Jo (Jody) (betareject) wrote in au_vader,
Jo (Jody)

Star Wars: Healing Hands (AU)

Title: Healing hands
Fandom: Star Wars
Characters: Darth Vader and Dormé
Ratings & Warnings: PG-14 for dark themes
Beta: Huge thanks goes to cariel =D
Disclaimer: Not mine. None of it.
Author’s notes: This was inspired by a very strange dream I had…

Anakin couldn’t recall how he got here or why he was even here in the first place. His body was aching, burning, but a chill came over him, warning him that something was wrong. Anakin shivered and tried to open his eyes as he felt the warmth and weight of blankets being placed on his clammy, sweating form.

The mild fever he believed would pass a few days ago was now running high, leaving Anakin in a delirious state of mind. Soft voices spoke in a language he didn’t understand. It didn’t stop Vader from straining to hear the conversation nonetheless, hoping for some sign to tell him where he was as his bleary eyes revealed nothing of importance.

Gentle, cool, calloused but soothing hands slipped behind his neck and raised his head slightly with great care. Vader didn’t realize just how weak he was until he tried to turn his neck so as to see his caregiver better. It was as though his body were made of stone.

“Do not worry, you’re safe here.” The woman’s voice was almost musical sounding to his ears and carried an accent he never heard before.

Opening his mouth to speak, only a weak croak and a cough escaped.

The petite woman gently hushed him before shifting slightly so as to cradle his head in her arms better. With her head bowed and the room so dimly lit it, was hard to make out her features. Anakin saw enough to know she had dark hair, long if to judge the matted strands that pressed against her shadowed cheek. He strained his bleary eyes to make out more of woman’s features, if only to catch sight of what might have been freckles. A part of him prayed he was right, a greater part desperately hoped that he was wrong.

The mysterious woman tried to explain as best she could what she was doing.

Anakin in his fevered state was helpless to respond, save to shiver in reply. Despite the many layers of blankets and the burns he endured, he was so incredibly cold.

A steaming bowl of broth was brought to his lips leaving Anakin to wonder where it came from. He soon realized he didn’t care, the smell was too much to resist and soon he was parting his dry lips to drink its contents. The smell, though wondrous, was nothing compared to its taste. With impatience he tried to gulp it down, his hunger reminding Vader that it had been days at the very least since he last ate. Unfortunately it was nearly impossible to move, nevermind swallow. Leaving the soup to spill down his cheek and chin. Inwardly cursing, Anakin tried to hide his obvious embarrassment.

But if the woman was annoyed or amused, it didn’t show. With great care, she took a tattered cloth and gently cleaned his face.

The bowl was soon brought to his lips once more, this time Vader was mindful not to be so greedy. The soup was delicious and not so hot that he couldn’t fully enjoy it. Carefully he leaned in to taste the broth, while the mysterious brunette supported his head.

Between sips, Anakin tried to decipher who and where he had seen her before. The dimly lit room camouflaged her features, but not enough to completely hide them. It was then that Anakin’s eyes were able to make out long vein-like scars trailing from the woman’s brow and cheek bones. Between them were the freckles he both remembered and tried so hard to forget. He knew those marks, from another time, another place….only then they were fresh and bleeding. Vader then noticed that her fingers were also scarred, as though they had been broken, but weren’t given the chance to properly heal. Suddenly it all returned to him with a vengeance, leaving Anakin helpless against a memory he struggled so hard to forget.

The petite brunette was limp, but conscious. Her body was bound by wires designed to shock if one strayed too far. Vader had no idea who she was, save that she once served Padmé, and didn’t care much either. Only one thing concerned him: the whereabouts of his children.

Vader was convinced that she knew where they were and was now withholding this information from him. Yet the woman spoke not a word, not even after he became so frustrated that he lost his mind and pulled at every one of her fingers until he broke them. Even then, she spoke not a word, her eyes shining with unshed tears of pain—not for her wounds, but for him.

It was too much and in desperation, he touched the dark side to numb the shame that her amber eyes encouraged. Everything that followed was a blur. The interrogation that was in reality nothing short of pointless torture continued for hours.

Furious and frustrated, Vader, now lost to the dark side, believed he was in the presence of Padmé.

Merciless in his intent, the young sith lord grabbed her by her tangled ponytail and proceeded to beat her face against the sterile metal wall. Splatters of blood covered the walls and floor mingling with the crimson stains left behind from previous victims.

Even then she didn’t speak, convincing Anakin that she was mocking him. As though she were laughing at his pathetic attempts to find his children.

No longer able to play the games he believed Padmé was playing the young Sith Lord unleashed wave after wave of dark lightning on the young woman. He didn’t stop until her body was covered in thin, vein-like burns, most of which blistered and bled.

When that wasn’t enough to satisfy the darkness within him, Anakin tore into the young woman’s mind, ripping them apart on by one. Her battered mind did more than just relinquish her memories; it flooded his mind with images and emotions, to the point that Vader’s thoughts could no longer handle its potency.

Overwhelmed by what he had witnessed and the dark side that coursed through his veins, Anakin collapsed at her feet.

The petite woman soon followed her limp, broken form falling into his arms.

Only much later did Vader come to understand just how lucky they had both been to have survived the experience. Seeing her broken form and the horrific burns that covered her body was his last memory of her; that was until today.

Startled and confused by the discovery, Anakin wondered if the woman knew whom she had rescued or if the events were so traumatic that her mind could no longer remember it. A violent shiver claimed his body and soon the young nurse was placing a cold cloth on his head. Vader could barely meet her gaze, but did so out of desperation and curiosity.

The compassion and forgiveness he saw in her eyes left no doubt in his mind that she knew who he was or what he had done to her. “Why?” The words escaped his lips before Anakin had a chance to even understand the weight of his question.

Startled, the young woman paused in mid-action, her amber eyes holding his gaze. A gentle smile crept into her scarred, freckled, features –so beautiful now that he had the chance to study her features.

“Because I can,” was her only reply as she gently she reached out to touch his flushed cheek.

Though Anakin couldn’t understand the petite woman’s reasoning, he was far too exhausted and weak to question it. With a hint of a grateful smile, Anakin closed his eyes and leaned into her touch. His expression of gratitude was barely audible, but it was not long afterwards that he drifted off into peaceful dreams filled with the memory of a stranger’s gentle touch and loving smile.
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