I am not afraid, Leia Organa told herself over and over again, her breath echoing inside of the black TIE fighter mask. I am not afraid.

She often said those words to herself right before she was about to do something risky. Something about saying them, even in her head, made the fear...not go away exactly, but not suffocate her and make her freeze. It was an effort to maintain a steady, straight backed, "Imperial" pace, as she strode down the corridors of the Death Star. There was no reason for her to worry: She was headed towards a hangar bay in a TIE pilot set of armor, which was not at all unusual. Lars had also said that they were bringing in new recruits to the station daily, so if she seemed a little lost, that was certainly natural, too. He'd even given her the trooper number of another female in his unit who was off duty for the next twelve hours, so if anyone stopped her and asked, she had something to say to at least get her past them long enough to escape.

Or, so she hoped.

For all she knew, the boy, who looked to be about her age, could be lying, or very, very foolish. But, for some odd reason, she didn't think that was the case: Lars seemed genuine, and the dead bodies she'd passed when they'd separated seemed to confirm it. She gripped the comm unit he'd given her tightly in her hand, hoping not only for her own safety, but the boy's as well. What he was doing...risky didn't cover it. It was more like suicidal, helping her off of the battlestation. Now what he was currently doing, disabling the tractor beam, was even more dangerous. If he was caught, or recognized, then not only would he branded a traitor to the Empire, but her own escape would be cut short. Perhaps, she thought, biting her lip nervously, perhaps she should have gone with him.

But no, that deep into the battlestation wearing the obvious TIE uniform she currently wore, she would have stood out like a sore thumb. Lars had said that the tractor beam wasn't near enough to a hangar bay to frequently see armored pilots over there. But, a uniformed one...maybe. Despite the bad feeling rolling in her gut, she had no choice but to trust that he knew what he was doing and stick to the plan.

Suddenly, the comm crackled to life. She pulled it close, checking to make sure none were around to hear, and her heart sank at the words Lars whispered through. "I'm compromised." His voice was strained and hurried. She gripped the comm tighter, hearing modulated voices of stormtroopers screaming at him to halt as he hissed, "Run, get off the station, don't look back."

Then, silence. Dead silence.

She stopped short, staring at the comm, a strong sense of foreboding overwhelming her for a moment, her heart hammering so hard against her chest, it was hard to breathe. Every instinct told her to turn back, to find him, to rescue him as he'd done her...but she couldn't. She was...the only remnant of her father's influence in the Rebellion. Her father and mother, adopted as they were, who had done so much, who had even risked her to carry out the most important mission of all...a mission that was still unfinished. A mission that, should they fail, would bring the entire galaxy to the brink of total, irrevocable dictatorship under the rule of the cruelest, most evil despot the galaxy had ever seen...Emperor Palpatine. As much as she'd felt...something connecting her with that boy, she couldn't risk the entire Rebellion, and therefore, the freedom of the galaxy, on someone she didn't know.

He knew what he was doing when he betrayed the Empire, she told herself, pushing past the horrible sinking feeling in her gut. Just as Rogue One knew what they were doing when they undertook that unsanctioned mission to get the Death Star plans. So many gave their lives for us to defeat this station...and I must honor that.

So, she pressed on, each step feeling like lead, as she turned down more twisting hallways until finally, she was near the hangar bay. She paused at a window overlooking the bay, her eyes roaming over the potential ships she could steal. She could, she mused, steal a TIE. It would make sense, given that she was wearing a uniform. But, an unscheduled departure would raise suspicions, and even worse, the ships didn't have hyperdrive capability. Or, she scowled, shielding. And, with Alderaan being gone, that would be too much space to travel…

Tears sprang to her eyes, threatening to overwhelm her every time she thought about her lost homeworld, her lost parents… She shook her head. No. She had a mission. Grieving...grieving would come later, when the station was destroyed.

She continued to look, pausing when her eyes fell on what had to be the biggest piece of junk she'd ever seen. What was that piece of garbage doing there? She wondered incredulously: It certainly wasn't the Empire's. It had to be captured by the Imperials, but who, in their right mind, would even fly that dilapidated hunk of junk through the cold vacuum of space?!
But then, perhaps she'd just answered her own question. Right mind, indeed. There was no way she could use that, she decided, her eyes again scanning...but they kept coming back to the ship. Something...stirred, within her. The same something that had drawn her eyes to Lars the day she'd been marched past him in the hall.

The Force.

She'd been taught by her adoptive parents and Obi-Wan not to ever use her powers, not until Obi-Wan could come for her to train her properly. They were powers she'd inherited from Anakin Skywalker, her true father, the man who had gone missing in action on the day of her birth. A man Obi-Wan insisted she would meet one day, but she doubted now that she ever would. But now, her adoptive parents were dead. Obi-Wan was hopefully with the R2 unit she'd sent to him with the Death Star plans...though, she'd instructed him to go to Alderaan. She had no idea where he was now, or what he'd do...and Force, she hoped he wasn't on the planet when…

Focus. She scolded herself, bringing herself back to the present. Though she made sure her Force presence was hidden at all times, she still couldn't help but sometimes feel it's direction. Now, it seemed to bring her focus back to the piece of junk, as if that was her ticket out of there. Which...had to be wrong. It just had to be. She wasn't trained. It could totally be wrong. Right?

But no...no, it seemed insistent. With a sigh, she turned away from the window, already deciding she was going crazy and would regret this...and again, felt that tug in the Force. She paused, frowning: It wasn't leading towards the hangar bay, as she had hoped, but rather...to a door nearby. A door which, she knew, probably led to a control center for the hangar bay. A door with a bunch of Imperials behind it.

Just kriffing great. This was insanity, plain and simple.

Again, she tried to ignore it. Again, it just seemed to become more insistent, pointing her in that direction. She scowled, cursing the little she knew about the Force, as she turned towards the door. She hoped the stories were right: That the Force would guide and protect. May the Force be with me, she thought sarcastically, as she pressed the button on the control panel, and the doors opened. Where she came face to face with three Stormtroopers, and a Wookie in cuffs, who looked about to leave the control center themselves.

They froze, all of them, staring at one another. Leia resisted the urge to raise her gun, remembering that she was in a TIE fighter armor suit, and couldn't be recognized. She stood to attention, like she'd seen multiple other troopers do her entire life. "Is this not the fresh…" she began, but she trailed off as her eyes caught sight of who, exactly, was behind them. She'd recognize them anywhere. She'd grown up with them, after all: Her father's droids. Threepio, and Artoo!. Her eyes flashed to the troopers, who were standing there awkwardly, as though deciding what to do, and she demanded, "Where the hell did you get those droids?!"

At the mention of droids, two of the troopers raised their guns on her, the Wookie roaring in challenge. She pulled the blaster Lars had given her, pointing it back at them, though she knew four against one was not a fight she could win. Though, maybe she could free the Wookie and they could fight together. After all, the Wookies had not been treated humanely by the Empire at all.

But, the tallest of the Stormtroopers, the one that, she noticed, barely fit in the armor, held up a hand. "Hold on!" He barked, not looking at his companions, but at her through that emotionless helmet. "Hold your fire!"

She rounded the gun at him. "Release the droids." She snarled through her mask. "They're coming with me!" She had to get Artoo away from here. If the Empire had them….oh Force...if they'd already analyzed the plans….

"I don't think so." The trooper said. "What's your identification?"

She was so mad, she didn't even think before she ripped out a retort. "What's YOUR identification?!" She demanded instead, "These droids shouldn't be here!"

The other taller trooper sounded like he was groaning. "Why can't we just shoot her?!"

That made her pause, her eyebrows rising inside her helmet. Stormtroopers didn't question orders. Ever. To do so, was treason. And, taking a closer look at the Wookie's binders, they weren't even properly attached. The Wookie could spring and tear everyone's arms off any moment, but he didn't. So why…? "Who are you?" The tallest Stormtrooper asked again, insisting.

She hesitated, debating on shooting them, grabbing the droids and getting out of there, but...again. That feeling...drawing her towards him. As if the Force recognized him, and wanted her to reveal herself. But why? Trust the Force...or ignore it? What would her father say if he were here?

She knew the answer already.

She stepped into the room, and the door slid shut behind her before she reached up and removed the helmet. "My name is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan." She said, glaring, her gun still pointed at them. "Now, give me back my droids and get the hell outta my way. Or, I'll blow you all to pieces."


Force, it was her! So, much like Padme. So much like me.

Leia was definitely his daughter alright. Even if Obi-Wan hadn't told him, he'd have known simply by the way she'd introduced herself, holding them at gunpoint (despite Padme's and Solo's guns being on her). She had the Nabierre gutsy-ness and the Skywalker abrasive-ness. In spades, he thought with some amusement. Plus, he could feel the Force moving towards her, as if her very presence drew it all in-even if her presence was still muted in the Force, nearly invisible for anyone who wasn't looking.

But, Artoo had found Leia's cell, not minutes before, and Anakin had already been hyper aware, looking for her specifically, though he'd never met her. Knowing she was here, captured, slated for execution...It had been exhilarating to find out she was so unexpectedly close, and terrifying all at the same time, because of her impending execution. He and Padme had immediately insisted on a rescue mission...and it wasn't until Anakin had mentioned the possibility of a lucrative reward before Han had agreed to the insane plan: Use their Stormtrooper disguises, escort Chewie through the battle station as a prisoner, then free Leia. All before Obi-Wan got back from the tractor beam controls.

But now, there she was. Right in front of them. In a black armored uniform he didn't recognize, her dark hair pulled back into a messy bun to fit into the helmet, loose strands sticking to her forehead from sweat. Glaring at them, determined to be successful against all odds.

He loved her already.

She was the spitting image of his wife, just as Obi-Wan had said: Dark brown hair, dark, soulful eyes that held fire in them, a petite figure that held more energy and spirit than many tried-and-true warriors he'd met in his lifetime. But, Obi-Wan didn't tell him that she had his lips, his nose, his glare, or his presence...not the presence of a senator, though she was that: No. The presence of a general.

The moment she took off her helmet, Artoo squealed happily, rolling forward to greet her, while also attempting to tell her that these were friends. "Oh, Your Highness," Threepio greeted, sounding relieved as he followed after Artoo, "It is so good to see you again, but...please. There's no need for violence-"

"Well," Solo said sarcastically, lowering his gun, "Her Worshipfulness saved herself. Now we don't have to risk our own necks with this stupid plan." He began taking off Chewie's binders, and Leia's gaze swept over Anakin back to Solo, her eyes narrowing, flashing dangerously, as her lips turned into a scowl.

"Your Worshipfulness?!" She echoed quietly, "Just who the hell do you think you are?!"

Oh, and she definitely had the Skywalker temper.

Han had already taken off the helmet, shaking his head, his hair tousling as he gave her a sardonic look. "I'm here to rescue you." He shot Anakin a sour look. "Apparently."

Surprise flashed across her face, followed by a brief moment of uncertainty, but still she didn't lower the gun. "Some rescue this is." She snapped. "Who are you people supposed to be?!"

"Leia," Anakin cut in, before Han could open his mouth and ruin the moment more than he already had. When he spoke her name, it was almost like a prayer: Reverent. Soft. Desperate. He reached up, slowly, so as not to startle her into shooting him, and took off his helmet. She stared at him, and he at her, both of them sizing one another up. He opened his mouth, wanting, no, needing to say something, but all that came out was a pained, "Leia…"

More uncertainty. "We've established that's who I am. Obviously, you're not really Stormtroopers: Your appearance is totally out of regulation." Now, she lowered the gun, though she didn't put it away. "Now. I'll ask you again, and you will answer me. Who. Are. You?!"

Pride swelled within him. How could it not? She was all he'd hoped she would be, and so much more. The daughter he'd always wanted. And now, standing in front of her, he was again hit with the realization of what he'd missed. Her entire life: All nineteen years of it. He missed her first words, her first steps, her birthdays, her laughter, her hopes and worries, her tears, her warmth...and now, here she was before him, a grown woman. Physically not much younger than he was. Hell, even mentally not that much younger, even if, in that moment, he felt ancient. There were no words to express any of this.

But, it was Padme who spoke next. Padme who removed her helmet, dropping it to the floor with a thud, tears falling freely down her face. "Oh, Leia," Padme said, her voice anguished. Leia, startled by Padme's tears, looked at her, eyebrows arched, sizing her up, waiting for an explanation. "Leia...I'm...I'm Padme Naberrie Amidala Skywalker." She finally managed, before gesturing at Anakin. "This...this is my husband, Anakin Skywalker...And, we are your parents...your birth parents."

An awkward silence fell across the room. Anakin wasn't sure what he expected: Tears of joy? Anger? Happiness? A 'nice to meet you'? But Leia just stared, her eyes darting back and forth between them. It was Chewie who let out a wail, which caused Han to reply, "Yeah, I know you said so, but...that's impossible!" He motioned to Leia, and then back to Padme and Anakin. "You're all the same age. You…," he pointed at Anakin, "were a Jedi hero in the Clone Wars. Even living on the streets, I heard stories about you, The Hero with no Fear! But, that was twenty years ago!"

"I hate to agree with him - you have no idea how much - but he's right." Leia said, her voice hard. Yet there was a tremble there that hadn't been there before. "My father...my birth father...went missing years ago. And, my birth mother was isolated, sick from something."

"You're not wrong," Anakin replied darkly, and he and Padme exchanged looks, silently communicating on the best way to tell her. Together, they decided with a nod to each other. "It's a long story, but basically Emperor Palpatine, or Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord, as I know him, wanted me to become his apprentice. I said no, and he overpowered me, then he shoved me in carbonite to keep me as a trophy…"

"And, to save me after giving birth to you, Obi-Wan placed me in carbonite too, while he looked for your father." Padme added.

"Obi-Wan recently rescued me, thanks to information obtained from your adoptive father, Bail, but it took a while to infiltrate my prison, find me, free me, and then escape."

"Then they came to where Obi-Wan had hidden me to protect me from Palpatine, freed me, and I've been healing for the last month. As soon as I was well, we were on our way to finally meet you…"

"...and we ran into Artoo and Threepio on Tatooine, who gave us your message. So, we came to deliver their message and the plans and…" he trailed off, not wanting to bring up Alderaan. At the same time, the impact of Alderaan's destruction, of what that would mean for her adopted parents, the only people she'd ever known as family, and her home world finally hit him. Sure, he'd thought about it, but standing there, watching Leia, his daughter, his own flesh and blood, everything he could ever have asked for in a daughter...it really sank in. The look she was giving them was beyond overwhelmed. She believed them, he knew that, could sense it through the Force.

But, she'd literally lost everything she'd ever known not hours ago. Now, here they were, out of the blue, announcing they were her birth parents, wanting to be a family again...and she was obviously not expecting or prepared for that. Had Bail and Breha been alive still, they could have eased into it, and maybe they could have considered their families all one big happy family. But now they were gone, and Leia looked so very alone, standing there between them, staring at them as if she wasn't sure whether to shoot them or run away. And, she wasn't alone: When they told Luke of his guardians' deaths, Anakin suddenly realized that perhaps his son would react the same way as his twin.

"Leia," Padme said slowly, and Anakin could tell she'd realized the same thing, "We aren't trying to...to replace Bail and Breha, and we…"

Leia held up a gloved hand, cutting her off. Again, there was silence, save only for the mournful beep from Artoo, a muffled, "Oh Dear," from Threepio, and an agreeing moan from Chewie. Leia closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and when she opened them again, gone was the uncertainty, the sense of overwhelming pressure from having reunited with the very last people she'd probably expected to meet.

No, when she opened her eyes to look at them, in its place, was a leader. A senator. A princess. A warrior. "Now is not the time for family drama." She said, her voice clear, confident, and commanding. "Now is the time to figure out how we're going to get off of this kriffing death machine, get the droids to Rebel command, and destroy this monstrosity before more planets end up like Alderaan."

Padme bit her lip, obviously upset with how their much anticipated reunion was turning out, but she nodded. "Later." She promised.

Anakin shook his head, incredulous at his wife and daughter. That sense of absolute duty so didn't come from him. No, that not so little trait was one hundred percent Naberrie to the core. It drove him crazy when Padme did it to him-he wasn't sure what he was going to do with the two most important women in his life both acting that way. He'd never understand it. If he was in Leia's shoes, he'd be an absolute mess. But maybe...maybe in this case it would just save all their skins.

"Well, that's the trick, isn't it," Han sarcastically said, sensing that it was okay for him to interject again. He'd taken a seat again at the control panel. "We gotta wait for the old man to get that tractor beam down. No ship is leaving here unscheduled with that thing still on."

"Old Man?" Leia frowned, then remembered. "Obi-Wan Kenobi, I presume."

"Yes." Padme nodded, still looking at Leia like all she wanted to do was to pull her into a hug. Anakin figured he probably didn't look much different, since that's exactly what he wanted to do, also. "He should be arriving back any minute now. At least, it didn't look that far on the map Artoo pulled up."

"Trust me, this place is way bigger than it looks on screen." Leia replied dryly. "There's a ship out there that could carry us all, though it's a piece of junk and might get shot down…"

"Watch it, Sweetheart! That 'piece of junk,' as you so put it," Han retorted, jerking upright in his chair and glaring at her, "is the fastest ship in the galaxy, I'll have you know!"

If Leia was supposed to be impressed, she wasn't. Anakin couldn't help but smile as she met Han's gaze straight on with a glare and said, "Sweetheart?! You came in that thing? You must be braver than I thought, or stupider...I'm not sure which, you scruffy looking nerf herder."

Han opened his mouth, closed it, then glared at Anakin. "No reward is worth this." He growled, motioning to Leia.

"If money is all you want, then that's what you'll receive. Quite the mercenary, aren't you?," Leia interjected, her temper obviously flaring, before Anakin could protest that comment.

"Yeah, and good!" Han snapped.

"Good!," Leia agreed, apparently satisfied that she had a plan now to get off the space station.

He caught Padme's eye, who seemed equally perplexed and amused by the animosity between the two. "Well," She said with a slow smile, "I'm thinking this is going to be a very long flight."

"I think I'll have to agree." Anakin said, chuckling, and shaking his head at his daughter's and the smuggler's behavior.

Chewie roared in obvious agreement. Artoo chittered and beeped, agreeing as well. But, Threepio summed it up best, "Oh Dear. I knew I hated space travel."


Obi-Wan couldn't believe the stupidity of these Stormtroopers. They were nowhere near as sophisticated, as observant, as calculating as the Clone Troopers he'd commanded back in his day. Force, how he wished Commander Cody was here with him on this mission. He wondered why the Emperor had done away with them, when the Clone Troopers had effectively wiped out most of the Jedi Order. Perhaps they outgrew their usefulness, given their accelerated aging process, or perhaps he couldn't keep them under his control and manipulation forever. Unlike these Stormtroopers.

Obi-Wan walked a brisk and yet casual pace down the hallways. He was completely out of place within the pristine surroundings. He didn't even have his hood up over his head. He kept to mostly empty hallways, but anytime an officer or Stormtrooper passed, he casually sent them on their way with a flick of his fingers and a simple redirect with the Force. There wasn't even any resistance. Pitiful.

He turned the last corner, finding the tractor controls whirring next to the walkway, and hurriedly edged his way out onto it. This, at least, wasn't that different. The technology was a little updated, true, but the process to deactivate a tractor beam wasn't much different than it had been twenty years ago in the Clone Wars. He began, pulling down a lever, hearing the power hum as it gradually fizzle out. Next, he moved over a couple of steps, aware that a squad of troopers were marching on one of the pathways over head, and slowly turned the dial. The power gauge on the screen faded into nothing.

Almost done, he thought, as he again stepped back and reached for the first lever. A squad of troopers turned the corner at that moment. Four of them, he counted, as they stopped at the doorway. "Give me regular reports, please." One of them said to the two behind them, and then the first two continued on. Obi-Wan slowly pulled the lever back up, praying that the troopers wouldn't hear the noise. Done.

Obi-Wan pulled away slightly, satisfied with his work, glancing to the two troopers muttering about drills to one another. He edged back the other way, and peered back around the corner. The two were now discussing VT-16s, and as Obi-Wan reached out and used the Force to draw their attention behind them, he smiled to himself. It was a conversation he could well imagine Luke and Anakin getting heavily into. The smile faded as he hurried out of the room, pausing for a moment to make sure the troopers hadn't spotted him. They hadn't, and they were going back to their earlier conversation.

Luke. They were still missing Luke. Perhaps they'd lost Leia, too-Had she been on Alderaan when it was destroyed? Force, he hoped not. He hadn't given himself time to consider the ramifications if she had. Her death, along with the deaths of her adoptive parents, would be a huge blow to the Rebellion, to the galaxy. Even more so, it would be a possibly irrevocably damaging blow to her real parents. Anakin didn't handle the loss of a loved one well. The death of his mother had proven that, and Obi-Wan feared what would happen if one or both of the twins were to be lost.

But...no. As he made his way back through the twisting hallways, he reached out to the Force. No, it didn't feel as if she had died. Surely, the Force would have warned him about her death. He would have felt it. Besides, the message implied she was about to be captured by the Empire. If she hadn't talked herself out of things (which was entirely possible considering who her mother was), she might still be held in some Imperial cell somewhere. Still not a good alternative, but it was still something they could rescue her from.

Then there was the matter of her brother…

He paused as the Force stirred at the thought of Luke. He stood alone in the cold hallway, focusing on that feeling. Luke had left home to become a TIE pilot. What if…? But, surely not. What were the chances the Force would lead them unexpectedly to the missing Skywalker boy? Yet, the battlestation was huge. Enormous even. It would take considerable man power to keep it going, to keep it protected. Luke could have been assigned there, even if he was still a rookie. He supposed it was possible…

He reached out into the Force, searching for the answers he sought. What echoed back to him was nothing short of concerning: The Force thrummed with raw urgency, tugging at him, leading not in the direction of the hangar bay, but the hallway adjacent to the one he currently stood in. It made no sense. He needed to get back. Before he'd left, they'd decided on a time to meet back up at the Falcon. After that, if he wasn't there, surely the smuggler would attempt to leave him behind. He knew Anakin and Padme would never allow that, but Obi-Wan wouldn't be surprised if the smuggler decided to hell with it and left them all behind to save his own skin. Maybe. He'd sensed untapped potential in the smuggler, yes, not duplicity, but...maybe.

Still, he'd been one with the Force long enough to know when to listen to it, and the Force demanded to be listened to now. So, he turned towards the hallway, intending to investigate, but the familiar sound of the snap-hiss of a lightsaber filled the hallway. Tensing, Obi-Wan whirled, his own hand going to his own lightsaber at his belt, turning to find that he was no longer alone in the hallway.

A cloaked figure stood there, and if the Dark Side coating every fiber of it's being wasn't enough to tell Obi-Wan that this was a Sith, the red blade of it's lightsaber most certainly did. The figure's hood concealed it's facial features, and the dark robe hid its body enough that Obi-Wan wasn't sure if it was male or female. It certainly was a tall figure, to be sure. Still, with a Sith, gender didn't matter. All that mattered was that this person obviously wasn't the Emperor, and from what he'd heard, felt more menacing in the Force than a typical Inquisitor. No, its presence was similar to that of Count Dooku, with absolutely no light or goodness in their presence. As if they were leeching all of the good in the galaxy by merely standing there. Not good. Not good at all.

Obi-Wan drew his lightsaber, activating it. He felt oddly calm and at ease, even though he mentally knew he was no longer the young warrior who had defeated and killed Darth Maul, not once, but twice. If this was indeed a new apprentice, they were likely to be young, in their prime. Yet, there was nowhere to run. He certainly couldn't lead it back to his friends. Force no.

But...Luke….if Luke were here…

But, Luke was promptly forgotten when the figure stepped forward, almost casually, finally speaking. "It's been a long time, Obi-Wan." He said, and Obi-Wan's entire body froze with shock. No...it couldn't be!…His aged blue-green eyes widened in horror when the cloaked figure drew back its hood.

"I've been waiting for you."


"No. Absolutely not! We're not leaving him behind!" Anakin all but shouted at the smuggler.

Padme bit her lip, glancing at Leia, still in that black uniform, who also looked between the two men as if she was deciding which one to side with. "He's in danger, I can feel it, and he needs our help!"

They'd already waited fifteen minutes after Obi-Wan was supposed to return. Solo, of course, had immediately insisted that they needed to go, and Anakin had just about bit the smuggler's head off. It had quieted Solo for a few minutes, but Padme could tell that with each passing minute the man was becoming more and more desperate to leave. "We're surrounded by Imperials on the largest battlestation this galaxy has ever known!" Han argued, "Any minute now someone is going to walk into this control room and notice we're obviously not real stormtroopers!"

Han had a point, and normally Padme would have tried to reason with her husband, but...this was Obi-Wan they were talking about. "We can't leave him." Padme said, coming to her husband's defense. "Obi-Wan is more than a Jedi Master, he's our dearest friend."

Anakin threw her a grateful look before he turned the full might of his insistence back on the smuggler. "Obi-Wan would do the same for you."

"Then he's a bigger fool than I thought." Han grumbled, turning to Leia. He motioned at Anakin and Padme, a pleading look on his face. "Please reason with your parents, Your Highness."

Wrong thing to say. Leia immediately bristled, either from the tone Han was using, or the fact he'd called them her parents. Padme tried not to be offended as Leia started to say, "They're not my…" she trailed off, catching herself as she realized that indeed, they were her parents, and shook her head. "I can't tell them what they can or can't do. The decision is theirs." Now Leia looked at them, that uncertainty in her dark brown eyes. Force, she looks just like me, Padme thought weakly for about the thousandth time since she'd stormed into the control room and announced who she was. "But, I do need to get back to the Rebellion with the droids. The plans Artoo carries are vital to the freedom of the whole galaxy." She didn't say what words hung unspoken in the room: That the plans Artoo carried held the key to stopping the Empire from destroying more worlds. Like Alderaan.

Padme longed to go to her, to hold her in her arms and console her...to just feel her...but she knew now wasn't the time. In this respect, Leia was very much her daughter, putting duty before her own feelings. It was both a blessing and a curse, and while it was keeping her daughter from crumpling in defeat, it was also keeping Padme from the reunion she so wished she could have. Later, she promised herself. "Why don't we do this?" She began, deciding to offer an alternative, "Solo, Leia, the droids and I will go back to the Falcon and get her ready. Anakin and Chewbacca, you can go…"

She never got to finish. Suddenly, Anakin went bone-white, his eyes widening in horror, a hand going to his chest as he stumbled back. For a moment, Padme panicked, thinking that the Death Star had destroyed another world. It was the same look Anakin had gotten when Alderaan had been destroyed, and as he leaned back against the control panel, Padme rushed to his side. "What's wrong, Ani?" she urged, her hands on his armored shoulders. Force, he was shaking. Violently. This close, she could see that a cold sweat had broken out across his forehead, and his breathing had turned raspy.

"What's his problem?" Solo asked, and though he acted like he didn't particularly care, Padme could hear the worried undertone in the smuggler's voice. Maybe the man did have a heart after all.

Anakin didn't respond, even as Padme continued to try to urge him to speak. At first, he opened his mouth to respond, but nothing came out, and he closed it again, reaching up to put his face in his hands. "A-Anakin?" Padme turned to find Leia had approached, staring at Anakin reluctantly, worriedly, and Padme couldn't help the pang in her chest to hear her call Anakin by his first name, and not Dad, or Father. But, then again, she didn't know they really existed up until half an hour ago. She couldn't blame her. Still.

But the sound of her voice got Anakin to lower his hands, and the look in his eyes...fury. Absolute fury. Loss. Devastation. Those sky-blue eyes were a storm of emotions, and Padme resisted the urge to step away from him. "He's...he's dead."

Padme froze, her entire body locking up. She didn't need to know who he meant. She knew.

"Who?" Leia asked, even more concerned, "Who's dead…?"

"Obi-Wan." Anakin cut her off, his voice a snarl. "They...just now. He's been killed."

"How do you….?"

Anakin looked like he was about to snap, and Padme rushed to intercept, before he could scare Leia away in his anger. Anakin was...as much as she loved him...when he was truly angry, he tended to lose it. To become irrational. And, the last time he'd even thought Obi-Wan was dead, he'd gone on a crusade to hunt down his killer. "He can feel those things. In the Force. He's a Jedi...like Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan was his former master," Padme explained grimly. "Anakin, are you…?"

"Sure?" Anakin growled, "Yeah. I just…." his voice broke, and tears sprang to his eyes as he whirled on Solo. "I should have gone for him. I told you we couldn't leave him behind!"

Solo had the good sense to be unnerved...and to keep his smart mouth shut. Chewbacca growled in warning, stepping between Anakin and the smuggler. While a Wookie was a formidable foe, an angry Jedi was more so.

"Anakin." Padme said, firmly, trying to ignore the way her own heart cried out in sorrow for her lost friend. "It's not Solo's fault. It's not anyone of our faults. We'll….we'll figure out who did this."

Anakin was silent for a long moment, his entire body still shaking. To Padme's alarm, there were now tears falling down her husband's face. Her heart broke. "It's Palpatine's." She'd never heard him sound so...vengeful. No, that wasn't right. He'd sounded this way after he'd killed all of the Tusken Raiders. Obi-Wan...he'd been her friend. But, Anakin had loved Obi-Wan like a brother, or a father figure. Now, he was gone. "I'll destroy him." No one spoke a word in argument as Anakin turned back to Padme, meeting her eyes fiercely, promise written all over them. "I swear. I will bring him down and restore balance to this galaxy. For Obi-Wan. For you. For our family." He looked at Leia at that, and though she stared at him, a little unnerved by what she was seeing...she nodded in understanding, and something in her eyes echoed her father's.

In many ways, Padme thought weakly, Leia was her father's daughter, too.

But, they didn't get to dwell on anything. Behind them, the door to the control room hissed open, revealing an unsuspecting officer. For a moment, the officer just stared: Four helmet-less people posing as stormtroopers. Two droids. One angry wookie who roared at him. The man paled, reaching for a com link.

Leia was faster. She whipped out the blaster she'd threatened them with earlier and blasted the man right in the chest, sending him sprawling...the sound echoing through the corridors. Shouts of alarm sounded back as the man crumpled against the opposite wall, dead. "Well," Solo said sarcastically, "Guess we have no choice now except to hope the old man brought down the tractor beam before he bought it." Padme winced, opening her mouth to calm Anakin before he could strangle the smuggler, but Han and Chewie were already racing out of the control room. Leia started after them, though she paused at the entrance, looking back at her parents.

"Well? You coming?" She asked, arching an eyebrow when Padme and Anakin hadn't moved yet, "Did you mean what you said or was that just a bunch of words?"

Anakin's fists clenched, but he replied, "Of course, I did!"

Leia didn't seem offended by his tone. Instead, she smiled grimly. "Then let's get going and bring down an Empire."


Sorry it's taken so long. Things have been extremely busy around here. Hopefully I can get back to story updates sooner. Hope you enjoyed the chapter! Who is the hooded figure? I know, but I'm not telling! 3 Let me know what you thought!

The song for this chapter is Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack by John Williams.

Review!

Love,

Sarah