“You’ll get used to it,” Aayla had told her before the reunion. Padmé hoped she was right. They couldn’t overnight, though.
Their first task as full-fledged members of the Hundred was to return their training lightsabers to their rightful owner. Obi-Wan Kenobi had retired to Bespin, where people were familiar enough with the Hundred. All four of them were wearing the Jedi-style robes and cloaks favored by members of the group, and passers-by in the floating city they had landed in glanced at them and moved on.
As Obi-Wan greeted them at his door, they made to bow but he waved that aside. “Just come in. I’ve come to care very little for ceremony.”
But when he took his and his late husband’s lightsabers, he did float them through the air and use the Force to strap them, lying crossed on top of each other, to a plaque on the wall. Observing this act, Padmé commented, “Is that always done with the lightsabers?”
“Usually. It allows for those who have been in the Hundred to recognize each other.”
They stayed for about an hour. Obi-Wan made them tea, and he and Kit and Aayla talked. Padmé and Anakin watched them; Padmé gazed at the two lightsabers pinned to the wall, and felt an odd sense of premonition.
“It’s not something you like to talk about, though.” At some point Padmé came back to the conversation just in time to hear Aayla say this.
“No. My neighbors have found that out already. They leave me alone now.”
“Sounds like you’re pretty isolated,” Kit observed.
“Right now, I want to be,” replied Obi-Wan simply.
“That’s not very healthy,” Padmé felt she had to comment.
“Be kind,” Aayla told her. “Give him time. I don’t know if you can really understand yet, Padmé.”
“Maybe not, but even so...”
“I’m glad to talk to the four of you,” Obi-Wan assured her. Though Padmé supposed “three of them” or even “two of them” would be more accurate, because she said nothing more for the rest of the visit, and Anakin didn’t speak at all after they sat down.
The walk back through the city was almost exactly like the walk there. It wasn’t until the door to the docking platform closed behind them that the air around them was suddenly filled with gunbolts, and if it hadn’t been for the weeks and weeks of training both Padmé and Anakin would have been shot down before they were instead back to back with their lightsabers already in motion.
They’d never done this with each other the way Aayla and Kit had countless times, though they’d practiced it. But as they circled on the platform together, Padmé felt a new synchronization between them, a brief meeting of their eyes now able to communicate exactly what each planned to do and what each wanted on the other. Their minds touched and brushed against each other, and for the first time her new sense of him did not distract Padmé.
“They’ve found out who the two of you are,” Kit called to them. “We need to get out of here.”
Padmé didn’t even wonder who “they” were. She and Anakin just obediently started making their way to the shuttle. Halfway across the platform and Kit and Aayla leapt in front of them, blades flying wide, and yelled at them both, “Go! Now!”
Reluctantly they turned and ran together for the ship. From the top of the ramp they looked back, and watched as Kit also turned and ran for the ship, yelling, “Start the takeoff sequence now!”
They ran to the cockpit and Anakin began punching in the commands. Behind them Padmé could hear Kit’s boots on the ramp.
Anakin was the better pilot, so Padmé left him to it and ran back to where she saw Aayla land on the closing ramp. As she and her husband embraced, she turned back towards the cockpit, thinking next of Obi-Wan.
“We need to contact Obi-Wan,” she said to Anakin as she came back into the cockpit. “We need to warn him...”
“Contact him, yes,” Kit interrupted, as he and Aayla had followed, “but Aayla saw city security arrive on the scene, and he must already know what’s going on by now.”
Padmé was already comming him. Kit was right; as soon as the communication channel opened the first thing they heard was Obi-Wan asking, “Are you four all right?”
“Fine,” said Aayla. “We’ve taken off. What about you?”
“They only sent two after me. I think I was an afterthought.”
“It was Anakin and Padmé they were after, no doubt about it,” Kit noted. “We thought word of the prophecy might have leaked out.”
“The prophecy?” Padmé and Anakin demanded together. Neither of them had heard anything about a prophecy.
“Did they not tell you?” Obi-Wan’s surprised voice came over the comm. “Anakin is prophesied as being able to destroy the Sith.”
“So you asked us into all this because of a prophecy?” Padmé demanded indignantly.
“Never mind that,” was Anakin’s response, “I’m docking us into the hyperdrive ring now. Are we going back to Zolan?”
“Yes,” answered Kit. “We need to report this right away.”
“Good luck to you,” they heard Obi-Wan say. “I’m closing the comm signal now.”
They locked into the ring and moments later the stars started streaking past them. Anakin remained at the control panel for a few moments more, then stood up. “We’re on our way there now.”
Padmé was quite sure what happened next, but suddenly they were in each other’s arms. In the warmth of his embrace she felt her adrenaline rush wear off, as well as his. It felt good to have this bond between them, perhaps joining their hearts as well as their minds. The distance between them, Padmé knew, might return again in, say, an hour or so, but it would be reduced, she thought.