Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars. It all belongs to the luckiest man alive, Georgie Lucas, from whose imagination sprung some of the most memorable and convincing characters of movie history. Good job, Georgie!
Summary: Leia reveals her true feelings in the South Passage, before Han is determined to run out on her. Two-parter. (Han/Leia)
A/N: Okay, so, this is a two parter in reply to a challenge that was given a long, long time ago...by someone of whom I cannot remember the name. Neways, I was thinking about it the other day, and decided to go along with it. This is Part I...and Part II will hopefully be up soon. If I get enough reviews.
"No, maybe we should start here—" A jostling from the side caught her attention. Well, well, look what the weequay dragged in. It's him. And personally, I can't believe that he is here. The nerve of that man sometimes—
Leia released her breath – for some odd reason she didn't even know she was holding it – and hallowed her breathing to listen to the conversation a few feet away.
"General, I gotta leave, I can't stay here anymore. There's a price on my head, and if I don't pay off Jabba the Hutt, I'm a dead man." Han glanced slyly in her direction. Yeah, she was watchin' all right.
"—you're a good fighter, Solo—"
She stopped there. That was enough. Good fighter. Ha! Good. I'll good fighter his—
Again, she controlled herself. After three years she still didn't understand why in the heavens this man riled her so. Everything he did! Every move he made, every breath he took, every time he ruffled that oh so cute hair of his…
Oh gods, she was doing it again. Leia commanded herself to stop and focus. Besides, he was leaving. It would do the rebellion no good at all if their figurehead died of heartbreak. As if enough things hadn't been taken from her in her short, empty span of a lifetime.
The sound of boot soles echoing on the solid iron disturbed her thoughts again.
"So, your Highness, I guess this is it?"
She looked at him, her heart pounding. So. This is the last thing he says to me. "I guess this is it?" What kind of a goodbye is that? All right, Leia, time to let him know that you are strong enough to do what he can't.
"That's right." That's it! That's all I can do!
Of course that's it. Han shrugged inwardly. What else did he expect? A confession of love? Ice Princess. A nickname rightly deserved.
"Well, don't get all mushy on me. So long, Princess." I guess this gigantic ice ball really is your natural habitat.
Han sneered as he spun on his heel and marched out, oblivious to the odd numbered pairs of eyes that followed him from the room. Leia watched in utter disbelief. He – he was really leaving.
If he thought he was going to get out of it that easily, he's got another thing coming. After everything he put me through…on Ord Mantell… Leia stepped down from her pedestal and quickly tramped across the room.
On her departure, every soul in the control room became as silent as death, waiting, listening for what was hoped to be one of the famed "Solo-Organa Battles of Wit and Will".
He turned as a sharp voice called his name. So, what does the Ice Princess have to say now? Han stopped in his icy tracks and steeled himself for another "Join the Rebellion" saga he had become quite so familiar with.
"Yes, your Highnessness—" he replied, the familiar sarcasm dripping along with newfound disdain. If she could play if off, so could he.
"I thought you had decided to stay." Leia pulled herself to full height and stood with all of the authority she could muster around this man.
"Well, the bounty hunter we ran into in Ord Mantell changed my mind—"
"Han, we need you." Gods, was this woman not going to let him finish a sentence?
"We need? Oh, what about you need?"
Leia glared. What was he getting at? Sadly, she knew exactly what he was getting at.
"I need? I don't know what you're talking about."
Han's heart sank. He was crushed, defeated by a five foot tall Princess with hazel eyes and an invigorating smirk.
Fortunately, he had sarcasm to cover it up.
He clicked his tongue and snapped his fingers contemptuously.
"Probably don't." Han turned and strolled away; eager to escape from the sight that was doing nothing for the scoundrel in him. Leia followed, indignant.
"And what precisely am I supposed to know?"
"C'mon! You want me to stay because of the way you feel about me!"
Han almost stopped in his tracks. His heart certainly skipped a beat. He even stumbled over a piece of ice. But she just had to keep going.
"You're a great help to us. You're a natural leader."
He rolled his eyes. Was he gonna have to lay it out for her plain? He thought he'd already done that!
Han stopped dead in his tracks, infuriated by—by…her!
"No!" he yelled, shoving a finger down and into her stunned face.
Leia stopped, a broad mixture of shock, approval, fury, and admiration flooding through her veins. Secretly, she applauded him for taking a stand. But he would never know that.
"That's not it. Come on." He stopped and leaned backwards to allow a messenger boy with a package in his hands in between them. In that instant he spotted the indignation and approval in her eyes. He leaned in closer, a coy smile lighting his features.
"You're imagining things!"
"Am I? Then why are you following me?" He knew exactly which nerve to strike. "Afraid I was going to leave without a goodbye kiss?"
Leia was stunned. For half a second she felt as if she'd been slapped across the face. With the truth. But her retort was not delayed, or any less than deserved.
"I'd just as soon kiss a Wookiee," she snarled quietly. Han shoved another finger in her face.
"I can arrange that!" He turned and stormed off again. Only to notice she wasn't following this time. "You could use a good kiss!" he called behind him. Part of him longed for her to take him seriously.
Leia stared after him. So. He was gone. For good. She began to march towards her bunker. Where was Luke when she needed him…
Han stalked outside and stared off into the blinding white of the snow banks surrounding him. White. Like her. He rolled his eyes. Why? What was it that drew him to a short, stubborn, pain-in-the-butt, virginal, bossy, and bitter brunette? Han sighed, rubbing his head in agony. Of all the women, in the entire galaxy, his destiny landed him with this one. Why?
Because she argued. Because she fought. Because she was bitter. Because she was the one person in this galaxy who could evoke an emotion so rare. Because.
Well? All replies and reviews welcome!