“what did these hands do before they held you?”
Her lady was, of course, the subject of everything she did each day. Dressing her, protecting her, even being her at times. From appointments, meetings, and speeches to rehearsing, studying, and scheming, Padmé was quite literally Sabé's entire world. She had changed her own name to reflect Padmé's, after all. She had taken an oath to devote her entire life to her lady, and she had meant it.
So was it really so surprising she had fallen in love with her?
How could she not? How intimately can you know someone without falling in love with them? It wasn't just the physical closeness— fingers moving nimbly over buttons that trailed down the curve of her back, gently but precisely brushing a fierce red tint over her impossibly soft lips, hours spent just inches apart while they poured over the latest problem in their robes by the fire —these things created intimacy, certainly. But even more than that, she knew Padmé's mind.
She could recite Padmé's view on every policy, every art style, every food or drink. She could copy her voice, her expressions, and even her body language. How, she reasoned, could she know someone so well that she could recreate their every movement, every twitch, without even looking at them, and not fall in love with them? She had found herself even adopting these ticks when she wasn't trying to copy Padmé. The roll of her wrist when she went to snap, the tugging at her ear when she was trying to think, the tune she hummed when she was undressing to bathe: it was all Padmé. But now, it was Sabé, too. When she looked in the mirror, sometimes she saw more Padmé than Sabé. And honestly? In a small, strange sort of way, it was comforting.
Because the simple truth was, she knew Padmé completely. And, with the sort of passion and devotion that can only come from knowing someone so deeply, she loved her. She loved her totally, desperately, with every cell in her body.
She knew, without a doubt, that she would throw herself against a vibroblade if it meant Padmé would smile. She knew too, of course, that such a love was reckless, and irrational. Her duty to Padmé had long ago extended beyond the duties of a handmaiden. Every handmaiden would give their life for their lady, but Sabé would give her heart, and she would give it a hundred times over.
And even if her devotion would never be paid back in kind, Sabé treasured every tiny reciprocation she received. A gift of her favorite flower Padmé had plucked from a meadow, or a ribbon in her favorite color Padmé had purchased from a vendor. These gestures were small, but Sabé memorized each of them, and they filled her with a love so big that it nearly burst from her in tears.
But of course, she was a handmaiden. Keeping her emotions in check, and nearly imperceptible to others, was one of her many jobs. And so she did not allow herself to dream. She never considered a life where she and Padmé strolled the streets of Theed hand in hand, placing chaste kisses on each others' cheeks and laughing in the sun. She never allowed herself to wonder what it would feel like to lay in Padmé's arms as they drifted in and out of sleep, cocooned in Padmé's silky soft sheets that smelled like starflowers.
Instead, she forced herself to be content with the reality of her life. She focused on the curl of Padmé's tresses as she gently brushed through them, in their perfect feathery coils. She concentrated on the graceful curve of Padmé's cheek as she brushed makeup over the face that she thought could not possibly be improved upon. She fixated on the lines of Padmé's mouth as she laughed by the fire, her expression of joy and ease deepened by the flickering flames.
And truthfully, when she reflected on these quiet moments, on her days that were filled with Padmé's intoxicating presence, she could not envision a reason to be unhappy. Who else, besides the other handmaidens, could claim to know Padmé like this? Her days, her thoughts, her duties and her mirror were filled with her love. Indeed, on nights like tonight, spent languidly sipping tea while half-heartedly reviewing an upcoming speech, making Padmé laugh her perfect laugh with any joke she could come up with, Sabé felt that there was no luckier being in all of the galaxy.
i'm forever emo about the naboo handmaidens and padmé.
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