"Mark of a Rebel"

By EsmeAmelia

AN: Thanks to those who reviewed! Well, I didn't expect to take so long to finish this fic, but it's FINALLY done.

Chapter 9

Han continued to stare in the mirror, biting his lower lip, pulling the skin up with his teeth to get a good look at that scar, trying to convince himself that he needed that cosmetic surgery. With all the work he'd been up to taking down the second Death Star's shield, he hadn't gotten much time to think about it, but now that he'd finally gotten a moment to himself, he couldn't believe he'd allowed himself to walk around with it even for this long. It was a distraction from his every other facial feature - it had to go.

[Han, aren't you coming to the party?

Han barely took notice of his copilot's face joining him in the mirror. "Sure Chewie...in just a bit..."

[Worried about that scar? Chewie roared.

Han sighed through his nose, wishing Chewie were slightly less perceptive. "I'm gettin' rid of it, Chewie. Don't try talkin' me outta it."

The Wookiee patted his cub's shoulder. [I'm not. I'm just telling you there's a party going on.

Han's eyes were still focused on his scar's reflection, but he found enough presence of mind to nod at his copilot. "Okay Chewie, I'll be there in a minute."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Night had fallen on Endor, giving the moon a glassy, fairytale-like atmosphere. Han had only taken a few steps off the Falcon's ramp when he heard the explosion of fireworks and saw their big bursts of light decorating the sky. The distant music of flutes and drums swirled through the air, telling Han which way the party was.

The clearing where the Falcon had landed was now completely transformed from a stark wilderness to a cheery dance floor. A bonfire crackled in the center, around which several Ewoks were dancing and chanting. Many other bonfires could be seen lighting up the landscape in the distance. While most of the surviving Rebel soldiers were standing and chatting in the background, some had joined the Ewoks in their dance, abandoning all thoughts of embarrassment. Some of the Ewoks turned out to be surprisingly talent musicians, providing musical background with their flutes, drums, and occasionally the stormtrooper's helmets they had won during the battle.

"Han!"

Han had barely taken notice of Lando's presence when the gambler wrapped him up in a hug, pressing against his bones as if trying to crunch them. "Told ya I'd bring her back safely, didn't I pirate?"

"Yeah, but you also promised not a scratch."

Lando pulled his head back. "Not a scratch? You mean like..." He ran his finger across Han's chin. "...this one? I'd say her damage is less noticeable than yours."

Han groaned. "And that's what I get for savin' your butt?"

Lando playfully slapped his friend on the back. "Yup, you got that scar saving my butt."

Before Han could answer, he heard another familiar voice calling his name - a voice that, in spite of all it had been through, still sounded like a boy to Han's ears.

"Kid!" Han exclaimed at the sight of Luke running up to him. Once the younger man caught up with the older, they embraced like a pair of brothers. Brothers...well if his relationship with Leia continued to its logical conclusion...then he and Luke would indeed be brothers. He was still having trouble getting used to the idea that the kid and the princess were related, though.

"We did it, Han," Luke murmured. "We did it."

"So just what all happened up there?" Han asked.

Luke pulled out of the embrace, his mouth twisted in an awkward expression. "Han...how much did Leia tell you...about me and her?"

Han's mouth twisted too, an almost mirror image of Luke's. "Well...she told me you guys were siblings."

Luke's mouth was hanging open, his eyes lowering. "There's more than that."

"What?"

Luke was breathing loudly. "Han...Leia and I were separated and hidden away at birth...to hide us from our father."

The music seemed to be fading away in Han's ears. "Your father?"

Luke nodded, his head looking at the ground. "Our father...you've met him. On...on...on Bespin."

Now the music vanished completely, replaced by a loud buzzing. Air seemed to be having difficulty finding his lungs, draining him of energy, drying his eyes, inhibiting his mouth from forming words.

"You mean...it's...it's..."

"Vader," Luke finished.

Han couldn't move, couldn't breathe, couldn't even think of what Luke said, could only stare open-mouthed at the younger man until he felt his left hand on his shoulder.

"Han...listen to me...I know you'll have trouble believing this...but he saved us."

He told Han about just what happened in the second Death Star in a rapid, flowing voice, barely giving Han time to comprehend what he was saying, yet alone comment on it. His hand unconsciously went to his chin when Luke told about how he removed Vader's mask, revealing his damaged, deformed face. He tried to picture such a face, so scarred that it barely looked human, and yet was unmistakably so...but he couldn't. Then he realized that he had never before considered the possibility that there might be a face under that mask.

"Han," Luke was saying, "I understand if you don't believe me, but..."

"I believe ya, kid," Han interrupted. "I believe ya." He believed, but he couldn't fathom what to do about this new information.

"Han! Luke!"

Zora running up to the two men and waving brought a very thankful distraction. Her short black hair bounced on her neck, that smile that once put Han in the mood for romantic pleasures lighting up her face.

"Han, come on, I've got someone for you to meet," she said breathlessly.

"Who? Your girlfriend?" Han blurted out, momentarily forgetting that he'd been "sleeping" when Zora disclosed her lesbianism.

"Han?!?!?!" Luke exclaimed.

Zora's thick lips curled. "It's all right Luke - he's right, actually." She raised a brow at Han. "You were supposed to be asleep."

Han shrugged. "I was...for most of the day. Just happened to wake up when you two were talkin' about that."

"Well...nevermind about that," Zora said, ignoring the confused look on Luke's face. "Come meet her."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Leia was standing next to one of the trees, wearing that dress Han had seen her in when he got captured by the Ewoks, chatting with a tall woman with blonde hair pulled up into a neat bun.

"Han!" Leia exclaimed upon noticing the group approaching them. Almost immediately she threw her arms around him, squeezing him in a tight embrace. Han found his eyes shutting, absorbing her touch.

"You were right, they're one hot couple," a high voice said.

"Aren't they, Seril?" said Zora's voice. "Just like us."

Han opened his eyes, seeing that the two women each had an arm around the other. "Han, Luke," Zora said, pointing her free arm at the blonde woman, "my fiancee, Seril."

"Pleased to meet you," Seril said. "Zora's told me a lot about you." She raised a brow at Han. "Especially about you."

"Now now baby, don't be jealous," Zora cooed, rubbing her partner's cheek.

"Fiancee? 'Baby?' " Luke said, his eyes wide, making no effort to disguise his shock.

"Come on Luke, haven't you ever seen a lesbian couple before?" Zora chided.

Luke's face reddened. "I'm sorry, I just thought that since you and Han..."

Zora sniffed through one nostril. "That's one reason why Han and me didn't work out."

The group laughed, giving Luke the ability to relax.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

After Zora took Seril's hand and led her away to somewhere more private, Leia turned her attention back to Han, smiling at him. The firelight reflected in her brown eyes, giving them an extra radiance. A few moments past with her giving him her magnificent smile, but then it began to fade, melting into an open-mouthed look of concern.

"Han...did Luke tell you about our father?"

Han sighed. "Yup." Seeing Leia's eyes widen at his word, he hastily grabbed her shoulders, staring directly in her eyes. "Leia, listen, I don't give a damn who your parents are. You didn't choose 'em."

Leia wrapped her arms around him, pressing her cheek against his chest. "Luke says he sacrificed himself to save us all...but I don't know...if that's enough..."

Han returned her embrace, patting her back, feebly attempting to stop Darth Vader's face from swirling into his mind, wondering how he would handle it if he found out Vader was his father, yet finding a block in his imagination.

"If you need me...I'll help you get through this..." he murmured.

Leia pulled out of the embrace, looking up at Han for a few moments before rubbing his chin. "You're thinking of getting rid of this, aren't you?"

Han's finger also went to his chin, touching Leia's finger. "Yeah, you got a problem with that?"

Leia shrugged, removing her hand from his skin. "I like it, personally. You got it saving Lando's life - even after he betrayed you. It's a mark of closure - closure with both Lando and Zora." She ran her finger over his scar again. "It gives your face an extra...significance."

Han sniffed. "Are you sayin' it didn't have significance before?"

Leia snickered. "No, just that it has more significance now." She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her soft, sensual lips against his chin. Han reflexively closed his eyes, absorbing the sensation, thinking about what she said. Maybe it made a little sense...all right, a lot of sense, but did that mean he had to listen to it?

He opened his eyes, seeing Leia's smiling face glowing in the firelight. The Ewoks' music seemed to be specifically meant as an ambiance for her face.

"It took me a little while to get used to it to," she said, "but now I think it looks good. I think you'll come to that conclusion too."

Han pulled her close to him, resting his cheek on her head, his skin sliding on her hair. Minutes seemed to pass with him in a trance, not exactly contemplating what to do with his scar, but only letting her words settle in his head.

"All right," he said, as surprised to hear his voice saying those words as Leia was, "I'm keepin' it."

THE END