Just A Moment Rating: PG
Diana

Luke's mind had become blind, a whirl of Force wind tore through him!

That ... thing! ... Vader! He had threatened Luke's friends. He was threatening Luke's sister!

Just a moment ago, Luke had felt confidence about the monster called Darth Vader. He had been Anakin Skywalker, Luke's biological sire. Luke had done as Obi-wan had taught him, and used his feelings to reach out to the man behind the black mask.

He had felt ... love. He was sure of it!

But now Luke feared he'd been mistaken, and that his feelings were not to be trusted. Could it be that Obi-wan had not been wrong about Vader? Luke's old master had warned him that his feelings could be used against him.

Why hadn't I listened? The question formed a howl in Luke's sinking, disappointed mind. How could I have hoped Vader had good in him? How? Stupid! How??

He saw flashes in front of his eyes as he hacked and chopped at the man who had been his father, though it wasn't registering fully what Luke was doing. The dark side of the Force flowed into him and Luke felt imbued with a power he hadn't felt before. It was so strong that Luke actually felt detached from his surroundings.

Just a moment ago, he was bent on saving this creature. Now he had to kill it! The monster knew about his sister! If Luke didn't kill Vader, none of his friends would be safe ...

Luke must have tripped on something. Or perhaps the Emperor had knocked him unconscious. For he suddenly came awake, his head buzzing and screaming with pain.

And he was on the floor, looking up at a lightsabre blade.

This is the end ...

The glowing red weapon raised up ...

And started its downward path, screaming in that particular way ...

And stopped!

Luke saw a flash of blue light, and suddenly Vader's red blade was turned back.

Had he done that?

No ... his own lightsabre was still in his clenched fist, pinned to the floor.

My blade is green, he remembered. He'd built this lightsabre on Tatooine; he'd found the instructions in Obi-wan's abandoned house on the edge of the Dune Sea. He'd also found the crystals he'd needed. He was surprised that they had not produced a blue blade, like his father's lightsabre ... the one he'd lost on Bespin. Back when Vader had cut off his hand ...

Luke knew only of the existance of four lightsabres. Other than Obi-wan's, the only blue one he knew of was his father's.

He became conscious of the distinctive smell of ignited, clashing lightsabres. The intense energy of the blade created a plasma of the air surrounding it; that was the real source of the light and heat of the blade. The blade itself had no heat or light.

Luke lay, looking up, mesmerized by the almost rhythmic hum and blur of the clashing lightsabres. One red, one blue.

The red one is Vader's. The blue one is my father's.

Luke's brain jolted him, straining to understand all at once the significance of what he was witnessing.

He forced his eyes to track up the pommel of the blue blade. He saw a black-gloved hand and a flesh and blood hand, together loosely gripping the high-energy weapon. His breath caught as he realized the speed and skill required for the blade to move so fast and with such purpose. The man weilding the blade was dancing.

Yes ... dancing. Obi-wan had said it was an elegant weapon. This is what he meant!

The man dancing and fighting with the archaic weapon was so in tune with the Force that it was pulsing and throbbing audibly and sensually, barraging Luke with it's rhythm. Waves of the Force broke and rolled over Luke, soaking him in an intensity he couldn't believe could exist.

In contrast, Vader could only clumsily block his opponent. The cyborg could not keep up with his younger self.

Why did I just think that? Luke's thoughts were making no sense.

At least, not in realspace, not in realtime.

But what if time could fold?

Could it be possible to run into yourself at a different point in your life?

Luke's father fighting Luke's father!

Obi-wan was wrong. The good man who was Anakin Skywalker had not died when Darth Vader consumed him. The good man who had been Anakin was left behind in time; he still existed — trapped — for all time in the past.

Luke's presence in the Force had compelled this wrinkle in time. And given this glimpse into his own future, Anakin had the motivation to cross the normal barriers imposed by space-time to arrive at this exact moment to save his son.

And perhaps to save himself.

His mind reeling, Luke stood up. He looked down at Vader, who was now wheezing and lying on the ground, his hand severed.

He looked at his own hand.

Time slowed, impacted as it was on itself at this very moment.

Luke looked up at Anakin, who was facing him closely ... directly. There were so many questions ... but Luke couldn't organize his thoughts. The son felt himself looking into what looked like his own eyes, mounted on his father's face.

In the same moment, Luke felt something emanating from his father. They weren't really questions, which was just as well. Nothing could be answered, even if the questions could be asked.

It was the love, undiluted. It was what Luke had felt from Vader before, even though that other feeling was merely a shadow of what he felt from Anakin, now.

His feelings had been right.

Luke watched as his father stepped back, but not taking his eyes from his son's. Anakin placed his feet where Vader's feet were splayed on the platform, then lowered himself down onto the cyborg shell beneath him.

Luke was not surprised to see his father's now ghostly form disappear into Vader's suit.

He understood that Anakin had made the decision to stay ... he'd come to live in a broken body, in that horrific iron lung which was the exoskeleton of Darth Vader.

Luke's father had returned.

Anakin Skywalker had left the past to save his son.

Standing upright and straight, Luke raised his eyes to the Emperor.

"You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father." Without hesitation, he tossed aside his green-bladed lightsabre.

I built it myself ... I built it to model after my Master's. YOU are not my Master! Luke's chin was set, defying the evil Sith lord who had imprisoned his father all these years.

Luke felt it, and he knew: at last, he was a Jedi Knight, as Yoda had promised. He had faced Vader ... and had found his father.

He allowed the feeling of success and satisfaction to flow into him — just a moment before the Force lightning hit him!


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