By Izzy

It was still against the Jedi Code to love. Of course, most of the rules had fallen to the side since the decimation of the Order. Padmé knew well that were things still at all done the way they had been, she would have been expelled. Instead, she was on the Council. She was also training her own daughter as a padawan learner. She was sure that would never have been done in the old days either.

But she didn’t dare tell anyone that not only did she still love Anakin-love Vadar, but she loved him more each day. On purpose.

Not that it was that difficult. Not when she woke up each morning to the sound of Leia already up, an endless ball of energy, just like her father had been as a boy. It wasn’t the only way she reminded Padmé of him. She had his smile and frown too. She even had that strange quizzical look that Padmé had always adored. If she closed her eyes she could picture it on him, both versions: the one the boy had worn, and the one that had graced the face of the man. How could she not love it? And how could she not think of Anakin when she taught Leia the things she had watched him learn, either passively as the apprentice of his Master’s good friend, or even taught him herself, because being older she knew them better? Master Qui-Gon had always encouraged her, encouraged their friendship, even partly against the wishes of Padmé's own Master, thinking they might eventually make a good team. And they had, until their feelings had gotten so badly in the way.

But it was a good thing that Obi-Wan trained Luke, and so there were some days when she didn’t see him. There was perhaps where the pain come in. While Leia had inherited her mother’s looks, aside from those facial expressions, Luke was so much the image of his young father that sometimes when Padmé looked at him she momentarily thought she was seeing Anakin, that someone had turned back time to the only years of her life she had truly been happy, when they had both been padawans, with little fear for their futures, and none for their souls.

He was more like Anakin than Leia was. He had the same quality about him, which Padmé couldn’t quite identify. It was much like aggression, but it wasn’t dark like aggression, it was more like a refusal to wait. It frightened some, Padmé and Obi-Wan both included, but Padmé would not change it in him for anything. She loved her children, of course, and felt no shame in that.

But so Anakin stayed in her head, and there she loved him almost obsessively.

And then someone would mention Darth Vadar. Padmé never brought him up, always fell silent and waited when others discussed him, though she never tried to stop them, for she knew they only spoke of him around her when they had to.

It hardly mattered what terrible thing he had most recently done, because it did nothing to her heart. Every time she heard his name, her first thought was I love him. However much horror his latest deeds provoked in her, the emotion in her heart remained pure.

Her greatest fear, the one she could never quite release, was that she would have to face him again. She knew she would fight him if it came to that, without hesitation, and if she had to kill him, so she would. And she would love him even as she ran her lightsaber through him, and when he lay dying, she would love him more than she ever had, so much she might just die from it.

Even if she did die from her love, she knew it was better than the alternative. She dared not stop loving either Anakin Skywalker or Darth Vadar, not when the risk was so great that in the place of that love, would come a hate so strong that it would cause her to fall.