While No One Was Looking
Darth Vader sank into a chair at his desk in his home on the Imperial Center, the rain outside echoing across the room. He leaned onto the desk, his head falling into his palms. How could things have gone so wrong? he thought, wearily. After his failure at Bespin, the Emperor had, well, grounded him. And it will probably stay that way until he calms down and finds another task for me to do.
Oh Luke, why didn't you join me? His thoughts immediately flashed to Luke's missing hand, his own mechanical hand clenching in remembrance. He grimaced, why is it that he couldn't ever do or say the right things?I always seem to mess things up, turn people against me! Oh Luke, together we could have ruled the galaxy!
Vader folded his arms down, his forehead coming to rest on his arm. As he sat there, he felt something brush against his leg. Surprised he glanced down, seeing a small, drenched golden cat.
As if sensing his gaze, the cat looked up at him and gave a long cheerful meow.
Vader froze, staring into the cat's brilliant blue eyes, which strangely, reminded him of Luke's.
The cat slowly sat down, it's head tilted sideways, watching him.
"How did you get in here?" Vader asked, his deep voice reverberating throughout the room.
The cat's head shifted the other way in response.
The cat gave a short meow before sinking down and curling up in Vader's long black cloak.
"I said shoo," Vader repeated, his eyes narrowing.
The cat's eyes popped open, glancing quickly at him. After staring at him for a few minutes, the cat closed his eyes again.
Vader stared at the cat, unsure of what to do. Maybe you should keep him, a small voice suggested in his thoughts. No! Sith Lords do not have pets, even if they did, it would probably be something big and dangerous! Not a small furry, cute kitten!
Oh come on, the voice argued back. Wouldn't you like...
No! Vader shot back. Besides, what would people think? I'm supposed to be dark and scary. If they were to see me with this thing, who knows what it would do to my reputation.
You don't have to bring it out into public. Keep it here and when you need to go out you can hire someone or better yet build a droid to take care of it! You know how much you like to build things!
No, I can't, Vader started.
Yes, you can, the voice persisted. Besides, it will give you something to do other then mope around waiting for Palpatine to calm down.
I can't, Vader repeated, his resolve weakening. Feeling the cat shift against his leg, Vader glanced back down, his eyes catching the contented cat, its small head resting on Vader's boot.
Maybe having a cat wouldn't be so bad, he thought, softly running his finger over the cat's tiny head. "You really remind me of my son Luke," Vader whispered. "He doesn't want to be with me, but you do don't you?" Vader smiled slightly. Silently, he turned on his computer and set about ordering various droid parts and kitty things.
A few months later...
"Luke, I thought I told you not to sleep on my cloak," Vader grumbled, holding up his long cape, its black color covered in little golden cat hairs.
He glanced down and saw the little kitty silently rubbing against his leg. He shook his head, picking up the purring cat, who immediately began to rub it's face on the angular features of his black mask.
Vader was really glad he had decided to keep the little kitten. It's playful antics and curious nature had indeed kept him busy during his grounding session. When he had gone on a short mission, he actually found himself missing the little ball of trouble.
He slowly sat down, placing the happy cat onto his lap. Luke immediately curled up, silently falling asleep.