Actions

Work Header

All I Want For Christmas

Chapter Text

Looking at the clock on the back wall, Anakin grabbed the nearest rag and cleaned the oil from his hands. He couldn’t be late. Not to this. Entering the office at the shop, he removed the overalls that protected his clothes and grabbed his jacket and keys.

“You’re leaving?” Kitster popped his head inside the room, half of his face stained with oil.

“I have to be at school in half an hour to meet with Leia’s teacher.”

“Oh. Right. How’s she doing?”

“At home, she’s doing well, now at school...we’ll see. I’m hoping for improvements but only the teacher will be able to tell me,” Anakin said. “You’ll cover for me with Watto?”

“Always. Go take care of your kid’s stuff, man, I’ll handle the fort,” Kitster winked and Anakin beamed. He had formalized Leia’s adoption six months ago, but it still gave him butterflies whenever people referred to her as ‘his kid’, or anytime Leia called him ‘daddy’, really, it turned him into mush.

“Thanks.”

Leia’s school was not far, thankfully, and even with traffic, Anakin managed to arrive five minutes before the agreed time with the teacher. He walked down the hallways of what was once his own elementary school, looking for Leia’s room and for the child herself. December had barely started and the school was already decked out in full Christmas decor and Anakin secretly loved it. 

“Daddy!”

There she was. Anakin grinned at Leia as she broke into a sprint to meet him halfway. When he’d ventured into the world of foster care, following his mother’s example, Anakin had wanted to give back to the community. To help little kids have a home, a family. Love. He didn’t think that he would fall head over heels for Leia. She had captured his heart in a way he couldn’t explain. From the moment the social worker dropped her off at his house, she felt his. His daughter. Luckily for him, Leia felt the same. And she reminded him of that every time she wrapped her arms around him in a bone-crushing hug, as if she was scared he was going to disappear.

“Hey, Princess,” he chuckled, kissing her temple. 

“You were almost late,” the seven-year-old tutted disapprovingly.

Raising one eyebrow, he watched her amused. “My apologies, my lady, I am, however, in time and we should all feel proud about that.”

Leia smiled and took his hand. “Miss Dineen is inside, already waiting for you.”

“Anything I should know?”

Shaking her head, Leia stood proudly. “I promised I would be better. I think I am. No, I know I am,” she nodded fiercely. 

“Good, I believe you,” he kissed the top of her head. “Wait for me here, alright?”

“I’ll finish my book,” she said, sitting on one of the benches and taking her most recent obsession, The Chronicles of Narnia, out of her pink backpack.

Smiling one last time at her, Anakin entered the room to find Amee Dineen, Leia’s second-grade teacher, and a childhood friend of his, waiting.

“There you are,” Amee stood, beaming, pulling him into a brief hug. “My favorite parent. Please, Ani, take a seat.”

“Ah, I bet you tell that to all the parents,” Anakin snorted, sitting down as Amee retook her place.

“I really don’t. You know, you hold a special place in my heart after what you’ve done for that little girl outside,” Amee said, smiling softly.

“No one is gaining more from that than me.”

“And her,” Amee pointed out. “She is doing much, much better, Ani. She’s such a good girl. A bit mischievous, but it’s good. It’s actually good. She’s showing a very strong personality and she is incredibly smart,” she complimented.

“But?!” Anakin sighed.

“Don’t look like that. Since you finalized the adoption, her progress has been tremendous, but Leia still draws the little boy in all her pictures,” Amee pushed a couple of brightly colored drawings in front of Anakin. “I find her staring out of the window, lost in thought. Sometimes she can be a little blue. But with her story, it’s normal.”

Anakin took a drawing into his hand and bit down on his lip. Leia had drawn herself and... “Luke,” he whispered, staring at the drawing of the boy with yellow hair and blue eyes. “Her twin brother.”

“Being separated from her brother is a wound that it’s not easily healed. Maybe not ever. It’s one of the most awful things the system does. Separate families,” she said bitterly. “Does she talk about him?”

“Not as much as she did in the beginning. I think she doesn’t exteriorize her thoughts on him too much now. My Mom thinks that Leia doesn’t want to upset me, by talking about her brother over and over, because it was already hard for me to adopt her and she doesn’t want to seem like she’s ungrateful for it.”

“I agree with Shmi. It might be that. He had already been adopted before Obi-Wan took her to you, wasn’t he?”

Anakin nodded. “Yes. Obi-Wan said it had been a few weeks since his adoption and that Leia was so, so distressed that they felt she needed a home herself to stabilize and I was the only one available.”

“Thankfully.”

“Yeah.”

“Anakin, you should let her know it’s okay for her to speak about Luke.”

“I never told her not to,” he frowned, gathering the drawings.

“No, I know. But like your Mom said, she might think you don’t want to hear all about a boy you don’t know. Leia adores you. She trusts you. But she might feel if you get really upset, you might…” at Anakin’s confused expression, she finished with a sigh, “give her back.”

“I would never !” Anakin said scandalized.

“We all know that. She does too. But kids that go through this trauma will always have a small voice in the back of their head telling them otherwise.”

Anakin’s shoulders dropped. “I just… I don’t know how to comfort her, Amee. I can’t tell her ‘it will be okay’ or ‘you’ll be together’. I can’t make those promises.”

“Then don’t. Just be there for her. Let her tell you about her brother. Let her know she can speak about him with no penalization,” Amee advised. 

“I’ll do that, over the weekend,” he smiled gratefully.

“Oh, I heard. You’re doing the Christmas tree? Leia hasn’t shut up about how she’s putting the star on top and making a wish,” Amee laughed.

“Yeah, she’s pretty excited. I like seeing her like that.”

“You have a wonderful kid, Anakin.”

“Thank you,” he beamed. 

“Now I’ll let you two go,” she nodded towards the door. “Have a fun weekend.”

“Thanks, Amee,” he stood up and handed the drawings back to her. “We’ll see you again on Monday,” he added opening the door and Leia immediately shuffled to her feet.

“Bye, Miss Dineen, have a good weekend,” she said waving.

“Bye, sweetheart, have fun!”


“Here you go, darlings,” Shmi announce, bringing a tray of hot chocolate into the small living room. “For all the hard work you are doing.”

Ahsoka and Leia dropped the tinsel they were playing with to grab each a mug. Anakin finished putting the lights of the tree before he grabbed his own.

“You two,” he pointed at Leia and Ahsoka, “I’ve done the hard part, putting the lights, the rest of the decoration is up to you two superstars,” he winked and sat down on the couch near his mom. 

“No tinsel wars!” Shmi warned. Ahsoka pouted and muttered something under her breath to Leia, making her giggle. The two set their mugs down and dug in a box of multicolored ornaments. “This is going to be a different Christmas,” she smiled at Anakin. “Your first one as a father.”

“I can’t wait,” he beamed, eyes not leaving Leia’s figure. Watching her happy and smiling, warmed his heart. Her long brown hair was braided with a cute red ribbon holding it together. Her doe eyes sparkled with joy as she picked each ornament carefully. “Was this how you felt when you finally adopted Ahsoka and she was yours ?”

“Yes,” Shmi grinned. “Happy, thrilled, excited. I had given you a sister that you doted on and I had a daughter to love. There is no purer feeling in the world.”

“I found the star!” Leia blurted, pulling it out of the box with a grin and waving it around. “Daddy, look!”

“There is still a lot to do before you can put it on top,” Anakin teased, poking her side. “Or are you letting Auntie Ahsoka do all the work herself? The tree would be awful!”

“But I really want to make my wish,” Leia pouted slightly before putting the star on the coffee table and grabbing one of the race car ornaments Anakin had made as a child. “This is really messy. You were bad at art.”

“Hey, I was five, give me a break,” Anakin shook his head as Ahsoka snorted. “I dare you to make a better one.”

“That is not hard,” Ahsoka muttered.

“I don’t see any of your ornaments,” Anakin shot back at his sister.

“Because I destroyed them, like a sane person,” she snickered. “Leia, we should have you make some ornaments to replace your dad’s terrible ones.”

“No, I like how bad they are.” Leia hung the race car on one of the higher branches.

“It has sentimental value. I mean, it’s not a masterpiece, but it has survived for two decades, so it has some charm,” Anakin chuckled. 

“Oh, look, here are the frames with your baby pictures,” Shmi chuckled.

“I think we should have a few new frames with Leia’s pictures,” Anakin beamed. “Don’t you think, Princess?”

“I don’t have baby pictures,” Leia muttered, digging in the box for more ornaments.

“We can put your pictures of right now,” Anakin said softly but Leia shrugged as she picked a snowflake and hung it, followed by a snowman and a glittering tree. 

“And maybe I’ll turn up a Christmas miracle,” Ahsoka added, cracking her knuckles as she grabbed a few more ornaments and hung them across the tree. “You never know.”

“Leia, what will you wish for when you put the tree on top?” Shmi asked.

“It’s a secret,” she blushed as she hung a few more ornaments.

“Oh?” Anakin quirked one eyebrow. “Will you tell me? Just me?”

“Noooooo.” Leia ducked behind the tree, giggling as the pine needles tickled her. “You gotta wait.”

“Will you tell me after we put it on top?” He quipped.

“Yes.”

“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s finish this tree,” he jumped to his feet and grabbed a few ornaments too. “The faster we put the tree on top, the faster we can get to that Christmas miracle.”

“I’ll keep the cocoa coming,” Shmi promised, pausing to move around the tree and drop a kiss on Leia’s forehead. “Okay?”

“Yes!” Leia said gleefully, punching the air. “I love your cocoa!”

Anakin smiled at the picture they made as he handed Leia an angel for her to hang.

“Are all angels this pretty?” she asked, scanning the tree for the perfect spot to place it.

“I don’t know, I’ll tell you when I meet one,” he winked at her.

“I bet they’re the most beautiful creatures in the whole universe,” Leia predicted. “I’d like to meet one.”

“One day, maybe,” he shook his head, thinking about how adorable children were. “We’re almost done with the tree,” he grinned.

“Yeah, you two are all talk and I’m doing most of the work,” Ahsoka scoffed.

“I’m working!” Leia protested. “I’m trying to make sure this is perfect!”

“Aw, come on, kiddo.”

“It’s our first tree as a family, it does have to be perfect,” Anakin pointed out.

“Okay, but the perfect tree is one you have fun decorating. And it’s fun to throw things on the tree at random.”

“It will be perfect when Leia puts the star on top,” he replied.

“So put the ornaments on faster!” his sister complained.

A few minutes later, the tree was complete and Anakin was picking Leia up and Ahsoka was giving her the star. Shmi stood back, using her phone to film the first time Leia put the star on the Skywalker tree. “Here’s your big moment, Princess,” Anakin beamed.

Leia squeezed her eyes shut and placed the star on the tree. “I wish I could have my brother back,” she whispered.

Anakin looked at his mother and Shmi gave him a sad, but understanding look and Ahsoka just bit her lip. Everyone wanted to make Leia’s wish come true, the question was… how?


“Okay, thank you. Goodbye.” Padmé sighed, hanging up her phone. At the kitchen table, Luke looked up from his coloring book.

“Who was that?”

“Just someone who was trying to help me with one of your presents,” Padmé explained. “I’m still getting used to the Christmas thing.”

Luke looked down at his coloring book for a long moment before starting to color again. “We don’t have to do it,” he said quietly.

“Luke, it’s no problem. I’m looking forward to it, I just hope that I don’t disappoint you.” Padmé moved to the kitchen counter to start cooking. “We did my holiday, I want you to be able to do your holiday too.”

“I don’t mind. I liked Hanukkah. I don’t care about Christmas anymore,” he shrugged as he switched to a red crayon. “I mean it,” he added for effect as he angrily starting to fill in a dragon.

Padmé sighed. She’d had Luke for eight months, and it still felt like she was failing miserably to be his mother. Of course, she knew why he was upset, but she also didn’t know how to fix it. “You know what, how about we order Chinese food tonight, instead of me trying to cook?”

"Can't be worse," he said, but he had a little teasing smile that let her know he wasn't being mean, but making a light-hearted joke of her poor attempts at cooking. 

“Oh, ouch, kiddo, that was mean,” Padmé sighed, shaking her head. “I am not that bad. You like my pizza, right?”

He cringed. "Maybe don't forget about it in the oven next time, Padmé?”

What I wouldn’t give for you to call me ‘Mom.’ “That was one time. Can you get the iPad and open our Seamless app?”

Luke nodded and jumped from the stool, rushing to the living room to grab the iPad. "Here you go," he said, returning to his seat.

“Okay, let’s see, vegetable dumplings and tofu fried rice for me, and for you?”

He sighed and shrugged. "I don't know. Can you pick? I don't know Chinese food that well."

“Teriyaki chicken and steamed rice,” Padmé grimaced a little, finishing the order. “How was therapy today?”

"The same. It's boring." Luke replied. "Do I have to keep going?" 

“Your caseworker said it was best if you did it for the first year, to help you transition and adjust to living with me.” She paid for the delivery and started the timer. “I’m trying my best here, Luke, you know that, right?”

Luke bit his lip, ducking his head in shame. “I know,” he whispered, kicking his feet. “I’m going to my room, call me when the food arrives.” He gathered his crayons and drawing kit, plus his coloring book and jumped from the stool, rushing to his bedroom without looking at Padmé. It wasn’t her. She did everything for him and he wanted to be so thankful, but he couldn’t. He missed Leia. He needed Leia. She was his twin sister and being separated was the worst pain he’d felt since the death of their parents. He sniffed as he closed the bedroom door and dropped everything on the bed.

In the kitchen, Padmé glanced down at her phone and the calls list. A week before she’d been made partner at her firm, a week before she would have been considered financially stable to have both twins, Leia had been adopted by someone else. It had felt like a cruel joke then, and it still felt like one now. “Luke?” she moved to his bedroom door, knocking on it gently. “Will you talk to me, please?”

Luke looked at the door and sniffed, grabbing a pillow, hugging it to his chest. “I don’t want to.” I want Leia.

“Luke. I’m supposed to be your mother now. I want to help,” she implored. When he didn’t answer, she chose the same number she’d been calling before they ordered dinner and started the call. “Mrs. Nu, hello. It’s Padmé Naberrie again. Is Mr. Windu still in?”

The receptionist on the other line sighed. “Ms. Naberrie, he’s about to leave. Is this still about Leia’s adoption? We have told you, there is nothing we can do.”

“It’s sort of about that,” she said hurriedly, trying to get something in before the phone was hung up. “I understand that you can’t reverse the adoption, but if there’s even a chance Leia and her new family wants to know where Luke is, just so the twins can stay in touch, I just want to know that I did everything I could to make sure they didn’t completely lose each other. Please, Mrs. Nu.”

“I will put the note in Leia and Luke’s adoption file, but I don’t think you should have high hopes. It doesn’t usually work out that way. Ms. Naberrie, I understand Luke is still having difficulty with the separation and transition, but this is why we suggested therapy.”

“And it’s doing nothing. He need s his sister.”

“I will leave a note stating that you are willing to receive contact from Leia’s adoptive family. 

“Thank you.” It wasn’t much, but it was a start. “Have a good evening, Mrs. Nu.”

“Happy holidays, Ms. Naberrie.” The call dropped, and Padmé was left staring at the spaceship covered door of her son’s room, where she could hear some muffled sobs.

“I’m trying,” she whispered again.”


“Good Lord , it’s filthy in here.”

“I told you not to wear your good coat.” The voices of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Satine Kryze floated through the workshop. “Anakin? Are you here?”

“Obi-Wan! Satine!” Anakin greeted them with a big smile and smudges of oil around his hands, cheeks, and forearms. “Careful where you step, Satine, that coat is too white for the shop,” he grimaced.

“I noticed,” Satine said, standing very carefully in the middle of the room, away from everything that could smudge on her. “There was some news that Obi-Wan said you had to hear right away, that’s why we’re here during our lunch date.”

“I will make it up to you,” Obi-Wan muttered to his wife before looking back at Anakin. “The agency called me, there’s been a change in Luke’s file.”

“Oh?” Anakin’s eyes sparkled. “What was it?”

“The family that adopted him has expressed interest in contacting you. That is, Leia and her new family.”

“Oh, thank God, ” Anakin breathed a sigh of relief, leaning against one of the cars. ”I’ve been racking my brain of how I would be able to give her this, this contact with her brother. I’m so happy Luke’s new parents have decided to reach out. This is huge!” He jumped forward, hugging Obi-Wan. “Thank you,” he said, patting his back.

Satine grimaced at all the grease smudges Anakin had left on her husband. “There goes that blazer.”  

“We can afford to get me a new blazer,” Obi-Wan scolded his wife gently. “Leia only has one brother. Anakin, I’m working on securing the family’s contact information for you, I’ll try to have it by the end of the day.”

“As soon as you give me the contacts, I will reach out to them, so we can speak before we rush into something messy,” Anakin said and tried to brush a smudge from Obi-Wan’s jacket, grimacing. “Sorry about that.”

“And send us Leia’s Christmas list, so we know what she would like,” Satine smiled.

“Aside from her brother, obviously,” Obi-Wan added. “We need to get going now, neither of us has eaten since breakfast this morning. And Satine’s pacifism disappears the hungrier she becomes.”

“That’s why I spent half of my pregnancy shouting at him,” Satine smirked.

“Thank you. Both of you. Also, my Mom said that Christmas is over at our house this year.”

“Wonderful, we’re looking forward to it.”

“Good. Now I have to get back to work. Please send me the contacts as soon as you have them.”

“Of course, Anakin. We’ll see you soon.”


“Ms. Naberrie, there’s been an appointment added to your schedule,” Teckla Minnau informed Padmé as they fell into step.

“I wasn’t aware I was getting a new case,” Padmé said with a frown, shuffling the papers in the leather folder she was holding to check for certain. “And you might give me a second to breathe, I literally just stepped out of the partners meeting.”

“I’m sorry, but the gentleman on the phone was very insistent,” her assistant sighed. “I think he’s waiting for you in the lobby, I can try to cancel if you need to work.”

“Did he say what this was about?”

“He stated a personal matter.”

“No other details?” Padmé huffed as they reached the door of her office. “I swear to god, if this is Rush Clovis—”

“It wasn’t anyone I’ve ever met before, he said his name is Anakin Skywalker,” Teckla reassured her, pulling the door open.

“Okay, fine,” Padmé sighed. “You can let him in, but if this goes badly, I’m going to be really mad at you, Teckla. Got it?”

Teckla widened her eyes and nodded, slowly. “Yes, Ms. Naberrie. Can I summon Mr. Skywalker, then?”

“I just said you could!”

The assistant cringed and turned around, leaving the office and rushing down to the lobby. “Mr. Skywalker?” Anakin raised his eyes from a legal magazine he was attempting to read to stare at the assistant expectantly. “Ms. Naberrie will see you now.”

Anakin nodded, a small smile gracing his lips. He had done a commute of almost two hours, but it was worth it. When Obi-Wan had passed him the contacts of Luke’s adoptive family, he immediately saw how different it was. 

Luke had been adopted by a single parent too, but he lived in the Upper East Side. His adoptive mother was a partner at a prestigious law firm. He was much simpler and lived paycheck to paycheck, so he hoped that they could sort something out for the sake of the twins and so they could lead happier lives.

He had chosen his best clothes, to at least look presentable to this woman. Some dark jeans, a midnight blue polo and dress shoes that he sort of hated, but his mother kept telling him looked elegant.

I hope this works. He thought as he followed the somewhat stressed assistant towards the office. He ran a hand over his hair, nervous with the fallout this could bring. Seeing Padmé Naberrie through the glass windows of the office didn’t help matters. She looked more like a model than a lawyer, wearing an impeccably pressed grey blazer and skirt, her honey brown tresses swept up in a perfectly smooth bun, and her makeup looking professionally done. 

“Ms. Naberrie,” Teckla announced as she opened the door of the office. “Mr. Skywalker for you.”

“Thank you, Teckla.” Luke’s adoptive mother looked up at Anakin with a striking pair of chocolate eyes. “You can leave us. I’ll let you know if I need anything.” Teckla nodded and brushed past a starstruck Anakin. “Mr. Skywalker, take a seat. How can I help you?”

Breaking out of his daze, Anakin took the seat in front of her desk and fell a little out of place. Everything was perfectly organized and decorated with taste and, well, money. “I am sorry if I disrupted your work today, Ms. Naberrie, but what I have to speak with you is far too serious for a simple phone call,” he licked his dry lips. “I adopted a little girl, Leia, six months ago, and I believe you had adopted her brother, her twin, Luke, a couple of months before, am I right?” He asked softly.

“Two months, three days,” Padmé replied slowly, gaping at him. “So you’re the guy I should be billing for Luke’s therapy?”

Anakin was taken aback, blinking at her in confusion. “I’m sorry, what?”

She flushed, rubbing at her temples as she closed her eyes. “No, I’m sorry, it’s just that I fought for a very long time to get both of the twins, but the agency insisted I didn’t have the income to support both of them, and that they were going to be separated regardless, so they pushed for me to adopt Luke, and said I could come back and reapply to adopt Leia if I did get this promotion I was up for. You took her a week before I got it, and ever since, Luke’s been miserable. I’ve been suppressing my own emotions at home for months because I’m trying to be a good mother, and it just sort of came out on you, I’m so sorry.”

“Wow,” he breathed. “You’ve been going through a lot, uh?” Anakin guessed. “Leia was brought to me first as a foster child, but there was a chance to adopt her and I took it, they wanted to introduce her to a family out of state and I… I couldn’t allow it,” he looked around her office. “I don’t know why they didn’t let you adopt them both, it’s ridiculous. Though, I’m sort of torn between happiness that I got Leia and sadness that she got separated from her brother, at the situation,” he babbled.

“Anakin, was it?” She took a glass pitcher from the corner of the desk and poured a glass, sliding it towards him. “Take a moment, take a breath, take a drink.”

“Thank you,” he accepted the drink and took a sip. “Leia’s social worker, he is a friend of mine, and when you added the note to Luke’s file, he told me and… I’m here,” he smiled. “Two hours later, but I am,” he chuckled. “I was afraid you weren’t going to see me. Your assistant was very unsure.”

“Generally, appointments with me are made at least a week in advance,” Padmé explained. “And as to why they didn’t let me take both twins, there were concerns about my income, and my abilities to handle two children, especially with their record. You’ve seen it, I’m sure. The amount of trouble they’ve gotten into over the years?”

“Yes. I’ve seen,” he chuckled. “They’re just kids. They haven’t found who understood them. Until now, I hope.”

“Well, they didn’t think I could parent both of them, so they only gave me Luke,” Padmé tilted her head to the side. “It’s odd, but I swear, you look like you could be related to him.”

“You’re kidding me? Leia looks like someone photocopied you and turn you back into a child,” he laughed. “Her only wish this Christmas was to be with her brother again. I had to jump at this opportunity.”

“Luke doesn’t even want to do Christmas this year,” Padmé admitted. “It probably doesn’t help that my family and I are Jewish, so I have no clue what I’m doing. But I think it’s because he misses Leia.”

“I was going to suggest we arrange something to bring them together? It will help them and both of us. Leia is being a super good girl, but she does have some blue moments. She’s doing better in school, not getting into trouble. She made a couple of friends, but every drawing, every wish, every… small thing, she adds Luke.”

“Luke’s been shutting me out entirely,” Padmé admitted, pouring a glass for herself. “He talks as little as possible, he hides in his room. There isn’t any homework to do, but I’m still worried about the fact that he doesn’t have any friends.”

“It seems he’s a bit shyer and quiet than Leia. Leia is a lot of noise and a lot of mischief,” he smiled fondly. “If it’s something that you’re willing to do, we could arrange for them to be in each other’s lives. I will be willing to negotiate something. I know Leia would be so, so, so happy.”

“I would love to arrange something,” Padmé said immediately. “I think we’d need to coordinate a schedule, but yes, absolutely, we need to let the twins be with each other again. It’d be good for both of them.”

He beamed. “I’m glad we’re on the same page. It’s what best for them. We can organize something for this weekend, maybe, make it a surprise. Something they would like to do?”

“If I knew something Luke liked to do.” Padmé’s smile dissipated. “He’s not been very forthcoming."

“I’m sorry. You have to believe that will change.” Anakin sighed. “Leia has spoken about laser tag and there is this great place in Brooklyn I’ve been thinking of taking her. Maybe it could be something for both of them?”

“You live in Brooklyn?” she raised an eyebrow ever so slightly. “How much of the two hours getting here was travel time?”

He ducked his head. “All of it? I really wanted to speak with you about this and I wasn’t letting a little commute stop me.”

“You’re committed, I’ll give you that,” she laughed a little. “Let me pay for a cab to take you home, it’s the least I can do.”

“No, it’s okay, I don’t need you to,” he rushed to stay as he stood. “I’ll get home just fine by train. But thank you for offering. Do you want my number? So we can schedule the hour and everything?”

“That would be great, thank you.” She took one of the business cards from the little holder on her desk and scribbled a series of digits under the embossed print. “And here’s my personal number. Use that one, not the one that’s printed on the card.”

He looked at the fancy card. “I will do. Have a little more patience with Luke and don’t take it personally. I’m sure it will be better. If you weren’t a good mother, you wouldn’t have added the note to Luke’s file. I’ll be in touch, Ms. Naberrie.”

“You can call me Padmé,” she added gently.

“Thank you… Padmé.”

“I’ll be in touch soon, Anakin.”

He gave her one last bright smile, before turning around and leaving, lighter than he had arrived. He was going to get Leia her Christmas miracle.