Thursday, May 17, 2012

Joint Story: The Sequel - Chapter 10

Well, I'm baaaack!  Not entirely, though.  I still have a lot going on and I still apologize for my absence, but I did find time to bang out one thousand words or so to hopefully keep this story going and to keep you entertained for a little while longer. 
Hope you all enjoy.
Her eyes tracked from the Wookiee to Han and back.  Spotting a sham from a parsec away wasn’t that difficult for her.  She wasn’t a politician for nothing.  “You knew already, didn’t you?”  She glared at Chewbacca, silently daring him to question her assertion.
She got a series of hoots, growls and howls in return as the Wookiee stood and began waving his arms around and pacing.
She turned to Han, who had his hand over his mouth liked he liked to do when he found something both amusing and annoying at the same time.  He was watching his co-pilot and it took his hazel eyes several heartbeats to finally turn their attention to her.
“What?”  He replied, throwing his arms up in the air and standing as Chewbacca finally left the room, a trail of grunts and snorts following behind him.  “Fine,” Han finally said.  “I told him already.  Is that what you want to hear?”
She drew in a deep breath.  It seemed dealing with Han Solo was a great way to hone her diplomatic skills. 
“Chewie and I are partners, alright?”  He continued before she could begin to say anything.  “There ain’t much I could hide from him, even if I wanted to.”  She watched as he suddenly turned sheepish, something she couldn’t recall having an occasion to see before this.  “And I usually don’t…want to, that is,” he continued.  He caught her staring at him and he shrugged off the shy awkwardness, quickly replacing it with his usual bravado.  Spine straightening and chin tilted up, he continued, “And I told him.  Back on base.  The first day.  And if you want to go and be mad about that, then-”
“I’m not mad,” she said softly.  And like him she shed her foul mood.  In fact, she couldn’t recall why she had been bothered about telling Chewie anyway.  With that self-induced obstacle out of the way, she found her thoughts focused on other things.  Anger was, in fact, a wasted emotion that clouded the mind.  Her father had taught her that, or at least tried his very darnedest to until his dying day. 
“You’re not?”  Han’s voice seemed to come out of nowhere.  She had forgotten that they were still in mid-conversation.
“No, I’m not,” she replied with a heavy sigh as she stood and wiped her hands on her trousers as if she were wiping the entire ordeal away.  “You had every right to tell him.  He’s your partner,” she stated, her eyes looking into his.  His eyes studying hers.  She could tell he was trying furiously to figure her out.  Silently, she wished him just a little bit of luck.  Maybe if someone could figure her out then they could clue her in on some things.  Like why all of a sudden she felt like crying.
Concern filled the cocky smuggler’s eyes.  “Are you alright?”
She blinked and then wondered at, and not for the first time, how dangerously close he seemed to get to understanding her.  “I’m fine,” she said.  “I think I’ll go and freshen up before dinner.”  And with that she turned and left, halfway hearing Han mumble something about Alliance rations, Corellian food and preparing to be impressed.
The door to the captain’s quarters swooshed closed behind her and she let the weight of her body fall back against it.  Her shoulders were first to make contact with the cool metal and then, with a dull thud, she let her head drop back as she shut her eyes.  It had been a long day and she let the stress of the day’s events slide off of her, mentally visualizing it dripping out off of her fingertips and splashing on the floor. 
They had a plan now.  Although the month long retreat wasn’t something that was expected, at least now she knew what they were dealing with.  She functioned much better when she had a problem to solve.  Uncertainty and ambiguity were her enemies just as much as the Empire.  Present to her the facts of any issue, even if at seemingly insurmountable odds and that was where Princess Leia would excel.
Where she didn’t excel was at matters of the heart.  Not love and not with Han Solo, of course not.  That was preposterous.  But since Alderaan…since that fateful day and to some extent maybe her entire life, she had struggled with friendship and trust.  Maybe that was why the loss of her father had been so extremely emotionally crippling.  He had been the only one that she truly, blindly trusted.  When one is not only royalty but also covertly subverting the seated government, it is hard to know who to trust.
Of course there were others.  A handful.  Winter.  Carlist.  And more who had met her father’s same fate.  She clucked her tongue against the roof of her mouth and hissed a disparaging remark under her breath.  Why was she traveling down this path now?  She had learned, the hard way, that wallowing in those memories was a dangerous, fruitless exercise.  She shut her eyes.  So just what had set her off? 
Oh, maybe the fact that Han Solo has someone and you don’t?
Her eyes opened, widening at the realization as she stepped away from the door and shook her head from those thoughts.  Lots of people have someone, she told herself.  When has that ever bothered you?  It hadn’t, not this intensely anyway.  But when Han began to talk about Chewie being his partner and telling him everything, something definitely twisted inside of her.  Something like whenever she had the occasion to see a father and daughter together on the streets of some nameless planet, reminding her of something she would never have again.  But then, this was different.  This seemed to be specifically about Han, about being someone that he would trust unconditionally and confide in without fail.
She stepped into the ‘fresher, stood before the basin and began to splash water on her face.  Looking into the mirror, hazed with age, she stared into her own eyes.  For all of his faults, she was friends with Han.  She knew that he trusted her on some level and confided in her about most things.  And if pressed, she would admit the same about him.  But that twinge in the pit in her stomach, wasn’t over wanting to be his friend.  She wondered what it would feel like for Han to stand up to someone in defense of his relationship with her as he had done just now regarding Chewbacca.  How it would feel to know that she had put the fire into those hazel eyes and the rumble behind his voice.
She slammed her hands against the basin, digging her fingernails into the unyielding ceramic and squeezing her eyes tightly shut.  Now is not the time for this!

To be continued...


  1. Welcome back Push, and what a chapter!!! I don't even know where to start, I like the sudden twist in her emotions from being angry at Han and then softening. Leia's inner turmoil about the loss of her father and the pangs of seeing fathers and daughters on nameless planets, to "wondering what it would feel like to be the one to put the fire into those hazel eyes and the rumble behind his voice" . You're tearing at the heartstrings aren't you.
    This chapter was a wonderful Thursday surprise.

  2. Yay, thanks so much for treating us to this unexpected delight, Push.

    I echo what Seams has already mentioned. I love Leia's topsy turvy emotions here. I think this is just how she would be. And I love the line about the twinge in her stomach not being because she wanted to be his friend. And of course the bit about the fire in his eyes and rumble in his voice. Great stuff.

    I'm also not really surprised that Chewie already knew, even if Han hadn't told him I think he would know something was going on, hes always very perceptive.

    Thanks again, Push.

  3. Welcome back, Push!

    Agreed! Great chapter and a nice surprise. Liked all her ranging emotions and turmoil. You can really feel how the loss of Alderaan affected her. Never thought about how she might react to seeing a father and daughter together.

    Loved that last part about how it would feel to have Han defend her like that. Yes, definitely tugged at the heart strings.

  4. So excited to open the page and see this new entry today!

    I've really enjoyed this story so far. I thought that this new entry was really nice. I loved the humor of Leia finding out Chewie all ready knew, and that she understood why he'd tell Chewie. I enjoyed Leia trying to figure out her feelings about relationships and how important they are personally, seeing the connection between her father and her, Chewie and Han, and, of course, Han and her.

    Look forward to the next one chapter because I've all ready enjoyed myself so far. :)

  5. Welcome back Push!

    That was amazing! She really started to fall for him in the end of that chapter. I love how she wants to be the one to put the 'fire in his hazel eyes'. Can't wait for more!

  6. Yay, a new chapter! Oh, I love that she is already starting to admit to herself she is feeling something for him. I like the way the emotion evolved from her being upset that Han had someone to confide in and she didn't to realizing that her feelings were specifically about the fact that she did not have HAN to share those feelings with. Poor Leia having gone through so much loss and just not having anyone she can completely trust and confide in. Fortunately I think that might change eventually :) Great chapter!

  7. This was a nice surprise to read before I had to march away to my finals! I liked that Han's relationship with Chewie triggered an emotional reaction in her. The whole chapter was awesome, looking forward to more. :D

  8. Thanks, everybody! It felt good to be writing again. I'm glad you all enjoyed it.

  9. Noticed there is a potential for a possible idea for a new Leia centric book???? See link

    1. Well, we certainly need a good Leia backstory novel set on Alderaan I think. As long as they don't give her some romantic interest in the same vein as Han and Br*a, you know, some guy who is the love of her life and the only reason they aren't together is because Alderaan goes bye bye. That would make me pretty sick.

    2. Oh, I agree 100% with you Claire.

    3. Oh, cool. Thanks for posting this. I don't usually see these type of things. That would be awesome to get a story set early on. But definitely no love of her life crap. That spot belongs to Han!

    4. I agree with you guys. I may possibly have to murder someone if she gets a new love of her life.

    5. Cool! I'm not really worried that might happen. As a side note: that editor in the interview who has only been working that job for a short time used to write Han and Leia fanfic. I think we're in good hands ;)

    6. We will be attending Celebration VI in August. I haven't thought about EU talks until I read the article, quite frankly I haven't thought about any of it. My daughter just got approved for a media pass for Celebration. Maybe I can get her to talk with the new editor. hmmmmmm. That's neat that she used to write fanfic. Are any of her stories still around?

    7. Wow. I heard somewhere that she used to write fanfic, but didn't realise she was actually batting for our team! In that case then, I agree Zyra, I think Han and Leia are safe in her hands.

      Seams that's so cool about Celebration. Wish I could go.

    8. I believe she was Dianora. So not just any fanfic writer, but one of the really good ones!

    9. Wow, really? That is so cool. And have liked Dianora's stories. Another case of you can make your hobby your dream job.

    10. And agreed on Celebration. Maybe I can make an excuse to go to Orlando. :)

      Seams, you'll have to let us know if your daughter gets a chance to talk to her.

    11. DIANORA??? Really? OK, now I am seriously impressed. Think we're definitely in safe hands then. Maybe she could use her divine influence and convince them to fill in all those Han and Leia gaps that we still want to read about. And make sure Troy Denning writes them. :). :)

      Wow, how did she end up with that job? She's really done so well for herself. Good on her.

    12. Seriously. I was wondering the same thing. What kind of background does it take to be a sr editor? That's something else. Very curious.

    13. Unfortunately for us, it takes a lot more than just being a fanfic writer ;) I believe she already had many years of experience in editing/publishing elsewhere before getting the job. There is a press release somewhere.

    14. There is the press release.

    15. True. But a girl can dream.;)

    16. DIANORA?!?!?!?!?! Ok, I'm having a complete psycho fan moment now...

      Haha, not worried about Leia anymore...

  10. Oh, and I love the profic quote of the day. So Han!