Saga - PT What We Made (Anakin/Padme Post-"Rise of Clovis"/"Crisis at the Heart" AU)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by darth_treyvah, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005
    Title: What We Made
    Author(s): darth_treyvah
    Timeframe: Prequel Trilogy AU
    Primary Characters: Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala
    Secondary Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Palpatine
    Author's Note: I am going to try to get this out as swiftly as I can. If you are having trouble keeping up due to formatting or what-not, just pace yourselves. I will try to do the same.

    On Tatooine there is a man in the dunes.

    He lives in a place known to locals as The Workshop. It appeared not long after the Hutts, in the form of Jabba the Hutt, were ousted from the world and the sector around it after the end of the Clone Wars.

    Even if she hadn't had the coordinates, or the testimony from the other inhabitants of Mos Espa, she would have definitely known he was there, and not just because of the vague feeling returning to her the closer she came to Tatooine and this place. She makes sure that her hood remains on as she gets off of her speeder. Out of habit more than any sensation of danger, her hand brushes against the blaster at her hip. Somehow that small reassurance lightens her, reinforces her, if only for a bit. It is not a physical threat, not a danger against her life, that concerns her, or makes her stomach clench.

    And it really is a Workshop. But it's so much more than that. There are small domes around a modest building and they contain the most extensive hydroponics she has seen on this world, or any other. There is no attempt to hide what they contain. The transparisteel shows her lush plant life and little ponds being filled with streaming water from what looks like recycled and re-purposed mechanical parts. Even though the sun of the twin suns is fairly strong, with evening not coming for another hour or so, she can't help but be fascinated by what she can see. Interconnecting parts of metal and organic structure making a small oasis in the middle of a desert.

    "Pardon me, ma'am."

    She starts. A silver 3P0 series droid is standing right behind her. Its main torso glitters in the light of the suns, but she can see that it has different parts: a bronze arm, a dark grey leg. One of its eyes is red. But she knows better than to judge by appearances, especially nowadays.

    "Yes. I'm sorry." She says. "I am here to visit the proprietor of this establishment."

    "Ah. I see." The droid nods to himself, its tone now sounding very masculine. "Do you wish to come to the Maker for droid repairs? For hydroponics maintenance in your area? Or do you wish to bring your children or family unit to the Gardens? We do have supplies, if you require them."

    "Oh. Oh no. Not at all. I don't have children. I am here to see, well," She hesitates. "Your Maker."

    "Yes. I see. The Maker."

    Despite herself, her eyes narrow. "Is that what he calls himself?"

    The droid shakes his head, his servor-motors surprisingly, or not surprisingly smooth. "Not at all. That is we, all of us here, and the locals generally call him. I'm afraid The Maker doesn't like to make his name public. Even though, between you and I." The droid's modulated tone lowers. "I suspect most people on our planet do know. Perhaps even in other places as well."

    She tries not to shake her head, not really knowing what to do add to this. This droid reminds her of another in her service, but for some reason she feels he is reading her more than she is him. Polite, even a little gregarious, but still on guard. Besides, she has heard as much from the other locals she's already met. For a man who wants to be left alone for the most part, he does not keep as low a profile as he could.

    "May I come in?" She ventures.

    The red eye narrows and then dilates back to a full round red moon. "Of course, ma'am. Follow me."

    She lets the droid walk ahead of her at a respectful distance, not toddling along but fairly striding. She can't help but marvel at the work that must have gone into engineering or re-engineering his servo-motors. He walks up to the door and it rises. A cool breeze emanates from inside the enclosure. It is welcome, even if a little frosty and smelling of metal and oil. She follows him in.

    The inside of the enclosure doesn't surprise her at all. There are droid parts everywhere. But what does get her attention are the sheer number of droids. Astrogation units, protocol droids, binary load-lifters, worker droids and so many others. Some of them are conversing in binary or other languages. Some are in pieces, still functional, patient and waiting. But she sees a ramp on the ceiling and detached arms working on the half-completed, half-repaired droids. She even sees droids applying lasers and tools to other droids.

    She stops and observes this. On the surface, it looks messy and disorderly. But she sees the order underneath it. It is a lattice work of limbs and artificial lifeforms taking care of other artificial lifeforms.

    "Is that ..." She looks at one, noticing the small black-lens red optics, and the dark grey metal, and its stance. "Is that a Magna droid?"

    Her guide pauses. "Yes. She has been a guest here for some time since The Maker found her. You can see her patches. She's not quite the same as she was before, don't tell her that. One of the few surviving. The Maker doesn't let her have her electro-staff indoors much as she likes to be ... a little more demonstrative than the others at times. Don't worry, though. She no longer serves the Confederacy. Mostly, she is head of guard detail for some of our area's moisture farmers against Tusken intrusions into their land."

    "I see." She says, following the droid as he moves again. "The Maker does good work."

    "He would tell you that he tries. Organic modesty and all that. My apologies. I say too much."

    She smiles. "Not at all. I know droids who talk far more than you, and they have been nothing but helpful."

    "Thank you, ma'am. Ah, here we are."

    They have come to what looks like the central workshop in The Workshop. While the outer part of this deceptively small place had almost state of the art yet cobbled and improvised equipment, this place is sparser and somehow dirtier for it. There is a bed in the corner with rumpled sheets and a worktable. It looks like wood, but she knows it isn't. That would indicate great wealth here and she knows that the man called The Maker does anything but flaunt material possessions, whatever else he might have done years ago.

    And then ... she sees him.

    He is at one of his worktables. He's sitting on a bench and hunched over a small mouse droid.

    "Hmm." He says. "Is that you Eye-Three? We have a visitor?"

    "Yes, Maker."

    "Please. I wish they would stop calling me that." He shakes his shaggy head. "Well, please. Sit down. There's a stool nearby. I'm just in the process of putting some agricultural ... upgrades on this droid. They were trying to throw them out by the time I found them. Jawas almost got them before I did and oh boy, you definitely don't want to get into a junk fight with a Jawa. If it's a Tatooine saying around these parts, it should be."

    "Well, it is now."

    The man pauses at the sound of her voice. He slowly places his tools down and absently pats the side of the mouse droid. "Eye-Three?"

    "Yes Maker?"

    "Can you ... please take our buddy here back to the Conveyor Room? I'm mostly finished with her. She just needs further calibrations. I trust you can look over them."

    "Definitely, Maker. It shouldn't be a problem. If you will excuse us."

    She watches as the re-repurposed protocol droid picks up the mouse droid and walks away, leaving the two humans alone in the main workroom. Slowly, she takes off her hood.

    "Hello, Anakin." Padme Amidala says, hesitating after speaking his name. "It has been a while."
  2. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005
    "Yes." Anakin Skywalker says. "It has been."

    The two regard each other, looking at the similarities and the differences. Padme sees Anakin. His dirty-blond hair, once sandy, is longer. It almost covers his face, but not nearly enough to hide all of it. His cheekbones are somehow more pronounced. There are fine lines around his eyes and mouth. And scars. Padme barely keeps herself from wincing. Anakin still has the scar above his eye, but it is accompanied by many others along the sides of his face. He wears a simple brown trousers and a beige tunic. It is open air and she can see chest and his forearms. The scars, electric burn marks are scrawled along the flesh there: especially around a new prosthetic arm. It is grey and silvery, totally unlike the golden arm he wore after the Battle of Geonosis, and Naboo, where they were first married ...

    "They were much worse afterwards." Anakin tells her. "I had to soak in a bacta tank for weeks. The old prosthetic was completely totaled. It turns out technology doesn't do every well under prolonged Force-lightning. Almost got hoverchair bound if the Council had anything to do with it."

    "You mean the Healer's Ward and Obi-Wan." Padme smiles, shyly, looking away from him suddenly.

    "Yes." Anakin says, quietly. "Them too." He gets to his feet and wanders off to another bench, picking up a tool and a rag. "So, was it Obi-Wan or Ahsoka?"

    "Honestly? It was a little bit of both. Ahsoka apparently does business with you from what I hear. And Rex sends his regards too."

    "Heh." Anakin starts cleaning the tool with the rag. "I'm glad you were able to help them. To help them all. He comes by sometimes. Him and some of the Company. Mostly at the cantinas." He looks up. "I don't think I can thank you enough for passing that Bill."

    "Well, everyone deserves equal rights under the Republic." Padme says. "We are all its citizens and the clone troopers fought for us. They helped save us. Even if the enemy was leading us the whole time. The wrangling wasn't the hardest, not with Bail and Mon helping. It was getting the Kaminoans to make a new deal and help us extend their lives. That was the challenging part, as part of their reparations."

    "Modest still." Anakin shakes his head. "It's the least they could do we discovered all the rest of the dirt on their original leaders. It's been ten years and I have never seen Rex or Cody or any of the others happier."

    "It really has been ten years." Padme replies.

    "Yes." Anakin puts down the tool and picks up another, this one a hydrospanner. "For what's worth, you still look beautiful Padme."

    Padme hasn't changed much from the last time they met, almost a decade ago. There are more lines around her mouth and eyes, perhaps even some of her forehead. Only a small few strands of brown hair have some silver threads. The toils of politics do leave their stressors. If anything, she looks like she did years ago, only a little more tired. Padme looks away again and despite everything, finds herself blushing.

    "Thank you. I am all right. And you ..."

    "Let's be honest with each other, Padme. I look like a scarred mess."

    "No!" Padme exclaims, then blinks, realizing she just shouted. "No. You are ... well, if anything, you don't ..."

    Anakin chuckles a little bitterly. "I don't look like a young boy anymore. I guess that's what war does to you."

    "No." Padme says. "You were a young man when I knew you. Now you're ... a man." She shakes her head.

    "I've grown?" Anakin smirks at her.

    She smiles, a little nervously, but then it leaves her. She looks into his eyes. "Maybe. Maybe we both have."

    They somehow manage to look away from each other at the same time. Finally, Anakin puts down the hydrospanner. He sighs.

    "Padme, why have you come here?"

    She smiles sadly. "Always to the point, Ani."

    "Yes. That's true, but at my old age of thirty-two, in these Wastes, you really need to learn when you get to the point."

    "In case you forgot, Anakin Skywalker, I am older than you and I will have you know that at thirty-seven I no crone. So you have no excuse."

    "All right. So what is your ... reason for finding me? What do you need Padme?"

    The humour, unanticipated but in retrospect should have been expected vanishes and the heavy awkwardness of ten years distance returns. Padme bites her lip.

    "Forthrightness. Right. I want to know something."

    Anakin says nothing.

    "I want to know ... why didn't you come back?"
  3. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    While I really can't leave my usual long & thoughtful comments for something that's updated this fast, I have read what you have so far (and it's effort for a hyperactive, lucky that your writing just flows) and I like this set-up. The question Padmé is asking at the very end is the same thing I am asking. Also interested about Ahsoka's role in this and why is Anakin working on Magnaguards.

    What was pretty cool is the level of detail, how people age on Tatooine, how their hair changes colour to lighter and so on. :)

    Hope your inspiration does not fade. I hereby come out as an A/P fan and I'm not even sorry. :D
    AzureAngel2 and Findswoman like this.
  4. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005
    The heaviness in the room feels as loaded as the question.

    "Why didn't I come back ..." Anakin looks down at the work bench. "A lot of things happened ten years ago. I mean." He sighs. "Where do you want me to begin? Where I was dealing with the Jedi Order alienating my Padawan? That I was getting tired of feeling used by them? Or the War? Or finding out that my mentor, the man I looked up to for thirteen years of my life, was a complete and utter monster who almost killed me when I didn't join him?"

    "Who isn't forthright now? You know exactly what I'm talking about."

    Anakin pauses and, if Padme hadn't somehow known any better, she would have thought he either didn't hear her, or was ignoring her. Finally, he raises his eyes. The blue in them is still there, but it is sharp, like a razor-edged azure blade.

    "You told me to go."

    Padme takes a few steps back. But she keeps her head raised. Her brown eyes flash: with hurt and anger.

    "You know why."


    Rush Clovis. The name is said. The incident is remembered. It widens the gap between them more than any amount of years or war ever can.

    "I don't know." Anakin says, finally. "What you want me to say that I didn't say back then outside of our ... your apartment. I can't excuse how I hurt him. I'm not going to. I was an angry young man who kept thinking the War wasn't affecting me. I was a slave for nine years of my life before going into a monastic order. Obviously, that anger wasn't going away on its own, or the obsession, if you want to call it what it is. I lost so many things, so many people dear to me. And I held on more to that feeling of loss and the fear of it, than actually trying to keep any of them. Any of what I had."

    "Anakin ..."

    "No, Padme. I was young and stupid. It was exactly what you said on Naboo before Geonosis. Our relationship was never going to work. It was founded on secrets and lies. And anger and passion, if we're going to be honest about what happened on Tatooine." Anakin's voice has no rancor in it. It sounds more distant and detached than his droid. "The fact is, I was an accident waiting to happen. And you were afraid of me. I understand."

    "I'm not sure that you do." Padme sighs. "I know why you couldn't get treatment or tell the others in the Order about what was going on. As I said, it was like dealing with two different people."

    "Was it? Was it really?" Anakin says, regarding her with the same sharp stare as before. "I never pretended to be anything other than what I was with you. You knew what I went through. What I did. If anything, it wasn't just me that was like two other people."

    Padme's eyes narrow. "And what is that supposed to mean?"

    "What that means is that there was Padme Amidala, the former Queen and then Senator of Naboo. And then there was Padme Nabarrie. One of these was a politician, a highly principled and neutral woman who championed the rights of Republic citizens and the ideals of the Republic. The other was the woman who I thought was my wife. Do you remember, Padme? I wanted to leave the Order. I wanted to be with you and whatever life we formed. In public. But you refused."

    "Don't put that on me, Anakin Skywalker. I wanted you to fulfill your potential. And your duty. You belonged with the Jedi."

    "And we were at War, that's true. And I wouldn't have left then. But that was not the way you made it sound. It was Naboo all over again. Your duty and ideals were more important than us. Than our love."

    "That's not true."

    "But isn't it." Anakin lowers his voice. "Wasn't it?"

    "No. Despite all of your problems with the Jedi, you loved being there. They were your home. Your family. I couldn't ask you to leave. And even if you did something else, there was like you said the War. And I wasn't going to give up my work and my responsibilities for anything. Not ... not even you."

    "Well." Anakin says. "I guess you proved my point."

    "That's ... not the same. I am the same person. Even when I said ... those things. It was hard and I was angry and upset and afraid."

    "Of me."

    "Yes! Yes dammit! You beat Rush within an inch of his life! And what he did after that still doesn't excuse it!"

    "I never said it did." Anakin turns away from her. "I still don't understand why you're here Padme."

    "I was scared and afraid because I was afraid of you and scared of the fact that I was afraid of my husband: of the person I was in love with!"

    "Just like any abused spouse I suppose." Anakin's voice turns hard, belying any sarcasm it could have ever had. "Well, I left before it came to that. You got exactly what you wanted. You were safe. You had a new Jedi security detail. And you got to pursue your career."

    "No!" Padme smashes her fist down against the other table. "No I did not get what I wanted! I still ... you really thought right after that, after everything that this was it? You have the Force, Anakin."

    "Yes and I never used it on you. Whatever else I did, I actually had basic human decency."

    "No, but you could feel my feelings."

    "But you didn't understand mine." He snarls, suddenly. "Don't you get it, Padme? Don't you understand what it looked like? Not just that night when Clovis and I knew it was him who instigated it, tried to kiss you but the entire situation! This man once dated you. He was your friend. Then he tried to betray you to the Confederacy. He tried to kill you!"

    "I was working with him again for the good of the Republic."

    "And you believed he had changed. You put your life at risk working with a man who betrayed you the first time around. But instead of working only in the Senate building, or your office, or any professional jurisdiction you both went to the opera together! And then you brought him back into our home, making the two of you a meal!"

    "So you were following us during that time."

    "Of course I was! I never said otherwise. This man was a traitor to the Republic. And then I came in, and saw ... that ..."

    "I could handle myself. It was my life for the lives of the Republic."

    "You don't ..." Anakin blinks. "You really don't get it. You are so smart and empathic and you don't get why I was angry. It was never just your life, Padme. We were supposed to be a couple. We were supposed to be a team. And if you had asked me, I would have left the Order, running, to help you. To be with you!"

    "But you didn't."

    Anakin sighs and sits down at his bench. "No."

    Padme also sits down, pulling up the stool that Anakin mentioned earlier in Eye-Three's presence. "You know what happened on Scipio."


    "Obi-Wan came and got me out of there. Rush died during the attack. I ..." Padme exhales slowly. "I tried comming you for weeks. But you never replied. Even Obi-Wan was having a difficult time, whenever we met, explaining it. I think it's safe to say he knew something between us had been going on. I felt bad for how uncomfortable I made him. I wanted to tell you that ... I was sorry. Not about your behaviour, but your suspicions. Even at the end ... Rush. He sacrificed himself so Obi-Wan could save me. But he did betray us and the Muuns. He was working with Dooku. He had a blaster pointed at me. I was terrified and disappointed and then I saw a blue lightsaber blade through the door and I thought ..."

    Tears start flowing down Padme's cheeks. She angrily wipes a sleeve at her eyes. "And then, weeks later ... I get a package at our apartment. And ... it was your wedding ring." She begins to tremble. "I ... I tried calling you. I even went to Obi-Wan. He told me that he would get you to talk with me."

    Anakin looks down at the table, his hair covering his face in shadow.

    "It was cruel. You knew we had to talk. And you left. You let someone else come for me. If it was the Council's idea, I can't blame you for that. But you knew it wasn't over and you deliberately cut me out. I know you had been an angry person, but you were never that cold or mean. Especially when you knew I wanted to talk. To apologize. So what I want to know, and I want you to tell me to my face, is why?" Padme glares up at him with tears streaking down her face. "Why didn't you come back Anakin Skywalker?"
    AzureAngel2 and Ewok Poet like this.
  5. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005

    Thank you for the input Ewok Poet. You will find that I already posted the third part to this. And it is ... pretty dramatic. I think what I am going to do now is I will take a meal break and let you digest this for a bit. And others too of course, if more are reading. As for the MagnaGuard and other droids, I might have to elaborate on that a bit. I think the dialogue exchange helps in keeping people of various attention spans hooked, in my opinion. If I wrote a lot of description in a short period of time, it might be much harder to keep up. Anyway, if you have any comments let me know. And there is this part here to digest as well.

    See you soon.
    AzureAngel2 and Ewok Poet like this.
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I absolutely agree about dialogue! Especially if somebody is rapid-firing like you're doing here. Descriptions are minimal and for a story written directly in the editor on here (btw, what happens if there's a system update? Power surge? KEEP A BACKUP!), the measurement is just right. It can be read fast enough, yet it did not turn into he said she said he asked she replied he interjected she retorted etc. It's art, I tell ya. :D
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  7. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005

    I copy all my text as I write. And yeah, with dialogue you have to be careful of using too many adverbs and adjectives. Keeping it minimal and flowing is key. It has to sound like a conversation or an argument. :)
    AzureAngel2 and Ewok Poet like this.
  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I...can totally see this happening.

    This distinction was a problem, always.

    Abuse is always abuse, even when the abused is the cheater!

    And wow, this Clovis must have been quite special. I guess he's history if Padmé has come for Anakin...
  9. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005

    I want to address this before I go on and, hopefully, finish this piece off relatively soon. Rush Clovis is a character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He has an ... interesting history, of his own, and with Padme. Suffice to say, the man has been a traitor to the Republic twice over now and has threatened Padme's life at least that amount of time. There was also some ... Palpatine elements in what went down the last time the three of them all came together. Personally, I didn't like that episode. The premise was completely off to me and while some of the characters' reactions made sense, their motivations didn't always line up. A lot of what I wrote, if not all of it, happened in "The Rise of Clovis" and especially "Crisis at the Heart." To put it in perspective, those two episodes were part of the cancelled fifth season that -- unfortunately in my opinion -- became canon. A lot of Padme's decisions and others in that arc didn't make sense and I am trying to mainly address that this actually happened: and give my take on what *could* have happened instead.

    Think of it as a post-"Rise of Clovis"/"Crisis at the Heart" piece. Maybe I will add that into the title.
    Ewok Poet and AzureAngel2 like this.
  10. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005
    Anakin lets out a deep breath he'd been holding in for a while. He gets up and begins to pace. It is not an unfamiliar trait to Padme. Up until now, aside from an exchange of shouts between the two of them, she knows he's been relatively calm: almost eerily so. But now, pacing with his organic and mechanical hands folding their fingers together behind his back, she knows he's agitated. She wipes her face clean with a cloth, blowing her nose and letting Anakin think: knowing that he is actually trying to gather his thoughts.

    "I should have turned myself into the Council the day I slaughtered the Tuskens." Anakin murmurs. "That is what I ended up telling Obi-Wan."

    Padme's eyes widen. "Wait ... you ... told Obi-Wan about Tatooine?"

    Anakin's shoulders slump. "It was after our last ... meeting. He had already been asking me questions, circling around the two of us. Mainly, it was about remembering my duty and the Code when I wasn't being specific enough. That changed ... that night." He looks at her and for the first time in ages, she sees defeat in his eyes. "I told him everything. I was just so ... tired, Padme. I was tired of those raging, almost obsessive feelings. And what I did, back in your apartment, was unacceptable. Not only as a Jedi, but as a human being. I could have killed Clovis. And the worst part is, a part of me wished that I had.

    "So I told Obi-Wan everything. I left it up to him, as a Council member, as to whether or not he would report me to the rest of the High Council. It wasn't fair: to do that to him."

    "What ..." Padme tries to find her words. "What ... happened? I mean, you were still in command of the 501st and part of the Order for the rest of the War."

    "I gave Obi-Wan little credit. We talked, really talked, and I realized something." Anakin stops pacing for a few moments and faces her. "I was getting too distracted. My passions were clouding my judgment. I was still angry about Snips, but I trusted Obi-Wan. I told him that our relationship was over. And I realized that I needed to place my energy into winning this War. Nothing more, nothing less. Obi-Wan didn't tell the Council anything, except perhaps Master Yoda. Honestly, I didn't want to know.

    "By the time Scipio was under attack by Dooku's forces, I ... I couldn't trust myself. I'd see how far I'd fallen before and how bad it could have been. I asked the Jedi Council if Obi-Wan could lead the Republic forces on Scipio. I told them, very truthfully, that my judgment was too compromised with regards to ... to you. So I briefly went over a battle plan with Obi-Wan and he went on his way to save you.

    "So I did abandon you, in a way. It was strange. It was the hardest thing I had to do, but it needed to be done."

    He continues pacing, moving like a caged animal. "We'd talked about attachments before, Obi-Wan and I. You and me. I thought I knew what they were. But I realized that it wasn't my feelings for you that was the problem. It was my attachment to the negative feelings of possible fear and loss. As sad as ..." he sighs. "After I let Obi-Wan go, something dropped away from me. Something I'd been holding for a long time. At first, I thought I felt better. But really, I just felt empty.

    "After Scipio, I threw myself into my missions. I took all of the off-world missions. Many of them were in the Outer Rim. I didn't get many of your calls because I wasn't on Coruscant. I didn't have leave there. Some of them didn't make it through the Outer Rim or in enemy territory. But really ... I had to let those attachments go. I had to try to let you go."

    Padme visibly swallows. "I ... I understand. You thought I rejected you. I thought you did it to hurt me. Because I hurt you."

    "No." Anakin says. "I was angry, at first. Hell, it's obvious I still have some anger from that time. But I had to let you go. I was afraid of something else this time."

    Padme takes a step towards Anakin, who has stood still again. "What were you afraid of Anakin?"

    "... I was afraid that I would lose control. And this time, I'd hurt you."

    Anakin faces away from her, but she can see his mechanical hand clenching into a fist. And it is shaking.

    "Anakin ..."

    "I know, right? There's not much to say. I needed to master myself. I needed to gain the discipline so as not to hurt anyone like I did the Tuskens. Or Clovis. That anger can spill over into your loved ones' lives. I've seen some of my men deal with that. Post-traumatic stress is not a good thing. Master Windu didn't approve of the fact that I didn't want to have guard detail on you anymore, but he respected the fact that I ... suppose I admitted a limitation. Between missions I meditated with Master Yoda and Obi-Wan. I kept making things. I'm not a passive or peaceful man, Padme. I never pretended to be. But I tried. Eventually, I just kept practicing active meditation: acting in the moment, building and repairing things. Sometimes with my hands." Anakin unclenches his hand and regards the both of them. "Sometimes with the Force. Sometimes both.

    "Then, one day there was the attack on Coruscant. And Dooku. And then Palpatine revealed what he really was. And I realized just how far his manipulations had gone. How he had encouraged you to meet with Clovis alone. How he kept feeding my insecurities. You know, the last day I thought he was my friend -- spying on him for the Council -- he brought up that incident. He said he knew I had attacked Clovis. He said I was angry at you. He told me I could have you, as mine or to destroy. To release my full power."

    Anakin looks at Padme grimly. "Those were Palpatine's last words."

    "I ... saw the security footage. He." She squeezes her fists together. "He deceived us all. He was my mentor and he engineered everything. Even with Rush. And then I saw your fight with .., I .... I wanted to be there for you, so badly."

    "His betrayal hurt more than any lightning he could have ever thrown at me. After I was let out of the Ward, after the Trial, I turned in my lightsaber and resigned my commission. It was better that way. You know enough about the political implications of what went down. Obi-Wan didn't want me to go. I didn't want him to tell you any of this. I needed you to move on. I needed to move on. But the Order wasn't my home anymore. I came here, to Tatooine, to fulfill a promise I made when I was nine years old."

    Padme walks closer to Anakin. "You freed them, didn't you."

    "The slaves? Yes. All this." Anakin sweeps a hand. "It was all simpler back then. I was just repairing droids. Keeping my hands busy. It helped a lot with the flashbacks. With my body seizing up. I wasn't lying before when I said I was a mess. Most the droids here are made from abandoned parts. Discarded pieces. The MagnaGuard was barely functional when I found her. I still don't know how one got so far away from Grievous or Dooku. But she had been thrown away like trash. Just like many clone troopers when the government gave them rights but wouldn't give them shelter or medical aid.

    "But I still fight very well. It didn't take me long to find some men, clones and others. We liberated the slaves. We drove the Hutts off. I didn't want anyone to know it was me. We bribed enough enemies of Jabba to make it worth their while to take his off-world resources and eliminate one of their greatest threats. Rotta will inherit the rest if he survives in Hutt Space with his guardians. Snips is still attached to him. He should be fine. And the Republic, with the advice of the Jedi -- probably Obi-Wan's doing as he is mostly the face of the Order now -- didn't interfere.

    "And the rest of this, the Garden and hydroponics was something I made afterwards. It's like the Room of a Thousand Fountains or ... Varykino. Originally I just lived in this Workshop with my droids. Droids are so much easier to deal with than organic people I find, depending on who they are of course. But I invited clones and soldiers to rest here. And children from the cities and their families. It's given me some measure of peace. And honestly, Padme? I've also been helping the farmers and others make hydroponics stations not unlike my own. We are cultivating places on Tatooine. We are trying to make it more bearable. And the MagnaGuard, Iggy, she and other former battle droids and such are assigned to help farmers against the Tuskens when they wander too far into my territory. I refuse to let what happened to my mother happen to anyone else here."

    "You've ... done good work here, Anakin."

    "So you say. And others. I try. I know what Yoda would say about that, but it's better to try to build something peaceful than to succeed at doing something violent I find."

    Padme puts her hand on Anakin's shoulder. "Are you the only organic person here?"

    Anakin doesn't move away. "For the most part. I ... have had company before. During the War after ... us. On leave. Sometimes here.They were nice enough. Kind even. But it never really takes. And you, Senator?"

    Padme shrugs. "There were a few gentlemen. But, like you've said, I was more married to my work than to anyone one person."

    "Why did you quit politics?"

    Padme laughs. "I just got tired, I guess."

    "You are very good at it. People love you. There was much talk about you being Chancellor Organa's successor."

    "Yes and there was talk about you becoming Jedi Grandmaster one day from what Obi-Wan told me. As if being the Chosen One wasn't enough."

    "Obi-Wan likes to embellish for a Jedi Master." Anakin pats her hand. "But fair enough."

    "He misses you."

    "I know. Sometimes he still comes here, trying to get me to come back and teach some classes. But I don't think the Initiates would be all the pleased learning about how to build droids or hydroponics. Ahsoka did some mercenary business for a while, but she is mostly doing independent contract work. She comes here once and a while. Says she's keeping an eye on me."

    "Someone has to."

    Padme wraps her arms around Anakin's waist. She buries her streaming face in his shoulder blade. Anakin is still holding her hand and facing away.

    "I wish we could have been there for each other." Padme whispers.

    "I know." Anakin's voice is hoarse. It trembles a bit. "I missed you. No Jedi training or discipline in the galaxy could make me stop loving you. I just tried to take that love, to help people, and spread it to them."

    "You built something wonderful here, Anakin."

    "We did." Anakin turns around and puts his arms on Padme's shoulders. "That love, losing that attachment eventually left only the love. And you helped keep it alive in me. Thank you. Thank you for that reality check from ten years ago. I needed that."

    "Me too." Padme says, hugging Anakin and stepping away from him.

    "So ..." Anakin scratches his shaggy head. "What will you do now that you're out of the Senate?"

    "I don't know, to be honest. Visit my parents. My sister and her family. Maybe do some volunteer work."

    "You can leave politics but you can't take the public service out of the greatest public servant."

    "Maybe ..." Padme says. "Maybe I can do another form of volunteer service."


    "Maybe." Padme looks up into Anakin's eyes. She can see how wet they've become. They are shimmering like the water he barely had on this planet. They regard each other for a while until, finally, Padme nods and reaches for something in the pockets of her desert robe.

    "You lost this. I'm ... I want to bring this back, if you want it."

    Anakin looks down at the object in Padme's hand. His eyes widen and then he schools his features into the rugged approximation of a Jedi Sabbac-face. "Why?"

    "I realized it's our tenth anniversary. It would have been anyway. Obi-Wan and Ahsoka, Rex and the boys are meddlers."

    Anakin shakes his head. "Unbelievable. I never ... signed the paperwork."

    "Neither did I. I was ... too busy." Padme bites her lip.

    "Something like that." Anakin grins for the first time in their whole meeting. Padme smiles and the lines on her face seem to melt away. There is no mask of makeup there just as there is no steely or tormented visage etched in Anakin's features. The former Senator of Naboo and the former Knight of the Jedi Order move away from one another. Padme takes the object and places it on the finger of Anakin's mechanical finger.

    Tears fall down Anakin's scarred cheeks. "I ... I'd like to show you the Gardens if that's all right. Introduce you to the guys."

    "That sounds wonderful, Ani."

    The two of them walk out of the workroom down another corridor. They hold hands.

    They don't let go.

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  11. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    The desert can alter the personality of a person, give clarity.

    It is also a bit living by the old medieval monk motto "Ora et labora!" (= Pray and work!)

    By meditation and work Anakin fights his demons on Tatooine, keeps himself busy by fixing things.

    As we Germans would say "Der Weg ist das Ziel!" (= meaning: The way is the destination/ the journey.)

    Your fanfic shows that very well.

    Thanks for writing it and sorry that I just found it now. RL keeps me very busy, but I have a little quality time left for myself right now and so I went reading fanfics like this special jewel here.
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  12. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005
    The desert really is an archetypical crucible in itself. I appreciate the fact too that my writing has earned a medieval Latin motto and a beautiful German saying that are both incredibly appropriate.

    Anakin himself had already been on the path of mediation through action: through doing. He needs to keep his hands busy and his mind to reach something not unlike a Zen state. He really is different from the more universal Jedi doctrine of passive meditation though the continuing results can and do interlap I would imagine.

    I am just glad you took the time to read this fic and others. Once again, thank you.
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  13. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    This weekend I reserved my time for stories that I wanted to read all along. :D
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  14. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    This is an interesting AU. I haven't seen the episode that this story alludes to, but it looks like [hl=black]Anakin's jealousy got the better of him and they called it off??[/hl]

    But I like the idea of Padme being a kind of tough girl who would do this:

    Anakin has this "old man of the desert" kind of mysticism, yet he is very connected to his people. I like the way this almost reads as a western. The title works well, too; they made the best of their situations, he made an oasis in the desert, she made a new identity for herself. Together they made a pretty good team. It looks like the one thing they didn't make was Luke and Leia. Interesting.

    Well written and intriging. :)
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  15. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005

    It was ... more complicated than that. But jealousy, resentment, frustration, and anger were all there and with Palpatine arranging another powder-keg situation. It ... could have been a better a multi-parter, but it did inspire this fic, if nothing else.

    Padme with the blaster, yes. Her image from AoTC with the blaster in her hand and in Clone Wars stuck with me. Padme was trained by her Guard and particularly her Handmaidens to be an excellent markswoman. She can more than defend herself and sometimes even fought at Anakin's side and kept up when the situation warranted. I just really thought that little detail would say something about her and what this situation was not.

    And yes. Anakin does that that resonance in this fic, doesn't he? Anakin has always been good at making or repairing things. He also cares about people and the lives of others. He has just channeled it from his time in the Jedi into something else, keeping and integrating multiple promises in the process. As for Luke and Leia ... well, remember this Galaxy has advanced medical science and technology. Padme is also healthy and has access to more resources than most. Life expectancy for humans is higher than in our world. So it is possible, if they go down that route and choose to do so, that Luke and Leia might still be a possibility: or other children.

    And I think now that they are even more mature, Anakin and Padme could make for an even better team. I changed the title from another one, and I like this choice far better. Anyway, thank you for the input and thanks for reading. :)
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  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Sadly, I didn't watch The Clone Wars. I have huge issues with focus and concentration, to the point where I'm medicated for it. But I believe your timeline placement, no worries. :)

    The idea that Anakin went into exile because his supposed mentor (boooohoy, if only he knew...) was dead is thought-provoking and I'm happy to see a happy-ish ending. It reminds me of the end of Great Expectations.
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  17. darth_treyvah

    darth_treyvah Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 26, 2005

    In this fic, Anakin went into exile for a lot of reasons, and not just because of Palpatine: though it certainly was a factor. It made sense to me: he already had anger issues and PTSD, the Jedi Order gave him more responsibility than privileges and basically used him to defeat Palpatine, he found out Palpatine had been manipulating him for almost thirteen years and even helped foment the conflict between him and Padme, there were actual political repercussions for him killing Palpatine for both him and the Jedi Order even after the Trial and if he stayed, and he just couldn't face anymore because of, first, his anger over their separation and his fear that his anger would one day make him hurt everyone he cared about. Killing Palpatine was probably one of the few things at the time that made sense to Anakin when he found out what he was and what he tried to make him do.

    As for the ending, I thought about it and I figured, well after all this time, they would be in a somewhat better place or at least a point where they can try again: if they ever really left in the ways that matter.
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