JUST A KISS
Their granddaughter Allana's wedding had been beautiful.
"My feet are killing me," Leia groaned as she fell back on the sofa, kicking off her shoes.
"I wish that was all that was killing me," Han said as he fell in right next to her. "All of my joints are complaining."
They looked at each other and smiled. "Remember when we first met?" Leia asked.
"How could I forget?" Han said, closing his eyes, remembering. "Cell block AA23. It's fused into my memory."
"You and Luke didn't exactly have my rescue too well thought out," Leia laughed gently.
"Not well thought out? How about, not at all?" Han chuckled.
"I thought you were an asshole," Leia admitted.
"I thought you were a bitch," Han said, wrapping his arm over Leia's shoulder.
"But I found out there was more to you than money," Leia grinned. "And, it wasn't lost on me that you were one hot smuggler."
"Let's just say from the moment I met you, I considered you a bombshell. Okay, the pastry swirl hair maybe wasn't your best look, but that white gown, especially in the trash masher, that showed off your curves like nobody's business."
"You're telling me you noticed in the trash masher." Leia's tone was bemused and skeptical.
"Hard not to, sweetheart."
"I was mostly worried about being squished to death. And you were wearing that storm trooper outfit, which did nothing for you."
Leia clasped Han's free hand in hers. "Somehow we managed to get out in one piece. And you know that if you hadn't come back, we'd have lost the Battle at Yavin."
"Didn't want your brother getting a swollen head." That made both of them crack up.
They sat quietly, listening to the antique chrono Han had picked up on one of his runs so many years ago. It chimed softly as it hit the top of the hour. To the couple, the soft bell sound was a reminder that so much had happened and so many years had passed.
"I have a confession to make," Leia told him.
"Oh? Has my wife traded me in for a newer model?"
"Oh, please. No, I remember when we were on Ord Mandell, and we ran into the bounty hunter. I felt sick that you were going to have to leave once we made it to Hoth."
"Not exactly the way it turned out, was it?"
"No. I sometimes wonder, what would have happened if during the evacuation from Hoth I'd made it to my transport."
"I suspect I'd have gone to pay off Jabba and you'd continue to be a soldier in the Rebellion."
"I think of that, and I know one thing: my life would have been so much emptier without you."
"Leia, I know that I wouldn't have had a life without you."
She blinked back a few tears. "I'll forever be grateful that the roof caved in and blocked that route."
"I was grateful. Okay, I kind of hurt my back on that one."
"You never told me you hurt your back."
"I wasn't about to say anything. I knew what my priorities were. Mine was getting you out safely."
"The worst for me was the carbon freeze."
"You and me both, sweetheart. I was never so grateful as I was that you showed up. And that you killed Jabba. Now that gets you major props."
"I liked the idea of killing a deserving soul," Leia admitted. Both laughed.
They were silent for a few minutes, leaning against each other. They were old now; hair grey instead of brown, a bit thicker around the middle, slower in movement. Their faces were richly lined with their experiences and emotions.
They'd seen much in their lifetimes: wars fought and won, battles that were lost; governments established and challenged; celebrations with family and friends; holidays; babies and kids and later adults in their own right; arguments that sometimes simmered and other times emerged as shouting matches; illnesses. Their apartment on Coruscant was where they'd been from their tenth anniversary on; the walls had seen much, and the memories they had were more than could be contained by a structure.
"Remember our wedding?" Han asked her.
"I was thinking of it the entire day. I remember it like it was yesterday. There may have been a thousand guests, but you were the only one in the room."
"I felt the same way. If everyone had somehow evaporated, I wouldn't have noticed."
"Maybe we'll get to be great grandparents."
"I'd like that."
Silence passed between them for a few minutes.
Han smiled at her. "What're you thinking about?"
"How it all started."
"Do you remember the day in the circuitry bay?"
"I couldn't forgot even if I wanted to."
"The kiss that set everything in motion."
"That was the one."
Han pulled her closer. "Am I still a scoundrel to you?" His voice was rough and quiet.
"You've always been a scoundrel, and you always will be." Leia giggled slightly.
"You needed a scoundrel in your life."
"I still need a scoundrel in my life."
Han took her hand in his. "You're not trembling."
"That's because I'm not afraid."
As they kissed, the years seemed to fall away, back to the moment when the truth of what they were and had was brought to bear.
Sometimes, a kiss was just enough. Enough to change everything.