Title: Leaving Author: anakinfan Era: the Clone Wars Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Padme Amidala Summary: Anakin is called away for battle again. After yesterday's TCW episode I want to write Anakin and Ahsoka (not in that way, shut up) but this one came to mind last night. ********** He had to leave again. Padme wished she could just feel resignation. She should be used to this by now. It was war time, Anakin was the Republic’s star general, its “hero with no fear”…and Padme knew what she was facing when she married him, at the beginning of the war. Yet another reason that falling in love with him had been an inconvenience at best, a ridiculous complication at worst. But it had happened despite her best efforts to prevent it. As Anakin’s mother would have said, she could have no more stopped it, than stopped the suns from setting. And now here she was. In spite of the fact that she knew he would to have to leave again at some point, that knowledge did not help her at all, and she felt all the despair as if it were a surprise. They only had a few minutes in private after he was called away, a few minutes in which they were able to share that he loved her, she loved him, and yes, of course he would be back. This is what she kept telling herself as she walked him to the landing platform. She could still feel his lips on hers, and knew that she would need to remember that kiss for the next several weeks, or even months. Or maybe forever. Of course he would be back. Of course he would be back. He always came back. But she could not stop her heart from sinking at the thought that she dared not voice even to herself. What if this time he didn’t? What if the Hero with No Fear fell in battle? She would do what she usually did when he left, endless attempts at distraction, placing herself on six different committees in the Senate. But at night when her penthouse was quiet, and she was alone, no distraction came. And she could only lie awake, and worry, and force herself to avoid the Holonet. There were always rumors, whispers that he had been killed… She shook her head at the thought, bringing herself back to the landing platform, where Obi-Wan waited with a squadron of clones. Here she would say a final goodbye, but without the words of love she gave him in private. Her public face, always professional, could not betray what her heart longed to scream—that she loved him more than life, that there was nothing in the galaxy that she wanted more than to see peace time come again—and the two of them, out of public life, quietly on Naboo, where there was nothing but their love. All she had now was his extended hand, which she took, and held tightly. “Be safe, General Skywalker.” The look in his eyes indicated all she felt, but his only words were, “Thank you, milady.” He boarded the ship, and the loading ramp raised behind him. Padme waved until the ship disappeared into hyperspace, then returned to her apartment. It was only there, after her handmaidens and Captain Typho were dismissed, that she allowed the tears to come.