A/N: Yes I know, I seem to start a new story before finishing at least one. Blame my muse. My muse leads my writing, besides I have this excessive need to put certain projects on a small hiatus in order to work on something new so that I could collect my thoughts for a particular story. This in no way means that I abandon stories, nope, I always come back to them, but only after I could string together coherent thoughts for them, to do so, I have weave a new story to make room in my head. I know, it may not make any sense, but it does to me.
Anyway, I hope that you enjoy this new idea.
He could hear the painful screams echoing off of invisible boundaries, permeating his mind and body. They tore him apart inside and he knew that he should care because those painful screams, a child's painful screams bothered him more than anything ever before. He searched for the source of the screaming and crying of a panicked child in intense pain. He found it as a little girl was held still. She was just a small thing with a head full of brown curls. Her brown orbs shown with painful tears as she struggled against the medical staff who were trying to run some tests. Couldn't they see that they were hurting her?! Anger like he had never felt before surged through him as she cried and screamed some more before the vision faded.
Darth Vader was alerted to consciousness the same way as he always were after a vision. Why he was having visions of a child in pain escaped him as he moved to get out of the rather large bed. He would have preferred something smaller and less extravagant but this apartment as well as it's furnishings were gifts from the Emperor. Rather awards for evey time he had found a remaining jedi and exterminated the enemy. Everything in this apartment had come from the Emperor. Vader despised it all and his master knew it. He had no need for it all, especially the large bed. It was only him sleeping in it anyway. Vader knew very well that the large and extravagant bed was a slap in the face, a punishment in the form of a gift. For the only use he really had for something like this would have been if he hadn't been alone, but he was and sleeping in something like this only reminded him of her, of how she felt so right sleeping next to him, of the countless times she curled into him at night. But she was dead, he had killed her in a blind jealous rage.
Finally free of the bed, he made his way to the refresher to splash his face with water and try to attempt to rid himself of the latest stream of visions. Snarling into his reflection, he was met with the same image once again. He had made every attempt to rid himself of that life but every time he caught his own reflection, he was reminded once again and it infuriated him when there was nothing that could be done. For what he saw every time he looked at his reflection, he saw the man he used to be, the part of himself that he had taken great pains to rid himself of. His frustration with it, pleased the Emperor somehow and even now he could hear his master laughing at his frustration.
He would kill his master at the first chance and finally take control of the galaxy once and for all, making those who dare to oppose him suffer greatly. A feral grin spread across his face as he creatively thought of how he would make them suffer. That was one thing that his master lacked. Creativity. For Sidious, it was always a quick and easy death, but for Vader, he took great pleasure at a slow and agonizing death, soaking up the suffering like a greedy child. That was one reason why he enjoyed interrogation, it gave him the opportunity to torture an enemy. Even the most defiant were willing to talk by the end if only for their suffering to end, but it never did until their pathetic lifeforms could no longer take the abuse.
Seeing the time measurement on the crono, Vader proceeded in getting ready for the day. He had been called to Coruscant for a reason but he didn't know what. The Emperor didn't tell him and what was more, he was ordered to not leave the planet until further notice. Something was going on, something was going to happen, he could feel it.
Padmè Amidala had never backed down from a challenge, never given up without a fight. Even as a little girl, she was fighting for something, something greater than herself. It was this belief that something greater than herself was worth fighting for that had landed her in every situation she had ever been in. But not once did she ever once cave. Never once, until now. Now, she was terrified. And as she watched as the doctors forced her younger child through yet another treatment, she felt as though she could feel Leia's pain and it broke her more than anything had ever broke her. More than him. She refused to think about him for six years for he had been the one who she had loved desperately and he was the one who turned on her, who had hurt her the most. But now... now he could be her only hope. She didn't dare entertain that possibility. She wouldn't jeopardize her children's safety by ever seeking him out. There had to be another way. Someone else.
Padmè tore her eyes away from her terrified child in pain to look at the doctor. She didn't say anything, her throat was too constricted.
"We are doing everything that we can for her, but without a compatibly donor..."
Padmè found her voice. "Isn't there something else?" she asked.
"She needs a bone marrow transplant. Normally we look for close relatives like a parent or a sibling. Neither you and your son are compatible which leaves her father..."
"He's dead," Padmè interrupted him.
The doctor looked at her sympathetically. "It is extremely difficult to find a compatible donor outside the family bound, Milady," he informed her.
There was nothing else. She refused to accept that. The thought of running to him. To asking that man for help when she had spent the past six years hiding from him, protecting her babies from him and that monster he served. It was inconceivable, unacceptable. "Find someone. I don't care what it costs, just find someone," she instructed.
"There is a waiting list for transplants, it could take years to find someone," the doctor told her. "Years that your daughter may not have," he added.
Padmè looked at her frightened little girl seeing the tears of pain stream down her face. The sight was breaking her little by little everyday. The doctors had repeated the same message to her day after day. She thanked her long time friend, Bail Organa and his wife for their kindness in her situation as they took great pains to hide them and to provide for them, having Leia treated at their expense. She was ever so grateful for Breha's soft spot for children. She had begun to loose track of days, she barely noticed Obi-Wan's mission presence from her and the twin's side. Obi-Wan, her long time friend, her protector and only confidant, it was the first time that she registered that he hadn't been by Leia's bedside for several days and in that moment she panicked. She hadn't seen Obi-Wan since the doctors first told her that neither she or luke were a compatible match for the transplant that Leia desperately needed. Fear settled inside of her stomach. She prayed that he wasn't doing something that she knew they would regret.
The short trip from Alderaan to Coruscant was all to familiar to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Coruscant was the one placed that he longed for but swore to never return to. It was also the most dangerous place for him to be which was why he was extremely careful to stay disguised. He had abandoned his standard gear for the disguise of a freighter pilot, even to the point of temporarily dying his hair and beard a darker shade than it's natural ginger color, opting for something extreme. One minor detail that would make people loath to recognize him as the famed negotiator from the clone wars. He even masked his force presence and kept his lightsaber well hidden, having a blaster holstered to his hip, just for disguise.
Falling instep with the crowds, he made educated guess on where his prey would be, if his sources were correct. After all, Bail Organa was never wrong about these things. Bail was smart and cunning for a politician. Having Organa as an ally was greatly beneficial. As to have been expected, Bail had shared his concerns for Obi-Wan's plans in an uproar, but having been there when Luke and Leia were born, the good senator had a soft spot for Padmè's twins. Bail had seen reason once he had calmed down and had agreed to keeping this from Padmè in way of keeping her focus on her daughter. Which left Obi-Wan to collect what he had come for. Only he wasn't alone. Alliance soldiers and spies were with him, all ready to take the prey back to home. Obi-Wan himself would contain the threat until Leia was well taken care fore and before Vader would know what had hit him, Obi-Wan would have gotten Padmè and the twins out of his radar. It was a perfect plan, one executed from Obi-Wan's extensive knowledge of Vader's powers and abilities.
Looking from the corner of his eyes, he gave a brief and subtle nod to his allies before they entered the packed crowd in front of the Imperial palace that awaited an announcement from the Emperor. Vader hadn't been seen by the Emperor's side yet which he would soon be, which meant that Obi-Wan had to act quickly. No sooner had he passed through the security of the palace via mind trick, then he made his way to a point where he could intercept Vader before he reached the Emperor.
Vader was late which would grate on his master's ire, but he didn't care. He was late on purpose. He could sense that what his master was planning on announcing would need his enforcement. It explained why he was called back and why he wasn't allowed to leave. What it was that his master was about to announce, he hadn't figured out yet. He didn't have enough information to. He never did. He was always the last to know what his master was planning and he was always the one to enforce it. He did more for the Empire than the Emperor did which in Vader's mind, made him the true ruler of the galaxy. But he couldn't hold that title until Palpatine was out of the way. So far his master hadn't given him that opportunity. But then, how do you kill someone who expected you to kill him and planned accordingly to it, to your every move? The thought of severing his master's head in his sleep had crossed his mind, but Palpatine had done that to his own master so he would expect that. He would have to do something, completely unexpected. Something that would take his master off guard completely.
He was so busy in his own plans that he didn't notice the pull of danger in the force until something struck him in the neck. Frowning, he reached up to pull something from the back of his neck and seeing some sort of dart. Before he could assert where it had come from, he felt more hit him from different directions. It was an ambush. The moment that he reached for his lightsaber, he felt the effect of whatever he was struck with take over, rendering him immobile as he fell to the floor. The last thing that he registered was a familiar looking pair of boots moving in front of his vision followed the the sound of others, before all coherent thought left him and he was sucked into darkness.
Blurry shapes of light entered his vision as Vader slowly returned to alertness. He barely heard someone arguing, one side, determined and adamant, the other panicked. He couldn't distinguish voices. They were fuzzy, but he could feel their feelings. That was the only thing that was clear before other things were made aware. For one, he was face down on a barely cushioned slab with bars at either side of him. He tried to move, but found that he could not. Two reasons why, he was still feeling the effect of the drug and the fact that his wrists were bound to either side of him as well as his ankles. He could feel cool air brush against his skin from the waist up which made hih frown. As details came to him, he moved his head to look at his surroundings to find himself in some sort of medical facility. But that wasn't what made him cold. On a similar and more comfortable look slab lay a child. The very one from his visions and he could feel just how much pain she was in. Too much pain for such a young child. He frowned as he found himself caring about that and deducted that it was those visions that were spurring that feeling. He narrowed his eyes at the child, studying her critically, seeing the rising and falling of her chest as she slept. But it wasn't that that made him grow cold. It was what she was clutching in her tiny hand. A small and crudely made pendant. The very pendent that he had carved as a child. There is only one person who could have given that particular pendant to the child. As he stretched out with his senses, feeling that he should mask his alertness for some reason, he searched for any sign and found it. Like a beacon going off, he felt the one presence that he had thought was lost forever.
He looked back to the child. Could it be? He studied her more, feeling the child's force presence, barely trained force presence. He could also feel that it wasn't just sedatives and painkillers that allowed her to sleep through the pain. She was cushioning herself with the force. It was an advanced technique and it didn't seem plausible that anyone would have thought to teach a child as young as she that particular trick. No, that was instinct derived by the need to protect herself from the pain. Why she was in pain, escaped him. It also escaped him why he was here.
He closed his eyes as he felt her get closer, seeing her with the force as she made a point to avoid him, going strait to the child. He could feel the emotional strain she had been going through, that she was still going through.
"We didn't have a choice, Padmè," a familiar refined voice said sounding strained.
"Anyone else would have been better," she said coolly.
"You heard the doctors. The best candidate is a close blood relation. Neither you or Luke are compatible. Do you really want to risk Leia's life with fear? I did what was in Leia's best interest. When this is over, you will see that. I swear to you that I will not let anything happen to the twins. By the time he knows about any of this we will be long gone."
"It wouldn't matter, Obi-Wan. He'll know and he'll chase us down. You just put my children in danger and I'm not entirely sure that I want you to remain here," she said coolly.
"Leia will die without this transplant. Your fear is clouding your judgment."
"Get out," she ordered, her voice made of steel.
"I am not leaving, not while he's here. I swore to protect Luke and Leia and that is what I am going to do."
"You brought him here without my consent and now, now I can't even look at you," she said coolly.
Vader relied on the force to see their actions, masking his alertness. He would formulate a plan of attack while he was stuck here. Surely Kenobi realizes that he couldn't keep him bound for long. Really, the jedi should know better by now. But his arrogance and overconfidence would be his downfall. Vader would make sure of it. As for his wife. She had been in hiding for far too long, forcing him to believe that she was dead. Well, he would put a stop to that very soon. As he focused on the child, he knew exactly what he would do, he just had to be patient.
"Milady," another voice entered the mix. "It seems as General Kenobi has found an excellent match for your daughter. An impeccable match to be more exact."
"I am well aware of that, Doctor, General Kenobi has a rather knack for impeccable finds," her biting tone was directed at Kenobi.
"Well, Milady, we can proceed whenever you are ready," the doctor said, appearing to be unaffected by her tone.
"I want this done as fast as possible, Doctor," she said.
Vader could see her leaning over the child, hovering over her protectively. Then he was aware of the slab that he was on moving away from the child. He continued to be focused on the child and then he saw another child around her. A boy with pale blond hair past his ears and as he turned, Vader could see his blue orbs boring into him before the boy child moved closer to the slab that the girl was on protectively. The very next thing that Vader was aware of was something poking him in his lower back followed by extreme pain. It was something that took all his energy to block the fact that he was aware of everything going on from Kenobi and to shove the pain into the force. He worked on both before he used up what energy he had gained from the drug induced state and blacked out again.
Padmè waited anxiously for the doctor to clear Leia fit to go. The sooner the better. She didn't trust the idea that Vader was too drugged to know what was going on. Nor did she trust those binds holding him. She knew better. Obi-Wan especially knew better. She was angry with Obi-Wan for going behind her back like this, but she knew he was right and that frustrated her. She knew the moment that the doctor told her that neither her or Luke were a compatible match to donate any bone marrow that Leia needed that Anakin was the best choice by far. However, she knew very well that if Vader knew about the twins that it wouldn't be that long until the Emperor knew and that frightened her the most. She knew without a doubt that now that Vader would be aware of this, running would only last for so long until he caught her and the twins. That of course would get Palpatine's attention.
She couldn't get the sight of the Jedi Temple out of mind, of the younglings, even the babies. All killed by a lightsaber, killed by Vader. She refused to believe what Obi-Wan had told her, even after Mustafar from which she had been whisked away by Obi-Wan after he immobilized Vader, until she saw for her own eyes what her husband had done. The very sight had sickened her to the point that she had gone into labor then. From then on, she wasn't sure what her husband was capable of doing, so she hid and faked her death. Going to great lengths to hide herself and the twins. There weren't even any records of the twins, not until Leia had gotten sick and she had come here for refuge. But now, this planet, this place was no longer a refuge. She had to run with her children and fast before Vader could even open his eyes.
Padmè turned to see the doctor standing in the doorway. She didn't say anything, her heart was pounding in her chest too much for her to say anything.
"Leia responded very well to the donated bone marrow. Extremely well in fact, it is as if the donor is a close family relation," the doctor informed her.
Padmè breathed a sigh of relief. "When can we go?" she asked.
The doctor looked at her. "Milady, this is a major procedure, I need to keep a close eye on Leia for at least a week," he told her.
"I- we don't have that much time," Padmè told him.
"Whatever your urgency is, Milady, it cannot be more important than your daughter's health," the doctor told her.
No, only her life. Padmè didn't voice it. She couldn't so she turned away from him, praying that they could work around this somehow.
Obi-Wan Kenobi didn't need to check on Leia Skywalker to know that she was doing much better. He had done the right thing by capturing Vader to make him an unknowing and unwilling donor for his own daughter. Now the tricky part was keeping him unaware of what was going on. So far he had received no indication that Vader was even aware of anything. Thus was also proved by the fact that Vader hadn't even moved a muscle. Obi-Wan knew very well that if Vader had even been lucid at any time that it would have been impossible for him to keep still, such was just not in his nature. This knowledge made Obi-Wan smile, it made him hopeful.
Feeling that now would be a good time as any to get something to eat, he quickly checked the binds holding Vader, and scanned him with the force to see whether or not he was deeply succumbed to the drug's will. So far so good. So he left, leaving an Alliance soldier in charge as he went to get something to eat, and to check on how Padmè was holding up. He didn't even notice the eyes watching as he left.
Vader watched with satisfaction as Kenobi left. The Jedi was completely fooled by his act. Pity, he expected more from him. He was consciously aware of the soldier keeping guard, heavy utility blaster at ready should he move too soon. Focusing on the binds keeping him on the slab, he worked around their locks, using the force to unlock them. He frowned when he noticed just how tricky they were, but he knew some even trickier. He had personally invented trickier ones, the kind that were impossible to break out of, even with the force. It wasn't long until he heard four clicks. The clicking sound alerted his guard and quick as a flash, he acted, springing up and choking the guard to death. The guard didn't even have time to cry for help. He quickly made an assertion of his surroundings and found the clothing that had been removed from him, sitting nearby, minus his lightsaber. But he could work around that.
Not wasting any time, he quickly got dressed before leaving the room. He used the force to lead him to his destination. Finding what he was looking for in the intensive care unite. There on a single bed laid his daughter, the pain lessoning, but she had put herself in a healing trance, proving just how powerful she really was. But she wasn't alone. On the bed also laid the boy who stuck by her side protectively. He was just as strong with the force as she was which only lead to one conclusion. They both were his. He knew from his mother's stories that twins ran in his blood line so it didn't really come to much shock to him. He only imagined that it did to his wife since he never told her about that particular trait.
As quietly and as quickly as he could, he approached the bed. He had to get away fast before anyone took notice. Carefully, he picked his daughter up and laid her slight form over his shoulder. A feeling came over him, a feeling that he had been denied knowing for six years, the feeling of holding his child. But even that precious feeling was dampened by how fragile she felt. No six year old child should feel this fragile and it angered him. How long had she been sick? How long have they let her suffer before coming to him? He cursed his wife's stubborn selfish pride for this. Obviously her irrational fear was more important than their daughter's well being. That was going to change, because there was absolutely no way that he would ever allow something like this to ever happen again.
For a moment he just stood there holding her. He brushed a hand over her soft brown curls, dimly wondering if her hair would remain curly as she grew or would it straiten out. Even looking at her now, he knew that she would grow into a beautiful young woman, just like her mother. He held her more firmly, knowing that this angelic and beautiful little girl was his and he was never going to let her go.
Daftly, his hand brushed her much smaller one, noticing that she was clutching the chain that the pendant he had given her mother as a childish token of love hung from. He knew that she was very much attached to it. It would send a very powerful message if he left it behind. So he expertly, pried the chain from her small fingers and as he set it down on the bed, the boy stirred looking at him. Vader could sense the boys alarm at seeing him holding his sister and he sensed the yell for help before it came allowing him the chance to make a force suggestion for the child to sleep, which worked. Thinking that that was too easy, he quickly picked the boy up, holding both his children in his arms. With one last look at the pendent, he left the unite. He was taking his children and whoa be the one who dared to try to stop him.
Obi-Wan returned to the medical room that contained his one time best friend, after having a satisfying meal. He froze upon entering. Vader was missing and the soldier he had left in charge over Vader's watch was on the floor dead. Cursing at his inability to sense this and for the very obvious fact that Vader had fooled him expertly, he ran towards the Intensive Care Unite in time to hear Padmè's panicked scream. His guess was right, the twins were gone. Not giving the image of Padmè holding the necklace she had given Leia when the whole ordeal started a seconds thought, he quickly rushed out of there. He had to hurry if he was going to stop Vader from leaving the planet with the twins. He quickly hailed Senator Organa, frustrated by the seconds that went by before his com was answered.
"What happened?" Bail's worried voice asked, thinking that Leia had taken a turn for the worse.
"Block all outgoing ships from leaving the planet!" Obi-Wan ordered.
"Why?" Bail asked.
Obi-Wan cursed the senator's need to know what was going on. "Vader escaped and the twins are gone," he told him.
"I'll alert every port and hanger at once!" Bail told him.
Obi-Wan was already on his way to the closest hanger, hoping to intercept Vader, hoping beyond hope that Vader wouldn't endanger the lives of his own children for a fight to the death or some sort. If Vader was even aware that the twins were his. But Obi-Wan quickly dismissed that notion. Vader wouldn't have taken the twins if he didn't believe that they were his. Which meant that he had been aware the entire time, even heard his and Padmè's little argument. This was certainly a new side to his former pupil. Somehow he had developed the patience to stay still for an extended amount of time and to have mastered the ability to mask his own awareness. This was certainly disturbing.
Obi-Wan was also aware of the fact that Vader could be facing an armada alone and still manage to escape unscathed. So he prayed that he wouldn't reach the hanger too late. Increasing his speed, he made it to the hanger in record time to see a small fighter lifting off. He had a quick moment to act, so he whipped out his lightsaber, ready to use it to disable the engine. But in a split second the fighter turned in his direction and fired, forcing Obi-Wan to dodge fire after fire, hardly given the chance to do much of anything or to get anywhere near the fighter before it took off into the sky. Grinding his teeth in irritation, he pulled out his comlink, hailing flight control. "This is General Kenobi, all stations, prevent a small, J-47 type fighter from leaving the atmosphere. But be careful, we have younglings being held hostage!" he commanded.
"Copy that, General," came unanimous replies.
"I am not going to let you get away that easily," Obi-Wan vowed, jumping into a similar fighter, a smaller one of a different model. He quickly took off in pursuit of Vader, using every skill that Anakin had taught him, him being a reluctant student for those lessons. Within moments he had Vader within range. But he needed to be careful. He couldn't jeopardize Luke and Leia's safety. With an angry growl he realized that Vader knew this and would have absolutely no problem in shooting him down. The situation was really a no win one. He only hoped that all departing ships were blocked from leaving the planet's atmosphere until Luke and Leia were safely returned. But such wasn't the case because as soon as he saw the shields going up around the planet, he saw Vader slip through them. Frustrated beyond belief, he slammed the ship to a stop before he could collide into the shields and he swerved in a new direction. There was one thing that he knew for sure. Padmè would never forgive him let alone trust him with the twin's safety again.