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Star Wars: Opals and Rags (Leia Organa)

Written for halfamoon: 14 Days of Celebrating Women.

Title: Opals and Rags
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Star Wars
Characters: Leia Organa, Padmé
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: And there's a turbulent moon-ridden girl or old woman, or both.
Notes: Takes place before Episode IV

LUKE: Leia...do you remember your mother? Your real mother?
LEIA: Just a little bit. She died when I was very young.
LUKE: What do you remember?
LEIA: Just images, really. Feelings.
LUKE: Tell me.
LEIA: She was very beautiful. Kind, but sad.

Leia's earliest memory was one of indefinable sorrow, of concealed dread and dawning disappointment.

Her next memory fell years later, as far as she could assess, Bail Organa's smiling face as he placed some trinket in her hand. This was the story she told to people, if ever the subject came up. But lying beneath it, like a discordant melody, was that sense of loss. She had no images to accompany it, no voices or textures, but she knew it was a whisper of her mother's mind, just before she died.

Leia never told Bail and Breha of this, but the first time she found an image of Padmé, as Queen Amidala, a wave of understanding swept into Leia's mind. She looked into the holographic face, watched it for half an hour, memorizing the curve of her cheek and the turn of her mouth. When Winter found her, Leia was mimicking the hologram's stance, her wrist arched in echoing grace.

In the shadow of the Empire, however, there wasn't time to dwell on the past. Leia gathered fragments of her mother, much of it accidentally, as she studied the Emperor's past and home planet. They spent endless hours debating how the feuding natives of Naboo might have influenced Palpatine's strategies, how the stratification of its politics had taught him to hide daggers from view.

And always, always, there was Amidala, her slim form at the center of the Galactic Senate, calling for the removal of Chancellor Valorum, little knowing who would follow in his place. Leia watched the vid until it flickered, then she put it away, never watched it again.

Breha had only met Amidala once, at a rare treaty negotiation. She described her as dignified, with a sweet smile kept hidden. Leia didn't ask what she had said, or how she voted. She had heard a dozen stories like it, and she couldn't help but calculate the innumerable possibilities, and the irreparable mistakes.

Leia never blamed her, and never judged. She only wished she could know her mother outside of history.

And sometimes, when she fell asleep, the sadness came to her again. Leia walked circles round in her dreams, but never heard her mother's voice.


A/N: Title and summary adapted from Denise Levertov's In Mind. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

Linked on halfamoon.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 3rd, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
Oh, I liked this. Poor Leia.
Feb. 13th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
Thanks! And, yes.
Feb. 3rd, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
This is really wonderful. You write so elegantly, and - with just a few, clever phrases - bridge the gap that usually puts authors firmly into one camp or the other, prequel trilogy or the original. Best of all, Leia is a living, breathing, vibrant presence. She misses someone she was never able to meet, and she fills her heart with ghosts. It's like seeing a whole palace of new possibilities being built into her character, I love it.
Feb. 13th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
*blush* Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Feb. 3rd, 2008 05:27 am (UTC)
Oh, wow/i>. This is absolutely gorgeous. Never knowing her and yet always knowing how much was lost. Just, wow.

*is rendered speechless in awe*
Feb. 13th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 13th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Feb. 3rd, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
Ouch. Just ouch. It's been ages since I was a Star Wars fan, but this reminds me of the fact that I adored Leia. And your writing is almost powerful enough to make me like Padmé, even though she's from the prequels. :) Very nicely done!
Feb. 13th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Feb. 3rd, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
:( :( :( :( :( !!!!!!!!!!!!!

How heartwrenching! and also: wonderful, most wonderful. I very much enjoyed this one!!
Feb. 13th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
I concur with your sadness! And also, thank you!
Feb. 3rd, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Leia never told Bail and Breha of this, but the first time she found an image of Padmé, as Queen Amidala, a wave of understanding swept into Leia's mind.

This especially rang true for me. Having an early childhood memory of trauma/loss revealed by a prompt of some sort, with that" wave of understanding." That is it, exactly.

The earliest childhood memory of those feelings that she must put at a small distance, though to me they seem to be hers as much as her dying mother's. This was very sad, very moving and added to my understanding of both characters. Thank you for sharing it.
Feb. 13th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Feb. 4th, 2008 10:29 am (UTC)
So heart-touching, painful. I haven't felt this close to Leia for a long time.
Thank you.
Feb. 13th, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
Re: *hugs*
*g* Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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