Rating: T (but quite mild)
Summary: Han gives Leia a sweet surprise. Mushy!
Disclaimer: ♪If I owned Star Wars, I'd party in the morning. I'd party in the evening. All over this land.♪ But sadly, I do not.
A/N: Super mushy! Takes place some time between ANH and ESB, on a random mission on a random planet (that I named, but it's still random). Not happy about the title, but I never am, so oh well.
"Come on, Your Worship. It'll be fun."
"Captain Solo, I have already told you no." Leia crossed her arms and had to turn her face away from him so she wouldn't laugh at the mournful expression on his face. "I'm sure you can find someone else to go out with you." She remembered the girl who had come out of nowhere and pulled him into a kiss earlier that day, nearly compromising their cover. She looked like she would have enjoyed going out with Han that evening. Or staying in.
"Hey, the only other lady I know on this planet is the Falcon." Well, that was an interesting way of putting it.
He grinned and she looked away again, mostly because the idea of exploring the kinds of places she imagined Han would take her secretly intrigued her, and she was becoming very tempted to go with him.
"Now, come on, don't make me go with Chewie. He's a mean drunk."
"So you are taking me out to get me drunk!"
"No, no," he said, attempting to soothe her temper. She rather liked it when he wasn't trying to get her worked up but it was usually only on such occasions as this, when he wanted something. "I just meant that I'd probably go out with Chewie to get drunk. But if you wanted to…" he leaned closer and she rolled her eyes.
"What about Luke?" she asked. "We can't just leave him here."
"Sure we can!" Han smirked. Then he paused."If you're that worried we would just take him with us," he admitted grudgingly.
"Well…I don't suppose he would like it very much, would he?" She was talking like she was actually going to do it, whatever it was. And she was trying to get alone with Han now!
"Yeah, course. He'd probably hate it, farm boy he is. But us cultured folks understand. I bet you've never seen anything like this, though." He paused for a second. "Well, in this way."
"Wait a minute, I never said I would go," she hurried, hoping even as she said it that he would beg her again.
"But you are. Come on." He grabbed her arm and before she knew it she was out of the Falcon and going toward the exit of the docking bay.
"But—but our cover!"
"Mission's over. Time for some recreation." He grinned in his troublemaking way, then suddenly became serious. "Besides, you'd regret it forever if you didn't." Then he dropped her arm, forcing her to follow him of her own volition.
"Does anyone even know where we are? Force, we're going to get in so much trouble! And I didn't even get my overcoat!"
"Stop whining," he shot, speeding up, His legs were much longer than hers and she had to almost jog to catch up. Just when she was about to ask him to slow down he abruptly stopped and attemped to slip into a lift. There was a couple kissing inside.
"Get a room." Han snorted and Leia had to bite her lip to stop from laughing as the male Twi'lek shot them a very dirty look and turned back to his female companion. He seemed to be repulsed now and pushed his way past Han and Leia, off the lift. The woman glared at Han as she also exited.
"You just cost me fifty creds! Thanks a lot."
Appalled, Leia looked at Han as he pulled her into the little box.
"What? Prostitution is the most common occupation on Kersin VII. That and banking." He punched in a number, but Leia stopped him.
"Where are we going? Really, I need to know."
He looked down at her, with a strange melancholy and somberness. "I promise you'll like it." There was a genuine and, somehow, caring tone to his voice that had Leia believing him.
"Alright." She lifted her hand from the controls and he punched in their destination, grinning.
"Your Worship, this'll be something you'll never forget."
A few more seconds, and the lift stopped. Han held her hand and led her out, and she thought at first to protest, but then she saw the streets. What must have been thousands of creatures, jam-packed into the alleys and dark corners, at least three beings that looked like prostitutes on every street, some of them wearing flashing bright clothing, some wearing little to nothing. Warily, she followed Han. Then she saw the place he was leading her to and wrenched her hand away from his, stopping in place.
"A whore house? Your big surprise is a whore house?"
"Now, Leia—" he began, but was cut off as she slapped the side of his face, snapping it to the right.
"How could you?"
"Leia, it's not what you think," he said angrily, touching his cheek lightly. "I didn't bring you here for the whores, or to seduce you, or any of the other stupid things you think I'd do. My intentions are innocent."
"How am I supposed to believe that?" she yelled, feeling her face go red with embarrassment and anger. "Your intentions have never been innocent before!"
"It is possible for me to do something good," he said quietly. "And I promise you that if you don't like it, you can do whatever you want to me afterwards." Despite the little grin on his face, there was such a sweetness and gentle pleading beneath his voice that she felt herself give in. How did her get her to do these things?"
"Okay, fine," she agreed, sighing in defeat. "But I will do anything, and it won't be pleasant."
"Deal." His grin widened, and he offered her his arm. "Shall we?" She walked past him and toward the building without taking it.
In the lobby was a small desk and one door, with couples constantly entering and exiting. It was dingy, dark, and rather uninviting. Han went over to the wiphid behind the desk.
"We'd like a room," he said. The alien snorted.
"Of course you do. Which program?"
"Can I get a catalog?" The giant shoved a datapad at Han. He shuffled through the information, then showed his selection to the wiphid. The latter grunted in obvious distaste, put a number into his computer port, and handed them a room key.
"Two Two Eight A. Need someone, or you just going stick with that?" The alien eyed Leia with what looked like a mix between an appraising and disgusted eye. Han moved into his line of sight. "We're good, thanks," he replied icily, then drew Leia away and through the door. They entered a narrow but long hallway, full of all sorts of creatures and endless doors. He reached back and she grabbed his hand, a little scared of being caught up in all these beings and becoming separated. After about a three-minute search, he found the door marked 228A.
"Close your eyes," Han said loudly over the noises of the hall.
"Why?" she demanded. He rolled his eyes in frustration.
"Because I said so. You trusted me this far, trust me a little bit more." His logic made sense. She sighed and closed her eyes. Her hand was still in his, and she heard the door open in front of them. Cooler air was inside and as the door closed, the din of those outside was replaced by the sweet chirping of birds. Leia smelled something that was so familiar, but she couldn't put her finger on what it was.
"Okay, you can open your eyes." She did and was flooded by bright light. After her eyes adjusted from the dim lighting of the hallway, she saw the most beautiful thing ever. A giant city, nestled in a caldera, the sea lapping at the beaches, trees and green grass everywhere, beautifully-shaped buildings with form that made them look sleek and organic. The grass reached up to graze her ankles and the scent of fresh dirt and salty ocean flooded her.
"Alderaan," she whispered. She stood, staring blankly, her mind unable to grasp at this. "It's Alderaan…"
"Yeah, it's modified holo technology. People, uh, people use these things for their fantasies, but I thought you might wanna see Alderaan…" he trailed off awkwardly.
"Thank you!" she cried, throwing her arms around him and squeezing tightly. Her throat began to close up and there was a tightness in her chest that wasn't caused by the embrace.
"Hey, it's alright," he said soothingly, even as he remained slightly stiff, and she realized that he must feel the wet spots forming on his shirt.
"Sorry," she sobbed, but couldn't pull away because she felt like she might collapse if she did. "I just…it's Alderaan!" He didn't say anything, but she felt the light stroke of his hand on her back. After a long time, when her sobbing had died down a little, he spoke quietly.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have, but I thought you'd like it."
"What are you talking about?" she asked, pulling her head out from where it was buried in his chest. "Of course I like it! Han, this is the most amazing thing I've ever seen!" Slowly he realized that she was crying from joy and not sadness, and a little grin showed on his face. Together they sat on the ground, near the edge of a cliff, and looked out at the city below.
"It's this new thing. They've had it for a few years here, but it's too expensive to run anywhere else. Only Kersin has the, uh, interest to pay for this kind of thing." He rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. "It's this projection that allows for all kinds of depth and color. We're still in a little room, and we can't move outside of it, but they can program it to be whatever we want."
"What about the grass? And the birds and the smells?"
"The grass is probably grown in here, to make it seem more real, and the smells come from some sort of incense they burn. I guess the sounds are recordings. It's not as good as the real thing, but it's close."
"Thank you," she whispered, eyes fixated on the gleaming city beneath her. So happy that she didn't want to think, she lay her head on his shoulder and together they watched as the wind blew through the trees, the birds circled the buildings, landing and nesting, and the ocean moved back and forth, back and forth, with a power strong enough that occasionally they could hear it crash on the rocks. It seemed hours that they sat together, watching the gentle movements of a planet still full of life, from before it had been cruelly stilled. Countless tears flowed silently down Leia's cheeks and Han's fingers occasionally reached up to brush them away. Once she grasped his hand before he could withdraw it and sighed her thanks again. He just smiled softly, his cockiness now gone, and watched her watch the city.
Eventually her mind drifted back from its dreamland, and she glanced at her chrono, then looked again and saw that it had been even longer than she thought. "We should get back," she said quietly, not really wanting to, and not wanting to break the spell of this place.
"Okay." Han stood and reached out his hand, and she took it willingly.
"You said I could do anything I wanted to you afterward," she said, smiling. He looked at her quizzically. Then she took one step forward, held both of his hands, and stood on her toes. Stretching her neck, she placed one soft kiss on the cheek she had slapped earlier. "I'm sorry I doubted you," she whispered in his ear. She drew back and watched as he slowly matched her small smile. Then he pulled her arm up to rest on his and they left the room.