Vader looked at the child who had been caught by his stormtroopers as he tried to flee the Death Star. Five minutes ago, creating a bond with the boy had seemed like a good idea. It was a small family for a while and then an opportunity to learn to let go when the boy's sentence was over. Now taking advantage of the young orphan's need for love no longer seemed like a good idea.
I told myself that I was going to do this and I intend to, Vader thought. He stepped into the cell and knelt next to the boy.
Luke Skywalker stared at the intruder in horror. Darth Vader was not the person he needed right now. The only people he wanted to see were his family. Darth Vader was certainly not family. Vader had killed Luke's family. The Sith knelt beside Luke and he pulled away. Vader didn't try to move closer but Luke was surprised to feel a sort of sadness coming from him.
Vader reached out and put one hand on Luke's shoulder. Luke pulled away from his enemy's touch and felt that strange disappointment again.
"What do you want from me?" Luke tried to sound defiant, but he was terrified and it showed in his voice.
"What do you want from me?" Vader's rumble countered.
"I don't want anything from you. Everything I've ever wanted you've already taken from me and even you can't bring back the dead." Luke curled into a ball and tried very hard not to think of the deaths of his family.
"If you think that I'm not aware of this you're wrong. You family is not the only I've killed." Had Luke been in any state to feel the Force he would have felt a wash of sadness and disappointment at these words.
He was not. He took it completely differently than he would have had he known, "Oh, I know. You just kill left right and centre, don't you? And you never have any second thoughts either."
"That's not true. But I understand that you might not want to talk to me." Vader stood again and started out of the cell.
"You killed everyone I love!" Luke shouted at him.
"And I apologize. You were right, however, as you said, I can't relieve your pain completely but if you would accept my offer of attention… I destroyed my own family too. Perhaps we could ease one another's pain. Just let me know," And with that he turned to leave the cell.
What was that about? Vader is a heartless killer, how could he ever have a family? I guess he had to come from somewhere. Luke thought in confusion.
"It was not my parent I killed." This time Luke sensed the older man's pain.
"What do you mean?" Luke couldn't help being curious.
"I wasn't always a Sith, Child. I was once a Jedi, though I was not a model Jedi in many ways. I married, despite the rules. My wife became pregnant, but she died before the child was born. She died at my hand." Vader bowed his head.
"Oh." Luke didn't know how to react. He was surprised to feel an urge to move over to Vader and try to comfort him. I'm going crazy. This man is a ruthless, all-powerful monster. He wouldn't want the comfort of a farm boy.
Vader turned and left the cell. Luke stared after him in confusion. That was among the strangest things that have ever happened to me. No, that was the strangest, by far. I would never have thought that Vader would care about anything. Why do I care about Vader? He's destroyed everything I love. But somehow I can't help caring about him.
I may not be able to stop myself from caring for him, but I don't have to show him.