As much as I would like to say I own Disney I don't so I don't own Star Wars, either.

High citrus content in latter half, not safe for work!


"Mistress Padme, you wished to be alerted when Mister Jettster had left the ship."

At C-3PO's soft announcement Padme looked up from the changing table and the baby she had been exchanging baby talk with. "That quickly?" She glanced at the digital clock on the wall of the passenger's quarters they'd converted to a nursery, and was shocked at how late it was—even with the help of three Force users ("Dancers" she told herself, though her mental voice sounded distinctly like Jenni—she rather liked the Terran's poetic labels) Dex was actually a little late heading home for one last night, and in spite of her nervousness at what was coming next she had lost herself in the delight of playing with her children. "So, not that quickly. Let the others know I will be out in a few minutes."

"Yes, Mistress Padme." C-3PO turned and left, and Padme gently lifted an Aja yawning now that her mother's attention had been briefly diverted, and placed her next to her brother in the crib they shared. Aja began to fuss, but quickly settled down when Padme softly sang a lullaby from her own earliest memories of her mother. She had a little more time, the other three would be showering first.

(They were all enjoying water showers while they could; the ship's water reservoir would be topped off when they left and it was a short hop, relatively speaking, to Naboo, but after that they had no idea where they'd be headed or how available fresh water would be when they got there. It would be wipe-downs and sonic showers with a lather job and a little rinsing for hair for all of them when off planet from here on out—not a part of her new life she was looking forward to.)

Within minutes Aja was curled up next to Luke, fast asleep, and Padme smiled as she turned away back to the changing table. She slid open one of the lower compartments and pulled out a breast pump. Ani had gotten a taste, but she did not want to be leaking tonight.

That chore quickly done and her robe retied, she put the pump back into its slot for automatic cleaning and turned to D-FN8 waiting patiently in one corner. They didn't really need another protocol droid, but they did have other needs, and D-FN8's sarcastic edge had dulled once she'd gotten her new body—she was definitely happier with her new role, even if she complained about how human her new body looked (right down to a full head of red hair).

"Defenate, when was your list of shipboard residents last updated?"

"This afternoon, mistress."

"Good, that should cover everyone. Enable nanny and bodyguard subroutines."

A knife blade sprang out along the back of one human-appearing hand and a blaster barrel from the palm of the other, then both retracted and a thin covering over one human-like breast slid aside to reveal a thin trickle of milk. D-FN8 picked up a hand towel from on the changing table and wiped herself clean, and the covering slid back over the breast. "Nanny and bodyguard subroutines enabled. Don't worry, Padme, I'll look after them." Even the tone of her voice had changed, losing the electronic edge usually preferred for robots to sound more fully human.

"I know you will, thank you."

Padme glanced around at the bare steel walls of the nursery—they would do for now, but would need painting and decorations as the babies grew.

/\

Ahsoka had beaten Padme to the ship's mess. (Ahsoka had an unfair advantage when it came to showering—not having hair—and was sharing a refresher with Jenni besides; Padme had no idea how the sleeping arrangements were going to work once they were all bonded, she'd been afraid to ask.) The young Togrutan looked up as Padme walked in and grinned. "Nervous?"

Padme snorted as she walked over to the dispenser for a cup of Corellian no-ale. (Thanks to Senator Bel Iblis she had gotten accustomed to Corellian ale, but she was not drinking anything alcoholic, not tonight.) "As if you didn't already know. Of course I'm nervous! This is a big step, and one not many are going to understand."

"You can still back out, you know. We could just drop you off on Naboo, or you could just stay aboard and not be part of the Bond."

Her cup full, Padme sat down across from Ahsoka. "No ... no, Ani needs this, needs others watching out for him, to back him up and keep him ... pointed in the right direction. I just ..."

Her voice trailed off, and Ahsoka continued. "In spite of what we told you, you're worried about the loss of privacy, about not being you any more. And maybe about sharing Sky Guy?" At Padme's jerky nod, she smiled sympathetically. "Actually, you're doing pretty good—I wasn't just nervous, I was terrified! While privacy isn't exactly a great concern to the Jedi, at least not their own, there's all the horror stories I heard growing up of what happened to Jedi that became too attached. And Jenni wasn't exactly stable—Sky Guy might be tempted to reach for the Void when those he's attached to are threatened, Barriss when under stress, but Jenni was getting swept into the Void by her own temper when she lost control ... and her control was getting worse with every passing day, and a fight coming. I was afraid that I'd get swept into the Void with her, and neither of us would ever fight our way out again."

Ahoska's smile softened as her gaze seemed to turn inward. "Instead, I went into battle the next day almost giddy with joy. There's something about realizing that you'll never be alone again, always have someone to offer a shoulder to lean on or watch your back, someone that you can rant at without worrying about offending her or being ignored because she knows exactly how you feel..."

Her voice trailed off for a moment, then she shook herself out of her introspection. "As for sharing Sky Guy, that'll be weird for me too, I'd never ever thought of him like that before you suggested he join, and he was my master. But from what I've seen in Jenni's memories, it'll seem natural, especially at first while we're all ... well, a bit high on the new Bonds—and the new Bonded. You'll see. And a lot better than having just him join like you first suggested, that would be horrible."

That last statement did more to steady Padme's nerves than anything else. Yes, she had been shocked to her core when Jenni had responded to her original hesitant (and private) suggestion that Anakin join the Bond by saying she would only consider it if both joined, but the more Jenni had explained about what the Bond actually was the more she'd realized that her new friend was right when she insisted that no member of a Bond could sustain a deep marriage relationship with someone not also in the Bond—Padme had just never thought that she would be involved that deeply in something involving the Force (the Tao, her mind whispered to her, after months' worth of evenings spent with Jenni and Ahsoka) ... always thought that would be an aspect of her husband's life that she could no more than observe.

And now I'll become Force-sensitive myself ... a 'Dancer', Jenni says, even if not all that 'bright' of one. That it's inevitable. The thought helped Padme relax even more—awareness of the personal power imbalance between her and Anakin had never actually put a strain on their marriage (and they had fought well together several times) ... but it had always been there.

Then Jenni strode through the doorway still combing her hair. Unlike her Bonded, she had exchanged the pair's usual color-coordinated outfits for a robe. "You're here, good. The bairns asleep?"

"Yes, Aja and Luke are cuddled up with each other, as cute as can be, and Defenate watching over them." Padme wasn't surprised by the word she didn't recognize, Jenni had been dropping them into their conversations lately—without realizing it, Padme suspected, perhaps in an unconscious effort to preserve little pieces of her long-gone home. (And hadn't that been a shock, finding out that Terra was the actual home world of scattered Humanity, and that Jenni had been born there when it was almost the only Human world ... ninety thousand years ago!)

"Good, as soon as Anakin gets—" She broke off as he walked in. "All right ... let's grab a meal first, we're in for a long night."

The meal was both too quick and too long, quick because they simply heated up some already prepared meals ('TV dinners', Jenni called them ... Padme didn't think that one would stick) and no one really felt like talking as they ate, and too long because of the nerves that were twisting her gut and she suspected her husband's—he had the expressionless expression that meant he was trying to keep how he felt off his face.

Then the quick dinner was done, and Padme felt her tension ratcheting even higher when Jenni rose from her seat and dumped her containers in the trash slot before announcing, "Let's go." The others quickly rose to follow her example, but to Padme's surprise, when they left the mess Jenni led them toward the holds instead of the living quarters. She thought the mystery was solved when they entered a hold and she saw an extra-large collapsible foam mattress against one wall, already covered with sheets, but Jenni ignored it. Instead, she led them to the opposite wall and pressed her palms against the middle of one panel while several of the studs holding it in place sank slightly on their own. (Padme had never considered how useful the Force could be for secure locks, and was kicking herself now ... though having a lock that only her husband could open would probably not have been the smartest decision.)

Padme wasn't surprised at all when the panel, along with all those surrounding it, sank into the wall slightly then slid to one side, revealing a hidden compartment half-full of stacked and strapped boxes. Beside her with one arm around her shoulders, Anakin snorted. "Really, a smuggling compartment?"

"Hey just because we aren't planning on taking up smuggling doesn't mean we aren't going to have things to hide," Jenni replied. "Like this." She stepped back and extended one hand toward the compartment, and straps on one of the stacks fell away before the top box floated up and toward them. As it settled to the deck the lid popped open.

Padme sucked in a breath at the sight of scores, no, hundreds of crystals softly glowing white that seemed to radiate a warmth that soothed the aches in her soul. "What are those?"

"We just called them 'crystals'," Jenni said. "I suppose we'll have to come up with a name now, since they're in the same galaxy as kyber crystals. As for what they do ... they act as a focus and amplifier of the currents of the Tao that we focus and shift for our own purposes."

Anakin's arm across Padme's shoulders stiffened. "Amplify?"

"Yes, amplify. With mine I'm about as powerful as Ahsoka, but I ... was considered unusually strong." She forced a grin. "And yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing what you can do with yours once we get to some back-of-beyond planet where you can tear up the landscape in private." She motioned and more boxes unshackled themselves, floating out into the hold and opening until they seemed to be swimming in warm serenity. "Go on and pick out one that seems to sing to you. Ahsoka can explain better than I can, she's the one that figured it out."

Ahsoka began her own explanation but Padme wasn't listening, turning in place as she stared at all the open boxes around them ... and one box in particular. She stepped over to it, knelt, ran her finger through the crystals it contained...

"This one."

She forced her gaze away from the crystal in the palm of her hand, looking up to find the other three staring at her. Anakin's eyes were wide with surprise, but Jenni was grinning. She nudged her shoulder against Ahsoka, and the Togrutan rolled her eyes. "Yes, yes, you were right, Padme's growing strong enough to become a Dancer."

"Maybe not a particularly strong one," Jenni added, "but when it comes to sensing details and subtleties you'll probably be our go-to girl."

At least that Terranism is self-explanatory. But the thought was distant, as her attention returned to the crystal glowing in her palm. She never would remember her husband selecting his own crystal, or the boxes of crystals floating back into to their hidden storage. Only Anakin gently shaking her shoulder jerked her out of her reverie, and she looked up to find the others smiling at her.

"It definitely isn't going to take you long to get stronger," Jenni said, "but it's time for the Bonding."

Padme nodded. She felt herself tensing up again, and refocused on the piece of herself still resting in her palm as she followed Jenni to the mattress. She could do this, it was already ... more than she had expected.

Once they reached the foam mattress Jenni turned to face the others, reached for her robe's tie, and as it fell open shrugged it off her shoulders to puddle about her feet. The robe had been her only article of clothing.

Ahsoka sighed as she started to strip out of her own outfit. "You could have said something."

Jenni laughed. "I was in the refresher when you left. Besides, it should have been obvious. Padme figured it out, after all, and it's her first time."

Ahsoka rolled her eyes. "Yeah, yeah."

Padme's giggle mixed with Anakin's chuckle, and she felt herself relax a bit from the sheer ordinariness of the exchange. Taking a deep breath, she untied her own robe's sash and let it slip off her shoulders as the last of Ahsoka's clothing hit the floor and she stepped over to her Bonded. Padme tried to distract herself from her own nudity by looking the pair over with a critical eye.

Only now, seeing the pair next to each other without a stitch on, did she realize how much effort Jenni had put into mirroring Ahsoka. She'd noticed that their usual outfits were similar in style with the colors reversed, of course, as were the shades of Jenni's hair with the pigmented patterns on Ahsoka's lekku. But only now, as Jenni flipped two of her three braids to hang down each side of her chest, did Padme realize that Jenni's hairstyle had actually mirrored Ahsoka's lekku as much as humanly possible. And her full head of hair was the only hair she had, all her body hair gone—including about her cleft—Padme suspected permanently. In the months since their arrival on Coruscant, Jenni really had done her best to make herself Ahsoka's mirror.

And then I had to find out that Bonds normally had more than just two members and had spoil it with my request for Anakin to join.

Jenni must have caught her flash of guilt, because she stepped over and pulled Padme into a hug, whispering, "It'll be fine, you'll see." Ignoring the way Padme shivered at the soft feel of skin on skin and warm breath across her ear, Jenni held her for a long minute until the shivering eased, then stepped back and looked over at Anakin just as the last of his clothes hit the floor ... his reluctance to reveal his massive erection had probably slowed him down. One eyebrow lifted, then she glanced sideways at a wide-eyed Ahsoka and smiled slyly. "Well, you might actually match Henrik."

"Will that even fit?" Ahsoka gasped out, and Jenni laughed.

"We push babies out of that hole, it'll fit. Now come on."

She led the way onto the foam mattress and knelt, the others following suit so they were at the four corners of a square with Anakin directly across from Padme, reaching out to grasp each others' hands as previously instructed. Once they were all settled, Jenni said, "Normally at this point there would be a mini-discourse on the practicalities and deeper meanings of the Bond, but that was almost always for teenagers that hadn't been children of a Bond—usually Dancers found late—being given one last chance to back out. Performing the ceremony sky-clad has much the same function, if you can't handle being physically naked in the presence of near strangers you aren't likely to be able to handle the much more intimate 'nakedness' of mind and soul the Bond imposes. So I think we can skip that this time. Anakin, Padme, close your eyes and meditate, 'reaching' out as you've practiced."

That practice on top of everything else had been one of the reasons Padme had gotten so little sleep over the past month, though she had found it restful enough to compensate somewhat. So now she closed her eyes and focused on her breathing for a moment as she cleared her mind and focused on herself ... herself as a child running through the grass on a family picnic; her time with friends in school, before her decision to become queen with all the study that entailed caused those friends to drop away one after another; her overwhelming joy at winning the election, and the way the joy fell away to just leave 'overwhelming' as she adjusted to her position; the stress and horror of leading her planet through the clash with the Trade Federation; becoming Naboo's Senator and all she'd fought for for over a decade, only to see it all come crashing down in a matter of days and have to fight to salvage what she could from the wreckage; her secret marriage to Anakin, and all the happy times they managed to sneak in together under the noses of the Jedi Order, the Senate, and her own bodyguards; her pregnancy, and the two new lives that had joined her Ani as the most important people in her universe, and her terror at almost losing them before they were even born along with her own life; her grief for lost friends, both in the Jedi Order, among the clone troopers, and her secretary/bodyguard thanks to the Chancellor's Order 67, and guilt that she hadn't recognized him for the monster he was when it might have been prevented.

Then when she felt she was ready, she squeezed Jenni and Ahsoka's hands and tried to ... 'offer herself' to her two friends—she wasn't a 'Dancer' yet so she couldn't really 'reach out', but she could do that much.

But if she couldn't 'reach out', they could, and she suddenly found herself inundated with memories and feelings that weren't her own—Ahsoka being found by Master Plo Koon and being brought to the Temple; Jenni's childhood with her parents' Bond (all her parents ... she didn't know which of the men was her biological father because her biological mother had never bothered to find out, but it didn't matter because she'd had two mothers and three fathers); Ahsoka's difficulty dealing with the atomism of the Order when her species instinctively ran in packs; Jenni's eagerness and joy at joining a Bond so that she could share in the togetherness that had made her parents so happy, only to have it all come crashing down when only a few months later all but one other of that Bond died in the Void Slaves' coup and the survivors had to rebuild out of the shattered remnants of other Bonds that managed to survive; the anxiety Ahsoka had felt at being assigned to Anakin rather than chosen by him and how she had hidden it behind her snark that earned her the nickname 'Snips', an anxiety quickly alleviated only to be replaced by the pain and fear of two long years of war and her overwhelming sense of betrayal when the Jedi Council abandoned her when she was framed by a friend; Jenni's near destruction by her overwhelming guilt at what her Bond had done to save her world and the crushing loneliness and grief that came with the loss of everything and everyone she'd ever known; the equally overwhelming joy felt by both of them when Ahsoka had saved Jenni's sanity by joining her in a new Bond; the ever-deepening relationship the two enjoyed as they trained, experimented, and studied through the months in hiding before the Force finally told them it was time to return. Padme was awed by the strength and compassion the panorama of those two entwined lives revealed. (And never mind the moments of weakness, self-doubt, and selfishness, and the multitude of intimate moments that would have had her alternately blushing and blanching if this wasn't all blasting into her in a timeless split-second.)

And what are they learning about me? What right do Ani and I have to intrude on this? She quailed at the thought, tried to shrink away from them, only to be enfolded in the presences of the member of a pack species and the Human that before her exile in time had known nothing but the Bond, that she knew had seen all that she was as completely as she had seen them, all her moments of pride and selfishness, and didn't care ... they would love her and her husband for all their days, and would love Luke and Aja as if the children were their own—because they were. In an instant all resistance vanished and she merged into the core of the Bond ... and found one presence more waiting there for her. Her husband.

Only this was an Anakin Skywalker that she had only seen hints of. This was a young boy born into slavery, who quickly learned to hide his opinion of the Masters and his dreams of freedom; who had clung to his mother as the foundation of his world that could be taken from him at any moment on a Master's whim; who when the Jedi (and a certain Queen of Naboo pretending to be one of her handmaidens) had entered his life had found the courage to let go of that foundation to pursue his dream of freedom and a new childish dream of freeing all slaves, everywhere; who found that in a way he had exchanged one Master for another, even if his new Master had a gentleness, tolerance, and sense of justice that any of his previous Masters would have considered risible, enough that as he grew in strength and skill and then faced years of brutal war, he and Obi-Wan had come to share a sense of brotherhood that was as strong as it was forbidden by the Code; who, when he had again met the former Queen and now a Senator whose kindness and concern a decade earlier had led to a childish crush, had had the strength and courage to shatter the new chains the Order had bound him in and accept the love growing between them; who was crushed by the grief and guilt of his failure to save his mother's life, guilt at his failure to regret his descent into Darkness as he had slaughtered the entire tribe of Sand People that had tortured his mother to death; how he had silently sworn that never again would anyone he loved suffer and die as his mother had, and his core-deep fear that he didn't have the strength to keep that oath even as his circle of loved ones grew with the addition of an unasked for and initially unwanted Padawan, and then two bundles of life that he was still awed to think he had had a part in creating.

All thoughts of the two new presences in her mind fled as she let go of Ahsoka and Jenni's hands and threw herself across the mattress at her husband. His arms instinctively caught her and pulled her close even as he fell backward under her weight, and two cheeks wet with tears pressed together. "I'm sorry, I never knew."

On realizing that those words had come from two throats, Padme pushed herself up enough that she could look down at her husband's face. "Never knew about what?"

"How lonely you had become, how tired you were of hiding our relationship."

"I was?" Startled at the statement, she considered it for a moment. "I never really thought about it, but I guess I was." She grinned down at him. "Well, we aren't hiding anything now."

"No, we—" His response was cut off as her lips met his in a kiss that started gentle but quickly became lip-bruisingly intense before those lips parted for tongues to duel for supremacy. She had known he loved her, but with his love sweeping through her (along with probably shock and lust, considering the way his hands were beginning to stroke along her back and sides), now she knew, and she had never imagined being loved that intensely. Part of her was actually concerned, wondering if love that intense could be healthy and resolving to have a quiet chat about it with Jenni later. (Maybe it was normal, or at least not unusual, and it was just their new empathic link?) Another part of her was giggling to herself over Ahsoka's memories of her introduction to sex, and how long it had taken her to work herself up to it. But those parts were distant, buried under her own growing lust, the intensity of Anakin's love and naked flesh pressed together as powerful an aphrodisiac as long separation had ever been, and her desperate desire to be joined with him in every way possible burned even hotter than on their wedding night. And from the rod pressing against her swiftly dampening cleft as much as his own burning lust flooding her mind, she wasn't the only one—he'd already been erect before, thanks to the three women's naked beauty, but now he had to be like steel!

A simple shift of her hips, lifting, wiggling (and hissing as the tip of that steel rod slipped between folds beginning to drip), lowering herself back down and it was done. She took a moment to luxuriate in the familiar sensation of her sheath stretched almost to the point of discomfort as his hands gripped at her buttocks, then her hips began to lift and drop almost on their own as she luxuriated in the way their love and lust mixed and mingled until she couldn't tell where hers ended and his began.

It couldn't last long, of course, not as intense as their new unity was, and in what felt like a split-second of eternity she felt the sword plundering her sheath swell before erupting, and the seed splashing into her depths pushed her over the edge. The explosion of pleasure flashing through her and ripping a scream from her lips was the most intense orgasm she had ever experienced—and him as well, he would later tell her, as their mutual reactions fed into each other and drove each to higher and higher peaks ... or higher and higher up the same, shared peak.

When it was finally over she lay on Anakin's chest heaving in time with her own, floating in a haze of bliss strong enough that she barely noticed when fresh loving warmth surrounded her, slowly lifted her and eased her to one side—the Force, she realized ... or rather, the Tao's current, gently sweeping her aside. She definitely approved of the more poetic terms Jenni had inherited from her own people.

But as the minutes passed and her sweat cooled, the haze of bliss fading, she realized that Anakin's own lust was growing again. At the sound of a familiar, deep groan she twisted her head, her eyes widening at the sight of Anakin's rod again rising to the occasion, encouraged by Jenni and Ahsoka's eager tongues and lips ... Padme giggled as she remembered Ahsoka's reassurances in the ship's galley, the young Togrutan had been right in every particular. Padme distantly hoped she went right on being right after the Bonding 'high' faded.

Jenni raised her head to gaze at Padme for a moment, then whispered something in Ahsoka's ear and abandoned the tongue bath to float up and over Anakin's prone body and settle down next to Padme. If Padme hadn't still been so limp, she would have stiffened when she heard Jenni's voice in her head.

"I'm impressed, even with your first time with the Bonding high, you can still worry. My first Bonding, I was all 'rainbows and unicorns' for a week."

"I know, I saw. And I know Ahsoka's right, I just can't help it."

Jenni grinned, then grabbed some pillows and bulked them against the wall so she could scrunch up against them. A moment later Padme found herself floating up and turning in air before lowering until she could feel Jenni's breasts pressed against her back. In the time that she had been in motion, Anakin had decided he'd had enough and pulled Ahsoka up along his length and rolled them over so he was on top. Padme shivered when Jenni leaned forward and breathed in her ear, "Would you like to share in 'Soka's first man?"

"Yesssss!"

"Close your eyes and focus on 'Soka."

Padme followed Jenni's instructions, closing her eyes and 'reaching' for the sense of Ahsoka's presence in her mind. She caught something passing between Jenni and Ahsoka, 'heard' the 'giggles' of the youngest of their Bond, and abruptly found herself staring up at her husband's face as his head dipped to seek out her lips ... no, Ahsoka's lips, just as she was filled with Ahsoka's love for her former Master and eagerness to join with him completely. (There was a hint of sadness that she could never have his children, but that faint darkness was the only taint in the purity of the moment, and Padme made a mental note to look into that later—there had been some incredible breakthroughs in the Chancellor's files on Sith alchemy, and not all of it had been about producing tortured, twisted, perverted monstrosities. Just the vast majority of it.) Then the tip of Anakin's rod brushed against a different set of lips, and all thoughts of the future vanished at the new sensations.

It turned out Togrutan folds weren't like hers, the sensation of the mushroom tip pushing between them had a ... stiff? rubbery? ... quality that wasn't unpleasant, but definitely unusual. Then that mushroom tip slowly pushed deeper, and the off quality vanished, subsumed in a mix of pleasure and pain as the sheath's walls were stretched and stretched and stretched. Padme had never been this tight even on her wedding night, it was like she could feel every vein in that rod scraping along those walls. How is Ani even getting that huge cock in there!? But the pain was rapidly fading under a mounting wave of pleasure, growing to levels that she had never felt, leaving her gasping and writhing.

Then two new points of pleasure mixed with that tide. ... my breasts ... Like a drowning victim pulling for the surface, she 'grasped' at those familiar sensations and came to herself to find herself coated with fresh sweat and the fingers of the younger woman she was lying against playing with her tits.

"Intense, isn't it?" Jenni breathed in her ear. "Togrutans might not have a clit to play with, but penetration really gets their engines revving."

"No kidding!" Padme gasped out. She didn't know why Jenni was whispering, from the way Ahsoka had her legs clamped around Anakin's waist trying to pull him in deeper, her shouts egging him on as she clutched at the sheets, the pair wouldn't notice Jenni if she yelled.

"So let's try again, only this time remember that you're Padme, not 'Soka."

Padme nodded uncertainly, not sure whether the thought of diving back in was more scary than exhilarating.

"Come on, when you get thrown off the horse you have to get back in the saddle."

"Says someone that has probably never seen a horse, whatever that is." Padme may have passed over much of Jenni's life too quickly to get more than an impression, but the only riding she'd seen in those memories had involved vehicles.

"Hey, I'll have you know I've seen a real horse outside of vids ... my parents took me to a zoo, once. Now, back in the saddle."

Padme giggled, then gasped when Jenni tweaked her tits again before gently cupping her breasts. Taking a deep breath (and shivering as that breath shifted her breasts against Jenni's hands), she again closed her eyes, and reached for Ahsoka's 'presence' in her mind.

She was amazed to find that while she had been distracted Anakin had actually managed to bottom out—she had no idea how—and as he began to pick up speed Ahsoka's pleasure was actually mounting! As she was again swamped by that rising wave the only thing keeping her 'above water' was the sensation of Jenni's hands on her breasts, the pleasure coming in ripples as Ahsoka's writhing shifted angle and depth of Anakin's thrusts.

Then that rising tide exploded as Ahsoka's first orgasm struck. Its speed caught Padme completely by surprise and as the wave crashed down on her, her world went dark.

/\

Barriss gasped as she finally went limp. After a long moment she let go of one breast as she pulled the fingers of her other hand from out of her sopping cleft and looked around for something to wipe them on before giving up and using the night shirt she was wearing—it was sweat-soaked, so it wasn't like she wasn't going to have to wash it, anyway.

Ahsoka 'giggling' in her mind wasn't helping her mood. "I warned you," her friend sent through their Bond. "Even if you block off the physical sensations you're in for a long night."

"Didn't your crèche managers—" (never 'mothers', at least not out loud—that smacked of attachments) "—ever tell you that no one likes a know-it-all?"

Ahsoka's 'giggles' turned into outright 'laughter'. "No, I was never a know-it-all. Just be glad that lack of time won't let us take the 'honeymoon' that was the custom for the Bonds of Jenni's time. If we did, you'd be getting this every night and at random moments during the day for a week! Gotta go, Jenni's getting grabby."

Barriss sighed as Jenni's presence in her mind faded to the extra emotional pattern that she was growing accustomed to, even if just what emotions made up that mix were new ... and extremely uncomfortable. Don't whine, you knew what you were getting into when you signed on for this. At least, you thought you did, and you can't say Ahsoka and Jenni didn't warn you.

But she suspected Ahsoka was right again, that she wouldn't be able to resist joining the Bond for long, not when she was catching the emotional effects without what Ahsoka insisted were the benefits. Barriss still wasn't convinced, though her friend certainly seemed to be enjoying herself.

And so will you, soon enough, and Ahsoka is going to be insufferable.

/\

Jenni sighed and shifted the currents around them to lift a limp Padme off of her and float her friend over the pair now lying side-by-side in the middle of the mattress, lowering her down to rest beside a sweat-coated Anakin gasping for air. That taken care of, she scooted over to cuddle up against an equally sweaty—and faintly giggling—Ahsoka. "Careful, love, if you keep that up Anakin's going to think you're mocking his performance. What's so funny?"

"Barriss. That poor woman is catching hell with none of the benefits ... not yet, anyway. What about you? You haven't been getting any of the benefits yet, either."

Jenni twisted and reached out, and a box that been sitting at the foot of the mattress against the wall floated up toward them. She felt Ahsoka's amusement on seeing the container for the dildo she'd brought with them from Terra, and a reviving Padme's curiosity. Broadening the 'bandwidth' to include the mother of her two new children, she replied, "I think it's time to give Anakin and Barriss a rest while I introduce Padme to the invention that made lesbianism more than an exercise in frustration for Togrutans."

"Wait, what?"

Laughing softly at Padme's confusion, Jenni popped open the lid and floated out the dildo. "With three women in the Bond to one man—soon to be four—you're going to become very familiar with this. Don't worry, I'll enjoy it as much as you do ... exactly as much as you do." Her laughter grew louder at Padme's instant fiery blush from her hairline all the way down to the tops of her breasts.

In the morning Dexter would be back with his employees and their families, and with the hold turned into temporary living quarters for most of that mass of people there'd be no more fun times like this before they reached Naboo to meet those lifeforms dreaded by all those joining a new relationship, 'The Parents'. (Though that would be mitigated to an extent by the coterminous presence of the much-loved lifeforms known as 'The Grandparents'.) And from there, who knew where the Tao's currents would sweep them?

But tonight was all about the Bond.


Author's Note: So, thus endeth the story. What do I think would happen going forward, broadly speaking? A mess, but perhaps not as bad as it could have been. With the chaos caused by the near-total collapse of both the Republic and the Secessionists, piracy explodes with pickings ample and resistance almost disjointed. When that added to the chaos results in the near cessation of interstellar commerce, the pirates start banding together for multi-ship Viking-like raids on planets wealthy enough to make a quick smash-and-grab worth it but not so wealthy that they'll have their own defense force. This in turn quickly leads to some planets rejoining the Republic while others coalesce into new polities of their own. As a result civilization on Coruscant doesn't completely break down, though there is a period of mass starvation and cannibalism before (mostly) the die-off and (somewhat) the forced colonization efforts has the population reach a new equilibrium. Even with all this, though, the memory of past unity and dreams of future unity don't just vanish—the galaxy has essentially entered its own Three Kingdoms/Warring States period that will eventually end in a reunified galaxy, though not for generations. Oh, and the pirate fleets will eventually meet in battle with thrown-together/odds-and-ends fleets of the newly forming polities, before breaking up and returning to business as usual, whatever the newly-minted pirate admirals might wish. Pirates are in it for the loot, after all, and what's the point in victory if your ship isn't one of those that survive to celebrate it?

For the Jedi Order, initially they'll stick with the Republic. They've been devastated—most of their Knights and Masters dead, their reputation in tatters—and Coruscant is at least a well-defended planet. As well, if they abandon the Republic it would probably collapse completely. Once the Republic has at least stabilized, Yoda and the rest of the Council will pull away from the Senate and move the Order to Terra a little at a time—partly because since the entire planet is a Light Side Vergence no one can use one of the Sith alchemy abominations that had powered and spread the shroud of the Dark Side throughout the galaxy against them there (the plans for which have now been spread to everyone), and partly because they need to divorce themselves from the Republic to be allowed to operate in the territories of the other star nations. And the Order itself will change. For one, it will almost certainly return to the original mantra:

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet the Force.

Most of the adult Jedi survivors are alive because they paid no more than lip service to the later version and so the clone troopers fought their programming when they were ordered to kill them. Also, before the Republic's collapse both they and the Senate had maintained the Order's monopoly on powerful Force users (they thought) with the requirement that any children found to be strong in the Force be turned over to them to be raised. But now that is over, and new orders of Force users will be rising and not just the Bonds. Some of them will be as idealistic as the Jedi Order at its best, some ... not so much.

As for what happens to our ménage a quatre (soon to be cinq, thank you, Keij and Oliver W.K. Twist, for the proper terms), who knows? If anyone else wants to play in my sandbox to find out, feel free! Just please let me know so I can see where you take them.

Oh, and the chapter title comes from the song by Little Big Town, "I'm With the Band":

Last night in Memphis
Tonight in New Orleans
Tomorrow I'll be miles from here
Ain't nothin' to me, nothin' to me

Sweet gypsy highway
Won't you let me chase my dream
'Cause I got a song to take me there
And it's somethin' to see, somethin' to see

Lord, I was born with a suitcase in my hand
Livin' in a life that few could understand
Sometimes it gets so confusin'
That I don't know where I am
But I always know who I'm with
I'm with the band

Cheap whiskey midnight
Another round with my friends
Watchin' the world through the windshield
And we're rollin' again, rollin' again

Lord, I was born with a suitcase in my hand
Livin' in a life that few could understand
Sometimes it gets so confusin'
That I don't know where I am
But I always know who I'm with
I'm with the band

Last night in Memphis
Tonight in New Orleans
Tomorrow I'll be miles from here
Ain't nothin' to me, nothin' to me