Flight of two-in-the-morning fancy posted for my own enjoyment. Let me just say that I had the epiphany that authors like IvyLore, Chanel19 (or Marie) and Sue Parsons (in her few H/L stories) have a better handle on the post-ROTJ Han/Leia relationship than I do. So, in the spirit of broadening my writing horizons, I wrote a scene that puts me into that mindframe, if a bit full of melodrama. Whatever. :) Take that into consideration. Thank you greatly.
"Control and Trust"
It had been the worst fight they'd ever had.
He couldn't pinpoint what it had been about. Most of the time, their arguments were battles of a very specific sort. He'd insulted a dignitary at the last dinner they'd attended together, she'd given more of their nearly-modest income to the War Orphans Association of What the Hell, It Didn't Really Matter to Him Anyway Foundation. But they'd always had a focal point, a fulcrum for the angry jibes and insults catapulted to the other, and a silent communication between them assuring both that it would end, that nothing was really at stake.
This was different.
It had started as a miscommunication of datafile placement in the kitchen of her quarters. And then it harkened back to his despise for datawork anyway, and why it didn't matter in the ultimate scheme of things. Very slowly it morphed into an assertion of who was supporting whom in what endeavor. Did he alienate her in the political-charity work she was doing? Was she ignoring his desire to repair communications in the Rim Sector? If he was so desperate to leave so soon after the conclusion of his last voyage, why did he bother to come back? Why did he bother to come back if all he would find was a note detailing her whereabouts and an apology that she wasn't there to greet him home? How could he consider her quarters home when all he did was sleep a few nights in them and take off again the next week for a system that he was sure she would never visit? Why couldn't she leave those quarters and her blasted work for the vacation they both knew they needed?
Silence. Then a heaved sigh from her, a lifted eyebrow from him, and an exit from her that had since become an extended hermitage for him in her quarters.
It wasn't as though these things had never been discussed or fought over before. Accusations had flown, these accusations had taken flight several times in the privacy of her quarters, or his ship. But they soon were lost in the realm of Let's Forget and Move On, disappeared into the haze of mutual agreement in less time than it took him to understand who was at fault.
And they didn't all fly at once, like this particular gem of a fight. The whole flock of faults and ignored issues wouldn't suddenly take off, out of his, or her, control, out of the safety of those private spaceports, her quarters or his ship.
But she'd left.
And those accusations had flown right out the door with her.
He rubbed a hand over his eyes and stared at the wall, her voice a remembered whisper as he breathed in and out, in and out, a rhythmic calming device that wasn't working in the slightest. He hadn't expected her to leave. He hadn't expected her to fly away. Because that's the fear.
That's the fear.
The reason he sometimes took the blame for dual-responsibility of wrongs. The stimulus that made his leaving both heart-wrenching and necessary. Why did he take off? Because eventually he would say the perfectly wrong thing. Because she would eventually mistake his devotion to work for devotion to her absence. Because they would eventually scream and yell about nothing and end the relationship that both relied upon for sanity. Because they would eventually realize that happily-ever-afters are work, and that both of them would eventually quit that secondary job and focus on the political-charity or military-communicative assignments.
Because, eventually, the thing they both wanted and craved would backfire on them and hurt more than either thought possible.
He leaned back into his chair, tilted his head back, and closed his eyes. Was that what this had been about? A way to kill the accusations once and for all, to purge the cages and set them all free, to distance each other and let the arguments fly away merely so they wouldn't have to keep them controlled and on a leash all the time?
To go ahead and create the worst nightmare on purpose merely because both would have control over it, because it was, of course, an eventuality anyway?
If this was how it felt to be in control, it was hell.
So what was the point of control if it merely made the eventuality reality? Why let all the issues fly at once, only so those issues would distance the other so far that clean destruction was the eventuality? Why let the prophecy of that terrible eventuality become the catalyst for it?
Was eventuality to blame for their separation?
A click and footsteps. He opened his eyes to find her standing before him, soaking, dripping, eyes serious but blinking rapidly, her face a study of controlled hysteria. No movement. No passionate kiss. No proclamation of undying love and acceptance.
Those would be controlled responses, meant to elicit a specific response in the other. Manipulations wouldn't work.
"I give it up. Control. Over us. It's pointless."
She sighed. "What are we doing, Han?"
"I have absolutely no idea." He felt himself smile. "Does it matter?"
She reciprocated. "Yes. No. Why did it before?"
"Honestly? I don't know."
"I don't want to leave."
"Neither do I."
She held out her hand. "What do we do now?"
"Accept that we're not in charge of us?" He stood up and took her hand. "Trust each other?"
"We're both controlling."
He sighed as her arms went around him, as he nestled in her hair. "I don't know."
"I don't know either. Maybe that's the point?"
He closed his eyes and felt her lean into him. "Maybe."
Maybe that was the answer. Maybe the eventuality didn't matter as much as they seemed to think it did. Maybe being out of control of the relationship was necessary for the continued health of it.
"I trust you," he whispered into her hair. "I think that's the point."
She murmured a reply, looked up at him as he settled them into the chair he had been sitting on, lowered her head to his chest again as she tucked her legs under her, kept her wet hair just under his chin. He looked out the window at the rain as it poured down the pane, pinging softly a rhythmic staccato. He sighed, kissed her wet hair again, closed his eyes.
"Love you," he murmured. "Trust you. Love you."
And that was that, he thought. They couldn't ask for anything more. Or less. The rain fell, and Leia breathed deeper and slept, and Han realized that that was the point. The nature of real love. Trust in the other, trust that was infallible, even with the recognition that they were not. Trust that it would work out, that the hurt would come and go, trust that it was worth it. Trust. And trust in that trust. Trust in leaving control out of his, her, their hands, trust that control was temporary.
Control negated trust.
Trust overpowered control.
Control was useless. Trust was essential.
Screw control. It wasn't worth it.
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