Hobbie had helped get Leia back to her room, his vomit-covered shoes squeaking as he walked down the hallway. Damn it, if she couldn’t keep some nourishment down, she was never going to be able to get around on her own!
Once her head stopped spinning, she looked up to see Hobbie’s brown eyes mirroring her own. A part of her wanted things to end right now. Once you receive enough bad news, it gets harder and harder to tolerate any more. But she needed to know…
“Hobbie, how long has it been? How long was I gone?”
He looked at the floor before he looked back at her, not sure if he was supposed to keep the information to himself. He quite obviously knew that Princess Leia was not one to sit back and accept silence. “About three standard months,” he said.
Perhaps the news should’ve been surprising, but Leia found herself accepting this truth for what it was, knowing that it had certainly felt like it had been that long. Three months ago she had been with Han in the senate building on Coruscant when the explosion hit. Three months ago she had run to him while he lay unconscious on the floor, his head bleeding from falling debris. Three months ago she had tried desperately to cling to him while she was dragged away by some unknown force, leaving him helpless and alone.
This was why she had been somewhat relieved to learn that she’d been told that Han was missing rather than dead. Although the last image she had of him was face down on the floor, she hoped that whatever fate he had suffered would not be worse than the death she’d feared for him. She knew the kind of life she had endured over the past three months – if you could call it a life. She hoped Han had not had to suffer similarly.
“Are you gonna be all right, Leia?” Hobbie asked, breaking the long silence.
She looked up at the pilot, quickly finding the fiery determination sparking again inside of her. “That depends, Hobbie.”
Right away she could tell he was nervous as to where this was going. “On what?” he asked.
“On how quick you can get me out of here.”
He shook his head immediately. “Oh, no. It’s all over the frigate that you’re supposed to stay right here.”
“Hobbie, I know I’ve been gone for a while, but since when have I been one to follow orders?”
The pilot’s face fell, knowing that there was no way he was going to win this argument. “Will you at least let me change my shoes first?”
Leia smiled, noting that this was the first occasion she’d had to do so in a long time. “Make it quick.”
The young pilot disappeared down the hallway, and Leia walked into the ‘fresher to relieve herself and drink a bit of actual, cold water, thoroughly enjoying the feel of it sliding down her throat and pooling in her still-empty stomach.
Opening the small linen closet in the room, she pulled out a set of light green medical scrubs, throwing them on along with a head covering and a doctor’s mask to completely conceal her identity. The hardest part of all of this was probably going to be staying upright as she attempted to casually walk down the hallway.
“I don’t know. Fly casual!” She winced at the memory that flashed into her brain, seeing Han sitting in front of her leading that heroic mission to Endor. She could almost smell the aftershave he always liked to use, a mix of mountain air and morning dew. For a moment she felt like she could reach out and run her fingers through his hair…
But not yet. This would not be the first time she’d mounted a rescue mission to save Han, but at least that time she had the distinct advantage of knowing where to find him. While the details still remained vague, she wondered if there was more information she wasn’t being told. Whatever the case, she was not going to sit back and let the galaxy move on without her while Han was missing.
She jumped at the sound of Hobbie in the doorway, wearing a much cleaner pair of shoes.
Having no idea what the next step in her plan might be, she responded anyway: “Let’s go.”
To be continued...
Short and sweet one this time. Push's condition for me was: "Leia is not supposed to leave the Medical Frigate. Meaning: orders have been given to keep her on the frigate. Doesn't mean she can't escape or stay put - it's up to you. "
Well, of course she's not going to stay put!