Creative Writing Contest July: Thanksgiving in a Galaxy Far, Far Away . . .

Here is the winning story! Brigit won again. There weren't any other entries though, but this is still an amazing story. Comment below if Han Solo got on your nerves on how he was treating Anakin. Han Solo and Anakin???? I hope I got you interested! Well, here's 

Thanksgiving in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

The smell of simmering gravy swam through the kitchen, complimented by the smell of the roasting turkey and stuffing. Rich, smooth mashed potatoes, freshly whipped, wafted steam. Piping hot corn melted yellow butter that had been hurriedly slathered on top. Vegetables steamed on the stove. All the steam from all the different components of the meal added together to give the modern, pristine kitchen a sauna-like feel.
The sauna part was the only thing Padme Amidala noticed about the kitchen. She had spent hours working carefully to make sure each part was just right. She had hosted countless dinners and receptions for people who were so powerful that one wrong move from her could have gotten her killed. She was used to that. What she was not used to, was cooking a meal for her own family. There had been a few family dinners, of course, but none of them were recent. There hadn’t been anything even closely resembling a family function since Ben had joined the Darkside, and Luke had disappeared. So Padme continued to work diligently on the dinner, alone in the kitchen.
Well, not quite alone.
Working quietly beside her was her husband, Anakin Skywalker. After Anakin had nearly killed her all those years ago, Padme had found it prudent to remain in hiding. She feared that she would make things even worse for Anakin by trying to bring him back, and she also hadn’t wanted to possibly endanger her children, so she had shamefully allowed her husband to attempt to destroy the entire galaxy.
Things had changed when Luke went to see him. Padme had been well aware that Luke was risking his life when he went to visit his father, and she had tried to convince him not to, but he hadn’t listened.
Thankfully, Luke had succeeded and had brought Anakin home. Padme still didn’t believe it sometimes. When her husband was out, she would turn on the Holo and half expect the news to be showing the latest damage done by the infamous Darth Vader.
After his return to the Lightside Anakin had traded his menacing black armor for a newer technology that enabled him to resemble his old self as much as possible. Except for the breathing apparatus, that is, but even that was now restricted to only covering his mouth.
Anakin was finishing the mashed potatoes. He poured the creamy, delicious mush into a bowl, then went out to the back deck. Padme always insisted on growing her own herbs, so Anakin carefully selected a full stalk of parsley,
He made his way back inside where his angelic wife was carving the turkey. Anakin carefully snipped the edges off the parsley and carefully laid them on, trying to make his food as perfect in appearance as Padme’s.
Anakin glanced at the clock. Their guests should be arriving soon.
As if right on cue, the front door opened.
Anakin knew it was Luke, not just because he could sense his son’s familiar presence, but because no one else would go right through the door.
Leia had been so independent and distrustful of her long-lost parents that she never quite treated them as parents, and always knocked. Luke had no such qualms, and always saundered in right through the door.
“Hello, father,” said Luke, greeting Anakin kindly. Although the greeting sounded formal, it was really just Luke’s manner of speaking. He had grown to be the ideal Jedi, and as such he didn’t burst through the door joyfully yelling, “Hey, Dad, what’s up?!”
“Luke,” said Padme, softly but happily as she glided into the hallway.
As always, she looked beautiful. A careful diet and rejuvenating vitamins had allowed her continue to look way younger than she actually was. The first few signs of silver hairs were slipping in, but her face was smooth and young, although there were a few more worry lines.
The three Skywalkers were making their way into the kitchen when the doorbell rang.
Anakin steeled himself, then opened the front door.
“Hello, father,” said Leia. At this point Leia looked older than her mother, which was kind of strange, but Leia hadn’t been so strict about her diet and vitamins. Han Solo wasn’t strict about it either.
“Where’s Ben?” asked Anakin. Sure, the kid was on the Darkside, but he looked up to Anakin so much that it flattered Anakin immensely.
Han Solo stiffened, but before he could make some cutting remark Leia said, “Eh, you know how he is. He’s too much of a teenager to show up with his family. And of course, he wouldn’t show up on time for the world, so give him a bit and he’ll come.”
Having been listening to the conversation, Padme piped up, “Well, we told Ben when to come, and I’m not eating cold food just because my grandson has hormone problems.”
His face turning even more red, Han once more was about to burst, but Leia cut him off with a laugh, “Serves the kid right, let’s go eat.”
The Skywalkers and most of the Solos made their way into the dining room, where Padme began to bring out the food.
Anakin took his place at the head of the table, with the rest of the family filling in the space between.
“So, Han, any luck with a job?” asked Anakin.
Han bristled. He and Anakin had not quite gotten along ever since Anakin came back from the Darkside. Han never could seem to quite trust the guy, even after all these years. Their relationship intensity, fortunately, although it still could use a little less chill and a little more family warmth.
“I’m supporting my wife and that’s all that matters,” said Han.
“Here we go,” muttered Leia.
Completely ignoring Leia’s foresightful comment, Han placed his fists on the table and leaned forward, “I’m supporting my wife with a steady influx of money, while all you ever did for your wife is try to kill her and then leave her, not only alone with newborn twins, but you left her to have to defend herself from the likes of you!”
“Han,” said Padme, her perfect vocal tones both reprimanding her husband and her son-in-law and gently introducing a slightly altered version of what they were talking about that would be harsh enough to shut them up, “considering that your son is following the same path my husband did, I can hardly see how you are so harsh with Ani when surely you must feel some sort of sympathy for your son.”
Han, who both feared and admired Padme Amidala, replied with a guilty, lowered tone, “Well of course I feel sympathy for my son.” Not that he really thought that, but Padme always seemed to gentle that he always ended up feeling guilty for arguing in front of her.
As Han looked downward in guilt, Padme shot her husband a withering glare that said everything that needed to be said about his horrible-in-every-way conversation starter.
If things could get much worse, they did, because Ben chose that moment to arrive.
The energy level of the entire table dropped significantly.
“I’ll get--”
“No, I will,” said Anakin, cutting Leia off.
Leia anxiously watched as her father rose slowly from the table, and walked resolutely towards the door. She considered how terrible it was that a grandfather needed to steel himself so much to simply get the door for his grandson, but Leia knew he wasn’t just steeling himself for answering the door, he was mentally preparing himself for the stress the the night would unavoidably bring.
Anakin yanked on the front door.
Ben stood in front of him, having left his mask behind. Anakin was glad that Bed wasn’t so stupid as to wear it in the house. Yet, Anakin almost wished his had worn the mask, because the mask hid the starved look on Ben’s face much better than Ben himself could hide it. His eyes were glazed over, just slightly. They hadn’t lost their focus, but they didn’t have the crystal-clear clarity that they had had when he was a little boy. His face was paler than usual, but perhaps that was just the black bringing out the whiteness of his skin. His hair was not dirty, but he hadn’t bothered to cut it in years. His lips curved downwards in a perpetual almost-frown, and there was a small pucker beneath his lower lip that would have made him look as if he were pouting if it hadn’t been for the dark, hollow light in his eyes. He hadn’t abandoned his new clothes, however, and the thick black cloth was a stark contrast to the subtle yet bright, cheerful colors of the Skywalker home.
Han stood to greet Ben.
“Hello, son,” said Han.
Ben didn’t respond; he just glanced at his dad and sat rigidly in his seat.
“So how’s your job?” asked Han sarcastically.
“I could ask the same of you,” said Ben.
Anakin snorted, smiled, and coughed in an attempt to suppress his laughter, but he failed.
The entire table jumped as Anakin’s deep but hearty laughter filled the air.
When Anakin finally stopped laughing, everyone, including Ben, had smirks on their face. Under different circumstances, they might not have laughed, but everyone was well aware of the fact that if they didn’t laugh and attempt to show signs of humor, it would be a long night.
“Seriously, how is your job?” asked Han, only lessing the sarcasm level slightly.
“It’s fine,” said Ben, tersely.
“Just fine? Come on, Ben, we want details,” said Han.
Huffing, Ben said, “Call me Kylo.”
“Okay, Kylo, when was the last time you were promoted?” said Han.
“It’s been awhile,” said Ben tensely.
“You know,” said Luke, “In the Resistance there are quite a few opening for--”
“Uncle Luke, how many times have I told you that the First Order has a way better pay,” said Ben.
“I know, I know,” said Luke, holding out his hand in defense, “But I mean the Resistance is so much more rewarding; you get to save people--”
“When I think of rewarding I think of money,” said Ben bluntly.
Luke sat back in his chair, “Well, okay then, that’s fine too.”
“Being serious, how’s your job dad?” asked Ben, not entirely sounding serious.
“Oh it’s great,” said Han, the sarcasm scorching everyone at the table.
“You know,” said Leia, “You dad did get a part-time job with the resistance,” said Leia.
“What?!” cried Kylo, “When did that happen?”
Han smirked proudly.
“Recently,” said Leia, not sounding happy.
“Well at least he actually agreed to join this time,” Luke remarked, “Last time he waited until the last possible minute to sign up.”
“Hey!” said Han, “Be grateful I actually came! If it wasn’t for me you would have been fried.”
Anakin coughed.
“Yeah…” said Luke, “But I’m just trying to look on the brightside.”
“Well at least you’re not looking on the Darkside,” Han retorted.
Ben sighed, “Dad, please lose the sarcasm.”
“You want to see sarcasm? I’ll show you sarcasm,” said Han very sarcastically.
Leia rolled her eyes, “Han, please, listen to your son.”
“Listen to him? Why in the galaxy would I do that?” cried Han.
“Remember what I said, Han, this was supposed to be a peaceful family gathering,” said Leia.
“I don’t actually think we’ve had one of those,” said Padme, sounding very sweet even though her words implied otherwise.
“I’m sorry, Grandma, I know you’ve always wanted a quiet gathering,” said Ben sincerely.
“What are you implying?” said Padme, putting down her fork for the time being to get more involved.
“Only that it’s hard to have a conversation that doesn’t involve arguing so long as my dad is around,” said Ben.
“I don’t think you’re much of a help either, young man,” said Leia.
“Well where do you think I get it from, Mom?” said Ben.
Luke snorted.
“What is it, Luke?” said Leia.
“Hm, what?” said Luke, trying to feign ignorance and completely failing.
“Come on, Luke, you know what I’m talking about,” said Leia.
“Yeah, Luke,” said Han, who seemed to have an inkling as to what Luke found amusing, “Say it.”
“I was only thinking that maybe Han isn’t the only one Ben got it from,” said Luke, trying to sound as harmless as possible.
“Very funny, Luke,” said Leia.
Han laughed, “Yeah, Leia, it’s nice that you blame all his negativity on me.”
“Oh. Han isn’t really negative, he’s just sarcastic,” said Luke, not realizing the implication in his words until after he said it.
“So your point is,” said Leia dryly.
“See Leia, he gets the negativity and dryness from you,” said Han, as he once again burst into laughter.
Leia rolled her eyes, “Thanks, Luke.”
“Sorry,” said Luke.
“So then where did Leia get it from?” asked Ben.
There was a brief silence before Padme said, “Has it even occurred to you that the majority of personalities isn’t genetical?”
“So you’re saying that my defaults are entirely my fault,” said Ben.
“No, I’m saying that before my children and son-in-law start the next decade long feud, they should take into consideration other sides of the argument,” said Padme.
“Spoken like a true politician,” said Han.
“You’re a smuggler, you have no right to talk,” said Padme.
“And here we are, back at the beginning,” said Leia.
“You know, we haven’t actually been talking about our jobs,” said Luke.
“That’s because we’ve been deciding who to blame our defaults on,” said Leia.
“Yeah, but--”
“And I don’t really think we have the best jobs for open discussion,” said Leia.
“Except for Padme here; she’s got the perfect job for discussion. Imagine telling your political friends that you disclosed the galaxy’s secrets to a smuggler and a Captain of the First Order,” said Han.
“I’m sure that would be very amusing, Han,” said Padme as she began to clear empty dishes.
Han laughed, “It definitely would.”
“Ben isn’t a Cap--” started Anakin.
Alarms began to blare. Most of the inhabitants of Naboo had an alarm system built into their homes that only went off when there was a severe, worldwide emergency.
Padme jumped. “What is that for? What’s wrong?”
Ben closed his eyes. Considering that the alarms only went off during a worldwide emergency it probably meant that something huge was threatening the existence of the entire planet. The most likely thing causing the planet wide emergency was the First Order, which meant that he should know about it. He wasn’t a Captain, but he was crucial to the Order's existence. And he hadn’t informed anyone of his current whereabouts. General Hux, who didn’t take a particular liking to Kylo Ren, had often mentioned that if Kylo Ren decided to disappear, he was entirely responsible for anything done to him while he was gone. Basically, Hux was saying that if the Order had plans for a certain planet, they wouldn’t stop them if Kylo was on said planet.
And Kylo was on said planet.
Kylo felt a wave of wrath wash over him as he realized that Hux hadn’t cared to inform him of his plans.
Kylo rose abruptly from the table and slammed a fist on the table. He caught a glance of his family, and even though several of them were perfectly capable of killing him, they all had some high level of fear marked all over their faces, and Kylo had seen all of them in worse situations. Why then, were they afraid? Were they afraid of him? Well, they should be. But that didn’t change the fact that Luke and Anakin were far better trained than he, and Han had plenty of experience getting out of sticky situations.
He hated the look on their faces. He hated it with a passion stronger than what he had felt when thought of that Jakku girl escaping from inside the biggest battle station in the galaxy.
“Ben,” snapped Han, “What is this? Did you set a trap for us?”
Ben squeezed his eyes shut. They had already tested Starkiller. At this point there would need to be some reason to blast an entire planet, no matter how small the reason. The First Order’s favorite reason for destroying planets was to prevent knowledgeable individuals from escaping. Sending out individual squadrons to find the person who knew too much was difficult, and not always successful, so simply destroying the entire planet was sometimes the “cleaner” solution.
Ben opened his eyes. His father was glaring at him, having already labeled him as the instigator of this emergency.
He turned his gaze away from his father, and looked at Padme, who appeared to be more terrified than the rest of them. Why? He had always known her to be incredibly brave.
“Grandmother,” he said, “How involved are you in politics these days?”
Padme’s face turned even whiter, “Very.”
Then, as if flipping an off switch, all the fear fled from Padme’s face and her eyes harden in resolution. “We need to leave. Now.”
Ben shook his head. “Once the First Order is locked on a target there is no escaping. They will blast anything that tries to leave the surface.”
“They’re after me,” said Padme, glancing at the rest of her family, “They’re after what I know about the Resistance’s plans.”
“They can’t have you!” cried Anakin, who, after all these years, still loved his wife to a fault.
Padme’s face softened, “It’s the only way, Ani.”
“Even if you turned yourself in they’ll still kill you.”
“I’m more valuable to them alive than dead,” said Padme.
“You won’t be able to get past them, and that’s a fact,” said Ben.
“Of course, you’re right, I won’t be able to get through to them, but you will,” said Padme. “You weren’t, oh, I don’t know, considering staying here and dying with your family? Like a noble human being.”
“Harsh,” whispered Luke.
Ben looked extremely uncomfortable, but Padme didn’t give him time to think of an answer, “No, of course you weren’t considering that. You’ll just have to take me with you,” said Padme.
“There's no guarantee that they won’t kill us,” said Ben.
“So we’ll be dead along with everyone else on my home planet. What’s the difference?” said Padme.
Realizing how good for him it would be if he could make it with Padme to the base, Ben agreed to take her.
“We need to act fast,” said Ben, “They’ll be firing within minutes.”
Anakin watched, stunned, as his wife walked around the table and kissed each of her children in turn, even Han. Then she came to stand by Anakin.
“This is goodbye, Ani,” said Padme.
“I thought I’d killed you long ago. I was wrong. This time you are wrong too,” said Anakin.
“No,” Padme said, shaking her head.
“We’ll find a way, we’ll come get you,” said Anakin.
Padme looked at him sadly.
“Why did you never tell me you knew so much about the Resistance’s plans?” said Anakin.
Padme shook her head, “I love you, Ani.”
“I love you too,” said Anakin, tears beginning to flood from his eyes. “Don’t do this to me again. There must be another way. Besides, the Resistance wouldn’t want you to go. They’ll torture you and you cannot resist their techniques.”
Padme, oddly resigned, only said, “They won’t learn anything from me.” Then she turned and followed Ben out of the door.
“You don’t have to do this,” said Leia tightly, as she gripped Padme’s arm as she walked by.
“Yes, I do. For the sake of my planet,” said Padme. She pried Leia’s fingers off of her arm, and rushed out the door to Ben’s menacing command shuttle, it’s huge wings forming a triangle. The shape reminded Padme of very ancient buildings called pyramids, that marked the tomb of an important leader. This felt just like a tomb to Padme. Ben didn’t speak as he started the ship and took off.
Anakin plopped into a chair, put his head in his hands, and sobbed.
“Dad, what are you doing?” said Luke, appalled at how quickly Anakin had given in.
“I already lost her once; I couldn’t bare the pain. I can’t do it all over again,” said Anakin.
“She was probably crucial to the Resistance’s plans; will they be able to continue without her?” said Luke.
“They will,” said Leia grimly.
“So then Padme wasn’t the only one who knew certain information,” said Luke.
“There is only one who knows the secret to their plans,” said Leia, “and it wasn’t Padme.”
Anakin looked up sharply, “What?”
“Then who?” asked Luke, even as Han realised and let out a sigh.
“It was me. It is me. Padme doesn’t know anything,” said Leia.
Anakin got up from the table and went to the window, where he could see Ben’s ship still heading for Starkiller Base, undeterred.
“Does Ben know this?” asked Luke.
“No,” said Leia.
Han said to no one in particular, “I got a bad feeling about this.”
Luke smiled slightly while Anakin fingered his lightsaber. Han’s gaze fell to the Millennium Falcon, squatting outside, lying in wait for its next victory.

EEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Anakin and Padme <333


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