My Little Hero

[September 2000]

Fandom: Star Wars
Title: My Little Hero
PenName: Empress Vader
Paring(s): Anakin/Padmè
Rating: G
Summary: A story that weaves between the moments unseen in Episode I after Anakin returned from the space battle.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created by George Lucas. No copyright infringement intended.


“Do you know you are my hero,” the words whispered to him in the night.

They’d say his feelings were silly, but they were real. He’d felt his pulse quicken at the sight of her. And now he’d been in her arms. So what if she’d been comforting him, he felt close to her in so many ways at that moment. Ways his young brain couldn’t find words for. Closer than they were even on Tatooine. And then they’d been equals, now she was a queen. He was completely in love with her in that moment and ashamed of himself for thinking about her when he should have been thinking of the one he lost. But in the end it was always Padmè  who made things okay.

It had all started in the Hanger Bay with Qui-Gon’s last words to him, “Stay in that cockpit.” He’d intended to listen, but when those shield generating destroyer droids began firing at Padmè  it wasn’t a matter of choice. Even if it meant drawing fire, he had to help her. He’d searched for the gun trigger and found it only after making the fighter fully operational causing him to zip out into space right after destroying the droids. And however accidentally, he’d help them win the war. But the return to Naboo wasn’t as thrilling or fulfilling as the exit.

The disappointment wasn’t immediate, no. The Pilots, first stunned then ecstatic, lifted him into the air cheering. Then Obi-Wan came in. One look in the Jedi’s sullen face told him what had happened. Qui-Gon, the man who had saved him from slavery, who believed in him when no one else did, was dead. Qui-Gon had been like the father he’d never had, it felt like someone had ripped the heart from his chest again. First he lost his mother, then hope of being a Jedi, now Qui-Gon.

He was lowered to the ground as the pilots ran to the aid of the Jedi, he went back to the fighter, closed the canopy and curled into a ball. After awhile the chatter died down and Obi-Wan came to him. He opened the canopy and looked down at the boy.

“You okay?”

“I will be,” he replied solemnly. “Is Padmè  at least okay.”

“The Queen is fine. She won, mostly because of you. You sure you’ll be okay.”

“I’ll be fine, I just need some time alone.”

But he wasn’t fine, he was all torn inside. And five minutes after Obi-Wan left him, the tears broke free. It was hours later when she found him there. He was still crying, she touched him softly on the shoulder. Needing comfort at that point, he stood and wrapped him arms around her neck. And she’d held him, held him like a small baby. He needed that kind of comfort then. He felt her heart beat against his, no with his, as he cried. They were linked, linked together by some tangled web he couldn’t see yet. Queen or no, she was his Angel. He felt the charm he’d carved her under her clothes, she had a piece of him with her and always would. He felt his head nestle against her small breast, and despite his limited nine years of life, he felt his pulse quicken.

“Come sit with me,” she said leading him away from the fighter. They left the hanger bay and went into a nearby empty conference room. They sat side by side in two of it’s chairs. “Don’t you know you are my hero, Ani. You stopping those droids, it changed all the odds to our favor.”

“Everybody did their part,” he mumbled.

“You made the difference though. You really are a pilot.”

“He was like my dad Padmè , I never had a dad, ever,” Anakin said. Padmè  knew exactly who he was talking about.

“I know, I know,” she sympathize. She took his hand and led him back to her. She placed a soft kiss on his forehead and held him in her arms. “You know Ani, it could have been much worse. You could have never known him. Never met him at all, then we wouldn’t have met and Ani, I would really have hated that, because you made me a better person. And if I’m a better person, I’m a better Queen.”

Anakin smiled through his pain. All at once he felt like a young kid seeking motherly comfort and an adult side by side with their sweetheart. Someday he would marry her. Someday in the clouded future she wouldn’t be kissing him on the forehead, he’d be kissing her. But for now he just needed her arms.

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