Title: The Will of the Force Authors: Kelia and JediMaster_Jen Characters: A/P, Obi-Wan, Palpatine and Yoda Genre: A/U Author Notes: Kelia - Welcome to my first full length story! It's a vast departure from my usual humor pieces and I hope you'll enjoy it as much. The credit for this story has to go to VADERLVR64 since it while I was reading one of her amazing stories (minding my own business, I might add) that this plot bunny appeared. I never saw it coming, but this is the end result. I also need to thank the wonderful JediMaster_Jen for her much needed and appreciated co-authoring skills. This story wouldn't be half as good without her! JediMaster_Jen: Well, welcome to Will of the Force. While this isn't my first full length fic, it is my first foyer into co-authoring. It's been great fun so far and I hope you all enjoy the fic. KELIA gives me far too much credit. Her writing skills are exceptional, and this fic would have been awesome even without me. I'm honored to be able to write with her. Thanks. Updates are currently scheduled for Mondays and Thursdays. Author Note: PM list for Will of the Force If you would like your name added or removed from the list, please PM this sock, KELIA or JediMaster_Jen. You may also indicate your choice in your reply. Here are the names of people that have requested PM’s when we update: VaderLVR64 MasterEnder Stella_Ripple lil_kenobi_obi SHADOW_MASTER_W Kestrel_Kenobi Idrelle_Miocovani TheDarkSideAwaitsYou Amivane JediArym LovedAnakin FitJedi jacen20015 MegumiFuu Lea-El Jazz_Skywalker Daenarrah aldocassidy MoAngel Iaranon obsessedwithSW CraziAni Davedrag -Darkside- MarcusDade Ladynaye JediElanor PRINCESSCAMBRIA EGKenobi ************************************** Directly below is Chapter 1. Chapter 1 As afternoon approached, Senator Amidala sat in her plush office wearily massaging her temple. That morning’s Senate session seamed to go on for hours. She was exhausted and had a pounding headache. A quiet knock interrupted her solitude. The last thing she needed or wanted was human interaction, but she answered anyway. “Come in,” she called out hoping whoever it was would not require much of her time. Senator Bail Organa, a tall stately-looking man with dark hair and eyes to match stepped quietly into the room, a pained expression on his face. “Good afternoon, Padme,” he greeted. “I’m terribly sorry to disturb you but I’ve just received some news and I wanted to come and tell you right away,” he said carefully, eyeing her cautiously. Padme’s expressive eyes widened and she felt a wave of dread wash over her. “I’m afraid it’s bad news,” Bail said as gently as he could muster. “I’m so sorry to have to tell you like this.” Padme felt herself begin to shake. Her nerves were already shredded and the wait was killing her. “Just tell me, Bail!” she snapped, her temper getting the better of her in the tense moment. Bail nodded and took a deep breath before he spoke. “A transmission came in a short while ago from Commander Cody advising his immanent return to Coruscant with Generals Kenobi and Skywalker.” A surge of hope flashed through Padme. It could only be good news that was bringing her husband and his former mentor back to the capitol. But in Bail’s next breath, her hope was dashed. “There’s been a casualty.” Padme’s world stopped. With those four words, her entire existence shifted. Nothing made sense anymore. “Wha...what?” she stammered, her breath coming in gasps as she tried to grasp the enormity of the situation. Bail sighed sympathetically as he moved towards Padme. He reached out and took her small hand in his, doing his best to offer comfort where he could. “I’m so sorry, Padme. I know you were close to both General Kenobi and General Skywalker.” “Who was it? Which one of them was it?” Padme almost shouted, leaping from her chair, away from Bail’s hand-hold. “We don’t know,” Bail admitted, shaking his head. “The commander’s transmission did not go into any details. He only said they would be arriving tomorrow morning and heading straight to the Jedi Temple.” Padme sank back down into her chair, unable to believe what she was hearing. “Chancellor Palpatine has asked me to join him in representing the Senate when they arrive,” Bail mentioned, not sure if Padme was still listening. “I’ll come see you as soon as I can afterwards.” “I want to be there,” Padme whispered. ”I need to be there.” “That won’t be necessary,” Bail replied. “The Chancellor feels a small delegation...” “I have to be there!” Padme snapped harshly. “Okay, okay,” Bail conceded. He was clearly taken aback by her reaction. “I’ll talk to the Chancellor. I’m sure he will make an exception.” “Thank you,” Padme said as she dropped back down into her chair. “Can I get you anything?” Bail asked awkwardly. Padme shook her head. “No. Thank you for coming to tell me yourself.” Bail nodded and turned to leave the office. He got to the door and turned back to ask her one last time if she needed anything, but decided against it when he saw the she had moved to the window and was staring out at the busy world outside. ******************************************************* Padme spent the longest night of her life alternating between hope that Anakin was still alive and guilt because his survival would mean the death of one of her closest friends and allies. She still remembered the first moment she met them both. Anakin had been such a small child then, and Obi-Wan had been the brave knight that had jumped from a balcony to save her life. She had fallen in love with Anakin, but she’d never quite forgotten the crush she’d harbored for the dashing Obi-Wan Kenobi. She couldn’t believe it was happening. Since the Clone Wars began nearly three years before, the Jedi’s dynamic duo of Skywalker and Kenobi had seen their fair share of battles and they always managed to pull through somehow. They always watched each other’s back. Neither one was ever alone because the other was always there. She wondered what could have gone so terribly wrong this time. Deciding that she wasn’t accomplishing anything by staring out at the city, Padme readied for bed. She found one of Anakin’s shirts that he had left behind the last time they were together and wrapped herself in its comforting warmth. She inhaled the scent of his aftershave that was left behind on the fabric. Tears threatened to fall as she climbed into the large bed she hadn’t shared with her husband for more than five months. “Oh Force, please bring him back to me,” she whispered as her eyes fell and sleep claimed her. ******************************************************* Morning dawned all too soon and Padme, after a night of restlessness that had her embroiled in numerous dreams and nightmares, found herself walking between Chancellor Palpatine and Senator Organa through the crowded streets to the Jedi Temple. Her eyes wandered as they walked. People drifted about the streets, none of them aware that the next few minutes may bring about the total heartbreak of a young galactic senator. They reached the Temple, and noticed Master Yoda standing at the entrance. The entire Jedi Council, as well as a few close friends of both Anakin and Obi-Wan, stood on either side of the small green Jedi as they patiently waited for the arrival of Commander Cody’s shuttle. The Senate delegation took their places beside the Jedi as the first sounds of the shuttle’s engines began to fill the air. Dread that she had somehow managed to push aside once again settled in Padme’s heart. She stood absolutely still, eyes glued to the approaching ship as the landing gear appeared and it ever so slowly descended and finally landed. After what felt like hours, but in reality was only moments, the ramp was lowered. She bit her lips and clenched her hands into tight fists at her side. She felt herself begin to tremble as the hatch released. In a slow procession, six caretakers exited the shuttle carrying the cloth-draped body of the fallen Jedi. They were lined up three on either side, all being extremely careful not to jostle the body of the now deceased hero. Padme’s eyes filled with tears. She could barely see through the moisture. She tried in vain to decide which man lay beneath the cloth based on height and weight, but she could not. Or maybe she just didn’t want to make herself believe that either of them was gone from her life forever. The caretakers came to a stop in front of Master Yoda. The small Jedi master closed his eyes and rested a clawed hand on the chest of the dead Jedi. He breathed deeply for a few moments, then removed the hand and opened his eyes as he and the other Jedi waited for the survivor to join them for their solemn entrance into the Temple. Her eyes remained locked on the shuttle as the surviving Jedi finally stepped into view. She gasped and a sob tore from her throat; clutching Bail’s arm, as the realization of her loss became agonizingly clear.