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Title: The Love that Never Was
Author: obi's girl
Summary: An A/U - what would have happened if Padmé had fallen in love with Obi-Wan and he with her, leaving a distraught young boy alone.
Genre: Romance
Timeframe: During the Phantom Menace
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: The characters of the Jedi Council, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Queen Amidala/Padmé Naberrie, Sabé, Captain Panaka, and Anakin Skywalker belong to the almighty, George Lucas.

~~

No matter how hard Padmé tried to hide it, it didn't work. Her feelings emanated like a full-blown solar flare. The way he moved - such easiness, balance and precision. It was like a dance. Of course, being a Jedi Padawan, he'd never notice her. She was a shadow, the Queen's shadow. If anyone were to be recognized, it would be the Queen- only Padmé was she. She was the Queen of Naboo. Though 14 years old, she was wise beyond her years but still just a girl in fancy clothes. How would he even notice that? He wouldn't. Her disguise as a royal handmaiden made her blend easily among her other handmaidens. She gazed at Sabé, her trusted advisor and friend. Through the entire ordeal, Sabé had maintained her

regale and sanity.

"Continue Captain," she commanded.

The Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan's Master stepped forward. "Your Highness, we are heading for a remote planet called Tatooine. It is a system far beyond the reach of the Trade Federation. There we will be able to make needed repairs, and then travel on to Coruscant.

Panaka nodded his head, "Your Highness, Tatooine is very dangerous. It's controlled by an alliance of gangs called the Hutts. I do not agree with the Jedi on this."

He sighed, "You must trust my judgment, Your Highness."

Padmé slowly glanced up at her friend. She nodded to her and the Jedi, accepting his request.

After dismissing the Jedi and her guard, Sabé nodded the handmaiden Padmé join her. She nodded her, "These Jedi are reckless."

"I agree."

Sabé noticed the tone in her voice and smiled, "So, which one is it you have a crush on, Amidala?"

"What Jedi do all the handmaiden's have crushes on?"

She laughed, "True enough." Sabé paused, "Amidala, please be careful. I'm not just talking about this masquerade. I'm talking about your heart. He's a Jedi. Don't deceive him,"

The handmaiden nodded, "I know," she bowed, leaving the room to attend to her duties...

Despite the Queen's orders to fly to Tatooine, Padmé couldn't shake the feeling it was wrong. She wanted to go straight to Coruscant, but since they were low on fuel it was impossible. The handmaiden huffed softly, though it was loud enough for a certain young Jedi to poke his head through the

door.

"Don't do that!" Padmé shrieked.

Obi-Wan smiled, kneeling down to her, "I'm sorry." He paused, "I sensed you were distressed. Is something wrong?"

She looked back at R2, rubbing his lens. She didn't know what to say, so instead she simply smiled, "This little guy is quite a mess."

He nodded, "I'm sure he'll see a lot more battles in the future." He hesitated, "Seriously, what's wrong?"

Padmé looked up into his eyes. They were beautiful eyes. "I'm her highness' closest attendant. She's worried. She wanted to travel to Coruscant right away. Our people are dying and we're taking a side-trip,"

Obi-Wan frowned, sensing a hint of anger in her voice. He reached down, taking the cloth from her hand and began to scrape the droid himself. Padmé continued, smiling gratefully at him. "I know it's not my place to say anything but I deserve say. I agree we need to act, but by the time we do act - it maybe too late,"

The Jedi looked at her, smiling. Padmé blushed, "What?"

"You. You're handmaiden and yet you talk like you're the Queen."

<You wouldn't be far off, Jedi Kenobi, >

Padmé continued, "I can't help it. I love Naboo. I don't want to see her punished by some greedy politicians,"

He laughed, "You did it again," referring to her royal tone.

<Stop it, Amidala! You can't let him know. Act like a handmaiden, not a Queen, >

"Thank you, Jedi Kenobi for listening."

Obi-Wan gazed down at his dirty hand, giving her back the rag, "Jedi help where they can, handmaiden, even in the smallest of places,"

She frowned, placing her arms around her chest, "Are you calling me small, Jedi Kenobi?"

He nodded, smirking, "No. You're just you." Obi-Wan stood up, "Good night, Padmé." And vanished down the hallway.

Padmé smiled, <I didn't even tell him my name, >

*****

Padmé Naberrie rushed into the room, meeting up with Captain Panaka and her handmaiden, Sabé Panaka was talking quietly with Sabé as she entered, but quickly quieted. She nodded to them both. "Captain, Sabé - when we arrive at Tatooine, I'm going down with the Jedi."

Panaka flinched, "Your highness, Tatooine is dangerous. It's controlled by the Hutts. If you are discovered..."

"If I am discovered Captain, it will make no difference. Our people are counting on us." She paused, standing next to Sabé. "Naboo needs us, Captain. But I refuse to remain locked up here like a prisoner, while our fate is being decided elsewhere without our eyes."

Sabé spoke, "Your highness, my job is also to protect you. I can't do that if you're out in the open."

"You don't need to worry Sabé. I already have protectors - the Jedi. I will request Jedi Kenobi to come with Qui-Gon and I, if the Master Jedi will listen to me,"

Panaka nodded, "This is dangerous, your highness."

"It will be even more dangerous if I sit back and do nothing, Captain." She turned to Sabé. "I will need you to impersonate me again. Are you willing?"

 

Sabé nodded, "I am your highness,"

Padmé turned on her heels and left the room.

*****

Padmé rushed down the hall, yet again. They were on Tatooine. The Jedi were ready to leave without her. She tapped her COM, "Captain, where are the Jedi?"

Static filtered through before Panaka answered, "Outside. You can still catch them if you run," he paused hesitantly.

"Captain?"

"I know it's not my place to speak against you, your highness, but it is my job to protect you." He paused, "Forgive me your highness, if I was out of line. It won't happen again."

Padmé smiled, stopping a bit, "All is forgiven Captain. Thank you for your concern. I always value your point of view on matters and I have to admit, your point of view keeps me on my toes. Thank you."

"Ready handmaiden?" a voice asked from behind.

She turned, facing Jedi Kenobi. "Sorry. I had to do some things for the Queen,"

He nodded, "Let's just go before my Master blows a fuse," he extended his arm to her, "Shall we?" Padmé took it without question.

***

Qui-Gon waited impatiently for his Padawan and the handmaiden. Frankly, he didn't want to have Padmé along, but the Queen wished it and his Padawan didn't seem to mind her company. That was another reason he didn't want to have her along. Whenever Obi-Wan ever got within a meter

of a beautiful girl, his view would detract from the current situation to focusing on a girl. It never failed, but he didn't blame him. At the Temple, there were many female Padawan’s, knights even that thought he was handsome. He was a walking magnet. He nodded, noticing two figures approach him.

He noted Padmé let go of his hand, placing them both behind her back. "Sorry Master Jedi..."

"Let's go. The spaceport isn't going to be pleasant," he turned, <And neither is this mission, >

She glanced back at Obi-Wan and he shrugged, walking behind the taller Jedi...

***

"Are you an angel? "

Padmé turned, facing the small blonde boy, "What?"

Obi-Wan gazed at the boy and Padmé, but didn't say anything.

"An angel. I've heard the deep space pilots talk about them. They live on the Moons of Iego I think. They are the most beautiful creatures in the universe. They are good and kind, and so pretty they make even the most hardened spice pirate cry."

Padmé glanced at Obi-Wan, then back at the book, not knowing what to say. "I've never heard of angels."

The boy smiled, "You must be one...maybe you just don't know it."

The handmaiden smiled eyeing suspiciously. "You're a funny little boy. How do you know so much?"

"Since I was very little, three, I think. My Mom and I were sold to Gardulla the Hutt, but she lost us, betting on the Pod races, to Watto, who's a lot better master than Gardulla, I think."

Padmé gasped, "You're...a slave?"

She shrugged looking around, "I'm sorry. I don't fully understand. This is a strange world to me."

"You are a strange girl to me." Anakin studied her intently, as well as a watchful young Jedi Padawan.

Obi-Wan nodded his smiling. <It's crazy to be jealous for a 9-year-old kid. He doesn't have a shot with her, > He looked back at the two. They were talking and laughing, regardless of having a Jedi Padawan baby-sitter. Padmé glanced at him once, before Qui-Gon reemerged from the back, followed closely by R2 and Watto.

"We're leaving," he stated, walking past Obi-Wan.

The Jedi nodded to the handmaiden. She smiled back at him, then at Anakin. "I'm glad to have met you Anakin,"

The boy sat up, yelling back, "I'm glad to have met you too!"

The Toydarian nodded his head, watching them leave, "Outlanders! They think because we live so far from the center, we don't know nothing."

Anakin looked at him, "They seemed nice to me."

Watto grunted, "Clean the racks, then you can go home."

Skywalker leapt from the counter, letting out a "Yippee!"

***

Obi-Wan couldn't help but smirk at Padmé, as she walked beside him. "What? He's a cute little boy." She spat.

"Are you an Angel? You didn't fall for that?"

She stopped, facing him. "He's a little boy, Obi-Wan. He's adorable, but someone else already has my heart,"

He was about to say something, but realized where her heart belonged. Qui- Gon rolled his eyes, nodding his head. Obi-Wan smiled, "You're a smart girl, Padmé. I'm sorry I don't give you enough credit for that,"

She shrugged, blushing a bit. "It's okay." Padmé paused, "He's still a cute little boy,"

Obi-Wan eyed her, before catching up to his Master. Once again, Qui-Gon rolled his eyes. "Padawan, we here to fix the ship and find a way out of here - not to flirt,"

"Sorry Master," he paused, glancing back at Padmé. "I can still be nice, can't I?"

Qui-Gon didn't reply, except walk faster thinking, <Oh, young love, >

*****

After all that had been said and done, the one thing Padmé was unsure about was how Jedi Kenobi was going to pull himself from his downward spiral. Naboo had been saved but at a great cost - the death of the Jedi Master Qui- Gon Jinn. In the beginning, the handmaiden thought him to be reckless and irresponsible but what she didn't she was the ages of wisdom behind his blue eyes - the same wisdom he managed to pass down to his student and only son, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

It wasn't fair. Obi-Wan had already pictured what his future was going to be like - right down to a single moment. Qui-Gon was going to be there when he was to be knighted, when he would be named Master and allowed to take his own apprentice. Now that perfect dream, perfect future was shattered and there was nothing Obi-Wan could do to make it whole again.

He hung his head low in disappointment. In his mind and eyes, he failed his Master. True, Qui-Gon's dream would be carried out but he wouldn't see how the boy's future would unfold and his. But instead of looking to the future, the Jedi kept on replaying in his mind how he could've saved Qui- Gon.

If he had been faster, trusted his instincts or let his guard down for a second.

Padmé watched his eyes turn to stone as the fire blazed around his Master's body. She wanted to run over and hug with, telling him everything would be all right and that things would get better, but she couldn't. It wasn't her place anymore. They no longer belonged in each other's worlds and though Obi-Wan failed his master, the journey ahead wasn't going to be any easier - for her included.

 

*****

 

Years have aged Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan watched helplessly as a demon with the eyes of the Devil killed his Master. That day was the day he died. All his feeling all his boyhood disappeared and was forced to become a man. The Jedi scratched his beard, noticing a familiar shadow drift on the walk.

Senator Padmé Naberrie.

 

It wasn’t until after the deception at Naboo, before the Gungans, that the Jedi realized the truth about her – though he suspected she wasn’t who she claimed to be. It was the way she talked, the way she walked and the look of regale in her eyes. Now, after her reign as Queen for 8 years and living life as an individual, she was once again summoned to serve the people as Senator.

 

She hesitated at first. The idea of returning to politics was messy in her opinion, but after coaxing from Sabé, she relented and won a seat in the Senate. As it was her duty to serve the people as Senator, her new home was Coruscant, putting her in close quarters with Obi-Wan.

 

Padmé turned her gaze in his direction and smiled. He bowed to her as she walked closer. “It’s good to see you again, Senator....”

She nodded no. “Don’t call me that, Obi-Wan. We’ve been friends so long. No formalities.”

Obi-Wan frowned, staring intently at her brown eyes. “What should I call you, then?”

A smile curled her lips. “Padmé.” She turned, letting the sun warm her face, “It’s so beautiful here. You’re lucky to be able to enjoy such a intoxicating planet.”

 

The Jedi laughed, causing a glare from her. “I’m serious, Obi-Wan. It’s the sincere truth. Most politicians only see Coruscant as the capital of politics. They never see it for its beauty.”

“I’ve seen beauty.” He whispered, staring at her.

 

Her eyes narrowed, nodding slightly. “Obi-Wan, don’t.”

 

“I’ve never regretted falling in love with you, Padmé. Don’t make me start now.” He paused, touching her chin, forcing her to look at him. “I love you, Padmé. That’s never changed.”

She nodded, trying not to give in – even though, deep down, she loved him too. “You’ve always been so good to me. How can I let you go?”

 

He nodded. “Don’t. My life is yours, my heart is yours. It always has been and always will.” The Jedi paused, pulling her closer. “You are my own sweet Padmé. You’ve been strong, emotionally and physically. I love you for that, but just this once – will you listen to your heart, instead of your mind?”

 

Padmé smiled. “The Wisdom of a Jedi Master. So much knowledge and truth ---" she faced him again, “but what about your heart. How do you love with your heart?”


He frowned. “My love for you is no secret, but if --- if, we give in to each other’s love, the truth must be spoken before it’s too late.”

 

She pulled away. “That’s what I’m talking about – Anakin. He loves me, always have. And he’s your apprentice and friend. How do you think he’d react to this? Not very well. I know him.”

“He’s a boy. He doesn’t understand real love. What he feels for you is only a child hood crush. It’s not real tangible love.” Obi-Wan huffed. “Padmé, if there is ever to be an ‘us’ Anakin must know the truth before it is told by someone else. Besides, I think it would go over more smoothly, if he heard it from you.”

 

Padmé nodded, turning back. She stroked his beard. “There has always been an ‘us’ Obi-Wan Kenobi. All there was between us was just obstacles to get back to ‘us’ and now, all our suffering will be at an end.” She paused, removing her hands from his beard and smiled. “I love you. Always have. And you’re right. We can’t go on with our lives, if Anakin doesn’t accept the way things are. I’ll tell him and we can finally be together, my love – now and forever.”

 

Obi-Wan walked forward, tilting her head and kissed her. Padmé broke, kissing him back with equal force. “Now and forever.” She whispered into his ear.

 

>>TBC

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