Fandom: Star Wars AU
Characters: Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Owen Lars, Beru Lars
Time Frame: A few years after Revenge of the Sith.
Rating: Rated G
Word Count: around 2390
Summary: An alternate universe story in which Anakin knows Luke is alive and living with Owen and Beru Lars.
Sands of Destiny, Chapter 2
Owen Lars made his way down the stairs into the main building. After he was sure he was out of sight of the man he had left standing in the blistering heat of the twin suns of Tatooine, he paused, one hand against the stone wall for balance. Anakin! Alive…after all this time. His mind was swirling uncontrollably.
He dreaded breaking the news to Beru. She was so attached to the boy now. Still…Anakin had said he hadn’t come for the boy, he’d only come to see him. As was his right. Especially if what he’d implied was true. Kenobi had a lot to answer for.
He took a deep breath and then straightened up. He wasn’t a coward, at least where most things were concerned. He made his way down to the bottom of the steps, as always appreciating the cooler temperature. He stopped and listened for a moment. He could hear faint voices…they must be in Luke’s room. Stepping to the hallway, he cleared his throat and called, “Beru? Beru…would you…come here…”
“Owen? What did you say? Ohhhh…I’ll be right there.” He heard the faint irritation in her voice; she must have been busy with something. He heard her voice speaking to Luke and then the boy answered. Then she was making her way up the hallway, alone thank goodness, but with a small frown on her face.
“What is it, Owen? Luke had cut his finger again and I thought I’d never get all the dirt out…” She paused, evidently seeing something on his face or in his eyes that told her something was wrong. “Owen…what is it…what’s wrong?” Her voice had dropped to a whisper and she reached a hand out to him.
“What’s Luke doing? Is he in his room?” He could hear the strain in his own voice and he struggled to force his mouth into something resembling a smile but going by the look on Beru’s face, he didn’t succeed.
“Yes, yes he’s in his room…I told him to stay and rest for awhile…he’s playing with his little ships…what’s wrong, Owen?” She clutched at his shirt with both hands now, her face close to his and eyes wide with fear.
“It’s nothing bad…really it’s good in a way.” He took a deep breath and then just blurted it out. “Anakin’s here…he’s come to see Luke. Just to visit him…not to take him. I…I think I believe him. I think he’s been hurt…” His voice trailed off and he waited tensely for her reaction.
Beru stood silently and gradually her hands loosened from their hold on Owen’s shirt. She took a step back, reaching up to smooth her hair. “Well…where is he then? Surely you’ve not left him out in the heat.” At Owen’s quick nod, she sighed. “Bring him in. To the kitchen first. I’ll tell Luke to stay put.”
Beru walked quickly back down the hallway to Luke’s room. Owen stood staring after her a moment, mouth hanging slightly open. Well. Married to the woman for years and still she was a mystery.
Shaking his head and muttering to himself, he plodded back up the steps into the blinding heat and light. Anakin was a still dark shadow leaning against the other building. So still that Owen imagined for a moment he would just fade away, a mirage. But then his head turned slightly and Owen could feel the burning blue eyes on him.
Walking up to his stepbrother, Owen said, “I’ve told Beru…but not the boy yet. You’re to come inside…to the kitchen.” Owen turned, waiting for Anakin to follow. After a moment’s hesitation he did, matching his steps to Owen’s as they headed inside.
* * * * * *
Beru was already bustling about the kitchen. But when they walked in she froze, her eyes tracing over Anakin’s forbidding appearance. It was only then that Owen realized he had forgotten to warn her. “Anakin…”
Anakin inclined his head to her, “Beru…I’m sorry to…arrive so unexpectedly. I…do not mean to worry or frighten you.” He held out his gloved hands and, after the slightest hesitation, Beru placed her hands in them. His eyes were very intense as he looked at her. “I did not thank you before…when I was here…for being kind to Padme. She thought a lot of you.”
“Oh…well, you shouldn’t be thanking me for that. It was Padme who was so kind to us. She was a very sweet girl. Is she…we were also told that she had died…” Her voice trailed off at the look in his eyes and she felt a shiver of something…fear?…dread?…run through her.
Anakin let go of her hands and his eyes looked far away for a moment. “Yes, it’s true that she died. Right after having the child I was told.”
Then he seemed to shake himself out of his daze. “But the boy…Luke…that is his name?” At her nod he continued. “I was told he was here…that you and Owen have cared for him. I do not intend to take him away…he is safe here…or as safe as he can be for now. But I need to see him…” For the first time she heard something break in his voice and he seemed to sway ever so slightly.
“Here…you must sit down, I’m forgetting my manners. You must be tired…I don’t even know how you got here…” Her voice trailed off and she looked at Owen for direction but he merely shrugged his shoulders and took a seat in one of the chairs.
Anakin cautiously lowered himself in one of the chairs and it was then that Beru noticed how he moved his body carefully sometimes. What had Owen said earlier? Something about thinking he’d been hurt.
She peered at him closer, noting this time the facial discolorations apparent around his eyes. Scars fading. Burn scars, she thought. And he hadn’t yet removed the covering from his face or the gloves from his hands as most would after coming inside.
“Anakin, would you like something to eat and drink? You must have come a long way…”
He hesitated, not really accustomed to having anything in front of others. “I…have to be careful of what I eat…and I’m not really hungry.” Seeing the look in her eyes, he added, “But I am thirsty…just for a little bit of something.”
“Of course. I have some special tea that my aunt gave me. It has a very nice taste…and it’s quite easy on the stomach. I just made some earlier.” She took a pitcher out of the cooling unit and carefully poured some of the liquid into a glass. She held the glass out to him and he carefully took it from her and set it on the table.
Reaching up, he maneuvered the face cloth until he had his mouth mostly exposed. Owen and Beru tried not to stare at the evidence of scarring, worse than the little bit around his eyes. He picked the glass up and took a sip of the clear amber colored liquid. It did have a pleasant taste and felt wonderful going down his parched throat though he was very careful how he swallowed.
Now that he was here, Anakin found he was at a loss for words. What could he say to these plain kind people that they would understand? Understand that he had not voluntarily left his son behind…that he hadn’t even known of his existence until recently. Understand that they had nothing to fear from him…no matter that he’d helped to slaughter thousands…he would give his life before seeing Owen and Beru Lars hurt.
“My son, Luke…what is he like?” The words slipped unbidden out of his mouth. A twisting, yearning feeling had hold of his heart. “I do not even know what he looks like…”
Owen and Beru exchanged a quick glance. Then Owen cleared his throat and said, “He’s very smart…almost too smart for his own good. Very quick minded. He’s very good with mechanical things. A bit stubborn but that may come in handy when he’s grown.”
Beru gave Owen an irritated glance then reached across the table and laid her hand on Anakin’s. “He looks more like you than his mother. A little small for his age but I suspect he inherited that from her also. He’s a good-natured child, quick to laugh. And imaginative! The things he thinks up to do sometimes…I don’t know whether to be proud or worried.”
She hesitated, her face drawn into a sudden frown. “We’ve not claimed to be his parents…I don’t know if you knew that. We are his aunt and uncle and explained to him that his parents had died…it is what we were told and had believed. We…have no children of our own and we love him dearly…I’ve tried to treat him as I would my own child…” At this her voice finally gave out and she wiped away the tear that ran down her face.
Anakin turned his hand to grasp hers tightly. “I thank you for taking care of him. He could be in…a place so different…a place not right for a child to grow up in. Padme would be glad he was here. I am glad that he has been here…safe and growing up as he should.” He stopped then, unable to go any further, his nerves strung so tightly he thought he would not be able to endure much more.
* * * * * *
Luke sighed and flung himself across the bed. He couldn’t get anything to work as it should. One ship had a droopy wing, one’s wings wouldn’t open at all which meant he could not fly in the battle. One of his pilot’s was missing, the one with the nice black and gold suit.
And why did Aunt Beru say he had to stay in his room for a while? Just because he cut his old finger again he supposed. He held the offending finger up and carefully looked it over.
She’d cleaned all the sand and other dirt out of it, mumbling the whole time about germs and infections. Then she’d soaked it in something that had burned like fire and he’d had to bite his lip to keep from crying in front of her. Then she bandaged it heavily, saying hopefully he would let it heal before sticking it someplace else it shouldn’t be.
He started to tell her that pilots got hurt all the time but she had glared at him so fiercely that he’d firmly clamped his mouth shut. To add insult to injury she’d informed him he needed to stay in his room for a time and rest. To top that she’d returned to make sure he was still there. Like she didn’t trust him!
Luke sighed again and rubbed his head. He felt strange. Not just because of his injured finger. When he had awakened that morning he had felt…different. No…that wasn’t right. He had felt that things around him were different.
So he had gotten up, even before he had to, and in the hazy light of pre-dawn had looked around his home. Aunt Beru had already been in the kitchen; the smell of something baking had teased his nose. Uncle Owen had been listening to news reports…they came in much clearer early in the morning. They both seemed fine, only surprised that Luke was up and around so early.
He had asked Uncle Owen could he go outside and after a slight hesitation was given permission to go just outside of the living area. Even then he was aware of his uncle close behind. Uncle Owen worried a lot about him, he thought, even though he did not say so. Aunt Beru had told him it was because Uncle Owen’s father had been injured by the Sandpeople and his stepmother killed. All of that had happened even before Luke was born.
He helped tend to the graves that were nearby. The names were worn off the stone markers and Uncle Owen kept saying he needed to have new ones cut when he had a little more time.
So Luke had stood outside their home, watching and listening and feeling, but everything had seemed as it should. All too soon the scorching suns would rise and there would be work to do. Luke had things to help Uncle Owen with in the mornings and then other things to help Aunt Beru with when he finished those.
But all during the morning he had felt the funny tickle inside of him. Something was going to happen. He didn’t think it was anything bad, not exactly, but at the same time he felt a little scared. That was why he’d been distracted while helping his aunt and gotten hurt.
He sat up on the bed and listened. Everything was silent…but the tickling feeling was back again and this time it was making his head hurt. He rubbed his forehead. Was someone here? Surely they would have told him if there was someone here. Wouldn’t they?
He cautiously slid off the bed and walked to the door. He pushed the button and it slid silently open. Poking his head out he looked down the hallway. They were in the kitchen. He knew they were, even without looking, and even though it was the wrong time of day for Uncle Owen to be inside.
And they were not alone. Luke was suddenly aware that his heart was beating very fast. It was a man and…Luke thought he should know who it was. He knew it was none of their neighbors. He knew it was not one of the traveling merchants who came by occasionally to sell things. He knew it was not Ben Kenobi who came by sometimes but was usually not invited into the house.
Sometimes he had a funny feeling when Ben was around, and he was around sometimes when his aunt and uncle didn’t know it. But this was different. This was…special. It was a special visitor here now and Luke wanted to see him now. With only a fleeting thought to his aunt’s orders to stay put, the young boy eased down the hallway.
Sands of Destiny, Chapter 1