A Consummation Devoutly to Be Wished

By Martie O'Brien

Art by Wanda Lybarger

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reprinted with author's and artist's permission--originally appeared in Melange #4, 1984


Han Solo looked down at the diminutive princess at his side. "Do you suppose," he asked, "those words old Foweet said over us are legally binding?"

The princess snuggled closer to him and yawned hugely. "If not," she drawled, "this whole tribe is living in sin. He's been marrying eager young Ewok couples for ages. At least that's what I understand."

They stood together, leaning companionably on a railing near the end of a long walkway among the trees. From the heart of the village sound of celebration drifted out to them, but it was muted and faint, and the torchlight was only a flicker between far away trees. For Han Solo and Leia Organa, the stars shone.

He tightened his gentle grip on her shoulders and found himself feeling exactly like the bridegroom he was. Through an unfamiliar thickness in his throat he said, "It must be legal, they've given us the honeymoon suite."

Leia turned slightly and regarded the small dwelling only a few feet away at the walkway's end. "Unless that's an outhouse," she remarked, and Han could hear her nervousness in the lilt of her voice.

"Nope. That is definitely the bridal chamber, your highness. Here, I'll prove it to you." Solo swept her up into his arms. Someone,he thought, was going to have to take affirmative action here, or they would wind up giggling on the balcony all night. Why,he wondered fondly, is it always so different when you're in love?

Leia nestled against his chest.

Han took two steps, ducked and carried his bride over the threshold. Within, starlight pooled and painted the walls. They stared at the room's only item of furniture.

Leia yawned again.

"It's got to be a bed," he decided after a moment. "I've seen lots of baby Ewoks around. It's got to be a bed."

"Well, try me out on it," she began, then heard her own words and stammered, ''I mean, well, put me down on it and...ah..." She gave up. "Oh, hell, Han, I'm new at this." Leia slumped in his embrace with a rueful sigh.

He kissed her forehead. "So am I,'' he told her.

"New at romance?" she asked with sleepy skepticism.

"Huh-uh. Marriage."

He bent low over the couch-like affair and deposited his small burden.

There was a crackle and rasp as though the princess had sat in a pile of leaves and twigs. She yawned and stretched. "It's springy," she said.

The Corellian rose. ''I don't suppose anyone's going to disturb us," he said thoughtfully, "but..." He looked around at the two windows open to the night and the doorway with its curtain, shrugged and smiled slightly.

The bed rustled as Leia settled in. She sighed.

For a moment, Han felt such a rush of emotion; he turned away to mask his face and let the intensity dissipate in the darkness.

"...someone who loves you..."

They'd risked their lives for him. This small, graceful woman with the courage of warriors had loved him enough to... ''I know," he whispered to the shadows, and it gave him unmeasured joy.

And more yet to come,he thought, yawning. His fingers hooked inside his shirt front and peeled down the fastener. He turned in the act of undressing. "Leia?" Han said softly.



Somehow, it didn't surprise him at all.

Han knelt beside the bed. She had turned so that the light touched her face and he saw there the cast of exhaustion begin to fade and give way to a peaceful sleep.

The Corellian watched her for a moment, his initial disappointment tempered by a vast tenderness. He'd waited six years, surely another few hours wouldn't matter. Besides,he yawned again, it had been a long day.

He regarded the bed with a wry smile. His bride was taking up most of it. Han shifted around on the floor until he felt reasonably comfortable, then he gently took his lady's hand. Palm up and fingers curling, it cupped his mouth while he kissed it, then returned it to lie open upon her breast.

He watched her for a few moments more, smiling quietly, as a sense of fulfillment grew within and lulled him to peace. At last the rebel general pillowed his head on his arm and went to sleep.

It was in this manner that Han Solo and Leia Organa passed their wedding night.


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