Hi everyone. I'm Andrea. Just thought I'd introduce myself.

I've never written a Star Wars fanfic before. I got this idea floating in my head a couple of years ago now, but never really developed it. Then last weekend, I caught return of the jedi on tv and suddenly i could not get rid of it. So, I went back to my very bare draft from two years ago and decided to make something of it.

I've always been interested in stories where Vader tries to make amends with his children. And I realise there are other stories like this, but I had the need to post it and finish it.

I don't own star wars, obviously. And Darth Vader survives the duel with Palpatine in my story, so it's AU, again, obviously. The story takes off after the Battle of Endor.

Enough blah blah, here's the first chapter.


Endor

The hours immediately following the Rebellion's victory at the Battle of Endor went by in a flash for Leia. After the destruction of the second Death Star she had barely enough time to address the damage done to their base, assess casualties and injuries of her fellow soldiers, and rejoice with her friends before the weight of recent events began to settle heavily on her mind. And then time began to stretch, flowing by excruciatingly slow.

Luke's revelation that they were siblings, twins in fact, had not taken Leia completely by surprise. She was actually more surprised at how unsurprised she had been when he told her. She hadn't been able to dwell on it at the time though. The battle ahead was infinitely more important and had to remain a priority. She would deal with the life changing circumstances at a more appropriate time. Prioritizing had always been one of her strengths, as a princess, a politician, and a fighter.

The time had finally come though. The battle was over. The war was over. They had won, and now Luke's disclosure and all other implications that came along with it suddenly moved from her subconscious to the forefront of her mind. Now she couldn't shake it.

She watched silently as the rebellion erupted in celebration and smiled to herself. Her heart leapt in her chest. After all these years, all the suffering, all the sacrifices...they had won. She wished her parents could be here for this moment, she wished she could share it with them. They had fought so long for it, sacrificed so much. The thought of her adopted parents sobered her and she swallowed past the painful lump in her throat. The grief came at her like that now since the first Death Star and the obliteration of Alderaan. In waves. Heaving, rolling waves that left her numb. She didn't think she'd ever truly cease to grieve for them. Let alone an entire planet. Her beautiful Alderaan.

She had known from a very early age that Bail and Breha Organa were not her biological parents. Their admission had changed nothing within the Organa family unit. The love between them was, and remained, unconditional. She had never even felt the need to search out her real parents and while her mother's identity had been eventually revealed to her as Senator Padme Amidala, former Queen of Naboo, her father's had remained unknown throughout her childhood and adolescence. Until now. Although everyone had claimed ignorance when she asked, she always had the distinct feeling they were intentionally keeping it from her. She now understood why.

Darth Vader

The mere thought of his name made her take an involuntary deep shaky breath. Oh, how she wished she didn't believe it! But it was true and now she knew it. And not just because Luke had told her. She felt it in her blood, in her bones, in her heart. She could have lived her entire life without knowing he was her father. She would have much preferred that.

She had told Han already. Knowing the man was her soulmate, she hadn't wanted to keep something so big from him. Besides, she figured, if he was going to freak out and leave her, better now than later. He deserved to know, too. Vader had caused Han great suffering also, and she needed to know if he could look past her parentage and still love her. Bless his big heart, he had not turned her away. He had embraced her and staunchly informed her that it didn't matter. All that mattered was their future, not the past. She didn't quite feel the same way. She wished it didn't' matter, but it did. How could it not? But she didn't tell him that, instead she smiled at him and told him she just needed a little time to herself, to absorb the turn of events. He told her he understood and that he would join the victory celebrations and she should find him when she was ready.

He watched her now, across the crowd as he spoke to Lando and Chewie. Though he appeared cheerful, there was concern in his eyes and an unspoken question. He wanted to know if she was alright. She smiled at him and nodded. They had grown so close over the past few years that they almost didn't need words. Why did it take us so long? She wondered to herself. Maybe the timing just hadn't been right. In any case, it was right now. Everything would be alright now. As soon as Luke came back, it would all be right again.

Luke

Her heart constricted with worry. Where was he? She turned and walked slowly away from the festivities. Far enough to get some breathing room but close enough that Han could still see her. She sat on the edge of a large log a few yards away from the command tent and immersed herself in her thoughts again.

Leia knew her brother was alive. She had felt his fear and anger during what she assumed was his showdown with the Emperor. Then she had felt resolve, pain...forgiveness. Light. She knew he had won. Even untrained in the ways of the Force, she knew it. He had not succumbed to the darkness Palpatine had wanted for him. That was all she knew though, and until she saw her brother again all she could do was wait...and think.

She should probably contact Mon Mothma. They had so many things to discuss, not the least being what the fall of the Galactic Empire meant. The coming months, years even, would not be easy. The mammoth undertaking of restoring democracy to the Galaxy would be slow, arduous. But it would be done. Things would go back to the way they were before the Empire. The way they were during her mother's time in government. The ghost of a smile formed on her face as she thought of her biological mother and wondered whether she would be proud of her. From what Bail had told her, her mother had been a political powerhouse, much like she herself was well on her way to becoming before every fiber of her being was consumed with the Alliance's cause. Yes, she should contact Mon Mothma.

Somehow, as much as she needed something to do, she could not make herself move. Much like during her agonizing hours of torture in her detention cell aboard the first Death Star years ago, she was pinned to her spot by one man. She closed her eyes but opened them immediately as unwanted images invaded her mind. Images of a towering man in black, more machine than man, more monster than human. Every memory she had of Vader was wrapped in pain, terror and anguish. She briefly wished Luke had had the honor to kill him too. She became horrified with herself, knowing her father would not condone such thoughts, even for Vader. Neither would Luke, she guessed. Yet, she couldn't help but feel that if anyone in the galaxy deserved to die, it was the Emperor, followed very closely by Darth Vader. And yes, Luke should have that honor.

She must have been so lost in those dark thoughts swimming within her, she didn't even hear anyone coming up behind her. A large hand came to rest on her shoulder and she jumped, startled. She turned to face whoever was behind her, her hand instinctively coming to rest on her holster before remembering she wasn't carrying her blaster.

"It' just me, Leia," Han said with a worried frown on his handsome face. It made her smile.

"Han," She breathed out in relief as she relaxed.

Han took a seat next to her and placed a comforting hand on her leg. "You OK?"

Leia looked down at his hand resting on her thigh and couldn't help as her smile grew wider. An intimate gesture which might have been inappropriate a day ago felt suddenly natural and it was all she needed at that moment. She brought her own hand to rest over his.

"I'm sorry," she said softly. "I'm just confused, I guess."

"Well, it's been one hell of a day, Princess," he said, offering her one of his trademark smirks. The kind that made her heart beat faster.

She laughed at Han's ability to lighten her mood with such a simple understatement. "That it has, Captain."

"The hardest part is over," he said, bending down to place a kiss on top of her head as he pulled her closer to him with his arm.

Is it? She wondered.

She reveled in the comfort of such a simple gesture, wishing she could truly believe that. She sat quietly, content for the moment with Han's arm around her. Her one anchor to sanity.

It was some time before her voice broke the silence, unable to leave her fear unvoiced.

"Why haven't we heard from him yet?" She asked, her voice trembling.

She felt Han's arm tighten around her and his posture became more rigid. She wondered if he too was feeling the same concern for Luke, but when he spoke again she had the feeling he'd been bracing himself for what he was about to say to her.

"Sweetheart," he said so gently and softly her heart started to flutter again at his use of the endearment. So heartfelt. "Maybe we should prepare to accept he might haveā€¦"

"He's alive, Han!" She screamed vehemently, his words frightening her though she didn't understand why. She knew her brother was alive. She softened at his expression.

"Are you sure?" He pleaded. There was a hesitant hope in his eyes and she realized he was just concerned for his friend and preparing himself for the worst. She felt compelled to put him at ease.

"Han," she said grasping his hands tightly. "I can feel it, he's alive."

"I believe you, love," he seemed reassured and nodded. It wasn't long until he felt the obviously unstoppable urge to lighten the tension with his blunt sense of humor. "Think you can reach out with your Force thing and tell him to get his Jedi ass back to camp?"

She laughed and brought her lips up to him in a deep lingering kiss. "That's actually not a bad idea, Han."

"If that's my reward for them, I promise to have more," he said, raising his eyebrows suggestively.

Leia closed her eyes with a smile and tried to relax, focusing her energy on trying to reach her twin brother. Han sat quiet beside her, as if he sensed her need for silence. Since Bespin she'd been somewhat able to reach Luke through the Force, albeit rather unconsciously since she'd never been trained. She figured Luke would feel her call to him and that he would answer her call. It felt like her mind was grasping tendrils of smoke, but little by little the smoke began to feel more solid and she felt a surge of excitement as she realized she was actually doing it. She knew she was getting closer to him as her mind began to clear. There was light, warmth and the unmistakable presence that was Luke. She wasn't sure how to speak to him and suddenly wished she'd had some form of training from Obi Wan or Yoda. Or even Luke himself.

She hesitated for only a moment, but that was all it took. The light dimmed and she realized there was something blocking her from Luke. Blocking her from seizing full power of the Force. Something dark, something disturbing. She couldn't identify it. Fear gripped her and she withdrew, opening her eyes to meet Han's expectant gaze.

"I couldn't do it," she said shakily.

"It's OK," he said gently caressing her cheek.

"Princess Leia!"

Leia and Han looked up to find a Rebel soldier running, towards them. He stopped a few feet from the couple, slightly embarrassed at interrupting what was very obviously an intimate moment.

"Yes?" Leia asked.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, Your Highness," he said urgently."We've just received a transmission from an Imperial ship requesting your attention."

She immediately stiffened and desperately reached for Han's arm, clutching it tightly. An imperial transmission? For her? From whom? She turned bewildered eyes to Han and he looked back at her with a suspicious frown on his face. He didn't like the sound of this.

"Who is it?" Han asked the young soldier stiffly.

"It's Luke Skywalker, Your Highness."


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