Title: A Conversation With Vader
Archive: Yes, please. Let me know if you take it, OK?
Teaser: Han's reaction when he finds out Vader is his father-in-law
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to George Lucas, Lucasfilm Ltd and Fox Studios. I'm just borrowing them for fun.
Han strolled through the grungy streets of some backwater spaceport, trash blowing down the street thanks to a brisk wind. Broken windows and graffiti marked most of the two floor buildings. Like the usual places he hung out in the old days before he met the Princess, it was filled with all the dangerous low-life scum the galaxy had to offer. There were assassins, smugglers and people who would kill you for a handful of spare credits. Not that Han had any credits to spare. And that was why he was here.
A few days ago he had been contacted by some mysterious person that had some cargo for him to ferry, promising a quick easy job. Of course, Han knew there was no such thing as a quick and easy job, not these days anyway. The cargo was probably illegal: spice or perhaps weapons. No doubt he'd have to avoid the Imperials and that was getting harder and harder. Ever since he met that old man and the kid, he'd gotten mixed up in the whole Rebellion thing. His name had gotten on the Emperor's "Ten Most Wanted List". Well, Luke was a bigger reward out for Luke but there were just too many Star Destroyers out there hunting for the Falcon. But a guy has got to eat so here he is.
"This had better be worth it." Han mumbled as he pushed open the door to a seedy bar. He scanned the dark interior, and then stepped inside. There weren't many people that would attack him, but still, a guy had to be careful. The place was filled with the usual assortment of creeps, weird aliens and a few things even he had never seen before. One practically ugly human male with a head full of angry red scars and a patch over his right eye served drinks behind the sticky bar. All in all, Han felt right at home. Ordering a drink, Han slouched in a booth near the back, his eyes on the exits and one hand on his blaster.
After sitting there for a few brief moments, Han began to feel uneasy. "There's something wrong here. The people are acting funny."
The usual rough and bawdy behavior was missing. There were no fistfights, arguments over gambling, laughing or anything. People were mainly just sitting at tables or at the bar nursing their drinks. Either something was seriously wrong here or these people were all depressed. "I'm loosing my touch if I didn't notice this earlier."
HO-PAH. HO-PAH. HO-PAH.
Han's spine straightened instantly at the loud sound right behind him. He knew that sound, that awful loud breathing. Darth Vader walked into Han's view and the sight of his black breath mask sent chills through the smuggler's body. His mind raced through the possibilities. He could shoot Vader with his blaster but he had already learned that didn't do anything. Vader would just stop the bolt with his hand. He could try to bolt past the Sith Lord, but the place was probably surrounded by stormtroopers. Vader must be getting better at hiding his troops because he hadn't seen any evidence of Imperials in the area at all. That only left one possibility: playing it cool. "Guess you finally got some stormtroopers with brains."
"I have finally caught you at last, General Solo." Darth Vader said as he stood next to the booth Han was sitting in.
"Yeah, and I'm real glad to see you too." Han made a point of relaxing, slouching a bit lower in his seat so he could prop his feet up. Inside, he felt anything but relaxed. "And now you can go. You're scaring away my client and unlike others I need to work to make a living."
"I am the one that called you hear, Solo." Vader spoke.
"Fodder! I knew there were always problems with these jobs." Han grumbled. He knew he was in serious trouble and there was little chance of escaping. The only question left unanswered was why he wasn't already in custody with cuffs around his wrists. "So, what do you want? And don't tell me you want Luke because I'm not stupid enough to hand him over."
"I heard that you have a romantic relationship with Princess Leia."
"Huh?" Han's mouth dropped open in confusion. Han lowered his feet back to the floor and sat upright, staring at the Sith Lord. "Yeah, so? What has that got to do with anything? Wouldn't you want to know something more important, like Rebel Alliance secrets or illegal cargo or something?"
"Leia is my daughter."
"Your daughter?" Han snorted. "That's insane! Leia isn't your daughter any more than Luke is your son!"
"So Luke told you?"
"Told me what?" Han asked, his brow wrinkling. This was getting more and more confusing by the moment!
"That he's my son."
"Look, I don't know where you're getting these crazy ideas or what you're up to, but why don't you go pester someone else? OK? And since you're not a real client I'll have to go find some other cargo to transport. I got a Princess to take care of, you know. And you, stay away from Leia!" Han started to get up but Vader pushed him back down.
"We are not finished with our conversation, General Solo. If you insist on not cooperating we can hold it elsewhere, like the holding cell on the Executor."
"All right, all right! Don't be getting hotheaded." Han eased himself back into the booth. "But I still don't know what you want."
"You are interested in Leia?"
"Yes." Han couldn't believe it. Darth Vader was actually trying to hold one of those conversations with him, that kind where the girl's father asked the boyfriend questions! He sank down into the seat, rubbing his face with a hand. "I need another drink."
Within a few moments a strong drink was placed in front of him, the terrified waitress quickly escaping back to the false safety of the bar. Han eagerly took a big gulp. "Look, this is crazy. Leia can't be your daughter!"
"And why is that, General Solo?"
"Well, look at you!" Han blurted out. He realized what he said and quickly raised his hands to calm Vader. "No disrespect intended, but in order to have kids you'd have to be married and well, you know…."
"I didn't always look as I do now."
"So you're saying you're married?" Han asked, his mouth hanging open once again. The idea of Darth Vader being married, why, it was unbelievable! Reaching for the glass, he took another sip. The fear of arrest was slipping away as the conversation became more interesting. If anyone would have told him that he would one day sit in a bar with Lord Vader discussing Vader's personal life he would have said they were totally nuts.
"Yes, I loved my wife. Are your intentions toward my daughter honorable?"
"Let me get this straight. You work for the Empire, go around choking people and you want to know if my attentions are honorable?" Han laughed. "You know this sounds really crazy!"
"Believe it or not, Solo, but Leia IS my daughter."
"No wonder she's so fussy." Han muttered underneath his breath. "OK, say I believe you and she is your daughter. In fact, maybe that makes a bit of sense. No wonder she choked Jabba. Guess it runs in the family."
"Do you intend to marry her?"
"Ah, you're a little intimidating, you know?" Han admitted as he took another drink. "Right hand to the Emperor, an army at your command, big fleet of Star Destroyers and all that mumbo-jumbo you do. Not that I understand that mumbo-jumbo. Heck, half the time I think Luke is a little … crazy. You wave your hand and stuff happens. Come on, that's not possible. It defies the laws of physics. Yet I've seen the kid do it. Point is, if I say "yes" that I would like to marry Leia how do I know you're not going to blast me or something, do some of the freaky stuff?"
"Your reputation is not exactly what I'd … desire … for my daughter to marry. You are a wanted criminal by the Empire."
"Oh, you mean the smuggling, conning and so forth, huh?" Han grinned, feeling a bit reckless. "Well, I got news for you, Pops. Leia loves me. Should have seen us in the south passage on Hoth. Of course, you got there too late to see anything. But that's not surprising. You never could catch my ship and I outsmart you all the time!"
"Well, what else do you want me to call you? Dear ol' Dad?" Han asked, still grinning. This was getting to be fun. Who ever would have thought talking to Vader would be fun? "Besides, you'll be my father-in-law. Guess that means you can't be arresting me anymore, does it? Yep, looks like I just got the Empire off my back."
HO-PAH. HO-PAH. HO-PAH.
Darth Vader stood there for a few moments, the only sound being his loud breathing. The nerve of this Solo was unbelievable. Why in the world did his only daughter have to be attracted to this … this … space pirate? His manners were just as questionable as his career and it looked as if he wore the same clothes for who knew how many years. Then, of course, there was his ship. He had to admit the Falcon was fast, but it probably looked worst on the inside than the outside.
"What does Leia see in you?" Vader finally asked.
"She likes scruffy men." Han replied as he glanced up at Vader's black mask. "But I guess she gets that from you, being an evil lord and all. That's being a scoundrel, too. You just dress better."
Vader's hands closed into fists. How dare that Solo call him a scoundrel!
"Uh-uh! Going to be your son-in-law, remember? Leia would never forgive you if you blasted me. So cool down, have a drink."
"You're inviting me to have a drink with you?"
"Hey, why not?" Han grinned. "There's worst things I can think of than having you for a father-in-law."
General Solo was turning out to be … surprising. And that was intriguing. Vader decided to ask him another question. "You do not mind that I'm a Sith Lord?"
"Nah, guess someone's gotta do it." Han swirled the contents of his almost empty glass. "Besides, you owe me. The way I see it, if it wasn't for me that kid of yours would have been dead a long time ago. He has good intentions but no brains. You should be glad I saved him from being a human Popsicle out on Hoth. If I were you, you better start watching Luke twenty-four hours a day before he gets himself killed by some harebrained scheme he thinks up. Of course, it was that crazy old man that started it all. Guy still owes me money. Hired me to take him and the kid to a planet that wasn't there anymore. Some moron blew it up. But hey, at least I got a princess out of the deal."
Darth Vader thought for a moment. A crazy old man…..
Obi-wan? It was his old master that got his daughter involved with Solo? If only he could kill him twice!
"Come to think of it, do you know any shrinks?" Han asked.
"You know, head doctors? I think Luke might need one." Han added, concern in his voice. "I've seen him holding conversations with an empty room. When I ask him about it he claims he's talking to that crazy old man. But that old guy's dead. So…."
Vader never realized having children could be so frustrating! Luke talking to a dead Jedi and Leia in love with a space pirate, it was enough to give him a major headache! What was he to do? He finally finds his children after all these years and now this pops up!
Han stands up and walks past Vader, patting him on the shoulder.
"Don't forget to send a wedding present!"
So, does anyone want Vader to have a conversation with another character?