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I am undone tonight;
"Why—why—I didn't know I had it in me."
Han looked awkwardly about. What the hell is going on? All he knew was that in some bizarre twist of hallucinogens, Threepio had managed to save them from becoming a gourmet buffet to hundreds of midget sized creatures. To make matters worse, he had been reunited with Leia just to have Luke break them apart and stand between them. Was he playing chaperone now? Han looked down into the burning ash of the fire pit and wondered if they were all smoking something besides wood.
He was on the verge of voicing his disbelief to Leia when he found himself standing completely alone. Leia had actually returned to the Ewoks and was casually chatting via Threepio. Luke had moved to the back, helping Chewie with the knots of rope around his wrists. Han followed.
"What's going on? Shouldn't we start heading out of here before these…things change their minds?"
Luke couldn't help laughing, "I was thinking the same thing. But I gather Leia has something different on her mind." Luke tossed the remaining rope into the trees, "Has she been here the whole time?"
"I have no idea. She was off before I could say anything."
"Maybe I'll go over there, see if I can help." Luke pulled at the edges of his sleeves, and made his way across the wooden floor to the circle surrounding Leia, R2 rolling closely behind.
Great, just great, go join the happy party over there. Han rubbed his neck and turned back to Chewie, anxious for some mutual empathy. Chewie pushed past him, patting his back on the way, heading after Luke.
Had the whole planet gone insane? Where, oh where was his beloved, trustworthy ship? Han looked crestfallen at the sky, as if expecting any minute to see the Falcon hurdled out of space, crashing into a burning blaze. But Han was a realist. Chances were she was still intact, wherever she was, struggling to get used to a former captain and a new environment. Poor girl, he knew just how she felt.
Han sat down on a tree stump, resting his arms across his knees. This forging of new alliances was not his key strength. His gaze rested on Leia, her body language a perfect combination of patience and concern. In spite of everything, he was extremely grateful to have her on this mission. He appreciated her sharp thinking, especially under pressure.
He rubbed his temples, the recent trauma of locating Leia still creased through his skull. It had been an agonizing, almost torturing afternoon for him. And now they were here, safe again, and overriding priorities wouldn't allow him a moment of relief. He wanted her. It seemed ridiculously unfair that fate was granting them so little time together after enduring horrific events of the past year. Simply put, he wanted to take Leia, fly off in the Falcon, hole up with her in his cabin and disappear for awhile.
They had sampled the fantasy during Sullust, though it wasn't the generous portion Han was anticipating. More like a sliver. The night before their departure, their team had spent hours reviewing piles of research and maps. One by one the team members had departed, leaving Han alone with Leia. The pair sat, heads close together, still examining every possible piece of data.
Leia's yawning had become infectious, though only Han suspected how tired Leia truly was. When it seemed as though her body was ready to collapse Han helped guide her down the hall, carrying data stacks as they went, shooting down her protests with promises he did not worry about fulfilling. We're not quitting. See, I'm bringing everything with us.
He took her to a vacant spare room with a standard-issue bed. Leia adjusted amidst the pillows, papers in hand. Han took the chair in the corner, keeping one eye on the weary princess. Within seconds she had fallen asleep. Han followed an hour later, curling up behind Leia as he dimmed the lights, instantly finding oblivion.
Some time later, Han had woken to find the princess facing him, her softness sculpted perfectly to his rough and hard frame. To him it had seemed several weeks since they had lain together, comfortably continuing in what neither of them wanted to discuss or admit. To Leia, however, it had been almost a year. She was watching him, delight and anticipation dancing in her dark brown eyes. He sensed her desires, intuitively read her thoughts, and now his eyes were wide, his expression mirroring her own.
They came together in a rush of molding, jabbing, half-articulated words of desire and frenzied touching that spoke of their mutual passion and an unspoken acknowledgment that they had little time. Han groaned and rolled them until he was on top, feeling all her curves beneath him, glorying briefly in some primal sensation of male dominance. His lips found her neck, her chin and the spot behind her ear. Leia's hands disappeared under Han's shirt, feeling and exploring his coarse chest, pulling at the fabric. Her legs moved slowly and tightly along his hips, angling him hard against corners that made her weak.
He heard her soft cries, the whispers of pleasure and he felt drunk in some addictive haze. He couldn't think straight. Rationale buried deep in his subconscious reasoned that he wanted perfection for her, not haste. But he had waited forever to touch her.
He became aware of her sudden stiffness, even before he felt the clamping down of her hand over his. Several people were coming. The moment was over.
Han glanced up. A small group of Ewoks huddled near the fire were watching him, whispering amongst themselves and glancing back in his direction. Han moved his hand to his waist, anxious to feel the firmness of his blaster, the cold metal touch of reassurance. Finding the spot empty quickly brought Han back into motion and he was moving with haste towards the animated circle of his friends. But before he could grab Threepio, the golden droid was lifted up on the shoulders of the Ewoks and carried in mass exodus style towards the nearest bridge, everyone trailing behind.
Skepticism radiated off Han. "How can you be so buddy-buddy with them? Remember a few moments ago they tried to eat me!? Why am I the only one concerned here?"
Leia kept moving, Han reluctantly allowing her to pull him along, "They might have some insight that could help us out tomorrow. The chief agreed to hear our story. And I get the feeling they aren't fond of the Empire either."
"I think you're grossly overestimating their ability to help us. We need to get out of here. Can you just locate our weapons and we'll leave?"
She led him over two bridges, past two darken corridors towards a large, lighted tree-house ahead. The crowd swarmed around them. Han knew the moment they stepped into that room he would lose Leia to the masses, and he wanted badly to talk with her alone. Spotting a shady alcove below some branches, Han quickly pulled Leia to him and moved her into the shadows. The fury creatures did not follow.
"Leia, what's going on here?"
She smiled and glanced at his mouth, "You haven't been listening to me, have you?"
"About Chief Chirppy? Yeah, I got that part. I still don't see how these animals are gonna help."
"Well they captured you didn't they? And by the way, how were you planning on getting out of that one?"
Han rubbed his chin and leaned forward, fingers sifting through Leia's dark curls. "I like your hair."
"Don't change the subject."
His hands ran down her hips, surveying her form. "Where'd you get this dress?"
"You won't admit defeat, will you?"
"Seriously, where did you get the dress?"
She sighed, giving up the game. "They gave it to me. I don't know how it came into their possession. But I get the feeling we're not the first group of people to wander into their territory."
"So you weren't taken hostage. You came here, didn't you?"
Silence. Leia looked at him carefully. Han rubbed his head, respite and confusion seeping down his broad shoulders. He wasn't familiar with wrestling the two emotions, especially when he carried such a foreign sense of responsibility on his back. He felt exhausted.
Leia moved his chin until their eyes met. More statement than inquiry, "You were worried."
She slid her hands up his chest, linked them behind his neck and brought her lips to his, tasting them softly. Han's response rivaled the force of a flood. He wrapped his arms tightly around Leia, consuming her breath, her strength, forcing her to hold on as if they were caught in a whirlpool. He needed this, even though the whole relationship was distracting him from the mission.
Leia held onto him and kissed him back, until the waves seemed to unwind and smooth into gentle caresses, fists coming undone in his hair. He held her in his arms, forehead resting against hers. Leia frowned, slowly comprehending her underestimation of Han's anxiety. His body was tense, but not just with discomfort. He was fuming.
"What happened back there? I ordered everyone to stay together."
She sighed, stepping away from Han, crossing arms at her chest. "Well, I suspect Luke's already explained. We can't really have two witnesses alerting the rest of their squads we're here, can we?"
Han pointed a finger at her chest, "You should have come back after you and Luke got separated. Why did you think of coming here? Do you know what it was like finding your hat and three wrecked speeders within five feet of each other?"
"Oh that. I had a bit of a scuffle with a few STs. Actually, one of these little guys saved me."
Han seemed to consider this, but only for a moment, "Couldn't you have just thanked him and let him go on his merry way?"
"But what difference would it have made? I was already lost. Oh yes, I forgot to express my gratitude to you on performing another marvelous rescue."
"That was Chewie's fault, not mine."
Leia thought she saw a ghost of a smile, but he hid it well. "Han, everything's fine. We're here now."
"But, why come here? Do you know we've been looking for you all day?"
"I was hoping to locate a guide back to the ship or at worst, lodging for the night. When they mentioned food I had no idea…" She was swiftly getting tired of Han's impatience, "Look! You should have known to go ahead with the mission. I would have met up with you at the shield generator in the morning."
"Oh yeah, like I could have just lain back the entire night, not knowing where you were, reworking every worst-case scenario in my mind." His eyes glowed with fervor.
Leia softened, appreciating him for what she abruptly saw, and perhaps one of the few who understood. Moving her body close, she traced the back of her knuckles and fingertips over his jaw, circling his scar. "I love that you always come for me."
The roar of Ewok astonishment and cheers from the glow above reached their ears, signaling the end to their brief moment. The pair smiled at each other, communicating their mutual frustration with interrupted pleasures. Han leaned down to kiss her again. But this kiss was different, tender and achingly sweet, a pledge of exquisite things to come.
Even in the darkness, Han could feel Leia's flushed cheeks and he grinned. Grabbing her hand, he turned and the two walked slowly towards the lighted hut. Leia did not pull him this time, and Han was not interested in rushing. They savored the restful pace, the peace, hoping another one was not far away.