Luke couldn't explain what called him to Jakku. Maybe it had been the Force, maybe it was just instincts, he didn't know. What he did know was he knew next to nothing about children and he'd impulsively decided to take the orphan girl home to Coruscant with him. Leia would know what to do with a toddler, she had had one after all. He wasn't so sure she'd be happy with him bringing home a random child that he didn't know what to do with, but that was an argument for later, Luke was sure Leia would have words about the situation.
Unkar Platt was another issue though. He didn't want to let the girl go. Apparently she was a good scavenger for being so young. Luke suspected that he might have been paid to keep the girl.
Luke looked at the little girl holding his hand and back at Unkar. Taking a deep breath, he slowly said, "The girl is coming with me. You will not stop us."
Unkar looked confused at him but didn't stop Luke as he walked away with the little girl towards his waiting ship. Luke hoped to make it into the atmosphere before Unkar realized what had happened.
Luke breathed a sigh of relief when the ship door hissed into place behind them. Now he just had to make into the atmosphere before the Jedi trick wore off and Unkar realized he'd been tricked into giving up one of his best scavengers. Guiding the girl into the cockpit, he buckled her into the co-pilot seat. She was a quiet thing, he mused, hadn't said more then two words to him so far. His only other experience with children had been his nephew Ben and Ben had never known how to shut up. Luke supposed he'd assumed all children were like that.
Settling himself into the pilot seat, he was startled when a small voice broke into his flight prep. "Mister, where are we going? Are you going to take me to my family? They left me here you know. They're gonna come back and what if I'm not here anymore?"
Luke didn't know how to answer as he guided the small craft up towards the atmosphere. He thought for a minute as the girl stared at him expectantly." Okay. For starters, we're going to Coruscant. Have you heard of that planet? " She shook her head." Well, it's a planet that is entirely one big city. My sister lives there with her husband and little boy, who's a bit older then you." Luke fudged that a little, he figured Ben was probably more like ten years older then she was.
" What about my family? Do they live there?
Luke sighed. "I don't know. Do you know anything about them? Your mother's name, your father's, anything?" he highly doubted she did.
The girl shook her head again. "Nope. But I know my name! I can even spell it!"
He supposed that was a decent start. "What's your name?"
"Rey." she announced proudly.
"Rey. I don't have another name." she shrugged.
Luke didn't think that was going to make it any easier to find out who she was and why the Force had led him to her. Rey might not even have be her real name, he mused.
"Mister, I can spell it too."
"That's good." he told her. Useless to know but at least she was smart. Maybe she could help put the pieces together for him, even if she didn't know she knew them. "How long have you lived on Jakku?" That could at least give him a time line.
"Since my family left." Rey answered, brightly, swinging her skinny legs. Her feet didn't reach the floor.
He didn't find that very helpful. "When was that?"
"I marked it every night but I don't know."
He had to remind himself she was only a little girl, most likely not even five, she'd never been taught to count.
"But I can spell my name, mister. What's your name?" she continued. "Is your name mister? How'd you make Unkar let us leave?"
Luke suddenly remembered young children liked asking questions and realized it was potentially going to be a very long flight back to Coruscant. He wondered if he'd brought along any headache blockers. "My name is Luke Skywalker, not mister."
She laughed. "Luke Skywalker is just a story, silly."
"No, Rey, the stories are true, all of them." he said, musing what kind of Rebellion stories had made it as far as Jakku. The final battle had been there, of course, but from the looks of her, Rey couldn't possibly have been born yet for that. He supposed there could be some around the trading post that would remember and know the stories of the Rebel heroes. Children liked action stories, he thought. At least, Ben had. Ben was his only experience with children.
She gapped at him.
"What do you think about that huh?" he had shocked her into silence, which was good, because it was time to jump into lightspeed. He pulled the lever, hit a button, turned the wheel and threw the ship and it's occupants into the whirl of hyperspace. It was a good three minutes before Rey spoke again.
"Mister, you're really Luke Skywalker? The hero?" she asked.
"Yes, kid. I'm Luke." he didn't know what else to say to her.
Rey brushed her hair out of her eyes. "That's pretty cool. I didn't know the stories were real."
"Now you do." Meeting Leia and Han was going to blow the kid's mind, Luke thought. He gave her a good once over and winced inwardly. She was filthy head to toe and her hair was a tangled mess. He hadn't really noticed either of these things before, in his rush to get her off Jakku before Unkar realized what had been done. He thought he should probably stick her in the refresher before they reached Coruscant. He wasn't sure what to do about her clothes. There was certainly nothing on his ship for her and he didn't want to risk a stop anywhere.
"Hey, mister Luke?" Rey was struggling to unclasp her safety belt.
"Yes, Rey?" If nothing else, somebody had taught her some manners at least.
"Have you got a bathroom?" She'd finally freed herself and slid to the floor. She stood there, staring at him expectantly.
"Well, yes. Here, I'll show you." Luke unhooked his own belt, with more ease then she had, and led her out of the cockpit. He was a bit leery of letting her wander the ship alone, even if it was a small craft. There was still plenty of room to cause mischief.
" Oh, oh, mister Luke! "
He really hoped that oh oh hasn't meant she'd wet herself, or worse, because he would have no idea what to do in that scenario. He supposed he might need to give Leia a call on that one. "Yes Rey?"
"The seat is all dirty now. Because I'm dirty." she explained.
Luke mentally sighed in relief. That he could fix, the seat at least. He still wasn't sure about how he was going to clean her up. "That's all right. I can clean the seat."
"I'm good at cleaning. Clean parts bring in more shares." She skipped along the narrow hall with him. "Do I gotta clean parts on Coral Sense?"
"Coruscant and no, I think not." He opened the door to the tiny refresher for her. It wasn't much but he hadn't been expecting passengers, just himself. She shut the door as she went in, and he was grateful she didn't need his help. He leaned against the wall to wait for her. He wondered what she was going to do on Coruscant. School, maybe, Jedi training, definitely, where was she going to live? He hadn't thought this plan through very well before just snatching her off Jakku.
Luke covered the little girl with a blanket. She'd finally fallen asleep, after eating more then he'd ever thought such a little girl could eat and talking his ear off for hours. They were only a few hours out from Coruscant and he hoped she'd sleep the rest of way. He had an important holocall to make.
"Luke!" Leia seemed happy to hear from him. "I haven't heard from you in weeks! What have you been up to, hiding away from us?"
He hesitated. Leia had always been able to tell when he was lying to her. Lying to her never ended well for him.
"I've been traveling around. Ended up in the middle of nowhere. I had to do some repairs before heading back to the training school." he didn't meet her eyes. "Just left Jakku."
Leia raised her eyebrows. "What in the galaxy could have possibly made you go out to Jakku? It's nothing but a junkyard planet."
"Yes yes it is." Luke really couldn't deny that. "I, um, just had a feeling I was supposed to go out there."
"What did you do out there with this feeling?" Leia wouldn't say it out loud, but she secretly hoped her brother had finally found someone to settle down with, although she had doubts there could be anyone decent enough on Jakku for that.
He sighed and pulled the holoprojector around so she could see little Rey, sound asleep in Luke's bunk. It beat Leia asking questions. After a moment, he turned the screen back to himself.
Leia looked shocked. She found her voice again easily enough. "Is she yours? Did something happen to her mother?" she asked. That was a situation she could understand though not why Luke would've kept a child a secret.
"No, she isn't mine. I've no idea who or where her parents are.