Truth or Dare
by Valerie Vancollie
valeriev84 at hotmail dot com
Note: 1) This fic appeared in the Star Wars fanzine I Don't Care What You Smell" in May 2006.
2) While this fic has not appeared online before, it is not a new fic, it was written 2006 and so has my writing style from back then, not now.
3) This fic will be posted in parts, one for each Rogue & Han participating in the game. Each new chapter should come out quickly (I'm aiming for 1 a day) as the fic is already finished. Just be warned, as this was written as a single fic, some of the 'chapters' will be very short!
Luke smiled subconsciously as he picked up the hydrospanner lying next to him and reached deep into the gut of his X-wing.
Technically he was off-duty at the moment, but he had always loved tinkering with mechanical equipment, especially if it was a ship of some kind. And, currently, if he didn't clean the innards of the ship, no one would. Normally, the techs were responsible for the routine cleaning of all crafts, but, as usual, the Alliance was desperately short of people and the techs that were on the base were all occupied with getting the speeders adapted to the freezing temperatures of Hoth. Therefore all other non-urgent tasks were pushed aside for the moment. Besides, it was his life that depended on the good condition of the ship, so he liked to check her over himself from time to time.
With a few swift movements of his wrist, Luke freed the part that he wanted and sat up. Putting aside the tool and grabbing the dirty rag, he looked around. From his perch on top of the X-wing, he could see practically everything else in the large cavern and he even had a good view of the ice fields outside as the blast doors were momentarily open. Suppressing a shiver as cold air rushed inside, he turned his attention towards the other X-wings stationed next to his and the people working on top of them. Like him, several of his squad were cleaning up their ships.
His mind was still unable to work its way around the concept. Sure, he had always dreamt of flying and of being a hero, but it had always been just that: dreams. He had never actually stopped to consider the responsibilities and concerns that reality would bring with it. The fact that various members of the newly formed Rogue Squadron had more experience and were older than him also bothered him. He believed that some of them, like Zev, would make far better commanders than himself. But the Alliance High Command had brushed aside his concerns saying that they wanted him to lead these men now that Commander Narra was dead.
Despite this, Luke had made sure that Zev and the others knew that he was open to any advice they would give him. This had led to a good camaraderie between them and he had quickly become friends with the men under his command. Noticing his unfamiliarity with his position, the others enjoyed teasing him from time to time when the opportunity presented itself. Surprisingly, this had helped him fit in as it reminded him of Biggs and the way they had teased each other back on Tatooine.
Luke shook his head and focused his attention on cleaning the engine part in his hands as he tried to ignore the bitter cold. Coming from a desert planet made adjusting to Hoth's freezing temperatures far more difficult for him than for the others. Which, inevitably, led to more friendly teasing as he wore enough layers of clothing to make him look twice his size. And he was still cold despite all of it. Especially his hands as he couldn't wear gloves at the moment or else they'd end up as filthy as the rag he used by the time he was done.
The grime and oil removed from the part, he picked up a tool and leaned forward to restore it to its rightful place. Luke was just sitting up again when something soft hit him on the side of his head. He reacted instantly, one hand reaching up to catch what had hit him while the other dropped the tool and reached out to keep him balanced. Looking down at the dirty rag in his hand, he heard the laughter of the other pilots. Lifting his head, he sent a mock glare at them as he tried to figure out who had thrown the rag.
"A little drastic, I know," Wedge apologized, the twinkle in his eyes indicating that he felt anything but remorse. "But I've been trying to get your attention and you weren't responding, Commander."
"Sorry," Luke replied, not bothering with an excuse as they all knew why he hadn't reacted. He still wasn't used to being called by the title commander.
"No problem. We're going to take a break, head over to the cafeteria and see if we can get a bite to eat and something to drink," Wedge explained. "Want to come with us?"
"What? And have them kick us out again?" Luke inquired as he shook his head. "You know they don't like us hanging around there between meals."
"It's worth a try," Dack stated with a mischievous smile. "Besides, I think the brunette likes you, you might be able to get us something."
"Of course the brunette likes him," Hobbie interjected as Luke's face flamed. "She was on the Yavin base at the time of the Death Star fiasco. He saved her life."
"How would you know if she was on the Yavin base?" Zev demanded. "Unless you noticed her there, perhaps?"
"Who wouldn't notice her with the figure she's got?" Hobbie shot back.
"Ooh, I think Hobbie's got a crush!" Wes exclaimed with glee. "Is there something going on that you haven't told us about?"
"No, of course not," Hobbie snapped.
"Sorry, Commander," Dack said as he turned his attention back to Luke. "Looks like the brunette is taken."
"That's fine by me," Luke replied as he forced his face to return to a normal color, his eyes seeking a way out of the current topic of conversation before it got embarrassing. "Han!" he called out, spotting the Corellian as he approached the X-wings. "You're back." Deftly, he leapt down, making sure that the others had a clear view of his doing so. It wasn't often that he could so bluntly remind them that he could use the Force.
"Hey, Kid. Just the person I was looking for," Han greeted with a smile. "I picked something up for you on Vlomar."
"Really? What is it?"
"You'll have to come with me and find out. I've got the Falcon in the cavern by the West entrance," Han responded before he looked up at the other pilots. "I also managed to get quite a bit of ale, so, if anyone's thirsty, you're more than welcome to join us."
"If it's Corellian ale, I'm in," Wedge declared, pushing his tools aside before moving towards the ladder.
"Of course it's Corellian," Han stated. "I wouldn't get anything else."
"All right!" Dack exclaimed as he and the others followed Wedge down.
"Don't suppose you'd have something to eat as well?" Wes demanded as they all headed for the West entrance.
"Nope," Han replied. "Just lots of ale. We'll have to drink it outside of the Falcon, though. There are too many of us to sit in the game room and the Falcon is still crammed full of cargo. They don't have time to unload her just now."
"No problem," Hobbie said.
"Hey, how about some amusement?" Dack suggested. "Truth or dare?"
"You're on," Zev responded instantly.
"Good idea," Hobbie agreed as most of the others nodded. "You game, Solo?"
"Ah, hell, why not? Should be fun. Luke, you joining?"
"Me?" Luke questioned as they entered the enormous cavern and headed towards Han's pride and joy. Quickly glancing at the blast doors, he was thankful to find them closed. "I'm not sure that I fancy the idea of letting you guys come up with something for me to do."
"You can take truth then," Wes pointed out.
"Like you'd be more trustworthy there."
"Ah, come on, it'll be fun," Wedge pressed. "And we'll promise not to do anything dangerous or which will get any of us into serious trouble with the Council. Right guys?"
"Oh, all right," Luke stated when everyone agreed, secretly glad to be in on this game. He'd heard rumors of the previous ones and they had sounded like a lot of fun, even if that fun was normally at the expense of someone's dignity.
"Talking about promises," Han began as they reached the Falcon's ramp. "I think we should also promise to do that which is asked of us now that we've made sure none of the dares will be physically harmful. Far too many times I've known people to suddenly decide to drop out of the game once it comes to their turn and they learn what they need to do or confess."
"Maybe that's because of the company you keep," Wedge quipped with a smile.
"Hey! What's that supposed to mean?"
"It had better not," Han warned as he wagged his finger at his fellow Corellian. "Now, I need a couple of you to help me get the ale."
"I'll help," Luke offered.
"Me too," Zev said.
"Good, that should be enough," Han stated. "Why don't the rest of you find us something to sit on?"
"Good idea," Wedge replied. "Don't want the commander to get even colder by sitting on the ground, now do we?"
"Can it, Antilles," Han scolded lightly. "When Luke comes back out, he'll be as warm as can be."
"Why don't I like the sound of that?" Luke groaned. "Perhaps Hobbie should help you, and I'll stay out here."
"Oh no you don't," Han exclaimed, grabbing the younger man's upper arm as he tried to get past him. "You're coming in."
"Do I have to?" Luke whined mock-seriously.
"Yep," Han said as he walked up the ramp, pulling the young Jedi with him. "You two will find the ale in the spare cabin. I'll go get Luke's present."
"I have a really bad feeling about this," Luke complained as he led Zev through the small corridor towards the spare cabin.
"I think it'll be great," Zev admitted. "From what I know of Solo, anyway."
"That's what I'm worried about," Luke said before he stopped in shock as he saw all the boxes of ale in the room. "He wasn't kidding when he said that he had a lot."
"Sithspawn!" Zev exclaimed in shock as he peered over his commander's shoulder. "Where in the Force did he get all this? It must have cost him a fortune."
"Actually it cost me nothing," Han informed them as he came down the hall. "I... confiscated it from an old friend of mine who owed me a sum of money."
"That must have been a great sum."
"Not all that great," Han replied. "I simply took his entire cargo as he hadn't paid me when he was supposed to and wasn't planning on ever doing it either."
"You're hopeless," Luke stated as he suspiciously eyed the package the Corellian held. "Do I even want to know?"
"Sure you do," Han said, smiling. "I picked it up especially for you, knowing how you always complain of the cold. You can't refuse a gift now can you?"
"Oh, he could," Zev responded, leaning against the wall as Han handed Luke the package.
Briefly, Luke hesitated before he opened the bag and peered inside. Not recognizing what he saw, he reached in and pulled out the red colored plastic sac, realizing that it was filled with warm water as he did so.
"A hot water bottle!" Zev hooted with laughter. "Solo, that's great."
"What? A hot water bottle?" Luke questioned as he looked at the unknown object in his hand before turning his gaze to his friend. "I don't get it. What is this?"
"You don't know?" Han demanded as he arched an eyebrow, amused. "Ah well, probably not. It's an older method of keeping warm. You put hot water in it, as I did, and then you put it in your clothes, thus warming you up."
"I see," Luke commented, glaring at his squad member who was still laughing. There were two things he could do now, reject the gift as they expected him to do, in which case they'd tell everyone, or he could use it. He was cold after all, and any way of warming up was better than none. Opening his outer jacket and pulling at the collars of the shirts he wore, he dropped the hot water bottle into his clothing before he closed the jacket and looked up at his two astonished friends. "Thank you, I'm sure it will work." Turning around, he entered the spare bedroom.
Momentarily, Han simply stood there, surprised, before he began to chuckle. "I guess he gets that one."
"Yeah," Zev admitted, shaking his head. Try as he might, he couldn't completely figure Skywalker out. Every time he thought he had, he'd do something like this, which proved that there was more to the young man than he thought.
"How many boxes do you want us to take out?" Luke called.
"Three should be enough to start," Han said as he entered the room. "There are only twelve bottles in each box."
"Only twelve, do you want us all drunk?"
"You're the only one who gets drunk after one bottle," Han retorted. "I'm sure we'll be coming back for more later."
"Come on you two," Zev said as he picked up a box. "The others will be ready for us by now."
Luke picked up a box and followed his two friends back to the others who had pulled up a series of metal crates into a circular shape. With the Falcon on one side and the ice wall on the other, they were well out of the way of the many Rebels who were currently on-duty. At the far end of the cavern stood the troublesome speeders, a swarm of techs buzzing around them as they attempted to adapt them to the cold.
"Do I see the word 'weapon' on that box?" Luke asked as he glanced back at the crates. "Do you think it's safe to be sitting and drinking on them? It would be such a horrible way to go if something inside them exploded during the game."
"Force, yes!" Wes agreed as he began laughing. "After all we've gone through, we'd die of stupidity."
"Don't worry," Hobbie said as he shook his head. "The crates contain every part of blasters except the power cells. We'll be fine."
"Good," Zev said as he placed the box he was holding onto one of the crates. "We've got enough ale here to keep us going all night long."
"And if it doesn't, there's more where this came from," Han announced as he sat down. "Now, about the promise. Does everyone swear to fulfill the demands of the game?"
"You really don't trust anyone, do you?" Wedge inquired, looking at the captain. When he didn't respond, Wedge and the others gave their word.
"Great," Han said as he reached for a few bottles of ale and started passing them around before opening one for himself. "Who starts?"
There, that's the first part, there will be 8 in total.
Anyone want to guess what mischief the guys are going to get themselves into?
Let me know what you think of it and I'll post the next part soon.