A/N: Just a little something I dashed off in a H/L-mush-drought…hope you all enjoy, and don't forget to review!
I Only Saw Her Smile
So there I was, drink in hand, enjoying what was probably the biggest shindig this little Rebellion has seen in a long time. I mean, to judge from the way these pilots were partying, you'd guess they hadn't had something to celebrate in a while. So they were definitely going all out: the alcohol was running free, practically everyone was off-duty, and even good ol' Luke was in a corner chatting up some girl.
Don't get me wrong; I have absolutely nothing against a little female companionship. I just don't like to get tied down, ya know? So I take my kicks where I can find them and usually fly off the next day. After all, they don't call me Solo for nothin'.
So I was just heading towards this gorgeous girl (long legs, long blond hair- exactly my type, Chewie woulda said if he had been there) when I caught sight of her across the room, making polite small talk with some official-looking people. None other than Her Royal Holier-Than-Thouness, Princess Leia Organa. She didn't look any different than she had when I'd last seen her at the medal ceremony, two timeparts earlier, so I don't know why I took a second to study her. Same hair, done up in braids and twists so complicated that it made me dizzy to look at them for more than a few minutes- not that I'd be looking at her for that long anyway. Same big brown eyes, maybe a little softer than when we'd been focused on getting out of the Death Star alive. Nothin' had changed.
She must have felt me staring at her, because during what must have been a lull in the conversation she half-turned to meet my gaze. And maybe I'm imagining things, maybe I was already half drunk, or maybe she was, or something…
But she smiled.
In all my thirty-odd years, I have never seen a woman smile the way Leia Organa did that night. It wasn't a joyful smile, wasn't radiant or glorious or anything else you'd read about in a poem. It wasn't triumphant or victorious or even really glad. Her smile was relieved, grateful to whatever gods there be that we had come out of this whole thing with our lives and our Rebellion still intact. But at the same time it was heartbreakingly sad; wondering how many more people would have to die before it was all over. But you could tell that she believed in what she was doing- hell, why else would she even be here if she didn't? It was the smile of a woman who had given up everything for this moment, and now that she had it, all that she could afford to think about was the next hurdle, the next obstacle to be faced and how she would do it.
But underneath the layers of guilt and sadness I saw determination there, a stubborn anger and the resolve not to let them win, not to let them succeed in ruining her life and the lives of billions of beings all over the galaxy. The woman had just had her entire world destroyed, and here she was smiling through the tears quivering on her lashes. Leia was a survivor.
I knew in that moment that she would be all right. Her willpower and sheer determination would pull her through. Still, I said to myself that night, maybe I'd better stick around to make sure.
I was still staring at her, the blond forgotten, when her raised eyebrows brought me back to my senses. From across the room, I offered her a grin and shook my head, while mentally reminding myself not to get all excited.
After all, I only saw her smile.