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I wrote this off my cuff one day. It’s a bit AU and I don’t think it’s likely to ever gain a sequel. Still, I thought my readers just might enjoy it… for a brief change of pace. 😉

Come Home

                There was a little scrap of paper lying on his bed when Vader returned to his quarters, and the Sith Lord almost missed it. He almost laid down in the bed, crushing the scrap and leaving it to be taken out with the sheets. But when he sat down, the sheet of paper fluttered to the floor. How had it gotten on to his bed? Curious, Vader bent down to pick it up. He turned it over. Taped to the back was a short note.

                I miss you, Anakin. I miss your laughter, your smile, your kind voice as you tell me that there’s nothing to be afraid of.

                You should see our children, Anakin. Luke is not much taller than me, and Leia’s petite as well, but Luke has your eyes, your smile… and Leia… Leia has your spunk. I think she frustrates Obi-Wan almost as much as you do did. How much it hurts to write everything in the past tense.

                Blast, you’ll never even read this. Why am I writing, then?

                Obi-Wan says that it’s to let the pain out. His eyes are so empty, so lonely. They’re gray now, like they were the night we buried Qui-Gon. He’s wise, your older brother. Wise, but broken. I’m selfish to be only thinking of myself. He needs you just the same as I do.

                Sometimes I dream that you’re still with us. But then I wake up, alone. One night, I found both the twins in Obi-Wan’s bed. He was lying on the far side, trying to give them more room. I crawled into the bed on the other side, and Obi-Wan fell out. You should have seen his face. All of us moved to the living room floor after that. Obi-Wan has always been there for us, but he’s also been distant. I think he views himself as a steward rather than a surrogate father. He always did think he was second best, even at what he excelled at. Both of us miss you, Anakin.

                No matter how many notes I write to burn, my heart will always be yours. Even if I die a thousand deaths, the pain will still be there. And if I live a thousand years, my every breath will whisper your name.

                Come home, Anakin.

The note was unsigned, but the handwriting was unmistakably Padme—besides, a hint of her perfume floated from the soft notepaper. Vader turned the sheet of paper over. On the other side was a simple drawing in pencil. Two pairs of hands—one soft and feminine, the other strong and calloused, with an eerily familiar glove on one of the pair—were clasped in each other, the curves and shapes evoking deep affection and commitment. Vader almost choked at the beautiful realism of the artwork. What was worse, the drawing had been done in Obi-Wan’s characteristic style. He looked to the bottom of the page. It was dated to early in the Clone Wars. A lump grew in Vader’s throat. Obi-Wan had known, even then?

A short postscript had been added in faded lilac ink, in Obi-Wan’s strong, flowing, elegant hand. The light is always on for you, and the back door is always open. It was signed with Obi-Wan’s full name: Ae’enn Narshala Obi-Wan Joseph Kenobi. Vader swallowed. The emotion shone through clearly in Obi-Wan’s creative flair, his unique style; Anakin had never noticed that before. He swallowed back tears, and rose to his feet.

It was time to go home.

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