Disclaimer: You know to whom Star Wars belongs.
He hadn't seen Leia’s mother for almost two years now. And she had been so hardened by pain by then, Bail wasn't sure if there was a glimmer of his friend in her. But plodding behind him, stepping in each footstep he made was her little girl Leia, his little girl now. Every time he looked at her, he had this fear that her mother would come back and take her away and at the same time he wanted nothing more than to see her again. He had lost one baby already and that was more painful then he could have ever imagined. But Leia loved him unconditionally, she trusted him with little thought to why. He sat down in the garden, in front of his wife, and Leia fell in his lap. She smiled, touched his face, and jabbered on in a language part basic, part gibberish. She hadn't mastered all her sounds yet, but there was no denying the tot was smart.
Lady Organa was what Bail Organa's wife was often referred to, but the title she really wanted was Mommy. Leia had ignored her for most of her life. She had looked through her, looked past her, pulled away or cried whenever she reached for her. Just earlier that day, she had asked Leia to come to her and grabbed her hand. Leia pulled away, clearly protesting "No", and successfully broke away and ran to her father. Maybe it was because she already had a mother, a mother who had held her and told her she loved her, but Bail was her first father. When she looked at Lady Organa she saw a replacement, a usurper, but Bail was just Daddy. She herself still didn't have the ability to look at this little girl and not regret the little boy she had to bury, her son.
Leia did sense the fear in her adopted mother, the pain. And as an infant
it had made her cry. There was something her parents didn't understand
about force sensitive infants, how open they were at birth to this sixth
sense called the force. Even with training, this understanding faded. Faded
either because it wasn't used or because the force sensitive sought to
control it and concentrate it. The force sensitive infants didn't seek
to control it, they just felt it. So she felt that which her mother couldn't
put into words. The pain of the lost of her son. A pain that equaled the
loss of Leia's brother. It was only in secure hands, secure hands like
Bail Organa's, that that wound healed, that she was able to forget and
accept the life in front of he. Someone who felt so insecure made her insecure.
Leia needed Bail, so she clung to him without understanding it.
Lady Organa looked at her husband and the baby girl. Leia laughed as her father swung her in the air. She was unafraid. Unlike when her mother picked her up. Yet it was her father who was putting her in danger, the one who might possibly reveal her to that monster that was biologically sealed to the child.
"Bail, you have to let this underground business go. For her sake," Lady Organa told him.
He put Leia down, but she remained in his lap occupying herself with an Ewok doll.
"I can't stand idly by and let the Empire exploit the galaxy. The republic was flawed, but at least people had a choice. The Empire leads through fear and tyranny. I can't just sit around and do nothing."
"You aren't doing anything but participating in the underground holo-channels. You're no more than a glorified journalist."
"Informing people is the first step to empowering them."
"If Vader finds out---"
"I refuse to be silent, I'm willing to take the risk," Bail snapped
"But--," his wife began
"But nothing," Bail insisted with uncharacteristic harshness.
Bail had always been angry more with Vader than the Empire. Deep down
inside, as much as he wanted justice for enslaved populations, as much
as he wanted fair trials for the Empire's prisoners, as much as he wanted
so many things, he wanted to hurt Anakin Skywalker. Vader, Anakin,
by any name his friend had been the victim of this man. As much as
he disagreed with everything that the Empire represented, it was the thought
of the empty eyes Anakin had created in Padmè that fueled his passions.
He tried to halt his thoughts from running mad, because the little girl
he loved more than his own life was a part of that man, that man who was
now a thing. However, whenever he closed his eyes he saw that lost and
alone young girl, his good friend, who only had a memory to hold onto,
a memory of her children and a memory of the man she loved.
I: The mysterious Lady
four years later
Bail sat in his home office twirling his thumbs, waiting patiently for the message from Mon Mothma. He would again provide a safe haven for a victim of the Empire, a very special victim. Vader was moving toward her territory and she needed to slip out without crossing paths with him. Somehow Bail had come up with the genius idea of bringing her back to Alderaan under an assumed name. She was use to disguising herself by now, but she always knew if she ran into Vader that would be the end of it.
Six year old Leia came running into Bail's office swinging a model spaceship. A Corrilian freighter he had bought her. He smiled as she jumped in his lap and excitedly explained how she had built it. Unlike most little girls, she loved model spaceships more than she did dolls. She had spent a whole day piecing together a model Star Destroyer. He'd never expected her to get it together, she had only been five at the time. But Leia's determination always won out. If she was determined to do something, she did it.
"Hey Daddy," Leia said. "Will we be visiting Kona this year?" Leia asked in reference to their summer trip to off planet. They stayed on a beautiful island called Kona with these lush green trees and gorgeous flowers of every hue. But their were political conflicts this year and they would not be going.
"Sorry honey," he said. "No Kona."
"It's to bad. Mommy always seems happier on Kona."
"She is?" Bail asked, a little astonished Leia had noticed such a thing. But little escaped her.
"When she's home, it always seems like she' walking around a ghost." Leia said with unusual wisdom. Then she smiled, turned back into a little child and ran around his office flying her model freighter.
A small buzz alerted him Mon Mothma was on the line. He answered the Holo call, a nosey Leia came to his side.
"Is that the little princess," A tiny image of the senator asked.
"Yes, this is my Leia," Bail said embracing the child.
"Hi," Leia said.
"Force, she looks like her mother." Mon Mothma said quietly.
"No I don't," Leia replied with a smile. "I look like my daddy, everybody says so," Leia replied with a smile. And if you saw them on the street as a family, she did look more like her adoptive father than her adoptive mother, but Bail and Mon Mothma knew that the mother they spoke of wasn't his wife.
"Your gift should arrive tomorrow evening?" the woman senator said with what seemed to Leia to be a sly smile. "There was a little problem in getting it shipped. Nothing to serious."
"Did you use our private courier?" Bail asked.
"Of course, with a package of such importance."
Leia stared curiously at her father. Something rare must be arriving indeed. She had never seen him smile so widely.
"Leia," her mother called from the hallway outside her father's office. "Leia we need you."
"For what?" Leia whined walking slowly to the door.
"We need to check your measurements for the dress maker."
"Daddy do I have too," Leia asked turning toward her father.
"You better," Bail told her. He smiled and kissed her softly on the forehead.
Leia sighed and walked past her mother. Lady Organa was becoming increasingly
frustrated with this behavior. The gap between she and Leia remained unhealed.
Whenever she was instructed to do something by her mother, she'd turn to
her father for confirmation that it had to be done. Her mother's authority
was almost always ignored unless she got ticked off enough to turn into
a tyrannical monster and that was rare. However few there were, the instances
where they were driven to those extremes seemed to make it more and more
difficult to set things right.
Bail had no time to consider these things. His "private courier" was bringing him the most precious gift he could have received and the most frightening one, Leia's birth mom, Padmè Naberri Amidala.
Bail couldn't sleep that night anyway, so it wasn't too aggravating to deal with his wife shouting at him again about Leia. Perhaps he lacked the ability to sympathize, because to him Leia was an angel. She wasn't perfect, but she was hardly the problem to him she seemed to be to her mother. It was so weird even thinking of his wife as her mother, knowing in fact her birth mother was arriving tomorrow, something he hadn't told his wife yet. They had harbored fugitives (fugitives that were unjustly being pursued by the Empire) in the palace under assumed positions before, sometimes his wife knew, sometimes she didn't, but Padmè was a completely different issue. Like him, his wife thought she would never see the woman again. He didn't feel inclined to mention it now, it would only complicate things. Did he love his wife? At some point he had come to love her as much as anyone could love someone he had been expected to marry since he was sixteen.
But as a young man he had fallen in love with Jedi apprentice named Anika, who was from Naboo. When he met her she was 23, older than himself. His affair with her had peaked his interest in the planet of Naboo. While he was very much engaged to his present wife, he was having a relationship with Anika. When Anika reached the rank of "Jedi knight" she made a trip home. It was then he decided to pay a visit to his mistress' home planet. It was then he met Queen Amidala. He'd known about her before, was actually was very impressed by her. He admired the wisdom she presented despite her youth, but he never expected the bond he had with her. She was like this little baby sister he sought to protect. When she first found out about his affair with Anika, she greatly disapproved. It was only later, after she fell in love with Skywalker, after she had become a Senator and been a pivotal figure in the Clone Wars that she understood his love for Anika and admitted she herself had a crush on Bail as a girl. Anika eventually broke it off with him and Padmè was there for him. Just as he was there for her when Skywalker broke her heart. They became close friend, alies, the shoulder to cry on when the world fell apart. But after Skywalker, Padmè had been emptied all her passion and knowledge, in the end she had seemed but a shell of herself. He hoped time, even if it was time so alone and distanced from everything and everyone she knew, had healed her wounds, but---
"Bail are you listening!" his wife yelled.
"Yes," Bail lied. "It's the same thing I've heard a thousand times. Just give her time. Leia will come around."
"You've been saying that for six years. I'm suppose to be her mother Bail?"
"You are her mother," Bail replied.
Bail couldn't answer that question, only Leia and his wife could. So he did all he could do, he wrapped his arms around his wife and held her close.
"I have to go to the Socola spaceport," Bail announced at breakfast. I'll probably be back by the evening.
"Is that where your special package is coming?" Leia asked.
"Special package?" his wife inquired. Bail said nothing and continued to eat.
"Yeah, Mon Mothma is sending him something by special courier." Leia announced.
Bail regretted letting the child be present during the conversation. Though to untrained ears, they could for all intents and purposes be talking about an actual package.
"Enjoy your day in the city," his wife replied, but she was so insincere even Leia caught on to it. "But it would be nice if you told me these things beforehand."
"Some things are better spontaneously."
"Can I go with you daddy," Leia blurted out.
Her mother and father protested simultaneously. She looked from one to the other and then settled her eyes on her father.
"But Daddy, I want to go with you." Leia assumed a pout.
Her mother rolled her eyes, but Leia never noticed.
"Sure," her father agreed. "What harm could it do?"
"What harm!!" her mother yelled. "Have you really considered what harm your 'package' could do to your daughter?"
Leia looked perplexed by her mother's anger. Bail knew his wife had already figured out he was going to pick up a rebel of some sort.
"Leia will not be harmed. Especially from this package."
"I don't want my daughter involved in your private shipping." her mother protested.
"It's just one trip. What could be more natural?" Bail said. "And the more natural things look, the better."
Lady Organa huffed and left the room.
Leia still didn't comprehend her mother's anger over her father picking up an important package. Maybe, she reasoned, her mother was jealous because another woman was sending her father such a special gift. Nevertheless, she was happy to feel her hand securely nestled in her father's as they entered the busy spaceport. There was a docking bay adjacent to the palace, but only exceptional craft went there. Secola was the central spaceport, it was also the busiest. Most of the large off planet shipments went there and nearly all visitors docked there. The city was as complex as any, everything from low-class bars to high-priced theaters. Leia loved the life there, throbbing and busy.
She barely heard Bail confer with Captain Leshon, who she knew was an old friend of his. He wasn't born on Alderaan, but he was raised there in the beginning of his life. Until his parents had moved off planet, Bail and the Captain had been good friends. They'd found each other again years later when the Captain had moved the central home of his shipping business to Courscant. Leshon had given her the usual "your getting so big" comment and then taken them to his ship. They went into the cargo hold, which smelled terrible. And there it sat, hidden under a black cloak. It stood and removed it's covering.
She was beautiful. The most beautiful woman Leia had ever seen. Her deep wise brown eyes and chestnut hair all seemed so familiar. Her eyes met the little girls and seemed to glow. Leia had this instinct to run and hug her like some long lost friend, but she instead clutched her father's arm.
Bail himself was smiling ear to ear. He couldn't believe he was seeing her again. She ran to him in a way so reminiscent of Leia, he immediately opened the arm Leia wasn't clutching to the woman. She laid her head on his shoulder and cried, cried like she had been holding in tears for years. Maybe she had. Leia loosened her grip on his arm and he wrapped that one around his old friend also.
"I missed you so much," she said holding onto him.
"Me too," Bail said happily.
Leia stared curiously at them and then looked at the captain.
"Who is she?" Leia asked him.
Bail turned to his daughter with his arm around his old friend and said, "This is my friend, Morgana."
"Hello," the little girl said.
Morgana smiled, but couldn't seem to speak.
title: Broken Ties (5/?)
author: Empress Vader
disclaimer: You know to whom Star Wars belongs.
Leia kept staring at the woman, but she didn’t say anything --- Morgana didn’t seem to want to talk. Still, Leia couldn’t keep her eyes off of her. She kept glancing at the woman out of the corner of her eye.
There was something about this woman, something buried deep inside that Leia had yet to understand. She felt this pain when she looked at her and she wanted to hug her, yet she couldn’t make her arms work. Plus, it made no sense to hug a stranger. Who was this woman? How did she know her father so well?
It was nearing time for their mid-day meal when they arrived home. Her mother came to greet them and stopped in her tracks, her face turned dead white and she eyed Bail viciously.
“What?” she said with barely controlled rage. “Is she doing her?”
Bail stared to say something, but their new companion stepped forward.
“I don‘t plan to stay for very long,” Morgana said humbly. “It is not my wish to disrupt the life of anyone here.”
Leia watched the two women. Some message went completely over her head
and she knew it. So her father knew Morgana and her mother knew Morgana,
but she did not. No one had ever spoken about a Morgana, there was no long
lost family member named Morgana (she knew her family tree like the back
of her hand). However, if her parents wanted to hide something bad enough,
she supposed they could.
Padmè was glad to feel clean again after that long trip in the cargo hold. Her long sleeping gown made of soft white fabric flowed over her as she stepped to the window. Alderaan was like a second home, Bail -- her loving big brother, but she couldn’t afford the luxury of feeling comfortable here or safe. No one should recognize her, she wasn’t that girl anymore, Padmè Naberri was as far away from her as Naboo. Today, on this planet, she was Morgana, not the former wife of Skywalker, not Leia’s mother, and she better get use to it. She was shocked Bail had brought Leia with him and she had tried no to connect her gaze with the child, tried her best not to want to gather her in her arms and hold her there, but she had looked. The moment she saw the little girl standing beside Bail, she crumbled, she cried because Leia‘s eyes told the tale of her life.
She heard giggling and looked down in the courtyard to see Leia and some other children playing. She barely was aware of the door opening behind her.
“Comfortable?” Bail asked.
“Yes,” Padmè replied, never turning away from the vision of the children below. “And it’s disturbing. I can’t afford to be comfortable anymore.”
“Let yourself relax for a night,” Bail said walking up to her and brushing a lose strand of hair from her face. She turned toward him. It was always troubling to see her eyes now, Bail thought, they were no longer filled with any sign of joy. It didn’t please her to see her daughter, it pained her. But the pain was one born of love.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m ready to die Bail.”
“Don‘t say that,” Bail replied.
“She’s so beautiful,” Padmè said looking at the little girl a smile creeping on her lips.
“She’s a wonderful child. You’ve never given me a gift more precious then her.”
“Well, she has a great father,” Padmè said, the words gagging her.
Bail wasn’t sure if she was talking about her husband or himself and he was afraid to ask.
“You know how many times I’ve rewinded the events of my life, how many times I’ve asked myself where I screwed up. Some days I think, the Empire exist because I was to stupid to read the signs. Because I thought, at fourteen, I actually had the wisdom to rule a planet and I allowed myself to be manipulated by ---. I gave Palpatine that step right into the Supreme Chancellors chair, I trusted him with my husband, I couldn’t see the signs of corruption in either of them.” By this time, Padmè had begun to cry. Bail took her in his arms like a father would a child. “It’s my fault,” she cried. “It’s my fault.”
“Padmè, no it’s not. I can’t believe you blame yourself,” the prince said patting her affectionately. “We were all just pawns in Palpatine’s game. He would have found a way to get what he wanted, no matter what you did.”
“I still love him Bail, why do I still love him?” The tears broke free with those words.
Padmè didn’t want to cry anymore, but she had to, so she let
go. It was easy to let go with him.
Lady Organa heard other woman’s sobs as she passed her room. She saw Bail holding her like some long lost treasure. Padmè was a lonely woman with a deep tie to their child and a deeper tie to Bail himself. Though Padmè was no longer in the buds of youth, she was still much younger than Lady Organa, and that scared her. A younger woman, Leia’s true mother, Bail’s long time friends, it all added up to her family being swept out from underneath her. She still remembered the reports on the holo channels, just before Padmè married Skywalker, of a marriage between the two senators. Some of the reports claimed the two were passionately in love and Bail was reluctant to release it because of her age. Others said that a marriage was arranged for political reasons and both situations meant her relationship with Bail was over. His fiancee, waiting at home, who barely saw him.
She was to angry to disturb them. She was afraid she’d throw something at someone or break something. And she would not conduct herself in that manner. She was from a high born family, such behavior was below her. But she had to do something.
Leia found the strange “Morgana” woman outside in the garden that night. There had been tension all throughout dinner. But it didn’t stop Leia from wanting to know more about the woman. Most of the people her father knew were interesting in there own way. But there was more than curiosity drawing her to this woman. And she couldn’t figure out what it was. It was like she knew the woman and didn’t know her all at once.
As Leia looked at Morgana, sitting in the garden, bathed in moonlight, Leia was reminded of the legends she heard of Angels and the Moons of Iego. Her father told beautiful stories and that was one she liked, almost as much as the one about the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, where truth and fiction met in those legends, she couldn’t know. Standing there she could have mistaken Morgana for a angel. But she was a very sad Angel. Looking at her, Leia felt all twisted and confused inside.
“Hello,” Leia said softly as she approached the woman.
“Shouldn’t you be asleep little one?”
“I should,” the child said sitting beside Morgana.
“Then why aren’t you?”
Leia shrugged. “I saw you out here and I wanted to ask you something.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Why,” the little girl asked.
“Because, who I am and where I’m from doesn’t matter anymore. And I know those are your questions.”
“Why?” the little girl asked.
“Why doesn’t it matter anymore?”
“Well, Leia,” Morgana said. “Sometimes terrible things happen and it’s easier to forget them rather than talk about them.”
“Daddy says you should talk about it when something bothers you,” the little girl said. “And if your afraid to tell anyone, you should go by yourself and scream as loud as you can. But you have to get it out and you have to accept it, because you can‘t change it.”
“You love your father don’t you?” Morgana said with a smile.
Leia seemed to feel a weight lift off of Morgana’s heart and she smiled back. “My daddy is the smartest man in the galaxy.”
“I’m glad your happy with him Leia,” Morgana said with a tear falling down her face as she dared to reach out and touch the child.
“Don’t cry please,” Leia said.
“I’m crying because I’m happy little one,” Morgana said.
“Leia,” one of the nurse’s called stepping into the garden. “Leia,” the nurse said as she spotted her. “Get your little self in bed.” She turned to Morgana. “I’m sorry if she bothered you miss,” the nurse said to her.
“No, it’s fine,” Morgana said wiping away the tears. “’Night little princess.”
“See you in the morning,” Leia said walking away.
When Leia finally left her, Padmè was feeling her internal conflict all over again. It was good to know Leia was happy, but it was hard to talk to her and not hear the word Mommy or be able to hug her like she wanted. Her little girl and his little girl. She had something of Anakin in the eyes, his sight, his gift, his curse. No matter how much the color resembled her own, when Leia looked at her, she saw Anakin. And even though she was glad her child was happy, she couldn’t help thinking it should have been the two of them. Anakin and herself, raising the twins together, not the twins being raised apart and with different families in the hopes they’d never discover their force sensitivity.
“What do you think your doing Senator,” Lady Organa said to Padmè.
“What do you mean?”
“That’s my child,” Bail’s wife said.
“I know,” Padmè told her. “I’m not going to take her away.”
“Good, because you have nothing to offer her.”
“Don‘t you think I know that?” Padmè asked her.
“Do you? Why are you here? You were never suppose to come back?”
“I don’t know. Bail and Mon Mothma suggested it and I didn’t fight them to much.” Padmè sighed. “I don’t know, maybe I did want to see her, but she‘s not mine anymore. I know that.”
“And my husband?” Lady Organa asked.
“What about him? He’s one of my oldest friends.”
“He’s my husband,” Lady Organa stated.
“I’ve been in love once, that’s caused me enough pain. I don‘t want Bail that way.”
“So you say, but we‘ll see what you do.”
Lady Organa turned and swiftly, but graciously, left Padmè alone. And Padmè perched herself under the stars and looked up at them.
“Why?” she asked the heavens, echoing her daughter almost.
The next day, Leia stood in the hallway outside her father’s office, eves dropping on Morgana and her father. She could not stop this need to know who this woman was, she had to find out more about her. She didn’t know why. Morgana was asking her father to arrange for her to leave Alderaan. But Leia wasn’t ready for Morgana to leave and it seemed her father wasn’t either.
“It’s too soon,” Bail said to Morgana.
“No, It’s to late. I should have never come at all. I wanted to see her, but---”
“But?” Bail questioned.
“I can’t look at her everyday and deal with ---.”
“Leia,” a shrill voice said from outside Bail’s office, causing Leia, Bail, and Morgana to all turn at once. Leia looked straight into the furry filled eyes of her mother.
“Hi mother,” Leia said nervously.
Bail got up from his desk and came into the hallway.
“It seems you had a little spy,” Lady Organa said to her husband.
“How long have you been standing there Leia?” Bail asked.
“Not too long,” the child said.
“What did you hear?” her mother asked.
“Nothing, just that Morgana wants to leave,” Leia answered.
“Go to your room Leia, I‘ll be in in a minute,” Lady Organa told her.
“But I didn’t do anything wrong Daddy,” Leia told her father deferring to him once again.
“Do as your mother says.”
Leia groaned and walked down the hall.
“You wanted to know what harm it could do Bail?” Lady Organa asked him.
“I hope now that you’re seeing it with your own eyes.”
Leia was pacing in her room when her mother arrived. Lady Organa looked at the little girl, looked at her big brown eyes, and saw Padmè. How long would it take for Leia to figure it out? Lady Organa didn’t think she had figured it out yet, but she could be wrong. And if she found out who Padmè was, she was one step away from discovering the truth about her father.
“I’m sorry mommy,” the six year old said.
“Leia, I don’t want you talking to Morgana.”
“Why?” the child asked.
“Because, it puts you in danger.”
“In danger of what?”
“Leia, some things are better left unspoken,” her mother told her. “I love you Leia, so please believe me when I say I think it’s best you leave Morgana alone until she leaves.”
“I love you too,” Leia said and opened her arms for a hug. This was
a rare thing. Leia hardly ever asked for a hug from her mother, so Lady
Organa willingly embraced her. But what she didn’t know was Leia couldn’t
shut off this voice in the back of her head that wanted to know more about
Morgana, that HAD to know more about Morgana. She wanted to promise her
mother she would listen, but she couldn’t make that promise. So instead
she gave her a hug, hoping that would calm her down. And it did, for the
Leia found her father in the gardens this time. She wanted to ask him who the “she” was that Morgana wanted to see. Maybe Morgana was some long lost friend of her mother and they had had a fight or something. It was her best guess.
Her father was sitting there, reading some notes off a data pad. He saw her standing a few feet away and smiled at her. She loved her father’s smile, comforting, warm. She walked up to him. He put down his data pad and she climbed in his lap.
“I’m sorry for spying daddy,” she said laying a head on his shoulder.
“Your forgiven little one,” Bail said.
<Little One?> Leia’s mind said, that’s what Morgana had called her. She hadn’t even thought about it at the time. Ah well, it wasn’t too uncommon to call a child that she supposed.
“Can I ask you a question?” Leia said.
“Anything,” Bail replied.
“Why is Morgana so sad all the time? Even when she’s a little bit happy, she’s still sad.”
“Morgana had a very bad thing happen to her. She lost everything that was important to her. And everyone she loved.”
“She didn’t lose you,” Leia said. “I mean, she’s your friend right?”
“Yeah, she use to be a Senator actually, a colleague as well as a friend.”
“Then why can’t she just be happy she’s with you?” Leia asked.
“You’ll understand when your older.”
“But I want to understand now,” she said playing with her father’s collar.
“I know you do sweetheart,” Bail said kissing her on the forehead.
“But the time’s not right.”
Padmè watched them from her room, thinking Leia couldn’t have
a better father. And it was that thought that tore at her heart. This is
what Bail didn’t understand, as much as she wanted her children happy,
it was difficult to know they were just fine without Anakin, but she wasn’t.
Some days Anakin was all she could think about. She knew she had given
not one, but two childless families, precious children that they would
love with all their hearts. However, she couldn’t look at her daughter
and not see Anakin. And she couldn’t look at Bail and Leia so happy together
and not think ‘it should have been Anakin’, her husband.
Bail approached her cautiously. She was sitting in the library viewing an old holo recording of her wedding. She looked at her smiles and Anakin’s smiles. Bail couldn’t say he knew what she was going through, because he didn’t. Even though his heart had been broken, and by a Jedi no less, it had some how been simpler, a clean break from a love he’d outgrown. Anika was dead now, like most of the Jedi, because of Vader. And he mourned her, but not like he would have Leia or his present wife or even Padmè. But even if he had known a love as intense as the one Padmè loss, she was still going through something all together worse, she was looking at a man she still loved and couldn’t have. She couldn’t morn, because he wasn’t completely dead -- She couldn’t move on, because she still loved him -- And she couldn’t be with him, because it was to dangerous.
“Hello Bail,” Padmè said without ever turning his way.
“How did you know I was here?”
She shrugged. “Why do you still have this?”
“I have a lot of things filed in here. I never thought of throwing it out, because I forgot about it.” Bail turned the image off and sat down in front of Padmè. He placed a hand on hers. “And you should forget about it too. Anakin Skywalker died a long time ago.”
“No, he didn’t,” Padmè said looking away. “That’s the problem. Make arrangements for me to leave Bail or I‘ll do it myself.”
“Padmè,” he reached up to touch her cheek.
“Don’t,” Padmè said pushing his hand away. “Please.” She began to cry again. “Seems like I’m always crying these days.”
“You deserved to be loved Padmè, he broke your trust, it’s okay to be angry at him,” Bail told her. “Yell, scream if you need to. But if you hold it inside, it will kill you.”
She laughed through her tears. “Leia said you would say that. She’s so happy with you. I wish --”
“Wish what? That it was Anakin she admired instead of me.”
Padmè couldn’t answer.
“Padmè, you’ve been through something horrible and you can’t let it kill you inside.”
“Because you still have people who love you.”
“Me for one and . . . Leia. She can’t express it, because she doesn’t understand it. But she knows, deep down inside, that you carried her and you loved her and you love her now.”
“Bail,” Padmè said holding his hand in her own. “It’s no wonder Leia loves you. You always know the right thing to say.”
Padmè fell into Bail’s arms. It was so warm there, perhaps the only secure place left for her. Bail kissed her on the forehead, the way he had done Leia earlier that day. She looked up at him and smiled. He smiled back and leaned down toward her and gave her a soft kiss on the lips, he hardly thought about what he was doing. It had been a kiss to create comfort, but when he realized what he had done he sharply pulled away and looked at Padmè. It had been so long, Padmè gave into the sensation and began to kiss Bail again, her lips laid softly on his own and Bail had no will or desire to resist as they played softly against each other.
Bail didn’t know his wife had followed him, that she was doing the exact thing she yelled at Leia for, spying. She hoped to discover that Bail was going to let Padmè go away, as he should. And she was on the edge of tears herself when she saw her husband kissing Padmè. If only she could say she hadn’t seen it coming, if only she could say she hadn’t expected it, but she had, so many times. Bail looked at Padmè in a way he didn’t look at her. She was to hurt to speak at that moment, so she ran to her room, screamed in rage, and tore apart a pillow.
Leia was the only witness to her mother’s rage. She heard the screams and ran to the room her mother was in. She saw the pieces of the pillow floating all over the room and ran to her mother’s side. Her mother looked at her, tears still rolling down her face.
“Something wrong mommy?” Leia asked
“Morgana,” Lady Organa answered flatly. “Morgana’s what’s wrong, she’s what’s always been wrong.”
“Don’t cry mother,” Leia said with tears in her eyes. She saw her mother angry a lot, but she rarely looked so heart sick.
“I don’t want to upset you,” Lady Organa said reaching for her. “Please
don’t cry, Your mother will be okay.” Lady Organa held her daughter close
to her and tried to holding her own tears.
Bail and Padmè had truly gotten lost in the kiss, but there senses eventually returned and they pulled away from each other.
“I’m sorry,” Padmè said. “I was -- I don‘t want to.”
“Me neither.” Bail replied. “I should have given you what you wanted. If you want to leave--”
“I don’t know what I want,” Padmè told him walking away from him. “But your wife wants me gone and I don’t blame her. Look what just happened.”
“What happened is you,” he hesitated before speaking again. “You let go. Listen the kiss was wrong, but it did something good for you,” Bail told her. “Unless you were kissing him?”
“No, I was kissing the man in front of me,” Padmè told him.
“Then that means you can go on,” Bail smiled at her.
“Maybe,” Padmè said. “But I’m still sorry I kissed you. I don‘t want to give your wife a reason to distrust me. She‘s Leia‘s mother.”
“She doesn’t have to know,” Bail said to her. “It’s our secret.”
“Just what we need,” Padmè said picking up the chip with the
recording of the wedding. “Another secret.” Padmè crushed the chip.
“I don’t want Leia to stumble upon this one day.”
II: Pieces of the Past
Leia ran outside when she saw the red speeder approaching. It was Zai, her second cousin on her mother’s side and best friend in the world even though he was four standard years her senior. Zai only visited every once in awhile, because his a school was so far away. He was a beautiful boy with amazing brown curly hair.
“Zai,” she yelled hugging her cousin as she ran out the door.
“Leia,” Zai said swinging her through the air.
“Where’s your father?”
“I don’t know,” Leia said. “I think he’s with Morgana.”
“Who is she?” Zai asked.
“I don’t know. Some woman my dad knows. She might have worked with him a long time ago.”
“She could be one of your dads old girlfriends,” Zai said as they entered the palace.
“Don’t be silly,” Leia told her older cousin.
“What’s silly about it. I hear your dad--”
Her father came around the corner then with Morgana in tow. They both looked a little flushed, which puzzled Leia.
“Zai,” Bail said hugging his young relative. “Good to see you boy.”
“I feel the same way uncle Bail,” Zai told him, though Bail wasn’t his uncle.
“This is an old colleague of mine, Morgana,” Bail said introducing her.
“Pleased to meet you,” Zai said extending a hand. The woman greeted him kindly and then Bail said they had some arrangements to make. When they disappeared, Zai stared after the woman.
“I think I’ve seen her before,” Zai said. “But the name doesn’t sound right.” Zai turned back toward Leia. “You know Leia, she looks a lot like you, in the eyes.”
Suddenly, it was like a spark went off in he child’s head. She heard Mon Mothma’s words again, this time with a lot more clarity. <“Force, she looks like her mother“> Had Mon Mothma been talking about Morgana?
“Come on,” Zai said. “Show me what stuff you‘ve gotten since I was last here.”
Leia followed her older cousin, but now she found herself looking after
the mysterious woman.
Lady Organa sat looking at the black screen, tapping her fingers impatiently. Finally the screen faded in on a human face. Another one of those annoying imperial officers, a grand something or other, appeared in front of her.
“I said I wanted to speak to Lord Vader,” Lady Organa told him.
“I’m sorry but he’s unavailable.”
“But I have information that protects his interest.”
“If you would only tell me--” the Grand something or other began.
“I will tell you nothing, it concerns only Lord Vader.”
“The concerns of Lord Vader are the Empire’s concerns.”
“This one is not,” Lady Organa stated plainly.
“I’m sorry ma’am, but we can’t.”
“I wish to speak to Lord Vader and if I have to pull every imperial string at my disposal, I will speak to him,” Lady Organa said ending the transmission.
She exited the empty war room. Her plan was clear, bring Vader to Alderaan to spook her husband into action. Surely “Morgana” would be sped away once Vader was on his way. And that would be the end of it, her family would be hers again.
“Zai, do you really think I look like Morgana?” Leia asked as he fooled with her latest toy.
“What does that mean?” Leia snapped.
“Don’t get all snippy, I was just making a random comment.”
“I have to go talk to my dad,” Leia said slipping out of her room.
Bail, as expected, was in his office. He greeted her with a smile, but she couldn’t return it and he immediately looked concerned. He got up and walked over to her. She looked up at him with these sad eyes and touched him gently.
“What’s wrong Leia,” Bail asked. “Your usually so excited when your cousin comes.”
“Dad you’ll always tell me the truth, right.”
“Yes,” Bail told her.
“Is Morgana my real mom?”
Bail was speechless for a moment. Leia had always known she had a birth mom out there somewhere, the fact she was adopted wasn’t hidden from her, but it was shouted from the rooftops either. The best way to hide a lie was between truths, so that’s how it went. There were bits and pieces of information and how they were put together by the child or anyone else was never talked about. From the moment he’d brought Morgana on planet, he knew Leia might figure it out, even though he didn’t want her to.
“Yes, she’s your mother,” Bail finally answered.
She didn’t react at once. She just looked at him with these empty eyes. Perhaps it was the shock.
“Do you want to talk to her about it Leia? It’s okay if you do.”
“No, I don’t--” Leia began. “Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“We didn’t think you needed to know,” Bail told her.
“Then why did you bring her here?”
“I don’t know, she’s my friend, I missed her,” Bail sighed. “And I guess, I wanted her to see what an amazing child she has.”
Leia fell on him, tears streaming down her face. He held her tight, not knowing if she was crying from joy or despair. At least she wasn’t angry at him. But was she angry at her mother?
“Please talk to her Leia,” Bail said.
“I can’t,” Leia said. “Not yet.”
Dinner was a dead silence, everyone was keeping a secret inside them, so no one felt much like talking. There was a fear running through all of them that they would say something they shouldn’t. Leia looked at Morgana out of the corner of her eye. Lady Organa cursed the same woman in the back of her mind, plotting and planning her path to Vader. Bail and Padmè had their secret kiss nagging at the back of their minds. And their young visitor, Zai, sat wondering who or what had spooked his favorite family. There was so much tension filling the room, the young boy wanted felt chocked by it and it hung like a thick fog over dinner. Everyone was doing more picking their food, than eating it. Finally, little Leia cleared her throat.
“I know,” Leia said to them.
Bail sighed, he was hoping Leia would get to talk to Padmè before the knowledge spilled to the group.
“What do you know Leia?” Lady Organa asked.
“That she’s my mother,” Leia said pointing to Morgana.
“Bail,” both women said rising up together. “Why did you tell her?”
Zai was baffled.
“Don‘t yell at Daddy,” Leia said. “I asked him.”
“Leia go to your room,” Lady Organa told her.
“Daddy do I--”
“And don’t do that,” Lady Organa yelled. “I SAID go to your room. That’s the end of it, go.”
Leia lip began to tremble in anger. She broke away from the table and ran from the room. Her cousin followed.
“Did you have to be so hard on her?” Padmè asked Bail’s wife.
“I am her mother,” Lady Organa said. “She has defied my authority one to many times.”
“We should have talked it out, not sent her to her room.”
“When you actually raise a child, you can tell me how to do it.”
“That’s not fair,” Padmè said to her.
“Both of you, stop this,” Bail interrupted.
“This is so easy for you. The good guy, the perfect father,” Lady Organa snapped at her husband. “You don’t have to compete with Va--”
“Don’t you dare go there,” Bail told her. “Now that’s enough.”
“I didn’t want her to know Bail,” Padmè told him. “We agreed it was easier if she didn’t know.”
“Like you aren’t pleased about it,” Lady Organa said.
“I’m not,” Padmè told her. “You think I want her to know the truth?”
“Listen,” Bail began. “Leia asked me, very plainly and specifically, was Morgana her mother. I couldn’t lie to her.”
“It wouldn’t have been a lie,” his wife said. “Morgana is not her mother.”
“She doesn’t know the name Padmè, so it would have been a lie. I would have been saying, this woman,” Bail stepped behind Padmè and placed a hand on her should. “No matter what her name, was not her mother and I can not look her in the face and lie like that.”
Lady Organa stared with contempt at the man and Padmè. “Yes, the noble Bail Organa, Prince of Alderaan, could never lie to his daughter, but he could do much worse to his wife.”
Leia lay curled up on the bed in a ball. She had caused this. She should have talked to Morgana alone like her father suggested, but sitting there she couldn’t stand it anymore and the words had spilled out. She wanted to ask Morgana a thousand questions: Who was her father? Why had she given her away? Did she have and brothers and sisters? Did she love her? But she didn’t have the words in her. She didn’t even know how to talk to Morgana.
She was barely aware of Zai, hovering nearby.
“You want to talk about it?” Zai asked
“About what? My parents lied to me. I mean I knew I had another mom, but I never thought they’d not tell me when I was looking right at her.”
The kids heard the door open and turned to see Morgana standing there.
“Your mother and father said I could talk to you.”
“I’ll go,” Zai said excusing himself.
Morgana came and sat beside Leia.
“Leia, I don’t know how you feel right now.”
“I don’t know either.”
“I wish I could say I could answer any questions you have, but I can’t. I can only tell you, you came from love. And if there was any way I could have kept you with me, I would have.”
“I don’t understand. Why would you come here if---”
“Coming here was a mistake Leia, I’m starting to see that.”
“But why did you come?”
Morgana sighed. Why had she come? She knew the dangers. “I guess, I wanted to see you.”
“And my dad?” Leia asked.
“No, just you.” Morgana smiled. “Your father knew me very well, expected so much from me. I don’t know, maybe you’ll fulfill all those dreams for him.”
Morgana rested a cautious hand on her child’s head and kissed her softly.
“One day you’ll understand why I had to do what I did, but that won’t be today. Just know that I love you.”
“I love you too Mom,” Leia told her.
Then she thought about what she had called her, Mom. The word was out of her mouth before she had a chance to think about it. At that moment, it had just felt right. She looked up at Morgana and saw a tear fall from her eye.
“I’m sorry,” Leia said.
“Don’t be,” Morgana said softly. “I never thought I would hear you call me that. And I’m glad I did get to hear it.”
Staring at her child, she finally saw life had went on without Anakin.
Sure she had dreamed of raising her children with Anakin, of braiding
her daughters hair, of sharing morning meals with her husband and children.
But it hadn’t happened that way and Leia had still turned out great. Leia
could still get up in the morning and smile at the sunrise. Leia ran and
played everyday. Despite the darkness that was infecting the political
structure and their father, the children were safe and loved. Could she
have asked for more from such a bad situation. There had to be a point
where you stopped counting the bad and started counting the good.
It was imperative that she contact him now. As Lady Organa watched the screen open, she expected to find another imperial on the end of her call. Instead, Vader stood before her in all his Dark Glory. He had always been tall, but somehow the suit made him seem larger than life. Some looming fearful Shadow of Darkness, no he seemed to be darkness himself. And Lady Organa could hardly believe that thing was responsible for creating Leia.
“I was shocked to discover the High Lady of Alderaan was in such dire need to contact me,” Vader told her in that horrible mechanically altered voice that made her spine shiver. “Considering her husband would be quite happy if Alderaan never felt my presence again.”
“Well, I believe there's a problem here that only you can solve,” Lady Organa replied as coolly as she could in his intense presence.
“Would you care to elaborate?” The Dark Lord asked.
“No, I would not, because I’m not sure she is who she says she is.”
“And who does she say she is?”
The black mask, of course, remained emotionless. But she had shocked him because there was a definite pause.
“It’s a good thing I’m already on my way.”
“What?” Lady Organa snapped.
“You look disappointed,” the Dark Lord said.
If she could have seen his face, she guessed their would have been some smug expression. Is it possible the Dark Lord could sense the deception? She knew that was possible, but he wasn’t in the room with her and just the thought that he could probe her mind from so long a distance shook her. No, she guessed, this was just him trying to out maneuver his opponent. At least, she hoped that’s all it was. She wanted Morgana, Padmè, whatever name she called herself, gone, but she didn’t want Vader to actually capture her.
“I am a little disappointed,” the woman said. “When I have such important visitors. I like to plan for their arrival.”
“You have a day to plan. I will see you soon Lady Organa. ”
The screen went black. And Lady Organa sat there staring at the screen. She had made a mistake and only now did she see the full weight of it.
Lady Organa strolled into the garden and saw her daughter and Zai sitting with Padmè. She didn’t know what they were talking about. They were giggling and pointing to flowers. So she guessed it didn’t have much to do with the past. Padmè looked up and saw her and then the children saw her. Leia walked over to her.
“Leia, how are you?” Lady Organa said to the little girl.
“Okay,” the child said. “I talked to Morgana and Daddy.”
Lady Organa sighed. She didn’t even know Morgana wasn’t the woman’s real name.
“And how do you feel about everything?” Lady Organa said.
“Well, I have a family. It’s just different from other peoples,” Leia told her.
“I’m glad your okay.”
“Mother, I don’t know why Morgana gets you so upset but---”
“Leia,” she interrupted. “I actually need to talk to Morgana so can you and Zai go play someplace else?”
“Yeah,” Leia said with a smile. She got her cousin and they left together.
“Bright child,” Padmè said as she watched the children leave. “She knew the scientific name of every plant out here.”
“Yeah, she absorbs things like a sponge. Much like her mother I hear.”
“People said I was gifted, but not like her,” Padmè said “I see her father in her.”
“I can’t,” Lady Organa said. “And I don’t want to.”
“Well, that’s because you never really got to know Anakin.” Padmè said letting her hand lightly glide over a flower. “He was a beautiful boy and an amazing man. Anakin saved me in so many ways. I was so much a politician, I forgot what it was like to be a girl and he gave me that. He also allowed me to be a woman.”
“I saw you kiss Bail,” Lady Organa stated plainly.
Padmè paused for a moment. “I’m sorry about that. It was a fluke and it will never happen again. What I said before still stands true. I’m not looking to fall in love with Bail. There was a time I had a crush on Bail Organa a long time ago, but I never truly loved him.”
A day ago, she would have though Padmè was psyching her out, playing with her head. But having seen that dreamy gaze in her eye when she talked about Anakin, she now knew better and she hated herself. This woman had given her the greatest gift in the world, her precious child. Yes she had lost a child, but at the end of the day she was given a gift to fill her loss and Padmè had nothing. One child could not replace the other, but she had had something to hold onto, Padmè had only had lost. She’d lost a son, she’d lost a daughter, she’d lost a husband, she’d lost her entire life.
Why hadn’t she seen it sooner? Because she knew, whatever Padmè ‘s feelings, Bail had loved someone before her, more than her. But it was time to stop blaming Padmè for it.
“Bail’s like the big brother I never had. I don’t know, we clicked right away, like we had grown up together. But I think that was the beginning and the end of it. Bail actually helped me by bringing me here, by telling Leia the truth.” Padmè smiled to herself. “I actually think I’m ready to live again.”
Padmè didn’t know it, but with those words she had taken the knife of guilt and plunged it deeper into the other woman’s heart. Lady Organa fully intended to warn Padmè, but she’d lost the ability to speak. Speaking her sins out loud suddenly seemed impossible.
“What have I done?” she said to herself.
“It’s okay, if I had seen someone kiss my husband I would have acted the same way.”
Padmè’s words made Lady Organa ill. The guilt weighed down on her suddenly and she had to flee.
“I’m sorry Padmè,” Lady Organa said breaking into tears. “I have to go.”
Padmè watched the woman run off perplexed. She knew Lady Organa
didn’t like her, but there was something unsettling in her reaction. Padmè
decided to seek out Bail.
She found him in conference in his office. He was conferring with a regional governor of some sort. She’d known him casually long ago and decided to wait the meeting out. She avoided meeting too many people one on one that might recognize her. You couldn’t be sure who was a part of the underground movement and who wasn’t. When the man went down the hall, Padmè entered the office.
“Bail,” she said stepping into his office. “I’m worried about---”
“Padmè,” Bail said getting up. “ I’m glad your here.”
It was then Padmè noticed the worried look on face.
“Vader,” Bail said. “He’ll be here by tomorrow and I don’t know what to do with you.”
“What do you mean he’ll be here by tomorrow?”
“He’s on his way. Apparently there’s a leak. They told Vader you were here.”
“What are we going to do?”
“I don’t know. I’ve been so wrapped up in my family issues, so wrapped up in having you.”
“Having me?” Padmè questioned. “What do you mean having me?”
“Having you here,” Bail quickly corrected.
“Are you sure that’s what you meant Bail?”
“Of course.” Bail answered. “Why would you think anything else?”
“Your wife saw us kiss Bail. And I know we both agreed it was a mistake, but--” Padmè sighed. “I don’t know. Something has been happening between us recently. The kiss didn’t come from nowhere.”
“Don’t dwell on it,” Bail insisted.
“I have to, this is my daughter’s family at stake.”
“Padmè you’re a beautiful woman, so I can‘t say I haven‘t had a single improper thought. You were hurt and I wanted to make it better,” Bail told her. “But I’m not harboring any secretly buried romantic love if that’s what your asking.”
“Then you need to talk to your wife and tell her this.”
“Right now there are more important issues. Have you forgotten about Vader?”
“I can handle Anakin if I must. But I couldn’t live with breaking up Leia’s family.”
“I’ll go talk to my wife,” Bail conceded. “But you remember Padmè, Anakin does not exist. Vader is some twisted thing, he’s not Anakin and he‘s not your husband. You owe nothing to him.”
Padmè nodded and Bail left her to seek out his wife. She looked after her old friend.
“There’s only one problem Bail,” Padmè said to herself. “I don’t
believe he’s just some twisted thing. He’s my Ani. Somewhere inside, he’s
III: Forgiven and Unforgiven
Bail found his wife lying on there bed crying. She looked at him and then turned away.
“Are you alright?” Bail asked.
“No,” she said looking away from him. “I know that you love her.”
“Padmé,” Lady Organa said. “She’s the one who’s always kept your heart away from me.”
“I love Padmé as I would a sister.”
“Do you kiss all your sisters the way you kissed her?”
“No, and she told you that was a mistake,” Bail stated plainly. There was no reason to pretend, he had been told that she knew.
“A mistake for her maybe,” Lady Organa told him. “I looked into her eyes and I knew, her heart was still with Anakin. But I’m just as sure your heart is not mine and it’s made me do something terrible.”
“What did you do?”
“You were my life Bail. I had to hold on to you, hold on to our child.”
“You didn’t answer me, what did you do?” Bail said grabbing her.
“I contacted Vader,” she cried. “He’ll be hear within a day.”
“YOU DID IT?!” Bail yelled. “HOW COULD YOU?!”
She had never seen him so angry, a fire was blazing in his eyes.
“I loved you, I still love you,” Lady Organa cried wrapping her arms around him. “I couldn’t lose you.”
Bail pushed her away.
“At this moment, I don’t even want to know you.” Bail sighed.
“What about Padmé?” Lady Organa asked.
“What do you care?”
“I care Bail.”
“I’ll take care of her, like I always do.”
Bail stormed out of the room and Lady Organa slid to the floor looking after him.
“You know it and I know it to. You love her, you’re in love with her.”
Bail quickly got to his office and saw Governor Ronan had returned. He was a trusted political figure involved in their slowly evolving underground movement against the empire.
“Vicerory Organa I need to speak to you,” Ronan said.
“Ronan, I have bad news,” Bail said.
“What is it sir?”
“My wife, she did it.”
“She contacted Vader. It seems she was jealouse.”
“Jealouse? Of the former Ms. Skywalker?”
“Apparently so,” Bail sighed.
“We have to get her out of here.”
“I’m afraid that’s going to be a problem.”
“Vader’s here.” Ronan said.
“He landed an hour ago.”
“Sith, the force is not with us today,” Bail cursed. “Where’s Ms. Skywalker.”
“With the children I believe.”
“Arange to get my daughter out of here,” Bail said. “She’ll have a visit with Zai. Send Thalia with them, tell her to pack Leia‘s things right away. For all Vader knows, this was a preplanned trip.”
“Sir, why don’t you sneak Ms. Skywalker out with her.”
“I’m afraid he’ll be suspcious of anyone on thier way out. I want to give him something, someone he can freely question. And it will get Leia out of the way.”
“So, what are you going to do with Ms. Skywalker?” Ronan asked.
“Hide her in plain sight.”
Bail found Padmé leaving the children’s room. She looked confused for a moment. Movement had already begun, Thalia was packing the kids things. Everyone had to work fast.
“I hear Leia’s the one leaving, not me.”
“Vader landed an hour ago,” Bail spoke in a low voice.
He put his arm around her shoulder and walked her down the hall. He continued to speak in a low whisper.
“I afraid to try to slip you past him, moving Leia was an activity to keep him distracted. This is what I‘m going to do with you.”
He leaned in close a whispered to her.
Bail felt Leia run up behind him and slip her little hand into his. Padmé was safe for the moment. Someone had dressed up Leia, she was wearing one of the many little gowns in her collection. Bail couldn’t help being flushed with nervousness when the army of white storm trooper metal swarmed into the castle with thier Black Lord. Leia squeezed his hand a little tighter when she saw them.
“Don’t be afraid Leia,” her father said.
“I’m not afriad,” Leia said, but her body chemistry told him different. He wondered if it was just the intimidation everyone felt or if she could feel his dark presence in the force and remained innocently unaware of what she was feeling. Her eyes remained focused on the swarm of troopers in front of her.
Thier leader, fully clothed in the black armor that was his life support system, approached the family. There was a growing fire in Leia’s eyes. She knew the man in front of her was responsible for her quick departure and her mother’s sudden disappearence. Bail knew Vader could read any hint of deception, he could only hope no one put two and two together. And he knew Padmé and Leia in the same room would lead to just that.
“Hello Viceroy Organa,” the mechanically altered voice said.
“Vader,” he stated simply.
“And the lovely princess,” he said turning his gaze, or his mask, to the child.
Leia didn’t speak, she just stared and gripped her father’s hand harder.
“Well, when a man is invited to a place, he certain expects a better welcome than this,” Vader stated.
“You were not invited by us,” Bail replied. “So forgive us if we aren’t exactly elated to see you.”
“Then perhaps I should see the one that did invite me,” Vader said possibly studying him for any reaction. “Your wife,” he finally said.
“My wife is ill and has been for awhile,” Bail said with a sly smile. “I’d trust little that comes out of her mouth.”
There was a long silence. Vader was studying him, he knew. But in his opinion, his wife must have suffered some temporary mental defect if she thought involving Vader was for the good of her family. Even now he was afraid, afraid the peices would be put together. But anyway he looked at it, the mistake wasn’t his wife’s, it was his. He decided to bring Padmé here, he had told Leia the truth, and he had ignored the budding jealousy of his wife.
“If this is true,” Vader said bringing him back to the present. “Why was no one told of this?”
“If it were YOUR wife who was ill, would you not protect her.”
He had said to much, he could feel it coming from Vader, a sense of victory. He had all but admitted protecting Padmé. He had to control his anger, but just looking at Vader made him remember the broken woman who’d been left behind when he had become the thing he was now.
“I have been informed of the presence of a fugative on this planet and
until I am satisfied she is not here, I trust I will be accomdated.”
Lady Organa heard the door squeak and saw the little body come into the room. It was her daughter or Padmé ‘s daughter or Padmé and Vader’s daughter. What had she been thinking? She had put this innocent child’s life on the line for her own foolishness.
Leia crawled up on the bed beside her mother. She laid down and smiled.
“You don’t have to be afraid of Vader,” the child said. “Daddy won’t let him hurt us.”
Lady Organa smiled. She reached out and touched her daughter’s hair. Soft and beautiful, just like Padmé ‘s. She had been so cruel to Padmé.
“I know I haven’t been the best mother to you, I know that’s why you love Padmé so much.”
“Are you kidding mother. Sure I like Padmé, but I love you,” Leia said. “I remember when I was really little, I got sick and I couldn‘t sleep for some reason. You sat with me all night and told me stories. Never left my side. I know you love me mother.”
“Then why? Why do you always turn to your father.”
Leia shrugged. “I don’t know. Cause he’s easier. I mean if you were a kid and you knew one person was going to say yes and the other was going to say no, who would you go to for stuff. I know it’s bad. I know you hate me for it sometimes.”
Lady Organa couldn’t help smiling. “Leia I could never hate you, I love you too much.”
Lady Organa sat up in bed and pulled the child to her. They hugged briefly.
“I have to go now,” Leia said. “Zai’s waiting. Daddy arranged to send me away while Vader’s here. I don’t know why, I’ve seen Vader before, he doesn’t scare me.”
“Leia,” Lady Organa said looking at her. “Promise me you’ll stay as far away from Vader as possible.”
“Because I said so. Do you understand me?”
“Yes,” Leia replied. “Bye mother.”
“See you soon Leia.”
Leia gave her mother a final hug and left the room.
Bail walked into the dark cell that housed Padmé. He didn’t think Vader would look in there for his wife, amongst glatic scum. Padmé sat curled up in a corner, looking up at the sky, covered by a black cloak. She stood and turned toward Bail and then turned away.
“I can’t do it Bail.”
“What can’t you do?”
“I can’t hide anymore. Is Leia gone?”
“Yes, she left this evening. As expected, Vader inspected the transport before they left.”
“Then I will go to him now.”
“You will what?!!” Bail yelled. “Padmé you don’t have too, I’ll protect you. I’m your friend.”
“I’m not afraid of him Bail,” Padmé replied. “You know what I was afraid of. I was afraid of seeing that Anakin doesn’t exsist anymore, but he does. In our little girl. And somewhere out there in our little boy.”
“Don’t you want them back together one day, back with you.”
“How is that going to happen if someone doesn’t get to Vader?”
“I can’t let you.”
“You can’t stop me Bail. I’m not your wife, I’m not your lover, I’m not your daughter, I‘m not your little sister,” Padmé yelled at him.
“All I ever wanted to do was protect you,” he said cupping her face in his hands. “Protect you and your daughter. I love you Padmé, he doesn‘t. He stopped a long time ago.”
Bail was near tears. Padmé hugged him
“I love you too Bail, but it doesn’t stop me from being in love with Anakin. Now tell me where Anakin is.”
“Anakin‘s dead,” Bail replied.
“Bail,” she said softly. “Don’t make this any harder.”
“You don’t know how hard it already is,” Bail replied. “I can’t let you go and lose what little spark you have left.”
“I’m not yours to let go,” Padmé told him.
She frowned, touched him gently and left the cell.
Bail sat there. He couldn’t move. The hate in him began to swell and
swell. He would not forgive Vader, he would never forgive him. Leia would
bring him down, Leia would know every vile thing he did. Leia would make
up for her mother’s mistake.
Vader felt her enter the room. Her’s was a presence he had felt since he had arrived on Alderaan. He turned toward her, cloaked in his black armor. He didn’t sense fear in her at all, not even the slightest bit. It was unusual. And even though it was Padmé who stood before him, it disturbed him.
“Anakin,” she said simply.
“I don’t know that name anymore.”
“It’s the name of the man I married.”
“That man doesn’t exsist anymore.”
“Then why are you here?” Padmé ask “Why do you seek me out?”
He didn’t answer. Padmé came close to him and tried to look though the so called eyes in the helmet.
“Leave Alderaan,” Padmé told him.
“It’s not your home, it’s the home of the Organa’s. Leave them in peace.”
“How dare you make demands on me, after what you did,” Vader suddenly snapped.
“What I did?”
“You betrayed the Empire.”
“The Empire is a sickness infecting the galaxy. The Sith are evil, don’t you see that.”
“The Jedi would do nothing to help the slaves on Tatooine. But they didn’t mind snatching a boy from his mother? The Republic failed your planet and yet you defend it.”
“At least people had a choice in how they were governed.”
“I’m not here to argue politics,” Vader snapped.
“Then why are you here,” Padmé asked again. “Do you want to lock me up for crimes against the Empire?”
“Come with me. Try and understand what I’m building, who I am.”
“I wish I could see your eyes,” Padmé told him reaching for the
Bail Organa didn't know how he managed to find his way back to his office. He had no right to fight with her. Like she said, he was not her husband or her father or any of the things that would have given him the right to demand she stay.
"Sir," Ronan said entering Bail's office.
"Yes?" Bail asked.
"He took her?" Bail questioned.
"No," Ronan replied. "She left with him."
"Leave me," he told Ronan and Ronan left.
Bail sighed and ran his hand through his hair. His wife entered as Ronan left.
"We do crazy things for love," his wife said. "It's tearing you apart that she's gone."
"Isn't it funny how the tables have turned. I feel like I'm going crazy and you look level headed again."
"I am happy," Lady Organa said standing in front of him. "I know Leia loves me. And though I'll aways miss my son, I'll always have my daughter and I love her just as much. And most important, I love you."
"And you'll always have me," Bail said standing in front of her. "I'm sorry about all that has happened."
"I am too," she said looking into the eyes of her handsome husband.
They embraced and let go of everything between them.
A week later, Leia arrived back home and ran into her father’s office. He got up and openned his arms to hug her.
“I saw Mommy in the garden,” Leia said. “She was smiling. Where’s Morgana?”
“She’s dead,” Bail told the child.
“Did Vader do it?” she asked with tears in her eyes.
Looking into his daughters eyes, he couldn’t possibly tell her her biological father had killed her mother. He knew one day she would discover who her parents were, but he couldn’t break her heart like that. Besides, he didn’t know if Padmé was dead. He just knew he would never see her again. And the Emperor would surely eliminate her. The last thing he needed, wanted, was something that made his machine more human.
“No,” he said with tears streaming down his own face. “Vader didn’t kill her, but he’s the reason she’s gone.”
“I hate Vader,” Leia said crying.
“Hate the Empire,” Bail said picking her up and holding her in his arms.
“Hate the Empire and fight them.”
DZ - APRIL/May 2001