"Distractions" by Knighted Rogue
Leia Organa had spent the last hour striving for inner peace and had only managed to kneel on the floor of their suite and stew in anxiety. Her knees were killing her. The air felt too hot. Her mind couldn’t focus.
And her breathing was too loud in her ears.
She opened her eyes and sighed. This was ridiculous. She was creating obstacles for herself, and the worst part was that she fully realized it. To her credit, she tried to meditate often, every couple of days at least. Sometimes she even managed a decent facsimile of Jedi calm.
Today was not one of those days. Her mind spun in circles and her heartrate would not calm down. The internal world that Luke described was rife with distractions. Her inner peace was nowhere to be found.
Frustrated at herself, Leia sat back, off her knees, and swiped a hand over her braids. It was the damn suite, she thought. Or the upcoming elections. Or maybe her total mental paralysis whenever anyone mentioned the word family.
Sometimes she was able to accept Anakin Skywalker as the hero Luke claimed he was. Sometimes she empathized with the struggle to change a habit – as though crimes against sentience could be considered a habit. Sometimes she could see the good in a man that had done such evil.
Most days it was like looking through a narrow tube. She only saw hatred through the other side. How could anyone be party to such evil? Such depravity?
Those days were the days when she couldn’t focus.
Leia laid out onto the rich orowood paneling of the floor. The chill felt wonderful against her back and she briefly wondered how long she had been trying to meditate. She considered sitting up, then decided the floor was probably clean enough to just lie here for a moment.
“Hey there,” she heard, along with the sound of a door closing.
Some Jedi she was. She hadn’t even heard the door open.
“Hey,” she answered, and wriggled her feet. Footsteps moved towards the conform couch to her left and now, yes, now she could feel Han’s presence in the Force, a nice familiar warmth. . “How did the repairs go?”
“Could’ve been worse,” Han said, sitting. “This is a good look for you.”
She smiled. “I’m meditating.”
“Could have fooled me.”
Leia closed her eyes and sighed. “Today is not my day.” Han hummed, tapped his foot, and she felt the vibration through the floor. She briefly thought about Luke’s lessons, how he described the Force like waves of energy emitted from every living thing. Very seldom did any of the energy waves feel as real to her as the vibrations from Han’s boot hitting the floor. She tapped her temple. “It’s too busy up here.”
“It’s always too busy up there,” he answered. “What are you going to do about that?”
She wasn’t sure if that was an innuendo; it was a little too oblique for Han. His more salacious prompts tended to be more direct. “Fall asleep on the floor?”
“Nice try, Princess.”
She opened her eyes and rolled to her stomach. “Have dinner? Seduce you?”
She liked the way he was sprawled out there on the couch, one foot resting on the table in front of him, his arm thrown over the back. He quirked an eyebrow. “Better idea than falling asleep on the floor.”
She agreed. Pouting slightly, she took her time crawling to where he sat. He didn’t move but to adjust his feet to the floor, giving her room to sit up between his knees and rest her hands on his thighs. She looked at him, tilted her head to the side.
After a moment he laughed. “I can’t believe you just did that.” He nudged a stray lock of hair out of her eyes. “The indomitable Leia Organa. Where did this come from?”
She scowled. “Indomitable?”
He nodded and she dug her nails in a bit to see him grimace. “If they could see you now …” He trailed off. “Actually, it probably should be ‘if they could see me now.’”
Leia briefly wondered who the they was. “What makes you say that?”
“Well,” he gestured to their suite, his eyes following his hand. “This is probably the last place anyone thought I’d wind up.” He looked back down to her and grinned. “Much less you sitting there, looking like that.”
She accepted his praise with a head tilt. “It would be a stretch of the imagination.” She looked down towards his belt, ran a finger through a loop.
“What would your younger self think of this compromising position we’re in, here?” His voice was jovial, teasing, but she detected a shift in his eyes. “Hardly proper royal etiquette.”
She smiled. “How do you know?”
Han’s eyes hardened so infinitesimally that Leia wasn’t sure she’d actually seen the change. “Funny. Thought you were from Alderaan. Raised at Aldera, bastion of the right and moral – “
“I don’t remember ever saying that.”
“ – beacon of good manners and sexual repression – “
“I definitely never said that.” She stood up, banter forgotten, and sat next to him on the couch. “What’s this about?”
He shook his head. “Nothing.” She opened her mouth to argue and he quickly continued. “Really. Just a weird conversation with Luke.”
That was unexpected. “About our sex life?”
If she had hoped to make his smile return, she was out of luck. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, rested it on the back of the couch. “He was going on and on about how important your training was, how you and he were the only hope for the next generation of Jedi.”
He sounded like he was repeating Luke verbatim. “Okay.”
“And I said something like if you and he were creating the next generation of Jedi together, we were all in a heap of trouble.”
He lowered his chin long enough to say: “Says the woman who stuck her tongue down her brother’s throat.” Then he resumed his inspection of the ceiling. “And he told me I was a distraction.”
Leia wasn’t sure she heard Han correctly. When he looked at her again, she sputtered out one word. “Why?”
“He says you aren’t concentrating.”
Leia didn’t know how to react to that. Especially now, after a particularly trying meditation session. She took a moment to consider that. It was, of course, none of Luke’s business what she did in her private time and in her own quarters. And she’d been a good apprentice. Diligent, attentive, responsible. She’d amassed the same level of concentration that she had at the university.
She shut her eyes and leaned the side of her head against the back of the couch.
While at university, Leia had been a good student. But she had also been bored. Political theory wasn’t the most exciting of subjects, and she’d always had a bit more adventure in her blood than Bail had known what to do with.
She’d been going through the motions because she’d known that was what she was supposed to do.
Then and now.
“I have been distracted,” she murmured. “But not with you.”
She rolled her eyes. “I mean,” she said, “I am probably not the most focused of students right now.”
Han looked at her a moment, then said: “Because of Vader?”
The man had to be Force-sensitive, she thought. There was no other explanation for his moments of incredible insight. “Probably. Yes.”
He nodded. “That’s a lot to think about.”
He continued. “Look, maybe you need a break.”
“I can’t take a break, Han – “
“Why not?” Han asked. “What is so goddamn important that you can’t sort out your brain for a bit?”
She gaped at him, mouth slack and unresponsive.
”I’m just saying, you’ve had a lot of changes in the past year. Relatives coming out the woodwork, magic powers suddenly appearing.” His eyes twinkled. “Me.”
She tried not to smile. “Yes. You.”
“And maybe you need some time to sit with all this, all these distractions – “ He rolled his eyes, “ – and try to make some sense out of all of us.”
She almost laughed at his phrasing, lumping himself into her relatives and magic powers like he was just another thing to worry about. “You do make it difficult to concentrate.”
“If I took this little break, I’d want to actually leave this planet.”
He nodded again. “Even better.”
“And I’d want you to come with me.”
“Of course,” he said. “It’s not much of a party without me.”
She laughed and moved over to him, sliding a leg over to his other side until she was straddling him. “We can’t really do this.”
But she appreciated him trying. More than he would ever know.
“I don’t actually think you are a distraction,” she said, as she leaned in to whisper in his ear. “I think of you more as an …. educational aid.”
She felt his hand slide down her back, slowly and so soft. Maybe his younger self wouldn’t have believed she’d ever be sitting in his lap like this, her tongue in his ear and his hand slowly sliding underneath her tunic to sweep across the skin of her lower back.
But her younger self probably wouldn’t be so surprised.
Her younger self had imagined moments just like this one. Often, too.
“You facilitate good cognition,” she continued, laughing quietly and sneaking a hand under his shirt and resting it on the skin of his abdomen.
“Do I?” He sounded a bit breathless.
She hummed into his ear, then swept her lips under his jaw. “Every apprentice should have a Han Solo.”
He laughed, slipped his arm around her and tumbled her down onto the couch, pressing their chests together and weighing her hips down into the cushions below her. She brought her hands to his face and smiled at him.
“There’s not enough of me to go around,” he said. “I have this one customer who takes up most of my time, real demanding, very stubborn, orders me around like some kind of – “She leaned up and kissed him to shut him up and remind him exactly why there wasn’t enough to go around.
A big Thank You to Knighted Rogue for her submission and a callout for any other talented authors as we near Valentine's Day! We know you're out there.