Title: Mixed Messages Author: devilinthedetails Genre: Romance, Humor, General, Friendship Timeline: During the Clone Wars between AOTC and ROTS (Saga-PT). Summary: Anakin intends to send a love message to his wife but it reaches his Padawan instead. Author's Note: A romantic twist on the delightful new Super Fun Fanfiction Duos challenge by @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha in honor of Valentine's Day. Mixed Messages Anakin’s comlink vibrated in the middle of the night, awakening him at the precise time he had set his alarm. It would be early morning on the part of Coruscant where Padme was, the perfect moment to send her a sweet love message to drink her first cup of caf to...Today was a special day on Naboo, a day dedicated to romance when partners would send each other sappy letters, fresh-scented flowers, and passionate poetry. Passionate poetry had never been his thing (rhyming always sounded forced and the grand language of poetry pretentious rather than authentic) and flowers would wilt before they reached her, but he could send some form of love letter across the cavern of space to her like a message in a bottle floating across the ocean on some water world in ancient times before the invention of hyperspace travel. He pulled out his datapad, opened his contacts, and sent Padme the message he had spent hours planning in his mind: I love you more with every passing day. It was simple and sincere. He hoped she would appreciate it and respond in kind–even with a small kiss or heart icon as a token of her appreciation and affection. Instead the message that popped up on his screen jolted his heart against his rib cage like the blast of an ion cannon, rattling him to the core: Erm. I love you too? What kind of reaction was that to an unvarnished but ardent declaration of love? They were married, for Force sake. She had worn a lace dress with gorgeous details and they had sealed their bond with a breathtaking kiss on a balcony overlooking a beautiful blue lake in Naboo’s countryside that in his mind would remain forever pure and untainted by violence. How could she go from loving him enough to marry him to not being sure if she even loved him? How could a person’s feelings change like that? Heart hammering, his whirling mind flitted from suspicion to suspicion like a particularly paranoid butterfly. Padme, he thought, had seemed awfully friendly with Bail Organa, that Senator from Alderaan, and she always spoke with such admiration of his articulation of their shared political values on the Senate floor...There had also been that old flame of hers that should have burned out long ago...That boy who had been her first kiss on Naboo...He had a fleeting desire that scared even himself to hunt down these rivals and strangle them...Not with his bare hands...That would be messy like the Tusken Raiders, but with the Force...That would be clean... Blind with rage, with grief, with bewilderment, it took him over a minute to realize that the sender of this latest message was his no doubt befuddled Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. For a second, his heart steadied. Then it began to panic again, wondering if his sleep-fogged brain and careless fingers had betrayed the secret that could destroy him and Padme. Trying to recover from the awkwardness as smoothly as possible, he typed back, As a Master loves his Padawan, of course. I get prouder of you every day as you grow into a true Jedi, Ahsoka. He was probably putting his foot in his mouth even more. Apparently, Ahsoka thought so as well for an instant later a pointed message materialized on his screen: And you felt the best time to tell me was now? No time like the present. Anakin punctuated his response with an arms-lifted in a shrug icon. Even if the present is the middle of the night? Ahsoka plainly had no intention of dropping this and letting it fade into embarrassing memory yet. It’s day somewhere, Snips, Anakin retorted. Somewhere your love message was actually supposed to go? Somewhere that wasn’t me? His Padawan was cheeky and too near the mark. Are you volunteering for a week of sanitation duties? It wasn’t the best threat, but it would have to do under the circumstances, Anakin decided. I’ll delete this entire conversation thread from my inbox. Ahsoka’s promise was instantaneous, and it occurred to Anakin that was a good idea. He would do the same. I’ll never bring this conversation up again, I swear. Relief coursed through him and with it a question that hadn’t entered his mind earlier: Why are you looking at your datapad, Ahsoka? You’re supposed to be asleep. Catching up on some episode of funny holoshows. Ahsoka’s answer made it easy to imagine her shame-faced, busted and blushing expression. Pause them and go to sleep, Anakin ordered, exasperated with her teenage prioritizing of catching up on funny holoshows instead of getting as close to a good night’s sleep as possible. Or I’ll confiscate your datapad. Roger that. Pausing and going to sleep, Master. Ahsoka’s message appeared on his datapad followed by a red light that alerted him Ahsoka had signed off her account. Choosing to interpret that as proof that she had indeed put her datapad away to get some much needed rest, he began to compose his love message, taking care that it would be addressed to the proper recipient this time. He was about to hit send when a new message from Padme glowed on his screen:Thinking of you as I sip my morning caf, my dear, and wishing we could be on a balcony overlooking a Naboo lake together. In my heart, we’re on a balcony overlooking a Naboo lake together, he typed back to her. In my heart, we’ll always be on a balcony overlooking a Naboo lake together.