It is Your Destiny…
The Millennium Falcon, deep space
They sat facing each other in his bunk. Leia had stopped talking. She had told him about what she had found at the medical center. He knew about the vicious attack at her home that evening. She had told him about the three Sith, about how they had ambushed her. He asked probing questions about her injuries, questions that made her relive them in a way that she was not quite ready to do.
The healing skin beneath her bandages itched and tingled as if phantom strikes were lashing out at her with every word. She was vague, forgetful and Han called her on a few occasions when her story just did not seem to make sense. Her mind fought against her. It was as if her very being didn't want her to remember too much, as if she was protecting herself from herself. But she couldn't explain it. She felt like running. But there was nowhere for her to run. She had run here. Now she wondered why.
She pressed her fingers against her eyelids, trying to stall the onslaught. Visions from her dreams, or memories, she couldn't be sure – haunted her. Someone was inside the Jedi Order. There had been a presence. Someone or something was destroying it from within. Her father was somehow involved. And Luke. She had stood in a meadow. Something had been unleashed-
When she opened her eyes, Han was watching her. For a moment she couldn't recall where she was or what she was doing. She only saw her hands on the lid of a jar.
"Are you okay? You left me for a little bit right there."
"Yes," she answered automatically, still trying to make sense of everything she was seeing – and not seeing. "Yes, I'm fine."
"Maybe we've…," Han said, and then hesitated before he continued, "talked about it enough."
She nodded. There was more to tell him. But until she could separate dreams from reality just what she should tell him she couldn't be sure.
"Any ideas on why these Sith were after you? Or why they killed your mother? How they knew where you were?"
She furrowed her eyebrows together and shook her head. Han was so practical, so tactical. Perhaps that's what she needed. He would never put much stock into dreams and visions. "I don't know," she finally replied.
"Alright. So where do we go from here?"
She shook her head again. "I don't know."
"But you know you want to leave."
She shrugged and nodded. "You should be on your way to Endor."
"You could come with me."
She made a sound; it was a mixture of 'I wish' and 'Yeah, right'. "I can't leave my X-wing here, and-"
"I know," he interrupted. "Forget I said it."
"What happens after Endor?"
"Depends on what I find."
"I'll give it a week and send a message."
He seemed angry. Somewhere in his eyes she could see the hurt. It wasn't easy lying to him. The longer they stayed together the more she seemed to keep from him. One lie just built upon another. How could she tell him about her father and what she knew without telling him about their history, as well? How could she tell him? When could she tell him everything? "Han, I…," she trailed off. Of all the times that she had rehearsed these words, now they seemed too large, too heavy to push up and out of her throat. I knew you a long time ago. It sounded too simple. It sounded insane.
"Leia," he said gravely, placing his hand on her knee. He seemed to comprehend the weightiness of the words that would not come.
She stared into his eyes, those bottomless pits of love and understanding. She could do this. He would understand. Somehow he seemed to already know. She opened her mouth, but no sound would come.
Han squeezed his hand on her knee and leaned toward her. He opened his mouth and for a moment she half-expected him to say it for her: We were meant to be together. But that wasn't what he said. He said something else entirely. Something foreign and shocking and so far from what she was thinking that she was momentarily dazed by it. Han didn't wait long in the silence. "Leia?" He said firmly, urging her to answer him.
"Wait a minute," she whispered, trying to wrap her head around what she had heard. "What?"
"Were you raped?" He asked again, she heard him clearly this time. He picked up one of her hands and squeezed it between his own. "Leia, you can tell me. It's alright."
"Raped?" She repeated, trancelike. Everything flew through her mind, that battle with the Sith, that creature lying on top of her, her message to herself, everything she had just now wanted to say. Everything she thought Han already knew. Everything that she wouldn't have the burden to tell. But no, he didn't know. He couldn't know.
His voice was desperate, she had never heard him like this before; it shook her out of her thoughts. "No," she finally croaked, her voice almost barely audible. Disappointment washed over her, the heavy burden of her lie settling back into the pit of her stomach to live there yet another day. "No, I wasn't."
He was so relieved that he pulled her into his arms. She let him. She was stunned; she had been so close to telling him everything thinking that they were so parallel in their thoughts, so in sync. But he had been in an entirely different realm. She felt so alone, almost betrayed by this revelation. Perhaps no one would ever understand her, not even the man that she was destined to marry.
"The med scan was whacky," he started to explain. "And…when I held you down…"
She pressed her face against his chest and let him hold her tightly. He had been terrified for her. She had come here wanting his protection yet he seemed now more fragile than she. Her thoughts began to reorganize, leaving behind everything that she had wanted to say and coalescing on this one point. Her father, her brother and even Han, none of them understood. And none of them could protect her. None of them. It all rested on her and there would never be rest for her.
In her mind, a door shut.
"He held me down," she finally replied in explanation. "But I got away from him. I…got away from him."
She felt him kiss the top of her head. "Leia."
In that one word everything was said. She could hear the hours of torture he had succumbed to while waiting for her to awaken. She could hear the relief and the promise that whatever her answer would've been, he had prepared himself for it. She sunk against him, melting into his chest, cocooning her entire mind, body and soul into his arms. She couldn't help but feel that she had lied to him again. No, she had not been raped, not in the traditional sense, but she had been invaded. And she had invaded someone as well.
She still felt invaded.
He placed his hands on her shoulders and pushed her away from him so that he could look her in the face. "You're sure you're alright?"
"Yes," she answered too quickly and Han immediately picked up on it.
"There's something you're not telling me."
"No. Nothing," she lied. "I'm just tired. And, I'm sorry I worried you. I'm sorry. Maybe I shouldn't have-"
"No," he interrupted. "You didn't do anything wrong. I'm just glad nothing like that happened to you."
They stared at each other for a moment. Han's jaw was still set, something like determination was written all over his face. He placed his hand on her cheek and rubbed his thumb along her jaw. "Let's just go," he whispered. "Forget your X-wing. Forget Endor, the Jedi Order, everything and just go."
She smiled and shut her eyes for a moment letting herself believe that they could, that she could. Then she opened her eyes and looked at him for a long moment. "You don' t mean that."
His expression did not change as he replied most seriously, "Try me."
She laughed. How did he always manage to make her laugh? "Okay, maybe you do," she replied and somewhere in the back of her mind she was thankful that he did, somewhere in the back of her mind she thought one day she might be ready to take him up on it.
He smiled back at her, his jaw loosening and the hardness fading from his eyes. She studied his face, the stubble along his jaw, the crooked line of his nose and the tousled mess of hair that fell on his forehead. She wondered how she had found him, she the woman that had come before her. Had there been a chase? Had it been hard for them? She almost wished that for her it had been different. That for her this man hadn't just fallen into her lap out of the sky. It seemed silly, but something told her that it was important.
Then her thoughts moved forward and she was halfway across the galaxy. Already plotting her next move. Already figuring out where she should go. Already tracking her prey. Yet he was still here, she was still halfway in his arms and they had never really been good at goodbye. She wasn't sure of anything any longer, but it didn't seem to matter here. Here, everything else could wait. She would always have this.
She slid one hand behind his neck and leaned toward him drawing his face down to hers. "Kiss me, Han," she said, smiling. "I could use a good kiss."
And before she knew what was happening they were kissing. She hadn't felt him lean toward her, she hadn't felt herself move toward him, yet they were together, as always – just how they were meant to be. His lips felt so nice against her own. He leaned into her, slowly pushing her down onto the bed. She removed his belt, he undid her hair. He trailed his finger down her neck, she wrapped her hand around the tight muscles of his bicep feeling them twist and play beneath her touch has his hand traveled further along her body.
He came to the binding on her hip and stopped, drawing his gaze back up to meet hers.
"What is it?" She asked.
"I don't wanna hurt you."
She pushed on his arm and easily toppled him over, rolling and switching their positions, he on the bottom and she on top. She began to undo the fasteners of his shirt. "We'll go slow," she promised.
He shrugged his shoulders helping her help him out of his shirt. Her mouth landed immediately on the bared skin of his chest, pressing wet kisses along his collarbone and then down and over his nipples. "I like slow," he replied.
He was still as her fingers moved down to his trousers unfastening the opening and pushing them down low onto his hips. Her small hand ghosted back up and over his body, she set a tortuously languorous pace bumping lightly over each rib, and then back down along a scar on his abdomen and lower. She slid her fingers beneath the elastic band of his undergarment.
"I like slow a lot," he breathed.
He felt her smile as her lips stretched out against the skin of his chest. "Liar," she replied as she stretched back up to kiss him on his lips.
Later, when he sat in his pilot's chair and watched the blip of her X-wing wink out of existence, he could feel his connection to her stretching across the expanse of space, a phantom pulling inside of his chest. A short jump in space, her first and much like the one he was about to perform, he could almost see her in the distance sitting there, punching the next coordinates and performing her system checks maybe turning her head to look for him out in the nothing that she had left behind her.
"Leia," he whispered aloud in the cockpit and his insides lurched forward one last, painful time as he felt her jump away to points unknown.