A/N- Okay, this was originally a songfic, set to the Vanessa Carlton song of the same title, but I have removed the lyrics and decided to repost it. Now, kudos to SlinkyAndTheBloodyWands for the plot bunny. The songfic version can be found at fic wad (dot) com (remove the spaces) under my penname there, PatriciaLouise. Enjoy!
Disclaimer Buddy- I don't own the title "Half a Week Before the Winter," that belongs to Vanessa Carlton and her record company. I don't own any Star Wars characters or the like, that belongs to George Lucas.
Half a Week Before the Winter
Leia Organa leaned back against one of the large tree trunks that supported the Ewok village. She smiled as Han was pulled off to dance with one of the females of the race. Over to the left of the dancing stood Luke, staring off into the flames of the large bonfire the Ewoks had built. He seemed to be lost in thought. That was understandable, for she was as well.
It had only been hours, not even a full day yet, ago that she had found out that Luke Skywalker was her brother…and Darth Vader her father. And it had only been hours ago that she had laid upon the ground and witnessed the explosion of the Death Star. And it had only been thirty minutes ago that Luke had reappeared to tell her several bits of news.
"Father is dead. He killed the Emperor. He saved my life," he said, whispering the news into her ear as she hugged him.
Now that didn't sound right. Not like the Vader she'd known. Saved his life? Was it true?
Leia closed her eyes and called upon memories of the father she had known, Bail Organa. The last time she had seen him. What had he been wearing?
The royal robes of Alderaan. That's what he always wore when he was to see someone off. She remembered clearly that day. Bail had warned her to be careful.
"I will, Father. I'll get those Death Star plans and bring them to you. We might be able to finally end the war and the Empire here," she had said.
And then she had hugged him. He held her close for what had seemed like eternity, then finally allowed her to pull back, to kiss him on his cheek. She had boarded the ship, blowing her father a kiss as the doors behind her closed.
Leia could feel the tears well up under her eyelids as another memory invaded this one. This was an earlier memory, but one she always found herself coming back to.
She was in her father's study, sitting on the floor. She had a book in front of her, but she wasn't reading. Instead, she was listening to the conversation her father was having with the holocommunicator.
"The Empire has gone too far, Bail!" the other man, another senator, was yelling.
"The Empire has always gone too far. Ever since its creation," her father had replied, calmly.
However, Leia could see the hurt in his eyes. The Empire. It had always been her father's greatest enemy. Her father and this other senator ended their conversation. Then, Leia stood and walked over to the large desk.
"What's wrong, Daddy?" she asked.
Bail gave a sorrowful laugh. "Everything, dearest. But never you mind. You're too young. A time will come when you will be involved with this. For now, go on with your studies. I will leave you in peace," he said, standing.
However, before he could leave the room, Leia said, "I'll beat them for you, Daddy. I'll help save the galaxy from them."
Bail had shook his head. "I hope so. Until then, study."
Leia opened her eyes now. Luke was still staring at that stupid fire. She smiled and walked to him.
"Luke?" she asked.
He looked up at her. Then, seeing the tears that she had held back, said, "He was good, Leia. He had given himself to the Light side of the Force."
Leia could only nod. She had no comforting words for her brother. Instead, all she could do is sit beside him and recall the first time she had encountered Darth Vader.
It had only been a year since she had begun taking part in the Rebellion. She was only about fourteen years old. Her ship was trying to leave Coruscant to make its way back to Alderaan. And they were boarded.
Darth Vader had been sent by the Emperor to personally check every ship that was asking for clearance to the city. Some correspondence letters between the Emperor and some weapons experts had been stolen. He wanted them found. And of course, Leia had taken them.
Vader had searched the ship from top to bottom, delaying their departure by at least one standard hour. Luckily, Leia had thought to hide the letters on her person, hoping that no one would ask to search her. Before Vader had exited the ship, he turned to her.
"You got lucky this time, Princess. But there will come a time when your luck runs out. That time comes for all," he had said, in his deep, mechanized voice.
She had had nightmares for the rest of that year.
Luke brought her back to the now by putting his arm around her.
"Something's wrong, isn't it, Leia?" he asked quietly.
She sighed. "Was he really good, Luke? I just can't believe it," she said.
Luke smiled. "Yes, he was. I give you my word on that," he said.
Leia moved so her brother's arm would fall. Luke looked at her, his smile gone now.
"Do you know what it means to wear white, when you are a Princess of Alderaan?" Leia asked.
Luke shook his head.
"White is a sign that the Princess is in mourning. Do you know the first time I wore white?"
Luke made no move to reply. Instead, his blue eyes were simply resting on her…waiting for her to continue. And she did.
"I was sixteen. One of the senators representing Alderaan and I had been caught trying to smuggle some information to the Rebellion. Vader was the one who caught us. When I refused to give him any information, Vader began to choke me…with the Force, as I know it now to be. The senator, a young man whose wife had just given birth to his child, called for Vader to stop. That I had had nothing to do with the smuggling. That it had all been his idea. This was also the first time I had ever seen a lightsaber. Vader ignited his and cut this senator…this man who had saved my life, down. Vader released me from the Force's choke-hold. He ordered a few Stormtroopers to escort me back to Alderaan. I remember screaming constantly as they dragged me to the ship that would take me home. That's when I first donned a white dress."
Luke stood. This time, it was he that had no comforting words for her. Instead, he could tell that Leia wanted to be alone. With a light hand on her shoulder, he walked away to stand near Artoo. Suddenly, Leia felt guilty.
"…And my sister has it," Luke had said to her as they had sat together on that wooden bridge, right after he had shared with her that Vader was his father.
Leia's eyes had widened. For in that moment…she knew.
"Yes, Leia. It's you," Luke had said.
"I know," was all that she had been able to whisper.
What had she felt? Joy, obviously. She had her family again! Vader had thought that he had taken her life from her, but he was wrong! She had a brother! But…Vader. Luke's father? Her father?
Han had come to hold her close after Luke had left. Left…to face their father. Would he return? This wasn't fair! To be handed a family again…just to have it taken away!
But it hadn't been. Luke had returned. Vader was dead now. Freedom had won.
They were happy. These Rebels. Their side, their freedom, had won. Han was no longer dancing with the Ewok female, but now was chatting with Chewie and Lando. Leia found herself smiling again. Why couldn't she be happy now, in this moment? What stopped her?
Vader. That's why she couldn't be happy. She couldn't get him out of her mind. She kept coming back to all the people he had hurt. He had destroyed her homeworld! And now she was supposed to accept him? That wasn't going to happen anytime soon.
But…looking back, she did remember something…she remembered the many, many times she would sit out in the gardens that surrounded the Alderaan palace. What was it she did out there, for all those hours? She wondered. That was it!
She had always loved Bail. But she couldn't help but wonder from time to time…who was her real father? She knew that Bail had adopted her. That was one thing her father had never tried to hide. However, every time she would inquire why her biological father had left her…Bail would get an increasingly sad look in his eye and say, "Some things are best left unknown." But now she knew.
Oh, how she wished Bail were with her now…celebrating. And here to help guide her…
What would become of the Rebellion once they were to become the New Republic? She would have even more responsibility now. Surprisingly, Leia found herself longing for the days of her younger years…when she would sit in that garden and simply wonder about the world. She was always alone in those times.
Just as she had been alone when Bail was killed.
But she wasn't alone. She had Luke and Han and Threepio and Artoo and Chewie and Lando now. She had the family she had been missing.
I wish I could've known him. As Anakin, not as Vader, she thought.
Thank the Force for them all. Leia smiled in Luke's general direction. What would I do without all of you?
Maybe she was being too harsh on Luke's feelings for their father? After all, he must've, at one point or another, truly been Anakin Skywalker.
And now she realized the truth of things. She had no reason to be angry with Anakin or Vader. She thought that he had left her alone in the universe. But no. She had them. And she would always have them.
I'm not alone anymore, she thought, standing to join her friends…her family.
End Notes: Okay, so, what did you think? I don't usually do Leia fics, but this one just screamed at me. Anyway, please R & R! Thanks!