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Making Choices

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He wanted to sleep on the Falcon but she convinced him to stay in the hut. She used the excuse that it was late and the Falcon was a bit of a hike and they had an early start in the morning. In truth, she had to talk about things she didn’t want to talk about and thought neutral ground might be better.

Leia had already shared the news that Luke was her brother and Han took it well. Much better than she anticipated.

“I’m a street kid who married a princess then spent a year frozen in carbonite. Luke being your brother is one part that actually makes a bit of sense.”

He had removed his vest, boots and holster and was lying on the sleeping pallet. He was a bit drunk, most of the Rebels were a bit to very drunk, and still feeling energized from the victory and celebrations.

“We’re heading to the other side first thing. See what the Imps left in that station.” His hands were clasped behind his head. “The troopers are already rounded up and they cleared the area but still need to do a final sweep through the building.”

The Rebel forces had control over Endor and taken any Imperial forces as prisoners. They were now beginning the long process of assessing damage and discovering what information could be mined from computers and databanks left behind. Leia was heading back up to Home One in the morning to discuss next steps in declaring their victory and reinstating the Republic government. The war wasn’t over—not by a long shot—but they were going to stake their claim amidst the chaos of the crumbling Empire.

But Leia’s thoughts were elsewhere. She needed to reveal the truth—her newfound truth—so they could move forward. She hoped. Once again, they were faced with a dilemma that seemed insurmountable. Once again, she had to test their love and commitment.

She stood beside the bed, slowing braiding her hair. She had removed the brown dress the Ewoks provided and was only wearing a thin shift. Leia wasn’t drunk, not even slightly tipsy. She had enjoyed herself by the fire and joined in on the celebration but felt a bit removed from it all. She and Luke spent some time on their own as he filled her in on many details.

“You’re taking your sweet time over there, Princess.” He patted the bed beside him. “Time to settle in.”

She sat at the end of the bed, facing him. “Sleeping in your clothes tonight, General?”

“Thought you might want to undress me.” He flashed her a particularly wicked grin.

Leia smiled and bit her lower lip. She took a deep breath before speaking. “Han…”

She couldn’t finish her thought. He lost that excited look and she knew he was suddenly worried.

“You’re using the we need to talk voice.”

She nodded. Placed a hand on his knee. Tried to make herself more comfortable but only succeeded in looking more tense.

“I have something else to tell you.”

“More stuff about you and Luke? Figure there’s got to be more to that story.” He gave her a small half-smile, trying to encourage her.

She was looking for the right words. Since Luke gave her the news the night before, Leia had run through dozens of speeches and openers. She’d been able to avoid it so far because they were in a battle for their lives and the fate of the galaxy and part of her hoped she might ignore it all together. But that’s not how things worked and not how she wanted to be with Han.

“Just say it, Leia. Nothing’s going to be as bad as you think.”

She almost laughed at that one. “I’m not so sure about that, Flyboy.”

Leia took another deep breath and locked eyes with him. She folded her hands in her lap and started talking.

“It’s about our parents. Our father.”

“Anakin. Right?”

“Yes. And no. It’s what happened to Anakin.”

Han sat up so he was sitting directly in front of her. He took both her hands in his.

“Luke learned about Anakin’s fate when he was on Bespin. That’s what’s been troubling him this past year. Why he was so distant. He only learned about me, that we are twins, when he went to Dagobah again but he’s known about Anakin for a while.”

Han pressed into the center of her palms with his thumbs and she could feel the tension release throughout her body.

“Anakin didn’t die. He wasn’t a hero of the Clone Wars. Well, that’s not true. He was a hero during the war, a Jedi Knight, but he didn’t die. He turned. He went to the dark side.”

Leia’s voice caught in her throat. She couldn’t get those final words out. She couldn’t say that Darth Vader was her father. Her entire life was spent in opposition to the Emperor and Darth Vader. She had supported her father Bail in his opposition to the Emperor. She fought against them both during her time in the Senate. He had destroyed worlds, her life. Tortured her, her husband, her brother. Saying the words out loud made it true and she didn’t want it to be true.

Han kissed her. With a hand on her cheek, his lips pressed softly against hers. “It’s okay. You don’t have to say it.”

Her tears started to fall. Her voice was a rough whisper. “I do. I have to say it because it’s true.”

He wiped away her tears. Kissed each cheek then down her neck. “Bail is your father. That’s the only one that matters.”

She tried, not very hard, to pull away. “You don’t understand.”

He swung his legs around so he could lie her down on the bed then settled in beside her. He kept his hand on her cheek, a thumb ready to brush away tears, as he softly kissed along her hairline then neck.

“I understand.”

“Han, you need to…”

He raised himself so he could look down on her. Swept strands of hair back from her forehead. “Doesn’t matter if Vader, or Anakin, or whatever you want to call him did the deed. He’s still a piece of shit and Bail is still your father.”

Han lived by very simple rules and didn’t let unwanted information cloud his judgement. It was something she loved most about him and one thing that often infuriated her. Depending on the circumstance, he was either generous or reductive. In this instance, it felt like a bit of both. She loved that he loved her without question but didn’t think this topic was one they should push aside.

“You don’t think this will change things?”

“Between us? Why would it?”

“What if people find out? How am I going to participate in the new government if everyone knows I’m Lord Vader’s seed?”

Han grimaced. “Seed? That’s a bit harsh even for me.”

“I’ll be a pariah. Luke, too. How will people react to the idea of him restarting the Jedi Order when he’s a Sith Lord’s son?”

“You and Luke have done more for this galaxy than most. People know that.”

He came from a world where actions spoke louder than words. You could say what you wanted, brag, lie, defend, deceive, but it all depended on what you did. Did you show up when you were supposed to? Did you take advantage of a situation, double cross? Did you give or take your fair share? But Leia knew she wouldn’t be judged on what she had done, her actions in the Rebellion. She knew what to expect if the truth came to light.

“We need to keep it a secret.” She had stopped crying and was feeling a different kind of desperation now.

“That’s a terrible idea.” He rested a hand on her hip, a favourite spot. “Gotta be someone out there who knows. Nothing’s ever really a secret.”

“If someone knew, don’t you think they would have said something by now? I was a public figure long before the war.”

“You said no one knew about you till a couple days ago.”

“Well, someone knew. Yoda, Ben, Bail. Maybe my mother.”

“And they seemed like a tight-lipped bunch.” He gave her a very small shake. “All I’m saying is, there’s got to be someone who figured out the Anakin Skywalker-Darth Vader thing. I know the Emperor destroyed records, tried to wipe everything out, but it was only twenty-something years ago.”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Do you not know how old I am?”

“Not like anyone who did guess would share their theory. No one’s going to say anything that would piss off the Emperor.” His thumb worked in circles around her hipbone as he spoke. “But Vader and the Emperor are both gone and the big reason to keep in line just disappeared. And since they didn’t bother changing Luke’s last name and he’s spent the last three years talking about his Jedi hero dad Anakin, it’s gonna be pretty easy closing that loop.”

She knew he was right. She didn’t want him to be right—she wanted all of this to go away—but the truth was too easy to discover. Leia covered her face with her hands and groaned.

“So, I have to spend more time confessing to something I didn’t do and have no control over?”

“You got control if you take it.” He gave her an encouraging smile. “You know how to work this stuff. Get ahead of it. Make it your story. Run at the stormtroopers in the hallway. Make them react instead of plotting their first move.”

“Are you sure you aren’t built for politics?”

“I’d rather be back in carbonite.”

He turned her toward him. His tongue parted her lips and he took his time with a slow, gentle kiss. “Are we done talking now? Cos we got some more celebrating to do.”

She kissed him for a few moments more than pulled away. “We need to talk some more.”

His head dropped and he sighed. “Fine. What else you got, Princess?”

“Don’t be mocking. These are all serious subjects.”

He kissed her forehead. “I know. Not mocking you. I swear.” He propped his head back up on his bent elbow and settled in to listen.

She felt stuck. Leia wasn’t sure how to bring up the next subject, especially since they had barely cracked the surface. She sat up, trying to establish a place of control. He remained lying down.

“You need to consider how this will affect you.” She cut him off when he tried to speak. “There will be a lot of blow-back. It was already going to be difficult enough considering how much you’ll be in the public eye as my husband. Your life will be scrutinized. And now, if and when this Vader news comes out, who knows what that will mean for you. Keeping your commission could be hard.”

“That’s probably not going to last long anyway.”

“You’ve only just signed up.”

“Not running off. I’m here to do what I can and help with the clean-up but not sure if it’s a long-term thing. Working missions with you is one thing. Being sent out to the Outer Rim for months is something else.”

She nodded. The job still needed to be done but she understood his point. They had yet to assess the state of the remaining Imperial forces, who might be in charge, and who would vie for power but it was likely going to be a prolonged conflict with difficult to measure victories.

“Haven’t talked to Chewie much about it, definitely haven’t talked specifics but gotta see what happens with Kashyyyk.”

“Of course.” Leia gave his thigh a light squeeze. Why didn’t she think of it? “Let’s hope that’s also a priority of the New Republic.”

It wasn’t just that Chewie was one of her closest friends, a family member, or even that he had devoted years to the Rebellion. The Wookies of Kashyyyk fought in the Clone Wars, defended the Republic from the Separatists, were one of the last strongholds with the Jedi Order. The planet had been under strict Imperial control since the rise of the Empire, the Wookies enslaved. They deserved liberation.

“Still, anything that you try to do might be put into question because of your association with me. Even if you decided to be a professional gambler—and let me add, that’s my least favourite option—you’re going to face opposition.”

“Had to fight my way into every room, every job. No difference to me.”

“I get your point but you still can’t predict what will happen.”

“It’s like everything else, we’ll figure it out when we get there.”

“We need to talk about these things.”

“Isn’t this talking?”

He was bordering on irritating. She liked his can-do attitude. Liked that he had the confidence to handle any situation should it arise but a bit of foresight never hurt. A bit of pre-planning.

“What about children?”

“What about them?”

“How can we have children considering this bloodline?”

“You and Luke turned out.”

“There are no guarantees. We don’t know what can be passed down. Even Luke doesn’t know.”

“Is Luke telling you to not have kids?”

Leia threw up her hands in frustration. “Luke’s already forgiven Anakin. Said he returned to the light in the end. Saved them both. Suddenly loves me.”

Her brother. Although it felt natural and right that Luke was her twin, it was still going to take some getting used to. She was also going to have to adapt to this new version of Luke. This wise and thoughtful Luke opposed to the who whooped at the sight of his first Alliance-issued uniform and jumped out of his X-Wing to greet her. They had all changed, she knew that, and were going to have to figure out how their newer selves and new situations fit together.

She’d only recently discovered Tuck as a friend, had come to rely on their presence, humour and common sense, but they would likely be separated soon. Tuck worked transport and from her brief conversations with Command last night, Leia knew supplies were soon heading out for refugee camps. There were already reports of Imperial forces vacating some planets, anywhere that resistance was high and the situation dire.

“He’s had a lot more time to figure this out.” Han took her hand, trying to pull her back down on the bed but she stayed in place.

“I hate him. Vader. That is never going to change. I don’t want it to change. I don’t care what Luke says about the Force and anger, hatred. Fear.”

For a second, Han’s eyes went wide. He suddenly understood. “Right. The Force. This means you’ve got it, too?”

He looked shocked, slightly nervous. Leia chuckled and shook her head. “I didn’t think being Force-sensitive would be the tipping point for you. The piece that was finally too much.”

She closed her eyes and tried not to overreact in the moment.

“Don’t put words in my mouth.” He didn’t sound shocked anymore. He sounded angry. “Fuck Leia, why do you keep trying to come up with excuses for me to leave?”

“That’s not what I’m doing.” She loved him in a way she didn’t even know was possible. It was a joyful ache. A painful beauty. He filled her up and made her want more. “I’m just trying to be prepared.”

“Well, pay attention to what’s happening right in front of you. Not going anywhere. You know that already.”

She squeezed his leg again. “I know.”

“And look, Leia. If you don’t want kids, we don’t have kids. Real simple.”

Leia felt like she might start crying again. Her voice returned to an almost whisper. “You said you liked the idea. I said it. We were open to the idea.”

“Not if it’s going to freak you out. Give you this much anxiety.” He could see that she was close to tears again so lowered his voice. “Why you getting worked up about this stuff now? Not like we need to make a decision this second.”

“Everything is changing.” She started to rub his leg, not in a sensual way but as a means to calm her anxiety. “I’m going to be pulled from military duty. I won’t be in the action anymore. I’ll be back at the negotiating table. Luke has already resigned his position. He’ll be gone most the time looking for information on the Jedi, maybe finding actual Jedi. You’ll be gone for who knows how long whether you resign your commission or not. Anything could happen. Even Tuck will be gone.”

He listened without interrupting. His eyes, a bright green, were locked on her.

“Han, has everything about my life been a lie? I have a brother, my father was a monster. I don’t know what part is me, what part is the Force, or Vader. And now we’re off bases. The Emperor is gone. I fought so hard for this to happen but I don’t know it. I don’t recognize it. Everything is gone. Shifted. Is this like Alderaan? Do I have to start over again?”

“Things are different. Gonna take a while to figure some things out and maybe you never do. Luke needed to forgive Vader but that’s Luke. It doesn’t have to eat you up, though. You just need some time to decide what it is for you.”

“I don’t know if I recognize myself.” Her breathing had returned to normal. Her voice was gaining some strength. “I’m not sure I know who this Leia is.”

“I know you.” His eyes were bright, steady. “If you ever get confused, look this way.” He shoved a thumb against his chest. “I’ll remind you.”

Her hands covered her face again and she let out a low moan. “It feels like so much has happened all at once. That our world has changed so many ways, flipped, in the past week alone.”

“Okay, that’s it. We’re done here.” He pulled her down on the bed and rolled so his body covered hers. His elbows rested on either side of her and he held her face with both his hands.

“Listen to me, Leia Organa Solo. This conversation is over. Not saying for good. I know we’re going to cover it a lot more but you’re going to forget about it for the next, let’s say, thirty minutes. We’re gonna knock this stuff aside and you’ll need to concentrate on not making too much noise cos your loyal troops are only a few feet away and I’m gonna make you come, probably more than once, so hard you’re gonna see stars.”

She squirmed slightly beneath him and tried not to smile. “I don’t recall saying I was taking your name.”

He narrowed his eyes and gave her a hard stare. “Got a preference where I start? Top or bottom?”

Leia laughed. “What does top or bottom mean?”

He wiggled his eyebrows at her before sitting up and whipping off his shirt. He knelt between her legs and gave her a lustful smile as his hands slowly made their way up her thighs.

“Never mind.” He held her gaze while fingers turned soft circles along her thighs then brushed against her center. He bit his lower lip as he watched her back arch. She held her breath in anticipation, waiting for him to make contact. As his finger slipped in then pulled back out, she gave a slight gasp. He moved his hips closer as his fingers rubbed and swirled against her, inside her. “We’ll figure it out as we go. Lot more fun that way.”

Leia raised her legs, gripping his hips and squeezing as her excitement built. Han leaned in to suck and nibble at her breasts, her nipples hard and visible through her thin shift.

As predicted, she forgot all about their conversation and that she should concentrate on keeping quiet and only focused on the feel of Han between her legs, on her body, the rising rush of heat and fervour, and the promised stars.