Disclaimer: Surprisingly enough, it is still all George's.
A/N: I have been dying to write something for this fandom since I wrote Idiom, and at last it came. All hail ESB, the muse maker! Han's PoV, Post-RotJ (the morning after learning about Leia's real father), with allusions to just about every HanLeia story I've ever written. Read, enjoy, let me know what you think.
"Think you should stay in today Princess."
He's not sure what makes him say it but he does. He sees the brush in her hand waver momentarily, sees her mouth tighten in the mirror before she resumes brushing with such efficiency that if he didn't know any better he'd think he imagined the pause.
He does know, however, and he knows that and it pushes him on ward in his task. He's no hero after all, no matter was the story books might later say, but he's not a monster either and he's not blind and he knows that it's only a matter of time before something in her snaps clean in half if she keeps this up.
"You've been pulling triple duties recently; you need to take care of yourself—"
Her eyes narrow in his direction and he's glad it's just the reflection else she might have turned him into stone.
"Han, this is a critical time for the Alliance, I have to—"
"Yeah, I know that sweetheart, but you're not the only one, don't you think the one of the other—well don't you think they could manage without you for one day." She refuses to meet his eyes in the mirror and instead focuses all her attention on the constant motion of her hand.
It's almost hard to believe that she's the same woman who spent most of the night crying, hard to believe that she kept him up most of night insisting that if he no longer felt the same way she would understand. It's hard to believe that just last night she was nothing more than Leia, the woman, when now she's sitting in front of the mirror, back ramrod straight, shoulders set with all the determination and confidence that was non-existent only hours ago.
It's impossible to compare the woman from before to the one who sits there now, and he knows she's counting on it. She wants him to look at her and see the figure head, the shining white-clad princess of the Rebellion, just like he saw her at Hoth and on the way to Bespin, mostly because she doesn't know he hasn't seen her as such since his sight came back to him abroad the Falcon and he realized what she was.
He meant it when he told her that her parentage didn't change who she was or how he saw her, because he's pretty sure, if anything, that to him she'll always be the half broken woman who first met his eyes in his cabin abroad the Falcon after regaining his sight, and while he's not sure if that's good or bad, he knows that it's true. It's the best he can offer, even if only half of it is ever spoken aloud.
He walks up behind her, and he can see the barely contained surprise that blooms across her features as he takes the brush from her and goes to work, careful brush strokes, up and down just like he's since her do a million times before bed and in the morning. Her hair is soft and cool in the palm of his hand and her fingers are calloused around his wrist, stilling him after only a few moments.
"Han." She has a way of saying his name that demands his attention, drawing his eyes away from her hair and back to her reflection.
"I worry." He says simply and it might be the bravest thing he's ever said (besides I love you, but that was uttered in the dark the first time he ever found the nerve to say it so he's not sure that counts, because he's not a coward by any means but he's most definitely not a hero and it's a key thing to remember).
There's silence, he's defeat is inevitable, looming on the horizon, and he hangs his head, eyes fixed on her hair and the brush and before he knows it he's working it through her hair once more.
The chrono on the table beeps the hour and the silence is broken. Another day in the Alliance has officially begun and soon they'll part ways and go do whatever duty demands. He sets the brush down and presses a kiss to the crown of her head, turning away towards the door.
He turns back and she's still sitting, shoulders set, pale face determined but her eyes are dark. Her mouth moves and her voice, a slight murmur, fills the space between them.
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