Title: When The Suns Rest Author: amidalachick Timeframe: Pre-TPM (Anakin is 4) Genre: Hmmm...I don't really know. Summary: Shmi tells Anakin a story about why they have nighttime. Disclaimer: GL owns it all. *bows respectfully* I'm just playing in his sandbox Notes: The idea for this came to me in the shower one night (and Tatooine's a desert, go figure) and I just had to write it. But enough of my yapping. Here's the story! When The Suns Rest Night was falling over Tatooine as Shmi Skywalker settled onto the porch behind her home. Her four-year-old son, Anakin, was cradled in her lap. It was something of a tradition in the Skywalker household. For a few minutes before bedtime, when the heat of the day had gone, Shmi liked to spend a few minutes with her son under the stars. There were no irate masters yelling at them to work harder, just the two of them and the peaceful desert night. Sometimes, Shmi told stories or sang or patiently answered Anakin's seemingly endless questions. Sometimes, they just sat quietly, enjoying each other's company. Tonight was a little of both. Anakin was content to sit for a while, wrapped in his mother's warm embrace, leaning his head against her heart. Suddenly, though, he spoke. "Mom?" he said. "Why do the suns go away and make it get dark at night?" "Because the night is when the suns rest," Shmi said. "Would you like me to tell you about it?" "Yeah!" Anakin said, shifting into a more comfortable position. "Alright," Shmi said. She tilted her head back for a moment, gazing at the sky before speaking. "You see, Anakin, there is an old story on Tatooine," she said finally. "The suns burn bright and fierce, keeping us warm and giving us light. Once upon a time, they were always in the sky, never setting, guarding us from the darkness and the chill of night." "But they don't now," Anakin said. "And I'll tell you why," Shmi said. "The nighttime, the darkness was always lurking at the edge of the sky, waiting for the day when the suns would have no more energy to shine. The suns got tired from shining all the time, you see, and they grew weak. And when that happened, the darkness came and nighttime fell over Tatooine." "All the time?" Anakin said, wide-eyed. "Yes," Shmi said. "All the time. And the people cried, because without the suns, the land was cold and dark and dead. It was a terrible time, and the people started to lose hope that they would ever see the suns again. But you know what?" "What?" Anakin said, looking up at Shmi intently. "The suns were not completely gone," Shmi said. "They were simply resting and regaining their strength. And when they were strong enough, and the time was right, they returned and drove the night away. The people realized that they needed the night to give the suns a time to rest. The dark and the light balanced each other. And that is why we have night." "Oh," Anakin said. He was silent for a moment before adding, "I like that story." "There's one more thing," Shmi said. She took Anakin's hand in hers and pointed up at the sky. "Do you see all the stars?" "Uh-huh," Anakin said, trying to hide a yawn. "Those stars are always there," Shmi said softly. "Even when the suns are resting, no matter how dark the night is, the stars shine and remind us that the light is never completely gone." "That's good," Anakin murmured. He snuggled deeper into Shmi's embrace and his eyelids grew heavy. Soon, he was fast asleep. Shmi stayed outside for a few minutes longer, resting her cheek on Anakin's head and hugging him tightly, thankful for this time of rest and peace after a long day. And above them the stars sparkled, keeping light in the dark until the suns rose again.