Chapter Three Two years Post-ROTJ

An adult Leia eyed her brother thoughtfully as he sat meditating on the hanger bay floor.

"What are you doing?" she questioned.

Intrigued she saw his lips move while the rest of his body stayed absolutely still.

"Meditating," he explained succinctly.

The former Princess leant against the struts of an X-Wing, fascinated that he could sit so passively and do nothing at a time where there always seemed to be one more colony, one more civilisation that needed help. There were more practical ways to help the universe than sitting around thinking.

"What for?" Leia pushed him.

"A force vision is like seeing the future. It's almost like you are there, experiencing that time. I'm trying to have a vision of the past."

He broke out of his rigid stance, slumping forward to rest his elbows on his knees. Leia gave a sad half-smile and walked over to sit beside him, carefully smoothing back his hair in comfort.

"I want to know more about our mother. And since the records have all been meticulously wiped, this seems as good a method as any."

"I'm sorry I can't remember more," she apologised.

Not for the first time she cursed her own insufficient memory, wondering just how young she had been when she'd seen that woman. Luke, more than she, had a desperate need to know where he came from and she loathed herself for not being able to tell him more. If the stories of his upbringing were anything to go by, the emotional distance his aunt and uncle kept only strengthened the longing for natural parents who would have loved him. Yet another thing she thanked Bail for, the unconditional devoting had always made her feel wanted.

"I can't even dream about them," he muttered, flicking at invisible dust on his shoe.

The way he almost sulked brought a much-needed laugh bubbling up from the pit of her stomach.

"I used to have dreams, about my mother."

Luke's eyes popped open and he lit up eagerly.

"Really? Tell me."

"I think they were just dreams. Not force visions."

Luke paused and studied her carefully.

"Tell me anyway," he gently coaxed.

"She was a – queen. In my dreams anyway. I remember telling –"

Leia cut herself off with a gasped intake of breath. Her mind remembered a moment in time she'd long forgotten. It was so vivid she was shocked straight to her feet, as if getting away from Luke was the only way to make it go away.

"What is it?" Luke asked worriedly, scrambling to stand.

"No-nothing."

Leia held up her hand and back away from him, startled as her mind provided her with a very clear image.

"Leia what's wrong?" he was obviously trying to remain calm for her sake.

Leia's eyes widened alarmingly as she had a very clear memory. And this was an actual memory not a dream. No, it had to be a figment of her imagination. It had to be. Although why would she have possibly dreamt up such a character?

"L-Luke," she trembled.

He came closer and drew her into his arms.

"What is it?" he asked again.

Soothing her as he rubbed her shoulders.

She couldn't even say the word father, or link the image in her mind to the horrible man in black who had tortured her on the death star.

"Have you ever," she paused to swallow back her fear.

But the man she had met hadn't induced fear. He had been warm, comforting. Thoughtful.

"Have I ever," he prompted when she didn't go on.

"Met a man with wavy blonde hair, to about here," she indicated just above her shoulder. "Wearing long brown and black robes. Taller than you."

"What colour were his eyes?" Luke asked softly.

Leia looked up at him intently, staring straight into the same eyes.

"Blue," she whispered.

Luke smiled very gently at her.

"I've only seen him once like that. After he died."

Leia didn't make any reply to indicate she knew he was talking about. But she pulled away from him and quietly started pacing, that was indication enough.

"He's our father," Luke murmured.

"I know."

Luke somehow wasn't surprised. Except something didn't quite fit. Darth Vader in all his dark glory had been documented as existing for most of their lifetime.

"Where have you seen him?"

"In a cave."

"A cave!"

Leia looked up, suddenly brought back to the present.

"Yes. I was out playing with my friends and I got lost in a snowstorm. I decided to hide in a cave and wait for it to pass, but it got colder and colder and no one came to find me."

"Was this a dream?"

"No, it happened. When I was little. I was trembling, tired. I felt like if I just closed my eyes and went to sleep, I might never wake up but I would be with my mother. And then he appeared."

"In a cave on Alderaan?" Luke asked, startled.

Leia nodded.

"His hand," she tried to see through the fog of time that clouded her memories.

She touched her right arm.

"It was mechanical."

Luke said nothing, and it was obvious he was desperate for her to continue. After all, neither of them had very good memories of their father.

"Did he just stand there?" Luke questioned.

"No. He sat down and wrapped me up in his arms. I remember wondering how his cloak was so warm when it was made out of such simple material."

"Did you speak to him?"

"I – I called him …"

"Yes?" Luke eagerly pushed.

"Daddy. I called him daddy and he called me Princess Leia. I somehow just – knew."

"I told him that I had dreams. I did, I had dreams about my mother and no one else would believe me. Or they would tell me to hush up and stop being foolish. So eventually I stopped talking about her. Sometimes I had prophetic dreams too, but I got in trouble once when I told my father – Bail – that I'd foreseen something and I never mentioned it again."

Luke studied her curiously.

"So you do have force visions. You've had them before."

"'I dream things too'- that's what he said to me!" Leia remembered, startled. "I remember feeling so relieved that someone believed me!"

"Did he try and hurt you?"

Leia tipped her head to the side, struggling to remember.

"No, he just held me, kept me warm. I think he might have even," she squinted, as if seeing into the past. "Kissed my hair?"

Luke sat back on his haunches, startled.

"Your hair?"

Leia suddenly pulled back from him emotionally.

"Leia, what is?" he questioned.

His consolation was obviously not wanted though, because she shook his hand off and began walking away. As if disgusted with him. Or herself.

"Leia, tell me, please," he begged her as she wrestled herself away from him.

"I didn't want him to leave," she finally screamed. "I wanted to stay with him! He was warm and comforting and I felt like I belonged with him!"

He pushed her hair back and quietly listened as she ranted. Finally he murmured

"You, somehow met an Anakin Skywalker who loved you as his child. And you remember our mother as a beautiful queen. Why be upset when both our parents left you such wonderful memories?"

"Because one of them was a mass murder – a dictator! He isn't the benevolent loving parent you want him to be Luke – and he never will be!"

With that she accusation thrown at him she stalked from the hanger bay.