A Blessing in Disguise

Author's Note: For anyone who hasn't read my profile yet, I'll tell you know that my trademark in Luke/Vader stories is that Vader is never burned, usually by some trick of fate or the duel on Mustafar never happening. I'm not sure if this idea has been used before so if it has, I do not own it and whoever first came up with it does, they have credit for it. And once again, this is AU (Alternative Universe) so many things that happen in canon will not happen in this story although I may keep some events. This will replace Shadowed Nemesis, Fire of Vengeance, and Silent Lucidity, and I do hope that you enjoy it, reviews, as always, are much appreciated.

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars, I never have, I never will and I am only saying this once and will not repeat it in later chapters, George Lucas does



He remembered little to nothing about where he used to live before he came to live on a large starship that traveled constantly through space and held a variety of beings. There were humans, like himself, Twi'leks, Rodians, Wookiees and varies others that he couldn't name. The memories that Luke Skywalker had of the life he led before he was kidnapped were blurry at best and he seemed to remember kind eyes gazing at him and arms holding him in their arms as if he was just a small baby.

Luke had always known he didn't have a mother or a father, that was one of the things he remembered intently. He never once recalled the face of either his mother or his father although he did remember his guardians speaking sometimes about them. He was very young when he last saw his guardians, however, so he didn't remember most of what his guardians had said.

Luke remembered the day he had been taken from his guardians as if it had only been yesterday. It was a sandy and windy day on Tatooine with the hot blistering sunlight cascading down upon the desert. Stretches upon stretches of sand could be seen lying in all directions and Luke specifically remembered being held in a woman's arms as he was still very small. He believed he had only been two at the time and so he only knew how to walk and start speaking small words.

He remembered his guardian's smile whenever he attempted to pronounce a word he heard recently by his guardians or the people who lived in the settlement that his guardians visited frequently. He remembered the faces of his guardian; a man with blue eyes and a woman with blonde hair but other than that he remembered nothing about who they were or their names although he did know that they were his aunt and uncle.

The day Luke had been kidnapped was a busy day in the settlement, there were many landspeeders flying back and forth across the land and his guardians had a tough time trying to find the store they wished to buy stuff from. His guardians had been warned when they reached the settlement that some bad man were in the vicinity but Luke hadn't understood what the man had meant. His guardians seemed to have understood, however, for they nodded grimly and hurried about their business. They only wished to get some supplies for the home but they had no wish to leave Luke by himself since no one was free to watch him while they did their shopping.

It wasn't as if they knew that day would irrevocably change their lives forever.

Luke remembered seeing the bad men approach swiftly and suddenly as if they had materialized out of nowhere. They attacked with such ferocity that his guardians barely had time to scream for help before they were knocked unconscious and their valuables, what they had on them at the least, were taken.

Luke had been in the landspeeder at the time and had started crying the instant he spotted his guardians' fall. He couldn't help it; he was two years old and seeing his guardians fall like that made him feel very afraid and sad. The bad men turned their attention to the speeder at that moment, examining the boy as he continued to cry.

"He's still very young," one man commented. "People are in the market for younglings these days."

"They won't be waking up any time soon so I doubt they'll miss him," the second man said before he reached into the speeder to scoop Luke into his arms. He was the one that wasn't carrying anything as the other valuables were being held by the first and third man of the group.

Luke, at being picked up by a complete stranger, started wiggling and crying louder. He was hoping that his screams would wake up his aunt and uncle and he wasn't disappointed. His uncle was the first to wake up and, shaking his head to clear it, immediately turned his attention to the kidnappers.

"Unhand my nephew," he demanded angrily.

The man smirked as he tightened his grip on Luke, which caused the toddler to start screaming and struggling again. "Make me," he hissed.

His uncle tried his best to save him; Luke knew that for a fact but the bad men had blasters with them. A single blaster bolt instantly took the life of the uncle Luke barely knew and that caused him to start crying harder than ever before. His aunt was still unconscious but at the very least she was still alive even though Luke felt as though he was never going to see his aunt again.

The man holding him glanced at the other men. "Let's go. We have enough money to leave now and authorities should be showing up soon," he said.

"This is Tatooine. Authorities aren't likely to show up right away," the first man snorted but he seemed to agree with the second man for he began running toward the spaceport. The fact that it was pitch dark outside and the moon hadn't yet risen into the night sky provided the kidnappers with the perfect cover. The only reason his aunt and uncle were still in the settlement when it was dark outside was the shopkeeper they had been speaking to had taken much time to get the supplies that his aunt and uncle needed. He didn't realize it until years later but Luke knew that it wasn't his aunt and uncle's fault any more than it was the shopkeepers, they had just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

That memory had been the worst memory to date; witnessing his uncle being killed before him and unable to help him or check if his aunt was still alive. Being taken away from the only home he had ever known knowing he would never see his aunt again had traumatized the little boy to where he began to repress the memories of what came next.

Luke did remember that the men who had kidnapped him had taken him to a Rodian, an ugly Rodian with a smirk that terrified Luke. He had been given to the Rodian and then placed beside several others, including a wookiee cub and a small Twi'lek girl while the Rodian handed credits to the kidnappers. It wasn't until years later that Luke discovered the beings who had kidnapped him were beings known to steal valuables and sell children to slavers in an illegal slave trade that existed in the Outer Rim of the known galaxy ever since before the Empire rose.

His repressed memories blocked out the memories of the last seven years, from when he was taken to now although he did remember the way he felt during those times. He was now nine and understood exactly of the predicament he was in; he had been sold into slavery and he was now a slave to a Rodian who cared little to nothing about laws or about the slaves who worked for him. The feelings associated with the last seven years were usually ones of pain and loss, of bewilderment and fear, all of which were the same feelings he knew his fellow companions felt.

At nine years of age, Luke had an understanding of the galaxy that most do not obtain until they were older. He understood that slavery was illegal; he understood that the Rodian didn't care whether or not he broke the rules so long as he had free laborers who did his work; he understood that he wouldn't be leaving this life anytime soon.

Luke's repressed memories came back every once and a while although its' usually while he's sleeping and they are usually memories of his uncle's death. There have been some instances when he remembered his companions whom he could call his friends would get into trouble with their master. It seemed as though out of all of his repressed memories, the ones that gradually came back into his mind were ones filled with pain and longing.

Luke longed for freedom and for a chance at a happy, better life away from his Rodian master. He didn't think it was likely he would ever get his silent wish but he hoped that this wouldn't be the case, he hoped that he might be able to get out of this. He knew he wasn't the only one who cherished the thoughts of freedom, his Twi'lek and wookiee friends had made it clear they were unhappy here as well.

Luke's memories of the life he led before slavery were sketchy at best and he could do nothing but wish this had never happened. Wishing for something to alter the past didn't work, however, no matter how much Luke wished it could. As naïve as he was, Luke believed that nothing could alter his bleak future.

Little did he know, the Force worked in mysterious ways.

The memories that surged through his mind were not happy ones. All of them were associated with the horrible memories of the time on the volcanic planet of Mustafar where Darth Vader lost everything he once cherished more than life itself. Every time he sat down to meditate, those memories, memories of his beloved wife and the child that was growing within her, would come back to haunt him.

His wife was dead.

His child was dead.

He had caused their deaths.

The guilt only fueled the fury within Vader's body, providing the darkness within him with more fuel so that it may quench any ounce of Anakin Skywalker that was left within the dark hull of the dark lord of the Sith. In spite of the fury, Vader could feel a part of Anakin still lived on inside of him, a small part that was so hidden by the layers of darkness that Vader worried little about it.

None of his memories in the past nine years have been happy ones; all of them were associated with death. It seemed that every time Vader so much as closed his eyes, he was witnessing his mother's death, his wife's death, his child's death and Qui-Gon's death all over again. He was sure that if he had caused his former master's, Obi-Wan, death before he turned to the dark side then he would be reliving those memories as well.

But no, Obi-Wan Kenobi was still alive and the mere mention of the man who turned Padmé against him added fire to the flames of hatred and anger within Vader's heart. It was Obi-Wan's fault that Padmé was gone, his betrayal had in turn caused Padmé's betrayal. Now Vader had nothing, nothing but hatred and anger and loss and, perhaps, longing as well, longing for what could have been had it not been for Obi-Wan.

Irrational anger surged through Vader's body as the memory of Mustafar came back into his mind. This memory, thankfully, began after Padmé had fallen unconscious and it covered the duel that led to a final showdown on a charred hill overlooking the river of lava. Vader had been standing on a platform floating in the lava while Obi-Wan had flipped onto the charred hill, still holding his lightsaber at a ready.

"I have the high ground," Obi-Wan called down.

"You underestimate my power!" Vader snarled back up at his former master.

"Don't try it."

Vader didn't listen and leapt, flipping over Obi-Wan as his former master sliced straight through his leg, sending him sprawling to the ground. Thankfully, he had landed on a part of the hill that was flat and prevented him from rolling down to the lapping waves of lava.

Obi-Wan kept his lightsaber pointed at the ground even though he had the advantage and could easily take Vader then and there. Instead of striking him down as Vader knew he was supposed to, he shouted, "You were the chosen one. It was said you would destroy the Sith, not join them, bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness."

Struggling to push himself to his feet, although he only had one leg to stand on, hatred and anger surging through him, Vader screamed angrily, "I hate you!"

"You were my brother, Anakin, I loved you," Obi-Wan cried tears streaming down his face as he reached down and picked up the lightsaber Vader had dropped before he walked off, leaving his former Padawan were he lay unable to rise to his feet.

Obi-Wan had only sliced off his leg and nothing more, which provided him with a chance to escape Mustafar less injured than he already was. However, since he only had one leg, Vader couldn't very well make it back to Coruscant on his own. It had been his luck, however, that Palpatine had found him before long. While the lightsaber cauterized the wound, the shock could very well have delivered a more serious effect to losing a leg and Palpatine's timely arrival prevented that from happening.

Vader still remembered that day as vividly as if it had happened only yesterday. He had hoped that nine years would push the memories away but they kept coming back, gradually invading his mind whenever he attempted to meditate or he was alone with nothing but silence and memories to keep him company. This was why he kept himself as busy as he possibly could, either by dueling droids or trying to convince the idiotic captains and sergeants onboard the Star Destroyer he constantly spent time on to actually get some work done.

But he couldn't stay busy for long and he more often than not found himself idly back in the palace he had as his own, which lay next to the Emperor's much grander palace. It was then that the memories would come back in full force. The pain of losing his mother, the betrayal of his former master and wife, the death of his unborn child…they continued to torment him until Vader felt as if he was going to lose his mind.

It was then that Vader went to duel droids, feeling better after he destroyed several of the droids that he fought to keep himself in shape and well adept at lightsaber combat. He tried his hardest to push his memories away but they continued to come back as if they enjoyed tormenting him, especially the dreams of his unborn child.

Unless they were attempting to tell him something.

Vader pushed that thought away as ridiculous; his unborn child's death had happened in the past and Vader's visions never showed him the past, only the upcoming future. So there was no possible way for his memories to be trying to tell him something about his unborn child.

Vader fought day in and day out against the memories within his mind, which is what caused his notorious short-temper. That was one of the reasons why people feared him; his notorious short-temper caused the deaths of many people who ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time when his temper flared. Vader's temper was one of the things that made everyone around him fear him but none of them knew as to why he was so short-tempered.

Palpatine knew, however, and used to attempt to help Vader overcome the past. Vader knew it wasn't to help him, it was to make him forget his life as Anakin Skywalker so that he may better fulfill his role as Darth Vader. It did little to help, however, and Vader often had to keep that fact a secret from Palpatine. Although he was extremely patient, Palpatine did have a temper and got frustrated easily, which usually resulted in people around him, Vader included, getting injured.

Vader had learned to overcome Palpatine's frustration by providing him with something to distract him, usually dealing with an incompetent Moff or Admiral or finding a Jedi who survived the Purges. The fact that Vader couldn't get rid of his memories of the life he led as Anakin Skywalker frustrated Palpatine greatly but it also provided Vader with the anger he needed in order to function as Palpatine's apprentice. It was that anger that usually calmed Palpatine's frustration as the Emperor figured that remembering made Vader's anger increase, which also increased his power.

Whether or not Palpatine was afraid of the prospect of his apprentice become more powerful than he hadn't yet crossed Vader's mind.

That was the main reason that nowadays, nine years following that disastrous day on Mustafar, Palpatine stopped attempting to help Vader repress his memories. Vader wasn't entirely sure if remembering was a good thing; even if it did increase his anger, thereby increasing his power, it also forced him to look at the matter from a completely different perspective.

Whether or not that was a good thing in the eyes of a dark lord of the Sith, Vader did not know.

He did know, however, that remembering his unborn child was the one that provided him with the most heartache in the fragments of his icy heart. Those were the memories that Vader pushed to the back of his mind and never thought about unless something brought it to his attention. Luckily, no one was stupid enough to bring up anything concerning children when Vader was around.

Vader's compassion for children was another thing that had Palpatine frustrated and constantly angry with his apprentice. Vader's time spent on the darkness has hardened that compassion but that compassion is what prevented him from murdering the younglings in the Jedi Temple the night the Republic fell. Now, Vader's compassion for children was little more than a flicker as if it didn't exist at all; it was with the small part of him that was still Anakin Skywalker.

That tiny part is what Vader never once glanced at again because it was so tiny that the darkness smothered it entirely.

Little did he know, that tiny part would be what ends up irrevocably changing the future forever.

A/n what do you think?

Blaze: before any of you go critical, the part with Vader is a bit out of character but I see him as a different person when he doesn't have his suit on and I still believe he was framed for the Tempe thing

Darth: it's in the book, it's in the movie, George Lucas wrote it, why do you continue to deny it?

Blaze: my story, my rules. I can have Vader framed if I want to.

Darth: you should have added that to your trademarks for Luke/Vader stories

Blaze: I should, shouldn't I. Well, I don't want any flames on Vader being a bit OOC in this section, this is merely an introduction on the inner workings of Vader's mind. For all we know, he could very well be thinking that, they don't really elaborate on his thoughts in the movies or the books as it is

Darth: in some they do

Blaze: not any I've read before ANH, they don't so this is what I think Vader might be thinking and remember that this is only nine years after RotS. It being that early since RotS, I can see a part of Vader still being Anakin.

Darth: that's just you

Blaze: yup so please no flames for that part. If you do flame, please do not use swear words and those flames will be used to make smores, roast Palpypie, Dooku, and Maul over a slow fire. So please review, the next chapter, "A Spy's Report" will be posted soon although it'll probably be next week.