By Lady Peter
Many thanks to the women who save me from Dante's Level of Hell for Bad Fanfic Writers, AnnaFan and FettsOnTop. (By the way, AnnaFan suggests that the Second Circle is where we lustful fic authors will reside. Do you agree?)
I'm surprised at how many of you knew about Lava Soap! Since I've never seen a bar outside the laundry sink in my childhood home, I guess I can be forgiven for thinking it was more obscure. Doesn't it seem just the kind of thing that would live on the Falcon and get pressed into service as body soap in a pinch? For the record, brownie points go to: CCP, Tavae Themisal, jzhanfan, and JerichoSteele.
Leia hadn't planned on getting into the shower. She'd coded herself onto the Falcon and wandered for a bit, then sat in the main hold, and suddenly she imagined getting into the shower right then: just taking off her clothes and jumping in. Once she'd thought of it, of course she had to do it. And now that she was here, it felt so good that it had nearly the power of a cleansing ritual. The water streaming over her was washing away so much of the tension she'd been carrying around. It must have taken a massive effort to shut down her longing for Han, she realized, but she could let that go now. She could simply stand under her little waterfall and breathe.
How was it, anyway, that this was one of the best showers she'd ever used? It wasn't beautifully appointed by any means, but it was clean, and it was big. She guessed it was either a quirk of the original ship design, or else Han and Chewie had enlarged it to accommodate Chewie's frame.
When she'd first flown on the Falcon, the water that came out of the shower head was copious but lukewarm, grey, and tinny-smelling. But after she'd been flying missions with Han and Luke and Chewie for a little while, Han replaced the ancient heating and filtration system with a newer one that provided nearly limitless hot water that was as clear as could be. He'd avoided giving any explanation for the upgrade, but Leia knew him well enough even then to know that he wouldn't replace something that was functioning (to whatever standard) for no reason.
She'd wondered about it back then, and now, standing under the glorious flow of water, she seriously considered whether he might have been courting her with the gesture. The idea was so silly it made her smile into the steam, but once she gave it another moment, it made a kind of sense. How else would a man so devoted to his ship choose to court a lady than by changing his ship to suit her? It was just at this moment that she heard Han pound up the ramp and shout for his co-pilot. In another moment she caught movement out of the corner of her eye and heard Han's voice again, but then it stopped. He seemed to be just standing there in the crew quarters, probably wondering what the hell she was doing here. She kept her focus on the hot water streaming down and continued her ritual. The strangest sense of calm had come over her when she'd come here. She didn't know what to expect from him, but she'd come here willing to face whatever it was.
Presently there was a tap on the shower door and Han's voice, toneless with careful neutrality, asking "can I come in?" She considered for the briefest of moments before responding.
The door opened and he stepped into the shower with her. "Here, get under the spray," she said, and backed up until she was standing behind the stream of water. Han stepped forward and poked his head under it. He closed his eyes and turned his body enough to get thoroughly wet, running his hands through his hair, behind his neck, and up and down his arms. Then he stepped back. He was sleek and wet, with clear eyes looking down at her.
"Hi" she greeted him solemnly.
Leia reached behind her for the bar of soap and lathered her hands without taking her eyes from his. Then she washed him, not very thoroughly, not with an eye to perfect hygiene, but to renewing her acquaintance with his body.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Um-hm." While they talked, her hands slid over his shoulders and arms.
"Did you upgrade the water system in here for me?"
"What d'you mean?"
"Oh, I suppose I had some silly notion back then that maybe you did it as a way to court me." Now she spread lather over his chest, hips and thighs.
"'Court you?' Huh. I don't know. I don't think I was ever dumb enough to think I'd win you over with plentiful hot water… that's nice.
"But as I recall I mostly did it because of you. If I hadn't had a woman on board, and someone who needed to look presentable more often than not, I doubt I would have done it."
"Oh. I guess that makes sense." Feeling the tiniest pinch of disappointment, she gently turned him around to do his back and haunches.
"No, back in those days the way I courted you ran more along the lines of swooping in and pulling you off hostile worlds where you'd been forced into service in a tap cafe."
"Hey - Luke was the one who really found me on Shelkonwa." Leia put down the soap and began to rinse Han off with spray from the shower. He already felt different under her hands: warm and familiar, with a tiny spark of something electric just underneath.
"Yeah, but it was me you ran to when we walked in there. And I can still remember how you looked at me."
Leia smiled at the memory. "I'd never been so glad to see you before."
"Are you glad to see me now?"
"Very glad. Turn around." As he turned back to face her, Leia felt his erection brush her side.
She put a light hand to him. "You're hard," she murmured, not meeting his eyes.
"Damn right" was his hoarse response. The only move he made was to put his hand over hers where she touched him. The desire was clear in his voice and his body, but he was still. Leia had expected him to either embrace her or back off and she hadn't been sure which she preferred: but this was something she hadn't expected, and she relished having the space to make her own move.
She tilted her face towards his, and finally they kissed. His free hand went to her hip, and hers went to his waist, maintaining a sliver of distance between them. She needed for this to move slowly. And it did: their lips met slowly, then parted, then came together slowly again. Her mouth opened slowly, and then his. She slowly drew back and glanced at him, then returned her mouth to his. His tongue slowly met hers, and explored her almost languorously.
How different this was from last night! Leia felt a rush of relief along with the liquid gold that was flooding her belly. They could come together again, it was possible. They just needed to practice the give and take a little more. She reached behind her to turn off the shower.
They dried each other off with old towels that weren't the softest but sopped up water like crazy. Then they made their way the short distance to Han's bunk, continuing the soft and thorough kisses they'd started in the shower. Han sat down on the bunk and took her hands. "Stay sitting," Leia said, and climbed into his lap.
They barely spoke at first, and they each chose a light touch with the other, easing into this face-to-face intimacy. Leia used the smallest tilting of her hips to create a delicious friction, while Han lightly brushed her breasts with his fingertips. Finally he broke their silence. "I love these."
Leia felt a novel surge of affection for her own body. "They are nice, aren't they? I suppose it's rude to boast, though."
Han answered after a soft bark of laughter. "If you've got 'em, boast about 'em. You sure don't flaunt them most of the time. I think I knew you for months months before I realized what you were hiding."
"Ah, I'm pretty sure I remember you giving them a good look when I put that medal around your neck."
"Oh, that ceremony was all a big blur. I mean I didn't really realize, on a gut level, just how truly stacked you are."
"Thank you so much," Leia answered dryly. "It is true, though," she signed, "I went a couple of years with tragically inadequate support. But I'm glad you noticed eventually." Their tone was as light as their touching, and for just the same reason: they were testing the waters, reacquainting themselves.
Han placed a small kiss on top of each breast before putting his palms over them. Leia closed her eyes, suffused with the sweetness of the moment. "Oh. Wait a minute." Han's surprised voice broke into her reverie.
"What is it?"
"Have you ever had a dream, forgotten all about it, then been reminded of it all of a sudden later?"
"I guess I have."
"I think I used to dream about your breasts while I was away. And I only just remembered."
The tone of their speech was changing, and Leia's surprised laugh changed the texture of her rocking in a very pleasurable way. "Oh my Stars! That's... actually very flattering. I feel like I should be coming up with some righteous indignation right now, but I can't."
"It's the weirdest thing. It's only holding them now that it's coming back to me."
"Oh? You wouldn't feel a pang whenever you touched something, I don't know, kind of round?" Her laughter filled the tiny cabin, and then her shrieks when he began to tickle her. "Hey! No sex
tickling! I can't- oh." and then they were silent again for some time more.
It was good sex, honest and loving, but not great. There came a point when Leia realized that she wasn't going to climax this way. Han didn't seem to like the idea, but he'd already reached the edge of the cliff. "Sweetheart, I-"
"It's fine: I don't care. We've got all night."
Han began to disentangle himself from her embrace, leaning back towards the mattress. "Maybe if I-"
"No. I want it like this," Leia protested. she gathered him back into her arms and twisted her hips enticingly. She knew she'd won the fight when his lips opened to her again and his deliciously long fingers pressed into the flesh of her bottom. He pressed her to him and she felt the muscles in his shoulders and neck stiffen. He groaned through their kiss as his whole body went rigid. Then, as he finally went slack, he lay back on the bunk, gently bringing her with him and cradling her by his side.
"Why? You were willing to keep trying. But honestly, sometimes I think it's more fun when I stop worrying about having an orgasm."
"You worry about orgasms?" Great: now he was really interested.
"Not really, not much, anyway. It's just that sometimes it's easier and sometimes it's harder, and I can't always tell which it will be."
Han was starting to distract her: he was easing her onto her back and exploring her neck, chest, arms and stomach with lips and light fingertips.
"Are you listening, Han?"
"Um hm." He glanced away from a spot on the inside of her arm which he apparently found delectable. "Keep going." It sounded like a dare, and the way he returned his attention to her sensitive inner arm did make it a little hard to continue.
"I mean, maybe I should keep my expectations realistic. You know, even some women with active sex lives only have four orgasms a year." (It was amazing the facts you picked up while serving on the Sexually Reproductive Female Sentiens committee.)
Han looked at her with a mix of amusement, affection and pique. "Not on my watch." And he made a decisive move to the south, kissing his way down her belly in a way that assured her his "watch" was far from over.
Leia settled further into the bunk and into the cradle of Han's arms. When he did this, he liked to hold her hips steady to prevent her more violent bucking from breaking his nose, as he'd once told her to her embarrassment (after that, she'd lasted three whole days before letting him do it again, finally concluding that she didn't care how he teased her, just so long as he kept making her feel that good). Tonight, though, it was all he could do to eke out any response at all. No wonder I couldn't climax before, she thought. At first it was almost soothing as he tested each of her favorite spots, seeking to please her, to make her tell him with a gasp that he'd found a good place to linger. When he did find the one spot that drew a response from her, it wasn't a gasp, but a sigh that escaped her. She began to feel the stirring of excitement as Han concentrated his efforts, and eventually her hips did start to move.
When Leia gripped his forearms, Han looked up and their eyes met for a moment. He briefly smiled at her without ceasing the work of his tongue. The sight of his grin in this particular context brought the greatest surge of heat yet, and she lay back again and focused on her pleasure.
Again and again Leia approached climax, only to feel her arousal stall out again before reaching that crucial tipping point. Her frustration was as great as her pleasure by now, and she moved restlessly on the bunk. She finally tried to tell her endearingly stubborn lover to give up the fight. But before she could finish her sentence, Han rested his chin on her thigh and and lazily told her, "Princess, I could do this all night. Don't you know I love to eat you?"
Then he bared her tender-most spot with gentle fingers, and touched his tongue to her. It was all at once so gentle, so electric, and so radically intimate that it took Leia's breath away. Falling back in a near swoon, Leia was so close now, but there was something inside her that wouldn't let her go until it was heard. Her mouth opened unbidden and words began to tumble out. "I can't not need you. I can't." As if in response, he began to suck, and everything shattered. She was chanting three words over and over, and a powerful surge of pleasure made her whole body convulse before she collapsed back in a boneless puddle, shuddering as the waves of her climax washed over her.
Han climbed back up the bunk. They lay there together, limp with exhaustion. Leia tugged Han's hair so that he pulled his face away from her neck and met her eyes. She repeated the three words that had fought to be freed from her lips. "I need you." It felt like the confession of something grievous.
"It's OK," he murmured, brushing hair away from her face. "I need you, too."
"How can you bear it? It's too terrible. I thought the worst was when you were in carbonite, I thought I loved you then, but not like this. What if I can't live without you? I don't even mean if you died: what if I need you just to function? It scares me."
He kissed her cheeks and the bridge of her nose and her forehead, then began to speak as he tucked his head back into the curve of her shoulder.
"You'll be fine, with me or without me. Look: what are you really worried about right now?"
Leia took a moment to gather her thoughts through a haze of sleepiness. "Over all, I think I'm worried that if I let myself need you, everything will fall apart. I guess I didn't deal very well with your being away, and now I'm not dealing very well with your being back. So what if I just can't handle a relationship like this at all? What if I can't do it right?"
"OK, let's slow down a minute and look at your argument." As he continued on in a matter-of-fact tone that Leia found very comforting, Han held up a finger in the dim light for each point.
"First of all, you're thinking that in the future, either you'll adjust perfectly or crash and burn every time I go away. But that's a false dilemma. The truth is in the middle: sometimes it'll be easy and sometimes it'll be hard. Which brings me to your next logical error. This is a non-representative sample right here. This was one mission, one time that we were away from each other. There's no evidence that every other time will be the same. In fact, I seem to remember another time when I got a pretty amazing 'welcome back' from you."
Leia felt a slight lifting in her chest, as if the gravity on the ship had lightened a hair. For the first time in a while, a light began to dawn inside. She reached up and captured his hand in hers. "You're right."
"You have to stop sounding so surprised when you say that. Basic logic is part of the curriculum at Carida." She smiled and turned their hands in the air over their heads. She felt a compulsion to banish every last worry that remained to nag at her.
"But what if what we had before was just a one-time thing? What if we can't ever get that back?"
"Hey: what's this right here? I mean, we didn't throw the ship out of orbit or anything, but it wasn't half bad given where we were ten hours ago. And I'm just getting started: I've got big plans for us for at least the next week." This last was said around a massive yawn, and Han concluded, "As soon as I get some sleep."
Leia laughed softly as she pulled him closer. Together they pulled the blankets up and tucked themselves in. Not all of their problems had been put to bed, but it was enough that they were allies again. As long as they were a team, Leia felt no fear that that there of meeting a problem they couldn't face together. Safe in that knowledge and safe in Han's arms, she succumbed to a delicious, dreamless sleep.
Thanks for reading!
Han's not the only one with plans for these two: I will be continuing with an immediate follow-up in the near future.
Did you wonder when Han had watched Leia in the shower before, without her knowing it? The story behind that line in chapter 4 will also be coming soon.