Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars. Written for fun, not profit.
Bail wanted a son, so the Lars family got a daughter. AU. Non-linear. Crack. BYO subtext.
There is blaster fire all over the detention bay - from the stormtroopers, from Han and Chewbacca, and especially from Leia now that she's discovered she's damn good at aiming.
"I don't suppose you came in with a plan?" the prince asks.
When Leia risks a glance at him - around the same time Han tells him the places he can shove his plans, most of them painful and all of them unlikely - she sees him watching the whole situation with a sort of put-upon exasperation, as if maybe they should have thought through their rescue before dragging him into it. "You got a better idea?" she snaps.
"On no," he says, "I think you're doing brilliantly," and then he suggests the garbage chute as if this is the most obvious solution in the world.
Han calls Prince Organa "Your Highness."
Prince Organa calls Han "The Illustrious Captain Solo" with a formal nod and crisp perfect politeness, like he's carrying the suffocating formality of the Imperial Senate around with him, and everyone is almost sure - almost - that he's doing this just to drive the smuggler up the wall.
(Han calls Leia farmgirl, but that's all right because Leia calls Han six bad words in Huttese and a few more in Basic while she's at it.)
"I would've been a swoopracer," Leia says once. Her hair's knotted up around her head and sticky with sweat and her helmet's stashed in her X-Wing's cockpit. "I wanted to race pods when I was a kid, but I didn't have the money and Uncle Owen would've had my head anyway."
"I've never owned a swoop," the prince admits and then he nearly laughs at her expression; for Leia, flying is much the same as breathing.
Prince Organa has rarely seen Darth Vader before the debacle on the Tantive IV, but he maintains his composure all the same and smiles in that maddeningly polite way of his and asks to what he owes the pleasure of such an unexpected visit. If he notices the dead Alderaanian guards littering the corridors of his ship - if he wonders if Artoo and the secret plans have escaped to Tatooine - he gives no sign at all.
When his would-be rescuers manage to haul him out of the detention bay, he borrows Leia's comlink and insists that Artoo check the prisoner rosters. There were dozens of people on his ship, and if any of them are still alive - even one - he isn't leaving without them.
They aren't, of course. He wishes he were more surprised.
"I knew it was unlikely," he says as he hands the comlink back, and for a moment his careful senator's mask slips at the edges. "But still, I had to try."
When he sees Alderaan vanish, there is a part of him that dies as well; he lives with a strange empty hole in his chest, and there are times when he wonders why he doesn't simply disappear inside it.
But he is stronger than this - no one will ever know how strong, not even him - and he will not disappoint his people and his friends and his father's memory. He wears his grief as a badge and carries his family name as his shield, and he will not set them down until there is some measure of peace returned to the galaxy.
("I thought it would help," Leia says after the ceremony with Yavin IV's sticky heat clinging to her and her medal heavy around her neck. "I thought hurting them would help."
Prince Organa puts a hand on her shoulder and lets her lean against him, even though he never thought anything of the kind.)
"Not to state the obvious," he says, "but we have a bit of a problem."
Han glares at him - and not, very pointedly, at Hoth falling away behind them or at the Imperial fleet that's decided a crippled freighter makes a very tempting target. "Thanks," he snarls, "I hadn't noticed."
If Prince Organa is fazed, he doesn't show it. "Would you like me to get out and push?" he asks like they're discussing a hoverball game.
Han's muttering something about this being a hell of a time to find a sense of humor when they hit the asteroid belt.
Leia tries to call him Luke once. Everyone does at some point.
When he tells her that he is simply Prince Organa, she tilts her head at him and her expression softens and he has the disturbing sense that she knows what he's thinking, and that her ability to see through his practiced aloofness has nothing to do with the Force.
"You have a funny way of missing people," she says.
He clasps his hands behind his back and stares straight ahead.
She carries her anger like a sword blazing ahead of her, ready to stab the Empire through the heart.
Escaping from Jabba goes exactly as poorly as it ought to, all chaos and noise and Leia with her lightsaber flashing, asking how anyone expects her to fight in this stupid outfit.
"Maybe you should've thought of a plan first," Han grumbles.
Prince Organa dodges a blaster bolt and helps Lando knock a pair of guards into the sand and lets everyone wonder why he's laughing.
In the Imperial Senate, he was told that he was meant to be a diplomat, not a politician - that he finds common ground without trying, and he is no different when he is protecting the Rebellion or facing his family's secrets head-on. His father - Bail Organa - would have said that this is because he sees the good in people.
One day someone will tell him that he is very much like his mother.
("My father's dead," Leia says on Endor, all fury and betrayal and grief and her lightsaber a dull weight hanging from her belt. "There's just Vader, and there's no good in him. Vader was never my father.")
"One day," he tells Leia, Bespin long-vanished behind them, "you're going to explain what happened."
She doesn't look up from her new arm - a long sleeve and a glove hiding the metal and naked circuits; she's lost everying from the shoulder down and the medbay doesn't have such extensive prosthetics. "Vader told me something, I didn't like it, and when I tried to shut him up I missed and fell." Her hands clench into fists, but she doesn't seem to notice.
"Don't," he says. It is not gentle and hardly a suggestiong - not to anyone but Leia - and older and stronger and more powerful beings than one would-be Jedi have backed down from him. "Don't fight him next time."
"What was I supposed to do?" she snaps. (She's braver than everyone; she would die for the galaxy and him and Han, she would do terrible things to save them and she never backs down.)
He gives up and stares out the viewports, watching Lando and Chewie and the Falcon vanish into the distance.
"Jump," he says, even though she was never born to retreat and understand and forgive. "I'll still be there to catch you."