Title: Ownership Author: Annia Piet Timeframe: The day after the Battle of Yavin Characters: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organna, R2D2, C-3PO, Chewie Notes: The idea for this popped into my head because of seeing someone somewhere commenting on how fluid and confusing Threepio and Artoo's ownership is. Which doesn't sound like the most interesting subject, sorry. Someone with more knowledge of the Prequel era than I will probably tell me there's an existing explanation I'm not aware of, but never mind! Taking Ownership. Luke Skywalker gradually woke to the pounding of his head. With a groan he tentatively pushed himself up, only to tumble off the side of the narrow ship bunk. Luke looked around himself, realisation reaching through his befuddled brain. This wasn't his familiar bed at home on Tatooine. He was on the Millennium Falcon. Glancing down he saw he was still clothed in the orange X-wing flight suit of the previous day, and everything came back to him in a rush. The ruins of Alderaan. The Death Star. Rescuing the Princess. Watching helpless as Ben died. The frantic flight back to Yavin. The battle... Luke pressed a hand to his forehead as his mind recoiled from the chaos of the last few days of his life. It was too much to face and work through yet, and his body was nagging him with more pressing physical demands, as he realised the pounding head came from the mother of all hangovers, and he desperately needed to use the head. The rebels of Yavin had celebrated and mourned hard the night before. *** Han was waiting outside the head with a knowing but sympathetic look when he emerged. "How ya doing, kid?" Luke mumbled something incoherent as he lent against the door frame, fingers spread across his face. "These'll help." The smuggler chucked him a tube of painkillers swiftly followed by a metal bottle glugging with liquid. Luke nearly fumbled them both, but necessity won out and he rapidly necked a couple of pills as Han wandered off down a corridor. "I've left you some clothes on your bunk," Han called over his shoulder. "You can keep the jacket - yellow's not my colour." "What time is it?" Luke asked, mind finally clearing enough to allow coherence. "Just after lunch. I've got some food in the galley if you're up to it." Luke grunted, uncertain. At least they'd let him sleep in, which meant the Imperials weren't back for them yet. He frowned. "Where's the Princess?" Han paused just as he reached the hatch and glanced back at Luke with a wry smile. "They might not be able to find digs for the Hero of Yavin on short notice, but they can certainly find them for her Highnessness." He shrugged. "I don't think they liked the idea of her shacked up with a scoundrel like me." He went through the hatch towards the galley. Luke frowned at his words and also his sense. Things were hazy, but last night the three of them had celebrated together, along with the rest of the base, and there had seemed no barriers of status between them, just friendship. If anything Luke had been slightly niggled by the adoring looks a jubilant Leia had sent Han's way. Now this morning Han seemed all too willing to go back to his previous cynicism about her royal status, as though he took it personally. With a sigh, Luke went and got dressed. *** Luke headed down the Falcon's ramp, squinting against the bright lights in the hanger. Alliance personnel bustled about everywhere, clearly in the midst of packing the place up for a swift exit. Luke felt a twinge of guilt for his lie in, feeling they needed all hands on deck in case the Imperials came back. Intelligence reports suggested the nearest fleet was at least two days away, but no one wanted to take a risk on that. "You're looking smart, Luke." Luke looked round and broke in to a huge grin as he turned to see Leia coming towards him. She wore a simple rebel uniform of slacks and tunic, a little too big for her. She must have been glad to finally discard that senatorial gown, Luke thought. Too many bad memories... "Why thank you Princess, I do have excellent taste," Han's smug voice came from behind them, leaning casually against a strut of the ramp. Leia raised an eyebrow at the smuggler. "But it's Luke that's wearing them. Which is just as well as you'll want something that doesn't look straight off a farm for the ceremony later." Luke blushed slightly at the compliment before he took in the rest of the words. "Huh? Ceremony?" She stepped up to him and smoothed his collar with a certain mock-seriousness. "Yes. The Alliance leadership have decided that it would be appropriate to have a ceremony to remember the fallen and pay tribute to the heroes of the day." Her lips tweaked with amusement. "That's you. We're going to pin a medal on you." She broke out in a grin. "A... a medal? But... Do we really have time for that? The Empire could show up any moment." "We're pretty sure we have time before they get here. Everything's nearly ready to go anyway. We'll be able to leave straight afterward. And our people need this - to remember, and to celebrate." "But, but didn't we do that last night?" Luke's head was rapidly starting to pound again at the thought of being put up in front of all these people. It somehow... went against his upbringing. "And why me? They shouldn't be picking me out, everyone here brought us that victory." Han, still on the ramp, was laughing into his hand. "Told ya kid, you're the Hero of Yavin now. Like I said last night, you'll never escape from it now." Chewie guffawed loudly from the roof of the Falcon where he had been quietly listening while fiddling with the comms dish. "Thanks Han, you're really helping." Luke shot back at him. Leia smirked with amusement. "It's alright Luke, you won't be up there on your own. We've got a medal each for Han and Chewie too." "Wait, what?" Han exclaimed, stepping off the ramp at last. "I didn't sign up for being part of your propaganda nonsense!" "But you helped get the Death Star plans to us, saving countless lives." Leia looked very smug at getting a rise out of him. "Not to mention your role in the battle. It's only right we reward you too." "Now wait a minute..." Han raised a finger to thrust pointedly at the Princess, but stopped to listen to a long rumble of opinion from above. "Huh. You may have a point Chewie. What are these medals made out of? Maybe they'll be worth something in the open market." He grinned triumphantly as Leia's face turned to a scowl. Luke looked round for a way out and felt relief at the sight of a very shiney C-3PO waddling towards him with a newly repaired Artoo beside him and a tech in tow. "Artoo!" He exclaimed happily. "You're ok!" He strode over and knelt to inspect the work. "Lookin' good, Goldenrod." Han nodded to the protocol droid with a smirk. "Why thank you, sir. I'm most pleased myself, I haven't felt so good in a long time, my joints were quite rusting away after all we've been through. They weren't sure if they'd have time before the ceremony, but since Artoo and I are to take pride of place, they prioritised us and..." Han shot Leia a hard look. "They're part of this pantomime too?" Luke looked up from Artoo to the tech. "Thank you so much! He's as good as new." "Erm, well that's the thing, he's not quite." Luke frowned with concern. "He's not? What's wrong with him?" "Well, that's why I came to find you. We haven't been able to give him the standard memory wipe and re-boot." "Oh. Is that a problem?" "Well yes, it's standard procedure. If astromech droids aren't wiped regularly, they develop quirks and glitches, and also may loose their universal compatability with star fighters." "Quirks and glitches, huh? You don't say." Han muttered. "I'm not sure I want his memories wiped though." Luke said thoughtfully. He looked up at the tech. "Why can't you wipe him?" "He says we need owners privileges to do that." Leia frowned. "But I gave him and Threepio over to procurement after the battle. They belong to the Alliance now." "You did?" Luke asked Leia, a little hurt. She shrugged. "It's routine to hand any possessions useful to the cause over to ownership of the Alliance for redistribution where it would be most useful." Luke felt a pang as he realised the droids were technically never his to begin with. They had come from Leia's consular ship originally. "That's the thing," said the tech. "R2-D2 is refusing to acknowledge the transference of ownership." Han frowned. "Is that possible?" The man shrugged. "I don't know. I assumed it was some kind of extra security layer you'd both put on to make sure the Death Star plans didn't accidentally get wiped?" Leia looked blank and shook her head. "Um, no. Though it might have been a smart idea if we had." "Oh." The tech looked disappointed that his neat explanation hadn't panned out. "Maybe it's just some glitch from when he was hit that the repairs haven't ironed out properly. Anyway, perhaps you can both talk to the droid and get him to accept the transference?" "Both?" Luke asked, confused. "Yes, he says he is the property of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa. I wonder whether it needs both of you to sign him over and that's where the problem lies?" Luke and Leia looked at each other in confusion. "Both of us? At the same time? Is that possible?" Leia asked. Luke sighed. "The little fella must have got his wires crossed, quite literally. He was on an Alderaanian consulate ship, so it's natural for him to think he now belongs to Leia..." A shadow passed over the group at the oblique reference to Alderaan's destruction, leaving the princess most likely the highest ranking Alderaanian still alive. "But then Uncle Owen bought him from the Jawa's. The Jawa's probably messed with his circuitry to get away with the theft so they could sell him on." "That makes sense," Leia agreed. "I mean, he was pretty confused at the time, thinking he belonged to Ben and all at the same time." Luke looked at Leia earnestly. "Thing is, Leia, I don't think I want his memory wiped. I feel like I only just got to know him." "Got to know a droid?" Han was looking at him like he was nuts. "Yeah. I kinda like him as he is. I'm happy to take the risk on glitches, he can fly in my X-wing." Leia looked to the tech questioningly. The man shrugged. "It's your funeral, sir." "Alright then," Leia said. "But we should still transfer ownership, so there's no issue should something happen to us. But no memory wipes." She turned to Artoo. "R2-D2, I hereby transfer your ownership to the Alliance." Luke sighed a little regretfully, for reasons he couldn't quite place. "Artoo, I hereby transfer your ownership to the Alliance." The droid twisted his dome and quarked in a somewhat rude tone. The tech glanced at the data pad attached to the droid by a wire, and frowned. "Um, that still hasn't worked." "How come? Didn't we say it right?" "No, that should have been fine," he replied, shaking his head. Artoo beeped and trilled some more. The tech read the translation and sighed, looking like in other company he would have sworn. "Now he's added an addendum to his ownership. He says he belongs to Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organna and their descendants in perpetuity." The bewildered man let his arm drop and looked at the pair of them. "It means his ownership can't ever be changed. This is insane!" The group looked at each other in bewilderment. "That's pretty bizarre," Han put in. "I mean, I've heard of droids being locked into service of one family in perpetuity, but it doesn't make sense in the case of two unconnected people." Leia had a decisive look on her face. "Well, it's lucky we're not unconnected then.” She linked her arm through Luke's. "We're friends. Which means I'm happy for Luke to take ownership of him for all practical purposes. Makes sense for him to follow the fighter pilot. And the little guy can work out which of our descendants he wants to follow around when we get to it. Given he's as much a hero of the alliance as the rest of us, I think he's earned it!" Artoo spun his dome around and twittered happily. *** The little droid watched the group of humans wander off together as the tech disconnected him from the diagnostic data pad. He twittered after them, but none of them heard, much less understood. He gave a low whistle of disappointment. His owners had not pressed for any further details of his programming and who put it there, accepting the notion it was the result of some glitch. Or maybe they simply did not want to know: humans could be strange like that sometimes. Humans were strange most of the time, to be honest. Artoo let down his third leg onto the smooth hanger floor with a clunk, and started to roll after them. He was disappointed. He had been looking forward to explaining everything to Anakin's children for a very long time. To showing them the images in his memory banks of their father as a boy, as a warrior, as a husband. He had assumed it would be of interest to them. But they clearly didn't want to know. He would not trouble them with it further. And anyway, he liked the young Skywalkers, which was enough.