STAR WARS DO NOT BELONG TO ME.
The next fanfiction is a sequel of Brother in all but blood. It takes place sexteen years after the conclusion of that one, and the main characters will be Luke and Leia, followed by Anakin/Darth Vader. While to have read the prequel is not a requirement, you will understand the scenary and the character's personality and decisions much better if you do.
As I've said already, english is not my first language, so I wouldn't have dared to write this without the support and encourage of my lovely beta: Roque Amadi. Thank you very much for your effort and your help. Much of the merit for this story is yours.
For all you, readers, I just hope you enjoy...
Luke sighed for the third time in the last minute. He was bored, so bored that he didn't know what to do with himself. He was frustrated too. He never did truly understand the reason that kept his family moving from one side of the galaxy to the other every few years and, honestly, he didn't care.
He had never felt like he fit in any of those places they lived and neither had he wished to. The young man guessed he was kind of weird, but still he couldn't deny that feeling burning deep inside him, telling him that there was something else, some sort of special fate waiting for him, for both of them, in some distant corner of the galaxy.
So… the "always moving" thing? He was cool with it. Seriously cool. It was true that he had always been a little too shy to make new friends easily, and it had taken a while until he had got used to the new schools, but he had never been alone throughout the process. His family has always been with him: Leia, mum and Uncle Ben. They were stuck together for good and that was what counted in the end. It was all that Luke needed to be happy. It was almost all that Luke needed to be happy.
But this? This? Luke looked around him hopeless. In every direction the scene was repeated over and over again. Miles and more miles of empty desert was everything he could see. There wasn't anything else.
What the hell were Uncle Ben and mum thinking to choose this desolate and so fucking hot planet as their new home? A fucking ball of sand, that was what it was.
"It's not that bad." A voice said behind him.
Luke didn't need to turn around to see who the voice belonged to. He did anyway.
"No. It's even worse than that." He said back to her. "What are you doing here, anyway? I though mum sent you to make sure the moisture evaporators worked properly while I was checking the perimeter."
Leia smirked at him.
"Why? Aren't you happy to see me?
"That's a stupid question, little sis."
He was always happy to be with his sister and both of them knew that truth. The deal worked in the opposite direction too.
"I'm not your little sis. I'm only one minute and forty second younger than you. That shouldn't count."
"It does for me." He swore, wrapping his arms around his sister's waist. "You are and always shall be my little sis. I will protect you, Leia! Don't be afraid."
He was teasing her and they both knew it. Their relationship had never worked like that. There wasn't an oldest in their relationship, there wasn't one in charge. They were twins. They were the other's half part. They complemented each other. The one's weaknesses were the other's strengths. They could spend days and days with the other as their only company and still feel like they didn't need anyone else.
Thinking about it, probably Leia was the main reason why Luke had never felt the need to remain in a single place, to make friends and to build a life for himself. The link that attached them was stronger and brighter than any another; even the ones with his mum and Uncle Ben. As much as he loved them, it couldn't be compared to his love for her.
As long as Leia and he were together, the things would be okay.
"Oh! Shut up, Luke!" she hit him with her elbow in his waist softly. "I couldn't do anything with the evaporators, anyway. And it's your fault. You were thinking too loud."
"Sorry." He apologized to her with little enthusiasm. "I didn't mean… It just..." He couldn't help it. It was just too frustrating and too hard to understand. "What the hell were they thinking, to switch Moon IV for this?"
Leia arched an eyebrow.
"I think I remember someone, not long ago, who was hoping to move to the next planet as soon as possible."
"Well, I might've mentioned that Moon IV was starting to lose any challenge after almost two years, but I never said I'd prefer to change our life there for this fucking sand ball."
Nobody in their right mind would chose to live on this fucking sand ball.
Luke had to bite his tongue to avoid saying the words. It was a pointless effort of course, since Leia heard them anyway. That was another special part in their relationship. It wasn't like they could communicate telepathically at will or anything that cool, but from time to time one of them would think too loud and the other one would be able to catch the thought.
"I don't think it was mum's idea." Her sister said. "She won't say anything, but I can see how she hates to be here. The whole idea was Uncle Ben's."
Luke nodded, trusting in her sister's judgment. She had always been very perceptive and conscious of people's feelings and intentions, all the opposite to him, who depended on his instinct to react.
"Any idea of why?" He couldn't help but ask, despite knowing already the futility of such question.
"What do you think? We haven't been able to figure out why we are running away yet —or who we are running away from—. And until we find that out, we are blind to every reason behind their actions."
That was sadly the truth in the end. Neither their mum nor Uncle Ben would ever tell them the cause behind their continuous transfers or — much more important to Luke, though better concealed— who their father was and why they had never met him.
Luke and Leia used to ask about it, a long time ago, back when they were toddlers. However, the lack of response and the sound of their mum crying the whole night after their questions had taught them soon enough to keep their mouths shut and their doubts to themselves.
"Yeah. Guess you're right. And Tatooine can't be worse than Hoth, can it?"
Of all planets which they had lived on, Hoth was by far the worst. They had been like six or seven years old when they moved there, Luke could barely recall it. What he did remember was the cold, a frightening and glacial chill able to freeze even his bones, and the strange feeling of being the only human beings on the planet.
"Nothing could be worse than that ice ball. At least Tatooine is an inhabited planet." Leia agreed with him. "It should't be that difficult to find some decent company and a good place to race."
"Yeah. Hope so. Let's hope our time here is as short as it was on Hoth though; hopefully, without any new scars to add to my collection."
It there had been something good in that frozen-ass planet, it was that they had been there only for six months. There had also been a little accident that involved Luke, one that he wasn't able to remember very well. He knew he had been fighting with Leia, a very unusual thing, but he couldn't say the reason. He did remember the adrenaline pulsing in his blood when he had got up early that night, still very mad at his whole family, and he had decided to run away.
The rest of the story was echoes of mist in his brain: the beast's roars ringing in his ears, fear, panic and… pain; much, too much pain. And then that strange blue light, a man whispered —Uncle Ben, or was it his dad? — telling him not to be afraid anymore, that he was going to be all right.
Luke had awoken in a bacta tank three days later, and they were leaving the planet two days after that. His mum's decision was immovable.
He still had a big scar across his abdomen as a reminder of that short adventure, but as they had spent the next two years on a resort holiday planet with wonderful tropical weather, Luke figured the pain had been worth it.
"I've got something that will cheer you up." He turned to look at Leia with curiosity. "Here; sit down with me." She instructed him, settling herself on the sand.
Luke smirked with knowledge as he sat next to her sister. The sand was still hot although sunset wasn't far, and Luke felt the heat seep through his clothes. It wasn't a pleasant sensation. He tried to ignore it focusing his attention on her sister.
"So finally you're going to show me the true reason that had brought you here."
Leia stuck out her tongue in a very childlike gesture.
"Shut up, Luke. And look at this."
He did as his sister asked him to, and glanced at a pamphlet that Leia had laid before him arching an eyebrow.
"Ten Years with our Emperor and his Glory" he read the tittle. "Seriously, Leia? I thought you hated the Empire and everything that came with it."
Her sister sighed impatiently.
"I do. And you should, too. It's a completely unfair political system," she protested, for his amusement. Luke had never been interested in politics. "But forget about that. Look at the part when it announces the Race on Imperial Planet to celebrate the First Decade under the rule of our beloved Emperor."
Luke's eyes opened comically. Finally, he was starting to understand where his sister's thoughts were leading. He read it as fast as he could.
Luke was only able to say her name to express his enthusiasm.
The article had left him speechless.
"I know! I know!" Her smile was as much excited as Luke was feeling. "This is not another race. It's The Race. The best pilots of the galaxy will be there. There'll be a lot of tests and drills before anyone will be allowed to run, and every competitor must've won at least two races at planetary level to get in."
"We have!" Luke interrupted quickly. "We've won more than two. And here it says every ship can be occupied by two pilots? Leia, it's perfect for us!"
"Yeah!" His sister nodded. "That was what I thought. The race isn't for another six months, they want it to coincide with Emperor Day. There is enough time to get everything ready. And it doesn't say anything about an age limit, but we'd need to make it certain just in case. Anyway, we'll be seventeen by then, so I don't think we find any problem. I believe if we can finish our podracer's repairs on time, we'd have a real chance to win."
Luke stared his sister deeply impressed. His brain was still too excited with the race idea to process that much information.
"Breathe in and out, Leia. And then try to say all that stuff again slower."
Leia blinked and seemed a little ashamed.
"I'm sorry. You know how I am when something traps my attention. It's just… I was thinking so much about it before I came here to tell you."
He nodded. He knew his sister and also was conscious of how her brain worked. She was intelligent, clever, much more than him. However instead of trusting her instincts to take her to the right place, as Luke always did, Leia needed to think about it over and over again, analyzing the problem from every perspective and trying to find out all hypothetical results, before going ahead and really acting on it.
"No apologies." He said, absentmindedly playing with the sand between his fingers. "But… Leia. You're conscious this race is on Imperial planet, aren't you?" His sister nodded. "That means two days travel, only to get there. We'd be gone for a week at least. There is no way mum isn't going to notice our absence for that long, and I seriously doubt Uncle Ben'll agree to cover us this time."
The happy smile slowly died on Leia's face, replaced by much more mature and serious expression. Luke knew that expression. He'd seen her sister wearing it more times than he could name, every time that she had been unfairly punished, every time they had opted to keep her in the dark about a matter of her concern…
Whatever the reason that brought that smile to her lips, Luke knew that meant trouble. Usually for both of them.
"Well… I was thinking." She started to explain carefully. "We are almost seventeen, aren't we? And they still treat us likewe're children. We still don't know why we have to go from planet to planet every couple of years, despite uncle Ben always saying that they would explain it when we grow up. We're still not allowed to spend a night away from home, or make our own decisions about anything. And it's so obvious they are not going to change their mind when we turn seventeen." Leia paused for a second and took breath. Then her eyes stare at Luke. "What I'm trying to say is: They think we're children, they're always going to think it. Maybe it's time for us to prove them wrong."
"And running away from home for whole week to participate in a very dangerous race is a good way to show that?"
"I wouldn't say it like that," she said without shame. "We wouldn't be running away, because we'd leave a note before going. And they don't need to know about the race. Making a visit to our old friends on Moon IV is as good an excuse as any other. I remember telling mum about how you were missing you girlfriend back there."
Luke felt the heat rise on his cheeks as he blushed. "Shut up! I've never had a girlfriend."
"I know that." Leia nodded approvingly. "But we've used it asan excuse before. What difference would it make to use it again?"
There would be a difference and both of them knew it. Leaving the house for hours every day to practice with their podracer was one thing; lying a little to get a free day to go to the planet's capital to race was another. Running away from home without permission for a whole week, girlfriend or no girlfriend, to compete in the most exciting and dangerous race of the century was a completely different world.
"You know they'll kill us, don't you? They'll kill us even if they believe us. If Uncle Ben discovers the truth..." Luke didn't finish the sentence. He didn't want to think about it, even knowing that was what would actually happen. The warning in his gut was telling him so. "Then they'll kill us twice."
Her sister nodded to show her accord with him, and yet the smile stayed glowing on her lips. This time Luke wasn't the one thinking too loud. He could hear her response as clear as if she was singing it. The most dangerous thing of all, Luke could do nothing but agree.
Slowly, he smiled back.
"Yeah… Yeah! if we win, even death would've been worth it."
That was the simple truth.
Luke ignored where his love for flying had emerged from. Sometimes he wondered if it was borne as a result of Obi-Wan's stories when he himself was a toddler. His uncle had used to talk to him about his father, back at that time when his mother's health had been so fragile, and Luke was a scared little boy unable to sleep because of the nightmares.
Your father was the best star pilot in the galaxy…
The most of the time, however, Luke believed he had born with it in his blood.
Flying was his passion, his greatest love. Either he was racing with a podracer, with a spaceship, or with a swoop-bike... whenever the engines ignited and the vehicle accelerated, Luke was finally free. All questions and worries of daily life faded away from his consciousness; all his concerns about his father and his family's secret died out for a short time.
He felt like he fit there, between the ground and the skies, between the stars and the universe, always running towards the horizon, always the fastest, the most swift.
He was the best at it. Perhaps racing was his single talent, but Luke could do it like no one else. Even, he would dare to say, a little bit better than Leia. And his sister was awesome by herself. When they competed together no one else in the whole galaxy could overcome them. They had won more races from the age of thirteen than Luke was able to name. But always at a low level, always within a single planet, a single planetary system. The possibility of racing on Imperial Planet... to test his ability against the best competitors…
Luke raised his eyes in silent for a few seconds and watched the horizon, where the two suns were slowly fading from the view. It was a beautiful twilight, perhaps the only beauty that could be found on the planet. But it was still not enough to make him happy.
He wanted more; something else.
Your father was the best star pilot in the galaxy…
The best star pilot...
In his heart, Luke knew that chance was too good to let it go.
He stared at his sister. The same determination that he was feeling in his gut shone in Leia's face. She was smirking too. They understood each other without need of words.
So the decision had been made. To hell with the consequences!
Well... Here it is. To be truth this is my first try to write a long fic in english, and I still don't know if I have level enough or ability for a proyect like this. There are so many good english writers with better ideas than mine. I'm very anxious to read any review of yours.
What do you think about this first chapter? Do you believe the story have potential, or I should make another try with a different argument? Is it worthy to be working with it?
I guarantee that any opinion of you, any review, any criticism, any compliment will be welcome. I really want to know what you think about this, so I can continue improving my english skills!
May the force be with you all.
Kheyra Amidala Skywalker.