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Measure of a Scoundrel

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Leia climbed the ramp to the Falcon, tired and angry and very, very glad to be away from the rest of the Alliance for a few hours.

“Hey, sweetheart! I’m in the back…” Han’s voice became more muffled as he went on, probably trying to extricate himself from an unusual position needed to fix one of the Falcon’s perpetually malfunctioning components.

Leia didn’t even pause but headed straight for where she thought Han would be. He had just emerged from behind some ducts and was wiping off his hands. He grinned at her and started to make a comment about Princesses on rampages, but Leia just grabbed him and kissed him, throwing him off balance.

He managed to recover by falling against some conveniently placed crates. He thought briefly about asking what put her in such a mood, but Leia had already gotten past his shirt buttons and he decided thinking was overrated at moments like these.

*****

Han awoke to the sound of the shower shutting off. He dozed until Leia came in a few minutes later, her long hair wet and curling down her shoulders and back, wrapped in a thin robe he was sure he hadn’t seen before.

Then again, he didn’t usually pay much attention to what she wasn’t wearing.

She climbed into bed and snuggled next to him. He gave her a kiss, although he saw her wrinkle her nose just slightly.

“What?” he asked.

“You smell.”

He said, slightly offended. “Hey, now. You’re the one who got back into bed.”

“I mean,” she corrected, “You smell like us.”

She kissed him again, and he pulled her close, making her drape her legs over his so she was lying almost entirely on her back. Her hair splayed out on the pillow, creating dark swirls against the lighter pillowcase. He traced one of the strands up to where it became indistinguishable from the rest of her hair; then picked another and started again.

He said, “You wanna tell me about it?”

Leia sighed. “I’m getting your pillow wet.” She shifted as if to get up, but Han moved his hand to the other side of her head.

Reluctantly, she said. “Mon Mothma was in fine form today.”

Han’s mouth set into a line. “Told you to give up your scoundrel?”

“Something like that. She basically accused me of being indiscreet with my personal life.

“So I told her my personal life was none of her damn business. Then she said I was undermining my authority by carrying on this “affair” so publicly.”

Han winced. Leia drew in a breath.

“I asked her why she called it an affair.”

Leia turned her head to look at Han. He brushed back some hair that had fallen over her eyes. He whispered. “Good question.”

Leia relaxed visibly. She’d been worried she had overstepped an invisible line in their relationship, but Han’s reaction assured her she hadn’t been wrong to say what she did.

She frowned again. “She didn’t say anything at first. I just knew she was assuming I was either being naive or making some lame excuse for my supposedly indecent behavior.”

Han laughed. “I don’t think a couple of kisses in the mess hall and some slightly awkward brushes with authority in back corridors count as indecent.”

Leia smiled weakly. “That’s not it, though.”

Han finally groaned.

“She said I couldn’t possibly be thinking I could throw away everything we’d worked to achieve for some smuggler.”

She grinned, unable to help herself. “I was really angry.”

Han rolled his eyes, more than able to picture exactly how Leia had probably looked. He’d been on the receiving end of that glare more than once.

“I said--” here Leia choked with laughter, and Han got really worried. “I said that she was only saying that because she was wishing she had the courage to jump Wes.”

Han stared at Leia in disbelief. “No, you didn’t.”

Leia dissolved into laughter, but nodded. “She nearly slapped me.”

“You didn’t say it in front of anyone, did you?”

“Only Wes, Rieekan, and Wedge. They walked into the middle of it.”

Han was still gaping. He started to laugh, burying his face in the space between Leia’s neck and the pillow. Leia kept laughing herself, and they held on to each other until Leia eventually sobered.

Han propped himself up. “And they say I’m the one with the big mouth.”

“What was I thinking?”

Han grinned. “I’m not sure, exactly, but I think I like the new you.”

Leia grabbed a pillow and hit Han with it ineffectually.

Han took the pillow and shifted so Leia was half pinned underneath him. 

“So Mon Mothma says you’re not an honest woman.”

Leia nodded. “Tainted by association.” She managed to sound only slightly bitter.

“This is not good.” Han’s tone was light, teasing. “We can’t have people looking down on you because of the company you keep.”

“Han, this isn’t funny.”

He ran his finger down along the inside of the robe’s opening. Leia shivered.

Han kissed her on the collarbone. “I’m not being entirely sarcastic.”

“You going to turn respectable?”

Han kissed her a little lower down.

“Never.”

He kissed her again a little lower.

“Well…a guy can still be a scoundrel if he’s married, right?” He had almost reached her stomach.

Leia went absolutely still.

Han ignored her reaction and pulled the robe apart just a little so he could reach her belly.

“Wha—what did you just say?”

“I asked you a question, and you aren’t listening,” Han chided her.

“I don’t—could you repeat it, please?”

Han smirked at her.

“I asked you if you’d marry me.”

Leia was quite sure that something had been lost in the translation somewhere. The more she thought about it, the more she was sure she had misunderstood something.

“Leia, I know it’s not traditional to ask like this, but you really should at least give me an answer.”

“Yes,” she said, dazed.

Han brushed his hand down her arm. “Which question was that an answer to?”

Leia recovered finally and said. “The first one.”

Han would have preferred her to answer the other question first. He hadn’t thought it would be this difficult. He wondered, insanely, if it was the product of all that diplomacy. He knew there was a reason to despise it.

Leia raised her head and kissed him. When she drew back, she said, “That’s for your cryptic questions.”

“Was that an answer?”

Leia smiled.