Title: Candy Collecting
Summary: Luke wants to go Trick or Treating as he never enjoyed his childhood on Tatooine, Vader is not crazy about the idea. Another father/son SW fic.
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to George Lucas and whoever else may own the rights to Star wars. This is just for fun.
"So, Kid, you ready for tonight?" Han Solo asked with a grin on his face as the smuggler leaned against the door jam on the Falcon's cockpit. They were once again parked on Coruscant just outside Vader's palace.
Luke looked up from the control panel he had been busy fixing, a puzzled expression on his face. "Ready for what?"
"For all the free candy!" Han exclaimed, rolling his eyes. "Tonight is the official Trick or Treat on Coruscant and everyone dresses up in costumes, goes door to door to get free sweets! Don't tell me you never heard of it. I thought for sure you were planning on dragging your old man out to get free candy and stuff…"
Luke's blue eyes widened in surprise and he leaped out of the pilot's chair. "I never heard of that before. And people just give you free candy?"
"Yep…" Han smirked. "No one knows where it started or why, but it's been going on in the Republic for centuries. Guess the Empire continued it. Anyway, I got to take Chewie out tonight because he makes a huge fuss if he doesn't get any toffee this time of year. Hope someone's giving it away. 'Course, last year he got the stuff stuck in his fur and then I had to shave him…" The smirk disappeared and was replaced with a frown.
The Jedi grimaced for a moment. The idea of a toffee-covered Wookie wasn't very pleasant. Still, the idea of going out into the crowded streets of Coruscant to collect free sweets was exciting and a mild buzz shot through his body. "And we have to wear costumes?"
"Yep." Han strolled into the cockpit and pulled a long, only slightly dingy white cloth from an open box stuffed in a corner. Holding the huge square of fabric up before him, the smuggler grinned. "Perfect! Chewie is going as a baby this year, so he'll be wearing this diaper."
Shocked, Luke stared at Han with a partly open mouth. "Chewie will … do that?"
"Of course!" Han rolled the fabric up like a sausage and stuck it under his arm. "He's great. He just roars at people and most dump the entire bowl of candy into his bag! Well, see you later, Luke. And remember to take your old man with you when you go. Some parts of Coruscant are still rough and dangerous."
Luke watched Han leave, a thousand thoughts rolling through his head. Free candy! As a boy Luke never had the opportunity to enjoy candy. His Uncle had seen it as a frivolous waste of credits and it had no nutritional value. Water, food and keeping things in repair had been much more important. Besides, candy on Tatooine was foolish as it just turned into a hot, sticky mass from the intense heat. But now here was an opportunity to experience something he had missed out on as a child. Hurrying out the door, the Jedi ran in search of his father and since he could use the Force to find him, it only took a few minutes.
"Father!" Luke called as he found the Sith Lord in one of the computer rooms studying data on a screen. "Han just told me about the free candy giveaway tonight. Will you come with me?"
Darth Vader turned and silently stared at Luke for a long moment, the only sound in the room was his steady breathing. "Luke, I am a Sith Lord and you are a Jedi. We do not go Trick or Treating."
"Why not?" Luke asked innocently as he stared up at his father. "It sounds like fun. And just think of all the plunder we'll get! Why, Han said all you have to do is go door to door with a sack…"
"Perhaps because I am second in command to the Emperor?" Vader reminded his son. "I cannot be seen going about begging for free candy as a young child would. The Emperor would be most displeased. It's not suitable behavior for a Sith Lord. And a Jedi would not be using a word like plunder, Luke. You are spending far too much time with General Solo."
Luke rubbed his chin for a moment as he studied his father's tall, black-clad form. "I suppose you are easy to recognize…"
"Then it is settled." Vader turned back to his computer and started to study the data again.
"But we're supposed to wear costumes!" Luke exclaimed wildly, excitement clear in his blue eyes. "We'll disguise you and then no one will know!"
"Really?" Vader asked, his arms crossed over his chest. "And how do you propose we hide this breath mask, helmet and suit?"
"Uuhhh…" Luke's mind went blank as he realized that covering up the mask wouldn't be an easy task. Nor had he thought of his own costume yet.
"The Trick or Treating starts in an hour, Son. If you can come up with a suitable costume in that time then I will go with you. And do not think of going to the costumes shops; they are all sold out by now. You will have to create something with what we already have."
Chocolates and assorted sweets dancing before his eyes, Luke dashed off in a mad rush to find anything he could use. Boots sliding on the floor as he slid around a corner, he almost ran over Piett, who was carrying a stack of data chips. The man darted out of his way and wisely ducked into another room. Everyone knew it wasn't safe in the corridors with Skywalker running around in a mad rush. Finding the linen closet, Luke eagerly grabbed the first white bed sheet he found…
"No. I refuse to wear a bed sheet…" Vader stated as his son slid into the room holding it up. "Nor do spirits look like that. I know what you're thinking, Luke."
A few minutes later Luke returned with a hollowed out watermelon shell, two round openings cut into the skin. A long green quilt was tucked over one arm along with a few plastic vines. Happily he held the watermelon helmet up before his father's black breath mask.
Hoo-pah. Hoo-pah. Hoo-pah.
Vader breathed and then shook an angry fist at his unruly son. "Don't even think it, Luke…."
Undeterred, Luke raced off yet again. It was beginning to occur to the young Jedi that his father might simply refuse all costume ideas until the time ran out, thus avoiding having to go out all together. Looking about, he pondered on what to do with the still dripping watermelon shell he had sloppily carved with his lightsaber. Shrugging, he simply decided to set it down on the corridor floor, as there were no wastebaskets in sight. How could Darth Vader be so rich and yet have no wastebaskets? He was sure a cleaning droid would come along soon enough and … "A droid! That's it!"
Racing off, Luke hurried to the lift that would carry him down to the castle's large kitchen and the endless stack of baking supplies. He had seen neat stacks of aluminum baking pans as well as rolls of foil when he had been down there to get the melon…
"NO." Vader stated.
"But if we bend these pans…" Luke protested weakly, the pans clattering noisily onto the smooth, waxed floor as they fell out of his arms.
"No more kitchen supplies, Luke!"
Dejected, Luke ambled out into the hall and almost tripped over Piett, who had fallen over the watermelon shell. Avoiding the numerous data chips on the floor, the young Jedi headed back towards the Falcon. Walking up the Corellian ship's ramp, he passed by the cargo bay and paused, thinking. Han had boxes of stuff in there from all over the galaxy! Excitement swelling in his chest, Luke knew he still had twenty minutes to find two good costumes. If he hurried, he could still go Trick Or Treating! Tearing open crates and tossing things about, Luke smiled when he pulled an enormous object from one of the wooden crates. It was perfect and no one would ever recognize his father in it! Digging around a bit more, he collected more items he would need for the costumes. Soon he had enough and he hurried out of the Falcon, and then paused. He couldn't just take the costume to his father as he was sure Vader would refuse it yet again. "I'll have to be clever this time, more clever than a Sith Lord!"
So Luke opened up a panel in the wall and shimmied up the air duct, pushing the costume in front of him. It was a simple matter to come to the room where Vader was still studying some data on the computer screen. Using the Force, Luke pushed the grate off the vent opening and leaped out and downward, shoving the hollow lion head over Vader's mask and helmet before he could protest. It went on with a loud grating sound and then a pop, fitting snuggly over the breath mask.
"Luke!" Vader exclaimed, shocked at being caught unaware by his son. Lifting his robotic hands, he felt at what had been shoved over his head. There seemed to be a thick wild mane of hair and a muzzle of sharp teeth. "What have you shoved on my head?"
"If you can't see it, you can't reject it, can you?" Luke grinned at his clever logic, pleased with himself. "We'll wrap the rest of you in this fake fur bodysuit."
Gripping the thick hair on either side of his head, Vader tried to pull the head off but it refused to budge. Reading Luke's mind he knew it was a lion's head. With a mechanical sigh, he started pulling on the furry bodysuit. At least there was zero chance of anyone recognizing him in this outfit. The last thing he desired was to end up on the front page of the tabloids!
Luke quickly dressed in his own costume: a short skirt, a shiny metal breastplate, metal gauntlets on his wrists, a long red cape and a funny metal hat that had bright red bristles sticking out the top. It even had a plain, old-fashioned metal sword. Picking up two big pillowcases, Luke handed one to his father. "Can we go now?"
"Very well, Luke." Vader led his son to the air speeder and soon they landed in one of the neighborhoods where residents were handing out candy from their apartments. Young children in a variety of outfits ran from apartment door to apartment door, shrieking in glee as candy gathered in their brightly colored candy pails or bags. When the kids had covered one floor, they took the lift up to the next floor. And so on it went until the kids were forced to move to the next tall skyscraper. And although Coruscant no longer had seasons, the doors were decorated with artificial brightly colored leaves or similar decorations. "Do you see? There are mainly young children here gathering candy…"
Looking about, Luke was beginning to feel foolish dressed up as he was. The oldest child he had seen was about twelve years old. Why had Han told him about the free candy when it was obviously only meant as a treat for youngsters? "Well, I guess…"
Then an evil cackle came from around the corner and an old, ugly man came into sight. He hobbled along as quickly as he could in a thin, pale blue nightshirt, a matching stocking cap and fuzzy blue slippers. His eyes were reddish with deep grooves underneath them, his skin peeling and sagged. What seemed like over a hundred wrinkles hung on his neck and his bony legs were clearly visible beneath the knee-length nightshirt. The bony legs were truly a horrible sight as they were like walking bones covered in flesh. His gnarled hands gripped a huge sack bulging with sweets while he carried a twisted cane under his arm. Laughing, he raced past Luke and Vader until he reached the next apartment door. Putting the sack onto the floor, he banged on the door with the end of his cane. "I demand candy!"
The door opened up and a hand appeared, dumping some candy into his sack. Cackling, he hurried to the next door.
"See? Adults can go Trick or Treating!" Luke cried happily. "That old guy is! We can too! Gee, who do you think he's supposed to be? That outfit kind of reminds me of that story I had to read in school, that one with that greedy old guy. What was his name, Ebenezer Scrooge?"
Without waiting for a reply, Luke dashed off to the first apartment door and knocked on it. "Trick or Treat!"
The Sith Lord stayed where he was, unmoving, as he watched the old man's progress down the long corridor of apartment doors. Two people already must have handed out unfavorable threats and they received a trick in return: the bluish-white crackle of Sith Lightning.
Not that Luke noticed. The young Jedi was gazing happily into the bottom of his sack where five entire pieces of candy now sat. "Wow! Lollypops!! And two of them are artificial chocolate!! You can't beat that, can you? Hey, don't just stand there! The clock is ticking and we should collect as much as we can!"
Vader sighed silently. Out of all the buildings on Coruscant, why did he have to pick the same one where Emperor Palpatine was? It was going to be a long night…