Disclaimer: Not mine, no money, go George Lucas etc.

Farewell

Malla bounded out of the house yipping with pleasure as the Millennium Falcon landed. Her life-mate came home too little. She embraced Han as he descended the boarding ramp, but quickly released him to look for Chewbacca, confused when he failed to follow his life-debt from the ship.

"Malla, can we speak, privately?" Han asked. Malla woofed with pleasure. Chewie would not have interfered if Han wanted to speak to her alone. She waved him through the door and into a chair.

Han sat, rubbing his sweaty palms against his bloodstripe as he did so. "Malla," he began, and then trailed off. "Malla, I don't know how to tell you this, but Chewie . . . Chewie's gone, Malla." Mall howled and bared her fangs at the galaxy that would let her life-mate die, in a Wookiee show of grief. She quieted as Han continued to speak. "We went to Sernpidal; their moon's orbit had decayed. We had to get those people out of there. Anakin got swept away by the tidal winds, but Chewie, Chewie saved him. Then he got swept away himself. I would have stayed; I should have stayed, but we had to leave or die with him. He went down fighting, Malla." Han stood, shaking his head and began to pace as Malla renewed her dirge.

"I wish I could tell you something for him, Malla. Some last message I could give you, but it was just a stupid rescue mission. We never imagined it would end this way." Malla disappeared into the back room, his apology reminding her of something.

You have no last message for me. I need none. But you, cub, are torn by your own claws. My life-mate would wish you to have this. She held out a small doll of Wookiee hair. Rough knots formed arms and legs. A face undoubtedly Chewie's for all its roughness was painted on. In life, it kept him near me. Now it will keep you near him. It is his hair, his spoor, his scent, she extended a small data card, and his words.

Han fell into a chair, clutching the doll to him. He slipped the data card into a reader.

Cub,

If you are reading this, then I have paid my final life-debt. You did not kill me; you cannot kill me. I live on in memory, in story, in family. Han, you have been blood-brother to me. I have hunted long and well with you; the hunt goes on. I owed you a life-debt, cub; you owe me nothing. Let sorrow make you bold. Bring in your kill and remember me. I do not know what my final hunt will be, but I know it will be good.

Farewell, Han, dear as any life-mate, blood-brother of my soul,

Let the hunt go on.

Chewie

Han clutched the doll to his chest and wept onto it. "Ah Chewie . . ."