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In the silence

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Given how long it always takes to get the Falcon off the ground, Poe figures there's no real rush, so he settles for walking briskly rather than running through the hanger. Besides, he'd never live running down.

It's never quiet around here, with techs soldering pieces back on, and pilots arguing about every nut, bolt and gun port along the way. But still, it's too quiet as he gets to the back of the hanger where the Falcon's docked. He should be able to hear Han trying to out-engineer Chewie, or Chewie telling Han just how much of a bad idea re-looping the compensator back on itself is. Instead, there's a bubble of silence spreading out from the ship, and Poe actually finds himself hesitating before stepping inside.

Chewie's on top of the Falcon, welding something back down - something always needs welding back down - but he spares a second to wave as Poe goes past. Inside, it's almost eerily quiet, as though the whole ship is holding its breath.

"Han?"

There's a muffled bang for reply, coming from somewhere towards the cockpit, which Poe follows. As usual, Han is waist deep in machinery, his expression just a little too focussed.

"You were just going to take off without saying anything, weren't you?"

"There's not much left to say, is there?" Han looks up, the blankness of his face not helped by the welding goggles. "Anyway, I kind of think I ran out of things to say back there already."

They both know that Han Solo is never out of words. It's just that at the moment, he can't seem to find the right ones. Sighing, Poe leans back against the gaming table and folds his arms.

"So that's it? You're just going?"

"I'll drop by from time to time. Make sure you guys are doing this whole resistance thing - which is a crazy idea by the way - right." Han pulls the goggles off and boosts himself out of the guts of the ship. Without being asked, Poe straightens up and helps him put the floor plate back in place. It fits once Han gives it a good stamping down.

"She's going to miss you." Poe says, and Han keeps his face turned away as he replies.

"Feeling's mutual. But there are some things that you can't talk your way out of."

"Say it ain't so, or we're both in trouble." Without Han's fast talking, Poe would be a smear on the deck of a Podrarian freighter. And without Poe, the New Republic would have had to stage a jail break to get Han and Chewie out of a Grunard prison. They both know how to talk, and they both know when it's time to stop.

Han smiles at that, faintly and sadly, but he smiles. "Take care of her, would you? She needs a scoundrel in her life to keep her honest."

It's hard not to smile himself at that, although Poe suspects he looks as stricken as Han. "Will do. And call if you come up against anything else you can't talk your way out of."

"Oh, like you could?" That's better, closer to the Han he's come to know over the last three years, who taught him a little about flying, a lot about bluffing and more about life than Poe had ever thought was possible. The Han who's lost everything - son, wife, home - in the last three years, and who somehow is still standing there, trying to snark at him.

Poe holds up his hands in mock defence. "Of course not. But I'll know where to send the rescue party."

Later, when he's got his hands raised again, waving the Falcon off until it's a speck against the sun, all Poe can hear is the silence.