Once aboard the Falcon , Han couldn’t fight the impulse to pull Leia into his arms. They were on his ship, they were safe. On the doomed Star Destroyer and out in open space, the overwhelming urge to save her had dictated all his thoughts, but now all he felt was relief. The total fear that had rolled through him when she had yelled ‘The captain always goes down with the ship!’ had not truly surprised him--he knew his feelings were deeper for the commanding princess than he’d have liked. In those few moments, nothing mattered but getting Leia to safety.
And now, safe, he wanted to pull her into his bunk, curl around her and never leave the ship again.
Leia pushed away from him and glared up at him.
“What is wrong with you? Did you really expect me to just leave you out there in space alone?”
Han threw his hands up, unsure what to do with her irritation and with the slight fluttering in his belly that followed her words.
“Ya know, it seems like every time I try to save your life I just end up getting yelled at! You’d think I’d have learned by now!”
“I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself!”
“Yeah you were doing great on your own!”
An irate Sana yelled from the front. “If the two of you are done, we could use some back up in the turrets!”
The two just glared at each other for a moment until a particularly violent maneuver nearly knocked them off their feet.
Without a word, Han grabbed Leia’s face and kissed her for a long moment before stomping away to the upper turret, leaving a red faced Leia gaping after him.
“Damn it, I’m trying to save your-”
“Why? Why would you-”
“Just shut up and let me-”
“I’m not letting go until you-”
Leia’s words were cut off by Han suddenly and violently shoving her away from the exploding Star Destroyer.
“Han!” Her breath mask fogged up as she screamed his name. He gave her a weak lopsided smile and she met his eyes, sad and soft.
“Han…” she whispered, as the flames from the exploding Harbinger engulfed him. Leia started to scream again and tried to move toward him, her arms flailing at her sides, but with nothing to push off of she was stuck hanging helplessly in space.
“Hey! Woah! Princess! Wake up! You’re safe!” Han’s voice was a startling thing to hear after just seeing his death. It shocked her enough to open her eyes and--there he was, gazing at her with a quirked eyebrow and a slight grin to cover up the worry in his eyes.
Without a thought, Leia’s arms shot around his neck and pulled him close. She knew she’d kick herself for it later but she couldn’t wipe the nightmare image of Han’s last moments from her mind. Leia didn’t allow herself to analyze the particular pain that the thought of losing Han brought her.
He was her good friend, an asset to the Rebellion; of course she’d grieve his death. But she knew that was not what the dream had been about. It hadn't felt like losing a dear friend or comrade; it'd felt bone deep, like if something were to happen to him, a part of herself would follow.
For once Han didn’t make some kind of quip and ruin the moment, and Leia almost wished he would. Instead, he wrapped his arms around her waist and held her.
It’d have been easier if he’d been a smartass about it. That would have given Leia an excuse to shove him away, but this tenderness from him was far too easy to slip into. Leia’s fingers dug into his hair and she turned her face into his neck.
“Seula un martibus.” She’d allow herself this comfort for just a moment. “Graa aos dius.”
< Only a nightmare, thank the Gods. >
The words came out of nowhere. She hadn’t spoken Alderaanian in over a year and then it had been only to wish her fellows good luck, as she left Evaan to lead them. Tears came to her eyes at the sound of her own, now nearly dead, language. The rush of emotion threw her back into reality but she didn’t shove Han away. She gently pushed him back and got up from the bunk.
“I’m sorry if I was disruptive, I… have occasional nightmares. All the stress…” Leia waved her hand around as if she were making a point and Han, blast him, nodded with her.
He was being too kind and it was getting under her skin.
Leia opened her mouth as if there was more to add but, after taking a peak at his face, so open, she snapped her mouth shut, turned on her heel and went to the refresher.
Han was not as shocked as Leia to hear her speaking in her mother tongue--he’d heard her speak it often enough in her sleep. What did shock him was her using it in her waking moments, in reference to him.
Thanking the gods he’d survived.