The Captain's Handmaiden Rating: PG

The Challenge: Write an angst vignette involving a non-canon pairing that you've never written before. Such as the Forbidden Love of Palpatine and Boss Nass' Daughter. This is my first attempt at both Angst, and these two characters.

I look down at her frail broken form, and can feel the anguish well up within me. I can see my Queen, my Senator, kneeling beside her, and feel my anguish mirrored in the words that she whispers to the broken body of my love.

I can hear her call my love's name as she hugs the now dead body close to her; the tears she is crying are the same as the ones I want to be crying. The body she holds the one I want to hold. But I have my duty. My beloved would want me to carry it out, just as she carried out hers.

For a second, I just watch Padmé cry over Cordé, and let my mind wonder as I remembered our last night together on Naboo. That happy dinner we shared, where we both imbibed a little too much wine with the kommerkan steak. I can still remember the taste of the sweet fruit she had for desert, the taste that still lingered on her lips as I kissed her.

Shaking my head slightly, I bring my focus back to the present, back to the burned and bloodied body of my beloved.

I lightly lay my hand on the Senator's shoulder. I keep tight control over my emotions, trying to project a sense of urgency into my voice as I say, "M'Lady, you are still in danger!"

My voice, my words, sound so harsh and cold to my ears, I want to wail with grief and scream my anger at the stars and fate, yet I know to do so would be to betray my duty.

I hear the Senator's voice, it sounds so much like my beloved's. "I shouldn't have come back."

I can feel the pain and sorrow well up within my broken and battered heart. I cannot believe the selfishness of the girl in front of me. After all, there in front of her lies the girl I desired to spend my life with, bloodied and broken, dieing in service to this child-senator, whose final words were not declarations of love for me, but were voicing her sorrow and perceived failure of keeping the Senator alive.

Once more I just want to weep and hold my beloved, but I stand firm in my duty. I look into Padmé's eyes, but all I see are the eyes which stared so lovingly at me just a fortnight ago. Cordé's eyes.

Once more I clamp down on my grief and sorrow. I substitute my pain with my duty. "This vote is very important."

I pray that it is. Yet part of me tells me that Cordé sacrificed her life for nothing. That we came all this way, that I lost so much in that fiery explosion, and it will all be for naught. I can feel my sorrow and pain once more threaten to overwhelm me, once more threaten to reduce me to a crying, sobbing mess here on this burning platform.

So I once more push my pain and anguish beneath my duty. "You did your duty Senator, and Cordé did hers. Now come."

Just saying her name aloud nearly broke me. Part of me wants to slap this child senator, who stands here trying her best to make the sacrifice of my beloved pointless and for naught.

I grab her shoulder, intent on removing her physically from the platform. Yet she is surprisingly stubborn and twists from my grasp. She stares down at my beloved, as if she alone can understand the deep wrenching feelings of loss and pain that Cordé's death cause.

I am reduced to begging for this child to not make Cordé's sacrifice in vain."Senator Amidala! Please!"

Finally Padmé looks at me. In her eyes, I can see the stubbornness that was the hallmark of her career as queen. The defiant tilt of the chin I can see that firm belief that everything she does is right and just.

My earlier desire to slap her is multiplied. She has no true knowledge of pain and suffering such as I am going through as the body of my beloved cools at our feet. She cares nothing for the sacrifice, or what that sacrifice means to me. She thinks only of herself and her minor pain.

To break her from those selfish thoughts, I speak to her, more of my mind than I ever have before. I let a small token of my pain and overwhelming grief enter my voice. "Would you so diminish Cordé's death as to stand here and risk your own life? What good will her sacrifice be if -"

I feel disgust at her mockery of my pain as she interrupts me. "Enough, Captain."

I motion to Dolphe that we are about to move, and can feel the misery and pain as I am forced to leave her lovely body sitting there amidst the burning wreckage.

I curse my duty and hers. For all the pain it has caused us. Tears once more threaten to fall as I remember our first date; I took her to a small greasy dinner which was incongruous amidst the swank shops of the Coruscant street. It was manned by a couple droids and a four-armed besalik cook. We spent hours there talking about our dreams, and hopes. We spent hours there laughing. We found the start of our future there.

Now that is gone. There are no dreams, no hopes, and no more laughter. I have my anguish and my grief, and Cordé is laid to rest among the blackened shrapnel of a starship.

I push my pain and misery, the cold-biting knowledge that I now have no future, no love, no life and no happiness from my mind. I subsume my emotions, except that clarion call of duty.

Yet my mind rebels, and presents more memories of the happy times I had with Cordé on that last night. I remember presenting Cordé with the small token which requests her hand in marriage. This was to be our last mission with the Senator. We were both going to retire and raise a pack of children in the Lake Country. We were going to do this together.

Now that dream is lost, as are my hopes and desires. All I have is my duty. Given a new meaning, a new role, my duty is no longer to protect the Senator; I cannot see myself protecting that selfish child with the devotion that both Cordé and I showed while Cordé was alive. No, now that my beloved is dead and cold, my duty is that I not allow my beloved's sacrifice to be in vain.

We start to move out, and I can feel a single tear slide from my real eye.

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