"Leia..." Luke's voice called. "Come back. Everything's all right now" His voice was tender. Leia felt a pair of soft lips on her forehead, which caused a small smile to break out on her face.
"There's that smile" Luke said. Leia opened her eyes to see Luke sitting at her bedside, looking good as new.
"It worked" Leia said, realizing how heavy her body felt. Luke clasped her left hand in his.
"It did, but it almost killed you" He said seriously, blue eyes tinged with worry. "I thought that I would lose you" He brought her hand to his lips, and Leia saw for the first time the two large cuts adorning each side of her hand.
Luke followed her gaze, then gently pressed his lips to the pad of her thumb, where the bigger of the two cuts began.
"Don't leave me..." Leia said before she could stop herself.
"I won't go anywhere for now, but it's not proper for us to be together" Luke said, sounding older than his years. A faraway look came into his eyes.
"Nothing is proper in a war." Leia said after a moment. Luke looked to her with a startled expression. Leia realized what she must sound like she was propositioning. She changed the subject.
"What happened tonight... it changed us" Leia said. Luke remained silent, fiddling gently with Leia's hand.
"Luke... Luke, look at me" Leia finally said. When his blue eyes found hers, she saw a completely new emotion on Luke's face. His expression was hopeful.
"I feel that this change is for the better." Leia continued, touching Luke's face tenderly. Luke leaned forwards until their lips brushed ever so slightly. When he pulled away he looked slightly more relieved.
"I just get this ominous feeling... Maybe it's nothing. I just want you to be safe, all right?" Luke said. Leia nodded and took his hand, making to get out of bed.
"Uh-uh. You're on bedrest for the rest of the week. You've been unconscious for a while." Luke said, stopping her.
"But, I have so much to do!" Leia protested, reverting back into her snarky self. Luke sighed.
"All right, i'll let you go for a short walk to the end of the hall. That's it. If you feel tired or on pain, or anything at all, even if it's nothing, you have to tell me..."
Leia laughed. He was still the same old Luke.
Despite Luke's fussing, they went for a stroll down the corridor, getting stopped every few minutes by well-wishers or sparkly-eyes pilots. After the third blushing captain took his leave, Luke began to get disgruntled.
"You have to admit, that one was funny." Leia teased, poking him in the side.
"I guess." Luke grumbled.
"What, jealous?" Leia threw back.
"Maybe." Luke replied, not meeting her gaze. Leia stopped him with a light hand on his arm.
"Luke, i've been around this bunch of space cowboys for a long time. They may act like i'm the only damn woman in the rebellion, but they always find someone to satisfy them eventually."
"All right." Luke said, giving her a rather forced smile. Leia frowned, and they continued on in silence.
As they passed the doorway to the main hangar, a thought came to Leia.
"What exactly happened? With the falling machinery?" She asked Luke.
"It was all a rush for me, but when it began to fall, I pushed you out of the way and it hit me instead. Messed me up pretty bad."
"Oh. Thank you for saving me, then."
"No problem, Princess."
The awkward silence continued.
"You know, i'm not actually a princess..." Leia said. Luke looked at her and raised an eyebrow.
"Everyone started calling me that because I was from the governing family on Alderaan; but my father was only the senate representative during the old republic. He was by no means a king."
"You sure it had nothing to do with your commanding personality and nice buns?" Luke teased. Leia stoped, mouth agape. Luke colored.
"I-I-I meant with your-your hair!" Luke stuttered. "You have very nice hair..."
Leia could only laugh at Luke's flustering, and leaned in to hug him.
Together they walked back to Leia's room, sharing stories between them about their times growing up.
"One time, a womp rat died in the engine compartment of our little speeder. The engine wouldn't start, and Uncle Owen got so mad, I thought he was going to pop a vein. Then the rat caught on fire, and the engine started smoking. Nearly caught him on fire too!" Luke laughed. Leia laughed along until she saw a shadow pass over Luke's face.
"What is it?" She asked.
"My Aunt and Uncle were killed by storm troopers looking for Artoo and Threepio. I stormed out of the house so angry, I didn't even say goodbye or anything..."
Leia stopped and turned Luke to her.
"They would be proud of you, Luke. Don't worry." She reassured him. A grateful smile cracked on Luke's face.
"I suppose I don't have much to complain about, when you lost everything." He said apologetically.
"We all face loss in different ways, Luke. Mine is not to think about it." Leia said, perhaps colder than she meant. They began walking again, the awkward silence settling in for good.