Author's Note: Hey all! So here it is – the story that won the poll! Thanks to everyone who voted, and even if you didn't vote for this plot, I hope you still enjoy it!

I've taken a different route with this story, trying to expand my horizons, metaphorically speaking. The main body of the story – the chapters – will be told in first person from Leia's point of view. Then there a few interludes that are first person from Vader's, and the prologue and epilogue are third person. I'm mentioning this now so that you aren't confused later on.

So I'll shut up now, and let you get to the story! Oh – but don't forget to review!

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars. This is a non-profit story being written only for entertainment.

Alliance of Enemies

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." -- Irish Proverb

Prologue: Sith Meets Senator

Seventeen-year-old Senator-Princess Leia Organa stood alone in a corner, watching the other politicians mingle with wide eyes. She'd only replaced her father in the Senate less than a year ago, and she hadn't managed to make friends – or, at least, allies – with any of her colleagues yet.

Well, there was one girl Leia was friends with, but Pooja Naberrie had gone back to her home planet of Naboo for a four-week vacation, and so Leia was alone, the lone person under forty in the whole group.

A serving droid offered her a glass of Alderaanian wine, and she took it gratefully. At least it was something to do.

She eyes the room again over the rim of her glass as she took a sip, and saw her father's friend, Mon Mothma, looking over at her. Leia averted her gaze and hoped the other woman wouldn't come over. Mon Mothma was a nice enough person, but Leia was intimidated by her calm, confident poise.

She turned back to her conversation, and Leia heaved a silent sigh of relief, only to catch her breath as another figure, dressed from head to toe in ebony armour, stalked into the room.

Darth Vader stood tensely in the middle of the room. Conversations had stopped at is appearance; he angrily waved his hand, and the senators resumed their chatter. Vader looked around for a corner to hide in until the gathering dispersed.

For some reason Vader could not fathom, Sidious found a sort of sadistic pleasure in forcing him to attend these political parties whenever he was on Coruscant – which was why Vader tried his best to avoid Coruscant. Unfortunately, he could only avoid it for so long.

One corner of the room opened into a small kitchen where droids went to gather drinks and odd little delicacies, the contents of which Vader did not even want to think about. Two other corners sheltered tables, around which several older senators were seated. And the lasted provided cover for a girl dressed in white.

Vader blinked. If he didn't know better, he would have said this child – for she looked very young, with her big uncertain eyes and slight build – was an angel, like . . .

Best not go there.

But as he looked closer, he saw differences that proved to him that he was not seeing a ghost. Her eyes, though the right colour, were too big, her face too narrow, her cheekbones too high – and a million other little things. Still, she would have made a good decoy . . . if only a decoy was still needed.

He gave himself a mental shake and headed toward the girl, who was doing her very best not to pay any attention to him. She would be the easiest to intimidate from her spot in the corner, he was certain of it.

The very last thing Leia expected was for the Dark Lord to start invading her space.

She had been trying to ignore him, though it was hard. This was the first time she had seen him up close. Pooja said that he often came with the Emperor to oversee Senate proceedings when he was on Coruscant, and was the Emperor's official ear and voice at gatherings such as this, but he had been away for the last three years, overseeing the Navy against the Rebellion.

All her life, Leia had heard about how horrible and terrifying the Sith Lord was, but her first reaction to him was admiration. In his shining armour and moving with a flawless grace Leia envied, he was magnificent.

But then he came toward her, all the stories she had ever heard about him flooded her mind, and she began to panic.

And then he was right there, and talking to her.

"You should be out on the floor, child. A pretty young creature like you would have lots of friends."

Yes, she had to admit, that was true. She was pretty, her father always told her so, and at seventeen she had her whole life ahead of her. Why shouldn't she get out and socialize a little? It would be good for --

"Hey!" she snapped, jerking herself free from whatever he had tried to do to her. "Don't do that!"

To say that Vader was shocked would have been an understatement. Mature men had been unable to resist him when he put his will behind the strength of the Force, but this tiny twig of a girl had tossed the suggestion off as if it were nothing but an irritating water droplet. It was a phenomenon that floored him.

He decided to do something he had not done in nearly twenty years: act innocent.

"Do what?" he inquired.

Her eyes narrowed. "I don't know; whatever it was that you were doing! And don't deny that you were doing it – I know it was you!"

He inclined his head. "As you wish, milady."

She blinked at him, caught off-guard. "What?"

Why had he just called her that? He had only ever called one woman that, and she wasn't her.

He just stood there, not saying anything. Maybe she would take the hint and go away, like he wanted her to.

But instead, another woman joined them, one Vader hated with all the passion he was capable of feeling.

"Ah, Lord Vader," Mon Mothma greeted him sweetly. "I see you've met our newest member, Senator-Princess Leia Organa. A delightful charm, is she not?"

Vader just stared at the woman. This was Bail Organa's daughter, his successor in the Senate? Sidious had told him of the girl; according to the other Sith, she was as much of a menace as her father or Mon Mothma. Looking at the quiet, lonely child, he would never have believed it.

"Pleasure," he said shortly. She gave him a small smile in return, lips tight.

"Leia, dear, there's someone I want you to meet," Mothma said, steering the girl out onto the floor. Vader slid into her vacated spot, wedging himself between the two walls and wondering why he didn't want to see the youngest Senator go.