***A/N: This is my first (and possibly last if it isn't received well) Star Wars fanfic. So please don't flame if I get some universe stuff wrong :) This is set at the end of ROTJ and onward (how original, I know) its not meant to be a long epic story, but its just something fun I though of once I realized HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN IS THE GHOST AT THE END! I felt like there should have been some sort of family reunion. So here it is.***
OH! Also, this is based on the idea that the Force is Anakin's father. I know there are a lot of other ideas, but just thinking about Sidious being Anakin's father CREEPS ME OUT.
There will be no more than 3 chapters, and each will have a song that coincides…if you're into that kind of thing. The first chapter is emotional, but the rest of it is pretty light-hearted. Hope nobody is too OOC!
…cuz I can still feel it in the air; see her pretty face, run my fingers through her hair. My love of my life; my shorty, my wife…
Luke Skywalker watched in reverent silence as the flames from the pyre consumed the body of Darth Vader; his father, Anakin Skywalker's corpse. Of course, Leia had refused to attend the makeshift funeral, but her love for Luke had possessed her to help collect the wood for the fire. If only she could have met him, spoken to him as I did, the young Jedi thought sadly. Leia never got to meet the real Anakin, the brief minutes that Luke had shared with his father would never be forgotten. Luke gazed at the menacing black mask in the fire, I will tell Leia about what you have done, father. Soon she will love and respect your memory as I do.
Anakin Skywalker smiled wistfully as he looked on his son from his spot in the nearby tree line. There was no way he was deserving of the love Luke bestowed upon him; but at least he had saved him from death. The only other person who had loved him this much was also one of the first people to feel Darth Vader's wrath. Padme, just her name brought tears to the ex-sith lord's eyes. How could he have let Vader cause her harm? Vader was supposed to be an escape for both of them, the means to a happy, loving existence. A better question was: how could he face her? Anakin didn't think he could bear to see Padme's warm brown eyes cold with hate, her sunny, noble disposition replaced with the cold indifference of a politician.
"I thought you would be celebrating, my friend, the party is in your honor after all."
The familiar, welcoming voice snapped Anakin out of his depressing train of thought. Looking over his shoulder, Anakin saw Obi-Wan Kenobi leaning casually on a tree. Obi-Wan, how I have wronged you as well. How can you stand to be near me? The Jedi knight thought to himself. Obi-Wan laughed warmly, walking up to the conflicted young man and laying a hand on his shoulder.
"Anakin, you were my brother, and I gave up on you. I owe you apologies for many things. When Padme told me you were expecting a child, I should have come to congratulate you; I should have been able to understand the turmoil you must have been going through. You were my closest friend, but I wasn't there for you enough for you to even tell me you were married, let alone your nightmares or self-conflict. Then I went, secretly on Padme's ship to Mustafar with the idea of killing you if you didn't relent. My rash actions truly destroyed you, Anakin and I can't forgive myself for that." Obi-Wan confessed, his internal frustration showing through. The ex-sith lord couldn't believe what he was hearing, Obi-Wan was apologizing to him? Glancing over the ghost of his ex-master, Anakin smiled.
"Thank you for guiding Luke, Obi-Wan. You showed him the ways of the Jedi and thrust him on to greatness. Once I realized you had taken him under your wing, I was relieved. After practicing on me, I knew you would have the "Jedi Master" thing down pat by now."
The older man was about to begin apologizing anew when he saw the smirk on Anakin's young face. They laughed.
"Go, enjoy the celebration. There is someone I must make amends with before I join you," Anakin told the older man determinedly. Obi-Wan gave a sad, knowing smile.
"You will find her just beyond the clearing in the forest," he replied, disappearing, "She has been waiting for you."
Casting one last look toward what was now a large bonfire, Anakin strode decisively into the dense forest.
The forest was unnaturally silent. The music and laughter had faded a while back, and so had the tiny bit of light Anakin was using to navigate. The unearthly quiet reminded him of a prisoner walking down death row for the final time.
The supernatural light brought the ex-sith lord out of his musings. There she was, sitting on a fallen log. Her hands clasped primly in her lap, her back hunched slightly and her head bowed, Padme didn't seem to notice he was there. Taking one long, last look, Anakin sighed and began to approach her. Only then did her realize, she was wearing her wedding dress.
Padme started, and glanced back to where the sound had come from; Anakin stopped, still a couple yards away from her. She stared at him, as if she couldn't believe he was here.
Taking a deep shaky breath, Anakin whispered: "Padme."
She was upon him; embracing him fiercely as tears rolled down her face. Anakin was overwhelmed. Did she not know what he had done? He sank to his knees before her.
"I have done so much wrong, Padme. I tried to save you. I wanted nothing more than to keep you safe!…and, and I killed you! I couldn't be without you. You were the good in me and I destroyed it with you. I became a monster, I became everything you fought so hard against. I didn't even honor your memory! Force! Padme…Padme," Anakin cried, hugging her legs and burying his face into the delicate white fabric.
Feeling a comforting hand running through his long sandy blonde hair, the ex-sith lord gazed up at what he could only describe as an angel.
"I know what you have done, Anakin, throughout your whole life. Believe me when I say, the good greatly outnumbers the evil. You saved the galaxy by sacrificing yourself for our son. You have redeemed yourself in the eyes of the Force, Obi-Wan, and the rest of the JedI masters," Padme justified. Anakin's heart lifted for a brief moment until he realized she had not added herself to that list.
Steeling himself for what he was sure was to come, Anakin asked, "what about you, Padme?"
"You never needed redeeming," she smiled down at him, relishing the feeling of his thick hair in her hands, "I always knew there was a darkness in you, Ani. I accepted that. I only wish I could have helped you through it, maybe then you wouldn't have had to turn to Palpatine for support. But that is past. Our children are out at your party, go- join the festivities."
Standing up, Anakin cupped her face in his hands, "don't ever blame yourself for what I have done…But Obi-Wan suggested the same. Aren't you coming?"
Padme let her hands slide slowly from around his neck down the front of his black tunic and smiled mischievously, "I have to change."
Anakin laughed in disbelief. Of course Ex-Queen Senator Padme Naberrie Amidala Skywalker needed to change her clothes. Wouldn't want to cast a bad first impression on Luke or Leia!
"You're laughing at me," Padme stated, feigning shock.
Anakin gave her a lopsided grin, "I'd be much too frightened to laugh at an angel."
"A pleasant surprise this is, Master Skywalker," Yoda welcomed Anakin as he entered the camp. Standing next to him was Obi-Wan.
Smiling dejectedly, Anakin replied, "It is good to see you as well, Master Yoda. You know as well as I do, I am no Jedi Master."
Yoda laughed and Obi-Wan cast a look at his friend, "Ahh yes! Soon remedied this should be. Been made a master long ago you should have! Deserved it you did. Deserve it now, you do even more, hmm."
"It is a great honor hearing that from you, master," Anakin replied. Obi-Wan was overcome with happiness as he saw his old apprentice grin from ear to ear. He almost forgot how much he had missed the real Anakin.
"Where is Senator Amidala?" The older man asked with a knowing smile. Anakin was about to construct some vague response when he remembered: they didn't have to lie anymore.
"She is changing her clothes."
Yoda laughed. "Beautiful, Senator Amidala is to look at. While we wait, looking at you, someone is."
It was then Anakin realized that Luke was watching them from a ways away. "Can I go talk to him?"
"Of course Anakin. Your father would have it no other way, he is very pleased with you. I think he has a gift for you too. But go now, I know Luke has been waiting for this," Obi-Wan explained mysteriously. Anakin glared at him laughingly.
Just then, Leia walked up to Luke and looked as if she would pull him back to the celebration. Grabbing her arm, he whispered something to her.
"Come on Luke! This is your party, you're missing it," Leia tugged on her brother's arm. He had been staring off at the forest and the princess knew he was still upset at Vader's death.
"Luke, I know you're upset about Vader's death-"
Luke turned to her, cutting her off, "Leia, do you see them?"
"What are you talking abou…oh my god! Obi-Wan!…and a green- person and who is that?" Leia whispered, thinking the apparitions would be unable to hear her. Luke glanced at the young man who he knew without a doubt was his father- he was fighting to keep a straight face.
"That is Yoda, the grand master of the Jedi. He completed my training on Dagobah," Luke explained, Leia was visibly shocked to be in the presence of someone so legendary.
"So who is that? He can't be over 25 years old! You're lucky he's dead, that pretty face would give you a run for your money!" The princess joked, looking at the ghost standing next to Obi-Wan. He towered over both jedi masters, although his presence was non-threatening. He looked almost sheepish, as if he was embarrassed to be under such close scrutiny.
Luke sighed, not knowing how to approach the subject delicately, making eye contact with his father briefly, he decided to jump in with both feet, "That's father, Leia."
"I know you're taking his death hard, but there is no way in Hell that is Darth Vader," Leia replied jokingly, trying to cheer Luke up and out of the funk he had gotten himself into since he returned. Unfortunately his expression didn't change. He didn't laugh or crack a smile. Casting a look back at the young ghost, Leia realized he and Luke were wearing the same expression- and it wasn't an amused one.
"Leia, father saved the galaxy, not me! He killed the sith and saved my life!" Luke explained passionately, still whispering.
"Even if that was true, Luke look at that kid. He looks about as much like a sith lord as Han does!" Leia argued, although she had a feeling she was fighting a moot point. Both men laughed, oh, if only you knew.
Leaving Obi-Wan and Yoda behind, Anakin walked up to his son and daughter. His son and daughter! He still could hardly believe it.
At close range, Leia recognized this ghost as the most handsome man she had ever seen. Tall, broad shouldered, intense eyes with a thin scar over one and shaggy long curls. Han was lucky this man was dead. She tried to act unaffected, if he and Luke wanted to mess with her, then fine.
"Okay 'Darth' or should I call you 'Vader'? Or maybe 'dad'?"
The young man and Luke tried to stifle their laughter. The princess paused and two things occurred to her: 1, they had the same laugh and 2, with how serious Luke is about Vader, why would he be making something like this up? Suddenly feeling horribly stupid, she turned bright red with embarrassment. Quickly though, her embarrassment turned to anger.
Noting the change in her demeanor, the ex-sith lord sighed. He knew he could never ask his daughter to forgive him, but he had to try, "Leia I…"
He couldn't continue, although her glare challenged him to try and do so.
Luke desperately searched for a friendly topic to discuss.
"So, wow. Father. How old are you?" Luke asked. Leia fumed but was silent.
"I must be 22. By killing the sith, I must have been redeemed by the Force…this is how I looked right before I turned," Anakin explained cautiously, peeking at his daughter only to find her glaring at him. FORCE! Padme! How long does it take to change your GHOST CLOTHES? I need you here!
"I knew you could do it. I knew there was still good in you!" Luke beamed. Seeing his old friend needed backup, Obi-Wan decided to help out.
"Yeah! Mace owes me a lot of money! Thanks Anakin!" He yelled over to them. Anakin turned back to him.
"You were betting on whether I would turn back or not?" He asked, laughably horrified.
"Not a lot to do when you're a ghost. You were a source of entertainment," Obi-Wan countered good-naturedly.
"Glad I could be of service," Anakin shot back, smiling at the familiar banter.
"Obi-Wan says he taught you the ways of the Jedi," Luke said, amazed and secretly hoping this wasn't all a dream. His father turned back to the older ghost.
"Oh did he now? I'm sure he didn't tell you all of the times I saved him when one of his plans would go horribly wrong!" Anakin replied. Luke was starry-eyed.
"No! Tell me!"
"Like the time he fell into a nest of Gundarks and…"
Luke turned around to see what had caused his father to stop mid-sentence. A ghost woman, no older that 30, stood; first gazing at Anakin and then at Leia and Luke like a staving man looks upon a feast.
"Mom?" Luke asked hopefully. The beautiful ghost smiled warmly and nodded, gliding up to them. Leia began to cry.
"Leia, my darling, why are you crying?" Padme questioned, using her sheer rainbow sleeve to wipe at the princess' eyes.
"I have had dreams of you all of my life! You are even more beautiful than I remember!" Leia gushed. Luke and Anakin smiled.
"And Luke! You are so handsome and brave! A Jedi knight, just like your father, I couldn't be more proud of you both…fighting for democracy," Padme gave Anakin a pointed look. He grinned at her.
"Yes, Leia is quite the politician. I blame you," the ex-sith lord retorted effortlessly. Padme smiled happily and Luke hid a grin. Leia made a "hmpf" sound.
"Well Luke has a penchant for putting himself in mortal danger… I blame you!"
"Mom? What is your… name?" Luke asked timidly. Padme grinned at her son, who bore a striking resemblance to her husband.
"Senator Padme Naberrie Amidala…Skywalker," she added the last part after throwing Anakin an adoring glance. Leia frowned and Luke was overwhelmed, "I have never been able to say my full name in public. I like it."
"You were a senator?" Leia asked with interest. Padme nodded.
"I was also the youngest queen to be elected in Naboo before I became the senator."
There was a pause in their conversation and suddenly a chorus of chirps and whistles were clearly audible.
"R2?" Luke called. The droid appeared from the busy camp and zoomed toward them with an excitement neither Luke or Leia had ever seen before. To their surprise, R2 passed them both and rammed into Anakin's leg before whistling and making his way to Padme.
"R2-D2! How good it is to see you!" She said. Anakin looked confused. Luke and Leia soon felt his confusion.
"What the Hell?" He yelled. Padme looked up from R2.
"What's the problem?"
Anakin turned to her, "He rammed into me!"
Padme gave him a suffering look, "Well sorry Mr. High and Mighty!"
"No, he rammed into me! Padme…we aren't ghosts anymore," Anakin explained. Padme hadn't noticed because to her, Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda looked like normal people. She had her suspicions that they looked different to living people, but wasn't sure.
"Obi-Wan, Master Yoda, what is going on?" Anakin asked worriedly. Yoda smiled sagely and began walking back toward the forest, Obi-Wan looked up at the night momentarily.
"Pleased with you, your father is! Mmhmm. Very pleased! Come, Master Skywalker, Mrs. Skywalker- explained to you by the jedi council, this must be," Yoda told them before disappearing.
"Don't worry Anakin, I'm sure this is a blessing," Obi-Wan assured him before following Yoda.
"Your father? Who is your father?" Luke asked. Anakin turned to him, glancing at Leia.
"The Force is my father."
"Happy I am, to name you Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker," Yoda pronounced in front of the ghost council. Padme and Anakin stood in the middle of the circle of chairs. Padme squeezed Anakin's hand and he smiled proudly. He had been forgiven and promoted, this was better than any dream Vader would have dared to dream.
"Also, we would like to apologize to you, Master Skywalker, for not giving you the honor earlier. You deserved it, and our fear of your power caused our divide and ultimate demise. We humbly ask your forgiveness," Mace Windu bowed his head respectfully. Anakin could not believe it.
"You were trying to protect the council and the Jedi, I understand now, that I wasn't really worthy at the time and accept your apology," Anakin replied humbly, "But please explain why Padme and I are alive again."
Yoda spoke again, "Very pleased with you, your father is. Believes he has not helped you enough in life. A gift this is. Seven days of life before joining us."
The ex-sith lord could not believe it, his father was acknowledging him? As his son and not just another Force-sensitive human? He wanted to cry.
"What is our mission during these seven days?" Padme asked, her inner politician coming out. Obi-Wan smiled.
"No! Test this is not! Mission this is not! Time to meet children and be young this is!" Yoda exclaimed merrily. Anakin grinned and Padme hugged his arm, "Well go! Starts tomorrow, your seven days. Goodbye Master Skywalker, Mrs. Skywalker."
"Leia look! They are back. They really are alive!" Luke pointed out happily. Leia slumped down next to Han. R2 began his beeping and whistling anew, zipping over to Anakin.
Much to everyone's needed amusement, Anakin crouched down to R2's level and did a perfect impression of his dialect. R2 rocked back and forth with excitement. Padme smiled.
"My name is Senator Padme Naberrie Amidala Skywalker, you must be Han Solo, you are one of the best pilots I have ever seen," Padme introduced herself politely. Han stood up, trying to cover up his discomfort and took her hand. Leia smiled, despite her anger at Anakin- Darth Vader, she corrected herself.
"Hey! Your Highness, how many names do you have? I think your mom's got you beat," Han joked, immediately noting the air of royalty surrounding the young woman.
"You don't need a bunch of names when you're a princess! The title says it all. Of which you have none," Leia replied matter-of-factly. Padme nodded in agreement.
"Well I feel left out. We have Jedi Master Luke, Senator Padme, Darth Vader and Princess Leia. I'm just Han. Captain Han," He complained sarcastically.
"Well actually Darth Vader isn't a title exactly…it was my name," Anakin clarified from his spot next to R2. It was the first time he had spoken and Han stared down at him with a mixture of contempt and amusement. It was hard to look at this kid and think of Darth Vader. Other than his massive frame and deep voice, he was the least threatening person Han had ever seen! He looked like a doll. Darth Vader looked like an angelic doll and the captain was hard pressed not to laugh.
Han's internal giggling fit was cut short when Anakin stood up, walking over to him, "but you can call me Anakin," the ex-sith lord held out his hand hesitantly and Han took it.
"I'm sorry for what happened," Anakin confessed as they shook hands. Han was amazed at the simplicity of his words, but could find no ill-will in the ex-sith lord's bright blue eyes. He nodded.
"Well I had Leia to come rescue me, so it was well worth it."
Leia shot him a pointed glare from where she was standing with Padme.
"So do you know why you both are human?" Luke interjected as a strange silence fell between his father and best friend. Anakin turned to him.
"My father is pleased with me, he is so pleased that I have fulfilled the prophesy that he has granted Padme and I seven days of being alive before we return to the Force."
"So…my grandfather is the Force? LEIA OUR GRANDFATHER IS THE FORCE!" Luke yelled. Padme laughed and Leia shook her head trying to hide her amusement.
"What prophesy? You know I don't believe any of this mumbo-jumbo!" Han said, messing with Luke.
"I will explain everything to you later Han. So father, what are you two going to do now?" Luke asked. Anakin paused for a moment, looking over at Padme.
"I think we are going to Naboo, Padme's home world, and we are going to renew our vows. Her family owns…or did own the palace there so we might be able to have a real honey moon," Anakin explained. Padme walked over to him (much to Leia's dismay) and grabbed his arm.
"Of course, Luke, Leia…Captain Solo you will all be invited. The palace is beautiful and Naboo is one of the most wonderful planets in the galaxy!" Padme invited them, her adoration of her home world showing through. Anakin smiled at her.
"Sure! That sounds great! Doesn't it?" Luke exclaimed, looking at his sister and friend for confirmation. Leia glared. Han, on the other hand, after appraising Anakin and being able to talk with him, agreed. Leia nodded as well, she truly wanted to spend as much time with her mother as possible, and if she had to go to Darth Vader's wedding to do that, so be it.
"So Luke, where'd you put my speeder?" The Jedi Master grinned.
"Oh, come on, I'll take you both to her," Luke offered. Before they left Padme hugged Leia and gave her a kiss, and Anakin shook Han's hand once again.
"It was good to meet you under better circumstances, your ship is one of the best I have ever seen," Anakin complimented. Han tried to hide his pride, but couldn't keep from smiling.
"That's one of the best compliments I've gotten, coming from someone who knows their ships as well as you do," Han replied gratefully. He almost liked this kid. It was hard to remember that he was Darth Vader.
"Goodbye Leia," Anakin said meaningfully. Leia didn't respond. Padme clutched his arm tighter.
"Can you believe this?" Padme asked dreamily, grabbing Anakin around the shoulders as he sat in the cockpit.
"No. I feel like if I try to, I will wake up back on the Death Star," Anakin replied sadly. Padme sighed, burying her head in the crook of his neck.
"You deserve this Ani, it isn't a dream."
A/N: So this can either be a one-shot, orrrr I can add another chapter or two, Anakin and Padme's wedding, perhaps a little kidnapping and the Skywalker boys have to team up? I need reviews! The next chapter would be the wedding, a very light hearted thing with MAYBE a lemon (if im in a good mood). Tell me what you think! No flames please!