Code Phrases

Summary: It's Han's own fault. He has dragged Luke away while in a Jedi Healing trance. Now he has to deal with the consequences. OneShot.

Warnings: Humor. Last chance to run.

Set: Undefined timeline

Disclaimer: Timothy Zahn owns the great character Mara Jade, George Lucas is to praise for the entire Star Wars universe. I bow before both of them.


"I have to do what?"

Pure incredulity colors Han Solo's voice. The smuggler seems at a loss for words, something one doesn't see often. He has flown the Kessel route – twice – without dying, he has destroyed an Imperial Death Star, has fought Hutts and Imperials, Princes and Grand Moffs and Dark Jedi. He has seen everything. He has heard a lot. He has experienced even more – but something like this, he figures, is new to him.

And he definitively won't do it.

"Just tell him!"

Mara Jade Skywalker, his sister-in-law, usually has as much patience as he has – saying, not much – and it is showing in the way her voice is getting more and more annoyed. He can see her seething even though the only thing present is her voice, sounding from the com speakers of the Millenium Falcon´s instruments.

"I am so not going to."

A vicious hiss resounds from the speakers and Han instinctively backs up. Then he remembers that it's not even Mara in person, and that she can't even see him, and he feels stupid. Stupid and annoyed. The female Jedi Master is a thousand light years away from him now, and her dagger sharp glances can't reach him. But her anger can, apparently, and Han has learned long ago that angry woman are more than just scary.

"You know", she tells him deceptively calm, but she doesn't fool him. "All this wouldn't have happened if you had left Luke right here, where he belongs!"

Han can't object. Yes, Luke shouldn't be here, he should be on Yavin, with his wife, getting better as fast as possible. His last run-in with a bunch of force-sensitive, nasty aliens hasn't gone smoothly, and even a Jedi Master isn't immortal. But while Luke has been minding his own affairs, the New Republic has had to deal with other bush fires, internal discussions and major crises, and as much as Han dislikes the thought of forcing him along, he – the New Republic, Leia – needs Luke right now. So he went and kidnapped a Jedi Master while he was in a Jedi Healing Trance.

Put the emphasise on kidnap.

Mara wouldn't let him wake him, so he had to take him the way he was. Han isn't happy about it, and Mara is absolutely not happy, either.

"Listen, Solo" – the way she emphasizes his name tells him he's in for great trouble – "You were the one who had to get Luke. Now, you have to wake him from the Trance. So do it. Right now."

"If I don't, what will happen?"

Mara is fuming.

"He'll wake during the next three weeks. And he'll be half dead by then. Even Jedi can't go without food and water that long."

"Oh."

What's the sense of a Healing trance if you wake worse than before?

"Yes, oh. It's only good if you wake up as soon as you're healed, idiot. Should have thought about that before you took him."

She's right. Han sighs. "So what do I have to do?"

"I already told you."

Blast the Jedi and their stupid Healing Trances. Why can't they just use Bacta, like any other intelligent life form? No, they have to invent something special, as always. Blast Luke and Mara, even more, for having their own, personal code phrases in times like these! Han clenches his fists.

"Okay, I'll get to the sickbay and wake him", he tells his sister-in-law. "I'll probably be back in 15 Minutes, if Luke's fine by then, you can talk to him."

"He'd better be", Mara warns him and lapses into silence. Han gets up from the pilot's seat and directs his steps towards sickbay.

Everything inside him is protesting to do what he knows he has to do, especially his pride. There's no way he can do that.

Half on his way, he stops as a thought starts forming in his head. Grinning, he continues his way quickly, whistling to himself.


I love you.

Mara's and his standard code phrase echoes inside the darkness of the healing trance, and Luke slowly blinks back to consciousness. The darkness fades as his eyes slowly remember their function. Blinking in the light of the bright room, he tries to make sense of the blurred images and emotions he is catching. Mara is leaning over him, her golden hair almost brown in the light. It tickles his face. He blinks again and feels a sleepy smile forming on his lips.

"Hey…"

He frowns. Mara's hair smells strange. And was it always that dark? And she has an awful lot of hair. It almost looks like…

Fur.

Luke bolts upright so fast he almost smacks against his head against the head of the person in front of him.

Not a person.

"Chewie!"

A wookie growl, sounding suspiciously like a laugh. And there is Threepio, shifting uncomfortably, and Han, laughing his head off. He doesn't even stop when Luke demonstrates his willingness to redecorate the Falcon's interior with his light saber.

Then he remembers that, on his way back, he still has to face Mara.


A/N I'm currently re-reading all my Star Wars books, and just finished with "Vision of the Future" - in which Luke and Mara get together - and "Survivor's Quest". Both are by Timothy Zahn, one of the greatest Star Wars authors... He had the original idea with their code phrases. In Vision of the Future, Luke has to put Mara in a Jedi Hibernation Trance to save both of them by being carried along with an underground river. They've just gotten together, and Mara tells him to tell her "I love you" to wake her up from the Trance - it's the first time either one of them says the words out loud. In "Survivor's Quest", Luke puts himself into a Healing Trance twice and uses the same Code Phrase. So... The idea practically was there already! I enjoyed writing this immensely. Especially when I imagined Mara being really, really agry with Han...