Title: Lie to Me Author: AngelQueen Timeframe: Rebels, post-The Siege of Lothal Characters: Ahsoka Tano, Bail Organa Summary: He’d known this day would come. He didn’t have to be a Jedi to know that the Force would eventually lead her to this point. Status: Complete Notes: OMG OMG DID YOU ALL SEE! POOR AHSOKA! *flail* He’d known this day would come. He didn’t have to be a Jedi to know that the Force would eventually lead her to this point. He’d known it the first time she made contact with him, after nearly three years of him sending out tentative searchers, hoping she had managed to survive the holocaust of her people. He’d known it when she had insisted on taking part in his activities to undermine Palpatine’s Empire. She may have left the Jedi Order before it had come crashing down, but she was a Jedi still. It was not in her to stand by and do nothing while others suffered at the hand of tyranny. She had learned her lessons too well. That was how he knew she would find out eventually. He had prepared himself as best he could, braced himself for the unpleasant duty of informing her of her beloved Master’s true fate. She had never asked before if he knew what had happened to the man, even when he told her of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s continued survival. The question had been there, in her eyes, but she had not put it into words. She had not asked, and he had not offered. But now the time had come. The reports from the fleet were disheartening, to say the very least. Their command ship was lost, their fighter squadron decimated, and the survivors utterly demoralized. All at the hands of a single Imperial fighter. It was terrible, but perhaps the worst, the most heart wrenching, was the recording of what had occurred on the Ghost. It was merely an audio recording, as Captain Syndulla had no visual recorders installed in her cockpit, but it was enough. “The Force is strong with him… Kanan! Let’s find out how strong!” “How can I help?” “Just remember your training." Their training, Jedi training. Such training had not saved the rest of the Order. He could hear the sounds of battle going on, of Captain Syndulla coordinating the desperate counterattack against the Imperials, but then there had been something else. Young Ezra Bridger, the Padawan learner of Kanan Jarrus, gave voice to what was now hunting every Rebel in the Empire. “There’s something familiar… I feel… cold… I think I know who it is! Back on Lothal, I felt something. Kanan did too. The fear, the anger, the hate… it’s the Sith Lord we faced!” “NO!” That shrill cry chilled him to the bone. The denial, the grief, the despair… She knew. So now here he sat, looking at the Togruta who sat on the other side of his desk, her fists clenched tightly in her lap. Her skin was pale, almost ashen, but her back was straight. She was still in shock, he thought, but clinging tightly to every bit of self-control she had. “Tell me it’s not him, Senator.” The words were barely more than a whisper, but they still had all the impact of thermal detonators. She stared at him unblinkingly. “Tell me it’s not him.” She was practically begging him to lie, to tell her that what she had sensed in that battle wasn’t real. She wanted him to tell her that the monster in that black suit was just that, a monster, and nothing more. She wanted him to tell her that Anakin Skywalker was dead and beyond all of the horrors that had destroyed everything he had once fought to preserve. Bail Organa was many things, but he was not a liar. “I wish I could, Ahsoka.” A shudder swept through her body, and she seemed to swallow a small, hitching sob, refusing to actually give voice to it. She suppressed the grief he could easily see trying to break free, and he could not help but wonder what it would be like if and when another girl sat in that same chair. A brown-eyed girl who was every bit as strong and fierce as the woman before him. Would she react like this? Or would she scream, howl a denial out to an unmerciful galaxy? He didn’t know. He didn’t want to know. “What… how?” Her voice brought him away from those terrible thoughts and back to the situation he currently faced. She stared at him, clearly wanting answers. “What happened?” He sighed. He and Obi-Wan had long debated on what to say to anyone who made the connection between Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader. Obi-Wan even now clung to the belief that Anakin was dead, and that there was nothing left but Vader. In the years since that initial discussion, he had come to disagree. It was not that simple. Vader’s actions were utterly reprehensible, there was no arguing that, and at the same time, he could see the underlying selfishness and arrogance in his behavior. Traits that Anakin Skywalker had displayed in all the years he had known him. No, Anakin Skywalker was still very much alive and aware. That he went by another name did not negate that. This was Anakin Skywalker who had no one left to restrain his more undesirable qualities. No wife, no brother, no apprentice. But how to explain that? He looked into her sharp, pleading eyes and opened his mouth to speak, though he had no idea what was actually going to come out of his mouth.