Summary: The tragic end to Padme's life.
Disclaimer: you know the deal, all these people were made by Lucas, I'm not getting any money for this, blah blah blah.
"DaDa," the little baby girl said reaching up to tug on his nose.
"I wish," Bail said cuddling little girl close.
Then he looked over at the bed where her mother lay asleep. Amidala's eyes fluttered open at the sound of her daughter's voice.
"Leia," she called. "Is she talking Bail?"
Bail just smiled and laid the baby down on top of her mother's stomach. Baby Leia pushed up and looked into her mother's face.
"Da Da?" the baby questioned.
"No, sweetie," her mother said touching her baby's little head. Leia had only stayed on Alderaan because she was very small and very weak, in no condition to make the long trip to Tatooine. She could never have made it to Tatooine with Luke, but under constant care on Alderaan she had hope. Now she was as strong as any baby her age could be and she had just called Bail "Da Da". Bail didn't even want to think about letting her go.
"I guess she'll be heading off to Tatooine soon," Bail said sadly, looking down into the eyes of the woman he loved. He could say it now, even though she was on the edge of death. She was so pale now, it was as if the soul had been ripped from her little body. A body he had wanted for so long to posses and touch. The heart he had admired so long for it's strength has lost it's anchor to this world.
"She's yours Bail," Amidala said looking at the happy spitting baby. She saw the tears creep up into Bail's eyes and he saw the tears creep into hers. It was he who had nursed Leia back to health. He'd held her small body in his arms every night and feed her. He'd read to her, talked to her, told her how wonderful her mother and brother were, tried to give her a reason to live. He loved her as much as any father could. It would be cruel to take her away now.
"Your 'Da Da', Leia said so," Amidala said touching his face ever so gently.
Bail reached over and gently brushed the side of her face. "I've wanted to kiss you again for so long. If there was no Anakin, could you ever love me like that?"
"I don't know," she replied, a cold cough following it. "Because," she continued, but coughed again. Bail handed her some water.
"It's okay, don't speak."
"I must," Amidala said hoarsely. "There is an Anakin. And I still love him, forgive me, but I still love him."
"Forgive you? If only you knew how much I understand," Bail pause and swallowed. "You love him the way I love you. The only difference is he loves you back."
"I love you Bail, just not," Amidala coughed again.
No matter what all the medical experts said he knew what she was dying of, not some exotic disease, a broken heart. He leaned over and kissed her softly on the lips. It wasn't meant to save her, this was far from a fairy tale. No the kiss was just to comfort her broken heart, reassure her that she could move on in peace and love. Still, he had a wife down the hall. To kiss Amidala was wrong. But he needed to kiss her, needed to feel her soft lips under his even as she was fading away.
He'd first bumped into her when she was a fourteen year old Queen on Courscant rushing to meet with the Senate about the state of her planet. He had been there expecting to see some snot nosed kid whining about something trivial. When he heard Naboo had elected a child as leader, he knew the entire planet had gone crazy. When a planet went through birth lines for succession, there was little you could do about a young ruler when it occurred. And most of those kids were just figure heads with high officials pulling there strings. Though Amidala had a council, there was no disputing this young woman was wise well beyond her years. His companion had chided him saying he couldn't believe how he was drooling over the little girl in the big dress. Of course he hadn't thought of her as a woman then, she was too young. But to see her stand up for her world with such utter determination at so young an age against a raging Senate was amazing. When he heard what she had done afterward, he admired her even more and he had it set in his head to go see her. But he was a busy man and four years passed before he had time to visit Naboo and see her personally.
Bail loved Naboo at first sight, It was a beautiful planet that reminded him of his own world. It had it's own simple, peaceful charm. And the Queen he met had her own charm, she was a budding woman, not a little girl.
"Counselor Organa," she said softly as she presented her hand. The young woman had such an air of sophistication Bail could hardly believe she hadn't been born an aristocrat.
"My Queen," he said bending to kiss her hand. He saw her blush at this contact. And he felt her hand shiver under his. She was much to young for him, even at eighteen (or so he tried to convince himself). Yet, he liked that she admired him so.
This exchange didn't go ignored by either of their companions. But he just smiled at her and they walked toward her palace talking about politics and the crumbling Republic.
"I worry about the Republic," Amidala said to him after a long dinner conversation. "I think perhaps it's time for a career change."
"I don't think your people will let you go now. You asked for their faith and they've given it to you fully."
"If the Republic is in danger, so is Naboo."
"It's not in danger, we've just hit a rough spot," Bail said. "It will pass."
"Where have you been all my life?" Amidala asked, losing some of that queenly authority.
"I've been wondering the same thing," Bail replied.
It seemed like a wonderful start to a romance, one neither party would admit was happening. They contacted each other as much as possible and had arranged meeting ever once in awhile, especially for celebrations on either of their worlds. Then Anakin came back into her life and swept her off her feet. There wasn't any of the civilized courtship that he and Amidala had exchanged with her. Bail could only watch with disgust as she turned from his beautiful and intelligent woman to a giggling little girl in the presence of Anakin Skywalker.
Anakin was a Jedi, a highly gifted one, but an unusual one to say the least. All the Jedi he had ever crossed paths with retained a certain aloofness, but the boy Anakin seemed highly emotional, at least around Amidala. But she became highly mesmerized by him. Amidala had said there were times when he held her close and they moved together with their minds touching through the force. She said it was like a spiritual way of making love. How could he compete? He hated Anakin, but had to admit he was okay after they fought through the Clone Wars and Amidala married him.
Amidala had become one of Bail's best friend then and he couldn't deny her husband. He'd watch them at their wedding, dancing, looking into each other's eyes and knew, though Amidala had been attracted to him, she had never loved him like that. I hurt his heart like nothing else ever would. The Jedi had wooed her with fancy tricks. If he had reached into her mind, he had probably set it off balance. He'd waited calmly until the Jedi was distracted to ask Amidala if he could talk with her privately.
"How could you marry him," he yelled at her when he had her alone.
"What do you mean, I'm in love with him. I think I always have been."
"He was nine," Bail yelled like a mad man. "I love you."
"And I love you, your one of my best---" Amidala was cut off by Bail's kiss. He couldn't bare to hear the word "friend" that would surely follow "best". She responded to his kiss briefly than pushed him away.
"It's over Bail," she yelled and pushed him away. "I love Anakin with
every cell in my body. I love you, but I'm IN love with Anakin. If you
can't accept that we can't even continue to be friends."
When Bail left her that night, it was with a deep hole in his heart and he married the first woman who tried to fill it. It felt good to be admired, to be loved the way he loved Amidala. He tried to love the woman back, but his heart wasn't in it. And it didn't help that he and Amidala met later that year. She was upset she hadn't been invited to his wedding, not realizing how much she had to do with the marriage. To say the least, the former Queen and her husband did more to open his heart once again to jealousy than help it. When she left him, he retreated into himself and threw everything into his work. His wife, who had carried and lost two babies, didn't know what to do with him. Then one day his life's course changed. Obi-Wan brought Amidala to him asking to hide her. Amidala looked pale, thin, and barely alive. Anger fueled in the prince first.
Bail's first question was, "Where's that husband of hers?"
"Bail," he heard her say weakly in Obi-Wan's arms. His heart suddenly broke for her.
"I'll take care of her," he said and Obi-Wan surrendered her to him, but the Jedi couldn't stay. He said he had business with Anakin to finish.
"Bail, my baby," she said deliriously.
His wife, who harbored her own hate fueled jealousy, scowled at him as he carried the woman one of his small guest rooms. She was checked out by the best medical experts available on Naboo. Between them he found out the surprising information that she was carrying twins. And Yoda, who hadn't been seen in years, came to see Amidala and test the unborn babies..
"Warned them about Anakin I did, Listen they did not," Yoda said. "Now done it is."
The Jedi master visited Amidala. He placed a hand on her stomach and after a moment turned to him. "True it is then. Full of light these two could be or full of dark. Be protected they must. Separated, the force between them is strong. Together they would sing to him like a siren."
"I will protect them," Bail said.
"Why, because I'm not a Jedi?"
"Yes," Yoda replied with that mystic voice he tended to get. "You cannot sense them as he does. Love them you may, love her you may, but protect them you cannot. Stay I shall, until they come or until Obi-Wan returns."
And it was settled right there. He didn't question the small Jedi master. Besides, he suppose if Anakin showed up, Yoda could mask Amidala with all that mystical force jargon. But Yoda seem to spend more time alone in meditation than with Amidala. So Bail sat by her bed side, fed her by hand. And when missing Anakin made her stop eating, he encouraged her to eat by reminding her of her children and making up names.
"Anakin and I use to do this," Amidala said one day when they were making up names. Bail had come to keep her company. She had gained enough strength by then to be up and around, though she spent most of her time in bed. "We'd make up names for our kids all the time. Of course then, kids were just a theoretical possibility. We always found each others names horrible. Anakin hated Jacob, I hated Neild. I once suggested Bail and he blew up. I think he knew."
"Knew what?" Bail asked, hoping for an answer he knew wouldn't come.
"That I once thought I would marry you," Amidala said quietly. He would have ran to her and gathered her in his arms, but she was still speaking and he remained still out of respect. "But I married the right man. Anakin didn't love the queen, the leader, the bright, ahead of her years, debater. He just loved simple little me. He made me real again. It was only when I stopped thinking of myself and my planet as one in the same that I could rule it properly, that I could trust myself."
Bail could say nothing, so he did something. He took her in his arms and held her close. And they danced, danced to a music only Bail could hear. Amidala wanted to hear it, but she couldn't so she just listen to the beat of her heart. "I'm not separating my children," Amidala whispered. "They already lost their daddy, I'm not taking them away from each other. i don't care what Yoda says."
She said it, but he didn't really know what happened to Anakin. No one told him, but he was beginning to hear stories, to hear a "dark Jedi" had become the Emperor's plaything. What had happened the day Amidala had been brought to him? In truth he didn't care, she was here. But one thing she said always stood out. 'He didn't hurt me Bail, he couldn't.'
"One of them moved," Amidala suddenly said and she stopped dancing. Bail quickly put his hand to her stomach, he felt the small kick and then saw the dismay in Amidala's face. She wished he was Anakin, holding her, feeling the growing baby kick. He should have been jealous, as before. But he realized what an intimate thing it must have been to hold a piece of the person she loved more than anything inside of her and not be able to share it with him. And then he was suddenly flooded with a new type of love for her.
"If I could give him back to you, I would. That's how much I love you," Bail said cupping her face in his hands.
"But you can't," Amidala sighed and broke away from him. "I'll get him
back. I just won't risk my children. For the next couple months they need
That night, he was confronted in bed by an angry woman. She swung at him so violently, he hand to pin her down with both hands.
"Why is she here Bail?"
"I'm sorry," was all Bail could say in reply. "I don't want to love her, it's torture to love her and know everyday she'll never love me."
"Why is she here? I don't want her here."
"She trust me, she needs to be protected."
"From her husband?" his wife scoffed. "I've seen that man, he loves her."
"That man has become a murderer."
"Then let the Jedi protect her."
"That's why Yoda's here and Obi-Wan's coming back."
"I hate you," his wife spat at him. "No, I hate myself."
He embraced her, understanding that last feeling, actually both of them. He had hated himself for loving Amidala and hated her for not loving him back.
"I understand," he said taking her hand. That moment was a new beginning
for him. It didn't change his feeling for Amidala, but he became friends
with his wife.
Towards the end of her pregnancy Obi-Wan returned with a detailed description of a battle between himself and Anakin. Anakin had fallen into a molten pit, he was dead. Amidala cried all night and wouldn't let anyone in her room. She floated away from them all from that point on, not talking much, but when he passed by her room she was holding her stomach talking to her children about their father. Then something happened, she began to believe in something again. The Empire was sweeping over the galaxy building on darkness, but she found light within her children.
And they were born. Luke and Leia came into the world on a sunny day. Luke was the strongest, but complacent. Leia was tiny and sickly, but it was clear from the beginning she was going to be a fighter. Still, they got her in an incubator right away. Amidala was as healthy as could be expected, despite a difficult delivery. Yoda, Obi-Wan, Bail, and even Bail's wife, loved the twins. The first two days were bliss, but then the bad news came, the news of Anakin's twisted survival. Something had crawled out of that pit, and though he would basically be a living life-support system, he was alive and even more vicious than before.
"I'm going after him," Amidala declared to him privately a day after they got a complete story. "Luke and Leia will be taken to Tatooine by Obi-Wan Kenobi. If anything happens to me, I want you to be able to find them."
"Obi-Wan's letting you go on this suicide mission," Bail yelled.
"No, he just knows nothing in the force, dark or light, could stop me."
"Leia's still to little and weak to travel," Bail said in defeat.
"Then, just for now, send Luke. Just make sure they're safe until I can return, if I return."
Amidala kissed him good-bye and disappeared.
Obi-Wan took Luke and Bail hated to see him go. Somehow he knew that
he would never see the boy again. Obi-Wan assured him that Luke would be
loved by the Lars like he was their own child. Bail said "they better."
Then he focused on Leia.
Leia had grown into a strong six month old, strong enough to travel to Tatooine, when her mother returned. By then Bail and his wife thought for sure Leia would always be theirs, so sure Bail had allowed his sisters to meet their new niece. He had loved Amidala, but she had sacrificed herself for the love of another. Leia, on the other hand, loved him completely and without question. The two Jedi were long gone, so was their protection. Obi-Wan had never come back from Tatooine and Yoda had went to Leia before he left and said to Leia, "Little one enjoy quiet, end it soon will." He could only guess what that meant, but would a baby know how to quiet the power within them. He hoped so.
When Amidala showed up, looking as half dead as when Obi-Wan had brought her before, he just gathered her protectively in his arms.
"Gone. . .children," she asked. How she'd made it back here to him he didn't know.
"No, Leia's still here," he told her.
"Emperor. . . .Anakin. . . .Vader. Must break. . . .not strong en--," she didn't finish, she passed out.
When she recovered, Bail brought her her daughter. The baby slept so peacefully in Bail's arms, it broke his heart to think he soon would have to send her away.
"She's so big," Amidala smiled. "You've taken good care of her."
Amidala was pale, weak, and sick again.
"He didn't hurt me Bail, he couldn't, he loves me still. His vision has just been killed by a dark will stronger than his own. And as it eats me, it eats him."
Amidala still looked as if half her life had been drained from her, but he saw this sudden spark as she looked at her daughter.
"You have your father's never say die spirit Leia. And you'll soon be with your brother. You and him are my new hope."
It was then he realized she had come here to die, not recover. To arrange for Leia to leave, be with her brother, and then pass peacefully into the next life. He loved his daughter, he couldn't let that happen.
"Luke's safe, this will disrupt his life. Let me be Leia's father."
"Can't do that," she said softly. "Can't leave with so many pieces out of place."
Bail couldn't bring himself to make any arrangements to get Leia to
Amidala had laid on the edge of death for months. She now realized that half of Alderaan already thought of Leia as the natural child of Bail and his wife. But the clincher for her didn't come until she heard Leia say, "Da Da," in reference to Bail. It was her first word and Ma Ma was her second as Bail kissed her mother good-bye.
"Da Da, Ma Ma," the baby said as if identifying them as a group.
"I wish," Bail replied.
And Amidala slipped away from him, away from life. Somehow Leia knew
who she had lost and she screamed, tears flooding her face. "It's okay,"
Bail soothed. "You have a whole family here. It's a special gift from Ma
Ma, including a new Ma Ma." The baby cried for awhile longer anyway.
Anakin's face was replaced by a mask, so he never saw "Anakin" again.
father might as well have been what she thought him to be, dead, for Vader
didn't notice the child even while sitting right in front of his eyes.
Whatever it was that Yoda thought would call to Vader, it didn't. As commanded,
the girl remained silent. She had chosen her father and it was Bail Organa.
DZ - 2001