Continuity: Star Wars (The Original Trilogy), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and The Return Of The Jedi (1983)
Genres: Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Spoilers: For The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return Of The Jedi (1983)
Summary: Luke comforts Han after a terrifying nightmare.
Date Of Completion: January 5, 2016
Date Of Posting: January 11, 2016
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, George Lucas and Twentieth-Century Fox do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 672
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
As the darkness
"My Carbonite Heart"
(Common Empire Era)
He was falling, falling, falling, into a despairing abyss. Icy jets of air touched his skin and tore a gasp from him as the pain of first frost hit before the numbness spread throughout his body.
It was cold, bitterly cold, colder than Hoth. His bones were frozen, his lungs breathed crystals, his blood was ice in his veins. If he had been able to move, he would have cracked into a million glittering shards.
It was dark, the darkness pressing down on his chest, squeezing the breath from his lungs as panic slammed into him like a sledgehammer. It was dark and quiet and he was buried alive…
Han shot upright with a strangled cry, terror squeezing his heart as the darkness pressed in all around him. He was blind again!
“It’s all right, Han. I’m right here.”
Strong hands gripped his arms and for a moment Han’s panic increased, but the voice soothed him.
“Han, it’s all right, really. You’re safe now.”
Han could not stop shivering. His teeth chattered and his bones rattled as embarrassment flamed his cheeks. Strong arms enclosed him and gently pulled him close as his eyes gradually adjusted to the moonlit darkness.
“Jeez, kid, you must think I’m as weak as a Sillian cockleshell. Cryin’ over carbonite freezing and…torture…last week.”
Luke’s hold tightened. “I’m sorry about that, Han. About all of it.”
“Not your fault.” Han tried to shrug.
Luke slowly rubbed his back. “He was my father.”
“Still not your fault.”
“If you weren’t…my friend (and so much more, unspoken)…you never would’ve been targeted.”
Han slowly disentangled himself from Luke’s embrace. He looked at his lover by the light of Endor’s moon.
He rubbed his thumb along Luke’s cheek. Once painfully conscious of his scars obtained on Hoth, now Luke calmly accepted them. Han liked to think his acceptance of those scars had brought Luke to that state of mind. The Force was not responsible for everything.
“Listen to me, kid. Vader did all that to me, not you. And if knowing you put me in harm’s way, so what? I’d still stick with you. And by the way, Jabba and a dozen other lowlifes were already on my tail when I met you.”
It was quiet in the small hut. Han was grateful that the Ewoks left their guests alone. He was not in the mood for intrusions.
He still felt shaky and a little embarrassed. Some tough spacer I am! he mentally grumbled.
Luke’s mouth quirked into a half-grin. “You always did make friends easily.”
Han rolled his eyes and gently cuffed Luke. “Shaddup, kid.”
The lightening of the mood was welcomed by both men. Han could see the shadows in Luke’s eyes and his own body was telling him that shreds of the nightmare still clung to him like cobwebs, annoying and nearly impossible to brush off.
Luke saluted. “Yes, sir, General.”
Han huffed. “I still think Leia’s gonna come and rip the stars off my uniform and call me a fraud. Me a general?” He shook his head.
Luke’s smile was tender. “Do you know how proud I was when I heard the news?”
Han felt uncharacteristically humble. He coughed to cover his embarrassment.
“They were hard up, kid.”
Luke’s smile did not falter. “Sure, Han.” He slid his arm around Han’s shoulders and nuzzled his cheek, drawing him down to lie on the surprisingly comfortable pallet.
Han tensed slightly, not keen to experience another nightmare, but he relaxed as he and Luke stretched out, Luke pulling the warm blankets over their bodies. The lone cry of a nightbird echoed through the trees as Han nestled his head against the pillow, Luke right behind him. Luke’s arm slid around his chest and Han sighed.
Sleep or no sleep, there would be no more nightmares tonight.