A Whole New Life
Epilogue: A Well deserved Family
By SJ 12-23-01/21-04-02 (skyjade@globetrotter.net)

________________
Disclaimers: Nothing in the Star Wars Universe belong to me; everything belongs
to George Lucas. I'm only writing stories for fun.
See my homepage for more details.
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Quasar/3702

Special thanks to my shy, secret beta-reader and best friend, Adrianne, for her
help with the final editing of my new stories. Thanks for giving
me some of your precious time, my friend :)
__________________



Kyle and Kara Skywalker were now five weeks old and awakening to the world
around them. While Mara was outside to purchase a few articles for the
children, Luke and his father were their assigned babysitters.

"I felt something last night," Luke commented seriously while he finished to
change his daughter's diaper.

"Like a bright light that left the Force?" his father inquired softly while he
continued to craddle Kyle while he helped him with his bottle of milk.

Luke looked up at that, surprised that he had known what he had meant.

"You felt it too?" he inquired to his rocking father.

"Master Yoda left this plane of life," he answered simply, sadly. "He deserves
his rest."

"He truly was nine hundred years old?" the younger man inquired, resuming his
task while keeping his daughter from wriggling out of her new diaper.

Much like her mother, he dimly reflected, she was full of energy, or, as Mara
joked, she was taking after him. Whoever it was, the infant girl required their
constant attention when changing time came.

"Perhaps even older than that," Ani conceded after a moment of silence. "I
tried to convince him to come back," he then told him seriously. "I wanted you
to meet him, to benefit from his wisdom."

"But?" Luke asked even as he rested his hand beside his daughter to keep her
from coming any closer to the edge of the laundry table.

"He said that you didn't need him," his father answered seriously. "That you
were better on your own with your values and ethic than with the rules and
philosophy of the past. I never told you," his father then commented glumly,
"but the Jedi Rules were partly responsible for my turning."

Luke, who had finished his daughter's changing, gently picked her up in his
arms, then turned toward him.

"What do you mean?"




For a moment, Anakin gazed at his grandson who was slowly falling asleep in his
arms, then back at his own son. How he wished that he had experienced this with
him too, he thought forlornly, then shooed the sad thought away.

Only the present mattered.

"When I was learning with Obi-Wan," he began forlornly, "there was a rule that a
Jedi shall not know hate, nor anger... nor love. It was part of our vows to the
Light and it was a very strict rule."

"Knowing you," his son commented while he set his daughter down in the double
crib with her favorite teddy, "it didn't stop you from loving Mother."

"Correct, and it got me into much trouble with the Jedi Council," he added
glumly, "but... our love would have kept me from committing the worst mistake of
all my life: to trust Palpatine. The Jedi's opposition is what led me into his
grasp, and from there..." he hesitated.

"He manipulated you and the people around you until he had what he wanted," Luke
nodded knowingly.

"Yes. Had I been allowed to love, things might be extremely different
nowadays," he sighed heavily.

"But not necessarily better," his wise son commented seriously.

"True," he nodded, then glanced down at his grandson.

Kyle had abandoned his half empty bottle and was dozing sleepily. "Looks like
he only wanted a snack," he smiled softly at the sleeping baby.

"He'll come around for the full meal," his son reassured him while he bent down
and picked up his son from his arms. "I have the feeling he'll take after his
grandfather for the height," he teased him.

"As long as he takes, that they both take after you for wisdom, I won't rebuke
them," Ani retorted while he stretched his cramped muscles.
"Well, they could take after your fortitude," Luke answered in kind while he
tucked his children under their blankets, then sat in the chair beside them.

"Mine is nothing compared to yours, Luke," his father refuted seriously. "you
went through much more than I did while serving the Emperor."

Luke meant to argue about that, but his father raised a finger to indicate that
he wasn't finished; the youth held his tongue.

"Except for my accident and loosing your mother, I didn't suffer 'much' under
the Emperor's yoke, but you... I know you still bear all the traces that I or he
left on you. And speaking of those," he added meaningfully, "Why haven't you
gotten rid of them?"

Luke sighed heavily at that, then slumped slightly in his chair, showing to him
that he wasn't only strong; Anakin understood that this was a very serious
subject for his son.

"I don't want to," the youth answered simply.

It didn't satisfy Anakin.

"You don't need to bear those forever, Son," he commented him seriously. "It
won't make you less aware of the past."

"But they are part of who I am, Father, and...," he added more glumly while
slowly pulling his left, short sleeve up his arm, "that one will never go, no
matter what I try," he informed him sadly.

Anakin couldn't help but gasp when he saw that his son still bore the imperial
crest of the defunct tyrant where his slave mark had been. He had known that
the Emperor had made him get rid of his tattoo, that his original slave mark was
long gone, but he had never thought that his son still bore that tattoo. Luke
pulled his shirt back in place, hiding his shameful mark once again.

"Why can't you get rid of this one too?" he asked him seriously, slowly growing
aware that he was about to discover something he hadn't known about his son's
experience as a slave.




Luke took a deep breath, glanced at his beloved, sleeping children for strength.

One last time, he thought softly at them.

"It's not a tattoo," he answered shortly. "The Emperor forged it with the
Force, and no matter what I try, I can't undo it."

"What happened exactly?" his father asked him seriously.

"It was too painful for me to understand what he did at that time, but now," he
hesitated and closed his eyes to gather courage... then gazed at his father once
again. "He somehow marked my heart with this... and it shows on my arm. The
only way for me to get rid of it is to die..."

In short, he thought glumly while his father digested what he had just told him,
he had been marked for life. He himself had learnt to accept it, to ignore the
presence of the emblem on his arm. He had also tried to cover it with another
tattoo, but the morning after that attempt, the painting had disappeared and the
shameful sign was back. He had learnt to live with it, as had Mara.

"I wonder how long he will continue to hurt us," his father finally commented in
the silence.

"No more if we don't allow him," he answered seriously.

"Well," Ani smiled slightly at him, "you sure do an excellent job at undoing
what he did to the galaxy; I guess it compensates for your marks."

"Glad you see it this way, Father," Luke smiled back, feeling his good mood
return.

He stood up and moved toward the door. "Come on, let's take advantage of their
sleep to check what the Senate transmitted for you."

The two of them left the sleeping children under the watchful guard of a nanny
droid who would contact them the moment that one of the children would steer
awake.




******



More time passed; the children reached one year old, then two and began to walk
all around the place.
Luke, Mara, and even Anakin continued to share a schedule to remain with them
instead of leaving them to the care of droids or babysitters.

For Luke, his interventions with the Senate remained limited to major decisions
and meetings. Otherwise, his father became the main Jedi guardian in the
Senate, or outside in the galaxy if he were needed. However, given the well
coordinated dispatch of the remaining fleet throughout the galaxy, he was rarely
needed away.

Piett, they had discovered, was indeed an accomplished commander. They could
rely on him.

As for Mara, she returned to her volunteer work, but only a few days per week.
The children wouldn't let her come back full time, rebuking her for not being
with her own family.




That day, it was Luke's turn to be away while Anakin and Mara stayed home.
While Luke had offered his father to separate their level so that he could have
his own private quarters, he had denied his offer, saying that he didn't mind
the arrangement at all. Since the young couple didn't mind his presence at all,
they had kept things the way they were. Thus, they had opened extra apartments
for a few more families when it had become obvious that Anakin would stay with
them.
"I still wonder how Luke got the idea to transform the three castles as free-
rent buildings," Ani commented while he played with his granddaughter who was
piling up blocks. Beside her, her brother was playing farmer on Naboo.

Ever since they had been able to sit by themselves, the children had
demonstrated that they were gifted with a very precocious mind, catching on
concepts and activities that normal children took a little longer to understand.
Kyle was particularly fast as far as imagination went.

"I don't know," Mara smiled while she gave a stray toy back to her son, "but
looks like we'll have another imaginative boy in the family," she smiled at her
son

"Thank," he smiled at her, then continued his sounds of animals and harvesting
tools.

"It truly is a brilliant idea," her father-in-law commented while he gazed out
at the vista of the two others castles which were now the living quarters of
countless families. "Much better than to destroy those places or use them for
the government."

"Sure is," she reflected out loud, "Although, I don't know about you, but
personally, I find that the actual senate looks a lot like the former palace."

Ani nodded in agreement, then continued to play with Kara who was redoing her
tower for the countless time in the past hour.

"That one there," she muttered to herself, "geen one now, granpa," she smiled at
her grandfather.

Ani obeyed with a smile and rested the green cube over the yellow one. The
child cheered happily when the tower remained upright.


Strange, Mara mused as she watched them play together, how she had gone from
being uncomfortable with Anakin to not being able to imagine not having him
around. Of course, he was a wonderful help with the children who were beginning
to show a temper much like her own while having Luke's genius to get into sticky
situations, but there was more to it than that, she admitted.

He truly was a nice man, and he didn't invade their private lives in any way
although he was living with them. He was very much unlike the man that she had
known before they had all parted company.

That man, she reflected, she wouldn't have let him come anywhere near her
children, but Anakin... she didn't mind making him grandfather a third time, she
smiled to herself while she brought her hands to her still flat stomach.

Another boy had decided to join their little family, she thought wistfully.
Even though he wasn't there yet, she and Luke were already filled with joy at
the prospect of welcoming another proof of their love in their lives.

"Do you know what amazes me the most with what happened after the change?" her
father-in-law asked, using their commonly agreed expression to mean after their
fateful day.

"How much Luke accomplished?" she offered seriously while she noticed how her
little red-head, blue eyed boy intently studied his grandfather.

"After what change?" Kyle asked seriously.

"By himself," Ani nodded at her, then turned toward the little child. "After
Daddy and Mommy changed work," he explained simply to the young toddler.

Kyle seemed to digest this a bit, then returned to his game.

Changed work, Mara mused while she nodded in agreement with Ani, it was one way
to put it---

"Hey, Kyle, it's mine!" Kara's voice rose indignantly; Mara looked up just in
time to see her little fair-haired girl stand up to retrieve a cube from her
brother.

To which of course Kyle didn't cooperate. She and Ani exchanged a slightly
amused glance, then she nodded and stepped in to resolve the small conflict.

Again.



******



Like any growing up children, the Skywalker twins were terrible when they were
on the same line of thought, but even more rambunctious when they were
bickering.

"Dad, he did it again!" seven-year-old Kara Skywalker complained while she
glared at her brother who was sitting in front of her.

"I didn't do anything," the boy complained, turning toward his mother.

"Yes you did," their little brother Anakin added from his place beside his
sister. "I saw you."

Luke and Mara had hoped that the past days of constant bickering during the
meals would come to an end if they changed the places of the children around the
table, but, Luke sighed in slight exasperation, they were obviously wrong. He
exchanged a glance with his wife; she silently told him that she left it in his
hands this time.

In front of him, his own father kept an eye on the ongoing conflict.

"Kara, Kyle, that's enough," Luke finally said out loud and strongly enough to
shock the children mute. "Kyle, if you can't stop teasing your sister, you will
eat in the kitchen until you understand. Kara," he continued, focusing on his
up-to-now jubilant daughter, "you brother can look at you without teasing you.
Understood?"

Both twins nodded contritely, then resumed eating in silence. Beside Kara,
little Anakin glanced from one sibling to another, sought his father's eyes for
a second, then mimicked his older siblings. The adults continued to eat in
silence.

"So," the older Anakin inquired from the other end of the square table, "when
are you expecting the visiting groups from the schools?"

Luke smiled slightly as he recognized his father's attempt to interest the
children and pull them out of their pouting while teaching them to behave with
one another.

"The Senate?" Kyle asked with interest. "The school will take us to visit the
Senate?"

"When?" Kara inquired, completing his thought.

"Can I go too?" Anakin, who looked like an exact copy of both his father and
grandfather when they had been younger, asked eagerly.

"The details aren't set yet," Luke informed them in a more regular tone of voice
than when he had rebuked them, "but yes, all the schools will be invited, yours
too."

"What about me?" his youngest inquired again.

"I'll try to arrange something, Ani," his grandfather answered his namesake.

The child smiled his brightest smile at this, his missing tooth adding to the
effect.

*Are you sure you still want to begin their training in the Force?* Mara
inquired through their link while the children engaged in a conversation with
their grandfather.

*More than ever,* he nodded at her. *The accidental uses happen too often to
risk their using their feelings to do that. Especially Kara.*

*Well,* she told him even as she rested her hand on his free one. *May the
Force, and patience, be with you then, Master Skywalker,* she teased him mock-
seriously.

Oh yes, he reflected seriously, he would need a lot of patience to train his two
energetic older children, but he would do it. He had done far worse than
that... at least, he hoped so.



******



Thus, just like he himself had begun his training around six years old, his
oldest children began to learn about the strange energies that the could
sometimes feel. At first, Luke only focused on developing their senses and
taught them when it was okay to use their new sense and when it wasn't, but as
the months, then years passed, he moved on to levitation, physical exercises,
and more complex abilities.

While he taught to Kyle and Kara, young Ani spent a lot of time with his
grandfather who told him about stories of the past, way before the Empire about
which he had heard a little.

Then, when he too reached seven years old, he joined his siblings in the
training sessions. He caught up with them in a matter of months, proving that
he had inherited his grandfather's potential.

At first, it worried Luke, but after talking about this with his wife and
father, he continued to teach him, allowing him to develop his skills to his
fullest while teaching him ethic and self-control.



The years passed for all of them; routine remained mostly the same, except for a
new baby girl joining their family.

They called her Leia after her aunt, of whom she was an exact copy.

When their youngest was old enough to support long space travels, Luke and Mara
made a point to themselves to spend a part of the children's vacations away from
Coruscant to allow them to see other things than the endless spires of durasteel
and the populated street of Capitol City.

They thus took the children to several different places, even dreary Tatooine,
to show them how some other children in the galaxy lived compared to them.

Life went on happily; the worst was over and what remained never presented a
real challenge for the slowly fading away heroes of the Liberation Day, as they
came to call it.



******



Sixteen years ago, Ani reflected, he had returned to his son... and to a whole
new life.

On the balcony of the lush garden, his four grandchildren were gaping at the
beauty of the inner garden of the Freedom Palace, formerly known as the Imperial
Palace.

Since they had had such a garden in their own place, the children had never
thought about asking to see the other one... until he himself had mentioned the
animals which were now part of it.

While he watched them test their sensing skills to find the hidden creatures, he
reflected on his relationship with each child.

Kyle, the oldest, was very much like Luke, he smiled to himself. He was
thoughtful, creative, and more than skilled with a lightsaber. It was always a
pleasure to help him improve those skills

Kara was much more like her mother, fiery tempered, but also fiercely protective
of the ones she loved. He could still remembered when she had been told the
truth about the past of her family. Had the Emperor still been alive, he was
positive that she would have killed him before he could blink. While she was
slightly hot-headed however, she was also making much progress in her self-
control. He sighed in relief; they now knew that she wouldn't be at risk of
the Dark side anymore.

Anakin, who was so much like him that he sometimes felt as if he were looking in
a mirror like when he was looking at his own son, had inherited his potential
and his mechanical skills. He also tried to convince him to teach him how to
fly, but even though he himself knew how the fourteen-year-old teenager felt for
being grounded, he respected his parents' wish. The child would learn to fly
when he would be a little older. However, he smiled to himself, that didn't
keep him from taking him then and again for a spin in a fighter.

Last, but not the least, was Leia; petite, long brown haired Leia, whom he was
closest to. The moment that the child had been born, he had felt an instant
attachment to her, had somehow known that she would be like the daughter that he
had lost before really getting to know her. Of course, Luke and Mara cherished
her as much as they did the three others, but there was a special link between
himself and his youngest grand-daughter. She almost felt like his own... like
his wife.

"Look grandpa!" the object of his thoughts called over her shoulder, then
pointed at the beautiful bird that flew away from the bushes where he had found
refuge.

Smiling, he stepped closer to her, then picked her up in his arms to allow her
to see further than the high balustrade.

"Let's go have a closer look," he smiled at her, then indicated to the eager,
older teenagers, how to reach the lower level.

While he watched Kyle and Kara debate which button press, until young Ani did it
for them, he reflected that life couldn't be better for either of them, nor
their parents for that matter.

They began their exploration of the garden.



******



That night, a dream came to Luke.

One second he was sleeping quietly, Mara warmly snuggled in his arms, and the
next, he was awake, dressed in his now traditional navy blue and white suit.
He was carrying his lightsaber at his belt and was surrounded by what looked
like white emptiness. He gazed around himself, slightly worried, when the
landscape changed to a planet he instantly recognized as defunct Alderaan.

"Luke," Leia's soft voice called from behind him.

He turned around and smiled at her.

"Leia, it's been quite a while."

"A busy while for you, brother," she smiled back as she moved closer.

Luke belatedly became aware that she wasn't surrounded by the blue aura of a
Force angel.

"This is a goodbye, dear brother," she sadly answered his thought. "I am not
powerful enough to remain with you anymore, and I can't appear like this to
Father and you... I had to choose someone," she finished regretfully.

"Goodbye, you mean... you will die again?" he asked her worriedly.

"No," she reassured him, resting her hand on his shoulder--- and bringing home
the fact that she was very real at the moment.

Luke stood stock still, shocked by the feeling of her hand on his shoulder, then
against his face.

"I will rest for real this time, brother," she told him softly, then smiled
gently: "Thanks to you, all our destinies are fulfilled now."

"Thanks to you, you mean," he corrected her while he hesitantly brushed a tear
from her cheek.

"It was a team work," she smiled sadly at him, then moved forward and hugged him
tightly to herself. "I will miss you, Luke," she whispered against his
shoulder.

"And I will never forget you, dear Leia," he whispered, his throat tight with
emotions. "I only wish that we had had more quality time together," he tried to
joke.

"In our next life, we will, Luke," she reassured him. "In the meantime, Mother
and I will be waiting for you, and Father," she added while she pulled away from
his hold.

"Leia?" he stopped her from leaving, "You... You're not upset if we named Leia
after you, are you?" he asked her before she could go.

"It is an honor to have such a wonderful niece, Luke," she reassured him. "The
four of them are terrific and make us all proud of you, Mara and Father."

"Us?" he frowned slightly.

Leia began to disappear, as if her time was up. "The rest of the Jedis who are
also with you,... Master Skywalker," she finished, then with a last smile, she
was gone--- and Luke awoke.

Leia was gone forever now, he thought sadly, then tightened his hold on his
sleeping, beloved wife; he hid his features in her soft mane of hair. He would
miss her, he thought as he felt a few tears slide down his face before sleep
claimed him once again.



******



Since he knew how difficult his father's grief for Leia had been, Luke decided
to not tell him that she was gone forever. She hadn't come back for several
years now; he estimated that he didn't need to tell anybody about his last
vision of her.

Hence, he went about his life, devoting more and more of his time to the
training of his children while studying the messages of a few other people who
believed that they had Force abilities.

Meanwhile, Mara continued to work at the hospital, having completed a medical
course to be able to treat young patients, not only play with them, while Anakin
kept the Senate free from corruption.





As for the children, they grew, matured, fell in love... until they began to
leave the family nest to establish their own families.

Kyle and Kara remained on Coruscant to help out with the Senate while Ani, a few
years later, told them that he and his chosen lover would live on Ord Mantell
where they would be able to teach their respective subjects in schools of their
choice. Ani selected the community services to help poor children learn the job
of mechanics to enable them to earn money instead of having to steal to live.

Leia, who was still fourteen, stayed on with them for a while longer, continuing
her Jedi training with her father, her healing training with her mother, and she
developed her political skills with her grandfather.

At eighteen years old, she participated to the local election of the new
senators, and won, then more ten years later, became elected president of the
senate.

She was the first Jedi and woman who ever occupied such a position.





When someone knocked on his door, Anakin knew who it was. He slowly turned
around, and smiled sadly at the sight of the past yet present who stood in his
quarters.

His granddaughter, Leia Skywalker, had selected a robe made of pure white which
reminded him of his own daughter when he had first met her, but her hair were
curled up and bundled against the nape of her neck like her grandmother used to
do.

"I wish you could come with us, Grandpa," she told him softly while she walked
closer to him.

Ani, who was now aged of nearly eighty years old, brought his wrinkled hand to
her beautiful features. So much like his angel, he thought sadly.

"I wish so too, sweet angel," he answered her truthfully. "But the medic was
strict; he doesn't want me to leave home for a while. I will watch you from
here," he reassured her. "You will be a magnificent president, dear Leia, and
with all the Jedi guardians, you will make sure the future will be as bright as
your spirit is."

For a long moment, his granddaughter gazed at him, then stepped closer and
hugged him.

"You taught me everything I know, Anakin," she told him gratefully. "I will
make you proud of me."

"You already have, Leia," he answered her, then gently disengaged from her
embrace. "Now go, Ansen and your parents must be waiting for you."

Leia reluctantly nodded at him, then dried her eyes and composed herself.

"Watch me, Grandpa" she told him proudly, kissed his forehead one last time,
then she ran out of the room.

Oh yes, he promised her even as he slowly shuffled toward his bed, under the
watchful eyes of his assigned medical droid, he would watch her as she ruled the
galaxy with her good heart and ethical values.

He reflected that both her grandmother and aunt would be proud of her.

He turned on the holovid on the wall, then reclined on his bed, slightly cursing
the strange tiredness and weakness that had been overcoming him for a few weeks
now. Before that day, he had been as healthy as before if a little older
looking, but for the past weeks, he felt as if time was catching up on him and
making him feel like the old man he was becoming. Even worse, the speed of the
turbolifts, or even the sensation of flying, was threatening his heart. For the
first time in his whole life, he was confined home.

It was extremely unpleasant, and more than a little puzzling, he admitted. It
wasn't some kind of illness, and his son and wife hadn't aged at all since they
had become parents. Only he had changed with time. Why? he wondered, why was
he himself becoming an old man this fast? Had he failed his vows to the Light?,
he pondered slightly.

He admitted that he didn't think so.


On the screen, the Senate session finally began with the traditional opening
when they had nominated a new president. The former president first spoke at
length, thanking those who had collaborated with him during his mandate, then
how he would support the new one... then, it was Leia's turn to enter the
senate.

While he listened to her, he slowly became lost in the past, remembering moments
when his future wife had addressed the Senate, or when his own daughter, Leia,
had become the youngest senator ever and held similar discourse to what her
niece was now holding.

However, he smiled wistfully, it was now time for that kind of promise and
reflections to take root. The galaxy was ready to move with her, and improve
things the right way. The more he listened to her, and the more he understood
that his work was truly finished now.

He had righted all his wrongs...

Slowly, he drifted asleep... then he slowly became aware that he wasn't alone;
in the distance, he saw his personal angel.

His Padme.

She was smiling at him, walking closer to him until she was close enough
towelcome him like when they had been separated for way too long. Anakin
enthusiastically returned her embrace. He was with her, at last.

On the physical plane, his body took its last breath despite the frantic
manipulations of the droid, then it slowly vanished since it wasn't needed
anymore.

His life-work was done.




When Luke and Mara returned from the Senate after witnessing the triumphant
opening session of their youngest daughter, Luke instantly felt that something
was different.

He couldn't sense his father; panicked, he reached out, searched, searched----
then gasped as he understood what it meant.

"No," he whispered in disbelief.

"What is it?" Mara asked from his side just as the lift finally reached their
floor.

"It's Father," he barely answered her in despair before he tore away from her
and ran down the corridor, ignoring his wife's startled reaction.

By the time she caught up with him, he had reached his father's door. He keyed
it open... and stilled in the opening.

Anakin Skywalker was no more.

"No!" he exclaimed again even as he rushed to the empty bed on which were his
father's clothes and lightsaber. "No, Father, come back!" he begged, kneeling
beside the bed as his strength left his legs. *Come back! It's not your time
yet!!!* he sent the same message in the Force.

When no answer came, he belatedly became aware that Mara had also stepped in the
room and was now kneeling beside him to comfort him.

"I'm sorry, Luke," she told him softly. "I know how much he meant to you."

"Why?" he sobbed on her shoulder, "why now? He wasn't old enough to die," he
commented sadly.

Mara didn't know what to answer--- but someone else did.

*My destiny is fulfilled, Luke,* Anakin's voice commented in the silence.

Luke looked up at that, then gaped at the sight of his father, who now bore
younger features then when he had left him a few hours ago.

"You didn't have to go just yet," he told him, getting to his feet to look at
him in the eye.

"It was not my decision, Son. The Force gives us life, and takes it when the
time comes. It's the way of the Force, of Life," he told him soothingly.

"We will miss you, Ani," Mara told him, standing up to offer support to her
grieving husband.

"I will miss you too, my dear daughter-in-law. I know that you will take good
care of your family. Everything will be all right," he reassured the two
youths.

"I love you, Father," Luke told him earnestly. "I'm so sorry for being away
when... when it began," Luke began regretfully, "I would have helped you had I
been here," he reassured his father. "I was worried when I saw your status when
I returned."

"I know, Luke," his father answered, "and I was worried too, but it was due to
the Force's retiring from my body. It was normal."

"So what about us then?" he asked him even as he exchanged an uncertain gaze
with his wife. "Is our life-work done too?"

"No," a soft, woman's voice answered him, then the woman from the holo that he
remembered from way back when appeared beside Anakin. "You and Mara have several
more years to live, my son, and to love," she added, searching his wife with her
eyes.

Both Luke and Mara could only gape at the estranged yet known woman. She was
exactly like what his father had described... like his youngest daughter.

"M... Mother?" Luke asked hesitantly while he tried to commit every memory of
this vision to his mind.

"I am prouder than proud of you, Luke," she told him warmly. "You made a common
dream come true." She turned toward her daughter-in-law. "And you, Mara, have
learnt to listen to your heart and became stronger for it. I couldn't think of
a better match for my son," she smiled softly.

"Thank you," his wife whispered while she sought his eyes once again, this time
in awe.

"It is a goodbye, Luke," his father said seriously, "but we will still be able
to watch over you and your loved ones from time to time... until we see each
other again. You are strong, my son, stronger than anybody who has ever lived.
You don't need me anymore," he finished gently, soothingly.

Luke reluctantly nodded, but muttered: "I will still miss you."

"Till next time, my son," Amidala told him softly, making him look back up at
them.

"The Force will Be With you," Ani finished, then they were both gone forever.

For a moment, Luke stared at the place where they had both stood, then he turned
back toward his wife and grieved his lost father. Mara also cried; she had
cared very much about the man who had formerly been known as Darth Vader.



******



Once the news of Anakin Skywalker's death reached the rest of the galaxy, a
hero's funeral was organized by the Senate.

Anakin's son, his wife, their children and grandchildren, everyone was present
at the main tribune while the rest of the galaxy honored the memory of the man
who had truly destroyed the Emperor and freed them all.

President Skywalker's speech was particularly moving.

They owed him their happiness, she reminded them all, for without him... the
future would be a whole lot different.



THE END
Liked it? Had fun? Hope so :)


SJ: Skyjade@globetrotter.net (any positive stuff is welcome, but negative or
mean comments will be thrown down the Sarlacc's throat without being read.)