Star Wars

"A Different Path"

Summary: Nine years after joining the Emperor, two young prisoners have Darth Vader questioning his decision…and start him thinking about a different path.

Author's Note:Very AU. Unscarred, Unmasked, Unarmored Vader…

Warning:This story will contain spanking.

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters; they belong to the great George Lucas. I'm merely borrowing them for this story.

Chapter 19: Departure

"But, where are we going to go?" Leia asked her father and uncle, curiously.

"Someplace safe," Anakin promised her, gently.

He and Obi-Wan had dispatched the Stormtroopers quickly and effortlessly.

Unfortunately, two of them managed to escape. It was clear they could no longer stay on Tatoonine.

"Name one place in this whole crummy galaxy that's safe?" Han asked, snorting.

Obi-Wan sent him a disapproving glare. "We shall find one," he told him, firmly.

"The Emperor isn't just going to give up," Mara Jade reminded them, quietly. "He'll keep hunting us."

"I say we just go blast him off his throne," Luke stated, slapping his hand down on the table. "Pow!"

"If it were only that simple, son," Anakin said, smiling. "Unfortunately, it's not."

"We will go to Dagoba," Obi-Wan told them. "Master Yoda is there."

Anakin nodded. "Very well," he said, "let's go."

"Dad?" Luke said, glancing up at his father.

"Yes, son?" Anakin asked, as they all boarded the Millennium Falcon.

Luke looked at him hesitantly. "I-Is it all right to be scared?" he asked, biting his lip.

Anakin and Obi-Wan shared a look, but didn't say anything.

"C'mon, Han," the older Jedi said, patting the twelve year old on the back. "Let's get this heap in the air."

"Hey!" Han protested, as they made their way to the cockpit. "My ship ain't no heap, old timer! It's—OW!"

A sharp smack was heard, obviously the sound of a palm slapping against something.

"What have I told you about referring to me as 'old timer'?" Obi-Wan's stern voice carried back to them.

"Yeah, yeah," they heard Han grumble. A few moments later, the engines roared to life.

"C'mon, Mara," Leia said to the red haired girl. She had the feeling her father and brother needed to be alone for a moment.

Mara nodded and the two girls headed for the cockpit to strap themselves in.

Anakin knelt down so that he and Luke were looking each other in the eye.

"Luke, can I tell you a secret?" he asked him, smiling.

"What?" Luke asked, frowning.

"I'm scared," Anakin told him, honestly.

Luke looked at him wide-eyed. "But you're a Jedi!" he said, sounding shocked. "And you were Darth Vader!"

"That may be, but I'm still just a human being," Anakin told him. "I'm no better than anybody else. I get scared, I get angry, and I get sad…but you know what?"

"What?" Luke asked.

"I just remember that I now have you and Leia, and Obi-Wan and Han and Mara Jade," Anakin told him, "and that makes me less scared, less angry, and less sad."

"I don't understand," Luke told him, truthfully.

Anakin nodded.

"Let me put it this way," he told him, reaching out to pull him close to him. "It is okay to be scared, so long as you don't ever let that fear control you."

"Is that why you became Darth Vader?" Luke asked him, curiously.

Anakin nodded, sadly.

"That's exactly why," he told him. "But you and Leia helped me to let go of that fear, though. No matter what happens to us next, son, we will face it together. That's what families do."

Luke smiled. "Yeah," he said, smiling.

Anakin smiled. "Still scared?" he asked him, as they went and sat down to strap themselves in.

"Yeah," Luke admitted, leaning his head against his father's shoulder, "but not as much now."

Anakin chuckled, wrapping an arm around his son's shoulders. "That's my boy," he told him, gently.

Luke smiled.

No matter what happened, they were a family.

And families always stuck together.

And together, they were going to make the galaxy a safer place to live.

The End

Author's Note: I know this probably seems like an abrupt end, but I really had no clue where to take this story from this point on. I may do a sequel later on... Jlbrew26