Fandom: Star Wars
Characters: Darth Vader
Word Count: 478
Written For: imadra_blue
Prompt: So, what happened in ESB between Leia and Vader when she was tortured? Why did he keep changing his mind and insisting on bringing her with him?
When his troopers informed him the torture device was ready, Vader did not order Princess Leia brought from her cell. He had planned to; he of all men knew exactly how far a man would go to save the woman he loved. He ordered Captain Solo brought, instead, and told himself that his son would surely respond more quickly to a man he had fought side-by-side with than a woman he surely could not see often, given the disparity in their rank. (But how often had he seen Padmé?)
If the smuggler’s suffering did not produce his son quickly enough, the Princess could be used as additional bait. Her suffering had resonated so deeply in the Force on the Death Star; it would be a shining beacon in the darkness. She was beautiful, fierce, intelligent—surely, any young man who knew her would fall in love. Worship her, if only from afar. Lust after her body, her strength, her certainty. (That was wrong. But everything had been wrong for him and in him for as long as he cared to remember.)
He watched the surveillance of her cell. She searched it thoroughly but found nothing—his men knew their business. He ordered her moved to the smuggler’s cell; the two of them seemed to draw strength from one another; that would make their Force signature that much more powerful, easier to find for his half-trained son. She comforted the smuggler as a new lover, assessed escape possibilities with a cool eye, kept her fear in check. (Padmé. Geonosis.)
He’d said she would be free to go once he had captured his son, but she would go straight back to the rebellion. He’d thought to track her to it, but she was too smart. She would not go directly, would check for homing beacons and tracers, make sure she’d lost any pursuers. Eventually she might be recaptured. Tortured for information. Better she not be given the chance to go back. Safer to keep her contained, for the Empire’s sake. (But not even Padmé could challenge the Empire.)
He watched her in the carbon-freezing chamber as her heart broke, lover torn away by the needs of the Empire. Her face stained red by the lights, mining equipment in the background, she looked like (Padmé) an angel in Hell.
This former smuggler, this traitor to his friend, would never be able to contain her here. Even if he truly wished to—and he had made it clear he did not—she was no useless politician to sit wringing her hands under house arrest as so many of her colleagues in the Senate had, and this was no Imperial prison. No. She would escape, by any means necessary, and then she would carry on with her work. He would take her with him when he left. She would not escape him. (Again.)