take the spade from my hands (and fill in the holes you've made)
Bail Organa was dying.
He could no longer deny it. He fought bitterly against his illness, but he couldn't hold on. By the Maker, he was tired. His body ached. He didn't want to die. He wasn't ready to die. While he longed to meet Breha's spirit again, he had so much left to do. He didn't- he couldn't leave his little girl!
Granted, their Leia was eighteen and a senator and spy to boot, but she would be all alone in the galaxy.
Not all alone said a voice in his head. Bail shifted on his bed, trying to banish the thought. Could he leave his daughter all alone? Could he die with her secret? His chest began to shudder with violent coughs and his Leia walked quickly into his room, glass of water in her hand. Bail tried grasp the glass but nearly spilt it on his entire front. Leia caught the glass, unemotional, and tilted it towards his lips. His sipped gratefully, the realization slowly sinking to the pit of his stomach.
He was dying.
"How are you feeling, Papa?" she asked, placing the glass on his end table.
"I-I am comfortable, Lelila" he said, using her childhood nickname. He saw her swallow, but smile at him, eyes shining. He grabbed her hand and held it to his face, eyes closed. "Oh, my girl, I love you so much."
"I love you too, Papa."
"We were so lucky to have you," Bail said. "You're mother and I always wanted a daughter. We were blessed with you. For us you were- are a joy and a comfort." He paused. "Your birth mother was a good friend. You helped ease the pain of her passing. I-I just wish I knew how to ease yours."
"Papa, don't talk like th-"
"Leia," he said, softly, but with authority, silencing her. "I am dying, my darling."
Tears fell down her cheek. Oh, his brave, strong girl. "B-but I don't want you to die."
"I don't either," he said softly, squeezing her hand. "But I don't think I have much of a choice." He sighed, steeling himself. "Leia, listen to me. There is something you must know. Your biological parents were extremely important people."
"What?" she said, wiping her tears from her face, confused. "What do they have to do with anything? Why are you telling me this? Who were they?"
"I can't tell you," he said. She opened her mouth to speak, but he cut her off. "Leia, your life could be forfeit if…if certain people in the empire knew who they were. I know Lord Vader can see into people's mind an-" he broke off in coughs once again.
"That's just a rumor," she said.
"I know it to be true."
"They why hasn't he found out about the Alliance?"
"He can't break into the strong minded. Though he can sense when one lies."
"And I don't have a strong mind?" she asked. She felt as if she was experiencing thirty emotions a second. It was dizzying.
"Darling," he chuckled, "being your father, I know better than anyone how strong your mind is. But," he said soberly "I don't want to take that chance. After…after I pass you will need to find a former Republic general by the name of Obi-Wan Kenobi."
"Yes, he's in hiding. He is a Jedi. He will teach you to guard your mind."
"Where is he?"
"On the outer rim, on Tatooine. You will find him on Tatooine…as well…as well as your brother."
Leia froze. "My…my what?"
"Your brother" Bail repeated, stomach churning.
"I-I have a brother?"
"Yes, he's your twin."
She was silent for a long moment. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Leia, it wasn't safe-"
"But-but he is my brother! I don't even know who he is! Why were we separated?"
"Leia, if the empire learned of your existence you would have both been murdered. This was the safest way to keep you both alive. It wasn't fair, but we did what we had to do."
She was silent for another long moment, anger slowly coming in and out like waves of the sea. She was angry that he hadn't told her and angry that he was telling her when he was dying so she really couldn't be angry.
"Do I have any other family that I don't know about?" she asked defeated.
Bail looked at her. "No" he lied with the utmost certainly. Her biological father had been dead for a long time; at least from a certain point of view.
"What's his name?"
"Luke," he said simply, watching her face carefully.
"Luke," she repeated. Suddenly, she was crying again. Bail opened his arms and she embraced him, slipping onto the bed with him, resting her head on his shoulder. He feels so small. The thought made her cry harder.
"Papa, oh, Papa, I love you" she cried.
"Oh, my little girl. My sweet, little Lelila. I love you more than the universe. Remember, I will always love you. No matter what you do and who you meet. I will always love you."
Three days later His Highness, Prince Bail Organa, First Chairman and Viceroy of Alderaan, died. The Royal Palace of Alderaan was flooded with dignitaries and other high officials paying there last to the former senator.
On the morning of the funeral, Leia sat in a sitting room forcing down a light breakfast. She had on a long black dress with long sleeves. Her hair was done in a simple mourning braid, falling down her back. She didn't want to eat, but she knew she had a long day ahead of her. As she took a sip of her tea someone knocked on her door.
"Come in," she said. Carlist Rieekan, one of her father's advisors and closest friends, opened the door.
"Good morning, Princess. I'm sorry for bothering you, but I have something for you."
He pulled a small black box and white envelope out of his jacket pocket. Leia stood, taking the box and envelope, recognizing her father's tidy scrawl. She looked up at Carlist with wide eyes.
"Your father gave this to me last week. He wanted you to have this after he died. He was truly a great man, Leia. I will miss him dearly."
She swallowed hard. "Thank you, Carlist."
Carlist squeezed her hand and exited the room. She opened the envelope with shaky hands and unfolded the paper.
My dearest Leia,
If you are reading this, then I have died. I'm so sorry. I love you more than you can ever imagine and will always be with you. In the box Carlist has given you is a pendent that was once your biological mothers. I was told your biological father made it for her. Perhaps it will give you strength in the days to come. Whatever happens, remember that the past cannot define you. You are the defining variable in what happens in your future. I love you.
Your loving father
Leia opened the black box and took out the pendent by its worn cord. It was a wood she wasn't familiar with, a light brown. She thumbed over the carvings. She didn't recognize the designs etched onto the smooth surface.
She let out a breath, sinking back into her chair. What was her father playing at? She didn't want to share this hole in her heart with parents she never met. She just wanted to miss him.
And a brother. Somewhere on the Outer Rim, Leia had a brother. It was almost too much to handle.
There was another knock on the door.
"Come in," she said, wiping her face hurriedly.
A shaken up steward entered the sitting room. "Your Highness, Lord Vader wishes to speak with you. Now."
Leia's eyes narrowed momentarily. Of course Lord Vader wanted to speak with her now. Why should Lord Vader do anything he didn't want to? Never minding the people he effected. She stood up, face blank. She clasped her hands behind her back, holding the pendant between her palms.
"Yes, of course. Show him in."
The steward exited, bowing. Moments later, Lord Vader marched in.
"Princess," boomed the deep baritone of Lord Vader, "I've been called on urgent military matters for the Emperor. I will have to leave immediately."
"Of course, Lord Vader" she answered stoically.
"I express my condolences for your father on behalf of the Empire," said the man in the black mask. Vader was a huge hulking figure. It was said he had the strange power the Jedi's of the Old Republic had. Her father had always wanted her to avoid Vader at all costs.
Her grip tightened on the wooden pendent. "Thank you, Lord Vader."
The Dark Lord turned out of the room and walked out without another word, cape billowing out behind him. Leia brought her hand from behind her back and looked at the pendent once more.
"My father would be honored," she said sardonically to herself.