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Take Two!
Across the Stars
By Jemmiah



TATOOINE, After the funeral:

"Padme, why do you keep pressing the same button?" Anakin asked curiously. "I mean, is it an all-purpose button? Does it fire up rockets, relay messages, lift the ship off the ground and make the tea?"

"I thought you were too frightened to tease a senator?" Padme replied sharply. "The other Jedi will never reach Obi-Wan in time. Neither will we if we stop to talk about how the ship operates. I am going to help Obi-Wan. If you want to protect me you'll just have to come along."

Anakin grinned. This was his kind of female! Strong, beautiful, determined...and wearing a rather revealing all-in-one white jumpsuit. He was perfectly happy to stick with Padme (or stick to her). Still, he'd much rather be the one flying the ship. Watching as Padme hit the all-purpose it-does-everything button, Anakin got a very bad feeling...

Much to Anakin's surprise nothing initially seemed to go wrong. In fact Padme seemed to be that rarest of rare things: a competent female pilot. Girls just didn't have that drive - that edge - that flying required. They were too busy thinking about dark curly hair and dreamy eyes to be able to call on the necessary amounts of concentration needed to pilot a ship properly. There were lots of things that girls could do well, but their genetics were against them. Padme was intelligent, there was no question of that, but she was wasted as a senator. Such beauty should be gazed at adoringly all day, just as he had when they'd picnicked in the meadow on Naboo, frolicking and rolling in the tall grass.

Padme had been good for a roll.

"So you can fly a ship." Anakin attempted to make conversation as the craft left the planet's atmosphere. "What else can you do?"

"I'm not telling you." Padme winked at him. "That would ruin the surprise."

"The real test is whether you can make the tea." Anakin pretended to be unimpressed. "That's what girls do best, isn't it?"

Padme's eyes darkened dramatically as she stabbed angrily at the multi-purpose button with her index finger. Suddenly the cockpit light pulsed red, and the padawan got swift insight into the reason for his bad feeling.

"Er, Padme?" Anakin gulped softly. "That button. It's wouldn't double as the self-destruct, would it?"

The numbers began to tick down on the cockpit monitor by way of a reply.

"Damned women drivers!" Anakin growled angrily, seconds before the ship blew itself sky high, scattering its atoms across the stars…
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