Disclaimer: All George's.
Summary: "If you don't know the answer, always pick c."
Taking the 'what if Han didn't immediately love Leia after the kiss' idea out for another spin. This can be looked at as a companion to Fog Inside The Glass but you don't have to read that to get this.
This is from Leia's point of view; it's during the trip to Bespin. I'm really nervous about this one, so please please please let me know what you think.
She wakes up.
The cabin is dark, the colour of the bruises that are always on her knees, left from all the running and the shooting and the falling. She's learned that there is much falling during war.
She can't see a lot of anything, but she finds her way out his arms regardless. She stands naked in the middle of his cabin and wonders what does she do now? She's never been very good at the social part of life.
She reviews her certainties, if only to calm herself:
There was a battle and now they are running because they aren't very good at anything else. Escape is their specialty; if only it could win a war (and if wishes were ships the Alliance would fly).
There was a kiss because there's always a kiss, and then there was more running and then, and then…
And now they are flying towards Bespin at sub-light speed, and these are her certainties.
But what she does now is vague and uncertain, and she feels lost. Not the child-in-market type of lost - because she never went to a market and who ever heard of someone losing a princess? - the where-the-hell-is-the-exit-I-know-you-know kind of lost.
Her eyes adjust to the darkness and she can make out shapes. He is a cylinder in a rectangle bed. She is vertical in a horizontal world, and has the impulse to crouch so that she will go unnoticed. She doesn't because princesses don't crouch and what if he wakes up and notices?
She redresses in the snowsuit because wearing his clothes would be admitting something.
When he wakes they sit awkwardly in the galley and play who-can-catch-who-looking. She feels like she has a sign on her forehead scrawled in her therapist's writing. 'Fear of rejection.' His would read 'inability to commit.'
But he's played so much sabaac she can't interpret anything else, least of all his expression. She used to worry that he could read her like a book, but now she's too
to worry much about anything (besides the obvious). He probably doesn't care what she is thinking, she reasons with herself.
He says, 'you're up early,' and she wishes to be a book and that he cared.
He kisses her after breakfast, but his eyes are closed and she can't read his expression. She wonders what she is looking for, and amuses herself imagining sentences going by in his pupils. (Sentence. Singular. It always reads 'I'm not leaving', but she never had much imagination in the first place so what can that really mean anyways?)
'Remember the trash compacter?' she asks one night, and he says yes, of course; the smell was still on his clothes.
She doesn't say:
She remembers exactly where his hands were as he tried to lift her, on her lower back, and that sometimes the spot burns so hard in memory she has to check to make sure his hands didn't brand her.
It was the first time he touched her.
'that smell was there anyways,' and closes her eyes to feign sleep.
'Are you still leaving?'
'I said, are you still playing?'
'Holo-chess, Han. Your move.'
'Oh. I thought you said something else.'
She decides that she loves him, matter-of-factly and at her makeshift dressing table, because Mon Mothma said all large decisions should be made as such. (Mon Mothma, however, would never say love and matter-of-fact in the same sentence… and possibly makeshift dressing table as well.)
She gives herself the 'there are other stars in the sky' talk, because she likes to get a jump on things, in case. Of flood, fire, act of gods. (Though none seem particularly likely.)
She remembers that Han likes red and chooses her lipstick accordingly.
She has a nasty habit of denying herself the things she most wants until she can no longer have them. It means she is excellent at diets but little else.
She has a dream and in it all of the sentences she speaks go up at the end. Statements become questions. In the midst of all these grammatical changes she comes across Han. She means to ask him 'you're still leaving?' but it comes out wrong. 'You're still leaving.'
She wakes and finds him watching her. To her raised eyebrow he says 'couldn't sleep' and gets up to make breakfast. But the sign on his forehead reads liar and her heart beats a little faster.
The question is in her mouth for the rest of the day. He notices, asks her 'what's eating you?' and it moves to her lips, warring to get out.
'Besides you?' she quips and kisses him, keeping her mouth open against his until she's sure that it has retreated back into her throat.
She knew the answer anyways.
But then. She remembers:
A battle they once told her about in school, where someone somewhere was so badly outnumbered that surely they could do nothing else but simply die. But. They fought anyways.
It was the asking that mattered.
She finds him in the aft hold. She calls his name and he turns towards her. She says 'please stay' and the end goes up like a question.