Train to Scotland
By Izzy

Anakin spoiled her. They'd landed in London, boarded their train, and then, having received in Ben O'Kelly's most recent letter the recommendation that he sit by the window and enjoy the view, he insisted Padme sit there instead. "After all," he said, "you've never actually been out of the country before, have you?"

Nor had Padme ever met Mr. O'Kelly, but the story of his and Anakin's friendship impressed her. Despite his name, she was actually a little confused on whether he was Irish or Scottish(Scottish mother, perhaps?), but he had for five years been a teacher in America, at the special school Anakin's mother had worked so hard to get him into, mentoring Anakin, helping him get through all the bullying he'd endured, before he had gone back to Scotland for what was supposed to be a short visit, and had somehow met and fallen in love with a much older Irish man there. Though sometimes Anakin wondered if he'd actually fled; if the school had found out his was gay and he'd left to avoid being fired.

As it was, it had taken Anakin some time to accept it. Yet accept he had; they'd written constantly over the past years, and now Anakin and his wife were speeding up the day before Christmas, there to see Ben O'Kelly and his love legally united, now that they could be, at least here in Great Britain.

"Ben really wanted to do it on the 21st," Anakin observed to her, "but Quinn didn't like the idea of rushing in with the crowd. If he'd had his way, we wouldn't be here until January. They settled on Christmas as a compromise."

She stared out the window without really seeing the landscape, and Anakin couldn't fail to notice that forever. "Not wrapped up in political thoughts, are you? Someone ought to have forbidden you them on leaving the country. Congresswomen should take a break sometimes."

"Anakin, do you realize what event we're going to?"

"Yes, I know perfectly well, we are going to a gay marriage which our own country will not allow, but maybe it can be considered as a mark of friendship for the men involved rather than a political statement."

"Sometimes I feel as if everything I do these days is a political statement." As the very least, the media no doubt would. She wasn't looking forward to answering questions.

She was silent a moment, then added, "Besides, it's either think of that or think of..."

Or think of a broken condom and a Pharmacist for Life who had somehow ended up in their area, and ripped up her perscription for the morning-after pill. She'd finally gotten her hands on the pill well over 60 hours after the incident; maybe soon enough. Her period wasn't due for another week and a half at least, wasn't entirely regular, and for now, there was nothing to do but wait.

Anakin pulled her close and kissed the side of her face. "This should be a happy day," he reminded her. "I haven't seen Ben in too long, and I've wanted to introduce you to him since before we were married."

"I'm looking forward to meeting him, I really am. Maybe I'll feel better when we get there."

"How long is this train ride?"

"Hours and hours..."

"Well, enjoy the scenery."

"I'm trying." She really was. But since she had started her career in Congress, she felt as if her mind had been dulled somehow, like it was harder to stare at a beautiful landscape and appreciate it.

About an hour later, with random Christmas music running through her head, she commented, "I've never seen this many sheep in all my life."

"Not even in the House?" Anakin joked.

"I thought we weren't supposed to be having political thoughts," Padme replied.

"Sorry, I forgot." He was in the most cheerful mood she'd seen in him since the condom broke. He must have really been looking forward to seeing his old mentor again.

She resisted the temptation to swat him. "Go to sleep. You didn't sleep enough on the plane."

"Neither did you. And you haven't been sleeping well for the past two months."

She didn't want to talk about that, so she murmured, "I'll try," and turned her head into his shoulder.

It didn't surprise her at all when an full hour later, she was still awake, her head still running. It did surprise her when she realized Anakin was asleep. Pleased by this, at least, Padmé snuggled further against him and gazed out the window once more.

She wasn't sure when she did fall asleep, but she slept like a dead woman, until hours later, when Anakin shook her with a, "Padmé, wake up! We're here! They're here! I didn't expect them to pick us up personally!"

He pulled his arm away from her to point and wave at the two men waving back. Padmé waved also, taking them in, then pulled herself up, stretching and yawning, to get off the train.