Summary: After his fall into darkness there are only fragments of Anakin left behind, but they were strong enough to save him. EP III/ ANH/ROTJ vignettes. One-shot.
A/N: This story ignores the 'jedi academy/Jedi apprentice books'. It hints at a back story also hinted at in another FF of mine, which also followed a few of these themes though it turned out better for Anakin in that one. The characters in the two stories are similar but that's becauseI started writing this one then abandoned it for that one because it had a happy ending and I wanted to write a happy ending for Ani(It's calledDenial by the way). So please read and drop me a line with any thoughts or suggestions though Flames will be used to cook my dinner.
Revenge of the Sith Vigenette:
He hadn't taken the troopers this time, this time he was alone, there were no Star Destroyers waiting in orbit, no help of any kind, there was just a man, searching for his wife.
The Ship blasted off as he moved out onto the platform. He moved swiftly across to where the ship had been, he could sense her still, like a lingering taste in the air. His Padme, gone again. The emptiness inside was again filled with boiling anger and hatred as he watched the small yacht disappear.
He felt a momentary pang and then spun on his heel, a small figure moved in the shadows of the spaceport entry onto this landing pad. Around him Alderann spread in peaceful beauty. And now gliding from the shadows was a small figure, undeniably female, dressed in a silvery cloak that seemed to both be silky and shimmering and also a part of the darkness, a figure he for a moment recognized, Padme!
Then her head moved a tiny bit and he saw it, the clothes beneath the cloak were not ones Padme would wear. A soft grey jumpsuit with a cloth belt upon which he saw a lightsaber. His mouth went dry. He only knew of one Jedi who bore a resemblance to Padme, the emperor had said she was dead, said Dooku had murdered her and her master on the rim…
He knew why the Jedi had sent her. She was small, her cloak slipped away at a brush of her fingers, Her soft brown hair curled around her face, soft brown eyes so similar to another pair of rich dark eyes made his heart thrum. But it wasn't her. It was Lore.
She brushed away tears from his face. She was older than him by a few years, maybe sixteen. She just rocked him, and he remembered another small dark woman rocking him. Keeping him warm in the cold emptiness of space, now in the empty fake light that was Coruscant at night.
Her hands were empty, just like her eyes. She just watched him, her head tilted to one side. She had changed in the years since she was sent to the outer rim. Her eyes seemed infinitely older; a scar ran up the side of her face and into her hair, causing a white streak through her short wild hair. He shivered. She had more than changed, he remembered her from all those years ago as kind and sweet, naive and foolish the Emperor would call her.
Deep inside Anakin was saying something. Darth paused momentarily to listen.
'Please no! Why her? She was kind, she was always so kind, please – spare her! Please-'
Darth stopped listening to the voice's pleading, its foolish belief that one Jedi might be better than the rest, but it would not be silenced. Slowly he drew his lightsaber, making sure she saw him do it. He looked into her eyes, he felt a strange appreciation fill him. She was not afraid he saw as he moved forwards, her dark eyes did not fill with fear, nor hands did not tremble at the implacable doom that he represented. Instead she looked at him with absolute compassion and pity…
'See? She's not our enemy! She won't harm us, look at her, she's our friend, she cared, she cares still!'
Vader ignored the voice totally and utterly. Bright red light came to life before him with a snap-hiss that seemed far too loud. For a moment her eyelids flickered closed. Perhaps she was praying. He sneered.
'Oh Sith no! Oh no, oh no, oh no!
Anakin was pleading again as Vader moved forwards, gliding slowly towards the still unarmed woman, he paused a moment. Why was she not defending her self? As if reading his thoughts she drew her lightsaber and slowly, step by step moved backwards, till she was almost at the edge of the landing pad. He followed her slowly, expecting a trick or trap. She had retreated until she was in a hopeless situation for a reason. Slowly she raised her lightsaber. It's golden length snapped to life between them. Slowly she saluted him, He approached quicker, his saber already pulled back to attack, she moved into a slightly defensive posture, and then she smiled when he was within a foot or two of striking her. Her light saber flashed in the air and he moved to block it in a slash towards her side.
And felt nothing, there was no impact, rather his saber slipped right through her silver cloaked side. Only then did he see it; the golden saber was hundreds of feet away, arcing through the pre-dawn grey. She stumbled back from him, her smile still on her face as she tumbled slowly backwards, falling from the side of the platform, he made to grab her and missed.'Oh force! Oh force what have you done?' The silver cloaked body was falling, falling, her cloak like the tattered wings of some beautiful bird fluttering around her, shimmering as the morning sun came fully awake and the platform was bathed in golden light.
A New Hope Vignette:
The black cloaked figure stood at a port on the Death star. His breathing regulator disguised the way his chest wanted to rise and fall in short spasmodic gasps. The mechanics that allowed him heightened eye sensitivity used chemicals to rid him of tears before they could truly form. The Screams he wanted to issue, the cry's from deep inside that were threatening to break free from his chest simply would not come.
He wondered a moment what made him feel so desperate, why he needed to scream, to lash out. The reason was such a long time coming he wondered if their was any reason at all. Then he saw it, reflected in eyes the color his own eyes were beneath his helmet. The boy screaming in the docking bay, his eyes wide with pain and… grief.
"It's alright to cry Anakin. You mustn't feel ashamed." Her words had been so reasonable. So kind. "Your grieving, you've lost your mother and future master within day's of each other. It's only natural that you should mourn." She had smiled, that same soft smile that she had given him as he cut her down. "But you must not let this grief overcome you, when anger and fear find a place in your heart, then I shall mourn. For I'll never see your smile again." And he tried, and finally a smile had touched his lips, and the responding brush of lips to his forehead had made him feel as he had not felt in days, loved.
That was what made him want scream and cry, to lash out at any who came near. He had seen it in the Princess' eyes just hours earlier.
Immeasurable grief and sadness. Loss beyond any measure.
He had lost them all. Qui-Gon, all those long years ago. Over thirty years now. His mother, more than twenty years now, his friends in the clone wars cut down in battle after battle that he survived. Padme, her ringing words of disgust for what he was becoming still echoing in his ears.
"How could you Anakin? How could you!"
A silver cloaked figure falling from a platform, her dark eyes compassionate, her mouth a soft smile despite all the things he'd done. An old man, with sad pitying eyes, that still held a gentle twinkle in them.
They were all gone, his friends and companions of his youth. Those who had shown him compassion and kindness, those who had shown him what it was to be free, to be a Jedi and not a slave… Just another kind of slave, sneered a part of him. But in that moment he looked with Anakin's eyes, felt with Anakin's feelings, and knew without any doubt that he was grieving.
In all their eyes he had not seen any anger, he had seen pity and sadness, no fear, but resignation. Was that what it truly meant to be a Jedi? To accept what happened, to accept what was done and to trust in the force that it was for the best?
After all what had he suffered that others had not. His thought's went back to Lore Ti-Rell, she had never even known her parents, her only family were the Jedi, and they one by one had been hunted down and killed, including her master. But he had felt no anger in her at the end, only acceptance, pity and sadness for what he would do to her. And still she had smiled at him. She had smiled at him.
Anakin was sad. But the sadness must be repressed, hidden deep within. The eyes full of sadness and disbelief that stared at him in pity and sadness rather than accusation seemed worse to bear… So much worse to bear…
Slowly Darth Vader came to the fore again, pushing the sadness deep within himself, slowly he turned and walked down the corridor, darkness swept in his wake as he moved down the corridor. But for the first time in a long time, Anakin Skywalker's voice was not just a dim whisper suppressed at the back of his thoughts but was there, whispering in his ear. Whispering words of reason and compassion.
"You must be brave Anakin, you must accept the pain-" he looked up at her. "And move on. Death is not the end; remember that." She stood and with a last smile she walked away.
Return of the Jedi Vignette:
The traces of anger fled the pale blue eyes as Darth Vader's breathing regulator struggled, causing him to wheeze, a soft sob broke through the mechanics, and the blonde boy drew backwards. He cast a glance down at his own hand; the one Darth had himself taken from Luke.
He didn't hear as his son spoke, all he saw was that slight glance, compassion, again. Then Luke so calm as he spoke. Then he watched the lightening flickering, but all he could see were brown eyes so similar to his darling wife's closing in death, tumbling through the night.
He didn't know he had released that locked and bolted door, let out his avenging demon until Anakin lifted up his emperor, Darth felt the pain racking his now fragile body as he cast his master into the pit. Darth collapsed to the floor as Anakin, still young and joyful celebrated in the small area of his own body that he now controlled.
But whether Vader or Anakin he was doomed. He knew it; the mechanics that kept him alive were only functioning due to all of his willpower forcing them to work. Making them keep pumping air into his lungs. He tried to speak as Luke lifted him up, tried to tell his son not to bother, after all it didn't matter, he had taken so many lives searching for Padme and his missing child –children, he corrected himself, his own life was due. His punishments awaited.
But the darkness did not come, instead through his filtered goggles came Luke's face, old before it's time, with scars and hardship written there. Like his own face had been at that age. But where the marks of dark power had marked him his son still showed nothing. No eyes of darkness, no hatred glowed there and neither did fear, not true fear.
"You must not be afraid Anakin." He looked up slightly, she was now barely an inch taller than him, he lifted his chin, determined that she wouldn't see the way his heart was beating.
"I'm not afraid." He looked away as his vice cracked slightly, shifting between his high child's voice and his deeper voice. She smiled at him, her hand resting on his shoulder; he inched forwards, respectful to her orders that he stay slightly behind her. Suddenly she paused, stiffening and cocking her head. He stretched out his feelings, trying to discern what had made her pause in the dark corridor.
"I won't leave you father." Anakin wants to tell him it's to late, he's the one leaving.
He can see Padme in Luke's eyes, all that conviction, that love, shining forth like a beacon, calling him home. He breathed harshly, the breath difficult and grating, filling him with pain, but it didn't matter, how much he hurt, didn't matter, nothing mattered because Padme was there. She looked the way she had the first time he'd realised that she was more than just the most beautiful woman he had ever known, when he had realised – she was the beautiful woman who smiled at him with love, the only one to do that since his mother.
The dress was just as beautiful as he remembered, tiny pink buds and gold net, but her hair, it was free, a single true rose tucked into its curls. She smiled, tentatively at first, but then wider, she seemed to beckon to him as others moved behind her, shadows from the past and he shrank back against- against a protective arm, the curve of a woman's body. Lore's dark eyes watched him with a calm recognition, like she had the first time they had met.
He tried to pull himself away from her silver clad form, but she was there, beside him. He looked up as someone came to lean over Luke's shoulder. A pair of blue eyes twinkled at him with a mischief so rarely allowed free reign, but always there, just beneath the surface.
But the hair on his head was no longer think and a warm honey blonde, it was pale as the snowcaps of Naboo, white as a snowstorm on Hoth. Beyond him others moved, some seemed to come into focus for a moment and then finally another stepped forwards, his mother, as she had been the day he'd left, a smile on her face and a tear in her eye. She opened her arms, as though he was still a boy and would race into them, and he found himself starting forwards.
He stopped and looked back, two figures stood together, a man and a woman, one blonde and weary, the other dark and smiling, brown hair spilling across her face just enough that he could imagine her being her mother.
"They'll be fine Anakin." He turned to see Obi-Wan smiling.
"Yes- strong they are, fine hmm- yes fine they will be." Said a smaller figure by the knees of Lore, her silver cloak softly falling about her.
"Come Anakin- you belong with us now- remember? Death is not the end." Padme nodded.
"Come with us Ani, it's your time to come." Finally he nodded, moving towards them. He paused and glanced back again.
"Goodbye." He smiled and then walked away, following those who had gone before him, His friends, his family, his Padme.
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