Rock Moon
By Izzy

"You don't look happy, Padmé," Aayla commented.

"Should I be that happy?" Padmé countered. "Anakin and I are about to be left alone on a moon, there to wait until Darth Sidious and probably a new apprentice are lured over to us-he has to have one, when the Zabrak Obi-Wan killed has been dead for nearly two-thirds of a year."

"You should be calm. You must be."

Padmé rose from where she had been sitting and jumped lightly into the air, using the Force to lift her now very heavy body several feet above the floor. She did feel the weight now when she wasn't concentrating, but then she connected back to the Force and it was as if her weight ceased to exist all together. She drifted across the tiny cockpit and landed neatly and precisely on her feet. "I still can't believe I can do that when I've not actually in the act of doing it," she commented.

"That's not good," noted Kit from where he sat with Anakin. "You both need to be confident in your abilities."

"A little too late to be raising concerns now, isn't it?" Anakin snapped at him.

"Unfortunately," Kit replied, and they fell silent again. Padmé sat down next to Anakin, who wrapped an arm around her and pulled her closer.

"We're approaching the moon," Aayla announced.

Kit stood up and faced both of them. "Remember," he said, "trust in the Force. It is your ally. But beware of your anger, your fear, and your aggression. Such emotions may give you power, but if they consume you, you will become like your foes, and our fight will have been in vain. Trust in each other. Only then can you achieve victory."

Quietly, unnoticed by the greater universe, their shuttlecraft touched down on the brown surface of an uninhabited rocky moon orbiting a gas giant caught in the conflicting gravity fields of a triple star system. Within the next million years those gravity fields might tear the planet apart, and what would happen to the moon then was anyone's guess, but it was considered likely that it too would meet its fate in the burning heat of one of those stars, torn apart likewise or consumed by supernova. But for now it remained in a tidally locked orbit around its planet, unsuitable for habitation and impractical for even corporate colonization.

All four of them walked out into a bright valley, on an area on the moon where survival was slightly easier. They carried with them enough supplies to last them a week, apparatus to set up camp, and a long-distance comm device which was carefully deactivated. "It shouldn't be long," Aayla was saying. "Joclad and Sarrissa's latest intelligence suggests two days. I wish we didn't have to leave you on your own."

She hugged Padmé, as did Kit, and then they both hugged Anakin. Then they ascended the ramp of the shuttlecraft, looked back one last time at the top, lifted the ramp and were gone. Hands on each other's shoulders, Anakin and Padmé watched as the tiny ship rose to the sky and vanished against the light of two of the system's three stars.

Wordlessly the two of them set their camp up, then sat down next to each other on the dark rocks. Padmé noted the time on her chronometer so she'd be able to tell how long they'd been there later. "0311 standard time," she observed, surprised by how her body didn't feel at all as if it was night. "I wish I had kept it on Naboo time. Then I might be able to figure out what my family's up to right now."

"You miss them?" He had noone to miss. The only family Anakin had ever known was his mother, and she had died two years ago.

"I remind myself that I'm here trying to keep them safe, along with everyone else in the galaxy. That makes it easier."

The waiting was harder for Anakin then for Padmé. She sat in meditation, attuned in fascination to the movements of her two developing children, while he stood and paced. After a time she suggested he sit down with her.

"It won't be of much use," he replied. "I can only really keep my mind clear when I'm doing something."

"You can't stand there and waste your energy like this. We need to be ready. They could come at any minute."

"No, that's not entirely true. If they were that close we'd sense it, I think." That thought seemed to dispel his energy, and he collapsed next to her.

She moved to caress him, not really meaning anything by it, but ended up kissing him instead. He moved quick and hard, pulling her against him, crushing her swollen belly between them. The discomfort made her squirm, and he stopped. But Padmé knew she wanted to do this, and now, before they really had to keep their attention focused, if only because she feared if they didn't there would be regret later.

"I'll prepare the bedding," she said. "Use the Force to reach out as much as you can while I do so, to make sure we don't get caught unawares."

Anakin was at least thorough. Padmé ended up waiting nearly half an hour sitting on the bedding while he knelt completely in a trance, and when came and lay down next to her, he said, "Noone else is coming here for three hours at the very least."

More than enough time to make love, slowly and carefully, because of the pregnancy, his hands warm and soothing on her bare skin and his body jerky beneath her. She clutched at his long blond hair; unlike her he hadn't needed to cut it. His eyes closed, then opened, looked into hers, and despite her intentions otherwise it all fell away from her, the barren moon and the approaching Sith and the knowledge of death that had been haunting Padmé since her time in the cave.

When they were done Padmé pulled herself up and retied her clothes. "Sleep," she said. "I'll take the first watch."