Imagine “Star Wars” special edition: Jane Eyre.
Imagine you just left a school for girls in Coruscant as a governess. You are then hired by Mr Vader to teach his twins, Leia and Luke. What happens next? Part I.
Warnings: well the warnings are going to the next part; why am I always unable to finish these special editions? Lol.
Warnings 2: for alternative universe’s purposes, Padmé isn’t alive.
Recommendations: “Whole World is Watching” by Within Temptation; “Demons” by Imagine Dragons.
The perspective of ending the school is a reality, no longer a dream. But it also brings the terrifying possibility of going back to your aunt’s household, something far more fearful than the previous years spent at the school for girls. The memories of emotional abuse are like wounds that though no longer bleed are disguised as scars to remind they eventually hurt you.
Through the years of study, you found comfort in books and mastering the arts of sewing and painting, besides others. You are, despite your troublesome early years where you offered resistance to be disciplined, the brightest of your class.
For this reason, you anticipate yourself and send your designates elsewhere. But an answer comes earlier than expected: here’s the letter.
Dear Miss Y/LN,
It is most fortunate and appropriated that your designate has come to our hands. We are delighted to inform you thus that, in this capacity, your services have been accepted. We expect you in this address *** on the day *** before twilight. It is imperative you don’t get here past 6 in the afternoon.
There are no names. Nothing indicating who is employing you. You read and re-read. Perhaps you have missed some detail?
None. All you need to know is there. Nonetheless, you decide you are starting there anyway. What do you have to lose?
Saying goodbye from your friends and the younger girls prove harder than you thought.
“Goodbye, Miss Y/N!” The little ones wave at you and you hope nothing is giving away your emotional state.
“Goodbye, goodbye! Never forget your lessons!” You wave them back as you get in a carriage that is destined to take you until a certain point. Once you do, you don’t look back. Otherwise the good memories would hurt you more than you liked.
As the carriages drives you far from the school where you’ve finished the studies and started to assist the professors in their subjects once you’ve reached 18, you feel relief from your chest for the new horizons ahead of you. That you will not be forced by circumstances to go back to the aunt and daily remembered how unwanted you are in the environment, is something. You don’t care about the identity of your superiors if they pay you well.
Dressed in a blue gown with a white veil that covers your y/c locks tied in a long elaborated braid, you are the epithet of purity—even though from ten to thirteen you were seen as the child of the devil or, worse, the brood of the Sith. Every now and then the good there is in you is left haunted by the torment of your infancy. It makes you shiver now as you glance at the window.
After what had been three or four hours, you arrive close to the destination. The driver tells you that he cannot—in fact, will not—-transport you to the dark residence behind a forest because, frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
He does not say those words, of course, but you hear them in his thoughts even though they differ from what was spoken from his mouth.
“Thank you, sir.”
You take your luggage and leave him behind. You are not frightened by the gloomy place you find. It does, however, make tremble your self confidence—or the little of it you have. It makes you hesitate, but what’s there to fear? Quoting the madre superior of the school you come from, “fear leads to hatred and hatred leads to suffering.”
You take a deep breath and carry on. The luggage is heavy and it delays you to your destination. You look up, praying the skies do not let a heavy rain to pour over you. It does look like your prayers are heard because you eventually reach the dark manor and the second you ring the bell, a storm is heard.
When it opens, you are surprised by an older lady named H/N. It’s she who welcomes you, rather warmer than you expected.
“Are you miss Y/N?”
“Yes.” You answer. “Is this the household where I am expected to perform my duties of governess?”
“Indeed!” The older lady exclaims happily. “Please step inside, Miss Y/N! It’s cold and how lucky you are for arriving here before the rain! Winter is always unpredictable in Coruscant.”
“It is, isn’t it?” You agree, following inside.
“I pray the journey wasn’t troublesome for you.” Mrs H/N tells you as she asks a servant to get your luggage and take right to your bedroom. You are about to protest, but Mrs H/N is not hearing it. “You are tired, don’t worry about it. Come, come. Let me present you this manor to you. A long time ago, this was the household of the former, hm, Chancellor of the Republic. Your boss purchased it after the rise of the Empire. His children, after his wife died in birth, are often here.”
Seeing the unspoken question in your eyes—because the household is too quiet and you’ve been waiting to find a mess everywhere when it’s clean and noises when it’s tranquil—she adds:
“They tend to stay with their uncle and aunt in different moments of their lives, they had been raised separately but now their father got them reunited.” She seems to speak fast to this point as if there’s some secrecy she doesn’t want to share it with you. “But you don’t need to concern yourself with these insignificant details. You are here to teach the following topics…”
And she lists the subjects you are expected to teach, assuring you, once she shows you the room where you ought to stay from now on, that all your needs shall be provided by the boss whose name you notice she doesn’t tell you.
“Are there any questions?” You are asked.
“As a matter of a fact, yes.” You see her face falls because, you suppose, she was expecting to have none. To easy things for her, you short the questions you had in mind to only one. “When am I expected to start?”
Her face lights up again.
“Tomorrow, my dear.”
“Daddy, I don’t like your mask. It’s scary.” Leia pouts. “Luke, tell him what you told me. He likes you better.”
“Why, my daughter, would you say such a thing? It hurts your daddy to hear you saying lies.”
“Because when he says the same things I am saying, you actually listen.”
He doesn’t answer until he parks the ship at the backyard of the black manor. It’s when he removes the mask, much to Leia’s relief. Vader carefully turns to his twins, the only ones he’s soft with. As he places Leia in his lap, he says:
“I must use this mask because I work for the emperor. It’s only for that, I promise you.” Vader places tons of kisses all over Leia’s chubby face which makes her giggle. The sound of her light heart makes him beam. “Now, now. Are you happier?”
“Yes, daddy. I love you.” She throws her arms around his neck.
“I love you more.” Vader says, smiling at her.
“No, daddy. It is I who loves you more.” She says before he begins to tickle her.
“No, young lady. As your father, I am the only one who loves you. Besides your brother, of course.”
“I don’t love Leia. She’s boring.” He pulls a face.
Vader raises an eyebrow at his son, struggling not to show any sign of amusement.
“That is not what you should tell your sister. Apologize, Luke.”
“You don’t apologize when someone says you are wrong.”
Great. A great example I’m giving my children. He sighs.
“What I do at work is not open for negotiations, young man. Apologize now, Luke, or you’ll be grounded for a week.”
Leia shows her tongue out, believing her father would not see. She’s mistaken.
“Do you want to be grounded too, Leia?”
She bats her eyelashes innocently.
“I never did any wrong, papa.”
“Fine.” Luke sighs rather dramatically like a seven year old boy would. “Sorry, Leia.”
“Now you two hug.” Vader demands, his serious voice betraying the amusement in it.
They make funny faces but eventually comply to their father’s commands. Finally, they leave the ship.
“See? I told you daddy has good inside him.” Vader listens as Luke and Leia run inside home. He shakes his head. Children.
Once inside the dark manor, he asks for Mrs H/N. She greets him warmly as she often does, informing him about your arrival.
“Good, good.” He is wearing his dark hood again to omit his features. “You know the rules.”
But as he is about to head to his own quarters, he spots you at the dining room, concentrated as you have your soup. Vader is surprised to sense the Force in you, a girl who is younger than him and possesses delicate features. Could he consider you handsome, though? No more than Padmé ever was.
As if you sense his gaze, you turn your attention to his direction, but Vader is gone.
It’s eight in the morning. Vader is in his quarters when he hears the children making a fuss as they usually do when they have their breakfast. He smirks to himself when listening to Luke and Leia argue again.
“I bet you are sending the lady away.”
“Why’d you say that? That’s rude. I’ll tell daddy you are being mean to me again. Or I could punch your face, Luke. Your choice.”
Before Luke answers, there comes the voice of Mrs H/N stopping the fight and telling Leia she should stop acting rudely to her brother. Silence comes again, with Vader presuming they are now having the breakfast.
But he now concentrates in you. The strange one, the new member of the household. Vader closes his eyes and concentrates. He dives in your thoughts and sees your childhood: an orphan who is under constant abuses by your aunt.
He watches as you, as a toddler, develops the Force and how it scares your aunt and your cousins. How you are locked in the dark room, how you cried, begging to leave—promising to behave, promising to do anything to go back to your quarters. Then you are ten and instead of being sent to the Jedi Order, you go to a school for girls where your angst and hate are out of control. It takes three years before you finally begin to control the Force thanks to a friend you make. This friend called Helen has a fragile health—she comes to die before she reaches her fifteenth year.
Vader is quick to leave your thoughts, feeling profoundly disturbed by what he saw: misery, unhappiness, hate. Stages of life that are familiar to him, although since he learnt his children are safe and well, Vader seems to go back to his old self little by little.
Nonetheless, he’s still a Sith Lord. Where you succeeded in remaining good, he did not. He’s impressed by you and somewhat eager to get to know you.
But I have no rush. All will be in due time.
So he waits.
“Miss Leia, this is not how you play the piano.” You tell the precocious child to whom your services were required. Leia is very sweet and possesses a gentle heart and a quick wit, though her tongue may be sharp at times. She seems for some reason to bond with you faster than Luke does.
Though the boy likes you too, he is at defensive initially. You suppose this behavior is due to the early loss of their mother, a topic that only comes to your knowledge because of Mrs H/N. Based on your personal sense of loss, you are the least to judge the children for their behavior. However, as the days seem to pass, you and the twins begin to have a better understanding of each other and they aren’t as difficult as they might liked to show at first.
So here you are. Two weeks later and you are teaching Leia piano all the whilst you pass lessons of geometry to Luke.
“You are confusing the notes.” You speak gently. “Let me show you how it’s done.”
Leia looks up at you in awe. In fact, she seems to be paying more attention to your elaborated hair than in her lessons.
“Miss Y/N, can you make this similar hair style to my hair, please?”
You raise an eyebrow at her.
“Leia, sweetheart, you are not paying attention.”
“I’m sorry, Miss Y/N. But may you, please? I love your hair!”
You giggle softly at her. She is such a sweet girl. Could you refuse her anything at all?
“I will. Now come on, and do it yourself.”
You would learn that day that the twins would stay with you for the rest of the winter—all the while their father is going be off for work. So far you know very little about the man, and there are nights you wonder who must he be.
Strangely enough you sense he sought after your thoughts, a feeling that makes you uncomfortable at first. But at the same time it intrigues you.
You remember one night you had an unusual dream. You are dressed in a long white nightgown and a light seems to involve your frame when this tall man involved in darkness comes at you. He wears a very odd mask to cover his features.
He lifts his hand and you notice it’s gloved. He touches your face and you lean into it.
“You are too pure to be here, Y/N. You know it. Shouldn’t you consider leaving it?”
“No.” You answer him calmly and patiently. “I came to stay.”
And then you wake up, frustrated for the abrupt end this dream comes to. Despite of the effect it has in you, for the rest of the winter it is buried in the depths of your mind.
What you don’t know is that right as the next year starts, he is home. He arrives without any announcement and when he steps discreetly inside the manor, there is music being played and a merry scenario that he finds.
You are teaching Leia how to dance all the whilst Luke plays the lute, proudly so—after difficult lessons, he surprises you by showing a great skill in playing this ancient instrument. Your hair is loose this day because Leia is still impressed by the color of your locks and how long they are!
“Now, one, two steps to the right.” You are saying, unaware of a particular witness in the shadows. “One, two steps to the left. Don’t forget to clap your hands like this and twirl. Excellent, Leia! So gracious!”
You beam and run to take her to your lap, holding her close to you as she spins around. You put her down and press a kiss on top of her head. She beams at you too. In the past months you’ve grown attached to her—and she to you. As well as with Luke, who comes to you seeking your approval as well. And you gladly commend him for his abilities.
But every smile dies when the servants notice the presence of the master of the house and it’s when for the first time you see the man in the black hood.
“Daddy!” Leia and Luke yell merrily at their father as they run at him, leaving you behind.
You barely blink. Though you can’t see his face, you know his eyes are on you, diverting only to his children. Mrs H/N is quick to send you away and you are about to do that, though you do wonder what’s with him that you must keep your distance.
You are about to move upstairs when the children ask their dad to let you to have dinner with them. That day, Vader is particularly interested to get to know you too.
So to a general surprise he is kind when addressing you:
“Why, yes. Why is Miss Y/N heading to her quarters so soon? Come and join us for dinner.”
“Daddy, why don’t you show yourself to Miss Y/N? She is good and trustworthy”, Leia tells him. “She keeps secrets.”
Vader raises an eyebrow at her.
You find wise to gently interfere.
“If I may speak so, sir, our little lady here hasn’t told me anything relevant in case you are concerned.”
It does feel weird that when looking at him, you sense you are staring into a ghost. And the phantom is looking back at you. Vader leads the cup to his lips where he savors the wine. For now, the children do the talk.
“She taught me the gifts of the music, dad! I played the lute today.” Luke then turns at you almost apologetically. “Sorry, Miss Y/N, but nothing will be better than droids and ships.”
He watches as you giggle. He studies your sentiments, finding genuine tenderness and affection for the twins. Nothing goes unnoticed by Mr Vader, whose eyes see right through you. The attachment you form with his children move his heart—should he be preoccupied with it? Rarely has he been a man who is carried away with good sentiments, an effect only Leia and Luke manage successfully.
After Padmé died and upon the fall of the Republic, with the advent of the Empire Mr Vader has been occupied with other matters—which often brought him to destruction, wars to wage and planets to conquer. When, however, an encounter with Obi-Wan sensibilized him not only to facts, but to the children that were found alive, a change to balance started to operate.
Such are in his thoughts. He sees the light in you and it intrigues. But he’s briefly diverted from his chaotic self when the twins are going to bed. Leia and Luke kiss their dad goodnight. It is only after the fireplace has fire again and he is alone with you that he talks.
“So my children seem to have taken a great fondness of you, Miss Y/N.”
He sees the tension weight upon your shoulders. The idea that you fear him entertains him. Mr Vader inclines against the chair, eyeing you. You avoid his gaze, unable to look at the extreme opposite of the table. It’s when you look at your hands that he seems to notice your hair, how carefully braided in a different style it is.
The same one that I saw in Leia’s hair.
“I am mostly pleased to see they do, my lord. Of my part, I… I am very attached to them.”
“It’s not something you were expecting, given your inexperience.” He observed quietly, taking the glass filled with red liquid to his lips once again. The man savors the sweet taste the alcohol provides him and he appreciates it. It relaxes him.
“Pardon?” The subtle frown makes him smirk.
“You were looking for some escape and that is how you came over. This is your first job.” Mr Vader observes calmly. “It looks to me you are like these mythical creatures whose kindness make them a rarity these days.”
“Your logic confuses me, sir.”
You raise your face, trying to capture the identity of this man. Mr Vader contemplates the disorientation he inflicts upon you.
“Usually, someone in your position would be greedy for more. Whether gold or other acquisition is free for your imagination to suppose.” So he says. “Yet, you look like an elf. A mythical, divine even being that once populates the minds of children above the galaxy. I don’t believe that in some planets an elf is evil, no. I tend to see it like I see an angel. Your purity is what makes you transcend from one to another.”
Mr Vader smirks when watching the whole process of your blush. Whilst running from his intense gazes, your ingenuity prevents you to read the malice in his words. He is resting you, to see how good you actually are—but he is not lying when he compares you to divine creatures that only another individual earned the analogy.
“All I want to do is my job.” But something emboldens you when you say: “Yet I must ask: who are you, sir? What is the purpose of omitting your identity from me?”
“I am not a good man, Miss Y/N. You’ll see for yourself in due time.” He makes a pause as if the information he gives you will prompt to some dramatic reaction.
However, he is surprised by the serenity in your posture.
“I am not leaving anywhere, sir. I came to stay.”
(To be continue)