Had this little idea before falling asleep one night as to the origins of the mysterious bet that went around Echo Base regarding Han and Leia that so many authors on here reference. So I decided to write out the origins of said bet and who better to start it than our one and only Wes Janson?
I love Wes, personally, and he's one of my favorite Rogues, up there with Wedge and Hobbie and Corran later. So yeah, I loved writing him.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing except the order of the words below, 'cause Lucas owns SW and I suppose at some time or another someone owned the English language. 'Cause Lucas owns basic too...
The Origin of the Bet
Wes Janson prided himself on being a practical man. His uncanny ability to turn a situation into something promising and hopefully profitable for himself was amazing in his opinion. Few people could do just that, and those that could were usually found in the Imperial Navy, not the Rebellion.
But today, he was doing what he did best: turning a profit for himself and those involved. It was only fair to share the wealth in a place where little wealth could be used. Hoth wasn't exactly Coruscant when it came to its nonexistent shopping district. The lower levels were the back corner of the South Hangar or behind the corner in the far back of the Mess Hall, and the seedy bars were the little circles of pulled up chairs and pilots sharing the few bottles picked up in the rare free moments on missions to warmer, less snowy worlds.
It was all they could do to survive the monotony of the icy hell their lives had currently become.
Now, it was nearly 2100 Standard and the shield doors had closed hours prior. The wind outside was muffled slightly as the latest blizzard blew its way through the tundra and the cold seeped in anywhere it wasn't already. The Rogue Squadron minus their lively Commander who was out on escort mission to the lovely Princess sat in in a rough circle in the South Hangar between two X-Wings. A bottle sat on the floor next to Wedge Antilles, their current stand in commander, half empty of the brownish liquid of Corellian Whiskey. Hobbie Klivian sat balancing his glass on his thigh as he poured another refill of his own Whyren's Reserve across from Antilles, laughing raucously at the latest story that was passed to ease the monotony.
Janson sat between Dak and Antilles, and across from Zev in this circle. Zev was nearly passed out at this point, having never been one to hold his liquor against Corellians let alone the rest of the Rogues. Dak had wisely stopped drinking nearly three rounds prior, claiming responsibility or some other nobility-Wes couldn't remember. He himself was in silent completion to see who could last longer: he or Wedge. Wedge had taken it upon himself to prove his home planet's reputation and was probably the only one there to stand a chance up against even the famed Han Solo himself.
The name clicked somewhere within Wes, the gears turning in the sluggish, alcohol filled mind of his. His business/scamming side came about once more, and a wicked grin crossed his face. The lag in the conversation prompted his speaking even before he could fully comprehend his plan.
"Wait," he announced, though there was no need as the silence had stretched. "Solo and Organa."
"Yeah?" Hobbie questioned, eyebrow raised.
"Oh gods, here we go," Dak mumbled. "What now, Janson?"
"They are totally five arguments from kriffing each other's brains out," Wes stated.
"I think you've had too much to drink," Wedge chuckled, reaching for Wes's glass slowly. Wes narrowed his eyes at his current Commander, pulling the glass in question back and away from the offending hand.
"No, hear me out," he protested, eyes scanning the crowd. Zev had his arms crossed over his chest, head lolling about lazily as he fought muscle control. "They are in denial!"
"Not Solo," Hobbie shook his head. "Well, at least he says the Princess is. And he's always goin' on about how she's in love with him or something'…" Hobbie paused, replaying the thought through his inebriated mind. "Wait, did that make sense?"
"Surprisingly, yes," Wes nodded, pointing a finger at the pilot. "Guys, this could be a base wide opportunity for us here. Think of the possibilities!"
"I would, but you ain't makin' sense, Janson," Zev mumbled, blinking his eyes in an effort to focus. He was seriously reconsidering that last glass of Whyren's…
"A betting pool," Wes announced proudly, the prospective gears already spinning at hyper speed.
"And if Solo finds out, you'll take the blame?" Wedge asked with a smirk.
Wes opened his mouth and paused before looking at Wedge with a pointed finger and answering, "No."
Dak chuckled, shaking his head slightly at Wes's blatant drunken behavior. Part of him was glad for stopping earlier. The alcohol in his system was coursing through and his thought process had caught up with everything, making him probably the most coherent one in the group.
"Seriously, we should all set up a pool, bring in those techs," Wes grinned, nodding to himself as he thought this out, "you know how they love wastin' credits. Then from there we could get Intel to do this, maybe they'll even hear something themselves and bet higher. Oh! Then high command…"
"Wes, slow down," Hobbie laughed. "You don't want Intel and High Command in on this. Think it through, man. Command and Intel both have the ability to reprimand you. Give you kitchen duty. Ground you."
"Right," Wes nodded. "I see your point. Alright, no Intel or High Command. Definitely the techs though."
"Alright, so you have a betting pool," Wedge nodded. "Now what Janson?"
"I dunno," he shrugged. "Too drunk for this."
"And he speaks sense," Dak shook his head. "I think it's time for quits, boys."
"Seconded," Wedge laughed. "Alright, Janson, off to bed. You too, Zev. Dak, you alive enough to handle him?"
"Sure thing," Dak chuckled, taking the much older and heavier man up out of the chair, balancing him with Zev's arm over his shoulder and his arm around Zev's waist. "I'll get this lug to his quarters."
"Thanks," Wedge chuckled as Dak maneuvered Zev out and turned to face Hobbie and Wes. "You boys gonna find your quarters tonight?"
"Any other quarters we should be finding?" Hobbie asked with a raised eyebrow.
"No," Wedge shook his head. "Neither of you need a sexual harassment claim in either of your files," he paused, glancing at Wes. "Or another claim as the case may be."
"She was comin' on to me!" Wes protested weakly. Hobbie chuckled and stood, intent on getting to his room and getting some sleep in the hopes the Empire didn't decide to play a call in the morning.
"Night, Antilles, Janson," Hobbie nodded before leaving.
"See ya', Klivian," Wedge raised a hand in goodbye before turning on Wes. "You learn not to try and out drink a Corellian yet?"
"No," Wes shook his head roughly, the dizzy world swaying around him. "Oh, bad move."
"Yeah," Wedge agreed, reaching down and pulling Wes into a standing position. "Let's get you home."
"Home is warm, this place isn't warm," Wes mumbled. "Wedge, I think I like you as a Commander better than Skywalker."
"Why's that?" Wedge lifted Wes's arm over his shoulder supporting his weight as they headed back to the pilot's quarters.
"You don't give me kitchen duty as often," Wes mumbled. "And you don't care if I talk about Solo and Leia. I think Lukie likes her."
"So do we all, Pal," Wedge chuckled.
"Yeah, but see, I… I forgot what I was gonna say," Wes sighed. "Don't let me forget about the pool, I gotta remember the betting pool. It's gonna make me rich, Antilles. Real rich. Like, as rich as Vader."
"Alright, I'll remind you," Wedge nodded.
"Oh, and don't bet six months. That's my bet," Wes shook his head. "Twenty credits on six months."
"I won't," he promised, turning the corner that led to the pilot's quarters.
"Good," Wes nodded. "You're a good friend. Real good. Better than Hobbie. He stole my socks."
"He stole your socks?"
Wedge shook his head and guided Wes up to his door, punching in the simplistic security code he memorized after nights like this. The door slid open and Wedge pulled Wes in, flopping him down on the bed unceremoniously and earning a nauseated moan from Wes.
"I'm not dressing you so I hope you're sober enough to remember where your clothes are," he said as he looked down at Wes. "Night, Janson."
One Galactic Standard Week Later
Wes stood in the back of the Mess Hall, grinning down at the data pad in his hands as he scrolled through all the bets placed since he'd begun the betting pool. This had turned out to be one of the best drunken ideas of his yet. Nearly all the male population in the base had joined him with the exception of High Command and Intel. The word had spread like wildfire after the pool had opened, everyone eager to get in on the best gossip since Yavin.
Better yet, Wes hadn't even been reprimanded when Luke returned and found out.
Though he refused to participate in the pool himself, stating it wasn't right or against Jedi something or another, he was extremely curious at the progress Wes had made in just three days after opening the pool. Nearly two thousand credits had filled the pool, making it an even more eager prospect to join in on.
It was fantastic, until tonight.
As Wes was scrolling through the names, wondering if he should leave them sorted at chronological bet or sort it between branch when a big warm hand slapped down on his shoulder, startling him.
Wes froze in fear as he looked up into the smiling face of Han Solo himself. He swallowed thickly before letting an uneasy grin pass his face. "Uh, hi there, Han. What, uh, brings you round at this hour?"
"Oh, nothing much," Han shrugged easily, the grin not leaving his face. "Just wondering what you were up to. You know, you being a fellow pilot and all."
"Right, pilot," Wes nodded, his heart rate nearly doubling as Han pulled out the chair next to him and sitting down to face him.
"So? What are you up to?"
"Oh, this?" he asked, pointing uneasily at the datapad. Han grinned and nodded, his leering eyes wreaking havoc on Wes's nerves. "Well, um, just statistics, and um, Rogue stuff. You wouldn't be interested."
"Really? Why's that?"
"No reason, just know you wouldn't, uh…" Wes trailed off, raising a hand and scratching at the back of his head. "Well, I better be off. You know, late night and Empire could be a-knockin' tomorrow. And… Such."
"Right," Han nodded. "'Course."
Wes exhaled quickly and grinned. "Well, I'll just be-"
"Sit down, Wes," Han stopped him. "I hear you're runnin' a bet against Her Worship an' me."
"Oh, I mean, uh," Wes panicked and Han merely raised an eyebrow. "Right, yeah. It's got uh, perspective. I could give you part of the final cut, or something."
"Nah, I wouldn't want to intrude on your bet like that," Han waved his hand dismissively.
"No! 'Course not! What kinda pilot would I be if I did?" Han grinned, shaking his head. "No, what's the minimum bet?"
"M-Minimum bet?" Wes stuttered, eyes wide. "Uh, Twenty credits."
"Put me down for, oh, five weeks," Han shrugged. "I'm good for it."
"Right, uh," Wes nodded, scrambling for the datapad to mark Han down for the bet. "Five weeks… Han Solo… Done. Okay. You seem to be alone at that time too."
"Great!" Han flashed one of his sarcastically crooked grins and slapped his knees before standing up. "Better be the last bet you put on me too, Janson."
"'Course! Right, sure thing, Han!" Wes nodded quickly as Han turned and walked away. As soon as the Corellian was out of sight, he let out a heavy sigh, his tensed body finally relaxing. "Gods, he is one scary man."
One Standard year and three months later
"You have got to be kidding me," Wes shook his head. "You have got to be kriffing kidding me."
"What?" Hobbie asked from where he stood in the docking bay on Home One leaned up against his X-Wing.
"What about him?"
"Bastard won the bet!"
"What? Really?" Hobbie asked, pushing off from the landing strut and crossing the small distance to read over Wes's shoulder.
"Five weeks from when the pool was started, right?" Wes asked rhetorically. "Well, four weeks later those Imps came 'round. Where were Solo and the Princess?"
"Oh, kest man, that is just," Hobbie shook his head disbelievingly. "Man, he is good."
"No! Can't you see? I am out 20 credits to this guy!"
"Hey, no one ever said you had to start this pool," Hobbie shrugged. "And I'm out 20 credits too, you know."
"I am never going to live this down."
"Neither is he if you think about it," Hobbie chuckled. "He is going down in betting history."
"Man, this blows!" Wes sighed, tossing the datapad down on a crate beside him dejectedly. "He gets nearly two thousand credits and the girl!"
"You didn't want her though."
"She's a Princess! A rich Princess. Of course I wanted her!"
"Jeeze, I think you're taking this a bit harsh, Wes."
"Maybe I can pretend the bet never happened?"
"Nah, he'll remember."
"Oh, yeah," Hobbie nodded, glancing over Wes's shoulder with a grin.
"Why?" Wes asked, confused.
"So I won the bet, huh?" Han Solo asked, leaning up against the landing strut of Wes's X-Wing smugly, arms crossed.
Wes jumped slightly and spun around before he sighed and nodded. "Yeah, you won the bet."
The whole original idea was that Wes would start the bet, and Han would find out and instead of ripping Janson a new one, he'd bet himself...and win. No one really ever mentions who won, which saddens me. But wouldn't it just do wonders for Han's ego to actually win said bet?
Anyways, review, please, as they are better than Shirtless Skywalkers and Slave Leias.