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Middle Finger Salute

Han had taken it upon himself to teach Luke the ways of the world. Step one consisted of getting him fluent in more languages than Basic and Jawa. This mostly consisted of teaching him curse words, because in Han's book, knowing when someone was calling your mother a three-eyed Squib's bladder was just as important as knowing how to call them a hairball coughed up by a self-grooming Bothan in turn.

Luke, young and impressionable as he was, hadn't argued but had proven an apt student, mastering quite a collection of interesting swears from Han's personal collection.

Leia, of course, was absolutely disgusted by the entire business.

Han often felt that he and Leia were the two grown-ups out of the three of them and Luke was the kid - never mind that Luke and Leia were the same age - and at times it almost felt like they were fighting a battle over how best to raise him.

Leia, herself, was not exactly the sheltered flower one would imagine her to be and she had a tart tongue and a grasp of certain alien phrases he would have liked to believe nice girls never had cause to hear. But still it came as quite a surprise to him when one day he looked up after sharing a particularly off-color Sullustian joke with Luke which had set them both rolling to see the princess herself standing in the doorway, Chewie standing awkwardly to one side.

Han gave Chewie a look. Chewbacca shrugged.

"Uh," Luke said immediately, looking like he wanted to crawl into a small hole somewhere and then have it filled in with sand, "it's not what it sounds like."

"Oh?" she replied icily, raising an eyebrow. "Because it sounds rather notably like a very disagreeable form of lewd Sullustian humor."

"Uh," Luke gulped, "maybe it is what it sounds like."

"So," Han drawled, leaning back in his chair, "what are you going to do about it, Your Worship? Slap us in irons and have us flogged for offending your delicate sensibilities?"

Her icy demeanor did not shift one iota as she turned to him, and made a hand motion that made his jaw drop open. She smiled. "Good day to you, Captain Solo."

Luke looked from one to the other in confusion as Leia walked off. "What did that mean? What did she say?"

"You don't need to know, kid," Han said, grinning, absently ruffling his blonde hair with one hand, before getting up to go after Leia.

Luke sunk back in his seat, crossed his arm, and sulked. "Y'know, Chewie, sometimes I'm sure they think of me as nothing more than a kid!"

Chewie made a noncommittal growl in reply.


Han caught up with her at the bend of one of the corridors outside the landing bay. "So where'd a high-bred lady like you learn a low class gesture like that?"

"I suppose it's the company I keep," Leia said airily.

"Well," he said, just as casually, "while I'm sure you were going for the meaning it has for the Carmetoni, you should be aware that in some quarters that can be taken as a very obscene come-on."

"Really?" she said brightly, with only the slightest of hesitations. "I'll keep that in mind."

"Well," Han said lamely, "good."

"I am afraid," she said, tilting her head to look at him, "that you will have to take it in the spirit that it was meant, and which is clearly more indicative of my true feelings for you. That is, to put it in easier terms for your brain to grasp, it was most assuredly NOT a come-on."


"Well then, I shall be taking my leave again, Captain Solo." And she was off down a side corridor.

He stopped, looked after her for a moment, then turned and headed back to the ship. Right. Just warning her for her own good. Didn't want her getting in trouble down the line for that kind of thing. It was the gentlemanly thing to do. After all, who'd want something more from a . . . a well-bred, smart-mouthed girl like that? She was outta their league in more ways than class. Hell, he thought, it was a damn good thing she didn't talk dirty.

Or Luke might not be the only one finding he still had a thing or two left to learn.