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Leia had a lot of problems at the moment. Being cut off from the rest of the Rebellion was a problem. Not having a completely functional hyperdrive was a problem. The assorted damage accumulated by flying through an asteroid belt was a problem.

But the biggest problem of all, the problem that was keeping her from drifting to sleep in the cramped bunk she commandeered as her own whenever she was on the Falcon?

It was impossible to avoid Han Solo on his tiny, bucket-of-bolts ship. She knew. She'd been trying for hours, ever since they'd kissed. Every time they'd run across each other, she'd blushed and pretended she wasn't, and he'd smirked at her. She was sure he'd smirked, even if she hadn't actually looked at him to see it.

Why had she let him kiss her?

She turned over in the bunk, frustrated by her attempt at self-deception. No, she'd definitely kissed him - not first, but back. And, damn it all to hell, she wanted to do it again.

Hours later, and she wanted to kiss Han Solo again. In fact, she wanted to do more than just kiss him. Much, much more.

She clenched her hands into fists, railing at herself to remember who he was: an opportunistic, arrogant, self-important mercenary. Except... she knew that wasn't all he was, not by a long shot. He was good with people, smart, capable, and despite all his protestations, she knew he believed in what they were doing.

She shook her head. He was leaving. Nothing else mattered. She could not let herself get involved with someone who wouldn't even be around next week. She ignored the little voice that hoped he would come back. She knew better. He'd pay off his debt to Jabba, and then he'd find someone--something--else.

Still, a part of her whispered that maybe, just maybe--

Leia threw off the covers and rolled out of the bunk, pulling on a sweater--his sweater, damn it, since her belongings would have been on her own assigned transport. She would get a drink of water and go back to bed once she'd spent more than two minutes thinking about something other than Han.

She opened her hatch and stalked down the corridor, coming to an abrupt halt as she reached the dispenser.

Han was there, facing away and lit from behind by the low 'nighttime' lights the Falcon used.

The image hit her senses, fragmented into pieces she might never forget:

Hair tousled. Head tilted back to gulp down water, exposing a long neck. Chest bare. Legs in soft pants that were too long and pooled around bare feet. As she watched, one foot lifted and scratched the other in a clearly unconscious gesture.

Leia took a step forward without thinking, her socks scuffing on the floor, alerting Han to her presence.

He lowered the glass and turned around, surprised.

"Leia?" he said. His voice sounded husky, as if he'd been asleep and just woken up.

Maybe it was that tone, or the fact that he'd used her name, or the sleep deprivation. Leia would never be sure. All she knew was that just minutes ago she'd agonized over her feelings for this man, and now she knew exactly what she felt, what she wanted.

She took another step. "I needed water," she said, letting herself look at him again, letting herself see him.

Han's eyes narrowed, but he stepped to the side, giving her space to get by. "Be my guest."

She walked past him--but not around him, not taking the room he implied by moving out of her path. Her arm brushed his, and she heard--she felt--him take a breath even as her own heart rate picked up. She just barely resisted a smile as she went to get a cup. She pretended not to see the mugs on the lower shelf and instead went for the cups higher up, knowing that she couldn't reach them, knowing that Han couldn't resist getting close again, leaning in to reach over her and pluck one down for her.

She didn't shy away this time.

"Thank you," she said, and turned while he was still right behind her, their bodies touching.

When she saw his face, she almost laughed. He looked surprised, eyebrows high and climbing higher--but as soon as she saw it, he adjusted, shifting to put one arm on the counter behind her, angling so she had an escape route if she wanted--she saw that, just as she knew she wasn't taking it.

She didn't take her eyes off him as she used the dispenser to fill her cup, and he watched her fill it, raise it, and drink it. She couldn't really see his eyes, but she knew they never left hers. She finished and Han took the cup and set it on the counter behind her.

"Han--"

He was already there, his lips on hers, warm and soft and insistent.

She answered with her whole body, pressing up and forward, rising on her toes and then, when that wasn't enough, running her hands up his arms and around his neck.

He was so tall, she thought, and then his arms were around her and his height ceased to matter. Nothing else mattered except his lips, his tongue. She wanted him closer, and he knew, somehow, pressed her against the counter and then lifted her so she was sitting on top.

Leia heard her empty cup tip over with a clunk, but she barely registered it. Instead, she just opened her legs so Han could get closer, his body pressing into hers at every possible spot.

It still wasn't enough, but it was enough to savor for a few minutes, devouring and being devoured, discovering that yes, this was as good as she'd hoped, feared, expected. Everything about this felt surprising and right.

She let out a low hum and didn't feel embarrassed, not when her reward was his fingers clenching slightly at her sides. She'd known he wanted her, and yet it still thrilled her to feel his reaction, feel the edges of his self-control start to fray. So she pushed at those edges, sweeping her hands across his bare chest to watch his muscles jump beneath her fingers, his nipples harden as she toyed with them.

He caught her hands and held them away. "Not that I'm complaining," he said, his voice satisfyingly ragged, "but where the hell did this come from?"

Leia didn't want to answer with the truth, which she remembered had something to do with his feet. She didn't think that was likely to keep the mood headed in the right direction. So she took an unsteady breath and straightened her back, feeling how hard her own nipples were as they brushed against the soft material of Han's sweater. "Damned if I know, but I know where it's going."

His eyebrows rose a fraction. "Oh?"

"Your bunk," Leia said, because this was happening, finally. "Now."

Han wasted no more time, but swept her off the counter and to the floor. He took her hand and led her through the ship, his grip a little tight, as if he didn't want to risk her slipping away. That was just fine with her--she tightened her own grip and tried, resolutely, not to think too far into the future. What came next she could handle - but she refused to think about what came after.

Han's bunk was small, although not as small as hers. His bedsheets were rumpled but clean, a light trace of his scent warm and welcome, almost comforting. His belongings were stashed haphazardly around the room--not messy so much as disorganized. There was nothing decorative about the room, but it wasn't bleak, just utilitarian, perfectly… Han.

And anyway, she wasn't here for the decor. She shut the hatch behind them and tugged Han back to her. He came willingly, his body bracing hers against the hatch before he leaned down and kissed her again, more tenderly than she expected at first, then more urgent. Leia couldn't resist letting her fingers play along his waistband and he pressed harder against her as she found a sensitive spot of skin at his side. They kissed for what seemed like ages before breaking apart, both breathing heavily even as they leaned into each other, as if this slight distance was too far.

Leia straightened and Han moved back a fraction of an inch. She let her head tilt back against the hatch, keeping eye contact as she grabbed the edge of her sweater and pulled it up and over her head.

Before she even had it all the way off, Han was helping her, throwing the sweater into the room somewhere as she took care of her underwear. Han brought his hands down to her stomach first and then slid them up to cup her breasts, his hands dwarfing her, absurd and arousing at the same time. She hooked her own hands into his waistband and started to pull his pants over his hips, wanting him as bare as she was, and--

She froze as the thought that should have occurred to her right away finally crossed her mind.

It took him a second to realize something was wrong, and Leia watched his expression change from desire to something else, as he moved his hands away while she frantically tried to find a way to make this okay and couldn't come up with anything.

But Han surprised her. He didn't move away in frustration, didn't try to kiss her again; he just went still, watching her warily, waiting.

Something about that--Han, waiting, for her--appealed. She shook her head, reminding herself where she was. She had to say something. Anything.

"Birth control," she blurted. She winced, closing her eyes for a second before reluctantly opening them again. Han looked horrified, and she continued, in a rush. "We had a shortage when I was due and since I didn't have a need, I skipped it, and so..." she trailed off. "But, you--" Han's eyes went wide. Leia continued doggedly on, determined, now, to be a responsible adult about this, damn it. "You're up to date, right?"

"Fuck," Han said. "Fuck--" he shook his head, ruefully. "No," he admitted. "I didn't sign on, so…" he sighed. "I haven't seen the medic for anything except the basics recently."

"The basics," Leia repeated, numbly. Then she let out a short, disbelieving laugh. "I guess that makes two of us."

Now Han did step away, casting a look around and coming up with the sweater. He held it out toward her without a word and she took it, not meeting his eyes. She felt humiliated, as if she were caught by a parent out of bed, her hand in the cookie jar.

As she straightened out the sweater to pull it back on, she fought the absurd need to apologize. What would she be apologizing for? Stopping herself from having sex that could get her pregnant while she was in the middle of a rebellion? And if she needed to apologize for forgetting about her birth control being out of date, then so did Han. And he probably had sex more recently, so he had even less cause to forget than she did.

Leia found herself fighting her temper and the sweater both. She just wanted to get the thing on so she could leave and forget this whole humiliating incident. She jerked at the material, trying desperately to find the right side.

"Slow down," Han protested. "I like that sweater."

Leia glared at him, forgetting that she was still naked, and upset. And Han smirked at her. Smirked, and clearly looked down her body, taking in every inch.

She threw the sweater at him and pointed a finger. "You are unbelievable," she said. "Keep it." She yanked open the hatch--or tried to, because now Han was holding it closed.

"The basics," Han said.

"Let me go."

"Just… wait a second."

Leia almost elbowed him in the gut. He would have deserved it, but she knew that tone. That was his "I have an idea" tone. That tone had come after many a proclamation from Threepio about their certain doom and right before Han miraculously got them out of the situation in any number of remarkably unconventional ways.

She hated that the same habit might apply here, but she couldn't deny her curiosity. She sighed, and turned back around, glaring and folding her arms across her chest until Han backed off again.

"Okay, we can't--obviously we can't risk you getting pregnant," Han began.

Leia snorted.

Han looked wounded, or pretended to. "I said obviously." He plucked at the sleeve of the sweater. "But, princess, there's a lot of ground before that."

Leia blinked. "Are you--"

Han said, "I'm saying, we're both up to date on the basics, there's a lot of fun that isn't going to put you at risk of a pregnancy, and I'm still game, if you are."

Leia didn't think Han had ever surprised her more. She didn't think any man had ever surprised her more. And, Force help her, she was insanely curious about what kind of fun Han had in mind.

She narrowed her eyes, nodded at the sweater. "Give me that."

Han handed it over, his shoulders sagging a fraction of an inch. Heart pounding, Leia ran the material through her fingers, trying to look cool and aloof and suspecting she was failing miserably. She balled the sweater back up in her hands and dropped it on top of the shelf next to the hatch before stepping away from it, toward Han.

Han's eyes went wide for a split second and he reached for her with a grin. She went willingly, following him as he sat on the edge of the bed and took her with him so she ended up straddling him, separated from him by just his thin sleepwear.

"Where were we?" Han asked rhetorically, his hands finding their way back to her breasts, the rough pads of his fingers catching slightly on her nipples, the light touch making her shiver. She leaned forward and kissed him, letting her own hands trace his skin and catalog every inch. Han followed suit, and they traded touches, breathing heavily between kisses until he pulled her even closer in a way that brought her center fully into contact with his hardness and she let out a sound that broke apart as they rocked together. The friction was wonderfully maddening, everything and yet not enough.

Leia tore her mouth away and gasped, "Fingers, now," and Han obliged, sliding his hand between them, between her legs as she opened them further. "You're so wet," he said, his teasing touch firming as he found her clit.

She hummed approval. Han circled her clit and stroked, and Leia gave him vocal encouragement as he found a rhythm she liked. She couldn't help moving, but he anticipated that, too, using his other arm to keep her close and still enough that she didn't have to worry about losing his fingers right where she needed them.

Dimly, she realized she was close to an orgasm, and she had a fleeting thought that she should at least offer to--

"No," Han growled. "You first," he said, and she wondered how he'd known--but she also did not care. She ground herself down on his fingers, again and again, and she came, collapsing against him, each subsequent pulse leaving her clearer-headed, empty and sated.

Smiling, she propped herself back up and was surprised to find Han just… looking at her. Meeting his eyes, she stilled. She held his gaze for a long, uncomfortable moment before tearing her eyes away and reaching for his trousers. "Now you," she said.

"... Right," Han said, helping her as she worked to divest him of the remainder of his clothing. She'd seen him shirtless before, but seeing him completely nude was something else entirely. She tucked herself close to him and trailed her hand over his bare chest, relishing the way he held his breath as she made her way down his body to grasp his cock firmly in her hand.

"Fuck," he breathed.

"If only," Leia said wryly.

Han started to laugh but the sound was strangled as Leia gripped him more firmly.

She leaned close to his ear. "Tell me, hotshot, do you want to take this fast or slow?"

Breathing hard, Han still managed to sound confident when he said, "Start slow, sweetheart, and we'll take it from there."

His skin was hot and smooth under her hand, and she was gratified as he jerked beneath her as she started to slide her hand up and down his length. She focused on his body, his reactions, speeding up a little as he pressed his hips closer to her hand.

He grabbed her wrist. Startled, she looked up at his face. "Look at me," he said. "I need you to look at me."

She shifted and adjusted herself so her angle was less awkward--and something that could have felt perfunctory was suddenly anything but. Every move she made was reflected in his body, his eyes. She could see him, the way his breath caught in his throat, the way his skin flushed, the way his eyes struggled to stay on hers. He smirked at her, and she flushed, adjusted her grip, and he struggled to maintain his composure. She was going to make him lose it, the way he'd already made her lose her own.

The thought flustered her, but instead of pushing it down, she used it, not about to back down and turn into a blushing maiden now. She kept her eyes on his, teasing him with her hand. She said, "You liked making me come."

It took him a second to grasp what she'd said, but he was still smirking as he said, "I like this, too."

She sped up a little, tamped down the blush that threatened at the thought of what she wanted to say, what she knew would surprise him and guessed he would like. "You liked having your fingers in my pussy."

She was rewarded for her profanity with a strangled grunt, so she continued, increasing her pace again. Now he was focused, intent, and she could tell he was close, could tell he knew he was close. Still in control. She leaned over him, bringing her mouth as close to his ear as she could get without losing their rhythm. "If you liked that, just imagine how I'll taste--"

He came with a startled grunt, jerking almost out of her grip, his cock pulsing in her hand as she pumped him until he stilled.

"Fuck. Fuck." It wasn't a curse, but an awed declaration--and a barely conscious one at that. Han's whole body was still, and Leia left the bed for a moment to pick up a towel, bringing it back and intending to clean up… but Han surprised her again, opening his eyes and reaching for the towel, taking it himself to mop up in a few efficient movements before tossing it aside and guiding Leia to lie down beside him.

"Give me a minute," Han said. "Fuck." He looked at her with something akin to amazement. "What a filthy mouth you have, princess."

She stiffened, not sure how he meant that, how he meant anything.

Han cupped a hand around her butt, dragging her closer until she relaxed. He said, "That's a good thing."

"Oh?" she said.

He hummed agreement and brought his other hand up to caress her breast, gently tugging at her nipple before rubbing it softly with his thumb. "A very good thing."

"That's nice," she said, inanely, not sure whether she meant his touch or his statement.

Han moved and Leia was underneath him again. He nudged her legs open with one knee and leaned over her, kissing down her torso, pressing her body down into the bed with his own. "Gives a man ideas, you know. Not that I didn't already want to see how you taste…" He moved down further still and settled between her thighs, waiting as she adjusted herself, letting her legs fall open to his gaze.

"Beautiful," he said.

"You talk too much," she retorted.

"Sure," Han said, obviously not paying any attention to what she'd said, intent on her in a way that made her squirm. Han just hooked his arms under her legs to hold her hips. He kissed up her thigh, slowly, nibbling gently at her flesh until she was panting. He stopped just at the crease where her leg met her torso and then started over again with the other leg.

"Haaaan," she breathed out, and he raised his head for a momentary smirk before diving back down - to go even slower on the other side, if that were possible.

Finally he reached the junction of her thighs and repositioned himself, parting her before him and lavishing her with attention. He teased her clit with little flicks of his tongue until she was sure she was coming - and then moved away as if on a quest to find each and every sensitive spot, until she was literally shaking with need.

"Please," she heard herself say. "Please, please--gods, Han--"

And Han heard her, sucked at her until she stopped saying anything approximating actual words and reality bent around her like she was a ship entering hyperspace. She floated for an eternity, riding out each aftershock and only gradually becoming aware of her cooling sweat, the way her muscles twinged. Han had pulled himself up beside her on the bed, dragging a sheet over both of them.

Leia hummed and shifted so she faced him, tucking her hair that had escaped its braid behind her.

"You good?" Han said, his smirk making it clear he knew exactly how good she was.

Leia rolled her eyes but smiled. "Very." She yawned. "Sleepy."

"Good," Han whispered.

"I can go back to my bunk," she said, but her eyes were closing and she didn't move.

"Nah," Han said, and he reached around her to tuck the sheet around her. "Stay."

Leia hummed agreement and drifted off to the feeling of Han settling back down beside her.

*_*

There was no time for awkwardness when Leia woke up again to a piercing alarm--Han was already dressed and halfway out the hatch before she was awake enough to realize there was a problem.

"Cascade failure," Han said to her, tossing his sweater onto the bed before dashing out, presumably to the bank of computers that kept them alive.

Leia scrambled out of the bunk and into the sweater, knowing enough to know there was no time to go back to her bunk to get dressed properly. She needed shoes, though, and found a pair of Han's on the floor, next to her discarded underwear. Well, at least her ass wouldn't be bare. She drew the underwear on and then yanked on the boots, tying them as tight as she could and still swimming in them.

When she reached the engine, Han started barking out orders to her and Chewie both, Threepio's babbling narration underscoring just how screwed they were if they couldn't get this under control. The next few minutes were a blur, but eventually Threepio said, "Well, that is an inventive solution, but it appears to have worked," and Han swore at the droid, and Leia knew they were going to survive.

Sometimes she really hated the Falcon.

After she got dressed, she spent her time climbing around in various nooks and crannies, making sure that Han's unconventional patch would hold. All of them were busy making sure no other underlying issues might crop up, and Leia hoped that maybe tomorrow they could actually work on the hyperdrive.

By the end of the day, Leia fell into bed and was fast asleep before she had more than two minutes to think about the events of the night before.

The next day, however, was a different story. Han and Chewie were ensconced in the hyperdrive chamber, deep into incomprehensible mechanics, Threepio helping here and there with machine translation. Leia was tasked with searching through the entire ship to find anything that might possibly assist them in their repairs.

The problem was, the Falcon was old, with accumulated detritus from decades of work… and smuggling compartments that Leia wasn't very familiar with. So she spent a lot of time just figuring out how to access them, and then sweeping through each one, coming up with many items left behind.

Most of the discarded items were useless. She did find a couple of parts that might be helpful and she dropped those off in the engine compartment as soon as she found each one.

But the find that disrupted her morning more than any other was an innocuous-looking box that, upon opening it, stopped her in her tracks. She slammed the lid shut and took a quick look up and down the corridor before sitting down, pulling the box onto her lap and flipping open the lid. The left side was a row of empty slots, presumably for condoms. On the right side: a space for a dildo with a flared base, with a small bottle of lube underneath. In the middle, a smooth, tapered vibrator. All were still in their original wrapping.

She wondered about this box - had it been a gift from one of Han's lovers? If so, they didn't seem to have been as... imaginative as she and Han were finding it necessary to be. She trailed a finger along the empty rows on the left side before closing the lid.

The night before last had been… surprising. And good. More surprising, perhaps, was that Han hadn't brought it up again in the day and a half since. Despite the emergency repairs, she would have thought he would have found the time to seek her out.

Then again, she hadn't brought it up, either.

She considered the box in her lap again, tapping the lid with her fingernails and debating on her best course of action. Finally, she stood and took it with her, depositing it on Han's bunk on her way back to the kitchen. It was time for an actual meal.

Han and Chewie seemed to have had the same idea, arriving just after she'd pulled out the first of the needed provisions.

"Good news?" Leia asked them, slicing open three bags and mixing them together, the chemical reaction starting to warm up the food as she got another bowl ready for a side dish of vegetables.

Chewie shrugged and Han grimaced. "Mostly," he said, collapsing onto the seat at the table and putting his head into his hand, his eyes closing of their own accord. He looked exhausted, and Leia wondered if he'd actually gotten any sleep last night after he'd sent her to bed. She guessed not much, if any.

Leia motioned for Chewie to sit, too, and served them both before grabbing her own plate and sitting down next to Han. Han startled at her touch on his side and then--finally--looked at her, expression questioning. Leia returned his look with an arch of an eyebrow, but she couldn't help but feel her face warm. Han smirked, looking more like himself than he had all day.

"Long day," Leia said, nonchalant.

"Yeah."

Chewie grumbled something that Leia couldn't catch but made Han scowl. Her Shyriiwook clearly needed work.

"You should get some rest," Leia said.

Chewie agreed and said something else about continuing to work, which forestalled Han's obvious objection.

"I'll help Chewie today," Leia said, placing a hand on Han's arm. "Tomorrow, you can get the Falcon flying again."

Han looked at her a long moment before nodding. "Fine, but only because I'm outnumbered."

"And also because you're about to fall asleep in your meal," Leia said dryly, causing Chewie to laugh and Han to scowl. Han rallied and they spent the rest of the meal talking about what work was already done, what needed to be done next, and then touching on how they thought the hyperdrive could still be fixed, including some of the parts Leia had found earlier. It was gratifying to know her work hadn't been completely wasted.

After the meal, Chewie volunteered to clean up, and Leia followed Han back to his bunk.

"I know we should talk," Han said, "but you weren't completely wrong about how close I am to falling asleep."

Leia smiled. "Meaning I was right."

Han just shook his head and opened his hatch. He spotted the box immediately and clearly recognized it. "What the--where did that come from?" He leaned over to pick it up, flipping it open, seeming unsurprised at the contents.

Leia leaned against the hatchway. "I found it today and thought it might come in handy."

Han's eyebrows shot up. He knew what she was really saying. He set the box down and came back to the hatch, mirroring her position just inside the room so they were mere inches apart, facing each other. "It's too bad about the condoms," he said.

Leia hummed agreement but said, "You're not out of ideas already?"

Han shook his head. "Not even close, sweetheart."

"Good." Leia leaned in and up to kiss him, a sweet, deep kiss that promised more to come, later.

"Good," Han echoed as Leia ended the kiss and stepped back. Han had a curious expression on his face for a split-second before he smirked and said, "Come back tonight?"

Leia couldn't quite contain her huff of laughter. "After you've slept."

Han lifted a finger and trailed it down her arm, watching to catch her shiver.

She lifted her chin. "Get some sleep, Han," she said. "I need you well-rested." She closed the hatch on his dumbfounded expression, laughing to herself as she went back to help Chewie.

*_*

Leia had plenty of time to think of all sorts of ideas for that night while she helped Chewie with repairs. Helping at this stage meant a lot of time waiting around until she could hold pieces of equipment in place while Chewie secured them, or waiting until Threepio diagnosed the problem so they could fix it.

It was long and boring, but not demanding, not like it had been earlier. When they called it a night, Chewie looked ready to drop, but Leia felt keyed up. She knew Han was awake because he'd checked in on the comms to see how things were going. Chewie had forbidden him from joining them for any more work that night, and Leia suspected Chewie had decided to end their own repairs right then to prevent Han showing up anyway.

She felt grimy, so she took the time to use the fresher, doing her hair in just a cursory braid afterward. She wished she had a robe, or something more flattering to wear, but she put on Han's sweater again and scowled into the mirror. She knew it didn't matter--Han clearly hadn't lost interest in her, judging by his reaction earlier. She drew in a breath and opened the fresher hatch, and Han was there, propped against the opposite wall.

He took in her appearance, eyes lingering on her hair and her bare legs. "Hey."

Leia scolded herself internally for her doubts. She stepped out and closed the hatch behind her. "Couldn't wait the extra two minutes for me to come to you?"

Han shook his head. "Nope." He was kissing her practically before she'd registered him moving, his arms around her, her body stretching up to meet his. She fell back as he advanced, hitting the wall even as his hands traveled down her sides and under her butt. He lifted her and she wrapped her legs around him, the sweater riding up under his hands.

Suddenly his hands stilled and he pulled back. "You're not wearing underwear," he said, sounding as if she'd just announced that Jabba had called off the bounty on his head.

"No," she agreed, and pulled him back to kiss her.

For a few delightful seconds, Han kissed her back with a fervor that matched hers. Gods, but the man could kiss. She wondered what it said about them that she often found what he said infuriating but never wanted his kiss to stop.

Eventually, though, she needed air. Dazed, she let her head fall back, and he rested his head just to the side, somehow still holding her up. Their position put his neck right by her face, and she couldn't resist. She pressed her lips to the spot right below his ear, tasted him, and, just because she didn't seem to have any control at all, gently nipped at his skin.

He went still.

She pulled back to study his face. His eyes were closed, and he took an unsteady breath before opening them, his eyes so dark and so close that Leia could see herself in them.

"Leia," he said. "We're going to my bunk. Now."

Leia wasn't quite sure why they needed to move--she honestly didn't care if Threepio and Chewie found them here as long as this didn't stop. "Make me."

Han growled and hauled them both upright, taking her with him so that he was actually carrying her, and even as light as she was, it made their trip down the passageway awkward. She laughed even as she shifted her weight, tucking her face into his neck, taking the opportunity to taste him again.

"Kest, Princess. It's a small ship. You can wait--"

She nipped at his skin. "No."

"Fuck," Han said. They reached his quarters, went through the hatch, Han depositing her on the bunk before closing the hatch and trying to take off his clothes simultaneously.

Leia herself wasted no time shedding the sweater and then watched as Han stripped for her, his movements utilitarian. She couldn't help appreciating his body anyway, the long lines of him being revealed one by one until he was naked, his cock already erect.

He had to know how good he looked. There wasn't an ounce of self-consciousness about his posture. Leia moved to the edge of the mattress, on her knees but otherwise upright. She let her hands look along with her eyes, cataloguing his lean muscle, the places that might, someday, become soft with additional flesh. He didn't reach out to touch her, and she knew he was waiting to take control.

She traced the line of his hips to his erection, almost but not quite wrapping a hand around him. Instead, she looked him in the eye and cupped his balls. Han hissed and moved his weight forward, trying to pin her to the bed, but she was ahead of him, deflecting him so he ended up on his back. She straddled him before he got over his surprise and took him in hand.

She enjoyed the way his surprise morphed into pleasure, his eyelids half-closing even as he struggled to regain control. She placed a hand on the center of his chest, shaking her head. "Not yet," she said. "Last time was very nice." She started stroking lazily, her grip purposely a little looser than she thought he'd want. She relished the way Han's eyes went dark and his cock jumped in her hand.

He took a ragged breath, but said, "I told you I was a nice man."

Leia had to give him credit for not protesting the mild descriptor. In her experience, men wanted to be exceptional, not nice.

Kneeling, she straightened her back, thrusting her chest forward in a way that felt like overkill but was clearly appreciated. Han was consciously looking in a way that she knew he'd always wanted to--in a way that he hadn't ever looked, because he wasn't the kind of guy who leered. Despite his comments, she'd never felt like he was mentally undressing her like other men had, and his gaze now felt like a caress, an appreciation of her body, yes, but even more of her.

"I want you to use that vibrator on me later," she said, making her grip a little more firm, pausing to see his reaction. "Too much?"

"No." Han closed his eyes for a few seconds and then said, "I made sure it worked, earlier. And washed it."

"So you can prepare ahead of time."

"Well, two certain someones wouldn't let me help with repairs, so I had a lot of time on my hands. Thought I'd put it to use." Han's hands were roaming over her thighs, and it was distracting her. "I found a really interesting setting I couldn't wait to try on you, Princess." Han let out a mock sigh. "And now all that preparation is going to waste."

Leia let her pace falter. "Soon," she said. "But now" she slid down onto her side. "Turn a little," she said.

"You don't have to--"

Leia looked up, and Han cut his protest short even before she said, "I want to suck your cock, flyboy. Now turn."

Han obliged, and Leia put one hand around the base of his shaft, using her mouth to envelop the sensitive tip. Han let out a strangled sound that Leia rewarded by swirling her tongue against his cock.

"Gods help me," Han muttered.

Leia experimented, varying the pressure of her hand and her mouth, paying close attention to how Han reacted to each difference. Han, for his part, was wonderfully vocal, giving her encouragement as she moved closer to finding the sweet spot, until he stopped responding with any coherency whatsoever.

She felt powerful to see him spread out, leaving himself completely vulnerable with her. And she rewarded his trust, felt the changes in his body as he reached his climax. She stayed with him as he released his come into her mouth, waiting until he stilled beneath her before spitting into a towel he had nearby.

When she returned to the bed, she sat down next to Han, who was obviously struggling to stay awake.

"It seems you didn't get enough rest after all…"

He rolled to his side and touched her thigh. "Just give me a minute, Princess."

"Take a minute, or an hour, if you need it," Leia said. She opened her thighs and shifted so Han could see her reach between them to touch her clit, lazily stroking around it. "I can amuse myself--maybe I'll just find that vibrator now..."

"Oh no you don't," Han said, sitting up.

Leia let out a slightly theatrical moan. "Try and stop me."

At the challenge, Han grabbed Leia and flipped her onto the bed, pinning her arms above her head with one hand and using the other to replace her own fingers on her sensitive clit. Leia writhed underneath him as he brushed her clit with light strokes that didn't satisfy, just tease.

Leia wanted to demand more, but it was hard to concentrate. She managed a "Han--" that devolved into a whine as Han drew his hand away.

"Wait here," Han said. He released her arms and suddenly his comforting weight and heat was gone.

Leia lifted her head. "Wait? No, Han--"

But Han was already returning, carrying the vibrator from the box she'd found. It was small and honestly a little generic, a plain black that was at least better than something more outlandish. It reminded her of the one that she'd kept in her essentials bag for a while, although that one had been lost a few months ago.

"Do you still want to try this?" Han said.

"Yes, please," Leia replied quickly. "Just… start on the low setting." As sensitive as she was, she didn't think she'd need to find out how powerful this one could get.

Han switched it on to a quiet, steady buzz, settling down on the bed and drawing Leia into his side. He drew one of her legs over his so she was almost lying on top of him. She wrapped her own arm around his torso, down to his hip, liking the feeling of closeness this gave her.

And then Han brought the vibrator to her, first using his fingers and letting her experience the vibrations second-hand. Leia was slick, aching, and the pressure of his fingers alternating with the vibration built sensation on sensation. It was different than doing this herself. Slower. Less focused. She felt exposed.

Maybe she stiffened, but Han tightened his arm around her, grounding her back into the physical in a way that reminded her where she was, who she was with.

"Beautiful," Han whispered into her hair.

Leia relaxed against him. "You're only saying that because I let you come first."

Han laughed outright at that. "Don't worry, I'll reward your faith in me, sweetheart."

Leia knew he just meant the sex, but she shivered as she seemed to hear an echo in the sentiment anyway. She shook off the feeling and said, "Stop procrastinating and turn that fucking thing up."

Han laughed again--gods, she would never again want anyone who took sex too seriously--and pressed a button to make the vibration ratchet up slightly.

Leia gasped, her hips jerking forward. Han pulled her back toward him, and he wasn't fooling around now, keeping the vibrator on one power level just long enough for her to acclimate and then pushing it further… once, twice, and then she was hovering just on the edge of the precipice, Han steady as ever behind her, coaxing her toward that cliff with little meaningless words. She let go, her back bowing against him as her orgasm blanked out every ounce of self-consciousness.

Han stayed with her until she collapsed against him, then carefully moved her off of him and onto the bed, tossing the vibrator to the shelf before taking her in his arms again, fitting her to him as if they'd done this a hundred times instead of just twice.

Leia hummed and tucked herself into him even more closely. She lightly brushed her fingers back and forth against his chest, first eliciting a shiver and then she felt him relax, too.

Minutes later, Han turned his head toward her. "Better?"

"Hmm," Leia said, letting her bone-deep contentment sound through the monosyllable. She yawned deeply.

"Do you always fall asleep after sex?"

Han sounded amused, and Leia didn't bother opening her eyes, shrugging, "Only when my partner's bunk is a thousand times more comfortable than my own and I don't want to move."

A soft laugh.

"Seriously, Han. It's like you hate having passengers."

"I'll have you know, Chewie's bunk is pretty comfortable, too." Han retorted without heat.

"Oh, good. Tomorrow I can sleep with him instead," Leia said.

Han drew in a fake gasp. "Princess, he's a married man!"

Leia couldn't help it--she giggled.

In retaliation, Han sat up and leaned over her, ignoring her protests. He turned off the light in the cabin and shifted them both until she was curled on her side with him behind her.

"Goodnight, Leia."

"Goodnight, Han."

*_*

If the previous days were filled with adrenaline and near-frantic work just to make sure the ship stayed together the way it was supposed to, this day was complete, mind-numbing tedium. They fixed something, tested it, and re-calibrated every system, only to test them all again. And again.

Leia knew they were at most, buying a short hyperdrive jump just to get to Bespin, but she wished each task felt more satisfyingly productive.

It didn't help that Han was short-tempered today, too.

"Damn it." Han slammed a panel in frustration as another test yielded only a shower of sparks.

Leia sighed in pure exasperation. That panel had been a good hour's work, and it was likely completely undone. Half in an attempt to lighten the mood, half in frustration, she muttered, "I knew this bucket of bolts would be the death of me."

Han's expression darkened, and he turned toward her. "This bucket of bolts saved your life on more than one occasion--"

It was a familiar beat. They'd had a hundred variations on this conversation before, so Leia just scoffed. "Delayed my execution, you mean."

Immediately, she knew she'd made a mistake, because Han didn't fire back at her with a quip about how she couldn't blame his ship for her running around the galaxy and practically begging the Empire to shoot at her. Instead, he just looked at her for a long moment before turning away.

"Right," he said, tossing the spanner to Chewie. "I need a break."

He left the compartment, leaving a stunned Leia behind.

"What was that?" she asked nobody in particular.

Chewie just shrugged a little too elaborately to be reflecting genuine confusion, and asked Leia to help him with the finicky repairs to the panel.

It was Chewie who broke the silence. You scare him, he said.

"What?" Leia shot a look in the direction Han had gone. She shook her head. "He doesn't--it's not like that."

It is exactly like that.

It couldn't be like that. Leia had spent a lot of time thinking about whatever it was between her and Han. Sure, she knew she was in deep. Of course she was. Han pushed all her buttons. He was smart and she liked that he could keep up with her. He was a smartass, but not unkind. He was a mercenary, and he took what he could get, but she knew, deep down, that he hated the Empire as much as she did--that this was a personal fight for him, too.

But Han… whatever Han felt for her, it wasn't… scary. He was attracted to her. She could even accept that he liked her, not because she was beautiful, or a princess, or because she was some symbol of the Rebellion, but because of who she was. That didn't mean what Chewie thought it did.

No, it was just that she'd insulted his ship one too many times, at the wrong moment. They were all running on too little sleep and crappy food, after all. Once they got to Bespin, they'd have more space from each other, and she'd go back to the Rebellion and he'd leave. Their brief sexual history would be just a footnote in their private biographies. Maybe, if the Rebellion succeeded and she survived, he'd get to boast in some run-down cantina someday that he'd bedded her. Probably no one would believe him.

The thought made her sad, for some utterly inexplicable reason.

That's done, Princess, Chewie said. Go eat something, and I'll finish up.

Leia, impulsively, gave Chewie a quick half-hug, which he returned gently.

She cleaned up before she went to the galley, finding Han had apparently put his break to good use and made dinner for them both. He already had a plate in front of him, mostly untouched. She got her dinner and slid onto the bench on the other end of the table.

"Thanks," she said.

Han just grunted, then seemed to relent a bit. "Chewie?"

"He said he'd finish up."

"I'll take him something later," Han said, and then fell silent and focused on his food.

Leia followed his example and felt her emotions stabilize with each bite. She could see Han relaxing, too.

"I'm sorry for earlier," Leia said.

"Why?" Han said, clear surprise on his face.

Now Leia was confused. "I thought--"

"You didn't say anything you haven't before," Han interrupted her. "I just--" he rubbed his face with the hand not holding his utensil. "It's been a long few days."

Leia agreed silently. "Lots of people shooting at us," she commented.

"Almost getting eaten by a space worm," Han countered.

"Busted hyperdrive," Leia added.

"Almost getting frozen to death."

"That was at least a week ago," Leia said.

Han grinned. "Oh right. Felt like yesterday."

Leia returned his smile and slid around so she was sitting next to him. She nudged him with her shoulder. "It hasn't all been bad."

Han put his arm around her, sliding his hand down her side until it rested on her hip. "I can think of a few bright spots."

Leia shivered. "You know, I think I can, too."

"What do you know?" Han said, turning his head to nuzzle at her ear and eliciting another shiver. "Seems we agree about something."

She wanted to protest on principle, but didn't want to think about them arguing, or what it seemed like they were always arguing about. So she shifted to straddle him, cramming herself uncomfortably between him and the table.

"We should practice agreeing about things," she said, knowing she wasn't quite making sense and not caring.

"I agree," he said, inanely, but he was moving his hands over her back, her hips, her butt, pulling her close, and she didn't care. "I suggest we take this elsewhere," he said.

Leia gasped as he slipped a hand between her thighs, rubbing her through her clothes, their angle making his touch frustratingly distant. "I agree," she managed.

Somehow they got out from behind the table without letting go of each other. Their trip to Han's bunk was a blur, as they seemed to have mutually decided they couldn't get enough of each other. Leia found that she was blissfully and completely blank--not because she didn't feel anything, but because she wanted so much that there was no room for thinking. She wanted, and Han was already there. Han moved, and she moved with him.

In his bunk, they divested each other of their clothes, stopping after each piece to take stock and devour each other all over again. Leia moved to lay back on the bed and pull Han after her, but now Han stopped her.

"Not like that, sweetheart." The reminder brought her back to her senses for a brief second, but Han was already laying down and bringing her with him, coaxing her legs over him, pulling her up so she was straddling his face.

This new position made her hesitate again--a response that lasted all of two seconds before Han's arms were around her legs and his mouth on her clit, and she was gone. Gone, gone, while his tongue danced patterns against her flesh. She pitched forward and braced her hands against the bulkhead, keeping herself from crashing into him.

Everything felt different in this position, somehow more immediate and intimate. She wasn't going to last long like this, but the strain on her body caught up with her mind, and she was aware of every instability in their position. She tensed her thighs, lifting herself up, away--

Han's fingers dug into her thighs, dragged her back to his mouth. The message was clear - I have you where I want you. It was another thing they agreed about, and this time, Leia let herself trust that Han would let her know if he needed her to move. Tentatively, she let herself grind against him, and his hands tightened on her thighs, holding her close, urging her on, massaging her until she settled in, then moving to her butt and spreading her further still.

She felt the strain in her arms again as she braced herself, but now it was a footnote to the sensation building as she rode Han and he lavished attention on her clit. Han brought her closer and closer to her climax until her arms were shaking, until she was shaking around him, aware that she could not afford to close her thighs like this and just wanting to let go, already--

Her orgasm broke through her whole body, the waves from it crashing through her, taking her deep into her own skin. She was this feeling, and nothing else.

As she came back down, Han shifted her off him, and he rolled his neck as he moved above her. "Magnificent," he said, shifting so he was pressed above her. She wanted to look at him forever.

Leia, still a little short of breath from her orgasm, lifted her arms around his neck and pulled him down, ending the kiss abruptly to say, "'Magnificent' is the right word for what you just did."

"Glad you appreciated it."

"Mm hmm," Leia said, kissing him again, reaching for his cock.

Han groaned appreciatively but broke away.

Surprised, Leia said, "What is it?"

Han looked at her with hooded eyes, hesitating.

"Tell me," Leia said. Whatever he wanted, she wanted to know, was almost certain she'd say yes.

"I'd like to--" Han gestured to her thighs. "Outside, of course."

Leia bit her lip and nodded, understanding why he'd hesitated, knowing that this felt different to him, required her trust, at least in appearance. "You'll need the lube," she said, and Han was already reaching for it.

He opened the bottle and poured some out onto his hand, slipping his hand between her thighs and teasing along the outside of her folds just enough to make her shiver while he coated her legs with the lube. Then, he took his cock in hand and thrust a few times, leaving his cock glistening.

Leia closed her thighs and Han positioned his cock between her legs. He stroked back and forth a couple of times, helping her press her legs together to create the right pressure.

Leia reached a hand up and brought his head to hers, kissing him as he thrust his cock in and out of the space between her thighs. Han's brow was furrowed in concentration, and the combination of his focus along with the friction that just hit the sensitive flesh of her labia was bringing her along for the ride.

Leia remembered their first night together. "Look at me," she said, pulling her head back so she could look him in the eyes. His eyes were closed, so she reached up to touch his face. "Han," she said, almost a sigh, and he opened his eyes to find hers. Leia felt completely in tune with him, their bodies moving together. His eyes never left hers, not even when his orgasm rippled through him and he pumped between her thighs to finish himself off.

That look told her everything she needed to know about Han Solo.

Another tiny wave of her own thrilled through her, surprising her. She let her head fall back to the bed, only raising it back up when Han came back with a towel. She helped him mop up and then pulled the bedcovers up so Han could crawl back into the bed. He helped her adjust the blanket and sheet, leaving the blanket for her and only tucking the sheet around his own body, obviously still warm with exertion.

Unlike the other nights, Leia didn't feel sleepy. She felt restless, wanted to talk but wasn't sure how productive that would be. Han still looked relaxed, though, and he opened an arm in a clear gesture for her to move closer. Leia hesitated for only a moment before taking the implied offer, tucking herself against his side and feeling immediately more settled, grounded.

"What're you thinking about?" Han said after a moment.

Leia laughed. "I'm not sure," she admitted. Surprising herself, she added, "Everything. Nothing. What--what is this?"

"Going straight for the million-credit question, I see." Han stroked his hand down her side, a light, reassuring touch. He sighed. "I don't know, sweetheart." The word felt more like an endearment than it ever had before. It made her think about the expression he'd had minutes before, suspended above her, looking into her eyes.

"You're still going to leave," Leia whispered.

"I have to. Jabba…"

"I know," Leia said. It wasn't the first time they'd talked about the bounty on his head, but it was the first time she truly felt that Han didn't want to leave. It made her miserable in a different way than the thought of him leaving from Hoth had.

Han put a finger under her chin and tilted her face toward his, kissing her just to kiss her, and it was a little sad, but it was also comforting, as if he knew what she felt and felt it, too. When the kiss ended, she settled back onto his shoulder, and they stayed like that, silently together, for a few minutes.

Finally, Han said, "We'll be able to fix the hyperdrive enough to get us to Bespin tomorrow. After that…"

"After that," Leia echoed. After that she'd go back to the Rebellion, piecing together their small fleet, working to find additional allies. After that Han would attempt to pay Jabba, knowing that he was already late, that he was walking into danger he might not be able to escape if Jabba decided to make an example of him instead of accepting restitution.

With a start, she realized she'd known all along--at least since the battle of Yavin, anyway--that she hadn't truly doubted Han's commitment to the Rebellion. She'd doubted where they stood, yes, but she'd really been afraid he wouldn't come back because he couldn't. For the first time in a long time, she looked at their options with the clarity brought by acknowledging the truth.

She loved him.

The knowledge made everything more complicated but also infinitely simpler. They knew the next move, and, hopefully, the few after that. And then… she knew without a doubt, that if Han could return to her, to the Rebellion… he would.

She held onto that certainty and tucked herself more securely against him. She yawned and said, "Tomorrow, before we get there, I think we should get some more use out of that box."

Han laughed softly. "I wouldn't miss it for the world." He pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead, and Leia let herself drift to sleep.