Don't Argue With Her
By Izzy

Padmé always enjoyed staying on Varykino, but after a week hiding there with Barriss, she started to find the itch under her neck unbearable. Her thoughts were always on Coruscant, with the Senate, with the current crisis, with Jar Jar, with Dormé all alone and still trying to keep her departure hidden, and very often with her husband.

She woke very early in the morning with the feeling that something was going on, something that was trying to hide itself from her. Never one to ignore her instincts, she got up, threw on her morning robe, and left her room.

She first went to Barriss’ bedroom. The padawan didn’t lock her door, and was unlikely to be bothered by Padmé just walking in, so Padmé did so. She found the room empty, with the bed unmade, and Barriss’ lightsaber on the night table. She checked in the closet and confirmed that she had left in her nightclothes.

If the lightsaber was there, that meant they weren’t being attacked. Making a guess, Padmé headed for the sitting room, where the comm device was located.

“...may be in more danger.” At she approached the sitting room entrance, Padmé heard the voice of Barriss’ master, Luminara Unduli. “Her husband is coming with us to Geonosis, and then is going to join you on Naboo.”

“He finally insisted?” she heard Barriss respond.

“It seems so. I think if we had hoped to keep him on Coruscant, we should not have told him anything at all, but it was agreed he should be notified about any danger to the Senator.”

Padmé bit back a response as she stood near the door. Another moment, she told herself, and she’d let them know she was listening.

She should have known better. Barriss’ next words were, “Senator Amidala’s outside, listening.”

“What else can I do,” Padmé asked, stepping into the room, “when you’re talking about my husband behind my back? Why is he coming with you to Geonosis?”

When Barriss hesitated, she added, “Tell me or I’ll go there.”

“You can’t!" the padawan protested. "It's far too dangerous!”

“Then tell me. I’ll go. I promise you, I’ll go.” Barriss could tell, Padmé knew, that she meant it.

She looked back at the tiny hologram of her Master, who sighed and said, “We believe the people responsible for the assassination attempt on you are located there. They include Nute Gunray and other members of the Trade Federation, and Count Dooku. A Jedi Master has been captured. I am part of a force that is going to Geonosis in response. We feared you were in more danger, and we told your husband this, and the only way we could keep him from traveling to Naboo on his own and possibly endangering you both very badly was if we took him with us, with the agreement to escort him to Naboo when our work on Geonosis was done.”

“To keep him out of further danger you’re taking him into battle with you?” Padmé demanded incredulously; she had not been fooled by their avoiding mentioning battle.

“He is a strong fighter and capable of taking care of himself so long as he knows where the enemy is. On Geonosis he will. In the reckless journey he would have taken to Naboo, I don’t think he would have.” She was probably right. Who knew what state Anakin might be in my this time, wondering how she was doing, and unable to protect her?

“I must go," said Master Unduli. "Time is short.” The hologram fizzled out of existence.

Padmé thought about it for only another moment before deciding out loud, “We’re going too.”

“Senator Amidala, I must protest-”

“There wouldn’t be much point to your doing so.” Padmé turned around and began walking quickly back to her bedroom, hearing Barriss scurry to keep up.

“But I must! I am under orders to protect you.”

“Then you have an excuse to come with me and fight beside your Master. Didn’t you say you wished you were still with her to watch her back?”

“Master Luminara Unduli has many years’ experience and was doing perfectly well without me before she took me as padawan learner, and will do so again when I am knighted.”

“But you’d still rather be watching her back.” Barriss had no protest for that.

They reached the door to Padmé’s bedroom. “Do you mind?” she asked when Barriss moved to follow her in. The padawan backed off and the door closed.

Among all her other outfits, Padmé had stashed a white bodysuit suitable for rough situations. She donned it now and fastened a blaster on. While tying her hair back, she also spotted two silver bracelets, a symbol of peace. “Perhaps I can find a diplomatic solution to this mess,” she commented to herself, and put them on as well.

When she emerged she was angered to find Barriss still standing there in her nightclothes. “You need to get dressed, and then we need to stack provisions. It’s going to take time to get back to Theed and off Naboo and there’s no time to lose.”

“Senator Amidala,” Barriss said very firmly, “may I remind you that I am in charge of security here, and I can say that you are not going anywhere.”

“In that case, I forfeit Jedi protection,” Padmé countered without missing a beat. “I only took it in the first place because Palpatine insisted. I do not believe you will detain me against my will.”

Would she? She’d have to physically restrain her; Padmé had already decided that. Surely she couldn’t bring herself to do that. Maybe if she was an older more philosophical Jedi, but she was just a padawan.

“You truly intend to go forward with this foolery?” She asked, in a grave tone that told Padmé already she'd won.

“I am not sitting here in hiding while your Master and her companions take my husband headlong into danger to supposedly avoid putting him in even worse danger.”

As good as Jedi were at concealing their reactions-usually, anyway-Padmé saw from the change in the set of Barriss’ shoulders just she gave up the last of the battle. “This is still a bad idea,” she said, then turned and went to dress herself.