Thursday, October 13, 2016

What Do You Think of Rogue One?

Ok, let's talk about something a little different (although if you have unrelated comments, go ahead with those too.) The latest Rogue One trailer came out today. About a year ago the final major Episode 7 trailer came out and I was jumping out of my skin and probably watched it 15 times that night, largely because it showed Han and Leia hugging, which offered a bit of hope in spite of the fact that it was apparent that Leia looked horribly sad which just couldn't have been good news, but I naively held onto some optimism anyway.

So now we have the first so-called "spin-off" movie trailer. It's not about Skywalkers or really even Jedi, but a group of Rebels who are working to steal the Death Star plans. Gee, wonder if they succeed? So, what do you guys think? Are you excited? Indifferent? Annoyed? Cautiously optimistic?

I'll be honest and say that I'm not particularly excited about this movie. I'm not actively against it, as I am about the young Han Solo movie, it's just that I don't really expect it to be very good, or to suck me in and make me want to watch it a hundred times like the OT. All right, we have another female lead, which I guess is cool. But I think it is going to be hard to top Daisy Ridley's performance (if it weren't for her, and at least getting to see Han Solo again even if they ruined him, I think TFA would be a COMPLETE waste of time) and also maybe difficult to make us all care about her character. The trailer did intrigue me slightly when they did a little flashback of her, maybe giving her a bit more depth there and telling us there is something more, but I'm still skeptical there. They also haven't really shown me anything in other characters that looks particularly compelling.

The one thing that gets me kind of excited, and which also proves to me that I am also a general Star Wars nerd and not just all about Han and Leia, was seeing Vader again. Yeah, that's pretty cool and I think will be fun to see on screen again. Also reminds me that we should probably have James Earl Jones record every word in the English language so we can use his voice in any movie even after he dies.

I don't know, is it the actual movie? Is it that they are already in just two movies burning me out on Star Wars? Would I be more excited about this if TFA hadn't completely destroyed my faith in the franchise in general? I can't really answer that. I can say though that with the trailer for TFA, every single time I saw it, I got chills. I saw a bunch of movies last fall in the theater and saw the trailer on the big screen several times, and I was mesmerized, every time. I saw this one on the big screen I think twice already (well, the earlier version) and felt... nothing. Not that I outright expect it to be bad, I just kind of expect it to be forgettable. I could be very wrong there, but time will tell.

The only really good news to me is that it stands a MUCH slimmer chance of doing anything to ruin any of our favorite things about Star Wars like TFA did. I mean, I guess theoretically they could do something awful there, I just don't think in this case they will. So at least it feels somewhat "safer" in that case.

Anybody else with any opinions? I've seen several people who have reacted quite favorably to the trailer, and I think that's great. I just don't really get it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Waning Enthusiasm for (Almost) All Things Star Wars

The activity level on the blog has slowed dramatically. I'm going to discuss a topic I've been thinking about a lot lately, although I'm sure I've mentioned a lot about it in recent months anyway.

I've realized that my excitement and enthusiasm for most things Star Wars related has dropped essentially to zero. I no longer feel like the movie "ruined" Han and Leia FOR ME, anyway. Because for me, that's just not what happened. Did they ruin them as far as the canon movies goes? Uh... it sure looks like it. Not just them, but Luke, too. I don't think I'll ever stop thinking of them the way I had always thought of them.

It's hard not to think about how nine months ago today, I was beyond excited to see this new movie. I couldn't believe how lucky we were to get another one. And then I left the theater feeling basically.... gutted. They basically did all the worst possible things I could've imagined. I mean, sure, maybe it would've been worse if Han and Leia split up the day after ROTJ and never saw each other again (would it have been worse though? I'm not sure) or possibly if Leia was the one to murder Han herself because he had become horribly abusive and deserved it. Ok, yeah, that would've been worse. But they had given us CLOSE to the worst possible outcome. Split up, miserable, only having had one kid who turned out to be pure evil, quite possibly due to Han's crappy parenting, no other kids to carry on their legacy, and their own kid straight up murders Han Solo, the most beloved movie character in the history of cinema (maybe second next to Chewbacca) without ever having any sort of reconciliation with Leia. Or his son. To top it off, this moment that I guess maybe could've had some real emotional impact just seemed sort of hollow because we were not really given any context to this relationship at all. Was Han really a disappointment? How long has it even been since those two saw each other, or since Han was with Leia? I realize that the answers to some of those questions were at least narrowed down somewhat now that we have some books, but at the time the movie came out we had no idea if it had been two months or twenty years since Ben Solo turned and Han and Leia fell apart. It was only months later that we at least had it somewhat narrowed down to something less than six, but that doesn't help a whole lot.

Did anyone feel like all of that made for a better movie? Or a more emotionally engaging one? Because for me, it not only felt like punching me in the face, but it also mostly just left me confused with all those aforementioned unanswered questions. I realize that apparently the intent was to make room for the new characters. The thing is, they forgot to give us good reasons to care about the new characters. Don't get me wrong, I do love Rey, although I think that has as much if not more to do with Daisy Ridley just being perfect in that role than Rey being a hugely compelling character yet. The ridiculous amount of unanswered questions about her along with it being more than slightly remarkable how well adjusted she is given her background are at least somewhat outshined by Daisy's on-screen presence and charisma. How much would you have loved to have gotten to see more of her going back and forth with Harrison Ford? I don't think a lot of young actresses could've pulled that off, but sorry, nope, we won't get that because Han is dead now. Anyway, I got away from my point, which was that they wanted us to focus more on these new characters, but in talking to more than one person after seeing this movie, a lot of us found it impossible to really absorb anything that happened in the final fifteen to twenty minutes of the movie because all we kept thinking about was, "I can't believe Han Solo is dead." Which isn't a great thing since arguably the most important part of the movie, Rey's duel with Kylo, happened in that final fifteen minutes.

The more time that passes from this movie, the more and more deflated I am realizing I have become as a result of it. I bought the blu ray in April, mostly for the behind the scenes stuff. Except I haven't actually watched it yet. Not just the movie, but any of it. I became even more deflated when I heard about some of the comments made on the behind the scenes stuff about Han and Leia, and didn't really want to have anything to do with it anymore. And now that I see that apparently it is going to be playing on Starz for those of us in the US, I was reminded of how much I just don't want to see it anymore. I don't even want to flip to the channel. For someone like myself who was just such a huge Star Wars fan, it really just makes me sad that I have lost the ability to be excited about it.

Last year I was actively avoiding spoilers so as not to ruin the movie for me. Now, it's not even active avoidance about Rogue One or Episode 8 or anything else, it is downright indifference. I've seen some articles linked saying things about Episode 8 or whatever. My level of indifference is almost appalling. I can't even bring myself to care. I've heard a few things about what may happen in the next one, and really they could tell me absolutely anything at this point and I wouldn't even have a reaction. It's like they have taken away my ability to care. They could tell me that Justin Bieber was going to be in the next one playing a Jedi and Rey's love interest who also sings to her something from his new album, and I'd probably just be like... eh, whatever. Ok, ok, maybe that might finally spark some rage, but hopefully you get my point. They made all my worst fears come true with the last movie, so I only expect them moving forward to do things that would upset me or make me mad. It's like a protective mechanism has kicked in, and they can't upset me with anything they do if I've stopped caring about it.

Even the trailers for Rogue One have been amazingly underwhelming to me. I'm not sure if I'd have felt different about it a year ago, but right now I'm just like... meh. I mean, as I was typing that I stopped and wondered, wait, is that coming out THIS year? I had to go check. Yes, it does. I'm sure I'll go see it, but I feel no need to be first in line or wait two hours before the theater opens to get good seats or anything like that. The first time I saw that trailer on the big screen in May I had really almost no reaction to it. That compared to every single time I saw the trailer for TFA there were at minimum goosebumps, but also occasionally tears. (I actually just had a flashback as I wrote that to "Chewie, we're home." and STILL got goosebumps so I guess I'm not completely dead inside.) 

I don't know what the point of all this was except that it feels as though this movie ruined by ability to be excited about anything further Star Wars related. I know you guys have said that there has been some great new material in the books, and I absolutely believe you. It's just that I don't know how I can enjoy any of it knowing how it all turns out. The same could possibly be said about the old EU, but among the bad stuff at least there was a lot of good stuff. At least Han and Leia were still together and had one good kid, plus a granddaughter. I'm actually glad that there are other people out there who are still excited about it and want to see what happens next and have enjoyed a lot of the new stuff. I wish I could be among you. This is not an attempt to try and convince anyone that they should be sad or not excited about any of it. Just had a lot of this on my mind lately and wanted to get it out there, especially since the blog has been so dead/quiet and it makes me wonder if others are feeling the same way, or if so many have disappeared just because they felt the same way!

At least I'll never stop loving Han and Leia, because JJ doesn't get to be the one to tell us what happened to them just because they paid him to do it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

August Writing Challenge Submission #5 by Zyra

I haven't written anything in a very long time, so to say I feel a little rusty would be an understatement. The tone also is a little different than the other submissions so far. And maybe they aren't drunk enough for it to be "real" drunk sex. But ok, enough warnings, now for the story...

"What did you say this stuff is again?" Leia asked as she took another sip of the deep purple liquid in her glass.

"Some kind of local liquor the locals swear by," Han replied.

They were lounging on a large couch in the suite of a resort they decided to visit for their tenth anniversary. They'd left their three kids behind with their aunt and uncle, and it was their first opportunity to be alone in quite a while.

"It's really sweet," Leia said as she licked her lips. Han had to agree. It was certainly sweeter than most liquor he was used to consuming. You almost couldn't even tell it had any alcohol.

Leia was leaning up against him, more relaxed than Han had seen her in months. She surprised him by sitting up and starting to cross the room. "Where are you going?" he asked her.

"Just the 'fresher, don't you worry," she said as she smiled back at him and then leaned over to place her glass on the table, stumbling slightly as she lost her balance.

Han sat up a little and held his arm out to catch her, but she caught herself first. "Whoa, you okay there, sweetheart or are you going to need an escort?"

"I'm fine," she said, swatting his hand away playfully.

"I'm not sure, you seem a little tipsy there."

She turned and stood up straight, putting her hands on her hips. "I am not tipsy. I've hardly had anything to-" she was briefly interrupted by a hiccup and then finished her sentence, "drink."

Han smirked knowingly at her and then decided to let it go for now. "Whatever you say, sweetheart."

She rolled her eyes and disappeared into the next room, and Han grabbed his drink and took another sip. The liquid was far more sweet than he would usually choose, but he had been talked into trying it by one of the locals and it was far from the worst thing he'd ever tasted. Downing the last of his glass he then picked up the bottle to add a little more.

After filling his glass and taking another sip, he glanced at the back of the bottle, noticing the alcohol content. Given the excessive sweetness of the liquor he had assumed that it would be fairly low, so he was more than slightly surprised when he noted that in fact it was quite the opposite. He smiled a little, and thought to himself that it was a good thing they hadn't planned on going anywhere else that evening.

"What's so funny?" Leia asked as she returned from the 'fresher and plopped down on the couch next to him.

"Just noticing that this stuff is a little stronger than you'd think based on the taste. Take a look," he said as he handed her the bottle.

She took it and studied the label before her eyebrows raised and she turned to look at him. "That is a lot more potent than I was expecting."

"Told ya," he said as he took the bottle back and put it down on the table. "I think maybe both of us should call it a night on this stuff."

"I'm surprised it hasn't kicked in yet. I don't think I've had this much alcohol in my system since before we had the kids."

"Nah," Han disagreed. "It was more recent than that. In fact I think it's probably why we even had Anakin in the first place."

She couldn't keep herself from smiling. "No, no, definitely not. You just couldn't keep your hands to yourself, and you looked incredibly handsome that night."

"And how do I look tonight?" he asked, pulling her closer.

She took a moment to consider her answer, brown eyes scanning him quickly before she answered. "A little blurry."

"Hmmm... maybe that's a good thing so I don't look any older than when you first met me."

"Why would that be a good thing?" she asked before she brought her hands up against his cheeks. "This is still my favorite face."

"Now I'm sure you've had too much to drink because you are hardly ever this nice to me."

Her eyes scanned his face before she replied again. "I think I'm in the mood to be even nicer to you as the night goes along."

He arched an eyebrow and before he could even wonder what she meant she leaned in to kiss him, and he could taste the sweet liquid on her tongue. Her lips moved across his jawline and started nibbling on his ear, sending a shiver down his neck. "I forgot that when you drink you tend to get a little... worked up," he said before he turned his own attention on her earlobe.

"Right, and you don't?"

"I don't need a drink to be worked up, sweetheart."

She moved her lips back across his jaw and pressed her forehead against his, her hand gently caressing the back of his neck. "That's one of the many things I love about you." Then she pulled him closer and kissed him hungrily.

Han could feel his head spinning, but he wasn't entirely sure if it was the alcohol or the sudden lack of oxygen to his brain brought on by his wife's mouth against his and the movements of her lower body against his groin. He decided it didn't matter.

Several minutes later, Leia pulled her face away and said, "I think we should move to the bedroom."

It took Han a moment for his vision to come into focus when he opened his eyes to see Leia, face slightly flushed, giving him that look that always told him quite clearly that it was going to be a very, very good night. Rather than responding, he simply lifted her off his lap and then grabbed her hand and started to pull her toward the bedroom.

"Ow!" she said at the same time he heard a slight thud and felt her catching herself on his arm.

"You okay?" he asked as he turned to see she had apparently tripped on the corner of the couch.

She collapsed against his shoulder and began giggling. Leia was not often one to giggle, but alcohol tended to make her a little... sillier than normal.

"Sorry," she whispered when she looked up at him.

"Why are you whispering?" he whispered back.

"Shhhh..." she said, bringing a finger to her lips. "We don't want to wake the kids."

"The kids aren't here," he whispered.

"Oh," she said, seeming genuinely surprised. "Good, those little monsters are always interrupting us."

"Not tonight, sweetheart, I promise. Tonight we have time to be very, very thorough."

Her face lit up and he pulled her along again and she followed eagerly. "I love it when you're thorough."

Once in the room Han let Leia's hand go so he could pull his shirt over his head while she lied down on the bed and stared dreamily up at him.

"What are you staring at?"
"I do love watching you get undressed but really I'm trying to stop the room from spinning."

"Oh, no," Han said as he cast his boots aside and then climbed to hover over her on his hands and knees on the bed. "You need to hang in there, because I have some fun ideas for tonight." He got really quiet and just stared at her for a moment before rolling onto his side to face her, his head on the pillow next to hers.

"Your head is spinning too, isn't it."

His lip curled up into a smile. "Only enough to make things interesting."

He leaned in and started kissing her again, slow and deep. They continued like that for a while, and slowly the rest of their clothes came off as well, hands lazily moving across now-bare skin. Han finally pulled away to look at Leia's face, her eyes a little glassy and staring at him intently. "Do I still look a little blurry?" he asked.

She shook her head. "No, you just look like your usual, handsome self. Do I look blurry?"

"No," he said, his voice low and rumbling. "Beautiful."

Her smile was enough to kill him sometimes. "That's just the booze talking. You're not the only one who's gotten older."

His thumbs stroked her cheeks and he got a very serious look on his face before he replied. "You're still the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I love you."

"You get really mushy when you've been drinking."

He nodded in agreement. "I definitely do." Then he leaned in and kissed her again, slowly rolling her onto her back and settling himself on top of her. His fingers traced along her skin and caused her to shiver. "You feel a little chilly," he said as he kissed his way down her neck."

"Mmmm," she agreed. "I'm almost always a little chilly."

"Here," he said as he leaned back and pulled the sheet to cover both of them. "Just for a few minutes though, because I'm sure you won't need it for long." He winked at her and she smiled back before he kissed his way down her body, disappearing under the sheet.

Leia gently parted her legs to make room for him as she felt him getting lower and lower, his head making a lump in the sheet that was almost enough to distract her from the pleasant sensations Han was causing underneath. She lay back with her arms above her head, letting out a sigh and shutting her eyes, the dizziness from the alcohol still affecting her. She lost track of time before she realized Han had stopped doing what he had been doing and instead she felt his head resting on her thigh, laying motionless.

She brought her hands down and placed them on his sheet-covered head. "You all right under there?"

Immediately his head popped up, which only made her laugh before she lifted the sheet to look down at him questioningly. "I'm fine, just...." He trailed off a little before he emerged from under the sheet and collapsed on his side next to her again, his head resting heavily on the pillow.

"Still dizzy?" she asked, already knowing the answer. Though at this angle she was relieved that she could also rest her head on her own pillow, turning on her side to face him.

"Just a little," he replied, looking apologetic.

"Me, too," she said, reaching her hand up to stroke his cheek. "You're kind of cute when you're trying not to throw up," she said, smiling at him.

"I'm not gonna throw up," he protested. "I think we just need to figure out a way to do this where I don't have to lift up my head. I don't think I'm going to be as thorough tonight as I thought."

Always being a problem solver, Leia pushed him on his back and rolled on top of him. "Well, let me see what I can do."

His eyes lit up as it appeared he had some idea what he was in for. Her legs straddled him and she leaned down to capture his lips with hers once again, and suddenly he was dizzy for an entirely different reason. His hands moved up her back and she moved slowly on top of him in a familiar rhythm that had never failed to get him going. Before he knew what was happening her hand found him and he slipped inside, letting out an involuntary groan before she continued her slow, sensual movements on top of him. "I love it when you're in the mood to be extra nice to me."

She smiled and leaned down to kiss him and hold him close. His hands warm hands slid along the soft skin on her back to aid her as she slowly moved her hips against him for what felt like an eternity. Finally releasing his lips her mouth moved along his jaw until he could feel her breath on his ear as she whispered, "I have a confession to make." At this point his brain wasn't functioning particularly well, but there was something about her voice that always brought him back to reality. "I'm in love with you."

His arms wrapped even more tightly around her as he pulled her somehow even closer. "Now who's the mushy one?" he asked. He was having trouble catching his breath now as she continued to move against him. "You know what? I'm in love with you, too."

He could somehow feel her smile against his neck. "I'm so glad to hear it. Especially because maybe you won't be mad at me when I tell you I need to lie down again."

"Wait," he protested, not quite sure he was hearing her right but before he could stop her she rolled off to his side and rested her head against the pillow again. This wasn't exactly how he had envisioned this particular evening going. When their eyes met, all they could do was smile and erupt into laughter. "I'm sorry," Leia said as she tried and failed to compose herself.

"It's ok," he replied, still laughing himself. "Let's see if we can do this without lifting our heads up too much. Come here," he said as he pulled her close against him, his hand resting against her lower back and holding her tightly.

"Oh," she said, the laughter being replaced by excitement. "This just might work."

He nodded at her and replied, "I think we can make it work," and then he resumed where they had left off, slowly moving against her and then leaning in to kiss her again. "See?"

She nodded in agreement and wrapped her arms around him, moving slowly and dreamily. Her head was still spinning but she shut her eyes and tried to just enjoy the pleasant sensations, the touch and warmth of Han's body against hers, the sound of his voice as he occasionally rumbled words of encouragement into her ear.

A while later, when they were both spent, they were lying still and simply holding each other.

His lips moved down her neck and she sighed against him. "You sure that after ten years of this you're not tired of me?"

"Do I seem tired of you?" Han asked, pulling her even closer.

"I don't know, you can't even lift your head up right now."

He had been nuzzling her neck and she felt his breath there as he laughed. "Minor setback. If I could spend a hundred years with you, I'd still want more."

"You're just saying that because you're still a little drunk. And also probably because we just had sex."

"Have I ever said anything I didn't really mean?"

"No," she conceded, although she could tell he knew she was only teasing him. "And maybe this is just the alcohol in me talking but I love you so much, and every day I'm still glad that you found me on that Death Star. Even though I know you wanted to just leave me there."

Han's face paled. "You knew that?"

She nodded. "Luke told me. 'Better her than me,' I think he said."

"Sweetheart, you know I didn't..."

She pressed her finger to his lips. "Shhhh. I know. I think you've risked your life for me enough times since that I know that you never meant that. Just you being your usual, defiant self."

"I need to thank your brother again for making me go get you."

"I have one more thing to say to you," she said, reaching up and stroking his cheek.

"And what's that?"

"That alcohol is making my head spin so much, if I don't go to sleep soon I am probably going to be sick."

"Come over here," he said as he rolled onto his back and pulled her in so she could lie her head on his chest. "No drinking tomorrow night. It's our last night alone and we're going to make it count."

"I think I can agree with you on that one. Happy anniversary," she said, now barely able to keep her eyes open.

"Same to you," he replied before they both fell into a peaceful sleep.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

August Writing Challenge Submission #4 by CorellianAngel

Shut up with an Idiot, Whiskey and Comfort

                Princess Leia Organa woke up fully clothed and sweaty in the bunkroom of the starship Millennium Falcon, clad in her white snowsuit and under tunic from Hoth.  The young woman’s arm wrapped around one of the pillows, clasping it tightly to her skull. Her chestnut hair was partially unbraided, the ends loose and flowing down her back.  Her head felt as if it was enveloped by a thick blanket muffling her thoughts, touch and hearing.  Her fuzzy vision focused on the door at the far wall to the aft hallway.  Her eyeballs felt as though the surface had been sucked dry.  She attempted to lift her head.  As Leia blinked the world seemed to snapshot from one second to the next, as though a strobe’s pulse lit her world.

                She doggedly blinked away the fog in front of her eyes, but found the haze in her head had taken up permanent residence.  The room rotated around her on a tilted axis and her head swam as she sluggishly determined where she was.  It was vaguely familiar and felt safe. Her fingers pinched the bridge of her nose between her eyes. She yawned widely and animatedly, stretching her arms out around her, her joints cracking. The princess fumbled upright and after another series of gaping yawns her fingers cleared out the crusties of sleep at the edges of her eyes.  She stared at the white flecks and black crust of mascara on her fingertips and wondered how long she had been in bed, or for that matter how she had arrived there in the first place.

                Leia closed her eyes for a moment and felt the room spin around her.  Her hand moved to grip the edge of the bunk and she pushed herself up, swaying unsteadily.  Her right arm shot out to brace herself on the adjacent wall of the crew cabin.  Her foot dragged through something sticky.  She looked down and saw the half dried remains of an amber liquid spilled across the quarters decking that was now covering the bottom of her thermal sock.  She lifted her foot with a “Yick” and pawed at the sticky spot underneath, nearly losing her balance when she raised her foot. Somewhere behind her a glass clinked as it rolled across the bunk.

                Leia floundered her way in to the crew cabin’s refresher, covering the vast two metres in series of leans and stumbles.  When she had dealt with her immediate physical needs and subsequent ablutions, she stumbled out and palmed the door access to the ship’s ring corridor. She was unsure what had occurred in the last few hours that had inhibited her memory, but she had no doubt that vagabond Han Solo had some significant part in in it.

                No matter what, if it was his fault she would figure out the truth.  She always did… Always.

Leia grasped the edge of the Corellian freighter’s steel bulkhead using it to propel herself forward down the hall. She rounded past the cargo bay on the starboard side, avoiding the main hold common area.  Her feet seemed to float underneath her until she tripped on the raised edge of floor decking.  Leia caught herself and stared accusingly at her offending foot as the other automatically dragged forward.  Her world tilted as she collided with a coarse mass of smelly fur.  She flailed momentarily, trying to disentangle herself from whatever she had run into.  A tough leathery hand steadied her with a firm grip on her shoulder.

                “Easy there, little Princess.” The being growled at her in its own tongue.
She blinked at the two and half metre furry mass of the Falcon’s co-pilot, briefly wondering how he had appeared so suddenly. 

                “Ah sorry, just on my way to the cockpit Chewie.” She attempted to wind her way around him to continue on her way.

                There was a barking chuckle from Chewie, “Han says he’s on watch, not that he needs to since we fixed the long range sensors.  I’ll be in my hammock for the next shift. I’ll leave you two to... sort out your differences.”

                Leia smiled gamely at the wookiee and nodded as if understanding.  She caught the gist, especially the ironic tone at the end, and that was enough to make the color come up to her cheeks.   She moved aside to let him pass and hauled herself forward again.  An irrational surge of anger went through her, she had the vaguest memories of Han hauling her to the bunkroom, the back of his shirt splattered with her drink.  Her body slung over his shoulder, and her right fist lamely pummeling on firm musculature of the tall Corellian’s back, demanding that she be put down.  And somehow she had managed to keep the half glass of alcohol mostly upright in her left hand, ice and all.

                What had that been about?

                She honestly couldn’t remember. Leia’s hand bunched and her fist connected with the starship’s walls’ crash padding.  Three years of dealing with this insufferable half-assed criminal.  Gods!

                She huffed. That’s right, Han was here somewhere and she would make him pay for her indignation. She followed the black thread of irritation that wound its way through her inebriated mind.  Of course she was angry with that ill-mannered, irritating, mercenary, scruffy, idiotic, foul mouthed scoundrel.  At that last thought she recalled the sensuous curve of the scoundrel’s mouth as he leaned over her, weeks earlier, baiting her in the port circuitry bay. Leia remembered the way his head had tilted to the left, his eyebrows high in amusement, silently laughing at her choice of words for him.

                Scoundrel?  Scoundrel!”  He drew out the first vowels into a long note of affection, a wide heart-stopping smile spreading across that damned annoying smug face. His voice dropped to a rumble, “I like the sound of that.”

                At that, she had wanted to slug him, or something overtly physical at least. The handsome smuggler had then kissed the lovely young Princess; gently, hesitantly, as if seeking permission.  The Princess had kissed the captain back, daring him on.  As if he could take her. Hah!  She tried desperately to tell herself she hated him.  Hated him for being a mercenary, hated him for trying to force her to confront her feelings, hated him for being so damned gorgeous, smart, witty, a tease… “Aaargh!” She grouched audibly in frustration.  And damn him if that wasn’t working.

                Leia punched each adjacent wall pad as she moved along the corridor, imagining each punch connecting with some portion of Han Solo’s body.  Much like Solo’s real physical self, her imaginary punching-bag Solo winced, straightened and egged her on with that idiotic smug grin.  It was turning out to be not much of a release.

                Just as magically as Chewie had appeared earlier, the cockpit door materialized in front of the petite fuming drunken noble. The princess pushed her small body away from the wall and balanced on the balls of her feet, mentally preparing herself, straightening her back and holding her head regally.  Inwardly she seethed, she plucked at her clothes, arranging her tunic top which seemed to be clinging to the skin of her chest.  A hazy recollection of Han dressing her prone form flitted through her mind, her figure limp except for her hand clutching the drink. Coming back to the present, she punched the cockpit’s door control, mentally cursing the ship’s captain that was just beyond.  Damnable scruffy-looking…

                The door slid open and Leia marched in, smacking the lock closed behind her.  As she stepped forward to address the lounging body in the captain’s chair, her foot clattered against a pair of bottles situated upright on the floor.  She lost her indignant focus and noted the two amber liquids.  One was the dark gold of the ubiquitous Corellian whiskey Whyren’s Reserve, the other bottle was more recently familiar.  A viscous sunset colored liquor sloshed within, unlike the nearly empty Whyren’s , this bottle was two thirds full.  Leia recalled the sticky spot on her sock, the splash of dried liquid near her bunk, her left hand subconsciously fingering the collar of her tunic, drawing it away from her chest once more.  She read the label’s basic lettering, and the events leading up to her waking up in the crew quarters rushed over her in a confused jumble of memories.  Her cheeks felt hot as her eyes slid up the floor decking to take in the lean form of the man Leia had barged in on. Their eyes met in the reflection of the cockpit’s semicircular forward viewport that looked out into the glittering star filled expanse of deep space beyond.

                Han Solo’s lanky body was draped over the seat and armrests of his chair, his bare feet resting on the console in front of him.  .  He was dressed in his bloodstriped dark military trousers and a deep blue jacket. A well-worn low slung leather gunbelt hung off his narrow hips. He slouched nearly horizontal, an empty drink tumbler in his hand.  His forehead rested on his other hand and his deep set eyes were slits, leading Leia to momentarily believe he might be sleeping.  She smacked at his legs and he jumped a bit, drawing back his long limbs and straightening up by shifting his weight to his elbows on the armrests.  It was languid and sensuous, like a feline stretching. The smuggler gave the Princess a brief glower of moody irritation.

                Leia opted for Han’s style of intimidation.  She planted her hands on either side of his headrest and scowled down at him, for once using height to her advantage, calculating what the next move was.  He owed her… Bigtime.   
                “Nexu got your tongue Princess?” He provoked.  A hot flush shot down her spine.

“You dumped me in that bunk!”  She pointed her index finger at Han in perfect imitation of him.  His eyes crossed slightly as he stared at her accusing digit. “Carried me there like a sack, like a,” she sputtered and stammered, “like- like the neanderthal you are!”

                He gently pushed her hand away with the side of his wrist and gave her a withering look, “You were too drunk, your Highnessness!  I don’t do comatose bodies. “ Solo snapped at her,  expression turning from partially amused to exasperated.

                Leia considered that.  Maybe she had had passed out.  She had most certainly maintained hold of her glass, unconscious or not.   She remembered then, “You poured brandy on me!” She yelled at him indignantly.  Leia felt herself beginning to lose this battle. No, that didn’t seem quite accurate either.

                “It wasn’t brandy, it was Selonian Comfort,” he shot back.  Han leaned in close to her, his voice dropped to a subterranean depth, his breath hot, and heady with alcohol. “And you practically asked me to do that. In fact, you initiated it! “

                She startled, unsure. “W- What?”  Had she?  Oh Gods, that part was coming back to her now too.

                Han reached down to put his whiskey glass on the floor beside his chair, his hand cupped her cheek, and he kept his voice low.  There was a hint of tease in his deep whisper. “Oh yeah, it was a dare.”

                “No, no. “ Leia’s hand fluttered to her brow nervously, “Not a dare.” She corrected, remembering, her eyes narrowed, “It was a bet! And you lost.  It took seconds for you to give it up. You’re mine, flyboy.” She crowed triumphantly.

                “It was hardly fair!” He whinged, a half-hearted argument at best.

 “I won.” Leia reminded. “Drink,” she commanded, grabbing the Selonian Comfort, shoving it in his hands.  Han uncharacteristically obeyed, lifting the bottle to his lips, wincing. He tossed back a healthy swig, gulping, eyes closed.  He made a small sound that might have been a curious “Mmm”, the corner of his mouth lifted, clearly enjoying the tempered sweet burn of the blended whiskey variety.

                Leia smacked him gently in the chest and raised the glass he had emptied earlier for a fill.  Han poured her half a glass, and they saluted each other with a clink.  Han took a few gulps, his larynx bobbing, all while watching Leia out of the side of his peripheral vision as she daintily sipped at her tumbler. Damn him, that was good.

 It was all coming back to her now.

 Just a few hours ago they had been at the main hold’s dejarik table chatting, laughing and drinking after a savory dinner the boys had cooked.  One of few non-ration meals on the long haul to shelter and repairs at Bespin. After cleanup, Chewie had retired to work on some woodcraft projects, she and Han had settled in for a sedate evening of holo viewing. Han had retrieved the liquor from the ship’s cargo stores when she had tired of choking down the fire of the Whyren’s. Han proclaimed it perfect for a princess as it was the label preferred by the Selonian den-mother queens.

                Han bowed, grandly flourished the bottle before Leia, “Selonian Comfort.  Honeyfruit sweetened, spiced Corellian whiskey. Stupidly expensive too. Apparently a favorite amongst the ladies of the court. “ He grunted, untwisting the metallic green cap. “ Packs a punch too. “  He poured the rest of her abandoned traditional whiskey into his own glass and tipped the bottle of Comfort in her direction. “Ice or no ice, your Highnessness?”

                Later, when Princess Leia had downed three fingers worth, she noticed Han still preferred the Whyren’s. “Drink wish shmee” she ordered imperiously, waving her hand at the Corellian as she would a palace servant. Damn, too much whiskey, too much Selonian Comfort. The room whirled around her.

                Han noisily sucked back his traditional whiskey and pursed his lips at Leia, “No,” his eyes rolled up as he visibly wracked his brain as how to put it in diplomatic terms for a princess.  He shrugged, gave up and very undiplomatically informed her it was a woman’s drink and he wouldn’t touch the stuff.

                Feeling brave, she giggled at him, “ ’fraid your bitty boy bits’d shrivel all up Captain?”  Han gave her a squinting look of distaste and she perched her fingers over her glass slurring, “I betchshya an undred-thausand credisht I can get you to want it sho much you’d lap up every drop I offer you.”

                Han burst out laughing. He tossed his head to the side and his face lit up in a white smile, the Corellian’s unruly thick mop of brown hair fell into his eyes, and to her he was almost beautiful.  Leia found herself gaping at him like a lovesick schoolgirl. He calmed and winked at the Alderaanian princess, fingering the sleeve of his threadbare old shirt that she had recently taken to wearing, her own belongings light years away on some cruiser after their hasty evacuation from Hoth. It was the same shirt he had worn three years earlier on the day they met. “I don’ts think so, you don’ts have…” he stopped and reconsidered, frowning.  She was the last princess of a major royal house after all.  Leia smirked at him and waggled her fingers, beckoning the pirate to continue. Han nervously drummed his long fingers on the gaming table, glowering accusingly at the bottle across from them. He was drunk enough to consider her as being serious,  “Okay, okayyy…What if I lose?” he mumbled.

                Oh, she had him now.

                Leia took his hand, kissing the rough surface of his scarred knuckles. “Then,”  she paused dramatically and dipped his first two fingers into the sweet liquid in her glass. She drew up her legs underneath her on the couch, facing Han.  Gripping his wrist she pulled his dripping fingers in a line under her chin and down the smooth skin of her throat. “Then, you’re mine… forever. “  The half slurred, but heartfelt words tumbled from her as his fingers completed the run to bottom of the V on the collar of the shirt. The liquid staining the shirt with a golden medallion of color where she paused with his dripping hand.  The whites of Han’s eyes grew huge, his gaze flicking from hers to her breastbone and returning.  He ran his free hand over his hair in a nervous gesture and paused, gripping the back of his neck, licking his lips. The smuggler’s eyes caught her deep brown orbs and he surged forward, hauling her to him by the waist and feverishly lapped at the amber droplets on her exposed skin.  Leia squealed with delight, threw her head back, and closed her eyes. His work-roughened hands roamed over her supple flesh; rasping, tweaking and pinching. She had writhed and moaned, his touch faded to a distant tingling and then she was fading, falling-

                Han’s roguish features swam into focus before her again.  His green gold flecked eyes sparkled with mirth, the skin wrinkling at the corners.  A silken strand of her hair was being twisted through his fingers.

 “Just starting to remember, Sweetheart?  It’s only been a few hours.”

“Shut up. “ Leia ordered him in a snarl. She remained grumpy and unwilling to banter, especially about her passing out mid-foreplay.  She roughly shoved him back in his chair, realizing that he only had his jacket covering his lithe muscled torso.  Her fingers spread on the warm tanned expanse of his pectorals.  The sparse down of his chest hair tangled lightly over the surface of her fingers.   Her mouth watered at the sight, as the logical part of her brain wondered what kind of idiot wears just a jacket and no shirt while napping.

“Not gonna fall asleep on me again, are ya, gorgeous?”  Han’s mocking voice interrupted her musings, piquing her ire.  He appeared to like it when she was a little rough, and he constantly reminded her how beautiful she was when brought to anger.

This guy, Solo.  She shook her head. And he was clearly an idiot. A beautiful, sexy, brave idiot genius who had saved her life innumerable times, risking himself and his beloved ship for her and her Rebellion. She’d spent the better part of the last few years reminding herself to try and hate him, and failing miserably.  Here she was, trapped on an ancient limping starship with him for seven weeks, barely having evaded death yet again. Damn him.

  “Shut up.” Leia yanked on the collar of that damned stupid jacket that framed his lanky form so well, pulling them nose to nose.  Her eyes blazed angrily into his laughing hazel colored depths.  The right side of his mouth quirked up and he opened it to tease her again.

                “Hey, your Worship, be carefmphf!!”  Han’s sentence was lost as she hauled on him and mashed their lips together.  She sucked and nibbled his bottom lip.  Han yanked his head back, fighting for air. “Ow! Ah, be careful…the glass! I’m not- ”  He surrendered, as her teeth grazed along the long tendon on his throat. Han’s breath hitched, Leia’s blood thrilling when he shivered against her.

                “You’re mine.” Leia hissed, her hand continued to clutch his collar as she gently dug her fingernail possessively into his firm chest. “You lost, you’re mine now.  And you will do whatever I say, including shutting up.”

                Han’s grin broadened.  Clearly the idiot couldn’t resist. “ Y’know Princessnessness, I’m terrible at following ord-”

                She silenced any further taunting with a fiery kiss.  Leia clambered halfway into the pilot’s seat, intending for her knees to straddle his thighs.  His holster interrupted her progress and she had fresh dose of fury.   Leia clucked in frustration, downed her drink, pushing the glass into Han’s hand for a refill of Comfort.  Han obliged, taking another swig himself as Leia’s small fingers clumsily worked his buckle.

“What-“  Leia’s teeth gritted, “…Kind of idiot,” she ground out.  The wide silvery plate clicked after an age. “ …wears a full-on gunbelt while he’s-“  Confident, she jerked at his thigh strap, the more conventional fastener was rapidly undone with ease. “Sleeping!”  

Han quirked one eyebrow at Leia, giving her a look like she was completely daft. “ Seriously? I wasn’t sleeping.  Beside’s…” Han leaned close, shifting his frame to allow her to unwrap the holster from his leg and hips, his breath maintained the heady waft of the straight up whiskey he’d finished before her entrance. His voice went to its lowest register, whispering conspiratorially, “There’s guys like Imperials and even pirates out there.” His voice held itself together remarkably well when he was drunk, he barely slurred, much to her rapidly dwindling annoyance.

Leia tossed the offending belt aside into the co-pilot’s seat, snatched her glass from his proffered hand, and their lips met again.  She took it slow this time, allowing her to slide up his body onto the chair. Han’s mouth rose into that infuriating lopsided smirk, he crooked his neck to lock his color shifting dark eyes with her chocolate brown ones.  The diminutive princess was leaning over the long-limbed smuggler, relishing the way her position mirrored his usual towering over her when they were standing.  Their tongues dueled, twisted and she broke off after a moment, gasping as his teeth nibbled the round edge of her ear. “ Aren’t you accused of being a pirate, Captain?”  Han’s right hand held the bottle, his left circled her waist, pulling her close.  Leia braced herself on his shoulders, balancing the glass in her hand, reveling in the swelling heat in her core.  Han reached over the armrest, carefully replacing the third of a full bottle to a safer spot.  Hands freed, he tugged impatiently at the zipper on her snowsuit, eventually sliding one cool hand under the fabric, around her torso to the base of her back. 

Leia wriggled on Han’s lap.  She shrugged at the shoulders of her top, first pulling off the side that held her glass.  Han took the tumbler from her as she bared the creamy skin of that shoulder, and tugged the sleeves off her arm.  Han sampled her drink from the glass, his sparkling eyes studying her intently as she stripped her upper torso of the thick insulated suit.  Glass at his lips, he watched hypnotized, as Leia reversed out of the chair and wriggled her hips, legs and finally her feet out of her thermal clothing.  She tossed the snowsuit lengthwise on the decking between the cockpit’s chairs, a pair of white panties and the tunic tank-top her only garb.  Eyes smoldering, Leia leaned against the control panel and crooked her index finger at the transfixed pilot, beckoning.

Han socked back the remainder of her drink and deposited the glass on the deck next to the bottles. He gripped the armrest for leverage and practically leapt of the chair, lunging eagerly towards her.  His eyes grew large as he wobbled, he straightened for a half second with a self-congratulatory grin, bracing himself on the console behind her and the co-pilot’s backrest.  Betrayed by a body that had barely moved in hours, and having imbibed far, far too much alcohol, his left knee collapsed and he pitched sideways to the floor in a jumble of splayed limbs.

A yelp burst from Leia as she watched him fall, transforming into sputtering giggles as Han swore, comically disentangled himself from the chair bases, armrests, and his own appendages.  He gave her a black look and leaned back on his elbows, his eyes dark underneath his brows, measuring her.

“Nerfherder.” Leia wheezed, laughing, falling on her knees to straddle him once more.  Han shifted on the deck, trying to make the best use of her discarded snowsuit as a cushion. She plucked at the remaining webbing belt that secured his trousers. “You’re sooo funny.”  She sniggered at his clumsiness.  What a goofball.  Leia mused, her heart swelling with affection.

Their fingers tangled as Han helped her unfasten his pants.  Leia backed off enough to tug at the hem of the yellow stripe that was sewn down the side, sliding the material from Han’s narrow hips.  Oh man, he was hot.  Her hand traced a sensuous line up the solid washboard of his abdomen and across the pectorals to settle in the collar of that idiotic jacket he was somehow still wearing.

“I’m NOT a goofball.” He groused defensively.  “I’ll take it off.” Han grunted, wriggling to remove the jacket.

Leia blinked, wondering if she had actually said anything and halted his actions.  Her voice was a lustful rasp, “No, no, keep it for now.” She nudged forward and reached for the bottle.  Han chuckled and he bucked his hips just as she raised it to her mouth, spilling the precious golden liquid down her chin and belly.  In response, Leia pointed her sharp nail into the center of his chest in warning to still him as she took a swig.    Han smirked confidently, and with a growl of irritation she tossed aside the bottle and whipped her top over her head.  Han’s jaw dropped, and it was Leia’s turn to grin. 

  With a powerful move, Han deftly flipped her onto her back.  He was on all fours over Leia, burying his face in the sensitive flesh between her jaw and shoulder.  He raked his teeth along her neck and rolled his tongue over her ear lobe.  Leia eyes closed and her fingers tangled in the thick hair at the nape of his neck as she guided him southward, helping him discover every drop of sweet gold on her body.  She swore, cursed him, called him every name in the book and Han lapped up her rage, Comfort and all.

Satisfied with his performance he gently spanked her hip, and she barely could focus on his voice, her spiral easing into an electric tingle under her skin. “What can I do to you now” he husked in her ear.

Leia shoved Solo back, straightened herself up, stretching her spine. She stepped over him to lean against the forward control panel, being careful to not disturb any buttons.  She bent over at the waist coquettishly, glancing over her shoulder at the love-struck pirate. 

Han wobbled upright, shedding the hot jacket, kicking it and her snowsuit underneath the panel.  He positioned behind her, gripped her hips. “Tell me, princess”

Leia looked back at him and snarled like a panther, her eyes fire.  Sensing she wasn’t going to put up with him much longer, Han plunged his length into her in a smooth motion, and they both cried out. Leia snarled and pushed back at him.  Han’s groans turned to growls as they accelerated. Their animal grunts and snarls bounced off the confines of the cockpit walls around them.

Leia’s knuckles went white as she clutched the console and her vision went blank. Her inner perception shifted, spreading out via the alcohol, the Force and the spice in the  Comfort.   Leia felt a numbing rush through her body, she felt weightless, and then a pinpoint of searing heat spiked from her core up through her pelvis as she fell over the edge into hot oblivion.  Every nerve ending in her body lit up with white fire as she tensed and shivered uncontrollably.  She reached back, desperate to hold him to her, desperate to stem the flood of pleasure that ripped through her.

“Leia! Leia, min min larel valle! “ Han cried out. She raised her head just enough to catch his reflection in the viewport in front of them.  His lips were pulled back into a grimace as the taut bronze muscles of his body flexed and undulated. Their eyes locked, wide, consumed, feral and then they were both utterly lost, tumbling into the abyss.

The whirling of the cockpit around her settled when she became aware of Han’s callused hand caressing up the porcelain flesh of her spine.

                “Holy gods, Leia.” Han rasped. 

                He stumbled backwards, catching the armrest of the navigator’s chair, collapsing into it heavily.   Han’s head lifted to the cockpit ceiling, a limp hand over his brow, wheezing, trying to catch his breath.  Leia maintained her death grip on the console for a time, fearing to walk as her bones had turned to jelly.  After a prolonged moment she collected herself, his jacket, and staggered over to him. She crumpled into Han’s lap, drawing up her short legs to curl into a ball of comfort.  Han’s head had fallen to the side; a blissful silly smile on his face.  She instinctively wanted to both smack him and fall asleep against the warmth of his chest.  She opted for the latter, and snuggled back against him under the jacket.

                Han sighed contently, nibbling at her jaw. Leia absently traced the raised thread of vein on his bicep, every ounce of her indignant anger spent and forgotten. As he reached Leia’s collarbone she playfully pushed his head away, watching mesmerized as he swayed drunkenly, graceful in his goofiness.  Han’s toe nudged the empty bottles on the floor, rattling the glass.

                “Ready for another bit of whiskey and comfort?” he teased.

                Leia blinked, stared exasperated into his laughing eyes, willingly going for the bait.  She stroked the scar on his chin with her thumb, running her nail across the stubble, and kissed him languidly, tasting herself on his lips. “Shut up, Nerfherder.”