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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]
     
    Ridley Solo likes this.
  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.”
     
  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]
     
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