I do not own Star Wars nor any of its merchandise, however, I do own this particular version of this plot…
I dedicate this story to Shy Snootles, whose writings have been a great inspiration to me and my writings. Thank you!
I wrote this in one go, less than 5 days. The first 10 pages were a once-over; It took me 2 hours; However the last 8 were a little harder, took me the rest of the week. Enjoy!
Takes place during ESB
There have been a few stories about this, I wrote my own version, in the way I thought would be most plausible. Of course we are familiar with a certain japor snippet…
To Leia, it had always been beautiful. Simple though it was, it was beautiful. To her so much more because it was the only link she had to a woman she had never known. A woman she dearly missed.
A woman she felt closer to then the mother she could remember, but who had died when she was just three. A woman whose face she had seen in her dreams, dark haired, dark eyed, beautiful and kind, full of pain, sadness, longing… longing for her, perhaps, a daughter she would never know…
A woman whose presence she could feel tingle through her fingers every time she lightly brushed the smooth wood with her fingertips. A warmth that would settle into her gently every time she felt the tender carvings which she felt sure must have been a declaration of love.
Long hours she had spent wondering not only about its wearer, but also its carver. Who could have carved into symbols feelings he could not put into words? Feelings that were cause for her existence. Her father had said he had seldom seen her mother without it. Who could she have loved so much as to not go a day without wearing the tender, concealed declaration of love that was now in the hands of one who would have loved her equally as well?
Leia felt close to both of them. Two souls about whom she had known nothing. About either, she thought. Without either, she wouldn't be here.
Why couldn't you stay? She often wondered.
She was infinitely grateful for the loving parents she had had, but throughout all her life there had been a tiny hole, an emptiness that had never quite gone away. An emptiness that she had tried so hard to fill, in vain.
Sometimes the emptiness felt bigger on certain days than others. She had tried to figure out a pattern, but nothing seemed to make sense. Most times it was small and she had learned to conceal it very well. Some days she never noticed it. Other times it was a terrifying ache in her chest. Nothing made sense.
Over time, she had learned to ignore it, but it was always there, tickling at the edge of her consciousness, her heart, her soul…
She had asked her Father about her parents one time. Leia hadn't really understood his answer… or his reaction for that matter. She remembered the event very well, on the eve of her twelfth birthday, the day he had given her the Beautiful carved necklace.
"I love it! It's beautiful, Papa!"
"I knew you'd like it. It belonged to your mother,"
"Yes. She… gave it to me before she died. She wanted you to have it,"
"Was she beautiful? I know she was,"
"Yes, she was… very beautiful,"
There was a distant look in his eyes, a sadness only one who had truly felt pain, would understand.
"How did she die?"
Bail started, and then turned to face her. It seemed a long time before he responded.
"Childbirth," he said at last, "She died in childbirth,"
"Oh," Leia felt somewhat discontented by this, but wasn't sure why. She stared at the smooth piece of wood, noting the elegant, carvings that someone obviously made with painstaking care.
"I seldom saw her without it," he said noting her concentration.
"Who gave it to her?" she asked.
Surely someone close.
"I-I'm not sure. Her husband, I think,"
"Did you know him too? My Father?" she asked impulsively, something she rarely was inclined to do.
At this, Bail seemed to pale and a strange look came over his face. She felt a wave of fear, confusion, uncertainty, decision, love… but they left as quickly as they had come. The feelings confused her.
She had always been able to do that, sense people's feelings through emanations, especially with her parents. Why would he fear telling her something she had every right to know? But she knew better than that. She knew that he knew she would love him no less than she did now. She was only curious. At last, he spoke. She knew he was forming his words and therefore paid Very Close Attention.
"Yes," he sighed, "I knew him. He died around the same time that your mother did,"
A small part of her registered that if he had died the same time as her mother, he must have been in the clone wars. She wondered which battle it had been. But another, smaller part of her fought back.
Something felt strange when he said that. In the back of her mind, that little spot of emptiness grew a little wider and a strange wave came over her. Like a whisper, it swam through her mind. Not true, truetruetrue…
She wasn't sure what to make of it, but like the other feelings, she dismissed this one.
"I wish I would have know them," she said, staring at the smooth white piece of wood.
"They would have loved you, I know that much," He said softly, taking her hand.
Leia smiled shakily up at him.
"What-what were their names?" she asked quietly.
He looked contemplative for a moment.
"Leia, you don't know how much I wish I could tell you that. And someday, the day may come when it is safe for you to know,"
"'Safe?'" she inquired, confused.
"You are young, Leia, and there are people out there who remember your mother well. She was a beautiful woman. A strong woman. She was a senator like myself, and when peace was threatened, she fought. She always fought," he paused, letting Leia take in the memory she would forever be denied.
"Because she fought, there were some who didn't like her, especially Palpatine and those within the empire. If you knew her name now, it might put you in danger from her enemies,"
"Oh, Leia repeated quietly, "but I'll know one day, won't I?" she said, looking up at him hopefully.
"Of course. Just… not yet,"
Leia contemplated that. Yes, it made sense, and she didn't want anything bad to happen just because she knew something. But still…
"I wouldn't tell anybody," she whispered tearfully, feeling the soft wood in her hands.
Bail smiled. "I know you wouldn't, but you'll know, one day. Perhaps soon," he reassured. She looked thoughtful again and fingered the carving.
"What about my father? Did people not like him?"
He swallowed. They didn't now.
"Yes," he said, choosing his words carefully, "there were many people that… wouldn't appreciate his memory," One especially.
"But one day, Leia, one day it will be safe. And then you may proudly know who your parents were,"
"I love you daddy,"
"I love you too, little one,"
And so it was that ended the first and only conversation about her parents. Her real parents. She softly fingered the smooth worn carving.
I love you, mother, I'll make you proud. Both of you. All of you.
Her mother and her father. Both pairs.
She squared her shoulders as two stormtroopers entered her confined room. She got up, forgetting to tuck in the precious carved japor, her only piece of history, forever. She would stand. She had stood once, she could stand again.
He can take many things. But not me. Not this mind. He couldn't once, and he can't now. Papa said my mother was strong. Be like her. Be like mother. The mother she had never known. And she never would.
He seemed to be taller than she remembered, but perhaps that was a good thing; it meant she hadn't seen him in a long time, which was a safe reassurance, if not a comforting one. She walked in, tall, straight, courageous, unmoving. If this was the end, so be it. She would go out fighting. She would go out like a warrior. Like her father, like her mother. She would go out in a way that would make her dead family proud. All of them.
He could not end me then; he cannot end me now. Not now, not ever.
"We meet again, your highness," came the dark, mechanic voice.
A voice she would not fear. For mother, for father, for Luke, for Han, for all of them, she could not afford to fear.
"What do you want?" she asked curtly, stopping several feet away from him. She knew what he wanted. He wanted Luke. He wanted power. He wanted answers. Surely he should know her well enough that to try and torture Luke's location out of her would do absolutely no good at all if the past was anything to go by. Good too, because she had no idea where Luke was.
Even now, she had no explanation for what had happened in that cell not three years ago. He had tried so hard, she could feel him, driving a knife-hot stake into her mind. It had hurt. Oh, how that had hurt!
It was a different kind of hurt, but for every stake he drove, something seemed to drive him back, something resisted him, something in her, something that had always been there, like an unconscious part of her mind had made a thick shield over all she held dear, dangling just out of his reach. She reached for that unseen power now, willing it to make itself known in her mind.
Yes, she could feel it, just barely; right at the edge of her mind there it was, instinctual, protective, defensive.
"Your efforts are admirable, your highness," he paused, as if searching for a flaw.
Untrained? What was that supposed to mean. That she was supposed to know how she shielded him? She realized she was being distracted and ignored the thought, turning her focus back on him.
"Trained enough to stop you. You will get nothing from me. Nothing! I know you want Luke. For once, I am glad to say I have no idea where he is. You can do that much to ensure my ignorance of that,"
"If I wanted to know where he was, Princess, I would have found him long ago,"
"Than what do you want?" she asked coolly. Controlled. Calm. He walked, closing the seemingly abysmal distance between them.
What does he want? she wondered absently.
"I want—" he stopped, practically inches from her face. She stiffened, waiting for the familiar jab into the corners of her consciousness. When it didn't happen, she dared herself to look at him.
He was staring at her. At her chest. Rather unnerved, she made a small, involuntary movement backward. He reached out his hand towards her throat…
So it comes to this… she thought.
…and gently lifted the small, smooth white piece of wood off her neck.
She sensed the confusion around him in waves. It swirled around him and she nearly stumbled back; half in danger of being overwhelmed and half in her own confusion.
"Where did you get this?"
His voice was quiet. Quieter than she would have imagined he could be. Not that she was sure he wasn't capable of it (which she had thought not) but whether the voclalizer allowed him to sound that…pained. Too quiet. Almost like a whisper. It didn't feel right. In fact, it was downright disturbing.
Why would he ask about such a trivial thing when he could be asking about much more… prudent subjects?
She didn't understand.
"I—" Why would you care? She thought blatantly at him? She knew he heard. He had to.
If he did, he gave no indication whatsoever. He merely turned it over in his fingers, feeling it. She stared at the minuscule movements, baffled by them. The way he touched it, the only thing left of her real parents, felt so wrong.
She hated the fact that even now, he could still take away from her. Take Han, Take her friends, could take Luke… She hated that, hated him, hated…
Hated the way it looked so right in his fingers.Like it belonged there. That felt even more wrong than anything else. And that was a very disturbing thought.
Gradually, whatever logical part of her mind still existed, managed to work its way into her consciousness.
Why was Vader so interested, in, to be frank, a young princess's jewelry?
If he was, it was only because he had a good reason.
A very good reason.
Flashes of her twelfth birthday began running through her mind at an impossible speed.
"…very well known. She was a senator like myself,"
"She was a fighter. She always fought,"
"You don't know how I long to tell you…"
"You are still young…"
"You could be in danger from her enemies,"
"There are those who can remember her…"
"… Those that can remember her…"
Those that can remember her…
The thought echoed through her brain.
Senator. Fighter. Mother. Vader. Enemy.
Leia couldn't put them together, but they were connected.
Even if she couldn't understand it, her brain put the pieces together.
If her mother had been a well known senator who was against the legislation of the Empires laws, it was entirely possible Vader could have known her. Well.
A fighter. An enemy of the Empire. An enemy of Vader…
Her hatred started to rise up again but then she realized that the Empire did not exist when her mother died.
Well, it practically did, just not legally…
And only if he had known her well would he have recognized something as trivial as a necklace.
The thought was instantaneous and ridiculous. She wondered at it briefly, baffled, then dismissed it.
Less than five seconds had passed. The longest five seconds of her life.
He fingered the pearl soft wood, the carvings that should not have been familiar.
Should not have been?
It shouldn't be. Not now. Maybe once, but not now.
But it was.
Forcefully, he told himself that the symbols were known among Tatooins and that a Tatooin could have carved it.
But so… alike… was impossible.
Improbable, that little voice whispered. He thrust it out, determined not be affected by its sentimentality.
He heard the princess's confused jumbled thoughts, but he ignored them.
They didn't exist.
She didn't exist and neither did he.
"I made this for you, so you'll remember me…"
"I'll never forget you, Ani…"
"I'll keep it forever…"
"You're breaking my heart!"
"You're going down a path I can't follow!"
"I remember when I gave this to you,"
They came to him in a brutal twist of memories he thought he had vanquished long ago. Instead, the long-buried thoughts assaulted him with more pain and guilt than he would have thought possible. It wasn't supposed to be possible. Not now.
"Where did you get this?" he choked again. Quieter, still, than before, but demanding.
"My father gave it to me," She answered in a wary voice. She sounded frightened.
Leia, the Princess of Alderaan, who had resisted him at every turn, was frightened. And he hadn't even done anything. Was she frightened of him, or more because of uncertainty?
"Organa?" He said quietly
"Yes," Her voice was harder this time.
Bail Organa had been a good friend of… her, but friend enough that she would trust him with… this?
His fingers roamed the carvings again, and he gently turned it over, around, looking for something only he would know. Only something he would find.
Terrified, He let his eyes purposely wander to the narrow top, right beneath the right hand corner…
Four tiny letters, elegantly carved in Basic, nestled on the narrow top. They would have been unnoticeable to anyone who wasn't looking for it. Indeed one could very easily miss it.
But he didn't.
So it had been hers. He remembered adding their initials after their marriage, upon her request.
The piece of japor suddenly seemed to turn into a leaden ember in his hand, glowing white-hot, scalding through his glove, burning through his hand with a fierce intensity.
And for a moment, it seemed as if his heart had stopped. Died and stopped. He wasn't really alive. He was staring at a ghost, a ghost that had seen fit to return him to the world of the living so he could go back and die again.
"Bail- gave this- to you?"
It shocked him that he could even think let alone articulate, given the situation.
"Yes," she repeated. She sounded confused, and very wary. Her thoughts gradually began to sift into his numb mind.
She's hiding something.
He could feel it.
"Where did he get it?"
His voice was deathly still. Terrifying. Commanding. Quiet, and not leaving a millimeter for argument.
And it was in that uncertain silence, that Leia felt truly frightened.
"It- it belonged to a friend of his."
She would not give away her father's protection that he had so wisely seen fit to bestow upon the knowledge of her parents. And by the god's she would protect it! She had sworn she would protect it.
Leia didn't even know her parents' names. Thank Father for that.
Yes, her father had wisely kept her origins a secret. And, like always, he had been right about it being best that she not know. She had not understood his reasons then, but she respected him greatly and knew he had a reason for not telling her. And Leia thought that very good right now.
An obviously very good reason.
Judging by the insanely baffling and terrifying way Vader was acting at this moment, she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to know. Ever.
"I—" don't know her name.
His voice was thunderous, resounding throughout the small, soundproof room, echoing throughout her mind, deafening her. Although it would not have seemed possible, He was ten times more terrifying than he had been on the Death Star.
Leia shrank back, petrified.
Why is he doing this? What should I do? Papa, what do I say? What will he do?! I—
"I don't know her name!" she screamed finally, half crying. "He never told me!"
"'Her?'" he inquired, sounding deathly inquisitive, his voice, so dangerously calm.
He knows… oh, Papa, he knows…
"My mother," she whispered finally.
At this, he backed away rather half-heartedly, slowly. More like stumbled.
So he did know her. Well at least he would only hear what she knew, nothing more.
"She-she gave it to my father—when she died. He gave it to me. He- he thought it best if I – if I didn't know."
She paused, exhausted from the queer exchange and her revelation.
"Evidently he was right," She said coldly.
Had she been paying more close attention, she would have noticed how stock-still he had been for the past minute. Unmoving. Like a statue that had been given the gift of life and was fervently striving to remain unnoticed in the darkness.
She continued, half desperate, half embittered.
"You have taken everything from me!" She cried. "Alderaan, my Father, my friends, everything I had. Will you take what little I have of my mother? My real mother? Or would you destroy that too? You—you…"
She struggled to find words that would empower her enough to face this—this monster… the thought that had been bullying her mind unconsciously throughout the conversation exploded into words.
"You knew her, didn't you?" She accused, quietly enraged. "Did you take her from me, too?"
"I DID NOT TAKE HER, LEIA!!" He thundered ominously with a vicious, assertive, almost… passionate… proclamation.
Greatly intimidated she shrank back against the wall.
"Leia…" he whispered, nearly inaudible.
Leia. He had never called her Leia. Not in her childhood, never in all their meetings and confrontations, never before. Always your highness, always princess. She hated him. Hated the way her name sounded when he said it.
Hated it because it sounded right.
And that was just wrong.
"I don't know her name!" she shouted with a desperate attempt at evasion.
"He never told me,"
He stumbled back, certain he had not voiced the thought aloud. His thoughts were incoherent, his mind frozen, his body numb; his heart… dead.
Her, she… Padme… was Princess Organa's mother.
Bail Organa's friend.
Apparently friend enough to trust him with her child.
With his child.
Mother…daughter…child…brother… son… daughter… wife…
He watched in frozen astonishment as the young princess before him slowly transformed into a young queen. A senator. He watched as he saw her strength manifest itself in their child.
He remembered when he saw her on the Tantive IV, a woman, nearly grown, her resemblance to… to her… how it unnerved him.
As it did now.
But not in quite the same way.
He found himself staring at her eyes.
Given the circumstances, it wasn't surprising only one coherent thought blossomed in his mind.
Oh, Force no…
She talked on… he barely heard her, the thoughts frozen in his brain, of which only a select few made their way to his conscious mind.
They had a
whose daughter was the
Which he had…
"…did you take her from me too?"
At this, he snapped from his frozen state, his anger and denial exploding from the remaining corners of his shattered soul.
"I Did Not Take Her, Leia!!"
I didn't kill her…
He tasted the name.
Leia, the Princess,
Leia, like her mother…
Leia, the name he had chosen for their child if it had been a girl.
Leia my sorrow, Leia my joy…
He had stepped back at her visible astoundance at his mention of her name.
Even now, there was still a small part of him that begged of denial.
He had a son. He knew the boy that had just landed here was his son. He reached out tentatively and touched the glistening, bright aura, the Force that wound around the boy so tightly it was impossible to deny his heritage. He felt the emotions running off him in currents; he felt the light around him as he rushed to find his friends. He felt the bond that was there, feather-thin, cordlike, arduous, the one that spoke of undeniable relation.
And he now felt the same with the girl in front of him.
And even now he denied it. How?
He was so close. He had only to touch her, reach out and know… reach out for a bond that would be there, no matter if he had missed it before.
Just a brush, a whisper and he would know…
In a step than seemed to drag on for centuries, he came forward. His hand reached out, seemingly of its own accord, and brushed her neck, gently caressing the japor pendant as he did so.
Not nearly as obvious as Luke's but it was there, elusive , sliverous, luminous… a bond, a fibrous, light, Force bond.
Well, that explained the mind-shielding.
But it didn't explain why she was his child. He had a child. Now he had two. The logical part of his mind, which had grown impossible miniature, idly remembered tiny details here and there.
Adopted into the royal House of Alderaan as an infant.
Youngest senator in the Imperial senate.
Her birth date was Empire day.
The same as Luke's.
At least, that was what he had found on the files he had been provided so long ago. Very long ago.
He couldn't remember how long.
It didn't matter. Only one thing mattered. Only one thing existed now. Only one thought permeated the numb blackness that his mind had become.
Force, what have I done?
What have I done?
She stared, frozen, as he slowly stepped closer to her, the moment seeming to drag on for eternity.
She started at the tender, thoughtful tone in his voice, which was completely oxymoronic, letting her eyes dart back and forth between him and the floor, which, for some incomprehensible reason, had become a very intriguing object of interest all of a sudden.
Was it something I said?
He certainly didn't take very well to her inference of his killing her mother. Definitely. Not. Liked. That.
It angered her, because he had obviously known her mother. Papa had said her mother had looked like her.
Vader had known her mother, and she had not. It was wrong. Everything was wrong.
She froze as his hand reached out and brushed the Japor necklace, skimming her bare skin briefly. A strong, strange current ran through her at the touch. Familiar, but vague. But she didn't shudder. Not like she had expected. It was unsettling.
"You look like her,"
That's what daddy said.
"You knew her?"
She froze for what seemed like the hundredth time that day.
She had heard his voice very clearly. In her head. Add that to the list of wrong things. The funny thing was, was that it didn't sound like his voice. Not at all. Not a bit.
But all the same, she knew it was him. Just like she knew she wasn't supposed to be hearing voices inside her head.
Though she normally would have hated to admit it, he had a very pleasant voice. The mind voice that is.
Deep, baritone, masculine, and almost… warm.
Another oddity to add to that list of wrong things.
And the shocking thing was, she answered him.
'That— is not your concern,
'She was my mother! Yes, it is my concern!'
'Something you would not appreciate,'
'Appreciate? Of course I would! She was against your precious empire! That's plenty to be appreciable for!'
There was a long pause. She could have sworn he sighed mentally.
'Yes, it is,'
He seemed to be tentative, hesitating, as if trying to decide whether to answer
'She was a very good friend,' he said finally.
"Really,' she replied sarcastically, or at least, as sarcastic as she thought telepathy could sound. 'So a senator who fights for justice and a Sith who fights for tyranny. Friends?' Skeptical, accusatory.
'If she was who my father said she was, she would not have befriended you,'
"She was who he said she was… and much more. And the Empire didn't exist,'
She ignored that, preferring to focus on the inconceivable relationship he claimed to have to her mother, who had managed to remain a goddess in her mind all these years.
"How could you have possibly been in my mother's good graces if all my father said was true? He knew her better than you!" she replied defiantly, wanting to end the disturbing telepathic exchange.
"You seem very certain of that,"
What was he trying to do? Confuse her? Most likely.
"I am," she said, trying to make her voice feel certain when she was losing her certainty.
'Why? You don't even know her name,'
His voice came through her head again, making it ache. Damn telepathy.
"I know enough!" she cried.
He ignored her.
'As a matter of fact, I was in her good graces,'
Very, very good.
Something inside her shrunk away from the frighteningly quiet statement that tingled down her spine, giving her shivers.
"How so?" She was angry. Angry at him, angry at the unnecessary invasion of privacy…
'If anything, it is you who are invading mine. I knew her far better than Organa.'
"She was a senator. You're anything but a politician!" it was becoming harder and harder to deny his assertions.
"I never said I was." His answers were becoming cryptic, and despite infuriating her, arousing intense curiosity.
"Then— Listen. I have no idea what you're doing. I don't believe someone like my mother could ever- ever- How do I know you're not trying to fool me?" she demanded, exasperated.
How do I know? Just leave my life alone!
He seemed contemplative for a while, patient.
"I gave her that,"
Four words. Four words that explained his – No. No, he was lying.
She automatically reached for as if it had become stained, blemished by his insane idea of proof…
"No you didn't. My father gave it to her," But she sounded weak to her own ears. Weak and vulnerable
At this, Vader's interest seemed to perk.
"What did Bail Organa tell you about your father?" he asked suddenly.
"Even less than my mother,"
'And I suppose you were a good friend of his too,' she thought sarcastically at him.
There was another prolonged pause. She was beginning to hate them. She didn't like the feeling of uncertainty. She never had. It was always unsettling and made her feel like she had no control over the situation.
"He was a Jedi," he answered at last, failing to reply to her rhetoric. His voice grew strained.
"…named Anakin Skywalker,"
She stared, shocked for who knows what time that day.
Anakin Skywalker. Luke…
"But Anakin was—"
"—Luke's father," he finished.
She stared at the pendant in her hand, looking at the initials.
Luke's birthdate.... was the same as hers. She had thought it nothing more than a sweet coincidence that he was exactly the same age…
But he said…
"But you killed Luke's- You Killed My Father!!"
He did not react to this the same way he had to her mother.
"You seem anxious to jump to conclusions, Leia,"
'First you think I killed your mother, now you think I killed your father,'
She stared at him, tears threatening to break free. Angry tears, tears, of loss, tears of betrayal, tears of lies…
She had a twin! Luke, who was surely looking for them… she knew he was here. She could feel him. She could feel him. It was strange; similar to the current she had felt when Vader touched her. Similar to how she just knew things… it was the same thing that allowed her to know these things…
"Who told you I killed your father?"
"Luke told me you killed Anakin," she choked. It felt hard to breathe.
'And how does Luke know?" He didn't sound accusatory, more curious. She gave up trying to wonder why.
"I—I don't know! I—"
She was crying now, wishing for him to stop, wishing the dark to just go away, wanting all of it to just go way and leave her life as it was, peaceful ordered… She might never get to see him… her brother… Luke…
"What was her name?" she whispered, choking back a silent sob. 'If nothing else, tell me my mother's name,' she begged silently, staring at the initials.
'Padme,' he answered after another abysmal wait, 'Padme Naberrie,'
His voice sang through the walls of her mind again, echoing his pain, his sadness…
His sadness? But she was too tired to wonder.
Padme Naberrie? As in Padme Naberrie Amidala? she thought, astounded. Amidala had been the Queen of Naboo almost 30 years ago. After that she was Naboo's leading senator. Leia hadn't heard much about her, but from what she had read, she had greatly admired her resolve, her fight, her spirit…
Naboo, beautiful, peaceful… like Alderaan…
"H—how did she die?" she breathed almost inaudibly.
His aura seemed to darken for a moment, and he stood, motionless, staring out the windows like time was divine and had ceased to exist for them.
"Organa didn't tell you?'
"He told me… he told she died in child birth,"
There was a mental sigh. She wished the infuriating pauses would stop once and for all.
"Yes, she did." I'm sorry, Leia, I'm sorry…
'You've never called me 'Leia' before. Why now?' She was too tired to wonder, too exhausted to be angry...
'That's the name your father gave you,'
"He- Bail told me that my mother named me," Her voice betrayed only vague wonder, weary curiosity…
'She did. That was the name your father chose. Above all others, he always loved Leia. It means warrior, the strong one,'
'And what does Luke mean?' she whispered. She didn't feel strong, not now…
It seemed a long time before he whispered back hesitantly.
'Light. My light. The one in the dark.'
And now, not the only one…
'Padme named Luke. She always thought it would be a boy. He was her light. Her light when… all others faded,'
He chose his words carefully, as if the subject couldn't have been more painful.
He said the name delicately, reverent almost, as if speaking to an angel…
And that's when it hit her. Right in the chest. Piercing through her heart and mind in one brutal flash of insight.
"You loved her,"
It was a statement, not a question. There was an infinite silence.
Her voice sounded half appalled, half desperate. Shattered, she slowly sank to the cold floor, wishing it could swallow her. Her life, was gone. Her sanity compromised… well that was exaggerated perhaps…
Her thoughts were rambled, aimlessly wandering, caring nothing for the matters which had concerned her so long ago. Nothing mattered. Nothing was important.
Vader. Loved. My. Mother.
She felt like she had died. She wasn't worth this, this pain, this agony which threatened to consume her whole… It briefly occurred to her if she was feeling sorry for herself, or if she was just in a state of permanent shock.
Why, then… had my father been killed in the wars? The Purges? Why had Vader loved her mother…? Why everything…?
So many questions, one answer. Only the answer didn't make sense. She wasn't sure if she ever wanted it to make sense. Fear scrambled her thoughts, her mind froze and unfroze, her fingers felt numb…
So many questions, so little time, yet they seemed to have eternity to answer them. Time did not exist. Nothing existed. Only on little answer, one little fact that shattered her remaining hold on the life she had known. What did she have to live for? Where was life?
Vader's voice interrupted her vacant thoughts, awakening her to the sound of his now- familiar voice in her head.
'I loved her deeply, Leia,'
I thought you and Luke had died with her. My warrior, my light…
Leia's mind reached the area that merged dreams with truth. She was afraid. For some small part of her feared what he was going to say because then it would all make sense. Was that wrong too?
"She was my wife."