Title: The Padawan and the Prince (Part 4/8)
Author: obiís girl
Summary: What if Padme Amidala switched roles with Obi-Wan Kenobi; Obi-Wan as royalty and Padme as Qui-Gon's Padawan.
Theme: Alternate Universe
Challenge: ~~ anime fanís idea ~~
Disclaimer: All the characters from SW belong to the almighty himself, George Lucas.
The Senate chambers, housed thousands of senators ranging from Calamarian to Wookie. Their aides sat in the circular assembly area, talking and whispering when Chancellor Valorum's forum elevated area to the center. Hundreds of aides and droids hurried about, taking orders. Senator Palpatine, His Royal Highness Obi-Wan Kenobi, Eirtae, Rabe, and Captain Panaka sat in the Naboo congressional box.
Palpatine leaned over to the Prince, whispering, "If the Federation moves to defer the motion...Your Majesty, I beg of you to ask for a resolution to end this congressional session."
He nodded, "I wish I had your confidence in this, Senator." smiling partly.
The Senator continued to gaze at the immense crowd and Valorum, his long time rival. "You must force a new election for Supreme Chancellor...I promise you there are many who will support us...it is our best chance... Your Majesty, our only, chance."
Kenobi frowned, turning to him, "You truly believe Chancellor Valorum will not bring our motion to a vote?"
He nodded, eyeing Valorum carefully - almost sensing his thoughts, "He is distracted...he is afraid. He will be of no help."
Valorum stood up, his aides at his side, nodding to Palpatine. "The Chair recognizes the Senator from the sovereign system of Naboo."
The Naboo congressional box floated into the center; Palpatine at the head - the Prince only a shadow, "Supreme Chancellor, delegates of the Senate. A tragedy has occurred on our peaceful system of Naboo. We have become caught in a dispute you're all well aware of, which began right here with the taxation of trade routes, and has now engulfed our entire planet in the oppression of the Trade Federation."
A second box rushed, into the center of the Senate - the representative of the Trade Federation Lott Dod. "This is outrageous! I object to the Senator's statements!"
"The Chair does not recognize the Senator from the Trade Federation at this time. Please return to your station."
Lott Dod scowled, reluctantly moving back to his place as Palpatine continued, "To state our allegations, I present Prince Obi-Wan Kenobi, the recently elected ruler of Naboo, to speak on our behalf." he stated as his highness stood up to address the assembly.
The Prince was met by some applause before returning to silence. He huffed to himself, a determined look on his face. His hands braced the railing, scanning the many faces.
"Honorable representatives of the Republic, distinguished delegates, and Your Honor Supreme Chancellor Valorum, I come to you under the gravest of circumstances. The Naboo system has been invaded by force. Invaded...against all the laws of the Republic by the Droid Armies of the Trade... "
"I object! There is no proof. This is incredible. We recommend a commission be sent to Naboo to ascertain the truth. " Dod cried, surprising everyone.
Valorum nodded, "Overruled."
Still, Dod persisted, "Your Honor, you cannot allow us to be condemned without reasonable observation. It's against all the rules of procedure."
A third box representing Malastare moved into the center of the room. "The Congress of Malastare concurs with the honorable delegate from the Trade Federation. A commission must be appointed...that is the law."
"The point..." Valorum stated, conferring with several of his aides and Vice Chairman Mas Amedda as Palpatine whispered something to the Prince.
"Enter the bureaucrats, the true rulers of the Republic, and on the payroll of the Trade Federation, I might add. This is where Chancellor Valorum's strength will disappear." he stated, walking to the side.
"The point is conceded...Section 523A take precedence here. Your Highness, will you defer your motion to allow a commission to explore the validity of your accusations?" he asked, studying him.
Kenobi, though angry managed to remain composed as he continued the argument. "I will not defer...I have come before you to resolve this attack on our sovereignty now. I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee." he paused, glancing at Palpatine, then back at the Senate. "If this body is not capable of action, I suggest new leadership is needed. I move for a "vote of no confidence"...in Chancellor Valorum's leadership." raising his chin.
A loud murmur erupted into a roar of approval and jeers. The Chancellor stunned and speechless, fell back onto his chair as his Vice Chair, Mas Amedda took over. "Order! We shall have order..." hitting his gavel on the chair.
Things were settled but for how long?† The Federation box settled next to the Prince as Prince Bail Organa moved his box into the arena. "Alderaan seconds the motion for a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum."
Angrily, Amedda gritted his teeth, "The motion has been seconded by Bail Organa of Alderaan." He turned to the confused Valorum and whispered something to him.
Bail glanced at Kenobi briefly and noticed he was a young man of about 20, or older but very determined to save his people. "There must be no delays. The motion is on the floor and must be voted upon in this session." Bail added.
"The Trade Federation moves the motion be sent to the procedures committee for study." Dod argued, causing the assembly to chant as the Chancellor talked to Amedda.
"Vote now! Vote now! Vote now!" they cried as Palpatine stood next to his Highness.
He smiled wryly and surprisingly, Bail scrutinized the older man, but Palpatine ignored it. "You see, Your Majesty, the tide is with us...Valorum will be voted out, I assure you, and they will elect in a new Chancellor, a strong Chancellor, one who will not let our tragedy continue... "
The Prince didn't reply, except watch the proceedings as they unfolded.
"The Supreme Chancellor requests a recess. Tomorrow we will begin the vote." Amedda stated, hitting his gavel one last time, causing fury amongst the Trade Federation.
Valorum pointedly glared at Palpatine, hissing, "Palpatine, I thought you were my ally...my friend. You have betrayed me! How could you do this?"
He only smiled in reply, sitting back down as the Prince desperately looked back at the Chancellor and Bail.
"You want mesa to go with Masta' Jinn and Padawan Naberrie?" Binks cried, stunned by the revelation.
Mace nodded yes, sitting foreword. "Master Binks, you are of the Gungans; your people have close ties with the Naboo. They will listen to you. The Naboo have no army. If they attacked, they will not survive, therefore we must ensure they will." he paused, glancing at Master Yoda. "Once Skywalker's testing is finished, you must return with Master Jinn, Padawan Naberrie and his Highness to Naboo. May the Force be With you."
Jar Jar was about to argue but decided otherwise and bowed instead, exiting the chamber with a slight frown on his face.
"Master, really, I'm fine. You don't have to worry about me." I stated, still feeling my head reeling from the vision.
He smiled back at me, patting my shoulder. "If you insist on being stubborn and not going to the Healers...."
"I don't need to go the Healers. Besides, I don't think a mind-numbing vision is something they can take care of." I mumbled, looking at him. He folded his arms under his cloak, ready to listen. "I know visions from the Force are important, but this one doesn't make sense."
He frowned, "Explain."
I huffed, "The Gungans are a reclusive people; growing up I was told they were hostile and animals - monsters basically...and posessed a very powerful army." I shrugged, "I think that's why the Naboo and the Gungans never really got along. The Naboo are a peaceful people and so are the Gungans but rarely do they work side-by-side like in my vision."
"Maybe the acts of the Trade Federation forced them into an alliance. Would that be so bad?"
"No, it wouldn't, but Master, thousands of Gungans were slaughtered by these droid armies." I cried, "Master, it was horrible."
He smiled reassuringly at me, "If they died on the battlefield, fighting for what they believed in, their deaths were not in vain."
I shrugged, looking out at the horizon and decided to change the subject. "You know, the boy will not pass the Council's tests. He is far too old."
He turned back to me, a knowing look on his face. "Anakin will become A Jedi...I promise you."
I nodded, crossing my arms, "Don't defy the Council, Master..not again."
My Master smiled, "I will do what I must, Padawan."
I laughed despite myself. He was always very stubborn, and so was I. That's why were a good match. Our stubbornness complimented each other. "Master, you could be sitting on the Council by now if you would just follow the code. They will not go along with you this time."
He patted my shoulder again and smiled, "You still have much to learn, my young apprentice."
Ani stood before the twelve Jedi, is eye on Mace Windu as he held a small hand-held viewing screen. In rapid succession, images flashed across the screen. Ani tried to keep up with them but it was too fast and he was distracted, a feeling† not lost upon the Jedi Masters. "A ship...a cup...a speeder."
Mace huffed, turning the screen off and nodded to Master Yoda. The boy was unfocused, his thoughts elsewhere. Yoda placed a finger to his lips, watching the boy. "Good, good, young one. How feel you?"
He shrugged, "Cold, sir."
Yoda grunted, "Afraid are you?"
Ani quickly nodded his head no. "No, sir." eyeing the members. He held such high hopes they would accept him and if they didn't, he didn't know what he could do. He was no longer a slave, but a really good mechanic but that would be laughed at by several people. A nine-year old boy, former slaver - a gifted mechanic didn't really sound appealing...and slowly wasting away.
"Afraid to give up your life?" Mace asked, raising an eyebrow.
Ani shrugged, "I don't think so."
He hesitated for a moment, unsure how to answer. Yoda nodded, "See through you, we can. "
His glanced switched from Yoda to Mundi, whom tilted his head forward, with a polite smile. "Be mindful of your feelings... "
"Your thoughts dwell on your mother." Master Billaba added.
He huffed, a bit annoyed. "I miss her."
"Hmm. Afraid to lose her..I think." Yoda added as Ani glared back at him.
"What's that got to do with anything?" he cried.
Yoda glanced at Mace and Ki before continuing, "Everything. Fear is the path to the dark side... fear leads to anger... anger leads to hate.. hate leads to suffering."
Ani nodded, shrugging a bit, "I am not afraid!"
Yoda sat forward again, "A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. I sense much fear in you."
He looked down, mumbling, "I am not afraid."
"Then continue, we will." Yoda mused, as Mace once again held up the screen, turning it on.
Kenobi stood, staring out the window at the vast city below. How the Republic had become so corrupt so quickly was a mystery to him.† Before, things were easy. The Republic functioned as a whole, working for the common good but now, it only seemed to work as pieces in a game dictated by mindless Senators, racing for power. Maybe it was wrong of him to run for the monarchy if this what was happening. He hoped to become the most influential, and legendary ruler and most caring of them all.
But if he had never run to begin with, he never would have met that beautiful girl, Padme Naberrie, trained apprentice under Qui-Gon Jinn. At this point, she was the only light in his world while everything else was a dark shadow, cast over by the Trade Federation.
He was completely lost in thought, he didn't even hear the door open. The Jedi Master walked timidly towards his highness.
"Um, your highness, mesa Master Jedi Jar Jar Binks." he smiled. The Prince turned to him briefly and smiled but nothing more as he explained himself. "Mesa was appointed do help ya; mesa es un Gungan; native to Naboo."
"What can you offer, Jedi Master? How can you help?" he stated, tears almost in his eyes.
Jar Jar frowned, "Wesa Gungans gotta a grand army. Wesa warriors. Dat why you no liken us, metinks." as the light shimmered on.
Eirtae and Sache stepped aside as Captain Panaka and Senator Palatine walked in - both with joyous smiles on their faces. They both bowed before him, unable to contain their smiles.
"Your Highness, Senator Palpatine has been nominated to succeed Valorum as Supreme Chancellor." Panaka cried.
He walked away to his desk, thinking as Palpatine faced him with a smile. "A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one. I promise, Your Majesty, if I am elected, I will bring democracy back to the Republic. I will put an end to corruption. The Trade Federation will lose its influence over the bureaucrats, and our people will be freed."
"Who else can be nominated?"
Panaka nodded, "Bail Antilles of Alderaan and Ainlee Teem of Malastare."
The Senator sat down, taking notice of the Gungan Jedi Master but returned his attention to the Prince. "I feel confident...our "situation" will create a strong sympathy vote for us... I will be Chancellor, I promise you."
The Prince almost laughed, looking at him. "I fear by the time you have control of the bureaucrats, Senator, there will be nothing left of our cities, our people, our way of life... "
"I understand your concern, Your Majesty; unfortunately, the Federation has possession of our planet. The law is in their favor." Palpatine added with a frown.
He nodded, fury in his veins. "With the Senate in transition, there is nothing more I can do here...Senator, this is your arena. I feel I must return to mine. I have decided to go back to Naboo. My place is with my people."
Panaka walked to the desk, a corner expression his face shocked by this announcement. They both were; Palpatine's eyebrow's furrowed, mouthing the words to himself. "Go back!! But, Your Majesty, be realistic! You would be in danger. They will force you to sign the treaty."
The Prince turned back to him as he head for the door; Panaka behind him. "I will sign no treaty, Senator. My fate will be no different from that of our people. Captain!"
He immediately stepped forward, prompted and ready. "Yes, Your Highness?"
"Ready my ship!" Kenobi replied, as both guards flanked the door after Panaka left.
Palpatine nodded, "Please, Your Majesty, stay here...where it's safe."
He nodded, "No place is safe, if the Senate doesn't condemn this invasion. It is clear to me now that the Republic no longer functions as a democracy. If you win the election, Senator, I know you will do everything possible to stop the Federation. I pray you will bring sanity and compassion back to the Senate."
As they left the room, a self-satisfied smile appeared Palpatine's face.
My Master and I stood before the Council, Anakin in front of my Master as we waited for their verdict. If Anakin was accepted, he would become a Jedi but if not...I didn't even want to think about it. The twelve of them were very stoic as usual, making it hard to read their emotions.
"...Correct you were, Qui-Gon." Yoda began, nodding to Mace.
The bald man frowned, almost breaking eye-contact with his friend. "His cells contain a high concentration of midi-chlorians."
Ani smiled hopefully. This was good news for him, but bad news for me. I feared the worst, whatever the outcome. "The Force is strong with him." Ki added, making my Master feel even more confident Ani had the vote.
"He's to be trained, then?"
The Council members looked to another before Mace gazed directly back at Qui-Gon, "No. He will not be trained."
Ani was crestfallen, tears in his eyes as my Master placed his hands on his hips, confused and angry. He was sure the boy was the Chosen One; when he told me he was convinced, though I wasn't. "No??!!" my Master questioned, a smile forming on my face.
Mace nodded, his hands coiling the arms on his chair. "He is too old. There is already too much anger in him."
Still, that didn't stop my Master. He was blinded, and I knew that blindness would be downfall and it scared me. I love my Master deeply, but if continues like this eventually it will all catch up with him. I frowned at that thought. My Master noticed my sudden change of mood but only persisted in his argument. "He is the chosen one...you must see it."
"Clouded, this boy's future is. Masked by his youth."
Of course, what happened next I was completely unprepared for. He stepped up behind Ani and placed his hands on his shoulders, and I noticed something. The look in his face - it was the same determined look he used against the Council years earlier to train me and I knew what he was planning.
I wanted to say something but nothing came out of my mouth. And it was too late, because he already said the words and they stung my heart like nothing else.
"I will train him, then. I take Anakin as my Padawan learner."
I felt I couldn't breath; never in a the years we were together did I ever imagine he would spit on me and cast me aside. I loved him so much and he was putting faith in a boy with a clouded future. What about my future? Our future, Master? How can you dismiss me? I'm your daughter! I glanced at Ani; he was watching the display with great interest with disgusted me even more.
"An apprentice, you have, Qui-Gon. Impossible, to take on a second." Yoda added, as Mace quickly turned his head to him.
"We forbid it." he snapped.
The next words that came out of my Master mouth, I felt the pain in them and for the first time, realized his pain in letting me go. It was a surprise for him to make such a rash decision; it caught me off guard but I wasn't ready to lose him. Not yet and probably not ever. "Padme is ready..." he said, glancing at me.
I breathed lightly, stepping forward from the darkness, fear still lingering in my mind but forced it back. I couldn't let them sense my feelings, otherwise the attention would be turned to me. "I am ready to face the trials."
"Ready so early, are you? What know you of ready?"
Ani watched as my Master and I exchanged angry looks. Neither of us had been expecting this; I hadnít and though I loved him for everything he had ever done for me, I resented him for doing this..and still it stung. "Headstrong....and she has much to learn about the living Force, but she is capable. There is little more she can learn from me."
Little more I can learn from you? Master, I'm still just a little girl and you are still, and always will be my father. Don't abandon me. My Master felt my words and flinched a bit, but not too much for the Council to take notice.
"Our own council we will keep on who is ready. More to learn, she has... " Yoda mused as Mace sat forward.
"Now is not the time for this...the Senate is voting for a new Supreme Chancellor. The Prince is returning home, which will put pressure on the Federation, and could widen the confrontation." Mace reasoned.
"And draw out the Queen's attacker." Adi stated, glancing at me.
Ki nodded, eyeing me as well. Great, they knew. They knew my feelings. Busted; just what I need, a lecture from the Jedi Council about my feelings. Except I didn't need it, right now.
What I needed was to knock some sense into my Master. This was crazy and totally unconventional and he knew it, except he probably didn't care about that. Stubborn.† "Events are moving fast...too fast." someone said.
"Go with the Prince to Naboo and discover the identity of the dark warrior. That is the clue we need to unravel this mystery of the Sith." Mace cried, sitting back as my Master nodded in agreement, though I felt the matter was not closed and needed to be resolved now and not later.
"Young Skywalker's fate will be decided later." Depa said.
My Master glanced at me, a sorrowful and grieving look in his eyes. He was sorry, but I wasnít ready to accept until he told me himself. He looked back at the council, an exasperated expression on his face, "I brought Anakin here; he must stay in my charge. He has nowhere else to go. "
Mace shook his head in accordance. "He is your ward, Qui-Gon...we will not dispute that. "
Yoda even held out a finger, "Train him not, Qui-Gon. Take him with you, but train him not!"
"Protect his highness, but do not intercede if it comes to war until we have the Senate's approval." Mace concluded, "May the Force be with you."
We bowed, side-glancing at my Master as I passed him and Ani.
"Padawan, please speak to me." Qui-Gon cried as we neared the platform. I nodded my head, partially in tears; thankfully Ani walked ahead with Master Binks who was coming with us.
I shrugged, looking at him, "I just understand how you could do that to me? I mean, don't you understand you are all I have and you cast me aside like I mean nothing."
He nodded no, placing his hands on my shoulders though I continued to sob. "Padme, I told you I had to what was needed..."
"You spat on me and it hurt." I shrugged, looking up at him, "I don't even know if I can forgive you."
I walked before he could say anything else and at that moment, I felt an even greater pain. I felt him extinguish our bond and sudennly I felt more empty and lost than I had ever imagined. The pain rushed to my eyes and I walked onboard, bypassing Ani and the others.
"Master Qui-Gon, sir, I do not wish to be a problem."
Qui-Gon smiled down at him, kneeling, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "You won't be, Annie....I'm not allowed to train you, so I want you to watch me and be mindful...always remember, your focus determines your reality. Stay close to me and you will be safe."
Ani hesitated, "Master, sir.. I heard Master Yoda talk about midi-chlorians...I've been wondering...what are midi-chlorians?"
He smiled, shifting his weight slightly, "Midi-chlorians are a microscopic lifeform that reside within all living cells and communicates with the Force."
Skywalker frowned, trying to keep up. "They live inside of me?"
Jinn smiled back, "In your cells. We are simbiants with the midi-chlorians."
The Jedi nodded yes, "Life forms living together for mutual advantage. Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to you, telling you the will of the Force."
Ani's eyes' shot up, "They do?? They live inside me?"
"When you learn to quiet your mind, you will hear them speaking to you."
He shrugged, shaking his head. "I don't understand."
Qui-Gon smiled, standing up, patting Ani's shoulder. "With time and training, Annie...you will. You will."
Two taxis pulled up, and Captain Panaka, Senator Palpatine, twenty or so troops, guards, and officers walked toward the ship, followed by his royal highness, Eirtae, Sache, and finally, Gungan Jedi Master Jar Jar Binks. The Prince and his handmaidens stopped before the Jedi as Qui-Gon bowed respectively.
"Your Highness, it is our pleasure to continue to serve and protect you." he stated, ushering him aboard.
"I welcome your help, Ambassador. Senator Palpatine fears the Federation means to destroy me."
Qui-Gon grunted, "I promise you, I will not let that happen." as they boarded the ship, flanked by his handmaidens and guard.
When Jar Jar noted everybody was onboard, the Gungan jumped, yelling, "Wesa goen home!" thrilled he was going to see Naboo again after so many years.
The rest of the trip to Naboo, my Master and I maintained our distance from each other, avoiding each other at all costs. I wanted to tell him I was sorry and that I missed him so much and how I was feeling, but everytime I passed his quarters, I always felt the need to rush off to the throne room to spend time with the Prince.
And the Prince gladly accepted my company, saying that a smile or two would definitely lift his spirits and mine. He knew I was having trouble with my Master - mostly because I told him about it. I told him that I loved my Master deeply and thought of him as my father, but I adamantly refused to talk to him before he actually confronted me. Except I lied to his highness. I didn't tell him about my Master breaking our bond, cutting me off from him which hurt more than anything.
I could no longer hear his soothing voice, telling me everything was all right and it scared me. I had been so used to talking to him and now I couldn't. I regretted everything I had said to him before we left, saying that I might not forgive him and thinking that I resented him for taking Ani as his Padawan learner.
Truth is, it would have been easier to blame Ani for the troubles between us but I didn't hate the boy. In fact, we got along perfectly, though I never initiated a conversation with him while on board. I didn't think ill-thoughts of him but instead I worried about his future. But even worrying about the future, made me feel sick.
A couple times I spotted Ani in the cockpit, I almost felt like breaking down in tears because I realized the potential in him not only to be a Jedi but the best at whatever he chose to be. Like a mechanic or pilot, he would fair well. He was exceptionally gifted, there was no mystery there and I realized why my Master sought to make his future better. He was special, as my Master was very special to me.† I had to talk to him; it couldn't wait.
I briskly turned on my heel and marched to my Master's cabin but when I got there, I froze in front of the door, unsure what I was doing. I was scared to press the COM pad and let him know I was there. I would have told him telepathically, but I remembered he cut off our bond. But the door did open, mostly because he sensed I was disturbed. I walked in, gulping, staring around the place, my eyes finally resting on him. I ran to him, hugging him tightly, crying.
"I am so sorry, Master! I didn't mean to hurt you. So sorry!"
He smiled, kissing my forehead, "I think we are both at fault, Padawan. I acted irrationally, which I often do but this time I didn't take into consideration your feelings. I'm sorry." He wiped a tear from my eye and smiled.
"It's just, you've always been there for me as long as I can remember. I love you so much; I don't want to share you with anyone else. Youíre mine."
"As I will always be, Padme. I found you; I chose you -I don't regret that. You're blunt with words and never hold anything back, except maybe this time which was understandable." he paused as I sat on the bed next to him. "Padme, I meant what I said before. I think you are ready for the trials. When we return to Coruscant I would like to train you and help you prepare."
I smiled yes, "I would like that, Master. Thank you."
He smiled all right as my head fell on his shoulder and he rocked me back and forth. "But never do that again." I warned him and he laughed, agreeing.
Sudennly, I felt him open up our bond and I felt warm and safe again.
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