Title: Forever and Always
Info: Vignette, Padmé musings, mild Padmé/Sabé tones
It’s strange, I know, but sometimes I actually forget which of us is Queen and which of us the handmaiden. There is so much fabrication in our lives, is this not just another layer? A poor excuse for real life, for real love?
We grew up together, you know. Sabé and I. I’m sure we’re related somehow, the village isn’t that big. But while I was being trained to be royalty, she was being trained to mimic me; so aren’t we both so much the same? We have both learned so well how to manipulate others, perhaps we are just manipulating each other, manipulating ourselves.
The life of a politician is… lonely. Yes, among other things. It is a burden to have to keep up a face all the time. But at least it is my face, at least at the core it is genuine. Sabé doesn’t have that luxury. I worry about her. She is one of the handmaidens, and yet, no. She is segregated. She is the only one who shares my quarters, who wears my costumes.
I think I can smell her scent on the necks of my gowns, but then I realize that it is only my own scent, and that it is foreign to me because I have been someone else for so long.
Neither of us is truly Amidala. Sabé, Padmé. Simple names for simple, country girls. This is a peaceful planet, the queen is merely a figurehead under normal circumstances; the local governments function quite well without any sort of dictation. How is it that during my brief, during our brief reign as Queen that the role should suddenly call for something much more than ceremonial.
These ornate costumes I wear make me feel foolish more than elegant, though I know they command a sort of presence. I forget, when Sabé wears them, that it is I who is the true Queen and I am deeply moved by her exquisite grace.
She was the weaker, growing up. That was how it was decided that I would be a choice for Queen. I never cried. Perhaps sometimes I was reckless and injured myself just to receive her attentions. She would cry and make a fuss while bandaging me up. I tried to make her stronger, but I think she did that herself when she realized the necessity that I have a double.
Sabé never said the words, but I know without hesitation that she would give her life for me.
I, too, would die for her. A Queen should always die for her people, but this isn’t the same.
When the make up is finally wiped away, when those elaborate costumes are hung up in a closet, when my feet are bare and the only clothing on my back is a thin nightgown to appreciate the spring breeze, when the life of a politician is cleaned up and put away and I can finally cry those desperate tears of fear for my people, for myself…
She does not address me as m’lady or your highness.