"Strong with Force, you are." Yoda said in his typical wise manner. The translucent form of Anakin appeared beside his old master Obi-Wan and the aged Yoda. Then silently, a barely traceable outline of a woman appeared- Padme Amidala Skywalker.
"I- I haven't gotten used to this yet… Oh Annie, its so frightening and beautiful…" she whispered, going beside to her twenty-two year old husband. Anakin took her hand tightly- they'd been reunited after his death- over twenty years of enslaving others- now he was granted peace?
"I can tell you're troubled." Obi-wan clarified, looking like his younger self thankfully. The former knight looked over at his mentor.
"As I should be Master. I dragged so many lives down with me…I nearly killed my children." Padme rested her head on his broad shoulder and toyed with his hair- as best as two ghosts could. Yoda and Obi-wan looked at each other and nodded.
"Grant you one gift we shall." Yoda said. Padme and Anakin looked at each other then back towards the ancient Master.
"A, gift? Master Yoda…?" Padme asked.
"Hmmmm. Yes, only temporary it shall be. Sent to your own graves you will be both. An hour to reclaim what was lost, years ago. For both of you, good it shall be."
"Master, this honor is… beyond… everything…" Anakin said bowing low before his once reveled instructor of the Force.
"Padawan, and yes I will always call you that." Obi-wan joked "You and Padme have until midnight. Its already two minutes past. Go now."
"Words cannot express our thanks enough." Padme whispered through her tears. Anakin looked equally touched.
"Yes, Master… thank you."
Anakin and Padme took each other's hands. The two Masters watched as the young couple slowly shimmered and disappeared from view.
"Will everything get said in time? Luke and Leia never understood the depth of their parent's love and the battles and wars surrounding it. Palpatine's horrific decision that tore them away from their parents in the first place." Obi-wan asked.
"You have so little faith in the living force."
Qui-Gon appeared beside them. Now it was Obi-wan who felt humbled, to be visited by the ghost of his former master, on whom he doted as a eager young padawan learner nearly forty years ago. The three JedI Masters watched two shooting stars weave around each other, like playful fireflies before streaking across the starry sky.
Luke walked up to the stone marker and knelt before it, in his robes. Leia stood beside her boyfriend, Han with a tight lipped smile.
"How can you pay respect to them?" she half hissed through gritted teeth. Lando shuffled forward awkwardly and placed flowers at the base of the tomb. It was a white marble dome with the names of their parents; Anakin and Padme Skywalker in lavish Nabooian scroll writing. Their birth dates and the dates of their deaths.
"I'm sure your parents… loved you a lot…" Han said, bowing his head out of respect, when he actually wanted to cuss them across the galaxy back for leaving two children in this crazy world, recently inhabited by the Emperor. The foursome stood silent amongst the graves, for it was common knowledge that it was taboo to speak unkindly about the dead.
'Yes, but you're the not the daughter of Lord Vader, once upon a time the humble JedI Knight Anakin Skywalker either. I should get my dues' Leia thought bitterly.
'Father… Mother… how funny it is, that we stand before your graves. Your deaths brought us together.. And tore us apart from the one thing, Leia and I lacked… a decent family…' Luke thought.
'Damn it… what kind of mystical power is… this Force that it can't be controlled well enough to let two courageous orphans get what they want… for a little while..' Han sneered ' Big bad Vader, now laying in a common grave. Guess you weren't so powerful after all. Most types aren't.'
"Lord Skywalker… Lady Skywalker. I never had the honor of knowing either of you in life, but I've come to a deeper understanding of family and life with your deaths. If… its any consolation to either of you.. I promise to watch both Luke and Leia… if that's how you see fit.' Lando thought.
"I'm out of here!" Leia announced crisply, turning on a heel back toward the Falcon. Han looked at the brother and his best friend, before receiving permission from her silent twin to go after her. Leia had been a senator, a spy, a rebel leader, a defender, a protector. But, she had never been a the most simplistic of all female traits: a woman. A girl. Leia Skywalker was a woman who needed a cry, and a good shoulder to cry on. Never more so did Han want to be that shoulder.
"Hey, your royal highness!"
"Leave me alone fly boy!"
His swiftness surprised even her. Leia was speechless for once. The rugged fighter pilot walked up to her, and firmly placed her head against his chest. Leia, good naturally rebelled but it was futile. She clutched at his worn jacket, sobs barely escaping her.
"Cry Leia. Shhhh, its alight." Han insisted, but Liea promptly refused. Han stroked her hair and whispered soothing words.
"I- I can't… Han… I can't… I can't…" Leia stumbled- the first chink in the emotional armor cracked! Han probed her back with his strong hands, finally Leia broke down in gut wrenching sobs. Han felt grateful as his shirt and bare chest absorbed her tears- his love's tears.
"That's it baby. Get it all out… I' here…shhhh…"
"I- I c-c-can't cry… I won't cry!" Leia sobbed weakly, feeling her knees weaken. Han scooped her up as easily as a empty bantha sack and carried her off towards the Falcon for a good meal, and a long night's sleep.
The ghosts of their parents looked on with the scene in silent shock. Like any father, Anakin raised an eyebrow to Han toting his only daughter off, especially towards the Falcon. Padme placed an arm on his shoulder.
"Careful my love. They're young, just like we were once." she chided. Anakin looked down at their immortal forms.
"Umm… aren't we still…okay..maybe I was a bit older…" he admitted. Padme lovingly traced the scar on his face.
"I was only twenty-seven… you were… how shall I put this? Umm…forty-two to say the least. Give or take a few years."
"Sheesh…" Anakin mumbled. He felt his grip on the real world slacken and he looked over concernedly at his wife, who seemed in no hurry.
"Quoting Obi-wan, 'you're always on the move' thinking, planning. When is it time, for just Anakin? When does Anakin get to rest?"
"I could say the same about you- Padme the Queen, Padme The Senator, Padme The Warrior. Padme the Mother. Padme this, and Padme that. When do you get to rest?"
As if on cue to his words, Padme rested against her beloved, and wrapped one arm lazily around his neck, kissing him softly.
"Soon my dearest. We shall be able to rest soon. Don' worry so much, Obi-wan and Master Yoda may never let us do this again."
Anakin loved his wife's embrace and entwined his fingers with hers and smiled softly before nibbling her ear gently.
"once again, you're right."
"Aren't I always?"
Leia couldn't sleep. Dinner had helped wonders, but she still longed for some kind of closure. Her Force powers had gotten stronger since the final battle with the 2nd Death Star, but she still was missing something crucial and vital before returning to Coruscant to help build the New Republic. She appreciated Han's efforts to cheer her up, but they were to no avail.
Her twin brother knelt beside the graves of their parents, and placed a hand silently on her shoulder. Leia rested her head against his strong shoulder and sighed. Luke could feel his twin's pain and looked away towards the night sky.
"you miss them, as I do. I suppose its only natural." Luke admitted softly. Looking deeper at the white gravestones in the meadow of the Naboo cemetery.
"I should be so angry Luke! Look what father-" and it took a lot to call Anakin father or even acknowledge the man as such. "did to us!"
"And for that, I'm most deeply sorry, my beautiful daughter."
The twins, accompanied by Han, and Lando skidded to a halt, all conversation just stopped. The ghostly images of Anakin and Padme appeared before them. Looking youthful and vibrant, a former jedI knight, senator and queen. Not sickly or evil, or charred. Just Anakin and Padme Skywalker. The parents of Luke and Liea.
"Mom….. Dad…?" Leia whispered. Her one single dream- to meet her birth parents. Luke's dream of freeing their father from the evil that had enslaved him for decades. The mother they both barely remembered stood before them.
"Oh boy… oh boy oh boy… oh boy…" Han whispered, seeing the elder Skywalkers. He didn't have any Force talent, but even he could sense the depth of the wisdom they had passed on to their children. Lando made a sweeping bow with his cloak.
"Lord Skywalker, Lady Skywalker. A pleasure to finally meet you." Lando said. Leia half rolled her eyes, causing Luke to chuckle lightly.
"My precious babies… you're all grown up. I've missed you so, very much…" Padme whispered, tears welling in her eyes. She opened her arms for a hug.
"Mother…." Luke whispered. He ran forward, and flung himself bodily into her warm embrace. She felt cold, being as she was dead, but Luke didn't care. It was his real mother! Leia trotted uneasily towards Anakin, who held out his hand.
"My dearest Leia… If only… I had known…" Anakin whispered. Leia chewed her lip, a trait Padme herself had acquired in her younger years and looked away before throwing herself into his arms, and squeezing him tightly.
"Daddy….. Daddy…." Leia could finally act like she was supposed to, to be a little girl, in the strong arms of her father, on whom she doted on.
Both parents hugged their children, and then Luke and Leia switched. Padme smoothed Leia's hair, and Anakin clapped Luke on the shoulders.
"You've both made us so very proud. I'm honored to be your father." Anakin said, the once great knight stood back with his wife to survey his children with fatherly pride.
"Thanks dad…" Luke admitted. Leia wrapped an arm around her brother's neck and smiled softly- the hate and anger slowly ebbing away.
'Anakin, Padme, return you must'
Anakin felt the change in the winds as he looked upwards and then at Padme. She took her husband's hand and blew a kiss at her son and daughter
Anakin looked across over at Han and Lando before giving them a deep bow of eternal gratitude, before giving one last fond look at his children before replying;
"Take care of her, of them for me."
"Of course sir." Lando said. Han nodded feebly, coming up beside Leia. A gentle spiritual wind kicked up, surrounding Anakin and Padme. Before their forms completely disappeared they looked at the family- their children were slowly gathering, and new that the Emperor was truly defeated- The balance had returned to the good.
Luke, Leia, Han, and Lando watched as the ghosts of Padme and Anakin slowly began to break up. Leia shielded her eyes from the wind.
"Dad… I love you! I Love you mom! We love you!"
Anakin and Padme smiled at each other. Their forms were unrecognizable now, merely particles of the Force, heading towards eternal peace- earned it they have. As they left, two voices, one male, the other female we're saying softly
'We're always watching, and we can always hear you. Thank you both, so very much…. My beloved daughter and courageous son. We love you…. Goodbye.'