Friday, January 20, 2017

2017 Valentine's Challenge Submission #1 by JainaDurron7

Just thought I'd explain first that I had this story idea a few weeks ago and I got the idea for this scene FOR that story, but I opted on not writing that story. It was going to be focused on Han and Leia's relationship after ROTJ and Leia is struggling with comprehending their relationship status, I guess. It became this whole thing where she felt overwhelmed from the past years' events, especially that trip to Bespin. This is kind of what I was imagining for the resolution scene.
Not even a minute into the conversation and it was already starting to sound like an argument. Leia took a deep breath, but it sounded more like a sigh. “No!” Frustrated only with herself, Leia knotted her hands up in her hair. “This isn't about Luke's faith in Vader. Not entirely. And this isn't about me and Luke! It's something else...“
 “Something else?” Han questioned.
 “It's something...something else Luke told me.”
 “Look, sweetheart, Luke's been pushing you really far. He just doesn't get how hard a time you're having-”
 “This isn't about Luke.”
 “...Then what is it about?”
“Luke told me everything Obi-Wan said to him. It's Vader.” There it was. The words were finally edging off Leia’s tongue, and she grew frustrated with how it relieved her and tied her stomach into tighter knots.
    Han frowned, shaking his head. He started towards her, but Leia stepped back. “Vader can't hurt you anymore,” Han promised.

"Yes," she corrected him. “He can. And he is. Luke told me-Obi-Wan said-Before Vader became Vader- he was someone else. And he was our father.” When Leia managed these words, her voice was so deep and so dark, Han almost missed it. But he didn't. He heard her just fine.
Han’s face went hard, almost angry, Leia thought. His jaw set firm, he shook his head. Slowly at first, by growing in intensity and speed. “No,” he said. “No. That can't be true. Vader was evil, dark, twisted, inhuman- a monster. And you, Leia, you're so good. You're . . . you represent everything that's good in this galaxy. . . . You're everything good in my galaxy.”
 Tears began to pool in her eyes, but Leia found the strength to shake her head. “No, Han . . . “
“Leia . . . ”
Leia didn’t bother to wipe her tears, though she wanted to. They hadn’t escaped her eyes yet and Leia had herself convinced that if she didn’t make a move to try and hide them, Han might not notice they were there. “Vader is my father,” she finally admitted. To herself. To her ghosts. To Han and the world surrounding her. She spoke it into the air, which carried it along. “It’s Vader. He can hurt me. He is. It’s him and he won’t stop following me.”
Han’s posture relaxed. He raised a hand, sighing, and dragged it down his face. “You’re letting him still bother you? That’s what’s been bothering you this whole time?”
Leia shook her head and a few tears escaped. She bit down on her tongue. “It’s everything, Han. And now it’s Vader, too.”
“Everything?” Han frowned. “Everything what? Alderaan?” He spoke the name of her home softer than the rest of his words and it warmed Leia’s heart just a bit.
Leia gave a shrug, throwing her arms out in surrender. “Everything, Han! That’s precisely what I mean! Everything! Alderaan, the Death Star, Ord Mantell, Bespin-
“Leia, relax-”
“I can’t!” Leia grabbed at her hair again, digging her fingers against her scalp until it hurt. “You were right, Han! You were right! It’s everything! It’s catching up to me. The last three years, it’s too much! Everything! I’ve lost everything! And everything that’s happened! It’s all catching up to me!”
Han’s features softened, but Leia wasn’t looking at him. She could no longer meet his gaze let alone even bear the sight of him. The last three years and everything that had happened, everything Leia had seen and done and heard, all hit her in an instant of memories and images. They played so fast in Leia’s head, she could feel a headache coming on, but still she tried to decipher it all, to slow down each scene, each spinning holo in her head. It was dizzying.
She saw Han. Over and over again. Like a long, winding road far ahead of her, he stood, smiling that roguish, charming, lopsided grin. Leia reached for him, but her arm was knocked away by the whirlwind of memories surrounding her. First, there was Alderaan and Bail and Breha Organa. Leia leaped from her bed and hurried down the grand marble staircase to be swept into her father’s waiting arms. She was still little and so Bail held her close, tickling her until  she laughed. But then he was blown away in a storm of rolling fire. An explosion. And it was Vader’s fault. Vader stood behind her, his grip just tight enough on her shoulder. Then, there was Ord Mantell, followed by a few months on Hoth, followed by several months on the Falcon, headed for Bespin. There, Leia remembered what she saw unfolding in her mind’s eye: the mixed jumble of feelings  she had to decipher, the many things she didn't want to admit that she felt. And Han was there. For the first time in that way Leia had first allowed him to be on that long trip. He was there every night, racing to where she slept when she woke in screams from a string of furious nightmares. He was there, like Mustafar, melting away all the ice that she had encased herself in. He was there, shattering her, finding his way in, and showing Leia just how badly she did need a scoundrel in her life.
And a first kiss that sent Leia to the far reaches of the galaxy, in pieces, completely lost, yet as whole as she could ever be.
What’s going on, Leia?” the Han of now asked so gently, yet firmly and oh so lovingly. “What’s happening in your mind?”
At first, Leia could only shake her head. “It all happened so fast. It was going so fast, Han, I didn’t know what to do.”
“What was going fast?”
Us. Han, we’re going so fast! For three years, all we did was bicker, but then came Hoth and Bespin and we were together for a while- but then there was Fett and Vader and they took you away from me. Then I got you back and I thought I was in control after all that had happened, but I’m not, Han. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know where we are. I want to think that this whole ‘I know’ thing is enough . . . “ More tears escaped. “But I don’t know that it is anymore. I know what it means between us; I’ll never doubt that, but I don’t know what it means for us, Han. What are we? What’s happening? What’s going on?”
Leia finally stopped and even the air seemed to go still as a long silence fell between them. Han took another step towards Leia. And another. Leia’s feet remained in place this time. She stood there, still as day, until Han was standing right before her, their bodies less than a foot apart. One of Han’s hands reached up and lazily cupped her cheek. He eyed her carefully, almost inspecting her. Finally, he dropped his hand, stepped back, and held the same hand out to her. “Come with me.”
Leia almost stepped back. Staring at his outheld hand, she asked quietly, “Where are we going?”
“Not far, I promise. Just come with me.”
Leia eyed his outstretched hand carefully. His gaze was soft and Leia trusted Han undoubtedly, but she didn’t know what to expect. She knew Han had odd ways of shattering her like nothing else could. He could melt her in two words and build her up in a single kiss. He did strange things to her and Leia had no idea what he was going to do to her now. But Han had never let her down, so Leia slipped her hand into his.
In a quick, jerking move, Han pulled Leia to him and, before Leia knew it, lifted her into his arms. He stood there a moment, his gaze locked with hers. “I don’t know where we’re at, either, Leia. But I do know where I want to be with you. I think we can figure it out together.”
Hanging on to her one bit of sanity that was Han, Leia responded, “Show me.”
Han held her tight to his chest and carried her down the hall of the Falcon.Leia took a sharp breath when Han took a turn that put them before the refresher door. Han set Leia down on her feet and flicked a finger across the pad beside the refresher. The door glided up, opening for Han. He walked in, pulled off his shirt, then turned to look at Leia. He nodded once. “Come in.” Leia took a slow step in with him and the door was quick to slide shut behind her. She half-turned to glance at it, startled. When she turned back to face Han, he was looking at her with a grin that was small, but filled with such devotion; it was enough to take Leia’s breath away.
Han flicked a couple of the light settings until the refresher was lit in dim, candle-like lights. He stripped down right in front of her, then threw one leg over the edge of the tub at a time. He beckoned her to join him, holding out a hand.
Leia shook her head. “No. Han, I don't want to do that.”
Han shook his head, a smile still on his mouth. “No, sweetheart. Not that. Just a shower.”
Leia raised her brows. “Just a shower?”
“Alright,” Han said, rolling his head. He was smirking. “A hot shower.”
Without another thought, Leia dropped her skirt and it fell in a silky puddle around her feet. Then, she grabbed and held the hem of her blouse with both hands and pulled it over her head. It fell to the floor beside her skirt. She joined Han standing in the tub and Han reached over her shoulder to pull the curtain across the rod. Leia moved aside so Han could turn the water on and Leia nearly jumped at the sensation of hot water suddenly raining on her. Han pulled her into the focus of the shower head’s water with him. And held her in his arms.
“The past, whether it be yours or mine, doesn't matter to me. And it shouldn't matter to you, either. I love you, Princess. That's all that matters,” his deep, bass voice rumbled in Leia’s ear. His hands ran up her arms before stretching up to tousle his own wet hair. From the shower caddy, he grabbed a bottle of shampoo and lathered some into his hair before washing it out. Leia just watched him, mesmerized by his calmness. Once he finished, Han grabbed Leia’s shampoo and asked her simply, “May I?” Leia nodded and turned so Han could clean her hair. But Han turned her back and caught her lips with his for a kiss. He was also the one to part the kiss, turning to the task at hand of washing Leia's hair.
He lathered some soap into her hair and gently scrubbed it around, his hands massaging her scalp. When he finished rinsing out the suds, Han dropped his hands from her hair to her bare hips. 
He kissed her again, this time giving it time. Leia leaned into it. Her arms found their way behind and up Han’s back until her hands were knotted up in his hair. Han drew her body closer, closer to his and Leia let him know what she thought of Han’s idea.
 Han’s mouth wandered off course from Leia's lips, instead trailing across her slender shoulder while his hands held her hips still. “I love you, Princess,” Han muttered again, his mouth now leaving soft kisses across her narrow jaw. “So much.”
Leia held onto him for balance until he let go of her. Afraid her legs would give out from beneath her, Leia half stumbled her way behind Han who turned with her to watch her. Leia grabbed Han and kissed him, throwing her arms around his neck to help pull herself to her toes to reach him. She pressed her lips hard against his until her breath ran out and she stumbled back against the sanisteam wall beneath the shower head. She watched Han through the water spray, Han on one side, Leia on the other. Looking into Han's eyes, her future suddenly became crystal clear and the past several weeks seemed so childish. It didn't matter what she'd lost. Fate had been on her side the whole time, throwing her life to collide with Han’s the very day everything was taken away from her. Han was here for her now and Leia somehow knew he would always be there, at her side. It didn't matter what had happened to her, or even what had happened to Han. They were together. There was all of the future for them to determine. If anything from the last three years mattered, it was Han.
It was always Han. He made Leia's past dissipate so none of it mattered. He could chase Vader's name out of her mind with a single touch. He could ease the pain of her losses with a few words and a brief kiss. He could even scare off her nightmares by merely being in her sight and presence. Han had the ability to not only numb her pain, but also replace it with feelings of love, joy, happiness, and peace. Whenever her heart had lost sight of that peace, he always helped her find it. Now, he'd helped her find that peace again. Leia felt it, reached for it, and let it envelop her in its delirious hold.
Leia reached through the shower to grab Han and, once more, draw him in for another deep kiss. 

Han was apparently just as needy and desperate as his hands slipped right back where they belonged and Han lifted Leia so he held her slightly above himself. Their mouths did all the talking, but with fewer words. Han took a step forward so Leia again had her back pressed to the sanisteam wall and he released one hand to bury it in Leia's long, soaked hair.
“I love you,” Leia took her turn to say.
Han beamed at her, his hand tauntingly hovering over her hip. “I know.”
Leia traced a hand along Han's jawline and brow, then swept it back through his hair. “I love you for freeing me,” she told him. “And for loving me so unconditionally.”
Han shook his head. His mouth hovered over hers. “Stop that, Princess. None of that bantha fodder matters. Vader doesn't matter. Kriff! Luke doesn't matter. Just the two of us. That's all, Princess. That's all.”
Leia moaned. “What are you trying to do to me, Solo? I thought you said just a shower.”
“Oh, come on. Is this so bad?” Han caressed her cheek, then trailed his light touches across the back of her neck. “It's just a hot shower.”
“Yes,” Leia agreed. “A really hot shower.”
Han laughed at her joke.
“Yes, sweetheart?”
“Why are we doing this?”

“You need to relax, sweetheart. You're forgetting all the moments we've had together when you were relaxed. So, I'm reminding you. And giving you the time to think.”


  1. Wow, where did everyone go?

    I love Han reassuring Leia, and just being so unconditionally there for her. And it is also different but I think understandable to see Leia really break down like this. I mean we always see her handle everything without much emotion, but really, that has to get to a person eventually. And that she feels safe enough with Han to share that with him, and let him take care of her.

    Nice job, thanks for the submission.

    1. Thanks! I enjoy writing Leia like this because we never get to see her break down.

  2. Work. Sadly, very sadly work. Yeesh. Darth Life blows some days.

    This was a great read. Just what I needed. I like seeing Leia lose it a little bit. We don't seen that side of her much so that was really cool. And was awesome how Han took care of her. I always imagined he would be pretty supportive of her. And that was a hot shower. :)

  3. I agree with everyone- I think Leia has a *well-earned* overwhelmed spell here, and I think you do a good job of building up Leia's inner tension; I feel it. I like the mind imagery sequence. And I just love how Han brings her back, and puts a stop her overthinking and freaking out with c'mon, we're going to go take a shower and if we just shower that's fine (though of course I'm happy for them that things heated up a little! ;) ). It's a nice, relaxing, concrete action step that believably helps Leia reset. You can also tell he knows her and knows what will work. Smart man, that one. :)

    1. P.S. Meant to add: Definitely good V-Day submission!

  4. Sorry! I was directing a show this last weekend, but real life is done now and I can get to the really important stuff: Han and Leia being adorable in the shower. :D

    This is so sweet. I loved Leia's panic. It felt very real to me - anxiety just hits you sometimes. And that weird tripped out fluttering through her memories thing? I've definitely been there, too. So I can totally see this little emotional scene here. Leia is a strong character, but the whole reason that Han and Leia work together is because he can tear down those walls of hers and get to the heart of the matter, and that's exactly what he does here.

    Han asking for a hot shower? Yes, please. :)

    I really enjoyed this take on the characters, in a kind of emotionally-healing scene. I like that Han is able to calm her down. I like that her humor comes back as she relaxes - I think Leia has a pretty great sense of humor, myself, and it's fun to see that integrated into their scene here.

    Well done! Bravo!

  5. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I sold my house. Bought a new house. Freaked out over it all. Questioned my sanity and life-choices. All while simultaneously trying to keep my work-life going plausibly enough that no one will notice that I'm merely phoning-in my performance these days. In the midst of all that, I forgot to check the blog and almost missed this story!

    I really needed this sweet tale today. I adore Han here; the comfort he offers Leia and how well he understands her. I agree that Leia is long overdue a little meltdown. I can easily imagine her just *crumpling* at some point after all the dust has settled. I like to think she would only ever allow one person in the whole galaxy to see her lose her composure to that extent, and that's Han. Because she trusts him completely now, she can admit to uncertainty and even question what they're doing or where their relationship is going, without fearing any negative reaction from him. They're so rock-solid in this story. I adore it. Thanks for submitting it!

  6. This is a great read. After everything she's been through, it is totally realistic that Leia would lose it once in a while. It's also so natural that it would happen in the presence of the one person with whom she feels completely safe and secure enough to let those feelings show. I adore how you portray Han picking up the pieces, calmly reassuring her and reminding her of the only thing that matters. Such a sweet scene. Thank you!

  7. This is very gentle and sweet - I like it a lot. I think all of us consider what happened in the time pretty immediately after Jedi, given that when you think about it, so much changed for Leia so fast in that film, so I like reading how everyone feels that it played out. Nice!

  8. This was a perfect Valentine's Day story, full of Han's devotion and Leia's realization of that devotion. My favorite line: "He was there, like Mustafar, melting away all the ice that she had encased herself in."

  9. Aw, I love it! Of course Han is going to take care of Leia when everything gets to be too much. This is a perfect Valentines day submission, even if you didn't intend it as such! Congrats!

  10. There for her in a shower to help her wash her troubles away. How much better can that get?

  11. I like the idea of the shower washing her troubles away.

    So sad that Leia gets a calm moment and she finally has a chance to feel the pain of all the many MANY wounds she has endured. Poor girl.
    Good thing Han always has some healing of his own for her. ;)

    Sexy and sweet. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Oh, Han is just so sweet, loving, and reassuring! Love how understanding he is.

  13. I agree with all the previous reviews--it's very realistic for Leia to have a small breakdown in the aftermath of the Death Star, because even if the battle goes on, the head has been cut, and I feel like she's been on her feet ever since Alderaan with the sole purpose of ending it or die trying. In between she suffered more losses and a big family discovery. It feels like the time where all would catch up with her, and unlike when Alderaan happened, she has a person she knows she can trust with anything. And Han reassuring her felt very in character--assertive, sweet, and aiming to put her mind at ease about everything.

    “You need to relax, sweetheart. You're forgetting all the moments we've had together when you were relaxed. So, I'm reminding you. And giving you the time to think.” - I SO agree with this as being part of what makes them great together!