She was sure it couldn’t have been that one of their assailants nearly sliced her in half that led to Anakin suddenly turning savage as he flew into that fight. It just didn’t make sense. But there was no denying that it was then that he was in front of her, lightsaber spinning through limbs and torsos like a speeder flying out of control. She got only one glimpse of Anakin’s face as it happened; after that she avoided looking at him.
Master Kenobi stood in front of them meanwhile. There were several more moments of his whirling blade, and then him yelling, “Anakin! That’s enough!”
His Master’s sharp words brought Anakin to a halt, but Padmé had the feeling they hadn’t succeeded by much. He was standing in the middle of a ring of corpses, all of beings he had killed himself, and despite the effects of the lightsaber Padmé was sure she could see bloodstains on his boots. None of their attackers were left alive. It had all happened very fast.
He made no comment of any kind. He looked down; he might have felt a little ashamed.
“Why did you do that, Anakin?” Master Kenobi had sounded angry the moment before, but now his words just sounded hopelessly sad. With a jolt of shock Padmé realized that this kind of thing must have happened before.
“I had to, Master. They wouldn’t have stopped until they killed both of the handmaidens. We leave them alive, they only have to wait until these two are no longer under out guard.”
“Well couldn’t you have tried to just subdue one of them? We might have gotten him to tell us something useful.”
“You don’t really believe that, do you Master?”
Master Kenobi must have not, because he sighed and said, “When all of this is over, we need to talk. Come on, let’s get back to the ship.”
Padmé and Motée went in front of the two Jedi, as they had been doing since coming under their protection. But for the first time Padmé didn’t feel Anakin’s eyes drilling into the back of her head. He had something to take his mind off her at last.
Which meant it had been on her more than she thought it would be.
They were nearly back at the ship when Motée abruptly announced, “I am glad he killed them, Master Kenobi.”
“That is your choice,” he said, perfectly neutral.
Motée hmphed in disgust. Perhaps that was one provocation too many, even for the Jedi Master, because he said, “Does your fellow handmaiden agree with you?”
“Oh I’m quite certain she does! Your padawan will support me here.”
“I will not,” Anakin protested. “I know her to be one of the most compassionate people I have ever met.”
He sounded like he meant it as well, even though he knew what she’d done, what Motée had obviously been referring to. Fortunately, though Motée might be confused by his response, she knew better than to pursue the matter further around Master Kenobi.
They had to leave the planet stealthily after the ambush that had just happened, and were very soon back in hyperspace. The following day would see Padmé and Motée joining their mistress, while Anakin and his Master continued to their final destination.
Padmé couldn’t sleep. She often didn’t sleep well in hyperspace.
It would be both a relief and a deep sorrow when Anakin would walk out of her life. But her thoughts were less for herself now than for him. She knew he was going to a battle, in which he might be killed. It would seem so unfair to her if he was, just when he was on the verge of knighthood and no doubt achieving many great and good things.
At some point she lost the ability to remain in the sleeping cabin with Motée. She got up and dressed, then wandered out into the ship’s tiny corridor.
She came into the cockpit as Anakin turned around in response to her footsteps. Their eyes met, and Padmé was frozen in place.
“Come in,” he said. Was it her own mind that made it sound like a plea?
After he turned back towards the viewport, she avoided looking at him again as she sat down. It was easier for her eyes to follow the blue of hyperspace as it streaked past her eyes.
“What did you really think about what happened earlier?” he asked, his voice stiff.
“I didn’t,” she answered honestly. “I couldn’t. I can’t judge you. Because I love you.”
“I guess that makes sense. I find that I can’t judge you either.”
She had to look at him then. He was already looking at her. The fire in his eyes was back and brighter than ever, his lips trembling from what Padmé knew was the closest to a confession she would ever get from him.
She was moving to kiss him before she could stop herself. Then he was wrapping his arms around her and their mouths were entangled, his hands stroking her hair and neck. She wasn’t sure how she ended up on his lap, but when they broke for air they were pressed together in his chair, limbs curling into each other, reluctant to part.
“I’ll come back to you, Padmé,” Anakin said to her. “I promise.”
A promise he couldn’t be sure he’d keep, when he was bound for a battle he might not survive. Padmé shook her head. “Don’t make those kind of promises, Ani, please. Not when neither of us is guaranteed to survive in order for it to happen.”
“No! We will see each other again! I know it!” He was probably denying, but there seemed an undertone of supernatural certainty about it, and Padmé found herself believing he was right.