Welcome to Part 2. Subsequent chapters will not be linear and in novel-format like the story has been thus far; I'm sorry to say that it simply hasn't been holding my attention. But SotS will be continued, by both myself and other guest-writers (if you want to be one, send me a PM), writing snippets within the same universe, and, hopefully, completing the picture of what happens during the next two movies.
Written by wordswithout, who despite being an avowed hater of Star Wars, wrote this (mostly) of her own volition after beta-reading the last chapter of SotS and discussing where I wanted to go with the Han/Leia or Han/Leeta. There may or may not be a shadowy deal involved. This takes place somewhere around episode 5.
Leeta stood with her arms folded, back against the wall, watching Han with her yellow eyes burning lightsaber-strong holes into his back as he moved around the cramped storage room. Boxes of outdated datapads cluttered the room; Leeta kept her gaze on Han as he stumbled over them and cursed to himself. She frowned. Even the swear word was strange—some oath to some other world's deity. The busy, fulfilled glow he wore these days was still so foreign to her (how could he be so satisfied, so far from home?) and now not even his words were the same…
There was nothing about this man she knew.
Han bent over, peering inside a large crate filled to the brim with odds and ends. "The princess said the generator coils would be in here…"
Leeta twitched her lekku in annoyance—she always did when the almighty perfect kriffing princess was mentioned. "The head of the entire rebellion is worrying about generator coils? Doesn't she have other things to do with her time?"
"You know her worshipfulness." Han smirked, but in a distinctly non-nasty way. "Has to be involved with everything." He kicked another box out of his way, looked back at her. "Hey, did you want something? You've been standing there watching me make a mess of the cargo hold for a while now."
Leeta weighed her options. "I haven't seen much of you," she said carefully. She didn't usually like hesitating over her speech—she said what she thought, end story. But with Han… "Why don't we take the Millennium Falcon out and…"
But Han was frowning. She trailed off.
"Now? Here? There's rules on who can fly out when, and—"
"And you follow them?" Leeta spat at him. Fury, and something far darker, raged in the pit of her stomach. "What a well-behaved little boy you've become."
Han kicked another box out of his way. "I see their point, that's all," he said lightly. "If I wanted to I'd take off right now."
"But you don't want to. Take off, I mean." She folded her arms. "With me."
She expected Han to at least have the dignity to look embarrassed, or regretful. Maybe annoyed. She didn't expect him to roll her eyes.
"Do I mean anything to you?" she hissed.
"Leeta. I know I've been distracted lately, but it's not for no reason. We're in the middle of a war."
"I don't care. It has nothing to do with us."
"It has everything to do with us! We're both here to win it!"
"No, you're here to…" Leeta felt her voice become strangled. She stopped talking and watched Han scowl. "Han, I'm sorry. I'm not trying to fight. I just…miss you. I came here to be with you but I feel like the last time you were you was back on Tatooine!"
"What are you talking about? How am I anything but—I mean, sure, I've changed. What were you expecting?"
Leeta didn't know how to answer. What was she expecting? To be sent from one side of the fleet to another by irritated superiors who didn't know what to do with her? To be told by some foul-mouthed mechanic, a Dug of all creatures, that her skills were five years out of date? To sit aimlessly in the mess hall as Han gushed with everyone else about battles and strategy and down with the Empire, the rebellion will succeed! She heard people rant about the Emperor and the alliances and the importance of it all, and all she could ever think was why?
Had she expected this to be some exciting, romantic get-away? Was she jealous of the war for the attention it took from Han? Was she the only one who remembered their racing over rust-colored hills, screaming with the joy of the world around them as they streaked across sandy skies, feeling the heat baking into their skin and making them whole…?
"Han," she said quietly. "I want to go home."
But he hadn't heard her. He'd already turned back to the boxes, shuffling through the mess in search of the princess's coil.