A/N- Okay, part of this one-shot was written while I was watching Rocky Horror Picture Show, and another part was written while I was listening to Enya. Thankfully, none of the Rocky Horror influence survived. Part of the Enya might have. Now, this fic is AU with Episode III. Please enjoy!

Disclaimer- I don't own Star Wars. That belongs to George Lucas.


Remorse

Six white gualaars pulled her open casket as her friends and family followed silently behind. He longed to walk closer to the casket, just to see her again, but he knew that he mustn't. His large, black, hulking figure would frighten the mourners. It was imperative that he did not make his presence known.

And so, Darth Vader watched from afar as Senator Amidala's casket was pulled farther and farther away.

…………………

Long after Padme had been buried and long after the mourners had left, Darth Vader remained. If his tear ducts had not been burned away, he would have wept. He touched her tombstone, feeling it but not as he should. Sensors in mechanical arms and hands could never feel as flesh and blood did.

Her tombstone read, "Padme Amidala Naberrie. Beloved daughter, sister, aunt, queen, and senator." It didn't seem right that Skywalker could and would never be added to her name, or "beloved wife" would never be listed as a title. She was ever as much those two things as she was anything else. No, no soul would ever know that Padme had been his--no, Anakin's--wife.

He could no longer be called Anakin. All that was Skywalker had died. His friends, his wife, his child…all gone. And it was all Vader's fault. He thought that Vader had been fighting to help him keep those things. Only in the end--when it was too late--did he realize that he had been fighting to take it all away.

Vader stood, masked face turned downward, before the large stone, thinking nothing and feeling empty. He had destroyed all of Anakin's hopes and dreams all for his own selfish gain. He could never regain any of it.

"And that is where you are wrong," said a voice Anakin had not heard for a very long time.

He turned, his ebon cape swirling behind him, and the eyes hidden beneath the breathing mask widened. There, in a simmering, ghost-like form was Qui-Gon Jinn. His arms were folded pensively in front of him, and a sad smile graced his features.

"This is an illusion!" Vader roared, drawing his new, red lightsaber. "Jinn died when Anakin was but a child!"

"Put that away. You've killed too many already. It is me. I come to you, a vision from the Force," Qui-Gon said. "I bring you news to keep alive a hope I fear has died this night."

Reluctantly, Vader extinguished his weapon and hooked it back to his belt. Then, slowly, he stepped toward the familiar face, his arm outstretched. When his mechanical hand reached Jinn's chest, it went right through it. Qui-Gon scoffed as Vader quickly retracted his limb.

"I am not corporeal," he said simply. "Do you care to hear my news?"

Vader rested his hands on his belt. "Very well."

Qui-Gon smiled a mysterious smile.

"Your offspring lives."

Vader was taken aback.

"This…this cannot be. Alive? Where? Where have those Jedi scum hidden my child!" he raged.

"That I cannot and will not tell you. Time will reveal that answer."

"Then why have you brought me this message!"

Qui-Gon's smile widened. "Because I wanted you to remember something."

"And that would be?" Vader growled at him.

"That the best part of Anakin lives on…and he should never be forgotten."

With that, Qui-Gon disappeared. Vader rushed forward in vain. Letting out a roar of frustration, he turned back towards Anakin's wife's grave.

"Perhaps it is best that the best part of Anakin lives on elsewhere in the galaxy…for he lives within me no longer," he said, turning his back on the tombstone and departing.


End Notes: So, what did you think? One of the main reasons I wrote this was…after seeing Episode III and comparing it to Episode V, I thought, "Man, Vader took the fact that his son was still alive really easily." Well, please review!