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Tears

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Han Solo doesn’t cry when his son kidnaps Rey, but he comes close. It’s like being bitten by a snake with two heads; he’s hit by two awful things at the same time. Ben’s carrying Rey in his arms like she weighs nothing at all, and Finn’s running after her, screaming — meanwhile, Han Solo is close to tears. 

Tears. All these tears, stored up for how long, brimming in his eyes even as he looks at his son going up the ramp of his shuttle. Tears that he can’t shed, because they won’t fall, but stars willing, he can feel the remnants of his tough guy image, the image that he’s been trying so hard to maintain, starting to fall to pieces. 

To tatters. 

It’s not just about Rey. It’s about Ben. Because even after all this time, he still loves his son more than Ben could ever possibly know, because Ben is the galaxy to him, because Ben is still Ben even if the mask hides his face. He loves Ben. More than Ben could understand, more than he could know, and these emotions are hitting him full blast...

When Finn says that Ben took Rey, he stumbles about, lost, saying almost distractedly, “Yeah, I know”, like he’s on autopilot, like he can’t think. Stars willing, he can’t. 

***

Throughout the confrontation with Ben, Han Solo doesn’t cry. He wants to, stars willing, but he can’t. Besides, he has to stay strong, for both of them. Because he loves this broken creature that is his son more than Finn or Rey or anyone could possibly know. 

His son is weeping openly, even as he confesses to being torn apart, and Han knows that it’s really Ben asking him for help, that it’s really Ben needing to be saved. 

Will you help me, Ben says, and Han says, without hesitation, Yes, anything. 

The lightsaber is a struggle, a mini-combat, in their hands. Ben wants to let go, and yet he can’t. And meanwhile, the light’s gone red. 

Starkiller Base is about to fire. 

The lightsaber goes through Han, and he can feel white hot heat spreading through his body. He hears Rey’s scream, Chewie’s howl, and he hears Ben’s words, soft, without any victory in them, as mournful as the toll of a requiem. “Thank you.”

The lightsaber withdraws, and Han still isn’t crying. He’s close, but he won’t cry. Instead, he reaches up to touch Ben’s face, a final gesture from father to son. He doesn’t know if there’s an afterlife, but he’s hoping that if there is one, they’ll all be happy together. Away from Snoke, away from anything who could hurt them. 

He looks up at Ben, and he promises that no matter what Ben does, he will always love his son. 

He falls. And falls forever. But he knows that even in the afterlife — if there is one — he’ll always love his son. 

Forever.