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survival of the fittest

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After the battle of Yavin, Luke Skywalker had nowhere to go.

Everyone around him considered him to be some sort of hero — the young boy who had blown up the glorious Death Star before it could bring even further harm and destruction to the galaxy. At first, it had flattered him; he had been no one, then, he became everything. Now, he didn't appreciate the complimentary as much. It was overwhelming, and he didn't think himself to be that much anyway.

He had always dreamed of leaving Tatooine. Ever since he was just a little child, he would sneak out of his small home in the middle of the night and lie under the starry night. The starry universe, there was where he belonged. He could feel the stars calling for him, saying his name.

Sky walker.

Like his father before him, it was his destiny. A calling bigger than him. He had always dreamed of seeing the stars up close, touching them with the tip of his fingers. His time had come, he had found a way to the heart of the rebellion and was given an X-Wing and told to shoot anything that came on his way — especially Death Stars.

However — it wasn't supposed to be this way. To lose everything in order to achieve anything.

The last time he had spoken with his family was still so vivid in his mind. Uncle Owen yelling at him, because he was wasting precious time instead of working on the moisture farm. Aunt Beru offering him some of her homemade cheese that tasted the same as heaven, before giving him a gentle kiss on the forehead and asking him to be safe out there. Him so promptly ignoring the both of them, because it was just another day, and there would be more yellings to hear and homemade cheese to eat on the following day as well.

He was wrong.

Like the Death Star, everything was gone.

He no longer had a home, or a family, or a planet to call his own. He had lost everything; his uncle, his aunt, the childhood blanket that had wrapped him as he was handed off to the Lars, his only connection to the parents that he had lost before he drew his second breath.

He no longer had anything, not even a spare set of clothing to change into. He knew it, so it shouldn't have bothered him when a smug smuggler asked him as much, but it did.

"Don't you have anything other to wear than those baggy clothes? It's been three days."

The young farmer would have felt self-conscious at it, for being too poor to afford nice and new clothes; however, the young soldier could only feel sorrow from it.

"I don't. My clothes are the only thing that was left of my home."

With an intense glance, Han Solo said nothing more.

After the battle of Yavin, Leia Organa had nowhere to go.

Everyone around her considered her to be some sort of martyr — the young princess who had sacrificed everything, including her homeworld and her people, in the name of a cause greater than herself. The pitying treatment threatened to bring tears to her eyes; she had been everything, then, she became no one.

She had always dreamed of making a difference. Ever since she was just a little child, watching her mother deal with domestic affairs and her father trying to have a voice in the Imperial Senate, she would contemplate everything she could do to help those in need. Out in the galaxy, there was where she belonged. She knew that her duty as Alderaan's sovereign would one day come, but she was young, and her mother would live forever — she would have all the time in the world to fight against injustice in the places where justice didn't exist.

It was her calling.

Like her father before her, it was her destiny. A calling bigger than her. She had power, she had privilege, she had wealth; if she wanted to, she could help make a difference out there, not out of her own selfish reasons, but because it was right.

And did she want to.

Her time had come, she had been elected the youngest senator in the Imperial Senate. The stars welcomed her, even though the Imperial Senate did not. She had tried to make her voice heard, but there weren't any set of ears willing to listen to her. So, she joined the rebellion, she had gained trust from her superiors and was given the responsibility of intercepting the Death Star plans over some battlefield — and her bravery saved everyone else.

However — it did not save her, or her people, or her homeworld.

It wasn't supposed to be this way; to lose everything or order to save anything.

The last time she had spoken to her parents was still so vivid in her mind. Prince Escort Bail Organa reaching out to her and telling the importance of her mission, that the entire galaxy depended on her, while his voice flickered between emotions of worry and pride. Queen Breha of Alderaan offering her words of support as she traveled through hyperspace, the blue pixelated hologram image of hers showing her most genuine smile, because she had been so blessed to have adopted Leia, out of all the other babies in the galaxy. Her so distracted to properly hear anything that the both of them had said to her, because it was just another day, and she would see them again on the following day, once her mission was over and successful.

She was wrong.

Like the Death Star, everything was gone.

She had no longer a home, or a family, or a planet to call her own. She had lost everything; her mother, her father, the childhood blanket that had wrapped her as her father brought her home, her only connection to the parents she had lost, and her first link to the warmth and embrace to the Organa name.

She no longer had anything, not even a spare dress to change into. She accepted her fate gracefully, so it shouldn't have bothered her when the galaxy's most infuriating smuggler asked her as much, but it did.

"Isn't that dress a little too big for you? Has your worship run out of new extravagant outfits to show off your wealth?"

The young princess would have thrown a fist over it, for that was not the Alderaan way; however, the young soldier could only feel her eyes stinging at the notion.

"Mon Mothma lent it to me. I don't have any spare dresses."

"Why not?"

"They became dust alongside Alderaan."

With guilty eyes and discomfort inside his chest, Han Solo said nothing more.

When Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa found themselves being dragged by the wrist by a very angry smuggler into the privacy of his shipper, they could only exchange looks in confusion.

When Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa found themselves sat in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon while Han Solo claimed to whomever officer that he was kidnapping the two of them for a while — although Princess Leia had indeed to report back that they were not being kidnapped in order to get clearance to leave — their confusion only crept in.

"I'm taking the two of you shopping," he grunted, as they entered hyperspace. "Lucky for you — I know just the place."

He brought them to a nice boutique in the corner of the galaxy — Corellia, to be precise.

Somewhere so hidden in the middle of nowhere that the Empire would never find them there.

Luke seemed embarrassed to be there. Leia merely looked suspiciously at the smuggler.

Han Solo crossed his arms, "I do you the kindness of going out of my way just so the two of you won't have to walk around in… those, and this is how you repay me?"

Luke scratched his poorly combed hair, turning darker shades of red by the second. "I… I don't have any money."

"Neither do I," Leia pointed out, "Considering that you dragged me out of a meeting and shoved me into your ship without a single explanation."

"Don't worry, Princessness," the smuggler said with his carefree tone— the one that he knew exactly to get under her skin. "This round is on me."

Luke wanted to smile and scream in happiness and kiss his friend, but the skeptical look stamped all over Leia's face kept him in his place.

"You are?!" she doubted him, "I'll have you know, I am a very expensive girl."

Han's expression remained just as smugly. "If my natural charm won't seduce you, maybe the nice dress I get you will," he smirked, and she wanted to slap the smirk out of his face. "Besides, this is technically your money, the one I got for so selflessly busting you out of the Death Star."

Luke frowned, "I thought you had returned the credits."

"I did," he concurred, "But I wouldn't be a good smuggler if I didn't smuggle some of it to myself."

"busted you out of the Death Star," Leia reminded him, crossing her arms against her chest. "But fine. I'll make my money worth it, then. Come on, Luke."

She pretty much yanked the young boy by the arm, and took him to the male section, with Han following closely behind.

"Will you help me dress like a prince?!" Luke asked amidst his eagerness, casually going through the shirts and pants displayed in long metal racks, although he left most of the hard work to the princess next to him.

"Hopefully not," she grunted, very focused at the task on her hands. "All princes I've met are spoiled and self-righteous. You're nothing like that. Here, go try these on."

He accepted the pieces of clothing gratefully, acknowledging her compliment with a shy turn of his lips, before walking towards the dressing room.

"Hey, Leia, check this out," Han called for her from the opposite side of the room, once Luke had stepped out. "I like this one."

Leia went to him, briefly analyzing the dress he hung in the air. All things considered, it was a beautiful dress, with transparent chiffon long sleeves, a bust detailedly crafted with floral patterns, and a big skirt that would fall down to her ankles.

"It's black."

Astonished, Han looked at the dress, then at her, then at the dress again. "That's all you've gathered from it?"

She took the dress from his hands and placed it back on the rack. "Wearing black would imply grief."

"Well…" he was more confused than ever, "Aren't you? Grieving, I mean?"

"Yes," she conceded, "But if I give way to my grief, I might never stop."

Swallowing roughly, Han agreed and proceeded to find a dress that showed the opposite of that — however it might look like.

And when he pulled out a white long dress, Leia knew it to be the one, even before he showed it to her.

Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa stepped out of the dressing room at the same time.

He wore a black shirt with brown trousers, with a yellow fancy jacket coming on top. She wore the big white dress with the perfect waistline and long, light sleeves that made her look like an angel. Looking at each other, they smiled.

"Aw, look at my two besties," Han Solo indulged, leaning against a wall a few meters away from them. "Now you won't embarrass me while walking around the base and wearing those rags."

"We're your besties?!" Luke pondered, full of enthusiasm.

"I will pay you the double of whatever they paid you for my alleged rescue just so you'll tell Mon Mothma that her clothes look like rags."

"I'll take my chances being poor, Your Worshipfulness," Han snorted. "Come on, now, let's get your pretty asses out of here."

Han threw each of his arms over one of their shoulders, walking towards the cashier in the most awkward position that could as well have consisted of a hug.

"I really like this, Leia. I've never really had clothes of my own before, they were all my Uncle's hand downs," Luke commented, unable to hide the joy from his voice. "Can I wear these to that medal ceremony you mentioned, Leia?!"

"I think you'll look great, Luke," Leia said, simultaneously trying to shift from under Han's grasp but finding too much peace to being there.

Luke shared her sentiment. She wouldn't even need to say it aloud for him to understand her feelings — like they were somehow linked, ever since their first encounter.

Maybe that was what the Force that Ben Kenobi had mentioned was about.

Han smiled. So did Luke and Leia.

Just the three of them — almost like a family.