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Saga Portrait of a Lady ~ A Padmé Short Story - Completed 5/29

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Gina, Apr 17, 2008.

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  1. Gina

    Gina Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Title: Portrait of a Lady
    Characters: Padmé, Palo
    Genre: Angst
    Timeframe: ROTS, Pre-TPM (This story will span eras, but because it encompasses both eras and because of its main theme, I have decided to post it in Saga rather than Before.)
    Summary: Upon hearing of Padmé's death, a figure from her past reflects on the girl he knew and the woman she became.

    Author's Note: Although he is a minor character mentioned only in passing in the films, I've used Palo in several of my fics, but for some reason, always as a villain. :p I decided it was time to give the guy a fair shake, so I dusted off this abandoned fic and decided to finish it.


    The story will consist of five short posts.






    [b]Portrait of a Lady[/b]



    [b]Part 1: Endings[/b]


    The thick, red fluid oozes slowly down the wall. It is a vicious color, one of destruction, one of death.

    It taunts me now with its power.

    I clutch at my chest in horror and disbelief, my fingers gripping my crimson-stained shirt. Memories pass through my mind with the speed of a whirlwind, disorienting me. I fall to my knees, too weak to stand.

    I hear footsteps running along the corridor, and I know it is my beloved Arianna. I clench my fists as a single tear escapes my eye and travels a mourner's path along my cheek.

    I did not want her to see me this way.

    "Palo," she cries, and I look up to see her standing in the open doorway. Her gaze travels about the long room, and I watch her eyes grow wide as she takes in the destructive scene before her.

    "W-What happened, Palo?" she mutters fearfully.

    I choke back a sob, my body shaking. I cannot find the strength to answer. From the far corner of the room, the holobroadcaster's voice breaks through the chaos once more.

    " ? repeat, Padmé Amidala, former queen and now senator of Naboo, has perished. At this moment, the cause of her death is still unknown. Sources speculate?"

    Arianna gasps in shock, and the remainder of the broadcaster's words goes unheard.

    "She's?gone," I whisper at last, my voice sounding foreign to my own ears.

    I stand on shaking legs and begin to pick up the jagged shards of the paint jar that are scattered about the floor of my artist's studio.

    From behind me, I hear Arianna's quiet sobs. "She was so young."

    I stare at the wall, the splattered red paint slowly beginning to congeal in places. I reach out to touch it, assessing the damage where the paint jar impacted after I hurled it in anger and sadness upon hearing the news.

    She [i]was[/i] so young. And so?beautiful.


    *********


    "It's beautiful."

    He turned to the sound of the feminine voice, but the bright afternoon sun was shining behind her, obscuring her features. When she moved to sit beside him on the low stone wall surrounding the courtyard fountain, however, he immediately recognized her as the young girl from the morning's sessions.

    He recognized her because she was worthy of remembering. Palo had taken note of her when she walked into the small council chambers during the opening session of the Legislative Youth Program. She was striking, her hair dark and flowing and her bearing confident and regal. Later, during the debates, Palo couldn't help but notice the way her eyes blazed with passion as she spoke of her beliefs. It was during the informal reception that followed that he learned from a friend that her name was Padmé Amidala and that she, too, was from the planet Naboo. Palo had felt a tiny spark of intrigue when he considered the girl, but she was much younger, and so he had dismissed the notion.

    "The sketch, it's beautiful," she explained, pulling Palo from his thoughts. The girl leaned closer and tapped the corner of the pad that rested on his lap. When she did so, Palo caught a hint of an intoxicating scent, one of flowers and meadows. "It reminds me of the lake country on my home planet. Are you an artist?"

    Palo looked down at the drawing he had created. He had thought it to be a pitiful attempt to>
     
  2. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Very nice! I love the way you misdirected there a bit in the beginning. This is going to be lovely, and as layered as a painting. Looking forward to more.
     
  3. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    I loved this start and am looking forward to more. Can I have PMs for updates?
     
  4. slow_dawn

    slow_dawn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Good start! Could you please PM me with updates?


     
  5. Idrelle_Miocovani

    Idrelle_Miocovani Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2005
    This is beautiful, Gina! I'm looking forwards to more. :)
     
  6. NarCranor

    NarCranor Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Very well done, I like the flashback structuring, Im assuming the first person "present" narrative will continue as he attends the funeral and what have you. Definitely very interesting. I like the idea of using Palo as a main character simply because we know he is an artist, and artists are usually interesting characters because they are so internally troubled and conflicted. Obviously this guy is still carrying a torch for padme despite being married, thats great conflict right there. I am interested to see if his marriage survives, if he survives, and what the eventual outcome of dealing with Padme's death is for palo and arriana, and how the young padme relationship has shaped him into the person he is, and if her impact was overwhelmingly positive or negative on his life. Maybe she is just a magnet for obsessive little stalker boys, and anakin is just the last in a small string of them?

    Anyway, well done.


    In any case, it was a lovely opening section, and I can't wait to see where you take it!

    Keith "Nar" Kappel
    http://www.fandomcomics.com

    Concrit is done ONLY at the author's request, especially when posting in a story. Perhaps PMing an author might be a better way to open a dialogue. :)
     
  7. randomangel22

    randomangel22 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2006
    I just found this and must say you've got me hooked. ;)

    I can't wait to see how Palo remembers Padme through the years considering they were friends afterall.

    Please add me to your PM list!

    Great post!
     
  8. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    LOVELY!!!

    "She's?gone," I whisper at last, my voice sounding foreign to my own ears.

    I stand on shaking legs and begin to pick up the jagged shards of the paint jar that are scattered about the floor of my artist's studio.

    From behind me, I hear Arianna's quiet sobs. "She was so young."

    I stare at the wall, the splattered red paint slowly beginning to congeal in places. I reach out to touch it, assessing the damage where the paint jar impacted after I hurled it in anger and sadness upon hearing the news.

    She was so young. And so?beautiful.


    :_| You know to PM me when you update! =D=
     
  9. Darthana

    Darthana Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Sad but beautiful. I never liked Palo as a character too much, but your fic made me change my opinion a little. ;)
     
  10. MandalorianLegecy

    MandalorianLegecy Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Very good story, I want MORE :_| .......

    If there is an PM update list add me :)
     
  11. nabooqueen2008

    nabooqueen2008 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Loved the way you began the fic. Can't wait to read more. Please pm me!

    ~nabooqueen~
     
  12. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    That was so beautifully written

    It was a nice change to see the impact of Padme's death on a barely mentioned character.

    And I loved the flashback to their first meeting.

    Wonderful beginning. I'm looking forward to more

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
     
  13. Gina

    Gina Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    divapilot

    Thank you for your kind words. Hope you enjoy the rest of the fic. :)


    DarthIshtar

    Thanks for reading! And I'll be glad to put you on the PM list. :)


    slow_dawn

    You're on the PM list, also! :D


    Idrelle_Miocovani

    Thanks! @};- The update is on its way!


    NarCranor

    He isn't still carrying a torch for her, but as this fic will show (hopefully), she had an impact on his life. Because of this, he remembers her fondly as a good friend and was quite saddened by her death.

    Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy the remaining chapters. :D


    randomangel22

    Glad you're hooked, LOL! There will be strolls down memory lane aplenty in this story. :p


    VaderLVR64

    You know to PM me when you update

    Yes, ma'am. :D


    Darthana

    I never liked Palo as a character too much, but your fic made me change my opinion a little.

    I don't know why I've always written Palo as a villain. It's just sort of worked out that way. But, he was probably actually a nice guy, LOL! So, I decided it was time to write him as the good guy for a change. :p


    MandalorianLegecy

    Thank you! :) The update is on its way!


    nabooqueen2008

    Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the beginning. :D


    KELIA

    It was a nice change to see the impact of Padme's death on a barely mentioned character.

    Thanks! :) I thought it would be interesting to see how someone from her past was impacted by her death.




    Thanks again for reading, everyone. Here's the update. Hope you enjoy!






    [b]Part 2: Beginnings[/b]



    I hadn't known it then, but it was to be a beginning?

    Awkward introductions that day had led to a casual acquaintance, the sort that often grows from a discovered common bond when in the midst of strangers. Then the smiles and waves to one another from across debate chambers soon led to shared meals and study sessions and even conversations during our free time, our talks usually concerning home and the familiar.

    The more time we spent together, I realized how different she was from many females her age. She had no patience for frivolous topics such as fashion and idle gossip. Her love of politics resided not in a desire for personal glory and achievement, but in the longing to help others. She was passionate in her beliefs, yet it was a quiet passion, her restraint and dignity in the debate chambers speaking volumes, much more so than the long-winded blustering of many of our young colleagues.

    Yet no matter how brief our meetings or how intense our workload, she always found time to inquire about the progress of my sketches, her eyes glowing with wonder when I would reluctantly show her my latest efforts.

    She always believed in me, even when I couldn't believe in myself.

    Sighing heavily from the weight of old memories, I turn from my task of cleaning the spattered red paint from my studio walls. Discarding the damp rags and cleaning agents, I press a button on the control unit, and the holoscreen comes to life.

    The HoloNews continues to broadcast reports, not only of Padmé's death, but of her life, her legacy. But interspersed with the archival footage of our former queen are continued reports from Coruscant concerning an attempted coup by the Jedi Order and its destructive aftermath. The reports thus far have been unsettling, and I have tried to keep my Arianna from viewing them. She needs her rest, and it would not be good for her to worry. So I listen for any approaching footsteps as I listen to the broadcast. Staring into the holocamera solemnly, the announcer recounts yet again how the Jedi tried to assassinate the Supreme Chancellor. This time, however, the reporter even hints at rumors that the Order may have somehow been involved in Padmé's death.

    Disgusted by what I am hearing, I deactivate the holoscreen. To the Naboo, the Jedi are heroes. The story of their heroism, especially that of the boy, Anakin Skywalker, during the Battle of Nab>
     
  14. randomangel22

    randomangel22 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Well, its a good thing that Palo listened to Padme's advice about doing what he wants. [face_peace]

    And I couldn't agree more with Palo that Padme was different from all the other kids there because she always did want to help people because she wanted to and not to gain wealth and glory.

    Too bad no one like that is around in our politics today. :p

    Great post and thanks for the PM!
     
  15. nabooqueen2008

    nabooqueen2008 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Jan 14, 2008
    That was fantastic! I'm glad that Palo followed his dream. It is really sad though...seeing Padme through his eyes and when he knew her.

    Great post!

    ~nabooqueen~



     
  16. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    I loved Padme's belief in Palo and her encouraging him to follow his heart despite his father's reaction.

    That is a tough road to take.

    I'm glad he didn't just blindly believe the reports of the Jedi. It's good to see the Empire wasn't able to fool everybody.

    Great update

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
     
  17. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    "But if you do not follow your heart, Palo," she said softly, giving his hand a gentle squeeze, "won't you be dishonoring yourself?"

    Despite her simplistic reasoning, Palo couldn't help but smile at the young woman standing before him. Over the last few weeks, they had formed a fast friendship, one that was obviously growing much closer. Palo reached out to brush a stray lock of hair from Padmé's face, but much to his own surprise, his hand lingered there, softly fingering the mass of silken curls. Palo stared down at her, feeling as if he was truly seeing her for the first time.

    "You are a rare creature, Padmé," he whispered. In his words, there was a new curiosity, a hint of yearning. And as Padmé returned his gaze, Palo saw that same hint of longing shining in her dark eyes.


    Beautiful! [face_love] I love getting this glimpse into their lives before the movies. =D=
     
  18. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    "But if you do not follow your heart, Palo," she said softly, giving his hand a gentle squeeze, "won't you be dishonoring yourself?"

    Those words will take on a newer meaning when she meets Anakin, won't they? I love how you've set the prologue for the romance that will win Padme's heart in the end. Palo seems like a wonderful, caring man; Padmé had something to do with that.

    Anakin took her love and clung to it in fear, but Padmé's love for Palo was a gift given and appreciated. You can see how she gives of her heart so freely to both men, but their reactions are different. For both, she convinces them that they are more than they believe themselves capable of being.

    Lovely. I like the flashbacks. =D=
     
  19. Gina

    Gina Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    randomangel22

    Palo wasn't happy in the political arena, and Padme knew it. She was a smart girl. LOL!

    Thanks for reading! @};-


    nabooqueen2008

    It is sad to think of her early life and how much promise she had. :_|

    Thank you for your kind words!


    KELIA

    It's never easy to go against your family's wishes. But sometimes you just have to follow your heart. :D

    Glad you're enjoying the story!


    VaderLVR64

    Thank you! [:D]


    divapilot

    I think you summed up the two relationships perfectly! :D

    Thanks for following the story. Glad you're enjoying it so far!




     
  20. Gina

    Gina Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003


    Part 3: Turnings


    Even then, we both knew that moment was a turning point?

    We began to long for free moments so that we could spend time together walking through the courtyard, sitting beneath the stars talking about everything and nothing until the mandatory curfew forced our goodnights. It was the same way we had always spent our time together up until that particular moment.

    But after that moment, it felt different somehow.

    Weary in both body and mind, I exhale in frustration, staring up into the darkness that surrounds me. I long for sleep, but the shock of learning of her passing is still too new, too painful. And the ghosts of the past will not be silenced this evening. Beside me in our bed, my Arianna stirs in her sleep with a soft sigh. I turn onto my side, my arm encircling her waist as I move closer to her.

    My love for my wife is deep and abiding, one that has been nurtured by time and trials. She is my life and my inspiration. With her, my life is complete. Yet a life is a compilation of all our days, and I know I would not be the man I am today were it not for the friendship of that young girl. And even now, older and hopefully wiser, I still cannot stop the smile that fills my face as I remember that first rush of young love.

    Over the weeks that had followed, I found myself thinking about Padmé more with each passing day ? the smell of her hair, the way her smile and laughter stirred something within me that could at once make me feel like both the ruler of worlds and a bumbling fool unable to even speak. I can still remember the emptiness I felt when we were apart, the way I anxiously awaited the time when we could be together again, even if only for a few moments.

    I was in love. Young love, of course, the sort that is exciting for its newness but shy and reluctant in its inexperience. The sort of young love, I note with an ironic chuckle, that often causes embarrassed laughter and sighs of nostalgic longing when thought back upon later in life with the benefit of years and maturity.

    But regardless of its youth and immaturity, it was love, nonetheless.

    And I could tell by the slight blush that always seemed to color her cheeks when we were together, the way her gaze would dip shyly before she spoke words of endearment, that I wasn't alone in my feelings.


    *********


    "Palo," she whispered breathlessly, her eyes glistening, threatening to spill forth tears. "It's?I don't know what to say."

    "Just say you like it," he said, laughing in an effort to hide the somersaults his stomach was performing as he awaited her opinion.

    Padmé shook her head as she stared down at the sketch in her hand. "I don't like it," she said, causing Palo's heart to momentarily stop its beating. "I love it. It's the most wonderful gift I've ever received."

    Palo looked at her with confusion for a moment, but then his face broke into a wide grin as her words began to sink into his mind.

    "It's the way I remember you, that first time we met when you came and sat beside me at the fountain," Palo explained, feeling suddenly shy and unsure of himself. "Tomorrow is the closing ceremony for the session, and I don't know? I just?wanted to give you something?so you wouldn't forget me."

    Wringing his hands in nervous excitement, he stared down at the portrait Padmé held in her hands, wondering if she had noticed the way he varied his stroke and medium to try to recreate the way the sunlight captured the highlights in her hair or the way he had tried to evoke the honesty and passion that always seemed to shine in her eyes.

    She took his hand, and he felt the trembling of her own fingertips as they brushed against his.

    "Thank you," she whispered.

    The actual words of the sentiment were simple and commonplace, but it was the gratitude and emotion in her eyes that assured him of all he needed to know. His heart thundering in his chest, Palo placed his hand under her chin, gently lifting her face. He saw a flicker of fear and uncertainty in her eyes as his hand moved to c
     
  21. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    So bittersweet! :_| [face_love]

    I was in love. Young love, of course, the sort that is exciting for its newness but shy and reluctant in its inexperience. The sort of young love, I note with an ironic chuckle, that often causes embarrassed laughter and sighs of nostalgic longing when thought back upon later in life with the benefit of years and maturity.

    But regardless of its youth and immaturity, it was love, nonetheless.


    Simply gorgeous, as always. =D=
     
  22. randomangel22

    randomangel22 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Young love is so great! [face_love]

    Palo's right about always remembering that first crush or love you had. [face_blush]

    Great post and thanks for the PM!
     
  23. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Lovely. You've really caught that magic of first love. How fortunate that they had each other to show how wonderful love can be! And that kiss.. aw...

    =D= =D=
     
  24. JediMasterRev

    JediMasterRev Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2004
    I absolutely adore this. I love the sweetness you've given to Palo's recollections of Padme. Not quite the monster in your other fics ;). This is so wonderfully done. The tenderness you give literally springs off the page. Excellent, as always!
     
  25. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    I loved that Palo still has fond memories of is love for Padme even now, after his marriage.

    There's never anything quite like that first, young love.

    His flashback to giving her the sketch was just beautiful

    [face_love] [face_love] [face_love] [face_love]

    Great update

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
     
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