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Saga Under a Dark Sky: AU, Luke

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. Laine_Snowtrekker

    Laine_Snowtrekker Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Well, now I'm worried for the Darklighters, that's for sure.

    More please, for when you can. Sickness is no good or no fun at all.
     
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  2. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    [face_laugh] Don't worry, Leia. You'd still have a tongue sharper than the business end of a vibroblade. And ouch. She has no idea what she's missed out on, poor kid. :( Still has canon Leia's utter conviction, just turned about the opposite way! Like everyone says, I'm worried about the Darklighters now.

    Umm, about that... :p These little side-references to canon are fantastic.

    Glad to hear that the plague upon your house has departed and I hope that things continue getting better! :)
     
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  3. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    It's nice to see you back here Raissa Baiard [:D] and with a fantastic update to boot. As usual your Dark Leia is pitch perfect and the little references to canon ("only hope", "farmboy") made me giggle like a goofy fangirl [face_laugh] I can't wait to find out how Leia's plan works out. That squad of stormtroopers that she's sending after Ben might find out that they're a bit out of their depth, but I'm a bit worried for the Darklighters. And I doubt that Luke will stand idly by while that happens [face_thinking]
     
  4. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    I love that darkside!Leia is still hilariously snarky. "Little Princess Starshine" indeed [face_laugh]
     
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  5. jedi1952

    jedi1952 Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Wow, just got caught up on this one. It is still terrific. I just might add that it would help if you put chapter numbers in your story. By my count you have 18 so far.
     
  6. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    NightWatcher91, EGKenobi, Priyanka, JEDIFLYSWATTER

    Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting!

    Kahara and Chyntuck, I'm glad you enjoyed the side-references. I have to admit, it's fun to find places to put in these geeky little winks at the OT. I'm happy they are fun to read, too, and not just lame.

    Dark Leia gets to be dark this time around.

    Chapter 18, cont'd.
    The cabin door slid open, and Princess Clarys entered, smiling moonily to herself. She was halfway across the conversation circle before she noticed Leia, whereupon she gave a strangled squeak and stumbled backwards, nearly toppling a potted Ithorian orchid. "Lady Vader," she gasped. "What are you doing here?"

    "Hello to you, too, Princess." Leia forced back the sneer that the childish princess always provoked in her, and smiled as if she was really pleased to see the little nitwit. "Please, have a seat. I realized we haven't had a chance to talk. You're always so busy playing dejarik with my brother. " She waved a hand at the couch opposite her.

    Princess Clarys crumpled onto the couch like a droid whose servos had been cut. "Oh?" Leia watched her struggling to reclaim her royal decorum, but her smile faltered and her voice cracked on that single syllable. Her presence in the Force quivered like a frightened pocket hare; Leia could practically taste her fear. Oh, this was going to be easy.

    "Yes." Leia rose casually an slipped around the polished caf-table to stand in front of the Princess. She tilted her head and looked down at the unfortunate girl. "You know, before I left for Alderaan, I discovered an interesting connection between our families."

    "Oh?" Clarys said again, apparently reaching the limit of her vocabulary.

    "How much do you remember about your uncle, Bail?"

    A frown creased the Princess's bland features. "Nothing, really. He died before I was born."

    Of course she didn't know anything. Viceroy Antilles would never tell his innocent little princess the truth. Then she'd know that her family had a dark side and Alderaan wasn't the lovely, peaceful planet it seemed to be. "Then what do you know about how and why he died?"

    "They say...they say he was killed because he was a traitor to the Empire." The Princess's voice was hardly more than a whisper. Her fear was growing; it writhed and coiled around her. She knows, Leia thought. She knows that she is as much a traitor as her misbegotten uncle and she fears for her life. Good; she should.

    "But you don't believe it." Leia dropped onto the sofa next to the Princess, quick as a sand panther pouncing. Perched on the edge of the sofa, there was nowhere for her to go. *Look at me* Leia commanded. The Princess's frightened gaze slid up to meet hers, and though Princess Clarys tried to look away, Leia wouldn't allow it. "Sadly, Princess, it's true," she said. "He was proven to be in league with the Jedi. My father was the one who dispatched the Empire's justice." The Princess gasped and cringed away, but Leia pinned her with another glance. She reached into the Dark Side and pulled a tendril of Horror into her words, her voice dropping to a low purr. "Your aunt, Breha, was there at the time. I'm afraid she didn't survive the encounter."

    "No." Clarys shook her head unsteadily. She was fighting the effects of the Dark Side, Leia noted with some surprise, struggling to pull herself out of the sinking pit of despair as if she was drowning in mucksand. It was a valiant but futile effort. The puny defenses she could marshal were no match for Leia's power. The Princess's heart was hammering now, her breath rapid and shallow. "No, that's not true. She died in a speeder crash."

    "That's the official story," Leia said, giving her a pitying smile. She let more Horror seep into Clarys's empty little brain and felt it spread like a creeping poison.

    The Princess gulped back a sob. She twitched as if she wanted to flee, but stayed frozen in fear. "My cousin," Clarys rasped, her voice a thready whisper. "She was in... What happened... What happened to Leia?"

    The truth was always the best weapon; Leia had learned this from the Emperor when she was very young. She patted Princess Clarys's hand and told her the truth. "Don't worry, my father took care of her." Leia's smile was all hard edges now. "A pity, isn't it, that his whole family had to suffer because of your uncle's foolish choices. It would be a greater pity if it were to happen again." As she spoke, Leia let go of all her hatred and bitterness towards Bail Antilles and Alderaan for what they'd done to her mother, to her father, what they'd done to her, what they would have made her and let it crash down on Princess Clarys like a tidal wave.

    The Princess finally broke under the weight of it. She jerked away from Leia, tumbled off the sofa and scrambled away, crashing into sculptures and potted plants. The door to her bedroom swished shut behind her, but not before Leia heard her convulsive sobs.

    She rose and let herself out, glancing back with a feline smile towards the Princess's terrified presence. "I'm so glad we had this little chat."
     
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Fantastic contest of wills and struggles. Sad but understandable that Clarys crumbled under the onslaught. =D= It would be interesting too if her plight struck a sympathetic chord in Luke and this crystallized even more the differences between he and his sister. [face_thinking]
     
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  8. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    :eek: :eek: :eek:


    I kinda smirked when I saw...
    ... because when does Dark Leia get NOT to be dark? But that was before I read the chapter.

    This was officially creepy.
    Oh the irony. Oh the irony.

    I hope the Word Race keeps doing its magic, because now I really can't wait to see what happens next.
     
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  9. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Yay more horrible darkside Leia! [face_dancing]

    Umm. :p Well, there's something trainwreck-fascinating about just watching her go... and does she ever. Argh. Poor Clarys -- she's really ended up on the bad side of this crabby young Sith and I fear for her life (not to mention her sanity if Leia keeps feeding her Dark Side brain-bombs. [face_nail_biting])
     
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  10. jedi1952

    jedi1952 Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2007
    First, thank you for the chapter number. It helps big time!

    Your portrayal of dark Leia is brilliant. "But you don't believe it." Leia dropped onto the sofa next to the Princess, quick as a sand panther pouncing." And "She rose and let herself out, glancing back with a feline smile towards the Princess's terrified presence. "I'm so glad we had this little chat.""
     
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  11. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Leia is just chilling! *shiver*

    But now Clarys knows something very important about Leia, and I wonder if she'd given her some ammunition of her own.
     
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  12. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Chapter 19
    Luke knew his sister had been at Clarys before the princess even said a word. When she'd left the crew's break room to change for their arrival on Alderaan, Clarys had been laughing over his attempts to teach her to play sabacc as a change from dejarik. Now, she crept back in like a wounded vrelt, with haunted eyes and a heart full of fear. Luke could sense his sister's touch in Clarys's presence-- or rather, he thought, Leia's footprints, because it felt like she had taken the princess's psyche and stomped it flat.

    That was not at all like his sister, Luke thought. She regarded herself as being something of an artiste in the Dark Side and never missed a chance to point that out to him. When they were children practicing their Force skills, he and Leia made a game of targeting the palace servants to see who could make one scream or flee in terror first. No matter if Luke won or lost won, Leia would always sneer at him, "You have no sense of subtlety. Horror's more effective when it's used as a dagger than a cudgel." He wondered what had made her abandon that philosophy; Leia hadn't just used the Force as a cudgel-- more like a proton torpedo.

    He rose from his seat at the dejarik table and extended a hand to Clarys. "Princess? What's wrong?" He knew, of course, but he wondered how much she knew or remembered of what had happened to her Luke could sense that she wanted to take his proffered hand, that she was trying to pull herself free of the Darkness that mired he soul, but she couldn't. Clarys shrank away. "I...no, nothing..." She looked up as if she hardly dared to meet his eyes. "Lord Vader....Lord Vader, your sister said..."

    "Yes?" Leia darkened the doorway like a thundercloud in vine silk. Clarys cringed as she swept into the break room to claim the seat Luke had vacated. "You just missed Captain Colton. He said that we'll be landing at the Aldera spaceport in half an hour. I imagine you'll be happy to see your family again, won't you, Princess?" Leia gave the unfortunate princess another of her nexu smiles. "In the meantime, perhaps you'd favor me with a game of dejarik. My brother tells me you're quite good." She didn't wait for the Princess's tiny, terrified nod before she turned on the game board.

    Their game was not a shining example of Clarys's skill. There was no trace of the smiling girl who held her own against Luke. Instead, the princess moved her pieces with shaking hands and no thought to strategy. It took less than ten minutes for Leia to defeat her, capturing Clarys's savrip with a lowly k'lor slug. "Oh dear," Leia said, as the dying savrip howled and disintegrated. "Not on your game today, are you?" She smirked as she shot a triumphant glance at Luke. *I thought you said she was good. You've certainly been practicing enough that she should be better than this.*

    Luke caught the suggestive leer in her thoughts and bristled at the implication that he had been practicing something other than dejarik with Clarys-- as if it was any of Leia's business if he had! *What did you do to her?* he demanded.

    *Do? I neutralized a threat to the Empire, which was our mission here, in case you've forgotten! She's a Rebel; you're lucky I left her alive.*

    He hated to admit it, but Leia was right; Palpatine had had sent her to Alderaan to keep the Princess from becoming a thorn in his side. Rebels deserved whatever punishment they brought upon themselves for being traitors to the Empire, but there were any number of ways Leia could have handled her without squashing her spirit along with her rebellious tendencies-- persuasion, Force commands, even memory wipes. Clarys was the one person brave enough to offer honest friendship to a Sith, and had Luke wouldn't have put it past Leia be so spiteful just because he was starting to like the unassuming Princess. Luke seethed. Contrary to what she believed, Leia was neither his guardian nor the voice of the Emperor, especially where his personal life was concerned. But he frowned as he watched Clarys stare vacantly at the dejarik board, her fearful presence curled up deep inside. What Leia had done to the princess felt more personal, and he wondered again what gentle Clare could possibly have done to make Leia hate her so much.

    When the Tanive IV arrived at Aldera, Viceroy Antilles was waiting in the docking bay along with Prince Cristovar, the Lady Deara and a contingent of the royal guard. Antilles and his son were soberly clad in the traditional blue-gray of the Royal House of Alderaan, and the Viceroy also wore a heavy, storm-gray cloak fastened with his chains of office, a reminder that he wasn't just here as a father. He represented Alderaan, a powerful voice in the Senate, one that demanded even the Young Lord Vader treat him-- and his daughter-- with respect.

    Princess Clarys seemed not to notice his formal mien. She ran to him with a glad cry and flung her arms around him. The Viceroy pulled her into an embrace, which Prince Cristovar joined, looping his arms around his father and sister's shoulders, while Lady Deara fluttered and simpered around them. Clarys's soul finally seemed to cast off some of the darkness that had engulfed it. Love shimmered and radiated from the Antilles family like heat from a bonfire. Watching them, Luke felt a sharp, unexpected pang. When your father was a Sith Lord in a mechanical suit, you didn't get much affection, and even as a small girl, Leia had been more likely to poke her younger brother than hug him. What would it be like, Luke wondered, to have the kind of family who really loved each another?

    Antilles kissed his daughter on the top of her head. "Welcome home, Clare. Imagine my surprise when I returned from Coruscant to find my daughter had not only gone on a humanitarian mission, she'd acquired an Imperial escort." He stepped back from Clarys and regarded Luke frankly. "I trust you kept my daughter safe, Lord Vader."

    "As safe as she would have been on Alderaan," Luke replied. At least as long as Leia was there. "It was my honor and my pleasure to accompany Princess Clarys to Tatooine. Your daughter is quite an estimable young lady."

    Clarys ducked her head and blushed at his compliments, but Prince Cristovar's mouth flattened into a hard line, and his hand tightened on his sister's. His opinion of Luke had obviously not improved over the last week. Lady Deara fairly swooned and the Viceroy's careful smile was courteously neutral as he answered, "We certainly think so. Well, the limo speeder is waiting for us, and dinner should be ready by the time we reach the palace." He gestured for Luke to precede him, but Leia swept in, taking over.

    "I'm afraid we won't be joining you, Viceroy. My brother and I have been absent from Coruscant for far too long already. Our father will be missing us, as, of course, will Emperor Palpatine. We'll be returning immediately."

    "Of course," Viceroy Antilles replied smoothly. His eyes were coolly appraising as he turned toward Leia. Luke felt that here was one Alderaanian who didn't discount her simply because she was female. "I'm sorry that I won't have the opportunity to discuss your trip to Tatooine, but I can certainly understand a father's desire to be with his children. Safe travels to you, Lord and Lady Vader."

    Leia gave them all a dismissive nod and turned to go, but Luke swept into a bow. "I hope I'll see you soon on Coruscant, Princess," he told Clarys, edging a little persuasion into his words, just enough so that she would know it was more than an idle pleasantry. Whatever Leia thought of her, Luke didn't have so many friends that Clarys's offer of friendship failed to move him. He pressed her hand to his lips before Prince Cristovar or Leia could object. The Princess blushed nearly as bright a crimson as she had the first time he kissed her hand, though this time her expression seemed to be pleasant surprise rather than absolute horror. Luke grinned at her. "Maybe you could save me a game of dejarik so I can redeem my record."

    The hint of a smile touched Clarys's lips. "I...I'd like that." She looked back as her scowling brother steered her towards the Antilles's limo speeder and lifted a hand in farewell. "Safe travels, Lord Vader."
     
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb stuff here. =D= I like how disunited Luke is becoming from Leia and sympathetic even moreso towards Clarys. [face_thinking] I look forward to what happens next & I cannot think anymore that Mara has Luke all sewn up. ;) And the fact that you could get me to think that is quite an accomplishment. @};-
     
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  14. jedi1952

    jedi1952 Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Add to Leia's characterization, down right rude! It would not have killed her to accept the diner graciously and then leave. I suspect had even this dark Luke been alone he would have stayed.
     
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  15. Gamiel

    Gamiel Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Leia is in real need of a Care bear stare or an episode with Megan "Savior of Worlds" Williams.
     
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  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    What Gamiel said [face_laugh]

    But also what Ny said -- the way you pull Luke and Leia apart is just masterfully written. I'm exceedingly curious to see how this is going to evolve next time they meet Clarys. If Leia sticks to her Sith guns throughout, it could get ugly.

    As always, I really enjoyed how you adapt the canon characters' personality traits to this AU. Leia lecturing Luke on how to be subtle when using the Dark Side is so totally Dark Leia, but Leia :D
     
  17. Kev-Mas_Colcha

    Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 15, 2002
    I just read this from start to finish, and I must say that this is the best AU story I've ever read.

    It's always managed to keep me on my feet, and surprise me a ton. Not to mention your dialogue writing is incredible and you've played into that strength really well with all the political intrigue you've got going on. Then on top of it all it just exudes nostalgia, which is not something I would have ever expected from an AU tale. Add me to the tag list, this is great.
     
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  18. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    NightWatcher91, Priyanka, EGKenobi, JEDIFLYSWATTER, Kev-Mas_Colcha

    Wow, it's been a long time since I've visited this AU. Can I just say that between my fickle muse and that nerf's behind, Darth Real Life, I'm still trying to catch up on all my reading, writing and reviewing. So...
    Wow! This is high praise, because I know how you feel about L/M. :D I was a little worried about writing a non-canon relationship since there is so much love for Luke and Mara here, so I'm relieved that readers have taken to Clarys. I do still love Mara, too, so she'll have a bigger role later in the story.

    [face_blush] [face_blush] [face_blush] Thank you so much, Kev-Mas_Colcha. It is a bit nostalgic to go back to the beginning of the saga. Luke is much more worldly wise in this universe, but still very young.

    Chapter 20
    Clarys stared out the speeder's window, watching Lord Vader's form grow smaller and smaller. A pang of longing stabbed her heart when the speeder turned a corner and he was lost from view. Ever since that day in Anchorhead, when he'd saved Ben, when Gavin had asked if Lord Vader was courting her, she'd begun to see him in a different light. She discovered that she looked forward to their dejarik games and the conversations they had while playing. Lord Vader asked her about her family and life on Alderaan, and listened with apparent interest, though he deflected her questions about his life at court, dismissing it as a lot of tedious political maneuvering, more angst-ridden but less entertaining than Gamorrean opera. Clarys watched him interact with the Tantive's crew and Captain Colton, and while it was clear that he expected to be obeyed, he never issued the kind of whip-crack commands that Lady Vader did. Clarys noticed that the way Lord Vader smiled when they were playing dejarik wasn't the lazy, overfed tooka's grin he used around his sister; it was a nice, honest smile that crinkled up the corners of sky blue eyes. Clarys noticed, too, that that smile made her feel fluttery inside, and she wondered whether being courted by Young Lord Vader would be such a bad thing.

    Now she hated herself for feeling this way. What was wrong with her? How could she still long after Lord Vader when not even an hour ago, his sister threatened to kill her family, when his father had killed her uncle, her aunt, even her infant cousin? She was a fool, an absolute idiot, to think she could be his friend...or more than his friend. Clarys furiously blinked back tears and found her father watching her. She realized he'd just asked her a question that she hadn't heard at all. "I'm sorry, Father, what did you say?"

    "I asked about your trip." Father squeezed her hand. "Are you all right, Clare? You don't seem yourself."

    "I'm fine," she lied, putting on a smile she was sure was wholly unconvincing. "Tatooine was..." Clarys hesitated. How could she ever tell her family everything that had happened in the last week? Well, you see Father, I went on a secret mission for the Rebellion to bring back a Jedi in hiding, but I failed miserably. The Jedi turned out to be a blind prophet who seemed to know me somehow, and I stood and watched while Lady Vader tried to kill him. Oh, and I took dejarik lessons from the son of the man who murdered my uncle...and I think I might be falling in love with him.. No, she couldn't possibly tell them any of that. What would Father think of her if he knew how she felt about Lord Vader? How could he forgive her for going behind his back to aid the Rebellion? Guilt and shame crept over Clarys, and she hoped they'd never learn how close she'd come to getting them killed through her own stupid naïveté. It would be better for everyone if she stayed with the official details of her trip, just another humanitarian mission for the hospital. "It was...very interesting." She forced her smile brighter. "We stayed stayed at a little hostel outside of Anchorhead, It was run by a lovely couple, Jula and Silya Darklighter. The had two sweet little girls and a son, Gavin, who was quite the character. Mistress Darklighter made the best ahrisa, Kitt. She gave me recipe; I can't wait to make it for you."

    Clarys could see that her cheerful prattle wasn't fooling Kitt., who sat across from her, with arms crossed over his chest and an expression of concern that rivaled their father's. "And Lord Vader? Did he enjoy the trip?"

    "I...I suppose so." Stay with safe details, she reminded herself. Don't talk about being friends...or anything else...with Lord Vader. "He...he seemed to enjoy our dejarik games."

    "You played dejarik with Young Lord Vader?" Aunt Deara made a moue. She'd never understood why Clarys and Kitt liked to play boring old games like dejarik when they could have been hobnobbing with the Imperial elite instead. Dejarik certainly didn't play any part in the holo-romances that Aunt Deara liked to watch, or the scenarios she'd concocted for her niece and Lord Vader. Clarys squirmed, recalling some of the advice her aunt had given her the night before she'd left for Tatooine about capturing Lord Vader's interest once they were aboard the Tantive and away from her brother's watchful eyes. She forced herself to concentrate on dejarik. "Yes... He's quite a good player; he gave me some pointers and taught me the kintan strider gambit. You'll be in for a surprise the next time we play, Kitt." Smile, she reminded herself, just keep smiling, like playing dejarik with Darth Vader's son is nothing unusual.

    Kitt looked disbelieving and disappointed, too, and Clarys knew that his disappointment was not that she had only played dejarik with Lord Vader, but that she had had anything to do with him at all. "What did he do to you, Clare?" He leaned forward, and took her hand, brown eyes searching hers.

    She felt her smile slip. "What do you mean?"

    "When you left, you didn't want to be in the same room as Vader. Now he's your dejarik partner. You sighed over him when he left and," he added darkly, "you're still rubbing your hand where he kissed it."

    Clarys looked down to find that Kitt was right; she had been stroking the back of her right hand without realizing it. She jerked her hand back, feeling her cheeks burn with shame. "He didn't do anything to me! He was a perfect gentleman!" Aunt Deara made another face, her romantic notions thwarted again.

    "Would you even remember if he did? We all know what that family's capable of. Vader could very well have used his powers to..." Kitt paused, his mouth working as if the words he was trying to say left a bad taste. "...make you more...favorably disposed..."


    Clarys pulled her hands away from him. "If you don't trust me, you can ask Captain Colton, or better yet, check the security cameras. Lord Vader may have scrambled the entire crew's brains!" She ignored Aunt Deara's "tsk" and her father's "Clare!". She didn't care. Her brother had always trusted her and believed in her. How could Kitt suddenly think she was so weak she wouldn't even know her own mind?


    Kitt shook his head, more pitying than angry. "He's the one I don't trust. I didn't want to say anything, but you should know he's been...romantically linked to a number of senators' daughters, always ones whose fathers are powerfully placed. I've even heard that he's been involved with Ysanne Isard."

    Clarys felt as if a rancor was chewing on her heart, and the tears welled up again. This time she didn't bother to try and stop them, just turned to stare fixedly out the window. Clarys had never really followed the gossip from the Imperial Court, but she was beginning to wish she had. Aunt Deara did, and apparently so did Kitt. Why hadn't either of them said anything to her before now? Did Kitt think she was so fragile that she needed him to protect her from everything, including the truth? She was thankful when the limo speeder pulled up to the palace a few minutes later. Clarys fumbled with the door release switch and nearly fell out of the speeder in her haste to escape. She straightened, turned and ran into the household's chamberlain droid, who flung up his arms and uttered a startled "oh my" as she pushed past.

    "Darling, where are you going?" Aunt Deara called after her. "Dinner will be served soon."

    "I'm not hungry." Clarys realized how peevish she sounded. "I... I'm just tired after the long trip. Please, I just want to rest."

    Kitt started to say something, but their father laid a firm hand on his shoulder. The look on Father's face told Clarys he didn't really believe her excuse but was willing to accept it for now. She was grateful for that. "I'll have a tray sent up in case you feel hungry later," he said.

    Once she was out of their sight, Clarys fled down the hallway, her thoughts tumbling over each other as she went. How could Kitt think so little of her, trust her so little? Could her brother have been right; had Lord Vader have used his powers to make her feel this way about him? Had he simply played dejarik with her in order to-- what? Seduce her for her father's Senate vote? If Lord Vader wanted to seduce her, he'd done a poor job of it. He'd never done more than kiss her hand, and that in full view of her family. Had he seduced all those other girls-- Clarys refused to believe he'd been involved with Ysanne Isard; she was old and horrible and evil--those other senators' daughters? How many had there been and who? It didn't matter, she told herself, it didn't matter at all. She and Lord Vader weren't anything to each other, except maybe friends... of a sort. And why, why did she still long to have him as a friend of any sort when his father had murdered her uncle and his sister had cheerfully threatened to do the same to her family?

    At last, Clarys reached the sanctuary of her room. She threw herself on her bed and wept.
     
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    What a tangle of emotions. =D= Clarys reactions are all tangled and understandably so. Her family's consternation "You did what?" etc. quite realistic also. You can tell she is trying to mesh and reconcile the public "Lord Vader" with the real person he let her get a glimpse of. :)
     
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  20. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    O-ho, poor little Clarys. That's what you get for cluing Luke Skywalker/Vader back to the path towards the Light Side :(

    And yet...
    Even in the middle of all this psychodrama, you made me laugh my head off [face_laugh]
    Great description of how Clarys puts together the bits of Luke's different behaviour around her overall, but I particularly enjoyed the sentence above -- Leia is behaving like such a spoiled brat to whom no one ever said no, and this was a great way to show how Luke has been pretending to be the same.
    Uh-oh. Clarys is in for a nasty surprise somewhere down the line... [face_worried]
    Erm, no. She definitely can't summarise things like that to her family, unless she wants to end up in the psychiatric ward of her hospital.

    Kitt is perfect in the overly protective big brother role -- so hostile even to the Vaders that I'm beginning to wonder if he has something to do with the Rebellion too.
    Okay, the second bit of the quote is there because 1) it made me laugh, 2) it goes a long way to remind us that Clarys is this very young sixteen year old. As for the first bit, great spin on Imperial Court gossip! I wonder to what extent this is a true rumour that Kitt heard somewhere, or if it's something he just made up.

    And Aunt Deara... the perfect old spinster character. I should go back and re-read the earlier chapters to freshen up my memory, but for now I'll ask the question here. Is she [hl=black]evil in this story, as in, is she the one who betrayed Leia's existence to the Emperor[/hl]?
     
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  21. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001


    I can just imagine what a treat it must have been to work around the little Vader-lings. [face_worried] Also, I like that Luke is noticing a difference in Leia -- whatever memories or emotions the recent happenings have dredged up seem to have her in a tailspin. And she's getting nastier by the day because of it. [face_thinking] It's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy thing in a way; she seems to be trying to hang on to her "everything in its place" mode, but by doing so she's pushing Luke further away (and towards Clarys).



    Poor Luke, he really does need a hug. :( Loved the description of Clarys coming back to life a bit as she returns to her family, even though we later see that it's no perfect paradise there either. And the goodbye with Luke and Clarys was adorable. [face_love] Too bad that neither Leia nor Clarys's family (except for the kind-of-creepy Aunt Deara) are fans.

    I'm seconding Chyntuck's kudos for the line about court politics being " more angst-ridden but less entertaining than Gamorrean opera", which sounds very much like how this version of Luke would view such things. [face_laugh]

    Cris's concerns are pretty understanadable (from his point of view), but he isn't listening very well either. [face_thinking] Clarys seems to be finding that home isn't quite the same after her trip. It will be interesting to see what happens when she and Luke meet again.
     
  22. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, I think that Luke has really been a spoiled brat, too. It's just that he's noticing that nothing that it's brought him has made him particularly happy, whereas Leia still has an unwavering belief in Palpy and his Sith teachings.

    :D Yes, yes she is.


    She definitely wants to be involved with Luke, and that wouldn't pass unnoticed in the goldfish bowl of Imperial Court, but rumors of a relationship are greatly exaggerated. As we saw in the first few chapters, Luke doesn't really care for Isard, and who can blame him? The part about Isard being old...when I wrote the first chapter, I assumed Isard was roughly the same age as Luke. Ten years later, when I checked the Wook for information on her, I found out she was 30 in 0BBY. :eek:

    In this timeline, Vader tracked down the twins while they were still infants. Aunt Deara is innocent, although as Kahara notes, a bit creepy in her attempts to live vicariously through her niece.

    Oh yes. Even the best of children are capable of being careless little heathens at times. I can't imagine being the nanny for a pair of amoral Dark side twins! I imagine turnover in the Palace staff was high.

    Poor Kitt, he really does try. He just wants to protect his little sister, but he needs to dial it back a few notches. :) He's a lot like my own overprotective sister, whose concern that I not get hurt inadvertently hindered my dating life.

    And now we return to Dark!Leia and Dark(ish)!Luke.....
    Chapter 21
    Leia dismissed Banir and Paez to find their own way back to their base, waved away Captain Colton's perfunctory offer of assistance, and left Luke to handle their bags. He grumbled as he hauled them to the Resolute II, though there was no point in complaining, Leia would never notice. Luke threaded his way through the swarm of pit droids who were frantically running pre-flight equipment checks on the shuttle and past the harried looking tech who was supervising them. Her eyes widened when she caught sight of Luke, and she dropped a hasty bow, all the while murmuring, "Yes, Lady Vader. Of course, Lady Vader," into her headset.

    Once aboard the shuttle, Luke dumped his sister's valise in the common area, stowed his own satchel in his cabin and joined Leia in the cockpit. She hardly noticed when he entered, one eye on the instrument panel, the other glaring at the bustling pit droids. "That," she said without looking up, "had to be one of the most disgusting displays of sentimentality I've ever seen."

    Luke slid into the co-pilot's seat. "What?

    Leia toggled the battery switches rather harder than was necessary. "You and Princess Clarys. Could you possibly have been more nauseating? 'I hope I'll see you soon on Corscant, Princess'," she mocked in a sickly, whiny voice.

    "You wanted me to play good trooper for you, and I did. Now you're complaining that I did it too well?"

    "You were supposed to pretend to be interested in her, not actually fall in love with the little twit!"

    "I'm not in love with her!" Luke could feel the heat of embarrassment prickling up the back of his neck, though he didn't know why he should be ashamed. He wasn't in love with Clarys. He wasn't. He liked her, of course. She was pretty enough, and there was a lot more to her than his sister would ever see. But love? That was ridiculous. "She's just a friend."

    Leia snorted and rolled her eyes. "Sith don't have friends. You're getting soft, little brother. First falling for Little Princess Starshine and then saving that barvy old lunatic in Anchorhead."

    "He was a harmless old beggar. Killing him would have only....."

    "Sent Tatooine and Alderaan over to the Rebellion. Right. It had nothing to do with impressing your new girlfriend." She fixed Luke with the accusing stare that she'd perfected over the past nineteen years, mostly by practicing it on him. "If you'd bothered with our mission instead of mooning after her, you'd know that your 'harmless old beggar' was the reason she was on Tatooine in the first place. The idiots in charge of the Rebellion think he's a long lost Jedi and sent the Princess to recruit him. You should have let me kill him when I had the chance."

    "A Jedi? That's ridiculous! They're all dead," Luke answered reflexively, but even as he said it, he remembered the strange, questing tendril of the Force that had led him back to Old Ben and the feeling he'd had while struggling with Leia that the Force wanted the old man alive. He remembered his vision at the Lars homestead, the bright presence who had combatted his father. Ben. He really was a Jedi, and the Jedi were the enemies of the Empire. His father's enemies. His enemies. He knew he should tell Leia, and they should return to Tatooine to slay the fugitive Jedi.

    He didn't. Perhaps it was the fact that the old man knew more about his family than he'd let on or the vague feeling that he still had business with Old Ben. Maybe it was just a perverse desire to thwart his sister, but Luke said nothing.

    "I did say they were idiots," Leia said, heedless of her brother's strange silence. "Ugh, now what?" she groaned as the ship's comm crackled to life.

    "Lady Vader, your external checks are complete. You are cleared for takeoff as soon as....."

    "Now. I'll be leaving now."

    There was a moment of hesitation before the tech responded, "But, Lady Vader, with all due respect...."

    "No. If you were giving me 'all due respect,'" Leia snarled. "I'd already be off this miserable planet. Tell whoever's in charge that I will be taking off immediately." Luke sensed her reaching out toward flight control, sending a Force command like a guided missile to the . A few minutes later, the chastened sounding tech came back over the comm. "Lady Vader, you are cleared for immediate departure."

    "Thank you." Leia was already starting the engines. She stabbed at the instrument panel and the repulsorlifts kicked in with a lurch. "Finally! I can't wait to get away from these stupid Alderaanians and especially their stupid Princess!"

    Luke studied his sister as she edged the shuttle out of the landing bay. Contempt and disdain swirled around her, as evident in her Force-sense as the sneer on her face. "Why do you hate Clarys so much?"

    Leia pushed the throttle forward with a snort. "I don't hate her; she's too pathetic to deserve my hatred."

    "Really? You've been kinder to rabid Sith-spawn than you were to her." She dispatched her unfortunate experiments with a quick snap of the neck, far more merciful than the psychic torture she'd subjected Clarys to.

    "I don't hate her," Leia insisted, though the burning fervor in her eyes suggested otherwise. "I hate her family and her entire planet of lying hypocrites for what they did to me."

    "What they did to you." Clearly his sister was losing it. Luke knew she had delusions of grandeur, that she thought that as a Sith, she was far more important than any being in the galaxy, save the Emperor himself, but what sin could she possibly imagine an entire planet of pacifists had committed against her?"

    "Yes!" Leia scowled at his disbelief. "What do you know about Bail Organa?"

    Luke shrugged, unable to see where she was going with this. "Former Viceroy. Father killed him."

    "Do you know why?" Leia pressed.

    "Traitor to the Empire, conspiring with Jedi. The usual thing."

    She gave him a triumphantly smug glance. "Not only that, but he and his Jedi cronies kidnapped our mother."

    "What?!"

    "And then," she continued, ignoring Luke's yelp. "Not content to kidnap a dying pregnant woman when she was in labor, Organa just decided he was going to keep me so I could become some blushing, stammering bit of fluff like your princess. That's why I hate them and you should, too!"

    "How did you find this out?"

    "The Emperor told me before I left for Alderaan," Leia said, her face alight with fanatical pride. "He said it was my destiny to deal with the Princess."

    Luke felt like he'd been flattened by an AT-AT. Father never spoke of their mother. Never, no matter how many times Luke asked or hinted or pried. No one in the Imperial Court spoke of their mother; even speculation about her identity had long ago become passé. Now it seemed as if everyone in the Empire knew his family's secrets except him. First Old Ben had popped up with his cryptic comments and then it turned out that the Emperor had known everything all along, but chosen to remain silent. Luke knew he'd never been Palpatine's favorite, but it galled him that only his sister had been given the truth. It burned even more that their master-- Luke twisted the title sardonically-- had doled it out to her as a reward or a spur to action, not because it was their right to know. What other secrets did that wizened old codger know? What else had he told Leia? "What about me?"

    "What about you?"

    "Organa took you to Alderaan. Where was I?"

    "I don't know." She waved away this concern and continued checking their course in the nav-com. "I presume the Jedi had you stashed somewhere, too."

    "You didn't ask, did you?" She didn't answer, and Luke knew she hadn't even thought to ask, hadn't cared enough to ask. The cold knot of anger towards his deceitful master that was forming in Luke's heart expanded to include his sister. "The Emperor told you all this, but you didn't think to ask about me. You've known this about Mother for weeks, and you didn't think to tell me until now."

    Another negligent flip of her hand, as if brushing away an irritating fly, dismissed him. "I didn't think it made a difference," Leia said without apparent irony.

    "You didn't think it would make a difference. You hate an entire planet because of it, but you didn't think it would make a difference to me."

    "Oh, fine," Leia said with an exasperated noise. "When we get back to Coruscant, I'll ask the Emperor about you."

    "Don't bother. I'll find out on my own." Luke pushed out of the co-pilot's seat and stormed from the cockpit in the center of a Force-tempest of emotions. Feelings of anger and betrayal warred with a sense of loss and doubt. Who was he, and who were his parents, his sister, really? Had he been just an inconvenient, unwanted child to be "stashed" in the back end of nowhere while Leia was chosen to be a princess? And of course, she would have had to be a princess, he thought bitterly; nothing less than royalty would do for Leia. Perhaps if she'd been raised as prices of Alderaan she would have learned to care about someone besides herself, though he doubted Leia could ever have been as sweet and unassuming as Clarys. Luke felt strangely wistful remembering the Princess with her family around her: her fierce, protective brother, stalwart father, even her vague, fluttery aunt all had radiated love for her and for each other. He might not have been a prince on Tatooine, but might he have had that kind of family? Luke remembered his vision of Beru and her desperate love for him as she pleaded with his father, as his father cut her down. He wondered again whether she might have been his mother; it would be nice to have that memory of her, to know that someone in his family had loved him, once. He'd been told so many lies and half-truths about himself and his family. He needed answers, and he would find them
     
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  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb undercurrents =D= Leia's callousness balanced against Luke's burgeoning realization that there are waaaaay too many secrets and he's tired of being marginalized in all the darthy situations and schemes. :p I like his reflections about Clarys also. :cool: Yup, I have a feeling Luke will uncover many interesting facts and that Palps won't have him as a docile "lap dog" if he ever did.
     
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  24. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Late review time...

    Your Dark Leia is really, well, dark and nasty, but all that nastiness, egotism and megalomania have the opposite effect of what she is hoping for, isn't it? She just gave Luke enough clues to start piecing his own past together, and she doesn't know that he had premonitions and visions to fill the gaps. I can't wait to see how this will develop, but IMO it doesn't bode well -- for Leia. [face_devil]
     
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  25. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Wow, just realized how long it's been since I updated this story :(

    NightWatcher91, Priyanka, EGKenobi, JEDIFLYSWATTER, Kev-Mas_Colcha

    Chapter 22
    "Clare? Clare?" Kitt tapped on his sister's door with one hand, while he balanced a tray on the other. "I brought your dinner." There was no answer from within. He knocked again and tried the access panel-- locked. Kitt sighed in frustration. He'd been looking after his sister ever since she was old enough to toddle after him, a blonde wisp of a girl who was moved to tears by lost pittins and wilted flowers, and Zaq Panteer and his friends decided it was entertaining to make the little princess cry. Now he'd hurt her as badly as any of them ever had while he'd been trying to protect her. "Okay, Clare," he told her through the door. "I'll leave the tray here in the hall. I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry."

    The door slid open; Clarys stood there looking bleary and rumpled. Her eyes and nose were red from crying and her cheeks bore tracks of hastily scrubbed tears. She took the tray from him. "Did Father put you up to this?"

    Kitt followed her as she crossed the room to put the tray on her desk. She didn't tell him to go; he took that as a hopeful sign. He sat down at her window seat. "No, actually Dad told me to leave you alone, but I wanted to apologize to you. I'm sorry; I didn't mean to hurt you, Clare."

    Clarys stared down at her dinner tray, twisting its cover back and forth. "He wasn't like I expected," she said without looking up. "He wasn't anything like he was when he was here. He was a gentleman when we played dejarik, and kind to little Gavin when we were at the Darklighter homestead."

    "Clare..." He shook his head. Even though Captain Colton had confirmed that Vader had never acted inappropriately with Clare, he still didn't trust the man's intentions. "He's Darth Vader's son; he's part of the Imperial Court. Deception is their nature. No doubt he could put up a good front; he'd say anything to get what he wanted from you."

    Now her head shot up. Her gray eyes had turned stormy, and Kitt had seldom seen Clarys look this angry. "Which is what, exactly?" she demanded. "A kiss on the hand? Because that's all Lord Vader's 'gotten from me'." She sighed suddenly, and sank onto her bed, the flash of anger passing as quickly a it had come. "Oh, Kitt, it isn't just that he was nice to me or Gavin... There was an old man on Tatooine, who'd been attacked by Tusken Raiders years before. They cut of his arms and legs, blinded him, left him for dead." She twisted her skirt in her hands, and her eyes welled with tears at the memory. "He was...not quite right, and he was saying things, nonsense really, but Lady Vader didn't like it. She pulled her lightsaber...." Clarys's gaze went faraway, and admiration shone in her eyes as well as tears. "He stopped her. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. He just stretched out his hand and her lightsaber stopped in midair. He stopped his sister without ever laying a finger on her. Don't you see? There was no reason for him to save old Ben, nothing to gain from it, but he did."

    Kitt considered this revelation. The Lord Vader he'd met had seemed more likely to feed inconvenient old men to the rancors than save them. Though Vader's heroics had impressed Clarys, surely someone who could stop his bloodthirsty sister with the power of his mind could find an easier way to do that. While there didn't seem to be any advantage in it for Vader, Kitt wasn't willing to discount the possibility that he was running some sort of long con on Clarys.

    Clarys crossed to her desk, lifted the cover from the dinner tray and inspected its contents. "Anyway, it's not Lord Vader you ought to be worried about. His sister's the one who threatened to kill me," she said, prodding the grilled nuna viciously.

    "What!? Clare, what? Why? Because her stupid brother has a thing for you ?!"

    Clarys froze, her fork poised over the mashed topatoes. Her face went still, the expression of a small animal who realized it had just backed straight into a snare. Slowly, carefully, she reached out to stir the topatoes. "This looks good." Clarys seemed to find her dinner riveting. "I must be hungrier than I thought."

    If it hadn't been about a death threat, he would have laughed at her evasion. Clarys hated to lie, so rather than trying to deceive him or their parents, she would simply avoid the topic. She still didn't seem to realize that they'd picked up on this ploy a long time ago. Kitt tried again. "Because of your work with the Rebels?"

    The fork clattered onto the plate. "You knew? " She stared at him. "How did you know?"

    "Of course we knew," Kitt answered, smiling. He hated to disillusion her, she'd been so careful never to mention exactly what she was doing when she volunteered at the hospital, but Dad was the Viceroy, and he had was of finding things out. "Who do you think funds those off-the-records patients at the hospital?"

    "The hospital? Oh!" A look of understanding and relief passed Clarys's features. It struck Kitt as odd, but before he could remark on it, she continued, "Wait, you're paying for the Rebel patients?"

    "Well, Dad and House Antilles," he clarified. "Not that Doctor Syrush and his crew are aware of it." Kitt had never expected that part of his training as the future Viceroy would involve money laundering. The funds donated by House Antilles filtered through several layers of banks and shell companies before making their way to the Refugees' Memorial Hospital. "And it isn't just the Empire we have to hide House Antilles' activities from. Even the other Great Houses can't know. Some of them would think we're putting Alderaan at needless risk; others wouldn't think we're doing enough." He sighed. "House Syrush always protests the loudest that Alderaan needs to do more to oppose the Empire. They were a vassal house to House Organa, and they think Dad has forgotten about what the Empire did to Uncle Bail. Like he could." Sometimes Kitt sometimes wondered if Davon Syrush hadn't drawn his sister into his clandestine operations on in order to force the Viceroy's hand.

    Clarys stared at him, as bewildered as if he'd developed a sudden interest in thranta breeding. Kitt supposed he couldn't blame her. He rarely discussed the Empire's politics with her, and never talked about the petty maneuvering of the Great Houses, whose members were their friends and peers. If he had his way, she'd be spared their inbred squabbles for as long as possible. "How do you know all this?" she demanded.

    Kitt shrugged uncomfortably. "Oh, you know, heir to House Antilles and all that..." He really didn't like politics, with back stabbing, ego stroking and deal making, but when you were born a prince, you didn't have much of a choice but to be political. He supposed that was why he never discussed politics with Clare, not only so she wouldn't have to deal with the unpleasant reality of it all, but so there was one area of his life where he could be just Kitt and not Prince Cristovar.

    Clarys was still eying him thoughtfully. "Uncle Bail.... What do you know about him?"

    He frowned. "I don't remember him, really. I was only two years old when he died."

    "No, I mean...is it true that Darth Vader killed him because he was conspiring with the Jedi? And.." She hesitated, looking sick and scared. Looking, he thought, much the way she had the day they found out their mother had been killed. "...and then he killed Aunt Breha, because she was there, and baby Leia, too."

    "What?!" Kitt jumped up from the window seat. "Who told you that?"

    Clarys took half a step back, started by his outburst. "Lady Vader, right before she said what a shame it would be if the same thing happened to my family."

    "That schutta!" Damn Lady Vader anyway! Damn her for threatening Clare, for threatening their family. For terrorizing his sister with that mixture of truth and lies. But that was the Imperial way, wasn't it? Building it on a foundation of truth-- or half-truths-- made their castle of lies that much harder to demolish. Kitt blew out a angry breath and scrubbed a hand through his hair. "It's a long story." One she probably she should have learned by now. Dad had kept the unpleasant details from them when they were young, and even after he'd told Kitt the truth, he'd kept it hidden from sensitive Clare. Dad was probably not going to be happy with him for telling her, but it was better than letting her believe Lady Vader's vicious lies. He sat back down and gestured for Clarys to join him.

    "First of all, I don't believe that Uncle Bail was 'conspiring' with the Jedi. No one's ever said what he was supposedly plotting, and Vader and the Emperor never seemed concerned with providing proof, either. He was friends with General Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, and he and Dad never believed that all the Jedi were traitors who deserved to be executed. I think it's far more likely that Palpatine used it as a flimsy pretext to kill Uncle Bail because he'd spoken out against him, that it was time for Palpatine to relinquish some of the executive powers he'd taken away from the Senate during the Clone Wars"

    "As for the rest of it... Yes, Vader killed Uncle Bail and Aunt Breha, but not Leia. Dad was the one who found Bail and Breha; he knew immediately what had happened. Lightsabers....leave distinctive marks." That was the gentlest way he could think of to say that Uncle Bail had been decapitated and Aunt Breha had been impaled by something that also cauterized the wound. Clarys's eyes were wide and troubled a he spoke, but she only nodded for Kitt to continue. "Leia was nowhere to be found, though. Dad flew to Coruscant and demanded to see the Emperor. Who congratulated him on ascending to Viceroy and suggested he should worry more about his own family than things which were no longer his concern. Dad thinks they gave Leia to some high ranking Imperial family-- I guess even Vader isn't depraved enough to murder an infant girl-- but they've covered their tracks pretty thoroughly. But Leia's still out there, and we'll find her someday."

    "You should have told me," Clare whispered. "You and Dad. You should have told me all of this." She made an odd choking sound, halfway between a laugh and a sob. "Maybe then I wouldn't have made an idiot out of myself trying to make friends with a murderer's son." Now she did sob, turning away so that Kitt couldn't see her tears. nodded and gave him a watery smile, but her lip trembled and he smile dissolved into sniffling tears. "I'm so stupid, Kitt. He just seemed so... I thought, like Mother said, that everyone deserves a little kindness. I don't think anyone else really cares about him. His sister certainly doesn't "

    He put his arm around her and pulled her close. "Oh, Clare. You're not stupid." He almost wished he hadn't told her. No, he amended, not that, because Clarys was right, they shouldn't have kept secrets from her, trusting in her innocence to protect her. But he wished Lady Vader hadn't used the ugly truth as a a weapon against his sister, not just to stop Clarys from her work at the hospital, but to hurt her, to cut her. He tightened his arm around her into a fierce hug. "Don't give up. Don't let Lady Vader destroy your hope and your kindness," he said. "That's not what Mother would want. It's not what Dad and I want for you. Keep doing what's right-- no matter what anyone says. Even," his lips twisted wryly, "if it means befriending Lord Vader."

    Clarys looked up at him, tears sparkling on her lashes. "Thank you, Kitt. I love you."

    He kissed the top of her head. "I love you, too."