No one ever asks her what it felt like being the last surviving princess to the kingdom of Alderaan and the House of Organa — unless they thrust a mic or another recording device to her face.
It happened years ago. Not long enough for the details to fade and blur, their colors to wash out, greyed.
They're serrated, brightly glinting on the surface of her mind.
Leia still remembers Bail Organa's — her father's — expression, his mouth rounding into a shocked 'O' when the bullet ripped suddenly into his chest, popping through his intestines. Blood darkened his neatly trimmed waistcoat. Leia's mother hollered out for the guards, for everyone to run as she crawled to him. Despite applying pressure, despite her pleading cries, he was the first victim to die. But certainly was not the last.
Many more bullets flew into the air, scattering and thudding dully into skulls and limbs.
Leia remembers the fear and the rage climbing up inside her, thrashing like a wolf-cat. Men in black, heavily padded uniforms swarmed the grounds like locusts, and shot down anyone nearby, waving to move forward.
Back within the chaos and smoking, shrieking remnants of her home, no one had known. The Empire, a rivaling government hellbent on destroying their peace, sent out their operatives for one purpose:
World leaders gathered at Alderaan's palace for a conference, and they all left in body-bags. Only a gaggle of servants and women, accompanied by children, survived — Leia was not meant to escape.
And she did not want to.
Her grim-dirtied, trembling hands longed for a weapon to fight back, and she ripped a machine gun out of someone's hands in the corridor. Leia was prepared to take down every last one of the Empire's scum if necessary — when that someone fought back, restraining Leia and attempted to talk her down from a suicide mission. That someone who had been one of Queen Breha's loyal, female guards.
The encounter shortly interrupted by opposing gunfire, and Leia dragged the badly wounded guard to safety.
Evaan Verlaine also survived the attack due to Leia's quick thinking, given a medal of valor and appointed First Lieutenant. She declined anything further, and swore her life and protection to her princess, her savior, dutifully. With begrudging reluctance, hearing the echoes of disapproval and faint laughter, Leia humored her.
To her relief, Evaan did not seem to command further attention or a need to praised, and rather became a shadow in her position as a Royal Guard. Though, Leia would admit Evaan's familiarity has given her a small comfort. During the early days, when the memories were fresh, Leia quivered, trapped in her violent and traumatic dreams, waking to the understanding that adoptive parents and her people were still murdered.
Somehow, she would find Evaan seated by the open window, bathing in the starlight. She murmured and sang the old Alderaan hymns in their mother tongue, helping Leia drift back into soundless, weightless sleep.
Evaan knew what she craved: an outlet for grieving, or a welcoming gesture while alone together in a room.
It took six years to push the Empire to the ground, weaken its resources and settle the unrest. She had been nineteen-years-old when the foundations of Alderaan had been shaken to its core. At age twenty-five, the work of the Rebel Alliance was still not done — a new governing body built on democracy and peace.
Along the way, Leia found her blood brother.
She's only met Luke a handful of times. He's a bit too cheery and excitable to be a higher military ranking. Regardless, Leia would like to see him again and get to know him better.
He's a Captain and an incredible pilot, happily married to his dearest friend turned husband while raising a family. Leia never imagined becoming an aunt. Luke's daughter is a joyful, smiling toddler, reaching out to tug at extravagant, silver chandelier earrings. She giggles and whines to be hugged by Leia.
Luke explained transitioning FTM, having planned his pregnancy and giving birth to Rey as a result beforehand. As far as Leia can tell, they're an adorable family — and even if Han is standoffish at times, Leia approves.
That's the continuous sense of where they are all at: So far things are well.
So far the economy soars and jobs are plentiful.
So far everyone is deemed safe from another horrific tragedy like in Alderaan's kingdom.
Leia attends public events and charity balls as the last Princess, appearing diplomatic and politely smiling. She drapes herself in white silk chiffon and scoop-neck dresses, the hairdressers gathering Leia's brown, thick hair into an arrangement of triple buns — a famous style of Queen Breha's. It makes her heartsick.
Jan Dodonna insists on the show, parading her around like a glittering, untouchable diamond, owned by the Alliance. Mon Mothma is much more understanding, picking up the frustration masked in Leia's stoicism.
She hopes Mon Mothma will become the much needed leader they envision her to be.
On the outdoor carpet, Leia approaches her limousine, tutting under her breath as Evaan opens the car door and sweeps into a deep, perfunctory bow. The news reporters shout for attention and cameras flash strobe-like around them, catching in the deep, gold blonde of Evaan's hair.
"Your Royal Majesty."
"I told you to stop doing that," Leia says, low enough for only themselves to hear and her voice toneless — even if Leia's irritation simmers just underneath her skin, flushing it warm.
Evaan does not straighten herself up, but asks as tonelessly, "Doing what, your Majesty?"
It's a faint, curling smirk, and Leia's eyes hovers on the rest of her bodyguard. Evaan's without any coverup or lipstick, or a military uniform for that matter. She wears a dark blue English cut suit, over a white undershirt and a burgundy Windsor tie. The royal colors of Alderaan — and Leia finds it utterly ridiculous.
She slides herself gracefully into the limo, gently clasping onto Evaan's fingers. As soon as they're both inside, and rolling away from the curb, Leia drops her shoulders. "I hate this. All of this," she growls out. Leia yanks at the fancy, ivory-colored stilettos on her feet, unknotting the thin straps.
"And I hate these heels," she adds, tossing them onto the floor.
Evaan snorts lightly beside her.
"Would you like me to rub your feet, Ma'am?" comes out as a sarcastic remark, and the first time that evening, Leia finally laughs.
She nudges her leg playfully against Evaan's knee.
"I would prefer you to do away with Lord Junn if you can manage the time for it."
Evaan glances to her, eyebrows furrowing with semi-concern. "Is he a threat to your security, Ma'am?"
"More to my patience," Leia explains, mouth widening to a toothy, knowing grin. She expertly removes the pins from her hair, discarding them into a door-tray and shaking her head. "He refuses to quit flirting."
"Patience?" The other woman tilts her head. "With all due respect, I wasn't aware you had a sense of humor, Majesty."
Evaan smiles back devilishly, as Leia makes an open-mouthed, indignant noise. The arm-punch is fast and without any real strength, and Leia loses that ability to care, as Evaan backs her against the cushy limo seat, their lips touching and pressing against each other.
She's hot flesh and softer, moaning breathes against Leia's face and neck, when Leia feels along her sides and her breasts, working her hands beneath the layers of Evaan's clothing. It takes little time for Evaan's own fingers to burrow under Leia's dress, stroking over her belly and down to her underwear.
The deeper kiss, mingling heat and saliva, breaks off, when Leia swallows a groan. It's constant, hardening pressure on Leia's mound, as those fingertips grind on sensitive, wet vaginal folds, teasing Leia's clit.
Leia could do this all day — basking in the sweet, heady sensations, feeling Evaan's slick-damp fingers inside her. But the limousine nears their destination, and she's not even moments to an orgasm. Evaan's hair smells fragrant, like a spray of orange, meadow-flowers, and Leia tucks her face against Evaan's collarbone.
There's a old, scarring ridge of skin, from darker days. Leia remembers staunching Evaan's gunshot wound, praying for a miracle with her teeth grinding. Praying for their safety, and for their people to live.
She got one miracle, and for now, Evaan is now what remains of Alderaan's oldest traditions and its royal memories.
Leia will find where the rest of her people fled. She will tell Rey of the beauty of her once proud kingdom, its culture and its love for its people. She will sing her the hymns and Alderaan nursery tales of brave warlocks and enchanted creatures, teach her love is powerful.
Love will hold their brightest, frailest memories together, and grey out the worst from existence.