Monday, February 4, 2013
Joint Story: The Sequel - Chapter 14
Joint Story: The Sequel - Chapter 14
They walked in silence. Han couldn't help but go over the entire conversation again and again in his mind. He couldn't recall ever seeing Leia so...frazzled. They should've practiced some answers for questions like those. What had they been thinking? This was only day two, it could only get worse from here. Taking a deep breath, he decided to try and talk to her. "Look-"
"I don't want to talk about it."
She used a tone that he recognized easily. It was a tone that might usually have him saying something belligerent and walking away. But not today. He pressed on. "I don't think-"
"I said, I don't want to talk about it."
He got that same tone, only now it was combined with crossed arms and bit of blush creeping up her neck. How were they ever going to get through days or maybe even weeks of this? Maybe he should just let it go. No, no matter what, he decided, he would have to push forward. "We're gonna have to talk about this eventually, sweet-"
"Fine," she said, stopping and turning around to face him. "Why don't we start with what the hell is wrong with you?"
Han drew back. "Me?"
"Yeah, you," she said, pointing her finger at him just to be clear. "Why do you seem to be so...confused in there? Have you forgotten that we're supposed to be lying? Or are you lying? I'd swear on the first day that you-"
"You're right, let's not talk about it." Han turned forward and began walking again.
"Oh, no you don't. You wanted to talk about this so badly. Let's talk about it. Where has your head been?"
Han continued walking as she followed him, goading him to respond. His mind raced with things to say, the right things to say, the kind of things he would've said back before this whole thing started. Those harmless little lies that they so easily batted back and forth between each other. But they were so far removed from the people they had been back then, nothing but the truth seemed fitting at that moment. He stopped walking and turned to her. "I know how to lie, sweetheart. And I haven't forgotten what we're supposed to be doing, but it's just really hard to lie when you don't know what the truth is."
His answer seemed to give her pause and they stood staring at each other for a moment as her brain processed his words. He watched the familiar emotion-free veil slide across her face. "I don't know what you mean."
"That," he spat back, pointing at her mouth like the guilty party. "Do you ever get tired of telling that lie?"
"Maybe we were both right," she said, looking frazzled again. "We shouldn't talk about this."
She began to walk away and he stood his ground as he addressed her retreating figure. "Talk about what, Leia? About who really wanted to get married? About what really made us end up in that bed together? About that, maybe? Any of that?!"
He watched as she continued to walk away, certain that she could still hear him as he watched her body flinch at his each and every syllable.
They hadn't spoken all evening. The pair had returned separately to the Falcon and Chewie - in that innate way he had of reading their body language- had made himself scarce upon their return. Han had turned in early, excusing himself directly after dinner. Leia stood in his quarters, Han having offered them to her for privacy - as was the usual when she traveled with him. Standing there now, however, she felt undeserving of the gesture. Han had been right earlier. She spent the majority of her time denying what was so clearly happening between them.
But that wasn't wholly true. Yes, she denied having feelings for him and that was a lie, but she had no idea what was actually happening between them. For instance, just because Han could sense that she was hiding her feelings that didn't mean that he had owned up to any feelings of his own. He spent the majority of his time goading Leia into admitting things that he himself had not confessed to. Was he teasing her? Did he only want her to express her feelings for him so that he could confirm his suspicions and move on - his ego intact? She didn't think so, she certainly hope not.
But she wasn't entirely sure.
After an hour and a half of tossing and turning in Han's bunk, she got up and slipped on a robe. One of them was going to have to be the grown up. Han had made a point earlier. It was hard to lie when they were both skirting around the truth. Would it be so hard to admit they had feelings for each other? Han had saved her life several times over and Leia had demonstrated a deep trust and respect for him. What did they really think they were hiding from one another? It was ridiculous when she really thought about it.
She walked along the curved corridor of the Falcon until she reached the bunk room. More of an alcove than a room, the tiny area didn't even have a door. Chewbacca slept in a sling-like bed that he had fashioned in the Number 3 hold, so the only current occupant of the alcove was the ship's captain. There were four single bunks attached to the walls and Han was currently lying in the bottom bunk that was furthest from Leia. It was dark and she couldn't make out his features, yet, she thought that he was awake.
Maybe it was because she couldn't see his face, or maybe it was because there was a chance that he was asleep, but all of a sudden the words began to pour out of Leia, even before she could edit them for her protection. "I don't remember much about what happened that night...that night that we got married. But I do realize that the alcohol only allowed me to do things that I probably, unconsciously wanted to do anyway." She paused, wondering if he would respond and then pressed on - emboldened by the silence. "I mean, I don't think I wanted to be married to you, but I certainly, maybe wanted...and maybe that's why I wanted to be married. I don't know. I don't know what I'm trying to say. I don't know what you want me to say. I'm attracted to you. I know that's what you want to hear. What you wanted me to admit. I admit it. I don't always know how I feel about it, or what I want to do about it." She stopped again when a sudden, unexpected sadness took over her. Love was not supposed to be this hard, was it? Deciding that she had gone too far to stop now, she drew in a deep breath and continued, "I've lost a lot, Han. I'm...focused on other things besides..." Me, life, love, feelings - everything you bring out in me. "So, to try and move forward, with all of this. To try and get through this counseling thing, let's just agree that we don't want to be married. Okay? I don't hate you, but I'll pretend that I do. We can lie about that. Everything else...I just...I just don't know." She suddenly felt exhausted, like she had spent an eternity staring at the dark form in that bunk. "Are you going to say anything?"
She waited for several heartbeats but was met with nothing but silence. Perhaps she had said everything she had wanted to say to a man that was actually asleep. Shrugging her shoulders, she turned and headed back to her room. It didn't matter if Han had heard her or not, she felt better either way. A good night's sleep on top of that should have her ready to face another day in the morning. As she reached the doorway to the captain's quarters, she heard creaking noises coming from down the hall that sounded like someone moving around in one of the bunks. She was half-inclined to turn around and investigate as she stilled and cocked her ear out so as to hear better. The sound faded as quickly as it had come and she shrugged it off once again as she entered her room, closing the door behind her.