Friday, April 13, 2012

Secret Marriage

Chapter 8
After an interminably long wait in line, Han and Leia made it to the courthouse clerk.  As they waited, Leia reminded Han that he should let her do the talking.  For once, her request didn’t earn them an argument but only because she let his comment about bureaucrats and red tape slide by un-protested. 
The woman behind the counter was middle-aged with a plump face and seasoned eyes.  She wore too much makeup and gaudy jewelry and sparkly things adorned nearly every centim of her.  The clerks were lined up like bank tellers with what looked like blaster-proof glass between them and those who waited to see them.  A small part of Leia understood why, because if someone didn’t undo this thing, she was ready to shoot them herself. 
Leia pushed the datacard under the slot in the window.  “I want to take care of this,” she said abruptly.  So much for her years of diplomacy training.
The woman looked at Han and Leia from beneath her lashes as she entered the proffered datacard into her system and studied the display.  “You do, huh?”  She asked with what Leia was sure was a hint of amusement.
“Yes, as quickly as possible,” Leia replied.
“When you say take care of…,” the woman trailed off, the datacard forgotten and her eyes suddenly transfixed on Han.
“I mean dissolve it.  End it.  Erase it from our records, if at all possible,” Leia replied hotly.
The woman’s eyes meandered over toward Leia as she leaned forward, elbows on the counter, her face nearly pressed to the glass that separated her from them and every other miscreant that filled the crowded waiting room.  “You sure about that, sweety?” She asked and then as her head hitched toward Han she added, “He don’t look like the kind I’d throw back, if you know what I mean.”
Leia’s face burned with a mixture of anger and embarrassment.  Han, for his part, did not say a word.  Just as she had instructed.  But the expression on his face was one Leia would not soon forget.
The woman seemed pleased with the reaction she had coaxed out of Leia.  Leaning back in her chair an air of professionalism glided over her as she recited a well-worn speech about the sanctity of marriage and the planet Azterri’s stand on it.
“I fully agree on the sanctity of the institution, but…,” Leia fumbled for the right words.  “We weren’t…ourselves,” she finally supplied under a mumbled breath.
The woman shed her professional persona and let a wicked grin slide across her face.  “Who were you, then, missy?  I wonder.”
“Look,” Leia started, leaning against the glass as if she might punch her way through it.  And then Han was in front of her, his arm leaning up against the counter, his best roguish grin plastered across his face and she heard that low octave note to his voice that did things that even Leia couldn’t deny.
“Dontcha think you could flip a few switches and punch a few buttons and get this all taken care of for us?” He asked sweetly as he waved his finger through the air.
Leia watched the clerk melt in front of her eyes and had to control the violent urge she had to vomit all over her.
“Wellll,” the clerk drawled.  “I could swap my name for hers and no one would be the wiser.”
Leia suppressed a guffaw as she watched Han’s face turn three different colors.  “Well,” he started backpedaling as he drew away from the window.
“Other than that,” the woman replied lightly but then grew deadly serious, “You’ll have to go through the proper channels like everybody else.”
“And just what are the proper channels?” Leia asked with a heavy sigh.  Something told her this wasn’t going to be pleasant.
“A one year separation, verified by at least three witnesses after said year, in person, at this courthouse,” the clerk retorted.
Leia felt her jaw, her heart, her stomach and many other parts of her anatomy drop down to the floor.
Or,” the clerk continued. 
Oh, thank the goddess there’s an ‘or’!
“You can attend our marital counseling seminar and if you still wish to absolve your marriage after successfully, or unsuccessfully as it were, completing the course, you can obtain immediate expungency of said marriage.”
“Great!” Leia said, relieved.  “We want that one.”  And with that the clerk began to punch a few buttons on her terminal.
“Not so fast,” Han replied, grabbing Leia’s arm.  Then he looked at the clerk, “Just what does this seminar entail?”
The last of Leia’s patience was quickly dissolving away and she had a hard time imagining just what Han could be so worried about.  They were getting this divorce if it killed her, or if she killed him.  Either way, she was leaving Azterri a single woman.
“You and your betrothed,” the clerk said the word as if it were dirty and looked at Leia as if she would just as soon run her over with a hover car, “attend a series of appointments and exercises with our various counselors to try and salvage your marriage.”
“What sort of exercises?” Han and Leia asked in unison and then glanced at each other uncomfortably.
“We’re not that kind of planet,” the woman replied flatly as she removed their datacard from her system.  “The exercises are meant to build or repair the trust and communication now absent in your relationship.”
“But there’s nothing to repair.  That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.  Are you sure there’s no way around this?”  Leia asked desperately.
“Positive,” the woman spat and then pushing the datacard back under the window added, “Details are on your datacard.  Have a nice day.”


  1. Ah, you knew it wasn't going to be so easy. Ha, ha, loved the line "We're not that kind of planet." Man, we have to wait a whole week to find out what the datacard says. I found this chapter very entertaining.

  2. Well, that well as I expected, ha ha. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. Which is just as well, because it's so much more fun when it doesn't go to plan.

    I have to agree with Seams, I love the "we're not that kind of planet" line.

    Also I had fun trying to imagine the look on Han's face when the clerk said that he wasn't the type that she would throw out! I bet it was priceless.

    If any of you have seen the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles, I pictured the clerk to look just like the car rental woman that Steve Martin has the huge rant at.

    Roll on next Friday, because it's going to be fun!

  3. Ha ha. Yeah, figured it wasn't going to go well. Loved that "either way, she was leaving Azterri a single woman." This will be a good one to see them try to salvage their marriage. Ha. Just wait until they have to tell each what the like about the other or some other activity like that. Leia probably wouldn't survive. ;)

  4. Wow, kind of surprised there are no more comments than this.

  5. I'm not. People are averse to commenting both on here and It's a wonder anyone keeps writing if nobody ever just takes 20 seconds to say, hey, I liked what you wrote!

    I like how you went to the trouble to describe the clerk as that is just the kind of person I'd imagine working somewhere like that, and definitely she would get on Leia's nerves more than someone who wasn't so... flamboyant, I guess.

    I loved Leia saying she'd shoot him if this whole thing didn't work out, definitely leaving that planet a single woman. This whole thing seems so backwards when I'm currently looking at that cute picture of them on Bespin in the background here. I can't wait to see what their counseling entails. And I really mean that, because it's not written yet, and at the rate things are going, it might never be!

  6. Ack! Don't say that! You can't leave us hanging.

  7. Yeah, don't say that Zyra. I love this story and desperately want to know the outcome.

    There were a lot more comments on the earlier chapters though, weren't there? It's kind of tailed off a bit the past few weeks for some reason, I have no idea why, because its getting better and better.

    Come on people, show your love for this story...

    1. Overall readership in general is on a big downslide right now as well. Not a fun trend but at the same time I get that we haven't had too many "fun" posts in a while.

    2. That's not good, but hopefully it's a minor blip. I noticed the latest poll has had over 60 votes, which is a lot more than usual isn't it?

    3. I'm still hoping it's spring fever or spring break.

      I would think that's a lot for the poll.

    4. Yes, that's pretty good for the poll although I think this one has been up longer than some others.

  8. I'm enjoying this story and can only imagine what is to come, oh the possibilities. I love the way you all write. You both capture Han and Leia's personalities so well. Maybe everybody is over at pinterest. Ahh, I've wasted more virtual time pinning, but they do have some good H/L pictures, some I haven't seen. Please, Please keep writing. Thank you both for your time and efforts. I know how busy everybody is nowadays. This blog is such a great escape. I hope I don't get in trouble for commenting too much.

    1. No such thing as commenting too much. I hope nobody ever holds back because they feel like, well, I've already commented a couple of times. Keep the discussions going if you have something to say!

  9. Oh, now you've opened the door to all sorts of fun! You can't stop now! I loved the clash of Leia and the woman behind the counter. We're not that kind of planet. Hehe...

  10. Hey, just wondering what's happened to the book review this week? :(

    1. Was wondering the same thing, but suspect it's off a little from last week.

    2. Sorry, sorry. Your bloggers are a bit off this week. Americans, you should've been doing your taxes anyway. Since this is our longest little break since we started the blog over a year ago I'd say we're doing pretty good, but hopefully we'll get ourselves together and be back at it quickly!

    3. No worries, Zyra. But I was just a teeny tiny bit concerned that maybe you'd jumped ship due to lack of comments lately. As long as everything is ok. :)

    4. Nah, might threaten here and there just to guilt some more comments out of people but I/we aren't really that petty ;) I mean, if people stopped commenting ENTIRELY that might be a different story, but that is not the case. And I'd at least let you know!

    5. That's what I thought. I can't see you being the sort to storm off in a huff and abandon us.

    6. I couldn't see that either, but glad to hear.

      Guilt trips, huh? They seem to work pretty well on us, but goodness knows they don't work my husband or my kids. Must not being doing them correctly. :)

      Man, love the background pic today. Really digging the open collar of his shirt. And the intense, uncertain look on his face.

    7. I love how his hair looks so perfectly ruffled up!

  11. Not sure why I choose to catch up on this story in reverse order. Oh well maybe I haven't adjusted yet from my travels.

    Zyra and Push you two are genious. Where do you think of these things? The clerk is fantastic. I love how she basically tells Leia she is nuts for letting Han go. I can just picture this exchange. The looks on both Han and Leia face with the clerk says "doesn't look like kind I would throw back." I laughed out loud. I can just see Han with that cocky smile and his eyes dancing with mischief. I love that someone would tell Leia that.

    Really like how the clerk's solution is to substitute her name for Leia's on the marriage certificate. I am sitting her smiling about it as I type this.

    The clerk called Leia "missy". Smile gets bigger thinking about that.

    The exchange where Leia and Han both say "what kind of exercises" to learn from the clerk this isn't that kind of planet. Tee Hee.

    Love that Leia is leaving this planet as a single woman even if she has to kill Han.

    This was a great chapter. Full of great gems.

    Zyra please don't fret. Your work is so appreciated. I use to run a blog / yahoo group and it is such hard work. You and Push do an excellent job. It takes tons of time and love to pull it off, and you both excel at it. Your work is amazing.