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The General And The Jedi IV: En Route

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Honor is worth more than the most precious of jewels…unless you can snatch the jewels.

Old Corellian Proverb
2559 O.R.E.
(Old Republic Era)

Luke slowly came awake, the comforting hum of the Milleniun Falcon’s engines quietly surrounding him. He felt warm and protected in the circle of Han’s arms as he smelled his betrothed’s lightly spiced cologne. He sighed happily.

The blankets covering them were handmade Geruvian specialties from the planet Halo. They were brightly-colored weaves that Han had picked up in a Zirellian bazaar.

“Good taste,” Luke had teased but he’d meant it.

He was discovering that the scruffy nerfherder actually did have an eye for fine jewels, clothing, and art. Han brushed it off as a smuggler’s eye, but Luke thought it was more than that.

I’m discovering new facets of this man every day.

Luke tightened his hold on Han. To think he was going to marry this frustrating, charming, unpredictable, fascinating man! He smiled as he burrowed further into Han’s warmth.

Han stirred slightly but didn’t awaken. He’d tumbled into bed exhausted last night, and Luke figured it was nerves. Despite his devil-may-care attitude, Luke sensed anxiety in his mate about this wedding trip home.

Han was so much more than a smuggler. A genuine Hero Of The Rebellion, his heroics at the Battle Of Yavin IV had enabled Luke to successfully destroy the first Death Star. Without Han, all would have been lost.

He had been rewarded with a generalship and more heroics had followed. He was now helping Leia to build the New Republic, joining Luke and so many others to try and fix the mess the Empire had left behind.

What Luke also knew about was the whispers. Many people didn’t care about Han’s smuggler past. Some thought that background was a plus while others knew that many in the Rebellion had sketchy pasts.

And then there were those who considered that past a definite drawback.

Luke frowned. The old aristocracy of the Old Republic was making a comeback. Power and wealth always found a way to keep their status, or reclaim it. The nobles of the Old Republic were doing both.

Leia was honored because she was Alderaanian royalty. Since her brother was a Jedi Knight, he was honored, too. They didn’t know that Leia was not biologically a royal, and conveniently forgot Luke was a moisture farmer from backwater Tatooine.

But Han’s smuggler past was well-known, and despite being a general, some considered him unfit to hobnob with the shining symbols of the New Republic.

It’s all utter nonsense.

Luke tightened his hold slightly. He would never allow anyone to look down on Han. The man was worth a hundred of the cold-hearted politicians and aristocratic nabobs who liked to whisper.

They can all go to hell.

Han moved restlessly in his sleep, sliding his arm around Luke. His breathing was soft and warm, a man at peace.

Luke was not.

& & & & & &

It was a shimmering palace of silver-and-gold as glittering people glided and glowed. It was all very civilized and genteel and Luke was certain that Han was plotting an early exit from the ball. He decided to head him off.

As Luke walked through the vast hall, he heard lilting voices behind a veined marble pillar.

“Quite disgraceful, really.”

“Oh, you mean the Jedi’s escort?”

“Yes. Not worthy of such a grand personage.”

A disdainful sniff. “Little better than something you would pick out of a disreputable cantina.”

“Why does the Jedi consort with him?”

“Who knows the ways of the Jedi?”

“I wonder what the Jedi’s predecessors would say?”

Luke walked around the pillar. “They would say that Han Solo was a true Hero Of The Rebellion and a worthy human being all on his own. He needs no third party validation.”

Diamond-brilliant people with hearts like lumps of coal, he thought as he swept away to the sound of their indignant sputters.

& & & & & &

Luke almost laughed. Han didn’t need him to defend his honor. Han didn’t care what people thought about him.

Still, I feel better doing it. He deserves better.

Han awoke, yawning as he moved next to Luke. Luke swept a stray lock of hair off the Corellian’s forehead.

“Hey, there,” Han said sleepily.

“Hey there yourself, sleepyhead.”

Han chuckled. “You nervous about meeting my folks?”

“A little.” Luke felt the sting of loss. Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen would have been proud of him. What were Han’s parents like? “After all, a clan full of Solos is a pretty frightening thought.”

Han chuckled. “And you haven’t even met ‘em yet.”

Luke poked a finger against Han’s chest. “If they’re anything like you, may the Force help me.” He smiled lazily. “I’m counting on you to protect me.”

Han’s eyes were open now and they were sparkling. “Always, kid. Always.” He pulled Luke close and kissed him.

Luke felt his worries slip away. Let the snobs of the galaxy look down their noses at Han. Their opinion meant nothing. Han was his, and he was lucky to have him.

He threw his arms around Han as the Millenium Falcon sped toward Corellia.