The dreary clouds that hung over Theed rumbled ominously, warning the last remaining inhabitants of the city streets to clear off as a lone flash of lightning lit up the sky. Most obeyed the storm, taking refuge inside their homes and comforting the smaller children -and sometimes bigger children - as the very ground beneath them shook with its might. The wind began to kick up, whistling harshly as it blew through the limbs of the trees. Its icy breath pounded upon the trees, bending them to its will. And the rain, the ever pounding rain, flooded down from the heavens with the might of laser fire, dropping loudly to the ground in large droplets.
None dared to face the storm, with the exception of one. The lone figure stood on a balcony, overlooking the city that was covered in gloom. He stretched his arm out palm up, letting the water fall into his hand until it began to overflow in small rivulets toward the ground. He could feel his hair plaster against his face, the wind blowing a chilling breeze down his neck, yet he did not move.
Anakin Skywalker watched the water fall from his hands. Such a simple thing, he noted, placing his other hand beneath the first so that the rivulets began to form another pool in his empty palm. Yet so many take it for granted. He dumped the watery contents of his first hand into the other, letting a new pool start to form.
He had seen his share of rain on Coruscant, but even then, it did not seem all that authentic. Coming from a desert planet, he had never experienced the strange weather before. It wasn't until he was eleven years old that he first found himself face to face to a large storm. He quickly learned that Obi-Wan did not like the storm, the Jedi too aware of its dangers to enjoy it, but Anakin loved it. Rain was seen as something very precious on Tatooine, and yet there were places in the galaxy where it fell constantly, as if the gods were rewarding the people with tiny diamonds from the sky. But Naboo was different. It did not have the tall buildings or the busy traffic... here, everything was purer. The ground beneath their feet was firm, green hills rolling for as far as the eye could see, and a blue sky that seemed to never end.
Anakin tilted his head to face the sky, the dark clouds blocking everything in sky. Though his stays on Naboo were short, he savored every second of them. Especially when Padm? was there. The thought of his wife brought a smile to Anakin's face. Her radiance seemed to lift even the dimmest mood, the most troubled heart.
A glimpse of lightning flashed above, causing Anakin to smile sadly. His mother had never been able to describe lightning to him. He had heard Watto talk of it once, referring to Sebulba's pod as being "fast as lightning." His mother tried to describe it to no avail. There was just no way to talk about light in the sky without seeing it for yourself.
He looked down at his hands, seeing that the rivulet on his hand had turned into a waterfall, similar to the ones next to the palace. That too had been something his mother could not describe: waterfalls. It wasn't until he came to Naboo all those years ago that he finally understood what his mother had meant when she spoke of water roaring down the side of a cliff. Rain, however, was the one thing Anakin did understand. While the thought of water falling from the sky might have confused other children, Anakin understood it perfectly. His mother had told him that raindrops were the tears of angels from the moons of Iego, falling from the sky whenever the sun was blocked, which made them sad. However, since Tatooine had two suns, the angels were happy and rarely cried.
"When they cry, their tears fall from the sky," she had once told him, her face etched perfectly into his memory. "You should be glad to live on a planet that makes the angels happy."
Anakin had nodded at first, the young boy then scrunching up his face in confusion. "But Mom... if rain storms come when the angels are sad, then what causes sand storms?"
Shmi had let out a small laugh and ruffled his blonde hair. "Why Ani... sand storms come when the angels sneeze."
A pang hit Anakin's heart at the memory. He missed his mother; her smile, her warmth, her way of making him understand when others couldn't. She had been the rock upon which his foundation was built, and Anakin had been bold enough to call her his entire life. She had been there for him since the beginning, and now that she was gone, Anakin felt like that foundation was crumbling. I miss you, he mused, raising his eyes once more to the darkened sky.
He felt a twitch in his right hand, sighing mentally as he knew a water droplet had gotten into the wiring of his mechanical arm. Though the arm felt normal for most of the time, it was only when something went wrong with it that Anakin remembered the day when his last hope of normalcy came crashing down upon him. From a twisted metal frame, they had upgraded him to their newest innovation: one that actually worked -and felt, much to Anakin's approval- like a human arm. The synthetic skin remained warm for the most part and was even touch sensitive.
And yet Padm?, sweet, loving Padm?, had not showed the slightest bit of disgust in the false appendage. '"I am not in love with your arm, Anakin,"' she had once reminded him. '"I am in love with you."' Anakin's heart swam at the memory, the want to be near her hitting him like a transport. He knew very well that she was fast asleep, and yet Anakin yearned for her to be awake; to be there with him in the pouring rain, his arms wrapped protectively around her and her head resting below his throat, her long curly hair tickling his skin.
He remembered the first time that they had truly been together, when he was merely her Jedi protector instead of life-long protector. He had told her that he didn't like sand, a fact that still stuck with him even to now. How lovely she had looked; her delicate hair gleaming in the sunlight, her eyes twinkling boldly, yet with some hint of uncertainty. Her skin had been soft to his touch, her lips tormenting his own for more when they kissed. Her common sense had kicked in, while Anakin instead had done what he knew was right and followed his heart.
He felt the rain begin to lighten up, the heavy droplets turning into a light drizzle. Curiosity filled his face as the rain stopped completely, the dark clouds beginning to thin out so that the sparkling of tiny white stars was visible, the moon slowly beginning to sneak from its hiding. He continued staring at the sky for what seemed like hours until the last tendrils of clouds had disappeared completely.
"Ani?" He heard Padm?'s soft voice call to him, turning his head toward the door and seeing her standing there, radiant as ever. Her silk nightdress shimmered in the moonlight, its dark blue color matching the sky. She walked over to him and gently grabbed his arm, her brows instantly furrowing and her hands feeling his wet tunic and brushing the plastered hair from his face. "Why are you all wet?"
"It was raining," he answered, gently taking the hand that was brushing the hair aside and kissing it. She smiled warmly, leaning in and letting him kiss her deeply. He could feel his hand let go of her own and sneak around her back, pulling her closer to him. He let himself go; freeing himself from his consciousness and turning it over to his emotions, snaking his other arm around her back and pulling her even closer to him. He felt her smooth arms slide up around his neck, holding him tightly. He knew that the moisture from his damp shirt must have begun to seep through her nightdress, guessing that she did not protest until it became too cold for her to bear. She slowly broke away from him, drawing herself down and resting her head right below his neck. She drew her hands down beside her, sliding one around his waist then putting the other on his chest. He kept his strong arms wrapped around her, removing one from her back and taking her small hand in his.
He saw Padm? close her eyes, melting into him even more. In the silence of the night, he could hear the dull thudding of his heartbeat drumming, his chest rhythmically moving as he inhaled, then exhaled. He could feel his wet tunic pressed against her warm cheek, not seeing her shiver or flinch at the cool material. Her head moved, Anakin looking down to see her brown eyes looking up at him, then he tilted his head back to look at the sky. He saw the bright crescent moon standing alone in the sky, surrounded by millions of tiny white specks of stars. A shiver ran up Anakin's spine, and Anakin felt Padm?'s gaze move from the sky back to him. "Come on," she said quietly, a warm smile etched onto her face. "Let's get you out of these wet things and get some sleep."
Anakin nodded, loosening his hold on Padm? and letting her head back toward the doors. He kept her hand intertwined with his own, casting one final look at the now-clear sky. It was no wonder to him why the rain had ceased. Now that he was there with her, his angel was happy.
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