Honestly one of my favourite headcanons is that the Rebel High Command are all vaguely disapproving of the princess Leia spending so much time around that smuggler, to say nothing of the way the smuggler talks to her, and looks at her, and yells at her, and generally treats her like a Corellian commoner has no business treating an Alderaanian princess, and they all scowl about it
all of them except Rieekan, who’s taken Han on as a sort of protegé (not that Han is aware of this), just quietly pushing him in the right direction and encouraging him to take on a leadership role and so on, Rieekan who only cares about Han’s abilities and maybe also the way he can make Leia smile and rage and feel, and who tells Mon Mothma and the others that Solo is a good man, okay, even if he doesn’t always show it
and the arguments, like, Mon Mothma being like “listen Carlist she’s all alone now, we need to look out for her” and Rieekan’s like “I AM looking out for her and so is Solo”
Like, we see exactly none of this in the movies but we all know that that’s totally how it went.
“I didn’t anticipate so much of an audience,” Leia said, her voice still thick with her long sleep – she wasn’t critical or annoyed, just – surprised.
“Everyone just wanted to make sure you were okay, Lelila” Riekkan said earnestly, setting down the tray of breakfast foods he’d brought her back from mess. Han knew she would barely pick at it, but maybe it would give her some comfort, knowing there were people looking out for her? (Yeah right, said a voice in his head, as if she’s ever enjoyed being looked out for.)
“Everyone…” she echoed warily, rubbing her eyes a little. He could see her trying to take subtle survey of her own body, tilting her head and flexing her fingers and trying to tell what hurt – he was doing the same, about her. Noticing the way her knees were pressed together a bit strangely, how she was leaning on the doorway, how her face seemed waxy with sweat.
“Just us and then Mothma,” Han assured her, picking up too on her anxiety. “They,” he jerked his thumb there, “were switching shifts through the night, to mark when you needed meds.”
“Mon – Mon was here?” she asked, yawning, perplexed.
He frowned, wondering if it was just sleepiness or something more insidious like fever. “Yeah, apparently she took you to medical? She uh – she said she sat with you through the exam…?”
Leia’s face went white, probably at the horror of that level of intimacy in front of her role model. “Oh. Yes. I remember now.”
“I know, I hate it there, too sterile, nothing real,” he murmured, covering for her, giving her an out.
“Was your exam okay?” she asked, still looking anxiously between them.
“Mmhm––” he began, but stopped himself and then carefully continued. “Well. They want me to sit around for a few days, not push it, rest. Kinda said you’d sit with me – hope that’s okay.” He tried to give her a sheepish grin as Riekkan’s eyes bored into him. The older man knew Han was lying, of course, completely lying, in fact he’d been totally cleared, but maybe he’d understand that this would probably be the only way to keep Leia from rushing straight back to work or else being totally mortified and humiliated that she wasn’t allowed to.
“Of course,” she said graciously, taking tentative step before grimacing and keeping her post in the doorframe. Han tried not to grimace in horror. “Of course, the most important thing is that you’re alright.”
“Yeah,” he agreed, trying to make it sound genuine.
“There’s breakfast for you here, Lelila,” Riekkan offered gently. “You should try to eat something – the medication is hard on an empty stomach.”
“Yeah, you brought home some stuff with you, ‘ve been waking you up every few hours for narcs and there’s some other stuff,” Han said slowly, and she pursed her lips and nodded.
“Come eat?” Riekkan again, and Han could see the look of pure humiliation on Leia’s face and wanted to throw up.
“Hey, why don’t you grab her meds an’ things from the ‘fresher, huh? So she can see what everything is and get a handle on it?” Han said quickly, and once the older man had exited he headed over to where she was standing with quick strides. She had the back of her palm against her cheek, as if trying to feel for fever.
He laid his own against her forehead. It felt a little hot, but not worse than it did yesterday. “Not so bad, just fightin’ off infection I think,” he murmured to her, and he could see her suck in an anxious, emotional breath before calming herself. “S’go, alright?”
He slung his arm around her shoulders and helped her do a careful, cautious shuffle over to the couch, trying to keep his expression neutral even though the tightness of his grip on her upper-arm probably betrayed her emotion. But maybe she was still too out of it to notice that. Without fanfare, he helped her ease back onto the couch and pretended not to notice the hiss of pain that escape from between her teeth. Instead, he slung a blanket over her shoulders and scooted the tray closer before sitting beside her.
“You’re due for another painkiller right about now,” he said in a low voice. “Should feel a little better after it kicks in, honey.”
She nodded quickly, looking away, before breathing deeply and giving him a smile.
“I’m so glad to hear you’re alright,” she said, kissing his cheek. “I was so worried. For months and months…”
He gave her a half-smile. “Yeah. M’glad to be back.”
“And you have to take the doctors’ advice seriously, Han. If they say take it easy you really must take it easy.”
“Yeah,” he said, looking away. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d lied to her, fuck. “Yeah, for sure, I will.”