In Front of the Mirror
By Izzy

"Exactly where does this button go?" Sola asked her sister as they stood in front of the full length mirror.

"I don't know," Padmé replied as she absently stared at her reflection. She was used to often wearing heavier and fancier robes than this still elaborate wedding gown(she'd wanted to wear Sola's old gown, like they'd agreed as children before their father had risen to power, but that wasn't allowed). But wearing them was an insignificant act, because they were worn by the insignificant younger daughter of Lord Amidala, not even the heir. This gown was for a ceremony where she was the center, she and Anakin, and was directly related to the core of her life. After today she would become a permanent resident of Greensgate on Dantooine, something she definitely had mixed feelings about. And her relationship with Anakin would be expected to go in a direction that Padmé knew neither of them were ready for, and they might never be ready for.

Behind her Sola was pulling the back of the gown this way and that. "At least they let you wear white," she commented. "That isn't the normal color on Dantooine or Tatooine, is it?"

"No, but it is the normal color in enough of the galaxy that it's really no problem at all."

"Oh, but are these weddings really meant to say to the crowds that receive you and Anakin after the ceremony that you two are just like them? When you're dressed up in this expensive thing?" She punctuated her point by drawing the back in tight enough to make Padmé gasp.

"Not so tight Sola," she pleaded, "I do have to do a lot of walking."

"Sorry." The dress loosened. "Though you actually are a virgin, aren't you?"

"You never had to worry about that as the person more powerful than your husband," Padmé answered. "Not to mention his being a commoner." Though she supposed she didn't really either, since she'd been engaged to Anakin from such a young age, and they had more important issues to work out when it came to sex. Not only would she soon be a virgin on her wedding night, she might just still be one the morning after if things went disastrously enough.

"I still have to have children though. You know, that annoys me. I would have had them anyway, you know, but the expectation, and the impatience...there. Will that work?"

Padmé took a few steps away from the mirror, than a few more. "Fine. Nothing I haven't walked in before."

"Good. Now we just have to do your hair."

Padmé's hair had been pinned to the top of her head in a slipshod manner. Sola unpinned it with her younger sister standing back in front of the mirror and set to work. "Our father's going to insist on the usual ritual," she said as she worked.

"Tell him not to be too hard on Anakin. Tonight's going to be stressful enough for him as it is."

"Padmé," asked Sola, "are things really that bad?"

She sounded so worried that Padmé was careful in her answer. "I don't know for sure what he's thinking. We haven't talked about it. But I still can't look at him without seeing that little boy who, on being introduced to me and being told he was going to marry me, cried out, 'Wizard!' and asked me if I wanted to go for a speeder ride with him..." For a moment she was lost in what was a very happy memory. To love Anakin was easy, always had been. To love him the way she was supposed to seemed unnatural.

"You at least read the book about sex I leant to you? I think we both know Anakin hasn't done much reading, and at least one of you needs to know what you're doing."

"I read it." She'd read it while trying not to think about doing the things described with little Anakin.

"Be sure to tell mama that. Otherwise she'll embarrass us both."

"I will." She hoped to have a private word with her mother for more than one reason. With Lady Jinn and Sabé also attending her tonight-and how she and the latter were going to handle each other was another issue Padmé had been trying not to think about-Lady Amidala was going to have to be tactful to not cause the other two women pain.

Though when Lady Shmi Jinn came in a few minutes later, she looked very happy, and surprisingly beautiful. She looked at her daughter-in-law to be and her eyes lit up. "Good morning, Padmé, Sola."

"Morning," Sola replied. "Could you help me with her hair?"

"How do you want me to help?" She joined Sola behind Padmé; she could see both their faces reflected in the mirror.

"Hold this." Sola positioned Lady Jinn's hands out of Padmé sight. Her own hands then set to work above them. "I'm going to do the main work there though, if you please. Least you can let me do when you're taking my little sister away from me." Her tone was jesting, but even in the mirror Padmé could not fail to see the pain in her eyes.