Author's note: Sooo this is my first fanfic. Vader is suitless in this fanfic. Also: Luke and Leia are in the public system. Known fact: I own nothing and everything belongs to the original creators and owners. Except for a few characters and possibly planets of my own imagination.
"Sir?" Mrs. Akan asked the man seated opposite her. His eyes seemed fixed on the thunderstorm raging on outside her office window. The rain made patterns on window as it fell, its sound soothing. The young man in front of her seemed soothed by rain. Often during the meeting he would become captivated by it and drift off, as if to another world.
The handsome stranger snapped out of his reverie and stared at her. He had sharp blue eyes that seemed to penetrate through people's veneers, seeing their darkest secrets. Mrs. Akan had the odd feeling he knew exactly what she was thinking. Which was, what did the clearly uncomfortable man want a child for? He had began showing signs of nervousness as soon as she began showing him children's profiles. However, he had a solid file with good references and a good job. Any of the orphaned children would be lucky to have a home with him.
Vader stared at the projector of children holograms. Most of the kids eyes held a look of helplessness. It scared him. Him, second in command only to the emperor. Scared of hopeless children. What was he doing here anyway? He certainly didn't deserve a child. He wasn't even a fit husband! Stop, Anakin wasn't a fit husband, Vader reminded himself.
Leaning back he sighed, he knew exactly why he was here. The nightmares. They had started four years ago. They were of a child, he was unsure whether male or female. But it was always the same, the child would be in danger and screaming. The cries haunted him even when he was awake. Lately the dream had changed, it showed him comforting the child. Vader took it the force wanted him to have a child. Perhaps, to make his past wrongs right?
Vader realized the short woman in front of him had said something. "I'm sorry?" he asked.
"I asked if any one of the children had caught your eye." Vader simply stared at her making Mrs. Akan more nervous. She cleared her throat. "Is there a specific age group you are looking for?" She repeated kindly.
Vader studied the woman. She had short cropped dark hair highlighted with blonde. A side-swept blonde bang matched her medium brown skin perfectly. She had a kind face. He forced himself to focus on her question. "A specific age?" he repeated. "Yes...four" he hated how his voice shook when he mentioned the age. His and Padmé's child's age. Their child would have been four.
"Four? Oh that's interesting, most people want a baby or much younger. Let's see" she tacked into her computer. Her eyes lit up. "Here we go, how about this charming boy?" she projected a picture of a boy with red hair and a happy smile.
Vader stared at the child and shook his head. He noticed Mrs. Akan frowning as he turned down child after child. What was he looking for anyway? It's not like he had ever seen his child or the one in his nightmares. The child could have been any of these kids. Tiredly Mrs Akan skipped through the profiles. A holo-image flashed of young girl. She had curly hair and large brown eyes. Her smile lit up the whole screen. Vader felt a sharp tug in the force.
"Wait!" Vader said involuntarily. "Go back"
Mrs. Akan raised an eyebrow. She flipped back to the girl. "Her?" she asked.
Vader nodded. So much like Padmé...Her large chocolate eyes. Her smile. "Her, what's her name?"
Mrs Akan blinked and read the profile. "Leia, but..."
"She's the one, when can I meet her?"
"Mr. Skywalker, the process needs to take place and the child well she is.."
"Mrs. Akan, she is the one. I feel it in my heart. It's hard to explain" he said sounding unusually passionate. Vader was surprising himself more and more with this conversation. This whole thing is bizarre, he thought.
Mrs Akan's face softened and she smiled. "That's what I like to hear, but this is a bit of a complicated case...You see Leia, well"
"What's wrong? Is she sick? I am prepared to care for her"
"Well not physically. Leia is a twin. She has a twin brother. When they were younger we were willing to split them up. But now, Leia is very sensitive and has unique tantrums. Luke, her brother, is the only one who can manage her"
Vader sat back in his chair. He had come prepared for one child. Two? He wasn't sure he could handle that. He studied the patterns the raindrops were making on the window. "Let me see him?" he asked in an odd distant voice.
Mrs. Akan raised her eyebrow and flipped through a couple of profiles and stopped on a boy. Unlike his sister, he had dark blonde hair and blue eyes. But both kids faces held a cherubic feature. Like angels. Vader froze at the shudder that thought produced. "Are you an angel?"
He pushed the memory away back into the dark corners of his mind. Mrs. Akan had now pulled up Leia's profile and the two holograms stared down at Vader. The wide smiles and the eyes willing Vader, almost controlling his thoughts. "Can I adopt them both?"
Mrs. Akan didn't seem to be expecting this. "Are you sure? These two are rather complicated. They are behind in school. They both tend to throw tantrums and cry a lot. They need a lot of hands on parenting. They can't just be shacked off to school and brought home on the holidays."
"I had no intention of doing that. Mrs Akan, you don't seem to realize that is exactly what I need. What I want, to care for someone, to spend time with them."
Mrs Akan lifted her chin and studied Vader. After a while she nodded. "Do you want to meet them?" she asked finally.
Vader nodded, suddenly nervous. He shoved the feeling away with annoyance. Mrs. Akan stood up and led him down the corridor outside her office. She pointed out the orphanage classrooms, cafeteria and outside playground. She continued down the hallway and stopped outside a large indoor playroom. She gestured to Vader to enter along with her. He followed her, his hands clasped behind his back.
Vader looked at the room filled with children and felt suddenly nervous. He could feel his palms sweating and hoped Mrs. Akan couldn't see how close to frightened he was. Kids ran about the room, others sat playing. A few fought over toys and some mooched in silence. Mrs. Akan led him through the chaos and loud yelling. She paused to speak with one of the minders who pointed her in the twins direction.
As they approached the rug where Luke and Leia sat, Vader could feel a strong pull from the two children. The twins had a very distinct and familiar force signature. Vader hang back and Mrs. Akan approached the twins alone. He stood awkwardly as Mrs. Akan bent down and spoke to the twins. Both looked up at her their eyes wide. She pointed to Vader and the twins turned around and stared at him. Vader cleared his throat and smoothed his robes self consciously. Mrs. Akan beckoned him. Vader took a deep breath and walked to her. She smiled at him encouragingly. Mrs. Akan was hoping the twins and the odd man would get along.
"Luke, Leia, this is Mr. Skywalker. Say hello" she said leaning down.
"Hello Mr. Skywalker" the two chorused looking at Vader in curiosity.
Vader went down to one knee and smiled slightly. "Hello" Vader hoped his voice didn't betray his emotion. Something felt right about these two.
In person, Leia's eyes looked like they were constantly on the brink of tears. She held an old rag doll and clutched it around the neck tightly. Luke's eyes held a resigned hopelessness but sparkled now as he appraised Vader. He had a speeder toy by his feet.
"He's handsome" Leia said after an awkward silence to Mrs. Akan who laughed.
"Oh Leia. What do you think Luke?" she asked the boy who was still silent.
Luke cocked his head to the side, stared up at Vader. "What do you do for fun?" he asked.
Vader was startled at the question. He hadn't done anything fun in ages. But he supposed his job was to win these kids over. "Well, I like podracing and fixing things. Generally anything with piloting involved" he said after a moments thought.
Luke's eyes lit up. "Podracing? I like racing!"
Leia frowned at this not as enthused as her brother. "Can you tell a good bedtime story?" she asked.
"I don't know about that. I haven't had much practice...But I am sure you two could teach me how to"
Leia seemed happy with answer and posed another question. "Will we have a mommy?" she asked. "Are you married?"
Vader flinched. Padmé. She would probably fall in love with these two. She was such a gentle soul. "I'm not married anymore, so no you won't"
"What happened to her?" Leia asked softly as if feeling his pain through the force.
"She died. Pity, she would have loved you" Vader said painfully. Of course if Padmé was alive, he wouldn't be here. He thought with a painful tug at his heart.
Leia lowered the rag doll she was holding and walked to him and put her little arms around his neck. Her hug comforting him more than any words could do. Vader froze as his heart did a flip-flop in his chest. Slowly he put his arms around the tiny body. He felt so inadequate and large. Maybe this wasn't a good idea. He couldn't be a father. Leia stood back after a while.
"Do you miss her?" she asked, noticing the pain in his eyes.
Vader swallowed. "Yes, everyday"
"Luke and I know about that don't we, Luke?"
Luke nodded. "We don't know our parents. They died in a speeder crash" he said picking up his speeder toy. "We miss them a lot."
Vader smiled dryly. "I guess we have something in common"
The twins nodded in unison. "Are you taking us today?" Luke asked. In their little minds, Vader was a perfect choice for a father. Broken and wounded like them.
Vader smiled at them and looked up at Mrs. Akan questioningly. She laughed and shook her head. "Luke, Leia, your new daddy has to sign some papers and that will take a few days. But don't worry, you'll be going with him soon"
"How soon?" Luke asked with a frown.
"Soon. I just wanted to make sure you all liked each other. I don't think we'll have any problems. Mr. Skywalker, if you'll come with me?" she said.
Vader regretted leaving the two children so soon. "It was nice to meet you Luke and Leia" he said. He was surprised as the two tag teamed him with a hug. He patted their backs awkwardly and stood up.
"You promise to come back for us?" Leia asked.
"I do, if I don't I promise to send someone for you" he said. He would have these two whether or not Mrs. Akan agreed. He was after all second in command. He would simply send troopers in for them. He stood up and smiled at them. The twins waved at him and their gaze followed him as he exited the room.
"They are a bit clingy. You aren't the first potential parent they have met. A couple came by and looked to adopt them. But unfortunately their paperwork fell through at the last minute. Everything was set and the twins had even packed. The poor things were devastated." she said in a low voice even though they had left the playroom.
Vader felt anger that the twins had to endure such pain. He privately swore that they would never suffer pain again. "So how long will the process take?" he asked.
"Well after several similar instances we now screen paperwork more closely. Everything seems in order with yours. Now you just sign the papers and contracts. Then we wait for the Empire's approval and their birth certificates to be sent to us. We have a copy but as the father you'll need the official from their medical center." Mrs. Akan replied.
"So a couple of days?"
Mrs Akan nodded. Vader felt slight irritation. But he couldn't complain, as a civilian he had to tow the line. He nodded and followed her into her office. A hour later he left as a father. Legally now, Luke and Leia were his. He had opted for a closed adoption not wanting to know about their past. That didn't matter. They were his now. He felt a smile cross his face. Maybe he could finally put to rest the nightmares that plagued him. He was someone's father now. He raised his cloak hood and walked into the falling rain. His comlink beeped.
"Milord? We have the latest in-tell on the Ushyk rebel base. The emperor wants you there at once"
Vader sighed. Back to reality. "Prepare the Executor. I will be there shortly". A niggling voice in his mind asked what the twins would think of what he was about to do. He pushed the thought away and got into his speeder. He cast one last look at the Orphanage. It was a nice old style building built of yellow stone and had many windows. Vader realized he felt calm for the first time in a years. Too bad it won't last long, he thought dryly.