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Saga - PT Saga - OT Seeds of Love Growing in Dark Soil (Anakin/Padme Oneshot for OTP Challenge #17)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by devilinthedetails, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Seeds of Love Growing in Dark Soil

    Author: devilinthedetails

    Characters: Anakin Skywalker; Padme Amidala; Luke Skywalker

    Genre: Romance; Drama; Angst.

    Timeline: Mostly Saga-PT but the last scene is set at the end of ROTJ.

    Summary: The seeds of Anakin and Padme's love grow in dark soil.

    Author's Note: Written for OTP Challenge #17 "Our Song." The song I selected was "The Rose" by Bette Midler. Lyrics from "The Rose" appear in parenthesis and italics in this story as a structuring framework. "The Rose" as sang by Bettle Midler can be listened to here.

    Seeds of Love Growing in Dark Soil

    (Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed.
    Some say love, it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed.)

    Even after living and training among the Jedi for ten years, Anakin couldn’t comprehend so many of their beliefs and strictures. So many of their rules and philosophies seemed unnatural impositions on the noblest, purest instincts and impulses he had as a breathing human being with an ever-beating heart.

    Foremost among those impossible to understand prohibitions was the forbidding of love: the most beautiful, the most transcendent, the most painful, and the most selfless emotion Anakin had ever felt. Love for his mother. Love for Padme. Love that had created him. Love that had sustained him. Love that lit the path of his life as he made his way through a dark universe. Love that warmed him, inside and out, on cold nights and in the chilling void of star-studded space. Love that comforted him and steered him away from temptation even as it drew him to it like a flicker-moth to a flame. Love that warned him away from hatred, anger, and rage even as it provoked those same searing passions in his torn, tormented body and soul.

    Obi-Wan might have thought that Anakin had no desire to understand the Jedi–to do research into their history and teachings–but he did have an insatiable curiosity, a relentless drive to know things– to learn everything. He went to the Archives and found digitalized copies of ancient scrolls. He wouldn’t be able to see the originals. Not without asking the imperious Master Nu for permission and assistance because the original manuscripts could crumble or be otherwise ruined if a person touched them without wearing specially designed gloves, and he wasn’t about to attempt to explain his interest in the ancient Jedi doctrines of love to Master Nu who seemed to feel nothing beyond mild irritation at the ignorant beings who ventured into her scholarly sanctuary of holobooks, holofiles, and databases.

    In those copies of crumpling scrolls, Anakin was astonished to discover that love hadn’t always been a forbidden fruit among the Jedi. Once it had been allowed and even encouraged because a Force-Sensitive parent was more likely to produce the Force-Sensitive offspring that could perpetuate the Jedi Order.

    It was centuries into the Jedi’s history before the first rumblings against love appeared in Jedi texts that had no become definitive doctrine when once they would have been only one line of thought, one side of argument in a debate, and truth, Anakin thought, could never be reached without hearing both sides of the argument.

    Those in favor of love had pointed out its ennobling, healing qualities. Its capacity for self-sacrifice, for mercy, for forgiveness. As he read those words thousands of years after they had been written, Anakin felt connected to the rich Jedi past more than he ever had before. Those words resonated and reverberated inside him, echoing in his ears as he remembered his remark to Padme on the refugee ship transporting them to Naboo that in a way Jedi were encouraged to love because love was compassion.

    He was even more surprised to discover that those who opposed love made a terrible sense to him as well. Those opposed to love spoke in metaphors with imagery that seemed somehow universal, enduring across time and space, to him. They compared love to a flooding river drowning the tender reeds along its bank or to a sharpened vibrorazor that cut through the core of your being, leaving your heart and soul bleeding.

    Anakin understood those feelings and those images because they were, in a sense, his own. He drowned in love whenever his eyes met Padme’s and he was lost in their soft, brown gaze. Whenever his lips brushed against hers. Whenever his skin pressed against hers. Whenever their fingers or bodies entwined.

    Just as surely, grief, the mirror of love, had sliced through him like a vibrorazor when his mother had died in his arms. It was love that had made his heart bleed as he wept over her broken body. It was love that had made his soul feel as if bit of life had been ripped from it as her own life faded to nothing while he watched, helpless to save her. It was love that had made his body burn with an all-consuming wrath that had destroyed the Tusken Raiders, leaving them as another bleeding testimony to the power, the sheer and uncontainable force, of his love.

    He understood both sides of the love debate, Anakin realized with an insight that shocked and rocked him more than anything else he had ever learned in the Archives. He had felt the nobler, purer aspects of love, but he had also lived and breathed the darker sides of it. He could understand the mercy, the self-sacrifice, the forgiveness proponents of love had emphasized, because he had embraced those traits with his mother and with Padme. Yet he could also comprehend how painful and how destructive love could be. He had seen the carnage of love: how it could leave bodies and souls with bleeding, gaping wounds that could never be healed.

    The images of those who had opposed love could never have come from those who had never known love and its consequences, Anakin decided, his eyes widening with this revelation that felt as if it could shake the very foundations on which the Jedi Temple was built. Those images, those philosophies could only have been formed from beings who had felt love’s sting for themselves. Tender reeds who had been drowned in a flooding river. Victims of love’s vibrorazor that had left their hearts and souls bleeding.

    In the ancient Jedi condemnations of love, somehow Anakin found proof that Jedi did love no matter how they might try to stop and deny the forbidden feelings, affirmation that he wasn’t alone in his suffering for love.

    (Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless, aching need.
    I say love, it is a flower, and you, it’s only seed.)

    “Love wasn’t always forbidden among the Jedi, you know,” Anakin murmured to Padme, planting a kiss in her hair as they stood on the patio garden of her Coruscant apartment, staring out at the purple sky of twilight illuminated by the million lights of commuters returning home from long days at stressful offices and advertisements designed to lure greedy consumers into purchasing frivolous items they didn’t need. The glamor, the glitz, and the throbbing greed of Coruscant surrounded them. Once it would have given Anakin a headache. Now, after years spent on the Republic’s capital planet, it only seemed natural to him, a reflection and personification of the chaos and restlessness inside his own being.

    “I didn’t know that.” Padme glanced at him with some surprise in her eyes.

    “It was only centuries after the formation of the Jedi Order that the first voices began to speak out against love among the Jedi, but eventually those voices won the debate, silencing all other perspectives.” Anakin smiled at the expression on her face as he wrapped an arm around her waist, drawing her close to him so only thin fabric separated her spine from the pounding heart caged within his chest. “They said love was a river that drowned the tender reed. A vibrorazor that left the heart and the soul bleeding.”

    “Hmm.” Padme tapped pursed lips with a finger, considering this. “Is that what you believe, my love?”

    My love. Anakin felt something stirring and snaking inside him at those simple words because of course they weren’t simple words at all. They were life-defining words for both of them and Padme knew it. Had to know it.

    “No.” Anakin kissed her pursed lips, satisfying the sudden ravenous desire he had for her. Barely breathing between kisses, he struggled to express a coherent thought. “I believe it is a hunger, an endless, aching need.”

    “Do you need me then?” Padme trailed a gentle finger along his cheek and then his chin.

    “I’ll always need you.” Anakin brought her finger to his lips and kissed that too. “You’re the woman I love more than any other.”

    “I need you too.” Padme seemed to melt into him, and Anakin felt his spirit souring inside him. Being with Padme like this was even more wonderful and sublime than flying. “I need you like a flower needs water and air, Anakin. My love for you is a flower, and you’re the only seed of that love.”

    “I’m the flower and the seed.” Anakin chuckled in tune with a music inside him that nobody else could hear. A music inside him that made him feel as if his soul were dancing. “That makes no sense.”

    “Metaphors of love don’t have to make sense.” Padme’s laugh was in perfect harmony with the music inside Anakin. “Love doesn’t have to make sense, after all.”

    Months later, when they stood on the same balcony staring into another, darker Coruscant night after a nightmare of her dying in childbirth had awoken them both, he wondered if perhaps her love of him had produced another seed in the life growing inside her womb. Maybe he was no longer the only seed of her love.

    (It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance. )

    “Would your heart break if I died at war?” Anakin asked, on the eve of his departure to another battle in the Clone Wars that now felt as if it would stretch on into infinity, the question he had never dared to give voice to before.

    “Would you want it to?” Padme’s palm rested over his heart, and he wondered if she could feel its drum that beat only for her. “Would you want me to stop living–to stop serving the Republic–because you had died?”

    Anakin both wanted and didn’t want that because he knew that it was a selfish, wrong desire to want her to stop living–to stop serving the Republic because he had died–-and because he knew it would kill her to stop serving the Republic. The day she could no longer serve the Republic, he believed in his blood and bones, would be the day that she died because she would have nothing left to live for as she didn’t live only for him, but for the Republic. She loved the Republic as much as she did him. That should have made him jealous, but it was hard to be jealous of a rival that was an institution he had sworn to serve surely as she had rather than a person he could fight.

    “That’s a hard question,” he replied at last. “Don’t make me answer it.”

    “I won’t if you won’t make me answer your hard question.” Padme’s hands fell to clasp around his, leading them down to encircle her waist. “Dance with me.”

    “I don’t like dancing.” Anakin realized he had lost the argument as Padme’s arms twined around his shoulders and neck. “My feet are clumsy.”

    “Your feet are not clumsy.” Padme began to sway and he mirrored her motions. “You wouldn’t be so deadly with your lightsaber if your feet were clumsy.”

    “I’m good at dancing with a lightsaber.” Anakin’s grin hovered somewhere between the rueful and the roguish. “Not so much without it.”

    (It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.)

    “There used to be oceans on Coruscant,” Padme murmured as they lay in a tangle of shimmersilk sheets after drowning in a sea of their own love for each other. Anakin thought he might have heard the distant ebb and flow of a roaring, white-capped wavescrashing against sand and rock before receding into the ocean again, a small part swallowed by the hunger of a larger whole. “Before the entire planet was built up into one big city of broken dreams.”

    “Being with you is a dream.” Anakin reached out to touch her–to confirm that she was gloriously real and alive beside him. “A dream from which I never want to wake up. A dream from which I’m forever afraid of waking up.”

    Dreams always haunted him, he thought. First as a child, he had been dogged by dreams of freeing all the slaves of Tatooine and killing all the master with a gleaming red sword of righteousness or revenge (the line between the two was blurred to him as a boy). Then as a young man tortured by dreams of his mother suffering and dying on Tatooine because he wasn’t there to rescue her as a son should be.

    “Our lives together aren’t dreams, Anakin.” A furrow appeared in Padme’s brow, marring its beauty. “They’re real. We’re risking everything to be together. We can’t get any more real than that.”

    “Now you’ve woken me from my dream.” Anakin kissed the furrow from her forehead. “We can add it to all the broken dreams that built Coruscant.”

    What was Coruscant, after all, Anakin thought, but a trillion beings with broken hearts and broken dreams trying to make themselves whole again like the ocean after its waves shattered against the shore?

    (It’s the one who won’t be taken that cannot seem to give,
    and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.)

    “Aren’t you afraid of dying in childbirth?” Anakin still couldn’t believe how unfazed, how unshaken Padme had been the night before when he told her about his nightmare, his inescapable vision of her dying in sweaty, tearful labor.

    “Aren’t you afraid of dying in battle or pulling one of your crazy stunts in a cockpit?” Padme nudged him.

    “No.” Anakin shook his head, frustrated, because it was never his own death he feared, but the deaths of those he loved more than his own life. “Because I don’t know that I’m going to die. I’m not haunted by visions of my own death, Padme. I’m haunted by visions of yours. Visions I don’t want to come true the way the ones about my mother did.”

    “You aren’t afraid to die because you know you’d die fighting for a cause you believe in or doing something that you’re passionate about–something that’s meaningful and important to you.” Padme slipped her fingers between his and squeezed. “Having a child is meaningful and important to me, Anakin. If I die bringing new life into the galaxy, I can die fulfilled, knowing I’ll live on in my child. We can’t live afraid of our own deaths. That’s not living at all.”

    “What about living afraid of the deaths of those we love?” Anakin burst out, and it felt like the eternal question of anyone who had ever loved and lost. “Can we live like that?”

    “No.” Padme curled her head into the groove between his shoulder and his chin, where his pulse pounded with fear of losing her. “That wouldn’t be living either.”

    He wanted to listen to her. He wanted to live life in the light of hope as she did, not the shadow of fear as he too often did, but fear, he thought, was the shadow of a love as burning, as bright as theirs. He had to live in the shadow of their love as she lived in the dancing, radiant light of it. That was the balance of their relationship.

    (When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long,
    and you think love is only for the lucky and the strong,
    just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows,
    lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.)

    Anakin had been alone in the darkness, a slave to Sidious and the Dark Side when once all he had wanted was to be able to live free with Padme, his love, for so long that he had come to believe that love wasn’t for him. He was doomed to live and to die alone and in darkness. Love was for the lucky, not for an unfortunate who had been born a slave and chosen to become a slave to the Dark Side. Love was for the strong, not the weak who had fallen hook, line, and sinker for the spidery manipulations of Sidious. Love was for those who lived in the light, not for those who were seduced by the dark. Love wasn’t for those who gave into their fears, their angers, and their hatreds as he had. Love wasn’t for those who had suffered as he had.

    That was before his son, shocked and jolted by the bolts of lightning forking and streaming in static rivers of electricity from Sidious’s fingers, cried out and appealed to him as a father for help, for rescue, for salvation. That was when he saw that love was for the weak and for the sorrowful who could show mercy and grace to one another.

    The seed of Anakin’s love–the seed that Anakin thought had died long ago with Padme, whom he had killed–had been planted in dark ground and grown out of dark ground to blossom into a beautiful, vibrant flower.

    That was why Anakin hurled his master who could no longer chain him to the bitter fetters of the Dark Side into the black abyss of the ruin the Death Star would become. That was why he asked Luke to remove the mask that had trapped him in blackness for so many years so that he could look upon his son, his burning flesh and blood fused to Padme’s soul of transcendent lightness, before he died.

    Luke had believed in his goodness, in some incorruptible light inside him as Padme had, and that was why Anakin assured his son that he had been right all along. There had been an unacknowledged light inside him always that had gone unacknowledged only because he was too afraid to acknowledge it.

    In Luke’s face, Anakin saw Padme’s, alive again. She and her love–Anakin’s love of her and hers for him–would live on in her son and in memory.

    As he died, fading into the Force at last, Anakin felt at peace and unafraid of death because he had lived and he had loved, and he had found his longed for eternity in that.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    @devilinthedetails -- lands but every word of that was splendid, and a PERFECT song for A/P. Very thought-provoking introspections mingled with wonderful dialogue!
  3. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 30, 1999
    That was just beautiful! I loved the start with the debate about love and the pros and cons of it. I know the 'thou shalt not love' thing is a Lucas plot device but it's never made sense to me and I liked how you looked at both sides of the debate.

    Also loved the end where it was the concept of love that brought Anakin back too. Beautiful imagery too.
  4. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    This is a beautiful story, but I think somewhere near the end of it some ninjas started cutting onions in my room.
  5. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    @devilinthedetails: I agree with @Kit' here. Your texts are thought provoking. Plus they give a deeper inside into GL´s ideas. Thank you!

    And you manage to embed them in such beautiful words and scenes from a couple that is starcrossed.
  6. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for your kind comments on my stories!:D I'm so flattered that thought every word of this was splendid because I really wanted to do justice to the powerful song that inspired it. I feel like so much is said in the song that I couldn't help but create thought-provoking musings inspired by it. The dialogue was a bit more challenging to write, but I'm so happy that you found it wonderful. And I agree that this is the perfect song for Anakin and Padme. Describing both the danger and the ultimately redemptive power of their love. [face_love]

    @Kit' Thank you so much for commenting!:D I'm so happy that you found this piece beautiful because I wanted to write something beautiful as a rose in a sense as a tribute to the song's title. I always find Anakin's story an interesting illustration of both the pros and cons of love since his downfall seems to come from a love that has been twisted into something selfish, controlling, and possessive but his redemption comes from a love that is selfless and self-sacrificing so I couldn't resist showing how both sides of love were part of Anakin's life story in this fic. The OT doesn't mention the Jedi prohibiting love so I think that the prohibition on love may have come out of a desire for the Anakin/Padme story to be one of forbidden love to make it all the more tragic. And I really do like the idea of Anakin's redemption coming out of love because to me it can soften much of the harsher message of the PT so that the OT and PT seem to form a commentary on what kind of love---selfless and self-sacrificing--is redemptive instead of just being a condemnation of all types of love as selfish, controlling, or possessive. It becomes a lot more upbeat and empowering a message than if the PT were just taken on its own terms without the OT to complete and complement it. And I'm so happy that you found the imagery of this story beautiful. The song that inspired it just seemed to invite beautiful imagery like a rose. @};-

    @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Thank you so much for commenting! :) I''m so glad you found the story beautiful, and sorry about the ninjas chopping onions in your room!

    @AzureAngel2 Once again, thank you so much for commenting on my stories!:D I'm so happy to hear that you found this piece thought-provoking and that you thought it offered greater insights into George Lucas's ideas because I think that sort of expansion of ideas and stories can be one of the most awesome functions of fan fiction: to be able to delve into ideas that canon doesn't have the time or space to explore. And I'm so flattered that you found the words beautiful since I really wanted to do justice to a lovely song that is a favorite of mine and to showcase the star-crossed nature of Anakin and Padme's tragic love. @};-
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    :eek: OH MY WOW if that is not the absolute PERFECT song choice for Anakin/Padmé, I don’t know what is! A fave of mine, too! That middle section in particular, “It’s the heart afraid of breaking...,” is just so Anakin—those are exactly the things that so tragically hampered his own capacity for love in episodes 2 and 3, more than any Jedi strictures. Yet starting out with those strictures, and the debates on love within the Jedi order in ages past, was a really clever way to set up Anakin’s own inner state—as he finds out, he has truly experienced both sides. Really wonderful job integrating the themes of the song throughout the story, whether in those ancient Jedi writings, in Anakin’s thoughts and fears, and in his conversations with his wife. (Which I know I’ve seen you do before with other similar prompts—you’ve got a real knack for that!) And what a master touch to end not just at Vader’s loss and transformation in ROTS but with his moment of redemption in ROTJ—with Luke as The Rose. :luke: @};- I think those onion-chopping ninjas were paying me a visit, too. ;) AMAZING and beautiful work, in true devilinthedetails fashion—thank you so much for sharing and being part of this challenge. =D=
  8. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Findswoman As always, thank you so much for your sweet and thoughtful comment!:)I'm so happy to hear that you found this to be the perfect song choice for Anakin/Padme and that this song is a favorite of yours as well since I find it to be such a beautiful and profound one. I agree with you that the lyrics "It's the heart afraid of breaking..." resonate so much with who Anakin is and the journey that he goes on as a character. Anakin's fear of losing the people he loved did indeed tragically and paradoxically hamper his ability to love those same people fully and selflessly in AOTC and ROTS.

    The Jedi strictures on love do provide an interesting backdrop for exploring Anakin's own inner states and struggles in AOTC and ROTS, so I couldn't resist having Anakin do some more research into those Jedi strictures and the debates behind them as sort of a testament to his own inner conflicts about what love is and how to truly love selflessly and purely.

    I think you're spot on to say that by the end of ROTJ, Anakin has experienced both sides of the love debate in that he has seen the dark things he has done for a twisted type of "love" but also seen the redemptive capacities of a pure, selfless love such as he has for his son and his son in return has for him.

    The themes of the song are just so beautiful and powerful to me that I felt compelled to include them throughout the story through Jedi writings, Anakin's thoughts and fears, and in his conversations with Padme.

    It makes me so glad that you love the touch of ending not with Vader's loss and transformation in ROTS but with his moment of redemption in ROTJ because to me the end of the song that inspired this story ended on an idea of hope and new life so I really wanted to reflect that by focusing on Anakin's redemption at the end and his final epiphany about what true love is. And I couldn't resist casting Luke as the Rose of this hopeful future so I'm so happy you liked that decision as well.

    Thank you again for your kind words, and I'm truly flattered you found this piece so beautiful! Also thank you for hosting this marvelous challenge that gave me wonderful motivation to write this story about one of my favorite songs:D
    Emperor Ferus and Findswoman like this.
  9. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 11, 2016
    Intresting story, uses the song pretty well in my opinion.
  10. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Anedon Thank you so much for commenting! Glad you found the story interest and felt that it used the song well:)
    Findswoman likes this.
  11. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Oh, I love this. A gorgeous look at Anakin and Padmé, and fantastic use of your song. I love how you used it to frame each section.

    I really liked the first part with Anakin studying the ancient writings, and I love the idea of the Jedi having those debates about love. It feels so realistic and makes so much more sense than "Love is forbidden" always being a strict rule.

    Awww! I love seeing them have this moment of happiness. [face_love]

    Also love them dancing, and I love basically every word of dialogue. As always you've done an amazing job capturing their voices!

    This bit really hit me, because it's so true. Living in fear - not just fear of death, but fear in general - is not living. And yet it's so hard to let go of the fear.

    Fantastic lines!

    And then the last bit - just perfection. I love that you used Luke as the rose and Anakin's redemption to close out this fic. Just the perfect way to end it. And yes, I'm all choked up now.

    Gorgeous work, as always! =D=
  12. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Dear goodness, but I think those same dastardly ninjas were in here chopping onions with me too. Sheesh, but they're keeping busy. :p =((

    I'm just going to add my voice to the chorus of glowing reviews above. This song is perfectly Anakin/Padmé, in all their bittersweet glory. I love how you used the lyrics to examine the idea of love, for the good and bad, just as much as an emotion felt by and influencing the characters.

    This really says it all, doesn't it?

    I gave up trying to quote individual parts, as it was really the whole of this that was so thoughtfully woven together. And your prose was lovely throughout. Anakin's unselfish love for Luke being his redemption was just so poignant, and a perfect note to conclude with! [face_love]

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful response to the challenge with us! =D=
  13. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @amidalachick As always, thank you so much for commenting! Your kind words mean the world to me:)

    I'm so happy to hear that you loved this story and found it to be a gorgeous look at Anakin and Padme combined with a fascinating use of my chosen song since I love "The Rose" song so much that I really wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to showcase its depth.

    The first part with Anakin studying the ancient Jedi writings was very interesting for me to write. I've kind of developed the head canon that the Jedi have had those debates about the complicated role and nature of love throughout their history, and that the Jedi Order didn't always have strict prohibitions about Jedi not falling in love, getting married, and having children, because that sort of evolution and debate over time makes more sense to me than there always being this strict "love is forbidden policy."

    I really enjoyed being able to write Anakin and Padme having a happy moment together, and the mental image of them dancing felt so romantic to me as I wrote it, so it makes me so happy to know that you loved reading that part. And it is so flattering to hear that you loved all the dialogue in that part and captured their voices perfectly.

    The parts of the song that speak about how living in fear isn't really living have always really resonated with me so I really wanted to emphasize that truth in this story and to also show just how hard and painful the process of letting go of fear can be. Fear definitely knows how to keep a tight grip on its victims!

    And at the end you highlighted some of my favorite, most haunting lines from this story. Lines that really stuck with me while writing it and after writing it. So it makes me so proud that you found them to be fantastic.

    I really wanted to end the story with the hope of redemption and love--the promise of a brighter future--because to me that is the note that "The Rose" ends on with the promise that even in winter time, far beneath the snow, there is the seed that with the sun's love can become the beautiful rose@};-. So I decided that narratively Luke, as the physical embodiment of Anakin's and Padme's love for one another as well as the trigger for Anakin's redemption, would make a perfect rose for the last section. I definitely got choked up writing that part of the story so you certainly weren't alone in getting all choked up at that point. The redemptive power of love can be so moving for me, and then the waterworks start flowing from my eyes.

    Thank you again for your really thoughtful comment, and I'm so flattered you found this to be gorgeous work[:D]

    @Mira_Jade Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my story!:) I'm sorry to hear those dastardly ninjas were at it again, chopping those onions. Those sneaky ninjas have definitely been keeping themselves busy visiting people to chop onions.

    I'm so happy that you found this song to be perfect for Anakin/Padme, showcasing all the bittersweet glory of this couple and their story, because I was hoping to really connect the entire drama of Anakin and Padme's relationship with the song by weaving the song lyrics into the story throughout.

    I find the song lyrics to be so philosophical and poetic sounding as well as deeply emotional that I hoped to be able to explore both the more abstract concept of love as an idea with its positives and its negatives as well as the sheer emotional drama of Anakin and Padme's love for one another.

    And I think you are right that the passage you highlighted really does say it all.

    There really could be nothing more flattering than hearing that you gave up quoting individual pieces since you found it all to be so thoughtfully woven together. The song that inspired this story is such a beautiful one that I was hoping to be able to channel some of that into lovely prose of my own, and it is amazing to hear that you felt I succeeded with that.

    And the final touch of Anakin's unselfish love for Luke being his redemption might have been the section that moved me most. It definitely felt like the perfect, hopeful conclusion to the story. A way of showing that Anakin has finally learned to love purely and live without fear.

    Thank you so much for your kind comment! It was my pleasure to write a response to this wonderful challenge inspired by what to me is a very beautiful, profound song and celebrate the drama of one of my favorite Star Wars couples:D