Writer: Hopefulwriter Time Frame: After THE FORCE AWAKENS Rating: For everyone Characters: Chewbacca, Malla SUMMARY: Chewbacca goes home to tell Malla Han Solo is dead. (The Wookiee language has been translated for the readers) The sun was lowering on the planet of Kashyyyk as Chewbacca waved to Rey as she lifted the Falcon from the ground. Making his way through the growth of trees, bushes, vines and undergrowth; stopping to gently pull something from the ground.. he was dreading getting home….and the news he would be telling Malla. Not waving to the other Wookiees as he made his way into the village clearing, he knew the news would pass to all in time. Climbing the rough wooden ladder to his own tree home, he then opened the door and was met with total quiet….so different from thirty odd years ago…his cubs were now all grown and had chosen life mates for themselves. Lumpy and Teba even had a son…Malla’s and his first grand cub. They all lived in different villages on the planet. It was just Malla and himself now. Slipping softly through the door he looked around the common area…then to the meal table..hearing soft clicks in the cooking room, he walked there; finding his life mate, he placed a paw on her shoulder. “Chewbacca!” She enfolded his waist in a welcoming Wookiee hug. After a mutual embrace, Chewbacca said, “Let’s go into the common room.” Malla dried her paws on her apron and followed her mate….sitting down beside him on the rough-hewn bench. In the light of the room, she noticed, again, the beginning streaks of gray in Chewbacca’s fur, then scanned the other seats. “Where’s Han? My ‘Han’dsome one.” “That’s what I’ve come home to talk to you about.” Chewbacca answered, taking both her paws in his massive ones. She looked expectantly at him. Taking a deep breath, Chewbacca began…… “Han has been killed.” Malla blinked her eyes…seemingly the statement not registering. Chewbacca waited. Malla’s brow wrinkled….her senses coming to terms with what had been said. “My Handsome one? Killed? In a battle with the Rebellion?” Chewbacca saw tears begin to well in her eyes… “Han killed? He’s dead?” “We were helping the Rebellion…..but he wasn’t killed in battle.” Chewie took a firmer hold on her paws. “He was killed by Kylo Ren…his son Ben.” Malla’ mouth flew open. “NO!” She jerked her hands from Chewbacca’s grabbing the corner of her apron, covering the tears that now begun to freely flow. “You know Ben turned to the Dark Side. The Ben we knew is gone….just as ‘dead’ to us as Han. Malla leaned her head on her mate’s chest and sobbed as if her world had come to an end…and it had…her world with Han in it. Chewbacca rubbed her back…letting her grieve; his eyes a little moist also. He’d not had time to grieve..they had a mission to finish, after he’d seen his friend fall into oblivion. Raising up, Malla wiped her eyes once more and stood, walking over to a chair. “This is where Han sat” , she smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes….”Oh, the stories he told of his adventures and escapades….some we had to ask the children to leave the room.” She gave a little laugh of remembrance. She ambled slowly to the meal table, caressing the back of the chair in which Han had always sat when he visited. “He loved my grain cakes…I always made extra for him. “Remember the time one of the twins flung some food on his face?” She turned to Chewbacca….”That hardened space pirate just laughed.” Chewbacca nodded, a smile playing around his lips. She then walked to Itchy’s room, looking at the bed…..”I didn’t think he would survive when you brought him here after finding him.” Malla said. “We took such good care of him…” “He taught me to understand his language.” Chewbacca said. “And you taught Lumpy and me.” “Oh, Chewbacca,” Malla turned to her mate again, hiding her face again against his furry chest. “I just can’t believe he’s gone.” “Neither can I. For over forty standard years we were friends and pilots together…traveling the galaxies….working for Jabba….then with Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion against the Empire.” Malla jerked away…”Oh, Leia! How is she?” “Still fighting…they saw each other…they still love each other even though they were separated all those years…each going their own way…” “Leia, losing both her son and husband….” “She’s strong, Malla. She’ll continue to fight…for the Rebellion and the Dark Side to get her son back.” “Do you think Ben will return to the Ben we loved.” “I don’t think so, but only time will tell.” They stood quietly for a few moments, embracing and remembering. “I have something I want us to do before it gets dark.” Chewbacca told her. Malla wiped her eyes, removed her apron and followed her mate out the door of their home, Chewbacca stopping to pick up what he’d left on the porch. Making their way through the growth of the Wookiee planet, they soon arrived at a clearing…..the place where Han landed the Falcon when he came to visit or brought Chewbacca home. Nodding to a fallen log, Malla sat and watched Chewbacca walk to the center of the landing area…He began to dig. Nodding to Malla she picked up the plant Chewbacca had pulled from the ground and walked to where he was. Together they placed the plant and shoved the dirt around it, securing it’s place. It was twlight now, and they both sat on the fallen log, looking at the tree sapling standing alone, shadows around it. “How thoughtful of you, Chewbacca, to choose a star-bloom tree.” The small, star shaped blooms began twinkling softly, catching the rising moonlight. “He loved traveling among the stars…that is where we will remember him.” Chewbacca said as he placed an arm around Malla’s shoulders. They sat quietly in the growing darkness, looking at the shining tree. In the darkness of their sorrow, the star glow of memories comforted their hearts.