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Title: Still Not Dead
Author: helgaleena (helgaleenas@yahoo.com)
Genre: soliloquy
Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: none of this is mine.

Summary: Obi-Wan is even more on Vader's mind now that he has been killed.

Notes: This is set after Episode IV. I also am grateful for the portrayal of the eternal Vader by Jan Duursema in Legacy volume 11. Beta by Jade Solo.

Warning: Mature themes.

Obi-Wan is dead. That simply means he's become a constant irritant.

The sly old hypocrite had been concealing my son all this time, and has taught him to hate me. He let me kill him deliberately, because he knew his physical body had deteriorated so much that he stood no chance against me. He'd been making ready to translate, with Qui-Gon's help, to the plane of Force spirit, where he can meddle at will.

He has robbed me of my well of hatred. The killing was anticlimactic, and he sullied it further with looks of affection, even as he challenged me. I wanted to tear him to pieces and spatter my black armor with his gore. Instead he left me burning a hole in an empty robe. And now he is in my head.

He is making free of our old bond, the one he steadfastly ignored and blocked for decades. I can't tear out my own brain. I try to block it with freezing Dark, but it keeps melting. I try to char it shut with annoyance, but the leak is enlarged by that.

I have to hide my fledgling pleasure at the contact—for after all I loved him deepest and longest of anyone, back when I had the chance to love—from my present master. Lately when Palpatine-Sidious trips my pleasure centers, to which he has sole access, I am besieged by images from the past not only of his indulgences of me in my youth, but also the times with Obi-Wan. Most vivid are the memories of my red-bearded, aquamarine-eyed partner on campaign with me during the Clone Wars. And sometimes, I don't know how, he brings Padme! Damn him.

Suffice it to say that Sidious is overshadowed. I don't know if he perceives it. Not that I would tell him. But for so long he has known that I had no secrets; perhaps he supposes that I am incapable of keeping them when it comes to pleasure. He knew and approved of the well of rage, and may think that this is dying embers of that same source, transmuting.

I think he hopes that your hiding of my child, my Luke, continues to poison my feelings toward you even past death. And it is true I hate you for it still, Obi-Wan. Like every other aspect of the defunct Jedi Order that you insist on perpetuating in spirit, it was WRONG.

Why did you take the son from his father? Am I supposed to believe that Padme would wish this? Is even our child to be subjected to your twisted ethics of denial?

Obi-Wan, you kept him from me because you wanted to keep him innocent. Ha! Ignorant is more like it. But now you are dead and the Fates will bring us together. I know you try to protect him in the same meddling way that you look in on me. But you can only suggest things to him, not compel him. I will win at that.

I will join my son and our combined power will free us both from the cunning slug whose fašade of benevolence wears ever thinner.

I begin to distrust my Emperor's ignorance of Luke's existence before this. For when I perceive him in the Force, he is unmistakably my son. Did he allow your obfuscation for all these years, Obi-Wan, this hiding him in plain sight under his own surname? And if my Master kept my son from me as well, was it because he knew that the two of us together could supplant him?

In that case it is imperative that I find him and compel him to ally with me. The Force is with me in this. We will meet. The Emperor cannot forbid it.

The old man will simply have to pretend that Luke could be useful to him, just as he pretends at justice, and other things. I have heard that his name is shortened, almost as an endearment, by some citizens, to `Palpy'. To me it sounds even viler than his secret title, Sidious. That at least carries connotations of cunning.

The meaning of the word `palpate' which is conjured up in the mind's eye by that moniker, is to feel something with one's hands. How I long to erase his barbed and slimy mental touch, and then physically crush him into paste with the very same mechanical hands he gave me! Ah, that would be a sweet irony indeed.

The only problem is-- he has begun to clone himself. His understanding of the life sciences is sufficiently weak that he thinks it will grant him unending physical existence, that Sith pipe- dream.

I am grateful that we have never discussed the subject. For one truth I know is that eternal life is in the Force, but not the physical body. In fact, I'm counting on it. My physical existence has been unrelenting agony, interspersed with episodes of discomfort, for far too long.

This brings me back to you, Obi-Wan. Are you expecting me to join you there? Is that why you are harassing me with your insubstantial affections? My work of establishing galactic order is far from

complete. You are annoying me with these nostalgia trips.

But the annoyance is quite enough to power my continued efforts toward perfection in Darkness.

And I am certain that before I join the Force, this Luke, my unknown offspring, will join me, as he is truly my son.

I can feel it in what is left of my bones.

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