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Pretty art... - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Pretty art...
undomielle did a Father's Heart picture for me. :)


Just grinning.

This is from "Imperial Entanglements," part 4 of "Father's Heart," and I think it may be an older version than the one on TFN, which I can't get and can't find on my computer, but not much changed--this was the central image from the story, and it didn't change much from the initial idea to final form. EDIT: Thanks to helpful editors, I got the updated version.

Leia nodded. "Is there something you need of me, Lord Vader?"

Vader looked out the window, noticed the probe droid. "Walk with me, Your Highness. We have matters to discuss."

There was no question of not going. Leia took a cloak from her closet, locked her door, and followed him out.

He set an uncomfortably quick pace, and despite his professed desire to speak to her, said nothing as they walked. He led her past the Senate chambers, up a level, and across a series of walkways to another narrow staircase. They went up for several more levels, until Leia began to lose her breath from the altitude and exertion. Finally, they emerged onto what seemed to be a landing platform, many levels above the main part of the city. There was nothing special about it, except for the sheer drops on three sides... and the fact, Leia realized, that they were above the altitude at which the standard probe droids were able to function. She was alone with Vader. Was it for her protection? For his own? Was he planning to kill her here? Or to defect to the Alliance? To arrest her, or to help her?

She wished she understood him better. Or at all.

He walked to the very edge of the platform, still saying nothing. His cape flew back in the wind. Leia pulled her own cloak more tightly around her shoulders -- it was cold up here. She glanced down and noticed that the platform was made of interlocking squares of metal. Between them, they looked like the end of a chess game, the last piece on either side, moving aimlessly around the board. She wondered who had been checkmated.

Finally, he turned to her. "Your Highness," he said, "you could have a brilliant career in the Empire."

"I don't want a career in the Empire."

He came to her, knelt before her so they were eye to eye, and wrapped his large hands around her upper arms. It wasn't a rough gesture, nor did it seem meant to confine. It was merely a connection, almost a tender one.

The thought crossed her mind that her opponents would have a field day with the image, as it would feed into their perverse fantasies. And she could imagine herself slipping into his arms right now, letting him hold her, wrapping herself inside his overwhelming presence. She thought he wanted her to. But it wasn't what they would make of it. It was a different sort of holding altogether.

"I cannot protect you forever, Leia," he said. "If you place yourself as my enemy, you will be my enemy. Do you know what that means?"

Leia nodded dumbly, not knowing what to do or say.

"It is not what I wish," Vader said. "I ask you to reconsider. If you move through channels, as you have in your relief efforts, you could accomplish a great deal more than you will with your Rebellion."

"What do you want of me? I have reconsidered. Then I reconsidered again. And again. The answer doesn't change." She bit her lip. "I have to do what's right."

She had expected the hands to tighten on her arms, possibly to snap a bone like a twig. Instead, his grip became looser, and one hand came up and cradled her face. His thumb ran lightly across her cheekbone. She felt something both soft and sharp under her finger, and realized that her own hand had risen to his wrist, and was skating along the neat crease of his leather glove. She had never stood so close to him before, so close that she could see, behind the deeply tinted eyeguards, the shadowy suggestions of his eyes.

For an instant, an image came unbidden to her mind -- a young, strong man with blue eyes so stormy and intense that they were only partially offset by his casual grin and easy laughter. Leia knew those eyes from somewhere, knew she could place them if only she had time.

Then he was gone.

Vader let go of her abruptly and stood up. "Of course, Your Highness," he said. "We must all do what we feel is right. I apologize for that... indiscretion."

A bitter wind blew up from below, and stole what little warmth there had been on the platform, tearing it harshly out of the folds of Leia's cloak. The top of an Imperial transport came into view, and its engines drowned out all speech. It landed at the far end, and Governor Tarkin stepped out of it. "Lord Vader," he said without ceremony, "your presence is required on La'azum. The Inferno awaits your arrival. You will leave immediately."

Leia had never directly seen Vader take an order before. He had always seemed perfectly in control of his surroundings. But when Tarkin delivered his instructions, Vader simply nodded curtly, wished her farewell, and left.

Tarkin smiled at her. "You assume far too much of Vader, and give him more credit than he has earned," he said. "He is under my command, not vice versa."

"I'm well aware of Imperial bureaucracy," Leia said, not wanting to let Tarkin know that she'd tacitly assumed Vader operated outside of it. "It's hard to miss a system that manages to combine all the inertia of the Republic with all the brutality of the Empire. But at least it seems to be blessedly inefficient."

"As charming and respectful in midair as you are in the Senate. What a lovely trait." He gestured to his transport. "Come, Your Highness. I'll give you a ride back to your quarters."

Leia realized with dismay that she hadn't been paying close enough attention when Vader brought her here, and it would take some time to find her way back alone. "Thank you," she said. "But I prefer to walk."
15 comments or Leave a comment
sue_parsons From: sue_parsons Date: June 11th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Wonderful illustration....

And the scene you left here as a reminder serves to reinforce for me your standing in the writing community. You were my first hero-author, someone whose excellence I could only aspire to, and you remain as that icon for me.
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: June 11th, 2005 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wonderful illustration....

Same with me. In all fandoms :)
rabidfangurl From: rabidfangurl Date: June 11th, 2005 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's one of my favorite scenes in FH, and the illustration is wonderful. Bravo to the artist.
gehayi From: gehayi Date: June 12th, 2005 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
The scene is gorgeous, and the picture captures both action and mood. I'm enormously pleased for you.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: June 12th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay for original art!
murasaki99 From: murasaki99 Date: June 12th, 2005 01:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Wow, lovely!

Excellent scene! I'm a latecomer to your fanfics, is the entire story still posted anywhere? Oh wait, Undomielle says it's on Vader's Mask, so I can find it there. Woo-hoo! This is just lovely work, both the story and the art.

Not having read the entire tale, it sounds like Leia is aware of their relationship, but things are still proceeding along the canonical pathway. But this POV really fills in some holes so very nicely.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 12th, 2005 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow, lovely!

I'm going to update the version on VM; it's a tiny bit outdated, since it was written between TPM and AotC. And now, we'll have to assume that Padmé woke up in the dome on Naboo and said, "Thanks Mom, Dad... I'm off to Alderaan now. Don't tell anyone I'm alive." Because I'm not taking Leia's memories of her out.
murasaki99 From: murasaki99 Date: June 12th, 2005 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow, lovely!

Should I wait to read it till you update/revise, or can I pile into it now?

And don't get rid of Leia's memories of Padme - I seem to recall that there is an EU story out there where she's alive and well and living with a group of Force-witches who kept her safe during all this time. So if an EU writer can do it, so can you. It really didn't make sense to me in ep. III that Padme just croaked like that. *mutters*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 12th, 2005 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow, lovely!

I updated it as we spoke, so it's all good. :)

Yeah, I didn't think it made sense, either, but I generally try to be more canon compliant than the EU is; in this case, though... just, no. Canon wasn't compliant with canon, and I can't seem to find a good way to kenobi it!
murasaki99 From: murasaki99 Date: June 12th, 2005 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow, lovely!

I can't seem to find a good way to kenobi it!

*Grin* Now that gives me an interesting mental image:

Canon script: I am illogical and parts of me are blatantly out-of-whack!
Fanfic author: *waving hand* You WILL make sense!
CS: I am resistent to your sorceror's ways! HA!
FA: Drat! *Thinks a moment* I have... Microsoft Word(TM)!


I'm well into 'A Father's Heart', part one - love your teenaged Leia!!
murasaki99 From: murasaki99 Date: June 12th, 2005 04:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Gah!! Finished the stories!

I am just blown away by your quad of stories 'Father's Heart'. Just amazing work that feels absolutely canonical. So many good places in your stories, I can't even begin to list them all, although I adored young Leia's joy in her souped-up speeder. Anakin-genes are hard to supress. Her hot anger was true to form, also.

One thing I did notice - Padme has Anakin's blue eyes in that Force-filled dreamscape that Vader and Leia both visit. Is she keeping those elements of Anakin safe - in trust for the future? That would be so very lovely. And I love that the hiding place of those precious elements, both for Leia and Vader, is the old trunk. So perfect.

Another thing that you bring home with these stories is that Vader's life is pain. He doesn't percieve it as such, too often, but it is such a screaming hell that I'd be beating my brains out on the floor were I to swap with him. I know Vader would not welcome pity, and for Leia its not the right emotion anyway. But what Leia needs to learn (and hopefully is), and what Luke embraces in ROTJ, is Compassion - what the Buddhists call lovingkindess - and from that can spring true healing.

Thank you for the wonderful stories!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 12th, 2005 08:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Gah!! Finished the stories!

I'm glad you liked it!

I'm a huge fan of dream sequences. Just love them. They can mean a lot of things. I have my own ideas of what that dreamscape is, but other people have come up with other good interpretations.

And yes... Leia needs to learn compassion for individuals, rather than just massive groups of nameless people. I think by RotJ, she's doing pretty well with it, though it's obvious that she considers Vader outside any possible circle it may encompass.
murasaki99 From: murasaki99 Date: June 12th, 2005 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Gah!! Finished the stories!

And yes... Leia needs to learn compassion for individuals, rather than just massive groups of nameless people. I think by RotJ, she's doing pretty well with it, though it's obvious that she considers Vader outside any possible circle it may encompass.

She is doing better by RotJ, that's for sure, and yet, the REAL test is compassion for the very person she grew to hate. Ah, those Jedi Trials, they do sneak up on you, even when you really don't want them. :-) Some of the later EU authors touch on this, but no one has really explored it in depth, and since Anakin's spirit is still around, Leia could still be working on it. Haven't seen anything in fanfic, either, although I admit I haven't been looking very hard.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 12th, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Gah!! Finished the stories!

I got into it in "The Penitent" (a round robin I worked on) when Leia is the judge in Anakin's trial. She's not wild about it, but they have to interact fairly seriously, and they try to come to terms with things. I also got into it a little bit in "Old Friends, Long Gone" and the AU "Anniversary." I love Leia-Vader. They make me happy, in the most twisted sense of the word.
murasaki99 From: murasaki99 Date: June 12th, 2005 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Gah!! Finished the stories!

Oh, cool, more stories to read! :-) Will check 'em out after I work on my own SW fanfic today. Cmdr. Jir does NOT want to be a Jedi, but thanks to Lord Vader's 'tinkering', he's not got much choice in the matter.

Yes, Leia and Vader make for some very fertile ground for exploration. Luke kind of did a lot of his in one gigantic leap. Leia seems like the sort of person to have to work up to this, although I think she is capable of an 'aha!' moment of enlightenment.
15 comments or Leave a comment