Han couldn’t bear to look at Luke. It was like looking at a wall of ice. Everything cold and empty. Long gone was the pure, sweet farm boy from Tatooine, in his place was an emotionless man with eyes that had seen too much and a mind that seemed to have locked itself in. He didn’t speak to Han anymore, at least not the way he used to. There were no more shouted arguments, no more hours of pissy comments and laughing. It was like his voice was void of feeling. He was so quiet now, almost robotic.
It wasn’t just his personality that had changed, his outward appearance had shifted as well. His face was paler, harder. Scars tangled along his nose and cheek. Dark circles always seemed to sit under his blackened eyes. Gone were the loose white robes of Tatooine, instead were the tight black robes of a Jedi Knight. His frame was lean and muscular, no longer lanky and awkward, yet it still seemed like he would snap in half if you touched him. Han missed the boy he had met on Tatooine, the boy he had fallen in love with. The boy he seemed to have left in the snow on Hoth. The boy with stars in his eyes.
And now, here he was, staring at the man, no, the Jedi, he had grown to resent. The light haired Jedi was curled into himself on the floor, his knees drawn up to his face, his thin fingers clawing at his shins through the tight dark fabric. A pair of black gloves were discarded next to him. It took Han a moment to realize tears were streaming out of the young Jedi’s eyes. His quick ragged breaths seemed to fill the space around him as his fingers continued curling and uncurling violently and rhythmically. A small whine escaped the young man's lips, pain twisting his face.
Han reached towards him, slowly kneeling down. “Luke…”
Luke’s eyes snapped into focus on Han’s concerned face. A million emotions seemed to play out on the normally cold face. The panic in Luke’s eyes quickly became clear. “Han.” He whispered, his hoarse voice barely audible. His fingers tightened on his pant legs. “Go away.” He murmured, new tears starting down his cheeks. “Leave me alone.”
Han froze, his hand stretched out towards Luke. Confusion flickered into his brain.
Anger started to fill Luke’s eyes, a twisted scowl screwing his features. “Leave! Go Away!” He screamed, his voice not sounding like his own. It sounded like Vaders.
Han got to his feet, his eyes lingering on the crying man. It was like the Jedi was melting away. But the boy underneath was screaming for it to come back, to freeze over him again. Han couldn’t bring himself to leave, no matter how long Luke shouted at him.
Finally the shouting stopped, and a shaky voice escaped Luke’s mouth. “I can still feel it.” He whispered. “It hurts.”
Han sat down next to Luke, his back pressed against the grey wall of the Falcon. “What can you feel?” He asked, his voice hushed.
Luke inhaled, air rattling in his throat. “The force lightning. It's like everything inside of me is shattering but it won't break. It hurts so much.” Fingers dug into legs again, tears starting to form in the black fabric.
Han slowly pried one of the pale hands away from Luke’s leg and held it in his own. “You’re safe kid. There's no force lightening ok? You’re safe.” Han stared down at the hand he was holding. A hole was visible through the skin, revealing thousands of tiny metallic parts moving as the hand shifted. It was the prosthetic hand. Luke had never told him about it, Leia had. He had been frozen in carbonite when this had happened to Luke, and he couldn’t help but feel a twinge of anger that Luke had never talked to him about it. The anger quickly went away as the hand he was squeezing squeezed back. He looked back up at Luke and found a pair of eyes staring at him, inches from his face.
“Thank you.” Luke whispered, his eyelids slowly drooping shut. His body slumped against Han’s. His breathing became deep and rhythmic.
Han leaned forward ever so slightly, kissing the top of Luke’s head, golden hair soft against his lips.
For the first time in months
There had been stars in his eyes.