|Bewitched and Bedeviled
Author: GreatOne PM
Someone casts a spell on HanRated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Han S. - Words: 3,865 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 06-09-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5124953
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Bewitched and Bedeviled
Jedi Academy on Yavin IV
Fourteen year-old Jacen Solo folded his arms across his chest, his face a close imitation of his father's scowl. "I don't care what you say. When I get older, I'm going to marry Tenel Ka."
"Jace, how many times do I have to tell you – this is just a passing infatuation," Han argued back, trying to ignore Chewie's warning growl. "I'm not sayin' she ain't cute, but the girl's half Hapan an' half Dathomir witch. It's a bad combination, and I don't know which side is worse – her dim-witted Hapan father or her hot-tempered Dathomir mother." The older man signaled toward his beloved ship. "Help me unload these supplies, and quit fantasying about things that won't ever happen."
"It will happen," Jacen said stubbornly. "You just wait and see."
"Fine. In the meantime, get your rear inside the Falcon and help me an' Chewie unload supplies… Prince Jacen of Hapes," Han teased lightly as he watched his son stalk up the ramp.
*You should not tease him,* Chewie woofed out. *Young humans take first love very seriously.*
"What makes you an expert on human love?" Han asked with a snort.
*I think I could give lectures on the subject,* Chewie replied with a weary groan.
Standing behind a rock, Tenel Ka was listening, and stricken at Han Solo's cruel words. She couldn't believe he would say those terrible things about her. She always had admired the man, too - after all, he was Jacen's father. He called her father dim-witted, and her mother hot-tempered! Okay, she mentally conceded. Maybe her father was a bit dim-witted, but that still didn't give Captain Solo the right to disparage him to Jacen.
Furious, the little red-head stomped off toward her room, trying to think of some way to 'get even' with the Corellian. Tenel Ka felt a bit of guilt as she considered that Master Skywalker would lecture her about the dark side of the Force if he knew how angry she was at his brother-in-law.
She lay down on the soft mattress, trying to put the conversation out of her mind, but it was impossible. Would it really be too dark side to get back at Captain Solo - just a little bit? Slowly, an idea formed in her mind. Her relatives on Dathomir had taught her a great many things… things that Master Skywalker would frown upon if he only knew. But he didn't know, and what he didn't know didn't hurt him.. right? Tenel Ka got up and walked over to her 'supplies' from Dathomir. Carefully, she took out several leaves and herbs, then ground them up into a fine powder. After a few moments, she spread the mixture on the floor, and shutting her eyes tightly, spoke her incantation.
"That's the last of the supplies, dad," Jacen yelled out, wiping the sweat off his forehead as he helped the Wookiee lower the last crate onto the repulsor lift. A loud crash could be heard from inside the hold of the old ship. "Dad?" Jacen and Chewie exchanged worried looks when there was no answer, and they both hurried up the ramp.
Han was sitting in the corridor, a dazed expression on his face, his hand clasping his throat. "Dad? Are you choking?" Jacen shouted, running up to his father. Han opened and closed his mouth, but no sound was forthcoming. Quickly, Chewie rushed up to Han and pulled him to his feet, then put his arms around Han's waist and pushed his furry fists into the man's stomach. A loud whoosh of air escaped Han's lungs, and he quickly struggled to escape the Wookiee's powerful, and painful, shoves against his ribcage.
"Can you breathe now?" Jacen asked in concern, noting his father's face was now bright red, and his eyes were watering. "No?" The young man started thumping his father's back – quite hard. "How about now?"
Han twisted around, grabbing Jacen by both wrists, silently yelling at his eldest son, while backing away from his tall partner.
"You're not choking?" Jacen asked, watching as his father shook his head. "Why didn't you say so?"
The older man frowned and 'yelled' again, then hurried to his cabin as he clutched his ribs. Jacen and Chewie followed, and watched as Han pulled out a writing stylus and some flimsy. After a moment of scrawling, Han thrust the flimsy at Jacen, who looked at it in concern. "Uh… dad?" He looked up at his annoyed father. "This is nothing but a bunch of scribbles."
Han snatched the flimsy back, and stared at it for a second before writing something additional, then giving it back to his son.
It was only more illegible scribbling. "Dad… I think..." Jacen mumbled. "I think we should go to the med area."
The medic droid gazed down at the readout. "There is nothing physically wrong with Captain Solo, except for a cracked rib," he intoned, swiveling his head to peer at Chewbacca. "All other results are perfectly normal, except his blood pressure is slightly on the high side." The One-Bee droid watched as the human soundlessly yelled at the guilt-riddled Wookiee, then turned his photoreceptor eyes toward Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and the twin children of Solo. "Considering his agitated emotions, that is not unusual, however."
"Why can't he talk?" Luke asked.
"Or write?" Jaina added.
"Dad always did have messy handwriting," Jacen pointed out to his sister.
"Not like this," Jaina argued, thrusting the squiggles and loops scrawled across the flimsy at Jacen. "It looks worse than a two-year old's handwriting."
This only made Han even more upset, and he jumped off the examine table and grabbed the flimsy from Jacen's hand, wadding it up and throwing away the offending object.
*The medical facilities here are a bit primitive,* Chewie barked out, his blue eyes never leaving his friend. *I will take him back to Coruscant. Perhaps they can figure out his problem.*
"That's a good idea, Chewie," Luke agreed, after listening to Jacen interpret the Wookiee's words. Even after all these years, Luke still found it difficult to understand every word Chewie spoke, but the twins having grown up with Chewie, understood him perfectly. "Do you need me to come with you?"
NO! Han mouthed, waving his hands in a negative gesture.
"I think that means, 'no'," Luke grumbled. "Good luck, Chewie. You're going to need it."
The two day trip back to Coruscant felt like the longest two days in Han Solo's life. Why couldn't Chewie hear him? He could hear himself speaking just fine. And he could read the things he wrote down, too. It was like a strange spell had come over everyone on Yavin - on everyone but him, of course, and it was very frustrating. This would all be straightened out as soon as they got to Coruscant. Leia would be able to hear him, and then Chewie would understand the problem wasn't that he couldn't talk - it was that Chewie (and everyone else on Yavin) couldn't HEAR HIM! It probably had something to do with the stupid Force. It seemed to be the bane of his existence. Of course, maybe it was some strange virus, and his Corellian genes made him immune to whatever had affected everyone else.
When the Millennium Falcon dropped out of hyperspace over the heavily populated planet, Han automatically reached over and opened the comlink to the space-traffic controller. Confident the man would be able to hear him, he spoke into the microphone. "This is Captain Han Solo of the Millennium Falcon requesting landing clearance to docking port 1138, section 2963."
A male voice came through. "Unidentified ship, please send your transponder codes."
"Unidentified?" Han groused out, banging on the panel with his fist. "I just told you who I was!"
*Cub.... he doesn't hear you,* Chewie woofed softly and sadly. *And neither do I.*
"Just 'cuz you can't hear me, doesn't mean everyone else can't!"
Sighing, the Wookiee turned on the transponder, sending the proper signal to the Controller. "Millennium Falcon, you are now identified, and have your clearance to land."
"Ha!" Han said triumphantly. "I told you he heard me."
Of course, Luke had contacted his sister and warned her about the strange affliction that was affecting Han, but even with the warning Leia was still surprised when Han burst into their home, closely followed by his partner.
*You NEED to go see another medic!* Chewie was roaring at Han, who was stubbornly trying to ignore his friend. *Do not pretend you don't hear me!*
Han spun around, silently mouthing words, and gesturing at the Wookiee. Then he turned to face his wife, his lips moving as he pointed toward Chewie.
"Han?" Leia said clearly. "You need to listen to Chewie, and go see a medic. Maybe you have laryngitis."
*The doctors on Yavin have already ruled out any normal virus that causes loss of speech, Princess,* Chewie woofed out. *And it's not just his speech, but his ability to write, too.*
Luke hadn't relayed that bit of news. "This sounds bad," Leia said worriedly. "Maybe you've had a small stroke. We're going to the clinic, now."
Without being given an option, Han was hustled out of the apartment by Chewie and Leia.
Hours - and many tests - later, Han and Leia dragged back into their apartment, and Leia entered the refresher. The doctors had performed every test they could think of, and a few they did twice. Dejected, Han sat down on the edge of the bed, putting his head in his hands. At least he was no longer convinced the problem was with other people's hearing. Whatever was wrong, was wrong with him, and that was very depressing. What if he never got better? What if he had to go through his entire life not being understood?
"I need a drink," Han muttered silently. He got up, retrieved a writing stylus and a scrap of flimsy, writing down as neatly as possible – Leia, I had to go get a drink. Don't worry about me, I'll be back in a few hours. He stared at the note. It looked just fine to him – he could read it perfectly. He placed it on the bed, and left the apartment.
Leia's frantic voice filled Chewie's comlink. "Chewie! Han took off, and I don't have any idea where he went. Is he with you?"
"He left a … a note, I guess, but it's just a bunch of scrawled lines. Why would he leave?"
*I will go see if I can find him,* Chewie barked, shutting off the comlink. And when I do, I'm going to shake him until he screams so loud I can actually hear him.
Not being able to speak had a LOT of drawbacks. Not being able to place a drink order was very high on the list. Instead, Han was forced to point at what he wanted, and the bartender was not exactly the intelligent sort.
"YOU WANT A GIZER?" the short, pocked-faced Twi'lek yelled across the counter as he leaned toward Han. "IS THAT RIGHT?"
"I'm not deaf," Han grumbled, backing away from the man's smelly breath.
Glaring at the idiot, Han could only nod and hold up two fingers. One gizer wasn't nearly enough after what he'd been through these past few days.
"YES!" Han tried screaming back. It wasn't very effective, but at least the moron filled two glasses and nervously pushed them at Han. Snatching up the beverages, Han stalked over to a corner booth, then gulped down one of the mugs without pausing.
Sighing, he shut his eyes and leaned his head back. It was only then did he overhear the person in the next booth.
"I'm tellin' ya, that's what the word on the street is," a smarmy voice was saying to his companion. "The President makes public appearances all th' time. The Organization wants her dead, and what the Organization wants, it gets."
"So who's gonna be the trigger-man?"
"Pro'lly some bounty hunter, a real professional."
"Have you heard when it's going down?"
"In a few days, I heard."
The other man gave a snort. "I ain't never heard anyone tell such tall-tales as you, Bief."
"Are ya callin' me a liar?" 'Bief' said, his voice hostile.
"I'm sayin' you like to make things up, so you sound impress – " The sound of a crash, then both men fell out of the booth, tussling on the dirty floor.
"HEY, YOU TWO!" the bartender shouted from behind the counter. "We don't allow fighting in here!"
"No one calls Bief a liar," Bief grumbled, getting up and glaring down at his 'friend'. Both men hurried out before the Twi'lek called the law.
As he watched the two men leave, Han knew he didn't care about the fight. All he cared about was the possibility that 'The Organization' had hired a bounty hunter to kill his wife.
Han rushed back home to his wife, his eyes wild, his face flushed, and jumping up and down like he was standing bootless on the hot sand of Tatooine.
"Han? Where have you been?" Leia demanded, forgetting about the small detail that Han couldn't talk. "I've been worried sick about you, and now poor Chewie is out looking for you!"
This declaration was pretty much ignored by Han as he continued to jump around and attempt to speak.
"Are you trying to tell me something?" Leia questioned.
Han nodded frantically.
"Are you sick?"
NO! he mouthed.
"Well! Don't yell at me!"
Han grabbed his wife's arm, pulling her into the bedroom.
"I hardly think this is the time for that, Han."
Rolling his eyes, Han pointed under the bed's dust ruffle.
"You want me to look under the bed?"
Leia got down on her hands and knees, trying to peer into the dusty gloom under the bed. It was at that point Han tried to push her under the bed. The Princess grabbed at the quilt, pulling it off the mattress. "What do you think you're doing?" She watched, stunned, as Han threw the blanket over her head. "HAN! Have you lost your mind?"
She struggled to her feet, tossing the quilt aside. "If you don't stop this behavior at once," Leia snapped out, "I'll …. I'll have Chewie come over here and sit on you."
*I will sit on him, anyway,* Chewie said from the doorway of their bedroom. *What has gotten into you, cub?*
"Chewie, will you stay here with Han?" Leia pleaded. "I have a speech to give to the Elder-Ladies Free-Star Aide Society Auxiliary Club, and I don't want to leave him alone when he's like this."
Before Chewie could reply, Han's expression grew even more agitated than it already was, and he grasped her arms, shaking his head violently in a negative indication.
*Cub, this has gone on long enough,* Chewie growled, pulling the Corellian away and holding him tightly. *You must let the Princess go to her meeting.*
Han could only watch in despair as Leia left for her date with 'The Organization'.
"Jacen?" Tenel Ka asked quietly, tapping the meditating young man on his shoulder. "Can I talk to you?"
Jacen opened his eyes, and uncrossed his legs. "Sure." He looked up at her worried expression. "What's the matter?"
"I, um, I did something bad," she started out hesitantly. "Master Skywalker is going to be very angry at me."
"What did you do?"
"I'm the reason your father can't talk," she confessed, her face flushing. "I…put a curse on him."
"What?" Jacen shouted, jumping up. "Why would you do that?"
To his utter surprise, Tenel Ka burst into tears. "Captain Solo told you I was a bad combination of a witch with a hot-temper and… and a dim-witted Hapan." She looked up through tear-flecked eye-lashes. "I shouldn't have done it, but I was just so mad…"
"We need to tell Uncle Luke," Jacen said with a sigh. This wasn't going to earn her any points with his father, that was for certain.
Han needed a plan to escape from the apartment. Unfortunately, wherever he went, the Wookiee was right on his heels. It was frustrating Han to no end, until he finally had an idea. He turned on the holo-vid, and pretended to become engrossed in the smash-ball game. Chewie hated smash-ball, and claimed it was incredibly boring. Long experience had taught Han that the sport acted like a sedative to his shaggy partner, and this time it was no different. Soon the Wookiee's blue eyes grew heavy, and his head began drooping forward. In less than an hour, his mouth dropped open and a loud snore escaped his lips.
Grinning, the Corellian slowly raised the volume on the holo-unit until it was loud enough to cover his exit from the front door. Now, he just had to get to Leia before 'The Organization' did.
Luke had to admit he was impressed with Tenel Ka's talents, even if she used them incorrectly. "Can you undo the spell?"
"I think so," she replied. "It's supposed to wear off in a week anyway, and it's already been three days."
"Still," Luke continued, glad to know what had caused Han's problem. "Another four days is a long time not to be able to communicate. I think you'd better try and fix this. Now."
Tenel Ka nodded, and immediately went to work on her potion.
Halfway to the Elder-Ladies of Coruscant Free-Star Aide Society Auxiliary meeting, Han's luck finally took a turn for the better. Staggering down the street in his direction was none other than Bief, the loud-mouth drunk. Although Han had only seen the man for a few seconds after the short fight, he was certain the skinny, buck-toothed human was the same man. Without hesitating, he whipped out his blaster and as soon as Bief was next to him, jabbed the barrel into the man's side.
"Hey," Bief complained, his eyes getting wide. "I ain't got no money on me."
With his free hand, the Corellian grabbed the man by the back of his collar, hustling him forward. If Han couldn't talk, he'd make sure this man told his story to the proper authorities.
"Where's ya takin' me?" the man jabbered nervously. "If'n yer kidnappin' me, I got's t' tell ya, there ain't no one gonna give ya a credit fer me."
I'll bet, Han thought sourly, continuing to push the confused man along.
"I'm gonna have ya arrested for unlawfully d'tainin' me."
Han pushed his blaster harder into the man's side.
"How's come yer not talkin'? Is this about the ex-wife? Are ya her new boyfriend? Whatever she told ya, it ain't true. I hardly ever cheated on her, an' she warn't 'sactly faithful an' true ta me, ya know."
Is this idiot ever going to shut up?
"Silent sort, eh? Well, can't blame ya, if'n yer goin' with Tacy. That woman's a reg'lar chatterbox. I could never get in a word edge-wise, myself." The man looked up at the fancy building with the gilt-engraved sign over the door. "We're goin' in here? The high falutin' Ladies do-gooder so-ciety? I ain't never known any of them sorts, an' ta tell ya the truth, pal, you ain't lookin' the sort to fit in there, either."
SHUT UP! Han wanted to scream. This had to be the most frustrating experience of his life. He pushed the man inside, then headed for the meeting room. He could hear Leia's voice coming from a loud speaker, and felt a rush of relief that she was still in one piece.
Once inside the large room, Bief let loose with a loud yell, and made a dive under the nearest table, where six blue-haired ladies with ornate hats happened to be sitting. The ladies squealed in horror as the vagrant overturned their pretty table, sending tea-cakes and red wine over their laps.
"Dat der man is tryin' ta kill me!" Bief screamed and pointed at Han, using the table for protection.
By this time, Leia had stopped talking. She could only stare in shock as old women scattered, rushing toward the exits and tripping on chairs. Soon, the room was empty of everyone but Han, Leia, Bief and two ladies that had fainted on the floor. Leia's amplified voice came over the speakers. "Han Solo. What, in the name of all the Goddesses in the galaxy, are you doing?"
Bief looked at Han, surprise written across his smudgy face. "Han Solo? I guess all them rumors about ya being crazy is true."
"I'M NOT CRAZY!" Han shouted, waving his blaster around like a crazy person.
"HAN!" Leia shouted. "You can talk!"
"Leia! Get down… I overheard this guy telling his friend a bounty hunter had been hired to kill you!"
"I did not!" Bief said indignantly.
"I heard you," Han growled at the man. "You said 'The Organization' had hired a bounty hunter to kill Leia… right before you got in a fight with your buddy."
At first, the man looked totally confused. Then he grinned. "Oh, yeah. I did say sumtin' like dat, I guess."
"Ah ha!" Han turned to his wife. "See? I told you!"
"But ya got it tall wrong, Solo," Bief continued smugly. "Dat's the name of'n a new holo-drama. It's called 'The Organization', and dat's the latest story plot. Them's bad guys hired a bounty-hunter ta knock off the President… but not the real President. The President on the holo-show."
"Sith-spit," Han muttered, watching as the local security force came charging in the banquet room.
"I think it's all fixed now," Tenel Ka informed the two men.
Luke nodded. "I'll contact Leia and make sure Han's back to normal."
Tenel Ka sniffed. "Now Captain Solo will really hate me."
Jacen put his hand on her arm. "Only if he finds out." Both young Jedi turned and looked at Luke.
"I don't think keeping secrets is dark side," Luke muttered, grunting as Tenel Ka threw her arms around his neck and gave him a hug.
No one ever mentioned it again.