Chapter Two: So Few Women
A/N - Well...taps fingers...yeah, it's been a while. I know I didn't put this out, and I'm dreadfully sorry, but I sorta just lost my motivation, you know what I mean? Oh, and yeah, it is the same person, but I kinda changed my penname, hope that it didn't/doesn't mess you guys up too badly. I needed something new, and I'll stop blabbing now. : )
Maiden of Endor: I'm very glad you like it. Thank you! Hope you get around to reading chapter two!
HopelessRomantic225: Hmm, interesting I keep getting cute on this, lol. I was going for more emotion in the second part, but okay...sorry bout the continuing later part! And I love your name. I'm one of those too... ; )
Aladailey: What to say to you...rofl, guess I can't make this a paragraph long, but just know that you are the only reason I finished this weekend, maybe even at all. I'm so glad you enjoyed the first part, hope you love the second part, (it's definately got a little gush in it, gotta keep things squishy). Yes, they are very stubborn. But that seems to be what they like about each other...go figure, lol ;D Love you girlie!
Sarah: Thank you very much for yourcompliments, and I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I hope you get around to reading part two since it has been quite a while. ; )
QueenofAces: I love your name. That's awesome. Yes, that had to be one of the best scenes in ESB, I agree. I hope I followed through well enough for you, if you get to reading again. And yeah, don'tcha just love those one word endings? I love the word "Because", it just leaves so much to the reader's imagination...
Solo Shodan: Yes, yes it was pretty much taken from ESB, but that was kinda the point to get to here : P. I'm glad you like the last sentences, b/c they play a huge role at the end of this chapter as well...holdspinky to lip I hope you enjoy the last installment in my two-parter, and that it fulfills more of a desire so that rounds of applause may be heard!
BlueSaber: Ah, such a wonderful person. You are a great read and a great reviewer. I love your fanfics, and I'm very glad that you enjoy mine. As I said earlier, it is one of my favorite scenes from ESB, and the challenge was to recreate what happened between Han and Leia in the "true south passage scene", the one that Han mentions in the infirmary. And about the eye thing...slaps self in forhead Please, feel free at any time to correct me. I won't jump on you...often ; )
A/N - Well, I really hope that whomever reads this thoroughly enjoys it , and leaves me feedback! As always, literature is left open to interpretation. Read on and have fun!
So Few Women
Stupid, stubborn man. Doesn't even know. Doesn't want to know. Doesn't care. Shouldn't care. Should he?
Leia tapped the frozen metal with her gloved hand, the sound echoing with a dull thud in the empty, iced room. Was it so dreadful? Was it so appalling that she felt at home here, alone, surrounded by paperwork and war duties? Numbers. Numbers and letters. Meaningless fragments, each representing a life, or a rank, or a source of vitality.
It's not so dreadful.
She dropped (read-threw) the data pad onto the rigid table and huffed a sigh.
Where in the galaxy was Luke?
"Why'd you take this apart now?"
"I'm tryin' to get us outta here and you take this –"
"Excuse me sir, but I – " Han glanced up as a scowl etched into his features. What now?
"Put 'em back together, right now!" he commanded in a huff, ignoring both the anger in the Wookiee's eyes and the golden annoyance that had so far mastered the uncanny ability to track him down at the worst moment possible.
"Might I have a word with you please?"
"What'd ya want?"
"It's Princess Leia, sir. She's been trying to get you on the communicator – "
"I turned it off. I don't wanna talk to her." Don't wanna see her, don't wanna touch her, don't wanna smell her, don't wanna rip those gods-forsaken beautiful red lips from her frozen little face –
"Princess Leia is wondering about Master Luke. He hasn't come back yet. She doesn't know where he is." And she thinks I do? What does she want anyhow with that scrawny little –
"I don't know where he is."
"Nobody knows where he is."
Dense piece a' junk.
"What do you mean 'nobody knows'." It's just one of those days. I gotta do everything myself around here in this crappy little –
Han turned to yell for the person he hoped would have the answer. Mainly so he could leave.
"Deck officer! Deck officer!" Threepio followed persistently, seriously doubting he would be fortunate enough for Captain Solo to allow him to complete his message from the Princess.
"Excuse me, might I – " Han turned and slapped a hand over the cold metal, vowing that if that walking combustion engine didn't shut it, he would riddle it with laser blasts.
"Do you know where commander Skywalker is?" The blank look was not comforting.
"I haven't seen him." Oh, for the loving mother of –
"It is possible he could have come through the south entrance." Han struggled not to roll his eyes. His tongue didn't quite make it that far.
"It's possible. Why don't you go find out? It's getting dark out there." Recruits. All the damn Alliance could afford.
"Excuse me sir." Han turned in a slight daze towards the Falcon as a sickened feeling settled in his stomach. Maybe Leia was on to something…
"Might I inquire what's going on?"
Threepio fumed, slightly puzzled.
"Impossible man." See if I give you the rest of the Princess's message. "C'mon Artoo, let's find Princess Leia. Between ourselves, I think Master Luke is in considerable danger."
Han stood at the icy hole in the wall that separated him from…from what? His feet were, to his knowledge, frozen. Good gods. Who knew the south passage got so cold? Who said it was actually the south passage. What an idiot. What was he going to say?
Hey Your Highnessness, I'm leavin' and everything, but I just wanted you to know that I can't stop thinking about you. I don't know why. Don't really like it either. But I think you've worked your icy little heart in between the crevices of my solid one.
Yeah, that would work. Great. Ah, who gave a flying piece of bantha fodder anyway? He thought that maybe –
Just shows a person what thinkin'll do. Ain't nothin' but trouble.
His stomach dropped below his pant line and he turned on his right foot to began the dishonorable retreat. Not exactly like he would have won the battle anyway. Any conflict he fought with her was lost no matter the outcome.
Not two steps into his withdrawl, he heard the faint, slick sound he distinctly knew of ice against ice. He was caught.
And worse, he was caught in parting.
"Captain Solo." It was a statement. Not a greeting, not a question. A statement.
"Your Highness." He turned to face her, hastening to raise the typical defenses. What he noticed managed to sock him in the gut.
As regal as ever, she stood, her height not even a hindrance to her stature. But there it was. It caught him off guard and boiled his insides.
A crack. A tear. Barely noticeable. Smaller than a stray hair in her crown of braids. It was there, crying out for the world to see, to hear, to take notice.
She stared. At him. Behind him. Through him, also distinguishing the change in feature, the untarnished moment of pure astonishment and the leveling of walls between them. She opened her mouth to speak, not more than a whisper.
"Han, I –" she stopped and closed. Where is Luke?
"Hey, look Your Majesty, we'll find him."
It seemed as if the pirate could read her thoughts. And that terrified her.
"It's not…not…" She stared at her feet. Boots. White. Mystery. A clean palette.
Han stared at her. Where was the spicy, bitter, constipated snowball he'd known for so long? He'd seen a glimpse of it in the hallway earlier, a retreating flicker of emotion. Could it be? Was this life – maybe – too much? A sudden desire to wrap his arms and taker her away from the pain harassed him for a second too long. And then she looked up. Broken.
And he wanted nothing more than to be there. Before his mind could argue, he swiftly closed the two feet between them and placed one hand underneath her chin, wrapping the other arm around her waist in a friendly gesture. And then came the most disturbing thing of all.
A tear. Solid, round, a slow pearl on the side of her face that slid as smoothly as bead of water on ice.
"Hey now. No tears, Princess. C'mon, we'll find him. I already told you. I'm sure, he's gotta be somewhere out there – "
"No," she choked out. "I-I can feel it. Ss-something bad. And you." She jerked her neck upward, praying to any god out there that he would take her in his arms and melt this frozen fear. But he didn't. He wouldn't.
"Look, if I have to, I'll go find him –"
"No. See, that's just it. I-I can't lose Luke, Han. It'll be like losing part of me. But you…" A hesitation. Words that wouldn't come. Could she start over? As white as the snow that was their cocoon. Words were a mystery. What did they mean? Devotion? Certainly not. She looked up at him, staring. Trance-like. Did he realize -?
And before the words were processed, they exited the cursed hole in her face.
"I can lose Luke and live. But without you, I'd have nothing left to live for."
And there it was. Han stared. He didn't think he'd ever felt so emotionally void in his life. The stolid, sworn princess. And him. He bent his head low and slightly brushed his lips against hers, then released his hold and stepped back three paces.
"Well, Sweetheart. We'll find him." He turned, and there she was. Back again. The short, stubborn, pain-in-the-butt, virginal, bossy, and bitter brunette.
"I certainly hope so, Captain." She turned and began the solemn march towards the command center. She stopped. "And will you still be leaving?" Han smiled in her wake.
"I guess that'll depend." She resumed her walk, a hidden smile buried in her that no one would ever see. Except him.
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 she was a mystery bigger than every star and heaven and more vast than the reaches of space.
Because so few women were.
It is a fanfiction sin to read without reviewing.
Seriously guys, please review. I'd really like to know what you think.
(and sorry to whoever it is that puts that...I stole it cause it always convicts me!)