A Ghostly Visit
by Rose Aislin
Summary: 5 year old Luke Skywalker is convinced there's a ghost in his room, and he needs Daddy Vader to come chase it away with his 'red glowy stick thing'.
Rating: PG / T
Disclaimer: Star Wars, it's characters and plotline belongs to George Lucas, and I'm pretty sure whoever else helped make the films may have some claim as well. I don't.
This fic is written entirely for entertainment purposes. No money has, is, or will be gained from this fic.
Author's Note: yet another Luke is living with Vader ficlet. He's quite a bit younger in this one, but, well, the plot bunny bit, so I wrote.
Five year old Luke Skywalker stared nervously into the darkened corner of his room. It was night, it was dark, and the small TIE fighter nightlight cast eerie shadows around his room. Huddled in the center of his bed, blankets pulled up tightly around him, Luke frowned slightly at the corner. That corner. The darkest corner in his room.
He was sure that he had seen a flicker, of, well, something, over there.
Hunching down even further in his blankets, Luke continued to stare, willing his eyes not to blink, in case it came again.
He was half-dreading, half-hoping his father would come along. Dreading it because then he might get another lecture about going to sleep when he was sent to bed, and hoping because he wasn't quite sure what that flicker had been, or whether he would be able to deal with it himself.
Luke gulped nervously.
And he continued to stare.
There! There it was again!
Luke shivered, scrunching himself even further into a ball under his blankets, until only his eyes and a slight tuft of hair were poking out, staring at that corner.
It flickered once more. It was blue.
Biting his lip, Luke reaching out blindly with one hand, groping for the stuffed TIE fighter his father had given him. (The only officer to ever see Luke's room had chuckled softly, and said something under his breath about Vader not trying to determine his son's priorities, not at all. Luke had frowned, wondering what was so funny about his room. Just 'cos he had the TIE fighter nightlight, and bed covers, and pillow case, and soft toy, and desk lamp... ok, so he had a lot of TIE fighters in his room, but that was because he was going to be a TIE fighter pilot, just like his father!).
The... whatever it was, was getting bigger. And flickering less. Now it was just a steady, slightly pulsing blue light. Growing and stretching, up and out.
Hugging his TIE fighter to his chest and curling himself around it, Luke dared to cast one quick, breathless glance towards his door. But there was no heavy breathing. No echo of heavy footsteps. No tickling on the edge of his senses to warn him that his father was getting closer.
And the blue thing was getting bigger.
It was starting to take shape now, forming into something that Luke could almost see. His breath caught in his throat and held. Stuck there as he stared anxiously into the corner.
Tall and blue, the thing was now. Tall and blue, with... hands! And robes, and a beard! A face! Luke scrunched down so far he was sure he was going to squish the stuffing out of his TIE fighter.
Hello Luke, the thing said.
Gasping, Luke shot straight upright in bed. It was a ghost! There was a ghost in his bedroom. Scrambling hastily for the edge of the bed, Luke leapt out of it, clutching his TIE fighter in one hand, the other hand creeping towards his mouth, before reaching out to hit the door release as he dashed over to it.
The door slid open with that almost silent swish it had, and, casting one last fearful look over his shoulder, Luke fled the room, door swishing shut behind him.
But doors wouldn't keep the ghost away, Luke knew. It was a ghost, and ghosts could move through things. Hadn't it just appeared in his room?
Racing down the corridor, Luke could feel his heart pounding painfully in his chest, even as he reached out how, he didn't know, he just did it, to try and find his father. There! Turning so fast that he almost tripped over, Luke took off down another corridor, bare feet slapping against the cold metal underneath him.
Up ahead, the lift doors opened, and the large, black figure that was his father stepped out. Sobbing slightly in relief, Luke flung himself upon him, both legs and one arm wrapping around the large black torso. The other arm still desperately clutching his TIE fighter.
Lieutenant Piett (the officer that had seen Luke's room), prudently stepped back into the lift, pressing a button to take it down again, but Luke didn't even spare him a glance, burying his face into a fold of his father's black cape.
Vader stared down at him.
Luke could feel slight shock coming from his father, but he hadn't removed Luke from his precarious perch yet, and that was all that mattered.
Luke? Vader finally asked.
Luke merely gulped in air, pressing even further against his father's chest.
Luke? Vader tried again. There was no reply from the limpet that had attached itself to him. This is hardly... Vader trailed off, staring down at his son, and seeming somehow to sense that Luke was beyond reasoning with. He sighed. I am a Dark Lord of the Sith, he said, I cannot go carrying you around Luke.
Luke released another, near silent sob, his fist clenching into the folds of Vader's cape where he clung to him.
Reaching up, Vader attempted to gently pry Luke from him. Large, black-gloved hands wrapped around Luke's waist, pulling at him softly.
Luke's legs seemed to impossibly tighten around him, his fist refusing to let go of the bit of cape he held.
Luke, Vader warned.
Large, damp, frightened blue eyes peered up at him from under eyelashes still trembling with tears. Vader heaved another sigh.
Be thankful there is no one around, he said, before pressing Luke back against his chest and striding down the corridor. The young boy seemed to melt against his chest at that, going limp with relief, trusting his father not to let him fall.
Vader would later deny to himself that something painful had clenched in his non-existent heart at that moment.
It was as Vader turned into the corridor containing their quarters, that he noticed Luke's relief had turned into something else. A kind of watchful wariness. He frowned.
Luke? he asked.
Bright blue eyes gazed up at him, even as Vader attempted to smooth down the ruffled clumps of blonde hair (it was not an attempt to calm the boy, Vader assured himself, but, as his son, he couldn't have Luke running around looking scruffy).
There's a ghost in my room, Luke whispered.
Vader paused midstride, staring down at him. Luke's eyes were big and bright and solemn. Vader blinked behind his mask.
A ghost? he repeated.
Luke nodded vigorously, before he glanced around them nervously.
Vader frowned. What are you looking for? he asked.
Luke turned back to look up at him with his unnerving gaze. The ghost, he replied. They can move through walls... his voice trailed off as he glanced around fearfully once more.
Vader struggled to keep back a snort. There were no such things as ghosts. However, the boy was obviously very scared, and, as he had already found, did not always believe in Vader's logic, so reasoning with him was out of the question.
Luke's bright eyes narrowed slightly, as if he somehow sensed that hidden mirth.
You have nothing to fear from a ghost, Vader replied, starting to continue on down the corridor. I am much scarier than a ghost.
No you're not! Luke exclaimed, staring up at him, earnestly this time, you're my father! Vader's steps faltered once more. Those words meant nothing! He fiercely told himself. It did not matter that this boy, his son, was not afraid of him. It meant nothing!
They reached Luke's bedroom door. The legs and arm around wrapped around Vader tightened once more.
Get down Luke, Vader said after a moment of ineffectual pulling, his patience starting to wear thin.
I can't, Luke said earnestly, if I do, the ghost might get me. But if I'm with you, then it can't!
Oh? Vader asked mildly, and why is that?
Because you will protect me, Luke replied solemnly, that's why I went to find you, he ignored the fact that he had fled from his room in a near panic he was a big boy of five now, and big boys of five did not do such things. I knew that you could defeat it with your red glowing stick thingy.
Vader stared down at his son, forgetting for a moment the fact that Luke was still clinging to him in his shock at what the boy had called his lightsaber.
It's called a lightsaber, he informed him sternly.
Luke nodded eagerly.
Yes, that, he said. You can defeat the ghost with it.
Vader saw an opening. Not with you hanging off me, I can't, he replied, How would I get it off my belt? he ignored the fact that he could use the Force, and how would I swing it properly with you in the way?
Luke frowned, brow furrowing as he nervously gave this new predicament some thought, before his little legs finally released Vader, swinging down below him, even as he let go of his grip on his father's cape, allowing himself to slide down to the floor, TIE fighter still clutched tightly in one arm.
His free hand snaked out lightning fast to grasp onto Vader's cape once more, pulling one edge of it towards him where he stood pressed up against his father's side.
Vader sighed. Still, at least he was no longer carrying the boy around. Reaching up, he pressed the door release. The door slid open.
Your glowing stick! Luke hissed frantically.
Vader glanced down once more, before dismissing the idea of correcting his son again. He pulled the lightsaber off his belt, igniting it. The red blade snapped into place with a satisfying hum.
Vader stepped into the bedroom. He gazed impassively around it. It was empty. He disengaged the saber, clipping it back onto his belt.
See? No ghosts, he said, turning back towards Luke and almost tripping over the boy who had somehow managed to stay pressed to his side. Ignoring the slight irritation this caused, he moved towards the bed.
It was here, Luke said, still clutching his father's cape in one hand and his TIE fighter in the other. It just appeared, over in that corner there, he gestured ever so slightly with the TIE fighter. All blue and glowy it was a ghost!
Get into bed, Vader instructed, there is nothing there.
Luke shuffled slightly, moving from one foot to the next.
Vader frowned. Bed, he said.
Wide blue eyes stared up at him, white teeth catching on a bottom lip. Vader sighed once more. Large black-gloved hands reached out, plucking up his son and placing him onto the bed. Luke clung onto them.
Don't go, he whispered.
Vader glanced across at the doorway, then back down at his son. He was merely saving time and effort, he assured himself, if he didn't do this now, then Luke would come running back out later.
Go to sleep, he instructed, moving to sit on the edge of the bed.
A flash of relief and a bright smile slipped over Luke's face as he climbed back under the covers, shifting so he was pressed up against Vader's side, the TIE fighter still clutched in one arm.
Vader smoothed his hair once more. Neatening it, he told himself firmly.
Luke's eyes began to slide shut.
There is no ghost, Vader repeated, nothing to be afraid of, go to sleep.
'M not afraid, Luke mumbled, you're here now.
Vader's hand paused in it's neatening motions, before giving one last quick pat to the boy's head. Luke snuggled against his father's side, breath evening out into sleep.
Vader stared down at him for another moment before standing swiftly and striding out of the room.
Over in the corner of the room, unseen once more, Luke's ghost smiled slightly to himself. Perhaps there was still hope for his padawan, he thought.