Bury me shallow, I'll be back

Padmé sat on the balcony of her apartment, looking over the Coruscanti night sky. Thousands of speeders zipped from one destination to another as she contemplated the last few days. Ahsoka's trial had definitively demonstrated to her that the Republic and it's democracy were crumbling. Of course, such sentiments where dangerous to express or even think in these times, but it was true.

Well, at least she was safe now.

She was shaken from her thoughts by a speeder parking at her balcony. Anakin's speeder. She got up as he stepped out, and she realised something was wrong. His expression should've been joyful, not this... Dejection. His shoulders were sagged and his usual energy seemed to have drained.

She ran up to her husband and wrapped her arms around him. He barely responded. Something was definitely wrong. "What is it, Ani?" she asked.

"She..." Anakin's voice was quivering. "She left"

Oh. Oh Force. Well, that explains it. "Come on, let's go inside" Padmé said. Then you can tell me everything." She held a hand on his lower back and guided him inside.

They crashed together on the couch, Padmé sitting in Anakin's lap, arms wrapped around him and her head on his chest. "What happened?" She asked.

"Th-they asked her back" he said, "they tried to sweet-talk her into coming back. N-nobody even apologized for wh-what they did. And she just... Left." He broke as his body shook, sobs ripping from his throat. "I can't lose her. I failed her. Just like... Like I failed mom. I failed." More sobs ripped through him.

"It's okay Ani" Padmé whispered in his ear. "It's okay."

"But she's... gone." Anakin croaked. "She's gone and I couldn't... I failed her."

"She's not gone Ani" Padmé said. "She just needs some space. She'll be back with you, eventually. She'll be back, I know it." She continued to whisper soothing words in his ear as he cried and eventually, his sobs subsided.

"Come on, let's go to sleep" Padmé said. Anakin meekly nodded, and the couple untangled themselves. When they got into bed, Padmé kissed her husband's cheek. "You're not alone, Ani" she said. "You never will be."

Anakin smiled weakly. "Oh what would I do without you, angel?"

-0-0-0-0-

It was dark when Padmé woke to the faint chiming of the doorbell. Anakin was still asleep, Force knew he needed it. Padmé carefully untangled herself from him and went to open the door.

Outside stood a shivering teenager with orange skin in red, dirt-stained clothes. She was staring at the floor, arms wrapped around herself in an attempt to preserve some warmth.

Ahsoka.

"Oh come in you poor child." Padme said, worry apparent in her tone. She put a hand on the teens shoulder, guiding her inside.

"I'm sorry for crashing like this" Ahsoka said weekly. "I just..."

"You don't have a place to stay?" Padmé supplied. Ahsoka nodded weakly. "Its alright" she reassured the girl. "Come on, let's get you some clean clothes and then you can sleep. Unless you'd like to shower?" she shook her head. "Come on, then." She then helped the girl into some spare clothes she had lying around.

"I can sleep on the couch" Ahsoka offered.

Padmé levelled a glare at her. "You haven't slept in a proper bed for at least a week" she said. "You are going to sleep in one now. Besides, mine is large enough for at least five people." Ahsoka didn't protest.

Padmé guided her back to the master bedroom, where Anakin was still sleeping. She slipped under the covers, beckoning for Ahsoka to lay down beside her. Ahsoka did just that, letting out a deep sigh.

Padmé had almost gone back to sleep when she heard a choked sob coming from beside her. Opening her eyes, she looked over towards Ahsoka, who had curled into a ball. She immediately drew the girl closer. "hey" she cooed. "Just let it out, Ahsoka. Just let it all out."

Ahsoka almost frantically turned herself around and buried her head into Padmé's shoulder. "I'm sorry" she choked out.

"Nothing to be sorry for" Padmé said. "Nothing to be sorry for, sweet girl"

"I-I should've stayed" ahsoka chocked. "I could feel him hurting and I still left." Another choked sob followed. "I hurt him. He saved me and I hurt him so much."

"Hey" Padme cooed. "Its okay. You're here now. It's okay."

Long minutes later, her tears subsided. "you okay now?" Padmé asked. Ahsoka nodded. "good. Now sleep, we can talk in the morning.

Ahsoka simply nestled herself into Padmé's chest as her breath evened out.

"Thank you."