Broken Ties

III: Forgiven and Unforgiven

Bail found his wife lying on there bed crying. She looked at him and then turned away.

“Are you alright?” Bail asked.

“No,” she said looking away from him. “I know that you love her.”

“Who?”

“Padmè ,” Lady Organa said. “She’s the one who’s always kept your heart away from me.”

“I love Padmè  as I would a sister.”

“Do you kiss all your sisters the way you kissed her?”

“No, and she told you that was a mistake,” Bail stated plainly. There was no reason to pretend, he had been told that she knew.

“A mistake for her maybe,” Lady Organa told him. “I looked into her eyes and I knew, her heart was still with Anakin. But I’m just as sure your heart is not mine and it’s made me do something terrible.”

“What did you do?”

“You were my life Bail. I had to hold on to you, hold on to our child.”

“You didn’t answer me, what did you do?” Bail said grabbing her.

“I contacted Vader,” she cried.

“YOU DID IT?!” Bail yelled. “HOW COULD YOU?!”

She had never seen him so angry, a fire was blazing in his eyes.

“I loved you, I still love you,” Lady Organa cried wrapping her arms around him. “I couldn’t lose you.”

Bail pushed her away.

“At this moment, I don’t even want to know you.” Bail said.

“What about Padmè ?” Lady Organa asked.

“What do you care?”

“I care Bail.”

“I’ll take care of her, like I always do.”

Bail stormed out of the room and Lady Organa slid to the floor looking after him.

“You know it and I know it to. You love her, you’re in love with her.”

 

 

Bail quickly got to his office and saw Governor Ronan had returned. He was a trusted political figure involved in their slowly evolving underground movement against the empire.

“Vicerory Organa I need to speak to you,” Ronan said.

“Ronan, I have bad news,” Bail said.

“What is it sir?”

“My wife, she did it.”

“Did what?”

“She contacted Vader. It seems she was jealouse.”

“Jealouse? Of the former Mrs. Skywalker?”

“Apparently so,” Bail sighed.

“We have to get her out of here.”

“I’m afraid that’s going to be a problem.”

“Why?”

“Vader’s here.” Ronan said.

“What?”

“He landed an hour ago.”

“Sith, the force is not with us today,” Bail cursed. “Where’s Mrs. Skywalker.”

“With the children I believe.”

“Arrange to get my daughter out of here,” Bail said. “She’ll have a visit with Zai. Send Thalia with them, tell her to pack Leia‘s things right away. For all Vader knows, this was a preplanned trip.”

“Sir, why don’t you sneak Ms. Skywalker out with her.”

“I’m afraid he’ll be suspicious of anyone on their way out. I want to give him something, someone he can freely question. And it will get Leia out of the way.”

“So, what are you going to do with Ms. Skywalker?” Ronan asked.

“Hide her in plain sight.”
Bail found Padmè  leaving the children’s room. She looked confused for a moment. Movement had already begun, Thalia was packing the kids things. Everyone had to work fast.

“I hear Leia’s the one leaving, not me.”

“Vader landed an hour ago,” Bail spoke in a low voice.

He put his arm around her shoulder and walked her down the hall. He continued to speak in a low whisper.

“What?”

“I afraid to try to slip you past him, moving Leia was an activity to keep him distracted. This is what I‘m going to do with you.”

He leaned in close a whispered to her.
Vader arrived at his door. Bail felt Leia run up behind him and slip her little hand into his. Padmè  was safe for the moment. Someone had dressed up Leia, she was wearing one of the many little gowns in her collection. Bail couldn’t help being flushed with nervousness when the army of white storm trooper metal swarmed into the castle with their Black Lord. Leia squeezed his hand a little tighter when she saw them.

“Don’t be afraid Leia,” her father said.

“I’m not afraid,” Leia said, but her body chemistry told him different. He wondered if it was just the intimidation everyone felt or if she could feel his dark presence in the force and remained innocently unaware of what she was feeling. Her eyes remained focused on the swarm of troopers in front of her.

Their leader, fully clothed in the black armor that was his life support system, approached the family. There was a growing fire in Leia’s eyes. She knew the man in front of her was responsible for her quick departure and her mother’s sudden disappearance. Bail knew Vader could read any hint of deception, he could only hope no one put two and two together. And he knew Padmè  and Leia in the same room would lead to just that.

“Hello Viceroy Organa,” the mechanically altered voice said.

“Vader,” he stated simply.

“And the lovely princess,” he said turning his gaze, or his mask, to the child.

Leia didn’t speak, she just stared and gripped her father’s hand harder.

“Well, when a man is invited to a place, he certain expects a better welcome than this,” Vader stated.

“You were not invited by us,” Bail replied. “So forgive us if we aren’t exactly elated to see you.”

“Then perhaps I should see the one that did invite me,” Vader said possibly studying him for any reaction. “Your wife,” he finally said.

“My wife is ill and has been for awhile,” Bail said with a sly smile. “I’d trust little that comes out of her mouth.”

There was a long silence. Vader was studying him, he knew. But in his opinion, his wife must have suffered some temporary mental defect if she thought involving Vader was for the good of her family. Even now he was afraid, afraid the pieces would be put together. But anyway he looked at it, the mistake wasn’t his wife’s, it was his. He decided to bring Padmè  here, he had told Leia the truth, and he had ignored the budding jealousy of his wife.

“If this is true,” Vader said bringing him back to the present. “Why was no one told of this?”

“If it were YOUR wife who was ill, would you not protect her.”

He had said to much, he could feel it coming from Vader, a sense of victory. He had all but admitted protecting Padmè . He had to control his anger, but just looking at Vader made him remember the broken woman who’d been left behind when he had become the thing he was now.

“I have been informed of the presence of a fugitive on this planet,” Vader said. “And until I am satisfied she is not here, I trust I will be accommodated.”

 

 

 

Lady Organa heard the door squeak and saw the little body come into the room. It was her daughter or Padmè  ‘s daughter or Padmè  and Vader’s daughter. What had she been thinking? She had put this innocent child’s life on the line for her own foolishness.

Leia crawled up on the bed beside her mother. She laid down and smiled.

“You don’t have to be afraid of Vader,” the child said. “Daddy won’t let him hurt us.”

Lady Organa smiled. She reached out and touched her daughter’s hair. Soft and beautiful, just like Padmè  ‘s. She had been so cruel to Padmè .

“I know I haven’t been the best mother to you, I know that’s why you love Padmè  so much.”

“Are you kidding mother. Sure I like Padmè  a lot, but I don’t really know her. I love you,” Leia said. “I remember once when I was really little, I got sick and I couldn‘t sleep for some reason. You sat with me all night and told me stories. Never left my side. I know you love me mother and I love you back.”

“Then why? Why do you always turn to your father.”

Leia shrugged. “I don’t know. Cause he’s easier. I mean if you were a kid and you knew one person was going to say yes and the other was going to say no, who would you go to for stuff. I know it’s bad. I know you hate me for it sometimes.”

Lady Organa couldn’t help smiling. “Leia I could never hate you, I love you too much.”

Lady Organa sat up in bed and pulled the child to her. They hugged briefly.

“I have to go now,” Leia said. “Zai’s waiting. Daddy arranged to send me away while Vader’s here. I don’t know why, I’ve seen Vader before, he doesn’t scare me.”

“Leia,” Lady Organa said looking at her. “Promise me you’ll stay as far away from Vader as possible.”

“Why?”

“Because I said so. Do you understand me?”

“Yes,” Leia replied. “Bye mother.”

“See you soon Leia.”

Leia gave her mother a final hug and left the room.

 

Bail walked into the dark cell that housed Padmè . He didn’t think Vader would look in there for his wife. Padmè  sat curled up in a corner, looking up at the sky, covered by a black cloak. She stood and turned toward Bail and then turned away.

“I can’t do it Bail.”

“What can’t you do?”

“I can’t hide anymore. Is Leia gone?”

“Yes, she left this evening. As expected, Vader inspected the transport before they left.”

“Then I will go to him now.”

“You will what?!!” Bail yelled. “Padmè  you don’t have too. I’ll protect you. I’m your friend.”

“I’m not afraid of him Bail,” Padmè  replied. “You know what I was afraid of. I was afraid of seeing that Anakin doesn’t exist anymore, but he does. In our little girl. And somewhere out there in our little boy.”

“Don’t you want them back together one day, back with you.”

“How is that going to happen if someone doesn’t get to Vader?”

“I can’t let you.”

“You can’t stop me Bail. I’m not your wife, I’m not your lover, I’m not your daughter, I‘m not your little sister,” Padmè  yelled at him.

“All I ever wanted to do was protect you,” he said cupping her face in his hands. “Protect you and your daughter. I love you Padmè , he doesn‘t. He stopped a long time ago.”

Bail was near tears. Padmè  hugged him

“I love you too Bail,” Padmè  said. “But it doesn’t stop me from being in love with Anakin. Now tell me where Anakin is.”

“Anakin‘s dead,” Bail replied.

“Bail,” she said softly. “Don’t make this any harder.”

“You don’t know how hard it already is,” Bail replied. “I can’t let you go and lose what little spark you have left.”

“I’m not yours to let go,” Padmè  told him.

She frowned, touched him gently and left the cell.

Bail sat down. He couldn’t move. The hate in him began to swell and swell. He would not forgive Vader, he would never forgive him. Leia would bring him down, Leia would know every vile thing he did. Leia would make up for her mother’s mistake.
Vader felt her enter the room. Her’s was a presence he had felt since he had arrived on Alderaan. He turned toward her, cloaked in his black armor. He didn’t sense fear in her at all, not even the slightest bit. It was unusual. And even though it was Padmè  who stood before him, it disturbed him. He was accustomed to fear, not the love in her eyes.

“Anakin,” she said simply.

“I don’t know that name anymore.”

“It’s the name of the man I married.”

“That man doesn’t exist anymore.”

“Then why are you here?” Padmè  ask “Why do you seek me out?”

He didn’t answer. Padmè  came close to him and tried to look though the so called eyes in the helmet.

“Leave Alderaan,” Padmè  told him.

“Why?”

“It’s not your home, it’s the home of the Organas. Leave them in peace.”

“How dare you make demands on me, after what you did,” Vader suddenly snapped.

“What I did?”

“You betrayed the Empire.”

“The Empire is a sickness infecting the galaxy. The Sith are evil, don’t you see that?”

“The Jedi would do nothing to help the slaves on Tatooine. But they didn’t mind snatching a boy from his mother? The Republic failed your planet and yet you defend it.”

“At least people had a choice in how they were governed.”

“I’m not here to argue politics,” Vader snapped.

“Then why are you here,” Padmè  asked again. “Do you want to lock me up for crimes against the Empire?”

“Come with me. Try and understand what I’m building, who I am.”

“I wish I could see your eyes,” Padmè  told him reaching for the helmet.

 

 

Bail Organa didn’t know how he managed to find his way back to his office. He had no right to fight with her. Like she said, he was not her husband or her father or any of the things that would have given him the right to demand she stay.

“Sir,” Ronan said entering Bail’s office.

“Yes?” Bail asked.

“She’s gone.”

“He took her?” Bail questioned.

“No,” Ronan replied. “She left with him.”

“Leave me,” he told Ronan and Ronan left.

Bail sighed and ran his hand through his hair. His wife entered as Ronan left.

“We do crazy things for love,” his wife said. “It’s tearing you apart that she’s gone.”

“Isn’t it funny how the tables have turned. I feel like I’m going crazy and you look level headed again.”

“I am happy,” Lady Organa said standing in front of him. “I know Leia loves me. And though I’ll aways miss my son, I’ll always have my daughter and I love her just as much. And most important, I love you.”

“And you’ll always have me,” Bail said standing in front of her. “I’m sorry about all that has happened.”

“I am too,” she said looking into the eyes of her handsome husband. They embraced and let go of everything between them.

 

—————————
A week later, Leia arrived back home and ran into her father’s office. He got up and openned his arms to hug her.

“I saw Mommy in the garden,” Leia said. “She was smiling. Where’s Morgana?”

“Morgana’s gone.”

“What?”

“She’s dead,” Bail told the child.

“Did Vader do it?” she asked with tears in her eyes.

Looking into his daughters eyes, he couldn’t possibly tell her her biological father had killed her mother. He knew one day she would discover who her parents were, but he couldn’t break her heart like that. Besides, he didn’t know if Padmè  was dead. He just knew he would never see her again. And the Emperor would surely eliminate her. The last thing he needed, wanted, was something that made his machine more human.

“No,” he said with tears streaming down his own face. “Vader didn’t kill her, but he’s the reason she’s gone.”

“I hate Vader,” Leia said crying.

“Hate the Empire,” Bail said picking her up and holding her in his arms. “Hate the Empire and fight them.”
END
APRIL/May 2001

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