Subtitle: No one’s going to read this today, but that’s ok, that’s what reblogs are for eh
Sub-subtitle: WHAT AM I DOING POSTING FIC AGAIN I AM A MENACE AND I MUST BE STOPPED
Sorry, this starts pretty abruptly and will be confusing without any context so:
PREVIOUSLY ON THIS TRAINWRECK OF EMOTIONS - The Emperor’s attack on Luke was quite a bit more brutal than what we saw onscreen, driving Anakin to kill Sheev-o with his son’s lightsaber so that he can live long enough to ensure that Luke can make it off the Death Star. He intends to stay behind and die, but of course Luke’s having none of that. With an appropriately schmoopy speech Luke lovingly twists his dad’s arm to come along, until they both have to book it out of there anyway when the docking bay’s atmospheric shields short out. They blast off in Vader’s personal shuttle, and Luke doesn’t bother waiting for the inertial compensator to kick in before gunning it, so he passes out from the g-forces…
I LITERALLY COULDN’T HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT Y’ALL. I have attacked many of you lovely peeps on my dash as I’ve agonized and torn my hair out and rewritten this disaster like 6 six times over and you’ve been patient enough to read my Google doc and brainstorm and everything aND…*SQUEAK*
SO HERE. HAVE MY FEELS (again). (ಥ﹏ಥ) (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
The air was escaping.
At least, that was Luke’s first conscious thought, in reaction to the faint hissing noise somewhere nearby. His fogged brain conflated the docking bay’s explosive decompression with the idea that a piece of debris might have punched its way through the shuttle’s hull. Alarmed, he tried to move, but his limbs weren’t inclined to follow orders at the moment.
Wherever he was, it was bright, with light passing through his closed eyelids, and he was curled up in a rather awkward position on something curved and pliable with his legs wedged up against another much harder surface, almost as if he’d fallen asleep spilling out of a chair. If he didn’t know any better, he would have sworn he was simply hungover and waking from a very unfortunate nap underneath the Falcon’s gaming table.
In some of my favorite Star Wars fics (such as Allegiance by @kaelinaloveslomaris or Where Our Intrepid Hero Doesn’t Get Away by @littlesparklight ), sometimes Vader and Luke communicate via a telepathic Force bond thingamajig.
Considering the way Vader’s Force presence is often described as being almost alive (and exceedingly protective/possessive of family), I always end up picturing something like DreamWorks’ concept art for Pitch the Nightmare King from Rise of the Guardians.
So by contrast, I wondered whether Luke’s Force presence might look young and bright and a little vulnerable in comparison. And the background is what I tend to imagine the inside of at least one of their minds to look like. I don’t really know why.
Do you ever cry because the little boy we see in The Phantom Menace - who loved his mom and wanted to help strangers and liked to build things - eventually turns into a massively depressed man who is constantly in pain and is vaguely suicidal and always angry and self loathing due to PTSD and stress and being at the forefront of a galaxy wide war by the age of 19 and living that way for more than 20 years and a history of slavery and issues of abandonment and of having too much put on his shoulders and being manipulated by a close friend and mutilated and left to burn to death by someone who was like his brother and by holding his mother as she died and never getting to be the husband and father and jedi that he wanted to be and could have been and -
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Actually, no, there legitimately is like 200+ pages worth of this melodramatic space trash™ in my noggin and I’m about to unleash at least a few dozen more of them for your holiday enjoyment 8D
Picking up right where we left off last time…(because while this is all meant to be one big continuous “chapter,” I’d rather not bombard y’all with a Great Wall of Text, y’know)
((OK, I seriously can’t believe how many of y’all loved the first installment and I’m still internally screeching about that but I’m gonna specifically tag @monsterquill and @mythaster JUST because y’all literally said you wanted 200 more pages and/or a novel and/or would give your left arm for more of this SO HERE IT IS XD :3
And special thanks to @culturevulture73 and @celinamarniss for reading my crappy first drafts, lol. TBH, my writing’s a lot more rushed here because I just can’t frickin’ wait to get on with it already (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ ))
“Commander…dare I ask how you’ve managed to stretch the parameters of your mission this time?”
A self-deprecating smile spread across Luke’s face at Admiral Ackbar’s gravel-dry tone. “It’s quite a tale, I’ll give you that,” he replied. “But you’re going to hear it soon anyway.” He glanced aside at his father, still somewhat surprised that the comm didn’t pick up the sound of his respirator. Convenient, for now. “I…have a high-ranking defector with me.”
“Ah? Well, this is an unprecedented occasion, after all. Do either of you require medical attention?”
Luke winced; it had to be obvious from the lisp and strain in his voice. Anakin’s helmet swiveled in his direction. “…Technically, yes. I’m not in control of this vessel, and my pilot’s sustained a limb injury. Clearance to dock, sir?”
“General Calrissian, would you spare an escort?”
Lando’s droll voice joined their conversation. “Luke, you’re not telling that story until my flask and I are ready to hear it. Green Four and Seven, flank that Lambda and see her into Home One.” Two affirmatives answered him, and Luke saw a pair of A-wing fighters draw up alongside the shuttle.
“Thanks, Lando.” Luke grinned, relieved to hear another friend was alive and well after the battle, his joy evident in the blatant disregard for address. “See you aboard, Admiral.” Signing off, he slumped back into the chair and blew out a long breath.
Yeah. Let that one sink in for a minute. We’ll just gloss over the painful and traumatizing process that was Sidious acquiring Luke, and skip to the part where Emperor Palpatine introduces his adopted heir Lucien Palpatine, and Darth Sidious introduces Vader to his new competition, Darth Lycien. Because (as we all know,) Sheev is a dick. It absolutely delights him to have Vader’s child call him father, while Vader glares at the boy and plots bloody murder. The exquisite irony of it is too delightful not to indulge.
Thing is, ‘adopting’ Luke and making him a second apprentice is mostly about fucking with Vader. Sidious isn’t actually that interested in Luke. Luke is a gifted child, but not the powerhouse his father is, and he’s safely under Sidious’ control, so he’s never going to be a threat.
(Your overconfidence is your weakness, Luke says in some universes. This is one of them.)
Sidious trains Luke some, and uses him as a living prop for politics, and assigns him work. But he doesn’t pay attention. Luke isn’t a threat. He misses Luke quietly picking apart the blocks Sidious built in his head. He misses the fact that Luke is never the one to start things with Vader. He misses the relevance of Luke being capable of kindness, even after years in the dark.
Lucien Palpatine inherits an empire, and a sith lord, at the age of fifteen. He intends to keep neither of them, because people aren’t meant to be owned.