Fandom/Pairing: Star Wars, Anakin/Padmé
Written For: fanfic100
Characters: Anakin, Padmé
Prompt: #021 Friends
Word Count: 670
Summary: While awake one night on the Naboo cruiser, Padmé makes a new friend.
Author's Notes: A re-imagining of a canon scene, which is one of my favourite things about writing fanfiction. This is my take on the scene between Anakin and Padmé in Episode I where he gives her the japor snippet. It's a little shorter than I expected, but I think that's okay. I was in a very weird headspace when I wrote this, so the style probably reflects that. But I'm pleased with it nonetheless.
I don’t know why I approached him.
I had too many other things on my mind. The invasion of Naboo, the frantic message from Sio Bibble. He looked thin. Gaunt, malnourished, desperate. And here I was in space, heading for Coruscant, not even sure if the Senate would agree to intervene. It was difficult not to feel hopeless.
Maybe that’s why I turned. Maybe the helplessness of the situation overwhelmed me and I needed somewhere else to focus my attention. Needed to talk to someone who wasn’t going to tell me how hopeless the situation was, or admonish me for leaving my people behind, or try to guilt me into going back and be slaughtered with the rest.
I turned at a snuffle behind me.
The boy was sitting on the floor. Anakin. With a jolt I realized I hadn’t spoken to him once since the podrace. Oh, I’d thanked him, but then I climbed onto an eopie and rode off after Qui-Gon without a backwards glance. I remembered him calling after me, and I remember thinking that I should have answered. But I didn’t.
I went over to him now.
“Are you okay?” I whispered.
He shivered in response. I noted that he had only his thin little tunics, the same ones he’d worn on Tatooine.
“It’s very cold,” Anakin whispered back.
His voice was weak, vulnerable.
Impulsively I took off my cloak. “You come from a warm planet, Ani,” I reminded him as I tucked it around him. “A little too warm for my taste. Space is cold.”
Anakin held my gaze for a moment longer. “I meant what I said, you know.” He spoke a little louder, a little more confidently.
“When I told you I’m going to marry you. I meant what I said.”
That had been perhaps the most bizarre thing about this child, that he had proclaimed – within five minutes of meeting me – that he planned to marry me. I had brushed it aside as pure excitement, perhaps from meeting a new person for the first time. But now … now he had said it again.
“Anakin, you’re only nine years old,” I said gently. “And I’m fourteen. Aren’t we a little young?”
“I told you,” Anakin replied, never looking away. “We won’t always be, right? Someday we’ll be grown-ups, and then we can do whatever we want.”
I sighed, thinking ahead, seeing so many possible futures I felt dizzy. “I don’t know. I suppose so.”
His face fell a little. “Can we be friends?”
Padmé, how could you do that? I admonished myself suddenly. How could you just completely dismiss his feelings like that? You’re no better than your advisers for Force’s sake.
“Oh, Ani, of course we can.” I tucked the blanket more closely around him. “I’m sorry if I was harsh, I just … I’ve got a lot on my mind right now. But that’s no excuse.”
“I thought you seemed sad,” he nodded.
“The Queen is worried,” I told him. “Her people are suffering, dying. She must convince the Senate to intervene or … I’m not sure what will happen.”
Anakin’s blue eyes moistened in sympathy. He kept silent, but somehow seeing his sadness was enough. Somehow it bolstered me.
“I made this for you.” He was reaching into his pocket, pulling out a small pendant. “To remember me by. I carved it out of a japor snippet.”
The pendant was simple and light as I took it in my fingers. Attached to a cord of jerba leather, the elegant symbols on it seemed to sparkle in the dim light of the greatroom. Involuntarily I caught my breath.
“It’s beautiful. But I won’t need this to remember you by.” I gave him a gentle hug and slipped the pendant over my neck. “Many things will change when we reach the capital, Ani. My caring for you will not be one of them.”
He snuggled into my embrace, and we stayed like that, together, for a long time.