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2: A Bit of Grace

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Hoth is a shitshow from the start, and if Leia ever sees an ice planet again it’ll be too soon. The planet is inhospitable and remote enough to keep them hidden, but the Rebellion’s hasty arrival on Hoth means that when Echo Base isn’t in a constant state of construction, it’s in a constant state of repair. The local wildlife has a nasty habit of wandering right into the base. At least three of the base sectors have been closed off due to wampa infestations. The tauntauns - seemingly the only reliable method of transportation in this icebound heap of a planet - escape their pens every other day. And the power generators are down more often than in working order. Which, if that were not annoying enough, leads to interpersonal issues among the troops.

Rebellion Command is tolerant of much of their antics - the practical jokes and bets to get out of the base’s most hated duties - so long as no one is hurt and discipline is maintained. They have always been tolerant of fraternization within the ranks, within reason. And so when troops start bunking up to compete with the chronically malfunctioning heating, Command barely bats an eye.

Leia wouldn’t either, if the side effect wasn’t that the base is suddenly obsessed with who bunked with who last night. More specifically: who Princess Leia bunked or did not bunk with last night.

A shitshow, all of it.

“If you’d bunk with someone, Princess, they’d stop caring,” is Han’s so helpful response to her snarling. All three of them are bundled up together in the antechamber of her quarters. The base’s heating has been cutting on and off for the better part of four standard days, and the gossip is at its peak.

She whirls on him with the focus of a predator. “Oh, and who would that be? You?

She can hear Luke’s muffled sigh from across the table and wants to shake him. He has no room to be exasperated. He took up bunking with Antilles almost the moment they’d arrived, the lovestruck fool. No one on base ever has to wonder who the Red Squadron heroes are bunking with.

“Leia, they don’t actually care about any of that,” Luke pipes up before Han can do something typically inadvisable. Like suggest that he is the person she should invite to keep her warm at night. (Which she would have to murder him for.) “The ones that act like they do are just being idiots. I can make them stop if you want.”

“I don’t need you to fight battles for me, Luke,” Leia huffs. The entire argument is ridiculous. “They have a betting pool going. Did they tell you that?”

The pair of them look at her with perfectly innocent expressions - with varying degrees of effectiveness. Luke can’t lie to her to save his life, and can’t even look at her.

“I thought so,” she says flatly. Leia pulls herself from her seat. “Both of you, out.”

“What the hell--” Han sputters, leaping from the table as she advances closer. They both scramble up and around towards the door, no doubt at the stormy look on her face. “Look, Princess--”

I said out.

Luke has his hands up in surrender even as he backs away, but his expression is that of a kicked puppy. “Aw, come on, Leia, what did I do?”

“Nothing. I’m ending this once and for all.” Leia shoos them out of her quarters, haphazardly smacking the keypad once all three of them are out in the cramped, frozen corridors of Echo Base. She places her hands on her hips, glaring her two friends into submission.

“They can’t have a betting pool,” she says with icy finality to match this disaster of a planet, “if I pick someone to bunk with.”


The first of three steps in her plan is easy enough: she corners Wedge outside the rec hall and interrogates him on exactly who people are betting on her inviting to her quarters. Luke hasn’t had time to warn his boyfriend of her impending arrival. But then again, he pales considerably at the sight of her bearing down on him, so maybe that’s not quite the case.

“Leia!” he yelps. He tries to back away from her, but she corrals him into the wall with all five feet of her.

“Cut the bullshit, Antilles. I want to know who’s on that betting pool.”

If anything, that only makes him go paler. “B-Betting pool? Your worshi-- Your Highness, I wouldn’t bet on something like…” Wedge trails off at her steely glare.

“I don’t give a damn about whether you did or you didn’t, Wedge. Just give me who people are betting on.”

And just like that step one is complete. Within minutes she has a datapad in her hands, and a list of names to scroll through. Wedge, who is now basically her prisoner, is forced to sit nearby and cringe as she reads off the names and gives her opinion on each one.

“For Force’s sake, Mon isn’t even stationed here.”

Wedge sighs. “I think the logic was she’d have to come visit eventually.”

“Or someone just has a very specific fantasy,” Leia mutters. She scrolls a bit further. “Nearly all of Rogue Squadron is on this list. And… someone put a lot of money on Solo. As if. And-- Chewie?

“That was me.”

“Antilles!” She nearly throws the datapad at him.

“Chewie is an upstanding gentleman, and also very warm,” Wedge explains, a smirk playing about his mouth. “I’m surprised he doesn’t get offers every time the heating goes down. Plus, the look on their faces when I placed that bet…”

“And who put ‘Luke and Wedge’?”

“That one definitely wasn’t me. But, you know, if you just wanted to hang out for a night, Luke and I wouldn’t mind.”

“Noted, Wedge, thank you. Unfortunately, I know how much of a clinger Luke can be. I’d like to make it through the night without being smothered.” Leia taps the datapad to close out of the list. She shoots Wedge the dangerously sweet smile she saves for Imperial Moffs and sleazy politicians, and the effect isn’t lost on him. “Delete the list,” she orders, leaving the threat to hang silently over her words.


The main hangar in Echo Base is in neverending motion. When repairs aren’t being made to speeders and capital ships, their troops are hauling cargo and building material for the expansion of the base. Soldiers, technicians of all types, and droids weave through the pathways created by the carriers and starfighters.

It’s the most public setting Leia can think of to carry out step two of the plan.

She moves through the chaos with a practiced ease, keeping her eyes fixed on her destination. She looked up what bay her quarry is in before even coming down to the hangar. There’s no way Leia’s going to let anyone see her wandering around lost for this.

Bodhi Rook is in Bay 33 as expected. He’s just as bundled up as the rest of them in regulation white parka and a thick cap. His face is twisted in a frown, tapping away at the diagnostic console with gloved fingers. He’s absorbed enough in his task that he doesn’t notice her approach. It suits Leia just fine, giving her a minute to collect herself - and ignore the growing number of stares she’s getting. Because the people around her are starting to slow and peer curiously - waiting to see what she’ll do. She wonders if they can see her conflict.

Or maybe she’s just being paranoid because of the entire betting pool situation.

Bodhi is Rogue One, and a qualified member of Rogue Squadron - by all accounts as much of a hero as any of them. But his name hadn’t been on the list at all. Which Leia finds, inexplicably, to be a little insulting on his behalf.

Even Rogue One’s droid member, K-2SO, had been included on the list.

(He’d put himself there, according to Wedge, placing a bet on himself under the reasoning that his components put off a pleasing amount of heat. Perfect for sharing with organics in need. No one, also according to Wedge, could decide if the droid had been joking.)

Bodhi is undoubtedly eligible - he is brave, kind, and quick thinking, and certainly handsome. The fact that the idiots behind this entire thing don’t see that isn’t surprising. But Leia will gladly use it to her advantage.

“Rook,” she announces herself with more flint in her voice than she intends. She winces when Bodhi startles upright. He’s always been the nervous type, and she’s never known if it’s because of the reasons only vaguely described in his file or if it’s just his natural disposition. He whirls around to meet her, his wide, expressive eyes even wider now. They glimmer in the flood lighting of the hangar.

“Leia--” he fumbles to greet her. “Princess. Hello. What, uh, what is it? What can I help you with?”

She cuts straight to it, striding up to him with steel in her spine. If she were capable of actual seduction, she might have put a little sway in her hips. But Leia Organa is a leader, all determination and fire, and so she tips her chin up and keeps her path straight ahead. It’s enough to have Bodhi leaning back from her as she approaches. “Lieutenant, I’m not going to mince words. It appears we’re in for another cold night, and I find myself in need of…” In need of someone she won’t murder by morning. “...a reasonable companion. Would you be against having company tonight?”

Bodhi’s eyes, if possible, go even wider, and he makes a strangled little sound in the back of his throat. Leia suppresses a grin. “I-- what? You? Me?” And then he most certainly glimpses the number of eyes trained on them, on the sudden quiet of this corner of the hangar as the bustling crowd slows around Bodhi’s assigned bay. He’s more clever than most give him credit for, and she can see the comprehension dawning on his face. When his gaze returns to her, it’s to consider her.

The seconds spent waiting for his answer draws thin on her nerves. Leia’s never stopped to wonder if Bodhi already has someone to spend these cold nights with. It’s a selfish oversight on her part, one that sends a shameful flush to her cheeks. Bodhi is good and undoubtedly attractive - of course someone has already asked him. They would be fools not to.

“I’d be honored, Your Highness,” Bodhi responds. And then he inclines his head and says softer: “Leia.” His eyes are full of gentle knowing and the smallest glint of laughter.

If Leia’s not mistaken, she hears a faint cursing from someone in the subtly not-gathering crowd behind them. It’s the triumph of that making her stomach do dizzying flips. “Good. Thank you, Lieutenant-- ah, Bodhi.” She squares her shoulders and stands a little taller. “I’ll comm you after evening meal and we can work out the… arrangements.”

Bodhi’s mouth goes pinched, visibly trying to keep down a smile. “Of course.”

“Enjoy the rest of your day, Lieutenant Rook.” Leia is too proud to make something so hasty as a retreat, so she gives him a final nod and turns away with her head held high.

The troops nearest to her flinch under her glare, and make a scramble to go back to their business.



It would be easy to invite Bodhi into the comfort and privacy of her quarters. But if Leia is going to accomplish this plan of hers, she needs to follow through with the statement she made in the hangar. She needs to be witnessed partaking in this silly ritual or else the speculation will never stop. It leads her to walking the halls of the barracks with her toiletries and changes of clothes, dutifully ignoring the stares following her. She only meets them head on when she reaches Bodhi’s door, snapping her head around to glare at a pair of peeking soldiers.

Once they’ve skittered away, Leia hits the call button on the door panel. She expects to be left waiting for at least a small amount of time, but the door slides open even before her hand returns to her side. Bodhi stands just on the other side, watching Leia with a bemused expression.

“I wasn’t sure if you were going to show up,” he says without any real accusation.

Leia arches a brow at him. “You should know me better than that.” Bodhi lets her slip past, and she clutches her things tighter to her chest. His room is the same as all the other soldiers and lower officers. It’s small and spartan, with a bed shoved against the corner with a small shelving unit and a desk on the opposite wall. There’s little in the way of personal effects: his weathered goggles, a switched off holo projector, and a single, carbon blasted stone that’s half melted into smooth crystal.

She turns just in time to see Bodhi righting himself from where he’d been peering out into the hall. She frowns, but waits until the door is safely shut to voice her concerns. “You really don’t have to do this, Bodhi.”

“Neither do you, you know.” His smile is self-deprecating. “This is about that stupid bet people have going, right? No one would know if you just went back to your room.”

They would know, but that seems like arguing semantics. And Leia hates semantics. “You weren’t on that idiotic list,” she answers crisply. “So no one gets the money.”

“You could have chosen anyone for that…” He shrugs, gesturing vaguely. “Someone more…”

“Someone who would see this as an opportunity? Someone who I’d have to throw out into the Hoth wastes by morning? No, thank you. You’re a good man, Bodhi. A nice man. And I happen to like nice men.” Her words only occur to her once they’ve left her mouth. Once Bodhi’s eyes go round and he sputters.

Shit, that’s not what she’d meant.

“My point is,” she amends hastily, going over to set her things on the bed to avoid having to look Bodhi in the face. “My point is that it was their mistake, not seeing that you were perfectly eligible, and that I’m not above taking advantage of that. If… that’s alright with you.”

Even to her own ears, it still sounds more like a proposition of a different nature. But Bodhi is either being too polite to call her on it, or he simply doesn’t hear it. He clears his throat, moving towards the emergency heating unit they’ve been rationed for the night. “Yes, of course. It’ll be nice,” he mumbles.

They both seem at a loss about the whole situation. So the pair of them work together to set up the independent heating components around the bed - to bring the temperature of the room up to something above subzero - and hopefully above freezing eventually - and to seal the room to keep the heat from escaping.

“I should have asked if you already had plans with someone,” Leia finds herself apologizing.

Bodhi chuckles at her for it. “It’s alright. I don’t have ‘someone,’ really. Usually when the heating goes out I just stay with Jyn and Cassian.”

“You do?” she yelps before she can stop herself. Now… that is an image. Leia’s face goes hot in the icy air, and immediately curses herself. “No, I’m sorry, Bodhi. I’m as bad as the rest of them: jumping to conclusions. Making everything about sex.” Plenty of troops on the base bunk up for nonsexual reasons. The thoughts of what Bodhi might look like in bed with his friends are uncalled for. Although… pleasant.

Bodhi glances up from sealing the door, face calm and earnest. Too earnest. “Oh, no, it’s sometimes a sex thing.”

Leia can’t be blamed for almost dropping the heater. “What?

Bodhi shrugs, which only makes Leia flap her hands indignantly. “Mostly we just sleep. Their bed is a lot bigger than these,” he chuckles, nudging the narrow mattress they’ll be sleeping on tonight. “It’s nice. Kay’s there a lot of nights too. He says we help warm up the room so he doesn’t have to waste battery power on temperature regulation. But sometimes there’s sex. Sometimes Jyn likes to watch. Sometimes it’s all three of us. Kay doesn’t stay for those nights, obviously. Although, he did say something about observing human mating habits. ...I still can’t tell if he was joking or not.” Her sputtering finally seems to be too much for him, and he breaks off in a fit of outright giggling.

“You-- you’re fucking with me!” Leia gasps. She launches his pillow across the room at him. It only makes Bodhi sway into the wall.

“A-Am I?” he snickers.

She chucks the other pillow at him. And then she’s laughing too, pressing a hand over her mouth to stifle the sound. After that, the tension in the air dissipates, and they finish preparing the room for the night in easy silence.

Once they’re finished, Bodhi jerks a thumb towards the ‘fresher door. “You want to use the sonic first?”

Leia shakes her head. “No, I cleaned up after evening meal. Go on. I’ll get ready in here.” She waves him off, feeling, for the moment, substantially less awkward about this whole situation. Leia turns towards the bed, and her neat pile of belongings, unzipping her coat. The room is already starting to warm up - not enough to be comfortable by a long shot, but enough that she won’t have to worry about frostbite while changing.

The room is silent as she strips off her vest and bulky coat, and starts on the fastenings of her topmost layer of tunic beneath them. And then suddenly there’s a rustle behind her and a cough. She peers back to find Bodhi hurriedly grabbing his own sleepwear off of shelves. The pilot keeps his eyes firmly averted as he slips into the refresher, but Leia imagines she can see the hint of a blush on his cheeks when he turns. The last thing she glimpses before the ‘fresher door slides shut is Bodhi stripping off his uniform jacket, revealing the line of his shoulders underneath. And she finds herself distracted by the sight.

The hum of the sonic starts up and jolts her from her daze. “Stupid,” she mutters, going back to changing into her nightclothes. Leia’s not used to seeing him in anything outside of his normal, concealing flight suit, is all. And here on Hoth, seeing anyone with five layers or less during normal interaction is unheard of.

So it’s no surprise Leia had never known that Bodhi’s shoulders and arms looked quite that strong underneath his uniform. Or that his skin looked quite that soft, all but for the scar on the back of his neck.

She changes quickly and climbs onto the bed, the small heaters around it making the air almost livable by comparison. Leia ignores the electric hum from the other room, and certainly doesn’t think about her companion, her friend getting himself clean inside. Instead she settles into the routine of taking her hair down from its crown braid and brushing it until it’s smooth again.

She’s starting to weave her hair into a simple plait, lost in the practiced motions, when a voice breaks into her thoughts.

“How do you do that?”

Leia looks up from her braiding to find Bodhi has come back into the room, watching her from beside the bed. She’d been so preoccupied that she hadn’t even heard him approach, and she has to crane her head back to meet his eyes. His dark hair falls loose around his shoulders now, mussed from the sonic shower. “The braids? Practice, mostly,” she answers. “My aunts would help me with the more complicated styles.”

“There’s more complicated styles than your normal ones?” He laughs gently, but his eyes remain trained on her twisting fingers.

She rolls her eyes at him, and pats the bed. “Here.” It feels strange, and a little inappropriate, to be inviting him back into his own bed, but he doesn’t call her on it as he moves to sit down beside her. She crosses her legs to make room for him on the tiny bed. “Haven’t you ever braided your hair?”

“For festivals back home, maybe. It always takes so long.” They ignore that weight in his voice, the sorrow that cannot be quelled by time or comfort. They understand it far too well to call attention to it. “And nothing like yours, Princess,” he recovers with a teasing smile.

She huffs. “You haven’t seen anything. The braids I wore at the Yavin ceremony? Those were simple by comparison.” Leia lifts her arms to vaguely pantomime the elaborate structures her aunts used to concoct, twisting her braid up in loops with a grin.

She falters at the briefest gleam in Bodhi’s eyes. Had she been mistaken, or had his eyes darted down, watching the way her body twisted in the movement? The way her nightshirt pulled tight across her chest and the way her nipples strain against the fabric in the cold air?

But the instant that she wonders, the instant her breath catches, his eyes are on hers again, the humor in his gaze softened by something bashful and sweet. Leia clears her throat and drops her arms to quickly finish off the end of her braid, hoping it hides the exhilarated shiver that courses through her. “I’ll give you one, if you’d like? Turn around?” That’s easier than having to look him in the eye at the moment. It’s easier than getting distracted by the way his lips curve up into a smile.

Bodhi shifts so his back is to her, and Leia quickly realizes her miscalculation. Now she’s faced with gazing at the slope of his shoulders under the thin layer of his shirt and the long, graceful line of his back. ‘You need to stop this.’

Leia scoots up behind Bodhi on her knees, brush in hand. It’s easier not to think about the fact that she’ll be soon sharing a bed with him when she’s focused on gently brushing out the knots in Bodhi’s hair. After the coarse cleaning powders and the sonic, it’s not particularly soft. But it’s thick and cool and she can’t help but imagine what it would feel like if Bodhi ever stayed in her quarters for a night, with access to her conditioning creams and soft soaps.

Which is… silly. Because this entire thing had been to make a point, and a point only. There’s not going to be another night after this.

“You know,” Leia says, setting the brush aside in favor of running her fingers through his dark hair, “it might be easier to braid if you would stop cutting it like this.” Her fingers skim along his scalp where his hair is shorn. Bodhi shivers under her touch. She quickly goes back to starting the braid for him, for fear that if she doesn’t, she might do something inadvisable to get that reaction again.

“Are you kidding?” Bodhi’s voice cracks around the question. “It’s twice as thick if I don’t. And it starts to curl.”

“I’d like to see that, I think.”

“No, you wouldn’t. It’s awful.”

“Mm, we’ll see.” Her voice is absent while her fingers work on plaiting his hair for him. She keeps it loose and comfortable, but it will keep the hair out of his face and off of his neck during the night. Leia ignores the tiny, momentary touches of her fingers against his neck as she works, and the way Bodhi slowly starts to relax under her ministrations. She drapes the braid over his shoulder once she’s finished, hesitating before resting her hands upon his shoulders. They’re just as firm as they look, as she’d thought they’d be. The warmth is radiating from under his shirt. She wants to press against him and soak in his heat, the sudden urge to wrap her arms around him, this man, her friend, to press her lips against the scar at the back of his neck, is so strong that the fight to quell it is almost physically exhausting.

Bodhi turns on the bed, and her hands fall away. And for all her words, for all that Leia has been trained to have words, she can think of none of them. Because Bodhi’s eyes are sweet and warm, and this time she does not miss the way they flicker down to glance at her lips.

Her heart leaps into her throat, but not in anger or disgust - or the bizarre mix of anger, annoyance, and want she experiences when Han somehow manages to be just as charming as he is infuriating. Instead, her body is warm all over. The silence between them, this unbroken moment, is a tangible breath against her skin. And Leia finds that she likes the thought of Bodhi closing the gap between them, that she might discover if his lips are really as soft as they look.

And then Bodhi is averting his eyes completely, a soft blush riding high on his cheeks, gesturing to the bed awkwardly. “We… uh… before it gets too cold.”

Leia opens her mouth to argue, to shout at him, to kiss him herself. ‘If you’re going to kiss me, then do it!’ But the words lodge in her throat, choking her. “Of-Of course,” she says primly, biting down on the frustration. Her fingers clutch the sheets as she goes to pull them down, hiding that they’re shaking from adrenaline and the thrill with nowhere for it to go. Her eyes stay firmly on the task at hand.

There’s a brief debate over who gets the wall side that is, frankly, exhausting in her current state. Eventually she just climbs into bed to avoid physically shoving Bodhi down, for fear of what she might do next. She keeps her eyes forward as Bodhi climbs in behind her like a skittish animal, and she doesn’t know if that hurts or if it’s just infuriating.

Both of them shift clumsily beneath the thick blankets, flinching away from the slightest touches and mumbling apologies for accidentally stealing covers. The silence is as chilled as the room is. She gets the impression that Bodhi is trying to stay as far away from her as he physically can, but the bed is laughably too small for that. “Oh, for Force’s sake,” she grumbles with more venom than she intends. “Just come over here.”

“Sorry.” The bed shifts as Bodhi scoots tentatively up behind her. The heat of him is a siren’s call along the line of her back. All she wants is to meet him partway, to feel him curling around her, warming her. The touch at her hip is feather light, but Leia only barely manages to suppress a flinch. She’s not as successful at keeping in her gasp. “Is… is this okay?”

“Yes.” It pops out of her mouth in a croak. The slide of Bodhi’s arm around her clothed waist feels like a line of sparks.

They lay together, the seconds warped as Leia barely dares to breathe. As Bodhi remains stone still at her back. Her mind races in time with her heart.

And finally Bodhi sighs, his head drooping forward and knocking gently on her shoulder. “I made this awkward,” he says mournfully. “I’m sorry.”

Unable to help herself any longer, Leia wriggles around to face him. She can feel each startled, helpless twitch of his fingers whenever she brushes against him in the movement. And now, facing him, she can see the warm flush on his cheeks, the sparkle of his eyes in the dim room. But even this close, only a span of two breaths apart, Bodhi doesn’t move.

Leia has grown tired of this game.

This time closing the gap is the easiest thing in the galaxy. Bodhi’s gasp fans against her mouth just before she presses her lips to his. His mouth stays slack and unmoving, his hand clenched around the curve of her hip, and Leia would worry except that he seems to come back to himself as she pulls away. He chases her kiss a second too late, his eyes gone half lidded.

“Leia?” he asks in a whisper that’s nothing short of wonder.

She grins, her heart thrumming in her chest. “I’ve been waiting for you to do something, flyboy.”

If possible, Bodhi’s eyes seem to grow even darker. “You don’t,” he rasps, and has to wet his lips and try again. (Her eyes track the pink flash of his tongue, mesmerized. Wanting.) “You know you don’t have to.”

“No, I don’t. But I want to.” Leia tips her head against the pillow. “Do you want to?”

His eyes go round, a look of such wide-eyed awe that Leia would laugh if she remembered how. Rather than answer, Bodhi nods and brings a hand up to cup her cheek. Either his hand is still cold from the coolness of the room or Leia’s face is really that flushed. His thumb caresses the corner of her lips and Leia’s eyes flutter shut in quiet anticipation.

The kiss, when it comes, is gentle and as sweet as the starblossom candies she would sneak from the kitchens as a child. Even in the constant chill of Hoth, heat crackles along her skin. Everything feels heightened: the warmth of his calloused palm at her cheek, the ticklish scratch of his beard, the nervous tremor that resonates through him. Leia tangles her fingers in his shirt to keep him close.

He’s so careful - either with her or with just his kisses, she can’t tell for certain. It’s nice, and it would be soothing in any other moment. But Leia doesn’t want careful or slow, not when the heat inside her feels like physical thing trying to crawl out of her skin.

His mouth drops open in a soundless gasp as she takes his lower lip between her teeth and tugs, with decidedly less gentleness than his kisses. Her hands slide up, seeking out the warmth of his skin, cupping her hands around either side of his jaw. “Stop holding back,” she breathes against his lips. The shiver that her words elicit from almost makes her smile.

Bodhi pulls away, though not far. He’s still close enough that she can be enthralled by the dark smudge of his lashes against his cheeks. “I’m... not sure what you’re comfortable with,” he confesses.

Honestly, neither is she, and stopping to consider it is only frustrating. “We’ll work it out as we go, alright?” Her impatience makes her voice strain thin. He’s so close. And all he’s worried about his what she might not want, and it would be charming if it wasn’t so irritating. His small nod makes her heart leap. “Then kiss me like you mean it, Rook.”

Her command must spark something in him, because he soft, dazzled look on Bodhi’s face cracks. His eyes narrow just a little, his mouth twisting into a shrewd little grin. “If that’s what Her Highness wishes,” he says. He pushes himself up, shifting over her, leaning his weight onto one elbow near her shoulder. The sudden loom of him over her has a soft oh escaping her mouth. And she knows he catches it, because his smile widens just a fraction.

Leia tries to cover it with a considering hum. “It is.” She barely refrains from another order, from just dragging him down to meet her then and there. The anticipation as he dips his head to kiss again her is almost too much. This time his kiss is an insistent caress, still sweet but no longer hesitant. He beckons her lips to part with his own, and she slides her arms up around his shoulders, shivering at the brush of his tongue. She can feel his muscles shift beneath his shirt, and the thought of having him press his weight against her, holding her down in his embrace, draws a strangled sound from her.

She returns the kisses with everything she has, unwilling to simply be undone by him. Leia pulls him down, no longer able to resist the urge, and a gasp is breathed into the kiss. The movement makes them break apart. “Not crushing you, am I?” Bodhi husks out a laugh.

Leia answers by tugging his shirt up and shoving her hands against his back. Her fingers do not shake in excitement and anticipation and need. Her face isn’t flushed.

Bodhi lets out a yelp, flinching away from her hands, and consequently, further against her. “Kriff, your hands are freezing!”

She flattens her hands against his skin, the heat radiating off of him is just as addicting as the way he shudders over her. “That’s what you’re here for, though, isn’t it? To keep me warm?” Her attempt at a joke is shaky at best, just like the waver in her voice. But she covers it by craning her head up to nip at his jawline. His soft groan reverberates against her lips.

Leia needs to hear that sound again.

She weaves her fingers into his hair, mourning now that she braided it, that she can’t wrap the cool, dark strands around her fingers, and tugs until his head goes back. Her mouth closes around the tender point at the hinge of his jaw. This time he whimpers. The tiniest little exhale of sound. She holds him there while she nips at his throat, squirming just imagining the little marks she might be leaving behind.

Bodhi’s hand clutches at her thigh. He hooks it up over his hip, letting him settle further against her. Leia’s breath hitches. Every line of him is pressed so intimately to her. The weight of his torso against her chest. She can feel him half hard against her hip.

He slides from her grasp as her hold goes slack, kissing her briefly, leaving her dizzy, and then shifting down the bed so the slim line of his waist sits perfectly cradled between her legs. His hands have drifted up to her hips, toying with the hem of her nightshirt. “Leia?” he asks gently. His eyes are dark and impossibly expressive in the dim light.

She can’t find the strength to answer. Leia is suddenly, painfully aware of her racing heart, of her breath coming in short gasps.

She wants him. This sweet, clever, deceptively quiet man. Leia hasn’t wanted anything with this kind of need in too long.

Leia cups his face in both hands, feels the heat of a flush as fierce as her own. “I want you to,” she says. The frustration is gone now, only to be replaced with need. Leia traces the curve of his lips with her thumb, and gasps when his mouth parts under her touch, drawing her in. He nibbles at the pad of her finger, sucks gently, his eyes gleaming up at her. He knows exactly what it’s doing to her, and Leia can’t even find the desire to curse him for it.

Bodhi releases her only to duck his head, his hands hooking under the hem of her shirt. The first touch of his cool fingers against her skin makes Leia flinch and hiss. “Mm, payback,” Bodhi hums, smothering his smile by breathing kisses along her belly.

She means to pull his hair again in retaliation, but all Leia ends up doing is dragging him closer, shaking as his mouth brands her skin with kisses. Bodhi’s hands inch higher, exposing more of her body for his mouth to explore. And Leia isn’t sure if it’s the chill of the room or the heat of his lips that makes her tremble.

“Bodhi,” she whispers when his hands have reached the curve of her breasts. His fingers are teasing the sensitive underside of them beneath her shirt, seemingly happy to stay there while he nibbles kisses along her side. He’s going to leave marks, for sure - tiny red marks that are going to stand out against her pale flesh, just for her to see. And possibly for Bodhi to see if…

The thought is too much for her. A desire and an uncertainty that Leia can’t think about right now.

Her shirt is finally pushed up, exposing her to the cold air, but the icy chill is chased away by Bodhi’s lips and hands on her breasts. Leia’s own sharp gasp thunders in her ears, her hand cupping the back of his neck to keep him in place. His callous-rough hands are gentle as he kneads her breasts, soothing away the gooseflesh at the ticklish scratch of his beard and the hot, insistent pull of his lips at her nipple. His tongue flicks over the sensitive bud until Leia arches under him, and Bodhi peers up at her through his lashes.

“Alright?” he murmurs. But instead of concern in his question there’s only teasing, something tender and familiar.

Leia huffs and hooks her legs tighter around his hips, arching up to grind against the hard line of his cock through their clothes. Bodhi’s expression goes slack, his eyes fluttering, and Leia would feel proud about it if the movement hadn’t also sent pleasure coursing through her. If it hadn’t made her ache desperately for him.

“Don’t… don’t get so smug, flyboy,” she says. “If you don’t hurry up and do something, your mouth is is going to freeze to my chest.”

A laugh shudders out of him, so sharp and sudden that Bodhi seems surprised by it. His entire body shakes, and curls over her, his forehead resting against her shoulder. “We can’t have that,” he says through light-hearted laughter. He slides up the few scant inches to capture her lips again, covering her chilled body with his own. This time neither of them hesitate, Leia surging up to meet him, hands pawing up under his shirt to stroke along his back. Even lost somewhere in the kiss, his moan is the sweetest sound she’s ever heard.

His weight presses her into the bed, his hands wandering up and down her sides, almost ticklish caresses in contrast with his eager kisses. His hips buck, and the kiss breaks with a gasp from one or both of them. His cock grinds right up against her core and even through their clothes the touch is electrifying. Her head tips back, a soundless moan hitching in her throat as Bodhi shudders above her and repeats the motion.

Oh,” she mumbles, arching up into the gentle rocking of his hips. Her legs wind tighter around him, forcing the next slow, sensuous grind to press harder against her. It’s so easy to become lost in it, each wave of burning pleasure making her desperate for the next. And it’s both not enough and too much all at once. Bodhi’s breath is ragged in her hair, the faint sounds he’s making so intimately just barely graze her ear.

The barest whisper of her name is followed by fervent open mouth kisses at the sensitive spot just below her ear. The whimper that leaves her throat is completely unbidden. “Leia,” he says again, his voice a mere rasp. “I want to put my mouth on you. Leia, can I?”

“Yes! Fuck.” She finds herself shoving at his shoulders, urging him willingly back down the bed. Leia isn’t sure if the litany of “please” is only in her mind or if she’s hissing it under her breath. Without Bodhi clutched tight to keep her warm, the room now feels like the heater isn’t even there at all. Her exposed skin immediately prickles, and she hastily tugs her shirt back down. “Hurry, Bodhi,” she says. It’s meant to be an order, but it comes out like a plea.

“I’ve got you,” he soothes. Deft fingers tug at her waistband, pushing them out of the way with more haste than before. She wonders if his hands shake from need or from the cold. He doesn’t waste any time now, nuzzling kisses low on her belly, and swiftly down. The first touch of his mouth makes her jolt, a moan dying in her throat. Her hands fly to his shoulders. It’s been so long since she’s taken the time for anything, let alone to have someone’s mouth on her. Leia’s already tense, fighting not to simply grind against his mouth.

Bodhi clutches her hips, greedily mouthing at her, utterly obscene as he sucks and licks at her folds. Like he’s trying to devour every last drop of her. Leia tries to spread her legs wider for him, to drag him in, but her legs get tangled in her sleep pants and she snarls. Not even the cold will stop her now. She wriggles, gets distracted in the heat of Bodhi’s tongue, and even more helplessly tangled. Together they manage to get them off her, and Bodhi settles between her sprawled legs, elegant hands curled around her thighs as he sets to work ruining her with his mouth all over again.

She knows she’s lost even before he moves upwards, lips closing around her clit and sucking gently, making sparks flash behind her eyes. The sound that leaves her mouth is less a moan and more a wounded keen, high-pitched and desperate. Her hips arch off the bed, trying to get more of him. His hands pinning her to the bed is the only thing keeping her from riding his tongue. And all Leia can do is writhe and twist in his grip, almost voiceless as she gasps his name. “Bodhi-- Bodhi, oh--” she clenches her teeth around a curse.

She sounds wretched and completely unlike the normal steel she keeps in her voice. But Bodhi must like it, because he moans against her, the sound rocketing through her so sharply that her mind goes blank. Leia clenches trembling thighs tighter around him, knowing she shouldn’t, but Bodhi’s soft whimpers and the gentle rocking of his body, the way his hips rut against the tiny mattress is too much. The thought that Bodhi could get off like this, that using his mouth will ruin and wreck him just as much as it will her is too much.

Her orgasm all but crashes into her. The sharp, white-hot spike of pleasure that shoots up her spine is barely any warning, and on the next beat of her racing heart she breaks. Her mouth opens in a soundless cry, the breath stolen from her lungs as she shakes apart at Bodhi’s mercy.

He’s kind enough to pull away from her oversensitive clit the moment her gasps turn reedy, only to fuck into her with his tongue while she convulses around him. Leia somehow finds the breath to shriek, pushed higher into bliss the more she squirms on his twisting, seeking tongue.

Her vision has gone unfocused and her mind a blissed out haze by the time her climax (and Bodhi) release her. The tension in her limbs uncoils, leaving her a boneless heap on the now sweat damp sheets. Other than the distant, fuzzy rush of blood in her ears, the only other sound she can hear is her own ragged breathing. She feels hot all over - icy chill be damned. She must look like a wreck, not that she has the presence of mind to care.

Bodhi is sitting up between her splayed legs, eyes hot and glittering as he watches her. He rubs a hand over his face, shiny and slick with her. He looks wild and hungry, and Leia’s no longer surprised by the throb of need it sends through her.

“C’mere,” she rasps, her voice a rough growl. Bodhi’s eyes darken at the sound, making her smile ferally up at him. She fists a hand in his shirt and tugs him down to her. It’s Bodhi who saves her from being crushed under him, rolling to the side at the last minute, snug up against her. But he’s still blissfully pliant as she drags his lips to hers. The salt-bitter tang bursts onto her tongue, the taste of her slick on his lips. And the rush that goes through her is something visceral and possessive. She wants him to be hers, and in that moment she wants everyone to know it come morning.

There’s no grace in the way she scrabbles to get a hand into his pants, no finesse in the way she wraps a hand around his straining cock. His broken sound is echoed by her own. He’s already so wet, hot and smeared with precome in her hand as she strokes him. She doesn’t waste any time with teasing or gentleness, gripping him tight and twisting her fist around him on the upstroke. Rubbing her thumb against the head of his cock until he gasps.

“Force,” Bodhi nearly sobs against her mouth. It’s the sweetest sound she’s ever heard. “I’m not going to last. Leia…” His words trail off almost reverently, his entire body shuddering.

“Don’t try to,” she says. Leia threads her other hand back into Bodhi’s hair, tugging his head back so she can nip hard at his jaw and down the elegant line of his throat. This time she’s not content with just the idea of leaving marks. She sinks her teeth into the taut skin of his neck and sucks, relishing the way Bodhi’s voice cracks around a whine.

“You’re… you’re going to leave a mark,” Bodhi warns.

She lets go of the patch of skin she’s been worrying between her teeth only to move on to another. “That’s the idea.”

“People… Leia, they’re gonna talk.”

‘Let them,’ she thinks. She doesn’t care about them anymore. Not when Bodhi is so sweet and pliant, fucking up into her hand, whimpering close to her ear as she marks up his pretty throat.

The caress of fingers against her slit, delving oh so gently into her wetness makes her jolt. It’s a polite warning (So damn polite, always. Leia wants to see him break - to get him so desperate that he forgets all about being so gentle with her.), before Bodhi’s easing fingers into her, making her a wretched moan slip free from her.

Open-mouthed kisses brush against her temple. Teeth nip at the shell of her ear. “Come with me,” he pleads. It’s punctuated with his thumb pressed to her clit, rubbing in quick, tight circles that make a tremor shoot straight to her toes.

They rock together like that, Bodhi thrusting into her hand and Leia straining to fuck herself on his fingers. It’s uncoordinated at best, but it feels so good that Leia can’t bring herself to care. It seems to last forever and not long enough all at once, because soon Bodhi’s erratic thrusts go still, and he’s spilling over her hand with a strangled gasp. And she’s not sure if it’s the sound or the feel of him that does it, but just like that she’s arching and coming again for him.

They lay tangled, sweaty and sticky for a while. Until the Hoth chill creeps back in and Leia tucks her bare legs up against him. It seems to jolt them both out of the afterglow. “Oh! Shit, sorry,” Bodhi rasps, his voice hoarse. Together they tug at the blankets with sex-numb fingers. Leia feels as clumsy as a newborn vorn, dizzy when she tries to lift up onto her elbow to help.

She doesn’t know where her pants ended up.

The blankets get pulled up to their shoulders, and they lay curled up facing one another until their combined body heat warms them both.

Leia’s still shaking, can feel the minute tremor of Bodhi shaking so close to her. And she knows she should say something, but none of her fancy words will work here. This is one situation where Leia doesn’t have the words.

Bodhi’s eyes are tender as he watches her. His hand comes up to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “Warmer now?” he asks.

“Yes. Ah, thanks. You’re not so bad at keeping someone warm.” Immediately, she has to hide her wince. Really, Leia?

Bodhi chuckles at her, though. “You’re not so bad, yourself.” His hand has lingered, fingertips caressing her cheek. Leia lets her eyes flutter closed, sighs, and wonders what exactly she’s started. If there’s anything that can come from this. But before the silence can make her uncomfortable again, Bodhi says: “So, who won the betting pool, then? Did you win? Did I win? Because I feel like I won.”

Leia doesn’t open her eyes at first, but her calm mask cracks into a smile, and she shoves at his chest playfully. She slides in close, pressing a soft kiss to his mouth.

“I think we both won this time.”