Predictably Unpredictable

Or: Unhappy Reunion Continued

By Lady Peter

Chapter One: Prologue

Ship's night on the Falcon, in a hangar on Home One. Three or four scant hours after the end of "Unhappy Reunion."

Leia woke confused. Why hadn't she heard the 0300 watch signal? It didn't sound in her quarters, but she heard it out in the passageway every night. Now it seemed she was conditioned to wake for it, even if she didn't hear it. She looked for her bedside chrono, but it was in the wrong place, and red instead of blue. Then she felt the arm around her, and the slumbering body at her back, and it all came back. Of course she couldn't hear the ship's bell: it couldn't penetrate the Falcon's hull. And then it stole over her: the feeling you get once you're home safe: the one that says "everything is going to be fine now."

She sighed and smiled, resting her hand on Han's arm for a moment before squirming out from under it and padding to the 'fresher. She glanced at the shower and felt an echo of the slow burn that had begun there earlier that night. She grinned, feeling a silly urge to salute it. The Falcon was as good at saving Leia's love life as she was at saving her hide.

When she got back to the bunk, Han had shifted onto his back, and she saw in the dim light that his eyes were open. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you."

"I don't mind. You're a sight for sore eyes. C'mere."

She climbed back into the bunk and cradled Han's head on her breast.

"Are you still planning on going dirt side in the morning?" Han asked.

"Yeah," she replied sleepily. "There's this environmental testing some of the Council members want to do on the new refugee shelters. It's getting too far into the weeds, in my opinion."

"Well, you sure don't want to invest in something that's going to fall over in a light wind."

"I guess you're right, but I'm not sure we're the ones to be doing it. Why do you ask?"

"I heard they're predicting bad weather down there. Heavy rain, wind, electrical storms."

"Are they predicting any problems for the shuttles?"

"Didn't seem like it. If they have to, they'll sub out some heavier transports until it blows over. You should be OK getting down to the surface."

"Oh, good," she said, feeling a childish spark of anticipation.

"Perfect weather conditions for your testing, I guess."

"Yes, but that's not what I meant. I like thunderstorms. I haven't seen a good one in ages."

"What's there to like: Getting soaked to the skin? Risking electrocution?" These were clearly the words of a man who'd spent the balance of his days aboard spacecraft: he'd never admit it, but Han suffered from a touch of agoraphobia.

"That's if you're outside. But if you're safe inside, all cozy and warm, it can be kind of-"

"Kind of what?"

"Romantic. It can be romantic."

"Really. And have you ever experienced this...romance on a first-hand basis?"

"Not the way you mean. But it's inherently romantic: something that shakes the world up like that, drenches it and lights it up and makes it new. On Imperial Center, my apartment faced West, so I could watch storms sweep in over the Senate complex. I loved it. You should come down to the surface with me and we can watch together."

"That is starting to sound romantic, but I think I need to be on call here. I'm meeting with brass tomorrow to get new orders. I have no idea what they're going to tell me. I hate not knowing what they're going to do with me."

"I'm sorry, love. I'll try to comm' you in the evening to find out what you heard. Now let's get some sleep: I told Threepio to bring my things over at 0630 and then I need to catch the earliest shuttle."

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Thanks as ever to AnnaFan and FettsOnTop for beta-ing! Hopefully you'll see updates every week or so for the next month. Unless I get a job...