Author's Notes: For this story, Star Wars fans do not need to know anything about 10th Kingdom - just think of it as a story about what would happen if someone from our world could go to try save Anakin (assuming they were a werewolf or married to one). 10th Kingdom events do get referred to occasionally in the story, but none of it is necessary to the plot. And you will need a bit of patience because they do not get to the Star Wars galaxy until the 4th chapter. (The 10th Kingdom dimension is a place where our fairy tales are their real history). Incidentally, 10th Kingdom fans will likely be lost if they've never seen Star Wars.
Virginia woke in the night to hear Wolf crying in the bathroom. She sighed and got out of bed, not as easy as it used to be at almost eight months pregnant.
"Wolf," she said, tapping on the door. "Wolf!"
She heard him try to hush himself, taking several deep gulps. Finally, he said, his voice only slightly trembling, "Just a moment." She heard the toilet flush, although she doubted he'd used it, then the water ran for a second in the sink as he pretended to wash his hands afterwards. At last he opened the door.
"I'm sorry, Virginia," he said, his voice almost normal. In the dim light of the hallway she couldn't see his reddened eyes, but she knew they were there just the same. "It's all yours now."
She leaned against the doorjamb with her arms folded.
"You were crying in there," she accused him.
"No, I ..." he began, then looked down at the floor, and added, "I can't help it. It's so sad, so tragic, and it was so completely unnecessary! I just c ... c ... can't ..." His voice disintegrated into sobs once more and he buried his face in his hands.
"Wolf, we've had this conversation already, twice," she scolded him. "What is it going to take to convince you it was ONLY a movie? You know, a recorded play? You've seen plays before in the Nine Kingdoms, right?"
"Yes, Virginia, I know what a play is and I know that a movie is just a kind of play," he blubbered. "But this was different. I don't know why, but it was just so real ..."
Star Wars, real? she thought sarcastically. They'd seen Revenge of the Sith that evening and she'd regretted it ever since. It wasn't even as if she hadn't warned him it would end tragically - she'd seen the original three even if he hadn't - but there had been nothing to warn her he'd react this badly when they'd watched the videos of the first two in the series. And nothing had been able to console him, not even her telling him the ending to the whole thing, that Anakin finally overcame the dark side and saved his son from dying.
"Did Padme come back?" he'd asked.
"Well, no," she'd had to admit. And he had gone off into another fit of tears.
The Wolf in front of her now in the darkened hallway wiped his eyes and tried to choke out his sobs. "I'm sorry, Virginia, I'm keeping you awake. Let's go back to bed."
Yes, let's, she thought, but as soon as they'd gotten settled, she could feel the bed shaking from the sobs he was trying to squelch. Ordinarily she might not have noticed, but since she'd been pregnant, it felt as if all her senses were on high alert. Idly she wondered if it had anything to do with carrying a half-wolf's child. But she didn't wonder very long; Wolf's agitation was too much of a distraction.
It wasn't as if it were so bad she couldn't have gone right to sleep if she'd wanted to; if she hadn't cared how Wolf felt. But she couldn't stand for him to be so upset, especially about something she should have been able to easily talk him out of. That was what was so maddening about the whole thing - he professed to know perfectly well that it was all make-believe, yet he insisted on acting as if it had all really happened. During the movie, she had understood it, and even for a few moments right afterwards - it was Wolf, after all, and Padme had been pregnant; about at the same stage as Virginia. When he'd carried on long after dinner (it hadn't been bad enough to ruin his appetite, but then she doubted ANYTHING was that bad), she'd finally been able to pry at least one rational explanation out of him: He'd identified far too heavily with Anakin.
"Virginia, that could have been me," he'd told her through his tears.
She'd stared at him, managing not to roll her eyes, but she couldn't keep the sarcasm out of her voice as she'd replied, "Yes, if you had been miraculously conceived without a father, were the object of a prophecy, had the powers of a Jedi Knight, including having clairvoyant dreams, and lived in a galaxy long ago and far away, I suppose it could have been."
He had not stopped himself from rolling his eyes at her.
"That's not what I meant, Virginia," he'd told her as if he were speaking to a child. "I meant that if I knew you were going to die, I'd do anything to save you - I'd have been caught the same way he was caught. It wasn't his fault; I can't blame him."
"You'd kill a whole roomful of innocent children?" she'd asked incredulously.
Ominously, he hadn't answered, just looked away.
"If I was really convinced it was the only way," he'd said quietly. "I can't live without you, Virginia. I know exactly how he felt."
The skin at the back of her neck had prickled; it wasn't very often she was reminded of his true nature, but this was one of those times. What frightened her more was that she really didn't want him to be any other way. Except, maybe, for that.
"Well, if it ever comes to it, please don't do that," she'd told him.
Of course, after that discussion, she'd expected everything to finally blow over. Usually after a big confession, Wolf would bounce right back. But this time, he hadn't.
"Wolf," she said aloud. He didn't reply. "Wolf, I know you're still awake," she said, and was rewarded when he turned over to face her. "Tell me," she instructed. "I'll try not to interrupt you, but tell me exactly what's on your mind that you can't stop thinking of this. And be specific; don't just say it was 'too real.' Say what you mean."
He inhaled raggedly, but then he still hesitated.
"Well?" she prompted.
"I'm trying to think of how to put it," he said.
"Oh, okay, sorry."
After a moment, he said, "Virginia, when you first came to the Nine Kingdoms, what did you think? I don't mean about wanting to go home; I mean about the Kingdoms. What did you think?"
"What does this have to do with Star Wars?" she asked.
"Please just answer my question - you'll see."
"Well, um ... I thought it was crazy," she offered.
"Could you be more specific?" he asked, parroting her.
She pursed her lips, though he couldn't see it, knowing he'd said it on purpose, but obliged.
"Okay, it was ..." she groped for the words, "... crazy because the history of the Kingdoms are fairy tales."
"Fairy tales here, not there," he pointed out.
"So before you ever came to the Kingdoms, as far as you were concerned, it was all make-believe, like a play or a story, and none of it was true so you didn't really have to worry about it or think about the bad things that happened to the people in it since it didn't really happen."
"Ah," she said, enlightened. "Okay, suppose, for argument's sake, that Star Wars really did happen. Did you notice at the beginning of the movie it says, 'A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away?' Even if we could somehow get to that galaxy, it would be ancient history by now, older than Snow White and Cinderella in the Nine Kingdoms. I wasn't transported to see them; I came to see you, in your time - in the present. We helped Snow White's grandson, not Snow White herself."
"Because Snow White didn't need our help," he said. "Anakin and Padme do."
She sighed, exasperated.
"Say they do. How are we supposed to get there? The mirror only goes to the Nine Kingdoms."
"How do you know? We've never tried to use it to go anywhere else," he said. "Think about it - once you allow that there is more than one dimension, why should you stop with two? There should be an infinite number."
"I don't see how that follows," she said skeptically.
"Okay," he said in a voice of such finality she wondered what could be coming, "Suppose I find a way to get into the Star Wars dimension. Could we help them then? Pleeeeeeeeaaaassse?"
The request brought her up short. On the one hand, she doubted it was possible, so there shouldn't be any harm in letting him try. On the other, she didn't want him spending an unending amount of time trying, either. She settled for a compromise.
"How long are you planning to try finding a way in?" she asked. "Can we put a definite time limit on it? Like, until the baby is born? After that, if you can't find out how, you will drop the subject, quit worrying, and accept that there's nothing you can do?"
He huffed, and twitched for a moment, pawing at his ear. It was clear that he didn't like the time limit - or at least how short it was - but he finally said, "Okay."
"Good," she said, starting to turn over to go back to sleep. But Wolf abruptly bounded out of bed. "What are you doing?" she asked, afraid she already knew the answer.
"I've got to get started!" he exclaimed. "Huff puff, I've only got two months, at the most, to find a way into the Star Wars galaxy and rescue them!"
He started pulling on his pants.
"You can wait until tomorrow!" she cried. "Where are you going?"
"I'm ..." he thought a moment, and then his face fell and he stood up with one leg in his pants and the other out, tail drooping. "I'm sorry - I know you need your sleep - I'm a terrible wolf!" He fell back in the bed, pants still partially on, and turned to her. She saw the glint of his eyes. In a small voice he asked, "Are you too tired to go back to the Kingdoms tonight?"
"Yes, Wolf, I'm too tired to go anywhere now. Go to sleep," she said flatly, then, relenting, added, "We'll go first thing in the morning."
She felt his tail beat the mattress vigorously.
"Oh, thank you, Virginia!" he cried happily, and howled.