I am back with another post-TFA Han/Leia fic because I still have a lot of feelings about these two. MAJOR SPOILERS for the movie if you haven't seen it yet.
Title taken from Ed Sheeran's All of the Stars.
Also on ao3. I don't own anything. Enjoy!
The Falcon felt a lot emptier without Han.
It didn't feel nearly as much like home without him there. Then again, nothing had felt completely right to Leia since Han had—since he had left her, and unlike every other time since the day she'd met him, he hadn't come back.
She could still feel it, the moment his life extinguished from the universe at the same time his vital signs flat-lined on the monitors, the sudden swell in the Force right before it shattered, the pain spreading like shrapnel through every inch and fiber of her body, so deep within her that it felt like a miniature sun exploding inside her heart. Like watching Alderaan explode before her eyes into nothing more than dust and space rocks, except this time she was the planet, and she was crumbling away into nothing.
But there had still been a small part of her clinging on to whatever last desperate shred of hope she had left that he, the seemingly invincible Han Solo, would come back to her. That is, until she stole a private moment for herself while everyone else was celebrating the destruction of the Starkiller base, stepped away from the title of General, and walked onto the currently empty Millennium Falcon. It had been so long since she'd been on board the freighter… she nearly laughed as she remembered how red-in-the-face furious Han was when it was stolen from him. She ran her fingers over the familiar walls, all the nooks and crannies and hidden, tiny spaces she had become so familiar with.
Leia took her first step into the cockpit and paused, took a deep breath, and braced her hands against the sides of the entrance, not confidant in her ability to not shatter into a million pieces right then and there. Another deep breath, a small reach out to the Force to help steady her body and mind, and she entered the cockpit fully, slowly lowering herself into the captain's chair.
That was when she knew. That was the moment she knew he was gone and there was no hope of him returning to her again. Not this time. Even the Falcon seemed to groan and shift slightly in grief as she sat there quietly, running her weathered hands over the familiar switches, over the leather of the seat. The freighter had had its fair share of problems over the years, to which some of the worse she'd been a first-hand witness to, but now the ship was missing its most vital piece—the captain who piloted it, cared for, and loved it for so much of his life. It felt so completely and utterly empty, a physical reflection of the hole that had taken the place of her heart, which made it feel like her chest was caving in every time she was reminded of him.
"Oh, Han," she whispered to the emptiness.
Though his presence was gone in the Force (there was nothing more than a gap where his light once shone, something she felt every time she tried to reach out to him) she could still remember what it felt like to have him by her side. Despite all those years apart, lost in their own guilt and grief over losing Ben to the Dark Side, she could still lose herself in the days when they were young.
If he was here now, she imagined that he would seat himself behind her, leaning over till their faces were only inches apart, and tease her about being in his chair.
He would give her that devilish grin of his, "Finally gonna let me teach you how to fly her, princess?"
She would scold him for calling her princess (because he never really broke that habit, though she knew that it was somewhat because he knew she kinda liked it, not that she would ever tell him that).
"Here," he would say, ignoring her protests and standing up so he could better guide her hands over the controls, "Let me show you. So this here…"
And they would sit there for hours, and he would teach her how to fly. It didn't take much imagination either, because he had shown her the basics of flying, years ago, after the second Death Star had been destroyed. She'd never be as skilled as he was at flying, especially when it came to the Falcon, but she got pretty decent. It helped that she'd become very familiar with the Falcon in the weeks they spent flying to Bespin.
She wished she could go back to those weeks. He would still be there, slowly (and then very quickly) tearing down the walls she'd built up around herself with his teasing and flirting and his sly grins and the soft way he looked at her when he wasn't doing any of the formers. She would have no clue of the heartache that was about to come, when they were captured and he was frozen in carbonite, taken from her life for a year. What she wouldn't give to have him only be gone for a year again. The thought of him being gone forever was…it was incomprehensible. It was deeper and darker than the most shadowy corners of the galaxy. And she didn't want it, she didn't want him to be gone.
Leia felt tears slip down her cheeks. She was grateful for the shelter of the Falcon. Here she didn't have to be composed or pretend like everything was fine. Here she could just be the girl that fell in love with a smuggler and a scoundrel. Here she could pretend that he was still by her side, calling her 'your worship' until she got annoyed, wherein he would call her by name and her walls would splinter and crack because her name, those two syllables rolling off his tongue, sounded like they carried the weight of his whole world with them. And, well, she supposed they did. If only he was there to say her name again…just one more time…if he could just hold her in him arms the way he had on Endor and a million other star systems, like the way he had before he left to try and save their son.
He hadn't sacrificed himself for nothing. He'd tried to save their son, and even though he hadn't made it back from that attempt, he'd saved that girl, Rey, and her friends, and the rest of the galaxy in the process. Leia wouldn't trade his life for the fate and safety of the whole galaxy, but for just a minute, just a second, she wanted to be completely selfish. She wanted him back, even if it meant every world fell away into the endless void of space. If only she got him back for a single heartbeat. She'd suffered so much, lost so much…her planet, both sets of parents, so many of her friends, her son to the Dark Side, and she'd never once let it consume her, never once complained. She was a leader and had to act like one, but now her husband was gone…Han was gone and she couldn't bear the weight crushing her, weighing her down. For the first time in her life she wanted to complain and cry and scream and be utterly selfish. She wanted Han back.
With that thought, she reached out with the Force again, and though there was nothing where Han used to be, she swore she could hear him say, "Don't worry, sweetheart, we'll see each other again. I always come back, remember? Don't miss me too much, I'll see you again. I love you."
A wobbly smile spread across her face, and she wiped tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand, "I know."
I just wanted him to call her princess or something, or for the "I love you"/"I know" exchange to happen and basically it's been a slow process accepting that one of my original OTPs has been completely crushed.
Thanks for reading!