey, Ani!"

Anakin’s head turned and found Owen striding towards him.

“I remember Shmi telling us how good you are with tech,” Owen explained, coming to stop by the grave, smiling. “She was always telling us about the incredible things you built. We have a few vaporators that aren’t working right, would you mind taking a look at them?”

Anakin blinked. “Of course.”

Owen showed him the vaporator parts, handed him a box of tools, sat him down at the kitchen table in the farmstead, and left Anakin to his own devices. This he could do. Three hours and seven working vaporator parts later, Anakin was incredibly pleased with himself. Beru had come in half-way through and marvelled at his work, turning over the fixed machinery and whistling softly. She’d promised him there were more things that needed fixing around the farm if he was interested. Anakin had agreed warmly. It felt amazing to have a purpose again.

Padmé had appeared towards the end, her hair mussed from her nap and wrapped in a plain green dress. She’d sat silently watching him work, her head resting on her hands and brown eyes watching his fingers deftly tinker with the tech. It felt normal.

“What’s the plan for tomorrow?” Padmé asked when he placed the final vaporator segment down.

Anakin hummed thoughtfully. “The ship. We should find buyers in town for the parts and start scrapping it. Anything left unsold can stay here with Owen and Beru and they can sell it to the Jawas when they come through next?”

Padmé nodded. “Alright. I’m making dinner tonight, any requests?”

Anakin shook his head.

That night passed quickly, everyone crowded around the table for dinner, a plain, vegetable heavy dish that Padmé used to make all the time at home. Anakin had watched Obi-Wan closely and was pleased when he managed to eat most of the dinner Padmé had put in front of him.

After dinner, they all returned to their rooms as the darkness of night loomed over them. It was cold when the heat of the suns left the sky, and he was glad Padmé had taken the duvet from the ship, happily curling up under it. Obi-Wan, refusing to share the bed with the two of them, made a nest of blankets on the ground and dropped off surprisingly quickly for someone who’d been sleeping for the past few days. Padmé curled up beside him and promptly fell asleep before Anakin followed soon after her, lulled to sleep by her breathing.

Chapter Text

Padmé was up late that morning.

She had been completely exhausted after yesterday. Having to reorganise one’s entire life was, unsurprisingly, very emotionally draining. Padmé had woken to find both Anakin and Obi-Wan gone. After basking in the warmth of the bed for a good while longer—a luxury she hadn’t allowed herself in some time—she decided to go see what her boys were up to. She pulled a lose dressing-gown over the top of her sleepwear and headed into the open space of the farmstead beneath the dome.

“Ani?” Padmé called.

“Kitchen!” came the reply.

She walked into the kitchen and found Anakin cooking at the stove, the front of his hair tied back into a small knot at the top of his head. “What are you making?”


“Lovely,” Padmé replied and sat down at the table. It did smell good; warm and slightly sweet with a few spices mixed in. “When I spoke to her yesterday, Beru said we could borrow the speeder today so we can get into Mos Eisley. I was thinking we should all go? I considered having you stay and start dismantling the ship, but you know the most about the things we want to buy, and you speak the language best of all of us. What do you think?”

Anakin was quiet for a moment. “I’ll come. You’re right, I know Tatooine best. Do you have all the specs for the ship?”

“They’re up in the bedroom. Want me to go get them?” Padmé asked and Anakin nodded.

She returned to the bedroom, dug the holoprojector from a bag and headed back to Anakin. Padmé sat back down at the table and held up the piece of tech. “It’s all on here.”

“May I?” Anakin moved closer and held out his hand. Padmé dropped the disk into his open palm.

He switched the holoprojector on and flicked through the images, pausing occasionally, then nodded. “Yeah, this’ll be perfect.” Anakin placed the disk on the table and slid it back across to her.

From there everyone else filtered into the kitchen for the morning meal, enjoying the food Anakin had prepared. It definitely tasted as good as it smelled. Anakin had never had much opportunity to cook for her, more often off-planet than on throughout the war. Obi-Wan had smiled at Anakin’s hairdo and then quietly ate breakfast, steadfastly ignoring the ways both Padmé and Anakin periodically checked on him.

Afterwards, Padmé and Obi-Wan volunteered to do the dishes, Beru dragging Anakin off to fix a pump that had been acting up.

Padmé decided to tackle him head on. “How are you doing with meals?” she asked softly, handing him a clean, wet bowl.

“Alright,” Obi-Wan admitted, hesitant. “I’m… struggling a bit today.”

“Okay,” Padmé acknowledged, and briefly leant her head on his shoulder. “Let me know if I can do anything for you.”

Obi-Wan pressed his lips together and nodded.

Padmé leant back on the counter once they had finished, addressing Obi-Wan. “Right. Did you want to find Anakin? We should head into the spaceport as early as possible and I need to change.”

“Meet up top?” Obi-Wan asked.

“Sounds good,” Padmé confirmed. "Fifteen minutes?”

Obi-Wan smiled. “Assuming I can drag Anakin away from whatever tech Beru put him in front of.”

She grinned back at him. “Best of luck.” 

Padmé found a loose brown tunic and pants in her belongings which she slipped into before tying her hair back into a loose bun. Examining herself in the mirror she had discovered behind the door, Padmé felt she looked sufficiently average. Just another pregnant woman walking the streets of Mos Eisley with her two gentlemen suitors. She shook her head, smiling, and hoped none of the war holos had made it out this far.

Now dressed Padmé stood at the entrance of the house waiting for Anakin and Obi-Wan, the dome of the house shining large and iridescent in the sun. She turned at the sound of movement and found Artoo and Threepio approaching her.

“Where have you two been?” Padmé asked them.

“Master Owen directed us to the oil bath he has,” Threepio explained. “We both decided to take him up on the offer. It was exceptionally lovely.”

Padmé smiled. “That was very good of him. Anakin, Obi-Wan, and I are going into town today. You two stay here and keep Owen and Beru company. I think Beru had some things she’d like your help with, Threepio.”

“Of course, madam.” At that, Threepio vanished downstairs into the house, leaving Padmé alone with Artoo.

Artoo circled around her, beeping emphatically about how good the oil bath had been. He then quizzed her on what they were doing on Tatooine. As she relayed the events of the past week or so, Padmé mused that Artoo was possibly the most knowledgeable droid in the galaxy in matters of the Republic. The Old Republic now, she supposed. Either way, Artoo was far to clever for his own good.

“Artoo!” Anakin called as he and Obi-Wan came up the stairs, his fingers dotted with oil, evidently having been out helping with the farm. “You keeping Padmé company? Where’d you disappear off to yesterday?” Both Anakin and Obi-Wan were dressed simply, with their loose Jedi cloaks thrown over the top. It would do.

Artoo beeped in the affirmative and then relayed his thrilling tale of the oil bath with a few sounds Padmé couldn’t recognise. She’d picked up a lot from spending so much time with Artoo and Anakin, but she still wasn’t quite fluent.

Anakin laughed and patted the dome of Artoo’s shell. “That’s great buddy, but you better not be using that kind of language around my baby in the future.”

Artoo whistled something that sounded distinctly like an eye roll and trundled off after Threepio. The three of them watched Artoo go, Padmé muttering, “Some days, I think there’s too much personality in that small droid.”

“You’re one to talk,” Obi-Wan shot back, smiling at her.

Padmé laughed. “I walked into that one. Shall we go?”

The speeder sat waiting on the sands, its three turbines shining brightly in the sun, near blinding at certain angles. It still looked fairly new, scuffed in sections, and dinted in others, but in tact. It was a subtle orange and silver that fit well with the Tatooine landscape.

“I got directions off Owen. Can I drive?” Anakin asked, eyeing it up.

Padmé tossed him the keys. “I’m going to sit in the back. This weather is killing me and I want to put my feet up.”

It was mostly true. Her ankles had been particularly swollen this morning, likely from the warmth of Tatooine and the fact she was weeks away from birth—a terrifying thought. However, Obi-Wan was still looking faintly ill, and letting him sit in the back with Anakin driving was a recipe for disaster.

Anakin grinned down at the keys in his hand and jumped into the speeder, immediately fiddling with all the settings and dials. Obi-Wan followed him, hopping into the other side. Padmé slid into the back seat, and lay her body along the seat, back pressed up against the left hand wall of the speeder.

When they were all sorted, Anakin took off. The desert turned into a great, orange blur as they sped their way into the sordid spaceport.

“We need new names,” Obi-Wan said suddenly, only just audible over the rushing of the wind. Anakin slowed down, the roar lessening until they could hear properly. “Thank you, Anakin.”

Padmé nodded. Using their actual names was a one-way ticket to being found very quickly. “So,” Padmé began, “nothing obvious, but things we’re going to remember.”

Obi-Wan smiled at Anakin, faintly mischievous. “I’ll take Hondo.”

Anakin wrinkled up his nose. “Really?”

“I’ll react if I hear it, that’s for sure.” Obi-Wan shrugged. “Besides, he’d probably be flattered.”

“True,” Anakin allowed. “I’ll take… Seripas.”

“What, that tiny bounty hunter in the huge metal suit on Felucia?” Obi-Wan laughed, when Anakin nodded. “Fair enough.”

Padmé sighed. “Well if we’re going for a theme; what was the name of the woman who tried to assassinate me? Ahsoka came with me to a diplomatic conference, there was some bounty hunter in the vents—”

“Oh,” Anakin said, turning his head, “Aurra Sing.”

“That’s the one,” Padmé agreed. “I’ll take Aurra then.”

“Last names?” Obi-Wan asked.

“Well it would make sense for Anakin to be a Lars, which would make me a Lars as well.” Padmé thought out loud. “We’d just need something for you, ‘Hondo’.”

Obi-Wan hummed thoughtfully. “Actually, if you two handle all the transactions, I won’t even need to be on the paperwork.”

“Have a think for one anyway,” Padmé suggested, “just in case.” Silence fell back over the speeder, and deciding the conversation was over, Anakin kicked it up a gear, tearing across the sands.

Mos Eisley looked, in Padmé’s opinion, much like Mos Espa had. Squat, sandy buildings scattered around the sprawling port, some higher, some shorter, many with radio dishes and antennae poking above the cityscape. Each building surrounded by all sorts of small stalls selling something, and each was filled with unusual, shady characters.

Anakin found a gap between some other speeders and pulled in.

“Want me to stay with the speeder?” Obi-Wan asked.

“I don’t really want to split us up,” Anakin said, pausing as he thought about it, “but that might be a good idea.”

They ended up deciding that Obi-Wan would stay with the speeder, but they’d come check in with him every couple of hours. It wasn’t like they were unarmed. Padmé had a small blaster attached to her thigh, and she knew both her boys had their lightsabers on them. However, using them would be an exceptionally poor idea. A blaster for both of them was on the shopping list. Thus far the list read; sell the ship (probably in pieces), buy blasters, buy clothes, buy a speeder, buy a house. Baby things could come later.

“Keep close,” Anakin muttered beside her and he wrapped his robe closer around himself, pulling the hood fully over his head. “We’ll see if we can deal with the ship first.”

Padmé tucked her hand into the crook of Anakin’s elbow and walked along beside him. It was busy, even for mid-morning. Beings from all over the galaxy bustling about, talking, haggling, running errands. She let Anakin lead, and he meandered up and down the lanes, just looking. They circled around the centre of town at least three times, before Anakin muttered, “Let’s try here,” and headed toward a busy stall.

Anakin continued to loiter, looking bored, before the store owner approached them. The owner, a tall Rodian woman, eyed them up and down, immediately pegging them as off-worlders. Padmé could practically see the credit signs in her eyes.

“Good morning,” she said, smiling at them, “what can I do for you two?”

Padmé had to bite her lip to keep from smiling as Anakin launched into fluent Huttese. The Rodian blinked her star-studded eyes, re-cataloguing them in a moment, and flung herself into the age old tradition of haggling.

Padmé listened absently, not understanding what was being said, but able to follow the gist of it from expressions and body language. Eventually, Anakin asked for the holoprojector, and Padmé fished it from her robes, handing it over. Anakin powered the device on and flicked through the images, the Rodian’s large eyes drinking in each image, asking questions here and there.

“That a J-type star skiff?” came a raspy voice beside Padmé. She just about jumped at the sudden sound, turning to face the short Klatoonian beside her. He was dressed in the usual loose garb of Tatooine with a bright bandana on his head.

Anakin turned his head, and frowned. “Yes.”

“A rare ship, that,” the Klatoonian continued. “How’d you come by it?”

Anakin scoffed at him. “Are you asking if I came by it legally? Here, on Tatooine, at a smugglers market?”

The Klatoonian laughed. “I don’t care if it’s legal.”

“Well then,” Anakin said, turning and becoming immediately more friendly. “Stole it. The core worlds are a mess with the takeover of the Empire—I’m sure you’ve heard. I worked in a hanger, and we took her during the chaos. She’s a bit of a mess, but she flies.”

“Show me.” He held out his green hand, indicating for the holoprojector.

“Hey sleemo! Ap-xmasi cheeta je!” the Rodian cut in, “This is my sale!”

The Klatoonian laughed. “You’re only looking at the hyperdrive. I want the whole thing. Take your wares and go.”

“E chu ta ovv, kung!” she yelled, stepping up and putting her hand on the blaster at her hip.

Before either of them could move, the Klatoonian whipped out his blaster and shot the Rodian in the chest. She fell lifeless on the red sand, blood pooling beneath her corpse. There was a moment of silence in the market before people shrugged or shook their heads and returned to their business. Nothing unusual here. Padmé felt so good about raising her child here.

“The schematics?” he repeated, holstering the blaster and holding out his hand again.

Anakin placed the device in his wide palm. “She’s rather battered, and those schematics are a bit out of date; I only managed to steal the older records.”

The Klatoonian filtered through each projection, his blue eyes deadly focused on them. When he had finished, he nodded and handed it back. “I want her. How much do you want for her?”

And thus the bartering game began again. It was long and tedious, and at some point men had come by and cleared up the body of the Radian before subtly making off with what was left of her wares. Padmé did her best to not think about it.

By the end, Anakin managed to wrangle a speeder, four blasters, and a hefty sum of credits out of the Klatoonian in trade of the ship.

Evidently satisfied the Klatoonian said, “Name’s Barada. You?”

“Seripas,” Anakin said smoothly.

Barada held out his hand. “Bu bargain sa nagoola.” Anakin took it and they shook on the deal. “Bring the ship a few miles west of Jabba’s palace, there’s a small settlement. I’ll have the goods there tomorrow.”

At that, he turned and walked back into the crowd.

“That was a stroke of luck,” Padmé observed, walking beside Anakin.

“Hmm,” Anakin replied. “I don’t like dealing with the Hutts, but it’s our best bet. No-one questions them owning anything.”

Padmé frowned. “The Hutts?”

He nodded. “He was one of Jabba’s men.”

“How could you know that?”

“Complete lack of repercussions over daylight murder,” Anakin said simply.

Padmé nodded. That certainly made sense.

They made a quick stop at a stall selling clothing and used the money she had taken out on Coruscant to buy a few changes of clothes for the three of them. Padmé chose pale colours for herself, already overly warm after only a day here, and Anakin went for creams and greys for himself and Obi-Wan. Everything now sorted they returned to the speeder, winding their way back through the busy midday streets. 

Padmé frowned as they got closer. Obi-Wan was leaning against the speeder speaking to a young man holding a pile of packages. The intention of the young man was clear; the stance, the body language, the little touches, they all pointed towards flirtation. Obi-Wan, the charmer that he was, was taking it in his stride, and (most likely unintentionally as usual) flirting back.

Obi-Wan had a very natural charm and an inviting smile, and it proved to be a very effective lure for almost anyone. The warm rays of the Tatooine sun flattered his copper hair and fair complexion. She’d been feeling the effects of his charms over the last week, even if he had been a complete wreck for most of it, his soft smile and deep, kind eyes drawing her in. Padmé personally thought that if Obi-Wan didn’t have the emotional awareness of a rock and didn't live as a monk for most of his life, he would be picking up suitors left, right, and centre.

Obi-Wan’s eyes lit up as they approached, smiling much more broadly than before. It did terrible things to her stomach.

“Ah, you see, my friends have returned,” Obi-Wan said to the man, before focusing on them. “How did you go?”

“All sorted for now,” Padmé replied. “We will need to make a delivery tomorrow though.”

Anakin was quiet, took the keys, and hopped into the front seat. Obi-Wan offered Padmé a hand and helped her into the speeder. She returned to her prior position of laying across the back seat, giving some relief to her poor back and legs. Padmé watched, resisting a smile, as the young man looked between the three of them, and came to a rather erroneous conclusion.

The flirtatious grin dropped and he hastily excused himself, muttering something about having deliveries to make. Obi-Wan, noticing nothing, smiled and said goodbye.

The drive back was uneventful, Padmé catching Obi-Wan up on the events of the day. He had been impressed that they’d managed to get rid of the whole ship in one go.

Once home, Anakin begged off, heading outside to start messing with the ship. He’d told the Klatoonian it was battered and a bit damaged in places, so he needed to make it look that way. Padmé returned to the kitchen with Obi-Wan and set about making them both a cup of tea and a snack.

“How did he go?” Obi-Wan asked, drinking his tea slowly and nibbling on the biscuit Padmé had given him. Evidently he was still feeling a bit off.

“Anakin was great,” Padmé said. “Kept his cool, and managed a fantastic deal with—Barado? I think he’s enjoying having a mission.”

Obi-Wan nodded, and continued drinking his tea.

Obi-Wan brought her up to date on what he’d found on the holonet and listening to gossip in town. The Senate was completely dismantled for now. Palpatine had assumed his position as Emperor and was imposing Imperial rule on every planet he could hold in his slimy grasp. There was still nothing about him being a Sith. He was a crafty fuck, Padmé decided, and given half a chance she would love to personally fight him. Obi-Wan updated her on Bail as well; apparently still alive, still fighting, just quieter than before.

Obi-Wan paused, his mug halfway to the table.

“Obi-Wan?” Padmé asked, confused by the unusual movement.

“I think we should check on Anakin.” Obi-Wan tapped his head and stood up. “I’m getting a weak stream of unsettled emotions.”

Padmé nodded and picked up her discarded cup of tea, now quite cool, and followed Obi-Wan out to check on Anakin’s progress.

For a moment when they stepped up onto the surface, she thought a sandstorm had sprung up. After a moment, she realised that was not the case, there was just a very localised storm around her ship. Padmé watched as Anakin used the Force to pull up a large section of sand and rocks, and heavily scuff the outside of the ship. He whipped it around the outside of the ship forcefully, a bright clang at each rock and a constant hiss from the sand. It was impressive and Padmé would feel much better about it all if Anakin didn’t have such a murderous expression on his face.

When the ship was dull with scuffing, Anakin let up, dropping the sand and rocks to the ground again. Face set, Anakin took to attacking the outside of this ship, tugging at panelling ferociously.

“Anakin, please be careful!” Padmé said. She and Obi-Wan watched nervously as Anakin wrenched a large section of wiring out of the ship. She knew that Anakin knew what he was doing, but something had put him in a mood and he was being unusually reckless about it.

He ignored her and moved to a different section, tugging up a port and started attacking the relays. He tugged out sections, and started reattaching them elsewhere. His face was hard and focused.

Padmé tried again. “Anakin—”

“Just leave me alone!” Anakin lashed out, and the mug she had been holding in her hands shattered, lukewarm tea suddenly rushing down between her fingers.

Padmé flinched at the sudden violence and stared down at her hands, disbelief coursing through her veins. The feeling twisted in her chest until it transformed in to vibrant, seething outrage.

“That is enough!” Padmé shrieked, the ceramic pieces falling to the ground at her feet.

Anakin stood vaguely stunned at her outburst, his eyes nervously flicking to the shards on the ground

“Either we find a way to help you with this, or you can return to Palpatine!” Padmé yelled. Obi-Wan’s eyes went wide, but he sensibly remained silent beside her.

Anakin frowned and moved away from the ship, closer to them. “You can’t mean—”

“I can and I do!” She could feel how hot her face had become. “We have to find a way to manage this. I will not have my child growing up in an environment where they don’t know what their father is going to do next! Scared that the next thing they say is going to cause one of your outbursts!” She felt tears prickle at her eyes. “I’m not going to live like that, Ani.”

Anakin deflated. “Padmé…”

“Don’t—” she pulled away from his extended hand, “—touch me.”

“Sorry,” Anakin murmured, pulling back. “Okay, I want to make this work. I want to be here.”

“Right.” Padmé sniffed back her tears, blinking furiously until the prickling abated. “So. Why did you go to Palpatine? What was he offering you that I wasn’t.”

“Padmé, it wasn’t like that—” Anakin began.

“The fuck it wasn’t!” she cried. “Of course it was like that. He manipulated you for years, Anakin, he had to have you hooked somehow.”

She watched his eyes dart over to Obi-Wan, who was carefully refusing to look at him. Instead Obi-Wan’s blue-green eyes met her own and he gave her an encouraging smile. Padmé answered it with her own. It felt good to know he had her back.

“He—” Anakin started, pausing thoughtfully, feet shuffling in the sand. “I don’t know. He… listened to me… made me feel important… special. I felt like I could tell him anything. Everything.”

A cold lance shot through her heart. Was their marriage a farce? She felt paralysing fear take control of her body, the ground seemingly gone from beneath her. Had she not been good enough? Did he actually love her?  Why—Why—Why—?

She managed to swallow around the lump in her throat for a few moments longer.

“Can you excuse us for a moment?” Padmé choked out. She turned, clasped Obi-Wan’s hand in hers, and dragged him back to the farmstead.

“Padmé?” Obi-Wan asked quietly, allowing himself to be taken back into the house and into the bedroom.

She shoved him down to the bed and dropped down beside him, wrapping her arms around him, whispering, “Just, hold me, please,” before the tears were pulled from her. Padmé buried her face in the front of his shirt and let go, sobbing uncontrollably.

Padmé felt warm and safe wrapped up in Obi-Wan, his hand stroking down her hair and along her back. She felt when the world shifted and he had moved so they were lying on the bed. Obi-Wan’s warm body curled toward hers, still petting her softly and whispering gentle reassurances in her ear.

Padmé let her anguish roar through her, manifesting as sobs and whines and grasping hands. Obi-Wan shirt was rough against her face and hands, but solid and so very comforting. Someone was here to help her deal with this. She wasn’t alone.

She just felt like such a failure. She felt stupid. Why didn’t Anakin feel like he could have come to her. They were supposed to be married, for better or worse. It felt like such a betrayal. A waste.

Finally, she gave a final sniff and inhaled deeply, willing her emotions back under control.

“Sorry, Obi-Wan,” Padmé murmured.

The arm that was resting on her waist tugged her slightly closer, his other still sliding through her hair. Obi-Wan was such a kind person, allowing her sudden mood swing and giving her what she needed without question.

“It’s no trouble,” Obi-Wan replied, his voice quiet. Padmé could feel the rumble of it against her face. “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling at the moment.”

Padmé laughed softly. “I think you’ve got a pretty good idea.” She sniffed back tears. “Thank you, for being here for me.”

She could hear the smile in Obi-Wan’s voice. “I’m glad I can help. This situation is…”

“Fucked?” Padmé supplied.

Obi-Wan let out a small huff of laughter. “Fucked, yes.”

She sighed, “What are we going to do?” This conversation was so much easier without having to make eye contact.

“I think you were on the right track,” Obi-Wan said softly, “we need to find the right way to support Anakin.”

Padmé hummed in agreement, “Thoughts?”

Obi-Wan was quiet for a moment. “Palpatine gave him someone to talk to about anything. I think we need to give Anakin that. A system of some kind; the moment he’s feeling too much of something or is stuck in his head, he should come talk to one of us, and we need to stop and listen.” Obi-Wan sighed. “I think we brushed him off one too many times in the past. We need to take him seriously.”

Padmé nodded against his chest. “I think that’s a good place to start.”

There were sudden footsteps in the hall, the door swinging abruptly open, followed by Anakin yelling, “What the hell!?”

Ah kriff. Padmé thought. They had taken too long and Anakin had decided to follow them. Padmé could only imagine how she and Obi-Wan looked right now. The pair of them sat up, Obi-Wan subtly putting some space between them.

“What is it Anakin?” Padmé asked casually, hoping to defuse the situation.

Anakin grit out, “Palpatine was right!

Obi-Wan frowned. “About what?”

“About the two of you! Sneaking around behind my back!”

Obi-Wan let out a laugh, and then clapped his hand over his mouth.

“Oh, Ani,” Padmé chastised, and frowned at Obi-Wan, “there is no way that is even slightly true. What a ridiculous thing to believe of a man who did everything in his power to control you! I have always been faithful to you, and Obi-Wan would never, ever dream of betraying you in such a way!”

“Then what is this?” Anakin asked.

“Comfort!” Padmé shot back. “I needed support!”

And Obi-Wan was the person you wanted support from!?” Anakin asked, bordering on hysterical.

Padmé crossed her arms. “Right now, yes!”

“Do you even love me anymore?!” Anakin cried out, his arms mirroring hers. His eyes were bright and mouth downturned as he stared at Padmé.

Padmé felt all the air in her lungs leave her. “Oh Ani.” she stood up and strode over to him, taking him gently by the shoulders. Anakin tried pulling away, but she held firm, “Darling, of course I still love you.” She leant forward and pressed a soft kiss to his chin. “I love you more than anything…”

Anakin looked down at her, his expression still crestfallen. “Then why—?”

“Just because I love you, doesn’t mean I can’t be upset with you.” Padmé ran her hand through his hair, cupping the back of his head and pulling his forehead to rest on hers. “All of this scares me, and Obi-Wan was trying to help me. We’re trying to help you. We want you to be okay. Happy.”

Anakin’s eyes broke from hers and glanced at Obi-Wan. Something in Obi-Wan’s face must have convinced him, as the worry on his face slipped off and Anakin relaxed into her embrace.

Anakin wrapped his arms around Padmé and pulled her close, now slightly awkward given how large her stomach was compared to the rest of her. Padmé felt a gentle kiss on her cheek before Anakin buried his face in her neck, whispering, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Padmé. I want to fix this, I want to be better than this, I love you so much. Please let me fix this.”

Gods it felt so incredible to be wrapped up in his arms again. She felt safe. Padmé distantly thought that she probably shouldn’t, but she did.

“Of course, darling,” Padmé murmured. “We’ll make this work. I love you.”

Anakin softly stroked his hand up and down her back, pulling back a short way, asking, “Can I kiss you?”

Padmé responded by leaning up and pressing her lips to his.

Oh, she had missed this. He was so warm against her, his spicy scent filling her senses. His lips were soft and pliant beneath hers, the contact sending sparks down her spine. When he realised she wasn’t backing down from this, he let himself give in fully into the kiss; Anakin pressed in closer, hands tightening perfectly on her clothes and skin. His mouth insistent and needy, occasionally nipping at her lip, drinking her in. Fuck, that was good—

“I’ll just excuse myself now,” Obi-Wan said quietly from behind her. His footsteps quickly retreated, followed by the click of the door.

Padmé froze. She had completely forgotten he was there. That was… rather awkward. Anakin leant back a short ways, and let out a small laugh against her lips. Anakin appeared to have forgotten as well.

“Whoops?” she tried. Anakin just smiled down at her, a metal finger tucking a loose strand of hair behind Padmé’s ear.

“He’ll forgive us,” Anakin grinned. “I’m surprised he stayed that long.”

Padmé hummed thoughtfully. “Bed?”

Anakin paused at that, a faint flush at his cheeks. “I— I mean— I don’t feel—”

“—for a cuddle,” Padmé clarified, smiling at his awkwardness.

“Oh,” he said. “Yes.”

Padmé stepped back from Anakin and moved around the bed, sliding onto her side—the right—and leant against the pillows. Anakin was still standing, unmoved near the door.

“Are you coming?”

That spurred Anakin into action, kicking off his shoes and climbing up to sit beside her. He wrapped his left arm around her, and Padmé tucked her head in beneath his chin. This was good. She basked in the bliss of being wrapped up in Anakin again. Gods, she could barely even remember what she had been afraid of!

“I want to say sorry,” Padmé said to the quiet. “I let it all go on too long. I was angry with you to begin with, and then I was scared, and it just built up in me emotionally, when I should have done something about it. I never meant to make you think I didn’t love you anymore. I needed space, and I went too far.” Padmé turned her head and kissed the side of his neck. “I’m sorry, Ani.”

“Thank you,” Anakin whispered above her. “I still want to fix this. You’re right that our child shouldn’t be scared of me. I don’t want to be that person.”

Padmé reached her hand over and clasped Anakin’s robotic hand in hers, stroking her thumb over the back of it. “Obi-Wan and I were just talking about that,” she explained, “we thought it might be best if we gave you what Palpatine was: Someone to talk to.”

“How so?” Anakin seemed confused.

“We thought that anytime you’re feeling too much; you’re worried or angry or anything, then you find Obi-Wan or myself to talk you through it,” Padmé said softly. “We promise to stop whatever we’re doing and give you what you need to work it out. Like I said on the ship, we’re done with secrets. We are going to behave like healthy, functioning adults, and we are going to talk about our feelings, and not judge each other for them. Okay?”

“I—Thank you,” Anakin breathed out. “You mean it?”

Padmé nodded against his chest. “Of course. Obi-Wan and I want what is best for you. I want you to be happy and I want to keep you around to raise our child. I love you.”

Anakin buried his face in the top of her head. “I love you too.”

Padmé felt the kiss he pressed to her hair, and revelled in the rush of warmth and affection it created within her. If they could help Anakin, she felt that everything could be okay.

Padmé took a deep breath. “So, in the interest of getting off on the right foot, what had you in such a mood earlier?” She could feel Anakin immediately tense beside her. Padmé gently continued stroking his hand and let out a gentle shushing sound. “Remember, no judgement, just helping you sort your feelings out. I’ve got you.”

There was a long pause.

“I love Obi-Wan,” Anakin said in a sudden rush. “I never told you and I should have.”

Ah, this was good. He was being honest. “So then why were you upset today?”

“You’re not mad?” Anakin asked quietly.

Padmé smiled. “Darling, I know what your face looks like when you love someone; I’ve been staring at it for years. You look at me and Obi-Wan that same way. You always have.”


Padmé persisted gently. “So why were you upset?”

Anakin’s metallic fingers curled up around hers, and she felt his whole body relax slightly beside her. “I was jealous. And angry,” Anakin explained. “I felt jealous when that trader was flirting with Obi-Wan, and I know Obi-Wan never really means it when he flirts back—”

“He is rather a natural,” Padmé chimed in.

“—but I still felt it. Then I was angry at myself for being jealous, I know I have no right to be, and I felt guilty because I love you, and I just—” Anakin took a deep breath. “I just hated myself for getting so worked up about it.”

“Thank you for being honest, Ani,” Padmé said. “How are you feeling now?”

“A bit better. It feels good knowing that you know how I feel,” Anakin admitted. “I just still don’t know what to do about Obi-Wan. I want to tell him so I’m not hiding it, but there’s no point in that.”

“Why?” Padmé asked.

Anakin was quiet for a long while, stroking his left hand up and down Padmé’s arm, before saying, “Let’s say I tell him; the most likely option is that it’s going to make things weird, because he doesn’t feel that way back. Unlikely next option is that he does love me in that way; that’s just cruel, because I’m with you, I love you, and I am not going to cheat on you.”

Padmé hummed thoughtfully, and wound their fingers together, “What if it wasn’t cheating?”

Anakin froze entirely. “I— what do you mean?”

“Hypothetically, let’s say you tell Obi-Wan,” Padmé said slowly, “and it turns out he loves you back. What would your thoughts be if I was okay with that? If I said yes, you would have a complete pass to also be with Obi-Wan?”

Anakin was quiet for a long time.

The thing was, Padmé had thought about this a good year or two ago. When Obi-Wan had started looking at Anakin the way she did. She had been in a strop about it for a good month until she had actually thought about it. It wasn’t like their dynamic would change. Also, if she was being honest with herself, the thought of sharing their bed, of sharing Obi-Wan’s bed, had certainly crossed her mind over the years. There had been senators who she'd known that had relationships like that. She knew Bail and Breha had a similar arrangement.

“Are you sure?” Anakin said softly, and resumed stroking along her arm.

Padmé smiled. “I wouldn’t have suggested it if I didn’t.”

“Then yes,” he admitted, “if you were okay with it, and on the off chance that it did happen, I would be interested.” He kissed the top of her head again. “I have no idea what I’ve done to deserve you.”

“You’re a good person, Ani.” Padmé pulled away and turned, sitting cross legged on the bed opposite Anakin, looking up at him. “You deserve good things. Never forget that.” She took a deep breath. “Now. In the interests of honesty, I have another question for you.”

“Alright?” His eyebrows drew together.

“I want you to think about your answer before you reply, yes?” Padmé said.

Anakin nodded, the small frown still there. “Yes.”

This had the potential to go very badly. Padmé thought she had read the signs correctly, but she could only try and deal with the fallout if she was wrong. It was better to he honest with him now.

Padmé picked up each of his hands in her own, his opposite fingers curled around hers. “Now. If that all went as planned, what would you say if I was also interested in joining such an arrangement?”

Anakin paused for a moment. “You join Obi-Wan and I? It would be the three of us?”

Padmé nodded, watching him carefully.

Anakin sat still, his eyes vacant as he stared sightlessly at her neck. His fingers would occasionally move, responding to her soothing motions as he pondered the question. A selection of expressions crossed his face, a faint frown here, a mouth twitch there. He was thinking it though. Padmé should have sat him down years ago and made him talk to her like this.

Anakin refocused on her, eyes suddenly blinking and drawing up to her face.

He just watched her for a moment, before he said, “Can I ask why?”

“Of course,” Padmé replied. “For me, before now, it has just been a vague an interest; I find Obi-Wan to be very attractive, and I think he is a wonderful person. After this week, after everything he’s done for us, I think I can see what you do.” Padmé hesitated, Gods she felt like a teen at a sleepover, the pair of them gushing about boys they liked. She was a damn grown woman, but Padmé could still feel the faint blush across her cheeks. “I might have a bit of a crush?”

Anakin grinned at her, a laugh escaping his mouth for a moment. He lifted a hand a swiped it along her now warm cheekbone. “Thank you.”

He lapsed into silence again, just watching Padmé with soft eyes.

“Okay,” Anakin said finally. “I think I would be okay with that.”

Padmé swallowed, “Yeah?”

Anakin gave her a shit-eating grin. “It’d be pretty hot.”

She burst out laughing, tugging her hand away from his, and hit him on the arm, “Anakin!”

“What?” He leant in, whispering, “You know I’m right.”

Padmé just grinned back at him, leaning forward to press a brief kiss against the tip of his nose. “Of course darling.”

“When do you think I should tell him?” Anakin asked. He seemed infinitely more settled. Anakin’s shoulders were relaxed, and the tightness around his eyes had gone.

“Not yet.” Padmé advised, “He’s dealing with enough already. Springing anything extra on him at the moment would be a terrible idea. Let’s discuss it again after the baby has been born.” Padmé moved forward, turning to lie flat on her back beside Anakin, staring up at him, “The Gods know I am looking forward to getting this young man out of me. He’s a heavy thing. Makes me ache all over.”

“You think it’s a boy?” Anakin asked, leaning over her.

Padmé stroked her hand over her stomach. “You don’t agree?”

“I’m not sure,” Anakin admitted.

Padmé shrugged, and wrapped her hand around the back of Anakin’s neck. “We’ll find out soon enough. Come here.”

Padmé tugged Anakin down to lie beside her. He immediately allowed it, melting down beside her and coiling around her like a ribbon. Padmé released the breath she had been holding since Mustafar and twined her arms with his, turning her head to press their foreheads together. Anakin’s blue eyes smiled back at her.

They could do this.

Chapter Text

Obi-Wan escaped from the room, tugging the door hastily shut behind him. He fled up and out onto the plains of Tatooine, his mental shields pulled tight like a cloak around him. He was breathless and flustered but Obi-Wan just kept moving, unable to calm his mind. He paced around in a circle, eyes darting wildly between the ground and the sky.

He felt unsettled.

He hadn't meant to stay for so long.

He hadn’t expected it to go from yelling to kissing quite so quickly.

There was a strange roiling in his stomach.

Eventually, Obi-Wan stopped pacing and dropped mid-stride to sit on the ground. He put his head in his hands and took a deep breath in.

It was surprise. It had to be. He’d been so surprised at the sudden change in the room he’d been frozen to the spot. He’d felt panicked when Anakin had come in, anger in every line of his body, and he hadn’t meant to laugh when he’d suggested Obi-Wan and Padmé had been having an affair, but the fear had set in and his body had instinctively responded to such a preposterous suggestion. Like Padmé and Anakin hadn’t been ‘sneaking around’ for years. Then Padmé had leant in, catching her soft lips against Anakin’s, before he had gathered her into his arms and—

No. Stop it. Put it aside.

Force, he was being ridiculous. Anakin and Padmé had been doing such things for years. They’d just never done it in front of him. Then he’d just sat there, like a moron, staring at them until his brain had kicked into gear and reminded him to leave.

Obi-Wan felt ill.

Between the intense fear and this roiling uncertainty, it was too much.

He was not going to be sick. He’d kept it together for a week now, and he was not going to fail now. He’d held himself together after his dream last night, he could do so again now. This was ridiculous. He lay back on the sand, arms spread beside him and took long, slow breaths.

No. Laying down wasn’t helping.

He stood up and began walking again. He needed a distraction.

Obi-Wan circled the yard again before his eyes fell upon the now scuffed ship. He knew he was no Anakin, but he did know how to make a ship look used and still function. Obi-Wan had had to mess with his own craft enough times in the field.

Obi-Wan set to work on the inside of the ship. It was too pristine within and Obi-Wan followed Anakin’s lead, collecting up a pile of sand from outside and running it around the inside of the ship. It was soothing, watching the perfect interior darken with damage. It nicely took his mind away from the way Anakin’s eyes had fluttered—

He did a complete circuit of the ship, leaving grains of sand as he went, adding to the worn look. Obi-Wan then sat at the console of the ship and began rewiring it in places so that it looked like they had hot-wired it and then customised it further after its ‘theft’.  The sand fed seamlessly through the circuitry and console buttons, gently nesting beside them the way Padmé had curled into Anakin’s embrace—

He let out a cry of frustration and let the sand drop into a heap on the floor. Obi-Wan wished he had never seen such a thing. The whole event seemed to have burned itself behind his eyes and it was infuriating.

Meditation it was.

He’d put all thoughts of Anakin out of his mind years ago, and he could do it again. It was a fruitless endeavour to keep dwelling on it.

Leaving the sand where it had fallen, Obi-Wan walked back through the ship and settled himself on the couch. Obi-Wan curled his legs beneath him, and focused inward. He turned over each troublesome thought, dismissing each one, and tucked them away where they couldn’t bother him. He knew there was no point worrying about it, it was best to just put those thoughts aside.

It felt good to settle his mind.

Obi-Wan stayed that way for a long time; finally being able to meditate again felt incredible and he wanted to stay in this quiet place for as long as he could. He put his worries away, and allowed himself to drift in quiet reflection.

When Obi-Wan finally opened his eyes, Anakin was sitting on the floor in front of him. Obi-Wan was surprised to see Anakin meditating along with him. His Padawan had not willingly meditated in a long time as far as Obi-Wan was aware, and had often complained about it during his apprenticeship.

Anakin evidently noticed Obi-Wan was back in the room and his eyes flashed open.

“Hello there,” Obi-Wan said and smiled.

“Hey, Obi-Wan.” Anakin smiled back. “I see you’ve been hard at work in here. The rewiring of the console looked pretty good.”

Obi-Wan shrugged. "I needed something to do.”

There was a long silence before Anakin said, “We’re sorry about earlier, we didn’t mean for that to happen.”

The meditation had evidently helped as the reminder no longer caused twisting in his stomach, so Obi-Wan just shrugged. “I’ve cared for you for far too long to hold anything against you for any real length of time,” Obi-Wan replied softly. “Ever since you were this high.” Obi-Wan held his hand to the height Anakin had stood at when they had met.

Anakin scoffed, but still had a soft smile on his face. “Yeah. Right. You didn’t like me when you met me. You didn’t want me as your padawan; you didn’t even want me trained.”

“We—” Obi-Wan pressed his lips together, thoughtfully. “We never spoke about what happened on Naboo, did we? Or about Master Jinn and I.”

Anakin looked at him, surprised. “No.”

They hadn’t, and Obi-Wan knew it. Anakin had always gotten an unusual look on his face whenever Qui-Gon was mentioned in passing in the temple. His blue eyes looking interestedly between Obi-Wan and whoever had mentioned his old Master. Obi-Wan had never wanted to talk about it, wanted to avoid all the sharp, jagged emotions that would rise in his throat whenever he thought about it too hard. He had seen Anakin’s interest and ignored it as best he could.

Anakin stood up and moved to sit down on the couch beside Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan sighed and stared down at his own hands. “There’s a lot we haven’t spoken about, isn’t there.”

It hadn’t been a question and Anakin just waited silently beside him to hear what Obi-Wan had to say.

“I suppose I should start at the begining.” Obi-Wan combed his fingers through his ginger locks, heart tight in his chest, and glanced at Anakin. “On Naboo. The whole…” Obi-Wan trailed off.

Anakin just waited.

He tried again, going into the crux of the issue. “I outwardly disliked you then because I was fiercely jealous of you. Qui-Gon was desperate to train you; a boy who was well beyond usual age restrictions and clearly highly emotional. He—I don’t know if you remember—when he offered to train you in front of the Council, he said I was ready for my trials, so then he would be free to train you. We had never discussed such a thing before then and—”

“He sprung your trials on you mid-Council meeting?” Anakin was affronted.

Obi-Wan nodded passively. He’d felt the same way when it had happened. However, time had dulled that particular knife. Obi-Wan continued. “On top of that, I could see darkness in your future—whether that was you or Sidious or the war or some combination thereof, I don’t know. It was not you that I disliked, you were sweet and friendly and just a bit lost. It was what you’re existence had caused for me; the sudden loss of my Master and an uncertain future.”

Anakin was watching him with wide eyes and a perplexed expression.

Obi-Wan braced himself for the following admission, it was this pocket of emotions that still felt raw. It was the wound that had never quite healed right. “On top of which, it stung that Qui-Gon was willing to train you, untrained and emotional and too old, but he hadn’t been willing to train me. Did you know I very nearly aged out into the AgriCorps?—No that’s inaccurate, I did age out into the AgriCorps for a brief time.”

“What? No way!” Anakin exclaimed, looking lost and personally insulted on Obi-Wan’s behalf. That felt surprisingly nice. Anakin frowned. “Did no-one else…?”

Obi-Wan glanced away briefly, unable to look Anakin in the eyes any longer, and shook his head, “No. I was too angry, too headstrong, and ended up in a fight during the last few days before my life day. Thus no-one was willing to take me as their Padawan. So, days before I turned thirteen, I was shipped off to the ‘Corps on Bandomeer.”

Anakin sat in stunned silence as Obi-Wan poured his past out to him. Obi-Wan could still feel the sharp pain of the memory. Could still feel the rejection he’d felt that day when he’d been told to leave. He swallowed it back down.

“By some chance or, as I suspect, a small, green Jedi Master, Qui-Gon was on the same flight.” Obi-Wan smiled softly, the edges of it tasting bitter. “I thought that would be my salvation, that Qui-Gon would see how good and capable I was, and he would change his mind… but no. Even with pirate attacks and hostile creatures on the planet we crashed on, I was not good enough.”

Anakin looked distinctly as though he would like to fight someone.

“From there, Qui-Gon had a mission to complete and I had to learn my new post.” Obi-Wan took a deep breath, eyes staring off into the distance. “Eventually, I got myself involved in his mission—kidnapped, of course—and I enjoyed a good week of slavery with a lovely collar rigged to explode if I escaped. I managed to temporarily neutralise the collar and get myself rescued.”

Obi-Wan wasn’t sure what triggered the flash of anger in Anakin’s eyes, but he didn’t like it. Anakin’s jaw worked furiously, as though trying to keep something in. Obi-Wan ignored it and pressed on.

“It turned out the mission Master Jinn was investigating revolved around two rival mining operations; Qui-Gon discovered that one was controlled by his’s last apprentice, Xanatos, who had fallen to the Dark Side,” Obi-Wan explained. “A rather long story short, Xanatos trapped us down in the mines, separated from the bombs set to explode. I offered to reactivate my collar to blast the door open so he would be able to save the miners—“

“Obi-Wan, no!” Anakin protested, horrified, his face contorted with shock and disbelief.

Obi-Wan just gave him a shy smile in return. “That is a very similar expression to the one Master Jinn had when I suggested it. Qui-Gon found a way to open the door, and we managed to disarm the bombs. Afterward, he offered me the position of his Padawan, and I accepted.”

Anakin was silent for a few moments before he moved. He lunged, wrapping his arms around Obi-Wan and pinning him against the back of the sofa, trapping Obi-Wan beneath him in a tight hug, whispering, “You can’t solve all your problems with self-sacrifice, Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan initially tensed, before relaxing under Anakin’s weight. It wasn’t always the best course of action, but it was effective. They weren’t empty threats either. Obi-Wan had stared death in the eyes both times and accepted it. He knew he was an acceptable loss in the grand scheme of things. If his death could help people, then it was fine.

“It seems to have worked for me so far,” Obi-Wan laughed softly.

Anakin pulled back and glared down at him, growling out, “That’s not even slightly funny.” Obi-Wan just blinked at him. Anakin sighed. “I can’t believe Qui-Gon treated you like that.”

Obi-Wan just chuckled, chest moving against Anakin’s. “I suppose I should never tell you about Melida/Daan then.” Obi-Wan had the distinct feeling Anakin would not like to hear that particular story.

Anakin just frowned down at him and even without the knowledge he was still looking distinctly unhappy.

“So you see,” Obi-Wan murmured finally, “I never hated you, I was distressed by the situation, and I took it out on you. I am sorry.”

“Obi-Wan, I—” Anakin breathed. “Thank you for telling me that.”

Obi-Wan smiled. “Can I have some personal space now?”

Anakin blinked and seemed to suddenly realise he was partly laying on top of Obi-Wan. “Oh. Right. Yeah.” Anakin moved back, and Obi-Wan found it much easier to breathe again.

“Can I—” Anakin cut himself off, pressing his lips together nervously.

When Anakin didn’t continue, Obi-Wan asked, “What is it?”

“I spoke with Padmé. She said that you are both going to let me come talk to you if I need to, and help me manage how I’m feeling.” Anakin said quietly.

Oh, that was good to know. Obi-Wan wasn’t sure if Padmé had brought him up to date or whether they had become fully… distracted after he had left.

“Yes, we did agree on that.” Obi-Wan confirmed.

“I’m feeling…” Anakin was thoughtful for a moment, “upset to know you went through all of that. If Qui-Gon was still alive, I would have some very strong words for him. I’m angry at him treating you like that, and I just— I was wondering…”


Anakin cast his eyes downward, nervous. “Can I hold your hand?” Obi-Wan just blinked at him, mildly perplexed. “To help me focus,” Anakin explained quickly. “To know you’re here and you’re okay. If you don’t want to—”

“Okay,” Obi-Wan agreed. He and Padmé had agreed to do what they could, and if holding Anakin’s hand was going to help, then he would help.

Anakin looked up, surprise and elation staining his expression. Anakin reached out and curled his left hand around Obi-Wan’s right, releasing a large breath at the skin-to-skin contact.

“Sorry,” Anakin murmured. “I’ve been finding that touching other people helps. I was able to meditate beside you while you were asleep on the flight here, and it helped when I was talking to Padmé earlier. Is that okay?”

“Don’t apologise, it is perfectly fine,” Obi-Wan replied. “It might take some time for me to get used to it, but I want to help.”

Anakin smiled down at their hands, a faint pink tinging his ears. “Thank you.”

His palm was warm in Obi-Wan’s, and he could feel the thrum between their bond at the contact. Anakin’s spikes of anxiety slowly smoothing out into contentment, his fingers gently stroking along the back of Obi-Wan’s hand.

“Did Padmé help you sort out how you were feeling earlier?” Obi-Wan asked.

Anakin nodded. “We talked though some things.”

There was a moment of silence.

“When you’re settled, shall we continue with the ship?” Obi-Wan asked.

“Yeah,” Anakin agreed, “we need to get the whole thing sorted before bed so we can take it out past Jabba’s in the morning.”

They sat for a few moments longer, Anakin breathing beside him, long and even and calm.

Anakin exhaled. “Let’s get to work.”

The pair of them worked in tandem to reconfigure the ship; rewiring areas to seem more slap-dash, tarnishing anything that looked too neat or clean, and completely emptying the ship of anything that wasn’t bolted down. Obi-Wan wiped the drives of any and all information on there. Anakin then checked over it, wiped it again, and then sabotaged the system in some places. Hours later, the two of them stood in the cockpit together, hot and dusty, but their job complete.

“I think we did well.” Anakin grinned at him. “Looks new, if battered, and nothing on here links back to us.”

Obi-Wan’s stomach growled quietly.

Anakin frowned thoughtfully. “Did you eat lunch?”

Ah. Kriff. He really hadn’t felt like eating earlier. Between having a slightly off day to begin with followed by the nervous panic around midday, Obi-Wan felt he had been lucky to keep breakfast down.

“No," Obi-Wan said quietly. “I wasn’t hungry.”

Anakin made a face. “Let’s go get some dinner then.”

It was easier to not argue.

Obi-Wan followed obediently, and the pair returned to the farm to find Padmé, Owen and Beru already making dinner. Over the meal, the trio caught Owen and Beru up on what had happened to the Republic. Beru had been fascinated by the news, only having heard parts of rumours for the past week, and rumours on Tatooine were about as believable as a Hutt on a witness stand.

“Well,” Beru said at the end, “this ‘Empire’ won’t be coming out here very soon, I’d imagine they’ll be dealing with internal issues for a long while. Besides, Jabba wouldn’t let them have the planet anyway.”

Owen nodded. “I wouldn’t want to piss off Jabba. He has too many connections and favours and fingers in pies to dethrone easily.”

Anakin made a grumbly noise beside him.

“Oh,” Owen continued, “which reminds me, when you decide on a house, definitely pay the ‘ownership tax’. Believe me you’ll notice how dodgy it is when they ask, but unless you want Jabba and his goons fucking with you, just pay the damn thing.”

“That is good to know,” Padmé said. “Thank you.”

The evening was quiet, the three of them returning to their room, all of them too exhausted to try to talk. Obi-Wan settled back into his pile of blankets, chasing away the chill of the Tatooine night. His body was sore and mind still felt jagged around the edges.

He didn’t sleep.

He didn’t want to dream.

Last night’s dream had been enough.

The universe seemed to have an awful sense of humour. Experiencing weeks of Mustafar was evidently not enough, it had to haunt him even now.

The moment light peeked beneath the door the next morning Obi-Wan snuck out from the room, leaving Anakin and Padmé to sleep. He sat at the kitchen table and began mulling over their next steps. He needed to get them both settled and happy. Then… well he should probably go then.

He sighed and rested his head on the table, exhaustion begining to kick in. Obi-Wan hated feeling like this. It felt weak. There was just this constant, low-level tightness in his chest that no matter how much he meditated, remained lodged there.

He knew everything was okay and yet the feeling persisted.

He felt it spike whenever Anakin did, his mind providing him with flashes of Mustafar. He knew it was fine. He’d succeeded in turning Anakin back to the light and everything was going well so far. Padmé was fine, the babies were fine, Anakin was mostly fine. Obi-Wan closed his eyes.


He felt a hand on his shoulder. Instincts kicked in and he grabbed the hand, lashing out with violent force at his attacker. His hand shot out, latching onto the arm, his other grabbing the head of the person, forcefully pulling them down with the intention of hitting their head on the surface. It took only a matter of seconds, Obi-Wan’s brutal assault thoroughly effective in sending his assailant into the table. He sprang backwards, standing up, ready to follow through with—

“Obi-Wan!” A female voice exclaimed.

He blinked.

He was in the kitchen.

On Tatooine.

He’d just thrown Anakin into the table.

“Fuck,” Obi-Wan said. “Anakin?”

Anakin stood up, groaning, his hand covering his face. Blood peeked out from between his fingers. Padmé stood on the other side of the room, eyes wide and hands held up in front of her.

“Oh, Sith damn it,” Obi-Wan whispered and moved forward, his hands outstretched and his heart in his throat. “I’m so sorry, Anakin.”

Anakin groaned again. “Kriffing fuck, you hit hard!”

Obi-Wan stepped up to him, hesitant, his fingers dancing over Anakin’s hand, gently murmuring, “Let me see.”

Anakin allowed Obi-Wan to lift his hand away to reveal his face. Already, a large bruise was blooming across the bridge of his nose and right cheekbone as blood dripped from his nostrils.

“How is it?” Anakin asked.

“Well, you’ve had worse.” Obi-Wan gave him a half smile. “I really am sorry. Padmé can you—?”

Padmé was suddenly beside him, a pile of tissues and some ice wrapped in a towel in hand. “Way ahead of you.”

“Thank you.”

Anakin took the tissues and applied them to his nose, wincing at the contact.

“I’m glad it wasn’t me who tried to wake you,” Padmé said, turning to fuss over Anakin, pulling his hair back from his face and gently applying the towelled ice to his face.

Anakin hissed but allowed it, before his eyes turned to Obi-Wan. “What were you doing sleeping in the kitchen?”

Obi-Wan felt suddenly cold. He carefully pulled his up his shields tightly, hoping to be able to brush the question off and lie his way out of this. He didn’t want either of them to worry. They both had enough on their plates. “I was just—”

“Nuh-uh,” Anakin cut in, “don’t block me out. I can feel you doing that.”

Obi-Wan glanced away. He felt like a youngling caught out at night, shame and embarrassment mingling together.

“Did you sleep at all last night?” Anakin asked.

Obi-Wan hesitated, but shook his head.

Padmé frowned at him. “Why not?”

“Nothing. It’s fine. I’m fine,” Obi-Wan said.

“Obi-Wan,” Anakin pressed.

I wasn’t tired,” he bit back, final, and in the voice he usually only used when commanding.

Anakin visibly bristled. Padmé frowned. Obi-Wan felt distinctly guilty.

“Sorry,” Obi-Wan said quietly. “I don’t want to talk about it right now.” Or ever.

“Right,” Padmé said finally, placing a soothing hand on Anakin’s shoulder. “Well the two of you need to head off and drop the ship to Barada.”

Padmé then grabbed a large bag from the counter and passed it to Anakin. “Here’s breakfast and your impromptu weapons bag.” She then slipped her hand up her skirt and revealed her small blaster pistol and passed it to Obi-Wan. “Just in case.”

At that, they waited until Anakin’s nose stopped bleeding before she herded them both out of the house, escorting them to the ship. “Don’t do anything stupid,” she said finally. “Either of you.” Then after giving them both a stern look, she turned and went back to the farmstead.

Anakin silently entered the ship with Obi-Wan following behind. Anakin sat down at the console and fired up the ship, taking her up into a low flight plan over the Tatooine desert. Obi-Wan had tucked Padmé’s blaster into his shirt. They flew in silence, Anakin evidently still upset with him about earlier.

Obi-Wan’s eyes hurt.

“What’s the plan?” Obi-Wan asked after ten minutes or so, desperate to break the silence.

Anakin was silent, jaw set. His blue eyes were fixed forward with his hair curled haphazardly about his ears. The bruising on his face was darkening slowly. Force he felt terrible about that.



“Anakin. You can’t ignore me forever.”



“Why did you lie?” Anakin bit out, not looking at him.

Obi-Wan was initially quiet.

“I didn’t want you to worry,” Obi-Wan eventually replied. “You’ve both got enough going on.”

“Well too bad, I’m worried.” Anakin swivelled the chair around to face him, face twisted with emotion. “I’m worried about you neglecting yourself out of some misplaced sense of responsibility! I fucking care about you, Obi-Wan—”

Obi-Wan took a breath in. “Anakin—”

“No!” Anakin stood up and stalked across the cockpit, standing over Obi-Wan, his eyes bright and focused. “You’re going to listen! You seem to think neither of us would give a damn if if you killed yourself like this, but we do and you can’t do this! I would be fucking devastated if anything happened to you! Do you understand?!”

He didn’t, but he nodded passively. His chest felt tight; his mind was conflicted between the words coming out of Anakin’s mouth, and the aggressive stance and tone.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin asked quietly.

Obi-Wan took a few long, deep breaths and shook his head, willing his heart to stop racing. Anakin lowered himself so he was eye level with Obi-Wan, Anakin's mechanical hand gently touching the side of Obi-Wan’s face.

“Sorry. Deep breaths,” Anakin said gently. “We’re not having a good day are we?”

The console behind them beeped urgently. Anakin’s bruised face scrunched unhappily and returned his focus to the ship. “We’re here,” Anakin said, “and we are talking about this later.”

Obi-Wan pushed his feelings aside, well practiced on being battle ready. He took one final deep breath. “What’s the plan?”

“We should assume this will go fine,” Anakin said. “Barada seemed to at least be a serious trader. He’s unlikely to fuck us over. We both go down to meet him, and roll with the punches as they come.”

Obi-Wan had to smile. “A classic Skywalker strategy.”

“Hey,” he returned. “My plans are great.”

Anakin carefully landed the ship on the edge of the small cluster of buildings. Anakin then grabbed the bag Padmé had given them and lowered the ramp. “Come on,” Anakin said and waited for Obi-Wan to stand up and follow him out of the ship.

Barada was waiting for them at the base of the ramp, a loose tunic and his orange bandana blowing in the light breeze.

“Seripas! Welcome to Momesra,” Barada welcomed them. “Who is your friend? Decided to leave the wife at home, ey? Piss her off last night?” He gestured at Anakin’s face.

Anakin turned up the charm, grinning, “She is not used to the heat and chose to stay at home. This is my friend, Hondo. I would suggest not sneaking up on him.”

“A pleasure,” Obi-Wan responded.

Barada nodded saying, “You have a solid swing,” and then stepped back, turning his head up to the ship behind them. “Whe-hey,” Barada whistled. “She’s a beauty in person. I see what you meant about the sand damage. Nothing I can’t buff out. I’m looking forward to being elbow deep in her if you know what I mean.” He laughed.

Anakin joined in and Obi-Wan had to fiercely resist rolling his eyes.

From there Anakin took Barada on a tour of the ship, the Klatoonian’s eyes were drinking it all in, clearly thrilled with his purchase. Anakin and he slipped into Huttese around halfway through the tour, the two of them losing themselves in tech talk.

“Ignition key?” Barada asked finally, a fair time later.

Anakin gave him a sly smile. “Once we’ve seen your goods.”

The Klatoonian grinned at him. “You are no fool, Seripas. Come!”

They then followed Barada to a building a short way down the street. The settlement was quite small, only seven buildings clustered together poking partway out of the ground. Obi-Wan could see a few citizens loitering around, though today it seemed to mainly be children playing in between the houses.

Barada led them down some stairs to a medium sized warehouse filled with miscellaneous items: blasters, blades, grenades, shield generators, speeders, swoops and more.

“Quite the collection,” Obi-Wan said honestly. “Very impressive.”

Barada nodded proudly and led them to a wall to their left where he had a table laid out with three DC-17 hand blasters and one E-11 blaster rifle. Next to the table was what appeared to be a grey, lightly battered T-44 landspeeder.

Anakin fiddled with each of the weapons before inspecting the speeder incredibly thoroughly before saying, “This all looks excellent. We still have a deal assuming you have the credits.”

“I have a proposition for you,” Barada said.

Anakin frowned. “You’re not altering the deal are you?”

“You are free to refuse and we will keep the initial deal, but you should hear it,” he pressed.

Anakin crossed his arms, but agreed. “Okay.”

“My employer—”

“Jabba, yes?” Anakin queried.

The Klatoonian grinned. “Yes. Very sharp. He has a piece of land near the Jundland Wastes that is not useful to him and he would be willing to part with it, instead of the cash discussed. You are new to the planet from the Core, I think you need a home.”

It was not a bad deal.

“We’d want to see blueprints and a map,” Obi-Wan said. “Would that deal include the ‘ownership tax’?”

He laughed, a pointed grin on his face. “We would waiver the tax, at least for this year. Of course, I can show you it all. Here.”

Barada pulled out a holoprojector from his pants and held it up. “The farm.”

“Moisture farm?” Anakin asked, and began flicking through the images.

“Yes. Yes.”

Anakin hummed. “Vaporators in working order?”

“Mostly,” the Klatoonian said, “though all repairable. Looking at how you handled that ship, I think you will have no trouble.”

Anakin continued looking, before passing the projector to Obi-Wan. “How recent are those pictures?”

“A week or two ago, it was a recent acquisition.”

Obi-Wan looked through the pictures. It looked run down, but not irreparably so, and it appeared to be mostly furnished. There was enough space for all of them; an open lounge and kitchen area, plus two other rooms and a bathroom. It would need a serious cleaning.

“Map?” Anakin asked.

The Klatoonian gestured to the holoprojector and Obi-Wan passed it back. Barada pulled up a large map of Tatooine.

“Here we are, west of Jabba’s Palace. Down here is Mos Eisley and Mos Espa and the others over here. Jundland Wastes down here, and the Western Dune Sea.” He indicated those landmarks. “The farm is here.” He pointed to the far west of the Jundland Wastes, nearly due south from Mos Espa on the edge of the mountain range.

“We will need a minute to discuss it,” Anakin said finally when Obi-Wan looked up from the map.

Barada nodded and took a few steps away to give them some privacy.

“It’s a pretty good deal,” Obi-Wan said. “It’s remote, it’s a functional farm and it comes with furniture—even if it will need a fair bit of work.”

Anakin nodded. “I agree. Think we should?”

Obi-Wan replied, “It would save us time finding somewhere else, and still have to pay for the house and the tax.”

“It’s not a huge saving, cost wise, but it is something,” Anakin agreed.

“Shall we take it?” 

Anakin nodded and turned back to Barada, calling out their agreement.

“Excellent!” Barada exclaimed and walked back over to them.

Anakin held his hand out and they shook, Anakin saying, “Bu bargain sa nagoola.”

Barada pulled out two sheets of paper, both the same, detailing the deed to the house and surrounding land. The Hutts may be criminals, but they were ruthless with paperwork when it suited them. Anakin signed both sheets under ‘Seripas Lars’. Both men then swapped holoprojectors, Anakin taking the house pictures and blueprints, Barada taking the ships schematics.

They collected up the blasters, Anakin tucking them into the bag he’d brought and Barada opened a garage door at the far end of the room. A ramp appeared to lead up and out from behind it, and the three of them pushed the speeder up the slope and out onto the Tatooine flats. Anakin traded the ships ignition key for the speeder and farm keys from Barada. They parted ways with Obi-Wan pleasantly surprised by the lack of blaster-fire involved.

They both hopped into the speeder and Anakin fired it up after dropping the bag of weapons into the back seat. Anakin grinned happily at the sound of the engine, before speeding off across the desert, following the directions given to them by the Klatoonian of how to get out of the Great Mesra Plateau and head back to Mos Eisley.

The red haze of Tatooine slid past them, Anakin going faster and slower in spurts and weaving left and right as he drove. He was clearly testing the capabilities of the vehicle, but it was making Obi-Wan feel ill.

“Can we not be weaving so much?” Obi-Wan asked. “You’re making me nauseous.”

Anakin suddenly hit the brakes, pulling the speeder to a complete stop, and turned on Obi-Wan. “You haven’t eaten again. I didn’t let you eat breakfast on the ship.” Anakin turned the speeder off and turned around in his seat, tugging open the weapons bag and pulling out some rather squashed sandwiches. Anakin passed one to him.

Obi-Wan took it without argument. He unwrapped it and bit into it. He hadn’t noticed how hungry he was. The cheese within had melted slightly from being out in the sun.

“While we’re here,” Anakin began, and Obi-Wan felt his heart drop, “we’re finishing our earlier conversation.”

Obi-Wan took a strategic bite of his sandwich.

“Do you understand what I was saying before?” Anakin pressed on. “I find it… distressing that you don’t see the importance of looking after yourself.”

“I’m sorry,” Obi-Wan said. “It just doesn’t matter that much. In the grand scheme of things, the fact I’m not sleeping doesn’t matter.”

Anakin frowned at that, but only asked, “Why aren’t you sleeping?”

Ah, he’d walked into that admission.

Obi-Wan looked away, and continued to eat the sandwich.

“Obi-Wan,” Anakin pushed, and Obi-Wan could feel blue eyes fixed on the side of his head.

“The first night here I dreamt of Mustafar. Of what was going to happen,” He said finally, but didn’t look up. “I didn’t want to see it again last night. I can live without sleep. It doesn’t matter.”

“It does though.” Anakin slid closer, the leather of the seat creaking as he moved. “It means you’re not fine. You’re my friend and I care about you.” He sighed and picked up a different tack. “What if I were doing what you are? If I was forgetting to eat all the time and hiding the fact I wasn’t sleeping most nights from you?”

Obi-Wan immediately felt a thrill of panic in his stomach, head whipping up to look at Anakin, his hair fluttering in the breeze. He would have dragged Anakin off for the lecture of his life by now.


Anakin smiled at what must have been a horrified expression. “See? You’re both helping me; Let us help you,” Anakin said quietly.

Obi-Wan was silent for a long time, thinking. He didn’t like it, he didn’t want either of them having to see this weakness...but at the same time, it wasn’t fair or right that he was holding Anakin to standards he wasn’t following himself.

“Okay,” Obi-Wan replied finally.

Anakin nodded. “Good.”

They then finished their sandwiches in relative silence, the warmth from the sun beating down on them, Anakin only breaking the quiet to point out an unusual rock formation in the distance. It did look a fair bit like Artoo.

“Okay,” Anakin said, now satisfied they had both eaten. “Let’s go pick up Padmé and check out our new home.”

He reignited the engine and sped them across the landscape, following landmarks and slipping through a thin valley, before coming out near to Mos Eisley. Once there, Anakin was able to swiftly navigate back to the Lars farmstead.

Padmé greeted them warmly as they pulled up, her cheeks pink in the midday sun.

“You both took a while,” she said. “I was getting worried. How did it go?”

“Excellently. We have a home.” Anakin grinned.

Padmé’s eyebrows shot up. “How did you manage that?”

“Barada offered us an excellent deal,” Obi-Wan explained. “We thought it wise to not spurn the generosity of a Hutt.”

Anakin disappeared to update Owen and Beru to the change in plans while Obi-Wan and Padmé set about gathering up all their belongings and putting them in the speeder. Obi-Wan related the morning to her, Padmé briefly having a look through the holoprojector Anakin had left in the front seat. They managed to get the majority of their belongings in the trunk and the remainder covered about half of the back seat.

“The three of us will have to squish up in the front,” Padmé said thoughtfully, looking at the speeder.

Obi-Wan frowned. “Why? There’s space in the back.”

Padmé smiled up at him. “You are forgetting Anakin’s metal children.”

“Ah. Very true.”

Anakin eventually returned, Owen and Beru with him, with Owen carrying a plastic drum. Threepio and Artoo came trundling out behind them as well.

Padmé warmly thanked them both. “You took us at the drop of a hat. Thank you so very much. If there’s anything you ever need from us, please do not hesitate to get in touch.”

“It was good to see you both again.” Owen smiled. “We’d love for Ani to come visit from time to time; we haven’t had this much tech in working order for years.”

Anakin smiled. “Of course.”

“Here,” Owen continued, holding up the drum, “take this as a housewarming gift. It’s just water, but you’re going to need some until you have your vaporators up and running. This will at least help for a couple of days.”

Beru then held up a small bag. “Also some food. It will do you for today at least.”

“Thank you,” Anakin said, and found a place in the speeder to put the drum, Padmé taking the food.

Obi-Wan smiled at them, offering them both a short bow. “It was lovely to meet you both.”

Pleasantries finished and goodbyes said, Anakin, Obi-Wan, Padmé, and the two droids piled into the speeder. Anakin in the drivers seat, Padmé pressed beside him and Obi-Wan next to her. It was tight, but they fit.

Artoo beeped happily as they as they took off, Threepio immediately complaining about the sand. Anakin laughed at the complaints, Padmé smiling along with him. Obi-Wan turned his attention outward, watching the horizon passively.

They sped through the Jundland Wastes, the mountains rising high around them, Obi-Wan keeping half an eye on the ridges. Anakin had mentioned that the Tuskens occasionally raided this area, and Obi-Wan didn’t want to be taken by surprise. He saw the occasional movement, but nothing made to attack them.

A couple of hours of driving later they exited the Wastes and entered the flatter open plains. Anakin took a hard left, following along the mountain range, all eyes peeled for their new house.

“There!” Padmé called, pointing some ways ahead of them. The house was nestled at the base of the mountain range, the rectangular head of the building poking up from the ground.

Anakin drove carefully, watching for moisture collectors, and gently weaved up to the building. Artoo was the first one out, firing up his thrusters and jumping from the vehicle, humming happily and wheeling around the front yard.

“Happy?” Padmé asked the droid, a bright grin on her face.

Artoo whistled the affirmative, doing a loop around the structure, continuously chattering. Obi-Wan climbed out of the speeder and turned to help Padmé out. She took his hand, carefully removing herself from the vehicle, only briefly stumbling into him.

“Sorry,” she said, righting herself. “The house looks good.”

Anakin helped Threepio from the speeder, his legs struggling with the movement.

“Let’s check it out,” Anakin said cheerily, tossing Padmé the key and picking up the water container from the back of the speeder.

Obi-Wan grabbed a couple of bags from the back as well, following the pair of them into the house. Padmé unlocked the door.

It swung open to reveal an open living area, two couches inset to the wall, one to their left and the other beside the door. A humidifier was attached to the wall to their right, a dining table slightly further back, and a door behind that. Beyond the living room, a small set of stairs went up to what appeared to be a kitchen. It was all thoroughly covered in dust and sand.

“It certainly needs a clean, but it’s nice,” Padmé said thoughtfully. “Nothing we can’t fix.”

Anakin walked up into the kitchen and placed the water on the bench and Obi-Wan put his bags down beside the door. Obi-Wan followed Anakin and inspected the kitchen. It had a stove, some benches, and a small refrigerator unit. None of which was powered at this moment. He then investigated through the door to the left of the kitchen, finding the pantry and sonic dishwasher, plus another door.

“Found the bathroom,” Obi-Wan called, pulling the new door open.

Returning to the lounge Padmé had opened the door beside the dining table, revealing a set of stairs leading down. “Shall we?” she asked.

Anakin shook his head. “I think we should bring our belongings in first. I wouldn’t want Tuskens or Jawas running off with all we have while we’re just wandering about in here.”

In immediate and unanimous agreement, they all returned outside, and in shifts, carried everything in, dumping it in a pile in the lounge. Anakin then pulled the speeder up closer to the house, before they all collapsed on the sandy couches.

After catching their breath, Padmé was up again, investigating the stairs behind the door. “Come on,” she called.

Anakin and Obi-Wan followed her down the stairs to the lower floor of the house. The stairs led to a small dark hallway with a door on either side of it. Obi-Wan flicked the light switch at the bottom of the stairwell, but nothing happened. Evidently everything in the house had been switched off.

“Oh, it is much cooler down here,” Padmé practically purred, pressing herself up against the cold stone walls. “Feels like heaven.”

Anakin stepped up to her, and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “You’ll get used to the heat.”

Padmé scrunched up her nose. “I think I’ll be happier when I’m not carrying around all this extra weight.”

Obi-Wan stepped past them both, and opened the door to the right. It was completely empty, bar for a pile of boxes in the corner. Stepping back, he tried the other door, and found a shadowy bedroom, a double bed and a wardrobe filling the slightly larger space.

“Looks good,” Anakin said, appearing behind Obi-Wan and looking around. “At least we have somewhere to sleep tonight.”

“Well, the whole house looks pretty good, we just need to get it all running.” Padmé looked thoughtfully around the room. “I figure we can put the cot here once we buy one,” Padmé said cheerily, indicating an empty space opposite the bed. “I just need to have this baby. I am very sick of being pregnant.”

Obi-Wan frowned. “You do know there’s two, right?”

Padmé and Anakin turned to look at him.

“Two what?” Anakin asked.

Force help him.

Obi-Wan gestured at Padmé. “Two babies.”

Both of them just stared at him for five long seconds.

“What,” Padmé deadpanned.

“You have two children,” Obi-Wan repeated.

Padmé turned on Anakin, suddenly exclaiming, “You complete fuck! It wasn’t enough to just get me regular pregnant, you had to make twins!” Padmé turned on her heel and stalked off.

He had to press his lips together to stop the laugh that was bubbling up in his chest. Anakin just looked at him, completely affronted at Padmé’s reaction.

Obi-Wan took a deep breath. “Apologies. I really thought you both knew.”

“Two,” Anakin breathed out, his eyes as wide as bowls. “Fuck. What are we going to do with two?

Obi-Wan smiled, enamoured by Anakin’s perplexment. “Love and raise them?”

Anakin scowled at him. “How could I not have noticed?”

“They’re very closely entwined with one another,” Obi-Wan replied. “They do almost appear to be just one, bright child.”

Anakin, clearly not listening very hard, rubbed his bruised face, murmuring, “Fuck, Padmé is going to murder me.”

Obi-Wan, feeling the faint tremor of anxiety leeching along their bond, reached out and pulled Anakin’s hand from his face. “It’s okay,” Obi-Wan said quietly, and just held Anakin’s hand.

Anakin’s eyes darted down to their hands before swinging back up to Obi-Wan’s face. “Yeah?”

Obi-Wan nodded. “It’s just an adjustment. I’m sure once the shock wears off you’ll both be thrilled.”

Anakin took a step closer and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. Obi-Wan could feel him slip into a very light meditation, just sifting through his emotions. When he opened his eyes again a few minutes later he was smiling. “Two.”

Obi-Wan grinned back.

“We’re going to need to revise our name list.” At that, Anakin pressed a brief kiss to Obi-Wan’s fingers and disappeared out the door to follow Padmé.

Obi-Wan just smiled after him.

Chapter Text

Anakin darted up the stairs two at a time. Obi-Wan was right; He was thrilled about it, it had just been such a shock for both of them. They’d both been thinking and planning for only one child. Two was… wondrous.

He stepped out into the lounge, eyes blinking at the sudden light. Padmé was curled up on the couch opposite the door; she sat with her back to the wall and her legs tucked beneath her, a musty pillow grasped in her arms. Artoo and Threepio were in the kitchen chatting away at each other.

His elation immediately vanished at the expression on her face.

“Padmé?” Anakin asked.

Padmé looked up at Anakin and gave him a weak smile. “Hey Ani.”

Anakin approached and gingerly sat down beside her. Padmé’s fingers were clutched tightly around the old pillow, her knuckles white.

“Are you okay?” Anakin asked.

Padmé whispered, “No.” Her mouth turned down and she squeezed her eyes shut, hands loosening on the pillow to lift and cover her face.

Anakin immediately moved closer, wrapping his arms around her, desperate to help. Padmé curled into him, tucking her head beneath his chin, her fingers clenched into his shirt. She didn’t cry, but he could feel the frustration-anger-fear-love-confusion swirling through her.

Anakin looked up as Obi-Wan came up from the stairs. His eyes darted over the two of them, before sliding swiftly away.

“I think I’m going to have a walk around the property,” Obi-Wan said pointedly. “Artoo, Threepio, would you like to come with me? I’ll need a hand inspecting it all.”

“Master Obi-Wan,” Threepio began, “I would rather stay in out of the sand—”

Artoo, ever the more observant of the two, whistled angrily at Threepio, stating that Obi-Wan was clearly trying to give Anakin and Padmé some privacy. The phrase ‘you dim-witted cog-head’ might have been in there too. Anakin had to roll his eyes at both of them.

“Oh. Oh yes of course. Right away,” Threepio said, immediately moving to follow Obi-Wan and Artoo out the door. Obi-Wan shot him a final brief smile, before shutting the door with a soft thud.

Anakin returned his focus to Padmé. He ran his durasteel hand up and down her back, the other stroking through her loose hair. Anakin pressed a kiss to her head.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Anakin asked softly into her hair.

Padmé nodded minutely against his chest. She remained leaned against him for a few moments longer, before her fingers loosened their grip on him and she pulled back.

“Sorry.” She sniffed, frowning and evidently frustrated.

“It’s fine,” Anakin replied. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m scared!” Padmé exclaimed. “You’ve been freaking me out for months with your dreams that I’m going to die, and now there’s this unexpected change and we’re suddenly having twice the number of children I was excepting, and it’s just too much!”

“Padmé—” Anakin started, but she continued.

“I know it’s safe. I know childbirth deaths are rare, but it’s still scary,” Padmé let out. “I have to shove two live beings out of me! I’m happy to have them, and I love them, but we were not expecting any of this a year ago. It’s just so much, and now we’re out here, the middle of fucking nowhere, with me about to give birth, and then we have to raise them here because we’re fugitives!”

She broke down into frustrated tears, shoving her face back into his shirt.

“Oh, darling,” Anakin said and kissed her hair again. “I’m sorry for scaring you. We’ll work it out. We can find a doctor in town, we can make sure we do everything to make it as safe as possible.”

She took a deep breath, putting herself back together. “Okay. But you’ve got to promise me you are not going to talk to me about those dreams ever again,” Padmé told him. “If you’re worried, please talk to Obi-Wan. I just don’t want to hear it anymore. Okay?”

“Of course,” Anakin agreed. He leant down and brushed his lips against her cheek. “We’ll all be okay. I’m sure we’ll be great parents, and if we’re struggling, we always have Obi-Wan around, he’s a Certified Child Raiser. I’ve turned out… okay.” He nearly said great. Anakin didn’t feel that was quite the adjective he was after.

Padmé laughed softly, smiling up at him with red eyes and faintly tear stained cheeks. “You turned out amazing, sweetheart,” she said, twirling a finger around a strand of his hair and tugged gently. “Come here.”

Anakin leant down, picking up on the hint, and kissed her tenderly, overjoyed at the tiny exhale she let out at the contact. Padmé leant in to him, turning and pressing her front against him, her hands curling around his neck, lightly twining her fingers in his hair. She felt so soft against him, aside from the firm curve of her stomach poking into his stomach. Anakin’s hands slid down her waist, relishing how warm and alive she felt beneath him, able to feel her breathing softly. Padmé smelled of warm sand and her vanilla perfume, familiar and comforting. Her lips worked gently against his, seeking contentment and Anakin could feel the beginnings of warm stirrings in his stomach. Slowly, Padmé pulled back, dragging his lip with her.

“Force, you’re so beautiful,” Anakin sighed, running his fingers along her face.

Padmé beamed at him beneath her eyelashes. She leant forward again, kissing him more forcefully. Padmé placed her hands against his shoulders and pushed him backwards. Anakin fell back against the side of the couch and she crawled on top of him, soft brown curls hanging loose about her shoulders. Padmé hovered over him, eyes dark and thoughtful, tear tracks now faded from her face.  Anakin’s breath caught in his chest. Padmé was truly stunning; her pale skin was lightly flushed, pink artfully dusted across her cheeks, her chest rising and falling gently with her belly resting between them, Anakin able to feel the weight of it against him. He drank the image in greedily.

“So, names?” Anakin asked, attempting to focus, a stray hand gliding along her flank. “We need more.”

Padmé settled comfortably on his lap. “We definitely need more girl names. What about your mother’s name?”

Anakin scrunched up his nose, and felt a stab of pain; he kept forgetting his face was bruised, Obi-Wan was always much stronger than he let on. Anakin sighed, “I don’t think we should name them after anyone. We should let them be their own people. Start fresh.”

Padmé nodded thoughtfully. “That’s fair.” She danced her fingers across his chest and up Anakin’s neck, sending sparks through him. Padmé then gently rocked her hips against him, eyes half-lidded with a wicked expression on her face.

“You’re devious,” Anakin huffed, faintly breathless.

Padmé grinned salaciously at him, gently biting her lip.

Anakin wrapped a hand around the back of her neck and guided her towards him to kiss again. She came willingly, leaning forward and kissing him passionately. Anakin gently coaxed her mouth open, his tongue sliding along hers. Padmé periodically canted her hips against his groin, her breath grazing against his lips. Anakin’s pants were begining to feel much too tight. She turned her head and bumped his nose, Anakin letting out a grunt of pain, which turned much more sensual as Padmé pressed down on him again.

“Ani,” Padmé whispered against his mouth, “I want to make you feel good. Are you okay with—?”

Anakin pulled back, watching her carefully, his mouth stumbling over itself. “Yes, anything. Of course. I love you.”

She laughed before sobering. “I love you too.”

Anakin smiled, feeling the words build a fire in his chest. “Are you feeling okay now though? I don’t want you to want this for the wrong reasons.”

Padmé just looked at him, eyes soft, before pressing a kiss to his forehead. “I’m feeling wonderful, my love. I want this.”

Anakin nodded. He leant forward and kissed her lips, enjoying the sigh of contentment Padmé made. He kissed every part of her lips, desperate to taste every inch of her, before taking the kisses on a journey of her face. He trailed his mouth along her jaw, tracing the strong line all the way up to her ear. She squeaked as he lightly bit at her earlobe before sliding downward. Anakin latched onto the side of her neck, greedily tasting and sucking her skin. He wanted to leave a mark on her. He wanted to be able to see the evidence of this later. Anakin wanted Padmé to be his again. His hands wound up into her hair.

“Nuh-uh, Ani.” Padmé pulled back. “No mech-hand in the hair. You know the rules.”

He’d managed to tangle her hair in the mechanisms of his hand a couple of times in the past when he’d gotten carried away. It had taken them a good hour to separate the two each time. After the third incident, Padmé had put her foot down, initiating the rule that the robotic hand was not allowed anywhere near her hair.

Anakin dropped that hand to her waist, grinning sheepishly. “Sorry. Forgot.”

Padmé smirked. She then shimmied backwards down his legs, resting more on his thighs, her eyes watching him levelly. She traced a circle around the tie of his pants coyly aksing, “May I?”

Anakin let out a sharp breath. “Please.”

Padmé leant forward again, her body more arched this time as she tried to both kiss him while her hands attempted to break into his trousers. This was made much more difficult with her stomach in the way. Anakin, noticing the issue, leant forward to meet her mouth in the middle, throwing every inch of his adoration for her into each kiss. Fuck how he’d missed this.

His breath caught as he suddenly felt her hand wrap around his cock. He hummed low in his throat, his eyes falling shut as his head fell back against the wall. He heard Padmé let out a small laugh, followed by a firm, heavenly stroke and her mouth finding the corner of his. Anakin let himself get lost in this feeling. He basked in how Padmé smelled, how warm she was against his thighs, the firm grip of her hand on his cock, and the affectionate kisses she covered him in. It was all Anakin could do to keep a grip on her sides, his fingers grasping tightly at her clothes. 

The heat that had curled in his chest was burning through his whole body now. Everything was hot and vivid, the whole of his attention fixed on every place Padmé's body touched his. It was utterly perfect. Padmé knew exactly what he liked and was using it mercilessly against him. A firm twist here, a long, tight stroke there, perfectly driving Anakin towards bliss. Unable to hold back any more, Anakin wrapped his arms around Padmé’s shoulders, clutching her close to him and burying his face in her neck and hair. He knew he wasn’t going to last. It had been too long and he wanted her desperately. He breathed heavily, pleasure reaching a breaking point.

He loved Padmé so much.

He was home.

Anakin gasped out Padmé’s name as he came in her hand.

Padmé gently worked him through it, her free hand in his hair, stroking his head tenderly. He could hear her whispering sweet things in his ear, though his brain was not quite registering the exact words. 

Slowly he let go of her shoulders, and leant back on the couch, his eyes mapping every curve and colour of her face. How utterly stunning.

“Would you like…?” Anakin asked, still faintly breathless and running his fingers along Padmé’s cheek.

Padmé shook her head. “Not right now, and probably not until after the babies are born. Honestly, being this pregnant, sex sounds like the worst thing right now." She smiled reassuringly at him. "I just wanted you. I’d missed us.”

Anakin nodded and smiled, tugging her to lie beside him. “I missed us too.”

Anakin turned and gently brushed his lips to hers, feeling the smile resting there. They both lay together on the couch, just breathing in each other’s air. Anakin stroked an absent hand over her stomach, basking in the glow of his children. Anakin himself felt as though he was practically glowing with love for Padmé and their babies.

“That must feel so strange,” Anakin said as he felt a small shove against his hand.

Padmé laughed. “You have no idea.” She then placed a hand on Anakin’s shoulder and pushed him upwards, sitting up with him. “Why don’t you go get the power and water on? I’d rather like a shower now. Also a chance to change my skirt.” Padmé winked at him and then tugged her clothes back into place. “I’ll try to unpack until then.” She paused, clearly thinking. “You should probably let Obi-Wan know he can come back now.”

Anakin winced. He had completely forgotten. “The couch probably wasn’t the place for that, was it?”

Padmé just shrugged. “He knew what was up.”

She gave him a final peck on the cheek before turning her attention to the pile of belongings still stacked at the door. He watched her work while readjusting his own clothes, his brain still running on half-thrusters until she shooed him away, smiling fondly after him.

Anakin felt amazing.

He suspected he had a loopy grin on his face as he went outside seeking the fuse box, water tank and pump. Anakin could faintly see Obi-Wan and the droids wandering about in the distance, the three of them occasionally pausing and investigating the vaporators. When Obi-Wan next looked up, Anakin waved vigorously. Obi-Wan waved back and then continued walking around the flat land, the droids trailing along behind him.

Job done, Anakin circled the house discovering a small exterior room tucked around the back of the property. He entered the dim space and found a large water tank partially submerged into the ground, still holding around an eighth of a tank of water. Anakin inspected the water, smelling it carefully and checking the gauge on the side, and deemed it still safe to drink. They’d want to replace it fairly quickly though.

Anakin took the time to check each part for any imperfections, immediately identifying that they would need to buy a new filter; the current one was okay, but it was on its last legs. He then inspected all the piping he could find, discovering that a couple of sections would need patching to reduce leakage. Now happy and convinced it was all running safely, he found the pump controls and switched it all on. Nothing happened. For a moment Anakin was dumbfounded until he realised he hadn’t turned the power on. Rolling his eyes at his own idiocy, Anakin returned outside.

He Force jumped onto the roof, and found exactly what he was expecting; two rows of solar panels blinking in the sunlight. He performed another check. All panels appeared to be in working order, with none cracked or burnt out. The wiring was fine as well. Jumping back down, he returned inside the house, searching for the fuse box. After circling the lounge and kitchen, he entered the pantry and spotted the small box attached to the back wall.

Anakin flicked the switches on one by one, Padmé exclaiming from the other room when a light flickered on above her.

“Power’s on!” Anakin called and she whooped happily back at him. “Water will be on in a minute.”

He walked back through the lounge, Padmé, now in a pair of pants, was going the other way, dragging some pillows, sheets, and the duvet downstairs. Anakin resisted grinning at the dark bruise on the side of her neck.

Anakin picked up the water given to them from Owen and quickly returned to the water storage room. He ensured the power was reaching each section, tipped the extra water in, and turned it all all. This time, it immediately started humming, lights clicking alight on the side. A final check showed all systems functioning properly and Anakin, very pleased with himself, went back inside.

Obi-Wan was back now, gently setting down a selection of vaporator parts on the lounge table.

“Oh, Anakin.” Obi-Wan looked up. “These seven are definitely broken, the rest seem to be fine? I probably missed a lot though.”

“I’ll take a look at them later,” Anakin agreed.

Padmé then roped them both into unpacking, and Anakin pointed both droids to a now powered charging station out by the speeder. They unpacked clothes into the drawers downstairs, Obi-Wan’s temporarily shoved in with theirs. Padmé put the cutlery and kitchenware she’d taken off the ship a few days ago and found homes for it all in the kitchen, along with some of the food Beru had given them. They then spent some time decorating with the bits and pieces they’d kept form the ship. A lamp, a couple of pillows, a few throw rugs and a selection of knick-knacks Anakin had collected over the years and passed on to Padmé. By the time they were finished, the sun had set completely and Anakin’s stomach was rumbling.

He rustled through the meal Beru had given them, a pre-made bake, and reheated it in the oven. Once fed, the three of them collapsed onto the couches; Obi-Wan laying on the couch by the door, Anakin seated on the other with Padmé sprawled across his lap; the three of them just relaxing and chatting in the evening chill.

“We’re getting there, it just needs a bit more work,” Padmé breathed out, an absent hand wound up in Anakin’s hair, wrapping a curl about her fingers. It was such a soothing sensation. Anakin loved it when she played with his hair.

“We need a broom to get all this Sith-damned sand out of the house,” Anakin said darkly.

“It is quite a nice place, even with the sand,” Obi-Wan agreed, smiling at his complaint. “It was a good deal.”

Anakin grinned back. “You won’t be saying that after a few months here. The sand’s fucking irritating.”

Padmé sent him a cheeky smile. “And gets everywhere?”

He knew she was never going to let that go. Anakin huffed indignantly. “It does. You’ll see.”

She just smiled affectionately at him.

“We can sort out what we need tomorrow. I’m happy to go into town,” Obi-Wan said, redirecting the conversation.

Anakin nodded absently, the heavy weight of exhaustion settling on his chest.

“I might come with you,” Padmé said and then yawned widely. “Ah. I think it’s time for bed.”

Padmé stood up from the couch, stretching her arms above he head, making a face as she did so. It really looked like the babies were weighing on her. Shaking it off, she turned and nodded her head in the direction of the door to downstairs. Padmé then rounded on Obi-Wan, her hands on her hips. “Coming?”

Obi-Wan blinked at her. “I was going to sleep here.”

“No, you’re not,” Padmé informed him. “Stay with us tonight, then we can sort you a proper bed tomorrow. You’re not sleeping on the floor, and you’re not staying on the couch."

Obi-Wan smiled at her. “Do I get a say in this?”

“Not at all,” she said, “come on.”

“It’s easier not to argue,” Anakin chimed in. He was pleased that Padmé was taking charge of Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan sighed and stood up. The three of them pattered downstairs, changed into sleeping clothes, and crawled into bed. Padmé ended up on on the far side, Anakin in the middle and Obi-Wan closest to the door, reluctantly climbing in beside them. Anakin was exhausted. Warm, and surrounded by his family, he dropped swiftly off to sleep.

Anakin was shocked away at sudden sound and movement beside him. His heart jumpstarted from surprise, eyes flashing open, and he watched Obi-Wan’s shadow silently dart out of the bedroom. Anakin blinked blearily after him, his brain still trying to process the change. Minutes passed, but Obi-Wan didn’t return.

Carefully sneaking out of bed, trying not to disturb Padmé, Anakin slid from beneath the covers and headed upstairs.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin asked quietly as he opened the door to the lounge.

The room was empty with no lights turned on. Anakin quickly flipped a light switch and checked the kitchen and bathroom. Dread settled into his being. Where was Obi-Wan?

He did a circuit around the house to double check Anakin hadn’t missed him. He hadn’t. His heart in his throat, Anakin scurried outside to the dark Tatooine night.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin called to the darkness.

There was a faint sound of movement to the right of him and a soft, "Here."

Anakin spun around to find Obi-Wan seated on the ground, his back resting up against the wall of the house. There was just enough light reaching them from the lights inside for Anakin to see him.

“Oh thank the Force,” Anakin breathed out.

Anakin’s mind had rushed through so many scenarios as to why Obi-Wan had vanished, each one worse than the last. Finding him safe flooded his entire body with relief. He was fine. He wasn’t dead. He hadn’t evaporated into the night.

Anakin stepped closer. “What are you doing out here?”

“Sorry I woke you,” Obi-Wan said, avoiding the question. “I should have slept on the couch.”

Anakin sat down on the sand and turned towards Obi-Wan. “What’s wrong? Is it Mustafar again?”

Obi-Wan shook his head. “No, no. Evidently mentioning Melida/Daan the other day triggered the memories in my mind. I was dreaming about that.”

Anakin had been fucking horrified and outraged at Obi-Wan’s past. He had always assumed that Obi-Wan had the very normal, linear experience of the other younglings and initiates at the Temple. Now to hear that Obi-Wan had been passed over and rejected time and time again, had been a complete shock.

It did, however, make an unfortunate amount of sense. Obi-Wan, had always strived to be the physical embodiment of the Jedi code, but deep down was someone who evidently felt unwanted and inadequate and was unexpectedly handed a child to raise days after the death of his Master. It made sense that Obi-Wan, terrified of failure and determined to do right by his new apprentice, had thrown himself head first into being the ideal Jedi. All Anakin had ever seen in his master was a smooth, perfect surface, with the occasional crack on the surface, particularly when Obi-Wan had one of his ‘do as I say, not as I do’ moments. That had always driven Anakin crazy.

Now, Anakin could now see how deep some of those cracks ran. He could see how little Obi-Wan actually valued himself. And it hurt. He had been completely unable to resist wrapping Obi-Wan in his arms yesterday, desperate to know that his friend was still with him.

Now that this door to Obi-Wan’s past had been opened to him, Anakin was desperate to hear more. He was terrified to hear more.

“Tell me about it,” Anakin said.

Obi-Wan sighed. “I really don’t think you’ll like it.”

“Why not?” Anakin had a terrible feeling about that question.

Obi-Wan let out a resigned sigh, before continuing.

“Master Jinn and I were tasked with going to Melida/Daan to find Master Tahl. She was sent to negotiate a treaty as the world was in a civil war between the Melida and the Daan, but she was taken hostage,” Obi-Wan explained quietly to the night. “We were also initially taken hostage by the Melida, but managed to escape and were rescued by the Young.

“We spent time with the Young, a group of the planet’s children who wanted to end the fighting. They helped us rescue Tahl and we provided them with some help with their strategies.” Obi-Wan spoke flatly, seemingly detaching himself from the story. “During this time I befriended Nield and Cerasi, who were the leaders of the group. They were determined to bring an end to the pointless war between the Melida and the Daan.” Obi-Wan smiled absently. “They were right; The war had gone on for so long that neither side knew what it was about any more, the endless deaths were pointless.”

So far, none if that seemed terrible. It seemed like a shitty mission if Anakin had ever heard one, but nothing awful.

“I decided to help,” Obi-Wan continued, his voice still subdued. “Going directly against Master Jinn’s wishes, I fought with the Young and I helped them plan and carry out missions. In the end, when Qui-Gon instructed that we were leaving, I refused to go with him. I’d promised to help, and I was not going to back out of it.”

Anakin felt a nervous churning in his stomach.

“Qui-Gon was furious at me, determined to get Tahl, who had been badly injured, back to the Temple. Finally, he told me that I could stay, but staying would mean I would no longer be a Jedi.” Obi-Wan took a deep breath. “In that moment, I saw a vision of what was to come if I did not stay; the death and destruction that would result.” He closed his eyes. “So I left the Order and Qui-Gon took Tahl back to Coruscant.”

“He left you in a war zone!? He made you choose between doing the right thing and leaving the Order?!” Anakin was furious. “How old were you!?”

“Thirteen,” Obi-Wan said quietly.


Anakin stood suddenly and reentered the house. He was absolutely livid and he didn’t want to stress Obi-Wan any more.

Anakin knew the Council were a bunch of useless old Masters, too stuck in their ways, but this was something else! They allowed Master Jinn to abandon a child in the middle of a civil war. That was not how you treated your Padawan!

Any residual hero worship he had felt toward Qui-Gon had evaporated into the aether and he had never felt more thankful that it was Obi-Wan who had taken him in and trained him. Anakin paced round the living room, willing himself to calm down. Carefully controlling his emotions, not wanting to destroy anything and wake Padmé, Anakin took a few deep breaths in and out—

—And the worst fucking part was the fact that Obi-Wan just sat there passively, completely unmoved! It was a stabbing pain in his stomach that Obi-Wan just didn’t see how fucked up that was. He stared up at the roof, trying to recenter himself. It took some time, but once he could breath properly again, he returned outside.

“How are you not upset about any of it?” Anakin asked, still faintly frustrated.

“We must focus on the here and now, Anakin, you know that.” Obi-Wan sighed. “It happened. Worrying about it won’t change it.”

Anakin loathed that Jedi principle. His skin itched with the desire to wrap himself around Obi-Wan.

“I want to touch you,” Anakin informed him. “Is that okay?”

Obi-Wan paused, but nodded. Anakin sat down beside him, pressing the entire left-hand side of his body against Obi-Wan. He wrapped his left arm around his friend’s shoulders and pressed his face into Obi-Wan’s hair. Anakin found this much more comforting. He hoped Obi-Wan got as much out of it as he did.

“You deserve so much better, Obi-Wan,” Anakin said.

Obi-Wan stiffened beside him.

“I’m so sorry all of that happened to you,” He continued. “You’re so good, Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan was silent beside him, still tense, before he murmured, “It really doesn’t matter.”

“It does,” Anakin told him firmly. “You deserved better.”

“It was my fault,” Obi-Wan said. “My actions got me into those situations.”

If Anakin ever got his hands on the people who had created this mentality within Obi-Wan, he was going to fucking murder them. Maybe not murder. Punch. Punch really hard. With his durasteel hand.

Anakin tried again. “Would you have ever treated me like that? Just because of a choice I made?”

“No,” Obi-Wan admitted softly.

“Right,” Anakin said finally. He’d already known that would be the answer, but it was an easy trap for him to fall into. For Force’s sake, Obi-Wan hadn’t turned his back on him and he’d gone full Dark Side.

Anakin pressed on. “Was it Master Jinn you were dreaming about?”

Obi-Wan shook his head. “No. I was dreaming about after.”

“What happened?” Anakin asked.

“Cerasi died,” Obi-Wan whispered. “We won the civil war, but then the in-fighting began. Nield turned against Cerasi and I. He wanted revenge against the Elders and when he destroyed the Halls of Evidence, the Elders rose up again. Both sides fought, and Cerasi tried to stop the fighting, but… she was killed.” Obi-Wan exhaled, sounding defeated. “She died in my arms. Just like Siri. Just like Qui-Gon. Just like Satine…” Anakin thought he heard a whispered ‘You and Padmé’.

His heart clenched.

"Obi-Wan,” Anakin cried softly and it took every inch of Anakin’s willpower not to kiss Obi-Wan. Instead, he buried his face in Obi-Wan’s ginger hair, ignoring the pain in his face at the action.

Anakin had never put those things together before. That was an awful number of people that Obi-Wan had loved, dying in front of him, unable to save them. Anakin’s heart had shattered when his Mom had died in his arms. To have a list of people like that was fucking horrific. 

Anakin lightened his shielding around his bond to Obi-Wan, hoping to send warm, soothing feelings toward him, but suddenly froze; at the change in his shielding, Anakin could suddenly feel the turmoil within Obi-Wan, the awful cold, dark feelings slipping through the cracks.

Anakin spoke quietly, hesitant, “Obi-Wan?”

Obi-Wan was vibrating with tension beside him. His hands shook where they were curled, his eyes squeezed shut and breath coming erratically. Anakin tensed at the thin stream of panic he was feeling from Obi-Wan. It felt horrifyingly similar to how he felt before he fell.

“Obi-Wan I need you to breathe,” Anakin said urgently.

He just shook his head.

“Look at me, Obi-Wan.”

Gaining no response, Anakin moved quickly, scrambling to kneel directly in front of Obi-Wan, tamping down on his own panic. Anakin took his friend’s hands in his own, Obi-Wan’s fingers wrapping tightly around his. Anakin had had a few clones collapse like this on his watch, he knew what to do.

“Look at me,” Anakin ordered.

Obi-Wan’s blue-green eyes flashed open, wide and fearful.

“I’m here, Obi-Wan,” Anakin said soothingly. “You’re okay. Breathe.”

Obi-Wan was unresponsive, his expression distant. The sand around them was vibrating forcefully, grains whipping up around them.

Anakin kept trying, voice calm, “Obi-Wan, I want you to listen to me.” Anakin pressed Obi-Wan’s hands to his own chest. “Feel me breathing. Breathe with me.”

Obi-Wan’s eyes flickered.

“You’re safe,” Anakin continued. “We’re on Tatooine, we’re fine, Padmé is fine, nothing is wrong. Come back to me. Breathe.” Anakin sent waves of comfort and safety down their bond, attempting to soothe the spikes of anxiety. Slowly, over a few minutes of Anakin's calm litany, Obi-Wan calmed his breathing to match Anakin’s, and relaxed again, bit by bit.

Obi-Wan, now back with Anakin, slumped, exhausted, and fell forward into Anakin’s arms. Obi-Wan was warm in his arms, his face pressed up against Anakin’s neck.

“Apologies,” Obi-Wan said into his skin.

“It’s fine,” Anakin was too focused on his joy that Obi-Wan was, of his own volition, curled up in his arms. It warmed his heart in ways he couldn’t quite describe.

Obi-Wan sighed. “You shouldn’t have to deal with that.”

Anakin just smiled. “I want to. We’ve talked about this. We’re helping each other.”

Obi-Wan just hummed against him.

After a few moments, Anakin spoke again. “How are you feeling?”

Obi-Wan just laughed weakly. That wasn’t a great sign.

“Shall we go back to bed?” Anakin asked, at a bit of a loss of what to do.

“I don’t feel like sleeping,” Obi-Wan returned.

Anakin could feel how much of a lie that was. Exhaustion was pouring off of him into the Force, swamping the air around them with thick fatigue. “You don’t have to sleep. Just come back to bed.”

Obi-Wan nodded and pulled back, Anakin immediately feeling the loss. They stood up, Anakin trying to subtly support his friend, and slowly went back into the house and downstairs to bed to where Padmé was still fast asleep, curled around her pillow. Anakin climbed back in first, shimmying into the middle, Obi-Wan tentatively following behind.

“Come here?” Anakin offered quietly. Obi-Wan paused for a moment, before he slid up next to Anakin.

Anakin wrapped an arm around him, and was elated at the fact Obi-Wan had taken him up on the offer. He was feeling settled within himself in a way he hadn’t been for a long time. The knowledge that both Padmé and Obi-Wan had relaxed around him, willing to trust him again, had uncoiled something tangled within him. He felt secure in the fact that they loved him. That they cared.

Obi-Wan tucked in unusually close, his face resting against Anakin’s chest and a hand tangled in his shirt. “Thank you, Anakin,” Obi-Wan murmured to the room.

He couldn’t do any more to help Obi-Wan just now. He wanted to fight every single person that had ever hurt his old Master. He wanted to keep Obi-Wan safe and secure in his arms. Keep Padmé safe with him here. 

It wasn’t ideal, but in a terrible, round-about way, Anakin had ended up with all he ever wanted; Obi-Wan and Padmé and their children, free of the Jedi, out on their own, just living. He hated what it had taken to get them here, and he desperately wished it had come about in another way, but here they were.

“Anytime,” Anakin said, pushing his gloomy thoughts away and basking in the feeling of being surrounded by the two people he loved the most. He closed his eyes, breathing in deeply, and quickly dropped back into slumber.

Chapter Text

Padmé woke slowly. She was warm and happily swimming in blankets with her arms wrapped around her pillow. She felt terribly content but wanted Anakin in her arms too.  Padmé rolled over and sat up slightly, ready to slip into Anakin’s embrace. Instead, she found Anakin and Obi-Wan, both completely dead to the world, snuggled up together. Obi-Wan had his face squashed up against Anakin’s throat, and Anakin was breathing in strands of ginger hair, both with their arms wrapped around one another. Oh goodness that was cute. It warmed her heart and an involuntary smile slipped onto her face. It was good that they were both relaxing around each other again. Padmé frowned when she noticed the sand littering both their sleeping clothes. That at least didn’t bode particularly well.

Leaving them both to sleep, Padmé snuck upstairs to make use of this quiet time. She looped around the entire house, pad in hand and eating a piece of fruit, creating a shopping list for when they all went into town once the boys were up out of bed.

They needed a vast selection of food, Padmé just writing ‘Food!!!!!’ on the pad and underlining it a few times. After filtering through the kitchen, and removing what was damaged, it seemed they needed a saucepan or two, a chopping board and some actually sharp knives. She added a selection of cleaning materials and toiletries to the list, and underlined the word ‘broom’, well aware that Anakin wanted the dust and sand out of the house as soon as physically possible. Tea towels were needed, Obi-Wan needed a bed, and Padmé wanted to at least partly prepare for her children, adding ‘baby things’ to the list.

Oh, and a doctor. That’s what she really wanted to sort out today.

She still felt somewhat embarrassed at her outburst yesterday. It had just been so fucking unexpected when Obi-Wan had dropped that knowledge on them. It made sense, considering how big she was, and all the movement going on with them, but fuck it had felt like a cold bucket of water over her head when he'd said it.

After having her minor meltdown and thoroughly seducing Anakin, she felt much more settled and prepared. Also, Padmé was more than ready to meet her children. She had been anticipating it for nearly 9 months now, and she was ready for them both. She was desperate to hold them in her arms, and particularly, to not have them in her anymore. Padmé was very ready to have her body back to herself again; Her back and hips near constantly ached and she struggled to get comfortable any longer. She was not looking forward to at least a couple more weeks of this.

Her eyes fell on the vaporator parts laying on the lounge table. Anakin still had a set of tools with them, so they didn’t need those, but he probably had some items he needed bought. Padmé hoped the money they had left from what she’d taken out on Coruscant would be enough to keep them going until they had the farm running properly.

She sighed and stared at the room around her thoughtfully.

The door to downstairs swung open and she saw Anakin and Obi-Wan walk into the room, both fully dressed but with ridiculous bed hair. She had to smile at them.

“Morning!” Anakin said brightly, stepping up and kissing her briefly. The bruising on his face no longer bright red, now fading to a mottled purple.

Padmé smiled at him and returned the kiss before asking them both, “Sleep well?”

The pair of them made non-committal noises.

Padmé put her hands on her hips and raised her eyebrows.

Anakin looked at Obi-Wan nervously, who sighed, replying, “I woke Anakin up. I was having a bad night.”

Padmé relaxed. “Everything okay?”


Anakin’s face told her it clearly wasn’t fine, and she resolved to corner both of them later. Divide and conquer.

“Hm. Well, we need to go into town.” She deflected and tossed them a piece of fruit each. “That’s all we’ve got until we go shopping.” Padmé then handed Anakin the list she had made. “Add anything you need. Both of you. I’m going to get dressed.”

Padmé went downstairs and changed quickly into one of the loose outfits they’d bought in Mos Eisley. Hair pulled into a single tail on the top of her head, she joined back up with Anakin and Obi-Wan, each of them concealing a blaster under their robes before Padmé ushered them out to the speeder.

“Threepio you’re in charge!” Padmé called back into the house, ignoring Artoo’s indignant beeps.

Once in Mos Espa they began their shop. Padmé led, sorting out cleaning materials, kitchenware and other necessities from a selection of stalls on the streets, with Anakin happily bartering for it all. They then went looking for a bed for Obi-Wan and cribs for the babies. They found a furniture store on the edge of the shopping district, finding the materials for the cribs easily (though they would have to assemble them on their own) but could not find a bed for Obi-Wan. Anakin left them to sort it out while he filtered through the junk at the back of the shop.

“All out,” the salesman said. “We’ve got a thin mattress, but no frames for another month or so. The bantha-shit in the Core is disrupting everything.”

“A mattress will be fine,” Obi-Wan said.

Padmé frowned. “Are you sure?”

Obi-Wan nodded. “We can get the frame later. It won’t kill me.”

Padmé reluctantly agreed and they paid, the owner organising to have all the materials out the back for pick up when they were ready later.

Heading back out on the the street, Padmé decided they should get some lunch, her stomach rumbling and feeling a desperate need for a glass of water. Anakin nodded and then paused at a young man struggling futilely with a swoop bike, swearing loudly when it wouldn’t start. His tunics were filthy with oil, and smudged along his tan skin with some spattered in his brown hair.

“What’s up?” Anakin said, hands on his hips, clearly physically unable to walk past malfunctioning tech.

“Stupid—” the boy kicked the bike, “—kriffing thing won’t start!”

Anakin nodded. “Can I have a look?”

He huffed. “Be my guest. You can’t make it any worse.”

Anakin stooped down beside the bike, fingers deftly filling with the machinery. Padmé and Obi-Wan watched on quietly, Padmé linking her arm into his and leaning up against him. This planet was so warm, and with the extra weight, it was killing her. 

“What’s next on the list?” Obi-Wan asked, silently supporting her weight.

Padmé pulled up the pad. “Let’s see. Uh, lunch, then a doctor and food. After that we can go home and get cleaning.”

Obi-Wan nodded.

“There!” Anakin said proudly, standing up again. “That should work now.”

The lad looked hopeful and swung a leg over the bike, attempting again to turn it on. The engine flickered on without incident.

“Dang,” he said, grinning, “I thought this thing was dead!” He turned on Anakin, “Thank you! What’s your name?”

“Uh, Seripas,” Anakin stumbled over his name. He clearly hadn’t been ready for that one.

“Seripas, you’re a fucking genius.” The kid dug around in his pocket and pulled out some money, shoving it in Anakin’s hand. “You saved my life.”

He kicked the swoop into gear and sped off into the crowds. Anakin just blinked after him, brushing kicked up sand from his face before looking down at the money in his hand.

“Good job, darling,” Padmé said. “Come on, let’s eat; You’re evidently buying.”

Anakin just smiled at her and pocketed the money. They explored the town some more until they found a medium-sized diner spread over the inside a short building and the streets outside. Padmé snagged them a table outside and Anakin and Obi-Wan went to sort food. They returned with a plate of mystery meats and bread, plus some water, the three of them tucking in happily. It was warm and rich, melting in her mouth. It was good.

“I’m going to go see if anyone here knows a doctor,” Padmé said after finishing her portion. “I’ll just be inside.”

Padmé entered the diner, and boy was it was quite the sight. The walls were lined with a variety of unsavoury looking characters, clearly from off-world, interspaced with obvious locals. Most locals were tucked into the back corner, with the off-worlders filling up the rest of the space with raucous laughter and secretive whispers. Padmé put her bets on them mostly being bounty hunters or in other barely-legal professions.

“Excuse me,” Padmé said, drawing the attention of a server behind the bar to the left of the space.

The bartender gave her a quick once over before smiling. “What’s up, missy?”

“I was wondering if you know a local doctor?” Padmé indicated at her body. “I'm going to be needing one quite soon.”

The bartender huffed out a laugh, “That you do. Yeah, Brato is a good doctor. He just came in to check up on me.” He lifted up his left arm, showing a mostly healed blaster wound, “Danger of the business. He might still be about.” Suddenly his voice projected across the space. “Brato!” the bartender called.

There was no change in the clientele of the diner, until a tall Zabrak man approached the bar, his face and body covered in the distinctive black and orange markings of his race.

“You called, Gorin?” the Zabrak asked.

“Little lady here needs a doctor,” Gorin informed him. “Brato Bavanth, meet…?”

Padmé jumped in. “Aurra Lars.”

Brato held out a hand which Padmé shook, warm and firm. “Good to meet you, Aurra. What can I do for you?”

“Well, I’m due to give birth in the next few weeks, and I would rather like a doctor present,” Padmé informed him. “I doubt my husband is going to be of much use.”

Brato smiled. “They are often not at this end of the pregnancy. May we go speak somewhere?”

“Yes, outside.” Padmé turned and waved her thanks to the bartender. Brato followed her out to sit at the table with Anakin and Obi-Wan. She didn’t miss the tiny twitch from Obi-Wan at her companion. To be fair, Tatooine and Zabraks did not have a good history for him.

“Brato, this is my husband, Seripas, and our friend, Hondo,” Padmé said, sitting them both down. “This is Brato, he’s a doctor.”

Obi-Wan and Anakin welcomed the newcomer warmly, before the discussion veered onto her pregnancy; when did it happen, when were they due, family history, any unusual symptoms and everything in between. Brato, in Padmé’s opinion, came across as highly competent and it made her feel much more relaxed about it all. They agreed that Brato would come visit them at home once a week until the labour hit. Once the labour started, Brato would try to get to them as soon as he could, assuring Padmé that it was a long process, especially for first children, so even if he was running late it wouldn’t be an issue. Once it was all agreed and costs had been discussed, Brato left them, indicating he had another appointment soon. As they watched him disappear into the crowd, Padmé felt like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

“Well, that’s sorted,” Anakin said. “Is it just food left on your list?”

“Yeah,” Padmé agreed. “Food and then picking up the cots and mattress.”

The three of them spent a good hour in the food markets, stocking up on lots of non-perishables, and a lesser selection of perishable meats, fruits and vegetables. All three agreed it was best if they had food they could fall back on if anything went to shit while living out there. Anakin also became distracted, discovering a stall with some rather nice tools, Anakin practically drooling over them. Anakin muttered something about coming back for them one day before refocusing himself. It made Padmé smile. Once they were loaded up with food, they returned to the speeder, still thankfully where they left it, and swung by the furniture shop. As promised, the cribs parts and the mattress were waiting out the back for them which Obi-Wan and Anakin carefully loaded into the back of the speeder. She noticed how carefully they both moved it all, neither of them calling on the Force to help them at all. They were terribly good at pretending to be average moisture farmers.

Once home, they spent the afternoon sorting out what they’d bought. All food and new supplies were put where they should be, the crib materials were leant up against the wall to be dealt with tomorrow, and Obi-Wan’s mattress was carefully carried downstairs by the two of them.

Later, after it was all organised, Padmé stood at the bench, carefully organising ingredients for dinner. The stock they had purchased earlier was quite nice. Padmé lined up each vegetable and picked up a knife, carefully slicing the first orange vegetable carefully.

Hands slithered around her waist, and a warm weight settled against her back. “Hello Ani.” Padmé smiled, continuing to slice the goorun.

“Hey,” Anakin murmured into her hair, fingers dancing up her sides. “What are you making?”

“Vegetable bake. Very thrilling.”


Padmé felt Anakin nose his way through her hair, snuffling around to the right hand side of her neck. “What are you up to?” Padmé put the knife down, sensing where he was going.

A huff against her neck. “Nothing.”

Padmé laughed, “I don’t believe yo—ah!” She inhaled sharply as he pulled the lobe of her ear into his mouth. Anakin’s left hand slithered into her hair, tugging gently, exposing her neck further. His mouth was warm as he gently dragged his teeth along her skin. Added to the slight pressure in her hair, she melted beneath him, instinctively leaning back against Anakin.

Dinner. As lovely as the attention was, she was busy.

“Ani, darling, love,” she stammered out, “this is neither the time nor the place.” Padmé manoeuvred her head out of his grasp. “Later, sweetheart. Where have you left Obi-Wan?”

Anakin sighed and pulled back, sneaking in a final brush of lips against her cheek. “He fell asleep on the couch.”

“Oh, good,” Padmé said, turning in his embrace so she could look up at him. Anakin’s hair was messy about his face, clearly windblown from spending so much time outside today. Padmé pressed an apologetic kiss to Anakin’s chin. “He needs more sleep.”

“Would you like some help?” Anakin asked.

“Always.” Padmé wriggled out of his grasp and handed Anakin the knife she had been using. “Here. Slice up the vegetables.”

“What’s up with Obi-Wan?” Padmé finally asked Anakin as they prepared dinner at the bench. She’d been waiting for a quiet moment to ask since this morning. Anakin carefully chopped the vegetables into thin slices and briefly relayed what Obi-Wan had talked to him about over the last couple of days. Padmé was saddened to hear what he had gone through.

“I just can’t believe Qui-Gon was allowed to treat him like that,” Padmé said quietly at the end of the retelling.

Anakin nodded. “Me neither.”

“It wasn’t that terrible,” Obi-Wan said from behind them, and both spun around to face him. “Qui-Gon was a good Master, most of the time.”

“I’m sure he was,” Padmé said, “but that doesn’t negate the bad things he did do. They still matter.”

“I know,” Obi-Wan agreed. “But it was a long time ago and I’ve forgiven him for it.”

Padmé was thoughtful for a moment before she nodded. “Okay.” She didn’t completely agree, but there was not much point in arguing it with him. In reality, Padmé hadn’t known Qui-Gon all that well before his death. She’d mainly found him stubborn and frustrating, though she suspected he would have said the same of her.

Anakin then stepped away from the bench, placing the knife down and joining Obi-Wan at the bottom of the stairs to the lounge.

“How are you?” Anakin asked quietly.

Obi-Wan looked away. “I was just feeling rather overwhelmed last night. I’m okay now.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, Anakin!” Obi-Wan bit back. “It’s fine!”

Padmé resisted sighing and leant back against the bench. They needed to deal with this. They needed to deal with each other. This ongoing dance needed to be sorted out between the pair of them.

Anakin folded his arms. “Don’t do that.”

“I’m not doing anything.”

“Don’t lie to me!” Anakin exclaimed. “Don’t block me out!”

Obi-Wan scowled and turned to go. “Just let me be.”

“No!” Anakin grabbed his arm. “Why can’t you accept that we want to help!?”

“Because I don’t deserve it!” Obi-Wan yelled, wrenching his arm away from Anakin. “I failed you!”

Padmé's eyes widened. And there it was.

Anakin was stunned. “How—?”

“I should have done better! I should have trained you better! I should have done something about Palpatine! I knew there was something untoward going on there! So many things that I—!” Obi-Wan stopped his tirade mid-sentence, suddenly talking softly. “You should have had someone experienced train you. It should have been Qui-Gon… not me. I’m sorry.”

Anakin was silent for a moment, his entire body completely still. No-one had thrown any punches yet and Padmé was hopeful they would talk this out. Obi-Wan made to move away at the silence but Anakin grabbed his hand again.


“You were the best Master I could have ever had," Anakin said seriously, eyes locked onto Obi-Wan’s. “I’m glad it was you. I was upset to begin with after Naboo, but we both got past that.” Anakin was slowly tugging Obi-Wan closer to himself, and Obi-Wan, wide eyed and limp, absently allowed it. “My fall wasn’t on you. They were my stupid fucking mistakes, not yours. You have always tried your hardest with me and I—I know I can be a handful, and we have both fucked up in the past, but I wouldn’t want to change anything, Obi-Wan.”

Padmé resisted applauding. Look at the pair of them, talking candidly. Miracle of miracles.

“Not anything?” Obi-Wan asked quietly.

Anakin gave him a weak smile, “Well, not falling and not destroying the Jedi would have been infinitely better, but no. I’d keep it all to keep you.”

Obi-Wan’s eyes looked distinctly wet, staring hopefully at Anakin. Anakin, unable to stand that watery gaze, tugged Obi-Wan closer, pulling him in for a hug. Obi-Wan shattered in his arms, collapsing into tears and Anakin’s embrace. They folded together like a sheet caught in a breeze, crinkled and falling bonelessly into one another. Obi-Wan’s fingers gripped, white knuckled, to Anakin’s shirt with his face buried in the front of his chest. Padmé had to look away, feeling her eyes begin to itch at the sight.

Gods that was so fucked up. The fact that Obi-Wan was crying over the fact someone had expressed basic admiration and affection for him was heartbreaking. That neither of them had ever spoken about how much they adored each other was ridiculous. Padmé resolved to praise Obi-Wan more often regardless. She already did it for Anakin, knowing how he lit up at the compliments, so it would be easy to do with Obi-Wan as well. While the Jedi had been an incredible group of people, skilled in many areas and were, overall, terribly impressive, they sometimes just skipped right over the fundamental needs of their people. Beings, of all kinds, needed to feel appreciated and cared for. This had somehow been completely missed on Obi-Wan and it wasn’t right.

Padmé finished chopping the vegetables, before methodically laying them in the pot. She layered cheese and vegetables over one another, interspacing with leafy vegetables. As she put it into the oven the two boys joined her the kitchen.

“My apologies, I distracted your helper,” Obi-Wan said beside her.

“It’s no problem. You needed him more just now.” Padmé righted herself and smiled at him. “Besides, I’m pregnant, not an invalid. I can make dinner on my own.”

“I didn’t mean—”

“I know you didn’t.” Padmé placed a hand on his cheek and diverted the conversation. “We both want you to be happy. You’re a wonderful person, Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan’s face did a funny little spasm, unsure how to respond. She grinned at the expression before she leant up and pressed a brief kiss to his left cheek. “Come on. Let’s all go sit down until dinner is ready.” Obi-Wan looked distinctly nervous after the peck, blue eyes fluttering over to Anakin.

Hm. Padmé filtered that information away.

Dinner passed without incident and before long they were headed downstairs to bed.

“Are you sure you are okay to just sleep on the mattress?” Padmé asked as Obi-Wan made to enter the other downstairs room.

“Of course,” Obi-Wan said. “I’ve certainly slept on worse over the last few years.”

Padmé just nodded, accepting it. Her concern wasn’t really about the bed. She was worried about whether or not he’d actually sleep if left on his own. Padmé had been trying to give him the easy option of hopping in with them.

“Goodnight.” Obi-Wan nodded to them both, and vanished into the room.

Anakin and Padmé parroted the sentiment back and then Anakin pressed his lips together, his face reflecting her thoughts perfectly. Padmé nodded her head at their own door and they went in together. Padmé curled up in the centre of the bed, Anakin crawling in to face her, their bodies curved like two opposite crescent moons.

“Think he’ll be okay?” Padmé asked in a whisper.

Anakin shrugged. “We’ll see.” He then leant in for a brief press of lips. “‘Night, love.”

“Love you,” Padmé said and snuggled in closer, dropping swiftly into sleep.

The next day, after both she and Anakin had enjoyed a full night's sleep and Obi-Wan seemed to have slept, they pottered around the house continuing to set up the house. Anakin spent the morning fixing the broken vaporator sections and installing them back on the whole machine out on the sands. Padmé and Obi-Wan spent the morning sweeping and dusting, finally emptying the house of lingering sand and other grit. By the time lunch was had, the house was clean and Anakin was distinctly happier. The sand didn’t get to her as it did him, but it made Anakin happy.

After lunch, Padmé sat on the couch watching Anakin and Obi-Wan struggle to put a crib together. She enjoyed watching the two of them bicker about how best to attach one section to another. Anakin, took charge and laid all the beams together on the floor in front of them, and then paused.

“I think that looks right,” Anakin said proudly, sitting back on his heels.

Obi-Wan was silent for a few moments inspecting the layout. He nodded slowly, “I think you’re right?”

Anakin shrugged. “We can only try it. Could you go get a hammer? I think I saw one in your bedroom.”

“Of course.” Obi-Wan stood up and headed through the door and down the stairs.

Padmé smiled at Anakin when he looked at her, a warm expression on his face as his eyes went a bit distant, focusing elsewhere.

Then something changed.

Anakin’s eyes turned hard as flint. His whole body stiffened, going from soft relaxation to sharp edges. The atmosphere in the room plummeted into darkness.

“Ani?” Padmé asked, concerned. She had no idea what had caused this sudden shift.

Anakin clenched his jaw and hands before he suddenly stood up and strode outside, the door banging shut loudly behind him.

What in the hells?

Padmé stood up quickly, hurriedly pulling open the door to downstairs. “Obi-Wan!” she yelled, voice faintly panicked. “I need you up here now!”

Obi-Wan was at the top of the stairs in moments, face flushed with concern, the hammer in hand. “What’s wrong?”

“Something’s up with Anakin,” Padmé said quickly, grabbing Obi-Wan’s hand and dragging him outside behind her.

Padmé and Obi-Wan stood side by side, Padmé’s hand still clasped in his, watching Anakin pace around the yard, spitting up sand around him. She had absolutely no idea what had done that. Obi-Wan was frowning, watching the strange behaviour. He obviously found it as peculiar as she did.

“Did something happen?” Obi-Wan asked her, not taking his eyes from Anakin.

She shook her head. “Nothing, as far as I know.”

Obi-Wan stared fixedly at him for a few moments longer when something clicked on his face. “Anakin!” Obi-Wan yelled. “Put up your shields!”

Anakin flashed a glare at Obi-Wan, and Padmé felt her stomach drop at the dark anger in his eyes. She stepped subtly closer to Obi-Wan, tightening her grip on his hand, the nervous energy floating around them all put her on edge. Padmé hated to admit it, but she was scared. Her heart sat in her throat, pumping furiously.

After a few minutes, the sand settled back down and Anakin stood perfectly still on the desert flats, staring down at the ground around him. Padmé and Obi-Wan both gave him time to calm himself. Eventually, Anakin turned his attention to them, his eyebrows knitted together. He came over to the two of them, walking slowly, his shoulders slumped and eyes wet.

“What was that about?” Padmé asked gently when he came to a stop before them.

Anakin blinked, a stray tear escaping his eye, “I—I don’t know.”

“What were you doing before that?” Obi-Wan asked.

Anakin licked his lips, nervous, his hands wringing together, “I was waiting for you to come back with the hammer. Padmé was just sitting on the couch and I wanted to feel the babies. I dropped my shields to feel out for them—” Anakin frowned, rubbing a hand over his eyes. “Then it all went a bit sideways. I was furious about everything; that you hadn’t told us they were twins at the start; about everything you told me about Melida/Daan and Qui-Gon; about the fact we couldn’t put the crib together. I knew it was strange and I didn’t want to break anything or hurt either of you. So I went outside.” Anakin blinked unhappily at the both of them. “I just… snapped?”

Obi-Wan hummed quietly, thinking.

Padmé stepped forward, letting go of Obi-Wan, all of her fear gone and replaced entirely with worry. She took Anakin’s hand in her own, his fingers shaking slightly. Anakin smiled down at her and then rested his chin on her head.

“You made the right choice, Ani,” Padmé soothed. “Distancing yourself was a good idea.”

“Thank you.” His voice vibrated through her head. Padmé stepped closer still, allowing Anakin to wrap an arm about her waist, Padmé was half turned into her husband, and half turned to look at Obi-Wan. Anakin slowly relaxed against her, his hands not longer vibrating in hers.

“I have… a suspicion,” Obi-Wan said finally.

“What—?” Anakin started.

Obi-Wan shook his head. “I’ll share it once I’m certain. I don’t want to give you more to worry about if I’m wrong." Obi-Wan paused. "I just—I want you to keep your shields up. Maybe change your shield configuration as well.”

Anakin frowned, but nodded slowly.

Obi-Wan stepped forward and cupped his hand against Anakin’s face. “Thank you for trusting me.”

Anakin smiled. “Of course.”

Padmé watched on, lost in the warm expression on Obi-Wan’s face, easily imagining Obi-Wan leaning into Anakin’s lips. Anakin may not believe that Obi-Wan loved him romantically, but Padmé had very few doubts about it. Whether Obi-Wan knew it was anyone’s guess. Padmé very firmly shoved aside the spike of warmth caused by her imagination and the feeling of being surrounded by her two boys. Padmé felt Anakin’s focus slide down to her, a thoughtful glint in his eye.

Obi-Wan looked between them briefly, then turned and walked back toward the house, saying, “Time to have another go at the crib.”

Once the door was closed, Anakin turned to Padmé, a suggestive tone lacing his words. “What were you just thinking about?”

Padmé had to press her lips together to keep from laughing, but felt her lips curl into a smile regardless. She felt almost dizzy from the erratic emotional changes over the past half hour.

“What?” Anakin pressed, smiling and leaning down; he kissed her cheek and nosed along her face, “What is it?”

“Okay! Okay!” Padmé giggled when he began mouthing at her forehead. “I give up!”

Anakin pulled back, smiling, a contrast to the visible tear tracks still on his face. It was hard to believe he’d literally just been furiously pacing the yard, looking as though he was ready to murder someone not five minutes before.

“I was thinking about Obi-Wan kissing you,” Padmé whispered. “It was hot, leave me alone!”

Anakin went completely still and for a moment Padmé thought she had said the wrong thing.

Suddenly, he burst out laughing, a bright grin lighting up his entire face. Anakin gathering her into his arms, his hands on her ribs; before he picked her up a short ways from the ground and gently swung her around in a circle.

“Anakin!” Padmé cried out, hands gripping his shoulders, joy and adrenaline flooding her system. She shrieked as he did it again, her hair catching in the breeze behind her. On the third spin she laughed out, “Put me down, Ani!”

Anakin laughed as he put her feet back on solid ground, Padmé’s hair now wild about her face and she could feel the flush crawling up her face.

“You’re perfect, Padmé.” Anakin beamed. “I love you so kriffing much.”

Padmé retuned his sentiment and stood up on her toes to kiss him properly. Padmé sighed happily against his lips. They may be living in the back end of nowhere, but they at least had each other. Obi-Wan’s dreams hadn’t come to pass and they were alive and safe from Palpatine.

“Let’s go help Obi-Wan,” Padmé said. “We’re going to need those cribs sorted out.”

“Alright,” Anakin agreed.

The next couple of weeks passed quickly. The three of them falling into a routine. Padmé checked on the vaporators every morning with Threepio, Anakin at midday, and Obi-Wan in the evening. If there was anything wrong then Anakin was sent out to fiddle with it until it decided to work again, or else it was scrapped and repurposed.

They took turns cooking and cleaning and going into town on errands. Anakin had become a bit of a wonder to the locals. Once knowledge of his emergency swoop fixing got around, a number of citizens came up to him in the streets with technical problems that no-one else had been able to fix. Seripas very quickly became a household name in the north-western settlements as who to go to when you needed anything fixed. Anakin loved it. He was able to do what he loved and get paid to do so. So between their water harvests and Anakin’s burgeoning mechanical repair business, they were doing quite well financially.

She and Anakin had settled into one another again. Padmé still had moments where she would remember what he’d done to land them in this situation and be in a strop with him for a few hours until she calmed herself again. Overall, however, she no longer felt unsafe with him. After his unexplained outburst, he hadn’t had another one. There were days when he was angry or frustrated or unhappy, but they were within normal levels for him. There hadn’t been any more incidents of breaking things or completely losing control of himself.

They’d also fallen headfirst back into the physical aspect of their relationship. After she’d seduced him on the couch their first day in their new home, it was like a dam had broken, the pair of them were barely able to keep their hands off each other. Anakin touched her at every opportunity. Small things like holding her hand, fondling her hair, and glancing touches at her waist. Larger things like wrapping himself around her while she cooked, frequently shoving his face into her hair, and kissing her at absolutely every opportunity. Anakin had always been a very fond of biting, and Padmé found herself with more love bites littering her body than she had ever had in her life. Padmé loved it regardless, leaning into each of his his touches, equally unable to keep her hands to herself. It also helped that Anakin was very willing to give her increasingly sore muscles very thorough massages. Padmé felt… adored, and Anakin seemed predominantly happy, pleased they had healed their relationship, and highly anticipating the birth of the children.

Padmé had also seen the doctor a few times. Dr Bavanth had checked up on her once a week, coming out to the farm and carefully inspecting her. Each time, Brato had deemed her and the children healthy and due soon. Padmé felt a mixture of joy and dread at it all. She was excited for her babies, but the thought of giving birth thoroughly unnerved her.

As the due date drew closer, Padmé began nesting in earnest. She’d started before they’d left Coruscant, already having a small stash of baby clothes, but all of it had been left behind. Padmé started her collection again, finding a few items of clothing in town and befriending a seamstress in Mos Entha, who was teaching her to make items for the babies.

Jeina was a short Pantoran woman who had an almost unnatural love of knitting and sewing. Her husband, Kal, had a malfunctioning water pump which was, if turned on, expelling precious water out onto the sand. Anakin and Padmé had been in town at the time and they had rushed off with Kal to help as soon as possible.

Padmé had been left to sit with Jeina, who, after handing her a cup of tea, had sat her down and shown her how to knit. Padmé had been utterly taken with the activity, finding the repetitive action very soothing and by the time Anakin and Kal had finished, Padmé had the beginnings of a pale purple blanket, and had caught the crafting itch from Jeina. Anakin had laughed and then negotiated to be paid for the repair in knitting supplies. From there Padmé and Jeina had met up a couple of times per week, Padmé continuing to work on the baby blanket, eventually finishing two, one a pale purple and the other a forest green. Jeina and her husband had no desire to have children, but she enjoyed Padmé’s enthusiasm for hers.

It was nice to have a friend outside of Anakin and Obi-Wan.


Obi-Wan still hadn’t settled. He was mostly eating fine now, but his sleeping patterns were still very erratic. It worried her. She and Anakin did what they could to help him, but there was only so much they could do. He didn't want to share their bed, and he made a fuss when Anakin tried to hop into bed with him. Anakin had tried a few times, especially on days when Obi-Wan wandered around the house, eyes blank and sightless with deep, dark circles beneath them. It was those days that getting him to eat became more of a challenge. Anakin had been rebuffed at each attempt, crawling into bed with Padmé with an unhappy expression.

“I don’t know what to do,” Anakin had muttered into her neck, having wrapped himself around her.

Padmé had sighed. “Me neither. Unfortunately he’s an adult and can make his own terrible choices. We just need a way to get him to sleep.”

It then became a secret competition to get Obi-Wan to fall asleep next to them. Anakin had mastered the art of snuggling up to him on the couch in the afternoon until Obi-Wan passed out for a few hours, his face squashed against Anakin. Padmé would corner him in the morning after she’d checked the vaporators, sliding into bed with him, bearing breakfast, and sitting beside him, just knitting and talking until he dropped off.

Obi-Wan had also taken to disappearing up into the mountains behind the house, often sitting on a small patch of flat ground and meditating. Or just sitting and staring out at the plains in front of the house. Padmé could never tell. Either way, he’d just sit there quietly for hours on end. Anakin had joined him a few times, meditating along side him, or just talking. He actually managed to get Obi-Wan him fall asleep beside him up on the mountain once. Padmé had conceded to Anakin that yes, that was a feat of great skill, and he could have two points for it.

Anakin was definitely winning the napping competition so far.

Still though, Obi-Wan concerned her. Padmé had a terrible feeling that one day they would wake up and he’d just be gone. It wasn’t based on much, but the fact Obi-Wan wasn’t concerned that his room didn’t have a bed frame, still happily using just the mattress on the floor, and that he never included himself in discussions of the future, rubbed her the wrong way. She was reluctant to bring it up, because if that wasn’t the case, she didn’t want to put the thought in his head or have him feel like she was suggesting he leave. Padmé figured that he would at least warn them if he intended to go, and she and Anakin could persuade him to stay then.

It wasn’t perfect, but they were making the best of the situation, finding happiness where they could. Then suddenly, somehow, three weeks had passed on Tatooine.

Chapter Text

Obi-Wan sat on the rocky outcropping above the house. His pale grey tunics stood out starkly against the muddy orange-brown of the mountain rocks. The stone was warm and solid beneath him, if rather uncomfortable, but it wasn’t as though he’d slept on worse during the war. As he sat perfectly still on the rocks Obi-Wan felt connected to the landscape, the sharp rise of the cliffs around him impressing a feeling of safety on him. They stood, proud and sharp at his back, like a protective shroud watching over their home.

Obi-Wan often took this roll on himself, settling up here watching the horizon. He had absently kept an eye out for Tuskens in the mountains and roaming the plains. He’d seen the occasional silhouette on the rocky crags above, but they had not come any closer thus far. Obi-Wan hoped they stayed away. Anakin, Padmé, and himself could definitely defend their home with ease, but it was an unnecessary stress and would likely draw too much attention to themselves. Attention they desperately didn’t want.

He also watched for any unknown persons moving across the flats in front of the house. The vast majority of the time, there was absolutely nothing out there but the sand, the wind and the dancing flurries created by the two. He’d seen the occasional life-form, but most moved swiftly away, headed towards the more populated settlements. The only visitor they ever had was Padmé’s doctor who dropped in once a week on his usual tour around the outer homesteads. Even Padmé’s new friend, Jeina, would have Padmé come to her in town. They all agreed it was safest this way. The less people who knew exactly where they lived, the better. Also, they all felt more likely to slip up on using their code names if they were at home.

When he wasn’t up on the cliff or embarrassingly falling asleep in strange places, Obi-Wan would slip off into the mountains to investigate their surroundings more thoroughly. He’d discovered a few flat areas that he could clamber up to, able to survey the occasional canyon or other sections of land. After one mishap, where he hadn’t been focusing and slipped down a rocky slope, he discovered a network of caves leading deep underground, a secret, twisting labyrinth hidden beneath the surface. Obi-Wan had taken to using it to practice katas with his lightsaber in the near darkness. He didn’t trust the light from his ‘saber out in the open. He knew that the light would carry obviously across the Tatooine flats, again drawing unwanted attention. He had resolved to ask Anakin to join him for a duel once the thought of Anakin fighting him stopped making him want to curl up on the ground and hyperventilate.

They had healed a lot of the wounds between them both. Obi-Wan had been completely fucking floored at Anakin’s instance that he was happy with Obi-Wan as his Master, and didn’t blame Obi-Wan for his fall. He’d…always felt so inadequate as his Master; the failed Padawan taking on the Chosen One the day after he was knighted. Obi-Wan had done his best, but some days he had had no Sith-damned idea what he was doing raising a Padawan, especially one who had grown up outside the Temple. The memory of Anakin gently but firmly professing his admiration for Obi-Wan had replayed in his head frequently, each time spreading warmth thought his body.

However, even though a lot of issues between them had been resolved, and Obi-Wan didn’t feel like the worst failure the temple had ever produced, he was still experiencing flashbacks and dreams of Mustafar. The accursed vision continuing to haunt him long after he had solved the problem. He knew objectively that Anakin was not Vader. Anakin was not the monster in his memories. But every so often Anakin would move or look a certain way, and Obi-Wan’s chest would go tight and nausea would roll to the forefront of his attention.

He was very kriffing sick of feeling terrible all the damn time. Obi-Wan would also give almost anything for a decent nights sleep. He had been trying to hide it, but both Anakin and Padmé seemed to be trying their damnedest to make him sleep.

He signed out his frustration, releasing it to the Force.

Obi-Wan’s head shot up as he heard footsteps approaching.

“Hey, Obi-Wan,” Anakin clambered up beside him, light brown tunics faintly stained with sand and grease.

“Anakin,” he greeted warmly.

“What are you up to?”

“Meditating,” Obi-Wan replied. “Thinking.”

Anakin dropped down on his right, slinging a casual arm about Obi-Wan’s shoulder.

This physicality of their relationship was not necessarily new, but Anakin had been far more liberal with his touches over the past few weeks. Obi-Wan assumed it was because he was relaxed and happy, but he’d never shown so much interest in wrapping himself up in Obi-Wan before, and he wasn’t quite sure what it meant. He wasn’t complaining however. The comfort, when he could stand it, was quite welcome.

“Hm,” Anakin said, “well, don’t sit out here too long. You’ll get burnt again.”

Obi-Wan ignored that comment, faintly allowing himself to lean into the embrace. “Why are you up here?”

Anakin smiled brightly, his blue eyes shining. “I need a favour. I’m heading into town to fiddle with Daragh’s podracer; it’s burning fuel like crazy and he can’t get it sorted on his own. Can you do my midday water round? I can do yours this evening?”

“Of course, Anakin,” Obi-Wan said.

Anakin had been loitering around Daragh ever since he’d gotten wind that he was building a podracer. Padmé and Obi-Wan had firmly told Anakin a week or so ago that he couldn’t race. It would be far too suspicious. Anakin had tired to argue that he wouldn’t let himself win, but Padmé had just laughed at him, and continued to shake her head, before she changed the subject entirely. They all knew better; in all likelihood, Anakin would get carried away and win. Anakin had accepted the decision quietly, but worked around the stipulation of not racing by involving himself heavily in the mechanical side of things. The local podracers had been thrilled to discover that Seripas, now the local tech miracle-worker, knew his way around a pod.

“Want anything while I’m in?” Anakin asked.

Obi-Wan shook his head.

Anakin didn’t move.

“Aren’t you going into town?” Obi-Wan asked after a minute of sitting in silence.

“Not just yet.” Anakin leant the sides of their heads together. “I thought I could meditate with you for a bit?”

“Of course.”

Anakin quickly shuffled himself so that he was sitting crosslegged beside Obi-Wan, matching his posture exactly. Obi-Wan placed his hands upwards on his knees and was unsurprised when Anakin’s left hand settled over his. It had startled Obi-Wan the first time it had happened, before Anakin had muttered out a nervous explanation that it helped him focus. Now, it was a normal part of their routine.

Obi-Wan curled his fingers around Anakin’s and gently led him down into calm and quiet. Obi-Wan swept aside his worries and allowed himself to just float happily with Anakin’s physical and Force warmth beside him. Anakin’s presence in the Force was always so bright, and now that he was calm and happy, it was an incredibly soothing feeling.

After a time, Anakin exhaled loudly and gently pulled away. Obi-Wan slowly rose out of his meditation, opening his eyes to the bright light of Tatooine. He was greeted by the vibrant grin of Anakin smiling down at him.

Anakin practically glowed in the sunlight. His brown hair had lightened somewhat from being outdoors and was now a dirty blond, his skin was radiant and warm, with blue eyes glittering happily. It created an awfully uncomfortable feeling in his chest.

Obi-Wan pushed it away.

“I have to go,” Anakin said quietly. “See you tonight.”

He smiled. “Have fun.”

Anakin gave him a lazy salute and disappeared back down to the house. Obi-Wan watched in silence as Anakin sped across the desert in the speeder, straight for Mos Espa. A trail of dust and sand kicked up behind him, creating an obvious trail.

Anakin was so much happier. They’d been on Tatooine for weeks now, and Anakin had settled into the change with ease. He appeared to be relishing the freedom of what he did with his life, particularly the fact he and Padmé didn’t have to hide their relationship. Anakin and Padmé were barely able to keep their hands off of each other. It had made Obi-Wan uncomfortable for the first little while. He’d never before now experienced their affection for one another in person, at least, not since that kiss during their first time on Genosis. Obi-Wan had known about them from then on out, quietly pretending not to notice, but having to experience it on a daily basis had been a bit of a shock to his system. He’d always pushed such thoughts about the two of them aside, but now he had to face it.

Obi-Wan centred himself and released his emotions to the Force. It wouldn’t do to dwell on any of those thoughts.

He’d become very good at letting his worries go over the last couple of weeks. As much as he felt better, knowing that everything was okay between him and Anakin, Obi-Wan could still feel the drowning weight of what he’d lost.

There were still raw wounds in his mind from where ties to different Jedi had been. He suspected Anakin wasn’t suffering so much, as none of the other Jedi had ever made much of an effort with him, so there weren't as many bonds to break. That, and Anakin’s connection to the Force was like staring into the sun. Obi-Wan felt that any real damage would have been healed quickly.


He missed his home.

He missed his family.

Obi-Wan had been trying to do as Yoda had instructed before it all went to hell, and connect to Qui-Gon’s spirit, hoping the spirits of the rest of his family were out there as well. Annoyingly, his mind and body were so unsettled that the attempts felt futile and it was just creating more frustration for himself.

Obi-Wan attempted to reach Qui-Gon for a final time, before he swore in vexation and trudged back down to the flat-lands.

He did the tour of the vaporators as Anakin had requested, carefully checking each was functioning and wasn’t clogged with sand. Once he felt confident they were all working and collecting properly, Obi-Wan sat on the ground and lost himself in his head again.

He would have to think seriously about leaving again soon.

The childrens' births were imminent; Dr Bavanth most recently suggested it would likely be sometime this week, though it was really anybody’s guess. He’d given Padmé another two weeks before he wanted to induce the labour.

After the birth, assuming everything went fine, Obi-Wan planned to go. He didn’t want to keep imposing on them. He wanted to find out who survived the Jedi purge. He needed to know what was going on in the galaxy. He wanted to stab Palpatine in his evil, manipulative fucking face.

He sighed, pushing that thought aside.

Obi-Wan knew that Master Yoda had already attempted that and failed, given the ongoing presence of the now-Emperor on all of the news holos he had managed to get his hands on. If Yoda had failed, Obi-Wan didn’t think he would have much of a chance on his own. He still worried about Anakin though.

After that last, huge outburst a few weeks again, Obi-Wan had a very strong suspicion that Sidious had a bond of some kind with Anakin. The moment Anakin had lowered his shielding, he’d shifted quickly, his Force presence twisting angrily and exploding out around him. Obi-Wan then speculated that this bond might explain the unusual gap in Anakin’s memories in regard to the attack on the Temple. That, however, would take more investigation. That would mean going back to the Temple. The very thought of which made him feel ill. The memory of his home, desecrated—

He shook it off.

Anakin had also been doing much better in reigning in his temper. Ignoring the huge outburst that Obi-Wan didn’t believe was really him, Anakin had been his usual mercurial self, fluctuating between emotions often and dramatically. He had, however, been doing as suggested and was seeking out either Padmé or himself to talk to. Sometimes they had to just about tie Anakin down to get him to talk, but most of the time he came to them willingly.

About a week ago, Anakin had paced around Obi-Wan, angry and frustrated. Obi-Wan had been doing his evening water collection round, and Anakin had been surly, kicking up sand as Obi-Wan worked. Once Obi-Wan was done however, Anakin had requested they meditate together.

“What’s wrong?” Obi-Wan had asked once they had both found a soft pile of sand to sit on.

Anakin had immediately dropped his meditative pose and flopped back onto the sand, his hair spread around him. “I’m…really scared,” Anakin had admitted reluctantly.

Obi-Wan relaxed his posture and stared over at Anakin. “What about?”

“Padmé,” Anakin said. “The children.”


Anakin had sat up again, lose grains of sand caught up in his hair, his blue eyes boring into Obi-Wan’s. “I don't want her to die. And—I know it shouldn’t happen; the doctor says she's fine, my dreams have stopped, and if your vision was right… it was me…” Anakin trailed off, eyes going distant. “But what if we’re wrong?” he finished finally.


“I can’t live without her, Obi-Wan,” Anakin whispered.

“It will be fine, Anakin,” Obi-Wan had reassured him, silently praying to every god he had ever heard of in his travels that he was right. As much as Anakin didn’t realise it, Obi-Wan knew, without a doubt thanks to his vision, that this was what Sidious had turned him with. “She’s got both of us here and we have to trust the doctor. Padmé is also very strong and is not going anywhere without a fight and you know it. Is that the only thing that’s worrying you?” Obi-Wan asked.

Anakin shook his head, sand falling from him. “What if I’m a terrible father?”

Obi-Wan had smiled, reached across the gap between them, and took his hand, knowing how much that helped calm him. “Anakin, I have complete faith that you will be a great father,” Obi-Wan had said once Anakin was looking at him again. “You were a great Master to Ahsoka, and raising a child is very similar; You look after them, you love them, and you teach them.”

“But I failed Ahsoka,” Anakin argued, face scrunching unhappily. “She left.”

Obi-Wan shook his head. “She may have left the Jedi, but you still taught her to look after herself and you taught her to think for herself. Those lessons are what will have helped her… and it’s not as though she hates you. I know the pair of you were still meeting up before all of this happened.”

“Yeah,” Anakin allowed.

Obi-Wan had smiled. “You’re going to be great, Anakin. I believe in you.”

From there, Anakin had perked up and hadn’t been quite so nervous about it all. He’d still obviously been worried, Obi-Wan catching the occasional thoughtful look on Anakin’s face, but he never again had reached the point of angry pacing. Overall, Anakin had been handling himself exceptionally well.

“Obi-Wan?” Padmé’s voice called from inside the house, breaking him from his thoughts.

“Hm?” He called back, still staring out at the desert.

Anakin had been gone for some time, and he always had a tight feeling in his chest when Anakin left him and Padmé on their own. There was still a faint worry in his heart that Anakin would leave them; Join Sidious again or just vanish into unknown space. Objectively, Obi-Wan knew it would never happen, Anakin would never abandon Padmé or his children. Unfortunately the irrational thoughts still chased him, and it dove him to distraction with the anxious feeling in his chest never leaving him whenever Anakin was absent.

Obi-Wan sent a questioning poke along the bond. It was a nervous habit he’d picked up over the last few weeks, just occasionally checking in on Anakin. After a moment, he received a weak burst of affection in return. He breathed a sigh of relief. Everything was still okay.

“Obi-Wan!?” Padmé called again, voice tight and urgent.

He turned fully back to the house, “What is it, Padmé?” he called out.


He felt fear flood into the Force.

Obi-Wan sprang to his feet. His shoes slid through the sand, struggling to gain traction as he nearly landed on his face as he attempted to run. Sand covered his robes and the doorway as he rushed in. His heart hammered in his chest, slightly breathless after the sprint to the house.

“What is it?”

Padmé stood in the living room, wide eyed and frozen, a small puddle at her feet. “Water’s broken,” she said shakily.

“Kriff,” he exhaled, mouth suddenly completely dry.

“We need a doctor,” she reminded him when he didn’t move.

“Right.” Obi-Wan tried to control his breathing. “Right. Anakin’s in town with the speeder. I’ll contact him. Okay?”

“Gods, you’re more terrified than I am, Obi-Wan!” Padmé laughed nervously. “I’m just going to—” she swirled her finger in the air, “—walk around a bit. I think that’s supposed to help.”

Obi-Wan pulled his communicator from the pocket of his robe, grip weak. This was not how he wanted it all to go down. Anakin should be here.

“Seripas,” he signalled.

There was a long moment of quiet before he received an answer.

“What is it, Hondo?” Anakin’s distorted voice came through.

“Don’t panic—” Obi-Wan began, and he saw the dirty look Padmé threw him.

“That is the absolute worst way to break news to someone,” came the crackly reply.

“—you need to bring a doctor home, Aurra is in labour,” he finished.

Faint, distorted swearing was all they heard in response. Padmé just laughed behind him at Anakin’s response.

“Is she okay?” Anakin finally asked after getting that out of his system.

Padmé appeared beside Obi-Wan and gestured to give him the comm. “She’s fine right now Ani, but you won’t be if you don’t get your butt into gear and get her a doctor,” she informed him.

“Yes ma’am,” came the reply.

“Good.” She clicked the comm off, handing it back to Obi-Wan, and then resumed her pacing.

Obi-Wan was at a complete loss at what to do. He stood in the doorway, hands clenched together as he watched her circle the room muttering furiously to herself.

“Can I get you anything?” he tried.

Padmé smiled at him. “I don’t think there’s much you can do at this point. I can’t even yell at you. You’re not the idiot man who got me into this situation in the first place.”

He smiled at her in return. “I’m sure that idiot man won’t take too long. He’s been… worried.”

Padmé pursed her lips and was silent, still circling the lounge room.

That was the real Bantha in the room. Anakin and this birth. They’d both done their best to assuage his fear that she would die during the children's births. But…it was why he’d joined Sidious; It was the reason he had sided with the monster that had killed children and Jedi so he could rule the galaxy. If she died today, Obi-Wan and the rest of the galaxy were forfeit and Sidious would have his attack dog.

If Padmé and the children didn’t survive today, Obi-Wan would accept his death with open arms.

“Maybe a cup of tea and a towel to deal with my waters would be in order?” Padmé said finally, drawing his attention back out of his own head.

Obi-Wan nodded. “Of course.” He set to work.

Half an hour and two cups of tea later, the contractions started in earnest. The first one took them both by surprise, Padmé halting in her tracks and curling into herself, a pained cry escaping her lips. Obi-Wan was beside her in an instant, an arm supporting her, looped beneath her armpit.

“Are you okay?” He asked breathlessly.

“I’m fine,” Padmé sighed out a moment later. “Just contractions. It’s normal. I had one earlier.”

“Why didn’t you call me then?” Obi-Wan asked.

“I thought it was another practice one,” Padmé explained. “I’ve had a couple of those over the past week.” She laughed. “I scared the hell out of Anakin a couple of days ago. It’s totally normal.”

“Alright. I will take your word for it. This is not an area I know a lot about.” Obi-Wan admitted to her. He was well versed in actual children, having spent rather a lot of time in the crèche with the younglings—he cut off that train of thought. Not today.

“Well, you’re going to be learning quickly,” she informed him. “Twins are going to be a handful.”

He paused. Did she expect him to stay? He’d done his duty; saved Anakin from himself; saved Padmé from his anger; saved the children from their fate. His job was done once the children were born and Padmé lived. They didn’t need him anymore.

His chest constricted.

Force, that thought hurt more than it should have.

“Obi-Wan?” came Padmé’s voice, a question lingering on the edge of her tone.

“It’s nothing,” he replied, forcing a smile to his lips. “More tea?”

Padmé shook her head and continued pacing around the lounge. Obi-Wan wasn’t sure he believed that the walking helped, but it seemed to be helping her mentally. While Padmé was coming across as very composed, there was a nervous tightness lingering about her eyes and lips. They both needed a distraction.

“Have you decided on names?” Obi-Wan tried.

“We’re down to four,” Padmé said, continuing to circle. “Luke, Kadar, Jade and Leia; That way we’re covered regardless of gender. Anakin said I get to choose once we see them.”

They’re good names,” Obi-Wan said.

“Any preference from you?”

Obi-Wan blinked. “Oh. I… I suppose I rather like Luke.”

“Same here.” Padmé nodded.

Another thirty minutes passed in idle conversation before Padmé cried out again, face scrunched unhappily.

“Ah, fuck!” she exclaimed. “Fucking fuck this! I’m going to murder Anakin!”

Obi-Wan involuntarily laughed, before moving closer to support her again. Padmé’s knees looked rather weak. “Come sit down with me?” Obi-Wan offered.

Some time later, when she could breathe again, Padmé nodded weakly. “Yeah. Okay.”

Obi-Wan led her back to the couch. She collected all the pillows, propping them up behind her, before settling back on them, facing Obi-Wan. He sat down and Padmé moved to place her legs up on his lap.

“We’ve got hours of this ahead of us.” Padmé flopped her head back on the pillows, sighing. “Why can’t they just magically pop out? That would be so much easier.”

“It would be.” Obi-Wan placed a hand on her leg where it rested on his lap, rubbing a calming thumb over her skin. “It’ll be okay.”

“I know.” She let out a deep breath. “Thank you.”

Padmé closed her eyes, and continued to lay back against the pillows. She didn’t actually sleep, her muscles beneath his hands still far too tense for that, but she at least tried to settle herself. Her long brown hair curled artfully about her shoulders, cascading down the pillows she lay on.

The pair of them sat in the quiet, Obi-Wan continuing his absent petting of Padmé’s leg. This was… somewhat awkward. It really should be Anakin here with her.

He hoped Anakin was doing okay in town. He gently prodded along the bond, feeling an underlying feeling of worry. Obi-Wan really wasn’t sure if it was his or Anakin’s.

The comm unit beeped.

“Yes?” Obi-Wan said, opening the channel.

“How is she?” Anakin’s voice crackled, jumping straight to the point.

Padmé huffed out a laugh, hands indicating he hand it over.

“Hello darling,” Padmé said, her voice warm. Her eyes always went beautifully soft when she spoke to Anakin. It was truly lovely. “I’m fine. How was the pod?”

The distraction worked perfectly. Anakin launched into fast detail about the pod, blurting out information on the engine and the wiring, detailing how the thrusters had been the issue, draining power and fuel like no tomorrow. Anakin took a deep inhale at the end, not having stopped for a real breath for a few minutes. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Padmé smiled into the device. “Yeah, Obi-Wan is keeping me company—ahh!” Of course, that was the exact moment another contraction hit, Padmé squeaking out her pain and displeasure.

“What’s wrong?” Anakin’s voice shook. “Are you okay? Padmé?”

Obi-Wan took the comm out of Padmé’s shaking grip and gently stroked his other hand soothingly along her leg. “Padmé is fine,” Obi-Wan said, sending a wave of calm along their bond. “She’s just having contractions.”

It was a tense thirty seconds before Padmé relaxed again, sucking in air, and took the comm back. “Sorry darling,” Padmé huffed to Anakin. “I’m fine. The contractions are awful, but it’s all good. Obi-Wan’s got me covered.” Padmé smiled brightly at him. “How are you going with the doctor?”

There was a distorted sigh. “I finally found his practice, but I’m stuck here for now; He’s in the middle of surgery.”

“No problem,” Padmé said softly. “We’ll all be fine until he’s free. Obi-Wan is keeping me relaxed and tea-ed up.”

“Okay. I’m sorry I’m not there,” Anakin said quietly.

“It’s okay, sweetheart,” Padmé soothed. “There was no way of knowing. You’ll be here soon enough. Just… stay calm, okay?”

“Okay,” Anakin responded. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” Padmé said. “We’ll see you soon.”

Padmé switched off the comm and tossed it on the table, dropping her head back against the pillows, letting out a cry of frustration.

“Are you alright, Padmé?”

“On the one hand,” Padmé began, brown eyes staring up at the ceiling, “I’m upset Anakin isn’t here. But on the other hand I am really glad he’s not here.”

Obi-Wan blinked at her. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“Kiss me?” Padmé asked quietly to the roof.

Obi-Wan froze, his heart fluttering oddly. She— “What?”

“No—uh, I just,” Padmé stuttered out, voice shaking. “Can I cuddle up to you? I just…I want to feel loved. I’m fucking terrified right now, Obi-Wan. Please?”


“Of course.”

Padmé shifted on the couch, pulling her legs from his lap and clambering over to Obi-Wan. She dragged the pillows over, telling him to, “Hop up for a moment.” Doing as instructed, Padmé tossed the pillows against the alcove, before ushering him to sit back down and lean against it. Once he was settled, his back against the alcove and legs resting across the couch, Padmé snuggled up next to him. She slid in beside him, pressing up against him and resting her head on Obi-Wan’s chest. Obi-Wan could feel her warmth through their clothes, and could smell the faint vanilla hints of Padmé’s perfume. He could see a faint sheen of perspiration on her forehead, hands quivering where they clutched her shirt.

“Here.” Obi-Wan lifted his arm and wrapped it around her shoulder, his fingers then untangling where Padmé held her tunic, and gently cradling them in his own. Padmé let out a long breath, her fingers twining together with his, her grip very firm.

“Thank you,” Padmé said earnestly.

Obi-Wan leant forward and rested his face in her hair. “It’s no trouble.”

“I just—” Padmé began again, her voice tense. “What are we going to do about Anakin? I’d put good credits on the fact he’s going to be a fucking nightmare tonight.”

“I…suspect you are correct,” Obi-Wan allowed.

“I—Anakin fell because of this, didn’t he?” Padmé asked. “We haven't really talked about it, but I’m not stupid; It was his fucking dreams.” When he didn’t respond, she pressed on, voice demanding, “I’m right, aren't I, Obi-Wan?”

Obi-Wan stroked her fingers, quietly responding, “Yes.”

“Kriffing hells,” Padmé exhaled. “I—ah!”

She tensed against him, her grip on his hand tightening painfully. Padmé leant back into him, putting her whole weight against him as another contraction tore through her. She panted harshly though it, gripping his hand the entire time, whispering variations on “Fuck” and “Ow” and some very creative threats.

After what felt like and hour, but in reality was likely closer to twenty seconds, Padmé went limp against him again, head flopping back against his chest.

“Obi-Wan?” Padmé murmured.


“Never get anyone pregnant,” she deadpanned.

Obi-Wan huffed out a laugh. “I wasn’t planning on it, but noted.”

The pair of them lay together, Padmé turning slightly to lay more on her side and buried her face in Obi-Wan’s shirt, continuing to grip his had tightly. With his free hand, he began carding his fingers through her hair, trying to exude calm into the Force. She felt so small and fragile in his arms, but he knew how dangerous and fierce she really was.  Padmé had always worked for what was right, regardless of the danger to herself. Obi-Wan admired her greatly for her assured confidence and sharp intelligence. He wanted to gather her up and make her feel safe and happy; Padmé never deserved to be dragged into such a mess. She deserved more than hiding in the outer rim, curled up against him as a fill-in for her husband. He released those tangled emotions to the Force and continued to wrap Padmé in as much calm as he could muster.

Slowly, Padmé relaxed against him.

“What are we going to do with Anakin when he gets home?” Padmé muttered into his tunic.

Obi-Wan continued petting her hair, “I suppose we should both stay as calm as we can for him—” Padmé just laughed. “—but if he’s being a pain for you, send him out of the room for the birth.”

“You think you can watch him?” Padmé asked.

“I can only try.”

Padmé exhaled. “I have a bad feeling about this.”

Chapter Text

“Force, I hate this,” Anakin exclaimed throwing his arms into the air. He had been pacing around the lounge since Padmé had kicked him out of their bedroom. Apparently he was ‘too stressful to have in the room’.

Anakin’s afternoon had felt like an ongoing nightmare.

After a prolonged moment of panic in Mos Espa at Obi-Wan’s comm call, Anakin had gathered his wits and had gone to find Doctor Bavanth. Up until this point, the doctor had been coming to them to check on Padmé, so Anakin had to ask around for his practice. After an hour and countless questions to the locals, he had an address and a punding headache. He’d wound his way through the still familiar Mos Espa streets—it really hadn't changed much in the last decade—weaving between buildings to find the address he was looking for. After circling a block twice, he discovered the entrance down a small alleyway.

He’d then had to wait another two anxiety fuelled hours.

The assistant, a very tall near-human woman with bright purple eyes, had told Anakin that the doctor was mid-surgery to a life-threatening blaster wound, and assured him that the babies would not be born for some time if contractions had only just started. That had not, however, prevented him from pacing up and down the room he waited in, following an imaginary line back and forth in the waiting area. He felt sick. He should have stayed at home. What if he wasn’t at home and something went wrong? What if he never saw Padmé again?

He’d then felt a prod from Obi-Wan through their bond and immediately whipped out his comm unit, calling quickly, anxious worry crawling up in his throat. He was immediately relived when everything turned out to be fine, breathlessly relaying his afternoon to Padmé and Obi-Wan. He’d nearly felt calm up until Padmé had cried out in pain. Anakin had rushed forward mindlessly, feeling as though he had to do something but found nothing but empty air before him. Obi-Wan had assuaged his fears, informing him it was just contractions and nothing was wrong.

It hadn’t stopped the wild beating of his heart though. Anakin just about felt how he usually would after a battle; cranked out of his mind on adrenaline and jumpy as fuck. After a final chat to Padmé, Anakin was left alone in the waiting room, lost in his own head again.

There was nearly a dent in the floor where he’d been pacing by the time Brato finally appeared. The light on the ceiling might have been shaking somewhat as well. Anakin hoped no-one noticed that.

“Ah, Seripas,” Brato greeted him, tugging off a bloodied coat as he entered the reception area. “How are you today?”

“Stressed out of my mind,” Anakin said honestly.

Brato laughed, a deep warm sound. “That is to be expected. Give me some time to prepare and then we can go.”

Once Bavanth was cleaned up, he spent some time packing a variety of materials into a large bag. Anakin’s chest clenched at the surgical items that went in. He hoped beyond all measure that they wouldn’t need any of them. Anakin watched the entire process with the sharp intelligence of a zillo beast, cataloguing each individual item.

“You have some terrible first birth jitters, son,” Brato had informed him once they were both in the speeder. Anakin had just grunted at him, not wanting to engage in the conversation. He was trying his hardest not to focus on his fears. “Not the worst I’ve seen, though,” he added conversationally.

“Oh?” Anakin bit.

Brato grinned at him, orange and black markings shifting menacingly. “You haven’t threatened to kill me yet.”

Anakin blinked. “I hadn't thought of that.” Anakin supposed he should be very proud of himself for that oversight.

Bavanth laughed and watched the desert fly past them, Anakin flooring it. He stared directly ahead, his mind resolutely focused on home, the actual driving more of a reflex than a conscious action. Anakin had felt gently along his bond with Obi-Wan when he’d gotten closer to the homestead, pressing forward the idea that he was nearly home, trying his best to filter out his worry. Obi-Wan sent back warmth and confirmation.

When they’d reached the farm, Obi-Wan had been standing at the door waiting for them. Putting the speeder into park, Anakin had leapt from the vehicle, dashing across the yard and pausing when he reached his friend.

“How is Padmé?” Anakin asked urgently.

Obi-Wan gave him a warm smile, a hand sliding up his arm and sending a pulse of reassurance across their bond. Obi-Wan stroked a gentle circle on his arm with his thumb, “She’s fine. Not very pleased with you and in some pain, but fine. I’ll help the doctor in if you want to talk.”

Anakin nodded and headed inside.

Padmé was sitting on a throne of pillows on the couch, teeth gritted and staring straight ahead, breathing heavily through her nose. “After this is over, Ani,” she huffed out, “we are having a long talk about enhancing our contraceptive habits.”

He laughed weakly and moved across the room to sit beside her. “Of course, love.”

When she next relaxed, Anakin wrapped his arm around her waist and buried his face in her hair. She was still here. She was fine. Anakin could smell and feel her. He exhaled slowly. Everything was okay. Anakin leant in and pressed a kiss to her cheek, his left hand cradling her head. Padmé leant back against him, allowing the affection. She’d then turned her head and caught his lips in hers. Padmé was gentle, her lips soft and just allowing them both to reassure each other they were there.

“Are you doing okay?” Anakin asked, their lips still brushing.

Padmé sighed and pulled back. “Yes. I’m getting sick of this whole labour thing and would rather like these damned contractions to fuck off. Otherwise, I’m fine, though I suspect if you ask me that in a few hours, the answer will be different.” Padmé laughed, high and nervous. “Are you okay?”

Anakin shrugged. “I’ll be fine. I’m just…anxious.” Understatement of the year.

Padmé kissed his cheek. “That’s to be expected; this is a stressful situation. Just don’t let it overwhelm you, darling”

“I’ll try.” Anakin had leant in for another kiss, but Padmé pulled back, a sly grin on her lips.

“You owe me a kiss once we have two healthy babies in our hands,” she said gently.

Anakin nodded jerkily. Padmé believed she would be fine. Obi-Wan believed she would be fine. It would be fine. It would be fine.

…He just kept remembering his awful fucking dreams.

From there, Doctor Bavanth had arrived and sat down on the lounge table, talking to Padmé. He gently questioned her, allowing a pause when another contraction hit her. Padmé had just about crushed his fingers when she reflexively grabbed onto Anakin at the pain. Brato had helped her breathe through it, before resuming their discussion. The Zabrak finally talked her through what to expect, and that she needed to do as instructed. Padmé had nodded, her face set and focused. Padmé was okay. He was okay. It would be okay.

Brato had then relocated Padmé and Anakin into their bedroom and he started preparing for the birth, unpacking everything from his bag. Anakin had tried his hardest to stay calm in the room, but had to be asked to leave after the first hour. He’d been unsettled and twitchy, jumping at most things, especially her contractions, and very nearly snapped at Brato. After that, Padmé had glared at him and ordered him back upstairs.

So here he was, pacing around the lounge, likely driving Obi-Wan insane. It had been hours since he had last seen his wife, but he could feel her distress leaking into the Force, and it was grating against his senses. He wanted to help. He wanted to know she was okay. His heart had been lodged in his throat for hours now and he felt as though he could just about vibrate out of his skin.

“This waiting is intolerable and I kriffing hate it!” Anakin exclaimed.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Obi-Wan flinch.

Obi-Wan had settled onto the couch, a cup of tea in hand and a blanket draped over him. Padmé had been in labor since around mid-afternoon and now the twin suns had thoroughly set. The desert often dropped to freezing temperatures at night and Obi-Wan was often cold, much more used to the temperature controlled environments of starships and the Temple.

Obi-Wan placed the tea on the table in front of the couch. “She’ll be fine. The doctor said he didn’t anticipate any problems.” He sounded calm and determined, but Anakin could see the faint tremor in the cup as he placed it down, before shaky hands were hidden beneath the blanket.

“Then why are you so nervous?” Anakin bit out. Anakin knew he was being irrational. He could hear the words coming out of his mouth and just about regretted them as soon he said it, but it just kept happening. He was just so fucking stressed. He was trying to breath calmly, he was trying to focus, but it just kept slipping through his grasp. “Force, I hate this!

There was the flinch again.

What?” he exclaimed, rounding on Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan’s jaw clenched, and he looked away. “I’m going for a short walk,” Obi-Wan said, suddenly standing. He wrapped the blanket firmly about himself and walked out the front door.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin called after him.

No reply.

Anakin circled the room a few times, frustrated, stressed, and above all angry with himself. He didn’t mean go off at Obi-Wan. Surely Obi-Wan knew that? Anakin was fucking terrified of Padmé dying tonight. He knew it was unlikely. He knew the doctor said it would be fine. Yet his memories of his dreams kept pushing themselves to the forefront of his mind. Anakin’s breathing came hard and fast as he paced around the house, doing his absolute best not to break anything. Some of the plates in the kitchen had been rattling ominously earlier.

Some time passed as he worked on wearing a dent into the floor, until Anakin finally noticed that Obi-Wan hadn’t returned. Anakin paused in his pacing and stared thoughtfully at the door. Stay or go. Stay or go.

“Kriffing Sith-hells,” Anakin muttered and took off after him.

Anakin circled the house, but found nothing. He supposed Obi-Wan was probably up on his usual ridge where he often went to sit or think or meditate. He climbed the loose path slowly, the darkness making it difficult. He spotted Obi-Wan’s silhouette exactly where he thought he would be. Seated on a patch of rocks overlooking the house, staring off into the darkness of the desert and the flickering stars in the sky.

“Obi-Wan?” he called.

He heard a sharp inhale ahead of him, and noticed the quivering of the blanket as he approached. Of course Obi-Wan was cold, it was kriffing freezing out here. Anakin could just see Obi-Wan in the light reflected up from the house.

“What’s got you so worked up?” Anakin asked bluntly as he neared. Fuck. Again. Had his filter completely fucking broken!?

Obi-Wan shook his head and words struggled to escape his lips. “Nothing. Go back inside. Padmé needs you.”

Anakin probed at their bond, but was met with durasteel walls. Anakin frowned; Obi-Wan was hiding something.

“I’m not just leaving you out here,” Anakin pressed, sitting down beside his old master. “It’s cold.”

Obi-Wan flinched away from the hand he attempted to place on his shoulder. “Just go.” Obi-Wan turned to face him, a blatantly fake smile plastered on his face. “I’m fine. I just need some time up here; go and look after your wife.”

“What are you even worried about,” Anakin blurted out, “you said it was going to be fine?! Why are you doing this? Is it not going to be fine? I don’t—I don't understand.”

Obi-Wan just shook his head, murmuring out, “It is fine, Anakin.”

“Then why—?”

“Don't worry. Just go.”

What was happening? Why—why was Obi-Wan behaving like this? What did he know that Anakin didn’t? Had Obi-Wan lied about Padmé? About the dream? Anakin felt anxious dread clog up his throat, his mind swirling in darkness, his hands shaking violently. He felt thick, murky confusion fog his brain. Anakin had hit his limit, worry and frustration bubbling over, his voice spitting out, “Force, I hate you sometimes!”

Obi-Wan broke before his eyes.

His eyes widened like saucers before his entire body curled in on itself, his hands gripping tighter to the blanket, white knuckled and shaking. Tears slipped past Obi-Wan’s now sightless eyes, dripping into his forearms, as he struggled to get a breath past his lips. Anakin felt the mental walls between them shimmering oddly. 

Anakin went wide eyed in return, his chest suddenly tight with a different kind of fear.

He hadn’t meant to do that.

“Obi-Wan?” he tried.

He heard his Master whispering beside him. Most of the words were unintelligible, but Anakin could hear the tone of abject fear and misery in them.

Anakin reached out a hand a touched his fingertip to his friends shoulder; Obi-Wan's  shields fell like curtains around his head, unexpected and heavy and Anakin involuntarily watched what could have been play out before him.

~ ~ ~

Anakin could see through Obi-Wan’s eyes.

He stood at the top of the ramp of Padmé’s ship, watching as Padmé spoke to himself on Mustafar, their words only just audible.

“Anakin, I was so worried about you! Obi-Wan... told me terrible things!” Padmé said.

“What things?” he saw himself—no—Vader ask.

A pause. “He said... you turned to the Dark Side. That you... killed Younglings!” There was horror in Padmé's voice, the fear slipping into her words, her posture screaming anxiety.

“Obi-Wan is trying to turn you against me,” Vader argued, his voice dark.

Padmé shook her head. “He cares about us.”


“He knows. He wants to help you,” she tried so hard to convince him. “Anakin, all I want is your love.”

“Love won't save you, Padmé. Only my new powers can do that!” Vader asserted.

“But at what cost? You're a good person, don't do this!” He could hear the heartbreak in her voice.

Anakin felt a cold, creeping horror begin to curl around his mind; this was nearly him. This was him, moments away from the person he’d been when Obi-Wan had tried to help him. How could he allow this to happen? Anakin loved Padmé. How could he ever, Sith or not, ignore her pleading with him like this? Every cell in his body protested the wrongness of the scene.

“I won't lose you the way I lost my Mother. I am becoming more powerful than any Jedi has ever dreamed of, and I'm doing it for you! To protect you!” Vader spat.

“Come away with me,” Padmé begged. “Help me raise our child far away. Leave everything else behind while we still can!”

“No. Don't you see?” Vader said. “We don't have to run away anymore! We no longer have to hide our love for each other. I am more powerful than the Chancellor, I... I can overthrow him! And together, you and I can rule the galaxy! We can make things the way we want them to be!”

Padmé’s voice had gone shrill, terrified. “I don't believe what I'm hearing! Obi-Wan was right... you've changed! You have turned to the Dark Side! You're not Anakin anymore!”

He sees furious rage slice across Vader’s face, his voice darkening.“I don't want to hear any more about Obi-Wan. The Jedi turned against me—Don’t you turn against me!”

“Anakin, you're breaking my heart! You're going down a path I cannot follow!” Padmé was crying now, and Anakin felt his own heart tear in two. How was Vader not moved by any of this?

“Because of Obi-Wan?” Vader asked.

Force, he was a moron.

Anakin could feel the turbulent emotions within Obi-Wan. His horror at what was happening, his desire to step in and help, but worried that would make things worse, trying to give Padme time to reach Anakin.

“Because of what you've done... what you plan to do! Stop! Stop now... come back... I love you!” 

Anakin then saw his own golden eyes lock with himself, or rather, Obi-Wan. He watched as the rage and anger reached boiling point, as Vader screamed insanely at his wife, “Liar!”

“No!” Padmé cried out, turning, shocked as he was to see Obi-Wan there.

“You’re with him! You brought him here to kill me!” Vader accused.

Padmé tried to reason with him.“No! Anakin. I swear… I—"

He watched in horror, both his and Obi-Wan's, as he Force choked his own heart. Padmé raised slightly off the ground as Vader constricted the air in her throat. Anakin felt sick at the image.

“Let her go, Anakin,” he heard Obi-Wan call out and moved closer to the scene.

He still had Padmé strung in the air, still raving. “What have you and she been up to?”

Obi-Wan tried again. “Let her go!”

Vader released his grip on a now unconscious Padmé and she crumpled to the ground. Anakin wanted to cry, wanted to scream. Watching her still body laying on the hot ground of Mustafar drove him to distraction. How could he ever even think of doing such a thing?

“You turned her against me,” Vader yelled, insensible.

“You have done that yourself.” Obi-Wan sounded resigned. Disappointed.

Anakin watched as Vader threw off his cloak. “You will not take her from me.”

“Your anger and your lust for power have already done that,” Obi-Wan fired back and dropped his own cloak. “You have allowed this Dark Lord to twist your mind until now . . . until now you have become the very thing you swore to destroy.”

Obi-Wan was right.

They circled each other until Obi-Wan was near Padmé and he placed his hand on her. There was still a tiny spark of life that Obi-Wan could feel, but it was as faint as bird wings. Obi-Wan didn’t think she would last long and his heart sank further. Vader had ripped out her life force at the base. She was fading fast and there was nothing he could do to help her. He'd failed. Anakin could feel that crushing weight of failure boring down on Obi-Wan.

Anakin wanted to scream and tried to pull away from the memory, but it held him fast. He did’t want to see this. He didn’t want to see her die.

“Don't lecture me, Obi-Wan. I see through the lies of the Jedi,” Vader continued, stalking his old Master. “I do not fear the Dark Side as you do. I have brought peace, justice, freedom, and security to my new Empire.”

Your new Empire?” Obi-Wan asked, incredulous.

“Don't make me kill you,” Vader said. Anakin thought it sounded empty; Vader was clearly spoiling for a fight, his movements dripping with blatant desire for confrontation.

Obi-Wan was pleading now, trying to see something in him, “Anakin, my allegiance is to the democracy!

Vader yelled in response, “If you're not with me, you're my enemy!”

His friend’s voice settled into resignation. “Only a Sith Lord deals in absolutes. I will do what I must.” Obi-Wan ignited his lightsaber.

“You will try,” Vader replied, and lit his.

A long fight followed, both incredibly talented, they matched one another stroke for stroke, too familiar with each other to gain or give ground. Anakin could see the anger and rage and insanity in Vader’s eyes, and had never been more grateful for what Obi-Wan did those weeks ago on Mustafar. The fought through buildings and structures and lava, both far to skilled after years of war. The battle drew to a close and Obi-Wan stood on solid ground above him.

“It's over Anakin, I have the high ground.” Force, Obi-Wan was still trying to reach him.

Vader scoffed, “You underestimate my power!”

“Don't try it.”

But Vader did. Anakin knew exactly which move he would have made there as well, and was forced to watch Obi-Wan remove his legs and left arm. Anakin desperately wished he could look away. Wished he couldn't feel the rending sensation occurring in Obi-Wan's chest.

He could hear Obi-Wan cry as he yelled down to Vader’s prone form, “You were the Chosen One! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! You were to bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!”

Vader reached deep into his vat of anger, and flung out a final, “ I hate you !” his eyes blazing madly.

Anakin felt his heart constrict. It was that last statement that reverberated around his— no— Obi-Wan’s thoughts. Every muscle in his body resonating to that statement. Anakin could feel how Obi-Wan was being torn apart from the inside, his soul shattering to pieces at the death of his friends. Friends he should have been able to save. Anakin heard a final, breathless, teary statement from Obi-Wan as he responded, “You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.

Anakin had heard that before.

He feels the resigned devastation within Obi-Wan’s heart, forced to walk away from the man he had loved and raised, left to die alone and fallen. Anakin listened to Obi-Wan tearfully trudge back to the ship, broken in heart and spirit, returning to see if Padmé had managed to cling to life for just a little while longer. Obi-Wan knew she would soon be dead, if she wasn't already. No-one could survive having their life force being torn out like that. It would only be a matter of time…

~ ~ ~

The memory—dream? broke into pieces and Anakin found himself sitting atop a dark hill on Tatooine, tears streaking his and Obi-Wan’s faces.

He felt sick.

Hearing about the non-specifics from Obi-Wan on Mustafar weeks ago had been enough, but seeing it? Feeling it? It was fucking horrific.

Anakin sobbed unexpectedly, the sound bursting from him against his will, his mind trying to process everything he had seen. Force, it had come so close to coming true. That had very nearly been him. Anakin was horrified that this was what had been haunting Obi-Wan for months, what he had been forced to relive over and over.

Anakin curled his entire body around Obi-Wan, his arms clinging tightly to his friend. “Obi-Wan, I’m so sorry. Force, how could you have ever forgiven me?” Anakin muttered into his hair. “I love you, I love you so much, I should have said, I’m so sorry.” He pressed his face against the side of Obi-Wan’s hair, his hands stroking any bit of skin they could reach, desperate to know Obi-Wan was still here, still beside him.

Eventually, Obi-Wan pulled back, his tears having slowed and calmed his breath nearer to normal. "I’m sorry, Anakin, you didn’t need to see that.”

Anakin didn’t even know what to say to that, and just stared at Obi-Wan. The faint light radiating up from the farm below lit them both in a dim glow. Anakin could just see the brightness in Obi-Wan’s eyes, fresh from tears and a soft flush across his cheeks, his auburn hair wild about his face.

Anakin reached forward, his hand running fingers through Obi-Wan’s tousled hair before lingering on his cheek. “Obi-Wan, I—”

“Gentlemen?” A deep voice rose in the air below, calling out to them in the darkness. “The children are here.”

Force, what must the doctor think of the two of them disappearing into the night while his wife gave birth.

Obi-Wan’s eyes meet his. “Go.”

Anakin was on his feet and moving down the slope the moment after Obi-Wan spoke. He slid and nearly tripped on the sand and stones on his way down, only just catching himself with the Force. He nearly ran straight into the doctor.

“How are they?” Anakin asked, wide eyed and frantic.

Brato smiled at him. “Mother and babies are all well. Go in and see.” He gestured back into the house.

“Thank you!” Anakin cried, pulling the doctor into a tight hug, before darting downstairs and into the bedroom.

Padmé glanced up as her husband bounded through the door. He must look a sight. Padmé frowned at the surprising amount of sand covering his clothes.

“Where have you been?” Padmé asked.

Anakin didn’t reply, his eyes fixed on the two tiny bundles in her lap. They were so small. They were alive. Anakin could feel them both strongly in the Force, one asleep and the other staring up at Padmé. Anakin’s entire body flooded with euphoria. Everything was okay.

His eyes flicked back up to Padmé, finally asking, “You’re okay?”

“Obviously,” she rolled her eyes at him, smiling. “Come and meet your children. Also, you owe me something.”

He didn’t need to be told twice. Anakin carefully crawled up the bed to sit beside her. When he was finally seated, she leant in and kissed him, her lips gently folded over his, soft and grateful, if a little bit messy. Anakin stroked a hand along her cheek, his fingers tracing the side of her face. Anakin had never felt so pleased to be kissing her in his life. Padmé was completely fine. She hadn’t died. She looked exhausted, but none the worse for wear.

Anakin felt overwhelmed. His love for her bubbled over like an unwatched kettle, and he suddenly found himself pressing quick little kisses all over her face, repeating “I love you!” over and over against her skin.

After a few moments of this, Padmé pulled away, a light giggle on her lips, whispering, “I love you too, darling,” and redirected his attention. “Now this,” Padmé said, passing the sleeping baby to Anakin, “is Leia.”

Anakin was suddenly fucking terrified. What the kriff was he meant to do with her? She was so small; he could break her without even thinking about it. Anakin’s hands trembled as he took Leia from Padmé, desperately looking to her for instruction.

“Support her head,” Padmé told him.

Anakin did so, cradling his daughter in his arms. “Leia,” Anakin breathed out, staring down at the sleeping child. “She’s beautiful.” Her little face was scrunched up in sleep, pink and weirdly wrinkly. Anakin had never seen a baby this fresh before. Anakin looked up, eyes drawn to the baby in Padmé’s arms. “And that one?”

Padmé snorted, brown eyes glittering. “That one, as you so eloquently put it, is your son, Luke.”

“Luke,” Anakin repeated and reached out with his empty arm to stroke the little boy’s head. Luke’s eyes followed his movements eagerly, a bright squeak leaving his mouth at the touch.

“Oh!” Anakin said, drawing back, surprised. Luke had just projected his joy right at Anakin, happiness and contentment washing over him.

Padmé blinked over at him. “What?”

Anakin smiled at her. “Luke’s Force sensitive.”

“Leia?” she queried.

Anakin focused his attention back on the bundle in his arms. Carefully, he reached out to her, gently sliding his own awareness over Leia’s, projecting love and affection to her. After a moment, she shifted and woke up, her blue eyes focusing in on her father. She scrunched her face and fussed about in his arms, and Anakin could feel her faint displeasure at being disturbed. He laughed.

“I’d say she is as well,” Anakin admitted.

“Well it’s lucky they have you and Obi-Wan then, isn’t it?” Padmé smiled, and then suddenly paused, looking around. “Where is Obi-Wan?”

“Um. Outside?” Anakin tried. That was his guilty voice. He knew that was his guilty voice. Padmé was going to know something was up.

She raised her eyebrows at him. “Outside.”

“He was outside when I last saw him.”

“Gods kriffing save me,” Padmé muttered. “You’ve left Obi-Wan, the man we owe all of this to, outside in the cold and haven't invited him in to meet your children?”

Anakin’s eyes dropped, coming to rest on Leia. His euphoria dimmed, the memory of earlier crawling its way back into his head. “You don’t even know the half of it.”

Padmé’s voice flatlined, “What don’t I know?”

“I—um,” he paused, guilt clawing at his skin, “I was stressed and scared, and I may have yelled at him a bit. He was behaving strangely, and I might have suggested I hated him a little bit—”

Anakin!” Padmé burst out.

“I know!” he returned, furious at himself, “But I saw it, Padmé. The dream—vision—whatever. His shields broke and I saw it. I saw Mustafar.” Anakin could feel tears well up in his eyes again. “Force, it was worse than I could have imagined,” he choked, struggling to get the words out. “I killed you. I know Obi-Wan said that is what would have happened, but really seeing it— Fuck, Padmé, I never imagined I could hurt you like that. But I did. I killed you, and the babies.” He glanced back down at the small bundles, his chest bursting for joy that they were okay, safe in his arms, “I made Obi-Wan fight me. I made him kill me and I had the audacity to tell him I hated him. He just wanted to help us; wanted to keep us safe and save me from myself, and I told him I hated him.” Anakin had never hated himself more than when he’d been forced to see that vision, and had never been more grateful to Obi-Wan.

“Anakin,” she breathed out, her spare hand coming to rest against his arm.

“Force, I love him so much, Padmé,” Anakin whispered, leaning against her shoulder, a stray tear escaping his eye.

“I know you do, darling,” she replied, pressing a kiss to the side of his face. “Have you talked to him about it?”

“What do you mean?” Anakin asked.

Padmé frowned. “Have you talked about what you saw? The vision.”

“No,” Anakin replied. “Brato called me in.”

“Anakin! You need to fix this!”

He frowned, “What—?”

Padmé tried to start gently, “That beautiful man—”

“You think he’s beautiful?” Anakin cut in.

“Anakin, shut up.” She sighed in frustration. “He has just had to relive an awful period of his life, again, and know that you, the complete twit who put us all in this situation, has had a unimpeded view into that trauma, and then you’ve immediately abandoned him! You have the emotional sensitivity of a fucking rock some days, Anakin!” Her voice had risen in intensity as she spoke. “Go get him, now!”

His eyes widened. He hadn’t thought of it like that.

“Shit. Right.” Anakin removed himself from the bed after passing Leia carefully back to her mother. “Be right back.” Anakin darted upstairs, feeling fucking terrible. Padmé was always the more emotionally intelligent out of the two of them; those thoughts hadn't even crossed his mind.

He found Obi-Wan speaking to Brato in the lounge. Obi-Wan looked distinctly shaky, but was putting on a brave face and keeping up polite conversation.

“Obi—ah—Hondo.” Fuck.

Obi-Wan reluctantly looked up at him, eyes not actually reaching Anakin’s face. “Yes?”

“Come see the babies?” Anakin asked hopefully, following up with, “Padmé wants to see you.”

Brato nodded at Obi-Wan. “You go. I’ll sort myself.”

“Okay,” Obi-Wan said and stood up. He moved over to Anakin, who resisted grabbing his hand and dragging him downstairs. Obi-Wan didn’t look like he would handle touching very well right now. He looked just about ready to shatter at the slightest provocation.

Anakin led the way downstairs and let him into their bedroom. Padmé had sunk slightly further into there pillows, cuddling up to Luke and Leia, murmuring faintly to them. She looked up when Anakin entered, Obi-Wan in tow behind him.

Padmé smiled at them both, and Anakin shut the door to the hall.

“Are you alright, Obi-Wan?” Padmé asked, a yawn cracking at the end of the sentence.

A smile. “Of course. I should be asking that of you.”

The look on her face said that she didn’t believe him for a moment. Anakin crawled back into his space on the bed and reached for Luke, fingers itching to hold his other child. It would be all right. All of them were here, and alive, and (mostly) okay.

“I’m perfectly fine.” Padmé passed Luke to her husband, admitting, “I can’t feel a thing below the waist at this point, so I’m not in any pain. I am very tired though.”

“I would imagine so,” Obi-Wan replied, standing awkwardly at the door. “I can leave you both to sleep?”

“Obi-Wan, sit down before you fall down, and come meet the children,” Padmé instructed using her best Senatorial tone; the one that brooked no argument.

Obi-Wan relented. “I would love to.”

He moved and sat himself on the edge of the bed on the other side of Padmé to Anakin. She carefully passed him the remaining baby in her arms. “Here, take Leia.”

“Oh,” he exhaled, taking the tiny form and cradling her in his arms. “She’s just as beautiful as her parents.”

Padmé shot Anakin a pointed look, eyebrows raised. Yeah. Anakin knew they had to do something about this. Padmé had said they would talk to Obi-Wan about the three of them after the children were born. Anakin had just enough self-awareness to know that now wasn't the time. All three of them had just had an incredibly stressful day and were at the end of their own individual ropes. Not now, but soon.

“Hello, Leia,” Obi-Wan cooed down at her, his voice tight. “It is wonderful to meet you.”

It warmed Anakin’s soul to see Obi-Wan as in love with the babies as he and Padmé were. Obi-Wan’s eyes were damp as he stared down at Leia, but nothing fell from them. He was watching Leia as though she were his entire universe. Obi-Wan stroked her face with his finger, tracing over her features and her head. Leia scrunched her face in response, still fussing somewhat, but her eyes slowly fell shut again, drifting back into slumber. Anakin watched the entire exchange with greedy eyes, his own hand petting Luke gently.

Long minutes passed before Obi-Wan lifted his head again, looking over to Anakin.

Anakin smiled brightly, nodding down to the now sleeping child in his arms. “This is Luke.”

Obi-Wan reached across Padmé’s lap to run his hand over Luke’s head, a gentle smile at his lips. “Congratulations, to both of you,” Obi-Wan said finally. “They are perfect.” He lapsed into silence again, focusing in on the twins.

Anakin felt like the proudest father in the universe.

Slowly, he felt a burning sensation on the side of his face, and looked up to see Padmé staring purposefully at him. When she caught his eye she nodded her head in Obi-Wan’s direction.

“Obi-Wan?’ Anakin asked.

Obi-Wan hummed and looked up at them both, still gently rocking the now sleeping Leia in his arms.

“About before. Outside.”

Obi-Wan went rigid, closing off quickly. “Oh, don’t worry about that.”

“I want to worry about it, Obi-Wan,” Anakin pressed, still absently stroking Luke’s head. “That’s a fucking awful thing to have in your head; I don’t understand how you have been living with that.”

Obi-Wan returned his attention to the child in his arms. “It doesn’t matter now. It didn’t happen.”

“It does matter because it’s still affecting you,” Anakin argued. “Sometimes you can’t even look at me, and it’s because of that vision. Because of what I did. What I made you do. You’re still hurting, and that matters.”

Padmé was obviously struggling to focus on the conversation being completely exhausted, but she was still trying to keep half an eye on her boys and her babies. She cut in before Obi-Wan could. “Ani’s right, Obi-Wan. How you feel matters.”

Obi-Wan was quiet for a moment before saying, “But there’s nothing you can do. It happened. It didn’t happen. It changes nothing. We must focus on the present.”

Anakin scowled. 

“Look,” Anakin pressed, “this is the present, and in this present, you're suffering because of what happened.”

Obi-Wan just shrugged at him, his whole focus on Leia.

Anakin opened his mouth, face set to continue the argument but Padmé shook her head at him. He closed his mouth, and took a deep breath. They weren’t going to gain anything by arguing with him now, not when all of them were so strung out. At least they’d managed to flag to Obi-Wan that it mattered to them. Anakin hoped that would at least help.

The three of them sat in the quiet, Anakin and Obi-Wan cradling the children whose tiny eyes were drooping at the silence. It was slowly lulling Padmé into sleep along with her children. Her brown eyes slipped shut, unable to hold onto consciousness much longer, sinking further and further into the blankets and pillows around her.

“I think Padmé is finally done,” Anakin whispered to Obi-Wan. “I should sort the doctor out.”

“I’ve already done that,” Obi-Wan replied, his voice low and quiet. “I put him up in my room until he can leave tomorrow morning.”

“Where are you sleeping?”

“The couch will be fine.”

Anakin resisted rolling his eyes at Obi-Wan, instead he just sighed and said, “Obi-Wan, no. Stay with us for the night.”

“I couldn’t possibly—” he whispered back before Anakin cut him off.

“Yes, you can,” Anakin persisted, before switching to a better tactic. “Besides, if the twins wake up in the night, I’m going to need an extra pair of hands. Padmé isn’t going to be much help.” Well, that was definitely true. Padmé had completely passed out, not even twitching where she lay.

“Okay,” Obi-Wan relented. “Let’s put the children to bed.”

The pair of them carefully placed the twins into their cribs, both already asleep, and gently placed the small blankets Padmé had made over each of them; Luke in purple and Leia in green.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin said quietly, catching his hand as he had turned away form the cots.


Anakin waited until Obi-Wan was looking at him properly, before he spoke. “I’m sorry. About earlier,” Anakin said. “I was stressed and confused and I didn’t mean to take that out on you. I have never been more grateful for what you did on Mustafar.”

Obi-Wan smiled weakly at him, before his eyes dropped. “Neither of us was managing ourselves very well today. It was as much my fault as yours. We’re… both a bit of a mess, aren't we?”

Anakin let out a soft laugh. “Uh, yeah. We are.” He reached up and cupped Obi-Wan’s face with both hands, his fingers feeling the soft bristles of his beard on Anakin’s fingertips. Anakin carefully dragged Obi-Wan back up to look at him. “I love you,” Anakin said earnestly, and slowly leant across the space between them, brushing his lips against Obi-Wan’s forehead, impressing his sincere affection for the other man along their bond. “Thank you. For everything.”

Anakin could see a faint flush colouring Obi-Wan’s ears as he blinked at Anakin, before a slow, more genuine smile appeared and his fingers slid to tangle with Anakin’s, before luring them away from his face. “It is nothing, dear one,” Obi-Wan’s eyes darted to the cribs beside them, and back to Anakin. “It was worth it.”

Anakin had to bite his lip to keep from kissing him properly. Instead, he just rested his forehead on Obi-Wan’s, muttering out a final, “Thank you.”

Obi-Wan allowed the contact for a few moments before he began shifting away, the pink having spread from his ears to the edges of his cheekbones. Fuck that was cute.

“Bed time, I think.” Anakin grinned and then darted across the room to switch off the light. He carefully navigated his way back to the bed and hopped in. He took the middle space and pressed up against Padmé’s side, placing a soft kiss placed behind her ear. She mumbled at him and snuggled in closer. Obi-Wan was still standing there, somewhere in the darkness.

“Get in, Obi-Wan,” Anakin called softly to the room.

The bed dipped on his other side as Obi-Wan climbed in, and Anakin felt properly relaxed for the first time in years. Everyone was safe. Everyone was alive.

His family was together.

Chapter Text

Padmé was exhausted.

That was her first thought upon waking up.

Her second thought was that she hurt all over.

Padmé groaned as she roused herself into consciousness. She felt fucking terrible. All of her muscles felt tight and everything below her waist just ached painfully. While the pain was sharp, her mind still felt fuzzy, her thoughts sluggish and ragged about the edges. She tried to focus at a point on the wall but her eyes refused to listen.

Padmé turned her head (ouch) to harass Anakin, but found the bed completely empty. No Anakin. There was a vague memory in her mind of Obi-Wan joining them as well, but he was not present either. The room was completely silent, so she had to assume they babies were gone as well. They’d probably all left her to sleep. Thoughtful.

She heard movement and turned her head back around to the door, wincing again at the strain in her neck. Anakin poked his head into the room, his hair swinging over his shoulder.

“Oh, Padmé, you're awake!” Anakin said brightly.

“Hey, darlin’.” Padmé smiled weakly.

Anakin swiftly moved across the room and sat beside her. He leant down and pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead and then stroked his hand over the top of her head. Padmé leant into the touch like a Loth-cat seeking warmth and affection.

“How are you?”

“Tired,” she mumbled, blinking slowly. “Ev’rthing hurts. How’re th’babies?”

“They’re both fine. Obi-Wan and I are looking after them upstairs,” Anakin said, continuing to pet her. “Brato has been showing us what to do.”

“You’re nev’r gettin’ me pregn’t again,” Padmé informed him blearily. She really hurt.

“Okay, sweetheart,” Anakin agreed. “You want to sleep some more?”


Anakin kissed her lips, murmuring, “I love you.”

Padmé just hummed happily in response, closing her eyes and weakly kissing back. Anakin stayed with her, his hand still running along its soothing path, until she quickly passed out again.

She awoke to screaming.

High pitched, powerful wailing traveled through the ceiling above her. That was a sound she was going to have to get used to. Padmé still hurt, but she didn’t feel quite as tired. Carefully, she escaped the bed. Her legs felt stiff and a bit wobbly, but through sheer determination she slowly walked upstairs.

The door opened to screaming set at a pitch yet undiscovered by human ears as the baby in Anakin’s arms shrieked bloody murder. Obi-Wan and Anakin were on the couch opposite the door holding a child each, with Brato on the opposite one. All three men looked up at her, their eyes squinted in pain at the sound. Artoo and Threepio were hanging out in the kitchen, Artoo beeping unhappily about the noise.

“What’s wrong?” Padmé called.

Brato shook his head. “Nothing. He’s just crying.”

Padmé moved to sit on the couch between Anakin and Obi-Wan, cooing down at Luke as he screamed.

“You want him?” Anakin asked.

Padmé nodded and held out her arms, carefully taking Luke from his father. He continued to cry for a few more minutes, but then slowly settled down, snuffling about against Padmé’s skin before falling off into sleep. All of them visibly relaxed at the quiet.

“How are they going?” Padmé asked, looking up from Luke’s tiny pink face.

“Both are healthy and behaving normally,” Brato said.

“Luke threw up on Obi-Wan,” Anakin added helpfully, with a touch of a smile.

Obi-Wan just hummed beside her. “That he did.”

“You’ll get used to it,” Brato said. “Now, how are you feeling?”

“Really sore.”

He nodded. “That’s to be expected. I’ve left some painkillers on the kitchen bench to help with that. All your muscles just went through rather a lot of stress, so they’re going to be tense, and you’re going to hurt some more while your body goes back to its pre-pregnancy state.”

Brato carefully talked them though all of the things she would likely experience; more contractions for the next couple of days while her uterus shrunk back down and sore muscles until the strain healed. He explained that milk probably wouldn’t turn up for a couple of days, and that she should be perfectly fine to produce enough milk for both. She was not to have any sex until Brato gave her the all clear, was to avoid travel with the babies where possible, and they should be prepared for lots of emotional changes. That one went for all three of them. On top of looking after the babies, they all still needed to look after themselves.

Padmé nearly laughed in his face at that one.

He then explained how to care for the babies; regular feeding, regular changing, regular naps, and regular cuddles to promote bonding. He expounded that they were likely to cry a lot for a plethora of reasons ranging from being hungry, being too hot or cold, being tired, being overstimulated, needing to be changed, because they wanted to be held, or just because they felt like it. Knowing which one it was was just going to take practice. He’d taken her through how to breastfeed properly last night, before getting some formula into them both and showing Padmé how to burp them. It was only after all of that that Brato had gone to announce the birth to Anakin and Obi-Wan.

“Right,” Brato said finally, “a couple of things before I go; Firstly, I will come visit every other week just to see how you and the children are going and answer any questions that may arise. Secondly, I’m fairly certain I heard some names I wasn’t meant to, so I would like to impress upon you my dedication to doctor-patient confidentiality, Senator, Generals.”

Anakin stiffened unhappily and Padmé felt her heart stutter in her chest. She’d been so out of it, she could have called either of them absolutely anything and have no idea she'd done so.

Brato ignored Anakin’s response. “I’d suggest you all change your appearance a bit as well; while you’re not well known this far out, any one else seeking refuge out here from the chaos of the Core is going to notice quickly.”

“You have high ethics for an Outer Rim doctor,” Obi-Wan said with laser-like focus on the other man, offset slightly by the way he was gently rocking Leia.

Brato smiled, shrugging. “I’m originally from the Core. Got out a year and a half back when the war started looking dodgy—I made the right choice, ey? I understand keeping the past in the past, I’m not going to turn you in.”

Anakin stared intensely at the Zabrak for a few moments, before offering up his hand. “Alright. Thank you.”

Brato shook his hand. “My pleasure, and my congratulations; I will leave you all to it for now. Though if one of you could take me back into town?”

Obi-Wan volunteered and Anakin quickly pulled together a shopping list for food and necessities for the next week or so. Padmé and Brato shot suggestions at him as he wrote them down. Supplies for both them and the twins.

Anakin had smiled as he passed the shopping list over to Obi-Wan, taking Leia off of him, saying, “Be safe.”

Obi-Wan had smiled and disappeared out the door with Brato, leaving her with Anakin and their children. They curled up on the couch together, a baby each between them. Now that Padmé wasn’t so fuzzy from the drugs she could really look at her children. Both were so small tucked up in their arms, with just their faces poking out of the blankets they were swaddled in.

“They’re so cute,” Padmé said, turning to look at Anakin.

His eyes were practically glowing with happiness as he smiled back. “They’re both perfect. Look at their tiny little faces.” Anakin reached down and softly touched his finger to Leia’s nose. “Such a tiny nose.”

Padmé laughed. “Anakin, don’t poke her face.”

“She likes it,” he said, gently stroking his finger along her nose. She seemed to like it, or at least tolerate it, remaining happily asleep. Anakin sighed. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy.”

“Oh darling—”

Anakin rambled on, “I was just so worried that something terrible was going to happen, and it hasn’t, and I’m just so happy, Padmé. You’re all okay.” He leant his forehead against hers, exhaling loudly.

She leant into him, enjoying the mix of his scent with the sweet, milky, baby smell. “Anakin?”


Padmé grinned. “We’re parents.”

“It’s really weird,” Anakin agreed.

Padmé pulled back and leant back against the couch, pulling Luke closer to her chest, enjoying watching his facial expressions as he slept. He seemed to have Anakin’s nose with little fuzzy tufts of blonde hair on his head. She wondered what he had of hers. What Leia would have. Padmé hoped the darkness of the universe never touched either of them. She prayed to all her home-world’s Gods that Sidious never found them. She could only imagine the terrible things he would do if he got his hands on them.

“You have never looked more beautiful, darling,” Anakin said beside her, his voice rich and warm, quickly pulling her out of her dark thoughts.

Padmé scrunched her nose and looked down at herself doubtfully. She certainly didn’t feel beautiful; scruffy and tired and a complete mess, maybe.

“You are,” Anakin smiled at her obvious disbelief, “trust me.”

“I don’t feel it,” Padmé admitted.

Anakin leant down, placing a soft hand beneath her jaw, and gave her a slow kiss. “The most beautiful,” Anakin whispered still kissing her, “so pretty, the most gorgeous, what a stunning lady,” and on and on he went, until Padmé was giggling uncontrollably into the kiss.

“Ani—!” she laughed, trying to turn her face away without jostling Luke.

“What a babe, I love you so much, so terribly pretty—” Anakin kept going, happily kissing whatever he could reach of her face.

“Okay! You win! I’m pretty!” Padmé relented, still giggling, and Anakin finally backed off.

He leant back, grinning smugly. “That’s what I thought.”

She rolled her eyes at him, but was still smiling. That was just what she needed; she felt lighter.

“I need to do the vaporator round, will you be okay for a little while?” Anakin asked.

“I’ll be fine, you’re not going far.”

He kissed her cheek and nodded. “Call if you need me. Artoo! Come help.”

Anakin then carefully passed her Leia and left her to her own devices, heading outside with Artoo whistling behind him. Padmé stared down at the two infants in her arms, now wrapped snugly in their kitted blankets. Leia, displeased that her father had left, decided that crying was the way forward.  Luke half woke at the sound, eyes opening blearily again, but just scrunched his face in displeasure.

Padmé curled Leia slightly closer to her chest and shushed her, gently bouncing her into sleep. Leia resisted at first, continuing to cry loudly, before the rhythmic rocking and soothing sounds from her mother managed to slowly calm her. Her cries slowly downgraded to unhappy whining, before she gave up entirely and fell asleep.

Now, they were both perfectly quiet. Leia had fallen dead asleep, while Luke blinked up at her with his father’s stunning, stormy-blue eyes. Padmé smiled at him, warmth filling her heart at his sweet little face. She chatted inanely to him for a short time before he too, drifted back off to sleep.

Then it hit her.

These were hers. She and Anakin made these and yet they were their own tiny people, who would grow and change. It wasn’t necessarily a new thought, or an unusual one, but it was only just now that it really hit home for her. She loved them, more than anything. She knew, instinctively, that if anyone, ever tried to hurt them, she would eviscerate them without hesitation. Padmé would happily shoot Palpatine in his lying, treasonous face if he ever came anywhere near them.

She loved them.

Suddenly Padmé was crying, smiling down at her children and weeping uselessly. She was just so fucking happy and relieved everything had ended okay and they were here in her arms. “I love you,” she sobbed to the slumbering pair, completely oblivious to their mother’s state. “I love you so much, my darlings.”

The door swung open some time later, and Anakin returned in in a swirl of sand, the smile on his face dimming when he saw Padmé.

“Sweetheart?” Anakin asked, moving to kneel in front of her. “What’s wrong?”

Padmé smiled at him through her tears. “Nothing. I’m so happy. I love them. I love you. Join me?”

“Of course.”

Anakin picked up Luke and slid in beside her, carefully arranging themselves to be beside one another without squashing either child. They lay on the couch together and Padmé basked in the overwhelming love she felt for them all.

She let out the breath she had been holding for the past month.

The first week passed in a blur as the days devolved into a routine of feeding the twins formula, changing them, and strategically napping when they did. The twins generally wanted to be fed every couple of hours, night or day, so none of them were really getting a solid nights sleep. They were barely getting any sleep, full stop. They had come up with a rotational system for the three of them; two of them sleeping in the room with the babies, in charge of overnight feeding, and one of them in Obi-Wan’s room, getting (theoretically) a full nights sleep every third night. Even after her milk turned up, they would try to give Padmé a night off, but that would often end with her feeling sore and going to feed them anyway. It also didn’t help that Luke and Leia often wouldn’t quite synch up with when they wanted feeding.

On top of all of this, they still had to keep up the work on the vaporators. Padmé was completely off the roster, on full-time resting and feeding duty, so Obi-Wan and Anakin just took turns back and forth, with Anakin still having to fix up the broken ones. Anakin also tried to keep on top of the leftover repair jobs he’d picked up before the birth.

About a week into their new routine they decided to follow Brato’s advice and try to change up their appearances. Padmé had lopped off most of her hair, cutting it so it only just reached her shoulders. Anakin had been sad to see it go, but after weeks in the Tatooine suns, Padmé had actually been relieved to hack off the extra weight. It also prevented the strands getting in the way when feeding, so it was a double bonus in her opinion.

Anakin, still too recognisable with short hair (and the fact that she had hated his Padawan haircut) had left his hair long, but taken to tying it back, which did a surprising amount to changing his overall look. He had also agreed to try a grow a bit of a beard, but after a few days, Padmé decided it was literally the worst thing she’d ever seen and demanded he get rid of it.

Obi-Wan had shaved his beard which had been exceptionally weird for the first few days, making him look years younger and much more like the dashing young Jedi from Naboo from so many years ago. That had certainly set her heart fluttering. She’d had such the crush on him back then, and who could blame her; a handsome and charming young man, coming to her planet’s aid had done a lot for her fourteen year old self. Now compounded with him caring for her children as though they were his, was really doing terrible things to her feelings for him.

Padmé had nearly kissed him in a sleep-addled state one morning. She’d sidled up to Anakin and given him a long kiss, before she’d turned to Obi-Wan, brain completely set on giving him similar treatment. Her thought processes kicked into gear halfway there, and she managed to save herself by turning it into a totally casual hug and peck on the cheek. Anakin had caught it, and had stared at her, caught between being thrilled and horrified. Padmé had flashed him an embarrassed expression. Her brain had been completely running on auto-pilot.

Basically, the three of them were utterly exhausted by the time Brato next turned up.

When Padmé had opened the door, hair a mess, in yesterday’s clothes, and with Leia clutched to her breast, Brato had just let out a laugh.

“How goes motherhood?” he asked, grinning.

“I have never been so kriffing tired in my entire life,” Padmé said, stepping aside to let him in. “How are you?”

“I’m fine, dealing with an increase in blaster wounds at work, but nothing unusual. Time to have a look at the babes.” He nodded at Leia. “Let’s see the other one first, you finish feeding her.”

Obi-Wan was seated on the couch with Luke, Anakin having fallen asleep downstairs some time earlier. Brato sat on the table in front of Obi-Wan and reached out for Luke, who was absently staring around the room while sucking on his hand.

Brato carefully looked Luke over while Padmé resumed feeding Leia. Once she was fed and burped, Brato gave Luke back to Obi-Wan and checked Leia over as well, before handing her back and chatting to Padmé. Brato announced that the pair of them had put on a good amount of weight and were looking perfectly healthy. He was pleased to hear most of her soreness had gone away and that Padmé was having no troubles with feeding them both. He was also impressed with their rotational napping system and how well all three of them were going.

Padmé didn’t think they were managing terribly, but all their pre-baby worries had been completely left by the wayside and she wasn’t sure that was a good thing.

Obi-Wan was still only sleeping fitfully, but instead of it just being Obi-Wan, it was now all three of them. He was also a bit twitchier than he had been before the birth, seemingly still rattled from whatever had transpired between him and Anakin the night the twins were born. He also still wasn’t exhibiting any signs of staying permanently, a worry that just niggled at the back of her mind beneath all the baby worry.

Anakin was mostly fine, and desperately in love with his children, but she had still noticed how household items would faintly shake when he’d been awake too long or one of the babies just wouldn’t stop crying. It stressed him out when they did that.

“I don’t know what’s wrong!” He’d cried the first time it happened, gently jostling Luke in his arms. Luke had been crying for half an hour by that point, wailing unhappily at the top of his lungs. Anakin had reached the end of his rope and every item in the lounge had started vibrating.

Padmé had tried to help; taking Luke to hold, walking around the room, and singing to him, but the crying had just continued until she too was ready to cry along with him.

Obi-Wan had then come in from his vaporator round and been overwhelmed by the stress in the room, both Padmé and Anakin practically begging for help. Obi-Wan had taken a moment to stare at the situation before calmly saying, “Anakin, close your bond to him.”

Anakin had frowned, apparently done so, and after a few minutes, Luke quieted.

“What the fuck?” Padmé had asked very eloquently.

“Luke started crying, Anakin got stressed, Luke picked up on the stress and kept crying, Anakin became more stressed, and on it went; It was an endless feedback loop of both of them being very stressed and unhappy,” Obi-Wan explained.

“Well. That makes an unfortunate amount of sense,” Anakin grumbled, but was calmer now the crying had stopped.

That had helped for future interactions, Anakin seeming to become more practiced at sending calm and security to both twins to help calm them, or at least block the bond they had with him. Most of the time it worked. Not always. Sometimes they just really wanted to scream.

Padmé could relate.

“Do you have any questions for me?” Brato prompted, drawing her attention back out of her head.

“How long until they start sleeping through the night?” Padmé asked with a touch of desperation.

“Usually after about 4 months, possibly later. You’ve still got a while longer of being woken up, though you will start to get longer periods between feeds as they grow.” Brato smiled. “Anything else?”

Padmé shook her head. “Not so far. We’re all just tired.”

“That’s normal. How are you doing emotionally?”

Padmé smiled, thinking back over the past week. “I seem to be good at randomly crying.” That she was. From that first moment when she’d really held her babies, to running out of milk for tea, to just because Anakin looked at her funny. Padmé had felt terrible about that one. He’d been very worried.

“From sadness?” Brato leant forward.

Padmé shook her head. “Mainly from feeling tired and overwhelmed. It’s… been a tough few weeks.”

“Well, keep an eye on that. Let me know if it starts being sadness,” the Zabrak said and clapped his hands together. “So, clean bill of health for them and you; anything I can do for you before I leave?”

“No. Can I get you some water before you go?”


Padmé left Brato and Obi-Wan in the lounge and fetched a glass of water from the kitchen with Leia still tucked up against her. She was getting very good at doing things one-handed while she had a child in the other.

“How are you?” Brato asked conversationally to Obi-Wan.

“Fine,” Obi-Wan said. “How are you?”

There was a questionable pause. “I’m good. How are you enjoying being a parent?”

Padmé turned just in time to see the perplexed expression on Obi-Wan’s face.

“I’m not a parent,” Obi-Wan returned. “However the twins are very cute and loveable, if tiring.”

“Yeah you are,” Padmé said, passing the glass to Brato and sitting beside Obi-Wan. “Baby swap? Luke needs feeding.” Obi-Wan and she traded children, beginning to feed Luke before she returned to her earlier point, “You’re raising them just as much as Anakin and I are. You’re a parent.”

Obi-Wan didn’t say anything and just petted the dark fuzz on Leia’s head. Her hair seemed to be the same dark brown of Padmé’s, tufting out about her head while Luke’s was the lighter brown-blonde of his father. This silent treatment that Obi-Wan would do on occasion really grated against her nerves. He would sometimes just stop arguing back and she couldn’t tell if it was agreement, disagreement, or an unwillingness to argue the point. It was really begining to get to her. Why couldn’t he just fucking accept that they wanted him here? Padmé sighed, readjusting Luke in her arms.

Brato drank the water, eyes absently following the conversation. Padmé suspected he knew exactly what was going on here. Either that or he was just excellent at looking like he knew all of the available secrets.

“Well, time for me to go,” Brato said, breaking the extended silence and placing the glass beside him on the table. “I’ll be back in a fortnight to check on you all again.”

The rest of the twins first few months passed in a sleep-deprived blur, continuing to follow their created routine. Brato checked in periodically, proclaiming everything fine each time, and eventually clearing Padmé of any issues and deeming her fine for sex again (which, first of all, had been a very weird conversation to have and, secondly, it was not like she had anywhere near enough energy for that anyway). He’d also chucked her a very comprehensive selection of contraception which had thrilled her. She adored her children, she really did, but she had no intention of going through all that again. Two were definitely enough in her opinion. Especially while they were essentially in exile and on the run from the Empire.

Luke and Leia slowly grew, turning from small, cute blobs, into bigger, chubbier blobs. Padmé adored squishing their cheeks, they was just so soft and sweet! She also loved burying her face in their hair, inhaling their sweet baby scent. Luke’s eyes had remained the lovely blue of his father, while Leia’s changed to match Padmé’s brown eyes. Their distinctive personalities were also slowly peeking through. Both were certainly loud and frequent in their crying, but Leia was distinctly fussier than her brother, who tended to be more docile. However, when he was upset, Luke was an absolute nightmare. Both were also highly proficient at throwing up. Neither Padmé, Anakin or Obi-Wan ever burped one of them without a washable blanket over their shoulder after the first week. They knew better now.

Artoo and Threepio weren’t quite sure what to make of the babies to begin with, and had avoided interacting why them for the first couple of weeks. Neither of them went downstairs anymore as the noise they both made to get there would often disturb the twins, so the pair of them tended to remain in the living room or help out on the flats with the vaporators.

After they had grown some, Threepio would watch the twins when needed, but couldn’t be left with them for too long as he became anxious when they would cry. Artoo was better with that, discovering one afternoon that they really liked staring at his holo-projections. From there, Artoo entertained them with classified videos, battle formations, and schematics. Anakin had just sighed resignedly when he noticed exactly what Artoo was doing, but left it alone, the droid having enough common sense to not show them anything graphic.

Anakin had taken to fatherhood with gusto, showering the pair of them with love and attention and affection. He’d also perfected doing chores while holding one of them, at least until Anakin had found sections of his old Jedi robes and started cheating. He’d found his old tabards and discovered that he could fit a child in the cloth, and then wrap the remainder around his body and have an excellent baby wrap. Once he had stumbled upon that, he was unstoppable, able to cook dinner and do maintenance on tech while toting a baby around on his chest. From there, all three of them had picked up the habit, freeing up their hands a bit more.

Obi-Wan continued to be a complete pain in the ass. She knew he was disappearing at night, going to meditate or something outside when he was supposed to be having his night off and sleeping. She left it for now. They were all dealing with their stress and exhaustion differently and if it made him feel better to go meditate for an evening, then she wasn’t going to interfere. Obi-Wan was, however, excellent with the children. He cared for them as much as she and Anakin did, always ready to help out in any way he could, and could be found at almost any time of the day with a twin or two in his arms.

Obi-Wan clearly loved them both dearly. Padmé had caught him chatting away to them numerous times, just inanely relating events and stories to them both. They loved it, staring up at Obi-Wan in interest as he spoke. Padmé suspected that he too had a Force bond of some kind with the twins. Both he and Anakin were both so in tune with their needs that it was uncanny.

All three of them also seemed to have developed the skill to fall asleep in the most ridiculous of situations. She’d done it while feeding the twins, thinking she’d just close her eyes for a moment, until a crying, hiccuping baby had woken her. Obi-Wan had once just dropped off while eating dinner, his head was resting on his hand when he had shut his eyes. He’d then fallen asleep and smacked his head on the table, throwing him painfully back into wakefulness. Anakin and Padmé had sent him off for a nap after that.

One of the most memorable moments for her had been a couple of weeks after the birth when Anakin had sat down beside her on the couch, having just put the children to bed, and leant in for a kiss. She’d relaxed into it, thrilled by the gentle intimacy. Anakin, however, a good ten seconds into the kiss, started snoring. He’d just passed out mid-kiss.

Padmé had pulled away and whacked him on the arm.

“You fell asleep!” Padmé had accused him, torn between insult and amusement.

Anakin had flushed a dark pink and stuttered out an apology, before Padmé had given in, kissed him again, and pulled his head to rest on her chest. He’d fallen asleep again in moments.

She also particularly enjoyed walking in when her family had dropped off together. There had been one particular incident when she’d been unable to find them, softly calling to find Anakin. They weren’t in the lounge and they weren’t in her bedroom when she searched them, and eventually she found them all in Obi-Wan’s room, spread on his mattress. Padmé had smiled at the scene before her. Anakin and Obi-Wan were dead asleep, still in a somewhat upright position against the wall, with Anakin slumped over so his head rested on Obi-Wan’s shoulder. Still cradled in their arms were the babies; Leia curled into Obi-Wan’s chest and Luke tucked in Anakin’s arm. She’d desperately wanted a picture of that.

Carefully, she snuck back out of the room and found a holo-recorder, before tiptoeing back in and taking a few sneaky shots of the scene. Padmé couldn’t help but smile. As much as they were all fucking wrecked for the first few weeks, Obi-Wan was now sleeping more often than he had been before their birth, and in a kind of terrible way, he was sleeping better because none of them were sleeping long enough to dream.

She had tucked the recorder away and slid in beside Obi-Wan, Anakin far too close to the edge of the bed for her to be able to fit in there. Padmé snuggled her face against his chest where she could see Leia, before hooking an arm over Obi-Wan’s stomach and rested a hand on Anakin. She’d just closed her eyes for a moment before she too was fast asleep.

Slowly, gently, all five of them settled into their routine, and Padmé, while exhausted, had never felt happier as their lives settled again. As it neared the fourth month after the birth, the twins were nearly sleeping through the night, only waking perhaps once or twice. All of them were slightly less exhausted when Anakin brought up their relationship again.

“When are we going to talk to Obi-Wan?” Anakin suddenly asked one night when it was their turn to do the overnight feeding.

Padmé adjusted Luke so he could feed easier. “About what?”

He levelled a blank stare at her before waggling his eyebrows. Leia stared up at her father’s expression with interest.

“Oh!” Padmé laughed. “About us.”

“Obviously,” Anakin said.

She rolled her eyes at him. “It could have been anything! You could have been asking when we were going to talk to him about not fucking off in the middle of the night.”

Anakin stilled. “What?”

Padmé blinked her brain suddenly panicking. Had Anakin not noticed? That was not a drama she wanted to start; why must her sleep deprived brain let her speak before thinking?

“He sometimes goes outside to meditate,” Padmé said in a very calm voice, trying to indicate that everything was fine. Nothing to worry about. Let the stupid, handsome Jedi go dick about in the desert on his own.

Anakin was frowning. “At night?”

“Uh-huh,” Padmé said noncommittally.

“And you didn’t think to mention it?”

I thought you knew,” Padmé huffed at him. “You’re the one with the literal connection to his mind.

“It’s dangerous at night!” Anakin said, frustrated.

“It’s not like he can’t protect himself!” Padmé returned. “This is why I never mentioned it. We don’t need to worry about it. Obi-Wan can look after himself.”

Anakin made a face at that; and yes, to be fair, Obi-Wan had a proven track record of not looking after himself. 

“Okay. Sorry, you're right,” Padmé conceded finally, using her free hand to rub her face. “I’m just so fucking tired I can’t find it in me to worry about anything non-baby related.”

“I know,” Anakin said, leaning across the space and pressing an apologetic kiss to her cheek. “I should go talk to Obi-Wan. He really shouldn’t be out there at night.”

“You sure that’ll help?”

Anakin shrugged. “We’ve been doing better.”

“What… what did happen with you two the night I gave birth?” Padmé asked. The question had been floating around the back of her mind for the last few weeks. Her actually memory of the night was vague and fuzzy from a winning combination of drugs, pain, and exhaustion.

Anakin sighed and explained the events of that evening in a soft, flat tone. She was upset to hear how they had acted around each other that night. Padmé understood that both of them had been ridiculously stressed, but as a pair of grown men, they really should know better.

Then she heard about the vision.

That was horrifying. Padmé irrationally clutched Luke closer to her, reassuring herself he was real. They had come so close to losing absolutely everything. Anakin was still visibly rattled, forced to relate the terrible fucking things he did. Didn’t do. Nearly did. As he finished the story, they placed the twins in their cribs before the pair of them lay on the blankets of their bed, staring up at the ceiling. Padmé took a hold of his hand, offering comfort and support.

“Are you sure you still want me here?” Anakin asked softly.

Padmé sat up suddenly, staring down at him in horror. “Of course I do, Ani. Why would you think I wouldn’t?”

Anakin blinked up at her. “Because that was nearly me. What if I turn again? What if I hurt you or the twins?”

“Oh darling,” Padmé sighed. “I trust you. You love me and them and Obi-Wan, and you wouldn’t do anything to hurt us. Besides, the person I saw on Mustafar was not you. That was someone who’d been manipulated and trapped by an evil asshole.” Padmé trailed her fingers through his hair.  “That’s not you anymore. You’ve been doing so much better. Do you feel scared and angry anymore?”

“No,” Anakin said after a moment of thought.

“Do you regret what you did?”

Anakin frowned. “Yes. Obviously.”

“Then there you go. You’ve learnt from your mistakes and you won’t do it again.” Padmé leant down and brushed their noses together. “I trust you completely, Ani. You’re a great dad and I love you.”

“Thank you,” Anakin murmured.

He curled a hand around the back of her head and pulled her down for a soft, grateful kiss. Padmé exhaled happily, having missed their easy intimacy since the twins had been born. They had both been way too tired and focused on other things to really focus on one another.

She felt her hair catch in his hand.

“Ani, that better not be your mech hand.” Padmé smiled against his lips.

Anakin let go, whining, “Still? Come on, your hair’s so short now, surely it’s not a problem.”

“I can feel when it catches,” Padmé said. “We are not wasting time untangling me when we could be doing other things.”

Anakin paused. “Oh?”

Padmé grinned and tossed a leg over him, grinning happily. “Yeah.”

Her fingers set to work untying the strings of his sleeping pants, a tooth caught on her lip, thoroughly determined. Reaching her goal, Padmé grinned before she kissed him again and stroked along his length, bringing him to full attention. Anakin groaned into her mouth, pleasure rushing up his spine, his hand grasping upwards and tangling in her hair.

Padmé pulled back, and lifted herself up above him, sending him a sly smile and a wink. Anakin had no idea how he had found such an amazing woman. Slowly, she lowered herself down onto Anakin’s cock, her brown eyes fluttering shut. She let out a breath once fully seated and Anakin felt hot all over, his breath heavy in his chest.

Padmé was a vision above him, her head thrown back and chest heaving. She felt incredible around him, warm and soft and welcoming. Unable to resist, he clasped her hips, running his hands up and down her legs beneath her night gown.

“Ah, yes,” she purred, “that’s it, darling.”

Anakin flushed at the praise, feeling warmth suffuse his whole body. Padmé just breathed for a few moments, staring down at Anakin with dark eyes. He could feel a flush crawl further up his neck at the attention.

“There’s my handsome man,” Padmé exhaled with a smile. “You stay still, sweetheart.”

She began rocking her hips backwards and forward along his torso, moving tantalisingly slowly and sending tight sparks of arousal throughout his body. Padmé’s hair fell gently over her shoulder, swaying gently as she moved. Her dark eyes carefully watched Anakin, a cheeky smirk appearing at each groan she wrung out of him. She in turn sighed out her pleasure, slowly speeding up her movements in increments, mouth gently parted.

Padmé was relentless, and Anakin felt he pressure mounting. Struggling to keep his composure, his hands greedily felt up every piece of skin he could reach. Her thighs were soft and pliant beneath his hands, and the overwhelming sensations were pushing him ever closer to the edge.

“Padmé,” Anakin tried, his fingers grasping at her helplessly, “I can’t—”

Padmé just beamed at him, not slowing for a moment, as breathless as he was. Anakin could feel the tight coil in is belly building; tight and fucking unbearable. He huffed breathlessly, head thrown back, in a vain attempt to hold on against the encroaching tide.

“Come on, darling,” Padmé murmured, her fingertips stroking along his stomach. “Let go.”

He did. Anakin’s breath stuttered as he came hard, his vision whiting out briefly, pleasure rushing through his body. He felt as though he was burning up from the inside.

He lay, staring up listlessly at his wife while his brain restarted, relishing the satisfied expression on Padmé’s face. When he came back to himself and before she could do anything more, Anakin surged upward, Padmé rolling back slightly onto his thighs, as he kissed her forcefully. His fingers grasped everything they could reach, rucking her nightgown up higher, and fondling her breasts.

Padmé laughed into the kiss, surprised, before it devolved into short moans and scratches along Anakin’s back, sharp and tingling on his over-sensitised skin. Anakin carefully laid Padmé back on the bed, splaying himself beside her, and hovering above the top part of her body. He continued to kiss her, assertive and demanding, and slipped his hand up her skirt.

“Ani,” Padmé murmured against his mouth. “Yes.”

His hand found her warmth, and he stroked her gently, revelling in Padmé’s soft cries. Anakin then released her mouth and latched onto her neck, suckling gently at her skin.

“Yes. Fuck.” Padmé’s fingers clutched at his shirt, tugging him closer. “Ani.”

He could hear her panting beside him, muttering endearments into his ear. Her hips thrust against his hand, her nails still digging into his back, desperate and needy. Anakin released her neck, hand still working against her warmth. He stared down at her, drinking in her pleasured expression; Padmé’s chocolate eyes half open, nearly black with lust, her mouth slack and desperately sucking in air. Padmé swallowed thickly and her hips thrust weakly against him, slowly becoming less coordinated.

Anakin leant in again, catching her mouth in his and increased the pace at which his fingers worked her. She kissed back, the small sounds escaping her mouth increasing until he felt her her tense beside him. Her fingers gripped his hair tightly, pulling nearly to the point of pain, whispering, “Fuck, yes!” before her whole body seized up and she let out a long moan into his mouth. Padmé shuddered through her orgasm, sucking in breath desperately, her body quivering against him.

“Fuck,” Padmé panted into the front of Anakin’s shirt. She took some time to catch her breath, slowly relinquishing her hold on his hair. Her whole body went slack and her head dropped back to the couch, completely wrung out. “You’ve still got it.” she confirmed and Anakin laughed.

Soon after, when they were clean and curled around each other, Anakin spoke again. “So, we got a bit distracted there. When are we going to talk to Obi-Wan about us?”

Padmé chuckled into his chest, tracing an absent hand along his stomach. “How well do you think he’s going to take the conversation?”

Anakin made a very non-committal sound, caught between “yeah” and “ehhh”.

Padmé sighed, that had been her thought as well. They really had to get it right the first time.

“Should it just be one of us then? So he doesn’t feel ambushed?” she thought out loud.

Anakin laughed. “Stars, no! He’d just worry about cheating before he even listened to what you had to say.” He took a deep breath. “This is going to be harder than I thought. He’s so kriffing stubborn.”

“Yes. Well. We should come up with a proper plan, and then pick a time,” Padmé said. “Though I think we should try to be quick about it, he’s been acting twitchy and I don’t trust it.”

“I noticed that too,” Anakin mumbled.

They came up with an outline of a plan, but still needed to refine it. Padmé recognised the need to tread carefully, and not scare him away. She would dearly like for him to become a part of what she and Anakin were. It had started from a desire to make Anakin happy and a quiet crush on her part, but her feelings had changed over the past few months. Padmé now very much adored Obi-Wan. She wasn’t quite at love, but she felt that she was pretty damn close, and she really hoped Obi-Wan would hear them out.

Chapter Text

Obi-Wan sat on the rocky outcropping above the house.

It was still dark out, the stars dancing brightly in the sky above him, neither sun even considering poking their heads above the horizon yet. He sat in the cold, a blanket wrapped around him, staring absently out at the pitch black desert.

The past few months had passed quickly and everything was going relatively perfectly. Padmé had fully recovered from the birth, taking to breastfeeding with ease and was an absolute sight to behold. Even exhausted and constantly dealing with the twins, she still glowed, powered by some bright inner light. It was obvious how much she loved the twins, constantly caring for and doting on the pair of them.

Anakin equally adored them and discovered new ways to care for them whilst he fulfilled his other responsibilities. Obi-Wan was now very proficient at fixing vaporators so he at least took some that off of Anakin’s hands, as after two weeks of childrearing, Anakin had had a backlog of repairs he had to do. Most people were very accomodating and would bring whatever needed fixing to the homestead for Seripas to tinker with, but if it was unable to be moved then Anakin would have to make a trip. However, now that the twins were getting bigger and required less constant care, he was able to return to his repair work. It proved to also be a good outlet for his stress. Children were not easy.

Anakin hadn’t had another real outburst since the twins birth. He was stressed and exhausted and occasionally crabby, but nothing beyond that. No explosive reactions, no severe mood swings and it was doing a lot to help Obi-Wan’s state of mind. He was still mortified that Anakin had seen his vision of Mustafar. It had taken him a week to be able to look Anakin in the eye again. Anakin had tried to talk to Obi-Wan about it a few times, but Obi-Wan had brushed him off. He did not feel up to that conversation. He would get over it eventually. He didn’t need to drag Anakin into it as well. Anakin had more pressing things to worry about. Namely, Luke and Leia.

The children were happy and healthy, with the usual amounts of crying and intermittent sleeping which exhausted their parents and Obi-Wan. He loved the twins with all his heart, and spent countless hours caring for them both. He loved the mental feedback from them; the pair were happy and healthy and constantly projecting that joy into the Force when he was nearby. Obi-Wan also had a thin bond tying him to both of them, a fact that had surprised him when he finally noticed it.

He was first made aware of it when he’d been holding Luke, become distracted by something Padmé had said to him, and then felt a tiny poke at his awareness. Luke had been vying for his attention, unhappy he was being ignored.

“You cheeky thing,” Obi-Wan had said, smirking down at Luke.

He’d then later tested it with Leia and found a similar connection. Both twins projected so strongly that being in the house was usually a very calm and welcoming experience. When they were upset however, Obi-Wan’s shields went straight up, blocking out the displeasure they would share with the world. He found it… distressing.

Obi-Wan had also taken to ducking out of the house at night when it was his night off; it was why he was out here now, wrapped up in a blanket beneath the stars. He just needed time away, sometimes to meditate, sometimes to train with his ‘saber. Essentially, just time to recenter himself and push aside his unnecessary feelings.

Obi-Wan had caught himself looking at Padmé far more than he was used to and it terrified him.

He’d noticed in the past that she was a beautiful woman, but as more of an abstract, passing thought. Now, it was in a much more pressing observation. He’d caught himself watching her a few times too many, admiring her smile or the way her eyelashes would fall on her cheek as she slept. He would watch as she cared for the twins, her focus completely centred on them, with Padmé’s eyes filled with adoration for her children.

The affection between her and Anakin continued to grate uncomfortably against his senses. Normally, it would not have been an issue and he could brush it off, but both of them seemed to have extended this affectionate behaviour to him and were just so tactile that it was incredibly difficult to ignore. He’d woken up once, cradling Leia and found himself unexpectedly sandwiched between Anakin and Padmé. He’d known Anakin was beside him when he had fallen asleep, Anakin having been the one to pass out first, but why Padmé was snuggled up against him? That he didn’t understand. Her face had been pressed into his chest, fast asleep, with an arm and leg slung across him, warm and gently breathing against his skin. He’d been trapped there for another hour or so, unwilling to wake either of them in an attempted escape.

It was terrifying though.

Obi-Wan just had this incessant worry in the back of his mind that Anakin would notice. Anakin had been furious during their first few days on Tatooine when Padmé had turned to Obi-Wan for comfort. He had been convinced that they were cheating (evidently another layer of Sidious’ machinations) and Obi-Wan did not want to feed further into that fear. He would try to pull away from Padmé when she was overly affectionate with him, though she was not always easily dissuaded.

Obi-Wan turned over each of these thoughts and tucked them away, letting them go in the Force.

A final, familiar thought coalesced in his mind: It was time for him to leave.

Feeling less confused and conflicted, he stood, pulling the blanket tighter around him, and trudged carefully back down the slope to the homestead. He snuck back into the house and into his room; it wouldn’t do for him to disturb the Skywalkers. Obi-Wan decided he may as well have a brief nap before everyone was up and about again. He crawled back onto his mattress, curled the blanket and duvet around him, and attempted to sleep.

Obi-Wan woke with a jolt, the squeak of the door to his room sounding as it opened suddenly.

Padmé stood in the doorway, a cringe on her face. “Sorry for waking you. Breakfast is up.”

Obi-Wan sat up commenting, “There was a distinctive lack of screaming this morning.”

“I caught them before the crying began,” Padmé said. “Coming?”

Obi-Wan nodded and exited the mattress. Padmé’s eyes dropped to the sand that fell from his clothes to the floor, evidence from his late night outing.

Padmé pressed her lips together for a moment before saying, “As a heads up, Anakin is likely to corner you about that later; I accidentally mentioned it to him last night. I tried to deter him, I know you need space sometimes, but you know how he gets.” She shrugged. “He worries. Just thought I’d warn you.”

“Oh.” He hadn’t realised she’d known about his night-time excursions. Obi-Wan was terribly thankful that she had left him to it. Having some time to compose himself was keeping him sane. “Thank you.”

She smiled. “No problem. Now come up for breakfast.” Padmé turned and walked off.

Obi-Wan sighed, brushing off the last few grains. He was begining to understand Anakin’s distaste for the irritating granules. They really did get everywhere.

After quickly changing, he headed upstairs to join Anakin and Padmé for breakfast. Luke and Leia were lying on a cloth scattered with soft toys Padmé had knitted for them. Leia had rolled over to her tummy and was grasping at Luke’s clothing, while Luke was distracted by the knitted Artoo Padmé had made. Both of the twins were much bigger now, slowly becoming more autonomous and able to entertain themselves for a short time.

Obi-Wan leant over the two of them and smiled before Luke let out a joyous, ringing laugh. Obi-Wan blinked down at Luke, surprised, and Anakin and Padmé’s heads whipped around to look.

“Well that’s new,” Anakin said brightly. “Who was that?”

“Luke,” Obi-Wan said.

Padmé came down from the table and knelt beside them, cooing, “Who’s my happy boy?”

Luke giggled again, extending his hands to his mother and dropping Artoo. Leia, interested in what was going on, rolled onto her back and blinked up at them all, babbling softly and blinking her brown eyes at them.

Obi-Wan left Padmé to it and joined Anakin at the table. He tucked into the plate of bread and fruits left out for him while Anakin just quietly watched Padmé playing with the twins on the floor. Fruit was an uncommon treat in such a wasteland, but Anakin had repaired the heating unit of a trader with inner core contacts, and thus had been paid in a selection of berries and melons. Padmé had been overjoyed.

“What about you, sweetheart? Any giggles for Mum?” Padmé asked, stroking a hand along Leia’s cheek. Leia just kept on mumbling and latched a hand onto her mother’s fingers. Obi-Wan suspected she was going to be quite the talker when she finally got the hang on it.

Obi-Wan stood after eating, headed toward the door, saying, “I’ll be back. Just checking the vaporators.”

Anakin’s head swivelled around. “I’ll come help.”

Padmé had warned him. He knew he wasn’t going to be able to dissuade Anakin, it would be easier to get it out of the way.

“If you want,” Obi-Wan said.

The pair of them circled the yard, checking each vaporator and making idle conversation. “Well that vaporator looks fine…” Anakin said, hands resting on his hips. “So, uh, Padmé mentioned that you’ve been going outside at night?”

Ah, Anakin trying to make a subtle segue. Always a joy.

“Yes,” Obi-Wan said, standing up on his toes to brush away the sand that had collected on the air intake vents.

Anakin was quiet for a moment before settling on, “Why?”

“I just need some time away to meditate,” Obi-Wan replied. “As we are all aware, the last few months have been very stressful.”

Understatement. Obi-Wan was only just begining to feel like himself again. He was still jumpy at unexpected sounds, and would occasionally just need time away from Anakin. Those moments pained both of them; Obi-Wan felt incredibly guilty about needing to get away, and Anakin always noticed now when it happened, unable to hide the small, crestfallen expression on his face. Anakin had however become very adept at spotting the on-edge look in Obi-Wan’s eyes, and would often casually disappear, or at least move further away from the door so Obi-Wan had an exit. The dreams had at least stopped as he was more prone to napping now rather than long periods of sleep. Overall he felt like it was progress.

“If you need time to yourself, could you do it during the day?” Anakin asked. “It’s dangerous at night, and we won’t know if something happens to you, and…I worry.”

“I am perfectly capable of defending myself, you know,” Obi-Wan responded sending Anakin a look.

“I know, but Tuskens are wily in groups, and if I’m at least awake and know you’re out there, then I can help quicker,” Anakin tried. “Plus the twins don’t need as much watching now, you should have time during the day—”

Obi-Wan sighed conceding the argument. “Okay, Anakin, I won’t do it again.”

It was about to be a moot point anyway.

Anakin, satisfied that Obi-Wan had agreed, finished helping with the vaporator and headed back inside, muttering about helping Padmé with the twins.

Obi-Wan slowly finished his round, checking the last of the machines, clearing sand from filters, and checking they were working at full efficiency. The second last one had a malfunctioning coolant intake coupling which Obi-Wan tinkered with until it was no longer allowing coolant to escape.

Job done, Obi-Wan sat staring out at the desert, his back pressed against the warm metal of the vaporator.

He knew that it was time he left, and yet he’d been putting it off for the last couple of weeks. He was reluctant to leave, but he didn’t want to be a problem anymore. Padmé and Anakin were settled, the babies were born and no-one had died. It was mission accomplished for him.

In all honesty, he hadn’t expected to live to see it; he had been ready to become one with the Force to prevent his vision from coming true. He had been stunned to wake up on Padmé’s starship afterward. He had set on staying until the twins were born and Padmé lived, making sure the galaxy was completely safe from Vader, and then return to… whatever was left.

Obi-Wan supposed he should try to find which Jedi were left alive after the Clones had turned on them. He wanted to find out what had really happened. He wanted to look over the Temple footage again, or rather, he didn’t want to do that, but it would answer the question about Anakin’s presence there. He needed to know.

He knew Yoda was alive, and that was a place to start.

Ahsoka was likely safe from it all, having not been considered a Jedi at the time. He had to look for her too. He had to know she was safe.

Obi-Wan absently wondered how many others survived.

He needed to leave, reluctant or not: Obi-Wan could not keep intruding on their lives like this. They were a family now. He was getting too comfortable. He was getting too… attached. To all of them. They didn’t need him to stay.

Today was as good as any day.

He should go.

Decision made, Obi-Wan stood up and walked back towards the house. He should say goodbye to the twins first. He suspected his exit was not going to go down well with their parents. He made polite conversation, ignoring his heart’s erratic beating, and offered to put the twins down for their morning nap.

Padmé smiled and took him up on the offer, handing him both children and draping their blankets over his shoulder. Obi-Wan went downstairs and carefully placed both twins on their parents bed.

He picked Leia up first, the young girl already beginning to drift off in his arms and struggling to keep her eyes open. “Goodbye sweet thing,” Obi-Wan said, and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “You be good. No being a fuss-pot and driving your father insane, okay?”

Leia gurgled at him, wrapping a tight hand around his shirt. Obi-Wan lowered Leia into her crib and placed her woollen blanket over her body. Leia only relinquished her hold on him when he picked up her toy Bantha and placed it beside her. Another one of Padmé’s pieces of work.

He then turned to Luke, picking him up while he stared up at Obi-Wan with interest. “Goodbye dear-heart. You be good too. No incessant screaming. No-one enjoys that,” he said softy. Obi-Wan kissed his forehead too and Luke giggled at him before Obi-Wan placed him in his bed.

He stood above the twins cribs and stared down at them. Laying Luke’s purple blanket over him, Obi-Wan slowly closed off his bond to the both of them, careful not to startle them at the change. He was going to miss them both terribly. 

Obi-Wan sighed.

He said one final goodbye and returned to his room to pack his bag. Obi-Wan decided to leave his Jedi tunics in the room; they were at the very least, truly unnecessary, and at worst, dangerous. He instead packed two spare changes of local tunics and pants. He’d stashed a few meals of non-perishables a week or so ago when he’d gone into town which were now shoved unceremoniously in the bottom of his bag with a large flask of water sat on top. He tucked his lightsaber down the side of the bag, hidden from immediate notice, but accessible in a pinch. He strapped the satchel closed. Now for the hard part.

Obi-Wan heard the door behind him open, Padmé’s voice piping up from behind him, “Hey Obi-Wan, I was wondering if—what are you doing?”

He turned to face Padmé, now standing in the doorway of his room. Obi-Wan gave her a quick smile. “I’m leaving.”

She frowned at him, crossing her arms. “What do you mean?”

He picked up his bag and walked past her, going upstairs into the living room. Padmé followed him with determination, stepping in between him and the front door, blocking his exit. Obi-Wan placed his bag on the lounge table.

Ah, he’d messed this up already.

“I’m leaving and going to find what’s happened out there. You’re all fine now. I’ve done my part. I need to...” he struggled to find the right words, “give you both space.”

“You can’t just leave! We need you here!” Padmé argued vehemently. Her hands were strangely animated and unable to settle.

Obi-Wan sighed. “You don’t—”

“Anakin!” she yelled back into the house, cutting into his statement.

“—need me here. You have a family now, you’re safe.”

“Obi-Wan,” Padmé started, stumbling over her words. “I—we—you can’t just leave. You’re part of this—our family!

Obi-Wan just shook his head in response. “I have to go.”

“But you don’t!” she cried surging forward, her eyes bright. “We want you to stay.” Padmé wrapped both hands around his face, exclaiming, “Why are you so fucking frustrating!?” and pulled him down.

He hadn’t expected this.

Padmé’s lips were soft and warm against his. She pressed forward gently, mouth welcoming his while her fingers traced the sides of his face, curling behind his ears and into his hair. He realised his eyes were closed as she coaxed him in further, sliding herself closer to his body, her form a line of warmth against him. Padmé mumbled something against his lips, willing them to open, breathing with him, while she tasted like tea and fruit. Force, this had to stop. She had a husband. This was Anakin’s wife being held warm and gentle against him.

Why would Padmé do this?

Obi-Wan placed his hands, which had somehow moved to her waist, on her shoulders and gently pushed her away.

They both spoke at once.



He heard a scuff on the floor behind him and half turned around. Anakin was standing on the stairs to the kitchen, eyes wide and stopped in his tracks.

Obi-Wan took an immediate step back, his entire body going cold.

“Anakin. I—I didn’t—we wouldn’t—she—” He gave up. “I’m leaving.”

Heart hammering in his chest and panic settling in to his bones, he grabbed his bag and walked out the door, deftly avoiding Padmé. He was beside the speeder, bag placed in the passenger seat before he heard the call behind him.

“Obi-Wan!” Anakin called from the house, jogging across the sand to where he stood, “Wait! Where are you going?!”

“I’m leaving, Anakin,” Obi-Wan replied, trying and failing to slide into the speeder before Anakin could reach him. “I need to see what’s happened to the galaxy.”

Surely that would be an acceptable excuse?

Anakin huffed. “You can’t leave!”

Evidently not.

“This is what you want to talk about?” Obi-Wan asked, incredulous and breathless.

“You don’t understand!” Anakin protested, stepping in closer.

I don't understand!?” Obi-Wan shot back. “Your wife kissed me!

“What?” Anakin blinked at him. “Oh. So what?”

Obi-Wan could not think of any way to respond to that.

Why was Anakin so calm about this? Obi-Wan expected him to be furious! Anakin had been near murderous the last time he’d caught Padmé and himself in a mildly compromising position, and this went well beyond that.

Obi-Wan was waiting for the golden light to slip into Anakin’s eyes and have his friend turn on him.

He felt vaguely sick.

Anakin stepped closer again and Obi-Wan stepped back, hitting the edge of the speeder.

“Obi-Wan. I’m not angry. At either of you,” he said quietly. Anakin was close now, leaning over Obi-Wan, his blue eyes fixed on him.

Anakin was strangely relaxed. Obi-Wan wasn’t sure if that was helping himself remain calm or not. He frowned, staring up at Anakin. “I don’t—”

A slow, quiet smile spread across Anakin’s face. “I know.”

He stepped forward again, and rested his hands on the speeder, an arm on either side of Obi-Wan who was beginning to feel rather trapped, his heart pounding in his ears. Anakin leant in slowly, never breaking eye contact, until his nose and forehead brushed against Obi-Wan’s.

Obi-Wan sucked in a breath. “Anakin?”

“Hmm?” He could feel the rumble in his chest.

“What are you doing?” he asked, embarrassed at how breathy his own voice was. Anakin was far too close and Obi-Wan couldn't suck in enough air. He was unsure if it was still fear.

Anakin’s voice was low, his whole body sliding closer, nearly pinning Obi-Wan to the speeder. “Let me show you.”

A small sound of surprise slipped past his lips as he was kissed for the second time that day.

Anakin had swooped in, catching Obi-Wan’s lips in his, the kiss hot and demanding. Anakin’s hands had moved from the side of the speeder to Obi-Wan’s waist, tugging him as close as he could get him. Anakin kissed differently to his wife, far rougher and needier, clutching Obi-Wan to him with feverish hands and insistent mouth. Obi-Wan responded without thinking, senses filled with the intensity of it all; his hands latched onto Anakin’s shirt, the soft fabric electric against his senses. Anakin smelt of heat and spices, his whole body a furnace of warmth, and Obi-Wan could barely breathe for it all. It was overwhelming. It felt like coming home.

Anakin pressed in as close as he could, mouth demanding he listen and licking into Obi-Wan’s own. A soft moan escaped Obi-Wan, his whole body feeing hot and sensitive… and yet, he felt strangely safe and needed. Kissing Anakin was everything he had ever thought it might be. Fast and intense and drawing Obi-Wan in with the gravity of a sun. Somehow, his hands had ended up in Anakin’s hair, fingers tangled in the curly strands, gripping him desperately.

“Please stay, Obi-Wan,” Anakin whispered against his lips, pulling back slightly.

And just like that, the spell was broken.

That’s what this was about. Him staying.

Obi-Wan pulled back violently, eyes wide and shocked at himself.

This was Anakin.

He shook his head frantically, trying to push the feelings and thoughts from his head, willing his body to calm and release his emotions to the Force. Obi-Wan looked up at Anakin, who was equally breathless. He felt hot all over and stared up at Anakin in an uncomfortable mixture of surprise and confusion and outrage. Whether that was at himself or Anakin, he wasn’t sure.

“Anakin, I—”

“You won’t stay. Will you.” Anakin’s voice was flat, not bothering to phrase it as a question.

It took a moment for his brain to function again, muttering back an automatic, “You know I can’t.” Right. Leaving. He should do that. Obi-Wan refused to look at Anakin as he climbed into the vehicle. “I can have someone return the speeder tonight?” After a pause he added, “I will come back.”

“You’d kriffing better,” Anakin said through gritted teeth and bright eyes. “Wait—let me—let me drive you into town?”

Obi-Wan hesitated but nodded. It would be easier than getting someone else to bring it back. “If you want.”

“Give me a minute.” Anakin dashed back toward the house, disappearing inside in a flurry of sand.

Obi-Wan very seriously considered leaving while he was gone but Anakin would never forgive him for that. He did want to come back eventually.

He took a few minutes to collect himself. Obi-Wan closed his eyes, rested his head in his hands and put aside all the feelings Anakin and Padmé had stirred up within him. He catalogued each as he experienced them: confusion, lust, hesitation, fear, love… Obi-Wan shook his head again.

This was not how he had thought his leaving would go down. Some objection, sure, but not…this. Obi-Wan did not understand it at all. Had they noticed him staring and thought that it would make him stay? Were they fighting or unhappy and he just hadn’t noticed? What—?

Anakin suddenly appeared at the door, striding back over to Obi-Wan with Artoo rumbling along behind him.

“Artoo’s coming with you,” Anakin said matter-of-factly.

Obi-Wan frowned. “I—why?”

“He volunteered; didn’t you buddy?” Anakin grinned down at the droid and Artoo whistled his agreement. “Also, you can call us through him. I got the subspace communicator working.”

“I didn’t even know you had one,” Obi-Wan said. This was a conversation he could get behind. This felt normal. It was like the last ten minutes never happened. He was torn between relief and regret.

Anakin patted Artoo on his head. “We found it last time we went into the scavengers market. Got it cheap off some Jawas. I was just going to sell it, but now...” he shrugged, “may as well keep it to stay in touch.”

Anakin was trying so very hard to appear calm and collected, but Obi-Wan could see the tension in his eyes, and in the faint tightness in his jaw. Obi-Wan felt awful to be the one causing this. Space would do them both good. Anakin could focus on his wife and his children and not worry about him anymore.

“Okay,” Obi-Wan agreed and they climbed into the speeder.

Anakin took the drivers seat, Obi-Wan beside him and Artoo in the back whistling happily about ‘leaving this hell-scape of sand’. Anakin evidently had another member to add to the ‘Fuck Sand’ club.

The drive into Mos Eisley was long and silent and Anakin stared straight ahead as he drove. Obi-Wan alternated between staring at the landscape, then staring at Anakin until he realised what he was doing, and then returned to staring at the desert.

Anakin’s long hair fluttered in the breeze as they drove, his lips pressed tightly together. Obi-Wan now knew how they felt against his and—he sighed and returned to look at the desert. He wished he didn’t know how Anakin felt pressed against him. How Padmé was as soft as she looked she might be— This was ridiculous. Obi-Wan ran his fingers nervously through his own hair.

A tense couple of hours later they made it to Mos Eisley which was as busy and jam-packed with lifeforms as it usually was. He and Anakin and Artoo were just three more beings in a faceless crowd.

Both of them exited the vehicle, Artoo thrusting up and out of the backseat. Anakin leant back on the side of the speeder and Obi-Wan came around to stand before him, ready to say his goodbyes.

“Here,” Anakin said, holding out a small pouch he’d pulled from the pocket of his pants.

“What is it?”

“Credits. Core credits,” Anakin explained. “Padmé still has a range of currency from when we first left. We thought this might help you.”

“You don’t need it?” Obi-Wan asked.

Anakin laughed. “It’s not worth anything here. Take it.”

Obi-Wan did so and tucked it into his bag carefully. That would make transport a little easier. He’d been planning to work for passage, but credits would help if he got stuck. Artoo was likely going to be useful as well. Or a nuisance. Never could tell which with the droid.

They stood in uncomfortable silence for a few moments as neither knew what to say. Obi-Wan had hoped to be able to slip away without all of this added drama. The Force evidently had other plans.

“Come home soon,” Anakin said finally into the silence. “Do whatever it is you feel you need to, and then come back. Please.”

“I will try.”

There is no try,” Anakin parroted at him, a faint mockery of the old, green Jedi Master in his voice.

Obi-Wan smiled despite himself. “Yes, Master Skywalker.”

Anakin faintly returned the smile. “I—just—stay safe, Obi-Wan. I don’t know where you’re going, but if you see Sidious. Please. Just run,” Anakin begged quietly. “I saw what he did to Masters Fisto, Kolar, and Tiin… Windu…” he trailed off, before focusing back on Obi-Wan. “I don’t know what I’d do if you d—if you never came back. I need you to come back, Obi-Wan.”

“You’d be fine,” Obi-Wan assured him.

Anakin’s voice was barely audible, staring at Obi-Wan with luminous blue eyes, “I can’t live without you.”

“Yes, you can.” Obi-Wan thought about Mustafar. He thought about every argument they’d ever gotten into. He thought, awfully, about the Rako Hardeen incident. Anakin had been fucking angry and upset, but he had lived through it.

Anakin shook his head, clearly identifying where his thoughts had gone. “Don’t think about the past, Obi-Wan. I’m talking to this Obi-Wan, here and now, who I know loves me and has been raising my children with me. I need you.”

Anakin leant in slowly this time, giving Obi-Wan a chance to pull back.

Obi-Wan felt frozen in place, passively accepting the tender kiss, nothing like the consuming fire of earlier. This was softer. This was asking for nothing else but the kiss. It filled him with a lightness he hadn’t felt in years.

He wanted this so badly.

He shouldn’t.

Anakin had Padmé and their children; they were happy.

“Please stop,” Obi-Wan whispered and finally had the sense of self to turn his face away from Anakin.

Anakin did so, but frowned. “What’s wrong?”

Everything. Everything about this situation was wrong. Anakin should not be kissing him, no matter how much Obi-Wan wanted it. He was too attached. They both were. After all these years it was still where he failed. Attachment. It was just further proof he should leave.

“I… don’t want to talk about this,” Obi-Wan said finally.

Anakin sighed, “Obi-Wan—"

“—Not right now, Anakin,” Obi-Wan bit back. He didn’t think he could handle much more of this. He felt so lost. He needed to mediate properly and push these feelings aside. He could get past this. He just needed time away. He’d gotten past this with Satine. He could do so again. He could.

He felt Anakin’s stare burn against his skin for a long moment. Felt the tentative brush against his shields which he had tugged tightly closed hours before.

“Fine,” Anakin growled, “but we are talking about it in the future. You’re going to stay safe, you’re going to come home, and we’re going to talk about it.” He said it like a mantra before visibly deflating, voice going quiet. “Just come back.”

He nodded. He would come back. Eventually.

Obi-Wan lifted his hand to touch the side of Anakin’s face, speaking softly, “I’m proud of you, Anakin. You’ve grown so much these past few months and you are an excellent father.”

“Thank you,” Anakin said, placing his hand over Obi-Wan’s. “Stay safe and may the Force be with you, Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan smiled. “And with you, Anakin. Come on, Artoo.”

He dropped his hand, turned, and walked away from Anakin, desperately trying to ignore the pain in his chest that he'd inflicted on himself.

Artoo whistled something along the lines of ‘You’re both idiots’ and then trundled along silently beside him.

Obi-Wan chose to ignore him and they headed to the cantina to find a ship.

Chapter Text

Anakin watched Obi-Wan and Artoo walk away from him, disappearing into the throng of people with raised dust filling the air. He stood, dazed and confused in the heat, his mouth still tingling faintly from the kiss he had stolen a few minutes before. Anakin reached up and rested and absent hand on his lips.

Anakin wasn’t quite sure where he went wrong today, but he could feel that he did.


“Seripas!” a voice called from across the street.

Anakin’s head turned and found Owen jogging towards him.

“Owen!” Anakin greeted once Owen reached him. “How are you?”

“I’m good—so I was right about the Seripas thing?” Owen said. “I had a friend congratulate me on having a great mechanic for a brother named Seripas Lars—who I have obviously never heard of—but was described as tall, has a scar on his face, and is crazy good at fixing things. I thought it was probably you.”

Anakin blinked at the sudden conversation. This was such a gear change from the past few hours and he was really feeling the emotional whiplash.

“Yeah,” he said as his mind caught up, “been doing repair work on top of moisture farming. Seems people need it out here.”

Owen smiled. “Understatement. Not many people are trained to repair things, and if they are they’re not trained very well. Most of the time I think they just don’t want the slaves getting uppity.”

Anakin stiffened. “Yeah.” He hated the ongoing slavery on Tatooine. It was one of those things he tried not to notice too hard. Anakin suspected if he focused on it someone might end up dead and that was not who he was trying to be right now.

Owen seemingly noticing the change, swapped tack. “So, how is Padmé? I assume the birth went fine?”

“Oh!” Anakin had completely forgotten. He really should have told his family… Probably should have invited them to visit… Was that what normally happened? “Yes. We have twins; Luke and Leia. I completely forgot to send word. You should visit?” He hadn’t meant to phrase that as a question.

Owen laughed. “It’s all good, we figured you’d all be caught up in it all; we would love to visit, though it can only probably be one of us. I don’t know if it’s the same out in the Wastes, but the Tuskans around here are getting bold.” Owen rubbed a hand at the side of his face. “Fuckers damaged a couple of our vaporators pretty bad. The other farmers are worried about a proper incursion.”

Anakin nodded sympathetically. “They do like to do that every few years. Do you need help with the vaporators?”

“Yeah, if you could spare this afternoon we could use some help,” Owen said. “I’ve already managed to fix one, but I’m not sure I can with the other; I was just going to write it off.”

This was a good distraction.

“Now or in a bit?” Anakin asked.

“I have one last thing to go get,” Owen said, “then I was going to head home. Want to meet me there?”


Owen jogged off and Anakin pulled out his comm and signalled Padmé. After a moment, her voice came through, crackly and weak, “Hello?”

“He’s gone,” Anakin said flatly.

“Oh no,” Padmé replied. “Are you okay?”

Anakin sighed. “I’m not sure. I’m going to go visit Owen for a bit; I ran into him in town. They have a very broken vaporator that he wants me to have a look at. Will you be okay without me for a bit longer?”

“Yeah,” Padmé’s voice crackled. “I’ll be fine. The twins are up from their nap and are having a lovely time rolling around on the floor with Mummy right now.”

“Okay. I should be home for dinner,” Anakin said. “Love you.”

“Love you too. Look after yourself and come home if it becomes too much.”

“Okay.” He cut the comm unit off.

Anakin let out a slow breath and tucked the unit away. Today didn’t quite feel real. He couldn’t believe Obi-Wan had just gone. He shook his head. Worry later. Owen now.

Anakin hopped back into the speeder and drove across the sands to Owen and Beru’s homestead.

Beru met him at the door with open arms. “Oh Anakin! Owen just called to say you’d be coming. He’s a little caught up in a deal right now, so come join me for lunch.”

Anakin did so, sensing she wasn’t going to take no for an answer. She placed a bowl of food in front of him, and asked after Padmé and the twins. Anakin told her all about it, and she expressed her desire to come visit them.  Anakin continued to make polite conversation until Owen returned from town, and then helped him carry in a small selection of boxes he’d brought.

“Non-perishables and replacement parts,” Owen explained. “We are going to be prepared for anything.”

Owen then rummaged around in the storage room before pulling out a bag and dragging Anakin outside. Owen took him out to the vaporator which was heavily dented in places and obviously completely offline, the humidity sensor on the top bent at a funny angle.

“Hm,” Anakin said, staring up at it with his hands on his hips. “They really did a number on this one didn’t they.”

“Yes they did,” Owen agreed. “Beru and I are not leaving the house unattended, even for a moment, until they settle.”

“Good idea.”

Owen placed the bag he had found on the ground beside the vaporator and indicated at it. “There should be enough tools in there to help you. If not, come back to the house and I’ll find you some more.”

Anakin nodded, kneeling down to rifle through the bag. It looked fine to him, filled with spare parts and wiring, plus a mixed variety of delicate tools and various sized hammers. That should work.

“Do you think it’s even repairable?” Owen asked.

Anakin nodded and pulled out a few tools, placing them on the ground beside him. “It should be. Depends how damaged the insides are.”

“Oh good. I don’t want to have to replace a whole machine if I don’t have to.” Owen rubbed his face. “I saw Obi-Wan in town today. You picking him up on our way home?”

Anakin paused. “No. He’s… going away for a bit.”

“Everything okay?”

Anakin just nodded.

After an uncomfortable moment Owen continued. “Okay. Well. Shall I leave you to it?”

He nodded again and listened to Owen’s retreating footsteps.

Anakin exhaled loudly when he could no longer hear him and punched the ground beside him.

He’d been trying to ignore the Obi-Wan thing. He’d been trying to not work himself up over it. Anakin could feel how easily it could get out of hand. He was also very carefully keeping his shielding up; he knew Obi-Wan was blocking him out and it would break his promise if he let them drop. But it was so tempting just to try. Anakin refused to focus on it and turned his attention to the vaporator. He needed to find out what’s wrong first, then fix it. He could do that.

He lost himself in the familiarity of repair work for a long while, and was calmer when his mind finally returned to Obi-Wan. Anakin felt lost and distinctly as though he’d missed something somewhere along the way. He understood that Obi-Wan wanted to see what was going on in the galaxy...but then it had all gone a bit pear-shaped somewhere.

Anakin had been in the bathroom, shaving off residual scruff from his stubble and tying the top of his hair back, when he had heard talking and a sudden yell of his name. He took a moment to finish tying his hair back before he responded to the call. He had returned to the kitchen and began down the steps, expecting Padmé needing help with the twins, to see Padmé pressed up against Obi-Wan, kissing him with determination.

That was not at all what he had been expecting.

Anakin had stopped dead in his tracks, his brain having to take a few moments to restart itself. That was definitely on the list of best things he had ever seen in his life—He’d been initially hesitant when Padmé had brought up the possibility of their relationship including the three of them, Anakin mainly concerned he would be absurdly jealous. The scene before him dispelled all possible doubts. Anakin just found it beautiful.

Padmé must have spoken to Obi-Wan about the three of them, though Anakin hadn’t realised they were going to talk to Obi-Wan about it so soon though… he figured that he must have misunderstood when he and Padmé had been discussing it the night before. Maybe Padmé had seen an opportunity that she couldn’t ignore? Either way, Anakin trusted her judgement.

When they’d broken apart, Obi-Wan had shot Anakin a strange look and then stammered something out, Anakin only catching the frantic final, “I’m leaving.”

Anakin had then just stood there, brain short circuiting as Obi-Wan left.

Padmé had rounded on him, cheeks tinged pink, saying, “Obi-Wan is going to leave. You go talk to him. I’ve fucked it up.”

That had sent him into action. Anakin had nodded at her and followed Obi-Wan out, catching him at the speeder. Clearly Obi-Wan hadn’t reacted well. He mustn’t have realised that Anakin wanted him too. Maybe he just needed convincing. Padmé had obviously thought that kissing was the way forward. Obi-Wan had been a bit confused for the first part of their talk by the speeder, so Anakin decided to follow Padmé’s lead and show Obi-Wan how he felt.

Kissing him had been incredible—more-so that Obi-Wan had responded so strongly to him. He’d kissed back. He’d wrapped his fingers in Anakin’s hair and kissed back. He had folded willingly into Anakin’s grasp, pressing himself forward as much as Anakin had pulled him in. Anakin had never imagined he could ever actually have this; that Obi-Wan would ever want him like that. Obi-Wan had been passionate and was a much better kisser than he had thought he would be. Anakin had lost himself in it, his whole body on fire and near vibrating with excitement.

Then Anakin had opened his big mouth and asked him to stay.

He had felt the change instantly; Obi-Wan freezing and pulling away, eyes wide and staring at Anakin with an expression he’d never seen before on his friend.

Anakin had known in that instant that he too had made a mistake.

He just wasn’t quite sure where it happened…

At the very least he’d secured a promise from Obi-Wan that he would come back and he would be careful. Maybe giving Obi-Wan some space would help in the long run; give him some time to think about their proposal. Obi-Wan had always felt such a duty to the Jedi, and Anakin partly understood it. He’d never thought of the Jedi as his family, but he thought that Obi-Wan did. Even if he would never say it. Either way, Obi-Wan could get it out of his system, think about what he wanted, and come home.

Anakin exhaled in a sharp burst, frustration at the whole day pressing forward in his mind; it felt like a weight pressing on his chest, refusing to let him up. Anakin clung to the knowledge he still had Padmé and Luke and Leia and that Obi-Wan would come home. He blinked and refocused his mind on the vaporator before him. He could discuss it with Padmé later; she was always the voice of reason.

He’d managed to somehow fix most of the vaporator while his brain was elsewhere, and now only the humidity sensor was non-functional. Anakin concentrated his attention on the bent sensor, using the small tools to bend it back into shape and then rewire and fix the mechanisms part by part. Beeing able to lose himself in the order and organisation of the machine made him feel better. It was familiar and safe. He understood machines. Machines wouldn’t make out with him and then leave.

By the time Anakin was finished, the vaporator worked near as good as it used to. It did look a bit battered, though nothing like the near-destroyed and non-functional state it had been in when he had started. He stood back, hands resting on his hips, and watched the vaporator work for ten minutes. It was fine and collected moisture as it should. Satisfied, Anakin returned to the homestead. He found Owen talking with Beru in the central open complex.

“Oh, Anakin,” Beru said, smiling welcomingly at him. “How did you go with it?”

“All fixed up. It works again, even if it still looks a bit dented.”

“You’re a lifesaver. What do we owe you?” Owen asked.

Anakin blinked, frowning. “Nothing. I’m happy to help you both out.”

“Are you sure? We’re happy to recompense you for your work,” Owen said.

“Of course I’m sure,” Anakin insisted. “It’s the least I can do for all the kindness you showed us.”

“Well. Okay,” Beru replied. “Would you like to stay for dinner?”

Anakin shook his head. “No, I promised Padmé I would be home for dinner, though I think I will visit Mom before I leave.”

Beru nodded. “Of course. Thank you for your help, Anakin, and have a safe trip home.”

Owen placed a hand on Anakin’s shoulder. “We’ll try and come visit soon. Keep an eye out for Tuskens. If they’re mobilising here, they’re probably doing the same near you too.”

Anakin felt strangely warm. It was nice to have extended family who cared about him. He’d never felt that with the Jedi beyond Obi-Wan and Snips.

“Thank you. Will do.”

Anakin said his final farewells and then walked back out onto the flats and found his mother's grave. He pressed a kiss to his fingers before tenderly placing them against the cool stone. He knelt on the ground in front of it and spoke softly to the silence of the desert.

He told her of his wife, his children, and his now absent friend. He rambled about all the good things, the bad things, and the ridiculous exhaustion that came with raising twins. He murmured his everlasting respect for her, raising him alone and being able to let him go when Qui-Gon had taken him. It must have been so incredibly difficult for her. Anakin didn’t think he could ever let either of his children go.

“I love you, Mom,” Anakin said finally. “I wish you could have met Luke and Leia.”

After a long moment of silence, Anakin returned to his speeder and drove home, his soul feeling more settled. He could manage without Obi-Wan. It would suck, and they would miss him, but he had Padmé and the twins and Obi-Wan would come back.

“Hey, love,” Padmé greeted as he came in through the door. She was sitting on the floor of the lounge room, Leia fiddling with her knitted bantha and laying on her back, while Luke sat on his mother’s lap, inquisitive eyes staring at Anakin. “How did the repairs go?”

Anakin moved to sit on the floor beside her, pressing a kiss to her cheek. “Hey. It was all fine and has all been fixed. How have the tiny terrors been?”

Padmé held Luke up before her. “You’ve been pretty good, haven’t you bub?” Luke just mumbled something back at her. She smiled at her son and then returned her focus back to Anakin, “They’ve both been fine. They didn't get quite as long a nap earlier as I would have liked, so they might be fussy later.” Padmé then passed Luke to Anakin and picked Leia up off the floor, Leia dragging her bantha with her. “Couch? I’m losing feeling in my legs.”

Anakin agreed and they both moved from the floor to the alcove.

Anakin sat down and placed Luke so that he was laying back on his thighs, Anakin’s legs angled so Luke’s head was rested up and staring happily at his parents. Padmé sat to his left and lay back into the pillows, resting Leia against her chest.

“What a day,” Padmé murmured, staring down at her daughter and petting her dark tufts of hair. “I can’t believe he’s gone.”

Anakin sighed and stared down at Luke. He knew exactly how she felt; there was an absence in the room. There was an absence in his mind where Obi-Wan’s shields were, raised strongly and reinforced by distance.

“So what did you say to him?” Padmé asked after a moment of quiet.

Anakin rubbed a hand over Luke’s tummy, enjoying his little giggle, “I asked him where he was going, and he said he needed to go see the galaxy. He thought I was going to be angry with him for kissing you, and I told him I wasn’t. Then I kissed him.”

Padmé paused, exhaling a soft, “What?”

“That’s what happened,” Anakin explained. “I figured he hadn’t reacted well to you telling him about us and what we wanted and your kiss, so I thought—”

“Oh Gods…” Padmé closed her eyes as if in pain, folding forwards, to press her head against Leia’s. “Gods I fucked this up.”

Anakin turned his focus away from Luke. “What is it?”

“I’m an idiot and I completely fucked up,” Padmé groaned. “I hadn’t talked to Obi-Wan about us. I’d just tried to stop him from leaving—that’s all he was trying to do—and he wasn’t listening and I panicked and reacted on instinct—which is apparently kissing, because it works fucking great on you—and then you’ve assumed that it was about our relationship and Obi-Wan thinks it’s about him leaving and—oh, he must be confused as fuck as to what we were doing…” Padmé groaned again in vehement frustration. “Fucking fuck, Ani."

“Oh,” was all Anakin could think of saying. He felt cold.

That…that made a lot more sense. No wonder he’d felt so off balance—they’d been having completely different conversations with each other. That would explain why Obi-Wan had been so upset about Padmé kissing him, and the second kiss that Anakin had stolen. What it didn’t explain was why he was so into the first one. Anakin could almost still feel Obi-Wan’s hands clasped tightly in his hair, gripping Anakin firmly to him. That was not the kiss of a person who wasn’t enjoying it. Anakin felt the tiniest blossom of warm hope unfurl in his chest, banishing some of the cold uncertainty.

“Ugh, we need to talk to him,” Padmé said, still clearly frustrated. “No wonder he left—I thought you’d be the better choice because your relationship is better but I didn’t think you didn’t have the context!! Gods, I’m an idiot.”

Anakin leant over, hands still occupied with Luke, and rested his head against hers. “You’re not an idiot; you made a mistake,” Anakin said.

“A stupid mistake,” Padmé groused.

Anakin kissed the side of her face. “We can probably fix it. Relax.”

Padmé side-eyed Anakin. “When did you get so sensible?”

“Well obviously someone’s gotta be, if it’s not going to be you.” Anakin grinned at her.

“You fuck,” Padmé laughed and slapped his arm with her spare hand, the other still cradling Leia to her chest. She then turned her head and pressed her lips to his briefly. “Thank you. You’re right; we can fix this. We can give him the time to sort himself and do his thing out in the galaxy,” Padmé thought aloud. “He’ll come around eventually and then we can talk to him.”

Anakin just hummed in agreement though he was less convinced. He enjoyed her optimism, but he also knew how stupidly stubborn Obi-Wan could be. Anakin suspected that now that they’d fucked their first chance, the second would be tricker to get. That kiss however, bolstered his belief that perhaps Anakin’s feelings weren’t so one-sided as he had thought they were.

Anakin returned is focus to Luke, cooing at him. “Mommy will not make assumptions and Daddy won’t make assumptions and then go from zero to full-on kiss mode again. Does that sound good, Luke?”

Luke mumbled something in response, deciding to suck on his hand and slide it up and down Anakin’s arm.

“That’s a fair point, Luke, you do deserve full-on kiss mode,” Anakin agreed. He bent down and pressed numerous quick kisses to Luke’s soft face, Luke shrieking happily the whole time.

They passed the rest of the evening in thoughtful quiet, Padmé clearly still stewing over her mistake. She didn’t make them very often and Anakin knew how much it frustrated her when she did. She always worked so hard to get everything right the first time. After dinner and tucking the twins into bed, Anakin lay awake staring up at the dark ceiling, his mind sliding over the now quiet place in his mind where Obi-Wan used to be.

A month passed without word from Obi-Wan.

They managed fine without him but they could all feel the loss. Anakin had caught himself calling out to him at moments, and he’d seen Padmé move to say something to where Obi-Wan would normally be, only to pause mid-action, catching herself, and shake it off.

Anakin had trouble sleeping for the first couple of weeks, unused to not being able to feel the low hum of their bond between them. It was still there, thin and stretched, but it remained closed to him and it was like a itch he couldn’t scratch, always just beyond his reach.

The twins continued to grow, Leia picking up laughing a week after her brother, with Luke only just mastering rolling onto his stomach. They were both becoming increasingly interested in everything, often just watching their parents and each other. Both now responded to their names and were much more chatty; Leia would often just babble for long periods of time, Luke occasionally muttering something back at her.

Anakin had eventually taken to having one of the twins join him on his vaporator rounds. He would strap one to his chest and talk them through what he was doing. Padmé had been reluctant at the begining to let them outside, but Anakin had promised to be careful, and reminded her that they had to leave the house sometime. Padmé had relented eventually, but she was clearly not pleased about it.

“What do you think, Leia?” Anakin asked to the pair of brown eyes now staring up at him, “Should we use this screwdriver?” He held it up to her vision. Leia responded with something incomprehensible and reached up to grab at the metal object. “You’re right, this one’s not right. Let’s use the other one.” He would then narrate what he did to her, Leia’s eyes watching her father’s actions with the full seriousness of a five month old child.

Owen and Beru had also come to visit three weeks into Obi-Wan’s absence. They had done so separately over two days, both of them still feeling it wasn't safe to leave the homestead unattended. Owen had enjoyed the twins, but had spent most of his time talking to Anakin and Padmé. Luke had taken to Beru like a Mon Calamari to water, happily being held by her and making all sorts of happy babbling sounds at her. Leia had preferred to stay in her father’s arms.

It all felt very domestic.

Leia had been crying for nearly an hour by the time Padmé came looking for him.

“She won’t stop,” Padmé said, passing her into Anakin’s hands, “you give it a go. I’m going to lose my mind.”

Anakin took his screaming daughter and tentatively reached along their bond to see what was wrong.

Oh dear, that wasn’t easily fixed.

Anakin sighed. “She misses Obi-Wan.” He could feel her mind screaming out for him.

“Well that’s just great,” Padmé huffed, sitting back onto the couch and dropping her head into her hands. “She can join the fucking club.”

“I know,” Anakin agreed softly.

He carefully felt along the thin bond he had with his daughter and wrapped her up in comfort and love and security. He soothed away her worries, gently easing her desire for Obi-Wan. After a few minutes she was still visibly unhappy, but no longer crying, but it was as much as he could do. Neither of them could fake being what she wanted. Neither of them would feel or smell quite right.

Anakin in that moment had never been more frustrated at Obi-Wan. Anakin and Padmé missing him was bad, but they were adults and they could manage. Leia didn’t understand. All she knew is that she wanted Obi-Wan and he wasn’t there.

“I miss him too darling,” Anakin muttered to Leia, gently stroking his fingers over her head, lulling her into slumber.

After Leia finally settled, he took her downstairs and put her to bed. He pressed a kiss to her forehead and tucked her into her blanket. Luke was already sound asleep, Anakin only sending a soothing thrum of love along their bond.

When he returned upstairs Padmé muttered, “I’m going to have a shower,” and vanished into the bathroom.

Anakin sat on the couch for a moment, thinking. They had heard nothing from Obi-Wan for the past month and it was really starting to stress him out.

Anakin mulled over the problem for a few moments before deciding to try and contact him again.

Anakin moved to where he had placed the subspace communication relay to the side of the stairs to the kitchen, propped up on the small ledge. Anakin pulled a chair along behind him to sit on and then switched it on, ran a check that it was working, and then entered in Artoo’s connection code.

Leia misses you, Anakin sent though the machine.

He waited in silence, staring unblinkingly at the screen. Obi-Wan might be asleep. He might be busy. He might be—

The machine pinged as he received a message back. Can I call you?

Anakin immediately dialled Artoo’s connection.

Obi-Wan suddenly appeared, blue and wavy and faintly transparent, only appearing from the chest up. Anakin smiled brightly at him, “Hey Ob—Hondo?”

Obi-Wan’s eyes crinkled happily. “All clear, no need to use Hondo, but for future reference, could you use Ben?”

“Of course. Why?”

Obi-Wan smiled at him. “I’ve negotiated a ride with some Weequay pirates and I decided it wasn’t worth chancing; so Ben it is.”

There was a beat of silence.

“How are you, Anakin?” Obi-Wan asked softly.

He hesitated for a moment. He should be honest. “Fine. I miss you. We all do. Do you know when you’ll be back?”

Obi-Wan shook his head. “I don’t know how long the journey is going to take. This small leg has taken much longer than I thought. I suspect I’m going to have to take a rather circuitous route to get to Coruscant.”

“What—?” Anakin sat forward. “Why would you go to Coruscant!?”

Obi-Wan blinked at his obvious discomfort. “It's a place to start. Theres a couple of things I want to look into at the Temple.”

“It’s a place to get captured and turned over to Palpatine,” Anakin said, his heart stuck in his throat.

“I’m not going to get captured,” Obi-Wan assured him. “I know how to get in and out of the Temple without being seen.”

Anakin smiled. “Been sneaking out a lot?”

“Oh yes,” Obi-Wan said sarcastically, “sneaking out all the time to visit my many secret lovers I somehow managed to hide for the last fifteen years.”

“Ha ha,” Anakin responded with equal acerbity, before becoming more serious. “Just be careful.”

“I always am.”

Anakin laughed. “That’s bantha-shit and you know it.”

Obi-Wan smiled at him, his eyes sparkling. There were traces of exhaustion lingering about his face as well. Anakin hoped he was sleeping okay.

“You look tired,” Anakin said.

Obi-Wan looked away. “Yeah. Artoo and I have been working pretty hard.”

There was an agreeing whistle from the droid.  Well at least Obi-Wan was being honest. Anakin doubted Artoo would let him get away with being stupid.

“What are you doing?” Anakin asked.

“Basic repairs and cleaning for me, and Artoo has been working a lot of the ships systems,” Obi-Wan said. “Nothing particularly difficult, just continuous and can be needed at any hour. How are the twins?”

“They’re okay,” Anakin replied. “Leia was very upset today when neither of us were you. She’s been very fussy for the last week. Luke won’t stop giggling. Now that he’s worked out how to do it he won’t stop. Leia has worked it out as well and we think she’s close to being able to sit up on her own.”

“Oh, that’s great.” Obi-Wan smiled. “I would love to see them via link at some point.”

“Maybe next time. We just put them down for the night.”

Obi-Wan hesitated for a moment. “Where is Padmé? Is she well?”

Anakin nodded. “She’s fine, just in the shower now. Leia crying for an hour really did her in.”

“That’s fair.”

Anakin wished he could touch him; reach through and feel him, physically and mentally.

Anakin took a deep breath; now was as good a moment as any. “Look, um, about the day you left, I wanted to apologise about the kissing thing; I think there was a misunderstanding—”

A guarded expression slid over Obi-Wan’s face, his whole body losing its calm, relaxed posture. “I said I didn’t want to talk about this—”

“No, but Obi-Wan, I love you.” Oh yeah, good one Anakin, real fucking cool. Evidently being married and a father had not improved his ability to flirt. At all.

Obi-Wan frowned. “I know you do. What—”

“No, I love you,” Anakin tried to explain. “Like I love Padmé.”

Obi-Wan let out a quiet, “Oh, Anakin, I—” before his focus snapped up to something Anakin couldn’t see. “I have to go.”

The feed cut.

“Ugh!” Anakin exclaimed, dropping his head to the black metal of the communication relay in frustration.

The unit beeped as a binary message came through from Artoo.

01010011 01101101 01101111 01101111 01110100 01101000 00101110 00100000

Anakin stared at it as his brain processed it. Oh. Well. That was rude. Anakin couldn’t help but smile though; that droid was such a shit.

Anakin sighed. He felt awful. He suspected he literally just did nothing to help clear up the kissing issue. His mind ran back over their conversation… yeah, he hadn’t helped.

He probably shouldn’t have done it. He’d just—he needed Obi-Wan to know! Obi-Wan needed to know it wasn’t out of some kind of desperation, that it was what Anakin wanted.

He ran back over their conversation again, relishing at the contact, before an insidious thought wormed its way into his head… Had Obi-Wan ever had any lovers? The comment he’d made had clearly been a joke, and most likely a jab at Anakin, but it made him pause.

Anakin had been aware of other Jedi having casual sexual relationships with one another. It wasn’t encouraged, but so long at it wasn’t attachment, then it wasn’t discouraged either. If Obi-Wan had ever done such a thing however… he just wasn’t sure. As far as Anakin knew, Obi-Wan had not had anyone like that in his life. He'd certainly kissed like he knew what he was doing. Could he have hidden it? Would he have? With who?

“What are you up to?” Padmé asked, coming to lie back beside him and draping her legs over his lap. She was back wearing a blouse and skirt with her hair wrapped in a towel.

“Thinking,” Anakin replied, frowning. He was way too fixated on this and he knew it, but the idea had hooked itself in his head and was proving difficult to shake.

“What about?”

Anakin sighed. “Just something Obi-Wan said.”

“Oh, you managed to get a hold of him?” Padmé perked up. “How is he?”

Anakin relayed their conversation to her, with Padmé scrunching her nose up at the end.

“Yeah, you really didn’t clarify anything for him, but at least he’s doing okay,” she said after a moment. “What are you worrying over then?

Anakin took a deep breath. He knew what her response was going to be. It was the same thought the logical side of his brain was currently having, but they’d agreed that Anakin was to share his worries, so he pressed on. “It…it was the secret lovers comment. I just—I have no idea if he ever did and I feel like it’s something I would have at least been aware of, but then again I didn’t know about Satine until I met her and it kind of came out—”

Ani, really?” Padmé returned, with a displeased look on her face. That was definitely her I’m-resisting-rolling-my-eyes-at-you face. “You’re a complete hypocrite if you’re grumpy about him maybe hiding a lover from you.”

“I know I’m being stupid, but it’s still annoying me,” Anakin said resting his head on the wall behind the couch. “I don't like not knowing.”

Padmé sighed. “Come here.” She held her arms up to him, beckoning him closer, her towel slipping slightly from her head.

Anakin shifted his legs out from beneath Padmé and slid so he lay beside her with his head on her chest. He tucked his legs over hers, bent so he could fit the length of the couch, then Padmé wrapped one arm around him and used the other to stroke through his hair.

“Why don’t you try meditating. You haven’t since Obi-Wan left and it seemed to help,” Padmé suggested while still petting him. It felt amazing, the light strokes through his hair was incredibly soothing; Anakin wanted to shove himself as close to her as he physically could. "Have a think about what you're really hung up on here."

“I’ve never been good at it without him.”

“Try,” Padmé suggested. “Use me or the babies to ground yourself. The worst thing that will happen is it’s a nice relaxing cuddle instead.”

Anakin exhaled against her skin. “I see you’re back to being the sensible one.”

“Well obviously someone’s gotta be, if it’s not going to be you,” Padmé said, deadpan. Ah, he’d known that one was going to come back and bite him.

“Love you too,” Anakin murmured, but decided to follow her advice.

Padmé kept threading her fingers through his hair sending tingles through his scalp. He closed his eyes, reaching out through their physical connection to find to Padmé’s faint Force presence. He wrapped himself around her and settled his mind.

He looked back over his emotions; jealousy and frustration were easily the most prominent. He knew he was frustrated at himself for being jealous, so that at least was was easy to recognise. It was the jealousy that was more tangled up in itself. What was he upset about? Obi-Wan having possibly kept a secret from him for so long; Obi-Wan not trusting Anakin to share it; Anakin fiercely envious of whoever (if anyone) it was…is? Ah. He was worried Obi-Wan had someone already. Didn’t need Anakin. Wouldn’t come back. Anakin turned that though over. Obi-Wan would come back. He’d promised that he would and Anakin trusted him. Anakin could wait until he came back and worry about it then. There was nothing he could do right now. He just had to trust.

The feeling slowly unwound itself from his chest. He felt lighter. Anakin settled in the calm space now in his mind and gently unwound all of his worries. When he was truly settled again, he resurfaced slowly, focusing back in on the fingers still in his hair and the featherlight kisses Padmé was pressing to the top of his head.

“Better?” Padmé asked softly when he stirred in her arms.


“Good,” she said, “nice to know that works. Now, I’ve petted your hair for a good hour now and I’d love you to play with my hair for a bit. I was thinking some plaits?”

Anakin angled his head to smile up at her. “Okay.”

Padmé slid from the couch and pulled the towel from her hair. It was still faintly damp when he touched it, but was not so wet that he couldn’t work with it.

Anakin began just carding his fingers through her hair, removing any small tangles, and enjoying the silky texture. It was already begining to curl beneath his fingertips. Padmé practically purred where she sat on the floor, alternating between humming a song she would occasionally sing to the twins, and small sounds of pleasure. She adored it when he did this. He’d gotten very good at doing her hair during the first few months of their marriage. He’d helped her a few times when he’d been assigned as her bodyguard, but after Padmé became his wife, he often enjoyed the time they would get together in the morning when he did her hair. It was a convenient excuse to stay longer if nothing else.

Anakin decided a plaited wreath about her head would be nice. He was limited to the kinds of things he could do with her hair now that most of it was gone. Anakin worked slowly, starting at the base of her head and working around clockwise, carefully threading each strand into the design.

When he was done, Padmé’s pale neck sloped upward into her hair, now pulled up and intricately plaited into a crown about her head.

Anakin leant forward and pressed a kiss to the centre of her nape. “All done,” he said, pulling back.

Padmé twisted where she sat on the floor, smiling up at him brightly.  “How do I look?” Padmé asked.

“Like an angel," Anakin said honestly.

She laughed. “You’re a sap.”

Anakin leant forward and kissed her cheek. “I’m your sap, though.”

“Mhmm.” Padmé turned his head and kissed him back, slow and tender, before pulling away. “Come on, let’s make dinner.”

Padmé stood up and sauntered over to the kitchen, lightly dancing up the stairs, hips swaying as she went. Anakin suspected she was playing with him tonight. He wondered what game she was up to.

They set about cooking, Padmé pointing Anakin to get out a selection of vegetables and some meat from the fridge. Padmé grabbed out a chopping board and a knife and set to cutting it all into chunks. There was a period of silence as she worked, Anakin leaning against the bench, just watching after being told to wait.

“So, did you like kissing Obi-Wan then?” Padmé asked as she chopped the final vegetable in front of her. She turned her head to smirk wickedly at him, her voice low and seductive.

Ah and there it was. Here was what she'd been playing at.

“I loved it.” He grinned at her, leaning in closer, resting his forehead against hers, his voice only just above a whisper. “I could tell he loved it too, even if he refused to admit it. Did you enjoy your kiss?”

“I did,” she grinned mischievously at him, pulling back and feigning indifference to him. “Plus, he let me lead, unlike certain people I know, Ani.”

Anakin rolled his eyes at her. “You like it.”

“Hmmm. I want you to kiss me like you kissed him,” she said slowly, unblinkingly, with an odd quirk to her mouth. “Show me how you felt.”

Anakin felt a hot thrill, like molten gold, slide down his spine and settle in his groin. This was a game he could play.

He moved around her, shoving the knife and chopping board aside, and leaning Padmé against the kitchen bench, penning her in with his arms. “I caught him against the speeder,” he whispered into her ear, stepping closer, “so he couldn’t run. He was looking nervous.”

“You’re lucky he didn't punch you,” Padmé said seriously, offset by the way she was trailing a finger along his jaw.

“Yeah,” Anakin agreed. “I think he was too shocked, and I was panicking a bit.”

“So you talked—?”

He cut her off with a kiss, going in just as hard as he had with Obi-Wan, arms moving to grip her waist and pull her in. He kissed her hard and fast and demanding, gaining entrance to her mouth with ease. Padmé moaned against him, her hands tangling in his hair. Anakin pressed his whole body against her and he felt her grin against hips lips, before he pulled back from her mouth.

“That’s what I did,” he whispered.

“How silly of him,” Padmé said sliding her lips along his neck, “to ignore something so excellent.” Then her voice pitched low again. “Show me what you would have liked to have done?”

He swallowed.

He hadn’t allowed himself to give it much thought. What might he have done if Obi-Wan had wanted it?

This would be fun.

Anakin nodded and pinned her back against the counter, mouth hot against hers. Their hands aimlessly explored, clutching and pulling them both together, needy and insistent. Anakin slid his mouth along Padmé’s jaw, tongue lapping at her skin, and trailed down her neck. He bit down, and thrust against her, drawing a groan from her throat, her nails dragging down his scalp like lightning across his skin.

“I want to mark him,” he said against her throat, her head thrown back and chest heaving, “just like this.” Anakin moved his mouth to just below her ear, where neck met jaw, and sucked insistently. He knew he had a fixation on marking people. He always did it to Padmé, with her only just able to hide them beneath her senatorial gowns in the past. He wanted people to know she was his. He wanted to see that Obi-Wan was his.

Anakin could feel the vibrations in her throat, her hands pulling his head closer. “Yup. He’s missing out,” Padmé panted and Anakin chuckled.

He continued nipping and nosing at her neck, hands making quick work of her shirt, fingers unbuttoning the front and shucking it off her shoulders. He slowly moved his intentions downward, kissing past her neck, down to her collarbones and then to her breasts, paying attention to each individually. He avoided going too close to her nipples though. He’d made that mistake once a couple of weeks back and Padmé had not stopped laughing at his shocked expression for a good ten minutes. That one was off their repertoire for a while longer.

Once she was panting and clawing at his head again, he moved lower, tongue sliding down her naval an arriving at the top of her skirt. Not bothering to even try removing it, he rucked it up and continued down, sliding her underwear off of her hips.

He moved back up, intending to twist her around, when she seized his face and pulled him down for a breathless kiss. Her hands wandered before sneaking her hands beneath his shirt and tugging it over his head. Anakin allowed the brief distance, helping to shrug out of the shirt before lunging back in for another kiss.

Suddenly, there was a very determined hand working its way into his pants. “What have we here?” Padmé mouthed against his cheek, firmly wrapping a hand around his cock. Padmé was a fucking force of nature when she put her mind to it.

Force that felt good. Anakin fell forward against her as she stroked him firmly, whispering endearments in his ear and kissing along his face. He closed his eyes briefly, indulging in the hot pleasure searing through his veins, moaning helplessly into her ear. When Padmé nipped at his lips, drawing him back out of his head, he acted.

Anakin pulled away and placed his hands on Padmé’s hips, whispering, "Turn around." His hands were gentle and guiding, and he turned her so she was leaning over the counter. Padmé allowed it and followed his lead, smirking at him the whole time.

“You wanted Obi-Wan on the speeder?” Padmé laughed. “You’re so predictable, dearest. You and your machines.”

He just hummed at her. He’d forgotten this was the game they were playing… however he would have loved to have Obi-Wan against the speeder, or the other way around honestly. He was not very fussy in that regard.

He dropped to his knees behind her. Anakin leant in and nipped at her inner thigh, mouthing toward her warm folds. He stroked his hands up and down her legs, slowly, tantalisingly getting closer, Padmé letting out breathless cries above him. She was already damp, flushed and wanting and waiting for him. He lunged in, lapping at her hungrily, alternating between licking and sucking at her skin. Padmé leant back into him, muttering something unintelligible above him.

After a few minutes of his attention, she slapped violently at his shoulder, “Ah, Ani,” she whispered, her voice was breathless and high. “Stop it, so close. I want you in me.”

He stood up and pressed the line of his body along her back, kissing the back of her neck, only undoing his pants enough so his cock could spring free. He could feel the tip brush against her warmth, and he was so, so ready. He licked his lips.

“I’m up to date, did you have your pill today?” Anakin muttered against her shoulder blades, his hips canting forward gently against her.

Padmé moaned and pressed back against him. “Ngh, yes, all up to date, we’re good. Come on, Ani, I need you.”

“As you wish,” he allowed and gently bit the back of her neck.

He pressed inside her slowly, warm and wet. Padmé whined piteously at the slow pace and tried to push back against him, but Anakin held her firmly in place, moving to rest his hands over hers on the bench and swallowed down the groan that was threatening to escape his throat. She tilted her head back, kissing whatever of his face she could reach as he pushed into the hilt. Padmé leant forward again, glancing back over her shoulder. “I want to feel it Ani, come on.”

He started slow, gently moving in and out, kissing along her spine as he went. As her breathing stuttered, he moved faster, thrusting into Padmé with intent, a moan being ripped from his own lips. Force, she felt incredible.

Padmé looked stunning beneath him, a flush spread across her shoulders and her hair still perfectly in place from his handiwork. Her neck was already dark with splotches of where he had bitten and sucked her skin. Her shirt lay on the bench beside her hand, and her skirt was flipped up to her waist. It was a fucking breathtaking sight to behold.

He could feel the tight coil in his stomach continue to wind near painfully. He wasn't going to last much longer. Anakin curled his right hand around her fingers, and with his other hand he reached beneath her, his fingers rubbing unfalteringly at her heat.

“Oh, fuck,” Padmé exclaimed, dropping her head forward, her head hanging low over the bench. “Ani, come on—ah, please…”

She let out a final cry, high and stuttering, and he could feel her clenching around him. He thrust a few more times, fucking her through her orgasm, before he came, straining forward and letting out a cry, hot pleasure pulsating though his whole body, with his head resting against her back.

Anakin closed his eyes, just breathing against her skin for a few minutes until Padmé shimmied away and tugged him to sit on the floor of the kitchen as they caught their breath.

“Well,” she said finally, back pressed up against the cabinets, “I’d say Obi-Wan definitely missed out.”

Anakin laughed and slung an arm around her shoulders, pulling her against his side. Padmé pressed a kiss to his cheek and snuggled in close. Anakin buried his face in her hair, breathing in her smell, now less like vanilla, and more like heat and sand. Like home. Padmé curled her body into his, sliding in as close as she could, peppering the side of his face with kisses.

It was of course the exact moment that crying started from the stairwell.

Anakin dropped his head back against the cupboards, a resonant bang filling the air. “They’re probably hungry.”

Padmé gestured to her bare breasts and laughed. “Well at least we’re prepared.”

He joined her in her mirth before standing up and offering her a hand. Padmé took it, grabbed her shirt from the bench and walked quickly to the bathroom muttering, “Give me a minute and then I’ll go see what they want. You finish dinner.”

Anakin nodded and reordered himself, fixing his clothes and pulling his shirt back on. Well that had certainly been something.

Mind reordered, Anakin focused on dinner again, and began cooking up all the ingredients.

On her dash back through the kitchen, shirt still grasped in her hand, Padmé pressed a quick kiss to his cheek, murmuring, “I’ll be right back,” and then vanished downstairs to attend to the crying.

It took time, but they settled back into a new routine over the next three months.

The twins continued to develop quickly. Leia, as suspected, quickly worked out how to sit up on her own and would stare fixedly at whatever her parents were doing. Luke took a little bit longer, but picked up on sitting upright a few weeks after his sister. They would often engage in babbling conversations with one another and with their parents, both Anakin and Padmé facilitating this and feeding their interest in the world. They were both also starting to make vague crawling motions which ended in a few hectic days of Padmé baby-proofing the entire house of the off chance one of them suddenly worked it out and began exploring. There had also been a couple of instances of things spontaneously making their way into the twins grasp. Anakin had been thrilled the first time he had watched Luke mentally drag his toy Artoo over from across the room.

Padmé had paused where she stood, looked at Anakin, then Luke, and then Anakin again, and asked, “Was that you?”

Anakin had grinned at her. “Nope. Luke did that on his own.”

Fantastic,” Padmé had huffed, “now they’ve got magic powers. We’re going to have to nail everything down.”

Anakin had just laughed at her. “It will be fine. I’m stronger than they are; I can override it if they’re doing something stupid.”

Padmé had just pressed her lips together in displeasure.

They also spoke to Obi-Wan at random intervals, only managing five visual calls over the next three months. He was still trying to get passage to Coruscant but it was proving more difficult than he had thought, especially as a fugitive. He’d been overjoyed on the occasions when the twins had been awake and able to see him. Luke had been thrilled, screaming out his happiness at a truly painful pitch. Leia had been pleased as well, but evidently wary of his sudden illusionary appearances. Anakin could not blame her at all.

Obi-Wan, annoyingly, managed to somehow get out of any conversation he or Padmé tried to raise about the three of them. Excuses ranging from pirate attacks to other passengers to tech emergencies to a poor connection.

“I— I can’t hear what you’re—I have to go,” Obi-Wan had stammered out when Padmé had tried to bring it up for the fourth time, before he suddenly cut the connection.

Padmé stared at the blank screen for a moment before asking incredulously, “Did he just pull the ‘oh no you’re breaking up’ card on a perfectly functioning connection?”

“Yeah he did,” Anakin confirmed. He’d known this was going to happen. Obi-Wan was nothing if not stubborn.

He did however look much better than he had. He appeared to have put back on some of the weight he’d lost around Mustafar and Artoo had occasionally messaged Anakin with updates on how they were going. There was nothing worrying in any of the messages, so perhaps this trip really was doing Obi-Wan a planet of good.

Anakin suspected this trip was going to keep Obi-Wan away for a while yet.

Chapter Text

It had been six months since Obi-Wan had left and the twins were now ten months old. They had discovered how to crawl terrifyingly soon after she and Anakin had baby proofed the house; all sharp corners had been softened, the door to the stairs was permanently closed, and anything interesting had been moved to where neither of the twins could see it. Padmé had initially thought that just putting items up high would help, but unfortunately the pair of them had worked out that they could drag things to them with the Force, making almost anything reachable for them. Padmé had become very creative in hiding things.

Now that Luke and Leia were mobile they were both terrifying forces of nature, scooting around the floor with ease, following either parent around whenever they could. They also enjoyed playing with anything they could get their little hands on. Anakin, being the big softie he was, had taken to making them little child-safe creations of metal, plastic and bolts which they could fiddle with. Luke particularly enjoyed the long plastic tube with movable parts on the outside, enjoying sliding them back and forth. Leia liked organising and stacking things so Padmé had found a selection of plastic containers that Leia could play with, carefully putting the smaller containers into the bigger ones with the most intense stare Padmé had seen on a child. Padmé also continued to make knitted toys, adding a loth-cat and woollen Threepio to the twins' collection.

Threepio had shut off a few months back, a circuit in his head malfunctioned catastrophically so that he was just repeating the word ‘Meiloorun’ non stop until Anakin had shut him off before either of them could lose their minds. So far, he hadn't been able to find a suitable replacement part so Threepio had become a decorative (if vaguely unsettling) ornament in the lounge room.

Luke and Leia were also trying to talk more and attempting to vocalise the sounds their parents made. Padmé was attempting to teach them useful, everyday words like ‘socks’ and ‘bottle’ and ‘kitchen’, wheres Anakin did those common words, as well a trying to introduce them to ‘sensors’ and ‘telemetry’ and ‘thrusters’. It was adorable, if potentially misguided. Regardless, the twins both enjoyed it, and would try the new words as they went. So far, it was still predominately gibberish, but they were trying and they were interested.

On prompting by Brato, who had stopped by when the twins were around seven months, they had also started introducing solid foods into the twins diet—apparently they should have done so a few months back, but neither had known so it had just been missed. Anakin managed to keep working on and off for the trader who had access to fruits, so both twins were now enjoying a variety of squashed fruits and vegetables on top of their mother’s milk.

They had also started taking the twins out of the house with them. Padmé had brought the pair of them to visit Jeina, who had doted over them both and then handed Padmé some more knitting patterns for clothes which had been very exciting. Padmé had been relieved when neither twin levitated anything on that visit. That would be difficult to explain away. It had also been good to have adult interaction other than Anakin. She hadn't realised how much she missed it until Owen and Beru had had their individual visits.

On some mornings and evenings, Padmé and Anakin gave the twins some time to play outside when it wasn’t too hot. Both children found sand amazing and would spend endless stretches of time just running their hands through it and drawing patterns on the ground. They had both tried to eat it once, and once was enough for them to learn that it was not delicious. Anakin seemed personally offended that both children loved it so much.

“It’s not right,” Anakin had said, watching the pair of them grab tiny fistfuls of grans, scattering them about, giggling happily and nattering at one another.

“They can like whatever they want.” Padmé had laughed.

Anakin scrunched up his nose but reluctantly joined them in sitting on the ground. “Sand is still objectively terrible and the second it’s safe, we are moving to a planet with absolutely no sand.”

Luke immediately decided that piling sand onto his father’s lap was an excellent idea. Anakin made a face, but allowed it with Padmé laughing at him the whole time. He was so weak to his children and Padmé loved it.

Anakin had resumed his repair business more fully, frequently making trips out during the day to fix up people's broken items. The business had picked up in the last month, with many people reporting Tusken attacks on farms and farm equipment which required Anakin's skills to repair it. So far their farm had been left alone, likely due to it’s isolated location. Regardless, Anakin always made sure the hand blasters and rifle where located near to the door (but out of tiny eye-sight) just in case.

It was also getting easier to manage without Obi-Wan. Padmé had stopped trying to call for him or turn to ask him something a few months back, though she still missed his presence. She hoped he would decide to come home soon.

Padmé entered the lounge from the kitchen and stopped mid-step at the scene that greeted her.

“Anakin, what the hell are you doing?”

Anakin looked up at her from where he was reclined on the couch, a manual for something open on his lap. “Reading to the twins?”

Padmé rolled her eyes, raised her eyebrows, and gestured to where said twins were floating beside him. Luke was rolling around in a way that made Padmé feel slightly nauseous, and Leia just stared intently at her father and the book.

Anakin smiled. “Oh, right. They like it.”

Ani,” Padmé said, rubbing a hand over her face, “you can’t just levitate them.”

He frowned. “Why not?”

“You… you should hold them properly.” There wasn’t a concrete reason Padmé didn’t like it. It just…it weirded her out. Her children should not be floating in the air. “What if they fall?” That was a good point.

“Padmé, my ability to hold them in the Force is technically probably better than me physically holding them. This thing doesn't always want to do what I want,” Anakin said, waving his right hand around. “They’re not going to fall.”

Padmé humphed at him and crossed her arms. “Well I don’t like it.”

“Do you trust me?” Anakin asked.

“Of course.”

“Then there you go. I’ve got them,” Anakin said with finality and returned to reading the book to Leia.

She was evidently fascinated in—Padmé moved closer and looked down at the book—solar panel maintenance. Thrilling.

Padmé felt a tug at her hair.

“Ow. Luke, no, we don’t do that, that hurts Mummy,” Padmé said, turning to catch the little terror in her arms. “Shall we give them lunch and put them down for a nap? I need to do a vaporator check soon.”

“Sounds good.”

They fed both twins, Anakin getting a bit of mushed fruit into one, while Padmé breastfed the other, before swapping them around until both were content. They then took them downstairs and tucked them in.

Padmé left Anakin on the couch, still leafing through his manual, as she headed outside for her round. Now that the twins didn’t need her every second of the day, she was able to help out more. She started at the first vaporator and worked her way around, humming to herself and letting her mind float a bit. She'd become more used to the hot temperatures and the blazing suns so much that it generally didn’t bother her anymore. 

Padmé brushed the sand from the sensors of the fifth machine and froze when she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. She turned quickly and saw a trail of banthas crossing the desert, Tuskens astride them, coming directly toward the farm with a whirlwind of sand trailing behind them. Fucking fuck.

Okay. Breathe. Anakin had told her what to do. Padmé allowed all the terror she was feeling overwhelm her, mentally screaming his name out into the universe. She had no idea how it could possibly work, but Anakin assured her it would—at least across short distances.

Anakin suddenly burst out of the house, the blaster rifle slung over his arm. He jogged over the sand to where Padmé stood and handed her a blaster pistol. She knew that they had to both stand their ground; the Tuskens would take it as weakness and defeat if they left.

Padmé counted seven of them, tall and draped in a selection of brown rags, their faces hidden behind terrifying masks.

At some unseen signal they stopped and jumped down from their Banthas, slung weapons over their shoulders and cautiously approached Anakin and Padmé. They moved almost perfectly in sync, slow and deliberate as they formed a wide semi-circle around them, some ten meters away. The wind whipped across the planes around them, kicking up dust and sending it flying across the ground between the two groupd. Padmé could feel her heart pounding in her chest. While she completely trusted Anakin to keep them safe, seven against two would always look like terrible odds.

There was a long silence and Padmé gripped the blaster in her hand tightly. She had to protect her family.

“Leave,” Anakin called to where they stood, his tone dark and his posture relaxed but with hand still firmly clasped around the rifle in a position Padmé knew he could pull up very swiftly. “We will fight back and you will not win. Leave.”

One Tusken raised his weapon slightly.

“This is our land. Leave.” Padmé yelled.

A bang echoed through the air.

Padmé screamed. A searing pain burned along her upper left arm. Hot, so kriffing hot. Padmé reactively clasped her right hand over her arm, folding in on herself. She glanced at it and watched as blood pooled between her fingers and slid over each digit before oozing slowing down her arm. That was not good. That and it fucking hurt. It didn’t feel like a blaster burn either. Her arm throbbed painfully and her heart raced so much that her blood pounded heavily in her ears.

A snarl drew her attention back up.


Padmé snapped her head around. Anakin stood rigid and tall, with feet planted firmly in the sand, his hand clasped in a fist before him. His eyes were dark and focused and furious. His face was contorted in rage, directed squarely at the Tuskens still surrounding them.

Tuskens whose hands scrabbled at their necks, unable to get a breath in, thier weapons dropped on the ground beside them.


Padmé rushed forward, throwing herself in front of Anakin and turning to stare up into his face. It hurt to move so suddenly, pain lancing down her arm, the heat of the wound returning full force. Don’t panic. Don’t be scared. Ignore the pain. Focus.

His eyes stared straight over her.  Blue. Still blue.

Padmé reached up and cupped Anakin’s face in her right palm, the pain in her left too agonising to move, and attempted to bend his face toward her.

“Anakin, look at me,” she began, trying to be firm and demanding but she could feel her legs shaking. “You have to stop. This isn’t right. Let them go.”

Anakin’s eyes flickered briefly to her.

“That’s it, come on, look at me.” Padmé rubbed her thumb in soothing circles on Anakin’s cheek, ignoring the way it smeared her blood across his skin. “I’m okay, but I need your help. Let them go. Come on, Ani.”

Anakin blinked and finally turned his head toward her. His blue-blue-blue eyes finally connected with hers. “Ani, let them go. You’ve made your point. Don’t do this again. Please, I need you. Luke and Leia need you.”

Something shifted behind his eyes. They widened in horror, his mouth slipping open from where it had been set in a thin line, Padmé able to hear his sharp inhale. Out of the corner of her eye, Padmé saw his clenched, upright hand release it’s hold and drop.

Anakin’s eyes refocused on her, scanning over her face before fixating on where her arm still burned, where she could feel the slick wetness of blood sliding down it. He inhaled sharply and turned his attention to the Tuskens behind her. Padmé stepped back and briefly turned to check they were okay.

The seven raiders were crouched on the ground, in various states of visible shock, fear and pain, weakly trying to reach for their guns.

“GET OUT OF HERE!” Anakin yelled at the Tuskens, stepping forward threateningly, throwing out his hand and sending their guns sliding backwards on the sand. “Don’t EVER come back or I will kill you!”

The Tuskens scattered instantly. They snatched up their discarded weapons as they sprinted away from the homestead to where there banthas waited. They climbed on and set a demanding pace away from the farm, vanishing into the distance.

Padmé felt sick.

Her world tilted slightly as dizziness overcame her. She stumbled over her own feet, only just managing to catch herself on Anakin with her right hand.

“Padmé?” Anakin asked, his hand moving to rest on her waist, the other hovered nervously by the oozing wound on her arm.

“This kriffing hurts,” Padmé gritted out, feeling her legs continue to shake. “How does it look?”

She didn’t want to look at it again.

Anakin pressed his lips together, frowning deeply. That wasn’t a good sign. Anakin pulled back from her and hastily whipped off his tunic. His hair was very mussed from that. It was kinda cute. All scruffy.

“Padmé?” She felt a hot hand touch her cheek.

Padmé blinked. “Hm?”

“How are you feeling?”

The only way to describe it was, “Really weird. Also my arm hurts.”

Anakin just kept frowning.

“Okay… I’m going to wrap up the wound. It’s going to hurt though. Then I’m carrying you back inside and calling Brato. Understand?” Anakin asked.

She nodded. “Yeah.”

Padmé screwed her eyes up and clenched her teeth as Anakin pressed his shirt to her arm, then wrapped a — wire? where’d he get that? — around the cloth. The whole thing hurt and Padmé groaned through gritted teeth, muffling the sound.

“Sorry. Sorry,” Anakin murmured. “All done.”

Anakin then moved around to her right and looped and arm beneath her back and the other beneath her knees, quickly and efficiently scooping Padmé into his arms. Padmé rested her head on his chest and painfully curled her injured arm to her own chest. She winced at each jarring movement, the pain ricocheting up her neck. She was ridiculously relieved when she suddenly found herself indoors and being carefully placed on the couch.

Padmé sat on the couch, leaning back against the pillows, eyes half lidded while she listened to Anakin scamper around the room before she heard the familiar beep of Anakin’s comm unit.

“Hello?” That sounded like Brato.

“It’s, uh, Seripas. Aurra’s been shot,” Anakin said all in a rush. “Tusken raiders.”

“Damn,” he said before his voice went completely clinical. “Is she breathing?”

Anakin’s eyes widened. “Yes.”

“Is she conscious?”

He nodded. “Yes, but a bit delirious.”

Padmé had thought she was doing okay? Maybe not. She felt kinda vague.

“Okay. Where was she shot?” Brato’s voice brought her focus back out.

“Left arm, upper part on the outside."

A pause. “Have you done anything to stop the bleeding?”

“Yes,” Anakin nodded reflexively. “I padded it with my shirt and wrapped it up for pressure.”

“Good. How much blood has she lost?” Brato’s voice crackled.

Anakin glanced back at her nervously. “Probably nearly a litre.”

“Okay, she’ll probably be fine, but I’m coming now. You need to stay calm and I need you to lay her on the couch and elevate her feet, then put some blankets over her to keep her warm and make sure she keeps breathing,” Brato said in an even tone.

Anakin ran a shaking hand through his hair. “Okay. Yeah. Okay.”

“See you soon.” The connection cut.

Anakin was suddenly in her field of vision. “Got to do what the doctor says. Lay back now, darling.”

Padmé did as instructed, carefully laying back and doing her best not to move her arm. Anakin snuck a flat pillow beneath her head and then stacked a pile of pillows beneath her feet. He vanished for a few minutes before re-appearing with the blanket that had been on Obi-Wan’s bed and wrapping her up in it.

Anakin stroked a hand over her head, kneeling beside her on the floor and talking softly.

“The twins are fine. They’re still asleep,” Anakin told her.

“That’s good.” Padmé felt a bit faint and breathless.

It felt like it was all only hitting her now. She’d been shot. She could have died. Her babies could have lost their mother today. Padmé felt her chest constrict, the panic and fear and pain pressing in on her from all sides.

“How are you feeling?” Anakin seemed so very far away.

Padmé lolled her head to the side, trying to focus on him, and managing a weak, “Awful.”

Anakin spoke to her for a period of time. It could have been a few minutes, or a few hours, but Padmé was struggling to focus and so it began blurring together. She could tell it was warm and loving but with the sharp edge of Anakin’s anxiety. She felt bad for stressing him out.

Padmé flinched back suddenly when Brato’s distinctive orange and black face appeared above her head.

“Apologies, didn’t mean to startle you,” Brato said pulling away slowly, Padmé tracking him with her eyes. “How do you feel?”

Padmé frowned, trying to focus on herself again. “Arm hurts. Everything is…weird.”

Brato nodded. “I’m going to have to unwrap your arm to have a look at it. Understand?”

“Yes,” Padmé said.

Brato didn’t move for a few moments and Padmé just stared back at him, perplexed as to what he was doing.

“You need to let go of your arm, Padmé,” he said, his finger lightly tapping at her right hand where it sat on her chest.

Oh. She hadn’t realised she was doing that. Padmé released her right hand where it was clasped tightly around her left wrist, cradling her arm into herself.

Padmé cried out in pain and turned her face away from him as Brato moved her arm.

“Sorry, I’ll be as quick as I can,” Brato said calmly.

The first wave of pain passed and settled into a dull throb as he unwound what Anakin had put there. Padmé refused to look at any of it, keeping her head resolutely turned toward the back wall of the couch. Nope nope nope nope—

“Okay. All done. Just having a look now,” Brato said.

Padmé really appreciated his bedside manner. She wanted to hit him for the pain he was inflicting on her, but he was at least communicating well. Small mercies. Padmé could hear him shuffle around a bit, likely examining the damage, and moving her arm as little as he could.

There was a final sigh. “Okay. Good news and bad news,” Brato said. “Good news being that you haven’t lost too much blood and the wound it doesn’t look too bad so it shouldn’t be difficult to patch up. Bad news is that Tuskens use slugs and the metal is still lodged in your arm, so we have to get it out.”

Oh no no no. Padmé felt her face crumple in fear and sadness, her eyes scrunching closed.

“I thought that might be the case so I brought everything I could need, including anaesthetic, so you’re not going to feel anything, okay?”

Padmé could only nod, swallowing a sob that was trying exceptionally hard to escape her throat.

“We’re going to have to move you though. This is not a good angle and I don’t want to hurt you. Okay?” Brato asked.

Padmé nodded again.

Brato carefully slid an arm beneath her back and hefted her upwards, Padmé wincing at the movement. He did as Anakin had done earlier and lifted her bridal style before depositing her on the dining table.

Brato instructed Anakin to bring a pillow over which he put back under her head. Anakin gave her a reassuring smile.

“What are you going to do?” Padmé asked to the ceiling, attempting to tamp down on her fear.

Brato smiled as he leant over her, his brown eyes warm and friendly. “I’m going to numb the whole area, remove the shrapnel, clean it all up with some bacta, sew it up and then get some fluids back into you. Sound good?”

“No,” Padmé murmured, “but it’s gotta happen.”

“It will all be fine,” Brato told her and then focused on Anakin. “Keep her distracted?”

She heard Anakin step around the table and come to sit on a chair to her right, the chair squeaking as he pulled it along the floor. Anakin's metallic fingertips touched down softly on her left cheek and guided her to turn her head.

Padmé did so and was greeted with Anakin’s lovely face giving her a reassuring smile. He then clasped her hand in his and brought it up to his lips, pressing a kiss to her knuckles. “You’ll be okay. Focus on me, yeah?”

Padmé nodded. She could do that.

The next couple of hours passed in a blur of Anakin talking nonsense to her while she stared at his face, not really focusing on what he said. He was so terribly pretty. Anakin’s hair had grown out past his shoulders now, and when it was down loose, he just looked so soft and sweet and Padmé wanted to cuddle up to him. His hand in hers was enough for now. She couldn’t feel what Brato was doing and the pain that had been radiating along her arm had almost completely disappeared, with only echoes of it lingering about her neck and chest. She just really wanted to sleep now. Instead she stared into Anakin’s clear blue eyes and long lashes and thought about how nice it was to kiss him. 

“All right. We’re done,” Brato said suddenly.

Anakin looked up from Padmé for the first time in hours and over to where Brato had been working; Padmé did the same, turning her head over to have a look. The whole area was wrapped up in cloth with a needle feeding clear liquid into her arm which Brato was now fiddling with, seemingly with the intention of removing it. She had not felt any of that at all.

“How are you feeling?” Brato asked.

Padmé thought about it for a moment. “Tired, mainly.”

Brato stared at her. “Not feeling weird anymore?”

“Not really.”

Brato nodded and then finished removing the needle and checking her over again. He took her pulse and her temperature and then deemed her fine. “I think we caught you before there was too much blood loss and before shock could really set in, so you should be fine. Obviously if you start feeling unusual again, please call me back or come into town. Now, keep it clean, take painkillers, change the bandages once a day for the next week and apply a little bit of bacta to help speed it along.” Brato pushed a small pile of bandages and bacta into Anakin’s arms. “Try not to move it much for the next couple of weeks—don’t carry either child in that arm for at least a month—watch out for infection, and come into town in a week so I can check it all and remove the stitches. Got it?”

Anakin nodded. “Yeah, I’ve done this before. What do we owe you?”

“Well, I’ve got a large selection of things at my surgery that could use some fixing up, if you’d like to do a bit of a trade?” Brato suggested.

“Sure,” Anakin agreed. “I’ll come check them out when Padmé comes in for her check up.”

Brato grinned brightly. “Excellent. Now, you get her into bed for a long sleep. I can let myself out.” He then finished gathering his materials from the table, sweeping them into his bag, and disappeared out the door.

“Come on you,” Anakin prompted, sliding a hand under Padmé’s back and gently lifting her so she was upright on the table.

“I can move on my own,” Padmé whined, trying to distance herself a bit. Now that she was feeling a bit better, there was a tinge of embarrassment at the edge of her mind at her unusual behaviour earlier.

“Yeah, I know, but I want to help,” Anakin said gently. “Do you really want to overdo it and hurt yourself more?”

Padmé sighed and conceded the point. “No.”

Anakin helped her off the table, careful to avoid her bandaged arm, and took her downstairs. Luke and Leia were both awake in their cribs, Luke sitting down and Leia standing while grasping the side of her bed, both chatting away to one another.

“Hello,” Anakin greeted both of them, followed by an excited shriek from the pair. Padmé grinned as Anakin continued talking to them, “Mommy’s going to have a sleep, and you two can come play upstairs with Daddy, okay?”

Anakin’s question was met with more shrieking.

Padmé clambered into bed, her skin practically tingling from how soft it all was. Lying on a table for a few hours had not been comfortable and a mattress and soft blanket now felt like quite the luxury. Anakin tucked her in and pressed a kiss to her lips.

“I’ll feed and exhaust them both, then I’ll be back, okay?” Anakin asked, hovering inches above her face.


Anakin kissed her again. “Get some sleep.”

Padmé watched as Anakin collected up the twins, with potentially more levitation than she was comfortable with, but sighed and ignored it for now. Anakin vanished out the door with the pair of them, switching the light off behind him. Padmé closed her eyes.

She was woken again as Anakin climbed into bed beside her. She hadn’t realised she’d fallen asleep, but the drool pooling at the side of her mouth was a clear indication she had.

“How’re they?” Padmé murmured, rolling onto her right side to face Anakin who was just visible in the near darkness.

“Fine,” Anakin said. “Had their dinner, had a play and a crawl around, then a quick bath. They’re both in bed now. How are you feeling?”

It all came crashing down on her at once. All the feelings she’d pushed aside and tried to ignore dropped over her like a cold bucket of water.

“I was so scared,” Padmé sobbed, “so scared, Ani.”

“Shhhh,” Anakin soothed, curling in closer and running a hand down her back.

Padmé hid her face under his chin and cried. She’d been terrified that the Tuskens could hurt her children, scared that she’d been shot, horrified that Anakin nearly lost it again, and her mind kept stumbling over the thought that she could have died today if that shot been a little to the left. Padmé knew she was okay, but the what ifs were pressing in on her, cluttering up her mind and creating a whirlwind of fear within her chest.

“It’s okay, you’re okay,” Anakin repeated on loop and she was unsure if it was for her or for himself.

After a final sniffle, Padmé pulled away and could see mirrored tear tracks on Anakin’s face. He’d been so calm and supportive all afternoon after his initial outburst, it didn't surprise her he’d cracked as well.

“Thank you,” Padmé said softly, feeling exhausted again after crying.

Anakin gave her a weak smile followed by a large yawn, water beading at the edges of his eyes.

Padmé smiled and said, “Time for you to sleep now, too.”

The two days passed in a blur of painkillers and frustrating limitations. Padmé kept forgetting she couldn't use her arm, and would reflexively try to move it before realising that it was a poor choice. She was careful to keep it away from the twins who she was sure would love to climb up her arm given half the chance. Anakin was at least on top of this and would distract either child when they were too boisterous with their mother. She also had moments of dizziness when she pushed herself for too long. Anakin was helpful and attentive to her needs, helping her rewrap it when needed, and telling her to go rest when she began to feel overwhelmed.

The second day after, Padmé was still sore but the bacta and painkillers were clearly working their magic, and she wasn’t feeling quite so fragile. That evening Anakin had disappeared downstairs to put Luke and Leia to bed, so she had the lounge to herself. After a few minutes of sitting quietly on the couch reading a trashy romance novel Jeina had leant her, she realised that they hadn’t contacted Obi-Wan in a while. Padmé felt like she needed to let him know about the Tuskens, as he’d likely be very displeased when he found out about it however-long down the line. She’d initiated their honesty policy and she had to uphold that. Padmé put the book down went over to the communication device and switched it on.

She sent through a quick message to Artoo to give to Obi-Wan. How goes the travelling? It has been exciting here. We had some Tuskens attack the house, but everyone is safe. — Padmé

After only a few moments, a call came through from Artoo. Padmé accepted it and Obi-Wan appeared on screen, blue and wavy.

“Are you all okay?” Obi-Wan began, his forehead crinkled with worry.

Padmé couldn’t help but smile. Obi-Wan was so sweet. “Mostly. The twins were inside and totally safe, but I did get shot.”

Obi-Wan’s eyes widened, and his voice changed into a tone of deep concern, “Are you okay?”

“A bit sore, but yes,” Padmé confirmed gently. “I was just caught on the arm, nothing terrible or life threatening.”

Obi-Wan sighed, visibly relieved. “Oh, thank the Force. I assume you managed to chase off the raiders then?”

Padmé pressed her lips together and glanced away for a moment, eyes fixing on where Luke had left his Artoo toy lying on the floor. Honesty.


She let out a noise of frustration. “Yes, we did—well Anakin did. He...” She could barely bring herself to say it, but then it came spilling out go her. “Anakin nearly killed them. He was so angry that they’d shot me and he just, seemed to be choking them? I got him to stop and the raiders left, but it was so close, Obi-Wan.”

“He stopped though?” Obi-Wan asked quietly.

Padmé nodded. “Yes. I had to yell at him, but he did. He listened.”

"And he didn't..." 

"He didn't go Dark," Padmé confirmed, sensing where he was going.

“That’s good,” Obi-Wan said. “And you’re both okay now?”

“I’m just healing now, and Anakin has been fine since. The twins are unaware there was ever an issue,” Padmé said, smiling. “So how are you?”

“I am fine. I have finally made it to Coruscant, so I may not be able to talk for very long or very often,” Obi-Wan returned. “There is a very strong Imperial presence here.”

Padmé frowned. “I bet.”

At a sudden sound, Padmé looked up and saw Anakin come from downstairs. Padmé smiled and beckoned him over. “Ani, I have Obi-Wan, come say hello.”

Anakin stalked over and sat down beside Padmé, an odd frown on his face.

Obi-Wan smiled. “Hello Anakin, Padmé was just telling me about—”

“You should have been here!” Anakin exclaimed suddenly.

Ani!” Padmé rounded on him, horrified.

She saw Obi-Wan recoil from the screen. “I’m sorry—”

“No!” Padmé turned back fully to the screen. “Don’t you dare apologise!”

“He should have been here! He would have been able to help!” Anakin argued.

“You don’t know that!” Padmé returned angrily and then spoke to the projection of Obi-Wan. “We’ll call you another time, Sorry, Obi-Wan. Good bye.”

Obi-Wan just nodded before she disconnected the call.

“He could have helped! You might not have been shot!” Anakin repeated still frowning unhappily.

Padmé sighed, too tired and sore and exasperated for this sort of behaviour. “He could have helped, he could have made it worse, he might have been in town and not even here. We don’t know!


“I understand you were scared and angry but you can’t take it out on him,” Padmé yelled.

“But Padmé—”

“—No buts, Ani! None of it was his fault! You can’t manipulate people like that!”

Anakin pulled back. “I wasn’t trying to manipulate him.”

“Yeah, well, intended or not, it’s what you were doing,” Padmé said brusquely. “You were trying to make him feel bad for leaving!”

“I didn’t mean to—”

“Then you need to think before you speak!” Padmé informed him, standing up and walking away. “I’m sleeping in Obi-Wan’s room. Goodnight, Anakin.”

She ignored him when he called her name. Padmé was not going to stand for this sort of rubbish. Anakin had to learn. She probably shouldn’t have been so harsh but fuck it, she hurt and she couldn’t find it within herself to care right now. She just needed time to herself.

Padmé lay in the darkness of Obi-Wan’s room, feeling an incredibly frustrating mixture of exhausted and too keyed up to actually sleep. She’d been turning over trying to get comfortable for at least an hour; rotating between lying on her right side, then her back, then realising she can’t lie on her left side because it fucking hurts, and then rotating through the pattern again. It was only managing to increase he ire at the world.

Gods knew she loved Anakin but sometimes he just didn’t think and he could be terribly insensitive. She loved him so much, but sometimes he could be so Gods-damned frustrating. He'd been doing so well for the past few months as well.

Padmé heard the door creak open followed by Anakin’s heavy footsteps as he entered the room.

It was silent for a few moments before she heard him inhale. “Padmé?”


“I’m sorry,” Anakin said softly to the darkness.

Padmé sighed. “I’m not the one you should be apologising to.”

She heard Anakin shuffle around, moving to sit beside her.

“I know,” Anakin agreed, “but I wanted to apologise to you for losing control the way I did when they…shot you.”

Padmé rolled over to look up at him, just able to see his silhouette. “Thank you, Ani. I’m proud of you though; you managed to curb it in and you didn’t completely lose it. It took a minute but you stopped. That’s good progress; you didn’t kill any of them and you listened to me.”

“Thank you,” Anakin said softly.

“I’m sorry for yelling at you earlier,” Padmé replied. "I was tired and sore and wasn't in the right headspace for a sensible conversation. I shouldn't have yelled or left this conversation half done."

Anakin nodded. “Thank you. You were right, though,” Anakin then admitted. “I didn’t think about what I was saying and it was an unfair thing to do to Obi-Wan.”

“You should tell him that. Come here,” Padmé said and lifted the blanket so Anakin could crawl in.

Anakin did as offered and snuggled up against her.

“We should really get Obi-Wan an actual bed,” Anakin murmured after he had pressed his face into her neck. “A mattress on the floor is really not great.”

Padmé hummed in agreement. “True. We also need to put the twins in their own room soon. I’m not sure how we’re going to swing that.”

“Renovate?” Anakin suggested. “We could easily expand down here with a few more rooms. We’ll likely need them eventually as the twins get bigger. They’re not going to want to share a room forever.”

“True,” Padmé agreed. “Let’s talk about it later. I’m tired.”

“Sure. Do you want to stay in here though? We do have our own perfectly good bed.”

“Warm,” was Padmé’s very well thought out reply.

Anakin kissed her neck. “Okay.”

They called Obi-Wan back a few days later when Padmé wasn’t feeling quite so sore and Anakin had had some time to think through what he wanted to say.

It took a few tries to get a hold of Obi-Wan, but after the third message, he called them back. Padmé sat beside Anakin, both of them with a twin each on their lap. Luke was babbling happily at Anakin before letting out a happy cry at the appearance of Obi-Wan’s holo-projection.

“Apologies,” Obi-Wan said, “I had to make sure it was safe before I called.”

“Of course, thank you,” Padmé replied.

“Hello there, young ones,” Obi-Wan said, smiling brightly and looking between the twins.

Luke tried talking to him, babbling happily and reaching forward. Leia was still less pleased but talked at Obi-Wan anyway. Obi-Wan grinned back at both of them, looking happier than they had seen in a long time.

“How is your arm?” Obi-Wan asked finally when Luke finished his one sided conversation.

Padmé smiled. “It’s fine. Still sore but getting there. I should be getting the stitches out in the next couple of days.”

“Oh, that’s good—”

“Obi-Wan I wanted to say sorry for last time,” Anakin cut in, slightly breathless and clearly nervous. “I was upset and I took it out on you. It was uncalled for and I’m sorry if I made you feel bad.”

It was a bit rushed, but it got the point across.

Obi-Wan smiled reflexively, staring at him with blatant fondness. “I—thank you, Anakin. I appreciate it.”

There was a beat of uncomfortable silence, and Leia decided now was the moment to latch her fist into Padmé’s shirt, tugging it down.

“How is Coruscant?” Padmé asked, gently untangling Leia’s hand.

“Um,” Obi-Wan paused, pressing his lips together. “I think the best way to describe it would be absolutely terrible and very uncivilised. There are troopers nearly everywhere and people are terrified. However—and I’m sure you will find this less amusing after the week,” Obi-Wan said with an odd smile on his face, “but I attended your funeral yesterday, Padmé.”

“Oh did you?” Padmé asked brightly. “How was it? I take it my wishes were ignored and it was not done on Naboo?”

“No, aside for the blatant disregard for any of your wishes, it was rather tasteful,” Obi-Wan said thoughtfully, before he shot her a cheeky grin. “Well, aside from the propaganda. And the Emperor claiming you were his steadfast supporter. Also the holiday in your name.”

Padmé recoiled, her face twisted in disgust with Leia nearly slipping off her lap. “Ugh. I am beyond offended and yet not even slightly surprised Palpatine would do such a thing. I can’t believe I ever supported him. Kriffing two-faced ass—”

“Little ears, darling,” Anakin said, scowling at both of them with his hands pressed over Luke’s ears. He was visibly displeased to be talking about Padmé as though she was dead. She just found it morbidly amusing.

Padmé thought for a moment. “Prick then. Palpatine is a prick. Is he still all wrinkly and melted?”

Obi-Wan just laughed. “Yes, he is. Still claiming it was some Jedi trick. It is not common knowledge that he’s a Sith, just the all-powerful Emperor.”

Anakin scoffed. “He did that to himself.”

Padmé clasped his hand reassuringly and smiled at him. Anakin was incredibly reluctant to talk about anything to do about with his fall, and to her, that small comment was a positive step forward.

“So how did they even manage to get a funeral together? Why am I only dead now?” Padmé asked. It fascinated her; Palpatine was never one to do something without reason.

“It felt like a trap,” Obi-Wan said after a moment of consideration. “Probably for Anakin, maybe for your past supporters. I really don’t think Palpatine has any idea where the three of us are. He doesn’t know if we’re apart or together or even alive, so I think it was a lure. Anakin, if you had been alone and heard of Padmé’s funeral, would you have gone to see if it was her?”

Anakin sighed. “Yeah.”

“Aw, I love you too,” Padmé laughed and kissed his cheek.

“Uh,” Obi-Wan continued, thrown faintly off-kilter. “So they appeared to have a whole story to spin to the public: you caught wind of the Jedi uprising, you tried to tell Palpatine but the Jedi killed you in secret and hid your body. You’ve been missing for months and then a patrol stumbled upon your poor, lightsaber-burn riddled corpse in a lower-level sewer.”

“A classy death for me then,” Padmé groused, sarcasm dripping from her words. “Was there even a body?”

Obi-Wan tipped his head side to side, deliberating. “Obviously they couldn’t show the face, but they covered the body in your clothes and in a thick veil. It could have been a mannequin or a droid or some poor random woman they killed for the purpose. I wasn’t going to get close enough to investigate.”

“Good,” Anakin said decisively.

“I can’t believe they took my clothes,” Padmé grumbled.

Obi-Wan smiled gently at the both of them. “They had plastered pictures of your actual face on everything though. It was a nice picture but the overall effect was…unsettling. I’d probably stay out of town for a while though, it seemed to be being broadcast very widely and it may make it out to you,” Obi-Wan said thoughtfully.

“Thank you, that’s good to know,” Padmé said and inhaled, ready to talk to Obi-Wan

Obi-Wan’s head snapped around, eyes wide at a loud sound in the distance. He turned quickly back to Anakin and Padmé. “I have to go. I will call you as soon as I can.”

Padmé managed a quick, “Stay safe!” before the connection died.

“Well at least that seemed like a legitimate reason to escape talking to us,” Anakin joked, bouncing Luke on his lap, though the tightness of his eyes betrayed his worry.

Padmé smiled at him, trying to maintain the levity. “Yes. Well. I’ll get him eventually.”

Chapter Text

It had taken far longer than Obi-Wan had anticipated to get into the Core worlds. Never in his entire life would he have thought that it would take six months to get from the Outer Rim into the Core. If nothing else, it told him that no-one wanted to go to the Core. Everyone seemed to be going in the opposite direction. In all honesty, it seemed like the sensible option.

He took the first leg of the journey with some Weequay pirates and they’d bounced from planet to planet, slowly spiralling in toward the centre of the galaxy. When they’d reached Yavin, the pirates informed him that this was as close as they were going to get to the Core and to “Get the fuck off here,” if that’s where he still wanted to go. He did, so he and Artoo moved on.

He’d then hopped on a smugglers ship as they jumped from Yavin to Phindar to Mandalore (Obi-Wan had refused to get off the ship at all during their stop there) to Obroa-skai. Obi-Wan was slowly begining to notice an increase in Imperial troops as they went, more troops and bases appearing the closer they got to the Core. The smugglers had then accidentally left him on Obroa-skai. At least, he assumed it was an accident.

He’d then found another group of smugglers who were in desperate need of a droid as their hyperdrive was on the fritz. They went from Taanab to Telti to Alderaan in starts and bursts, Artoo seemingly getting the workout of his life, constantly monitoring the worst ship Obi-Wan had ever had the pleasure of being on, including the one Anakin had leant him in the war. This group of smugglers were more pleasant than the last group, even if they were sneaking large quantities of Spice around the galaxy.

He’d then been stuck on Alderaan for two weeks, hiding in a small shack until he could find a final ship to take him the short distance from there to Coruscant. Eventually, he struck a deal with a Wookiee named Ciirnik who needed a human pilot to get them through the openly racist Coruscant customs checks. Obi-Wan had agreed, pretended to be a man called Orin Balkan, and helped the Wookiee sneak three huge crates of blasters into Coruscant. He didn’t ask where they were going.

He managed to keep in minimal contact with Padmé and Anakin the whole trip. His reasons were twofold. One, the less he called, the less likely anyone could intercept their transmission and thus he was keeping them both safe. And two, he still hadn’t quite processed the whole kissing thing and he really didn’t want to talk about it. Especially after Anakin had decided to tell Obi-Wan that he loved him. That had been…something. Wonderful. Awful. Wondawful? He needed a break if his brain was doing that.

Obi-Wan was avoiding it. He knew it, Anakin and Padmé most likely knew it (he was painfully aware of the fact that he’d been getting less subtle in his excuses), and yet he couldn’t stop himself.  The best thing to do was put it all out of his mind. They loved each other, they had their children, they were happy and Obi-Wan did not need to go and mess any of it up. That was the end of it. No discussion necessary.

…But those kriffing kisses though.

He’d tried his absolute best to never think of them because on the off chance he did, it became a huge distraction. Obi-Wan could remember exactly how both felt. Padmé had been so soft and insistent, her hands gentle in his hair, and Anakin had just been overwhelming, crowding him in and drawing him closer… Thinking about either was a recipe for feeling far too hot, a little breathless, and more turned on than he had any right to be. His life would be so much easier if all of it had never happened.

Anyway. Time away from them both was helping his mental state. Mustafar no longer visited him so often in his dreams and he was getting more sleep than he had in years. Obi-Wan thought that having time away from Anakin to process everything was doing him a world of good too. It gave him space to separate the two from one another. Vision Anakin was no longer the same person as Alive-and-on-Tatooine Anakin. They had their similarities, certainly, but they were now very different people. Seeing Anakin when they spoke through Artoo was no longer causing him Mustafar-related stress.

He missed them terribly.

While the journey was long and exhausting, he did finally make it to Coruscant.

The first few days had been a flurry of dodging Stormtroopers (as they seemed to be called now) doing patrols, until he got low enough in Coruscant’s underground that the Imperial presence was barely felt. Obi-Wan had absently wondered if the local populace was even aware there had been a shift in power.  As it turned out, they very much were. Obi-Wan listened as he walked around the depths of the giant city and was horrified to learn about all the atrocities being committed. The disappearances, the arrests, the tortures, and the deaths the Empire was carrying out, all in the name of Law and Order.

It was mainly non-humans they were persecuting. Obi-Wan had witnessed multiple occasions of Stormtroopers harassing civilians, verbally and physically, for no discernible reason. He and Artoo had mastered the skill of being a huge distraction, creating noise and destroying property, to give the victims time to run and escape the troopers. Each time, Obi-Wan’s heart hammered, hoping beyond anything that these troopers didn't recognise him. So far, they’d been lucky. Obi-Wan had kept the hood up on his jacket whenever it happened, and once the victims had escaped, he and Artoo would do the same, zipping down side-streets and vanishing up and down ladders until they lost the troopers. They helped where they could, but there was only so much one man and a droid could do on their own.

Coruscant needed the Jedi now, more than ever…but there was nothing to be done about that. The people didn't even know Palpatine was a Sith; he’d heard nothing, not even the smallest whisper in the darkest corners of the lower levels. Palpatine had done everything perfectly and now he had complete control with complete secrecy. It would be impressive if it weren’t so horrifying.

He’d also stopped by Dex’s once, just to check he was still okay.

Obi-Wan had stood on a nearby corner, wrapped in his dark jacket and ragged clothes, watching the diner as people came and went, resisting the urge to go in. It just wasn’t safe. He completely trusted Dex. However, he did not trust anyone that could be hanging around his diner. It wasn’t worth the risk. As far as he could discern, Dex was fine; he looked a little more ragged about the edges, but he was still working and smiling and alive, and that was enough for now.

Obi-Wan lurked around Coruscant for a good two weeks before he received that terrifying message from Padmé. Tuskens. He had called Padmé back the moment he’d read her message. He’d been horrified to hear that Padmé had been hurt, relieved that no-one else had been and beyond thankful that Anakin hadn’t murdered anyone. That would have been a real set-back. Obi-Wan suspected it would be a set-back that even Padmé, in her infinite kindness, would not be able to look past.

Then Anakin had appeared and turned on him.

Obi-Wan had hung up the call feeling confused and angry. He put it aside and released it to the Force. There was no sense in worrying about it. He’d then spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Coruscant doing just that. Would it have been different if he’d been there? Could he have done something to help? Was Anakin angry at him or what had happened? Both?

Artoo had suddenly whistled in confusion as they walked, drawing Obi-Wan’s attention back to the real world. Obi-Wan frowned at the droid who then used one of his forward arms to point to a bright display hanging over one of the freeways.

It was a picture of Padmé. It was framed from her shoulders up while she wore a smile and one of her oft-used Senatorial headdresses; the metallic gold one that was shaped like a pot or upside down wine glass that drew her hair up so it almost looked as though she had a halo above her head. A similar necklace was clasped about her neck, framed by the high purple collar of her barely visible jacket.

It was a lovely picture.

Obi-Wan frowned. Why…? The image changed, proclaiming that Senator Amidala’s funeral was to be held the next day at Monument Plaza.

Well that was interesting.

“What a terrible and sudden death. She seemed so healthy yesterday,” Obi-Wan said, completely deadpan, before turning to the droid. “Shall we check that out, Artoo?”

Artoo whistled in the affirmative and they both took a moment to read the whole poster as it alternated between Padmé’s face and the information. Artoo suggested they find an out of the way location to watch from. Given that the sign said that Emperor Palpatine himself would perform the eulogy undoubtably meant there would be a strong military presence, so Obi-Wan had agreed with him.

Padmé’s funeral was the most surreal experience of Obi-Wan’s life. Her face was plastered absolutely everywhere: on posters, plaques, banners, and a variety of holo-screens floated about eerily. Obi-Wan couldn't help but feel Padmé would find this utterly fascinating.

Artoo and Obi-Wan had managed to find a rooftop to perch on well away from the actual Plaza, but not so far that they could not hear what was going on. They’d spotted a few rooftop patrols of troopers, as well as swarms of them on the ground, so both of them kept out of sight as much as possible. Artoo sat in such a way that he appeared to be a broken, discarded droid, and Obi-Wan crouched down low so only his eyes peeked over the railing to the scene below.

He watched the service with rapt interest. Palpatine made a grand speech about her unwavering support for him and all the good she had done for the galaxy as a whole. “A true defender of the people.” He then spun a tale of betrayal, once again framing the Jedi for things they hadn’t done, and reaffirmed his commitment to hunting down every last one to bring them to justice. Finally, he announced a holiday to be made in Amidala’s name, a day for celebrating “a powerful woman and celebrating her work for turning a failing Republic into a strong Empire.”

Obi-Wan had never heard such a pile of bantha-shit in his life. Anyone who had spent any time with Padmé would know what a farce this was; it was practically spitting in the face of everything she had ever done.

The crowd appeared to love it, cheering in all the right places, though Obi-Wan thought it might have more to do with the oppressive numbers of Stormtroopers than any real feelings toward what he was saying.

When Palpatine finally finished his speech, finishing on some spiel about unity, Obi-Wan spotted the congregation of Senators standing demurely in Palpatine’s shadow.

“Bail…” Obi-Wan murmured his eyes latching onto his friend’s tall shape. Bail’s eyes were fixed forward, staring past Palpatine and into the crowd. His shoulders were taught with tension and occasionally shaking as he clearly held back tears.

Obi-Wan looked away.

His attention retuned as he finally noticed what Bail had been looking at; a coffin resting in front of the podium Palpatine had been standing at. There was definitely a body in there. Covered in cloth and Padmé’s clothes, but still a body. They’d even managed to make it look pregnant. Obi-Wan had never felt so utterly outraged in his life. How dare they treat her in this way. Palpatine was despicable in every way Obi-Wan could think of. Obi-Wan watched as a congregation of droids lifted the coffin and escorted it away to be buried somewhere. He could feel in his heart that it was probably somewhere gaudy and dramatic.

Sick to his stomach, he and Artoo left their hiding place. There was nothing else for him to see here. It was a mockery of Padmé and her work, and a blatant trap for any of her supporters. He released the churning emotions to the Force, but they continued to plague his afternoon like a strange haze. Anger mixed with outrage mixed with the sinking horror of having watched his friends funeral. Yes, he knew it was fake, but it was just so…off-putting. He wasted the next couple of days staying in an abandoned room slightly closer to the Temple, his plan to slowly work his way closer going exactly as he had hoped.

Then Padmé and Anakin had called him again. They sat side by side with the twins on their laps, all four of them appearing to be happy and well, and looking picture perfect. Obi-Wan had signalled Artoo to take a snapshot of it for him. He wanted to keep that for…reasons.

He’d then been completely surprised at Anakin’s apology. Obi-Wan usually didn’t get those from Anakin unless it had been a disastrous mistake. He’d never gotten one for just a hurtful comment. It was heartwarming; Anakin was growing and learning. Padmé was an excellent influence—Obi-Wan had no doubt that she had had a hand in it all. He’d then relayed the funeral to her. She’d found it as interesting as he’d thought she would and Anakin looked distinctly displeased about the whole thing.

Then he’d heard an unexpected loud bang from further up the hall.

He had hung up the call (with a legitimate excuse to avoid the Conversation) and Artoo and he had scooted to the opposite side of the room, lurking beneath a window and ready to escape out of it if need be. He could hear the heavy tread of booted feet—definitely Stormtroopers then. It sounded as though they were in the room next door, searching for something.

Well, Obi-Wan was not about to wait around to find out more. He refused to be used as a bargaining piece, which is exactly what he would be if Sidious ever got his filthy hands on Obi-Wan. Carefully and quietly, he unlatched the window, a large, spacious thing, and yanked it open.

“You first, Artoo,” Obi-Wan whispered and gestured out the window.

Artoo hummed in agreement and activated his thrusters before rising up and out the window. Obi-Wan slipped out behind him, sitting on the edge of the glass, eyeing the best way down. He was a few floors up, nothing he couldn’t land if he needed to, but that would be far to conspicuous. It took time, and a few near misses, but he managed to climb down the building without too much hassle. Artoo had sat waiting on the ground, swearing at strangers aggressively. It was an unusual tactic, but it stopped anyone looking in Obi-Wan’s direction. Once on the ground they both took off into the streets again.

After a week of laying low, checking and double checking for a tail, Obi-Wan made an attempt at the Temple. He and Artoo took a winding, circuitous path up to it, carefully watching they were in the clear. They both snuck down a drain in an empty alley and followed it up and into the bowels of the Temple. He’d not used the entrance often, mainly in his youth when sneaking out with other Padawans, but this path was one of those public secrets within the Jedi.

After some time in the drain he left Artoo alone to keep watch (and because the droid would not be able to fit through a few spaces he was going to traverse tonight). Artoo wished him good luck and Obi-Wan unhinged a grated off tunnel leading up and into the Temple proper. Obi-Wan crept through the dark tunnel, his shields pulled tightly around him like a protective cloak.

He could still feel the pain and terror and death resonating through the building, buffeting against him, shields or no. It was worse than he remembered.

He moved slowly, pausing every few minutes to listen for movement or sound. So far the temple had been near empty with only the occasional footsteps passing over him where he was hidden in the tunnel. There weren’t many guards in the Temple, but there were certainly some.

After a mad dash through the Room of a Thousand Fountains, some vent crawling, and a slow climb up a maintenance tunnel, followed by more vents, Obi-Wan made it to the main hub. He sat in total silence for an hour or so, just meditating, listening and cautiously feeling out into the Force to make sure there wasn’t anyone nearby. When he felt it was safe, Obi-Wan crawled out from the air duct panel and set to work.

The power was thankfully still connected and it all switched on without issue. Each of the panels in the room lit up, casting a ghostly blue light on everything in the room. He tried not to think about the last time he was here.

Slowly, the computers all booted up, ran through their checks and decided that they were working well enough to function. Then the passcode screen came up.

He’d locked the entire system down after his last visit, before he and Yoda had left. Neither of them wanted anyone, Jedi, Sith, or civilian, to be able to see what was in these computers. If the wrong code was entered more than once, everything was to be wiped. So much history. So many secrets. 

Obi-Wan entered in his password in and everything folded open before him.

“There we go,” he muttered to the empty room.

Immediately, alerts appeared, warning him of the fact that the transmission tower was inoperative due to severe damage. That certainly explained why his warning was no longer being sent out to warn Jedi away. Evidently Sidious had not wanted to destroy the computers—locked out without Obi-Wan’s passcode—but had wanted the transmission gone.

Obi-Wan slowly dismissed all the alerts, and there were a lot; nearly a year without maintenance or input had the whole system extremely confused and sending off alert after alert about how nothing was working. Finally, he found a way around the messages and into the recordings. He pulled up the most recent recording.

It was nearly a year ago now.

He reached out to hit play.

Obi-Wan paused.

His hand hovered over the button.

As much as it had been what he had been working toward now for months, now that he was here, he was terrified. Coming here and watching the deaths of everyone he’d ever know had been awful the first time. He desperately didn’t want to see it again. But he had to know. He had to know about Anakin. He had to know if Palpatine really had such control over his friend and if….what if it truly had been Anakin? What then? Could Obi-Wan ever go back? Would he have to tell Padmé that he’d lied? What about the twins?

He shook his head. None of this was worth worrying about. He just had to…press the button.

Taking a deep breath in he pushed down on his feelings and the switch.

It was definitely Anakin on the screen before him. Every detail about his physical body was perfect, though his eyes were strangely glassy and Obi-Wan immediately noticed what he hadn’t last time. The body, while correct, moved completely wrong. He walked differently, smoother than Anakin’s usual walk and the combat style was all wrong. Instead of using Form V as Anakin did, this person was using bits and pieces of everything and a few things he didn’t recognise.

He watched Anakin’s lips move and frowned before doing something he hadn’t done last time. He turned on the sound. Softly, so as not to give away that he was here, but just enough to hear the words coming from Anakin.

“Troopers, take the east corridor,” Anakin said, his voice flat. “CY-6383, take a few men and get the door down.”

Yessirs echoed back at him as the Clones did as instructed.

He heard a footstep. He felt a twitch in the Force. Obi-Wan paused the recordings and slipped a hand beneath his jacket to rest on his lightsaber.

Obi-Wan heard a familiar sharp, snap-hiss behind him. “Don’t move,” a voice said levelly from somewhere in the room.

He knew that voice.

Obi-Wan remained still but called out, “Ahsoka?”

There was a moment of silence, followed by quick footsteps as the young Togruta stepped into view.

“Obi-Wan…?” Ahsoka breathed out, her eyes wide with wonder and amazement. She took a hesitant step forward before pressing her lips together, seemingly unsure of herself.

Obi-Wan smiled, opened his arms and said, “Come here, young one.”

Ahsoka crumpled before his eyes, smiling brightly while sobbing uncontrollably, before she threw herself into his arms. “I’m so glad you’re oka—okay,” Ahsoka hiccuped, falling to her knees, wrapping her long arms around Obi-Wan’s torso, and shoving her face into his chest. It was an awkward position, with him seated and her half thrown on top of him, but he wrapped his arms solidly around her and held her in place.

Obi-Wan smiled and felt tears beading in his own eyes, murmuring a soft, “Same here, Ahsoka. It is… wonderful to see you.”

“I didn't know if any of you were okay, and it’s been so long… and I thought…” Ahsoka sniffed and trailed off, her hands curling tighter around him.

She choked back a few more cries, sniffed, and pulled away, standing back up and grinning down at him through watery eyes. Ahsoka had certainly grown, and must be as tall as he was now. The tips and ends of her mortals had lengthened, curling proudly about her head and her face had also lost some of its baby shape, now longer and more defined. She was becoming a stunning young woman.

Ahsoka stood before him, smiling through her tears, strong and alive and unharmed, wearing the plainest looking clothes he had ever seen her in. “Never thought I’d ever see you crying,” Ahsoka said softly. “Or without a beard.”

“It made me too recognisable,” he said before he released his emotions to the Force. “I’m sorry about the silence, Ahsoka, none of us knew how we could contact you; we definitely would have if we were able,” Obi-Wan said, Force pulling a chair over from across the room and nodding at it.

Ahsoka took the seat, her eyes brightening at his statement. “Us? Is Skyguy with you? I heard he was dead…”

“Here? No,” Obi-Wan explained. “Safe in the Outer Rim with Padmé and their children? Yes.”

Ahsoka’s eyes widened as she made a very self-satisfied face. “I kriffing knew it.”

He laughed. “Ahsoka, everyone knew it.”

“Anakin was never any good at subtle,” she said it with clear fondness and a wry smile on her face.

Obi-Wan had to nod in agreement, the smile sneaking onto his own expression.

“So children? As in more than one?” Ahsoka asked, leaning forward.

“Yes, Padmé had twins. Luke and Leia. They are both beautiful and happy little things,” He said warmly. He missed them both terribly. It had been so long since he’d last seen them. A fact he knew was his own damn fault. It was just… the longer he stayed away, the weirder he felt about returning.

“Do you have any holos of them?” Ahsoka asked.

“I have one holo of the four of them. Artoo snapped it for me during a recent conversation.” Obi-Wan started digging in his bag, pulling bits and pieces out and placing them on the bench. “Force, I know it’s in here somewhere… Ah!”

Grinning, he sat up and handed Ahsoka the small holo-projector. She switched it on.

“Oh. Oh no,” Ahsoka breathed, staring down at the holo. “They’re so adorable! Look at their tiny little faces! Padmé and Anakin look well too.” She sighed, smiling absently at it. “Why aren’t you with them then? What on earth are you doing back here on Coruscant?”

“I didn’t want to… intrude.”

She frowned slightly at him, handing the holo-projector back to him and asking, “Why Coruscant? Why are you sneaking into the Temple like a moron?”

Obi-Wan put it in his pocket and raised his eyebrows at her, looking her up and down; she was one to talk.

Ahsoka rolled her eyes at him. “I’m here helping people. I came here first to see what happened but someone locked all the computers with a code I couldn’t break, and now I’m here to catch any lost Jedi and point them to safety and the Rebellion.”

“You have your own rebellion?” Obi-Wan asked, smiling. “Congratulations, you must have inherited more from your Grandmaster than I had previously thought.”

Ahsoka frowned at him. “Why? How many rebellions have you been in?”

“Probably…at least five?” Obi-Wan said. “I’ll be honest, I’ve lost track over the years.”

“You’re ridiculous,” Ahsoka laughed. “Now. What are you doing here?”

“I came back to re-investigate the security feeds,” he said as Ahsoka finally turned to look at the screen Obi-Wan had been looking at. “There was something I needed to confirm—"

“Is…that Anakin?” Ahsoka said slowly.

Damn. He used his most gentle voice in the hopes of cutting this off, “Ahsoka—”

“No!” Ahsoka cried, jumping out of her chair and pulling her ‘saber back out. “No! You said he was okay! He—he wouldn’t do that! He wouldn’t— Are you with Palpatine? Is Anakin with Palpatine?” Her eyes had gone as wide as a moon, staring at him in fear and disbelief.

“Ahsoka, please listen. Neither of us is with Palpatine,” Obi-Wan held his hands up placatingly as he spoke. “Sit down and let me show you something.”

She looked as though she was going to cry some more.


Ahsoka looked away from him, as if in pain, her blue eyes refusing to look at him or the screen. “Fine,” she said after a long moment of silence. She sat back down but held her lightsaber hilt firmly in her hand.

Obi-Wan understood entirely.

“I’m going to play the recording,” Obi-Wan said slowly. “I want you to watch Anakin. See if there’s anything wrong. Okay?”

Ahsoka swallowed and nodded.

Obi-Wan played the footage. It pained him immensely to watch it again. Watch Anakin storm in and kill everyone in his home, not pausing for thought or the pleading cries of the Jedi. The footage cut from camera to camera, following him and his troops in their path through the Temple. The 501st followed blindly, doing as Anakin bid them, gunning down everyone in their path. Obi-Wan could feel bile rise in his throat and a cold hand wrap around his heart, knowing how close it could have been to a reality. He could still feel the echoes of their deaths…

“Okay. Stop,” Ahsoka said weakly.

Obi-Wan paused the footage, exhaled, and released his churning thoughts to the Force, feeling calm wash over him again.

“It’s not him,” Ahsoka said thoughtfully. “How he fights is not Anakin's style at all. It’s too… graceful. He spoke wrong, too. He called every member of the 501st ‘Trooper’ or by their ID number. He knows every one of them by name and I don’t think I ever heard him call them anything other then their chosen names. It’s not Anakin.”

Obi-Wan nodded slowly.

“How though? It still looks exactly like Anakin?” Ahsoka asked quickly, eyes darting back and forth from the screen to Obi-Wan.

“Were you aware that Palpatine is a Sith Lord? He was the Darth Sidious we were looking for.”

A long silence.

“That two-faced motherfucker,” Ahsoka whispered in absolute horror. She stared off into the middle distance for some time, thinking furiously. After a few minutes of silence she refocused on Obi-Wan. “Force, that makes so much sense. But how…what does that have to do with Anak—did he pull a Rako Hardeen?”

“No,” Obi-Wan replied, “that is very much Anakin’s body, with, as far as I can tell, Sidious piloting.”

Ahsoka scrunched up her face. “Ew. That’s…so wrong. How could he do that?”

Obi-Wan sighed and clasped his hands together nervously. “Sidious has evidently been playing the long game with Anakin in mind as his next apprentice—”

“Anakin would never—!”

Obi-Wan held up a hand, silencing her in an instant. He admired the hope in her voice.

“The Chancellor spent years grooming Anakin and preparing him with the mindset he would need to become a Sith. I think he also found a way into Anakin’s head, past his shields and is somehow able to... influence him. Being completely fair to Anakin, a lot of his poor decisions are his alone, but what happened here at the Temple is not one of them. He did however, choose to fall.”

Ahsoka blinked. “What?”

Obi-Wan sighed. “He’s fine now, but Anakin did fall for a time. He did choose Sidious. The Temple was Sidious’ work, but Anakin let him in, whether he's aware of it or not—”

“I mean…” Ahsoka tried. “I always knew Anakin was greyer than your average Jedi, but I'd never thought he would ever truly fall.”

“I didn't think so either, my dear, and yet here we all are,” Obi-Wan said. He still wondered where he went wrong.

“Tell me the whole story,” she demanded. “The whole thing. Everything you know.”

“Are you sure?”

Ashoka nodded her face set in complete seriousness. “Yes.”

Obi-Wan sighed and began to retell the story of what had happened to them after the Clones turned and how Anakin fell. He told her about Mustafar, that he’d talked Anakin around from the Dark Side, before the three of them escaped the Empire to the Outer Rim, staying briefly with Anakin’s family, before purchasing an old farm and the eventual birth of the twins. He told her about how Anakin was managing himself, happy, and loving being a father, how great a mother Padmé was, and how sweet the children are.

Ahsoka was silent for a while after she had listened attentively to his whole story. She stared into nothing while she seemingly thought about it all.

“Why don’t you go home?” she asked finally.

This is my home,” Obi-Wan returned. This was the only home he had ever had, and now it was a cold, empty tomb filled with the psychic echoes of death and destruction.

Ahsoka pressed her lips together. “It sounds to me like Anakin and Padmé are your home now. Why not go?”

That was a question he was still asking himself. He didn’t know where he stood with them anymore. He knew he was being a coward by avoiding them when either of them had that particular look in their eye. He was terrified of what they wanted to discuss with him. Anakin had said that he loved Obi-Wan, but he had also said that the ki—day he left was a misunderstanding. Obi-Wan didn’t know what he wanted or what they wanted and it was just so much easier to ignore all of it.

The longer he stayed away, the harder it was to go back.

“Obi-Wan?” Ahsoka pressed.

“My apologies. I was distracted.” Obi-Wan pressed those feelings aside, letting them go.

“Stop doing that!” Ahsoka bit out, turning on Obi-Wan suddenly.

He raised an eyebrow at her. “Doing what?”

“Ignoring your feelings, letting them go to the Force,” she returned. "You've done it like five times since I've been here!"

He leant back and crossed his arms. That was surely an exaggeration. What had gotten into her? “I’m a Jedi,” he informed her, “we must remain impartial. You know that. I am—”

“No! You’re ignoring your feelings entirely!” She stared at him derisively. “The Jedi are gone, Obi-Wan. You know that.” He opened his mouth to reply, pushing away the icy feeling that settled in his stomach as she said it. She immediately held up her hand, cutting him of, “No, you listen. They’re gone for a reason. As much as I hate to admit it, Barriss was right; we lost our way, we allowed ourselves to be manipulated by the Dark Side—by this Darth Sidious—willingly or not. We were not what we should have been.” Obi-Wan was floored by the wisdom he saw in her eyes and the conviction in her voice. “If I’ve learnt anything in the years away from the Temple, is that emotion is what makes us feel alive, what brings meaning and flavour to the universe, what helps you survive and fuels your desire to help others. You can’t keep clinging to a way of life that is gone and is destructive to your wellbeing, Obi-Wan.”

Silence filled the room and Obi-Wan could only stare at her.

She sighed, placing her hand over his where it rested on the console edge. “I want you to survive in this new universe. I want you to be happy, and you can’t be when all you ever are is cold and calm. As much as Anakin got wrong, he did have it right. Attachment and love is the way forward now.”

Obi-Wan pulled his hand away, unwilling to face what she had said, countering with, “Anakin fell because of attachment.”

Ahsoka rolled her eyes at him. “According to your story, Anakin fell to manipulation and fear, he was saved by his attachment to you and Padmé.”

“From a certain point of view,” he conceded.

Fuck your point of view shit, Obi-Wan!” she exploded.


“No. You need to stop letting a group that is gone dictate the rest of your life! I’m not a Jedi, but I do just as much good work. I help people. I make a difference. Emotions or not.” All the air left her in a rush, and she deflated before his eyes. “Please. You’ll never be happy if you don’t, and probably kill yourself on some fool crusade against Sidious, and destroy the rest of us in the process. I love you, Obi-Wan, and I love Anakin and Padmé and Rex and Master Plo and all my rebels and a pair of twins I’ve never met, and that’s not a bad thing.

Obi-Wan scowled, “I don’t know who taught you to be so mouthy.”

“Mmhm,” Ahsoka said, ignoring him, “I think you’re attached and you're scared of it.”

Well. That one was much too close to home. He was done. Obi-Wan locked the computer again, setting up new defences and shutting it all down.

“Obi-Wan…” Ahsoka tried softly, her orange hand coming to rest over his where it worked at the keys. “I didn’t mean to push.”

Obi-Wan couldn't look at her, but he let her hand remain on his this time.

He sighed. “I’m well aware of what I’m running from. Thank you.”

“Why won’t you go back?”

He looked over to her. “It’s complicated.”

Ahsoka looked skeptical and levelled him a stare; it was a good one too. She would have been formidable in a negotiation. Perhaps she still might be.

She gave up. “Come on, finish sealing that back up and come with me. I have someplace you’ll love.”

“We have to get Artoo first. I left him guarding the entrance.”

Ahsoka perked right up, her whole face lighting happily. “Artooie’s here? Awesome. Okay, we can collect him and then go.”

Obi-Wan finished closing down the systems and waited for the room to stop buzzing with electricity before he considered it truly safe. He was not taking any chances with anyone stumbling into the Temple’s systems. There was much more still hidden on there besides incriminating footage of Anakin.

Obi-Wan followed Ahsoka’s lead as she followed a similar path out to his one in. They moved quietly and only paused occasionally at an unexpected sound or two. Their final run through the fountains was unimpeded before they vanished down the tunnel Obi-Wan had entered through.

Artoo greeted them happily, beeping some very choice words at Ahsoka’s arrival.

“I missed you too, Artooie!” Ahsoka laughed, placing her hand on his dome and petting it. “Come on, I’ve got somewhere safe for us to go.”

They followed the large drain for some time, much further than their earlier trip, before Ahsoka indicated the exit. She went first, climbing up stealthy before poking her head up above ground, deeming it was safe, and disappearing through the hole. Artoo followed second, blasting up and out, with Obi-Wan climbing quickly after him.

It was raining.

Large, heavy droplets fell from the sky, pelting them incessantly until everything smelt of rain and wet wool. They continued to follow Ahsoka through the dark streets, all three of them on high alert, occasionally ducking behind a dumpster when they heard footsteps.

“Where are we going?” Obi-Wan asked a few minutes later, now thoroughly soaked to his skin and shivering.

“Can’t say until we get there. It’s warm and dry though,” Ahsoka assured him.

The three of them continued sneaking through the dimming light, running into fewer and fewer people as everyone dashed home to avoid the danger of the night-time patrols. Ahsoka led him finally to a broken down door hidden behind a dumpster.

“Really living it up on Coruscant,” Obi-Wan laughed.

Ahsoka smirked at him. “You’ll be eating those words in a few minutes.”

They climbed stair-case after stair-case, crept through a few connected hallways, and then ascended even more stair-cases. Finally, they exited through a door which said ‘Staff Access Only’ on the door as she opened it.

This was much fancier; the carpeted hallways were lush and clean, with walls the colour of snow. Ahsoka motioned for him to hurry and they arrived at a door marked ‘19272’. Pulling out some keys from her clothes, Ahsoka swiftly unlocked the door and pulled Obi-Wan inside, Artoo gliding in swiftly after.

The lights switched on and Obi-Wan was greeted by a beautiful apartment. There was a large open lounge with two plush couches, piled high with cushions with blankets draped over the top. A large black rug decorated the soft carpet, breaking up the whiteness of it all. There was an open kitchen to their left, long benches with stone tops and a wide variety of cooking utensils, all of which were in excellent condition. Everything was a tasteful variation on black, purple and grey.

“Eating those words yet?” Ahsoka asked.

Obi-Wan smiled. “Consider them eaten.”

“Excellent,” Ahsoka said. “Now, time for a shower and some dry clothes. You want to go first?”

“No, no. You first, I can wait,” Obi-Wan replied.

Ahsoka looked at him for a long moment before she shrugged. “If you insist. Make yourself at home. There’s leftovers in the kitchen.”

Ahsoka disappeared into one of the four doors lining the lounge room before she quickly reappeared, towels and clothes in hand, before entering one of the other doors. Obi-Wan assumed that one was the bathroom.

Obi-Wan stood in the centre of the lounge at a loss of what to do with himself. Artoo whistled appreciatively at the whole space, stating that this is how a person really lives. Obi-Wan smiled at him. “You’ve been far too spoiled by Padmé, Artoo.”

Artoo spat something unintelligible back at him and rolled further in. Obi-Wan decided to check out what was in the fridge.

“I got your message, Ahsoka,” called a familiar voice from the entryway. “What could possibly be so import—Obi-Wan!” Bail Organa stepped into the room, his deep blue robes sweeping as he walked, a blazing smile on his face. He looked well, aside from the clear lines of stress around his eyes and mouth.

“Bail!” Obi-Wan greeted with equal enthusiasm. “How have you been?”

Bail strode across the distance between them and wrapped a strong hand around Obi-Wan’s shoulder. “I have been very busy, as I’m sure you can imagine. Come, let us sit.”

“I’m soaked through, Bail. I don’t think you want me sitting on the couch,” Obi-Wan said.

“Nonsense, I do not mind at all. Sit,” Bail pressed, the hand on his shoulder firm and guiding. Obi-Wan didn't argue.

They sat on the couch and turned inward toward one another.

“So…have it you heard the news about Padmé?” Bail asked soberly, eyes dark and sad.

“Oh, Bail, no, Padmé is perfectly—”

He sighed. “That she was. It was a shock to us all as well, we had hoped she would reappear unscathed but—”

“Bail—” Obi-Wan tried louder.

He just continued. “—it seems it was for naught. I don’t believe what the Emperor is saying, but—”

“Bail, look!” Obi-Wan said, fishing the holo-projector from his pocket again, switching it on and putting the picture in front of Bail’s face. “She’s fine.”

That stopped Bail in his tracks. He blinked for a moment, staring at the photo. His eyes widened and glanced between the image and Obi-Wan, a question lingering in his eyes.

“Padmé is alive,” Obi-Wan confirmed, his voice gentle. “I can call her right now if you would like.”

“I—yes. I would like that very much,” Bail said shakily. “Is it safe?”

“Artoo knows what he’s doing,” Obi-Wan said, smiling at the droid and beckoning him over.

“So, Skywalker is the father?” Bail asked conversationally.

Obi-Wan paused. “You didn’t know?”

“I certainly suspected.”

Obi-Wan smiled. “Anakin and Padmé were the worst kept secret on Coruscant.”

“I would have to agree,” Bail returned.

Artoo whistled, signalling that he was calling through to Tatooine. After a nearly a minute the connection clicked through and Padmé appeared on screen with something that looked suspiciously like mashed fruit smeared across her face.

“Hello Ob—Bail!” Padmé cried out, leaning forward on her knees. “Gods it is good to see you again! I’ve missed you.”

“You have absolutely no idea how good it is to see you, Padmé,” Bail sniffed with bright eyes. “We thought you were dead.”

“Oh, Bail, I’m so sorry.” Padmé tried on a smile. “If it helps, it was a matter of Galactic security?”

“How so?” Bail asked, eyes still shimmering in the light.

“Sidious wanted my husband to join him on the Dark Side and help rule his Empire—“

Bail’s eyebrows rose. “Hold on a moment. Husband? Sidious?”

“Ah,” Padmé smiled, her voice gone high and nervous, “well, Anakin is my husband—”

“For how long?” Bail had his arms folded over his chest and the voice of a man who had caught his child sneaking out a window at night.

Padmé looked terribly guilty. “Uh. Since before the war?”

“Were you invited?” Bail asked, totally scandalised, tuning to face Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan had to press down every instinct to laugh, instead replying calmly with, “No, I wasn’t.”

Padmé looked between them in mixed horror and confusion, her eyes flickering off camera as if trying to spot her salvation. Anakin was evidently not in the room with her.

“It…you know it was meant to be secret, yeah?” Padmé tried, holding her arms up placatingly.

Bail and Obi-Wan just looked at each other before bursting into hysterics.

“Rude,” Padmé said, though she was smiling. “Fine. You’ve made your point.”

After a few more moments of idiotic giggling from the pair of them, they managed to settle again, and Bail refocused. “Sorry. Galactic security. Sidus?”

“Palpatine is a Sith Lord. Darth Sidious,” Obi-Wan clarified.

“Sith…oh, Zigoola?” Bail asked, frowning and turning to look at Obi-Wan.

“Yes,” Obi-Wan confirmed.

“Damn,” Bail swore. “Okay. Kriff. That’s pretty important. I need to…spread the word. We’re tackling this all wrong if that’s the case.” Bail looked back to the shimmering image of Padmé. “I will let Mon know you’re okay, but beyond that we will keep your secret. I must go tell her and the others about Palpatine.”

“Bail,” Padmé said, grinning, “you’ve started a rebellion without me!”

“Technically you were here when we started it,” Bail smiled, voice light but eyes showing the depth of worry within in. The news had shocked him to his core. It was fair enough; when Obi-Wan looked at the whole situation it filled him with dread and hopelessness.

“I will leave you in Obi-Wan’s capable hands, and I hope to be able to speak with you again in the future,” Bail said, standing up from the couch. “Thank you for this information, Obi-Wan, and tell Ahsoka I will catch her another time.”

Obi-Wan nodded and watched as Bail swept out the door. He wished they had had more time to talk, but he understood that Bail needed to pass on that intelligence. He hoped he would be able to see him again soon.

“Ahsoka is there?” Padmé’s voice distracted him from his thoughts.

“She’s just drying off. It was raining heavily on the way here,” Obi-Wan explained, turning back to Padmé. “I’m sure she would love to see Anakin—”

“Of course! I’ll go see if I can get him up here. He’s just outside with the twins.” Padmé lowered her voice, whispering conspiratorially, “They like the sand. I’ll be right back.”

She was not right back. Obi-Wan sat on the couch for a few long minutes, staring at an empty hologram, Artoo beeping at him in annoyance.

“Hang up if you want Artoo,” Obi-Wan said. “They’ll call back.”

Artoo whistled in agreement, disconnected the call and rolled off to recharge. They’d been running on and off for a few days so he hadn’t had any consistent time to refill his battery.  Obi-Wan used the few moments to relax back into the cushions.

“Hey, Obi. Bail turned up yet?” Ahsoka asked, appearing back in the lounge now dressed in something much less damp and much more floral.

“Bail has been and gone. Nice pyjamas.”

“Cute hey?” Ahsoka grinned, “Bail is an excellent provider.”

“What is this place?”

“Well you see, Bail and Breha have this deal that they’re allowed to see other people when they’re apart, so this is his mistress’ place. Or rather, my place.” Ahsoka grinned. “It’s a sneaky way for me to be able to see him for rebel business without raising suspicion.”

“I see.” That was some new information about Bail. He…wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. “Very clever.”

Ahsoka smiled. “He certainly thinks so. Where’d he go anyway?”

“We told him about Palpatine. I think he’s gone to spread the word.”

“Good. It’s what I was going to tell him about.” Ahsoka flopped down on the couch beside him, stretching herself out along it, clearly relaxed in the environment. “We?” she questioned.

“Oh. Padmé. Bail wasn’t catching on when I said she was alive. Artoo called her for us. They’ll probably call back soon, I think she went to fetch Anakin and got distracted,” Obi-Wan said. “Anyway, how are you, Ahsoka?”

Ahsoka gave him a crooked smile. “Oh, you know, trying to overthrow a cruel regime—”

“Besides that,” Obi-Wan said warmly. “How are you?

Ahsoka tucked her knees into her chest. “There’s not much else to it. I spend most days keeping an eye on the Temple for any more Jedi stragglers—you’re the first in a month—and helping Bail organise things here and there. I’ve been thinking about going out into space to help the Rebellion out on the front line.”

Obi-Wan could see the conviction in her eyes. The burning desire to help and fix everything that had gone wrong in the last year sizzled behind every word…but she was letting herself get too deep. Obi-Wan had been there before. Thrown himself so far into a cause that there was no time for anything else.

Artoo whistled brightly before scooting across the room from the corner he’d been charging in, coming to rest in front of Obi-Wan. A call was coming back through.

Obi-Wan accepted it and was greeted by Anakin grinning at him on the screen.

“Hey, Obi-Wan!” he greeted brightly. “Padmé said you had something to tell me?”

Obi-Wan smiled fondly. “Close. I have someone here who wants to see you.” He moved aside and allowed Ahsoka to slide up next to him.

“Hey, Skyguy!” she smiled broadly at him, the sharp tips of her teeth just visible between her lips.

“Ahsoka!” Anakin cried out, jumping forward in the chair slightly. “You’re okay! How are you?”

Ahsoka laughed. “I’m fine, Anakin. How are you?”

“I’m good, tired, but good. Twins are a handful.”

“Two, handfuls, you could say,” Ahsoka joked.

Anakin grinned back at her. “True. Do you want to meet one?”

Ahsoka shimmied forward on her chair, “Yes! Obviously!”

Obi-Wan revelled in their lit up faces, both rapt to see each other again. Ahsoka’s eyes were bright with light and love for her old Master, and Anakin was visibly vibrating with excitement. They really did adore each other.

Anakin disappeared for a moment before they heard Padmé yell from off-screen, “Anakin! Stop floating Luke around! Carry him like a normal person!”

“He’s fine,” they heard Anakin return. “Ahsoka wants to see him.”


Padmé quickly appeared on screen, hair loose and smiling broadly at the pair of them. “Hello, Ahsoka!”

“Hey, Padmé.” Ahsoka smiled. “Is Anakin misusing the Force and levitating the babies around?”

Padmé rolled her eyes, before they flickered off camera to where they could only assume Anakin was. “Yes. He is.”

“It’s perfectly safe,” Anakin said, sitting down with Luke in his arms. “I’m careful.”

Padmé just hummed at him. It appeared to be an ongoing discussion.

“Is that Luke?” Ahsoka asked, leaning into the screen, staring at the child in Anakin’s grasp.

“Yup! Leia was being fussy so she’s been put to bed.” Anakin pressed a kiss to Luke’s head of hair. “Who’s that?” Anakin said, trying to point Luke in the direction of the camera.

“Hello!” Ahsoka cooed, a dopey smile on her face. “Hello tiny Luke! Who’s a tiny cute baby!? It’s you! You’re a tiny cute baby!”

Luke’s eyes finally found the image, his eyes lit up and he giggled happily at Ahsoka.

“Oh no, he’s adorable,” Ahsoka breathed out, resting her head in her hands. “Oh I want to cuddle him!”

“You should come visit," Padmé said, her whole demeanour perking up. “We’d love to have you visit! Obi-Wan is very overdue to come home.”

“You know I—” Obi-Wan started, hoping to somewhat avoid this conversation.

“No. Shush. Ahsoka, don’t let him hang up,” Padmé cut in.

Ahsoka, interest piqued at the conflict, sent Obi-Wan a sharp smile.

Obi-Wan felt his stomach drop and his entire body flushed cold. He wasn’t ready for this conversation. He never wanted this conversation. He would much prefer to live in limbo for the rest of his life.

“Okay,” Padmé said in her calmest, most authoritative Senatorial voice. “Obi-Wan. We want you to come home. We’re sorry how we handled you leaving. It was very poorly done by both of us.”

Obi-Wan looked away, unable to look them both in the eyes while they… explained it all. He knew they hadn’t meant it. It was a mistake. It was a misunderstanding. They were looking for comfort and they thought they needed him. They both loved each other, even if Anakin thought he loved him. Obi-Wan knew he didn’t need to be a part of that.

“No, don’t make that face,” Padmé said sharply. “Obi-Wan, look at me.”

Obi-Wan reluctantly looked back up, Padmé rubbing her face in frustration, muttering, “Ugh, we did this all wrong. Sorry Ahsoka—”

“No problem, Padmé.” Her tone was solemn and serious, but her eyes glittered in a way that said she was living for this gossip.

“Obi-Wan,” Padmé began again, “while our methods were terrible, the intention was honest. Anakin and I love you. I meant it when I kissed you, and so did Anakin.”

Obi-Wan tried his absolute hardest to ignore the ridiculously thrilled expression on Ahsoka’s face. He still didn’t quite follow, but he could feel the flush on his neck and the racing of his heart, and he had never been more glad that colour wasn’t transmitted through these calls. A bundle of emotions swirled about his chest, warm and tight and so very strong. It felt horrifyingly like hope.

“I don’t…I don’t quite understand.” He quickly released his emotions to the Force, seeking calm from the emotional storm, and pretending he didn’t see the scowl Ahsoka gave him.

“Why don’t you come home and we can talk about it then? We miss you,” Anakin pressed before he held Luke up to his face, squashing their cheeks together, Luke laughing brightly. “Luke misses you!”

Obi-Wan smiled involuntarily.

“I would happily go through it all with you now, Obi-Wan, but through a comm, with Ahsoka eavesdropping is not the best option for anyone. Please come back?” Padmé tried again.

“Come on, Obi-Wan,” Ahsoka whined, “I want to visit. Look how cute he is!”

Why not just give in.

It was such a small decision.

Such a small step forward…

“Alright,” he conceded softly.

“Excellent!” Padmé said, clapping her hands together. “We expect you both here as soon as you can.”

Ahsoka grinned back. “It shouldn’t take more than a month or two with my contacts, wherever you are in the galaxy.”

“Obi-Wan can bring you up to speed on all of that,” Anakin said. He was doing his damnedest to make eye contact with Obi-Wan but he didn’t quite feel ready for that.

“Okay, we will let you go for now, that’s probably enough for today,” Padmé said, her face making this soft hopeful expression at him. It was…something.

Anakin turned to Ahsoka. “Oh! Snips, can you find me a XP-69 processor chip? Threepio’s is busted and I can’t find a replacement.”

“Yeah, of course,” Ahsoka said. “You’ll owe me though.”

“Fair enough.”

Padmé rolled her eyes at the pair of them. “Okay, let’s let them go, Ani. Obi-Wan looks very cold and wet. Bye!”

“Luke, say bye-bye,” Anakin prompted, waving his hand at the screen.

Luke looked at his mother, then his father, then at them, before he lifted his hand, shook it violently and said, “Bah-bah.”

Ahsoka laughed and waved back, the white markings on the side of her face scrunching up from sheer joy. Obi-Wan gave them both a quick smile, a small wave to Luke, and then hung up.

He felt like he’d just run for miles and miles. Exhausted and dazed and a little breathless. It wasn't even that bad.

Ahsoka turned on him, a truly ridiculous smile on her face. “Sooo…looks like I was right, hey?”

Obi-Wan threw the nearest pillow at her face in childish frustration.

“I’m having a shower,” Obi-Wan said, standing and making for the bathroom.

“Sure,” Ahsoka yelled after him. “I left you some dry clothes in there!”

The shower was luxurious; all wide open spaces with crisp lines and silver decoration. Most importantly, the water was hot. Obi-Wan hadn’t felt this warm since he’d left Tatooine, the water sliding blissfully down his body felt like heaven. It washed away the cold that had settled into his bones from the past few months. Obi-Wan exhaled, shoulders relaxing into the calm warmth. He turned his face into the hot spray and let his mind turn off for a while and just…not worry. He found some shampoo that smelled very distinctly of Bail and washed his hair, which was getting too long for his tastes. It was almost at the length it had been at the begining of the war. He’d have to get it cut at some point.

Warm and clean, Obi-Wan exited the shower with reluctance, dried himself off with the softest towel he’d felt in a damn long time, and climbed into the pyjamas Ahsoka had left out for him. They were a very dark green and he felt rather silly in them. She’d probably done it on purpose too.

Ahsoka looked up from where she was still curled up on the couch, a data pad in hand. “Better?”

“Yes, thank you,” Obi-Wan replied.

“Excellent, now come and let’s get you into bed, you look wiped,” Ahsoka said pointing at a door to her left. She opened it up revealing a small room with a large bed, piled high with thick blankets and pillows, all various shades of silver and blue.

Obi-Wan followed her in before his brain processed one bed.

“Um, I can stay on the couch…?” Obi-Wan tried.

“I have my own room, it’s fine. This is Bail’s room but he’s not going to care if you use it,” Ahsoka assured him. “In you get.”

He smiled at her. “You’ve become very bossy, did you know that?”

“I’ve always been bossy, but you don’t have any authority over me anymore so I can say whatever I want,” she said, grinning back at him.

Obi-Wan nodded and did as instructed, pulling back at least three layers of blankets before climbing in. He settled back into the mountain of pillows feeling much too pampered. Ahsoka was still standing by the door.

“Goodnight, Ahsoka,” he prompted.

“Night,” she said in return.

Ahsoka switched out the light and made to leave before she paused, her silhouette outlined by the light from the lounge.

“Were you refusing to go home because of them?” Ahsoka asked seriously to the darkness of the room.

Obi-Wan couldn’t bring himself to answer that. The answer was yes, but even in his own head that sounded pathetic, he didn’t want to hear how terrible it sounded out loud.

“I’m going to assume that’s a yes. Take it from someone who’s already gone through this loss of purpose. You need to decide what you want to do. It doesn't have to be for the rest of your life. Just for now,” Ahsoka said, voice low and serious. “What do you want, Obi-Wan?”

He wasn’t sure.

“Think about it,” Ahsoka murmured finally and then left the room, pulling the door closed with a soft click.

Obi-Wan had no idea when she’d become so wise.

It took them a week to sort everything out. Bail managed two short visits; one to organise rebellion related things with Ahsoka, and one to have a catch up with Obi-Wan. It had been lovely to be able to speak with Bail again. As much as he now lived under the rule of a dangerous, manipulative, all-powerful ruler, Bail had somehow still retained his jovial attitude and good sense of humour. His company was refreshing after so long without it. Bail updated him on the cruelty of everything going on in the Empire and what they were trying to do to stop it. So far they had a few small groups organising, but they were nowhere near ready to do anything yet, and likely wouldn’t for a few years or so. Bail had suggested that Obi-Wan join them in fighting the Empire and he’d said he would think about it.

It was also wondrous to have Ahsoka back in his life. She had a sharp wit and positive way of looking at things that really made it hard for him to worry about anything for too long. Ahsoka also now glared at him whenever he freed his emotions into the Force; she’d evidently decided a stance on it and was going to annoy him into stopping. She’d also taken to teasing him mercilessly about Anakin and Padmé. Strangely enough, in some kind of backward way, it helped, at least in his own head; if it was something she could joke about, then clearly it mustn't be that big of an issue?

Once everything had been sorted for their trip home, and Ahsoka had found the right replacement part for Threepio, the three of them had left Coruscant. They packed their respective bags, Ahsoka packing things for herself and the twins, shoving in a small pile of toys she had somehow acquired when Obi-Wan wasn’t looking. Artoo had whistled his joy at getting out of the house (as much as he loved the apartment) thanks to both Obi-Wan and Ahsoka deciding it would be safer if they stayed indoors and away from prying eyes. Artoo had begun to go a bit stir-crazy after a few days of listlessness.

Once the journey was underway, the trip back to the Outer Rim was certainly quicker than his one in had been. It helped that more people were trying to get away from the Empire and that Ahsoka apparently had contacts just about everywhere. There were some close calls; some periods of hiding in cargo bays and storage containers, some moments of running without looking back, and some moments of falling asleep on each other because the running really took it out of them. Slowly but surely they were closing in on Tatooine.

As they got closer to the desert planet, Obi-Wan had done as Ahsoka had suggested and thought about what he wanted. In all honestly he wasn’t quite sure. He knew he wanted to be a part of Anakin, Padmé and the twins lives; that much was certain. It just became murky from then on. As much as it pained him to admit it, he was still very much attached to them. He missed the feeling of closeness they’d all had before he’d left… and nearly eight months on, both kisses still plagued his memory and lurked on the edges of his dreams, calling him to them. There was only so much meditating a person could do to ignore the pull.

He wanted…something.

Chapter Text

Anakin was thrilled beyond measure: the twins were nearly one, Padmé was happy, and Obi-Wan and Ahsoka were coming home.

Luke and Leia could sense something was up a good week before anything really happened. They both watched their parents with unusual interest and chatted with each other conspiratorially. The pair watched Anakin with a keen eye as he became progressively more excited about their visitors arriving, evidently feeling their father’s emotions leak along their bonds. 

Overall, the two of them were doing very well and were so very close to talking properly. Padmé had been ecstatic when Leia had called her ‘Mam’ a week or so ago. Given that they were about to turn one, Anakin was fairly certain it was about time, although he personally suspected they were so happy chatting gibberish to each other that they didn’t feel so much of a need to talk to their parents.

Regardless, they were growing nicely and were very energetic. Leia had now worked out how to totter around without holding onto objects, though Luke was still clinging to things for balance; Anakin and Padmé were going to have their hands full when both could walk completely unhindered. At least they’d have more people around to help by the time they got to that point, depending on how long Ahsoka decided to stay with them.

Padmé had cornered him the night before Obi-Wan and Ahsoka were expected home and they laid down a game plan. Padmé insisted on having the Discussion on the first evening; get the twins and Ahsoka out of the way for a short time and get the conversation done. Padmé was adamant that if they gave Obi-Wan time to really think about it, he was going to find creative ways to get out of it. Anakin couldn’t disagree with her logic.

“I think he’s interested, I really do,” Padmé had said thoughtfully, “but I think he doesn’t know what to do with that, so were going to need to be very clear and be very gentle. That okay Ani?”

“Yes.” Anakin had nodded. He wanted to get this right.

“And if he says no?” Padmé pushed.

“We accept it.”

Padmé nodded, appearing to assure herself of the same.

Anakin didn’t think Obi-Wan would say no…well, he hoped he didn’t at least. There was always the chance he’d flatly turn them down, but Obi-Wan had at least seemed responsive to their advances, unexpected as they were at the time. It was what Anakin was clinging to now.

He would accept a refusal, if it came to it though. He would be disappointed to be sure, but he could manage; Anakin wanted Obi-Wan in his life in any way he could have it, and if that meant never mentioning their offer ever again, then he would accept that. Plus he would forever have those two kisses he’d stolen.

Padmé smiled at him and then leant forward and gave him a quick peck on the lips. “I think it will all go fine. Now relax and go to sleep. We can’t have you sleep deprived with your long drive to Mos Eisley tomorrow.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to come?”

Padmé scoffed. “A good three hours in a speeder with the twins? Not a chance, Ani. The trip into Mos Espa is bad enough. You’re on your own. It’ll be fine.”

Anakin had lain in bed and fretted about it all for at least an hour before sleep claimed him, but now the day was here and they were all coming home.

Both twins had followed his every move that morning as they sensed his anticipation and Leia attached herself to his leg in an attempt to get to go wherever Dad was going. Clearly it was somewhere exciting and she wanted in. After apologising, managing to pry her off his leg, and passing Leia back to her mother, Anakin set out.

The drive was its usual boring, desolate self, with nothing but orange landscape speeding by him the whole way, interspaced with the occasional homestead or rock formation. It had just become a series of landmarks to Anakin now. Farmstead, farmstead, rock that looks like a bird, farmstead, long expanse of nothing, rock that looks like a different kind of bird, etc. It made a good checklist though. He knew he was getting close when he hit ‘farmstead with a big rock next to it’.

He was early when he found a park nearby to the main area of the Mos Eisley spaceport. It was, as usual, busy enough to make it difficult to spot individuals in the throng of people. It made him faintly jumpy as so many off-worlders really multiplied his chances of being recognised, but considering how long his hair was now, pulled back into a high tail, they’d have to be looking pretty hard. He decided waiting by the speeder was easiest as it was in the general area of they had agreed to meet in, wandering off was asking to get lost for at least an hour. He sat on the hood of the vehicle and waited.

Artoo’s whistle attracted his attention around half an hour later, breaking through the general low rumble of movement and chatter. His head turned, following the sound and spotted the three of them. Anakin waved them over and grinned, eyes roving over the trio as they approached him. Obi-Wan didn’t look as thin as he had when he had left and his eyes were brighter; both excellent signs. The pair of them were dressed in vaguely tattered clothing, Ahsoka in shades of red and brown and Obi-Wan in a washed out blue, looking for all the world to be some very poor smugglers.

“A—Seripas!” He watched Obi-Wan’s eyes light up as he caught sight of Anakin and the speeder.

“Force, I missed you!” Anakin slid forward off the hood, stepping in front of Obi-Wan. His hands moved to rest on Obi-Wan’s shoulders, one hand tracing up his neck. “It is so good to see you.” Fuck, as much as Padmé has suggested they move slowly, having Obi-Wan here, beautiful and warm beneath his fingertips was incredibly tempting.

“Ahem, gentlemen?” A cool voice interrupted.

Anakin pulled back, his eyes moving past Obi-Wan. “Snips!” He cried out and lunged forward, pulling his ex-Padawan into a tight embrace and lifting her up off the ground.

Ahsoka shrieked and hit his arms. “Put me down, Skyguy!”

He did so, still smiling all the while. She’d gotten taller since he’d last seen her over a year ago, the tip of her head at the same height as Obi-Wan, with the tips of her montrals reaching above that.

Ahsoka was growing up.

“You look well,” Anakin said conversationally and indicated for them all to get into the vehicle.

“Nothing like fighting to dethrone an evil dictator to put a spring in your step,” Ahsoka said lightly, hopping into the back beside Artoo with Obi-Wan getting into the front beside Anakin.

“It was a rough trip in places, but we made it,” Obi-Wan said, smiling at both of them. “How are Padmé and the twins today?”

Anakin updated them both on the twins and his wife as they drove back to the farm. Again, the landmarks flashed by them in reverse order as they talked. He learnt about how Ahsoka had been camping out at the Temple to divert wayward Jedi from danger, though she would not admit who exactly she had diverted. He listened to how she had run into Bail and been caught up in all he was doing for the rebellion and how much she wanted to help. He could still hear the old Ahsoka in her voice, young and passionate, but now more tempered by experience.

Obi-Wan caught him up on useless gossip they had picked up on their journey—most interestingly that the majority of the smuggling trade had shifted from spice to weapons, particularly going in towards the Core. It was troubling, but not surprising. People were scared and they wanted to be able to protect themselves, and from what Obi-Wan had been saying about Coruscant, if you were non-human and living on the lower levels, then you needed that.

Finally, they made it back. Obi-Wan looked around fondly at the farm, commenting on how good it was looking. Ahsoka stood beside him, stretching and asking about the ‘big metal things’ before Anakin explained to her how moisture farming worked.

“Well,” she said thoughtfully, yanking her bag out of the speeder, “farming moisture had never even crossed my mind as something to do.”

“Welcome to living on a desert planet, Ahsoka,” Anakin informed her and led them back to the house, Artoo whining about the sand in his servos already.

“Hey kiddos!” Anakin called from the doorway, throwing open the door.

Shrieking filled his ears as the twins realised their father was home.

“Ani…” Padmé smiled through tight eyes where she sat on the floor with Luke and Leia. “Please don’t overexcite them.”

“Hello darlings,” Anakin cooed down at the twins. “I found your sister lurking in a space-port so I brought her to meet you both.”

Ahsoka blinked at him. “I’m not—”

“Yeah, you are.” He placed a hand on her back and pushed her further into the room. “Come meet your tiny, useless siblings.”

“Anakin,” Padmé chastised, “they’re not useless.”

“They are a little bit.”

Padmé rolled her eyes at him.

He watched, joyous, as his Padawan sat down on the floor beside the twins and began chatting to them. She played with their short hair and Luke latched onto her finger, pulling it into his mouth before mumbling around it.

“You cute, gross little thing,” Ahsoka cooed at him, tugging Luke closer to her for a better look, Leia practically clambering into her lap to investigate the new friend. “Yes, hello to you too; I’m Ahsoka.”

“Ska!” Leia said brightly.

Ahsoka laughed. “Nearly. You’ll get it.”

Anakin watched them for a few moments longer before refocusing. “I’ll go get their rooms set up,” he told Padmé. “Come on, Obi-Wan, let me show you your new room.”

Obi-Wan followed him out, picking up his and Ahsoka’s bags. “So you’ve extended the space?” he asked, interested.

“Yup.” Anakin led him down the stairs and into the second door on the left. “When the twins got bigger we needed an extra room for all their stuff, so we used your old room. We then thought you’d like a room that wasn’t filled with drooling, crying messes all the time, so I decided it was time to renovate. So, with a nice mix of the Force and a spade, Padmé and I dug the hall further into the ground. We’ve added two rooms so far and I plan to add a few more. We’ll probably need the space eventually. We’ve put you in here, and Ahsoka can have the one across the hall.”

Obi-Wan dropped the bags to the ground and circled the room, inspecting it closely. The red-orange rock was near smooth beneath Obi-Wan’s hand as he trailed it along the wall. “Excellent job, both of you,” he commended. “Very sturdy.”

“Thank you. We left the room mostly empty so you could fill it up yourself?” Anakin had not meant to phrase that as a question.

Obi-Wan dropped his blue-green gaze to Anakin, eyes open and searching. “You both still want me here?”

Anakin stepped forward. “We didn’t want you to leave in the first place.”

Obi-Wan looked away, a light flush tinging his ears.

“Uh. Padmé and I are going to talk to you about it all later,” Anakin stumbled over his words nervously. “I don’t want to mess this up.”

Obi-Wan smiled. “Okay.”

From there they dumped Obi-Wan’s bag in the corner and ferried Ahsoka’s into her room, Obi-Wan helping Anakin put some sheets and blankets onto the bed. After that, they gave the same treatment to Obi-Wan’s bed, shoving sheets onto the mattress, duvet and pillow. It was quiet, familiar work.

“We kept meaning to do this before you got here, but I kept forgetting and Padmé can’t quite lift her arm very high yet without it hurting,” Anakin explained.

“Is she doing all right?” Obi-Wan asked.

Anakin nodded and placed the final pillow on the bed. “She’s healing great, now just a matter of strengthening it all up again, which as we both know, takes time. Padmé is more annoyed at it than anything.”

Obi-Wan nodded sympathetically.

The afternoon passed quickly, Obi-Wan falling back into their previous routine with ease, offering to check the vaporators and spending a good hour or two toting Luke around, who had laughed and screamed his joy at having his extra parent back. Leia was still sulking about it and grumped at him whenever he tried to interact with her.

Dinner seemed to be the slow point, likely because of how badly Anakin was anticipating the chat they had planned for after dinner. Padmé had cooked a lovely dish of steamed meat and vegetables, covered in sauce and spices with some bread on the side. Ahsoka had tucked in heartily, sick of the dodgy meals and ration bars they’d eaten on the trip here, proclaiming it ‘the best thing she’d ever had in her mouth’. Padmé had lit up at the compliment and offered to show her how to make it. The conversation then devolved into cooking techniques which Anakin checked out of slightly; he could cook, but it didn't particularly interest him.

Finally, they were all finished.

“Ahsoka, do you mind taking the twins downstairs for a little while and entertaining them?” Padmé asked, collecting plates up from the table.

Ahsoka grinned. “Yeah, of course I can.”

She jumped up from the table, deftly side-stepping around Padmé and crouching down on the floor where Luke and Leia were sitting, playing with the toys Ahsoka had brought them.

“Come on, babs, it’s Auntie Ahsoka time.” She scooped Leia up in one arm, and then shuffled around and wrangled Luke into the other. Luke immediately wrapped his arms around Ahsoka’s lekku, clingy tightly to her. Ahsoka levitated a few of the toys from the floor to float behind her as she went. She paused at the top of the stairs, grinning back at the three of them.

“Good luck!” she said, winking at Obi-Wan. Ahsoka knew exactly what was going on.

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes at her and then she vanished down the stairs, accompanied by the giggles of two very excited babies.

Anakin stood up and helped Padmé with tidying dinner, collecting cutlery and glasses and relocating them to the kitchen.

“What can I do?” Obi-Wan asked, following them both into the kitchen.

“Oh don’t worry about it,” Padmé replied jovially and smiled, “there’s not much to be done.”

Obi-Wan pressed his lips together and paused where he stood, eyes thoughtful and frowning.

Anakin noticed Obi-Wan’s nervous posture and decided to give him something to do. He needed to not feel like a guest if they were to convince him to stay. “Hey, can you dry these?” Anakin asked, handing a cloth to Obi-Wan.

“Of course. Thank you,” he said, taking the towel and quickly stepping further into the kitchen to dry the pan Padmé had just placed beside the sink.

Anakin noticed he was perhaps attempting to dry the pan a bit too hard, and sent him a reassuring smile. Obi-Wan was apparently nervous. It was as adorable as it was a complete novelty. Obi-Wan had always been so outwardly assured in himself, even if Anakin now knew it was less true than he had once thought it to be, so it was interesting to see the emotion so clearly expressed.

Dishes washed and dried thoroughly, they returned to the lounge and settled into the couches. Obi-Wan took the one by the front door while Anakin and Padmé sat on their usual favourite opposite the door to the stairway.

“I take it that you have decided to…talk about us now?” Obi-Wan asked, hands clasped in his lap and sitting very straight in his seat.

“Yes,” Padmé said, “is that okay?”

Obi-Wan looked at them both with a steady gaze, only thrown off by the faint pink his ears were turning. “Yes.”

“Okay. So. We, I mean, Padmé and I, we’re really sorry how we handled you leaving. We probably should have talked to you more, and thrown ourselves at you, um, less. We were still dealing with a lot, and neither of us were the most, ah, functional people.” Anakin, for all that he had thought about what he would say for nearly a year, was having incredible trouble putting it into a coherent sentence. “But, we did mean it. I—we both love you, Obi-Wan, in every way that means. You’re a part of our family, and we want you around us and around the twins. We want you to think of it as home and for you to be a part of us.”  Obi-Wan had flushed even further, now staring at a corner of the room. “Obi-Wan?”

He shivered and seemed to come back to himself, focusing back on Anakin, “I, um, yes, I would, I mean that, sorry.” Obi-Wan took a deep breath and Anakin could only grin at him. “I would like that very much. To be a part of your family, for this to be home. I’m sorry as well. I was also not coping very well at the time, and the, um, unexpected affection, was…”

“Unwelcome?” Padmé offered.

“No, not unwelcome.” Anakin was begining to love the particular shade of pink Obi-Wan was turning. “But given the upheaval we’d all just experienced, it was just… too much, I think. Too much, too fast, and I didn’t know what it meant, or what either of you wanted.” Obi-Wan sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I’ll admit I panicked.”

“It was a fair response,” Anakin agreed and leant forward on his knees. “Would you be interested in something with us?”

“I love you both,” Obi-Wan whispered, refusing to meet either of their eyes, but Anakin’s breath stuttered in his throat just the same. Obi-Wan had not said it out loud since Mustafar and it near stopped Anakin’s heart to hear it again. “I’ve never…really allowed myself this attachment before. I spent my entire life trying to be the perfect Jedi, and follow the code with no attachments.” He huffed and rubbed his chin, a nervous habit that was still around even when the beard was gone. “Of course, I was never any good at it. I was attached to the pair of you, Qui-Gon, Satine, Ahsoka, all the Jedi and the Clones; Force, I cared about Hondo and Ventress by the end of the war… but I tried so hard to never let it go too far. This is a terrifying step for me to take, you have to understand that.” Obi-Wan was practically shaking and all Anakin wanted to do was reach out and hold him.

“Of course we do, Obi-Wan,” Anakin said.

“Look at you talking about your feelings,” Padmé said fondly, clearly trying to diffuse the awkwardness. “I’m so proud.”

Obi-Wan let out a tiny huff of laughter and finally met Anakin’s gaze again.

“I understand,” Anakin assured him. “We can go however fast or slow or whatever you need—or nothing at all, if that’s what you want.”

There was a moment of silence as Obi-Wan pressed his lips together. “Just to clarify; you’re offering for me to join you both? In your relationship?” Obi-Wan asked carefully.

“Yes,” Padmé confirmed, “in whatever capacity you are comfortable with.”

Obi-Wan pressed his lips together and was quiet for a long while before asking a slow, “Can I think about this?”

Padmé nodded. “Of course.”

Obi-Wan smiled tentatively at them both and stood up. “Thank you. I think I’m going to go to bed. I have a lot to think about.”

The next couple of days were a very weird mixture of joyousness and vexation for Anakin.

To have his whole family under one roof was the absolute greatest feeling; he hadn’t realised how much he’d missed having Ahsoka around before now, but enjoying her constant presence being back in his life felt like a gift. He’d also managed to fix Threepio with the processor chip she had very kindly acquired for him.

He couldn’t quite connect with her though.

She was keeping her distance from him and it perplexed him. Obi-Wan had informed Anakin that she knew about the whole falling thing, so he suspected it was about that, but given that she wouldn’t truly engage with him, he wasn’t entirely sure. Ahsoka had, however, latched onto Luke and Leia with gusto and was spoiling them rotten. She had brought a selection of toys in from the Core; namely a stuffed gooberfish and a few plastic ships. Ahsoka and Luke would sit on the floor together and make racing noises as they flew the ships around with the Force, Ahsoka’s ship moving much more smoothly than Luke’s more erratic flight path. Leia loved levitating the gooberfish around and the stuffed animal would follow her most places. He was affectionately named ‘Gub’.

Anakin resolved to talk to her once she’d had more time to settle in. That and she seemed perfectly happy talking to Padmé, so Anakin figured he could get Padmé’s advice on it all before he went and said the wrong thing. He didn't want to do that. Snips was another of his children in Anakin’s eyes and it pained him that there was this new and unexpected gap in their relationship.

Obi-Wan was nearly as illusive as Ahsoka was, but Anakin was trying his absolute best to give him time to think. They kept their conversation light and friendly, mainly about Obi-Wan’s travels and local gossip on Tatooine, and Anakin was near biting his lips together in an effort to not push the issue. He definitely stared too much and Padmé was now just making fun of him.

They'd been sitting in the lounge room, Anakin and Padmé on the couch and Ahsoka and Obi-Wan on the floor entertaining the children. Anakin had once again been staring a little too intently at them both when Padmé looked up from her book and quietly said, “Why don’t you float a pear for him. Surely that would help make up his mind.”

Anakin had scowled at her and thrown a pillow in her face. Padmé had just laughed at the pillow before patting his leg and adding, “It’ll be fine. Stop stressing.”

He had grunted in response. Anakin knew that, but he was feeling particularly impatient. He’d already waited nearly eight months, and now an extra few days were killing him. Obi-Wan had caught him staring a few times, each time giving Anakin a reassuring smile, so surely it couldn’t be bad?

Time would tell.

“Anakin?” Obi-Wan called from the door to the homestead.

Anakin poked his head around the side of the vaporator he was working on, waving a hand at Obi-Wan to indicate where he was. At Obi-Wan’s answering wave Anakin refocused on his tinkering. He needed to get these parts back in before any sand managed to sneak in. He’d have to start over otherwise and that would just be inefficient.

He heard Obi-Wan sit beside him on the sand and silently watched for a long while as Anakin finished putting the mechanisms back into place, screwing them in tightly and sealing it back up again.

“Hello,” Anakin finally said, turning his attention to Obi-Wan and moving to stand up.

“I was wondering if you were interested in some ‘saber training?” Obi-Wan asked without preamble, standing and brushing sand from his lap. “I’m rather out of practice."

Anakin blinked. He’d completely forgotten about his lightsaber. He wasn’t even sure he knew where it was. Practice was probably a good idea; he was likely terrible after a year of not touching it.

“Yeah, sure, same here. Though you may need to give me some time to look for it?” Anakin shot him a guilty smile.

Obi-Wan sighed and shook his head at him, but was smiling back. “Okay. I’ll meet you up at my meditation rock?”

Anakin nodded before frowning. “Why up there? Our ‘sabers will be seen for miles at that height.”

“Don’t worry. I know a place,” Obi-Wan said and walked off.

After finding his lightsaber buried in the bottom of a bag that had been shoved under the bed, Anakin returned to the high crag above the house. Obi-Wan sat motionless at his usual spot, the light breeze rusting his auburn locks, now much longer from a year of not having a haircut.

“Found it?” Obi-Wan asked, not opening his eyes.


“Try not to lose it,” Obi-Wan said absently, turning his own ‘saber hilt over in his hand, “they are rather difficult to replace nowadays.”

Anakin hadn’t thought of that.

Obi-Wan opened his eyes and stood, nodding his head to the west. “Come.”

Obi-Wan moved quickly and began to lead him back into the mountains. They followed what could barely be described as a path through the rocks, taking them up and down sharp inclines before Obi-Wan slid down a rather steep incline of rocks and into the darkness of a cave.

Alright then.

Anakin followed him down, though more slowly than Obi-Wan had taken it, more unsure of his footing. Obi-Wan had obviously been here before at some point. It worried him that Obi-Wan had been out here without any of them knowing. Clearly he had been sneaking off far more than Anakin had been aware.

The cave was growing ever more dark and cold the deeper he went. By the time he reached the bottom of the incline Anakin could barely see a foot in front of him, his only point of reference being Obi-Wan’s now activated lightsaber illuminating part of the cave in an eerie blue glow.

The cave was deep. It ran off into darkness on every side of Obi-Wan, walls only barely visible in the glow, and the ceiling was completely obscured by shadows. Anakin could hear a faint drip of water somewhere in the distance.

“Do you want to jump straight into this?” Obi-Wan asked, swinging his saber in absent circles.

Anakin smiled and switched his on, the snap-hiss of it’s activation echoing oddly in the darkness. “Maybe a few Katas first. I really haven’t touched this thing in a while.”

“A good idea,” Obi-Wan agreed and crossed the cave floor, boots tapping across the flat stone, and came to stand a few feet from Anakin.

He followed Obi-Wan’s movements to begin with until muscle memory took over and they followed through a selection of Katas. Already, he could feel the strain on his body as he reacquainted himself with the movements and felt a prickle of perspiration break out over his skin.

“It’s harder than I remember,” Anakin admitted, dropping to sit on the cool floor when they were finished.

Obi-Wan smiled and sat beside him. “It is. I at least managed to get a few practices in over the last year and it still hurts. Still up for a round?”

Anakin lay fully back on the cool rocks, enjoying how wonderful they felt against hot skin. “Give me a few minutes, and then yes.”

“You’re getting old,” Obi-Wan taunted and poked him in the side of his stomach.

“I’m a dad. I’m allowed to be old,” Anakin grumbled, rubbing the spot. “Those two have taken years off my life.”

Obi-Wan just smiled fondly at him.

After a good half hour of plastering himself against the cool cave floor, Anakin decided he was good to go and stood up, reigniting his saber. Obi-Wan, who had been using his for light, just stood and moved opposite him in the space.

Anakin was about to ask ‘Ready?’ when Obi-Wan lunged at him. Taken by surprise Anakin only just managed to block in time.

“That’s cheating,” Anakin said, shoving Obi-Wan back with a strong parry and stepping away.

Obi-Wan smirked at him. “Then you cheated a lot in the past.”

He wasn’t wrong.

Anakin threw himself back into the fight. They were both slightly slower than usual, but managed to keep the fight going for some time. Their blades met each other with conviction and more focus than Anakin was used to when using his saber. There were a few tricks he’d forgotten and Obi-Wan had managed to singe a few hairs and the edge of Anakin’s tunic before he got the hang of it again. They danced around each other like leaves caught in a stream, following where the river took them and allowing the Force to shape their movements. By the end of their match, Anakin had lost himself in the familiar rhythm of trading blows with Obi-Wan, letting his mind focus in on one point of light in the darkness.

Anakin conceded after Obi-Wan managed to disarm him, his blade twisted out of his grip and flung across the cave floor.

“That was good,” Anakin said between huffing in breaths and fetching his saber hilt off the ground. “We should do that more often.”

“I think that’s a good idea. We shouldn’t let those skills go rusty.” Obi-Wan was equally breathless as he agreed. “Neither of us are as good as we used to be.”

Anakin hummed in agreement. “Ahsoka could kick both our asses.”

“Most likely.”

There was a long pause in which Anakin could sense the conflict within Obi-Wan.

“I need to talk to you,” Obi-Wan said finally.

“What about?” Anakin asked, frowning, not liking the edgy expression and posture Obi-Wan was suddenly exhibiting.

Obi-Wan looked away. “The Temple. Sidious.”

That didn’t sound good at all. “I’m not going to like this, am I?”

“Probably not.”

Anakin closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. “How important?”

“Very, unfortunately,” Obi-Wan said. “I wouldn’t bring it up at all if it wasn’t.”

Anakin let his breath out in a rush, replying, “Alright. Here or back home?”

“It’s a bit dark in here for a proper conversation. Let’s go back.”

The pair of them clambered back out of the cave and into the warm afternoon light. They slowly made their way back along the loose path before Obi-Wan sat them down still some ways off from the homestead. Anakin thought it must be pretty terrible news if Obi-Wan is unwilling to do it anywhere near home. He felt his heart rate increase. He had an awful sinking feeling in his stomach.

Obi-Wan sat beside Anakin with their backs pressed against a cliff face, both turned in slightly to one another with their legs tangling together the middle. It gave Anakin an excellent view of Obi-Wan’s face and the clearly unhappy expression on it.

Anakin waited.

“You remember when I asked you to keep your shields up and start altering their configuration?” Obi-Wan said at last.

Anakin nodded. He still remembered it vividly. He’d just wanted to feel his babies and then the unexpected surge of rage had taken him by surprise and overwhelmed him. He’d fled the house until Obi-Wan worked out how to fix it. “You said you had a theory about it then.”

“I did.”

“Were you right?” Anakin pressed on.

A sigh. “I was. Unfortunately.”

Anakin couldn’t resist. “Never thought I’d see you sad about being right.”

Obi-Wan gave his leg a little kick. “I’m trying to be gentle.”

“I prefer it a little rough,” Anakin countered, grinning stupidly. He’d missed their easy banter.

Anakin…” Obi-Wan grumbled, slightly offset by the smile tugging at the edge of his mouth.

“Alright. Sorry,” Anakin said. “Out with whatever terrible thing you have to tell me.”

“Sidious has a link into your head.”


Anakin suddenly felt very cold. He couldn’t. Surely Anakin would know? He could check. He should check. He could get rid of it. Very carefully, Anakin began to lower his shields…

“Don’t,” Obi-Wan’s voice cut through to him.

Anakin paused and looked up at Obi-Wan who had moved from his seat to be kneeling between Anakin’s legs, a hand on his knee. He hadn’t noticed him move at all.

“Don’t do that,” Obi-Wan urged, his grip tight on Anakin’s leg. “Please.”

“How do you know…?” Anakin’s voice cracks and he cuts of his sentence.

Obi-Wan watched him with gentle eyes. “Because I went back to the Temple to see the security footage again—”

“—I wasn’t at the Temple! We went over this. It wasn’t me.” Anakin could hear the faintly panicked edge to his voice. He focused on Obi-Wan’s hand on his knee. He was safe. Obi-Wan had him.

“Yes and no, dear one,” Obi-Wan said. “There is no memory in your head of being in the Temple, but there is very clear security footage of it.”

“That doesn’t make any sense!” Anakin informed him angrily.

“I know. I believe Sidious somehow got into your head and did it for you. The Anakin I saw in the security footage doesn’t use Form V and never refers to any of his troops by name. Does that sound like you?” Obi-Wan asked.


“No it doesn’t,” Obi-Wan said evenly, “and it explains why you become so furious when you let your shields down. I think there’s a bond with him hidden somewhere in your head, likely formed when you agreed to be his Apprentice, connecting you both.”

Anakin was silent for a long time, focused deep in his own head. Thinking and probing around inside his head to see if he could find anything unusual.

“I can’t feel anything,” Anakin admitted softly, trying to breathe calmly. His heart stuttered staccato in his chest and it was making him feel very on edge. He never wanted anything to do with Sidious again and knowing that there might be a bond with him was sickening.

“I think theres too much we don’t know about the Sith,” Obi-Wan said. “He hid under our kriffing noses for years and we never noticed. Who knows what he can and cannot do. Hiding a connection could be child’s play.”

“But what if you’re wrong? What if it was me? What if there’s something wrong with me?” Anakin asked shakily. It worried him. No. It terrified him.

“There’s nothing wrong with you,” Obi-Wan soothed, moving closer and gently resting his hand on Anakin’s shoulder. “If you don’t believe me, then ask Ahsoka. She saw the footage and came to the same conclusion all on her own.”

Anakin could feel himself twitch at that. That would explain a few of the looks she’d thrown him. He’d have to talk to her. The thought of Ahsoka seeing him like that… he shook his head.


Obi-Wan cut him off again. “Anakin. Do you really think I would be here, practically in your lap and thinking about the best way to remove that expression off your face, if I thought the man in the Temple was you?”

Anakin’s heart fluttered. “No.” There was absolutely no way Obi-Wan would be here if that were the case. Not if he thought Anakin had actively killed everyone Obi-Wan had ever known and destroyed his home. He may have come back to take the twins away somewhere safer than their father’s presence, but he would not have agreed to stay with them both if he had any doubts.

“Why would you tell me this?” Anakin whispered. He tried as much as he could to never think about that period of time. It was so dark and cold and Anakin never wanted to feel like that again. He hated that it was being brought up again.

“Because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I truly hope we never see Sidious again, but if we do, I want you to be prepared and know what he may use against you,” Obi-Wan said. “Counter him with new shields and the knowledge of what he is capable of. I refuse to lose you to that monster again,” Obi-Wan declared fiercely, staring Anakin down with an unusual intensity in his eyes.


Obi-Wan nodded and made to move back to where he had been sitting but Anakin snagged his wrist before he could get very far.

“Have you thought about our offer?” Anakin asked quietly. He wanted off this topic of Sidious and he urgently wanted Obi-Wan’s answer.

Obi-Wan paused, shook Anakin’s hand off his wrist, and stood up, leaning against the rock, looking at Anakin thoughtfully before muttering, “I wanted to discuss that too, but I’m not sure now’s the moment.”

“Please. Now would be a great moment. Any moment not discussing Sidious is an excellent moment,” Anakin asserted, scrambling up from his seat.

Obi-Wan looked at him skeptically. “Exactly. I don’t think we should have this talk while you’re so emotionally compromised.”

Anakin resisted rolling his eyes. “Obi-Wan, relationships are emotionally compromising. I’m desperate for your answer, Sith Lord or no Sith Lord.”

“How romantic,” Obi-Wan grinned at him.

Anakin groaned, “Obi-Wan—”

“Okay, if you’re sure…”

Yes!” Anakin couldn’t decide if Obi-Wan was just trying to be thoughtful or if he was intentionally trying to drive Anakin crazy.

“Okay. Yes, I want this,” Obi-Wan said, the statement near bursting out of him. “I want what you’re both offering, but I want to start slow. I think it will all be bit much otherwise.”

Anakin nodded, reactively stepping closer, his heart hammering in his chest and feeling near-euphoric. He said yes. Obi-Wan said yes. He wanted to wrap himself around his friend—partner? and hold on tightly so Obi-Wan could feel how he did.

The actual words finally caught up to him as his mind processed it fully.

“Okay. That sounds like a good idea,” Anakin said. “We want you to be happy with us. How do you want to go forward?”

Obi-Wan was starting to go faintly pink around the edges again.

Anakin paused. Did Obi-Wan actually have any idea what he was getting into?

“Have you had any kind of relationship before? Even casual ones?” Anakin asked tentatively.

Obi-Wan stroked at his chin and stared at the horizon. “Yes. Vos and I would let off steam together on occasion.”

That had not been the answer he’d been expecting. “Vos? Really?”

“We’ve known each other for a very long time and you were very frustrating as a Padawan,” Obi-Wan said.

“But you always seemed to annoy each other.”

Obi-Wan just gave him a look. Oh. Well. That was something.

“I think perhaps starting one at a time might help,” Obi-Wan hedged. “I want you both but I think it could become rather overwhelming to begin with. Would that be okay? Start with you and work up to Padmé?”

Anakin nodded. “I think that’s fine, though I will run it by Padmé later—”

“Also, are you sure you will be okay with Padmé and I?” Obi-Wan cut in. “You were very upset about us hugging when we first got to Tatooine and I don’t want to cause any problems.”

Anakin laughed, and brushed a hand over Obi-Wan’s cheek adoringly. “I was in a mood that afternoon was because of the man who had been flirting with you in town, and then when I found you both I accused Padmé of what I wanted to do and, well, we talked about it. We planned to talk to you about joining us for months and then we kind of missed our chance.” He shrugged. “Besides, when Padmé kissed you before you left I thought that was the loveliest thing I had ever seen.”

“Right. Well.” Obi-Wan smiled, a bit lost for words. “That’s good to know.”

“Anything else? Doubts? Worries?” Anakin asked, stroking his thumb along Obi-Wan’s cheekbone.

“Not that I can think of at this moment,” Obi-Wan said and his eyes flickered to Anakin’s hand on his face. “That’s very distracting.”

Anakin smiled and leant forward, brushing his nose against Obi-Wan’s.

“Is this okay?” Anakin murmured, giving Obi-Wan an option out. He didn’t want to fuck this up before it even really began.

“Yes,” Obi-Wan replied and closed the distance.

Obi-Wan kissed him gently, just pressing their lips together and closing his eyes. Anakin leant into the kiss, trying not to hyperventilate with excitement at it all, while bringing his other hand up to cradle Obi-Wan’s face. Obi-Wan relaxed into him, stepping closer and tangling his hands in Anakin’s shirt, letting out a small breathy sigh that made Anakin’s chest ache. Anakin rubbed small circles against Obi-Wan’s skin with his thumbs and pulled back to look at him.

Obi-Wan’s eyes were closed, his lashes resting gently against flushed cheeks, with his mouth gently parted. His hair had come loose from where it had been tucked behind his ear, and it waved lightly in the breeze.

“You’re beautiful,” Anakin murmured and ran his hand back over Obi-Wan’s cheek, revelling in the feeling that he was allowed to do this. Obi-Wan’s blue-green eyes flicked open and Anakin could see the denial rising on his lips. Anakin caught him before Obi-Wan could speak, leaning back in and kissing him again.

Anakin was more insistent this time, stepping closer and gathering Obi-Wan into his arms as much as he could. Obi-Wan responded in kind, folding into the embrace and kissing back intensely, hands clasped tightly in Anakin’s shirt and accidentally sliding beneath the fabric. Anakin felt light headed and as though he could drown like this, the warm slide of skin and feeling of connection was intoxicating; feeling it echoed across their bond only amplified it.  Anakin somehow manoeuvred the pair of them so Obi-Wan was leant against the solid rock behind them, with Anakin smothering him as much as possible, before begining to kiss a trail along Obi-Wan’s jaw, relishing each little exhale and gasp.

“Anakin—” Obi-Wan moaned, his hands clutching tighter at his waist, fingernails digging in perfectly.

“Hmm?” Anakin murmured, kissing past his jaw and down his neck, his hands gliding over his arms.

“Okay, okay,” Obi-Wan said, breathless and flustered, though Anakin could hear the smile in his voice, “let’s back up for a minute. We’re going slow, remember?”

Anakin hummed and nosed against Obi-Wan’s skin where his neck met shoulder, inhaling his warm smell, a heady mixture of Obi-Wan’s sharp scent and Padmé’s shampoo. He didn’t want to pull away, he wanted to stay like this for hours.

“Anakin?” Obi-Wan questioned, gently petting Anakin’s head.

He couldn’t help himself. Anakin nipped at Obi-Wan’s skin.

Obi-Wan stiffened, his hands spasming in their grip of his waist. “Anakin!”

“Sorry,” Anakin chuckled. He left a quick kiss where he’d bitten down, and pulled back.

“I should have known you’d be like this given the state of Padmé’s neck some days,” Obi-Wan said primly. “Nothing above my collar thank you, I’m not a teen.”

“You’re no fun,” Anakin whined while still grinning brightly.

“Mmhm,” Obi-Wan hummed in response, clearly humouring him. “Come on, we’d better go see if your Padawan has corrupted your children yet.” Obi-Wan caught Anakin’s hand in his and began leading them back to the farm.

Anakin laughed, feeling lightness and joy suffusing his chest. “She’s had a good few hours to do so, I’d be disappointed if she hadn’t.”

Chapter Text

Padmé was fairly content with her life: Obi-Wan was back, Ahsoka was here, and everyone was happy and healthy and in a much better state than they had been a year ago. Her arm still gave her pain on occasion and she still couldn’t quite use it to lift anything heavy, but thanks to Brato it had healed nicely.

Padmé was enjoying having Ahsoka around. The young Togruta had decided that the twins were the greatest things she had seen all year and spent a lot of time hanging about with the pair of them. She was clearly avoiding Anakin, but that wasn’t entirely surprising. It would likely take some time and a good talk for them both to relax with one another again.

Padmé had also been pleased when Obi-Wan had nervously listened to their proposal instead of running off on them. He seemed…calmer than before and a bit more settled within himself. He’d listened and excused himself to think, which Padmé thought was a good idea; she didn’t want him to make a hasty decision that he would later regret. She then got to enjoy watching the boys dance around each other for the first few days and it was a truly entertaining experience. Mainly because she got to watch Anakin’s efforts in restraining himself from harassing Obi-Wan which involved a lot of staring. She remembered that from Anakin’s ‘seduction’ of her as well and it amused her no end to see it turned on someone else. At least Obi-Wan was taking it well.

Padmé, personally, wasn’t worried about it. If Obi-Wan wasn’t interested then he would have flat out told them ‘no’ after the first conversation; he was not the sort of person to drag them along like that if he really wasn't interested. The fact that he’d asked to think about it, to Padmé meant ‘yes, but probably with stipulations’. It didn’t stop Anakin worrying and staring because he was looking at the situation emotionally rather than logically, but that wasn’t exactly new for him so she let him be. He wasn’t hurting anyone.

Once Obi-Wan had decided on exactly what he wanted, Padmé wanted to sit him down and discuss what dating is really like. Obi-Wan may know Anakin, but she didn't think he knew dating, and he certainly doesn’t know what dating Anakin is like. Padmé figured it would be kinder to give him a few of her notes. She wanted this to work after all.

She knew something had happened when Anakin and Obi-Wan returned from what Anakin had hastily described as “‘saber practice’’ when he had darted out the door with his lightsaber in hand a few hours before. As much as Anakin was clearly not trying to be obvious, he had an enormous grin on his lips and was a little redder about the cheeks than before. The hand-holding tipped her off to it… and also the fact that Obi-Wan had a small red mark on the lower part of his neck. Gods Anakin was predictable.

When Obi-Wan disappeared into the kitchen to fetch them some water Padmé caught Anakin’s eye and waggled her eyebrows at him questioningly. Anakin nodded back hastily, the grin widening even further, and mouthing ‘talk later’.

Obi-Wan reappeared with a glass for the three of them, taking two trips back and forth into the kitchen before he sat on the other couch, leaving Anakin and Padmé on the other. The conversation had been a little stilted from Obi-Wan’s end, he was clearly a little off balance, but after a few minutes he relaxed again and the three of them talked amicably about water harvests and what they needed to get the next time they were in town.

“You know,” Padmé said slowly, her brain tripping over an excellent idea, “we should have a little party.”

“What for?” Obi-Wan asked.

“Well, the twins turn one next week, and you and Ahsoka are back, so why not?” Padmé elaborated. “As much as Luke and Leia don’t have much of a concept of time, I don’t think we should miss their life day.”

Anakin nodded. “That sounds good. I hadn’t realised we were that close to them turning one.”

They decided to have an early dinner and little private party in celebration, just the six of them, on the twins actual life day. Anakin and Obi-Wan decided that they were on decoration duty and would see what they could scrounge up from around the house and in town. Padmé volunteered to cook and decided that she would ask Ahsoka to help her. Ahsoka had adored all of Padmé’s cooking so far and had mentioned wanting to learn a few times, so Padmé thought it would be a good teaching opportunity.

Decisions made, Padmé left Obi-Wan and Ani in charge of putting dinner together and went looking for the younger half of the household.

She found the three of them in the twins bedroom; they were all asleep in a pile on the floor with toys scattered around them like a star chart.  Ahsoka was on the bottom of the pile, flat on her back and snoring softly. Luke and Leia were both splayed over her torso, faces buried in her clothes and Gub still clutched loosely in Leia’s hand. Clearly all three of them had overdone it.

Padmé enjoyed the scene for a few moments before she decided she should wake them. She started tidying the room around them, picking up toys and blankets before putting them back where they belonged. She walked normally and waited for the noise to naturally wake the trio.

“Hey Padmé,” Ahsoka said blearily from the floor.

Padmé paused in placing a toy back into a crib. “Had a big day?” Padmé asked, turning to smile at Ahsoka who was still very much pinned to the floor.

“Apparently,” Ahsoka replied. “I think this was an attempt at getting them both to nap and somehow I got dragged into it as well.”

“They can both make a very convincing argument,” Padmé agreed and leant down to pick Leia up. “Let me help free you.”

Leia was limp in her arms for a moment before she wiggled and slowly woke up. Ahsoka took the opportunity to carefully sit up and cradle Luke so he didn’t fall. He too slowly woke up at the movement, blinking and frowning at Ahsoka.

Padmé explained that they needed feeding, shushing Leia as she grumbled about being awake. Ahsoka offered to help and they all returned upstairs. Feeding the twins passed without too much hassle, Ahsoka only ending up wearing a small amount of squashed manta pear on her lekku. Soon after, their own dinner was ready, and before long the twins were in bed and the four adults went their separate ways to their own beds.

Anakin bounded across the room and practically jumped into bed to lie beside her, leaning up on an elbow to look at Padmé properly. His eyes were shining and his free hand rested itself over her hip.

“He said yes,” Anakin began without preamble, disbelief still hovering at the edge of his voice, “and we kissed and it was great and I love him so much and I love you so much and—” Anakin buried his face in Padmé’s hair and let out an exhale of happiness before he began peppering the side of her face with kisses.

Padmé felt elated at his joy and turned her head to catch his lips as they darted in. They kissed for a few moments, Padmé humming a happy sound against his mouth, before Anakin pulled back, still grinning.

“That’s excellent, sweetheart,” Padmé said quietly, rearranging herself so she could cuddle in closer. “Now, given that he wanted time to think about it, I figure it was not an unconditional yes?”

“Oh. Yes,” Anakin said, seeming to focus himself and become a little more nervous. Padmé ran a hand through his hair to relax him. “He wants to take it slow and ease into it all, so he was thinking he and I try the whole relationship thing first, and then when he feels comfortable, try with you? Would that be okay?”

It was adorable how nervous he was but Padmé had completely expected something like this.

“Of course that’s okay. I understand,” Padmé assured him, continuing to stroke through his hair which was now getting very long. “I’ll find a moment to have a chat with him, but I think it’s a good idea. No objections here.”

Anakin visibly deflated, the sloppy grin returning to his face. “Oh good. I thought you'd be okay with it but I needed to check.”

“Good idea,” Padmé murmured into his ear, “very sensible of you.”

Anakin melted beneath her fingers and was practically purring. It made Padmé so happy to see Anakin happy. The last year and the years before had been so hard on them all that seeing Anakin so contented was just such a blessing.

If only she wasn’t so bored.

Padmé missed her old life.

A few days later Padmé found Ahsoka sitting on the living room floor with the twins; Leia was propped on her lap, one hand cuddling Gub and the other petting Ahsoka’s lekku, with Luke standing beside them, watching a ship fly around the room. Padmé greeted the three of them, then sat down on the couch and picked up her knitting from the table. She’d nearly finished her second creation in time for the twins life day.

“You want a turn, Luke?” Ahsoka asked and pointed up at the ship.

“Ya-ya-ya,” Luke babbled in response, making grabbing motions at the little model.

Padmé watched the ship carefully come down from the ceiling before Ahsoka caught it in her hand and passed it to Luke. He stared at it for a short time before it jerked to life in his hands and floated up again like a drunken pelikki.

“So I take it Obi-Wan has said yes to whatever thing you seem to have proposed?” Ahsoka asked out of the blue.

Padmé smiled. “What makes you say that?”

“The dumb smile Anakin seems to be constantly wearing and the fact I caught them making out in the kitchen,” she grumbled.

Padmé had to laugh. “Yes, that would give it away.”

Ahsoka sighed. “It’s an image no amount of xenoboric acid will be able to scour from my eyes.”

“Oh dear.” Padmé sympathised; to Ahsoka it was probably like walking in on one’s parents kissing. It must all be a bit of a shock to her too and Padmé wondered if she was all right with the changes in their relationship. “Are you okay with it all?”

Ahsoka watched Luke continue to fly the ship around, slowly becoming less jerky in its movements.

“It’s a little weird, if I’m being honest, but it’s not like I hadn't ever noticed Anakin mooning after him on occasion,” Ahsoka said slowly before she shrugged. “You all seem happy though, and honestly I don’t think I’ve ever seen Obi-Wan actually happy before, so yeah, I’m okay with it.” She flashed a grin at Padmé. “I just don’t want to have to see it.”

“That’s very fair,” Padmé agreed.

Ahsoka was quiet for a moment longer. “Can I get your advice on something, Padmé?”

“Of course.”

“It’s just…Anakin. I don’t know what to say to him,” Ahsoka said softly. “I thought he was dead. To be fair, I also thought you were dead and Obi-Wan was just a big question mark. Now I find out he went Dark Side and had rather an instrumental part in everything I’m trying to fix and…I just don’t know what to do or say to him.”

Padmé weighed up her thoughts. “Well, have a think about it and only have a chat when you’re ready. He loves you to bits Ahsoka, and he has noticed that you’re not feeling comfortable with him so I think he’s waiting until you’re ready,” Padmé said gently. “If you want to yell at him or cry or just glare at him for an hour straight, he’s going to understand why. Obi-Wan and I covered all of those and more within the first week after Mustafar; I don’t think you could do any worse than we did.”

“That’s good to know. It’s probably going to end up being yelling if I know us. We were always good at that.” Ahsoka chuckled. “Thanks, Padmé.”

“No problem.”

They both returned to their respective activities. Padmé began closing off the final opening of the little toy, nearly ready to find some stuffing or, as often ended up happening, spare scraps of wool and cloth to fill the little creature with.

Padmé watched as Ahsoka attempted to help Luke control the ship, suggesting where he fly it next. Leia was watching the whole thing with deep interest, occasionally pointing up at it and muttering.

Maybe once Ahsoka and Anakin had sorted themselves out Padmé could suggest they go to a pod-race together. The season was just begining and she was fairly sure they’d both enjoy it.

“Are you going to train them?” Ahsoka asked suddenly. “In the Force, I mean.”

Padmé turned back to Ahsoka and put her knitting down. “They’ll probably need it. Anakin seems to be actively ignoring it—I don’t think he trusts himself—and I was going to ask Obi-Wan sometime soon but I keep forgetting.” Padmé pressed her lips together. “I don’t want them to be warriors or anything like that, but I also realise that we can’t just ignore teaching them.”

Padmé sighed. It had been a thought that had been bouncing around her head ever since the twins first started moving objects around with the Force. It wasn’t something that could go unchecked. Both children needed to know how to control it and, for now at least, how to hide it.

Ahsoka hummed thoughtfully, returning her attention to the twins.

“Why do you ask?” Padmé inquired.

“It’s just that…” Ahsoka trailed off before she shook her head and continued, “the Force is kind of yelling at me to do it?”

“Oh.” Padmé blinked. “Well. Do you want to?”

Ahsoka watched Luke ram the small ship into her shoulder as his shaky control slipped again. “Yes,” she said, “if you would be okay with that?”

Padmé sat forward, elbows on knees and spoke with surety. “Look. Of the three of you, I would quite honestly prefer it was you. Anakin and Obi-Wan are two very different extremes, neither of which I think worked out very well in the long run. You are an excellent balance of them both; logical and emotional and a wonderfully kind, sensible person.” Padmé smiled at Ahsoka. “I couldn’t think of anyone better.”

Ahsoka looked up from where Luke was trying to regain control of the ship. “Thank you,” she said quietly, “though I won’t be able to be here all the time. I still want to support the Rebellion.”

Padmé nodded and continued to smile. “I thought as much. I’m sure it will be fine. Besides, if there’s anything I can do to help with the Rebellion, do let me know. I want to help. ”

Ahsoka smiled back. “I will keep that in mind. I’m sure Bail and Mothma will be thrilled to hear that. I can set up a call to Bail for you to talk about it if you like?”

“I would love that.” Padmé sighed. “I miss it. I want to do my job but I can’t ever go back without putting everyone in very serious danger.”

“Well, if we have anything to say about it, Palpatine won’t be in power for long and you can come back,” Ahsoka said with conviction. “Besides, I think Anakin would love to be a live-at-home dad.”

She bobbed her head in agreement. “I think he really would, though if we do get to come back one day I’ll have rather a lot of people to apologise to.”

Ahsoka laughed. “Well it’s just getting secretly married…and having babies…also inadvertently faking your own death…yeah I could see how all that could cause problems.”

“Yes, well, My family is going to be rather upset with me.”

“I’m sure they’ll be more pleased that you’re not dead,” Ahsoka reasoned.

“A good point.”

Padmé and Ahsoka watched as Luke’s ship returned to it’s jittery course in the air around them, taking a path over his sister’s head.

“Leia, no!” Luke exclaimed suddenly redirecting the ship over his sister’s grasping hands.

Padmé frowned. Had he…?

“I didn’t realise Luke talked,” Ahsoka said.

“He doesn’t—or didn’t,” Padmé said, setting the knitting aside and sliding onto the floor. “You little terror. You father is going to be so disappointed he missed that. You couldn’t hold it in another few hours?”

“No!” Luke responded, sliding closer to Ashoka and attempting to climb into her lap on top his sister.

“Anakin is going to be thrilled anyway,” Ahsoka said and then shot her a sharp smile. “Want to take pictures when it happens?”

Padmé laughed. “An excellent idea. I think we have a holo-recorder somewhere in the pantry. I gave it to Threepio and he seems to put most things in there.” As much as Anakin had fixed him, he seemed to still be a little glitchy at times, and, impossibly, was somehow more anxious than he had been. Most of the time, he and Artoo liked to hang out in the front yard and occasionally entertain the twins or go into town with Anakin.

Padmé picked Luke up off of a now very grumpy Leia and carried him into the kitchen and onward to the pantry, chatting inanely to him.

“Let’s see where I put the recorder…” Padmé muttered and then nearly dropped Luke when his ship flew past her face. Fucking Sith hells she’d forgotten about that thing. “Luke,” Padmé said gently, “no scaring Mummy to death okay?” Luke just gurgled happily at her.

After a bit of searching she found the device and they returned to the lounge where Ahsoka and Leia were sitting, tossing Gub back and forth between them.

“Found it,” Padmé said and Ahsoka grinned back at her and the four of them lay in wait for Anakin and Obi-Wan to return from wherever it was they went to duel.

Ahsoka’s idea turned out the be incredible; Anakin was beside himself when he came home and he offered Luke a kiss only to be greeted with a joyous ‘No!’

Leia, not to be outdone, had whipped out a grumpy, "Daddy!"

Padmé nearly died from laughter. Watching Anakin’s expressions flip flop over variations of happiness and amazement, staring between his two children in hilarious delight as Padmé snapped shots, was amazingly fun. She suspected a lot of the photos would end up very blurry given how hard she had laughed. Ahsoka had to sit down, clutching her sides and guffawing in a very unladylike way. Obi-Wan just watched silently with a quiet smile on his face until Anakin dragged him to sit on the floor beside him and attempted to teach the twins ‘Obi-Wan’ which was not in any way successful.

The day of the party rolled around and Padmé found herself sitting in the centre of her bed attempting to wrap the two little toys she had made. She hadn’t been able to find any wrapping paper so she was using an old tea towel. It was a little depressing. She’d always hoped for so much better for her children. Being stuck on Tatooine was beginning to get to her, the conversation she’d had with Ahsoka seemed to have brought it all to the fore of her mind. It was a feeling that had been creeping up on her for the past few months, and she’d been pushing it aside with the knowledge that there was nothing she could do about it…but now there was the Rebellion.

Having a year off just caring for her children and her husband had been nice in the way that she hadn’t had any length of time off from her work for at least fifteen years. Now however, she was getting bored. She was used to doing so much. Helping people who needed helping, standing up for those who were being mistreated, and just doing what was right. She missed it and Padmé could feel the knowledge of the cruelty of the Empire grating against her psyche. She needed to do something. She wanted to help.

At least Anakin seemed happy about his situation; Ahsoka was right in the fact that he was just happy being a father and having his family around him. Obi-Wan was getting there; he seemed happier, and having time away had seemingly given him time to grieve and come to terms with more of what had happened. Anakin was also keeping him very nicely distracted.

It was terribly cute.

Watching Anakin flirt was a joy. He tried to always come across as confident and dashing, but somehow just kept being awkward. Obi-Wan seemed to find it endearing and would go along with it, watching the whole attempted seduction with warm eyes and a half smile. To be perfectly fair on Anakin though, Padmé thought that she too might trip over her own words too if given that look for too long.

She’d given them both a little space for the first week to get used to each other. It was important to her that they developed their rhythm on their own without her getting involved. The both of them had taken to disappearing in the afternoon to practice with their ‘sabers—an activity Padmé hadn’t been able to decide if it was a euphemism or not, but they seemed to be taking the blades with them so perhaps it was a bit of both.

Besides that, her and Anakin’s relationship hadn’t changed at all and it pleased her. She still planned on cornering Obi-Wan for a chat though. He occasionally looked a little unsure about it all and she wanted to catch him before it became too big of an issue.

She looked at the toys still sitting unwrapped in her lap and sighed. They were at least very cute. Given Luke’s sudden fascination for spaceships (she blamed genetics) she’d knitted him a cargo freighter she’d found in one of Anakin’s books. For Leia she had made a smaller version of the gooberfish Ahsoka had brought her. Leia adored Gub, and Padmé thought she might like another one for the beginnings of a little gooberfish family. It also reminded Padmé of Naboo and she wanted Leia to at least have some knowledge of her mother’s home planet. Gods knew they all knew enough about their father’s now.

Padmé looked up as she heard footsteps.

“Obi, do you have a minute?” Padmé called when Obi-Wan walked past her bedroom door. Now was as good a moment as any.

He reappeared in the open doorway, faintly dirty with sand and oil from the vaporators. “Yes I do.” He sat down on the edge of the bed, partly turned toward where she sat crosslegged in the middle. “What is it?”

“I just thought we should have a little sit down and chat,” Padmé said. “I know you know Anakin, but I thought you might like someone to talk to about dating Anakin. He can be a handful, but he’s completely worth it.” She shrugged, trying to keep the conversation light and helpful. She didn’t want Obi-Wan feeling like she was interfering. “I just want to help you with this transition.”

Obi-Wan stilled for a moment, looking up at her with an unreadable expression on his face before he smiled. “I appreciate that. I’ve had a few moments where I’ve felt a bit lost. I’m just not entirely sure what I’m supposed to do. The physical things I understand, but what else am I supposed to be doing here?” A frown had appeared at his brow and his hand strayed to stroke at the stubble appearing on his chin. “I’m just…not sure.”

Padmé thought for a moment. It made sense. This was a situation Obi-Wan hadn't really been in before. She remembered the first few times she’d attempted dating as a teenager before Anakin had reentered her life. She remembers it being rather awkward. Padmé decided to go for the basics.

“Anakin just wants to feel loved. As far as I can tell, you’ve been doing all the night things; spending time with him and responding positively to his advances, awkward and hilarious as they can be…So my main suggestion is to keep making time for him, he’s really not going to care what you do, but he appreciates the attention. Also I find praising him to be a very positive thing.” Padmé told him. “And I can’t believe I’m having this conversation out loud, but that goes for all situations. You will be amazed how well he responds to it. For whatever; little things, big things…when you’re intimate…if you follow me?”

Padmé could feel her ears going red. This was a conversation she had never thought she would have out loud. It was one thing to notice and misuse the fact that Anakin would melt at praise in bed, and another to explain it to Obi-Wan. He at least looked similarly embarrassed.

Obi-Wan took in a long breath. “I will…keep that in mind.”

“Please do,” Padmé said seriously.

They both looked at each other with complete seriousness before jolting into laughter at the exact same moment.

“I—I’m sorry,” Padmé choked out over giggles. ”This conversation—just feels so surreal.”

Obi-Wan had his hand over his mouth, covering his laughter, but still giving it away by the shaking of his shoulders and the sparkle in his eyes.

It took them a few minutes to regain composure, both having to not look at the other for the very real danger of starting the laughter all over again. They were both flushed pink and grinning stupidly by the time the pair of them calmed down.

“Okay, okay,” Padmé said, trying to refocus and not dissolve into giggles. “Oh Gods, that helped. Sorry Obi.”

Obi-Wan’s eyes crinkled beautifully. “I think we needed that. Oh dear me.”

“Ah dear….but seriously I completely meant what I said. Give it a try.”

Obi-Wan just nodded, lips pressed firmly together in a bright grin. When he could speak again he asked, “Any other tips?”

Padmé thought about it for a long moment… there had been something else…Ah!

“Oh yes, I’d also recommend trying to recognise when people are flirting with you if Ani’s around,” Padmé said thoughtfully. “I know you don’t meant anything by it, but now that you’re in this he’s not going to be happy about it if you flirt back. He can get rather…jealous.”

“I can imagine. He was always stroppy when I didn’t pay attention to him as a Padawan.”

“Mmmm.” Padmé scrunched her nose up. “He can get more than stroppy.”

Obi-Wan looked at her. “I take it there’s a story in there?”

“He… may have gotten into a few altercations with an ex-boyfriend of mine,” Padmé said slowly. “The first time was a recipe for disaster given I had to fake a relationship with him for a mission for your Council—”

“I remember that; the man from the Banking Clan?”

Padmé nodded. “Rush Clovis, yes. Ani and I even spent some time apart over his behaviour…both of their behaviours…” She sighed and rubbed her face. “I’m not…I’m not endorsing Anakin's behaviour, and I’m not suggesting you stop being nice to everyone just to stop Anakin from behaving badly…I just want you to be aware that it can be a problem.” She paused. “I don’t even really think it’s a jealousy thing?” Padmé finally continued, staring at her hands, more talking to herself than Obi-Wan anymore. “I think he just gets so insecure.”

“Insecure?” Obi-Wan asked, frowning.

She looked back up at him. “About his place in your life. For some reason he seems to think that he’ll be dropped at a moments notice…” Padmé sighed, struggling to articulate the thought. She waved it away. “Anyway, returning to my original point; I just wanted you to be aware that it can be a problem, and that if it happens, the best way I’ve found of refocusing Anakin is just reaffirming that you love him and you’re not about to leave him.”

Obi-Wan nodded, looking a little worn about the edges. "That makes sense."

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, sorry,” Obi-Wan said. “It’s a lot to think about. I’m really not very good at picking up on those kinds of things unless they they are beyond obvious. It's never been something I had to worry about.”

Padmé smiled at him and petted him on the knee. “At least for now, it’s just us out here and there’s not a whole lot of opportunity for much to go wrong, but it’s easier I tell you now than you accidentally stumble into it on your own when you’ve suddenly got an irate Anakin on your hands and you’re not quite sure how you got there or how to fix it. It took me quite some time to work out exactly what the issue was the first few times it happened.”

Obi-Wan chuckled. “I appreciate it Padmé. Thank you.”

“It’s no problem; I want this to succeed,” Padmé said. “Now, I just wanted to check in with you as Anakin’s already talked to me; you wanted to wait on a relationship with me?”

“Ah, yes. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself,” Obi-Wan said, his fingers fiddling nervously with themselves. “Are you sure you’re okay with that?”

“Yes of course! I think it’s very sensible,” Padmé said, leaning forward on her knees, a bright grin on her lips. “I can wait, and I can continue to flirt with you until then.”

Obi-Wan blinked. “You already were?”

Padmé tried to tamp down on her grin, and fluttered her eyelashes at him. “Very much so, sweetheart.”

Obi-Wan paused, his eyes staring into the middle distance as he thought about this statement. A tiny crease appeared in his forehead as he gave a small frown. It was terribly cute.

His eyes refocused. “You asked me to kiss you when you were in labor.”

She shot him a smile that was all teeth. “Not my most subtle moment, but I was rather stressed. Anyway, I wanted to ask, and feel free to turn me down, but would you be up for cuddles? I just thought it might be a nice place to start to ease you and I into this. We don’t have the same level of pre-established relationship, so I thought it might be a good way to close the gap.”

Padmé was pleased when he took a moment to think about it as well. So far, Obi-Wan seemed to be doing a surprisingly good job of—at least what appeared to be—listening to his feelings. Ahsoka had mentioned that she’d given him quite the talking to about it. It was a good change.

“Okay,” Obi-Wan said. “I think you’re right; we should at least start somewhere.” He paused as if weighing up a thought, before continuing. “Also, I would like that.”

“Lovely,” Padmé said. “Do you have any questions or thoughts you want to run by me before I need to go round up the children?”

Obi-Wan shook his head, a section of hair falling out of place and into his eyes. “No, but I will if I think of anything. Would you like a hand with them?”

“No, Ahsoka is my backup and I’m fairly certain Ani wanted your help with putting up the decorations.” Padmé leant forward and tucked the stray hair behind Obi-Wan’s ear before she poked her finger into his chest beside a grease stain. “Make sure you both put a clean shirt on; we’re trying to make this as classy as we can.”

“Of course.” Obi-Wan placed his hand over hers before bringing it up to his lips with a dazzling smile and a clearly well-practiced charm. His eyes were such a deep colour and Padmé watched the whole thing with hungry eyes. She was begining to suspect that what she had thought of as Obi-Wan flirting was completely wrong. This was not the idle pleasant smiles and warm eyes she was used to; this was fire and temptation and something terribly beguiling.

Padmé felt warm all over and quickly decided that she needed to go find something else to do before she threw herself at him.

He gave her a sharp smile that told her he knew exactly what he was doing before he let her go. “See you later,” he said brightly, stood, and vanished out the door.

She blinked after him for a long moment. Well, if that was the game he wanted to play with her, then he could bring it.

Padmé shook her head and refocused. She needed to get the children and herself ready for their life day dinner. It wasn't going to be much, but she couldn’t imagine not doing anything. Padmé quickly wrapped up the toys in the tea towel and topped it off with a blue ribbon. She then threw on her cleanest dress and went hunting for Ahsoka and the tiny terrors.

She found the three of them plus Anakin laying on the floor of the lounge again. They really needed to keep expanding the house, it was beginning to get a little crowded; another communal area could be a good idea when they had the chance.

Padmé broke the silence, quickly dividing up tasks. “Ani, time to go get out of that dirty shirt and help Obi put up some decorations. Ahsoka, you’re with me; let’s go put something a bit nicer on these two and then check on how dinner is going.” She and Ahsoka had prepared it all a couple of hours earlier and it had been baking in the oven since then.

“Alrighty,” Anakin said, jumping up and giving her a peck on the cheek before vanishing downstairs.

Ahsoka and Padmé followed suit, scooping up the children and heading to the twins room. They changed them into clean clothes—a blue dress for Leia and a grey tunic for Luke—and Padmé gave Ahsoka a moment to do the same while Padmé brushed their hair. Luke made good use of “No” as Padmé removed the tangles in his hair. Leia joined in with liberal use of the phrase when it was her turn, but all four of them looked tidy and presentable by the time they retuned upstairs.

Her first thought on entering the lounge again was that Anakin and Obi-Wan had done rather a good job. The whole room had been tidied up and they had strung a set of rather scrappy looking lights around the room, drowning the space in a warm, golden glow. They’d also attempted to decorate with ‘ribbons’, though they looked much more like the faded old bed sheets they’d found in a back cupboard a few weeks ago.

Anakin and Obi-Wan were sitting on the couch, with Obi-Wan leant forward and fiddling with a plant cutting he’d apparently stuck in a tall glass. It was a small trimming, but it had a lovely orange flower blossoming off the side of a shoot.

Artoo and Threepio were stood by the entry to the kitchen, both wearing stick-on paper bow-ties.

“Not bad,” Ahsoka said looking around the room. Her eyes fell on the droids. “Looking good, Artooie!”

“He looks pretty fancy, doesn’t he?” Anakin grinned.

“Excellent job, both of you,” Padmé said, walking across the room and placing Leia in Anakin’s lap, and left a quick kiss on his lips. She gave Obi-Wan a pat on his knee on her way past. It might have been a little higher than strictly necessary but it was his own fault for starting it earlier.

Padmé finished checking on the roast and informed Ahsoka that it looked excellent and she had done a lovely job. Ahsoka looked thrilled, depositing Luke on Obi-Wan and trailing after Padmé. They poked at dinner for a few minutes longer before Ahsoka decided it was done. While it cooled on the bench they all sat around the couches and gave Luke and Leia their gifts.

They loved the knitted toys from their mother, both items being immediately cuddled; Leia carefully placed the new gooberfish with the original one, and quickly named him “Guboo”. Obi-Wan gave them both a picture book which looked to be about making friends and sharing; Padmé thoroughly approved. Anakin gave them both a rocking-bantha made from metal scraps and apparently real bantha hair, and Ahsoka, having given her presents to the twins the week before, covered them in kisses and set them up on the floor with their new things.

By the time dinner was cool enough to eat, Luke and Leia were having the time of their little lives, and the four of them sat down at the table. Anakin paused, lifting a cutting of vegetable to his mouth.

“You must be eighteen now, right?” Anakin asked, looking at Ahsoka.

“Yup, my life day was a few months back. Bail took me out for drinks,” Ahsoka said.

Padmé smiled. “He’s a good man.”

“Excellent. I shall go find that bottle of Corellian wine I stashed a few months back then,” Anakin said brightly.

“Where did you get that?” Padmé asked, turning in her seat to watch him go.

“Smugglers,” Anakin called from the kitchen. “They desperately needed their navigational system fixed so they paid me in wine and credits. They tried to pay me in spice but I gave them a very firm no.”

“That must be where Luke gets it from,” Obi-Wan said.

Anakin reappeared with a bottle. “Ha-ha, Obi-Wan,” Anakin responded, tone dry but still smiling.

He sat back down at the table and poured a glass for each of them.

Padmé brought the glass up to her nose. “Oh, that’s nice,” she murmured. “They were not smuggling the cheap stuff.”

Anakin took a sip. “Tastes like wine to me.”

Padmé rolled her eyes. “One day I will teach you to appreciate a fine wine, Anakin.”

“You are welcome to give it another attempt,” Obi-Wan said, swilling his glass around. “I certainly tried my best and yet here we are.”

Ahsoka just snorted into her glass.

The rest of the dinner passed very pleasantly. Between the four of them the wine disappeared very quickly and heartily devoured the food. Both Anakin and Obi-Wan congratulated Ahsoka on an excellent meal, and she practically glowed from the praise.

By the time the evening was winding down, the children had migrated from the floor to their laps; Leia had fallen asleep in her father’s arms and Luke was close behind, drooling into Ahsoka’s shirt and barely able to keep his eyes open. Padmé and Obi-Wan offered to tidy up while Anakin and Ahsoka carried the sleepy twins off to bed.

“I think that went well,” Padmé said as she handed Obi-Wan a wet cloth to wipe down the table.

“It was a lovely evening,” he agreed. “You taught Ahsoka well.”

“She’s a quick learner.”

They cleaned the rest of the dishes in relative silence with Padmé occasionally humming a nameless tune. After, she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, thanked him for helping clean up and they went their seperate ways to bed.

“So Obi-Wan turned on the charm for me today,” Padmé said to Anakin, pulling her nightgown onto her body. He was already tucked up into bed with his nose in what she suspected was another manual. “It was quite the experience.”

Anakin rolled over to face her, placing his book down. “The usual sort or the basically evil kind he saved for difficult diplomats?” Anakin asked.

“I do believe it was second one; it was…” Padmé let out a long breath, “oh it was something very promising.”

Anakin chuckled. “Definitely the second one then. I hated it when he pulled that one out during negotiations. It was very distracting and very frustrating. All I wanted to do was jump him but I was either his Padawan and—can you imagine the talking to I would have gotten—or I wasn’t but we were married and I would have thrown myself off a building before I did that to you.”

“Don’t be dramatic,” Padmé chided him and climbed into bed. She didn’t like it when he said those kinds of things. She knew he was probably being serious too and that just made it worse. She decided to steer the conversation away. “Well, either way, I very nearly climbed into his lap and if he thinks he’s had the final word on it all then he’s got another thing coming,” Padmé declared. “I am going to out-flirt him.”

Anakin laughed and moved so that he was snuggled up beside her. “I will enjoy watching you both try.”

Ahsoka cornered her a couple of days later with a comm number on a scrap of paper. “Bail can take your call now on this number. Use Artoo and not the relay in the lounge. It’ll be safer.”

Padmé nodded and went in search of the astromech. Padmé found him in the twins room showing them holo-recordings of flight formations. Both were sitting in their cribs, Luke staring at the projection in wonder and Leia turned at the door opening, crying out, “Mum!”

“Hello Leia, my love, are Luke and Artoo boring you with his space ships again?”

Leia grumbled something under her breath. Padmé took it as a yes.

Obi-Wan appeared in the doorway. “It’s lunch time, young ones!”

Luke finally turned away from Artoo’s projections and said, “Yum!”

“Yes, yum time, Luke,” Obi-Wan confirmed tossing Padmé a quick smile. “Mind if I run off with them?”

“All yours. I was going to steal Artoo anyway to call Bail,” Padmé said.

“Say hello from me then,” Obi-Wan said and turned back to the twins. He gathered Leia into one arm and Luke into the other before vanishing out the door again murmuring to them both about how big they were both getting. Padmé smiled after the three of them before telling Artoo what she wanted.

He whistled in the affirmative, followed her back into the main bedroom, and Padmé read out the comm number to him. Artoo quickly dialled it in and they both waited for the connection to go through. Padmé sat on the edge of the bed and was fiddling with her hair when Bail picked up, his face and torso flickering into view in crackly blue.

“Hello Bail,” Padmé said.

Bail grinned widely. “Hello my dear, how are you?”

“I am very well thank you; Obi says hello. How are you?”

“I am getting by; doing my best, fighting the good fight, those sorts of things.”

Padmé had to smile. “What have you been up to?”

He told her about how Coruscant was going and all that had transpired within the Senate, if rather summarised. The disappearances, the attacks, the fear-mongering, and the abuses of individuals rights horrified her. It sounded very much like the problems Obi-Wan had seen on Coruscant was evidence of the whole Galactic climate. Coruscant was clearly not an isolated issue.  Listening to him talk, she noticed how Bail looked more tired than she had ever seen him. The lines around his eyes had gotten deeper since she’d last seen him in person over a year ago. It felt good to be able to speak again, their last conversation had been so brief, though it had been understandable, but she’d missed him. She felt terrible that he looked so exhausted.

“Ever since he disbanded and re-organised the Senate, we’ve had very little power,” Bail said rubbing at his forehead. “All of us, the Senators, are glorified figureheads at best and hostages at worst.”

“That’s terrible. I remember Obi-Wan mentioning that it had all been disbanded shortly after the Empire took over,” Padmé said, thinking back over those first few nightmarish weeks.

Bail nodded, speaking softly, “He shut the whole thing down, claiming security risks, and then reinstated it all but with some very nasty changes to our rights, essentially taking our individual planetary autonomy away.” He shook his head. “Basically, the Emperor could decide to do just about anything, anywhere he likes, and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. We try, but it’s like throwing a pebble into an ocean. We have emotional sway with the public, but not a whole lot of legal power.”

“That must be incredibly frustrating,” Padmé said.

Bail smiled but it didn’t reach his eyes. “You have no idea. Ahsoka mentioned you wanted to help,”

Padmé nodded. “I’d imagine I can’t do a whole lot, but I want to be as helpful as I can.”

Bail was thoughtful for a moment. “What does the husband think about it?”

“The husband hasn’t been told yet, but he will be, and I will do it regardless of what he or Obi-Wan thinks about it, as ever,” Padmé said firmly.

Bail smiled, “I see you haven’t changed.”

“If you think me being on a far off planet, being married and having children is going to stop me from helping tear down a galactic dictator, then you’d be dead wrong, Bail,” she informed him.

Bail chuckled, looking far more like his old self. “I’d expect nothing less, Padmé. The holo Obi-Wan showed me off your children was very cute.”

“I didn’t realise he had one,” Padmé said. “But yes, Luke and Leia are very beautiful. I’d introduce you but Obi-Wan just took them off for lunch”

“Another time then. I do have one thing to ask you if you want to help,” Bail said.

“Go ahead.”

“We need safe-houses for our rebels. I’m setting up a selection around the galaxy to help protect those willing to support us. Would you all be willing to be an emergency safe-house? Obviously I would never send anyone whose loyalty I was unsure of, and it would really be as a final resort, but you’ve done an excellent job of being off the grid—I honestly have no idea where you are—plus you can all protect yourselves and believe in what we do.”

Padmé nodded slowly. She didn’t think it was a terrible idea but it wasn’t just her home. “I’ll speak to Obi-Wan and Anakin and see what they think.”

“Of course,” Bail answered. “I don’t want to cause problems. How are they both?”

Padmé launched into a brief summary of their last year (carefully stepping over the worst of what happened a year ago) and all that had transpired. She gushed at Bail about the developments in their relationships and how Obi-Wan was slowly becoming part of her and Anakin’s relationship. Padmé let out all her thoughts and worries and joys and fears into Bail’s waiting ears until she just ran out of words. The silence stretched for a moment.

“I take it you haven’t had someone to bounce thoughts off of for a while,” Bail said, a smile lifting the corner of his lip.

Padmé took a deep breath, not having realised how off track she had gone. “Not really. Sorry Bail, I didn’t mean to go off like that.”

“It is perfectly fine, I enjoyed hearing about what you’ve been up to,” Bail said. “I’m also glad to hear that Obi-Wan is doing something for himself for once. He seemed a bit lost on Coruscant. Also congratulations, I tried it on once but I think it went over his head.”

“Hah!” Padmé laughed. “It has been an excessive in persistence, but we’re getting there. How is Breha?”

“She’s very well, thank you,” Bail said, ginning. He told her all about how Breha was managing Alderaan and keeping the people as calm as possible. They were still having no success with conceiving but they’d decided to put it on hold until the galaxy wasn’t such a disaster. Padmé had agreed it was a good idea.

She wished she’d had a bit more control and her babies hadn’t been so unexpected. She loved it, loved them, but there had been a few weeks before Anakin had returned from the front line where she’d thoroughly freaked out at the discovery. She’d decided to keep them because the war appeared to be winding down and she thought it would all be okay. She’d also hoped it would convince Anakin to leave the Jedi and stay with her after he war was over.

Then it had all gone a little sideways.

She wanted to do anything she could to help get her life back and get the galaxy in order again.

“It has been amazing to talk to you, Bail,” Padmé said.

“You as well. I cannot put into words the relief I felt when Obi-Wan said you were not dead,” Bail said soberly. “Worst week of my life.”

“I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

“It’s fine. I understand. You had nothing to do with it anyway. Just another excellent reason to despise our illustrious leader,” Bail said.

There was a moment of silence.

“I had better let you go. I have a meeting to get to soon,” Bail said, glancing off to the side. “Think about my proposal and I will have a look into anything else you can help us with. I think I have some documents you could look over; I’ll send them through to Artoo for you once I find them. Stay safe, Padmé.”

“We will. You too,” Padmé said, giving Bail a final short wave.

He waved in return before the connection cut.

It felt good to have a bit of purpose again.

Chapter Text

Obi-Wan had been back on Tatooine for nearly a month now. The household felt stable and everything had been pretty quiet since he had returned, so he was feeling more secure about his decision to return and was enjoying being back.

The twins life day party had been a lovely evening. Everyone had been relaxed, the food was excellent, and the wine Anakin had pulled out had been exquisite. It was a luxury he’d forgotten he’d enjoyed. The twins themselves seemed thrilled by their gifts and over the last week or so spent a lot of time on the rocking-bantha Anakin had made them. 

The pair were becoming truly bright and vibrant in the Force, their abilities seeming to grow as they did. Both were particularly enjoying the company of their new sister, who was near constantly covered in the tiny crawlers. Ahsoka mostly spent her time with Padmé, and Obi-Wan had no idea what they talked about and thought it best not to pry for now. Ahsoka still seemed a little uncomfortable about the whole situation and she hadn’t quite warmed back up to Anakin yet, which given everything that had happened, wasn’t exactly surprising. They’d both come around eventually.

Luke and Leia had also added a few words to their vocabulary. Now that they were talking it seemed they couldn’t be stopped. ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ were staples, as was ‘no’ and for some reason ‘clanker’. Obi-Wan was unsure if Ahsoka or Artoo’s holo-projections had taught them that one, but anything metal was now a clanker. Threepio had been very insulted the first time they’d called hm that. They’d also learnt to call Ahsoka, ‘Soka’, and had named their rocking-bantha ‘Rocky’ for rather obvious reasons.

They still had no success with ‘Obi-Wan’ which was rather disappointing but unsurprising.

Ahsoka seemed to be doing well aside from the whole Anakin thing. While she mainly socialised with the twins and Padmé, she would occasionally find time to chat with Obi-Wan. Ahsoka would usually join him on his vaporator rounds, initially to learn more about them, but it then became more of a routine to catch up with one another.

They often discussed the rebellion and what her plans were for the future. She and Bail had decided that she was to stay with them until a suitable post or mission appeared, as they were currently safe on Tatooine. One afternoon she’d confided in him that she’d stolen her old ‘sabers back from the vaults in the Temple, as well as the entire collection of kyber crystals.

Obi-Wan frowned. “How did you manage that? They were sealed with a code that only Councillors had.”

Ahsoka had given him a guilty smile. “You took me in there once and I happened to see the code and my brain accidentally memorised it? Figured it was better than letting them get looted like everything else. Now I’m glad I kept them out of Sidious’ slimy fingers.”

He shook his head at her behaviour but remarked, “A wise decision, Ahsoka.”

“Thanks. I thought so,” she said, smiling before shaking her head. “I just want to do right, Obi-Wan. I can’t stand what Sidious has done to the galaxy.”

Obi-Wan could do nothing but nod; he felt that same feeling deep in his bones. What Palpatine had done, how he had used and manipulated them to destroy everything good they had ever worked for infuriated him. Obi-Wan felt like he should do something. Bail and Ahsoka had both suggested that he join the Rebellion and help make a difference, and so far, Obi-Wan was leaning towards doing just that. He couldn’t just stand by while this happened. He couldn’t. He’d have to discuss it with Padmé and Anakin first though.

At his silence, she continued hesitantly. “Also, Padmé said I can train the twins. What do you think?”

Obi-Wan thought about it for a moment. It had completely slipped his mind that that was something that had to happen at some point. Ahsoka teaching them seemed like a fine idea to him. She was a highly skilled and clever young creature and it wasn’t as though she’d be giving them the full Jedi treatment. He highly doubted Padmé would consent to that…and there wasn’t much point given there was no Order anymore.

Obi-Wan nodded finally. “I think that’s a lovely idea, assuming of course it’s what you want?”

“It is,” Ahsoka said determinedly, steely blue eyes staring into his, “it’s what the Force wants too.”

“Then there you go,” Obi-Wan replied. “Though if you ever want any help, I’d be happy to oblige.”

Ahsoka smiled at him. “Thanks, Obi-Wan.”

After that she would often pepper him with questions about the best way to go about teaching the twins this or that, though overall she seemed to have a good grasp of it all. The twins loved her anyway and Obi-Wan thought that it was all she really needed for now. The tricker stuff would come when they were older and opinionated and were no longer thrilled by Auntie Soka’s game of ‘fly the ship through the ring’.

He’d offered for her to join him and Anakin in their saber training, but she’d just made a face at him. He wasn’t entirely sure what the face was about, but he let it go for now. Besides he was still certain that she would be able to destroy them both.

Lightsaber practice in general was going well. After they disappeared into the cave for the third time Anakin had had enough and dragged along a few strings of lights and a jury-rigged generator. To be perfectly fair it had been tricky practicing in the dark with the contrasting blazing glow of their blades. It left bright echoes of the light burned into his vision for a long while afterwards so the lights were a welcome addition.

They had been improving slowly, both of them regaining lost stamina and rebuilding old muscles bit by bit. They would both still be winded after going through the Katas and work up a serious sweat, but it was a good kind of pain. Obi-Wan was still just damn proud of himself that he was able to duel against Anakin without sliding back to Mustafar. On occasion it would try to press itself forward in his mind, but he’d become rather good at letting it go or asking Anakin for a break until it passed. Anakin was always obliging and would always sit quietly beside him with a hand on Obi-Wan’s knee or hand as quiet support. Obi-Wan thought that this was the best their relationship had ever been. 

Anakin also liked to use their excursions as a chance to get Obi-Wan alone and do a little bit of seducing. His current tactic was to see if he could disarm Obi-Wan and steal a kiss.

“It’s an exercise in speed and dexterity,” Anakin had argued the first time, a dazzling grin on his face.

“I bet it is,” Obi-Wan had quipped back. “But now that I know about it you’re going to have to work twice as hard, my dear.”

Anakin had taken up the challenge with delight.

Obi-Wan…still had moments of crisis over the whole thing, his mind running over his choice time and time again in his mind like fingers over an old scar. Had he made the right choice? Was this all actually okay? Wouldn’t it all just end in disaster? Most of the time Obi-Wan would calm himself, feeling fairly confident that it was the right choice, it was okay, and it would struggle to end in a worse disaster than the one he’d averted a year ago, so the bar was pretty low.

Doubts aside, Anakin was proving to be a very diligent and caring partner, if rather intense (though Obi-Wan wasn’t exactly surprised as Anakin had always been a very passionate individual). Also very physical, but he wasn’t exactly complaining about that. Obi-Wan just kept waiting for the Jedi Council to pop up behind him and make disapproving sounds. Or rather, the imaginary Council in his mind did. Obi-Wan was choosing to ignore it. Them. They could tut and mutter about attachment and inappropriate behaviour all they liked, Obi-Wan was happy. It took him a whole two weeks to admit it to himself, but he was.

So far, Anakin had been very considerate and hadn’t pushed Obi-Wan too far outside his comfort zone. There’d been kisses and cuddles aplenty, some a bit more rough and needy than others which had culminated in having to think about performing vaporator maintenance very intensely until he managed to will himself back under control.  Padmé was also proving to be far more devious than he had originally thought she was. Obi-Wan had been grateful for Padmé going out of her way to have a chat with him about Anakin and their relationship. It was certainly…awkward in places, but it had been helpful. He thought that her suggestion of stepping into their relationship in a more low-key fashion was a good one—also he found her very attractive.

Obi-Wan had then made a tiny misstep; he’d tested the waters with a kiss on the hand and a flirtatious smile he knew worked from previous misuse in negotiations. He immediately realised his mistake as he watched her eyes go very dark, flickering from lust, to surprise, to a very focused and determined stare, and in the moment he knew he’d started something he could never win. He'd done what any self-preserving being would do in that situation; he ran away.

Padmé of course did not let it drop and strangely enough, Obi-Wan didn’t mind. It was, for lack of a better word, fun.

He nearly missed her first few advances which involved some casual touching, before she evidently decided to step it up a little and just sat down on his lap one afternoon. Padmé did so casually, happily chatting away to Anakin who was sitting at the table with Obi-Wan, tinkering with some piece of machinery, before she situated herself on his knees halfway through her sentence.

Obi-Wan had floundered briefly, sending a wave of panic and surprise along his bond to Anakin by mistake. His hands fluttered for a moment, unsure as to what to do with them, before he gingerly set them on her lap, arms lightly encircling her.

Anakin looked like he was trying very hard not to laugh ay the whole thing; mouth pressed closed and suddenly very engrossed in his work. Padmé had just continued chatting as though nothing had happened. In revenge Obi-Wan had very softly caressed her thigh with his thumb. Given the little stutter in her speech when he began, he counted it as a win.

After that Obi-Wan decided that he would try and play this game with her.

He’d offered to do her hair a few times, spending a couple of long sessions with his fingers tangled in her curls.

“I didn’t realise you were any good at this kind of thing,” Padmé had said, nearly purring as he pulled his fingers through her hair, eventually planning on twisting it into a loose but fashionable bun.

“I spent a decent amount of time with the younglings in the Temple. I learnt quickly.”

Padmé smiled. “We’d best not waste your talents then.”

She’d retaliated by just constantly touching him. A casual hand here, a kiss on the cheek there, an occasional tap on the arse; it seemed very casual, but she always lingered a little longer than strictly necessary, would always rub a little circle into his skin and toss him a cheeky smile. It was as endearing as it was infuriating.

Flirting, Obi-Wan had decided—specifically flirting for the actual joy of it and not to manipulate negotiations or gain needed information—was actually highly enjoyable. It was also quietly building something between them and he distantly wondered which of them would break first.

Anakin watched the whole thing with clear but quiet interest.

Padmé and Obi-Wan were relaxing in the lounge. Ahsoka had vanished downstairs with the twins to play (or possible train) again. Obi-Wan sat on the couch just meditating while Padmé  curled up beside him, the left side of her body pressed up against him while reading a book.

It was nice. Padmé was very warm, smelt almost like vanilla cakes, and her presence was incredibly soothing. Her emotions leeched into his meditation, but they were so relaxed that they just floated by without issue.

He’d never really realised quite how much smaller she was. Padmé had always had such a big personality and presence, but now that she was snuggled up beside him he noticed just how slight she was. Her skin was also very soft. His hand was resting on her knee, index finger carelessly stroking—

There was a sharp knock at the door.

Padmé looked up from her book and glanced at him. He didn’t think they were expecting anyone? He shook his head at her in return. Ahsoka was downstairs with the children and Anakin had gone into town to do some repairs and wasn’t expected back for another hour.


Obi-Wan stood up and walked over to the door, first picking up one of the hand-held blasters kept by the door and levitating it across the room to Padmé. He watched her shove the weapon beneath the pillow beside her and resumed looking as casual as she could muster.

She nodded to Obi-Wan and he opened the door.

“‘Lo,” the green Klatoonian at the door said, smile wide and sharp around his teeth. He was flanked by three other beings: a Rodian and two Weequays.

“Barada,” Obi-Wan said, forcing a smile on his face, “how nice to see you again.”

“How’s the property going for you?” Barada asked, standing with his hands on his hips, staring around the house and yard.

“It took some work, but now it is a good home. Has the ship served you well?”

“Yeah, thing’s a beauty,” Barada said and turned to the Rodian. “Greedo, why don’t you go inspect that vaporator. Check it’s up to code.”

“What can we do for you today?” Obi-Wan asked and watched the Rodian referred to as ‘Greedo’ walk slowly toward the nearest vaporator. Obi-Wan had ten credits on exactly what he was about to do. Criminals like this were rather predictable. A threat here, a display of violence there…

“Just visiting to collect your ownership tax for the year,” Barada said.

“Of course. Would you like a drink?” Obi-Wan offered. He was going to be polite and not do a single thing to put anyone at risk. Especially the twins. He could easily play the part of cowed moisture farmer for them.

Barada nodded and stepped heavily into the house, Obi-Wan carefully sidestepping to let him in. The other three remained outside, Obi-Wan closed the door and went to fetch their visitor a glass of water.

Padmé gave the Klatoonian a small wave. “Hello. We meet again.”

“You seem smaller. Babe survive?”

Obi-Wan watched the flicker of horror on her face that that was his first question. It said terrible things about the mortality rate of babies on this planet.

“Yes. We had twins, both are fine thank you,” Padmé replied. “They’re having a nap currently.”

Barada sat at the table and Obi-Wan placed the tall glass before him.

“Lord Jabba would also be interested in meeting with Seripas. He has a few things that need seeing to,” Barada said, picking up the glass and swirling the water within it. “He would of course be well rewarded.”

There was no way that was ever going to happen. Anakin would more likely kill Jabba than help him. Also, Jabba knew all of them, going anywhere near him was just asking for trouble.

“Seripas is very busy, hence why he’s not here right now, but I will mention it to him,” Obi-Wan assured him.

Barada nodded. “So. The tax?”

“What do we owe you?”

“Two peggat.”

Obi-Wan didn’t conceal his wince. That was not a cheap bribe. They could afford it, but he didn’t want Barada knowing that. He had to put up at least some resistance.

“That’s quite the sum,” Obi-Wan said.

“Hmm, but from what I hear, Seripas is doing rather well so we think it’s a reasonable request. Wouldn’t want to spurn Lord Jabba’s kindness. Doesn’t end well.” Barada’s eyes lingered at the door where sounds of destruction could still be heard.

Bantha shit it was reasonable, but Obi-Wan smiled regardless. “Of course. Aurra, if you would?”

Padmé nodded and disappeared downstairs.

Padmé was gone for a good five minutes, likely warning Ahsoka and then having to scrounge up the required funds. Obi-Wan hoped they had enough, he didn’t want to have to take money to Jabba. Barada drank his water in silence.

Obi-Wan just wanted them gone.

On her return, Padmé placed a bag on the table between them. “Sorry, it took some time to find enough, but it should all be there.”

Barada looked in at the contents of the bag before hefting it into his viridescent palm and seeming to weigh it.

“Feels right,” he said finally and levelled a dark stare at Padmé, “but it will be counted properly, so I do hope you have made the right decision.”

Padmé just nodded, her gaze evenly meeting his.

At that, Barada stood and made for the door, waving an uninterested hand in goodbye.

Padmé and Obi-Wan followed to stand at the door and watched the quartet climb back into their vehicle.

“See you next year!” one of the Weequays called, cackling darkly as the speeder took off back toward civilisation.

Obi-Wan let out a breath and they returned inside.

“That wasn’t so bad,” Padmé finally said half an hour later when both of them were sitting at the table, cradling a cup of tea in their hands. “I think we handled that rather well.”

Obi-Wan nodded in agreement. “It certainly could have gone much worse—”

“What happened?” Anakin burst through the door. “I passed a speeder coming from here and the vaporator outside looks fucked, is everything okay?” Anakin was clearly panicked, panting and looking wild and windblown. His hands shook where they held onto the hem of his shirt and his jaw was tight.

Padmé shot Obi-Wan a quick look.

“It was just Jabba’s men come to collect the yearly ownership tax,” Padmé said calmly and placed her tea on the tabletop.

“And you gave it to them?” Anakin asked, frowning.

Padmé nodded, standing up and crossing her arms. “Of course we did.”

Anakin scowled. “I can’t believe it. Jabba’s a dopa-maskey, karking worm kung!”

“What could we have done!?” Obi-Wan shot back, frustrated.

“I don’t know! Said no!?”

Obi-Wan scoffed. “And what then, Anakin? Jabba and his men come for us, we inevitably defend ourselves, make some misstep and reveal what we really are, and then suddenly have the Empire bearing down on us? We chose to keep this family safe!”

“I know!” Anakin yelled back. He seemed to struggle for words for a moment before, to everyone’s surprise, he took a long breath and suddenly deflated. “I know,” he said quieter. “I just kriffing hate it. We shouldn’t have to.”

“We don’t like it either, Ani,” Padmé said stepping in closer and taking his hand in hers, “but it’s an unfortunate reality we just have to deal with for now.”

Anakin leant down and rested his chin on her head. “I know. You’re right.” He closed his eyes and just respired, seeming to take comfort from Padmé. "I just fucking hate Jabba."

Obi-Wan smiled understandingly at him.

That had gone surprisingly well. Anakin had been able to back down from his anger; something Obi-Wan hadn’t seen in a long time. It was somewhat astounding.

Obi-Wan sat for a moment longer, debating whether he should go when Anakin’s free hand suddenly extended and beckoned him over. He stood up from his chair and went to Anakin, taking his mechanical hand and twining their fingers together.

“Are you okay?” Obi-Wan asked.

Anakin’s blue eyes blinked open, much calmer than before. Obi-Wan felt a soft caress along their bond. “Yeah. I panicked. Sorry. ”

Obi-Wan shook his head. “You managed it well.”

Anakin pulled Obi-Wan in closer and kissed him. Obi-Wan could feel the gratitude and love Anakin felt for him and Padmé buffeting his shields. He lowered them partially and allowed himself to embrace it.

“This is a nice view,” came a low voice from beneath them. Padmé.

Obi-Wan pulled back turned his head to see her flirtatious smile grinning up at them.

Anakin laughed and leant down, kissing her as well.

Now that Obi-Wan was allowing himself to think about it all and actually feel it, he found Anakin and Padmé's interactions to be lovely to watch. Anakin was so gentle with her; always reverent and careful and so terribly loving.

“Oh, speaking of,” Padmé continued immediately after Anakin pulled back, “Ahsoka is feeling a little bit traumatised by all this kissing her parents seem to be doing, so if we could all just keep it a little more private?”

Anakin let out a small laugh.

“When was that?” Obi-Wan asked. He didn’t remember Ahsoka interrupting anything…

Padmé shook her head. “You were clearly too engrossed in other things—about a week or two ago in the kitchen.”

“Oh.” That one. Yes. That had gotten a little out of hand.

Anakin groaned and his his face in Obi-Wan’s hair, seemingly embarrassed.

“You still need to talk to her, you know,” Padmé said, focusing on Anakin.

Obi-Wan felt a breath of air against his neck before Anakin reappeared. “Yeah. I’m working up to it.”

Padmé left a kiss on his cheek before giving Obi-Wan the same treatment. “Good boy. Now, both of you go see how badly those fuckers messed up that vaporator while I make us new cups of tea”

It turned out that ‘those fuckers’ had done quite the number on the moisture collector, but wasn’t irreparable. Some parts would need to be replaced, Anakin had muttered sourly, poking the blaster holes on the outer casing with his finger, but it was doable. Either way, grumping about it and then setting to fixing it up made Anakin distinctly less irritable. By the time Padmé called them in to tea, Anakin was making a fair effort at chatting him up. Somehow Obi-Wan ended up agreeing to go for a drive after dinner. Apparently Anakin had finished tinkering with the speeder yesterday and wanted to take it out.

Wanted to scare the living daylights out of Obi-Wan more like.

“Ready to go?” Anakin asked after clearing up dinner and leaving Ahsoka and Padmé to relax.

Obi-Wan was very temped to rescind his acceptance as, judging by the glint in Anakin’s eye, he was going to drive like a madman.

However, ever susceptible to Anakin’s blue stare, Obi-Wan agreed and they climbed in.

“Where to?”

Obi-Wan paused, thinking. “Somewhere with a good view.”

True to his prediction, Anakin had a lovely time testing the limits and capabilities of the modified speeder. He initially took them across the plains, discovering new speeds that both the speeder and Obi-Wan’s heart could reach. After that, Anakin turned them back towards the mountains, occasionally putting them into a spin, laughing like a maniac the whole time.

“It seems to work fine,” Obi-Wan said breathlessly once they were driving normally again.

Anakin just flashed him a very smug grin.

Eventually Anakin followed a ‘road’ up a ways into the canyon and found them a plateau to park on. Thankfully he drove that route carefully as the path was riddled with holes and there was a rather steep drop off one side.

Once parked, the pair of them sat on the back bonnet of the speeder, staring out over the desert. Obi-Wan could feel the waning heat of the sun as it sunk closer to the horizon. The metal of the speeder was warm beneath him and where his arm was pressed against Anakin. The skyline melted through a stunning display of colours; warm blue fading into orange with smatterings of purple.

For the first time, watching the day end on a hill on Tatooine, Obi-Wan realised that it was all over. The Clone Wars were over. Anakin was sitting beside him, whole and alive and firmly on the side of the light. Padmé and the children were safe and happy, Ahsoka and Bail were alive and fighting for what they believed in. He and Anakin and Padmé were starting something new together and everything was relatively okay. Sure there were still problems, but they were alive. They’d made it.

“Oh,” he exhaled, taking in the sensation of his body finally, actually relaxing. His muscles loosened and his body slumped slightly. He could feel the rush of endorphins that swamped his body. Force, it felt incredible.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin asked, head turned to look at him.

He took a deep, wide eyed breath, staring back at Anakin. “We’re okay, aren’t we?”

Anakin blinked. “I—Yes?”

He let out the breath, eyes closing in relief. “We’re okay. We made it.” Force, how had it taken him this long to realise it?

He felt the speeder dip as Anakin moved and his voice was hesitant when he spoke. “We did, Obi-Wan, we’re fine.” He felt a hand cup the side of his face. “Are you okay?”

Obi-Wan opened his eyes and smiled brightly, his eyes feeling watery. “Yes, I rather think I will be.”

He leant in.

Obi-Wan felt the quick inhale from Anakin when their lips met, before he was being kissed back, the hand on his jaw sliding further back into his hair. Anakin was much gentler than usual, lips soft and undemanding. Obi-Wan’s hands slipped to tangle their fingers together. Slowly, Obi-Wan increased the pace, from the long, sensual kisses that were making his heart melt, to quick little bites and licking into Anakin’s mouth, enjoying the breathy gasps that would escape his lips.

He felt a gentle push at his chest pressing him backwards. Obi-Wan opened his eyes and pulled away, allowing himself to be moved until he lay flat against the metal of the speeder, staring up at Anakin. He was lit up. A glowing smile sat on his wet lips with a matching luminous stare. The glow of the sunset illuminating his silhouette, hair shining a burnished gold around the edges. It was absolutely too much.

“Beautiful,” Obi-Wan said, a hand reaching up to finger Anakin’s hair. Anakin’s expression softened and he leant closer to Obi-Wan before he swung his leg over Obi-Wan’s body, hovering above him with eyes as dark as wild space.

“Is this okay?” Anakin asked, voice low and breath brushing his face.

Obi-Wan smiled and pulled him down, muttering, “Perfect.”

He felt like his chest would burst. Heat and love and passion rushed through him, electric and desperate. Obi-Wan moaned quietly, a gentle rumble in his chest, as his fingers tightly wound through Anakin’s curls.

His breathing was ragged when Anakin pulled back.

“Come here.” Obi-Wan tugged Anakin down so they lay beside one another, Obi-Wan on his back with Anakin on his left side, tucked in against Obi-Wan with a leg still thrown over him. It was warm and intimate, staving off the slowly descending cold.

Anakin and Obi-Wan lay there, their fingers intertwined, and watched the early night sky rotate above them. A few stars shone brightly in the now near darkness with only the light from the dashboard of the speeder lighting the desert around them.

“This is all so much better than I had ever imagined it being,” Obi-Wan admitted to the darkness and stroked his thumb over Anakin’s warm skin.

There was a considering hum beside him. “You thought about this?”

“Not for a long time,” Obi-Wan sighed, the words slipping out, “and only the once.”

Anakin was suddenly sitting up and leaning over him again, his legs returning to their position of straddling him. “A long time ago?”

“Yes.” He could feel an embarrassed flush crawl up his neck to his cheeks, thankfully it was most likely hidden by the darkness.


Obi-Wan pressed his lips together and Anakin waited patiently for him to speak. After a few moments, he settled on, “It would have been… a year or so after your Knighting.”

Surprise flashed across the face above him, eyes wide and fascinated, drinking him in. “What?”

“Somewhere during the first Ryloth campaign, I realised you weren’t a child anymore and that you weren't my Padawan anymore…That I loved you.” He reached up and stroked his fingers though Anakin’s hair, falling gently beside his face. “You were competent and strong and clever… and very beautiful.” Obi-Wan’s fingers trailed along his jaw.

“Why didn’t you…?” Anakin asked, disbelieving.

Obi-Wan glared up at him. “You were married, I wasn’t going to ruin that. Plus, the whole situation smacked of attachment on my end, and you know how I felt about that. I pushed the whole thing from my mind for a long time.” Repressed it more like.

“You knew about Padmé?”

Force help him.

He rolled his eyes. “Anakin. As amazing as you are, subtle, is not really on your list of qualities. I knew you were married, the Council knew, the clones definitely knew—blind gundarks knew.”

“The Council? Did you…?” A slight waver had made it into Anakin’s voice.

“No,” He assured him. “They perhaps didn’t realise you were married, but they sure as Sith knew you and the Senator had something going on between you. There’s only so many ‘secret’ romantic dalliances in public or consecutive sleepovers away from the Temple a person can have before someone notices.”

“Why didn’t they ever—I thought—they never said—”

“They couldn’t.” Obi-Wan stroked his hand over the back of Anakin’s head, slow and soothing. “We couldn't be seen to know about it, we couldn't be seen passively endorsing it. You also weren’t the only Jedi seeking comfort in love from the war.”

“Then why allow it to go on?” Anakin was looking at him like he held the answers to the universe.

“We allowed it for all during the war because they were extraneous circumstances. Everyone was stressed and scared and scattered across the galaxy with more of us dying each day and…it helped people cope. The Council just seemed to collectively decide that we had more pressing matters than a selection of Jedi getting too attached to a lover.

“I only ever had the one conversation with Master Yoda about you, after you went to him about your dreams. We thought that once the war was over, or once the children were born, you would likely choose to leave the Order.” He pulled at a strand of hair. “But while we were at war, you were invaluable and we couldn’t afford for you to go; to let anyone go. It was selfish of us—of me. I realise I should have said something to you, and I’m sorry.” Obi-Wan let out a sigh. “I had just hoped you’d tell me yourself one day.”

“So you knew the whole time?”

“Since Genosis.”

Anakin’s face drooped and there was a deep silence.

“I should have trusted you,” Anakin said, though it didn’t sound like he was talking to Obi-Wan.

“Yes, well, I should also have said something.”

Anakin nodded and his eyes went distant and glassy, clearly thinking. There were a few minutes of silence before Anakin spoke again.

“So… this fantasy you had?”

Obi-Wan laughed and leant up for a brief press of lips. “I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it a fantasy—”

Anakin pouted at him.

Obi-Wan sighed dramatically. “Fine. It all started innocently. You’d checked in on me in my quarters as I’d managed to get myself hurt— I think I may have had a concussion? We had a brief chat, and then you left to check on Ahsoka.”

“Not unusual,” Anakin noted quietly.

“No,” he agreed, “but this particular day you’d managed to destroy a fair portion of your tunics; your tabards were missing and a you had great bloody tear in the under-tunic which had left a lot of your neck and upper chest exposed. You had dust and sweat streaked up and down your skin, your hair was wild and…you were an absolute sight.” He could feel the hot flush that dotted his neck intensify. “My very helpful, slightly concussed brain decided to provide me with stunning and sudden visuals of how it would have been to kiss up your neck.” Obi-Wan traced his fingers up the skin in question, eyes following their trail greedily. “I imagined how you’d taste and how you’d melt beneath me, allowing me to explore and pull sounds from your lips.”

Anakin hummed thoughtfully and pressed his head into Obi-Wan’s roaming hand.

“I then had a very long week of introspection and meditation as to where that thought had even stemmed from and eventually realised how I felt. I then pushed it very, very far away. Other than that, nothing else. I did my best to generally ignore it. Did you ever…?”

He had to know. He didn’t want to know, and yet he did. Was this thing between them only new for Anakin? Was is just bred out of need and desperation? Was it temporary?

Anakin smiled, eyes dropping. “Often. Since I was seventeen.”

“You—?” Obi-Wan couldn’t even think of where to start with that admission.

“I don’t think you have ever realised how beautiful you are. So smart and so terribly dignified.” Anakin’s voice was laced with dark promise. “It made me want to dishevel you in the worst way.”

“Oh?” It was barely above a whisper and embarrassingly breathy.

“Hmhmm.” Anakin leant down and bumped their noses together, whispering like it was a secret, “I wanted to fuck you until you couldn’t speak; I wanted to kiss every inch of you after you’d verbally destroyed a diplomat; I wanted you to fuck me on one of the sparring mats after you’d trounced me again—

“Stop—” Obi-Wan squeezed his eyes shut, and pressed his hand over Anakin’s mouth, stemming the flow of words. His other hand clenched around the fabric at Anakin’s waist at the images that flooded his head, kindly being supplied by Anakin’s graphic descriptions and a gentle caress of their bond. Obi-Wan’s trousers were feeling much more constricting then they had been a few minutes before and he needed Anakin to stop immediately.

Anakin very deviously began kissing Obi-Wan’s hand, licking and nipping until Obi-Wan had to pull it away.

Anakin seized his opportunity. “I wanted to fuck you against this speeder before you left.” 

Obi-Wan groaned, hips canting up against Anakin’s unbidden, cursing him, “Sith hells, Anakin.”

Anakin just chuckled before latching on to the side of Obi-Wan’s neck and sucking hard, fingers slipping under Obi-Wan’s shirt and sliding along skin. Obi-Wan panted helplessly as he was overwhelmed with sensation.

He tugged Anakin’s head up and pressed forward to kiss him, sitting up on the bonnet, Anakin splayed on his lap, still grinning madly.

“That’s. Not. Fair,” Obi-Wan growled between kisses, his hands sliding down to grip Anakin’s arse, tugging him closer.

Obi-Wan felt a fire burning in his chest. His hands weren’t fast enough to touch every inch of skin on Anakin he wanted to, his mouth only able to kiss one part of him at a time. Obi-Wan pulled him as close as he could, with Anakin purring into his mouth, “Want you, want you, want you.”

It was as though a floodgate had opened in Anakin as well, his body constantly moving and flowing over his own. It was thrilling as it was terrifying and he couldn’t find a single desire within himself to stop.

Somehow, and without Obi-Wan realising it, Anakin managed to shuffle them backwards, until the world tilted around him. He let out a gasp as he fell into empty space, before landing in the backseat of the speeder. Anakin was grinning down at him, eyes black and lips wet.

Two could play at this.

“Done, are we?” Obi-Wan asked mildly, moving his hands to rest behind his head, casually watching Anakin. He suspected the erection he was sporting gave away his intentions, but it was always worth a go.

A feral grin spread across Anakin’s face. “Not even close.”

Then Anakin was on him again, clambering down off the back of the speeder and onto Obi-Wan. His mouth lapped at his neck, hands rucking up Obi-Wan’s shirt properly.

“I love you, Obi-Wan,” Anakin panted against his ear. “You’re not getting away so easily this time.”

Obi-Wan groaned, back arching at the fingers dancing over his chest and stomach. Anakin clearly knew what he was doing, Obi-Wan only managing a breathy, “All yours, darling.”

“Perfect,” Anakin said, pressing in for another kiss.

Obi-Wan moaned into his mouth when he felt a hand slide along the front of his trousers. Obi-Wan leant into the grasping fingers, hands tightening at Anakin’s waist.


Anakin stilled, pulling back to watch him, evil smile still partly on his face. “Yes, Master?”

Obi-Wan shivered. “Please don’t call me Master.” He didn’t like the kind of power that gave him. He didn’t like how it sat with the connotations of Anakin’s past. He hated that he wasn’t the last person Anakin had called that.

Anakin frowned, but nodded. “Okay, sorry.”

“It’s fine, dear one.” Obi-Wan stroked his hand along the side of Anakin’s face. He really was stunning, face gently lit from the speeder display, eyes soft and warm watching Obi-Wan. “Come here.” Using one hand, Obi-Wan cupped the back of Anakin’s head and pulled him back down, a slow and tender kiss waiting on his lips. His right hand however, slid down Anakin’s chest and fumbled briefly with the button, before slipping in and grasping Anakin’s cock. Turnabout is fair play after all.

“Ah! Fuck,” Anakin gasped into his mouth. “Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan just grinned into the kiss, lazily stroking Anakin. He took it slow to begin with, teasing him and enjoying the tiny sounds that escaped Anakin’s lips before slowly picking up the pace until eventually his lover was braced above him, fucking into his fist, eyes unfocused and blown black with lust.

Obi-Wan, please,” Anakin muttered between breaths, mouth now slack, “please, please…”

“Please what, darling?” Obi-Wan purred quietly.

Fuck me.”

Obi-Wan froze as arousal hit him like a punch to the gut, a groan pulling at his throat. That was not the response he’d been expecting.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin seemed hesitant at his apparent silence and sudden pause in motion.

Yes,” Obi-Wan hissed out, before drawing a calming breath. “Fuck, I would love to Anakin, but perhaps in a speeder, in the middle of the night, out in the desert, is not the best place?”

Anakin smirked at him, face flushed. “It’s the best place. No children to interrupt. Private. Quiet. Plus it gives Padmé and Ahsoka more time to catch up.”

“And the Sand People?” Obi-Wan asked.

Anakin groaned. “Ah…I forgot about them.”

“Let’s make this quick then,” Obi-Wan said quietly.

Anakin kissed him fervently and Obi-Wan lost himself in the feeling, the warmth of love spreading through his chest. He danced his fingers gently along Anakin’s length, swallowing the small gasps coming from him. Given how riled up he’d been earlier, it was unsurprising to Obi-Wan how quickly he melted into him. Anakin was breathless with only his elbows keeping him from falling on Obi-Wan, Anakin’s mouth whispering nonsense into his ear.

Obi-Wan turned his head, increasing the pace of his strokes again and watched Anakin fall apart. His hazelnut hair fell into his face, eyes closed and mouth hanging open, his breath came in short bursts.

“So beautiful,” Obi-Wan crooned at him, “such a good boy, come on, I’ve got you.”

Ah,” Anakin moaned and Obi-Wan felt hot spurts land on his stomach, feeling tremors all over Anakin’s body, as he came in his hand. Well. Padmé’s tip had been completely accurate. Obi-Wan tried not let the bubble of nervous laughter escape his chest.

Anakin’s breath was still ragged as Obi-Wan leant in, gently kissing the side of his face, murmuring, “Perfect, dear one.”

Anakin was so warm, skin burning into his own, protecting him from the cold of the desert night. He had not seen Anakin so relaxed in such a long time, limp and pliant in his embrace. Slowly, Anakin regained cognitive function and turned, still draped all over him and smiled at Obi-Wan, before leaning in for a kiss.

“I love you,” Anakin said, eyes boring into Obi-Wan’s.

Obi-Wan smiled back. “Love you too.”

Anakin shifted, moving to sit up, then paused, eyes drawn back down as Obi-Wan sucked in a breath at feeling Anakin’s hips move and pressing against his erection.

“Oh,” Anakin breathed. “Well.”

Obi-Wan watched intently as Anakin grinned obscenely down at him, before slowly drawing back, fingers trailing along his chest. Anakin circled his hips slowly, and Obi-Wan felt heat flush his entire body, barely containing a moan and biting his lip. Anakin’s grin widened and he slid back slightly so he rested on Obi-Wan’s thighs.

Anakin was a sight to behold. His cheeks were still flushed from his orgasm, a pink tinge traveling partway down his neck and along his left collarbone. His normally bright blue eyes were a deep ocean blue in the darkness of the night, with only the speeders dash lighting him up. His hair was tousled all around him. He was, in a word, breathtaking.

While he was distracted, a hand slipped into his pants and wrapped around his cock.

“You’re gorgeous,” Anakin said, reflecting Obi-Wan’s own thoughts back at him.

He felt Anakin stroke his cock and slide his hips gently against Obi-Wan’s thighs. The sensation of the two pulled the air from his lungs, his head falling back against the seat, hands clutching at Anakin’s legs. Everything felt too hot and too much. He wanted…he just wanted and it was burning him up from the inside; his chest was tight and he felt as though he was unable to suck enough air in.

Fuck, Anakin,” Obi-Wan panted, as Anakin settled into a pattern of strokes and rolls of his hips. He could feel Anakin’s eyes fixated on him, drinking Obi-Wan in, Anakin’s teeth caught in his lip as he watched. Obi-Wan could feel the tight coil in his belly, the sensory and visual input overloading his brain.

“Anakin, please,” he hissed, hips thrusting up against Anakin urgently, fingers curling in to a likely painful degree on Anakin’s thigh.

Anakin acquiesced, tightening his grip and twisting his hand perfectly until Obi-Wan felt the sensations crest. He sucked in a desperate breath as he came hard, thick streams hitting his stomach for the second time that night. Obi-Wan panted through the sensations with Anakin staring down at him with greedy eyes, completely engrossed. After, he felt completely limp and thoroughly overcome by it all.

Anakin leant forward and kissed him tenderly, a little happy hum on his lips. Obi-Wan’s mouth was sluggish in responding but he basked in the warmth of Anakin regardless. After a moment longer, Anakin pulled back and moved away before a coarse cloth gently moved across his stomach, removing the mess.

“Thank you.” Obi-Wan pushed himself up, smiling at Anakin. It took a moment for his brain to catch back up fully and shook his head at himself, muttering, “So much for taking this slow.”

Anakin kissed his forehead and clambered into the front seat. “If this were anything like mine and Padmé’s relationship, we’d be married already.”

Obi-Wan resisted rolling his eyes. “Honestly, Anakin, I don’t know who trained you, because it clearly wasn’t me.”

Anakin just laughed. “We should go home.”

“It is rather late,” Obi-Wan agreed and followed Anakin into the front, sliding into the passenger seat.

He stared out the side of the vehicle at the blackness of the desert night, only a few distant lights twinkled on the horizon. The speeder rumbled as it turned on. When they didn’t move for another minute, Obi-Wan turned to look at Anakin, questioning.

Anakin was just watching him, a soft smile on his lips.

“Anakin?” Obi-Wan asked.

Anakin blinked back into focus. “Thank you, Obi-Wan, for choosing to stay. For choosing us.”

“I’ve always chosen you.” Obi-Wan smiled back and then paused, pressing his lips together thoughtfully. He wanted to be honest, but didn’t want to disappoint Anakin. Deep breath. “I don’t know what my plan is for staying.” He watched insecurity slip into Anakin’s expression and a tight feeling of worry slid along their bond. Obi-Wan reached his hand across the space and stroked his hand along Anakin’s cheek. “I want to stay, dear one, never doubt that, but I still have a duty to the galaxy.”

“A duty,” Anakin argued, “but Obi-Wan—”

“I know the Jedi are gone,” Obi-Wan cut in, “but I can still do good. I can’t just stand by while Sidious destroys everything I have ever worked for.” He smiled. “I want the galaxy your children grow up in to be safe.”

“You’re too good, Obi-Wan,” Anakin responded. “Have a think about what you want to do then. Between the three of us I’m sure we can work something out.”

Anakin, deciding the conversation was over, hit the speeder into gear and took off into the darkness back home.

Chapter Text

Anakin felt amazing.

The glow had been dimmed a little by Obi-Wan’s comment about possibly not staying permanently, but Anakin decided that was a future problem. Besides it didn’t seem like it was a ‘I’m leaving you forever’ kind of thing, and more of a ‘I need to go help people occasionally but I’ll come back’ situation. He hoped so at least.


He felt amazing. A little tired now, but he was still faintly buzzed off the energy and adrenaline from their tryst. Anakin had never felt quite so connected to Obi-Wan than in that moment; Obi-Wan seemed unaware, but his shielding had faltered at times and Anakin was awash in the adoration and blissful sensation Obi-Wan had been feeling. It had been…glorious.

Obi-Wan was now staring out into the darkness as Anakin navigated the road back to the homestead. The light from the dashboard and the headlights of the speeder reflected back onto his face, illuminating his pensive expression. Obi-Wan had such a lovely profile; all straight lines and soft edges.

Anakin returned to watching where he was driving but rested his hand over Obi-Wan’s where it sat between them and sent a pulse of affection along their bond. Obi-Wan didn’t move but Anakin felt an echoed burst of love come right back at him. His heart was light in his chest as he grinned the rest of the way home.

The house was dark and quiet when they came in—clearly they were gone far longer than they’d thought. The pair of them snuck in and down the stairs, Anakin nearly tripping on a plastic ship on the second last step. Obi-Wan thankfully grabbed him before he hit the floor. He did not want to wake the twins up.

Righting himself and whispering his thanks, Anakin looked up and was suddenly caught in a conundrum. He looked between Obi-Wan’s room and his room. Hm. He hadn’t thought about this. Where to go?

“Wait a moment?” Anakin whispered to Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan nodded and paused in the hallway.

Anakin smiled and said, “Be right back,” before ducking into his bedroom.

Padmé was tucked into bed with hair pulled into two short plaits. She was snuggled in against the pillows staring at a holo-pad on her lap, a small frown on her face.

“Hey,” Anakin greeted softly, shutting the door behind him.

“Evening,” Padmé said, looking up from her reading. “You look very chipper. In fact you look rather a lot like you had a good orgasm.”

Anakin shot her a very self-satisfied smile.

“Would it be okay if I stayed with Obi-Wan tonight?” Anakin said to Padmé, pausing to sit on the edge of the bed and kiss her cheek. “Everything got a little sexier than usual and I don’t want him to feel…used? No…unimportant? Hmm…”

“I get what you’re saying, Ani,” Padmé said, smiling. “I think it would be good. I take it you had fun on your drive then?”

“Yeah. Had a good talk too,” Anakin replied. “Did you know that he knew about us the whole time?”

“I thought we had him fooled for a while, but clearly not.”

Anakin moved to stand up.

“Nah-uh, I expect a goodnight kiss before you go,” Padmé said petulantly, raising her head in combined defiance and expectancy.

“Of course, love.”

He leant back down and pressed a slow kiss to her lips, allowing his hand to curl into her hair for a moment before pulling back. “Goodnight.”

“Night, darling. See you in the morning.” At that, Padmé turned back to her holo-pad with the addition of a small smile on her lips.

Anakin grabbed his sleep shirt and snuck back into the hall to find Obi-Wan leaning against the wall nearer to his own door.

“All okay?” Obi-Wan whispered.

Anakin nodded and ushered Obi-Wan into his own room.

“What is it, Anakin?” he asked when they were in and Anakin had shut the door.

“I wanted to stay with you tonight,” Anakin said taking a step closer a placing a gentle hand on Obi-Wan’s chest, his fingers playing with the fabric.

Obi-Wan was quiet for a moment. “Padmé is okay with that?”

“Yeah, she thought it was a good idea.”

Obi-Wan’s hand came up to cover his own. “Alright then, but we are just sleeping.”

Anakin pressed their foreheads together. “Sure.”

After Obi-Wan gave him a warm smile and a brief peck on the lips, they sorted themselves into less sandy clothes and Anakin climbed into bed. Obi-Wan switched off the light and climbed in beside him, allowing Anakin to curl up next to him.

His brain evidently thought that now was the time to worry about Obi-Wan leaving. Anakin huffed in annoyance at his own mind and curled closer to his partner. There was still that small irritating worry in the back of his head that if Obi-Wan left he wouldn’t come back. He’d find something—someone better. Someone who wasn’t already married with children and in hiding and—

He felt Obi-Wan shift beside him, muttering a soft, “What is it?”

“You’re still happy with all this?” Anakin asked to the darkness.

“I’m very happy, Anakin. Relax.”

He felt a warm hand stroke through his hair paired with a wave of love and reassurance along their bond.

“You’d tell me if you weren’t, right?”

He heard a little exhale of breath. “Yes, dear one.”

“Good,” Anakin said, finally closing his eyes.

The next few days were a blur of activity.

The first was spent with Padmé and Obi-Wan, helping them clean the house. Ahsoka, Threepio, and Artoo took the twins to play outside while their parents kicked up unimaginable amounts of dust and sand. Obi-Wan and Padmé spent a lot of that day flirting. The stand-off as a whole had continued in much the same vein as it had been; both of them just teasing each other at any given moment. It was entertaining to watch, and one of these days, one of them was going to give in, but it was begining to drive Anakin to distraction as well. Having two very lovely, attractive people that Anakin loved being overtly flirtatious in front of him was torture.

It was also getting to the point that Padmé had had to drag Anakin off for a quick dalliance because she’d become a little too intense in her attempt at seducing Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan had found it hilarious, waving them goodbye as Padmé dragged Anakin from the room and then followed after Ahsoka and Co.. Anakin had laughed through most of it until Padmé had kissed the laughter from his lips and distracted him entirely.

The next day was comprised of driving around Tatooine fixing things for the locals and chasing off a few Tuskens. Ever since their last encounter, every Tusken Anakin had come across ran at the sight of him. It certainly impressed the locals, as a few had reported that the raiders didn’t come back after that. Evidently they had taken Anakin’s threat very seriously to the point that other tribes had received the message. He wasn’t sure how he felt about it.

The day after was a mixture of more repair jobs and taking Obi-Wan out to the cave for more ‘saber practice. Anakin thought they were nearly back to their old skill level, but he was definitely not as fit as he had been. It has also briefly devolved into kissing and wandering hands as they hadn’t really had a moment to themselves for the last few days.

The day after that Anakin was standing in the lounge room, hands on his hips, feeling that he’d forgotten something. He’d been going from activity to activity so quickly that he was just a bit overstimulated and felt needed to do something.

The front door opened and Obi-Wan came in from his vaporator rounds.

Distraction acquired.

“Hello there,” Anakin said brightly, catching Obi-Wan’s arm as he headed for the kitchen. “What are you doing here, all alone and so very gorgeous.”

Obi-Wan laughed, kissed him on the nose and then nodded at the door. “Ahsoka’s outside. Looks like she could use someone to talk to right about now.”

Anakin nearly asked why Obi-Wan wasn’t doing so himself when his thoughts caught up to himself. Obi-Wan was pointing him at an opportunity. He pouted regardless, but Obi-Wan just kept smiling before continuing on to the kitchen.

Another time then.

Anakin refocused himself and went outside. Ahsoka stood on the flats past the vaporators, staring out at the desert, her distinctive silhouette lit by the twin suns. She stood perfectly still with her arms wrapped around her torso, the skirt she’d borrowed from Padmé flapping in the light wind. Anakin crossed the ground between them and stood by her side, now able to see the frown on her face.

“Ahsoka?” Anakin asked sitting down beside where she stood.


“You okay?”

“Mm. Just thinking about Rex and the rest of the guys. I miss them,” Ahsoka said, staring at the horizon.

“Do you know what happened to them?”

“After all the Clones turned on the Jedi, they became part of the Empire’s army. I assume they’re there, doing whatever the fuck Palpatine tells them to do,” Ahsoka said flatly.

“I will never understand how they could turn on the Jedi like that. I thought they were our friends—comrades at the very least!” Anakin shook his head and Ahsoka frowned at him. “I can only assume Palpatine manipulated them as well.”

“Yes and no,” Ahsoka said slowly.

Anakin turned to her, thoroughly perplexed. There was no way Palpatine could also have done to all of them what he did to Anakin. “Why the fuck did they attack the Jedi then?”

“They had chips in their heads,” Ahsoka said, voice low and angry. “The Chancellor issued the kill order and they all carried it out. They had to, they had no choice. Took us months to discover that. A few had defective chips and ran, or their chips eroded enough that it couldn’t compel them anymore. We found them and the truth eventually.”

Anakin felt his heart stop as something clicked in the back of his mind. An old memory flickering to life in his minds eye.

“Fives…” Anakin breathed out. “Fives found out. Sith hells.”


“After you left. Tup went strange and killed Master Tiplar during a fight. We thought something was wrong so we sent him and Fives to Kamino, and then suddenly Fives was a fugitive, apparently having lost his mind.” Anakin rubbed his face, a heavy weight settling into his chest. “He organised a meeting with Rex and I. He was paranoid and twitchy, and muttering about a plot against the Jedi and organic chips—he must have fucking found out—I thought he was crazy but—he said Palpatine tried to kill him—fuck we could have prevented all this—I didn’t believe him—”

“Skyguy, breathe,” Ahsoka said blandly.

Anakin took a ragged breath, “Yeah. Okay.” He took a few moments to centre himself again before Anakin dropped his head into his hands, muttering, “I’m so fucking stupid. How could I have missed that?”

Ahsoka sighed and finally sat down beside him. “Look. Palpatine had you wrapped around his evil little finger. He could have stabbed a guy in front of you, explained himself, and you’d probably have believed him…Kriff, I’d probably have bought it too.” Ahsoka put her chin in her hands and stared out at the desert. “He fooled all of us.”

Anakin tried to swallow down the words burning in his throat but they forced their way out at a hash whisper. “I miss him—and I fucking hate him, and everything he did to me and everyone else, but I still miss him and I hate myself for missing him but I just…I really thought he cared.”

Ahsoka turned her head and gave him a long, searching look before she nodded slowly. “I get it. I hate what Barriss did but she was still my friend and I’m sad about what happened. I wasn’t looking for the signs that she’d turned on us because I trusted her. You trusted Palpatine and he used it against you, the fucking sleemo.”

Anakin felt like such a failure. He should have helped her. He should have listened. He should have fought harder.

“I’m sorry about Barriss. I’m sorry for the whole thing,” Anakin said quietly. “I should have left with you.”

Ahsoka let out a bitter laugh. “That would have been nice, but its a little late for those thoughts. We’re too far past it all.”

“What did you do?” Anakin felt the words like ash in his mouth. He should know. Why hadn’t he ever asked before? They’d met up between her leaving and the Empire’s rise. A voice in the back of his head whispered that he'd been too caught up in his own life to look too hard at hers.

“I did the only thing I could think of. I went to Padmé.”

“I didn’t know—”

“I made her swear to not tell you,” Ahsoka cut in. “I was embarrassed and terrified and I couldn’t think of anywhere else to go.”

She wasn’t looking at him anymore.

“How…I feel about Barriss is how I feel about you right now,” Ahsoka said softly. “I still like you but I also want to punch you in the face—” her voice caught in her throat and Anakin watched tears gather in her eyes before she turned on him, fierce anger on her face as everything she snapped and everything she had been holding back exploded out of her. “How could you? After everything, how could you!? We were the good guys—!

“I know.”

She was properly sobbing now, lekku shaking with emotion and tears rolling down her cheeks. “You weren’t meant to help—help destroy it all! We were supposed to win and be happy! Padmé said she would talk you into leaving when the war was—was over and we could all be together again! You were meant to come back, not join the Dark side!

Anakin just watched in shock as she fell apart.

She was only a child still; thrust into a war, kicked out on her own, and dropped into a Galactic disaster with all her support gone. Everything she had ever hoped for and everyone she had cared about had slipped through her fingers.

“You were meant to come back!” She punched him in the arm. “I thought you were dead!

“I know. I really fucked up. I’m sorry, Ahsoka,” Anakin said.

Ahsoka kept crying, wrapping her arms about her body again and hiccuping, “You’re a fuck—fucking idiot.”

“I know. Come here?” Anakin offered, opening his arms to her.

Ahsoka looked at him for a moment through red eyes before she threw herself at Anakin, pressing her face into the top of his shirt and wrapping her arms about his torso in a near-crushing hug. He quickly manoeuvred himself so as not to be hit with her montrals and then wrapped his arms around her in return.

“I thought you were dead,” she sobbed into his shirt, the moisture seeping through the fabric and sticking against his skin. “I mourned you. Everyone said you were dead.”

Anakin felt his heart sink in his chest; he’d really dropped the ball on Ahsoka. Anakin had been so caught up in his own life and stress he’d completely missed how she was struggling as well. She was practically his child and he’d abandoned her.

Anakin murmured, “I’m sorry, Snips,” as she let out all of her anguish into his shirt.

Ahsoka cried for a while. It seemed she’d been holding this all in for a long while and couldn’t find it in herself to stop. Anakin could feel her confusion and pain and sadness staining the Force around her. He patted a soothing hand on her back, projecting into the Force as much care and love and remorse he could muster to try and ease away her hurt.

Ahsoka sniffed for a while before her head raised again. “Why haven't you yelled back at me?”

Anakin frowned. “Because you’re right. I was a fucking idiot that helped an evil man destroy our lives. I’m going to regret that decision for the rest of my life, Ahsoka, and be eternally thankful to Obi-Wan for being a self-sacrificing bastard and stopping me from going further. You’re welcome to hate me forever if you want,” Anakin said slowly. “I wouldn’t blame you. I’d hate me.”

“It probably won’t be forever,” Ahsoka muttered and pulled away.

Anakin nodded, and let her go. She ended up only moving so far as to put some space between them, but still kept close enough that their shoulders brushed companionably.

“Do you ever wonder what would have happened if Obi-Wan hadn’t intervened?” Ahsoka asked quietly.

“Yes and no,” Anakin sighed. “I don’t know how much Obi-Wan told you about it all, but he only managed to stop it because he’d been having Force visions about the whole thing. I died in the vision but…”

“But?” Ahsoka pressed.

“But I don’t think I died. That day the Force was telling me that I was going to suffer, not that I would die.” Anakin stared at Ahsoka. “I think I would have survived. Beyond that, I don't even want to think about it. I was scared and reckless and made the worst decision of my life—”

“That’s saying something,” Ahsoka grumped.

Anakin laughed. “Like you’ve got a perfect record.”

“Better than yours!”

“That’s a low bar at this point, Snips.”

Ahsoka shoved her shoulder against his, a small smile on the edge of her lips.

The thought of what might have been weighed heavily on his chest. Every so often it would resurface in his mind and Anakin would feel the ice-cold grip of fear cover him. He knew partly what would have happened. Somehow, he would have lived; the Force had whispered promises of pain and suffering in his ear for weeks. He’d assumed it was to do with Padmé, that he would suffer when she died…but it was that and more.

Padmé would have been dead and he would have inevitably gone back to Sidious. He would have been angry and righteous and burning with desire to revenge himself upon Obi-Wan. Anakin knew himself well enough to know that. He would have done anything. He would have never doubted Palpatine. His family would be gone—

Anakin was filled with terror at Luke and Leia ever knowing what he’d done. What he’d nearly done. All of it shamed him to his core. All Anakin wanted now was for his family to be happy and safe. Padmé, Obi-Wan, Luke, Leia, and Ahsoka.

Anakin shook his head, attempting to chase the thoughts away. “I love you, Ahsoka, you know that right?”


“I’ve been trying to be better,” Anakin said slowly, “and I want to be a better friend to you. Would you be okay with that? Starting over?”

“You have seemed more relaxed here,” Ahsoka observed.

“Yeah,” Anakin replied, “can’t say I miss being a Jedi. The helping people part was great, sure, but the rest of the dogma? The limitations? Not so much.”

Ahsoka sighed. “Same.”

There was along period of quiet as they watched the wind kick sand around, the pair of them just sitting in quiet, leant up against each other.

“Okay,” Ahsoka said finally. “Let’s start again—but if you ever do something like that again I will hunt you to the ends of the galaxy! Got it, Skyguy?”

If Sidious ever got his claws in Anakin’s head again, then he was glad Ahsoka was ready to take him out. However, Anakin would do everything in his power to never let that happen. He didn’t want her to ever have to deal with such a thing.

“Loud and clear, Snips,” Anakin agreed.

They’d sat out a while longer until Padmé called them in for lunch.

After their heart to heart, Ahsoka thawed off more and more. They both actively attempted to spend more time together and Anakin had taken to showing her around the homestead and instructing her on how to work and fix everything. She lapped up the information happily and was soon joining him on the occasional repair job when he needed an extra pair of hands.

The locals had been skeptical to begin with, looking the young Togrutan woman up and down with distain, but Anakin firmly informed them all that ‘Snips’ was his protégé and she was just as good as he was. A few had thought she was his property until Ahsoka had told them exactly where they could shove that idea. After those few mixed encounters and a few chances for Ahsoka to show her worth, no-one objected to Anakin having her along. Ahsoka seemed to like having something to do and a way to be helpful besides entertaining the twins as well as giving her some excellent life skills on how to fix anything.

Ahsoka still spent a lot of time playing with and looking after the twins and after she and Anakin had repaired some of their relationship, Ahsoka admitted that Padmé had said she could train them.

That had been a bit of a shock.

He’d nodded at Ahsoka, but gone directly to the source of the issue. Anakin recognised the need for it and the benefits of it being Ahsoka and not their parents but he would have liked to have a say on it and not find out a good two weeks after the decision had been made.

Anakin had cornered Padmé on her vaporator round and said some rather choice words. After a very heated conversation between the two of them, Padmé relented and promised to let him in on important decisions on the twins and apologised for forgetting to mention it. 

Generally, everything was going really well.

Luke was in an odd mood.

He’d caught Anakin’s attention by calling, “Daddy!” from his crib, evidently awake after his mid-morning nap.

Leia had been taken into town with Padmé and Ahsoka to visit Padmé’s crafting friend. They’d decided that the twins should spend a little more time apart from one another as part of their emotional growth. They both needed to learn how to be apart; the fact that Luke had cried for a good thirty minutes after they’d left really reiterated that point.

Anakin walked into their room and leant over the crib, petting a gently hand over Luke’s hair.

“Daddy!” Luke yelled again, attempting to climb up and over the sides of his bed.

“Yeah, yeah,” Anakin said, wrapping his hands around Luke and lifting him up. “Daddy’s here.”

“No!” Luke retorted, wriggling in Anakin’s grip.

“Yes!” Anakin grinned back and hefted Luke onto his hip.

“No Daddy! Daddy!”

“I have no idea what’s gotten into you, Lukey,” Anakin mumbled and carried him upstairs. Maybe some lunch would remove whatever bug had made it into his system. Luke wriggled the whole way.

Luke continued to be contrary, grumbling through the entirety of lunch and continuing to yell variations of “No” and “Daddy” and Anakin was finding it very vexing. He was just about to do a little bit of investigating in the Force when the door swung open.

Obi-Wan looked very windblown; his hair tousled all about his face which was reddened around the cheeks. “Looks like we may have a sandstorm later,” he remarked, shaking his hair out. “You should call Padmé.”

“Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy,” Luke chanted, drawing Anakin’s attention back down.

“What is it Luke?”

Luke wasn’t looking at him; Luke was staring at Obi-Wan, arms outstretched and still chanting vehemently.

Obi-Wan looked as though someone had dropped a bomb in his lap. He had completely frozen in his tracks, wide eyes fixed on Luke. Anakin didn’t think he was breathing. Luke seemed to sense the change in mood, slowly trailing off his chanting into a more questioning chant. His bottom lip may have been wobbling slightly.

“Obi-Wan?” Anakin asked, speaking up over his son.

“Mmm?” Obi-Wan hummed back instinctively, still staring at Luke.

“Luke wants you.”

Obi-Wan blinked. “Yeah.”

As if possessed, Obi-Wan staggered over into Luke’s space. He reached out a hand and let Luke grip onto his fingers, still transfixed. Obi-Wan sent Anakin a nervous glance, eyebrows furrowed and lips pressed together. Anakin could feel the swirl of confusion and joy in Obi-Wan, topped with hesitation…he was…worried how Anakin felt…

“It’s okay, Obi-Wan,” Anakin said quietly, placing his hand on Obi-Wan’s shoulder.

Anakin was a tiny bit jealous if he was being honest with himself, but he loved the fact that Luke thought Obi-Wan was also his parent even more. Anakin also wasn’t about to tell his son off for being more perceptive than the rest of them. Clever lad.

“Are you sure?”

Anakin huffed. “Wouldn’t have said it if I wasn’t.”

Obi-Wan shot him an exasperated smile and lifted Luke from the chair. Luke shoved his face into Obi-Wan’s shirt and mumbled something incoherent. Obi-Wan was still staring at Luke with a faint sense of wonder.

“You want to try feeding him the rest of lunch? He was being a right pain for me,” Anakin said. “I’ll make us something and call Padmé.”

Obi-Wan agreed and Anakin set to finding where he’d put the comm. After circling the house twice and listening to Luke being slightly less fussy, he found it hidden under a pillow in the twins room. After a quick chat to Padmé who promised they would leave immediately to avoid the storm, Anakin returned upstairs and set to throwing a meal together.

When he returned, Obi-Wan was seated on the couch with Luke on the floor in front of him, evidently having finished lunch. Luke, once he spotted Anakin, began stumbling across the room to him.

“Luke, let your dad make lunch in peace,” Obi-Wan suggested.

“No! Daddy!” Luke grumbled and attempted to climb up the stairs into the kitchen after Anakin.

“I think this could be a little confusing,” Obi-Wan said.

Anakin shrugged. “Ahsoka called both of us Master and we managed that.”


“Up!” Luke said doing a little jump in the air, trailing after Anakin as he returned to the lounge and placed the food on Obi-Wan’s lap.

“I’ll pick you up soon, Luke. We’re eating lunch, you’ll have to wait,” Anakin responded, sitting down beside Obi-Wan.

“No. Up!” Luke said, staring at the pair of them. After a moment he became frustrated, jumped, and then looked around the room frantically.

“Up! Up!” Luke repeated and held out his hand where one of his small ships rested. The fighter smoothly came to life in his hands and flew up to the ceiling. Luke pointed and continued his repetition of ‘Up.”

“Oh, you want to float?”

“Yes! Float. Wanto float.”

Anakin Force-lifted Luke up into the air and they both watched Luke happily float a few feet off the ground as the toddler controlled his ship to fly around himself. He then proceeded to make all the appropriate whooshing and firing sounds to go along with it.

“He’s much chattier when Leia’s not here, isn’t he?” Obi-Wan said, watching the whole interaction quietly.

“Yes he is. She’s rather bossy.”

“I wonder where she could possibly get that from,” Obi-Wan said snidely.

Anakin chose to ignore him. Technically speaking, she probably got it from all of them.

They ate their meal in silence. Anakin eventually got tired of concentrating on not dropping his son, and lowered him to the floor again. Luke only grumbled for a minute and crawled about on the floor, excitedly crawling towards one of Leia’s gooberfish under the table.

“Are you sure you are alright with it?” Obi-Wan asked again when they’d finished eating.

He resisted sighing. “Yes, Obi-Wan. What’s the problem?” Anakin’s mind ticked over a thought.He hadn’t exactly signed up to be a parent. “Are you okay with it?”

“I…” Obi-Wan trailed off. He seemed to be at a loss for words. Anakin waited.

After a few minutes had passed, Anakin tried again. “Obi-Wan?”

“I’m trying to put it into words,” Obi-Wan said tightly. Anakin could feel anxiety leeching through Obi-Wan’s shields.

“Then don’t,” Anakin said, placing his hand on Obi-Wan’s and sending a gentle caress along their bond.

Obi-Wan’s hand flinched away.

Anakin felt his heart drop. Was Obi-Wan that unhappy about it? Did he not want to do this anymore? Everything had been going so well and Anakin had been trying so hard—Surely this could not be the thing that broke them apart?

He could feel the cold coil of fear twist in his chest.

Something must have shown on his face when Obi-Wan muttered a quiet, “Sorry. Sorry, It’s a good idea. I still love you,” and leant his forehead against Anakin’s. He took a deep breath in and out, then Anakin felt his shields around their bond lower.

Obi-Wan’s mind was swirling with emotions—fear of intruding on Anakin and Padmé’s family—joy at Luke thinking of him as a father—terror at being a father—something he’d never ever expected in his life—deep deep affection for Luke—an unwillingness to fully let himself step into such a role—fear that he hadn't been the best mentor for Anakin and would fail Luke—Anakin pulled back.

“You’re scared,” Anakin said, his voice tinged with disbelief. He shook his head. “You’ve been doing great with the twins and do everything that Padmé and I do.”

“I only saw myself as more of an uncle figure. Technically, they are not in any way mine—”

“Doesn’t matter. It’s no different, Obi-Wan. Luke’s just decided you are also ‘Dad’—which, looking at his logic, is pretty good; we all look after him, we all love him, we all love each other.”

“I suppose,” Obi-Wan sighed, leaning into Anakin. “Everything was so much easier when I could put these feelings aside.”

“Maybe, but was it better?”

“No,” Obi-Wan admitted.

Luke, having noticed the change in mood, attempted to climb into Obi-Wan’s lap and press the gooberfish into his hands.

“Thank you, Luke.”

“Welcome,” Luke responded, perfectly imitating his mother’s lilt.

“Do you want to talk to Padmé about it?” Anakin suggested.

Obi-Wan shook his head. “We had a somewhat similar conversation shortly after the twins were born. I already know she's going to agree with you.”

“Then there you go. We have no problem with it, so it’s up to you.”

Obi-Wan relented and reached down to lift Luke onto his lap. Luke lifted up the gooberfish and very helpfully shoved it into Obi-Wan’s face.

“What do you think, Luke?” Obi-Wan asked him, gently moving the stuffed toy out of his face.

“Dad kiss,” Luke replied. “Kissy kiss.”

Anakin watched Obi-Wan’s face melt into soft acceptance, leaning down and kissing Luke on his chubby cheek. Luke laughed happily, shouting, “More!” when Obi-Wan leant back.

Obi-Wan gave Luke the small, exasperated smile he’d used to give Anakin when he was a Padawan (or after suggesting a particularly reckless plan as a Knight), and leant back in to pepper Luke with even more kisses. Luke shrieked with joy and attempted to kiss back when Obi-Wan stopped, little fingers grabbing a firm hold of his shirt.

“What, none for me, Lukey-Lu?” Anakin asked, faking affront and poking his son in his stomach.

Luke turned, still smiling, and puckered his lips at Anakin.

He was so adorable. Luke still had baby fat around his face and a bright smile with a selection of teeth poking through. Anakin loved how much of himself he could see in Luke’s face, and how much he had of Padmé and Obi-Wan’s calmer personalities.

Anakin grinned brightly at Luke and swooped in. He grabbed Luke around the waist, pulled him closer and pressed a big kiss against his cheek while tickling his sides. Luke wriggled and squeaked happily, falling back onto Obi-Wan’s lap as he lost balance. His bright joy suddenly flooded the Force around them. Anakin basked in his son’s happiness, feeling his own smile expand. He let up for a moment and Luke squirmed in Obi-Wan’s lap for a moment longer and then turned on Anakin.

His little face squashed in thought before he lunged at his father, imitating the tickling motions with his hands. Anakin pretended that it was very effective, laughing while sliding sideways off the couch and onto the floor.

Luke followed him, Obi-Wan gently helping him off the couch, before Luke jumped directly onto Anakin. He let out a pained “Oof!” as twelve kilos of child landed on his stomach. What proceeded was a good twenty minutes of tomfoolery and rolling around on the floor. Obi-Wan joined them at some point, kneeling beside them and periodically attacking both of them before Anakin grabbed a hold of him and dragged him to lie down with them.

They were all still laying on the floor and giggling like idiots when Padmé, Ahsoka and Leia returned. They seemed to have beaten the sandstorm, but all the three of them were very windblown. Leia was thoroughly wrapped up to keep the sand out of her eyes, with Padmé and Ahsoka both wearing goggles and scarfs about their heads.

“Welcome back,” Anakin said, grinning up at the three of them.

Padmé lifted up her goggles and quirked her lips. “Hello. Having fun?”

“Mummy!!” Luke exclaimed, scrambling up to greet his mother and latching onto her leg.

Leia immediately began fussing and Padmé put her down beside her brother. The pair of them then began chatting in gibberish to one another, obviously pleased to be back together.

“How was Jeina?” Obi-Wan asked, standing up and offering Anakin a hand as well.

Anakin took it and pulled himself up.

“Jeina was very good. She showed Ahsoka how to crochet.”

Anakin grinned at her. “Going to be making anything soon?”

Ahsoka scrunched her nose up at him. “Nah. It was entertaining for one afternoon but it didn’t really interest me. Jeina was nice though.”

“She also mentioned that the Bonta Eve Classic is on in a couple of days,” Padmé said, pulling the scarf from her face, draping it on Obi-Wan. “You and Ahsoka should go, Ani. You didn’t get to last year.”

That had been when the three of them had been sleep-deprived beyond measure. Anakin hadn’t even known he’d missed it until weeks after the fact.

He would like to go.

“Want to see some real pod-racing, Snips?” Anakin asked.

Ahsoka’s eyes lit up. “Oh, hell yes!”

Two days later, Anakin found himself at the Grand Arena in Mos Espa with Ahsoka. They’d run off with the speeder and made an afternoon of the whole thing. Obi-Wan and Padmé had decided to stay home with the twins, which was probably for the best; Padmé wasn’t very interested in it all, and Anakin knew Obi-Wan would watch the whole thing with a pained expression and exude anxiety into the Force. The few times he’d managed to convince Obi-Wan to go, he’d tried to be supportive, but the whole thing just seemed to stress him out. The unnecessary danger and violence didn’t seem to appeal to him for some reason…Also the fact Anakin would often race probably didn’t help.

Ahsoka was watching the whole thing with fascination. She had linked her arm in his so they couldn't be separated (they also had a blaster each tucked beneath clothes just in case) and were watching the crowd closely.

“I could make some awesome contacts here,” Ahsoka said under her breath.

“Probably, but not today, Snips.”

She huffed. “Why not?”

“Because all anyone is interested in today is betting. They’re not going to want to help out some off-worlder—win or lose. You'd do better making contacts when we’re out fixing stuff,” Anakin explained. “Also, we’re having a nice day out.”

Fine,” Ahsoka agreed, all sarcasm and rolled eyes. “We can have fun if we have to.”

“Yup. Mandatory fun day today.”

They took the time to meander about and investigated the food on offer but decided that most of it looked questionable at best and left it well alone. Anakin did find a man selling pallies and purchased one for each of them, Ahsoka devouring hers quickly with sharp teeth and declaring it delicious. After feeling a bit more fed and having exhausted things to look at, they made their way out onto the stands and found a space to watch.

“Eugh,” Ahsoka said, nose pointed up at the dais on their right. “Jabba.”

“Hutts are scum,” Anakin informed her. “Don’t look at him, it’s asking for trouble.” Last thing they needed was Jabba’s attention. Obi-Wan had apparently already sidestepped an invitation for Anakin to do some work for Jabba. No way. Not ever.

Ahsoka turned to look at Anakin properly, a thoughtful expression on her face. “Why do you hate them so much? You wouldn’t tell me last time we were here with Stinky.”

Fuck it, she couldn’t think any less of him. “A Hutt once owned me and my Mom. She was a cruel master who eventually lost us in a bet with Watto. He then lost me in a bet with Master Jinn.”

Ahsoka stared at him with wide eyes. “Master Jinn won you in a bet?”

“I think technically he won my freedom but its much of a sameness. He also won a hyperdrive.”

Anakin was still a little bitter that he was a nice bonus to go with a ship part.

Anakin was still very bitter about how he’d had to leave his mother in slavery. At least she’d had a short period of happiness with Cliegg Lars. He should visit her again soon.

“They’re about to start!” Ahsoka said excitedly, pointing at the starting line.

The people that had been clustered around the pods scattered; running quickly from the track to the sidelines as the roar of each engine kicked in. The flag bearers walked off slowly, their coloured fabrics whipping violently in the wind. The drivers had a tough race ahead of them with that wind.

Anakin could feel the way his heart trilled at the sight and sound and smell of it all. He could remember the exact feeling of exhilaration he’d felt so many years ago.

The crowd was on their feet, the air thick with anticipation and the roar of the pods reached a deep hum like a thousand angry Genosians. The combined sounds drowned out everything else. Anakin could no longer hear what Ahsoka was saying and waved his hand by his ears before he pointed her back to the track. Anakin watched with vivid interest as each racer revved their pod and stared fixedly at the lights.

Jabba’s gong sounded.

The first light ticked on and the pod’s revving reached a thunderous crescendo and the pods shot across the starting line, kicking up sand into the air. One pod hadn’t taken off; they watched him fiddle with the dials before one of the engines exploded and the crowd cheered.

There was always one.

Anakin and Ahsoka watched the screens around the track in total enraptured silence as the pods zoomed through the course. One pod got taken out by a stray bullet from the Tuskens camping by the track and another just incinerated itself on a straight. Anakin figured the cooling system must have failed.

“You know, I won this race,” Anakin said below the roar of the crowd, grinning widely as a few racers sped through the starting posts again. “Only human to ever do it. That’s how Qui-Gon won me.”

Ahsoka looked at him with wide eyes. “You did this?”

“Yeah. I loved racing. I took Obi-Wan a few times to some underground ones on Coruscant later on too.”

Ahsoka stared at the track as the rest of drivers came around again, only just catching Ahsoka saying, “That’s awesome.”

They stared at the screens as the racers sped off into the desert again, Anakin’s ears still ringing from the roar of the departed pods. Oh how he’d missed that sound.

I want to do this,” Ahsoka breathed out in awe.

Anakin paused.

“Do you?”

“Kriff yes! Look at this! It looks like crazy fun and way easier than flying in a war zone. I could totally do it.” Ahsoka asserted, crossing her arms and grinning confidently.

“We should then; build and race it next year,” Anakin said excitedly. He could feel the slightly manic grin making its way onto his face. Padmé had said he couldn't race; Anakin could totally build one and Ahsoka could race.

“Can we even build one from scratch?” Ahsoka asked.

Anakin scoffed. “I could build one from scrap parts when I was nine, Ahsoka. I won with that thing. We can do so much better.”

Ahsoka just looked back at him in awe.

They continued to watch the race in silence—Anakin already planning exactly what he would need—and winced as another pod malfunctioned and zoomed directly into a stalagmite within the caves. That area was so tricky. He’d definitely have to give Ahsoka some training and let her get a lot of practice in. The crowed cheered in excitement as the dark green pod—apparently some hot-shot Wookiee from Kashyyyk—overtook the vibrant orange pod from Malastare. The pods rocketed through the starting posts in preparation for for the final lap.

“Can we paint it 501st blue?” Ahsoka asked after the noise had died down again.

“Of course.”

Ahsoka grinned. “Kriff yeah. Let’s do this. I can make sure I’m back on Tatooine next year for it.”

They watched the final lap with hearts in their throats as an intense battle commenced between the Wookiee and the Dug. Anakin and Ahsoka seemed to have silently decided that they were cheering for the Wookiee—though likely for different reasons. The two racers traded places, one managing to pull ahead of each other for a brief period of time before the other retook the lead. They weaved skilfully through each area (another two random pods being lost to the Raiders, and another exploding from coming off a cliff wrong) before they were rapidly approaching the finish line.

“Come on, come on, come on,” Anakin whispered under his breath, “they can totally push that thing harder—!”

The Wookiee won by the tip of their engine. Ahsoka had been jubilant, throwing her arms around Anakin and shrieking along with the crowd, “That was fucking wizard!”

The Wookiee (Shrilreuck, as the announcers informed them) was awarded with a rather hefty sum of credits and was literally showered with emerald wine. That was going to be one sticky Wookiee in about an hour when she dried off.

Once the winners ceremony concluded and the track was open to the public, Anakin let her walk around for a little while and check out the pods. She circled them with focused attention, investigating the engines and control pod closely. Anakin somehow ended up in a conversation with the pit crew about maintenance and where he could find some specific parts on Tatooine. Evidently he needed to check out a junk shop in Anchorhead.

Then Anakin spotted Watto talking to a Toong some ways down the track.

Time to go then.

Anakin quickly separated himself from the pit crew and collected Ahsoka. He briefly explained why they had to go. To her credit, she nodded, understanding immediately, and they left the arena with determined steps. They were caught a couple of times by locals who wanted a chat or to hire Seripas and Snips. Anakin allowed a brief chat for each, taking down comm numbers for new customers and then excused themselves, citing that his wife would kill him if he was home late. They bought it and let them go.

Anakin let Ahsoka drive home and was unsurprised when she drove rather faster than usual with a deranged grin on her lips. Anakin could sympathise. He was still feeling a little adrenaline swamped after that. It was a fun drive home.

They arrived to find Obi-Wan and Padmé curled up on the couch together. They we laying horizontally across it, side by side with pillows tucked up behind them. Obi-Wan had an arm thrown over her shoulder and Padmé’s head was nestled on his chest. They were both examining a holo-reader on Padmé’s lap, softly talking and indicating to the screen. It was a very quietly intimate scene. Neither of them noticed Anakin and Ahsoka coming in, completely engrossed in whatever it was they were looking at.

“We’re back!” Ahsoka said brightly. “And we’re gonna build a pod-racer!”

Anakin could hear Obi-Wan sigh from across the room.

“Anakin, we talked about the fact you can’t race—” Padmé started.

“I’m not racing,” Anakin said, a tiny bit too smugly.

“I am.”

Padmé and Obi-Wan both turned their heads to look at Ahsoka. She stood firmly with her hands folded over her chest, chin held high.

“Are you sure?” Padmé asked gently.

“Yeah.” Ahsoka nodded firmly. “I want to. It looks like an awesome amount fun.”

Anakin heard Obi-Wan’s muttered, “She gets it from him.”

Hell yeah she did; they were going to have an amazing time with this.

Padmé nodded and returned to looking at Anakin. “So long as you’re both sensible and safe about it.”

“Yes, dearest,” Anakin agreed, gave Ahsoka the thumbs up and headed over to his two lovely partners. “What are you looking at?” Anakin asked, leaning over them and peering at the screen.

Padmé held it up for him; it appeared to be a whole lot of records and accounts.

“Bail wanted me to look at some documents for him so Obi-Wan and I were looking through them,” Padmé explained. “We’ve spotted a few dodgy things already.”

“Looks like legislation. The Senate?” Anakin asked.

“Yes,” Obi-Wan said, “there’s some poorly worded areas that definitely need addressing, as well as some budgeting errors; there’s money slipping though the cracks to somewhere.”

“Sounds dodgy.”


“Well, we’re both starving—the food they were selling looked very suspiciously like grilled Jawa—so we’ll get started on dinner,” Anakin said, stepping back.

“Would you like assistance?” Obi-Wan asked.

“No, you both stay there, you look very comfortable. I was going to show Ahsoka how to make Mom’s ahrisa recipe anyway. I think we’ve got all the ingredients.”

“Sounds good, thank you, darling,” Padmé said.

Anakin leant down and pressed a kiss to each of their foreheads before following Ahsoka into the kitchen.

Things were good.

Chapter Text

It had been six months since Obi-Wan had come home with Ahsoka. 

Everyone was happy and keeping themselves occupied around the house: All four adults continued to maintain the vaporators, Ahsoka would intermittently train the twins, Anakin and Obi-Wan would vanish to train up in the hills, Anakin and Ahsoka would work on their pod-racer and go into town on jobs, and Padmé would spend her time with her family and continue to work on examining the documents Bail had sent her. Basically, everyone had settled into their own little roles and routines as they went about their day, while maintaining a constant balancing act between the four of them to raise their smallest two.

She’d been initially surprised when the twins began calling Obi-Wan ‘Dad’ as well as Anakin. She’d expected him to freak out some, but he took it without even blinking.

Padmé had been unable to resist pointing out, “You know they're calling you Dad, right?”

Obi-Wan had smiled. “Yes. Luke started it the other day. Are…are you alright with that? Anakin and I thought you would be but I don't want to—”

“It’s lovely,” Padmé had assured him. “Though I think it’s going to get confusing.”

“Hm. I thought the same, though Anakin says otherwise.”

Padmé had to smile. “Give him a week.”

She was right. A week later of the twins confusing the heck out of them all with calling the both of them Dad. Anakin had grudgingly admitted he’d been wrong and they’d set about teaching the twins to call Anakin ‘Dad’ and Obi-Wan ‘Daddy’. It had taken some time, but they’d gotten there in the end.

Anakin and Ahsoka had thrown themselves into building their pod-racer. They’d begun working on it only a few days after returning from the race, both eager to begin. Anakin had made a few trips around the settlements and towns and picked up some key parts and materials to get them started. So now when the pair of them had a moment free, they’d head outside and tinker at it. Anakin had even built a rudimentary shed to house the pod in and keep sand off it. The two of them were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Padmé still had her reservations about it. It was dangerous; on and off the race track. Padmé could still vividly remember how terrified she’d been when she first saw Anakin race, and she’d stated very early on that she and the twins were not going to come to races. Anakin had been disappointed but had understood her point of view. She’d also made him promise to conceal their identities as best they could. They could trust the local populace with their faces and a fake name, but she didn’t trust the fact that anyone could come to the races. Anakin had thus promised to conceal their faces under the guise of fashion and privacy when they raced, so that was at least something. She wanted him to be happy, and doing this seemed to be doing just that, so she would support him in this endeavour, but she had to know they were making it as safe as possible. For Ahsoka and for the whole family. This mustn’t put them in danger. That, she was adamant about.

Padmé also thought it was especially important they didn’t make too many waves given that it was also becoming apparent that both Luke and Leia were very strong in the Force. They had progressed well past haphazardly dragging items around with the Force and now they were able to float items with precision and skill. Ahsoka also asserted that, in her opinion, the twins had a very close bond and communicated a lot that way which was contributing to their burgeoning ability to perform the odd mind trick.

Ahsoka had had to prioritise teaching them both to shield once that came to light, and while both were making some headway, they were no good at doing so without prompting. None of the adults were surprised given they were only a year and a half old. Unless it was fun or had a clear reward, neither child was going to take the initiative. However, after Leia had nearly compelled her mother to give her a blaster off the high shelf, Ahsoka and the boys went about teaching Padmé rudimentary shielding.

It took her a couple of weeks, the first few days definitely being the worst where it felt as though Ahsoka was just making shit up because it all seemed so abstract. Ahsoka, clearly aware that she wasn’t catching on, pulled Anakin and Obi-Wan in and they tried to help. Anakin ended up being the most help, actually dipping into her head and helping her feel around for where she was trying to create shields. Once she had a clearer idea, while it still took time, she actually made some headway and was now actually able to follow what Ahsoka was saying. Learning alongside the twins had been fun as well, given how quickly they were picking up new words; Obi-Wan said that was fairly normal for Force-sensitive children so she wasn’t worried about it. It was nice to be able to communicate with them, even if it was still a mishmash of real words and gibberish.

Obi had at least been a great motivator, even if he hadn’t been much concrete help. He encouraged and praised her over her efforts, claiming that she was doing very well for someone who had no experience with this sort of thing. She could certainly see why the men under Obi-Wan’s command and Anakin were so enamoured with the man; he was very honest and open in his compliments and Padmé had felt rather uplifted for a good few hours afterward. That and his undivided attentions felt very special and she’d had to resist kissing him again.

It was an ongoing problem.

The whole flirting thing had continued with full gusto. Padmé had been ongoing in her attempts to seduce Obi-Wan, even though it hadn't really gone anywhere so far, but she was enjoying the attempt. She had at least learnt from her last failure and hadn’t gotten so into the seduction that she had to resort to any more trysts with Anakin. Sure, Anakin had enjoyed it, but Padmé had been a little embarrassed about it.

Thus she had stepped it down a little bit, returning to lingering touches and getting in his space. Draping herself over him was often effective, as was wearing low cut shirts and other loose items that just wouldn’t stay in place. That and Anakin’s clothes. She’d noted how Obi-Wan’s eyes had gone dark when she’d come upstairs in one of Anakin’s tunics; too loose and smelling of him was evidently too much for Obi-Wan. She’d ferreted that information away for the future.

Obi-Wan had reciprocated similarly. He was becoming more relaxed about touching her and they would often curl up on the couch together when Anakin was out. Padmé had dragged him into helping her with Bail’s work more often given how skilled he was at such investigations. She’d initially missed the funding errors and the missing money until he had pointed it out.

She continued to wonder which of them would give in first.

Currently, Padmé’s money was on herself. Obi-Wan was becoming harder and harder to resist with his stupid charming smile and lovely blue-green eyes and floppy ginger hair—bah.


Padmé and Anakin stood in the kitchen, cups of caf clutched in their hands like lifelines. Luke had come down ill the day before and he was not having a good time. He’d spent a lot of the night crying and kept the whole house up. Padmé felt like sinking into the nearest chair and just giving up for a few hours. Instead they turned to sweet, sweet caffeine.

Obi-Wan was similarly tired. He had only recently appeared upstairs as he had spent the night with Leia in his room in a vain attempt to at least get one child to sleep. He had already chugged two cups of tea without a word, staring blearily at the countertop.

“Morning,” Obi-Wan mumbled placing his now empty mug on the counter with a loud click.

“Did you and Leia sleep at all?” Anakin asked, brushing hair out of Obi-Wan’s face. It had gotten rather long, as hers had as well, left to grow for so long. They should both get it cut soon; they needed to maintain anonymity. Anakin’s hair was rather long now as well, and most often pulled up in a tail or bun, but when left loose fell past his shoulders by a good few inches. It was a good look on him. Very regal.

Obi-Wan sighed. “I didn’t. Leia got an hour or two.” Padmé watched as Obi-Wan leant in a gave Anakin a long, slow kiss.

Padmé was more than ready for the day Obi-Wan decided that he was okay to start a relationship with her. The flirting was incredibly fun and a terrible tease for the past couple of months but she wanted.

“Hmm,” Obi-Wan said, pulling back from Anakin, “I should check she’s still asleep.”

Obi-Wan then turned to his left and leant in to Padmé.

Padmé’s breath caught as Obi-Wan kissed her softly, leaning in and curling his hand around the back of her neck. Her heart fluttered hopelessly and leant into him, revelling in the tingling feeling where he touched her.

Her head was spinning when he pulled back.

“I’ll be back shortly,” Obi-Wan mumbled blearily and retreated back downstairs.

Padmé looked over to Anakin who was looking at her with something akin to wonder. She flashed him a questioning look before he shrugged and shook his head. Padmé stared at the half open door he’d vanished down in disbelief. Did he even realise…?

“How long until he notices?” Padmé whispered conspiratorially to Anakin.

Anakin was thoughtful for a moment. “I give him fifteen minutes.”

“I’ll take ten.”

It took seven; seven long minutes in which Padmé became increasingly desperate to get her hands on him again. They had been flirting for weeks and she was so, so ready.

Suddenly, Obi-Wan stumbled back into the kitchen, ears pink, stuttering out a soft, “I’m so sorry, Padmé, I just really wanted to kiss you and I was tired and I reacted without thinking—”

Padmé had reached her limit. She wrapped her arms about his shoulders and tugged him down to kiss her properly. It was like a cool glass of water after a long day in the sun; that feeling of blissful satisfaction of getting something you’ve been desperately admiring from afar. Padmé’s whole body seemed to exhale in relief.

Obi-Wan let out a tiny breath of surprise, but melted into her embrace just the same. He kissed back with equal enthusiasm, hands finding their way to her waist and tracing along her hips. Padmé hummed happily into his mouth. It felt absolutely lovely; straddling that fine line between sensuality and passion and Padmé was willing to drown herself in it. Padmé pulled herself closer, feeling hot all over and very seriously considering finding a way to climb into his lap because yes please—

“Uh, should I go…or what?” Anakin piped up behind them.

Obi-Wan pulled back with a jolt and a laugh, hands still tangled in Padmé’s shirt. Padmé felt a little dazed.

“I’ll see myself out,” Anakin said ducking awkwardly out of the kitchen. “I’ll just uh, leave you to…yes.” And he vanished.

They both watched Anakin dash out of the kitchen, Padmé certainly not missing how his eyes had gone dark and his cheeks had flushed an appealing rosy colour.

“Is this okay?” Padmé asked tracing a finger along Obi-Wan’s cheek, still happily ensconced in his arms. He held her on the edge of too tight. It was exactly what she wanted.

Obi-Wan smiled. “Yes. Very much okay,”

Padmé bit her lip and revelled in the way Obi-Wan watched the movement. Focus.

“Just to clarify, is this you indicating you’re ready to try a relationship with me, or was it all a sleep-deprived misstep?” Padmé asked softly. She sincerely hoped it was the prior.

“I am feeling very awake now,” Obi-Wan said, the edge of his lip curving in a tiny grin, “and I think I would like to try if that suits you?”

“Yes please,” Padmé agreed with enthusiasm and leant up to brush her nose against his in invitation. “It suits me very nicely.”

Obi-Wan tilted his head to press a kiss to the end of her nose. “As you wish, my dear.”

Padmé smiled as he leant down to kiss her properly, his blue eyes disappearing behind lids and the warmth of his mouth returning to hers. She could definitely get used to this.

“Oh, come on!” Ahsoka whined suddenly from behind them. “We’ve talked about this!”

Padmé let her arms drop and she reluctantly stepped back from Obi-Wan, pressing her lips together in an attempt to not smile. She hadn’t exactly meant to get so carried away, but Ahsoka was right.

“Obi-Wan, buddy,” Ahsoka said companionably, placing her hand on his shoulder. “I’m happy for you but you’ve got to stop making out with people in the kitchen. I eat here.”

“Of course, my apologies, Ahsoka,” Obi-Wan said seriously.

“Good. Now take all that,” she indicated broadly at them both with a wave of her hand, “somewhere else.”

Padmé just smiled at her, grabbed Obi-Wan’s hand in hers and pulled him toward the stairs after Anakin. Padmé waited until they were out of earshot at the bottom of the stairs before she muttered to Obi-Wan, “Well, I guess I should never tell her about the time that Ani and I had sex on the kitchen bench.”

Padmé wished she could record the sequence of expressions that crossed Obi-Wan’s face. Confusion was followed closely by shock and disbelief before it all melted into sweet, unrestrained laughter. His hand clasped to her arm as he melted against her, head falling to her shoulder, as Obi-Wan descended into hysterics.

Padmé couldn’t help it. She followed suit and burst into a fit of giggles.

Anakin poked his head out into the hall from the twins room. “Everything okay out here?”

Padmé nodded through watery eyes and a hand over her mouth, hiccuping out, “Fine, dearest.”

“Well you might want to keep it down, I just got Luke to sleep.” Anakin pulled the door to the twins room shut behind him and crossed the hall to their room. “You two good?” She noted how he worried with the hem of his shirt.

“Yes, let’s chat in private,” Padmé said, shooing Anakin into the room and dragging Obi-Wan in behind them, ignoring his objection.

Anakin threw himself onto the bed and sat cross legged in the centre, staring at the pair of them in rapture. “So…?” Anakin pressed and patted the bed in front of him.

Padmé moved to sit on the bed and gave a little tug to Obi-Wan’s hand as a suggestion. After a moment’s hesitation, Obi-Wan joined them sitting cross legged, mirroring Anakin, and completing their little triangle.

“Padmé and I have agreed to progress in our relationship,” Obi-Wan explained and Anakin grinned brightly.

“Excellent,” he said brightly, “that’s wonderful.”

“Are you okay with it all, Ani?” Padmé asked resting her hand on his knee. He was looking a little on edge and she didn’t want problems to appear because she hadn’t asked.

“I—yes,” Anakin said, a little bit too quickly.

Padmé raised her eyebrows at him and Obi-Wan frowned at him in concern. Anakin looked between the two of them and quickly came to the conclusion that he was not going to get away with any of that with the two of them.

“It’s nothing,” Anakin revised. “It’s silly and I know it’s silly so don’t worry.”

Obi-Wan made a face at him. Padmé tapped her finger against his chin and continued to stare expectantly at him.

“You’re not going to let it go are you?” Anakin asked.

Padmé shook her head. “No, sweetheart. Communication is important.”

“Fine.” Anakin sighed and crossed his arms, pulling his face away from her hand. “I just had a little moment of ‘they don’t need me’—but I already know that was me being irrational and it’s fine—”

Anakin was cut off as Obi-Wan leant forward and left a lingering kiss on his lips.

“I need you,” Obi-Wan said seriously, pulling back.

“I know,” Anakin replied grumpily though he was smiling.

“I do too, Ani,” Padmé said and gave him a brief kiss as well. Even if Anakin thought it was ‘silly’, it was a valid thought process and they needed to reassure him regardless. If they let it go on, how knows how it could go wrong. Padmé wanted this to work.

“I know,” Anakin repeated, laughing and pressing his forehead against Padmé’s.

Padmé smiled and gazed into his sky-blue eyes. “Just making sure.”

Anakin blinked. “Thank you,” he said just above a whisper. “I love you both.”

The three of them took some time to discuss what they wanted and how they were going to move forward. It was a little awkward at first, but once they got to talking it became easier. Padmé rested a hand on the knee of each of her two gentlemen. Obi-Wan placed his hand over hers and Anakin absently stroked his fingers along the back of her hand. It was very pleasant and Padmé felt her body slowly relax.

Obi-Wan maintained that he wanted to keep his own room for now and (at Anakin’s request) would occasionally stay the night with Anakin and Padmé if the mood took him. Padmé requested they have a few proper dates as the three of them. She didn’t care if it was a picnic or an evening in or what, she just wanted to set some time aside for the three of them. Anakin had mainly desired group cuddles and happily seconded Padmé’s idea.

The three of them had agreed to take the physical part of their relationship as it came and let it progress naturally. Sadly that likely meant Padmé would have to wait a little longer on climbing into Obi-Wan’s lap to have her way with him. He’d also sensibly pointed out that he should probably go on the same contraceptive medication that Anakin was on.  Padmé could have kicked herself. She was so used to her and Anakin being so on top of all that, it had completely slipped her mind. Thankfully, Obi-Wan had clearly taken her ‘never get anyone pregnant’ comment to heart. She appreciated it.

Otherwise, they were basically going to be moving forward much in the way they already had been.

While they had talked Padmé had slowly sunk in her seat until she was lying on the bed, her head in Anakin’s lap with a leg slung over Obi-Wan’s now extended legs. She was enjoying the fact that they were both absently petting her, Anakin playing with her hair and Obi-Wan rubbing circles into her calf. She felt very pampered and well loved.

Of course, that was exactly when the crying began again in the next room.

A week later of intermittent sleeping patterns, medication for Luke, and many cuddles for Leia who had been very distressed about her brother, things returned to normal. They also managed to find time for Padmé to cut her and Obi-Wan’s hair. Padmé lopped hers off at neck height again, and she did her best to return Obi-Wan’s to the length it had been when they’d first moved out here. It was a little odd in places, but it did the trick.

Padmé also snuck kisses from Obi-Wan at every chance she could get. After months of flirting and staring longingly at him, she had rather a lot of pent up attraction and desire to dispel. The kissing was helping but there was still a burning need to truly lose herself with him, but she was happy to wait until Obi-Wan was ready for such a thing. She gave Anakin a similar treatment to ensure he didn’t feel left out, although he enjoyed seeing Padmé kiss Obi-Wan, so it was all going rather well.

They did manage a date within the first two weeks of the three of them getting together. Ahsoka kept the kids entertained in their room while Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padmé had a lovely evening together. Obi-Wan made dinner, throwing together a salad and roast, and Anakin provided them with a rather nice bottle of wine.

The evening had ended with the three of them curled up on the couch in a haphazard pile of limbs. Obi-Wan was sandwiched between the two of them. Padmé had her head rested on his chest with Anakin’s head on his shoulder, their hands linked between them, just chatting absently.

Later, when Obi-Wan chose to stay the night with them, Padmé discovered that he still had nightmares. She’d ended up sleeping in the middle and had been woken to pained moans, initially thinking he was having a far more enjoyable dream until she noticed the way he was curled in about himself, hands fisting the blanket around him.

Padmé hesitated at waking him up, knowing he could lash out. Instead she began speaking softly about nothing in particular in the hopes it would rouse him.

Obi-Wan woke with a gasp, jackknifing upright and panting heavily with wild eyes as he reoriented himself. It took a minute or so, and she watched him stare at nothing while just breathing and running his hands anxiously through his hair.

“Sorry,” he whispered when he noticed Padmé’s eyes on him.

“It’s fine,” she said, sliding closer and reaching up to stroke his hair back into place. “Want to talk about it? Ani has them sometimes too.”

“Just…that last day. The Temple,” Obi-Wan admitted slowly. “I can still remember that feeling of all those lives, those lights in the Force going out. ”

“I’m sorry,” Padmé whispered.

Obi-Wan sighed and lay back down beside Padmé, his head facing hers on the pillow. “I wish I knew who was still alive. I understand why Ahsoka can’t tell us, but it is killing me.”

“The Empire cannot exist forever,” Padmé reassured him. “We’re helping to stop it and hopefully, one day, you can find them all again.”

“Then what?” Obi-Wan asked darkly. “Re-build with a broken system and a traumatised populace? No, and—I want to stay with you both.”

Padmé’s heart fluttered. “And you can,” she said, placing her hand on his cheek. “No-ones saying you have to rebuild. You can do whatever you want with your life now, Obi.”

Obi-Wan frowned, clearly thinking hard before he continued.

“I just—I can’t understand how we were able to be taking children; how parents would let us take them. I didn’t understand until now, but I couldn’t ever hand the twins over to strangers with the expectation that they would never be seen again,” Obi-Wan said breathlessly. “I can’t—how could we?”

Ah, dear.

Obi-Wan had clearly been thinking about the Jedi too much and examining their failings too closely. That was never going to end well. Padmé, possibly more than anyone, was very, very aware of their shortcomings.

“Obi, love, what you tried to be was good, but how the Jedi did things was neither good or sustainable. Both you and Anakin were both ends of the extreme of how to do things and both of you crashed and burned. Ani fell and you tried to kill yourself—

“I didn’t—”

Padmé pressed her finger on his lip. “I’m sorry, but you did, darling. It was a broken system.”

Obi-Wan looked away.

“Wasswrong?” Anakin’s voice murmured from behind Padmé, his hand appearing on her back..

“Nothing Ani, go back to sleep.”

Anakin mumbled something else, shifted in the bed, and was quiet again.

“Come on, we should sleep,” Padmé said and snuggled in closer to Obi-Wan, tucking her head beneath his chin and wrapping an arm around his torso. “We can talk more in the morning if you want.”

Obi-Wan shuffled himself so that he could throw his arm around her as well and snuffled into her hair for a moment before settling again. Padmé waited until she felt him relax and fall asleep before following suit.

She caught him the next morning when Anakin had left the bed to feed the twins. Padmé had woken still wrapped up in Obi-Wan’s arms and had kissed his neck inquisitively. “How are you feeling this morning?”

“Not great,” he said in a hushed voice. “I've just heard a few disparaging comments about the Order that Ahsoka and Anakin have said in passing. Nothing major, it was just the two of them venting their past frustrations to one another. It just...built up on me because, well, because the more I think about it, the more it seems that they are right. I just didn’t want to admit it.”

“It’s hard to admit what you believed in was wrong,” Padmé said softly. “I was devastated to realise that the Senate had lost its way and allowed Palpatine to rise to power. We failed in what we were meant to do, just as the Jedi did.”

Obi-Wan turned to look at Padmé. “How do you live with it?”

“I live with it by telling myself that I, as one person, couldn’t have done much to change the way the tide of thousands was going, and by resolving to do my best to fix it and rebuild it better when the opportunity comes,” Padmé said.

Obi-Wan was thoughtful for a long while before he leant in a kissed her reverently.

“Thank you, Padmé,” Obi-Wan said as he leant away.

“No problem. Now, shall we go give Ani a hand?”

The day was then spent as it usually was, the four of them rushing around and doing various jobs, until Padmé finally brought up the whole resistance thing over dinner with Leia in her lap and Luke attempting to climb Ahsoka’s montrals.

“So, while we’re all here, I’ve been meaning to mention an idea Bail wanted to run past you all,” Padmé said. “He was wondering if we would be okay to function as a safe house for rebellion agents.”

Padmé, Ahsoka and Obi-Wan discussed the logistics of it for a time—they’d need to expand, they’d need to have a system in place—until Anakin, who had been listening silently finally piped up, something clearly clicking in his head. “Wait. Those documents you and Obi-Wan were looking at; was that for the rebellion?”

“Yes,” Padmé said. “Bail wanted me to look at them. I offered to help however I can.”

“You can’t do that,” Anakin said, a deep frown on his face. Padmé did not miss the way that Ahsoka’s eyebrows shot up and side-eyed Anakin.

“And why not?”

“I want you to be safe,” Anakin asserted. “The rebellion isn’t going to be safe.”

“I am perfectly safe,” Padmé retorted, bristling. “I’m doing the work from here and I can take care of myself regardless. You know that. Just because we’re out here, doesn’t mean you can control what I do.”

“I know, but I can’t lose you both—”

“You’re not losing either of us,” Padmé said evenly. “I’m staying here and Obi-Wan is coming back, aren't you?”

Obi-Wan looked a little shocked to be dragged into the argument, but responded anyway with, “Of course. I’m not going anywhere unless you want me to.”

“Besides, there's nothing stopping you from helping as well,” Padmé added.

Anakin seemed thoughtful at that comment.

“Now, final thoughts on being a safe house?” Padmé pressed.

“I think its a good idea,” Ahsoka said.

“Agreed, though I have concerns about maintaining our covers here,” Obi-Wan said. “This place should really not be used unless it has to be.”

The three of them turned to look at Anakin. He was quiet for a stretch, clearly still mulling it over, a frown still on his forehead.

“Ani?” Padmé pushed after some time. “We have to be in agreement on it. If you’re not okay with it you need to say.”

Anakin’s eyes met hers searchingly and said, “If you really want to help, then I’ll support this, but I agree with Obi-Wan that it should be a last resort. Also, Bail’s got to be really fucking certain whoever he sends isn’t going to turn us in to the Empire.”

“That’s fair,” Padmé agreed. “Any other issues?” The three of them shook their heads after a moment of thought. “I’ll give those conditions to Bail then, though I’m fairly certain he will allow them. Let me know if you think of anything else as well.”

Later, when they all went to bed, Anakin apologised for his outburst and they talked it through, Padmé also admitting she should have been more transparent about the work she was doing. Anakin resolved to try and be more supportive. He recognised he’d had a moment of panic, his brain tripping over the fact that he hadn’t realised that helping Bail meant helping the rebellion. He’d felt like he wasn’t in the loop of what was happening.

“Why don't you think about helping as well,” Padmé suggested again. “That way you won’t feel left out of the loop.”

“Thanks, but what would I even do? I don’t want to leave.”

“You don’t have to go anywhere, do like I am, and do what you can from here.” She petted his hair slowly. “Think on it. You have a lot of skills, Ani, Bail could use your help.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Artoo, could you message Bail and see if he is free for a call?” Padmé asked a few days later while brushing her hair out.

Artoo whistled the affirmative and twenty minutes later he informed her Bail would be free in five minutes.

Padmé rounded up Artoo and the twins, setting herself and them on the edge of their bed and instructing the astromech to call Bail when five minutes had passed. Luke proceeded to stand on the bed and bounce himself lightly up and down, his hands attached to the shirt at the shoulders. Leia was sitting happily in her mother’s lap while Padmé plaited small sections of her hair. It was reaching just past her ears now and was a good few centimetres longer than her brothers still, evidently inheriting her mothers quick growing hair in addition to the colour.

Bail suddenly appeared, blue and see-through before her, a thick collar framing his neck and the top of his shoulders just visible in the image. He still had dark circles under his eyes and there were perpetual stress lines about his forehead.

“Hello Bail,” Padmé said and both children immediately focused in on the hologram.

“Hello again, Padmé,” Bail said pleasantly, eyes focusing on the child in her lap, “and who are these lovely things?”

“This is Leia,” Padmé said, placing a gentle hand on her head, “and behind me, bouncing like a loon, is Luke. Are you going to say hi kiddos?

Luke shoved his face into Padmé’s neck shyly mumbling something into her hair.

“Hallo,” Leia said seriously to Bail.

“Hello Leia, it is nice to meet you.” Bail smiled brightly. “They’e both lovely, Padmé. Now, what did you want to talk about?”

“Thank you. Well, the three of us discussed the possibility of being a safe house and decided to agree on two stipulations; you only use us as an absolute last resort and you are absolutely certain there is no chance of the person turning us in,” Padmé said seriously. “We absolutely cannot let Palpatine know of Anakin or the children or you are going to have much larger problems to deal with. Trust me. If you ever send anyone you have to be sure, Bail.”

Padmé didn’t realise how anxious she was feeling, throat tight and fingers digging into her own thigh, until Luke burst into tears behind her.

Kriff, she should have shielded.

“Ah dear, sorry Lukey, I’m fine, look, Mummy is fine, see?” Padmé turned her head to smile at Luke and took a few slow breaths, willing away the anxiety and attempting to put up some shielding. She hadn’t meant to get so intense about it.

“Are they both Force sensitive?” Bail asked quietly.

“Very,” Padmé said, her arm reaching back over her shoulder to stroke Luke’s head.

“How old are they now?” he asked suddenly.

“Just over eighteen months.”

“I would love to meet them,” Bail sighed, “though sadly the times do now allow for it.”

“One day.”

“Hopefully sooner than later. Well, I completely agree with your conditions, I wouldn’t send anyone I didn’t completely trust. The three of you are too important.” Bail gave her a smug grin. “If people knew the three of you were alive, I cannot even convey how much hope it would give them. Which, speaking of, I’ve been invited to speak at this years Amidala Day Celebration.”

“Up yours, Bail,” Padmé said affectionately.

The door to the bedroom swung open to reveal Anakin who immediately began talking. “Padmé, Obi and I are going to run into town, is there anything you needed—oh, hey Bail!”

“Hello Skywalker,” Bail said. “How are you?”

“Call me Anakin,” he said, bending to rustle Luke’s hair and kiss the top of Padmé’s head. “I’m excellent, thank you. How goes the Senate?”

Bail smiled. “Terrible, but we’re working on it.”

“Thats good. Also,” Anakin continued sitting down beside Padmé, “I wanted to do what I can to help. I do a lot of repair work around the settlements and spaceports; I can keep an ear out on smuggler and bounty hunter gossip for you if you’d like?”

“We could always do with more gossip,” Bail said. “It’s usually worth investigating; Palpatine seems to have soft spot for hiring bounty hunters to deal with his problems. Thank you, Anakin, it would be appreciated.”

“No problem,” Anakin said and then turned to Padmé. “Now, was there anything you wanted from town?”

“Blue milk?”

“Already on the list.”

“Hm…washing liquid; we’re nearly out. Also some fruit if there’s any.”

Anakin nodded. “We’ll try. Be back soon. Love you.”

“Love you too. See you later,” Padmé replied and shoed him out.

“He seems calmer than when I last saw him,” Bail noted. He had been watching the exchange with a smile.

When…? That must have been before the Empire. Gods that felt so long ago now. “Anakin is much happier here. Much less stress in his life. As much as everything is terrible in the Galactic sense, we’re very happy here.”

“I can imagine that the stress he was under at the end of the war would have been ridiculous.”

“Yes it was.” She quickly changed subjects. The less Bail knew about Anakin’s part in the whole thing the better. He just wouldn’t understand. “Anyway. I also wanted to go over the logistics of how being a safe house works and chat about the things Obi and I found in the documents you sent.”

Bail explained that either he or Ahsoka would contact them and give them advance warning if they were going to be sending someone. The whole point was for whoever it was to drop from the Empire’s radar, so they would house the guest (or guests) until it was safe for them to return elsewhere. Padmé had thought that sounded reasonable, and they decided that only Ahsoka should know their location for now.

Padmé then related the notes she and Obi-Wan had compiled about the documents they had read through. Bail was unsurprised at the poorly worded, loop-hole riddled law and policies, but noted it all down regardless. It was the missing funds that worried him the most. The few credits here and there didn’t look like much and was very tricky to spot, but it was collectively adding up. Bail voiced his concern.

“What could be so terrible that the man who puts through cruel, evil legislation without batting an eye on a daily basis, would need to syphon funds to secretly do things with it?” Bail asked, horror tinging the edges of his voice.

Padmé agreed that it didn’t look good and put five credits on it being some sort of devious Sith crap.

“Well, if nothing else, we now know we need to look into that as well,” Bail said. “Thank you, Padmé. I have another few things I’d like you to look at if you wouldn’t mind?”

Padmé smiled. “Of course I will, send it through to Artoo.”

The conversation eventually became more casual and gossipy, Bail filling Padmé in on the goings on of all their friends, and Padmé updating Bail on her family and what they got up to. They chatted for some time, Luke and Leia alternating between playing on the floor, playing on the bed, babbling nonsense and a few real words to Bail, and climbing all over Padmé.

As their chat drew to a close, Obi-Wan entered the room and sat down beside her.

“I thought you were going into town?” Padmé asked.

“Been in and back already. Hello there, Bail.”

“Daddy!” Leia exclaimed and proceeded to climb from the floor into Obi-Wan’s lap.

“Hello Obi-Wan. Keeping yourself busy? You seem to have inherited some children.”

“Ah, yes, in both respects. The later rather helps with keeping me busy as well,” Obi-Wan said, grinning down at Leia.

“They’re both beautiful children.”

“That they are. Now, Ahsoka’s stuck in town at the moment, but she wanted me to ask if you have any posts for her yet, and I wanted to also offer my services on short missions. I want to assist but I don’t want to be gone from home for too long,” Obi-Wan explained and Padmé smiled when his hand appeared on her knee.

Bail nodded. “I thought I’d give Ahsoka a bit of a break given how hard she worked herself for the first year, but if you think she’s okay to go back out again I do have a few things coming up I could use both your help on. Nothing too long, so you’d only be gone for a month at most.”

“Ahsoka has had some good down time now and she’s itching to get back out again,” Obi-Wan said. “A month at most sounds fine. Padmé?”

“We can go that long without you if we must,” she said, smiling and placing her hand over his. She knew how important this was to him. It wasn’t as though he was trying to disappear for eight months like he did last year.

“Well, when you and Ahsoka have a moment, call me back and we can discuss your assignments,” Bail suggested and Obi-Wan agreed. “Now; I’ve kept you away for quite a while, and I should probably head off. It has been good to catch up with you all.”

“You as well, Bail,” Padmé agreed. “Keep yourself out of trouble.”

“I shall try.”

Padmé and the twins waved goodbye to Bail, Luke evidently feeling confident enough to actually look him in the eye as he said a friendly, “Bye!”

“Come,” Obi-Wan said, standing up and taking Leia with him when the call disconnected. “Anakin found some sour berries in town and he wanted to give them to the twins.”

Padmé sighed.


A few days later found Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé relaxing in their bedroom, Ahsoka having taken off into town to socialise and make contacts and the twins having been put down for their afternoon nap.

Obi-Wan lay on the bed beside Padmé listening to Anakin muttering to himself on the floor at the end of the bed, puzzling over a device given to him by a customer. Anakin still wasn’t entirely sure what was wrong with it but he was having a good time figuring it out.

“The two of you are very organised with your contraception; how did you mess it up so badly with the twins? I assume they weren’t intentional,” Obi-Wan asked out of the blue, staring up at the roof with a faint frown.

Padmé snorted. “Where did that question come from?”

“I was just thinking about it. Anakin’s been great at reminding me in the morning, and you seem to be very on top of it, so I was just wondering.”

Padmé laughed. “I fucked it up once and that was apparently enough.”

“How so?”

“Well, back then it was only me on the pill, and because we were away from Coruscant and the diplomatic vessel I was on was captured, I didn’t have it,” Padmé explained. “And then after Ani rescued us things got a little out of hand—”

“Was that…when we picked you and the diplomatic envoys sent to Kabal up off of Grievous’ ship?” Obi-Wan asked in dawning horror.

Padmé had to press her lips together to keep from laughing.

“You did not conceive the twins mid-mission on Grievous’ ship, Anakin,” Obi-Wan said with his eyes closed and the most pained, disappointed expression Padmé thought she had ever seen on his face. “Please tell me you did not do that.”

“Mmmmm, we kinda did,” Anakin admitted reluctantly. “We had time to kill and you said to not break anything else until you arrived, soooooo whoops?”

It had not been one of their finer moments, but Anakin and the Troopers had saved the passengers (and inadvertently destroyed the engines and their transport) while chasing Grievous off the ship, so they’d all been stuck in space with a bunch of anxious senators and dignitaries until Obi-Wan could arrive with a rescue ship.

Padmé, bored and rather turned on because Ani had kicked ass during the assault, had excused him from guard duty by feigning illness and needing help. From there, she’d dragged him into an empty room to make out for a bit. However, making out devolved into heavy petting which further devolved into very emotionally intense sex on what had appeared to be Grievous’ war room table. She hadn’t remembered that she’d lost her pills two days before when the ship had been taken by Grievious’ forces until a week later when they’d finally made it back to Coruscant and she stared in horror at the box at home.

Anakin had then been away for a couple of months in which Padmé had spent the first month praying that once wasn’t enough to get pregnant, and then after finding out that it was, making the decision to keep them. The Separatists had seemed to be on the back foot and Padmé was nothing if not hopeful, so she’d decided to see it through and here they were.

“Anakin, really?” Obi-Wan asked, voice incredulous.

“Look, it was Padmé’s fault!” Anakin grumped. “She started it!”


Padmé petted her hand on Obi-Wan’s leg beside her. “Yeah. I did.”

“I cannot believe you two.”

Padmé stopped listening to Anakin and Obi-Wan’s continuing back and forth, her brain catching on the fact that she’d started that little incident.

She could start something now.

The kids were asleep, Ahsoka was out of the house, the three of them were free…

It was perfect.

Padmé rolled so she was laying on her hip, her front pressed against Obi-Wan’s side. Obi-Wan turned his head to look at her, blue eyes soft and ginger hair flopping every-which-way on the bed.

“Hello there,” Obi-Wan said with a smirk. “Can I help you?”

Padmé hummed thoughtfully, propping her head up on her left hand and tracing circles with her other fingers on his chest. “You know,” Padmé said conspiratorially, “I am living my fourteen-year-old dreams right now.”

Anakin’s head swivelled around in interest, looking up from the scattered mechanical parts for the first time in at least an hour. “Really?”

Padmé grinned back mischievously, “Yeah. Obi-Wan was everything I wanted at fourteen.”

Obi-Wan looked torn between being embarrassed and flattered.

Anakin appeared closer to little crestfallen. “I thought you wanted me?”

Padmé sent Anakin a look of disbelief. “Sweetheart. When we met you were nine. No-one finds that crush-worthy. You were sweet and adorable and I loved that.” Anakin pouted at her. She laughed and tossed a pillow at him at him, “Stop it! Now, you, nine and cute, versus Obi-Wan, like twenty-two,”

A muttered, “twenty-five,” came from Obi-Wan.

She continued, unhindered, “who is dashing and handsome, jumping in with his dad to save my planet. You have to admit, that’s pretty crush-worthy, darling. Fourteen year old me knew what she was about.”

“Even with the Padawan haircut?” Anakin asked.

Padmé made a face and looked back to Obi-Wan, running her fingers through his hair. “I much prefer this look, but I would have taken the Padawan haircut.”

Obi-Wan smiled. “I can’t believe you found time to check me out while all of that was going on.”

Padmé smiled a sharp, predatory smirk. “As a Handmaiden I could check out anyone at will, darling. You were also a lovely distraction from your Master being a complete pain in the ass.”

“He could be that.”

Padmé used the conversation to slide her hand beneath the hem of Obi-Wan’s shirt. The material was coarse against her fingers until she found the soft skin of his stomach and began subtly drawing her fingertips along his skin, feeling very satisfied by the little shiver she created. 

“However, I definitely remember my daydreams involving a little more kissing than this,” Padmé added pointedly, making eye contact with Obi-Wan and flashing her eyelashes at him.

“Well then,” Obi-Wan murmured and leant across the gap between them.

Padmé smiled into the kiss, gently pressing her lips against his, willing to let it stay innocent for now. He was lovely to kiss. Obi-Wan was very willing to let Padmé dictate the pace, and he was so very responsive to her. She could feel him shiver and twitch and move against her at each little change. She particularly enjoyed the way he would let out a barely audible sigh when she nibbled on his lips.

Padmé dragged her nails along the skin of Obi-Wan’s stomach and swallowed down his breathy moan and savoured the way he twitched beneath her hand. Padmé’s heart was beating hard in her chest, the anticipation curling around her like smoke. Obi-Wan rolled onto his side, a hand coming to rest on Padmé’s hip and clenching at the fabric of her pants. Her own breath caught as Obi-Wan kissed more insistently, drawing Padmé into him like a beacon of light. Padmé continued the movement and shifted onto her back, pulling Obi-Wan with her by his shirt. He followed willingly, laying so their chests were still pressed together.

Obi-Wan pulled back briefly to gaze down at Padmé. She felt like some kind of priceless piece of artwork the way he looked at her; his mouth gently parted with his eyes dark and fixed on her face before roving slowly over her upper body.

“Your arm healed well,” Obi-Wan commented, rubbing a thumb over where the metal slug from the Tuskens had hit her.

“Yes, it did. More kissing, thank you.”

Padmé closed her eyes as he quirked his lips in amusement and leant down to mouth his way along her jaw. The gentle ministrations of his mouth combined with the scratching of his not-quite-beard was making clear thinking a little difficult. Gods that was good.

Padmé’s eyes fluttered open as Obi-Wan sucked particularly hard just beneath her ear, eliciting a whine and a wave of heat to sear through her. Padmé turned her head to give Obi-Wan more access and found Anakin staring at them, evidently having shifted around to the side of the bed, but was still sitting on the floor with his head in his arms on the mattress.

“You alright there?” Padmé asked, a little breathless and threading her fingers through Obi-Wan’s hair.

Anakin licked his lips, eyes unblinkingly focused on Padmé and Obi-Wan. “Wonderful, thank you.”

Padmé gasped as Obi-Wan bit her earlobe with the prefect amount of pressure and she reflexively bent her knees closer to herself. Obi-Wan continued to suck the lobe with intent and it was the perfect sort of torture. Padmé writhed helplessly at the attention, her body a symphony of movement, torn between pulling him closer and shoving him away. She chose to grasp his hair tightly and moan.

Obi-Wan let up and pulled back, watching her with clear satisfaction. “Are you going to help or are you just going to watch?” Obi-Wan asked to the room, his eyes never moving from Padmé. She turned her head to see Anakin scramble onto the bed, moving to lie beside them. He had the exact same expression on his face that he wore when examining a new piece of tech: enraptured.

“I thought you were doing well enough on your own,” Anakin quipped back and dragged a hand down Obi-Wan’s arm. His hand then travelled over to Padmé’s cheek and turned her head so he could kiss her.

It was a new sensation; having Anakin’s mouth on hers and Obi-Wan’s on her neck, but it was was just lovely. Obi was slowly working his way down her clavicle and she smiled against Anakin’s lips as she felt Obi-Wan tugging her singlet off.

He was finally getting with the program.

She sat up on her elbows to help get it off, and watched closely as he suckled his way down her chest, Anakin helping to unfasten and remove her bra before joining her in watching Obi-Wan. There was an odd moment when Obi-Wan seemed to be headed for her nipples before he paused, looked up at Anakin thoughtfully, and then continued on downward to mouth at her stomach. Unusual.

Padmé could feel the arousal curling pleasantly through her body, hypersensitive to each touch he placed on her skin, mouth and fingers working in tandem. She had been anticipating a moment like this for weeks and he was certainly not disappointing. Padmé could feel the connection between the three of them thrum with desire and by the Gods it was a heady concoction. She could very happily drown like this.

When he lifted his head again, Obi-Wan’s lips were wet and grinning, looking up at her and Anakin hopefully.

Anakin wriggled until he could reach Obi-Wan and kissed him hard while Padmé bit her lip as she watched, Obi-Wan still half on top of her. Anakin kissed as though it was the only thing keeping him alive and Obi-Wan graciously let him. From this angle she could watch how Obi-Wan’s eyes would flutter at Anakin’s attentions. How Anakin would try to get as close to Obi-Wan as possible. How they both lost themselves in each other, seeming for all the world that nothing else mattered.

Padmé really couldn’t think of one truly good reason as to why the three of them hadn’t been doing this for years.

At some unseen signal, they released each other and returned their eyes back to Padmé.

“Having fun there, boys?” she asked, laying back and splaying her arms above her. She was going for enticing and wanton. Given how both licked their lips, she figured it was working.

“Feeling left out?” Anakin said, gliding a hand up her leg and hooking a finger into the top of her pants. “I’m sure we can help with that.”

The pair of them returned to teasing her; back to gentle, fleeting kisses against her lips and skin. Obi-Wan touched her like she was fragile, hands and lips soft, never truly straying into anything sharper or harder. She would allow it for a little while longer, letting warmth and desire build slowly between them.

“Beautiful, isn’t she?” Anakin murmured proudly in a quiet moment.

“Very,” Obi-Wan agreed, voice low.


That was it.

Padmé tucked a knee around Obi-Wan’s legs and hefted her wight against him, twisting so as to use his precarious position against him. She moved quickly so that Obi-Wan was pinned beneath Padmé; her hands on his shoulders and legs on either side of him. She could feel his erection pushing up against her. Unable to resist, she ground against him, drinking in his stunned expression.

“Okay, foreplay done,” Padmé declared breathlessly. “You’ve thoroughly seduced me and I would like to get into your pants now. Yes or no?”

He blinked. “Yes.”

“Excellent.” Wasting no time, Padmé set about tugging Obi-Wan’s shirt off revealing expanses of pale skin and muscle. Anakin was grinning brightly and swiftly helped her in her quest to dispose of the rest of his clothes. At some point Anakin vanished. She looked up to discover him sitting, legs crossed and leaning up against the headboard of the bed, just observing.

Padmé shrugged and slid down Obi-Wan’s body, peppering kisses the whole way. She alternated between soft, dainty touches and hard, demanding ones, listening to how Obi-Wan’s breathing would falter at each. When she reached the top of his pants she quickly unfastened them, working her way into the very obvious tent.

Obi-Wan groaned, hand coming up to cover his face and then clutch at the sheets around him as Padmé took his cock into her mouth. He was heavy on her tongue and she took her time to focus on him, feeling how he would twitch and moan as she moved her tongue just so or slid a hand along a particular patch of skin. When Padmé pulled away she took a moment to enjoy the scene before her and felt inordinately proud of the way Obi-Wan’s breathing was completely fucked. She wanted this to last.

“Wait here,” Padmé said quietly, trailing her finger along his stomach and giving him a parting squeeze. She had future plans for him, assuming both boys were also on board.

Padmé crawled up to where Anakin was sitting, leant against the headboard of the bed and watching the whole scene closely. Padmé kissed him, passionate and fast, losing her hands in his hair and pressing her body hard against him. Anakin groaned into the kiss, his hands coming up to caress her sides and fondle her breasts.

Padmé let up for a short breath to smile at Anakin and turned her attention back to Obi-Wan who was watching them in wonder, his head tilted back and breathing hard. His hands were still wound into the sheets and his cock continued to be very interested in the whole affair. She could feel Anakin’s interest against her as well.

“Hm, what should I do with him, Ani?” Padmé asked sweetly, trailing a hand down Anakin’s bare chest. She wasn’t sure exactly when he’d lost his shirt, but it had inarguably vanished.

Anakin’s eyes were blown absolutely black and his voice had gone very low as he said, “I think he should fuck you.”

Yes please and thank you.

Padmé kissed Anakin again and muttered praise against his lips.

“Thoughts, Obi?” Padmé checked in a moment later.


Padmé grinned and helped him sit up and turn back to her. She coaxed him in again, stroking her lips against his and drawing him towards her until he snapped. All his reserve now seemed to have been left behind. Obi-Wan still kissed her slowly, but his mouth was much more hot and insistent against hers than it had been. Less lazy and more desperate. His hands clung heavily to her waist, pressing the whole line of his body against her.

“Yes,” Padmé hummed into Obi-Wan’s mouth as his hands found the buttons at the top of her pants, and slid her out of them. It was an awkward manoeuvre, Padmé partly falling back onto Anakin as she lost her balance.

Deciding to roll with it, Padmé lay back with her head on Anakin’s chest, her body framed by his, his long legs cradling her against him. Anakin’s hands reached around her torso and tugged her in closer to him so she could feel his breath on her ears. His hands then lay against her stomach, tracing shapes on her skin and whispering nonsense into her ear. Obi-Wan crawled forward, slow and predatory, coming to hover above them both with his eyes filled with such dark promise, looking much the way he did so many months back when he’d first turned the charm on her.

“Alright?” Obi-Wan asked in a husky voice, drawing a hand down her body and pausing just above her abdomen, blunt nails sliding tantalisingly on her skin.

“Perfect,” Padmé assured him, barely able to find the mental space to remember to breathe. She bit her lip, sharp anticipation lancing through her body as his hand slid lower, her hips bending up into his touch. Obi-Wan leant forward so their foreheads were pressed together, his face not much more than a blur that close, but it created a warm intimacy that she delighted in.

He lightly kissed her nose as he pressed a finger inside her. Padmé’s eyes fluttered closed and she drank in the sensation. She couldn't contain a moan as he stroked his finger in and out. If she had though she was turned on before, she’d hit a new level now.

“Is that good, darling?” Anakin asked quietly beside her ear.

Padmé could only groan and arch her hips as Obi-Wan easily added another finger. “Yes,” she hissed eventually and smiled as she felt Anakin kiss the side of her face. Obi-Wan continued at the languid pace, letting Padmé feel as though she was burning up from the inside. It was intoxicating to be worshipped in such a way by both her boys, but she needed—

“Obi-Wan,” Padmé said breathlessly, “if you don’t get a move on, I’m going to be forced to kill you.”

He laughed, kissed her and said, “Well when you put it that way.”

Obi-Wan slowly—infuriatingly so—retracted his fingers, and leant down to kiss her. Padmé hummed into the kiss as he pressed into her, sucking on his lower lip intently. This is exactly what she wanted. Padmé groaned and let her head fall back onto Anakin shoulder as Obi thrust lazily into her, all fluid motion and roiling muscle.

“Better?” He asked smugly, nuzzling into the side of her face.

“You’re a terrible person,” Padmé breathed out.

He snapped his hips forward sharply.

“Fuck! A terrible, wonderful, amazing—”

Obi-Wan cut her off with a kiss as Anakin began devouring her neck again. It all blurred together for a while, a mess of burning desire, grasping hands and a hypnotic rhythm between the three of them. Anakin was fairly unobtrusive, quietly watching over her shoulder or kissing her neck, and stroking his hands wherever they could reach, Padmé or Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan would kiss anyone he could reach, while also carefully watching and responding to Padmé, very aware and attentive to her needs.

Padmé felt close to bursting at love for the both of them.

Padmé moaned helplessly, slowly becoming a mess of words, her fingernails scratching at Obi-Wan’s shoulders as it all came to a head. She collapsed back into Anakin as the sensations unexpectedly crested, hot and shaking and brimming with pleasure as she came. Obi-Wan was close behind her, burying his face in her shoulder, muttering endearments and pressing fleeting kisses to her neck.

Padmé wrapped her arms around him, struggling to catch her breath and basking in the afterglow, her skin still feeling oversensitive and tingling where they touched. She wound her hands through his ginger hair, now a bit damp, and twirled her fingers around his locks, inhaling his warm, welcoming scent. Anakin pressed slow kisses to the top of Obi-Wan’s head as well, the two of them seeming to be trying to impress a feeling of unity onto Obi-Wan.

“I love you both,” Padmé whispered into the quiet.

Variations on, “Love you too,” were echoed back at her from both gentlemen.

“Need a hand Ani?” Padmé asked when her brain was working again, tipping her head back to look up at him.

“Ah, no.” He smiled and briefly kissed her cheek, his hair falling into her face. “We weren’t shielding our bond, so I’m good,” he said, nosing along the back of her neck, “so, so good.”

Oh. Well that was interesting. It certainly explained the fact she could no longer feel his cock pressing into her back.

“Does that mean if I do something with one of you, the other can feel it?” Padmé asked.

“If we let it, yes,” Obi-Wan said.

Padmé hummed, thoughtful and already planning how she could use that for nefarious purposes.

“I’m not sure I trust that sound” Anakin said.

Padmé smiled at him. “I wouldn’t.” She grabbed a hold of Obi-Wan’s hand and tugged briefly. “Up here, love.”

The three of them shuffled into a pile of limbs, stealing kisses here and there, and curling up together under the covers with Padmé happily trapped between them. She was warm, contented and feeling tremendously satisfied. They’d need to clean up at some point, but just now, she couldn’t find it within herself to care. Her boys were calm and happy and it was all she could ask for.

“Okay?” Padmé asked Obi-Wan.

He echoed Padmé’s earlier statement of, “Perfect.”

A short cuddle later and Anakin had already begun initiating another round, leaning over the top of Padmé and mouthing at Obi-Wan’s neck, before he suddenly stiffened and sighed, pulling away reluctantly.

Padmé, who had been enjoying the show, frowned. “What—?”

“Ahsoka’s home,” Anakin said, annoyed but giving Obi-Wan a final kiss anyway. “She’ll know.”

“Come now,” Padmé said, stroking a hand on Anakin’s back encouragingly. “I’ve been practicing my shielding, you don’t have to stop.”

Anakin turned and smiled down at her. “Yes, but I’m not sure you can keep quiet and keep your shields up at the same time, love.”

“Hmm, you’ve got me there,” Padmé purred. “Another time then. We’ll just have to send Ahsoka into town again in the future.”

“Sneaky.” Obi-Wan leant over and kissed the side of her face. “We should get dressed.”

“If we must,” Padmé agreed. “Though I call first dibs on the shower.”

Anakin sighed. “I miss your shower back on Coruscant. We could have all gotten in there. It was so good.”

Padmé had to agree. It had been a wonderful, spacious thing. Perhaps one day she’d get that apartment back and they could make use of it again. Positive thoughts.

They’d get their lives back eventually.


Until then, Padmé was going to continue to make the most of it.

Chapter Text

Obi-Wan sat silently on the outcropping of rocks above the farm, just thinking.

He and Ahsoka had spoken to Bail around a month earlier and he had given them both an assignment. Ahsoka was to go on a four month expedition to a number of planets that were making sounds of dissent. He wanted her to see how genuine their desire to resist the Empire was and to see if there were any local groups interested in joining an organised rebellion.

Obi-Wan, he wanted to keep out of the public eye, so Bail had asked him to investigate a couple of locations that looked like possible spots for bases, and one location that was suspected to belong to the Empire, but wasn’t appearing on any records. Bail thought that checking out all three locations shouldn’t take more than a week each, travel included, and so Obi-Wan had agreed, but asked to have his mission delayed for a while. He had finally felt like he and Padmé and Anakin had clicked into place as a trio, and he didn’t want to immediately run away from that and potentially upset the balance of their relationship. Bail had agreed and so while Ahsoka had left nearly a month ago, Obi-Wan was only just due to leave. He had minutes left, really. He had just wanted some time to meditate before he departed.

He was going to miss being home.

Ever since his and Padmé’s relationship had fallen together, things had been good. Things had in fact been beyond ‘good’ and were solidly settled in the realm of ‘fantastic’. He’d been terribly embarrassed when he’d kissed her without thinking during the week Luke was sick. He’d thought Padmé would be upset at him for invading her space in such a way, but she had once again surprised him by kissing Obi-Wan back while he had tried to apologise. Evidently she too had had enough of their little back and forth. He’d been past it for a little while, but had been nervous about making the next step, and so his sleep deprived brain had solved that problem for him.

When the three of them had fallen into bed together, Padmé clearly doing her upmost to seduce him, he’d been more than a little nervous. Stepping into a physical relationship with Anakin had felt more like a natural progression of their previous history together, whereas in his head, Padmé had always been this lovely thing that was to be admired from afar but never touched. He found her exceptionally attractive and he loved her to pieces, but he’d still been hesitant. Years of mental ‘hands-off’ made for and excellent psychological barrier.

Anakin had come to his rescue. He had coaxed Obi-Wan into lifting his shields at the first feeling of Obi-Wan’s anxiety in their bond, and gave him tips and encouragement as they went. It had been very…intimate. It had felt so terribly right. Since then, the three of them had had a few other forays together, all wonderful and exciting and Obi-Wan had absently wondered on a few occasions if it was possible to spontaneously combust from being far too happy, but it hadn’t happened so far so he figured he was safe.

He and Anakin however, had not quite taken their relationship to that next step.  Anakin had near-begged for Obi-Wan to fuck him soon after they’d started dating months and months ago, but it hadn't seemed to have come up again. Obi-Wan wanted it to be Anakin’s decision and was trying to wait for it to happen naturally, but his patience was slowly wearing away and he would likely just eventually ask. He was also interested in Anakin fucking him, but at this point, didn’t feel he was ready for such a thing with Padmé being present just yet, so he was leaving that for now.

Either way, the current arrangement was perfectly fine and they were not really things to worry about.

Everything would sort itself eventually.

Learning Padmé had been a new experience. It wasn’t vastly different to how things were before, but there was a marked change in her actions. She was far more casual in her affections; before, they had been calculated and testing his defences, whereas now they were more natural and ever-present in their lives. She was generous with kisses and her time, often finding at least an hour in her day when she could just be near him or Anakin or both.

Obi-Wan should have assumed that now they they were together, Padmé could have sex with him seperate and independent of Anakin, but it hadn’t actually occurred to him until around a week after Ahsoka had left when Padmé surprised him mid-reading session on the couch. She’d muttered something about ‘getting to know each other without Ani’, shoved him to lay back on the couch, straddled him, and showed him exactly why Anakin had often come back from shore leave looking vaguely overwhelmed and overstimulated.

When Anakin had come home, he'd glanced at the two of them, barely dressed and draped carelessly ov