Fandom: Star Wars
Characters: Padmé Amidala
Ratings & Warnings: PG. Dark Themes.
Disclaimer: Not mine. None of it.
Summery: This is chapter nine of my tale Queen of Darkness.
Padmé disguises herself as a handmaiden with the intent of meeting a contact who promises to end her marriage to Anakin. She soon learns that nothing is ever easy or simple as it seems.
Despite what she had told her handmaidens, or even the Chancellor it wasn’t business that brought Padmé to the lower levels of Coruscant. It was out of desperation, and if she was honest with herself, guilt as well.
On the surface Padmé appeared to be the self-sufficient senator. Very few were aware of her true relationship status. Those who did know never once questioned or even suspected, that it had made her into the unwitting prisoner of their great war hero; Anakin Skywalker. But after three very long war torn years Padmé Amidala knew it was time to finally end the façade.
It was out of practicality that she chose to enter the lower sectors under the guise of her handmaiden Dormé. None of the others handmaidens, save Moteé-who looked nothing like Padmé- ever frequented the more colourful sides of Coruscant.
Hardly the sort of place she’d normally wish to visit, Padmé knew only here could one do business without drawing the attention of security or republic law.
Tonight she sought out her contact; a nameless man whose skills would ensure that no one ever found evidence of her marriage to Anakin.
She had first learnt of the Alderaanian infilterator while following an investigation pertaining to recent breeches made in several security systems. The man left no trail of his actions and even managed to find a way to ensure his competition carried the blame. Soren was still tracking him down. While Padmé would normally assisted where she could, in this instance she chose to use the information Typho had collected for her personal use instead.
The fact he had been able to slip past her security captain spoke volumes, for this reason Padmé decided this man was her last best hope to end the catastrophe that was her marriage.
Wandering the lower levels of Coruscant wasn’t the safest plan but Padmé was hardly unprepared. Her laser pistol hung on her hip, while an unmarked dagger remained hidden in her boot. Padmé’s only concern was that her contact wouldn’t be where he said he would.
Passing by the flashing lights of clubs and lounges Padmé silently took it all in. Many promised strong drinks, clean dust and the fulfilment of every man or woman’s sexual fantasy. But it was potent scent of icoti, old food and stale drinks that caused her stomach to turn.
Whispering a curse under her breath, Padmé fought back the nausea and dizziness that followed. It had been over a week since she fallen under the weather and it showed no signs of letting up. She knew it would be wise to see a medic, but with memories of her collapse three years ago still fresh in her mind, Padmé deemed it unnecessary. After all, she was a woman who didn’t accept personal weakness and was loathed to have others, especially strangers, witness it either. It would pass, it always did.
’And if it doesn’t, then what?’
As she fought down the nausea her amber eyes caught sight of her reflection in the window of an entertainment club. Padmé couldn’t ignore how pale and gaunt she looked. Despite what she thought the illness was taking its toll, as was her duties. With so many public and secret meetings, attacks and subterfuge missions, the senator had little time to herself and even less for resting.
From behind an arm slipped around her petite waist; while the stench of stale icoti and beer accosted her senses.
“Hey babe, haven’t seen you here in a while!”
Immediately the illness faded away as raw instinct gripped Padmé’s psyche. Her fist slammed into the man’s stomach; a moment later the man was pressed up against the glass, with her laser pistol pressed between his eyes.
“Oh frak me! Look lady I thought you were someone else alright? No need to play rough!”
Her amber eyes burned into the man’s blue orbs, and all Padmé could feel was disgust and hatred for the man. Suddenly it wasn’t a strange Corellian man she was staring down, but her unsuspecting husband.
Yet the Anakin before her, wasn’t the oppressing great hero with no fear, or the cocky warrior she had seen so often on the holo-news. He was small and insignificant, and completely off his guard.
As Padmé stared him down could almost taste his fear; to her surprise, it was exhilarating. One pull of the trigger and it would all be over. Never again would she fear the day he learnt the truth, or the many lives that would pay for her mistake. She would be free and he would become nothing more than an awful memory.
“Please lady, go easy on me! I just thought you were this girl I know, okay?-“
The man’s pleas forced the young senator out of her morbid thoughts just in time for her to notice that he was carefully reaching for his gun. Without a second thought the former queen lowered her pistol and shot at his hand just as he was to grab his weapon.
The Corellian’s screamed and cursed but Padmé didn’t pay it heed as she silently turned and walked away; disappearing into the crowd as though she was never there.
‘We aren’t so different, you and I’
Anakin’s voice echoed in her thoughts and suddenly Padmé was reminded of the Tuskan Raiders, of the Boranians, and the man she had almost killed. It was all too much, and soon Padmé was rushing towards the side alley where she was to meet her contact. But as she approached her meeting point the ground spun beneath her feet violently causing the senator’s eyes rolled to the back of her head as her body fell limp.
In the inky blackness of her unconsciousness Padmé could sense that Bail was there. She could almost hear his voice and knew that he was near. But when she reached out to take Bail’s hand it wasn’t her name that he spoke.
‘Dormé?—You alright? Dormé, can you hear me?’
Padmé slowly stirred awake to the echo of Bail’s voice calling Dormé’s name. Her heart sank as her eyes fluttered open. Even in dreams it seemed the young handmaiden had the upper hand.
But the scruffy Alderaanian wasn’t Bail, and the name he spoke was none other than Padmé’s alias. Immediately her thoughts moved forward as she swiftly sat up.
“You okay? Here let me help you-what happened? You look like puta!” the man said in concern as he helped her to her feet.
“There’s a clinic nearby if you like I can take you there,” he kindly offered.
Of all the low level scum, I just had to find the one good soul to do business with, Padmé thought to herself.
Resisting the urge to openly sigh in irritation, Padmé politely shook her head. She discovered a little too late just why it wasn’t a good idea. Wincing in pain she gingerly touched the back of her head and discovered she was bleeding.
“I’m fine, thank you,” she stiffly replied.
The man whom she soon discovered was her contact, wasn’t convinced and refused to cooperate until she agreed to get some help. Padmé finally relented, deciding that it didn’t matter if he witnessed this moment of weakness, because the man believed her to be Dormé instead.
Recalling the roll she was meant to play, Padmé’s expression immediately softened. Apologizing profusely for her abrupt behavior Padmé soon explained what his job would entail.
“You are certain you want to go through with this?” he asked in serious tones upon hearing her request.
“It has to be done. There is just so much at risk that we can’t afford to have someone find out,” Padmé explained playing up her role of the helpless handmaiden.
“If the Order learns of our marriage it is certain they will cast him out, and if my mistress learns of it; I too, will be out of a job! Nevermind the scandal--.”
One of the first things Padmé had learnt about politics was the art of masking the truth. The key was to remain as close as possible to the truth and always remember your lies.
With this in mind Padmé went on to explain her situation and plight. Convincing the man proved to be easier than expected; he understood all too well the prices paid for mistakes made in one’s youth.
“Erasing the evidence will be easy. Removing the witness on the other hand, will be a little more complicated.”
Padmé stared at the man in disbelief. “Removing? I didn’t say I wanted the priest murdered! I only wanted the files of our marriage erased!”
“Listen kid, I appreciate your need to keep your hands clean, but if the jedi suspect something-anything at all-they’ll have no trouble making him confess.
“If there’s one thing the dead don’t do, its talk.”
Only moments ago Padmé had come so close to killing a man who had done nothing wrong, save mistake her for another. Now the fate of another innocent rested in her hands.
‘You cross that line, and there will be no turning back,’ her thoughts warned.
‘But he’s the sole witness! The only one who truly has the power to ruin everything!’ Padmé frantically thought to herself.
Glancing away she drew in a deep breath, her eyes scanning across the alleyway till they caught sight of shadows that looked far too familiar. Reminded of the lifeless Boranians she had left behind Padmé’s memories took another turn.
‘I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children, too. They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals!’
Padmé shuddered she tried to bury the echo of Anakin’s voice. Padmé knew she was better than that; she was better than him.
Closing her eyes she sighed softly, before meeting the man’s concerned gaze. Her head continued to throb and Padmé could feel herself growing dizzy again, this time she suspected it was from the wound.
“Do it if you must, but only if it’s absolutely necessary. Even then, please be kind—let his passing be peaceful and swift,” she said softly before wincing as her head continued to pulsate violently. Perhaps a trip to the nearby clinic wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
It wasn’t long after that Padmé found herself being escorted to a rather old, but well kept volunteer medical facility. After thanking her contact for his kindness she made it clear that she would be fine from there on in. With great reluctance the man complied.
Padmé closed her eyes as the medical droids began to perform their standard scans. A painkiller was soon injected into her throat and with it her pounding headache began to fade away.
“Looks like your suffering from a minor concussion. Had quite a fall did you?” asked an older physician who looked to be a near human of some sort.
“—I ran into trouble,” Padmé, who was still posing as Dormé, confessed. The doctor clucked her tongue as she shook her head. “You’re lucky to even be alive. Around these parts very few live long enough to speak of trouble when they run into it,” she admitted in concerned tones. Padmé could only nod in reply as the medical droids took a sample of her blood.
After a series of questions and some painful applications of bacta, Padmé began to wonder if she would ever be able to leave. The physician’s concerned expression as she spoke with another medical droid on the other side of the room was hardly comforting either. After what felt like an eternity, the elderly physician returned.
“I’ve got good news and bad news,” she explained with a kind smile. Padmé raised a brow but said nothing as she watched the woman intently.
“I’ll start with the bad and end with the good. Much easier to swallow the bad, when you have something good to look forward to right?” she said in cheerful tones. Confused the young senator could only nod.
“The bad news is—your underweight and in desperate need of some nutrients.” Hardly a surprise for Padmé who had been living off of water and salt crackers for over a week; anything else refused to stay down.
“The good news is, the embryos are doing just fine-“
“Embryos?” Padmé couldn’t believe what she was hearing and in horror she stared at the woman as the colour drained from her face. “As in—baby?”
The physician chuckled as she nodded glancing down at her data pad. “Yes ma’am, they’re six weeks along to be exact.
“Gave me a bit of a scare at first, especially after reading your levels. But with the extra boost of nutrients I gave you, I think they’re going to be back on track in no time—“
The woman continued to prattle on as Padmé felt her heart drop to her stomach. This wasn’t possible, it couldn’t be possible! The Boranian fever she had as a child had left her barren had it not?
As though reading her thoughts the doctor explained that despite her history of having the fever, it was still possible to bear children.
“It’s a rare to say the least, and your pregnancy is most likely to become high risk but it is possible to carry them to term,” the doctor kindly explained.
Padmé thought of all the times she had sacrificed her dignity so that Anakin could sate his passions with her. With the war it had always been far and few between. In the end it didn’t matter, all that was needed was one heated moment for all her plans to be completely ruined.
In the back of her mind she could almost hear the sound of the oracles laughter and biting her lip she fought back the urge to scream or weep.