“We’re leaving in the morning.”
Her voice startled Han who was engrossed in some rewiring in the circuitry bay. It took him a moment to figure out what she was talking about. “Huh?”
“Atzerri. They’re sending us back to see if we can be a bit more successful on our mission this time. And while we’re there we can quickly and quietly take care of our little problem.”
Han winced inwardly at the way she so matter-of-factly referred to their being married as ‘our little problem.’ It wasn’t so much that he wanted to marry that woman – for stars’ sake, if he had to listen to her ordering him around on a daily basis for the rest of his life he’d take his own blaster and fire it straight through his temple – he was just not enjoying the fact that she seemed to treat this accidental marriage as the worst thing that had ever happened to her.
Or maybe it was the fact that they’d woken up together in bed. Did she believe him that nothing had happened? Did she remember anywhere near as much as he did? Maybe she was just embarrassed about how she had practically thrown herself at him. Han had been around enough mind-altering substances to know that they rarely made you feel anything artificial. Mostly they lowered inhibitions to near zero and allowed you to act on all of those little impulses that a sober person would be able to control. But was it him she really wanted, or just some physical pleasure and he was the closest one who could've given it to her?
It was all far too confusing. Maybe it would be best if he just stopped thinking about it and simply got the divorce and forgot the whole thing ever happened. “All right,” he said simply. “I’ll make sure we’re fueled up and ready to go. Is oh-seven-hundred all right with you?”
“Yes, that will work. Chewie needs to accompany us.”
He was tiring even more of the way she sometimes talked to him like some business acquaintance instead of a real person – a friend who had been through quite a few things with her. Why did she work so hard to keep her distance? What was she afraid of? And now she was telling him they needed a chaperone. “All right, I’ll let him know.”
She stood there looking at him as though expecting him to say something else. Probably waiting for him to make some side comment to lighten the mood, something about getting in a little more fun before their marriage was over. Or asking his wife to get to the kitchen and cook him dinner. He wasn’t in the mood to joke around. She wanted to take this seriously, then he was going to take it seriously.
After a few moments of waiting she finally nodded. “Thank you.” She paused again, her brown eyes searching his face for something, he wasn’t sure what. “I’ll see you in the morning, then.” With that, she turned on her heel and disappeared down the boarding ramp.
Han spent the evening not getting much sleep. He went back and forth between thinking about how irritated he was with Her Royalness to shutting his eyes and remembering the gorgeous sight of her standing in front of him not wearing much. It would’ve been so easy to have given her what she wanted. She did want it. When did he suddenly become all noble? It was likely he’d regret missing that opportunity for the rest of his life. Was that better than giving Leia an evening she’d regret for the rest of her life? He wasn’t sure.
The evening passed without sleep, and Han was up early to do his pre-flight checks. Leia arrived early as always, barely offering a greeting before settling in for the trip. The flight had been abnormally quiet. While the pair had often spent time arguing, they were also known on occasion to share some civil and sometimes even friendly conversations. Those instances were few and far between, but he thoroughly enjoyed when she stopped being ‘the princess’ and just talked to him like a regular person. Sometimes she’d even smile. He didn’t get to see it often, but the woman had a gorgeous smile.
Even Chewie stayed quiet, somehow sensing that something was going on but not asking about it. It was the most uncomfortable Han had ever felt flying the Falcon.
They’d arrived at Atzerri without incident, and before Han could even shut down completely Leia started talking. “Chewie, we need you to stay with the Falcon while we go take care of a few things, all right?”
Han wondered what she might start with, given that she was typically not one to put personal matters above missions for the Rebellion. Chewie agreed, giving Han a look that told him that the Wookiee knew that something was up. Han merely shrugged as he followed Leia out of the cockpit.
Their boots barely hit the ground when she continued marching off determinedly, her little legs carrying her much faster than he’d have expected. “We have to get to the courthouse.”
Han took a few long strides to catch up to her, and his impatience with her gruff behavior had reached its breaking point. “Hey, slow down a minute, will ya?”
He grabbed her arm and she shook it off as though his hand was on fire. Finally, he forcibly stopped her, grabbing both of her arms as gently as possible while still accomplishing his goal and spinning her around to face him. “Why won’t you even look at me, huh? Just talk to me. I am your husband, after all.”
He regretted adding that last part before he’d even finished saying it. For a second he thought he might have been getting through to her, and he blew it with six little words. One in particular.
Anger raged in her eyes. “That’s the problem, Han. Right there. You think this is some big joke.”
This woman grew more and more frustrating every second. He suspected it was probably like what having an actual wife would be like. “Hey, I did exactly what you asked for the most part. I haven’t made any comments or cracked any jokes, just sat back and did what you wanted me to do so we could get this fixed. You could at least treat me like you usually do. It’s like you don’t even want to look at me. You know this whole thing isn’t my fault.”
Visibly taken aback, she was silent for a moment before she went to speak, but Han cut her off. “And I’m not sayin’ it’s your fault, either. It was all just a big mistake. That’s it. It’s not something we have to live with forever. Stop acting like being married to me according to a piece of paper in some way has made your life a living hell.”
The anger on her face very slowly dissipated as he stared her down. He only wanted to make sure she didn’t think he was the worst person in the universe she could’ve wound up married to. She looked down for a minute, then back up at him before she nodded. “All right.”
He’d been hoping for an apology, or if he was really getting greedy maybe even some humorous remark. But just the fact that she’d look at him again and wasn’t fighting with him anymore was enough for now.
He let go of her arm, only just now realizing that he was still holding it. “All right. Then let’s go to that courthouse.”