Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Joint Story - Chapter 18

(Okay, this picture has nothing to do with the Joint Story, but you guys were talking about Leia's hair for the movies and this is how I picture older Leia.  I know - SHORT hair for her - but I just don't see the long elaborate buns and do's.  Anyways, thought I'd share that visual.  Also, I think it is an attainable look for Carrie.)

Joint Story - Chapter 18

Please don’t let me love him.  I won’t be able to handle it when he leaves.

It took a few moments for her to get past that thought.  She realized that all of the ramifications of what had happened to her on the Death Star and to her home planet of Alderaan, had all not yet played out completely.  Would the loss of everything that was dear to her render her incapable of love and commitment?  Would the fear of loss forever taint the way she lived her life now?  Was she broken?  Is that why she feared her growing feelings for Han?  Yet another sobering thought. 

No one could walk away from that experience undamaged, she realized that.  But just how damaged was she?  Would she ever really know?  One thing was for certain, the Leia Organa lying in the captain's quarters of the Millennium Falcon would never be the same Leia that had stepped foot on that Death Star in shackles.  It was a daunting task...rewriting oneself.  She closed her eyes and thought about her current situation, her choices, her life.  Is this how you want to be rewritten?

A soft knock on the cabin door jarred her from her musings.  It was an unfamiliar sound.  No one really knocked on the metal doors of a ship's quarters.  Intercoms and announcers were the norm.  The Falcon's announcers were out-dated and broken and unlike other things, like the hyperdrive and laser cannons, Han hadn't seen the necessity in fixing them or updating them.  Leia could understand the sense in that, after all, it was usually only he and Chewie couped up on the small ship.  Regardless, the knock repeated in earnest while she was processing its occurrence and it was now accompanied by a faint "Leia?" in what she recognized as Han's voice.

She sat up and hit the door controls that were inset at the alcove of the headboard before thinking the entire thing over.  As the door slid open, she pulled the covers over herself.  She was wearing an Alliance undershirt and drawstring pants, so she was hardly indecent, but if she had been thinking clearly she would've at least slipped on her robe before opening her bedroom door to a man.  The entire lapse in judgement was nearly all worth it, however, when she saw the look on Han's face as he found her sitting in his bunk clutching his sheets to her chest.  One would've thought that she was sprawled naked and doing back flips if judging solely by his reaction.  She took a moment to enjoy the color on his cheeks, a pleasant role reversal for the two of them.

"Um," Han stammered as he stood in the doorway, apparently not yet ready or able to enter the room.  "Are you okay?"

"Yes," she answered quickly, sitting up a little straighter.  "Why?"

He shook his head and seemed to gather his wits.  "I thought I heard something.  Wanted to make sure you were alright."

"I'm fine," she said and regretted that it came out sounding snappy.

Han nodded in response and began backing out of the door with an apology.  But before his hands could reach the door controls she stood and scurried towards him saying, "Wait.  I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to snap."

"It's alright.  I just wanted to make sure you were okay.  You know, after last night."

"I know.  I know.  I acted horribly and you have a right to worry and now I'm snapping at you.  I'm sorry."

She stood a few paces from him, his sheets still clutched to her chest but now hanging down and not doing much of anything as far as cover.  His gaze traveled over the length of her and she had to remind herself that she was indeed properly dressed.  Again, maybe it was because she was standing in his quarters, wrapped in his sheets, whatever it was she knew with the way that he was looking at her that he was seeing something else entirely and she found her body reacting in kind.  A nervous, yet pleasant warmth blossomed inside of her and spread through every blood vessel and limb.  When the telltale warmth reached her cheeks she bowed her head and looked away from him.  What does this mean when he does this to me?

Leia may've been naive when it came to intimate relationships with men, but she wasn't dumb.  She knew what it meant all the while trying to pretend that she didn't.  This was what she was fighting.  This feeling of nakedness, of vulnerability, of want, desire and loss of self-control that she experienced when she was around him.  A different Leia, in a different reality may have been able to face these things as normal people would.  But with so little is left in her control, for someone that is forever teetering on the edge of sanity, what's normal to others becomes impossible for them.  Or at least seemingly impossible.  But it is possible.

"Hey."  Han took his finger and lifted her chin.  He had stepped closer to her, found the courage to join her in his room.

"Hey," she croaked back as her eyes found his.  This doesn't have to be terrifying.

"You don't look alright."

"I drank too much."

"I noticed."  The breath from his silent chuckle ghosted across her cheek.

"I owe you an apology."

"For what?  Being human?"

You're the only one I'm able to be human with.  She swallowed.  It was then that she realized that her worries from earlier were in vain.  There was no use hoping that she wasn't in love with him.  It was a futile gesture, a foregone conclusion.

"Leia," he began but then stopped.

"I love you," she blurted out into his silence.  Everything felt lighter when those words had escaped her.  "I don't know if I said it before, but I do.  And...I wanted you to know."

Han took his face in her hands, stroking her cheeks with his thumbs.  "Are you sure you're sober?"  He asked with a smile.

"Positive.  I can recite the Alliance pledge if you'd like."

"Not necessary," he replied.  "And, just so you know, you didn't say it before - that night.  But the way you acted, what you did...it was the first time I allowed myself to think maybe you did."

She felt gloriously freed from some heavy armor that she hadn't even been aware she'd been wearing.  But she was also very much attuned to the fact that he had not yet responded in kind to her.  It was no matter, really.  In her heart she was sure that he loved her, had proven it time and again.  On some level she believed that she knew him and if he was unable to find the words, it was more his nature than lack of the feeling.  I don't need the words.

"Oh," he said as if remembering something.  "And I love you, too."

She smiled and rose up on her tiptoes to allow her lips to meet his.  She dropped the sheet she had been holding and wrapped her arms around his neck.  Eager and elated at the turn of events she moved to deepen the kiss but Han stopped her.  Placing his hands on the side of her face, more purposefully this time than before, he studied her eyes and asked, "Are you sure this is you?"

This is who I want to be.  "Yes," she whispered adamantly with more than a hint of impatience in her voice.

Han seemed to take the answer and the hint with much delight as he lowered his face to hers and relinquished himself to the kiss she had tried for earlier.  The feel of his lips on hers, his tongue invading her mouth, his hands running over her back and hips, it was all so foreign, yet addicting and...safe.  She longed for him to touch more of her, relishing in the bold feeling that his hands teased out of her.  This is who I can be.

"Leia," he whispered her name through her hair, his breath hot against her ear.  "Leia," he said her name again, louder this time.  Something all of a sudden didn't feel right, he was no longer in her arms.  There was a loud banging coming from somewhere on the ship.  Had he left her to tend to some repair?  Before she could curse the Falcon for her poor timing, she heard her name again, "Leia!"

Her eyes sprang open, she sat up and clutched the covers to her chest as she watched the door to her quarters slide open.  It took a few blinks for her to realize that she had been dreaming. 

"You alright?"  Han asked, the words so similar to her recent dream but his voice, mannerisms and their delivery were worlds apart.

"Yeah, wha-"

"Get dressed," he snapped.  "We got company."  And with that he turned and headed down the corridor and out of sight.

It took a moment for Leia's mind to catch up to reality, her breathing was heavy from being awaken so suddenly and from such a dream.  A dream!  More than a small part of her felt robbed at the unfairness of it all.  The freedom, the elation - his hands! - had all felt so real...so wanted.  She let out a deep breath but when she heard Han call her name once more from around the corridor, she sprung into action to get dressed.  Who in the nine hells could this be?


  1. Ah man, I knew that had to be a dream, but I didn't want to believe. Great chapter, Push! I want to know who this company is...

  2. I admit, you had me, you had me BIG TIME with that! I was thinking, woah, Leia is really going for it, and I wondered what had come over her, then damn it, she wakes up! But hey, I enjoyed it anyway. Even if it wasn't "real", it was still great!

    And I agree on the shorter hair for Leia. Think it would make her look much more distinguished. Could be a good look for her.

  3. GACK. You totally had me. I should've known better, but I'm so longing for it to happen.

  4. You really kicked my butt with that chapter. I was with Han the whole time going "Is this really you?!" and SO wanting it to be. Of course, when I finally let myself believe it was real he had to go and say her name twice like that... I'm such a gulla-bull. Excellent chapter! Hopefully the dream will help Leia come to terms with what they're going through, and then they can reenact this out of a dream sequence!

    Seconding what claire1976 said, the shorter 'do definitely makes her look more distinguished.

  5. Oh, what a tease! I felt as frustrated as Leia must have when she woke up from the dream and we both realized all of the Han and Leia interaction wasn't real.

    I love the way Han looks her over and her reaction to it. I loved their exchange of feelings with Leia feeling the weight lifted off her and Han wanting to make sure she wasn't inebriated into telling him.

    Oh, and of courses him saying:
    "And, just so you know, you didn't say it before - that night. But the way you acted, what you did...it was the first time I allowed myself to think maybe you did."

    I can't wait to see what happens next, as usual!

  6. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat update!!! I was starving for new fic! No, I'm not Tony the Tiger, I just play him when satisfied :) Thanks :)

  7. Oh Push, you are a mean, mean woman! :) You had me good.

    BTW, I like the new background pic. I think this is one of the few times in the films that we see the true height difference between L & H.

  8. Regarding the hair, there's a really cute moment in the EU, during the LOF series, I think, while our pair are having all their marital discord. Leia ends up meeting the rest of the family someplace where there's a quarantine, and b/c she is so eager to see Han, she takes off her protective helmet even though it means she will have to shave her head. I always thought that was a charming way for her to finally lose the braids.

  9. D'oh! only a dream, but at least a good one. looking forward to more!

  10. Thanks for all the comments guys! Sorry for the subterfuge but you know, I knew we were all wanting some kissy time so I had to get it in there some kindof way, right? Glad y'all enjoyed it.

  11. OMG! :D I kinda hoped it's a dream because I want Leia's first "I love you" to be in the carbonite place and that their first kiss is on the way to Bespin! :D But i REALLY didn't believe it's a dream! :D

    And what a nice chapter over all! :)

  12. And to the hair... I hate the buns but liked the braids. I think it would be something common to the Alderaani women. :) Anyway, this short hair is way better than the curly one in some EU book cover. Planet of Twilight: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Leia_Organa_Solo?file=LeiaOrganaSolo-PlanetOfTwilight.jpg

  13. Brilliant, as usual! Truthfully, I really wasn't expecting that! I can't wait for the next update, I think this is my favorite joint story yet!

  14. You got my hopes up and then it was just a dream.
    Now who's interrupting?

  15. Awesome update :D i've been hoping you would put up another chapter soon and actually squealed when I saw you had. This is one of my favourite Han and Leia fanfics as it always has me wondering what will happen next. You caught me with the dream as I actually thought it was real. Can't wait to see what happens next!!

  16. Ya all need to update SOON

  17. As always, great update. Can't wait for more!

  18. Ah, I'm late to the commenting, of course. What a tease! I can't really blame you though because it might have been my idea ;) I love this scene though, even if it isn't "real." It's like what she wishes she could do and say. And nice seamless transition at the end into her being awake. And who is there? Oh, crap, I guess I'm the one who's supposed to figure that out.

  19. Sorry for the late response. That was awesome. And would have been great if she really was going for it. Well done. I really liked this line -

    The freedom, the elation - his hands! - had all felt so real...so wanted.

    And dying to know who came to visit.