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Beginning Again, Star Wars AU, Vader and Luke, Rated G - Darth Vader worship

Jan. 10th, 2007

01:52 pm - Beginning Again, Star Wars AU, Vader and Luke, Rated G

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Title: Beginning Again
Author: ring34_ani
Fandom: Star Wars AU
Characters: Vader, Luke
Rating: G
Word Count: about 1540
Warnings: None
Disclaimers: I do not own Star Wars or any of its characters.
Notes: Takes place after The Empire Strikes Back.
Summary: Luke is drawn to a mysterious man on Tatooine.

Beginning Again

“Who are you?” Luke’s voice was barely above a whisper, a frown creasing between his brows. “I know you…” He reached out a hand but the man stepped backwards, deeper into the shadows, and drew his cloak closer around him. He was shivering as if not use to the cool night air.

Luke’s heart was beating very quickly. He could hear insects chittering away under the cover of darkness. “You’re the one who helped me before…I saw you but no one knew who you were when I asked. I wanted to thank you.”

The man shifted again, a hand grasping the edges of his cloak to hold it together in the front. Luke saw the gleam of dark gold metal. The man’s right hand wasn’t flesh and blood any longer. He had moved…differently…earlier and Luke wondered how much of the rest of him were real.

There was a surreal quality about the man. He was quiet. His raspy voice soft-spoken and with a hint of an accent that tickled Luke’s memory furiously. Luke wanted to hear his voice some more, to keep him talking…to keep him here.

The man bowed his head for a moment, then raised his eyes back to meet Luke’s own. “I’m no one. I was just passing through and…I didn’t like the odds stacked against you. Let me be on my way. It’s…important for me to be somewhere soon.” He stepped slowly to the side, a little more away from Luke and toward the walkway that would take him away. His eyes watched Luke warily.

Luke was still, trying not to crowd the man, not wanting him to break and run. Luke’d had enough excitement already for one evening, he didn’t want to spend the rest of his time chasing down his elusive phantom. With the step to the side the man had taken, he had inadvertently exposed himself a little more to the light that filtered through between the buildings. Luke saw that the man’s eyes were light. They seemed to shine in the moonlight, framed by the dark coverings that were over most of his face.

“You were watching me before…days ago, even before you helped me.” Luke’s voice was abrupt. He felt the sudden imperative need to discover who this man was now or it might be too late. Too late for what he wasn’t sure but he knew he had to keep a hold of him no matter what. He would believe what his instincts were telling him…what the Force was telling him…and trust this man.

“Maybe you shouldn’t trust me…not yet.” The man’s voice was barely above a whisper but the words sent a shock through Luke.

“How did you know that’s what I was thinking? Are you a Jedi?” The man flinched at Luke’s question as if his words were painful to him. “Sith? Or…something in between?

The man tilted his head, regarding Luke intently. “Do you believe that? That there can be something in between? In between the Dark and the Light? I…was always told I had to be one or the other.” His eyes were staring into Luke’s own now and he took a small step towards him. Luke felt mesmerized by him. They’re blue. Blue like mine. And his voice, Luke realized suddenly, had a touch of a Tatooine accent, not exactly like his own but similar, something Luke knew he could identify if he could hear the man’s voice a little more, with a coating of something else...maybe a little like some of the older members of the rebellion who had once been from Alderaan or even Coruscant.

“Would you walk with me?” Luke asked suddenly. “We can go back towards town if that would make you feel more comfortable.” He stepped towards the opening to the walkway and waited. He could feel the man’s indecision…could feel also his desire to do as Luke had asked. How Luke knew this he couldn’t say for the man was heavily shielded against him. But…somehow…Luke could feel some of his thoughts anyway, they fluttered against Luke’s mind like soft wings. Like a memory of something long forgotten.

The man looked at Luke silently, not moving except for the ruffling of his clothing by the wind. Then he pulled his hood up and over his head, hiding the blue, almost familiar eyes, and walked past Luke. He paused, half turned, and Luke realized his invitation had been accepted. They walked silently together through the winding alleyways that meandered through the old town. Both dressed in dark clothing, a contrast to many of the other inhabitants who preferred the lighter, loose garments that Luke himself had worn most of his life.

Luke felt oddly comfortable with his companion, even content. But eventually his thoughts turned back to the puzzle of who he was. He was taller than Luke, his movements were graceful and smooth but at the same time…there was some little glitch or stutter…that told Luke that he had been injured at some time. His clothes were plain but the fabric expensive. Boots dusty and marred but also expensively made. Luke knew he had a blaster but if he carried other weapons they were hidden. His age was a mystery. He was older than Luke but beyond that he couldn’t yet guess.

“Are you from here?” Luke asked him suddenly, feeling again the beginnings of a sense of urgency…for what he didn’t know.

The man turned his head, Luke could feel his gaze though he could no longer see his eyes. He was quiet long enough that Luke thought he wouldn’t answer but then he said, “No…I…was here many years ago. Not here in this town but in a larger one further to the south. I…have not been back for many years.” And thought I never would be back. The last filtered into Luke’s mind like an echo.

Though Luke hadn’t intended to, he found himself speaking of his own self. “I grew up here…on a farm. Most of my family is dead. I only came back because I’m trying to find a friend who is…lost. It no longer feels like home. If it ever did. I don’t think there’s anything left for me here…” Luke’s voice trailed off and he realized his last words weren’t quite true anymore. He felt a reluctance now to leave. A reluctance to leave without knowing this man.

They stopped walking at the same time and stood facing each other. Luke became aware that they were in front of the entryway leading to where his ship and companions were waiting. He was irritated to realize that the man must have deliberately guided them there. And unsettled that he knew where it was. They had taken great pains to cover their visit here. It would not do to come under the scrutiny of either the ruling Hutts or the Empire.

The man reached his hand out and Luke saw now that both his hands were made of same type of fluid, gleaming metal. Luke held his breath but the man stopped just short of touching Luke’s arm. “You should go now. It’s not safe. The fight earlier may bring attention to you.” Luke heard the urgency, the…worry?…in the husky voice.

He started to turn away, then stopped and instead stepped closer to Luke. Close enough that Luke could again see the blue eyes under the hood. Close enough that he could feel the warmth coming off the man’s body. Not a machine… Luke’s heart beat madly in his chest…because…what his instincts…what the Force was telling him…had to be wrong. What he was thinking could not be.

The man smiled. Luke knew he did because the corners of his eyes crinkled and for a moment the blue eyes were warm and faintly teasing…as if sharing a joke that only he and Luke could know. “I am glad to have met you…Luke Skywalker.” He held one of the metal hands out and Luke automatically grasped it with his own mechanical hand. He saw the change in the blue eyes as the man looked down at their intertwined hands…saw the sadness…and despair. He pulled his eyes back up to Luke’s. “Be safe, Luke,” he said, his voice a raspy whisper.

He turned then and walked away, quickly disappearing in the darkness. Luke felt an urge to…to do what? To run after him? To beg, plead for him to stay?

“Commander?” Luke started, turned to see his pilot, Danon, walking out the doorway. “We’ve just had a communication, sir. It’s urgent you reply as soon as possible.” Luke stared at Danon a moment, turned to look back toward the street where he’d last seen him. “Sir…?”

Luke lowered his head, trying to bring some kind of control to his wild, scattered thoughts. “I’m coming. Make preparations…we’re leaving tonight.” Danon nodded and headed back to the ship. Luke took a deep, shaky breath. How could he feel this way? So lost…so hungry for something he’d never known. “I will find you again, “ Luke vowed, sending the thought winging through the darkness.

This is a companion piece to a previous story, Feeling Again.

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