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Blood and Bone

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Princess Leia Organa is Force Sensitive.

The girl is twelve. She is angry. She is terrified. She is someone that could easily be corrupted to the Dark.

She is his.

Vader looks at the results. They do not compute.

They have found the Princess’s sensitivity by coincidence. Her results as an infant were faked. It is only an injury—a speeder mishap, of all things—that had her brought to a local hospital on Coruscant before her father—also injured, and far more severely—could prevent it. Blood tests had been done for her health, but the midichlorian count was automatic.

Senator Organa has not yet awoken. Vader has many questions. He wants the man to awaken so he can torture an answer out of—

His breath catches on the ventilator. It evens back out.

It is common practice in all hospitals to run a midichlorian test with all blood analyses.

It is common practice in the Empire to check all Force Sensitives against the record of Jedi that had been alive towards the end of the Republic. The records are woefully incomplete, but at least thrice it had led them to a parent that had, once upon a time, been a Jedi.

Anakin Skywalker is in this database. Leia Organa is a match. She is his daughter.

Padmé’s corpse had been pregnant, still. Given Organa’s age, that had been fake.

Leia.

His Leia.

His Master is not here. Sidious is away, doing something Vader is not meant to know of, yet, and he will return.

Vader does not have much time to make a decision.

--

“What do you know of your parents?”

The Princess looks up at him, disgusted but defiant. The head injury is patched over in white. It makes her look even more washed out, in the cell she is currently inhabiting. He can only barely tell, through the lenses, but the effect is stark. “You work with them. You’ve known my father longer than I have.”

Vader stifles down the rage. They took her from him. The Organas stole his child. But it is in fact his child, and he cannot hurt her the way he—

No.

“Allow me to rephrase,” Vader intones, “what were you told of your biological parents?”

The Princess looks at him, guarded. “Not much. My biological mother died in childbirth. She was a friend of my father’s, and he took me in when she died. My biological father… they never mentioned him, really. Talking about my birth mother always makes Papa sad.”

Vader breathes in a forced calm. “You have tested as Force Sensitive.”

The fear that rides across her face is something he does not want to see. This is his daughter. She should not fear him. She shouldn’t have to. “I see.”

He needs to ask.

“Did the Organas—” he can see her bite back a correction of My parents, “—ever tell you if one of your parents was Force Sensitive?”

“They did not tell me.”

True, but in the way of a technical, papered-together truth. He will allow it.

If he tells her… no. Her mind is still weak with youth. Sidious can steal any secret from it. Vader cannot tell her until he decides.

He leaves the room.

--

Senator Organa wakes.

It is not quick, but Vader has demanded the doctors speed the recovery inasmuch as they can. He was never a healer, even as a Jedi, and he is not one now. He can do nothing to help. Even the Empire’s resources are not much help in this, given Organa’s own independent wealth.

To his credit, the man does not flinch when Vader enters the room.

“Lord Vader,” he greets in a low murmur, the usual clean diction colored by the medication that is still flooding his system. The nod he gives is more of a dip than anything.

Vader does not have time for niceties. He never does, unless it pleases his Master.

“You took her.”

Organa stares at him. The man is usually sharper than this. Vader will blame the injuries and medication.

“Leia. Her blood was tested. She is mine.” Vader watches the fear and terror dawn. Organa will choke before Vader can do it, at this rate. “You took her. Why?”

The confusion is tempered by outrage. Even through the fogged mindset, Organa’s disgust is… much like Leia’s, if somewhat better hidden. “You ask me why?”

“Yes.” Vader says. He takes a moment to consider, and then adds, “I have disabled the recording in this room. It is only myself and you, here.”

Organa looks at him, really looks, and then says, “because you were dead, and Padmé was dead, and the Jedi were being hunted by the Empire. I was told that giving her to Padmé’s family would put her in danger of being discovered by the Emperor and… well, they weren’t sure what, but given what I’ve heard of the Inquisitors, I imagine something like that.”

“Told by who?”

“Jedi who survived the initial Purge,” Organa says. He meets Vader’s eyes head-on. He still does not flinch. “I haven’t heard from them since we parted ways in the days after the birth. They might very well be dead now.”

Obi-Wan, probably. He’s the only one that could have gotten Padmé off of Mustafar in time to give birth. Not in time to save her, but… in time to save the child.

Vader is angry. He is hateful. Organa took his daughter. He kept the girl from him.

Vader is even angrier that Organa protected her for longer than Vader himself could have. Had she been discovered before he was accustomed to his new limbs and life support, Vader would never have been able to save her from his Master.

“Don’t give her to him,” Organa says. “Please.”

“She is my daughter.”

“And mine,” Organa says, sharp as he can be in his state. It’s impressive. Most don’t dare. “Adoption does not negate that I have raised her as my own. She may have your blood, but I love her as dearly as if she carried mine, Anakin.”

Leia will never forgive him if he kills the man.

Organa must know that.

“Do not use that name.”

Organa stays calm and measured. It’s starting to irritate as much as impress. “Her biological father is not Darth Vader. It is Anakin Skywalker.”

“Do not—”

“Padmé died trying to convince us there was still good in you,” Organa says. “They were her last words.”

It’s true. In every note of the Force, this is true.

“Why tell me this?”

“Because,” Organa says, “if I’m to have any hope of my daughter not being tortured and broken into one of the Emperor’s pawns, that hope lays in Padmé being right.”