Author's Note: This is the sequel to my AU Oneshot 'Hope' and I hope you like it and this takes place five days after 'Hope'. It might be best to read "Hope" if you want to understand how Anakin lived. And quite a few people wanted me to type this and I'm sorry if its' not as long as you thought it would be. I sure hope you like it and I will appreciate any reviews you leave me. If you review, I'll be glad to review back though I doubt I'll get to your stories right away. Well enough of my rambling, here's the sequel to 'Hope'.
When You Believe
By xBlaze of FuryX
Everything in the galaxy was slowly heading on its' way to once again becoming peaceful. With the Empire crumbling and the Emperor dead, the Alliance seems to have a better chance at gaining what they have been fighting for all this time. But Anakin Skywalker couldn't help but feel that things were not going to be as easy as some people seem to think.
He knew that his return to the galaxy hadn't been an easy choice for the Force to make but he had made it. Anakin had gained forgiveness, not just from his son, but from the Jedi as well. He had been given a second chance to live, a chance to watch his son reestablish the Jedi and aid him in his quest.
But Anakin knew everything wouldn't be the same within him, after everything he had done to the galaxy. All the pain and destruction he had caused were starting to fall back on his shoulders. Anakin couldn't let go of his past in spite of the fact that only his son and daughter knew of who he truly had been.
Leia. Just thinking about his daughter brought back painful memories of the hatred and anger that seemed to glow in Leia's eyes when she learned the Force, itself, had allowed him to return to life. His daughter hated him, that was all he knew and he knew he wouldn't be able to gain forgiveness from her any time soon.
Five days have passed since Anakin was brought back to life and the Alliance had accepted Luke's lie as easily as if he had been telling the truth. Anakin joined the Alliance that day but still, he couldn't help but feel he wasn't supposed to have survived. He didn't understand, truly, why the Force had sent him back.
Obi-Wan and the other Jedi masters had tried to explain it to him and, though Anakin had played along as though he believed them, he hadn't the slightest clue as to what they were talking about.
The Force works in mysterious ways, Anakin thought, leaning back against the headrest of the X wing ship the Alliance had given him a day earlier. They were currently in hyperspace, heading toward Naboo where they will try and take the planet back from the Imperials' clutches.
Naboo, the planet brought back so many memories and Anakin found tears welling up in his eyes. The homeplanet of his beloved Padmé, the place he had gone secretly to witness Padmé's funeral. He wiped a tear from his eye as his comlink beeped and he turned it on. "Skywalker here," he called.
"Hey father, looks like your settling in well," Luke's voice sounded over the comlink and Anakin spotted his son's X wing fighter flying near him in the hyperspace lanes.
Anakin smiled slightly. "As well as I'll ever be," he said with a small sigh.
"What's the matter, father?" asked Luke and Anakin could feel his concern coming to him through the Force.
"It's nothing, I'm just thinking," he replied softly just as his comlink beeped again and Admiral Ackbar's voice sounded on the intercom.
"Attention, we will be dropping out of hyperspace in a matter of moments, the fighters we sent ahead report that there is an attack force waiting for us there so all of you must be prepared for battle," Ackbar said over the comlink.
"Did the Imperials know we were coming?" Luke asked, his voice echoing Anakin's own thoughts.
"I do not know, they may be surviving members of the Battle of Endor but I cannot be sure, just be prepared," Ackbar replied. "Skywalker, I want you to lead Gold Squadron into the battle and your son will follow you with Rogue Squadron to back you up."
"Acknowledged," Anakin said before pressing another button that connected him to the other members of Gold Squadron. "Gold Leader to Gold Squadron," he called.
"Gold Two checking in," a voice sounded and Anakin recognized it as Lando Calrissian who had been the leader of Gold Squadron before Anakin took over.
"Gold Seven checking in."
"Gold Ten checking in."
"Gold Five checking in."
Gold Eight checking in."
"Gold Nine checking in."
"What is the plan, General Skywalker?" Calrissian asked. Anakin smiled slightly, he hadn't been called General Skywalker since the days of the Clone Wars back when he and Obi-Wan fought side by side. Thinking about his former master brought back painful memories and he struggled to push them to the back of his mind.
"We are to take the direct route and attack the Imperials while Rogue Squadron follows up our attack," Anakin called back.
"Acknowledged, General Skywalker," Calrissian said.
"Isn't that a bit risky?" Gold Five asked.
"I've heard tales about the legendary exploits of General Skywalker from during the Clone Wars," Calrissian called back. "He was always known for his risky attacks and he usually came back unscathed."
"Usually?" Anakin echoed, allowing amusement into his voice.
Calrissian laughed. "Yes, usually," he said.
"We are dropping out of hyperspace," Admiral Ackbar's voice sounded over the comlink and the flashes of starlines faded away to regular stars. Anakin narrowed his eyes as he spotted three Star Destroyers floating above the planet Naboo.
"Aim for their deflector shields," he called, remembering that on most Star Destroyers, his included when he had been Vader, their weak point was their deflector shields. "Gold Squadron, move out!"
"Affirmative, General Skywalker," Calrissian called and the other echoed it, though they called him 'Gold Leader', as they powered up their turbolasers before flying straight at the Star Destroyers who instantly began firing upon them.
Anakin gripped his controls, adrenaline coursing through his veins as he joined in the battle. He has never felt this kind of rush before, not since the Clone Wars, even when he had been fighting the Alliance when he was Vader, he never felt the way he did now. Now, he was free, free as the wind.
"You've got one of those TIE fighters on your tail, Gold Leader," Gold Five called over the comlink.
"Affirmative, Gold Five," Anakin said, jerking the controls before doing a complete three sixty turn that put him behind the TIE fighter. He fired on the fighter before the fighter blew into a shower of sparks.
"Nice shot, General," Calrissian called.
"Thanks, Calrissian, you've got one on your tail," Anakin called, spotting a TIE fighter flying in Calrissian's blind spot. "I've got him." Anakin thrust the controls forward before twisting his ship around a TIE fighter Gold Seven was hard on before firing his turbolasers on the TIE fighter that was following Calrissian.
The TIE fighter blew up and Calrissian's voice sounded over the comlink. "Thanks, General Skywalker," before the former administrator of Cloud City aimed a proton torpedo at the deflector shields of one of the Star Destroyer. The torpedo hit and the deflector shield blew up in a cloud of sparks and smoke.
"The shields on the Star Destroyer to the right is down," Calrissian called.
"Acknowledged, Rogue Squadron, Luke, can you hear me?" Anakin called over the comlink as he twisted his X wing fighter to avoid another TIE fighter.
"I'm here, father," Luke called.
"The Star Destroyer on the right's deflector shields are down and it is badly damaged," Anakin called.
"All right, father, Rogues, move out," Luke called over the comlink and Anakin watched as Rogue Squadron flew into the battle, their turbolasers were focused on the Star Destroyer on the right.
"Gold Leader to Gold Squadron, concentrate your attacks on the Star Destroyer in the middle, Rogue Squadron has the damaged Star Destroyer under control," Anakin called.
"Acknowledged, Gold Leader," Gold Five replied before the X wing ships flew toward the second Star Destroyer, their turbolasers firing on the second Star Destroyer.
A sudden blast of sparks caused a disturbance in the Force and Anakin winced slightly, feeling several hundreds of people cry out. "One of the Star Destroyers is destroyed," Luke called over the comlink.
Anakin looked over at the Star Destroyer and saw there were only pieces of scrap metal in the sky. The other two Star Destroyers almost instantly shuddered before disappearing into hyperspace. "Allow them to go," Anakin called to Gold Squadron. "Gold Leader to Home One?"
"What is it, Gold Leader?" Mon Mothma's voice sounded over the comlink.
"The Imperials have made their retreat into hyperspace, shall we begin our landing process on Naboo?" Anakin asked.
"Yes, you may, we will follow you shortly," Mon Mothma replied.
"Acknowledged, Gold Squadron, make for Naboo," Anakin called and heard the affirmative replies from the rest of the Squadron as they made their way toward Naboo.
The Queen of Naboo was most generous to the Rebel Alliance and Anakin found that the Imperials were indeed waiting for them though they had not placed a permanent garrison at Theed. The Queen signed the treaty with the Alliance and the Alliance leaders agreed to stay on Naboo for the time being.
Anakin couldn't help but remember the last few times he had come to Naboo, once when he was nine years old and then a second time ten years later when he was nineteen. He sighed as he gazed at the beautiful city of Theed, his thoughts once again drifted to his wife. I would give anything just to see her face again, he thought.
He spotted his daughter Leia talking with Captain Han Solo nearby, Luke was listening nearby with Artoo and Threepio just beside him, the Wookie, Chewbacca, was pacing in front of them. Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar and the other Alliance leaders were currently speaking with the Queen of Naboo.
Anakin let out another sigh before gazing around as the young commander Luke was always talking about, Wedge Antilles, walked toward him. "Hello General Skywalker," Wedge greeted him.
"Commander Antilles," Anakin replied with a slight dip of his head as he continued to gaze around the palace, memories coursing through his veins.
"Please, call me Wedge, General," Wedge replied with a small smile.
"If we are going on first name basis, then call me Anakin, Wedge," Anakin replied.
Wedge smiled slightly. "You fought in the Clone Wars, didn't you? I heard about your exploits with General Kenobi," he replied.
Pain flashed in his mind at the memory of his long time best friend, his brother in everything but blood, and his master. "Yes," he replied softly.
"What's the matter, Anakin?" Wedge asked curiously.
"Nothing," Anakin replied with a long sigh before he straightened up. "I will be back later, Wedge, tell the others that I'll return soon but I just want to get away for a bit." Before he could hear Wedge's reply, he had moved out of earshot and walked down the hallways. When he reached the doors, he walked out of them before slowly making his way toward the waterfall that lay on the eastern side of the palace of Theed.
He wished he could return to the Naberrie household, to the place where he and Padmé had gotten married, but he knew Sola, Padmé's sister, will not react lightly to his sudden return.
"At least here it is still peaceful," Anakin whispered, stretching out a hand to gently touch the water that flew past the doorway where he stood. This was one of the secret passageways, it was the same way he, Padmé and the others had entered the palace during the Invasion of Naboo.
Memories came into Anakin's mind; most of them were of his beloved wife but others were of the master he looked to as the father figure he never had. He sat down before crossing his legs as he gazed at the water that fell in front of him, his thoughts drifted to his life in the past years.
I've caused so much pain and death in the galaxy, he thought, sadness gnawing at him like a sharp knife. I wish I could go back and change everything but I know the past will always be unchanging. My son and the Jedi masters may have forgiven me but I feel as though I will never achieve true forgiveness. I know if the Alliance knew of who I previously was, I would be killed or thrown into prison for my crimes.
A sudden presence intruded on his thoughts and for a moment Anakin thought his son was joining him. But the Force signature didn't feel the same as his son, it was similar but still not the same. And he could feel waves of calm anger coming through the Force from the presence and winced slightly, knowing who it was.
"Hello Princess Leia," he said softly, still gazing at the clear waters that passed by.
Surprise came through the Force from Leia. "How did you know it was me?" she asked finally and Anakin felt her narrow her eyes.
"I can feel your Force presence," he replied softly, continuing to gaze at the waters. "Please, join me, I will not harm you, no matter what you think of me."
Hesitation came off of Leia but she did as she was told before sitting down about a foot away from Anakin and crossing her legs, her eyes on the waterfall as well. Anakin gazed at his daughter for a long moment, feeling as if he was gazing at Padmé. His wife and his daughter looked so much alike that they could have been twins and seeing Leia brought back the pain of his wife's death into his mind.
He blinked his eyes when he felt tears well up beneath them before returning his gaze to the waterfall. Silence fell over the two of them and Anakin noticed the anger within Leia was starting to fade.
"Wedge told me you were here," she said softly breaking the silence that had befallen them.
Anakin nodded slightly though he didn't look at his daughter as he stretched out a hand before gently trailing his fingers through the water. Leia gazed at him and Anakin saw, out of the corner of his eye, curiosity in her eyes.
She turned her gaze to the waterfall. "Naboo is really beautiful," she said quietly.
"Yes, I know, your mother loved this place," Anakin replied his voice was as quiet as falling snow.
"My mother?" Leia echoed. "Who was my mother?"
Anakin sighed before leaning back, his eyes going to the sky above his head. "She was very beautiful," he whispered. "She was known as Padmé Amidala and she was the former Queen of Naboo before she became a senator. We first met on Tatooine when her ship had crashed on the planet. I was a slave at the time when I met her…"
"You were a slave?" Leia echoed, sounding shocked. "I thought the Republic had outlawed slavery."
"Yes, the law didn't reach to Tatooine at that time," said Anakin.
Leia nodded and silence fell over them once again, Anakin welcomed the silence, it allowed him to think about the mistakes of his past and the hope that he will be able to redeem all of his actions in the future. He glanced at his daughter and found Leia was gazing at him as well, her chocolate brown eyes narrowed. "What?" she asked.
"Nothing," Anakin replied looking away before letting out a long, sad filled sigh.
"What's the matter?" Leia asked noticing the sadness that was in his voice.
"Why do you hate me, Leia?" Anakin asked sadly, his eyes gazing at the water that flowed past the large opening and down into the pool of water.
Leia flinched slightly. "You've done so much harm to the galaxy," she said, her voice was soft and Anakin didn't hear the anger or hatred within her voice as he did when they first met just before they left Endor. "You stood by and allowed Alderaan to be destroyed."
"That wasn't my fault," Anakin said still gazing at the waterfall. "Palpatine had ordered me to keep Moff Tarkin alive but I hated him almost as much as I hated that vile monstrous contraption known as the Death Star."
"But why did you stand by and allow Alderaan to be destroyed?" Leia asked.
"I couldn't do anything, Palpatine had told me not to interfere," Anakin replied.
"Why did you listen to him? He was evil," she asked.
"I know that now, I didn't know that then, I had spent eighteen years of my life immersed on the dark side of the Force before the Death Star was blown up and another two years before Luke was able to turn me back," Anakin said softly. "When you've spent eighteen years on the dark side of the Force, it changes you and you start doing things you wouldn't have done if you had been a Jedi. I am sorry about Alderaan, I truly am, Leia, I would have prevented it from happening if Palpatine would not have gotten angry for me killing Tarkin."
"Why were you afraid of the Emperor?" Leia asked.
"I was weaker in the Force than the Emperor because of the accident on Mustafar that had caused me to be put in that suit," Anakin replied, sadness in his voice as he remembered the duel with Obi-Wan and his words as well as Anakin's words, came into his mind.
The heat of the lava coursed through Anakin's veins as he struggled to pull himself away from the lapping waves of lava. His cloak caught on fire and pain coursed through his veins as he glared at Obi-Wan Kenobi who stood in front of him the whole time, his eyes were yellow and filled with anger.
"You were the Chosen One," Obi-Wan cried. "It was said you would destroy the Sith, not join them, bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness."
"I hate you," Anakin screamed as pain lashed over his body and the flames began to course over it.
Tears came into Obi-Wan's eyes and they started falling down his face. "You were my brother, Anakin, I loved you," he cried before reaching down and picking up Anakin's lightsaber before walking away, his cries echoed in Anakin's mind as the flames continue to burn through his body.
(End of Flashback)
"What's the matter?" Leia asked, hearing the sadness in Anakin's voice.
"I'm just remembering one of the many causes of mistakes in my life," Anakin replied sadly. "It happened on Mustafar, I was dying, I was burning and Obi-Wan was telling me of how I was the Chosen One and how I was supposed to bring balance to the Force. I…I told him I hated him, I loved him, he was a brother to me, he was the father figure I never had, and I told him I hated him." Tears streamed down Anakin's face and he didn't bother wiping them away. "I…I killed him, I killed the man I looked up to as the father I never had. I will never forgive myself for that."
Leia shifted over to sit beside Anakin and he was startled when his daughter put her arms around his waist as if trying to comfort him. Suddenly, he wanted his daughter to know the entire truth, the truth behind her mother's death and his complete fall to the dark side.
"I was still there when Darth Vader took over," he whispered. "I had killed the Separatists and ended the Clone Wars and I thought Padmé, your mother, would join me. I was having dreams of your mother dying in childbirth and that was why I had gone to Palpatine and joined the Sith. I thought I could prevent her death and take over the galaxy together. When she arrived on Mustafar, I had asked her to join me, telling her that we could overthrow the Emperor and rule the galaxy together. She said I had changed and that Obi-Wan was right. I…I got angry and t…the anger just flew anew when Obi-Wan, himself, appeared on the ramp of the ship."
Anakin moved away from Leia before gazing over to the right side of the stone ledge that overlooked the lake that lay below. "I…I choked her with the Force, she was eight months pregnant, and I choked her. I…I didn't know what I was doing, Darth Vader had taken complete control and…and that was when Obi-Wan and I started to duel," he said and he could feel the surprise and horror coming off of Leia.
"I…I lost everything that day, but I gained something as well, twins, a son and a daughter," Anakin whispered. "But I still lost the love of my life, I would give anything just to see her face again. I would do anything to prevent myself from ever falling to the dark side. I…I just wish that things had been different, that…" Anakin broke off and let out a quiet sob.
He had expected an angry outburst from Leia as well as to experience her anger but she didn't say anything. Instead, she moved to sit beside Anakin and put her arm around his waist. He glanced at her in shock and she smiled slightly. "Luke talked to me," she said softly. "I didn't want to believe what you had done could ever be redeemed. When I looked at you, all I can see is Vader and everything he has done."
She broke off before asking gently, "what were you like before you fell?" she asked softly.
"During the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan and I were a legendary team," Anakin said softly. "He was known as the Negotiator while I was the Hero With No Fear. We were more than just partners, than master and padawan, we were brothers. We fought the war side by side and to say the least, I was a better man when I wasn't Darth Vader."
Leia nodded. "I heard about that, about your exploits," she said.
"I've done so much harm to the galaxy," Anakin whispered, his eyes scanned the area below the waterfall. "I know I'll never be forgiven, only the Jedi masters and Luke forgave me but I know no one else will forgive me."
Leia smiled slightly. "You may have done many things in your past," she said. "But if you want to be forgiven, you have to forgive yourself for your actions before anyone else can forgive you."
Anakin lowered his head. "How can I forgive myself when I've brought so some much harm to the galaxy, after all, you hate me," he said.
Leia sat down beside him. "I don't hate you," she said softly. "Now that I've learned what truly happened to you, I understand. Luke was right about you, I guess I just didn't want to accept that you could be good even after everything you have done as Vader."
"Even if you don't hate me, I know you'll never forgive me," Anakin murmured, getting to his feet before gazing at the waterfall as the water roared past. Leia also got to her feet before walking to Anakin's side.
"I understand why you did what you did, you were in love, you did what you did to save your wife, Luke's and my mother," Leia said.
"She still died anyway," Anakin said, his hands clenched into fists and he struggled to keep control of his anger. "Palpatine lied to me! He used me!"
Leia put her arm around Anakin waist and he took a deep breath until his anger calmed a bit. "You have to forgive yourself," she said softly.
"I can't, I just can't, I don't know why but I just can't forgive myself, no one will forgive me," Anakin whispered.
"Anything can happen," Leia said with a small smile and Anakin glanced at her sharply. She gazed up at him for a long moment before going on, "when you believe, anything is possible, even forgiveness for crimes that would otherwise be unforgivable."
The comlink on Leia's wrist beeped and she turned it on. "Leia here," she said into it.
"Leia, where are you? The Alliance is getting ready to hold a council meeting to decide on our next move," Han called over the comlink. "And if General Skywalker is with you, Mon Mothma wants him to attend as well to help decide our next move."
"All right, Han, I'm on my way," Leia said before disconnecting the transmission and gazing up at Anakin.
Anakin sighed before touching the water of the waterfall again. "We'd better join them," he said softly turning around an starting to walk down the hallway. Leia fell into step beside him before glancing up at him.
"I forgive you, father," she said softly, causing Anakin to stop short, his eyes going wide with shock. That was the first time Leia has ever called him 'father' as well as say she forgave him for everything he did.
He gazed at Leia and she smiled. "You heard me," she said as if guessing where his thoughts were heading. "And thank you, for telling me about my mother."
Anakin nodded, a small smile coming to his face. "So you accept the truth?" he asked quietly.
"Yes, father, I do," Leia replied. "It will take some time for me to get used to the idea but for some reason I feel that I know you are good again, it is as if I can sense the light side of the Force within you."
Anakin smiled slightly before putting an arm around his daughter's shoulders as they slowly entered the throne room where everyone was waiting. Luke glanced up, his eyes going wide before understanding began to gleam in their electric blue depths as he walked over to join Anakin and Leia. Han narrowed his eyes slightly but didn't say anything as Luke smiled.
"I see you worked out things with father," he said to Leia.
"Yes, I have," Leia replied with a small smile as she glanced up at Anakin. Luke smiled and Anakin nodded slightly to his son before putting his arm around his son. He didn't care that everyone was staring at him, he didn't care about anything else except for the presence of his children; the last things he had left of Padmé, standing beside him.
Leia was right, just as Luke was right when he told him that he could return toe the light side of the Force. Leia was right about the forgiveness Anakin knew he didn't deserve right away. But if I believe, I will achieve forgiveness,he thought. But right now, just being with my family is enough for me.
"When you believe, anything is possible," Anakin whispered as he gazed down at his children who nodded in agreement with him.
A/n what do you think?
Blaze: well that was the sequel to "Hope"
Darth: and she hopes you liked it
Blaze: I was going to say that
Darth: ah bleh
Tigerstar: awww, father/daughter bonding time
Blaze: just like in "Hope", father/son bonding time
Tigerstar: you should make this a full length story
Blaze: nah, I'm held up with "Whispers of Daybreak", "Alagaesia Goes Crazy", and "Apocalypse"
Tigerstar: ah okay
Darth: that's cool
Blaze: (laughs) please review and I really hope you liked it and I welcome any reviews and constructive criticism but please no flames