Friday, November 3, 2017

Story Submission: Got Your Number By Kels

 Thanks to Kels for this story submission, inspired by those lovely photos of the two of them dancing and smiling at each other.

 Han noticed the slight frown that passed over his wife’s face as he grabbed her hand and led her to the dance floor.  He’d hoped that the Samorian wine they’d both downed would have relaxed her by now, but he supposed that the bonds of motherhood outweighed even the rapid impact that gained Samorian wine its galaxy-wide reputation.

“Sweetheart,” he said, taking her into his arms, careful to place his arm higher on her back than he really wanted to, as he had learned that to do otherwise at these occasions often led to a wifely stink-eye, “if anything was wrong with the kids, you would know.”

“I know,” Leia sighed. Jax was only four months old, though, and although they had left Luke and Adria more milk, food, diapers, instructions, toys, medicine, and changes of clothes than anyone could possibly need to watch a 2-year-old and a baby for one night, she still felt the pang of leaving her little boy at home overnight without her for the first time.

“They’re with a Jedi Knight and a medic.  They’re in better hands than they ever are with us.”

Leia laughed.  He had her there.  Their children were probably the safest kids in the galaxy right about now.  “It’s Luke and Adria I’m worried about,” she giggled, feeling the wine start to kick in.  “One night with our offspring may stop that relationship cold.”

“Our kids?” Han laughed. “Nah.  They’re perfect, quiet, easygoing little angels, just like us.”

“Exactly,” she agreed. “They’re just like us.  Which is why Luke and Adria are in trouble,” Leia sighed contentedly in Han’s arms.  “Intoxicants…I had almost forgotten how wonderful they are.”

Han burst out laughing.  “I thought that sigh was for me!”

“It was,” she said, innocently. “You AND the wine.”

“Nice save, but I’m not quite buying it,” he parried, spinning her away before they collided with a six-armed Gatorin and his mate.  As they found some space in a less crowded area on the dance floor, Leia noticed that more than a few of the other guests were glancing at them.  Actually, she realized with a flare of pride, they were sneaking looks at Han, and this time it wasn’t only the human females, who had always looked at him as if he were a particularly appealing piece of eye-candy. Thankfully the human female behind Leia was a bit ostentatiously ignoring them both.

Leia had often wondered when and if Han’s reputation from both the war and his test piloting would be enough to sway people’s attention from her, and, tonight – at least in this crowd, at the wedding of one of Han’s favorite pre-flight mechanics, Zev – that shift in attention finally seemed to be happening.  She felt some relief, as it always worried her that one day Han would get sick of the long shadow she cast – a shadow that she felt, after everything he had achieved, he had no reason to still be standing in.

“They’re all looking at you, hotshot,” Leia said matter-of-factly. “Better fix your tie.  You know, that tie you’ve been grumbling about all night.”   She grinned, thinking how generous she was being in assigning his grumbling about his attire to only this night, when he’d been grumbling about it ever since Zev had asked if Han would stand as his witness at the Veluskian marriage ceremony, with which came the obligation to wear the formal attire of the Velusk people.

“Nah,” he replied. “They’re lookin’ at the hottest chick in the room.”

“Hottest chick?” Leia snorted. “Short and round-faced still-losing-baby-weight mother-of-two.”

“Hottest.  Chick. In. The. Room,” Han repeated slowly, his face inches from hers, his knuckles brushing gently along her cheek, his smile at its most brilliant, and, even better, deployed only for her enjoyment.

“Dammit,” Leia laughed out loud as her knees went weak enough for Han to feel her falter. “How can you still do that to me after all these years, Solo?”

“I just have your number, Your Worship,” he replied.

“Yes,” she agreed, her smile matching his in brilliance. “You definitely have my number. And I have yours.”

“You’ve had mine for a very, very long time.  But tonight, I’ve also got twelve hours alone with you in a hotel after this shindig, and I intend to have your number over and over and over.”

“Is that a promise?” She stood on her toes to rub her nose against his.

“Oh yes, Leia, that is a promise.”

“Then why is your hand so decorously high on my back when it is usually so inappropriately low?”

He immediately slid his hand down to the small of her back. “You’re saying you actually want it here tonight?”

“Damn right, Solo,” she grinned. “Damn right.”

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Edge of Victory I: Conquest: The Review

Welcome back to the second least active place for Han and Leia fans on the internet. And now we return to the EU book reviews, and since we do these in order, this one certainly isn't going to help very much in gaining interest, because Han and Leia aren't even in it. At all. They are mentioned, usually unfavorably, but that's it. Great. The good news is that the fact that Han and Leia aren't in it should make for a pretty quick review, certainly with very few quotes.

So, this is totally an Anakin Solo book. It focuses almost entirely on him alone and his story. It was so nice of them to give him a book right before they killed him off, wasn't it? So, we begin by being reminded that the Jedi are in trouble. Basically the Vong want them all dead, and there is a group called the Peace Brigade which sounds like a nice name for a group of people who want pretty bad things. Basically they want to help round up the Jedi and sacrifice them to the Vong so that the Vong will leave everyone else alone. Nice, right?

Then we are with Luke and several of the Jedi, mainly including Kyp and the Solo children, who aren't really children anymore as we're reminded that Anakin is 16 and the twins are 18. Basically Kyp thinks it's insane that Luke just wants to sit back and "defend" since they are Jedi and thinks it's time they step up and really start looking out for themselves. This is why I'm never totally clear on what counts as "defense" or not. I mean, in A New Hope Obi Wan slices someone's arm off just because he was going to fight Luke a little bit. Maybe try starting with a little Force push and then see if you need to escalate to severing an arm? Maybe? I don't know. Anyway...

Kyp thinks it's time to start going on the offensive, looking out for their own. Jedi for Jedi, as he puts it. Luke, of course, disagrees. The argument gets them nowhere and then Kyp tells Jaina and Anakin that their uncle is turning into Obi Wan and getting lost in philosophy at the expense of action. Anakin is starting to think he's right, and they even discuss Jacen's unwillingness to use the Force except when it came to saving his own mother. Kyp leaves Anakin and Jaina alone and Jacen then comes to join them. He agrees with Luke, which leaves him and Anakin on opposing sides and Jaina insists that they stop arguing. They discuss where the Jedi may be most vulnerable if the Vong were to target anything specifically, and Anakin has a very strong feeling that they might go after the praxeum on Yavin Four, which happens to be where his best friend Tahiri is, along with many other young Jedi in training.

Now we go to a quiet moment between Luke and Mara. During this time she shares a whole bunch of cliches about how miserable pregnancy is and that she should want to kill Luke and that he is never, ever allowed to do this to her again. I suppose we should be glad that Leia never said stuff like that to Han when she was pregnant. Mara is a lot less into the pregnancy thing, but then this one wasn't planned and it generally seems like the Solo kids were, so maybe that makes a difference. Luke uses the line, "How can I please you, sweetheart?" which only made me really glad that a sentence like that would never come out of Han Solo's mouth, unless he was trying to be sarcastic.

Anyway, they discuss how Luke is worried about Anakin, because he has been through so much at such a young age and Luke thinks that Anakin still believes Han blames him for Chewie's death. And that Anakin is still pretty angry about some things and he is an awful lot like Kyp. But he still thinks he's immortal. Oh don't worry, just a couple more books and he will find out exactly how not immortal he is. They discuss how Anakin and Jacen didn't have normal childhoods and both had very different reactions to the same situation. After they are done talking about how Luke is very worried about what might happen, the Solo kids show up.

They tell Luke of their worries about Yavin Four, and Luke thinks they are probably right but that there isn't much they can do about it at the moment. Apparently Karrde is on his way to help evacuate the students but they have to just wait. After Luke tells them to just leave it, Anakin proves he is such a Solo by totally not listening to him and taking it upon himself to go to Yavin Four anyway. He's mad because all the adults he knows still treat him like a kid when he totally isn't one. He thinks the only one who really understands him is Mara, since she also was never truly a child. But since he knows Tahiri, his best friend is in trouble, he doesn't even hesitate.

Almost immediately upon Anakin's arrival, a fleet from the Peace Brigade shows up. Anakin gets down to the planet and first finds Kam Solusar, who is in charge, and very quickly finds Tahiri, who is not at all happy with him because apparently he's totally been doing that guy thing of not at all keeping in touch. He notices that she is starting to look a lot more grown up now that she is all of 14 years old. She doesn't want to let him out of her sight but he thinks they should be separated as he doesn't want to see anything happen to her.

So Anakin clearly has a lot of guilt as he discusses how so many people have died because of him, including Chewbacca.

"My grandfather was Darth Vader, and he killed billions. But that was after deĆ­cades of the dark side. I'm only sixteen, and look what I've done. Darth Vader would be proud."

Ouch. This kid has some issues to work out. He is told those deaths were not his fault, and then he says that he wanted to kill all of the Vong at Centerpoint and would've if his brother hadn't stopped him. But in the end, it really was his own decision. He still feels like he should've done it though. Lots of tension and Tahiri being mad that Anakin hasn't said anything to her for a while, and Anakin totally looking at her differently than what used to just be his childhood friend. Anakin and Tahiri get separated, Anakin is with some other Jedi and a pilot for the Peace Brigade who mentions the plan to turn the Jedi over.

Now Luke is trying to get the help of the New Republic and Borsk Fey'lya, who has really zero interest in aiding them in any way. So Jacen and Jaina are going to go and help out while Luke and Mara have to stay behind. And I forgot that the twins didn't know Mara was pregnant until they find out in this book and are of course happy for her and excited they are finally getting a cousin.

So Anakin decides he needs to trek back to find Tahiri, who has been captured by the Vong and is basically being tortured by the shapers. Sounds fun, huh? Anyway, he finds and sort of befriends a "shamed" Vong who needs to go to the same place as Anakin and they are working together so Anakin is going to act as his slave. He has to hide inside the belly of a beast, literally, and then there is this briefly cute little bit:

He was reminded of the story of how his mother and father had met, on the Death Star, a story he'd heard far too many times. Seconds after seeing each other for the first time, they'd ended up fleeing stormtroopers into a garbage hold.

 "What an incredible smell you've discovered," his fa - ther had sarcastically told his future wife. He hadn't been very happy with her at the time.

 I've found a better smell than you did, Mom, he thought.

I just think it's cute that he apparently heard that story a lot growing up. Anyway, lots of trekking and Vong stuff and eventually Anakin finally gets to the Vong who have Tahiri and she has been brainwashed to think she is one of them and Anakin has to bring her back and make her realize he is not just a dream and he tells her that he loves her. Aw, so of course that makes her realize he's really there. Anyway, of course they escape, this time in a Vong ship that Tahiri has to fly because they are sort of living beings and now she kind of knows their language, and they wind up of course meeting up with Karrde and Kam with the rest of the young Jedi who need to evacuate.

Jacen and Jaina show up to help the battle so that everyone can escape and all the Solo children are back together again and everyone is safe. Anakin and Jacen have a discussion about how Anakin still feels that the solution is to fight, while Jacen of course thinks that is a bad idea but does wrinkle his forehead in such a way that apparently makes him look just like Han. Anakin and Tahiri are good again even though she has been through quite a lot, and that is pretty much it.

So, the Han and Leia factor for this book is pretty simple since they are not in it at all: 0. Flat out zero. It's not a terrible book, but if you are in this for the Han and Leia then you'd be really, really disappointed. It's just sad that this is just about Anakin's last book, and reminds you what a huge waste his entire character was. The only good news I have to offer you is that I already read the next book and Han and Leia are in it quite a bit and there are several nice moments there. The bad news is there are also several moments where people seem to be pretty judgy about their parenting. I guess we can't have everything.

I figured writing a review for a book Han and Leia weren't even in wouldn't be as time consuming, but it pretty much was exactly as time consuming!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Can We Talk About These Photos? And Can One of You Write a Story Inspired By Them?

Ok, I'm behind because I have been busy, so you guys are probably all like... oh, we've been looking at these pictures for weeks. Where have YOU been? I'm betting though that nobody will ever get tired of these being brought back up. I think I'd rather not spend too much time dwelling on the real-life aspects of this. Honestly I recently re-read The Princess Diarist and somehow it is both more and less depressing now that Carrie is gone. I will say that to me these photos do not look like two people who are just friends whose affair has ended. But again, I don't really want to debate any of that, because the one person who may have told us the truth is gone. So, anyway...

Can we just pretend this is Han and Leia? And can someone write a nice little story to go along with it? Maybe they're dancing at someone's wedding. Or a big celebration of the victory. Heck I could even pretend this goes with a story I wrote of them dancing. I said this to more than one person, that first, I almost can't believe these photos exist. And once again it makes me wonder what gems are still hiding and may one day be unearthed for our viewing pleasure. Second, I find these photos adorable. But also sad. But kind of almost too adorable to be sad. Like they just look so happy that I almost can't be sad to think about what "truth" may lie behind them, or the fact that Carrie is no longer with us, and what fun we'd have had Tweeting them to her and waiting for her to comment. So, well, let's just pretend it's Han and Leia and let this offer a nice visual.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Random Stuff You Didn't Notice About Star Wars Until You'd Already Seen it a Bunch

Things have been kind of quiet. Or at least here, they have been. I think maybe we could use a random, light-hearted discussion. I think it's safe to say that most of us who read here have watched these movies multiple times. For some of us it has been a lifelong thing. For others the movies didn't even come out until they were a little older. For some maybe they didn't even discover it until they were older, or until much recently. One of the most fascinating things to me is that no matter how many times I've seen these movies, I often still notice new things for the first time. Or maybe I just forget that I've seen them, because also it's totally possible I've done this topic before and I just forgot. I've been watching these movies since as far back as I can remember watching movies, and still, sometimes, I'm surprised to notice certain things. And some of you will probably be surprised/appalled at some of the stuff that I didn't notice until more recent viewings. These things include:

-The fact that the lower half of one of Threepio's legs is silver, not gold. Ok, this one I didn't exactly only discover recently. But still probably didn't notice until a good 15 years into my Star Wars watching. I don't remember exactly why I noticed it for the first time, but I do remember my brother and my cousins thinking it was crazy that I had never noticed that.

-Leia spins Han around to talk to Jabba because he is facing the wrong way. How could I not notice a Han and Leia thing? I don't know. Seriously, I didn't notice that not only did she spin him around, but she ducked under his arm. It's so adorable and subtle and funny, and I watched that movie for years before noticing. Again, not super recently did I first notice this, but more recently than I'd have thought.

-Han grabs Leia's hand as he tries to shoot Vader. This is another one of those subtle things, and in fairness his non-shooting hand is mostly hidden and it is so subtle it kind of makes sense for me to not have noticed that at first. Of course now I think it is just another one of those wonderful, subtle little things, that even though Han is focused on killing Darth Vader, he still makes the conscious decision to reach back and grab Leia's hand. (ok, wrist, but whatever)

-Leia in the background talking to random Rebels when Han is talking to Lando just before Mon Mothma's briefing in ROTJ. This isn't really that big of a deal, but this one I only first noticed REALLY recently. Like within the last two years, probably. Han and Lando are talking, and Leia is hanging behind them talking to some other guys. It's just kind of funny to me to see her basically appearing more like a background extra.

-Luke in ESB when he jumps down off a ledge during the Vader fight, bounces back into the frame since clearly Mark jumped down onto a trampoline. That one I didn't even notice until I was reading bloopers. And really, how did that go unnoticed for so long? It's not even subtle, he bounces right on back up into the frame. And yet of all the ridiculous things they "fixed" on subsequent re-releases, that moment remains.

-Harrison mouths Carrie's lines along with her when she says, "Captain, being held by you isn't quite enough to get me excited." This is another one I don't think I noticed on my own until someone told me about it. Also another one that I have known about for a while, but still probably watched the movie over and over for about 15 years before seeing it, and now I can't unsee it.

-Leia's blood on Han's fingertips when he puts his hand up after briefly tending to Leia's wound in ROTJ. I know, this is really minor. For movies that do contain a fair bit of violence, they are very much lacking in blood. There is blood in ANH when Obi Wan cuts that walrus man's arm off. Luke bleeds a bit after the Wampa attack and also after his fight with Vader. (Although, weirdly, not from where his hand was cut off.) Of course Han never bleeds. Like I said, very small thing but for some reason it took me a lot of views to notice that.

-Chewie makes a Tarzan noise when he swings on the vine with the Ewoks to the AT-ST in ROTJ. Another one that was pointed out to me by my brother and cousins, a while ago but still after we had watched the movies dozens of times. It's not even subtle, but for some reason I didn't notice. It's pretty dumb and really doesn't make sense, but whatever.

That's all I can think of for now. What about you guys, anything you didn't notice until much later? Big or small, doesn't really matter. I'm sure there are others because I feel like very time I watch I notice some little thing, maybe a brief line or action from Threepio, or something in the background. Stuff that should've been totally obvious but somehow you missed.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Universal Fanfic Truth: Luke Wants to Tell Everyone About Vader - Guest Post By Erma

Hi everyone. Zyra kindly offered that I could write a post on a question I brought to her. There is that delightful post on the blog about Universal Han and Leia Fanfic Truths, but my question didn't quite fit there. So here we are.

It hit me the other day that one "universal truth" in Star Wars fanfic is that Luke wants to share the news about Vader's return to the light with the whole galaxy, whereas Leia thinks sharing would be an awful idea. This sets up a tension between the two of them that affects all three of them, Han included. But. Why do we assume this, especially on the part of Luke?

From the movies, we know that Luke didn't tell Leia about his parentage until after he learned she was his sister, some many months after finding out in Bespin. Even when he did tell her, he wasn't suggesting that she come and help him; in fact, it seemed clear that he felt Leia still needed to help the Rebellion win the war, perhaps the old fashioned way (by fighting, not trying to redeem the bad guys). It's not even clear that Luke intended to ever tell Leia; she was the one that sought him out, after all (though arguments could be made that he knew she would follow him out to that bridge). Nor did Luke reach out to Han. So from what we see in the movie, it seems pretty clear that even though Luke felt personally compelled to try and save his father, he was pretty clear that not everyone would share his conviction, and that it might be best to keep the truth secret.

It's interesting (to me, anyways) that so many of us have felt that Luke would then later want to tell all. Why? And, what if that wasn't the case? How would it affect the dynamic with Leia and Han?

For example. what if Leia's desire to keep Vader/Anakin a secret was in part a reaction to Luke's wanting to tell everyone? After all, we often see stories with Luke wanting to have a conversation with Leia, which often has the effect of pushing Leia to avoid it. So if Luke instead wanted to continue keeping Vader/Anakin a secret, might Leia have responded differently? Would she have sought support, or a kind of absolution? Might she have felt honor bound to reveal their parentage to someone in the Rebellion leadership? (Rieekan, Mon Mothma?) How would this have impacted the dynamic with Han? If Leia wanted to tell others, would Han have cared? Etc, etc.

Anyways, I'm bringing this here because it's fun to explore assumptions, and because LoveThis! asking about my assumptions in the earlier post about the new Princess Leia book inspired me. I thought it might be interesting to unpack this particular set of assumptions with you all.

Full disclosure. This particular universal truth came to me while pondering writing my own version of Leia telling Han about Vader. Now, that story is so unformed that it probably won't get written in the next few years, if at all, so I'm not posing these questions as a way to do research or anything. At the same time, it would be silly to think that any discussion here wouldn't influence the story, should it ever get written, so I just want to be open. Note: if the story ever does get written, I'll just make sure to credit this conversation! :)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Happy Force Friday!

So, apparently it is the second annual Force Friday. What is Force Friday, you might be asking? I don't really know. As far as I can tell it is a marketing ploy and an excuse to sell us more stuff. Although I don't know about you, but lately I've been a lot less interested in purchasing Star Wars merchandise. Largely because so much of it now is all the "new" movies stuff. Although I did just see that apparently there is a new Lego Millennium Falcon coming out, and it is over 7,000 pieces and the largest Lego set ever created. Also, $800. The only plus to it is that you are at least given the option of creating it to look like the original trilogy version, with the circular sensor dish, or the new one, with the rectangular. I was given a Millennium Falcon bluetooth speaker as a gift and I have to say that I was legitimately bummed out when I saw it had a rectangular sensor dish. I still use it, though.

So, what has been going on with everyone? Any news you wish to share? As far as Star Wars news, I can only share some of my own thoughts. I mean first, there isn't much. Like, disturbingly not much. Does anyone else think it's insane that we are sitting here now only three-and-a-half months out from the movie and we have seen a grand total of ONE trailer? I am still not super interested in going to see the movie, but I do think it's rather odd that we haven't seen more from this. I also find it odd that while I actively tried to avoid spoilers for the last one, and JJ made such a huge deal about keeping everything a secret, I still kind of knew what was going to happen. And yet for this one, where they are still trying to keep it under wraps but haven't been quite so vocal about it (or maybe they have, and I have just not been paying attention) and I've even occasionally looked for things, I basically can't find anything.

And yes, it still makes me sad that I am not really interested in anything about the new movie. There are all these articles coming out, and it just makes me sad for multiple reasons. What could've been, and it reminds me that we no longer have Carrie, either :(  It's just kind of overall a bummer of a time to be a Star Wars fan.

Then of course there has been the crazy news coming out of the movie that nobody wants, the Han Solo movie.

Apparently there is a new book coming out about young Leia, anyone planning on reading it?

Anyway, again, happy Force Friday, whatever that is. I guess another excuse to wear our Star Wars tshirts which isn't a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Another Recovery Missing Moment by JainaDurron7

Here is another missing moment to fill in some of the gaps from Recovery. Thanks for the submission!

"I want to sit with you."
Han almost laughed aloud as he lowered her datapad to look at his wife. "What's that?"

Leia struggled to sit up in her medical bunk. She repeated, "I want to sit with you."
Leia had been in recovery for just over a month now; her legs were still healing from an encounter with a gang of Yuuzhan Vong who had been in the middle of sacrificing Leia to their gods.

Han had nearly lost her.

Now, not only was Leia in the middle of a long physical recovery, but the two of them- together- were in the middle of a long recovery of their marriage. While some parts of it had been quick to heal, Han knew it would take a while for things between them to be comfortable again. It would be a while before Han could speak to her without her wincing as she remembered harsh words he'd screamed at her in grief and confusion. It would be a while before Han could speak or even look at her without feeling consumed by his own guilt. Leia seemed to be eager enough to fix things between them. It was like she'd missed him so much, she needed him at all times; she needed to know he was still there and that he would never leave her side again.

And Han hated himself all the more because of it.

He looked at her now, his gaze avoiding her swollen, purple legs. "Sweetheart, you're in no condition to leave that bed-"

Leia stopped him there with a deathly glare. "I've been lying in medbunks for a month now. Han, please, I just want to sit with you. Your chair looks so much more comfortable."

While Han didn't doubt that his chair in her medroom looked much better than her own bed, Han knew that wasn't really the reason to her words. He chuckled a little. "Trust me; it's not as nice as it looks."

Leia shrugged. "I don't care. Han, just let me sit with you."

Han got up and stood at her side, gently pushing her back down on her bed. "You need to rest, first. That is, if you want to get out of this bed as much as you say you do."

"Han!" Leia whined. She looked like she was so frustrated, she could burst into tears at any moment. It broke Han's heart. "I spent a month in a medbed on Corellia, then all of our time on the Falcon in either the medbunk there or the repulsor chair. I just want to sit with you, Han."

He really couldn't stand to see her so upset and Han could see how vulnerable she was in this rare moment. More than anything, Han wanted to concede to her wishes. If she felt anything like he did, Leia just wanted to be with him as they hadn't in so long. Because Han had left her. She just wanted to sit with him, sleep in the same bed as him like a normal married couple. Like they hadn't in months. Because Han had left her. And he would never do that to her again.

Han circled around her bed where Leia's fluid drip hung on a hook and more machines and tubes were stationed that were all connected to her. They were all hung on the same post and Han rolled the post to stand beside his chair. Leia's face brightened. Han returned to her side and slipped an arm beneath her shoulders. "This is going to hurt, sweetheart," he warned her even though she already knew.

She repeated simple, "Han, I just want to sit with you."

Without another thought, Han put his other arm under her legs and he lifted her out of the bunk. Leia screamed, but she silenced herself, burying her face in Han's shoulder so she could muffle her groan against his shirt. Carefully and slowly, Han sat down and kept his wife curled up in his lap. He held her in his arms like a child and when Leia looked up at his face with tears of pain dotting her cheeks, Han wiped them all away and laid a tender kiss on her forehead. Leia tilted her head back so his lips were now on hers. It was brief, short-lived, but- for now- it was a step forward.

"I missed you," she whispered, resting her head against his chest.

"I missed you too," Han responded and it wasn't a lie. He'd always subconsciously known he'd spent months away from Leia searching for something, searching for a peace in her heart that he didn't know how to achieve. Now, though, Han knew that that peace he'd been searching for was exactly what he'd left behind. He'd been searching for Leia without realizing it.

"You're never leaving me again, Solo," she said in a sort of slur. She was hyped up on so many painkillers, it killed Han.

"I know-"

"No!" she vigorously shook her head and Han cupped her head in his hand to calm her. "I'm not letting you go. Never again, Han. Next time you want to run, I won't let you."

"I know you won't. And you should know I won't ever consider it again."

"You won't," Leia agreed.

Quickly enough, Leia fell asleep in his arms. Han cradled her close, whispering all the promises he could think of. I'm never leaving you again. You'll never be by yourself again. I'll always be there with you and the kids. I love you too much. I will never let anyone hurt you again. I will hold you in my arms for the rest of our lives.