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Title: A Kiss in the Moonlight...
Author: Iejasu (iejasu@arcor.de)
Characters: Vader, OFC
Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: The Characters etc. belong to George Lucas, this story is written simply for fun, no money is earned by it.... Well, you know...the usual Disclaimer.

Summary: An enchanted evening .... Lord Vader meets a young woman who reminds him of the past... 

Author's Note: I hope you enjoy this mushy bit of short story..... and if you don't, please have patience with me.

He stared at the officials. Their sniveling, their groveling disgusted him to no ending. War was going on outside those shining halls with their glittering chandeliers but those nobles had never soiled their immaculate hands with blood or dirt. He was the one who did those dirty jobs, the boy from a backward planet. He knew they still made an occasional joke that he smelled of Banta. He doubted strongly that they had any idea how a Banta looked like but it had somehow seeped though that he was from the Outer Rim and from poor background. He grinned inwardly. The Emperor himself had probably allowed this information to seep though, just to amuse himself or to honor one of his advisors with was looked like genuine trust. But he knew better, the Emperor trusted none and it was a game for him to plot one of his servants against the other. Divide and Rule, that was the Emperor.

Oh, they feared him. That occasional joke was only meant to tame their fear, to lighten up the stress. They knew they could never say those things to his 'face' but it was fun to murmur them behind his back.

He had to get out of there, the thick air suffocated him, their lies and treachery made him sick to the stomach.

He walked in the shadows, unseen and unheard for he had switched his controls. A few minutes it was possible as long as he was not trying to put too much stress to his system. Suddenly he thought he saw a ghost, a female sitting there on a tiny bench, her arms folded around her legs, weeping softly. She seemed so fragile that he had the impression moonlight would shine though her body. She was beautiful and that white garment added to her appearance of innocence. Who was that beautiful moonchild? What made such a beautiful angel cry? For a second he felt indeed like a clumsy boy. He was not used to females anymore, had not spoken to any for decades. Her long dark hair reminded him of another female he had loved long ago. A lifetime ago.

Alia heard the soft rustling of leaves and wanted to turn around but a voice in the darkness prevented it.

"Please, do not turn around, young girl. It is not my wish to disturb you." He was shocked for a second. His mouth and his brain had found words that sounded like an old memory from the past. He decided to let his heart speak. "I saw your tears, young lady and wondered what had saddened you. It there anything I can do to conciliate your feelings?"

Alia smiled despite her tears. Whoever was standing there in the darkness was someone who spoke like the heroes of old times. Like some powerful Jedi knight who came to rescue her. She sighed at the thought. Nothing could help her.

"Please, Sire, there is nothing you can do. I am a mere toy in the hands of my family and they decided to use me to their advantage." She wondered briefly why she had started to speak in a similar fashion. Perhaps the moonlight and the garden, all this eerie and wondrous surroundings had enchanted them both.

He stepped closer, unsure if it was allowed to touch her. Reluctantly he placed a hand on her shoulder, hoping she would not turn around and she did not. She continued staring into the darkness.

"Who dares to use you in such a defiling manner, Milady."

"My father decided it is time for me to marry. I will be wed to a nobleman. I do not love him and he is old and... and his reputation is very ill." She felt the strangers hand on her shoulder but it was in no way threatening. It felt warm and compassionate.

"Are you not entitled to make your own decisions, Milady?" the voice inquired softly.

She sobbed. "My father will profit from this marriage and it is custom on my homeworld to be obedient to one parents in all respects."

"So you will not defy your fathers wish even though you know it is wrong?"

She nodded and lifted her hand to touch the fingers resting calmly on her shoulder. That stranger wore soft leather gloves. Warmth radiated from them.

"If I do not comply, the fate will fall to my younger sister. She is deeply in love with a young officer while my heart is still free. I cannot allow my sister to be harmed only because I am a coward."

"But still you cry in the darkness like a lonely child. You are not a coward but you are not brave either. Like in all of us the heart of a krayt dragon and the heart of a womprat struggle in your chest. Tell me the name of this nobleman."

"Governor Restaltan...." The fingers on her shoulder flexed for a second and instinctively she held onto his hand as if it was supporting her.

"The Governor is.... indeed a man of very ill reputation, Milady." He stared into the darkness. What made a father sell his daughter to a pervert like Restaltan. He was known to prefer his own sex and gaining pleasure from other peoples pain. He growled inwardly.

"Milady, maybe I can do something in that matter."

She smiled. How could anyone do anything? "No, Sire, or are you a valiant knight in shining armor come to rescue me....." She sighed deeply, holding on to his hand.

He was chuckling inwardly. Armor yes...but shining .... no way. Knight.... yes...but not exactly as she imagined it.

"No, Milady. I am not a valiant knight. Nor am I born in high rank. I was born in bondage." He stated calmly.

Her head leaned against him. "So we are born the same. I am also born chained to my fathers wishes."

She felt his thumb brushing against her cheek, caressing her softly.

"You will prevail, Milady." He whispered.

"Will you stay my knight, Sire?" Alia asked softly.

"I will stay your knight, obliged to do your bidding. Trust in me, Milady." The moonlight was so soft, he felt dreamy as if he was under some kind of spell. A different time, a different place. Here, in this realm of dreams he was not what he was known to be, here he was what he had wanted to be a long time ago. A hero, a savior.

He closed his eyes briefly. What kind of dream was this? He was talking to a beautiful lady, promising her to be her champion. He made a fool of himself. Switch back to reality, oh wonderful dreamer... he cursed inwardly. But the soft skin under his glove and the moonlight on her fair skin made him longing for something he had not felt in a long time. He had lost his dreams, his visions so long ago. Maybe it was time to dream again, if only in the shadows.

Once more he brushed her cheek briefly before vanishing back into the darkness.

Alia sat there, trying to convince herself that it had been a dream. Whoever that was, he had quieted her aching heart and given her strength. His soothing voice had touched her soul and his soft caressing had dismissed her fears. She tried to argue that this man was only a man, and nobody could do what she had asked him for. That he had only tried to shut her up...or that ..... She did not turn around, maybe because she honored his reluctance, maybe she did not want to loose her fantasy and realize that it had been nothing but a dream in the moonlight.

She wandered down to the ball and summoned her strength she had suddenly gained. She was a noble lady and she was strong, her knight would not let her down, even if it had only been a dream... a dream in the moonlight.

Vader sat in his apartment, the imperial guards that had settled down outside his doors were only doing their duty. As a representative of the Emperor it was custom to have Imperial Guards protecting one. Not that he was not able to protect himself...

What a stupid whim he had followed?! Promising help to a girl he did not even know the name of. Was he finally getting soft? No, but....He went to the window, looking outside.

The world had become so hard, so without pity, it ached. So many years of war had turned them to stone. Was there nothing left to honor? No place for dreams or for honor and valor? People cared only for themselves, for their own pitiful needs. He was not any different. He had followed his goal for so many years and what had it gained him? He was still a slave, following the orders of his master. He had lost his wife, his children...and for what? He had lost them for another master, someone who owned him, soul and body. Was it not time to fight for his own freedom, his own peace? Peace.... He looked onto the dark garden outside. He imagined a white unicorn dancing in the moonlight. Innocence. He longed to desperately for his lost innocence. He longed for those quiet evenings sitting outside with Shmi, watching the stars above. Maybe it was too late for him but maybe he could help another soul keeping hers.

Was it the beauty that made him mushy? He argued with himself but then he simply gave in. Was is so damnable to do something unusual just for the sake of somebody else?

The next evening Alia was sitting on her bench again. She had fled from the banquet even before it had started. She knew she was waiting for her knight..... but she was not even sure he existed. Maybe her longing for someone who would simply listen had made her hallucinate.

He walked though the bushes. Nobody had dared to ask when he had retired early. He had climbed down the balcony to avoid the guards. In fact he felt a little giddy, like a boy sneaking out. He had donned his armor for a simple, wide tunic which hid his life support. When he neared the clearing he took off the small breath mask he normally used only in private. He would last long enough without it.

She heard the soft movements of the leaves and knew he was approaching. Again she did not turn.

"Good evening, Milady." He positioned himself behind her and felt her relax against his frame.

"I was not sure you would come, my knight." She lifted her hand and found his taking it softly.

"I felt your need and was summoned." He bent down and brushed her knuckles briefly with his lips. She smelt of apricots and moonlight.

"Will you stay with me for a brief while, Sire." She requested taking in his scent. He smelt strange, like nothing she had ever experienced. He smelt like sand, like sun....a masculine smell. Alia took a deep breath.

"I will stay as long as you wish, Milady." He felt her fingers caressing his own, a soft touch so exquisite it made him shudder. He steadied himself.

"Are you a dream, my knight?" She asked sleepily.

"Yes, I am a dream, long forgotten." He murmured. "Milady, I have called in some favors and made through them your father reconsider. You will not marry that man. Instead you will leave your home for your father cannot loose his face by changing his decision. You will leave as if you go to marry and vanish." He touched a small strand of her long brown hair.

"Where will I go?" She asked.

"Where ever you wish, Milady. Everything will be provided for." The answer was without menace, warm and soft.

"Will I see you there, my knight?"

"Maybe you will see me... in your dreams." He did not believe he would ever bother again with that strange whim after this whole affair was over but a strange longing made him give in.

"I should give you something...." she murmured. Strange, she thought, I should be happy, I should ...but all I feel is the pain of him leaving me. Her heart ached strangely.

"Grant me a kiss, Milady." He asked, bending down softly.

Alia closed her eyes and bent backwards into his arms. She felt him supporting her with powerful arms. His lips met hers softly, brushing briefly before settling into a kiss. The tenderness of his lips made her moan and she opened her mouth on his kiss. Her arms embraced him and she touched the base of his neck, felt a deep scar but she did not flinch. He was her knight. His kiss intensified. She felt her heart aching and her senses swoon as their tongues touched briefly, caressing each other in a very delicate way.

Then suddenly everything was over. She was alone in the dark, the kiss still lingering on her lips. He had left her.


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