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Saga - OT Shot in the Dark (AU ROTJ: H/L, Luke, Anakin, OCs) 2/3

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ridley Solo, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Sara_Kenobi

    Sara_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 21, 2000
    I'm happy that some people are starting to realize that Anakin means to make up for the bad that he has done. I'm happy he turned okay after aiding the rebels. That definitely would be a bit of a shock for Luke and Wedge. Great update! =D=
     
  2. ThisIsMe1138

    ThisIsMe1138 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2018
    ^:)^^:)^^:)^^:)^^:)^^:)^^:)^ I can't believe I haven't read this story before! I literally just read the whole thing right now, so hopefully my comments next time will be a little more specific, but I LOVE the way you've written all of their relationships and thoughts, especially Luke!!!!!! I'm really loving the plot too, and Ah! This is just perfect =D==D==D=
     
  3. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Yes, Queen! This is the best update yet!
     
  4. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Leia can't forget all the evil that Vader did...and those nightmares aren't helping any. :(

    While knows he can't erase the past...but he does want to at least try to make up for it.

    Thank you! I'm so glad you're enjoying it! [:D]

    :cool:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter Seven


    Bacta...it was one of the best treatments in the galaxy for external and internal injuries. It shortened typical healing time for burns, cuts, and breaks by three or four times. As such there were only two downsides. First it was expensive and therefore hard to come by for the credit-strapped Rebellion.

    Second, it was very unpleasant to be in. At full strength it was almost gelatinous. The Rebellion had learned to make do with it at half-strength for all but the most critical patients. That didn’t help with the taste and smell, which were sickeningly-sweet. Upon coming out one was left with a sticky coating on the skin that had to be rinsed off with a warm shower. It was like soaking in syrup.

    Even after his numerous bacta treatments as Darth Vader, Anakin didn’t like it any more than the next person. It was the only time when he counted his diminished sense of smell as a blessing. Still he recognized the benefits and had made a point not to complain anymore.

    It was a surprise to hear that the medics were giving him a new, experimental form of bacta; a fine concentrated mist that could be inhaled. It was supposed to help his breathing...and it did. Within just one dose his respiration was easier, and the pressure in his breathing device could be reduced a little.

    Too OneBe was pleased with this discovery and seemed almost excited as he took notes on a datapad. He remarked that only four more treatments should be needed to rid Anakin’s lungs of the last of the smoke residue.

    Through it all, from the heavy doses of oxygen to the bacta nebulizer, Anakin’s mind still swam with questions. He wondered when the culprit for the attacks would be found, and what would be done with them. He wondered if it was just one person, or if they had accomplices, or- as Luke had told him the current theory was -if they had programmed droids to do their bidding.

    After his treatment Anakin was moved back to his cell on the Liberty. Moving a patient back and forth between ships on a twice daily basis was inconvenient, but there was no help for it. The recovery wing near the bacta was too crowded and his old room near surgery was unusable. Sal wasn’t happy about this and kept a careful watch on his patient. Anakin noticed that since the attack he was fussing a little more than usual.

    “Excuse me, Lieutenant Sal,” he said as the medic tapped a few notes into a datapad, “but don’t you have other patients to see to?”

    “They can hold for a minute. Just let me check your arm...” And Sal put away the datapad to take yet another look at Anakin’s new prosthetic. “Looks good. How’s it feel?”

    “I’ve already told you it’s fine. Is something troubling you?” Anakin wanted to know.

    Sal hesitated for a moment before answering. “It’s always a shock when a notorious prisoner, when he has the chance, doesn’t try to escape but sticks around to help everybody else.”

    Anakin shrugged. “Though I could never change all the evil I’ve done, I want to do as much good as I can. By the same token, I might ask you why you’re suddenly so concerned about me.”

    Sal was quiet as he released Anakin’s arm and tapped a few more notes into the datapad. “I took an oath to help people...to heal them and ease their suffering. When someone else does everything in their power to rescue complete strangers, even at risk of their own life, I can’t help but respect that.” He tilted his head to one side, still puzzled. “Just can’t figure how somebody like you could...change.”

    Something of a smile touched Anakin’s face. “Change is constant, Lieutenant. Though in my case you have only to thank my son. As Darth Vader there was no reason for me to change. Since I have a son now...a family...that’s reason enough.”

    Sal nodded slowly. “Yeah...I think I can understand that...” After a moment he shook off his mood and put the datapad away. “I’ll be back with dinner. Take it easy.” Still confused, Sal finally ducked out of the cell and went off to do his rounds. The door and force field closed behind him.

    * * * * *

    It wasn’t often that Luke could stride from one place to another without stopping to talk to someone. He was popular around the ship and would at least stop to acknowledge with a ‘hi’ or ‘how you doing?’. This time he didn’t even look up and walked with a singleminded purpose straight back to his quarters.

    Sometimes he really hated being an officer.

    At first blush the idea of being in charge of a whole squadron of fellow pilots was like a dream come true. Luke had always enjoyed looking out for his friends. Often it was rewarding...sometimes, even fun. He got along well with his squadron mates and they respected his intuition when it came to tactics and flight patterns.

    Other days it was heartbreaking and took every ounce of determination and strength he had not to quit or break down crying. Without the Force- and the support from his friends -Luke never would have made it this far.

    Today was certainly one of the rougher ones. Today he and Wedge had tracked down a man they had both come to think of as a friend to interrogate and then arrest him. The realization that Dodge had just been a hired gun sent out by Jabba the Hutt to get revenge on Han Solo only made things worse. Janson and Anakin were just collateral damage.

    The culprit had been caught, but Luke felt no better. Now his intuition and even his trust in the Force was questioned...not by anyone else, but by him. Could he trust himself when he’d made such a glaring error? Han, Chewie, Janson, even his father...all of them could have died.

    Once Dodge had been taken to the brig and Luke was excused, he declined a trip to the galley and made straight for his quarters. He needed to calm down. He needed to meditate.

    No, thought Luke. I need to talk to my father. He frowned. Despite being past scrutiny for the attacks, it would be another day before Anakin’s visiting restrictions were lifted. Talking through the Force helped, but it just wasn’t the same.

    A light throb from his missing right hand made Luke grit his teeth in annoyance. Though the phantom pain was becoming less frequent, even after six months it still hadn’t gone away. The medics had said such a thing was normal. Some patients had to put up with it for the rest of their lives. Luke’s triggers were stress and feelings of helplessness...the same as he had felt just after losing his hand. He let his eyes drift shut and his senses wander. Maybe meditation would help-

    Warning of the familiar presence and then the impending collision gave Luke just enough time to stop and wheel left to avoid bumping right into his sister.

    Leia was apologetic. “Oh! Luke. I’m sorry. I didn’t see you coming.”

    Luke shrugged. “That’s all right. Is there something you need?”

    Leia’s shoulders fell. His tone was flat and full of defeat. He’s still upset with me, she thought. “Yes. There is. Luke...” She took a deep breath. “I’m so sorry I jumped to conclusions about your father. I never meant to create any kind of rift. Mistakes were made...most of them mine, and I’m sorry.”

    A bit of the pall that hung over Luke’s head began to lift. He could sense the truth in Leia’s words and her guilt at putting her brother through further pain. Slowly he nodded. “It’s all right. I understand why.”

    Leia bit her lip, taking Luke’s forearm. “Can you forgive me?”

    Something of a smile crept back over Luke’s face, and he nodded, pulling her into a hug. “Leia, of course I forgive you. You're my sister."

    The tension between Leia’s shoulders eased, and she returned the hug. “I’m so sorry...”

    “It’s all right. It’s over now.”

    “Will you…” Leia cringed as she pulled back. “The Alliance wants to thank your father in the part he played saving lives aboard the Redemption, and...and apologize for the false accusations. Would you pass that on to him?”

    Your father...the Alliance…Luke sighed softly. She’s admitting her mistake, but she still can’t accept how he’s changed. “It wouldn’t mean as much coming from me. You should tell him.”

    It was an effort not to recoil. Leia shook her head. “No. I can’t.”

    There’s still fear there. Luke’s shoulders fell. “Leia...don’t be afraid. He’s not going to hurt you.” He took his sister’s hand. “I can go with you. You wouldn’t be alone-”

    “No,” Leia insisted, taking a step back. All the anger and resentment and what she would say to Vader if she ever saw him returned in a rush. She closed her eyes. I can’t do what Luke wants. I can’t walk in there and tell Darth Vader I forgive him, because I don’t. I won’t. I never will… Images of all the other things she wanted to do to the bionic man- yell, scream, slap him across the face -came and went. That would only hurt Luke more. Leia took in a deep, shuddering breath and let it out slowly. “I...I can’t,” she insisted. “Please don’t ask me again.”

    “All right.” Luke nodded. The pain in his sisters’ eyes was still too raw. It would be better not to bring it up again. “I’ll tell him, then.” Cautious comfort was offered by squeezing her shoulder.

    “Thank you.” Leia’s shoulders dropped with releif. An awkward silence overtook the siblings before she spoke again. “I was going to head down to the hangar to see if Han needed any help with the Falcon.”

    “Knowing Han, he’ll take any help he can get,” remarked Luke. “Want some company?” He offered. Leia nodded quickly, and Luke’s smile returned. “Let’s go.”

    Another relieved smile bloomed on Leia’s face, and she was glad to have him there. Crisis averted. No matter how she felt about their biological father, losing Luke- even his moral support -would be unbearable.
     
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  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful scene between Anakin and Sal! Sal's confusion mixed with respect/admiration, quite understandable.

    I can just imagine interrogating a person you thought was a friend would be horribly difficult to say the least! And then to question your judgment on top of it, Luke doesn't have anything to quibble about as to the level of his Force-sense ... Dodge was just extra good at fooling everyone. To get cleared to be on the Squadron, he had to pass muster with the Generals I would imagine.

    The talk between Luke & Leia -- I am relieved too that the air is cleared between them. The whole Vader/Anakin acceptance thing is relegated to an off-limits topic, but thankfully it is not driving a permanent wedge between them. [face_relieved]
     
  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Two wonderful updates, proving me that there is no Vader any more. But others won´t be so easily persuaded.
     
  7. Darth_Drachonus

    Darth_Drachonus Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Well, I'm gonna hafta find the story that goes with this one, but I'm hooked!

    Edit: Didn't realize it's the continuation of the other one I was reading, I'm all caught up again! LOL
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  8. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thankfully Luke and Leia's sibling relationship at this point is too strong for any kind of upset to be permanent. There will be misunderstandings and fights, but that happens with all families and close friends. Thank you as always for your kind review! [:D]
    @AzureAngel2 You're right. Vader is gone for good. :) But it is very hard for people to realize that. Most in the Rebellion have grown up hearing about the evil phantom that was Darth Vader. His name alone inspired fear for an entire generation. For some they may never be able to let go of that.
    @Darth_Drachonus Welcome back! :D


    Whew! It's been a while, but here you go.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    CHAPTER EIGHT

    Here we go again,
    thought Han grimly as he surveyed the briefing room aboard Home One. It was completely packed. Every seat was taken, every tiered white bench loaded with pilots, commandos, medics, and fleet troopers. A nervous energy hung in the air. No obvious questions were asked, nor was there any of the usual joking between pilots. They all knew why this assembly had been called.

    Two long weeks had passed since Dodge Ruftal, hired gun and saboteur, had been found and locked up. The man was responsible for over six deaths and twenty injuries, and there was a line of Alliance members ready and willing to beat the pulp out of him. Security in the hangars had since been tightened and every pilot was far more conscientious in checking his cockpit before boarding. It would be months before anyone could feel at ease again.

    The same was true for Han. He and Chewbacca had hardly left the Falcon, and never at the same time. They spent up to eighteen hours a day working to get her back up to specs and clean out the last of the soot. Scarcity of supplies hindered their progress. Wires, switches, circuits, and several pieces of interior paneling had to be replaced. Half the time the parts were scavenged or cobbled together from random bits of junk; temporary fixes that would hold the Falcon together until she could be taken to a yard for full repairs...and goodness only knew when that would be.

    Han hazarded a glance at his copilot and noted the Wookiee was still wearing the oversized vest he had picked up. Chewbacca’s shoulder hadn’t taken more than four days to heal, but it would be another month before his fur grew back. The bald spot from shoulder to collarbone was maddening; everyone kept stopping him in the hallway to ask how he was. While Chewie wasn’t above milking his injuries for sympathy, he got the distinct impression his fellow Rebels thought him weaker without fur. So he had taken to covering up the bald spot with a huge, tattered vest. The comments stopped.

    Presently Chewbacca met Han’s eyes and sat up a little straighter, grunting a question.

    Han shrugged. “Nothin’. I was just thinkin’.”

    Chewie tilted his hairy head to one side and his expression was doubtful. He rumbled another inquiry, this time asking about Leia.

    “I dunno. I haven’t seen her since this mornin,” frowned Han, surveying the room again with concern. Leia hadn’t been feeling well the other day. In the middle of last-minute work on the Falcon, she had gone pale and seemed to be in pain. At Han’s insistence, she had left to go lie down. When he returned to her quarters later to look for her, she wasn’t there. After searching all over the Liberty without luck, he had shuffled back to wait, thinking she was upset and wanted to be alone. Leia hadn’t returned until very late and was asleep almost before undressing for bed. Questions about where she had been- and her health -were brushed off. She’d claimed female cramps and left it at that. That morning, she’d slept late and Han- called away at the last minute by General Reeikan -had reluctantly left her to sleep.

    Now he was honestly worried about her. After being in close quarters with Leia for the last year and knowing her for nearly four, Han knew that the woman he loved was the last person to complain about aches and pains. Han wouldn’t have even known about that little monthly annoyance unless she said something...and she never did, unless Han wanted to get amorous at the wrong time. She must have been feeling terrible. “Shoulda been here by now...” His brows knit and he surveyed the room again. “Hope she’s all right.”

    Han had just made up his mind to go and find her when the woman in question came hurrying into the room, running up to her fellow leaders with a look of apology. She was flushed and breathless- almost defensive -as she apologized to Mon Mothma and the others. When Han tried to get her attention, he was ignored.

    Uh-oh. What’d I do now? Han pursed his lips, but told himself not to jump to conclusions. He stood by and waited until she was through speaking before trying to catch her eyes.

    Leia frowned at him. “Don’t look at me like that. I wasn’t planning on being this late.”

    “Hey. Did I say anything?” He then noticed just how out of sorts Leia really was. Her cheeks were pale and her eyes were red-rimmed, as if she’d been crying. “Whassa matter?”

    “Nothing.” Leia turned away and fussed with a loose hairpin in her braids.

    “C’mon. You’re upset about somethin’,” insisted Han. He noticed Leia’s hands shaking and lowered his tone. “Y’okay? You’re trembling-”

    “Han, I’m fine! Will you-” Leia paused. Her rising voice was starting to get a few concerned looks. Luke, tucked away in a corner with Rogue Squadron, was about ready to abandon his post. Maybe I should have waited longer to come here, she reflected. After a deep breath she found Han’s eyes and dropped her voice to a whisper. “I’m sorry. I’m just a little short today. But it’s nothing you did."

    “So...what is it?”

    “I’ll tell you later.”

    Hope she’s not sick...cautiously Han touched her shoulders. “Y’ sure you’re all right?”

    Leia nodded. “Yes. I’m fine.” As a form of reassurance she stood on tiptoe and pecked his cheek. She sighed upon seeing that Luke had broken through and was making his way to her. “Luke, before you ask, there’s nothing wrong. I overslept a little this morning. That’s all.”

    Luke was cautious in nodding back. “I know you’ve been losing sleep, but I’m getting the feeling there’s something else. You know if you ever need to talk, I’ll be there.”

    Leia smiled stiffly before waving him on. “I know. Go take a seat. They’re about ready to start.”

    Luke nodded and jogged back up the steps, mildly disturbed. He knew something was bothering his sister besides just sleeping in. He was dying to ask, to find out how he could help.

    But there wasn’t time. The briefing began. Plans were made. The attack on the second Death Star was finalized. By the time the assemblage was dismissed, Luke had to head right back to the hangar.

    It would have to wait.

    * * * * *

    Anakin felt his heart pounding in anticipation as the hurried presence of General Madine strode past the security checkpoints and into the cell block of the Liberty. The bionic prisoner had sent an urgent request to speak to a high ranking officer up before the upcoming battle to destroy the second Death Star. He realized that marking it ‘urgent’ was bound to raise a few eyebrows…and that most would see his reasons as purely selfish.

    Anakin’s determination to render aid to the Rebel fleet had not diminished since the attacks of Dodge Ruftal. If anything, it had grown. Vader had killed many pilots. Anakin wanted to save at least as many lives as he had taken. Both Sal and Luke had warned against getting his hopes up, but the former Jedi would not be deterred. All I can do is ask, he told himself. It’s up to them whether or not they say yes.

    As the guards entered the cell, Anakin rose to his feet and stood in a parade rest. Madine was on edge and seemed in a bit of a hurry. “General. Thank you for coming.”

    “Sorry to be abrupt, Skywalker, but we don’t have a lot of time. You said this was urgent?” He was in a hurry, all right.

    “Yes, sir. As I’ve said before, I want to offer whatever help I can to the Alliance,” began Anakin.

    “And you have. Your intelligence has been invaluable, and we thank you,” nodded Madine. “Is there anything you want to add before the battle? Anything important?”

    “Yes, sir…” Anakin found his throat had gone dry. “General…I’d very much like to have the chance to render aid in a more active way.”

    Madine frowned. “You know we can’t allow you to roam at will, no matter what talents you might have,” he warned.

    Anakin cringed. “Yes, I know. In my...state, I’d be a hindrance in a ground battle. However, my piloting skills are not dependent on physical strength. I respectfully request permission to join a fighter squadron under whatever guard you see fit.”

    It took exactly two seconds for Madine’s gaze to harden. “Denied. Roaming at will includes piloting your own craft. We can’t allow that, both for your safety and ours.”

    Anakin took a deep breath to stave off impatience and pride. I was the best pilot in the galaxy once. Why not? “What about in tandem with another pilot, say in a Y-wing bomber?”

    Madine lifted his brows. “Can you think of anyone besides your son who would be willing to do that?”

    Anakin grimaced. He has a point. “No.”

    “Even if we could spare him for that- which we can’t -putting you out among the other pilots would only paint a target on your back.”

    “General, please. Just give me a chance.”

    “I’m sorry, Skywalker. I can’t do that. I’m sure you understand our reasons.”

    Anakin closed his eyes to bite back the protest that threatened to rise. As badly as he wanted to fly, he had to respect the wishes of his captors. Fighting will only make them doubt your sincerity. And he’s right...flying with Luke would put both of you in danger. In the end his concern for his son was the deciding factor. “Yes. I understand.”

    Madine let his shoulders drop and his tone soften. “Look. Even if you were any other defector who could blend into the Rebellion without a problem, you’re not fit for duty. Too-OneBe has classified you as medically fragile until further notice. I’m sorry.”

    Sadly Anakin nodded. He could sense Madine’s sincerity. The wish to defy was still present, but the tired man forced himself to accept his fate. “No need, General. For the benefit of the Rebellion, I’ll respect your decision. Thank you for your time.”

    Madine nodded once. “As I said before, your help has already been invaluable. All of us thank you.” He headed for the door.

    Anakin could do little more than watch as Madine and the guards made a swift exit. “May the Force be with you,” he murmured as the force field activated and the blast door slid shut.

    Once again the former Jedi was left alone with his thoughts…and the aching feeling of wanting to do more. He settled into the Force and reached for his son. Be careful, Luke. Please be careful.
     
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  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Feeling useless and not being given a chance to prove otherwise is dreadful. I am fully with Anakin here.

    Great update! @};-
     
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent scene with Madine but strategically and practically, Anakin couldn't be in a fighter squadron. Perhaps there's another capacity he could help in? He could certainly predict the Emperor's next moves for Intelligence. [face_thinking] And [face_worried] what IS that with Leia? Sounds like she's got some kind of serious illness. Pride and duty aside, she really needs to tell someone. [face_nail_biting]
     
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  11. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    @AzureAngel2 [:D]
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha He's already given as much intelligence as he can, but of course since Vader betrayed him one could imagine Palpatine is changing a few of his plans. As for Leia...all I'm going to say is something sad is coming up. :(

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter Nine


    Luke felt unexpectedly torn as he stood at the foot of the Tyderium’s loading ramp with Han, Leia, Chewie, and Threepio. It wouldn’t be the first time they had gone on separate missions. But somehow he felt that this time, it was different. Too late to turn back now, he told himself.

    The choice to volunteer to lead the fighter attack against the Second Death Star had been easy at first. He had half assumed that, as usual, Han would hop into the Falcon, and Leia would ride one of the command ships. It was always a comfort to know his friends were up there with him. Another team was to fly a stolen Imperial shuttle down to the forest moon of Endor to deactivate the energy shield surrounding the battle station.

    But then Han had volunteered to lead the ground assault. He had put together a strike team of commandos and then, during the briefing, had asked for volunteers to help fly the shuttle. Craft of that type, while they could be flown by one person, operated better with a crew of at least two or three. Chewie and Leia quickly stepped into that gap. It was going to be a dangerous mission. Scuttlebutt said that Endor was crawling with stormtroopers.

    Now Luke was faced with the possibility of telling his sister and best friend goodbye. Presently he stopped and stared up the ramp. “I wish I was going with you. If I hadn’t already volunteered to fly lead-”

    Leia took her brother’s arms. “Luke, it’s all right. We’ll be fine. Besides, you’re a pilot. You belong in the air.” Her expression was calm, but there was something she wasn’t saying.

    Luke sighed and found her eyes. “Maybe I’m just being an overprotective brother again. I can't shake this feeling that I should be there.”

    Leia managed a smile. “Don’t worry. We’ll have a whole team of the best commandos in the Rebellion watching our backs. Plus Chewie,” she added, glancing back at the imposing hairball. The smile faded quickly until there was only worry in her eyes. The fear of losing her brother was rising again, and she shoved it aside. “You watch your own back.”

    Luke nodded. “I will. But I wish you’d tell me what’s bothering you.” He tilted his head to one side, studying her. “Are you sure you’re all right?”

    Leia pursed her lips. “Yes. I just don’t want to hear about you pulling any kamikaze stunts. Be careful. That’s an order.”

    “I will. Same to you. All of you,” he added, surveying his friends. “Han....” Luke paused. How was he going to ask Han to look out for his sister without offending her? Leia was well able to take care of herself, but-

    “Don’t worry about it, buddy.” Han met Luke’s eyes. “I’ll take care of her. Ya got my word.”

    “She’ll take care of you, too,” Luke remarked with a slight smile of his own. Leia had given Han’s arm a slight jab. He gave his twin one last hug before releasing her and watching her walk back up the ramp. As it began to pull in, the corners of his mouth drooped. That vague sense of faraway danger- that something was going to happen -would not leave him. He hoped it wasn’t a warning from the Force.

    * * * * *

    Leia’s stomach twisted as she went over a few last minute details with their strike team. She could feel Han’s eyes on her and decided it was now or never. Time to tell him. After discreetly dismissing the team- including Chewie and Threepio -to the aft section, Leia shut the cockpit door and took a deep breath. “Han, we need to talk.”

    Han, leaning against the bulkhead with his arms in a knot, gave a slow nod. “‘Bout time. So what’s goin’ on?”

    Leia grimaced. There was no way to beat around the bush. Han hated that anyway. Best to tell it to him straight. She sank into one of the chairs and encouraged him to do the same. “We’re going to have to be more careful with how much we’re sleeping together. Now isn’t the time for any surprises.” Leia winced when Han’s eyes widened. He’s going to jump to conclusions when you put it like that.

    “Uh...surprises?” Han felt the blood drain from his face as he thought of how irritable and sleepless Leia was. Hold on a minute, his common sense argued. This conversation shouldn’t be possible. “Weren’t you, ah, takin’ somethin’ for that?” When Leia nodded, his confusion rose. “So why ‘ya talkin’ like this?”

    “Because it didn’t work,” she cringed.

    Oh, blast. Han swallowed with nerves. “Are...are you sayin’ what I think you’re sayin? ‘Cause if you are, you picked a helluva time to bring it up."
    He pushed to his feet, protective spirit rushing through him. "I
    f you think I’m lettin’ you come along on this mission when you're-”

    Leia groaned. “No. I’m not pregnant...not anymore.” When Han registered further confusion, she sighed and closed her eyes. “That’s why I had to leave the Falcon the other day. That’s why I was gone so long. I went to the infirmary to find out why I felt so bad. By the time I got there-” Leia’s throat closed unexpectedly, and she cleared it. Come on, now. Get it under control.

    Han’s arms went slack and he sank down next to her. He felt as if someone had knocked the wind out of him. “Wha...whaddya sayin?”

    "I had a miscarriage." Leia winced to see the hurt in his eyes. The words of her late adoptive mother rang in her ears; Honesty is sometimes the most painful thing in the galaxy. “I didn’t even know until it was over.”

    Han grunted, staring at the floor. “That’s a helluva rotten way to find out.”

    The Princess nodded in agreement. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you last night.”

    Han winced for her. Now he understood why Leia had left, and why she was exhausted, and why her eyes were red. “So...you were in the Infirmary the whole time?” When she nodded, he felt a lump rise in his throat. “Why didn’t ‘cha tell me?”

    Leia shrugged helplessly. “Han, there’s nothing you could have done.”

    “I coulda been there for ya.”

    “Well, I’m sorry, but I was having a hard processing things myself. This shouldn't have happened, especially not now. Don't you think I'm hurt, too? You just don't-” Leia stopped and pressed her lips together, breathing deeply through her nose. “Part of me wanted to call you...wanted you to be there. I...I couldn’t. After I got back last night, all I wanted to do was sleep.”

    Han’s conscience jabbed him, and he cringed. It was her body it happened to, lunkhead, not yours. Didn’t keep things from hurting on his end. He was gentle as he rubbed her arm. “S’okay. I’m here now.” He found his eyes stinging as he stumbled over what to say next. “What happened? I mean...you don’t have to talk about it.”

    Leia shrugged. “The medics said it might help to talk. The short answer is, they don’t know. Sometimes something just goes a little wrong.” Her tone was flat. Clearly she’d pushed her emotions to the back burner again.

    Han bit his lip and continued to stroke her arm. “How, uh...how far along were you?”

    Again, Leia shrugged. “A couple of weeks. But it doesn’t matter now. It’s over.”

    Han supposed that should have made him feel better, but it didn’t. He had this hollow, empty feeling of disappointment and concern for the woman he loved. She’d gone through something he couldn’t completely understand, and was in pain. “Ya gonna be okay?”

    “The medics gave me an antibiotic and something to help with the pain and whatever hormones are left. And I need to tell you that we can’t sleep together for a while. But I’ll be all right.” Leia welcomed Han’s arm around her and rested her head on his shoulder.

    “Hey.” Han frowned and found Leia’s eyes. “You sure you’re okay to go on this mission? Ya been through hell, sounds like, and I don’t want ya hurtin’ yourself.”

    “I’m fine,” insisted Leia. “The medics cleared me to get back to normal as soon as I feel ready. And I’m ready...I need something to do right now.”

    “Yeah, well...you need any kinda breaks, or a nap, or anything, you let me know.” Han brought his other arm up to wrap around Leia’s shoulders. “Sweetheart, I’m sorry.”

    “Don’t be. It’s not your fault. But as I told you, we’re going to need to be careful once things get back to normal.”

    “Sure. Soon as we get back, I’ll see if the medics can make it so I’m shootin’ blanks.”

    Leia tried to be annoyed at Han’s coarse language, but all she could do was snort with laughter. “Temporarily, I hope.”

    Han, somewhat surprised, turned to her. “Er...you gonna want kids someday?”

    “I don’t even know.” She leaned on him. “But that conversation can wait. Now isn’t the time for making any kind of plans.”

    Han rested his chin on Leia’s head, then kissed it. “Hey. I love you.”

    Leia lifted her head to smile at him. “I know.” After a brief kiss on the lips, she pushed back to her feet. “Come on, General. Let’s move.”

    And just like that, they were back to being military commandos on a mission. Han cleared the tightness from his throat, called his flight crew back into the cockpit, and began takeoff procedures. “Chewie!” he called to his copilot. “Let’s see what this piece of junk can do.”
     
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  12. ThisIsMe1138

    ThisIsMe1138 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2018
    :_|:_|
    I was in the car on the way home from school when I read this, and... Might've had a rather emotional reaction ;) But seriously, aww... Leia doesn't deserve this!!! I can't even imagine how heartbreaking that would be... :( Excited to see what happens with the attack on Death Star II... Great update, I'm always looking forward to reading more!

    P. S. I laughed at Han's "Er.. .You gonna want kids?" comment ;) As much as he has matured he's still that awkward nerf-herder in many ways [face_love]
     
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Lovely parting scene with Luke. ACK! and [face_nail_biting] [face_nail_biting] Both sibs are having "bad feelings". :eek:

    **

    Leia's news, yikes! How devastating but I'm glad she still can physically have kids in the future if she wants. LOL Han is such a DARLING mixing empathy with blunt-speak as only he can. :* [face_rofl]
     
  14. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    @ThisIsMe1138 Aww, don't cry! [:D] The battle will have a wait a chapter or two. But patience! I'm getting a bit anxious to wrap this up myself, as NaNoWriMo is coming up fast. Writing two stories at once is possible, but very tricky! [face_nail_biting]

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Yes, dear Han...he's a little bit of a knucklehead, but just loveable enough to be endearing. [face_love]
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Chapter Ten


    There is no ignorance, there is knowledge...there is no emotion, there is peace...

    Sitting cross-legged on his cot, Luke mediated on the Jedi Code, losing himself to the calm embrace of the Force. Soon he wouldn’t have this luxury. Soon battle would be joined. Until then it was a hurry-up-and-wait game. He decided to take advantage of that and try to quiet his mind.

    There is no passion, there is serenity...there is no chaos, there is harmony…

    It was such a contradiction, really, to be meditating on things like peace and serenity when all Luke could feel was nerves about the coming storm. He dreaded the inevitable loss of life and hoped he wouldn’t have to end too many lives himself. Where there was life, there was hope for change. Anakin was solid evidence of this. Once a person was dead, any chance at redemption was gone. Such thoughts were passed over quickly. Luke knew if he dwelt on the negative, nothing would get done.

    There is no death, there is the Force.

    The idea of dying didn’t really bother him...at least from a personal standpoint. He had learned from the manifestation of Obi-Wan’s spirit that death wasn’t the end of a Jedi’s journey. It wasn’t anything to fear.

    What Luke did fear was leaving his work undone, grieving family and friends, and leaving his sister without a guide to help her learn about her powers. She had resisted so far, but could always change her mind. If Luke passed on before Palpatine had been defeated, she would be the galaxy’s only hope. Sooner or later she was going to have to learn.

    It was to Leia that his thoughts kept wandering. He knew something had happened to her the other day that upset her. He hoped she would still have a chance to tell him.

    A familiar presence lingered at the edges of his mind. Luke welcomed it. “Father.”

    I’m not disturbing you, am I son?

    Luke shifted his seat. “No. Of course not. How are you?”

    I was about to ask the same. Anakin projected concern. I’m well enough. And you?

    Fine.”

    Anakin seemed skeptical. I can sense your unease, Luke. Your concern. What’s troubling you?

    Luke’s mouth twitched into a ghost of a smile. His father certainly was making up for lost time in the communication arena. “It’s Leia. She’s been upset. I don’t know why...and she doesn’t want to tell anyone.”

    That may be at least partly due to my presence, Anakin reminded sadly. He knew his daughter wanted nothing to do with him, and even his being on the same ship gave her anxiety.

    I don’t think so, Father. Not this time.” Luke shook his head. “I’m sensing something else. Pain...loss…”

    Alderaan? Anakin guessed.

    No. Something recent.”

    Concern for his daughter rose over Anakin. He gave the equivalent of a mental sigh. I haven’t sensed injury...does she seem ill?

    Luke chewed his lip. “Not really. I hope she’s all right.”

    It was difficult to calm one when he was worried himself, but Anakin made the effort. She will be. She has your mothers’ strength and dedication and the will to bring her through anything. Is Solo with her?

    Yes.”

    Good. Trust your sister, Luke. Trust the Force. She’ll be all right.


    * * * * *

    Han blew out a short breath from pursed lips as he and his strike team of twenty finished gathering their gear and shrugging it on. Each of them was garbed in camouflage and wore either a duster or a poncho, plus a helmet. See-Threepio chattered endlessly as he waddled back and forth among them, earning a groan or two. Chewie, still in his vest, carried only his bowcaster. Han had full confidence in his team and had handpicked them for their skills in the field. They’d get the job done, all right.

    Then he turned to Leia. At first glance she seemed perfectly fine and able to take care of herself, blaster stowed and helmet in place. Only Han could see the minute grimace on her face as she popped a pain pill and chased it with water. She’s hurting. He came up from behind and laid his hand in the small of her back. “Y’okay?” he murmured.

    Leia flinched at being caught, frowned, and nodded. Her voice was low. “Cramps. It’s normal,” she assured before raising her voice. “Everyone ready?”

    Han pursed his lips. Despite Leia’s assurances that the medics had cleared her for duty, he had his doubts. But it was too late to turn back now. He whistled for everyone’s attention. “Listen up!” When his team immediately stood at attention, he grimaced. Formality always made him nervous. “Uh...at ease. ‘Kay. The fleet’s gonna be right behind us, so we gotta make this quick n’ quiet. Get in, take care of whatever guards there are so they don’t sound the alarm, plant the charges, and get the hell outta there. But don’t get careless. Watch your footing and your friendlies.” He glanced at Leia. “Princess, you wanna add anything?” For once his tone was without sarcasm.

    Leia, watching him with crossed arms and an appraising look, nodded once. “Just this; I don’t think I can overstate the importance of this mission. We can’t allow the Empire to loose another planet-killer on the galaxy. We can’t afford another Alderaan.” Solemn silence greeted this comment. “That’s all.” She turned back to Han to turn the floor- as it were -back over to him.

    “All right. Move out.” Han motioned forward with his arm and watched as the team followed orders, a nervous Threepio muttering and waddling along behind. He noticed Leia come up beside him with a raised brow. “What? Did I say somethin’ wrong?”

    “I was going to say, ‘good job’,” she murmured through pursed lips. After a half second she pecked his cheek, then strode past him to keep up with the others.

    Han blinked. A slow, lopsided smile rose on his face and he shook his head, rocking back on his heels. What’d I do to deserve her? The smile faded. No...I never deserved her. Still don’t. Why the hell does she put up with me?

    He had asked Leia this countless times. Sometimes Leia’s reply was playful. Sometimes her reasons seemed to go over Han’s head. After a while she gave up trying to explain. Then she sighed, shook her head, and kissed him. “Because I love you.”

    And Han loved her, more than he’d ever thought possible. So much, that it hurt. It made thinking of himself when she was around seem...wrong. His main concern now was her safety and happiness. She was half the reason he’d stayed with the Rebellion. Now he was all in.

    Thinking of why Leia was having cramps made a painful tightness grip Han’s chest. He still couldn’t believe that he, of all people, had been the one to have that one-in-a-million shot, only to have it expire before its heart had even started to beat. Leia had lost a part of herself she could never get back...a part of both of them.

    Han’s eyes ached, and he growled, forcing his feet to move. Stop it, he told himself. It wouldn’t have worked anyway. We’re in the middle of a war. It’s for the best. But no matter how many reasons he came up with, none of them could ease his guilt. I did this to her.

    His mind wandered as they marched along in the forest. He’d never considered having kids before. They were noisy, messy, expensive, and didn’t deserve his vagabond lifestyle. Then he met Leia. He let himself consider- however briefly -the idea of actually settling down. Maybe even starting a family.

    The more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea. Marriage might not be such a bad thing after all. And if it was Leia, so much the better. He could endure anything for her.

    He glanced at her again, admiring both her beauty and determination. Could it work? He wondered. Could we get married after this mess is over? Would she even agree to something permanent?

    One thing was certain. Han didn’t dare ask now. First, Leia would think he was crazy to ask on the eve of battle. Worse, she might think he was asking because he felt sorry for her. She’d never put up with that.

    Hang on, he told himself, jogging to her side. One thing at a time. First let’s get rid of that monstrosity in orbit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
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  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Lovely brotherly concern and fatherly assurances in the Luke/Anakin scene. =D=

    Then the H/L briefing LOL - they do complement each other so well ;) And then Han's musings. SWEET! [face_love] [face_love] Yup, one thing at a time. [face_thinking] Get the mission over and then MUSH! [face_laugh] [face_mischief]
     
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  16. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
  17. ThisIsMe1138

    ThisIsMe1138 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2018
    :D:D:D:D

    And is Leia gonna tell Luke??? [face_worried]
     
  18. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Your last two updates were so intense, yet you managed an unforgettable line between bitterness and sweetness. You are even better writing about family than the script authors of "Once upon a time" and confuse me less. I never feel "Lost"... ha, ha, small joke in here... but right inside your text and with the characters. Great writing! @};-
     
  19. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Father/son stuff is always fun to write. :) And yes, Han and Leia are *perfect* for each other.[face_love] Love the way you put it...mush! [face_laugh]
    @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 :D
    @ThisIsMe1138 I honestly haven't decided yet. Knowing Leia she probably won't tell him until the mission to Endor is over and done with so she won't stress him out in the cockpit...if she tells him at all. Then again, Leia has always been a little more open with Luke than Han.
    @AzureAngel2 Thank you so much for the kind words...and welcome back! [:D] I really don't feel like a very good writer...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Chapter Eleven


    This isn’t good, thought Leia as the team came to a confused halt some hours later. She checked her chronometer with an unhappy frown. Their intelligence had put the control bunker at about twenty kliks to the Southwest of their landing position. The ground was uneven and at times rugged, slowing their pace. According to their directional positioning equipment, by late afternoon they had made less than half that distance...and now they had come upon an obstacle that had not shown up on the reconnaissance flight. It was a long, steep gorge at least ten meters wide with a gurgling stream at the bottom. She glanced at Han, who had already called a halt to the march.

    He peered over the edge, cringed, and looked left and right, searching for an end to the canyon. Then he put his hands on his hips and let out a slow whistle. “And this is why I hate surprises,” he grumbled.

    “Oh, my! However are we going to get across that?” cried Threepio. Han hadn’t wanted to bring the talkative protocol droid, but Leia was insistent. The Endor moon was supposedly inhabited, and Threepio had the best chance of communicating with any natives they met.

    “Didn’t we bring climbing gear?” inquired Leia.

    “Yeah, but once we get down there, how we gonna get back up the other side?” He pointed to the sheer walls of soil and loose rock. “Thing’s gotta be at least twenty meters deep. Only way to climb up somethin’ that steep and loose is if we got a rope already anchored. Nobody ‘round here’s crazy enough to try freeclimbin’. Ground’s too loose.”

    Leia cringed. He has a point. In this arboreal ecosystem, the ground was perpetually moist and muddy. Trying to climb walls of soil could result in a person getting buried. “Should we go around, then?”

    Han pursed his lips. “We could...trouble is, we dunno how long this sucker is. Could take us kilometers outta our way, and we can’t afford to loose too much time. What I can’t figure is how it didn’t show up on the terrain scans.” Here he reached up an arm and scratched the back of his head.

    The former Princess shrugged impatiently. “That doesn’t matter now. What matters is finding a way forward. We need to make at least another five kliks before dark.”

    “I know, I know...” Han turned to the assembled and explained the situation. “Anybody got any ideas, now’s the time to speak up.”

    Chewbacca was the first to raise his arm and hurry over to his buddy. He let out a long series of grunts, growls, and howls that had Han’s eyes widening in skepticism and alarm.

    “Uh-uh. No way,” said Han, crossing his arms when his hairy copilot had finished.

    Leia looked from man to Wookiee and grimaced. She only caught a few words but could guess why Han was so upset. “Chewie wants to cross the gorge and...what?”

    “He wants to rig a rope bridge from one side to another. Chewie, you’re crazy!” blurted Han. “Those walls are nothin’ but dirt!” Chewbacca growled an angry protest and Han’s expression soured further. “Yeah, I know you’re the best climber ‘round here, but even your claws couldn’t get a hold in those cliffs. Even if they could, the soil’d never hold your weight. You’d bring half the cliff down on top of ‘ya!”

    Chewie whined, gesturing from one side to another and shaking his shaggy head. Then he asked Han what seemed like a pointed- and somewhat disrespectful -question.

    “Who you callin’ a cub, furball?” griped Han.

    “Han, wait,” urged Leia, taking his arm for a moment before turning to Chewbacca. “Chewie, are you positive you could down the gorge and safely up the other side?”

    The Wookiee blinked his big blue eyes and gave an affirmative yowl.

    Leia glanced at Han, who was still stubbornly crossing his arms. “It could work, Han. If he’s able to rig a way for the rest of us to cross, it wouldn’t slow us down any more than a few minutes.”

    Han’s brows knit in concern as he looked from her to his copilot. “I don’t like it. He gets hurt, it’ll take four of us to get him outta there.”

    “But you said yourself trying to go around would take too much time. Either we find a way to move forward, or head back. And we can’t do that now. Too many people are counting on us.”

    “Don’cha think I know that?” But already Han was starting to bend. Leia had a point. It was either around or across...and Chewie was the only one who had any chance of blazing the trail.

    Chewie walked over to his friend and laid a hairy hand on his shoulder. Then he gave a reassuring rumble.

    Han sighed, letting his arms drop. He looked from Chewie, to Leia, and then back to his team. Responsibility for all these people weighed heavily on his shoulders. Finally he groaned and toss his hands in the air. “I don’t see another choice at this point. All right, Chewie. Go ahead. But you better be right about this, pal. You break somthin’, we’re all outta luck.”

    The Wookiee gave an enthusiastic howl and bounded to find a length of rope.

    To Chewbacca’s credit, his plan worked. He did slip a few times climbing up the other side, but made it unscathed. He tied the end of the rope securely to a nearby tree, then tied the second length above the first about a meter and shimmed back across triumphantly. In minutes the crude bridge was finished. One by one the commandos edged over the gorge. Even Han had to give his copilot credit for such a good idea.

    As their ranks began to thin, Threepio turned to Leia. “I beg your pardon, Your Highness, but...might I ask a question?”

    “What is it?” asked Leia, her eyes on the men and the trembling ropes.

    “Not to sound selfish, but...how, am I to get across? I am not at all designed for such...precarious rope work.”

    Leia cringed. Uh-oh. It was an inconvenient fact that both she and Han had overlooked. The golden droid was far too stiff to shimmy across the ropes like everyone else, nor could he be carried piggyback.

    Fifteen minutes later, See-Threepio’s legs had been taken off and he was stuffed into a large carrysack, which none other than Chewbacca ferried across the chasm. There was much complaining and wailing about indignity and being dropped, but soon the droid was deposited back on the ground without so much as a scratch.

    Leia turned to Han with pursed lips. The man had snickered the whole time. “Han. It’s not funny.”

    Han shrugged defensively. “Hey, you’re the one who insisted we bring Goldenrod along. It was this or leave him behind. ‘Sides, you know what a whiner he is. He’ll be fine.” When the techs had begun reassembling the unhappy protocol droid, Han turned to Leia. “Welp, that just leaves us. Princesses first.” He motioned to the bridge.

    Leia lifted an eyebrow at him. “We agreed I was going last. I’m the smallest one here, and that rope has already taken more stress than it’s designed for. You go ahead.”

    Han made a face at the idea. “Then I’m goin’ with ‘ya.”

    “Two at once will just put more stress on the rope.”

    “What if it snaps?”

    “Then only one of us will fall.”

    “Yeah. You.”

    Leia groaned. “Han, are we going to stand here arguing all day, or join the rest of our team?” Seeing the concern in his eyes, she offered a smile. “Go on. I’ll be fine.”

    Han growled, but agreed. It was pointless arguing with Leia anyway. He always lost. “All right. I’ll be quick as I can, and you better be right behind me.” They exchanged a quick kiss before Han mounted the rope and started across, hand over hand, legs wobbling on the unsteady rope.

    Nerves rose in Leia’s stomach as the bottom rope creaked and groaned. That feeling that something was going to go wrong returned. “Han, hurry! The rope is going to-”

    SNAP! The fraying bottom of the bridge suddenly gave way. Han was left hanging by his hands, feet dangling, only a meter away from the other side. The man swore, suddenly glad he had listened to Leia.

    “Han!” Leia called with her heart rising into her throat. “Chewie-”

    The Wookiee was already mounting the trunk of the nearest tree and leaning out to extend an arm toward Han. He grunted encouragement.

    Han grit his teeth, swung his legs to get momentum, and let go with one hand to reach for his buddy. Everyone gushed a sigh of relief when Chewie caught him and pulled him back to firm ground…Han included. “Thanks, pal.” He turned to look back across the chasm and let his shoulders fall. Leia was now stranded on the other side with a single rope between them. “Damnit. Hang on! We’ll figure somethin’ out.”

    “Don’t bother. I can make it,” called Leia. Years of combat training and conditioning had kept her body in excellent shape. As such she had no problem with sizing up the distance, making a leap with both arms out, and grabbing the rope with her fingers. After getting a good grip, she faced the near edge of the gorge and began swinging her legs back and forth. Two swings, and she was able to hook her legs around the rope. She took a breath before gamely pulling her way across, hand over hand.

    Captain Rex, a veteran of the Clone Wars, gave a slow, admiring shake of his head as he watched. “I’ll be damned. She’s a fighter, isn’t she?”

    Han pursed his lips. While Leia’s toughness was one of the things he loved about her, all he could think about was that drop. Don’t fall, sweetheart...

    Leia traveled at a steady pace, gritting her teeth and slowing a little in the last couple of meters. Her midsection was very upset at the moment and she had to ignore the discomfort to keep going. When the opposite side was only two meters away, she let her legs drop and shifted arms, grunting at the effort. Then she started to swing for the other side, carefully gauging the distance. Han was waiting with open arms, making her frown. “Han...move!”

    Han stayed put. “C’mon, I’ll catch ‘ya.”

    Leia frowned, and at the right moment, let go of the rope.

    Han caught her, all right. The momentum knocked him over and they both fell to the ground in a heap.

    Leia cringed as she lay on top of him at an awkward angle. “Nice catch,” she said sarcastically.

    Han shrugged sheepishly. “Well...’least I broke your fall.” He winced as she rolled off.

    “Hopefully that’s all you’ve broken,” remarked Leia, brushing off her hands and legs. “You all right?”

    “Sure. You?”

    “Yes.” Leia blew out a stiff breath and realized everyone was staring at the pair with varying expressions. Some looked ready to start snickering. Leia’s stern face cured them of that. “That’s one obstacle down. Let’s hope we don’t have any more surprises. Is Threepio back in one piece?”

    The droid himself waddled out to greet her. “Quite so, Your Highness. However, if I am to continue being subjected to such indignity-”

    “Good,” interrupted Leia. “Let’s get moving, then. We’ve still got a long way to go.”

    “You heard her, boys. Move out,” agreed Han. As Leia had already started off, he jogged to catch up with her. “How ‘ya doin’?” he asked quietly.

    “I’ll be glad when we set up camp for the night,” admitted Leia with a wince.

    “Wanna siddown for a minute?”

    “There’s no time. We can all rest when we reach the midpoint.”

    Han frowned, noting the way Leia’s wrist kept rubbing her middle. She’s pushing too hard. She needs to rest. “Leia-”

    The sound of scattered footfalls through the woods interrupted. All at once a pack of at least a hundred short, furry beings popped out of the foliage, brandishing crude spears and wearing nothing but leather headdresses. The Rebels were surrounded.
     
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  20. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    The sound of scattered footfalls through the woods interrupted. All at once a pack of at least a hundred short, furry beings popped out of the foliage, brandishing crude spears and wearing nothing but leather headdresses. The Rebels were surrounded.

    Attack of the furballs! ]-}:D[face_laugh][face_rofl] Well done, this cliffie! And you are a jolly good author, @Ridley Solo, when you can easily pull off tricks like that.
     
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  21. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Ewoks! Yub nub! Yub nub! Yub nub!

    And I would have ended that with an Ewok smiley, except there isn't one! Boo hiss!
     
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  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Super navigation of the bridge. [face_relieved] Great to see the Ewoks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  23. ThisIsMe1138

    ThisIsMe1138 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2018
    What?! You are easily one of my favorite fanfic writers ever! [:D]

    And great update! Your characterization, particularly of Han and Leia, is always perfect =D=
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
  25. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Working my way through “A Matter of Time,” which is very well written and a good story. I’ll comment on that one first, then I’m saving this one for dessert. ;)