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09 March 2008 @ 11:02 pm
Fic: 'A light never seen.'  
Title: A light never seen.
Fandom: Star Wars.
Rating: (PG), for themes.
Time Period: Varied. (I) Four years after the end of tPM. (II) Just after Padmé's meeting with Obi-Wan & Anakin for the first time. (III) Immediately after Anakin's left Naboo for Coruscant after the wedding in AotC. (IV) RotS: Padmé's funeral.
Summary: A life and love captured in moments.

Author's Note: Recently, I sat to write a Star Wars 'fic and this wasn't the 'fic I'd planned. Due to varied reasons (and sources which include a sci-fi TV show), I ended up writing the 'fic below these notes instead. This isn't about characters who're clearly and cleanly defined; I'm hoping this doesn't suck and that they seem like 'real people' to the people who read this. It's not my best writing but it's a beginning to step back to where I had been: which was writing fiction in general.

For those who make note of the icon, yes, that is Elizabeth from Pirates of the Caribbean; it's difficult to find an icon that could represent Sabé when she's older since she was only ever seen in Star Wars: the Phantom Menace.

Disclaimer
All characters contained herein are the intellectual property of George Lucas; I am not affiliated with nor endorsed by him.


_______________________


I.
The wide cowl rested upon her shoulders; she’d yet to set the cloak aside because to do so meant she acknowledged today was her last. The faceframes and accompanying head-dress were placed to one side and the combs taken out, placed on the nearest surface; at least it’s not the floor. Slowly, the brush was run through the dark brown hair of her Queen.

Her Queen. Padmé had come to mean more than royalty, than the charge in her care. They’ve become friends over the past four years. It was inevitable, Sabé’d told herself; it made it easier to ensure everyone believed the illusion when she had to become Amidala.

The padded headpiece was removed and placed beside the head-dress. While Sabé’d brushed her hair and put aside the head-piece and –dress, Padmé had removed the ceremonial facepaint. Without it, she appeared very young and vulnerable despite she is a grown woman and has left childhood behind. Sabé stepped to the left with her gaze downcast. She dare not help with the clothing no matter how dearly she would desire to do so.

Padmé half-turned in the chair; around them, the heady fragrance of blossomwine surrounded them as did the soft light from the wishglobes. “I’ll miss you.”

The cloak provided enough weight to remind her of the station of the girl in the chair and herself. It’d be simpler, easier not to acknowledge those three words. “Is there anything else you require, Majesty?”

A flicker of shadow in Padmé’s eyes caused a momentary twinge of guilt but it let Sabé know she’d made the correct decision to discreetly distance herself. Padmé stood, a hand resting on the back of the chair. With her hair free, her face clean of the ceremonial paint yet still dressed as Queen in the crimson gown, she appeared a combination of youth, vulnerability and strength.

It was Padmé who stepped nearer but Sabé who closed the remaining space between them, a hand emerging from the cloak folds to cup the soft curve of Padmé’s cheek before leaning forward and her lips brushed lightly against those of the other girl, requesting permission. The quiet moan was all she needed as the kiss shifted, became greedier, hungrier as her hand slid across the smooth skin to tangle in the recenly brushed hair. It was all she’d wanted since realising the feelings she’d carried but hidden since Padmé was the Queen and she the Handmaiden.



II.
“M’lady, a call.”

A call meant the HoloNet; the Jedi security had already arrived and met with her. Only one person would wait until now to call, after family and the Jedi team sent to ensure her safety had met her; news would’ve spread swiftly of her demise if it’d been a successful assassination, through channels official and not. She inclined her head, slightly, in acknowledgement of the notice given about the call. Dormé curtsied and departed. This was a conversation Padmé desired to have privately.

“Are you all right?”

“I’m fine. Cordé …” She remembered the Handmaiden’s last breath and how many years previously it could’ve been her lover. Her chest had constricted at the sight of Cordé on the ground and it was only seeing Sabé now with worry etched into voice and face that she was able to realise her own reaction to Cordé’s death; life was of value but how easily it might once have been Sabé. “Are you all right?”

“Padmé, I’m fine. But you’re not.”

“Knowing you’re alive makes me well.”

Briefly, Sabé’s lips quirked into a crooked half smile. “If only I could be there to assure you how ‘fine’ I truly am.”

Both knew if Sabé was on Coruscant or Padmé on Naboo, the assurance would come in holding each other, to comfort themselves and the other that they were truly alive, and well.



III.
“You married him!?”

“It was the moment! The relief I was alive, his passion ---”

“Did you not think of me?”

“I did! I was swept along by his passion and longing.”

“Yet you thought of me? How? When?”

Silence fell between them.

“Goodbye Padmé.”

The last sound heard were the fading footsteps. Tears stained Padmé’s cheeks as the realisation settled that Sabé was no longer part of her life and through her own foolishness.



IV.
Amongst the crowd, she stood alone cradled within the embrace of the thick cloak. Its wide cowl hid the loose dark hair that was pinned in place by a red bloom from Varykino; it was the only splash of colour she wore, reminiscent of blood her thoughts told her. And of love; it was for Padmé’s memory she’d made the trip to Varykino for the flower, something to represent the years spent together before the cloud of the other’s marriage.

Padmé’s ashes would be cast into the Solleu River after her body’s final journey which would end at the Funeral Temple; the last time Padmé had been there had been for the cremation of a Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn. She knew Padmé would want the ashes thrown to the river for then she would become part of the planet she had loved and fought to protect against the predations of the galaxy.

No one could see the tears of the solitary woman; everyone was grieving for their beloved former Queen and Senator. The story of the Jedi having killed Padmé sat in minds numbed with disbelief and would be examined at length later but Sabé didn’t believe that members of the Order to which Gui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda had belonged had killed Padmé. It didn’t feel right. It wasn’t right; the Jedi had been guardians of peace and justice. If any still lived, they probably still were.

She swallowed and her eyes remained on the procession. Pooja, Padmé’s niece. Boss Nass. Jar Jar Binks. Sola. Ruwee. Jobal. Queen Apailana. Sio Bibble. All faces she recognised, names she knew. It was difficult for an older sister and for parents to outlive a child. If only Padmé had declined to be Senator. It was a matter they’d discussed countlessly but the answer had never changed: Padmé would always say yes. She couldn’t disappoint the people, human and Gungan, of Naboo, both planet and system.

It was best not to think of what could have been; it was time to think of what would be, now. She bowed her head, swallowing sobs that threatened to break the fragile calm of her outward appearance, as the qualamas began to pass. She couldn’t … but at the last moment, her gaze rose to rest upon the still figure behind the qualamas before turning and pushing her way through the gathered, and still, crowd. Her grief shouldn’t be seen. It would never be known and if seen, never understood.

Their love had been like Padmé’s life: a candle against the night, always sheltered and never seen.
 
 
 
kenobifanlealynnkenobi on March 9th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
Wow! A nice change on looking at how close a handmaiden and Padme had become, over the years.

Enjoyed the read! You did a great job!

Question?

"...the last time Padm Solleu River had been there..." I'm not sure what is going on there? Sometimes, I'm a little slow. ;)

F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on March 9th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Wow! A nice change on looking at how close a handmaiden and Padme had become, over the years.
Thank you! I had read a 'fic once that briefly looked at it in that light so I was nervous as to how anyone would like it.

Enjoyed the read! You did a great job!
That relieves so many nerves! =D


Question?

"...the last time Padm Solleu River had been there..." I'm not sure what is going on there? Sometimes, I'm a little slow. ;)

This is where my face falls into my hand and I groan. It's now been fixed so thank you very much for pointing that out to me; I hadn't noticed at the time.

That whole section of sentence was due to the copy and paste capability of the version of Word (it was on someone else's computer, set to their specifications) since I was copying the é in Sabé's and Padmé's names but I wanted to check the spelling of Solleu River. Due to nerves at posting the 'fic, I didn't catch that on a last glance through the 'fic so you have my earnest gratitude in catching that. Thank you, again.
Mya Scarlet: p&p lizzie readingmya_scarlet on March 9th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I wasn't expecting that pairing when I clicked to read. It makes an interesting change!

She bowed her head, swallowing sobs that threatened to break the fragile calm of her outward appearance
I loved that line.

I read this earlier in the day, just after coffee and found the first part a little difficult to follow - but now in the evening, now I'm exhausted, it seems to scan more easily. Don't know what that says about the state of my brain :D

Still confused about the tenses in this bit though:

Without it, she appeared very young and vulnerable despite she is a grown woman and has left childhood behind

I'm glad you're back to the 'fic writing again!
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on March 10th, 2008 03:38 am (UTC)
Well, I wasn't expecting that pairing when I clicked to read. It makes an interesting change!
That does seem to be what everyone's saying. Oddly, because I didn't expect it, they felt very true.

I loved that line.
Thank you; that was a line I wasn't certain about actually having in the 'fic; it was written in during the editing process.

I read this earlier in the day, just after coffee and found the first part a little difficult to follow - but now in the evening, now I'm exhausted, it seems to scan more easily. Don't know what that says about the state of my brain :D
Or it could say a lot about my writing! That first part has received a lot of editing since it was completely another tense to the rest of the story and I tried to pull it in line with the rest of it.

Still confused about the tenses in this bit though:
That doesn't surprise me, the confusion. That first part was written and then heavily re-edited to try to bring the tenses into line with the rest of the 'fic since it had a feeling of being written to be its own story; I admit the latter parts were a later addition. I eventually just 'gave up' on the tenses for that first part and posted it since I knew if I didn't, at that time, post it? I never would.

Thanks for pointing it out; note's been made of it in the text I have in my notebook.

I'm glad you're back to the 'fic writing again!
I hope I can balance it with everything else! I was surprised to write this, actually. As I have been with the Torchwood 'fics I've written.
Lumy: AniPadme1luminations on March 10th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
Aww. Poor Sabé. No one could understand her grief was more than just a woman grieving for her former employer. This was a lovely ficlet.

And the Elizabeth icon works very well, I think. (Don't tell Sabé I'm using a A/P icon here!)
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on March 10th, 2008 05:25 am (UTC)
Aww. Poor Sabé. No one could understand her grief was more than just a woman grieving for her former employer.
That was the image I liked at the end of the 'fic in itself.

This was a lovely ficlet.
Thank you!

And the Elizabeth icon works very well, I think.
There were extremely few icons that could work there and this was the best of two that fit.

(Don't tell Sabé I'm using a A/P icon here!)
I won't, at all! -chuckle.-
Armchair DM: Igor: A Rod Of Silencearmchairdm on March 10th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
... I liked this. But it was sad - especially the last two parts. It's been a while since I almost cried at a SW fic...
F. J.: lantern & candlesmorethanacandle on March 10th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
It's been a while since I almost cried at a SW fic...
You almost cried?
M: padmeemavalexis on March 12th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
This was such a lovely one-shot piece! Very quietly powerful, full of longing and happenstance.

Its wide cowl hid the loose dark hair that was pinned in place by a red bloom from Varykino; it was the only splash of colour she wore, reminiscent of blood her thoughts told her. And of love; it was for Padmé’s memory she’d made the trip to Varykino for the flower, something to represent the years spent together before the cloud of the other’s marriage.

Gorgeous imagery here. And a powerful, beautiful last line.

(Minor concrit: the shifting tenses in the first section. But nothing distracting -- I'm just too eagle-eyed for my own good. Hehe. Please don't be offended. I loved this piece.)
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on March 12th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
(Minor concrit: the shifting tenses in the first section. But nothing distracting -- I'm just too eagle-eyed for my own good. Hehe. Please don't be offended. I loved this piece.)
I'm not offended; thanks for pointing it out. I'm aware it's there and the reason it's there is due to me - when I realised the first part, which I think I started writing as its own piece (the other parts came later), I started changing the tenses to match the rest of the story and then gave up since I knew if I kept hammering at the tenses, I'd lose my nerve to put the story online. When I have some time once again, I'll possibly edit those tenses or leave it as a lesson to myself to keep an eye on 'em when writing.

This was such a lovely one-shot piece! Very quietly powerful, full of longing and happenstance.
Thank you; I'm pleased the sense of longing was able to be sensed/felt - I wasn't certain if that would telegraph through the story itself.

Gorgeous imagery here. And a powerful, beautiful last line.
That's one of my favourite passages in the story, sparked by some art of Padme for RotS. And again, thank you - I was thinking that line too 'heavy' for the entire 'fic.

Thank you for taking the time to read!

Edited at 2008-03-12 03:09 am (UTC)
M: darthanipadmeemavalexis on March 12th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
I started changing the tenses to match the rest of the story and then gave up since I knew if I kept hammering at the tenses, I'd lose my nerve to put the story online

Heh. Yeah, I know first-hand how tedious that can become. :) I've done the same thing, believe me.

I was thinking that line too 'heavy' for the entire 'fic

Oh, no. Not at all. I think it was perfect. I'm a sucker for a great last line.
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on March 12th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Heh. Yeah, I know first-hand how tedious that can become. :) I've done the same thing, believe me.
I believe you; it's something I face each time I decide to put a story online.

Oh, no. Not at all. I think it was perfect. I'm a sucker for a great last line.
Oddly, it was the last line I found myself enjoying the writing of in this particular story.

On an unrelated note - I do like your icon. =P
M: twinsemavalexis on March 14th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
I do like your icon.

Hehe. I <3th Darth was just so... genius. :)

Anyway, you should really write more Star Wars fanfic. XD
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on March 14th, 2008 11:07 am (UTC)
'Darth Harth' was one of the few comics I kept up with, personally; my attention span flutters to so many different things during a day and yet I'd continually return to it! It was a gorgeously done comic.

Anyway, you should really write more Star Wars fanfic. XD
I intend to do so when the opportunity arises. Technically, I'm on a hiatus due to personal reasons and in the current environment of my life, it's difficult to sit and write 'fic.

That said, Star Wars is one of my preferred 'playgrounds' for fiction so I hope to return soon.