Disclaimer: Don't own Star Wars and related, never will, just messing around with it and will put it back as it were before I got my little hands on it.
Right. This is my first Star Wars
fanfic (but not first fanfic overall), so I'm a little nervous about
it. If it sucks, don't come screaming about it, but do tell it... just
There are too few fics with Luke Vader in a father/son-type of relationship. So I'm doing my own. Don't kill me. You know the drill really, AU. Flaming AU with Luke finding something of Anakin's... Vader will appear later.
Tatooine's twin suns rose majestically over the burnt golden horizon of the desert planet, quickly banishing the night-chilled shadows and leaving the surface a burning anvil once more. Of course, the planet's moisture farmers had already been up for a while since no hour when one could be working could be allowed to go to waste.
One of the inhabitants on such a farm was still sleeping however, but not for long.
"Luke? Get up! You have chores to be done!" Owen Lars demanded from behind the closed door, rapping on it sharply. He'd let the boy sleep to sunup as usual (Beru had convinced him of it when Luke first started to help with the farm and the rule was still active), but Luke wasn't a little kid anymore, and should start with the rest of them.
Of course, he hadn't made Luke wake up any earlier than usual.
"Luke!" Sharp bark and finally there was some sound of movement from within, and a voice muttering something that could have been taken for affirmation. Knowing the boy wouldn't fall back asleep again, since if he did, there'd be hell to pay, Owen stalked away into the kitchen. Beru stood as usual by the cooking unit, hiding the smile that had lurked on her lips when Owen came in. He may have some trouble with letting the boy be himself, idealistic dreaming and all, but he was hardly as demanding as he made himself out to be.
"You'll get him on his chores and see to it that they're done before he runs away to do god knows what?" Owen asked his wife as he walked past, kissing her on the cheek.
"As always." She confirmed with a nod and patient smile. "Now go." Shooing her husband out of the kitchen, she prepared to be hit by the daily storm that whirled in here each morning. Luke may be short, but he easily made up for it with his bright personality and a presence like a sun going supernova.
The third member of the Lars' homestead groaned and dragged the blanket up over his head as his Uncle's voice cut through his happy haze of almost-awareness. But as always, it quickly became too hot due to the suns shining down outside. Throwing the blanket to the foot of the bed, Luke muttered a barely audible something (that he knew would be taken for an acknowledgment to get up) and rolled slowly out of bed as his Uncle's footsteps receded.
Another boring day in a boring year on this boring planet. Glancing out of the window, just to confirm the suns had risen and he still wasn't expected to work on a normal farmer's schedule (he dreaded the day when he would hear his Uncle's voice calling him and he'd find it was still pre-dawn), the 13 year old boy struggled into the slightly too-large clothes, dragged a hand through silkily soft, sun-bleached blond hair to substitute for a combing and bounced out of his room. Even if it would be the same routine as every day, he couldn't help but feel vaguely excited and expectant, as always. What he waited for, he wasn't really sure.
"'Morning, Aunt Beru!" Luke chirped and sat down by the table, scarfing down whatever was put in front of him eagerly. The older woman smiled down at "nephew" feeling rather relieved that he'd entered the stage of his youth where he'd eat as often as he could, and as much as he could of what was put in front of him. He was a little on the short side, and while it was terribly cute, Beru didn't think Luke would appreciate being cute much longer.
A short flash of a slender, dark-haired woman entered her mind's eye and she vaguely wondered if Luke would maybe get his mother's height... shaking her head and refocusing her attention on Luke, Beru nodded to the question she'd half-heard.
It was an old one.
"Yes Luke, you can go to Anchorhead. But only when your chores are done, you know that."
She had, as usual, ignored the slipped-in "ormaybeMosEisely?". He knew he couldn't go there, and she wasn't about to fall for the talking-so-fast-you-can-hardly-understand-what-is-being-said. She'd learnt how to decipher Luke-babbling a long time ago, since he only did it when trying to ask for something he knew he wouldn't get.
"Awww, but Aunt Beruuu..." Luke whined as he hopped of the bench and put his dishes with the others. Beru just ignored the "earnestly" shining blue eyes with their pleading expression.
"Now scoot. The faster you get them done, the faster you can go over to Anchorhead."
Ruffling the blond head she turned back to her own work, keeping half an ear to the receding thunder of Luke's footsteps. It was a wonder such a small boy could produce so much sound.
Growling at the vaporator, Luke scowled and poked around. There was something wrong with this one, but he couldn't figure out what exactly. It was just beyond his fingertips, he was sure of it. But he couldn't find it and it was just so frustrating! He knew he could find it, it was just... taking a deep breath and letting it go in a puff of frustration, Luke shook his head.
This was the last of his chores, and kreth if he was going to stay here any longer than necessary. He wanted into Anchorhead. Biggs had told him someone new had moved in, an alien even. Why anyone would ever want to move to this sun-burned dust ball of a planet he couldn't understand, but it wasn't his business.
What was his business on the other hand, was that the newcomer had taken over the responsibility of the junkyard and the much needed duty (in the authority's eyes anyway) of seeing to it so that their scrap metal and other broken machinery and whatnot were moved over to Mos Eisely when needed. Before it had been more of a "whenever it becomes too much" kind of deal, which had suited Luke perfectly.
The problem was, Luke used to go there to get bits and pieces to fiddle with, and if the newcomer wouldn't let him do that anymore, it'd be harder and he'd possibly have to sneak in. And while sneaking was fun... it came with the possibility of being found out, thrown out and his Aunt and Uncle being told he had been bad again. So, he needed to get into Anchorhead and talk with the supposed alien (Biggs could just be jerking his chain, most of the aliens were in Mos Eisely, anybody knew that) and hope he was reasonable.
Now, back to this bantha poodoo of a vaporator. What would his father have done?
Closing his eyes and resting on the heels of his feet, Luke frowned. Navigator on a freighter? As if! His dead father had been a pilot of some sort, of that Luke was certain. Racing among the diamond-sparkle of stars and the endless void of space, just as he wanted to do. Just as Luke was going to do, however much Uncle Owen wanted to keep him here as a farmer.
Easily dropping into the daydream, Luke imagined sitting in a cockpit, his father beside him. The deep, gentle voice picking out and explaining various controls and how they worked. But for some reason the stars out side started to shift and swirl, like they supposedly did in hyperspace, before remolding into the blinding white-gold, and red-shaded desert of Tatooine, suns beating down on them from above. His father was still explaining for him, but these controls were different, and the seat he was in was open to the hot air and sunlight.
"Remember Luke, to keep the engines stable. That's what's important." The voice rumbled through him pleasantly and Luke looked up at his father through the goggles he wore but had to frown. The goggles must be impeding his sight, because he couldn't see any definite features, only dark blond, slightly wavy hair and blue eyes like his own.
"And Luke, always listen to your instincts. Your gut feeling will always be right so follow it, understand?" The voice dropped away suddenly, fading away into the sunlight and sand and hot-hot air and then he was definitely back by the vaporator, still crouching in the sand.
Blinking to clear his eyes, Luke frowned. That had been a little different. Usually his daydreams didn't shift as this one had done. Shaking his head, Luke peered at the broken machinery thoughtfully. Hesitantly at first, then with mounting confidence, his fingers flew over the controls and inside the innards of the vaporator, and not even 10 minutes later, he could slam the little maintenance hatch closed as the vaporator started to function as it should again.
He hadn't even had to pick it apart! Grinning brightly, Luke wondered why he'd been so hesitant to follow that feeling that never went wrong, but a flash of Uncle Owen scowling ferociously easily gave him the hint. But Uncle Owen wasn't here right now, so he wouldn't know that Luke had followed that feeling that told him where to find lost tools or things, or if there was a sandstorm coming.
That last one he'd always found to be a very good thing to know, and while Aunt Beru always thanked him but told him to keep it quiet, Uncle Owen on the other hand got all red in the face and angry. Sighing at the thought of his grumpy and unreasonable Uncle, Luke shook his head and got to his feet. At least now he could get into Anchorhead without his Uncle whining either about broken vaporators or his chores not being done.
Anchorhead looked as it always had done, the few off-white dirty buildings collecting sand at the edges, the road mostly deserted and everything looking tired, bland and bleached so much by the suns there was no color or even life left in anything. At least the homestead looked more alive and welcoming than this place did.
Sneaking up to the house whose front worked as an entrance to the scrap yard, Luke looked around the room from the doorway.
No one around.
Hoping, even if it would just delay thing, that maybe the alien wasn't around and he could talk with him some other day, Luke slowly started to inch inside, heading for the courtyard in the back where all the junk was.
"Hey! You there!" The voice rather scratchy, and Luke froze immediately, whirling around nervously.
"I'm not a thief, I promise!" He blurted out, staring up at the green-skinned individual who had stopped him. So it was an alien. A Rodian... if he remembered his lessons correctly.
"No? What are you doing in here sneaking then?" The alien sat down on a chair in the corner he'd no doubt been sitting in. /Lurking is more like it./ Luke thought with a mental scowl, not happy at not having noticed the man.
"I was... I was just... I come here often to get stuff to tinker with, and I thought maybe you wouldn't let me do that anymore and so I thought I'd sneak in!" It came out in a rush, not as mangled and mashed together as his "babble", but almost. The Rodian did some facial expression, Luke thought it was equivalent with a raised eyebrow but couldn't be sure.
But what he was sure about was the feeling of amusement emanating from the creature. Luke frowned, barely kept himself from pouting and crossed his arms defiantly over his chest. Damn adults always making fun of him just because he was younger... A soft snort erupted from the Rodian and Luke frowned even more fiercely, particularly as he could decipher it as a laugh.
"Right kid. I won't tell you not to come here. As long as you don't make a fuss of it, okay?" the Rodian snorted again and Luke nodded cautiously.
"Okay. Thanks!" Deciding to take it for what it was, the blond boy smiled brightly and waved in thanks as he jogged out of the room and out on the courtyard.
Smiling contentedly, Luke took a deep breath, inhaling the odors of old oil, metal and rust. It was maybe not a nice smell, but that wasn't what was important. For him, it had another, maybe more deeper meaning.
Things in here may be broken, but he could almost always put something back together and make it work again. And if he couldn't get a particular object to work, the parts could always be used for something else and make other things working instead.
There wasn't anything really new, but that didn't bother Luke. He could go look for something that he'd seen earlier and... Thoughts trailing off, Luke stared at the machine cramped in between the courtyard wall and other junk. He couldn't tell what it was, only that it was definitely some sort of racing machine.
It was a faded orange, but in several places the paint had been scratched and torn away, revealing a matted silver-blue theme beneath. Two long cables connected the small, cockpit-like seat to two cylindrical engines, but neither they nor the cockpit was in any good repair. Indeed, it rather looked like it'd been beaten on with a blunt object. That it was all still hanging together was something of a miracle.
"It's called a podracer. The sport was outlawed several years ago." The Rodian had silently come up behind Luke, but the boy had felt him sneak up and wasn't surprised.
Slowly, slowly Luke walked up to the run-down 'racer, feeling almost drawn to it. It was a beautiful machine still, and the second he touched the sun-warmed metal of the cockpit, he knew he could fix it. He had to race it! Whirling around, Luke peered up at the Rodian pleadingly.
"Let me have it! Please! It... I..." He couldn't explain it, and he had never really been good with words. Heart beating harder than it had ever done in his short life (and yet the seconds now seemed longer than all the hours, months and years taken together), he stared up at the green-skinned alien, begging as best as he could with his eyes, knowing he'd probably be refused just because...
Luke's soaring happiness was quickly shot down however, falling so hard and so fast, he thought he could feel the non-existent vertigo, when the Rodian continued.
"But, only if you can fix it up... and race me in Beggar's Canyon."
Luke scowled and crossed his arms, holding back the childish urge to stomp his foot. There was something hidden here, something he didn't know, that the Rodian was keeping quiet about. Narrowing his blue eyes, Luke did his best to sneer. Bantha poodoo of a greedy and selfish... trailing off since he couldn't come up with any good names, Luke nodded.
"Sure. If those are the conditions for me to get it, I'll do it." His Uncle was going to kill him, and Aunt Beru would look at him all sad like. He didn't want her to look like that.
So, therefore, he would see to it that they wouldn't find out.
Kyan. Please ignore that the history of where Anakin's podracer disappears to after it has done it's duty isn't the same. I want it here, so... just imagine whatever you will for it to still be on/having come back to Tatooine, kay? But Sebulba did buy, it... for some reason. It's AU. That's my excuse. Hope you enjoyed!