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Author's Note: This is set during Revenge of the Sith, when Obi-Wan is about to leave Padmé's apartment. His parting words will receive a different answer to the one in the film, which I've had in my mind for awhile, but never decided to use until now. There's another change too, but you'll have to read this to discover what it is.

SENATE RESOLUTION.


"Anakin's the father, isn't he?"

She was not surprised that he knew she was pregnant. Despite her elaborate fashion choices her condition was obvious. He was one of the few who had spoken about it however. Most of her colleagues had kept their curiosity to themselves, apart from the select few that knew the truth.

"No," she answered, causing him to fully face her, his astonishment at her response evident upon his face. "Although I deceived Anakin into thinking such was the case. I had hoped it might calm him, but the news had the opposite effect. He became convinced that I would not survive the birth. He had nightmares about it."

"That was probably a product of his childhood," Obi-Wan remarked as he ventured further into the room. "Tatooine has a low birth rate. If he was born during his mother's slavery then it is unlikely they had access to medical equipment, even a midwife."

"You're good friends with Bail," she commented. "Has he confided in you?"

"If this involves him, then no," Obi-Wan replied. "But we haven't had much of a chance to talk recently." He returned to his seat beside her. "I would never betray his confidence though."

"I know," she smiled at him. "He and Breha have had trouble carrying a child to term. They were contemplating adoption when their doctor suggested surrogacy. I offered to carry for them. There are few whom they could trust with this, without using it for some political or personal gain."

"Where do you plan on giving birth?" he asked her.

"Naboo or Alderaan," she replied. "Which ever is safer. If anywhere is when that time comes."

"Padmé," he paused, considering what he wanted from her carefully. "You know what has happened to the Republic. To the Chancellor. Anakin is one of his most loyal supporters. I don't want to kill him. But nor can I ignore what he has done. The Temple is ...." he broke off, the memory of what he saw upon his return too upsetting. "Master Yoda is on his way to confront the Emperor. He asked me to do the same with Anakin."

"Can Yoda defeat him?" she queried. "He survived the confrontation with Master Windu and who he brought with him. Isn't he the most dangerous threat?"

"I agree," he conceded. "But there is no predicting what Anakin might do if he learned of the Emperor's death." He paused, considering. "I will help Yoda. But I need to know where Anakin is, Padmé. For your safety just as much for what he has become."
She nodded, realising he was right. "Anakin is on Mustafar."

"Thank you," he replied. "I promise you that I will not face him until I know the fate of the Emperor." he paused before changing the subject. "Now if I may make a suggestion, I think you should leave Coruscant."

"And go where?" she asked him.

"Somewhere Anakin will not think to look for you. I know you believe that he will not harm you, Padmé, but I am less certain of that. I understand that there is a group of senators who are in opposition to Palpatine's latest edicts. Knowing you as well as I believe I do, I do not doubt that you are one of them, or are aware of them. You need to get word to them if you can, if Bail hasn't already. If things go badly, you are all in danger."

"From Palpatine?" Padmé sought to confirm.

Obi-Wan nodded. "The clone army answers to him now. Forces are currently scattered across the galaxy, hunting down the Jedi. What will he do with the army once the Order is no longer a threat to him?"

With that question posed he rose from the furnishings to head towards the balcony of the penthouse once more.

Padmé followed him, standing on the threshold as she watched him climb into the waiting speeder and fly away. She turned round once she lost sight of the vehicle, silently contemplating where she should go. It did not take her long to realise that there was only one choice. She had already spoken of her Naboo plan to Anakin, so her homeworld was out of the question.

Alderaan it would have to be.


Obi-Wan's journey from Senator Amidala's penthouse apartment was conducted in a far calmer attitude than when he had been travelling towards it earlier. There was a great deal to still concern him, yet he could take comfort in what he had managed to accomplish and learn from her. He knew where Anakin was, she understood how dangerous he had become, and the children she was carrying were not fathered by his apprentice.

The latter news was a little disappointing considering what had happened to the Order, yet it would have been a difficult legacy for the younglings to carry, not to mention the dangerous times they would grow up in. That still applied to Bail's children, however they were at less of a risk if they did not prove to be sensitive to the Force. The gift could be inherited, yet there were also times when it emerged spontaneously in a child from a family who had never held a member who belonged to the Order. Obi-Wan admired Padmé for undertaking the surrogacy, though he did not approve of her decision to deceive Anakin over it, in the hope that the news might stabilise his instability. Sooner or later she would have had to tell him the truth, the delay would likely prove more hazardous than the initial deception.

He hoped his decision to defer confronting Anakin would not prove to be the more perilous outcome. He had no desire to face him in the first place, but Padmé was right when she pointed out that Palpatine was the bigger threat. Take him out and there might just be a chance to save Anakin. Yet defeating the former Chancellor could prove difficult. There was no doubt in his mind about the skill of Master Yoda, yet the new Emperor had defeated the combined efforts of Master Windu, Master Kolar, Master Fisto and Master Tiin, albeit at considerable cost, if his appearance during his speech to the Senate afterwards was anything to go by. Four of the strongest fighters, ones they could have done with defending the temple when the clone army and his apprentice attacked those inside. Anakin was a strong user of the lightsaber, but he had never defeated any of those masters in a duel. Had they survived the confrontation, they might have been able to save the Order.

Sadly that alternative had not come to pass. Now it was up to him and Master Yoda to salvage something from the ashes. Yoda would be disappointed that he was choosing to disobey orders by helping him and not facing Anakin. Obi-Wan could only hope that the master would come to see the advantage in doing so. He contemplated what level of skill would be required. Both Grevious and Count Dooku had spoken of being trained by Palpatine, before the Order was aware of who the sith master was. It had taken all of his skill within the Force to defeat Grevious, while Dooku had proved a match for him on Geonosis that he believed he could have overcome on Grevious' ship, had he not been knocked unconscious, leaving the task for Anakin to take on.

He dwelled on that event for a moment, the knowledge that Palpatine was just posing as a captive lending a new perspective to the battle. He never received a full explanation from Anakin about what had happened between him and Dooku. He had never learned what fate the sith met at the hands of his apprentice. He could not help but wonder now if the method been influenced by Palpatine. Considering the Sith's presence in Anakin's life ever since they met, it is possible that Anakin had been judged a worthy apprentice from the beginning. Dooku and Grevious both had limitations, they also lacked the advantage of a youthful, impressionable mind. What had seemed a dangerous potential within Anakin by the Council must have been an attractive prospect to the sith. There were the two greatest mistakes the Order had made when it came to Anakin; their initial rejection of him and the meeting between him and Palpatine. To be singled out by the most powerful political leader in the Republic at such an age was too much of a distinction to be easily forgotten.

Focus on the here and now, he reminded himself, as he caught sight of the Senate building up ahead. There would be time for reflection on where it had all gone wrong with Anakin later, hopefully when he was in custody, for the alternative was something he could not readily accept or contemplate. He would need all his wits and skill about him if he was to help Master Yoda defeat Palpatine.

Parking the speeder in a discreet slot, he leapt out and headed in the direction of the Executive Office.


When Padmé arrived on Alderaan, she was greeted warmly by Breha, who exclaimed over her appearance and assured her that there was nothing to feel awkward about by being in her condition, looking so healthy, with someone who had tried for so many years to reach this stage of a pregnancy without success. It had been a concern that Padmé felt, causing her to stay away from Alderaan for much of her surrogacy.

Breha was eager to hear about all Padmé felt comfortable telling her and Padmé was grateful for the distraction, having been unable to think about anything else apart from the fates of Palpatine and Anakin during her journey from Coruscant. Retrieving her medial information, she call up the scans and health records of the children gathered by the discreet medical droid she and the Organas hired for the surrogacy, letting Breha take as much in as she wanted. She and Bail had seen the scans before, however there had been little chance to talk about everything else, due to the clone wars and the desire for privacy and discretion concerning the surrogacy.

When they had exhausted the subject and were about to retire to their bedrooms, the comms device began beeping, indicating there was an incoming communication from somewhere off world.

Breha rose from her seat beside Padmé to answer it. She listened for a moment then pressed the key for audio so her friend could hear the message too.

"Go ahead, Bail," she said, "Padmé and I can hear you now."

"Masters Yoda and Kenobi have defeated the Emperor," he began, causing both women to gasp in surprise. "The clone army has been ordered to cease their activities and return to Kamino, while the Senate has been reconvened to elect a new leader. I am sending you the listen of candidates, Padmé, so you may deliver your vote by proxy."

Padmé called up her messages and ran her eyes over the list as she thanked Bail. One name caused her to pause. "Bail, please withdraw my name from the list, I have no desire to become the next Chancellor."

"If you wish, I will, but I ask you to consider for a while longer," Bail remarked. "A great many Senators put your name forward. You are highly regarded in the Senate and you have been a good leader of the Opposition."

"I also led the vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum," Padmé countered. "My actions put Palpatine in office."

"And since your election to the Senate you have done everything within your power to keep him and others who were corrupt like him in check," Bail pointed out. "I'm sure it was not just your vote that caused Palpatine to become Chancellor. He was a well-established, albeit minor, Senator, before you were Queen. Your planet was in danger, as the representative of Naboo, perhaps many felt he was the most qualified to assist you at the time. And given what we know about him now, it is very likely that he manipulated beings and the events to put himself in the Executive Office."

"While I agree with you, I still do not wish to be considered for the post," Padmé partially conceded.

"Very well, I shall take your name off the ballot," Bail accepted.

"Where are the Jedi now?" Padmé asked.

"Back at the Temple, attempting to contact the members who were off planet, hoping some have survived the clone army attacks," Bail answered.

"If you could get a message to Master Kenobi," Padmé requested. "Tell him that I am glad he is well and to talk to me when has the time."

"I will relay it," Bail promised. "Now, I must get back to the Senate. Until later, Padmé. Breha, my love."

Padmé felt herself fully relax as she listened to Breha returning the farewell before signing off. She had been worried since Obi-Wan informed her of his intention to join Yoda in fighting Palpatine, even though she preferred it to him confronting Anakin. Palpatine was a dangerous opponent, He had defeated four Jedi masters before. She had no desire to send Obi-Wan to his death. Despite their disagreements over Anakin she considered him one of her closest friends, a man she highly respected, even cared about. The relief that he had survived was palpable, even though that meant he would be confronting Anakin next.

She could only hope that her husband had the wisdom to realise the mistakes he had made, crimes he had committed and the acceptance to do all he could to redeem himself.

The End
(For Now)

Author's Note: I feel like this deserves a sequel, featuring the meeting between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar, perhaps Padmé giving birth to Breha's and Bail's children, then returning to Coruscant when Anakin is safe to be seen, or she's recovered from the birth, depending on what my muse decides is to be Anakin's fate. I'm leaning towards redemption with an amicable break-up of their marriage. We'll have see when I write the sequel, which unless the muse decides otherwise, will be in time for the next convention.