At The End Of The Day

When that version of Palpatine was destroyed, Ben found Elf and approached her. "Congratulations, Ocean Elf, for finally destroying this menace."

The elf shrugged. "Thanks. But let's just hope it's the last of him. I'm aware he's no stranger to cheating death."

"Well, now that you have done this, I think Anakin should be told the good news."

The elf's expression suddenly turned livid. "If you want him to know, you can tell him yourself. I didn't do it for him."

"I would, but I have to notify a lot of other people, and need Luke's and Leia's help with that." Ben said.

The elf scowled at Ben. "So tell him yourself and let me help Luke and Leah out instead."

"Ocean - "

"I've done what was asked, now I'm through. I would've been glad to come here and help you out if it weren't for Anakin Vader. He never should've brought me here by force, and that's just the tip of the iceberg."

"Yes, but Ocean,"

"Please, it's still just Elf."

"Oh, you've earned the monicker of Ocean as far as I'm concerned," said Ben warmly, "but I haven't the time to even celebrate our victory tonight. I have An urgent mission to help an endangered little girl."

The elf's expression softened only for a moment and she said, "Then all the best. I won't keep you." But her expression became stern once again. "I do not appreciate this soft coercion tactic."

"I am most apologetic, Ocean Elf, I did not mean for you to feel this way." said Ben as he walked with her down the hall, hoping she wouldn't just take off in the other direction.

""If you want me to say one word to him about what went down tonight, here are the conditions, sir," she said icily, "this is the very last time you will try to force me to do anything, especially involving him or on his behalf. I will tolerate no further dealings with him! After this, he needs to forget I even exist. That would be in everyone's best interest."

"Agreed." said Ben, realizing his misgivings about Anakin Vader's ideas and agenda were right..

""I hope the child will be okay." Elf said, and took off running.

Ben nodded, and went on his way.

There was a knock at Anakin's door, followed by a frosty "It's Miss Elf, with a message from Mr. Kenobi."

"Do come in, Elf." he replied.

The elf entered, Her annoyed expression changed to confusion when she actually saw him.

His respiration mask was gone, his face was pink with new skin., but his arms and legs were covered by night clothes and a Jedi robe over those.

"I see you apparently know Palpatine 2.0 version 666 zillion has been deep sixed. I'll leave you to the rest of your healing." She turned to leave.

"Ocean, wait, please!"

The elf sighed and turned back around, scowling. "I don't have all night." she snapped.

I’m glad he is dead," Anakin said, his voice no longer covered by a respiration mask. "All that is left of my injuries he said, "are my cybernetic limbs." To prove this, he presented his right hand to Elf. "You can shake my hand now."

"No, thank you." She said quickly and firmly, and backed away.

He tried again to appeal to her. "you don’t have to be afraid."

She rolled her eyes, apparently annoyed or insulted. "I am not!" She said sternly, "I only came to give you the message, at Ben's request. An unnecessary one. Now it's time to go."

"Elf, please wait!" He said desperately.

"Now that my suit is gone, I am scared to walk."

The elf heaved a very audible sigh of impatience and began twiddling her thumbs.

Anakin tried once more to evoke even a scrap of sympathy from her. " I only wish I did not have to undergo any more scrubbing."

"Don't start that with me again," she said with a scowl, "No more suit, no more mask, no more facial scars, if you're suddenly this well off, you do not require that procedure and shouldn't have in a very long time. I'm out of here."

"Ocean," he said, "now that you have healed me, it is time to find a new emperor. One that is kind,, And will allow skin graphs when needed."

"I did not heal you, I only destroyed some version of Palpatine." said the elf. "The rest is up to you." She turned to leave, but he spoke again.

"Hopefully, this emperor can find some healthy skin on my body with which to do the grafts."

"You just said the only injuries you have are your cybernetic limbs, and your face looks as new as a baby's." Elf replied, glancing back over her shoulder to address him. "Anything else you need . is up to someone in the medical field, not the new emperor." She tried to leave again.

"The necrosis itches terribly," he said.

"No. You're healing or maybe already healed. That itches. Evidently, all it took was a recycled form of Mr. Insidious biting the dust." said Elf. She turned to hurry away.

He called after her, trying a different topic of conversation that surely she would be willing to talk about. "Wait! Did you find out the results of your test?"

She sighed in annoyance and glanced sharply back. "What test?"

"Do you have the force?"

Elf whirled around to face him with an expression of shock and disapproval. "How would you even know about any test I might've had?" Her tone of voice raised in stern suspicion.

"My hearing," Anakin said with a kind smile, "is very acute little one. I hear everything that goes on."

The elf made a squirming motion and grimaced. "Well, isn't that cool for you? Man, I like that!" she exclaimed sarcastically. "Nobody can keep a secret from you, heck, you can probably hear everyone eat, drink, hiccup, and go to the can from anywhere in this building.".

It was becoming painfully clear that Anakin couldn't keep from royally mucking things up as far as the elf was concerned. He could not say anything without setting her off somehow. This time, he realized he had creeped her out beyond repair. So all he could do was try changing the subject. "I am glad I am healing, but the healing process itches!" he finally said.

"Now that we've established that loud and clear, bye!" she ranted.

"Ocean wait!" he called. "See if you can go find a medical droid, so that they may see if there are skins on my body that can be used to graft." He directed.

She heaved an annoyed sigh. "I told you this skin graft stuff is moot since you have supposedly healed yourself!"

Supposedly?" he shrilled indignantly.

Well, who's to say what was really under that suit of yours?" the elf accused. "You've toyed with me far too long and it stops now...!"

"Will you help us find a kindly emperor?" he said, trying to change the subject again.

At the end of her patience, the elf huffed. "'Get a droid' 'get a new emperor' 'do this' 'do that' we've been through all that!" She ranted, showing her displeasure at feeling bossed around, "I don't know the first thing about how to get you a new emperor and that is not up to me!" She tried once again to leave.

"Wait!" Anakin called her back again.

"Freaking - What!?" She barked back irritably.

"I can’t help it if my hearing is a cute. The building is so large, and the ceiling is so high, that sounds literally Carrie’s."

You 'can't help this,' you 'can't help that,' well I can't help being weirded out by your supersonic eaves-dropping capability and hating everything else about you! So we're even!"

Anakin bristled and scowled, but tried another subject change. "didn’t you say something about helping us to find an old shaman?"

"You're the one who said it. I don't even believe in that shamanism stuff. Now you've healed yourself, you don't need him anyway." Elf said abruptly.

"Can you at least help us look for an emperor?" Luke asked approaching Anakin, but looking imploringly at the elf.

Elf threw her hands up in the air. She looked about to blow her top."If I've said it once," she raised her voice, "I've said it a hundred times, no, I cannot, for crying out loud!! I don't know anybody out here, so haven't the foggiest, freaking idea where or how to start with that! Understand!?" She fumed, "I'm done. I'm going back home as soon as my stuff is packed. And his highness wants a medical droid, or two or three or twenty. You might wanna take care of that before he works himself up into a stroke." With that, the elf turned to storm out. A thunder clap was heard, indicating a storm was kicking up outside.

Luke gaped in horror. First, the elf's dislike of Anakin was strong enough to be unnerving. Second, Anakin was definitely capable of retaliation, and if that didn't come sooner, it was likely to come later.

A well-dressed older man stood in the doorway, blocking the exit.

"Who are you?" Elf made way but looked warily at him.

"My first name," he said, "is the same as my predecessor, but my middle and last name are completely different. I am your new emperor, Sheev Alderaan."

Utterly baffled at how this was all happening, Elf said to him, "Pleased to meet you, sir, I am just called Elf."." Turning back to scowl at Anakin and Luke, she sneered, "Well, I guess that settles it then, all problems solved just like that. What Anakin wants, Anakin gets."

"It is nice to make your acquaintance, Miss Elf." said the new emperor.

She looked apologetically back at Sheev. "Thank you. I'll leave you to get down to business." She replied.

"You're not going already?" Luke protested.

The elf looked at him. "I've been here far too long as it is."

Can we at least keep in touch?" Luke asked.

"If you like." the elf replied. "I'll leave my business card for you on the dresser in the room where I was staying."

"We will be," Anakin added.

The elf turned to look coldly at him. "That offer is not open to you, sir. Good night."

"I could mind-choke you for refusing me," Anakin Vader bluffed.

"Try that, and you'll go the way of that form of Palpatine. You've done a bunch of unspeakable stuff, and don't give me this 'Sidious made me do it' crap. Then you kidnapped me, thinking you might get me feeling too sorry for you to remember all that stuff so I'd just run circles around you like everybody else does here - well it won't work!"

Ocean!" Anakin called after her.

"Have a nice life!" she called back coolly and hurried away without a backward glance.

Anakin sighed, hearing her quick decisive steps echoing down the hall. "After all this, you'd think she'd get to like me even a little," he said dejectedly.

"Now that Palpatine is dead? No, I don't think so. She's not a Hogwarts house elf. I found that out the hard way. She's tougher than other Earthling girls that have come through here. Remember all those fly-bies who threw themselves at us?" Luke chuckled. Especially that creepy Doctor Mary Sue!"

Anakin grinned slightly in bemusement. Those little galaxy-hoppers are useless. They weren't interested in helping us, only trying to get with you or me, and some of those girls hated Leia."

"Oh, yeah! Because they thought they should have the force instead of her. How pathetic." Luke snickered.

"My goodness! SHEeV said, feeling overcome by Anakin’s pure blue eyed stare. "It looks as though you have healed well. I will also ban those laws made by my predecessor, and put new ones in place. I saw a little of the annihilation of my predecessor, and I would like to thank the Elf that helped you achieve it, Anakin, and congratulate you on healing so quickly."

"If you can manage to catch up with Ocean," Luke grinned.

Anakin sighed. "We lost her. She's never coming back." he said angrily.

"I wouldn't be so sure of that," said Emperor Sheev, "She may feel differently in the morning when she is well rested. "I will pay her a visit then and thank her in person. Perhaps we can come up with a reason that will make her want to stay.."

But she said she's leaving tonight." said Luke. She may have already gone."

"I'll be back, I really want to try catching her before she leaves. When I come back, why don't you tell me what you know about her," Sheev suggested, "If I can persuade her to stay the night, I'll talk to Ben and Yoda as well. We'll even have time to plan in the morning if she sleeps in. After all, we should celebrate the end of tyranny, and since she was an integral part of it, surely she won't want to miss it."The fact Sheev would even propose a celebration of any kind already showed him to be completely different from the previous emperor. He was next to leave the room.

"Look, I'll be right back, I'm just going to look for a medical droid for you."

"Oh, it doesn't matter now, I don't need it."

"You just wanted Elf to run errands so she would have to see you." said Luke.

Anakin sighed. "I've lost her."

"You never had a chance with her to begin with. I probably shouldn't butt in, but I think it's just best you leave her alone and forget all about her."

You're right, you shouldn't butt in." Anakin said bitterly.

Sheev just managed to catch Ocean Elf as she was about to transport herself back home.

Miss Elf," he said.

She looked in his direction, startled. "Yes?"

I just wanted to ask you to come to a celebration we are planning, over the end of Palpatine. Also, if you would come to my coronation as well. Anakin couldn't have done this without your help."

The elf huffed. Another menacing thunder clap was heard. "Anakin this, Anakin that, Anakin Anakin Anakin! Gah I am so sick of him!" She began to stalk off.

"Miss Elf!" Sheev called after her.

"The only way I'll come back is if people stop tripping all over themselves for him and get it through their heads that I am not his friend! I've tried telling everyone else here that I didn't do any of this for freaking Anakin!

Why did you help out, then, Miss Elf?" Sheev hurried toward her and gently put a hand on her shoulder.

For Tatooine." she replied in a much quieter tone. "But I'm not sure how much it really helped. If Palpatine returns and you need my help to annihilate him, just keep Anakin Vader out of my way."

Why are you unsure Palpatine is really dead?" Sheev asked.

Well who wouldn't be? You know he's cheated death so many times. And this job just seemed too easy. It's hard to explain. Too many seeming coincidences and contrivances. Palpatine isn't the only one I have suspicions about having cheated death either."

"In that case," said Sheev, "we would appreciate you sticking around. You could annihilate him if he is still around and decides to make an unwelcome surprise visit before or during my coronation. After all, he would never just let a new emperor take his place. But for now, let's assume he is dead. the celebration will be tomorrow, but the coronation will be probably about two weeks from now."

"If you really want me there, I can make it tomorrow night, but would like to go back home between then and your coronation. I've been away too long." Ocean said.

"I definitely understand. Thank you. The celebration tomorrow night will be like none other."

So Sheev did manage to persuade the elf to stay one more night. Then he went to the meeting room to meet Yoda. Ben was still out on his mission.

After some further discussion and becoming better acquainted, Sheev and Yoda retired for the night.

Everyone was sound asleep by the time Ben returned, and soon, he turned in, hoping everything would be okay.