Still not George Lucas.
Notes: Drabble written for Dphearson, who requested: Luke/Leia, missing scene, ESB. Despite the pairing, fear not, there is no sex in this fic. While the incestual implications in ANH are more explicit, the story itself is not explicit.
Somehow, he'd always known.
Of course, Leia loved Han. And Luke loved her. There were no discussions on that subject; it was unnecessary. In fact, they didn't talk much at all after escaping Bespin. They found they could convey so much more through a simple touch of an arm wound around the other. Luke found that touching Leia was like touching the Force in many ways. He was part of her, and she, part of him. She gave him a sense of power, a sense of completion, a sense of being human.
Leia invited Luke in when he'd buzzed at the door to her room, gesturing him to the bed without words. She wore her hair down, a dizzying sight of crinkled brown hair cascading down her back. She stood at the window, staring out at the starry expanse of space. Lando and Chewie had left hours ago, but Luke knew she already wanted answers on Han's whereabouts. His chest tightened with jealousy, and he cursed himself. He'd promised himself he wouldn't think of that.
The engines of the medical frigate ran smooth and almost unnoticeable. In fact, Luke suspected he was the only one who noticed it was running at all, rumbling softly under his feet as he padded over to Leia's bed, careful to take his boots off before bringing his feet up. He sat against the fat pillows on her crisp, white bed, flexing his new mechanical hand. It moved just like his real one had. Just like with the medical frigate's engines, he suspected he was the only one who would know the difference now.
It sort of bothered him, just like when he thought about what that hand had cost him, of the words uttered just after it fell to the depths of Cloud City, taking his father's lightsaber with it. Luke closed his eyes again, silently willing for Ben to appear before him, to answer all his questions, to tell him Darth Vader was lying, but the old man never showed up. Ben had abandoned him.
Luke supposed it only fair, since he'd abandoned Ben on Dagobah. He sighed, flexing his hand again.
"You worry too much," Leia finally said. She still stood by the window, looking impossibly small in her smooth, white room, framed by a view of space. Impossibly small, yet impossibly strong. Soft, but with an edge that would cut if bent the wrong way. Deceptive. Rather like Ben, in some ways.
That led Luke to a few more disturbing places he didn't want to think about. He shook his head, focusing on Leia. "So do you," he said.
Her smile was fleeting. "You kept calling for Ben when we found you on Bespin," she said, as though she could read his mind. "That's what you called General Kenobi, wasn't it? Why did you call for him?"
Luke could never hide anything from Leia, it seemed. "I... hoped he might be able to help me. To sort things out for me."
"He's dead. Just like my father." Her tone was final, flat, full of grief that Luke knew she'd never let herself fully feel, because she didn't have time for it. She had to be strong. Luke wondered if her sadness would eat her alive, like it had old Ben. Leia had that same haunted look in her eyes at times, as if she'd spent years out in the desert, too. The only time she truly came alive was around Han. Again, resentment pierced Luke's heart, but he shoved it away. If that's what Leia wanted, then she should be allowed to have it.
"Ben's part of the Force," Luke answered, voicing the response he'd been searching for. "He's dead, but he's not gone. They're never gone."
"My father's dead and gone." Leia rarely talked like this, her arms crossed, posture stiff, face full of something that almost frightened Luke. Suddenly, she didn't seem so much like Ben anymore. She seemed more like...
Luke shook the horrid thought from his head, trying to ignore the memory of Vader's deep, synthesized voice lying to him -- telling the truth -- ruining his life -- giving him purpose -- seducing him to the dark side -- reaching out to the only person he had left in the galaxy.
"My father's dead, too," he finally said. Yes. Anakin Skywalker was dead. He couldn't be Darth Vader. It was unthinkable.
"I guess that makes us both orphans, then," said Leia, turning to face him. The lights in her room were dim, and he couldn't make out her expression in the darkness, but he could feel what she felt. And she felt angry. Lost. Hurt. Sad. Desperate.
Luke wished he knew how to give her back her hope, her pride. He wished he knew how to give it back to himself.
Leia's arms closed around him before Luke could even blink his eyes. She smelled of some strange flower he didn't recognize, and her hair tickled his nose. He could feel her smooth face press against his, her fingers digging into his back as she clutched him. She brought electricity with her touch, a jolt of something that made Luke feel whole, alive, connected to something bigger than he was. Like with the Force.
Leia's lips pressed against his, soft and tantalizing. The feeling traveled straight through his body, making him yearn to take her, to be part of her, to touch her, to make her his, heart, body, and soul. His pants grew tight, and then her voice, suggestive as the skin of a lo'ess, fluttered past his ear.
"Luke, do you want to...?"
The question hung between them unfinished, tearing at his soul, making him gasp. Oh, did he want to. He wanted to more than he wanted to breathe, to eat, to drink, to be a Jedi. He wanted her like no man should ever want a woman, ached for her.
And that's when Luke knew this was wrong. There was something decidedly not right about what was between him and Leia. It was too much. There was no control. Too much possession. Too much of something old and buried deep inside of them, belonging to other young lovers in a lost time and place, mirrors to them in flesh, if not spirit. Leia was not his, couldn't be his, shouldn't be his. There was love between them, great love, but it wasn't meant to be twisted like this. It tarnished the love, when Luke knew it should be pure and bright.
And, oh, he wanted to, but he never would.
"No. We can stay just like this," Luke whispered, holding Leia tighter, burying his face in her hair, fingers tangling in her silky tresses. This was as close as they could ever get. Leia accepted the answer, seeming perfectly content with it. She even relaxed a bit against him, tension draining away.
Leia fell asleep in his arms, head nestled against Luke's shoulder. He eventually joined her, their clothed bodies pressed together as if they were an orphaned young brother and sister, clutching each other for comfort. Tomorrow, Luke knew they would awake refreshed, with renewed hope and pride. Just as he drifted off, Luke almost thought he saw Old Ben standing in the corner, smiling at him sadly.
Somehow, he'd always known.