August Challenge Submission
“Whiskey and Wine” by KnightedRogue
It started with an urgent message sent to the Falcon.
Han Solo may have had his less-than-ignoble days but a message tagged as “urgent” was never something any good spacer ignored. And now that he was respectable, it was almost - almost - second nature to toggle the comm array and watch the message as it came through. Maybe the message was from Chewie on Kashyyyk, warning him of something he’d heard from the Imperial warlords. Maybe it was Lando out in the Outer Rim with a lead on that upstart Trader’s Guild that was causing trouble. Maybe it was Luke out on Yavin 4 doing whatever it was Luke did on Yavin 4.
But none of those familiar faces materialized when he switched on the message. Instead he saw the features of a very disgruntled Alderaanian princess.
“Han,” she said, “I have a … situation that needs your help. Would you mind coming by my office as soon as you get this message?”
The image flickered out and Han was left confused. Leia’s office wasn’t far from where the Falcon was currently docked, maybe twenty minutes’ walk. He wasn’t thrilled about being summoned like a servant, though a few years of close personal contact with Leia made it clear to him that she hadn’t meant to sound so imperious. Leia’s royal background didn’t appear much in their daily lives anymore. Not at home, at least.
So something was up. He packed up the hydrospanners he’d been sorting and grabbed a jacket before initiating security on the Falcon and heading out.
When he opened Leia’s office door, he found her leaning back in her nerf-hide chair, staring out a large transparisteel window, a scowl on her face. A dark bottle sat on her desk, corked and unopened. He wondered what it was.
“Hey,” he said, once the door slid shut behind him.
She looked up at him, her scowl still in place. “Hi,” she said. She leaned forward and put her elbows on the desk and her head in her hands. “I’m so glad you’re here.”
He cocked an eyebrow and sat down in one of three chairs on the other side of her enormous desk. He could have sworn there had only been two chairs there yesterday when he picked her up for dinner. “What’s going on?” he said.
She kept her head down. “I just had the worst meeting.” He kicked back and put his boots on her desk. She waved her hand in the air. “There are two water glasses in the cabinet. Can you get them?”
“Fantastic idea,” he said, eyeing the bottle. He grabbed the glasses, opened the bottle and quickly poured a little into each glass. The bottle had a label in a script he couldn’t read and the liquor smelled awful, but he sipped it anyway, curious. “This is … terrible.” Offensive, really. “What is it?” he asked.
Leia sipped from her glass while still keeping her forehead resting on one of her palms. “It is a traditional Hapan matrimonial wine.”
He almost spit it out.
Leia finally looked at him. “The meeting was with a delegation from Hapes. They tried to arrange a ‘merger of two royal houses’,” she said, air-quoting.
“Ah,” He set the wine down and scowled at it. “And how did that go for them?”
Leia looked at him, took another drink. Han winced in sympathy. “I told them to get the hell out of my office and leave the wine.”
He almost laughed. “Very diplomatic.” It hadn’t really occurred to him to worry about Hapan royal houses. Luke, yeah, he’d worried about Luke way back when but that had all been straightened out. Since then he’d learned to trust Leia a little more. Jealousy was a factor sometimes: she was a powerful and beautiful woman and he was away quite a bit. But jealousy was a different animal than being insecure. A little jealousy kept things interesting. “How’d they take that?” he asked.
Leia blinked at him over the rim of the glass. “Not well.”
And then she winked at him.
This time he did laugh and took another drink. He grimaced and set the glass down. The wine hadn’t improved. “I can imagine,” he said, running his finger around the rim of the glass. “Did you just cause an intergalactic incident?”
For the first time, she smiled. “Probably. You should have heard them. Lineages and bloodlines. Which is hilarious in it’s own right, but they don’t know that.”
He looked out the transparisteel window, disturbed by her words. “Huh,” he said. “I’m surprised you didn’t punch them.”
Leia sighed. “I wanted to.”
Han looked back at her. Leia was tired; she’d worked long hours today to try and clear her schedule to spend more time with him while he was still on leave. “You know what, Princess?” he asked, picking up his glass again and tossing back the awful wine like a shot. “I think we should celebrate this little event here.”
She leaned back in her chair and tilted her head. “How so?”
He poured more wine into both their glasses, then lifted his up in a toast. “To your incredibly terrible romantic decisions.”
She laughed loudly and clinked her glass against his.
After the initial bottle of (really just wretched) wine, Leia surprised him by removing a bottle of Whyren’s Reserve from the hidden drawer in her desk. When he asked her why she just happened to be storing his favorite whiskey in her office, she smiled and informed him that she’d been saving it to smuggle into his flight bag when he deployed again. A proper going-away gift, she said.
An hour later Han was feeling nicely buzzed, the smooth taste of the best Corellian whiskey credits could buy easily overpowering the Hapan wine. There was a metaphor in that somewhere, Han was sure of it. Leia was now sitting on top of her desk, facing him cross-legged. She looked so casual, so young. It made him a little desperate.
“I’m pretty sure I’m drunk,” she declared, and tossed back another shot of whiskey.
“I think you’re right.” He leaned back in his chair. “Drunk in your office in the middle of the work day.”
She nodded with exaggerated decorum. “Shameful.”
He couldn’t help but smile. Buzzed as he might be, Leia had solidly landed herself into what he would call trashed. Very few things in the galaxy were as rare. In the back of his mind, he knew she would never get drunk in public, or while on a mission, or outside of her strictly private social circle. Though the thought of taking an uninhibited Leia to a bar and acting like a normal couple was a nice one, he also knew it wasn’t in the cards for them.
He stood up and kicked his chair back until it hit the wall behind him. Perched on top of her desk, Leia was at eye level with him: another rare occurrence. She set her glass down and leaned to the side a bit. When she straightened up, he was standing close enough to put a hand on her knee and she jumped in surprise. Her eyes widened, already dilated and full, and she pursed her lips.
“For what it’s worth,” he said, running a thumb down her neck until his palm rested on her shoulder. “I’m glad you turned down such a great offer.”
She rolled her eyes. “Not a great offer. A merger.”
“Whatever,” he said.
When he kissed her, he pushed his entire torso against hers. His force tilted her head back a bit, and he felt her struggle to uncross her legs and hang them down the sides of his. Her tongue tasted like whiskey and that unidentifiable warmth of Leia: a vicious combination to him, even at his most sober. He groaned in the back of his throat and she swept a hand into his hair.
“Han,” she said as she bit his lower lip. “You need to lock the door.”
Lock the door? His lips were drifting down to the underside of her jaw, sweeping over the softness of her skin to her ear. He couldn’t fathom what she was talking about. He kissed her earlobe, then scraped his teeth lightly across it. She hummed and ran a hand down his back to pull his shirt from his pants.
Oh hell yes.
He grinned and pressed his hands into her hips, pulling back so he could see her eyes. “I hate to say it,” he murmured, staring at her lips, “but are you sure about this?”
Leia arched an eyebrow at him. It occurred to him that though he’d seen her drunk before, he’d never seen her incapacitated. And that, he thought, might be one of the biggest reasons he loved her. She twisted her fingers through the fasteners of his shirt and loosened the top two buttons. Then, slowly and holding his gaze, she leaned over and kissed his collarbone. He made a quiet choking sound at the innocent eroticism of it all.
She broke him. Continually and constantly.
With a flash of movement, he pushed her back against the top of her desk and leaned over her. Digging his knee into the grain of the wood, he ran his palm up her leg, sneaking his hand under her robe as she bent her knee and worked on the rest of his shirt buttons. His fingers found lace and he pulled until it was a scrap of very expensive color on the floor.
He realized that this was not meant to be an exercise in restraint. This was meant to be hard and indecorous.
She’d gotten his shirt unbuttoned and was working on the fasteners to his pants. Nimble fingers triumphed and suddenly her hand was sliding against him, warm and heavy. Han quickly divested himself of the pants and then went back to work, sliding his hand up her leg.
Her hand was distracting him now that she was free to stroke him at will. She would tighten her grip unexpectedly then resume her slow, almost excruciatingly soft caress. He would have been tempted to tell her to stop teasing him if he weren’t doing the exact same thing to her. He felt her warmth slide across his fingertips, pressing into her clit and then easing off. Once he was sure she was ready and with one quick look back to her eyes, he removed his fingers and pressed inside her in one quick thrust.
The galaxy zeroed in to a pinprick. He only peripherally noticed his knees digging into the desk and his hands sliding under her shoulder blades to hold the back of her head. He disintegrated into sound and touch. Part of his brain thought too loud, her office, too loud! But that thought pulled his focus from her, and her warmth, and her hands and her hips. And that was unacceptable to him at the moment.
“Han,” she murmured.
He sped up. Their pace was frenzied and he heard the sound of a bottle breaking on the floor, but he had no context for it. The breath burned in his lungs. Leia moaned and bent her knees further, pushing her hips up to his. The angle was better now, more comfortable. He wanted to grab her hips to help her maintain the rhythm, but didn’t like the idea of Leia throwing her head back into the desk and winding up with a concussion. So he kept his hands under her head and focused on her lips and the breathy way she was whimpering his name.
He gritted his teeth. He was already feeling the tightening that signaled his release, but he also knew Leia wasn’t anywhere near her own. She had little tells that he relied on in these situations and she wasn’t giving him any of them. No fluttering eyelashes, no lip-biting, no curling toes.
So he pushed his knees into the desk, wrapped his hands around her back and lifted her up. In the process he slipped out of her and he was tempted - so tempted - to just dive right back in. But the look on Leia’s face, the confusion in her beautiful eyes, was incentive enough to stay the course.
“Not okay,” she mumbled. It was almost a pout. He briefly wondered if he’d ever seen her pout before. She folded her legs over his thighs and scooted closer to him. Her arms wrapped around his neck and she pushed her face right up against his. “Come back.”
He grabbed her thighs, stepped down off the desk and dragged her to the edge. “Got a better idea,” he whispered into her ear. Then he stood up and, with just the smallest wobble, lifted her. She pulled back and smiled at him brilliantly, wrapping her legs around his waist.
His intended destination was obvious. The first time he’d come here, the office had been sterile: no ornaments or decoration to it. He’d made a point of expressing a little fantasy he’d had during long nights on innumerable Rebel bases before Hoth. It’d been a personal favorite of his: Leia naked in her office, brutally beautiful and passionate for him. He’d requested a piece of wall, just a small one, without shelving or artwork or annoying lighting fixtures. Leia, being Leia, had blushed, then smiled, and then agreed.
And so he moved her to his little empty place in her otherwise impeccably decorated office, pressing her against the wall with a barely discernable thump. Leia laughed and kissed him, craning her neck to reach his lips. Han helped her out by ducking his head; this position - while inexplicably one of her favorites - was inconvenient for foreplay. He was relieved when he felt her hand surround him again, lifting the heavy fabric of her robes and guiding him back inside her.
Heaven. Pure heaven.
He picked up right where they had left off, their pace quick and their rhythm pounding. He flexed his arms and squeezed her legs where he held her up. She tilted her head to the side and closed her eyes with such pleased concentration that his chest seized. Now, with the change in position, he could feel those telltale signs: the fluttering, the biting, the curling. He felt her fingernails dig into the muscle just below his neck. Her lips were bruising, and she kept breaking the kisses to gasp out his name.
The combination was maddening. Her heat, her voice, the rhythmic pounding against the wall. His mind fractured, a million pieces flying out into the space around them except for one very clear, very focused part that felt her shift against him, felt her shudder, heard her cry out. She was suddenly dead weight in his arms. His knees buckled and they slid to the ground.
He brushed a kiss to her throat and she hummed, sliding her hands up his neck to the sides of his head. Silence descended as their breathing quieted. Han had the absurd thought that afterglow had never looked so good as it did on Leia, all flush and smile and tired limbs.
She broke the stillness, her smile fading. “You know I would never have accepted his proposal, right?”
Han watched her eyes, deceptively alert despite the whiskey and the sex. “I know.”
It really hadn’t occurred to him that she would. Not for a moment. He found that incredibly comforting.
She smiled again, dazzlingly. It was like a star going supernova. “Good,” she said, laying her head on his shoulder and closing her eyes. “That’s good.”
A pause. Han was nowhere near falling asleep; the floor was hard beneath him and his knees were starting to ache where they’d hit the desk. He was thinking about the best way to get Leia up off the floor and back to their apartment when she laughed softly against his shoulder. “That wine was terrible,” she said against his shirt. “I’d take the whiskey anyday.”
“Of course you would,” he said, running a hand up and down her back. “I’m pretty sure anyone would.”
It’s a good thing she has better taste in alcohol than she does in men, Han thought, despite his words. He decided to rest a moment, wrapped up in his princess, genuinely grateful.They could take a few minutes before reality settled in, he reasoned. That’s what drinking was for, after all.