There were times when Han was staring out the view screen of his ship that he wondered what in the hell he had done. He was travelling with Chewbacca, just like old times, but this time everything felt different and wrong. This time he was running from the one person who could have helped him deal with everything that he was feeling and thinking. He had abandoned the one person who understood perfectly what was on his mind and how helpless he felt.
He had abandoned his wife. He had done the one thing that he promised never to do.
He sighed and shook his head, running a hand over his face as he spun in his chair idly, turning away from the vast view of the stars in front of him.
When he had left, he had told himself that he was just going to be gone a short time while he tried to deal with the bleakness of losing their son and having his best friend disappear on him. If anyone had been more broken than he and Leia, it might have been Luke since he was there when Ben’s fall happened.
He had been there to witness the atrocities Ben committed all in the name of something they never imagined he would become. That their light wanted to be the next Darth Vader had broken something in all three of them and when Luke disappeared...
...Han had been so angry at his best friend at first. Angry for him walking away from everything and then angry at him for abandoning his sister when she needed them both so much. Later, he had felt sympathy for Luke and took it upon himself to lead the first expeditions to find him for Leia and bring him back home.
Failure after failure to locate friend, brother and Jedi Master had weighed on the man who used to be a smuggler. It had weighed so much on him and he didn't have the best coping mechanisms in the past for dealing with pain and disappointment. After one too many failures, he failed to return back to Leia, not wanting to see the disappointment that he felt mirrored in her eyes.
Looking back on it now, it was the worst possible thing he could have done. It was unfair to her and it was the absolute worst thing he was pretty sure he had ever done in his life. (That was saying something since he was pretty sure there were people that would be happy to list all of his wrong-doings.)
From behind him, Chewbacca made a sound low in his throat and Han sighed.
“I know, Chewie. I miss her, too.”
Chewbacca made another growling sound and Han shook his head.
“I can’t go back to her, not after I’ve been away from her for so long. It wouldn’t be right for her.”
The idea that he wanted to go home was something that he didn’t voice. It didn’t matter how long they were apart, he still thought of Leia as his wife and still thought of her as his. The problem was that he couldn’t return to her after so long because he had failed in everything he had set out to do for her.
The General he had heard she had recently become wouldn’t have room in her life for a husband that had failed her.
This time the sound Chewbacca made was directed out the view screen and Han pulled himself from his deep thoughts to stare at what he was seeing.
The Millennium Falcon was flying right by them and she looked like she had been through a war since the last time he had seen the ship.
"Come on, Chewie," Han set, changing the course of the ship he was piloting to follow the Falcon. "It may be too late to go back to my wife, but at least I can do some good for my other lady."
He pretended not to hear the displeasure in Chewbacca's voice as he focused all of his attention as best as he could on following and then capturing the Falcon. Maybe he would find answers inside the Falcon like he once had so many years before.
After all, it was the Millennium Falcon that had brought him and Leia together in the first place all those years ago. Maybe she still had some of her old magic left inside her to help him again.
Maybe he did have some hope left inside him, after all.