The Lucky One
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Leia Organa stretched as she awoke from sleep, toes pointed and eyes closed as consciousness slowly worked its way into the morning haze. She opened her eyes to glance at the chrono on her bedside table, alerting herself to the fact that she had awakened before her alarm per usual. Her body’s internal rhythm had always seemed inclined to pull her from sleep with time to spare and once she had gotten into the groove of the early Senatorial hours, it now responded in kind. She sighed restlessly as she rolled over, her eyes now landing instead on the man sharing her bed.
Abandoning the idea of sleep and propping herself up on an elbow, she watched Han Solo’s chest rise and fall in peaceful slumber as a smile twitched at the corners of her mouth. It had been four months since their arrival on Coruscant after the Empire’s defeat. Four months of work and struggle with the foundation of the New Republic, and yet the most blissful four months of her life. Waking up next to Han every morning was still a novelty, one of the many moments Leia savored and tucked away in her mental scrapbook. She would never admit it to his face, lest his ego expand to massive proportions, but she loved these early mornings when he slept and she was able to unabashedly observe him.
He was laying on his back with the bedcovers pulled up to his abdomen, exposing his chest, and his left arm was extended towards her with the palm relaxed and facing upwards as if reaching for her in his sleep. She watched the movement of his eyes under his closed lids, indicative of dreams, and briefly wondered what was happening in the spacer’s subconscious. His hair was tousled from sleep and other events that had taken place in her bed, Leia amusedly remembered.
For it technically was her bed, although it might as well belong to the both of them with the amount of time Han spent in it. When Leia had been secured housing on Coruscant by the powers-that-be, Han had been an unknown factor in her equation, and it had been too late to make the switch to a larger living space. For all intents and purposes, Han was currently residing on the Falcon - and although they had caved, realizing Han would spend the majority of his time in her living quarters no matter the modest size, Leia’s busy schedule interfered with their time together on such a large scale that neither of them had been very willing to waste it with the actual act of moving him in. Despite the unofficial nature of their living arrangements, there were imprints of Han all over Leia’s apartment: a dark toothbrush next to her lighter one in the refresher, a heavier belt that had been left behind and hung in the closet next to her regal white sashes, a bottle of Corellian whiskey in the kitchen.
Their relationship was hardly a secret, but their move to not be incredibly vocal about it had caused an uproar in the tabloids when the public had discovered just who Princess Leia’s lover was. Every headline screamed something different about Han sleeping his way to his title as a general; every article wondered how a former smuggler ended up with royalty.
Of course the insinuations about Han’s position were ludicrous, but what Leia truly found unbelievable was the fact that Han was always referred to as the lucky one. The pirate who snagged the princess. If either of them were in a position of luck, Leia thought that without a doubt it was she. There were few men that would have the patience to hold a screaming Princess in the middle of the night as she came down from a nightmare, to kiss away the shame from torture scars during lovemaking, to forgo his own needs when a long day in the Senate left her exhausted and just wanting to be held.
That wasn’t to say that they couldn’t still fight like angry banthas, and there were times when Leia wanted to push him off of her fifteenth floor balcony. She felt her face get hot as she remembered Han’s response to a reporter that had gotten wind of their legendary fights back on Hoth, and had tried to stop them on their way in to an event to inquire if they still argued. Leia had pursed her lips and clutched Han’s hand as they kept walking, but he had turned and snorted at the question.
“Of course we still fight,” he had told the reporter matter-of-factly, his low baritone turning sly as his hand had left hers and snaked around her waist. “Now we’re just better at making up.” Leia had been mortified and chastised him throughout the entire event, until Han had been able to get her home and prove just how truthful his statement to the press had been.
A high-pitched ringing startled her out of her reminiscence, and she quickly hit the button on her chrono before turning to make sure it had not woken the sleeping form next to her. She pushed back the warm covers, stifling a groan, and gave his face a final sweep with her eyes before climbing out of bed to begin the day.
Han was late.
He raced through the streets toward the hangar where his ship was docked, cursing under his breath. He had awoken this morning alone in Leia’s bed - not that this had been unusual, but he had hoped against hope as he did every morning before opening his eyes that she would have decided to hell with it all and stayed in bed for a change. When that hope of his failed, as it often did, the pair had fallen into the pattern of meeting at the Falcon every evening. It was somewhat of an in-between spot for both of them, Leia coming from work and Han usually either coming from the same place or already there tinkering with his ship.
He finally reached his destination and zoomed up the ramp, half-heartedly throwing a wave to the pilots and mechanics mulling around that called out a greeting as he passed. They gave each other knowing looks as Han disappeared within the Falcon; he was surely going to get it.
“Leia?” Han called, trying to muster his most sheepish expression as he slowed and walked into the lounge area of the ship, frowning when he neither got a response from nor caught side of Leia. He noticed her datapad sitting on the holochess table, but that was the only evidence he could see of her having been there.
He walked back down the corridor past the cockpit, peeking his head into other areas on the ship to see if Leia had migrated to another room while waiting. He was beginning to panic by the time he reached the captain’s quarters and opened the hatch, but the breath he hadn’t even realized he was holding was released when he laid eyes on the small form curled up in his bunk. He was certainly not going to fault her for falling asleep; she worked too much and slept too little, something he was constantly reminding her.
The hatch closed behind him, and he leaned against it as he took in the picture before him. He was certain that he’d never tire of this - stumbling upon a Leia that felt comfortable enough to find her way to his quarters and fall asleep on his bunk, such a far cry from the woman he had known even just a year ago.
She was sleeping peacefully, another fact Han was thankful for. Her nightmares had lessened in the past four months on Coruscant, but they were never completely gone and he worried on the few and far between nights he didn’t spend with her. The first time Han had borne witness to one was only days after they had arrived and were spending the night in Leia’s apartment. He had been roused from sleep by a wordless shriek, and his first thought had been that someone was hurting her until he came to consciousness and realized they were alone in the room. He rolled over and reached for her in attempt to quiet her, wake her, help her, and was rewarded with a punch square in the jaw.
It had taken him all of two seconds to recover from the shock before diving at her again, wrapping his arms around her and shaking her to consciousness. There had been a few seconds of struggle between dream and reality before she had begun to cry in his arms, her palms pushing against his chest and her body shaking as she calmed down. He had rubbed her back and held her until she had fallen asleep again, and he had awoken the next morning with Leia’s remorseful face hovering over his as she caressed his jaw where a bruise was beginning to form.
“I’m sorry,” she had whispered and kissed him before turning and exiting the apartment, and that was the most they had spoken of the nightmares. He understood this was something he couldn’t push her to talk about, and it wasn’t as if he needed to wonder what horrors could possibly come to her in her sleep. He had told everyone he had fallen in the fresher and that had been the end of it... until the next one. After a couple of weeks, she had seemed to grow accustomed to being rescued from her subconscious by Han and was able to come down from the dreams easier, although his heart broke as he lay there comforting her in the middle of the night - what had she done all those years alone?
He was brought back to the present when Leia shivered, and he pushed himself up from his place against the hatch to cross the room and retrieve a blanket from his small chest of drawers. Fanning out the brown comforter, he made a move to drape it over her when a better idea crossed his mind; he instead balled it up in one fist and steadied himself with the other as he leaped over to the far side of the bunk. Once he was satisfied that he had not woken her, he covered them both with the blanket and nestled his body against hers.
He wrapped his arms around her slim waist underneath the blanket, easing her out of her tight sleeping position and she responded as if she was aware of his presence, stretching her legs out against his own and rolling back into his chest. There were moments when Han knew he was one of the luckiest men in the galaxy - and now, as he closed his eyes and inhaled the jasmine scent of Leia’s hair, was one of those times when the feeling hit him as hard as an angry Wookiee.
Not that he would ever admit it to anyone else, but it was the small moments that did it: the way he could make Leia’s whole face light up when she laughed, and the time he had overheard Rieeken say he hadn’t seen her like that since Alderaan; watching her style her long hair with those deft and quick fingers, which could do other things pretty well too; the vulnerability of her face when she slept, her forehead free of the creases and lines that took up residence there during her waking hours; the fire that leapt in her eyes when he stood above her and teased her about her small stature - lots of things had changed but he still knew how to get a good-natured rise out of her.
Han Solo was not a man to indulge in pettiness and generally scoffed and laughed at tabloids, and if you had told his former self that he would be the center of galaxy-wide gossip in a few years, he would’ve laughed you off of whatever planet you had been on. Now, however, he knew they were right about at least one thing. He was lucky. He smiled as he drifted off to sleep himself, his last thought being that he was glad they would both be getting some rest; maybe they could put all that newfound energy they would have later to good use.
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