Friday, April 20, 2012

Chapter 9


It shouldn’t have been particularly surprising to Han that Leia was still furious. There were a few different ways in which Leia expressed anger. First, and most obvious, was when she enjoyed yelling at whomever it was that had made her angry. This could entail frustrated annoyance or near-screaming, depending on the severity of the infraction. Han rather enjoyed riling her up to different degrees of irate behavior; he later realized not so much because he liked making her mad, but rather he just liked seeing evidence that she could actually feel anything. He sure as hell couldn’t get her to admit she liked him at all, or anyone else for that matter, so he might as well irritate her if that was the only way to garner some sort of reaction.

The second way, which was being demonstrated now, was total silence. Han had been around her enough to be able to notice the tension on her face while she no-doubt seethed below the surface of that icy exterior. Her teeth had been clenched so hard her jaw probably hurt. He’d somehow managed to pry the datacard out of her iron grip as she balled her fists tightly, likely digging her fingernails deeply into the palms of her hands.

To be fair, Han wasn’t thrilled about the idea of a marriage counseling retreat either, but he had been on all kinds of planets and they all had their own sets of rules and in his experience you were always better off to just do what they said if you were to get what you wanted. He could think of worse things they’d make them do if they were to banish this ‘marriage’ from their records. He knew of one or two planets where the husband was put to death. Knowing Leia, she probably would’ve preferred that option. It would’ve been much less painful… for her.

Leia marched her short legs determinedly back to the Falcon and Han actually had a hard time catching up while he tried to read the specifics of what this counseling would entail. Gods, why didn’t the woman have a sense of humor about this? He could think of dozens of things he wanted to say to rile her up even further. Unfortunately, he could tell that she was so close to the boiling point that one wrong remark and she’d be widowed a lot quicker than she’d have to wait to be divorced.

So for now, he had to be practical. “All right, Leia, this isn’t so bad. It’s a pretty lengthy session but I’m sure in that amount of time we can convince them that we can’t stand each other and shouldn’t be married.”

She stopped on the sidewalk, pretending to look in the window of a local shop. “Good. How long will it take?”

“Uh… a month.”

“A month?!?!”

Han could’ve sworn that anyone within a kilometer radius jumped at her startled reply. “Yeah, that’s what it says. Would you rather we stayed together for a year? Don’t forget, we had that option, we can walk right on over there and change our minds.”

She looked beyond frustrated, and Han knew the feeling – though for different reasons. “Fine. Let’s just get this thing over with and never speak of it again. Wait, how are we going to stay here for a month? They’re expecting us back in a few days.”

“Good question.” At least she was starting to talk rationally. “Maybe we can convince ‘em that we’re working on some other credits we might be able to get our hands on but it’s going to take some extensive intel work.”

Leia heaved a sigh. “Maybe. But I don’t want to lie to them.”

“Forgive me for being the one to bring this up, sweetheart, but you’re already lying to them.”

“That’s different. We’re actually going to do what we said we were going to do, we just happened to have some personal business to attend to while we were here.”

“I don’t see a lot of difference. Actually, the bigger problem now is that I think we’re gonna have to tell Chewie.”

Her eyes got wide and he was once again more than slightly insulted at how horrified she was at the fact that they were married and that someone might actually find out about it. “Come on, sweetheart. You know he’s just gonna keep asking questions. And he’s the most loyal being you’re ever gonna meet in your life. We can trust him with anything.” Can’t trust him not to make jokes and find the whole thing incredibly amusing, though…

She gave him that annoyed look that told him she knew he was right, and she hated that. “Fine. But I swear, Solo, if anyone else finds out…”

“Hey, will you stop it? You’ve been angry with me since this happened and I haven’t made any of the kinds of remarks you would’ve expected, have I? I’m gettin’ a little tired of tiptoeing around you like you can’t handle a slightly uncomfortable situation. If you don’t stop acting like this then I’m actually going to give you a reason to be mad at me.”

She snatched the data card out of his hand and said tightly, “Fine. So when does this nonsense start?”

Han swallowed, slightly relieved that she had backed down but not quite ready to believe she had calmed down completely. “Tomorrow.”

“How convenient,” she said sarcastically. “So we go talk to these therapists all day and see if they can save our marriage?”

“That seems to be the gist, yeah. There’s some group stuff with other couples, it looks like.”

“Oh, that will be fun. We can see if we can win the least likely to stay together award.”

Han thought he saw a hint of a smile on her face at her almost-humorous remark. “I think we’ve got that one locked, Princess.”

“No problem,” she agreed as her brown eyes finally met his. Yes, she was definitely starting to come around. “I’ll just tell them how you constantly tease and berate me, and you never call me by my real name.”

“Well, maybe I can tell ‘em, Your Worshipfulness, how you call me names and talk down to me like some sort of subordinate.”

“Well, maybe if you acted like a respectable human being I’d treat you like one.”

“Oh, yeah? Well-“

She cut him off. “I think we should save our arguments for when we have an audience.”

He hated when she got the last word. At least this would give him some time to come up with a few more suitable insults. Maybe this therapy thing would be kind of fun. Might give him a chance to say all the things he’d wanted to say and have a professional confirm his innate belief that the woman was completely out of her mind.

“Let’s get back to the ship,” Han said, signaling for her to follow as he started walking again. “We’ve got to break the news to Chewie.”


  1. Haa, I loved your descriptions of the two ways Leia expresses her anger at the beginning. I much prefer her yelling!! But you can just imagine her giving him the silent treatment with eyes like daggers! Yup, that's Leia.

    This counselling is certainly going to be fun, I can't wait to see how they get through it, and what the others make of them.

    Hmm, Chewie maybe trustworthy, but he sure as hell is going to wind up Han something rotten over this one, and have a good laugh about it.

    Thank you Zyra for another great read, as always.

  2. This was fabulous. I kept thinking, oh my goodness, this is so good. I love how Han was figuring out just how to irritate Leia for any reaction. If only Leia relaxed a little and found the humor in the situation. You have expressed their characters perfectly. The counseling is going to be a riot. I almost feel sorry for Han, Leia is wound up so tight she is bound to explode. Great chapter, can't wait for the next one. You all write so well together.

  3. I like how they started escalating into a fight and decided to save it for later. I can't wait for the month of counseling. ;)

  4. Too funny. I liked the part about if he made one wrong remark she'd be a widow. And how he wanted it confirmed by a professional that Leia is crazy. Can't wait to see the counseling especially if they are saving all of their best stuff for it. Poor counselor doesn't know what he's in for.

    Oh, and I bet Leia can stare some serious daggers.

  5. Wow, we really have to do something to get people to come back to this place.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Wondering where everybody is.

    2. I say try what I suggested to you the other week. I think a fun Han and Leia discussion topic that EVERY fan must have an opinion on, SHOULD (hopefully) draw in a few extra people, who will, with a bit of luck, stick around. It has to be worth a shot.

      I am still stunned that this Joint Story is attracting so little attention.

    3. I'm right there with you, Claire.

    4. Claire, yes, we should do that. And I know that part of the reason for the lack of activity is certainly our own fault.

      I should also say thank you to those of you who did comment. I do appreciate it.

    5. What I find amazing is that this is the story that so many people voted for in the poll, it was the clear leader pretty much from the start, and yet hardly anyone is commenting on it. What's up with that??

      Also it's just so bloody good!

  6. I'm back. Sorry got back to work after vacation and got sent to Spain to one of the company's plants to help with some problems. Wow I just now seem to be getting back to figuring out what time it is.

    This is a great chapter. I have enjoyed all of them but this one is just packed with great stuff.

    I love how Han shares that he riles her up just so he can be convinced she can feel something. Even anger is a feeling.

    And I so agree everyone, Leia staring daggers. Oh I can see how her mouth is firmly set and the eyes are just glaring. It leaves such a mental picture.

    Love the widowed comment. So Han.

    Love that she shouted "A month". Everyone within a kilometer heard. That is just way too funny. She is so mad she doesn't even turn around to see who heard her shout. Leia the person that cares about everyone's perceptions is so mad she doesn't care she shouted, esp. at Han.

    I like that Han confronted her. He needed to do that. Still feel really bad for Han. She just keeps reacting to how horrid it would be to be married to Han. Wow I guess she is really scared to admit to herself and Han how much she feels or him.

    "Least likely to stay together". Brilliant.

    Can't wait to see how counseling goes. This is gonna be great. Can't wait to hear Chewie tease them when he is "officially" told of the marriage.

    I wonder what Luke is gonna think when he learns that Leia and Han are going to be gone for a month. I can see him being more than a little jealous.

    Claire I agree with you this story is "bloody good!”

    Great job Push and Zyra.

    To everyone else, looking forward to catching up on those great stories you have posted.

  7. Awww, love the current background picture. Who can resist that grin :)

  8. I know. Very cute. Love the caption too. My hubby and I were laughing that "I have a bad feeling about this" seems to be a catch phrase in the movies. It wasn't until we heard quotes from the movies on youtube we realized how often it is said. Some people like to rank the quotes and that one is usually at the top.

  9. I agree about the pic. Simply adorable.

    "I have a bad feeling about this" is said in all 6 movies, and loads of the books too. But of course it originated with our fav scoundrel back in 1977.