Title: Through the Glass Author: anakinfan Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Padme Amidala Timeframe: AOTC Summary: After Padme's rejection at Varykino, Anakin muses. ********** It wouldn’t have to be that way. We could keep it a secret. But that would be living a lie. I couldn’t do that. Could you, Anakin? He initially wanted to reply with, “Yes.” Yes, he could. He could do anything—would do anything—if being with her were the end result. We live in the real world, come back to it! You’re studying to become a Jedi Knight, I’m a Senator. If you follow your thoughts to conclusion, they will take you to a place we cannot go…regardless of how we feel about each other. Anakin barely heard the first part of her statement as his heart pounded upon hearing her last words. He couldn’t describe what he felt then—ecstasy? Hope? Then you do feel something! I will not let you give up your future for me! And she wouldn’t. And that realization was where the conversation ended, with Anakin’s hopes dashed as quickly as they had come. You’re right. It would destroy us. Padme had left the room hours ago, was probably sleeping peacefully in her bedroom. Anakin gazed into the fire. For him, sleep was not forthcoming. Padme had talked of living in the real world. Of being rational. Anakin did not know how. And at this moment, no one envied rational people more than Anakin Skywalker. A rational person would never be in this mess. A rational person would have never made a fool of himself in front of Senator Amidala tonight. A rational person would realize, without question or hesitation, that as painful as it might be, she was correct. Keeping a secret, living a double life, would destroy them. Anakin tried looking at the situation the way a rational person might. The way Obi-Wan might. Padme was right. Their thoughts took them to a place they could not go. His expulsion from the Order, the destruction of all he had worked for since he was a child. Just the thought of Obi-Wan’s disappointed face was enough to shake him. And Padme—an affair with a Jedi would only result in a scandal that would be a permanent blight on her career. He did not really want her to take that risk, any more than she wanted him to give up his Jedi studies. It was no use. Tried as he might, there was no way to rework this path into one that he and Padme could follow. I used to think that if you looked too deeply into glass, you would lose yourself. I think it’s true. As Anakin looked through the door that Padme had exited earlier, all his attempts at rationalization were drowned out by an inmost deep cry of pain. But I love you. I can’t help it. It was that cry of pain that he did not know how to silence.