hardwood forest

anonymous asked:

Is it ok to have Garden gnomes in your garden?

My expertise is only in American cryptids, so this advice is specific to Rufusgalerum americianum, the most common “Garden Gnome, but it’s worth noting that “Gnome” is a name applied to several very different species.

R. Americanum, or “Common Garden Gnome” is a small (Body 4-12 inches tall, “cap” usually about the same) omnivorous cryptid native to the hardwood forests of the eastern US and Canada, that has adapted extremely well to suburbs and is now found all over the continent.  It’s most distinctive feature is it’s pointed, bright red “cap”.  the Cap is part of R. americanum’s body, not a detectable article, and appears to be both a feature to attract mates and the anatomy that distributes spores once fertilization has occurred.

R. americanum is fine in the garden (they’re often encouraged to take up residence becuase they prey on small fairies and out-eat larger, more dangerous cryptids, keeping them away from residential areas) but if they start trying to get indoors they’re probably getting too human-acclimated and you should use bear mace to haze them.  Less foul-tempered than thier European cousins, they become ‘tame’ very easily but still retain thier wild nature and will attack if cornered or picked up.  R. americanum is very strong for it’s size and those teeth are meant to go through tree roots.

Rufusgalerum germanica  or “Redcap” is a whole different kettle of very nasty fish though.  R. germanica is an obligate carnivore that will eat anything from house cats to human hands if given the opportunity.  Very territorial and living in large underground ‘warrens”, R. germanica has not adapted well to encroaching human habitation, and is now almost exclusively nocturnal to cope.  Most human encounters are limited to “Weird scuttling noises and garbage strewn all over the yard” or “Missing cats” and are usually blamed on the local teenagers, but people have been attacked and maimed by agitated Redcaps.  In 1980, an elderly Wizard was wandering in the woods of West County, England after  losing a duel to an infant, and a pack of redcaps successfully overpowered, killed and ate him, much to the relief of the local magical community.

There are worries about less-scrupulous people importing redcaps to american underground cryptid fighting rings, both becuase the ‘sport’ is cruel and becuase they may escape and cross-breed with the human-acclimated R. americanum.  The only known predator of Rufusgalerum genus is the badger, though some communities have reported moderate success in controlling overpopulation with dachshunds.

*It is very important to not that “Gnome” only properly refers to the nonsapient Rufusgalerum genus.  Applying the term to sapient ‘lower’ fae, even if they use the term themselves, is RUDE and grounds for moderate cursing. Mind Your Manners.

flickr

3 Ponds Trail (6) by Nicholas A. Tonelli 
Mixed hardwood forest at peak autumn color, Carbon County, along the 3 Ponds Trail at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.

2

No one knows where the Elves came from, but they have been around for millennia in the tundra. Deep down we fear them, superstitions arise that they have unnatural powers and so called all seeing leader. The elves have no need for money, what they demand is trees from the hardwood forests to the south of their land. They eat the needles and sap, and use the wood to construct and carve various “gifts” of extreme intricacy, and drop them off to the south during the longest nights of the year.

The Octics warn us about them. While a mere 3 feet tall now, it was not always that way they claim. In the old ages they were over 6 feet tall and lived for thousands of years. Instead of toys they made great bows and arrows, and made the mightiest of swords. No army could defeat them, and indeed the Octic were helpless to defend their lands from the Elven’s might and rule. The end of the Elven age was through the reign of St Nikklas Cläus. Cläus is a 10 foot tall monster of an Elf, believing himself to be both prosecutor and judge of all mortal men, and under his tyrannical lead he forced all elvenkind to move out of the forest and into the white wasteland. The new generation of elves, malnourished on rationed pine needles became diminutive and sickly.

Merry Christmas everyone

60 seconds on... the world’s first building made from hardwood CLT

Credit: Alex de Rijke.

What is it?

Maggie’s Oldham, UK, is the world’s first building made from hardwood cross-laminated timber (CLT). Located at specialist NHS cancer hospitals and designed to be welcoming, Maggie’s Centres provide professional support to people living with cancer.

Who is involved?

UK-based company, dRMM Architects, designed Maggie’s Oldham, while CLT specialists, Züblin Timber, Germany, developed the structural CLT panels.

What materials are involved?

CLT is a prefabricated wood panel, consisting of several sheets of timber layered in alternating directions to increase strength. The 27.6m3 of American tulipwood and 1.1m3 of American ash that make up Maggie’s is equivalent to 55.22m3 and 2.1m3 respectively of sawn wood prior to processing.

How is it novel?

Tulipwood is the fourth most abundant timber in US hardwood forests. With the speed of growth greater than the level of harvesting, it is also under-exploited. It is fast-growing, naturally reseeds and is a carbon store. 

To read more on this topic see page 3 of the upcoming August issue of Materials World.

BTOB Vocal Aesthetics

Happy 2000 days with BTOB!!!! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to crank out a drawing today, so have these instead :)

Eunkwang: gold jewelry, amber, varnished antique hardwood floors, cedar forests, sunlit fields, detailed embroidery, cicada song

Minhyuk: moss-blanketed sheer cliffs, canyons, ivy, granite, dry creek beds, tumbled pebbles, Japanese gardens

Changsub: clouds, snowfall, winter trees, meadows in the early morning, spiderwebs, blown dust, puffy white coats and scarves,  pockets full of seashells

Hyunsik: calligraphy, marble, heavy drapery, polished grand pianos, slants of light and shadow reflected off of simple house shutters, Greek-style architecture 

Peniel: crayons, pastel, contemporary art, colorful quilts, elaborate beaded jewelry, cute ankle tattoos, flower crowns, handmade friendship bracelets

Ilhoon: pixel graphics, graffiti, night markets, abandoned cityscapes overrun by nature, hundreds of car taillights glowing in midnight traffic

Sungjae: candlelight, poppies, fireflies, paper lanterns, agate, fairy lights, oil paint, sunsets that seem to light trees aflame

2

Spotted wintergreen or pipsissewa (Chimaphila maculata) is an evergreen herb found growing in dry, acidic soil in temperate hardwood forests throughout Appalachia. It is easily distinguished by the deep white veins on its leaves.  Wintergreen uses creeping rhizomes to spread across the forest floor, resulting in the appearance of bunched stems that actually belong to the same plant.  Native Americans used the plant to treat rheumatism and stomach ailments. Although the leaves are edible (an extract is sometimes used to flavor candy and root beer), some folks experience an allergic reaction to the plant’s oils. The plant is becoming increasingly rare throughout its range and is endangered in some locations, so it’s always better to leave it undisturbed when you find it.

Han and Leia Appreciation Week Day 6 Family and Scoundress Saturdays Kira’s Origin Story

So, if you’ve been following along all of my posts except for my Day 3 post about the time I was high in front of Carrie Fisher at the St. Louis Airpot and the “I’m nice men” post have all been from the same AU. 

This AU takes place two years after the Battle of Yavin and rewrites some of the events in ESB. “Red” is from this AU and several others. There’s a child Kira, mentioned in this AU that seems to be Han and Leia’s but appears way to soon to actually be their child. 

Oh, and Han is in this one and there’s a bit of his back story here too. I know, finally right? 

For the family prompt day, I thought I’d rough out her origin story. It’s still really rough and rambling but it’s a work in progress. Guess what? It’s angsty. It’s been a rough day, I’ve been chewing my thumbs (yep, that’s me!) and rambling in my headcanon. 

Han had been surprised when Leia had taken him up on the offer to take her to the Hardwood Forest Region of Corellia for the R&R that General Rieekan had insisted she take to recover after she’d been shot by that bounty hunter on Ord Mantell. She’d been working for two years solid since the Battle of Yavin and Rieekan had decided it was time for a break and had enlisted Solo to make sure she took one. He liked the smuggler and knew that the smuggler cared for the Princess enough to take the responsibility seriously. 

“Now.” Han spoke shutting down the Falcon completely. Something that Leia had never seen him do. “My job is to make sure you actually get some R&R. Your General Rieekan said so.” 

Leia rolled her eyes. “You can’t order someone to relax.” She got up. 

“Listen your highness, once you see this place you won’t need orders.” He spoke following her out of the cockpit. 

“Your smuggler’s hideout? Sure Han, I’m sure it’s lovely just like the Falcon.” She spoke bitterly. “I don’t know why we couldn’t have rented some place.” 

“Trust me.” He spoke gathering their luggage onto his shoulders. 

“I wish Chewie were here.” She sighed. 

“What? You don’t trust me without my furry chaperone?” He smiled at her. “It’s not that, I like the idea of him being here just in case we have to get away quick.” She spoke looking around at the primitive open air touch port. 

“It was time for him to visit his mate Leia, he’d been gone too long this time.” Han spoke in such a gentle way that Leia didn’t offer a rebuttal. She nodded and watched him load their bags in a ratty old landspeeder. 

“You sure this thing’s going to run?” 

“Positive.” He drawled taking a distributor out of a locked bulkhead and installing it under the hood. “Try it.” He winked at her. 

She stared the speeder and it roared to life on the first try. He smiled hopping in. She shook her head and turned away from him so he wouldn’t see her smile as they sped away deep into the forest. 

Leia wandered around the small but well appointed manual cabin that served as Han’s hideout. She was impressed, it was spartan but clean and had an oddly warm feel to it. She looked closer at the walls and could see where holographs had once hung. She’d seen Han quickly clear away a pile of what looked like children’s blocks as if he didn’t want her to see them.  She realized as she looked around that a woman had lived here at some point by the way the place had been decorated. It had never occurred to her that Han may have had a family before he’d become a smuggler. She ran her hand along the burled wood countertops in the kitchen, they were lovely with iridescent resin inlays that matched all of the surfaces in the home. Whoever’d built this place had put a lot of care and work into it. 

“I set you up in the extra room, you’ll have to excuse the paint the previous resident was decidedly younger.” He scrubbed the back of his head nervously. “Never expected to have anyone else sleep in there.” He cleared his throat. “The bed’s kinda small but I think you’ll manage. Um… you want a tour?” 

“Sure.” Leia followed him around the small house and listened intently as he rattled off the details of the way the stones were laid for the fireplace and the way the inlay was created in the burled surfaces. 

“Han?” She spoke quietly as she followed him down the hall to the sleeping quarters and he pointed out the bathing tub on the way. “Did you build this place yourself?” 

He nodded. “Used to live here full time.” “It’s really quite lovely.” “Thanks.” He spoke opening the door to the extra bedroom. “Again, sorry about the paint.” “Oh, Han powder pink? It’s the bedroom of a fairy princess.” She laughed. 

He cleared his throat. “Yeah well, you could sleep on the couch.” 

Leia sighed. “Han…” 

“Do what you want your worship.” He turned and stormed off. 

“I um… I thought I’d go to the marketplace tomorrow.” Han broke the silence of a ration dinner that evening. 

Leia nodded. 

“You know, get some real food.” He spoke more to his dinner than he did to her. “I’m a pretty decent cook…” 

“Han.” She cut him off. 

He looked at her with those big hazel eyes and she knew why Chewie called him cub, he looked like a puppy sometimes. 

“I’m sorry.” 

He shrugged. “We’re fine Princess.” He got up and headed out onto the deck. 

Leia retired early and curled up in what was obviously a child’s sleeping couch, she’d had one like it when she was much younger on Alderaan. She was sure Han had once had a family and by his moodiness she was almost positive they were dead. She wondered if that life event had been what had pushed him into the life he led now. She’d read his file, he’d been an Imperial and well decorated. He’d gone from active duty to reserve and then after several years went AWOL and the record ended there. She’d never asked and he’d never offered. Two years they’d known each other and he knew more about her than any other living soul, even Luke. As she lie there in the moonlight she realized she knew almost nothing about him before he was Han Solo the Captan of the Millennium Falcon. 

Leia walked with Han through the market, he seemed on edge and even more hyper vigilant than he normally was. He kept a hand on his blaster and a hand in the small of her back keeping her close. She stopped to look at some local trinkets while he picked out some seasonal vegetables, if he hadn’t been giving her the silent treatment she could have almost believed that they were in a comfortable relationship. She watched a group of street kids beg for credits using a toddler as a prop. She locked eyes with the little girl, she couldn’t have been more than two. She had huge brown eyes so much like her own and she almost seemed to hum like an ion like a pulse. 

“Leia.” Han spoke, he sounded so far away and she could barely hear him over the little girl’s… force presence? “Hey.” He grabbed her arm gently. 

She looked into his eyes. “Those children over there.” She looked around him. “Do… do they have parents?” 

He looked over his shoulder. “Probably not.” 

“But that little girl, she’s just a baby.” 

“Yeah, that’s the reality of your little war sweetheart… orphans.” He spoke trying to pull her into motion. 

“But I can feel her.” Leia spoke rooted to the spot. 

“What do you want to do huh? Take her home and raise her yourself?” He joked bitterly. 

She looked at him. “Han, she’s a baby, the rest of those kids are old enough to make it but you know what will happen to her. And if I can feel her, if the Imperials find her…” 

“Leia, we can’t just take her.” 

“But Han, she feels… she feels like me.” 

“What in the hells do you want me to do about it Leia?” 

“I don’t know.” 

He sighed. “Go to the speeder.” 

“Han.” 

“Leia.” He handed her their shopping. “Just go and never ask me about this again. I’ll be right there.” 

Leia sat in the speeder fuming.  Who the hell did he think the was talking to her like that? And why in the hell did she let him? Asshole. He’s been an asshole since the moment we got here. Arrogant so kriffing arrogant. She fumed hunting around in the compartments of the speeder and found a pack of cigarettes. Fine, I’ll smoke his cigarettes then.  She thought bitterly and lit up taking a long soothing drag. She didn’t smoke often but it helped when she did. She wiped her eyes when the tears fell without her permission. That poor child, that poor force sensitive child. Gods, she could still feel her and her presence was getting stronger and stronger as she waited on Han to return. 

“Hey.” Han spoke quietly tearing her out of her thoughts a few minutes later. 

“What?” 

“You want to help me here?” She looked at him with the child from the marketplace in his arms. 

“Han?” 

“I told you, not to ever ask.” He spoke handing her over. He’d eventually tell her that’d he’d fully stocked the other kids with a bunch of non-perishable food and warm clothes in return for the baby. They’d found her after a skirmish several weeks before and were using her for sympathy so Han sweetened the deal with spiced whiskey and cigarettes. 

“What’s her name?” Leia spoke watching her sleep in the powder pink bedroom of Han’s hideout. 

“Dunno Leia.”  He shrugged. “Kid’s had been calling her Kira. Who knows what her real name is, it’s not like she came with all of her filmsies.” 

She nodded. “So, I assume you had a child?” She gestured to the crated he’d brought down from the attic. 

“Fane. She and Sulen my wife, were killed in that marketplace. She was about this kid’s age back then.” He spoke quietly. “Suicide bomber.” 

“Imperial?” 

He shook his head. “Rebel.” 

“I’m sorry.” 

“I’ll work for your people.” His voice shook. “But I ain’t ever enlisting. I just can’t do it Lei.” 

“I’ll never ask again.” 

He slipped his arm around her and pressed his lips against the top of her head as they watched the child sleep safe in her own bed for probably the first time in her short life.

Haiti Takes Root: a partnership to reforest Haiti

Trees are critical. Two hundred years ago, Haiti’s mountainous slopes were covered with dense forests, tropical hardwoods, fruit trees, and valuable crops. Since then, tree cover has decreased to ~30%. This massive deforestation is the result of a complex interplay of historic, economic, social, and ecological factors. These factors have caused drought and famine in one part of the world while causing environmental degradation in another.

Photo by Michael Muller

It is in response to the strain on local agriculture and the dramatic loss of tree cover in Haiti that we have created Haiti Takes Root. HTR is a unique public-private coalition led by the Government of Haiti, whose goal is to reverse over 200 years of deforestation in-country. J/P HRO is a founding member of this coalition comprised of the Government of France, World Bank, and Parker Foundation. We believe that re-greening Haiti will take massive injection of new resources, more efficient programming, and research that brings innovative practices to the economic, energy, and environment sectors.

How are we helping? 

We are partnering with ACCESO on farmer relief packages and sustainable agroforestry. ACCESO’s model is unique because farmers receiving material and technical support also receive a guarantee from ACCESO to buy their crops. The link between immediate relief and long-term sustainability - a focus for J/P - is thus clear.

The project will begin with an initial integration with Cavaillon, where we will co-finance:

  1. a tree nursery/anchor farm;
  2. the distribution of approximately 300 “farmer relief kits” containing seeds, seedlings, and tools; and,
  3. provide farmer extension services and guaranteed purchase of crops over a 5-year period. 

In partnership with American Red Cross we are working on urban planning and community mobilization for an urban greening initiative. After the 2010 earthquake, a spontaneous settlement emerged in Canaan and has since grown to become the fourth-largest city in Haiti with a population over 300,000. Two main activities were implemented as part of this objective of the project

  1. The design, construction, and supervision of green public spaces.
  2. The training and mobilization of Urban population on tree planting and protection.

What is our ultimate goal?

  • Promotion of environmentally sustainable agroforestry value chains
  • Preservation of critical protected areas
  • Reduction in use of unsustainable charcoal and firewood

With increased public and private partnerships, more efficient programming, and increased productivity of reforestation efforts, we will improve climate resilience, reduce environmental degradation, and increase rural livelihoods.

Chapter 1 Untitled ESB AU

So you’ll recognize the first few parts of this from previous posts, they were snippets of a much larger project.  This fic is currently 71 pages long, this is the first chapter as it reads right now, the last line was literally written ten minutes ago or less.  

Moccoan Basic–Native Alderaani (Space Spanish)

Trigger Warning:  Implied sexual assault, mild smut, mild self harm, drug use, talk of sexual acts and I think that’s it.  If you read this and I have missed a trigger, please let me know or add it when you reblog.  

This is for you @inelegantprose

Chapter 1

Han had been surprised when Leia had taken him up on the offer to take her to the Hardwood Forest Region of Corellia for the R&R that General Rieekan had insisted she take to recover after she’d been shot by that bounty hunter on Ord Mantell.  She’d been working for two years solid since the Battle of Yavin and Rieekan had decided it was time for a break and had enlisted Solo to make sure she took one.  He liked the smuggler and knew that the smuggler cared for the Princess enough to take the responsibility seriously.  

“Now.”  Han spoke shutting down the Falcon completely.  Something that Leia had never seen him do.  “My job is to make sure you actually get some R&R.  Your General Rieekan said so.”  

Leia rolled her eyes.  “You can’t order someone to relax.”  She got up.  

“Listen your highness, once you see this place you won’t need orders.”  He spoke following her out of the cockpit.  

“Your smuggler’s hideout?  Sure Han, I’m sure it’s lovely just like the Falcon.”  She spoke bitterly.  “I don’t know why we couldn’t have rented some place.”  

“Trust me.”  He spoke gathering their luggage onto his shoulders.  

“I wish Chewie were here.”  She sighed.  

“What?  You don’t trust me without my furry chaperone?”  He smiled at her.  

“It’s not that, I like the idea of him being here just in case we have to get away quick.”  She spoke looking around at the primitive open are touch port.  

“It was time for him to visit his mate Leia, he’d been gone too long this time.”  Han spoke in such a gentle way that Leia didn’t offer a rebuttal.  

She nodded and watched him load their bags in a ratty old landspeeder.  “You sure that’s going to run?”  

“Positive.”  He drawled taking a distributor out of a locked bulkhead and installing it under the hood.  “Try it.”  He winked at her.  She started the speeder and it roared to life on the first try.  He smiled hopping in.  She shook her head and turned away from him so he wouldn’t see her smile as they sped away deep into the forest.  

Leia wandered around the small but well appointed manual cabin that served as Han’s hideout.  She was impressed, it was spartan but clean and had an oddly warm feel to it.  She looked closer at the walls and could see where holographs had once hung.  She’d seen Han quickly clear away a pile of what looked like children’s blocks as if he didn’t want her to see them and it was clear that a woman had lived here at some point.  It had never occurred to her that Han may have had a family before he became a smuggler.  She ran her hand along the burled wood counter tops in the kitchen, they were lovely with iridescent resin inlays.  Whoever’d built this place had put a lot of care and work into it.  

“I set you up in the extra room, you’ll have to excuse the paint the previous resident was decidedly younger.”  He scrubbed the back of his head nervously.  “Never expected to have anyone else sleep in there.”  He cleared his throat.  “The bed’s kinda small but I think you’ll manage.  Um… you want a tour?”  

“Sure.”  

Leia followed him around the small house and listened intently as he rattled off the details of the way the stones were laid for the fireplace and the way the inlay was created in the burled surfaces.  

“Han?”  She spoke quietly as she followed him down the hall to the sleeping quarters and he pointed out the bathing tub on the way.  “Did you build this place yourself?”  

He nodded.  “Used to live here full time.”  

“It’s really quite lovely.”  

“Thanks.”  He spoke opening the door to the extra bedroom.  “Again, sorry about the paint.”  

“Oh, Han powder pink?  It’s the bedroom of a fairy princess.”  She laughed.  

He cleared his throat.  “Yeah well, you could sleep on the couch.”  

Leia sighed.  “Han…”

“Do what you want your worship.”  He turned and stormed off.  

“I um… I thought I’d go to the marketplace tomorrow.”  Han broke the silence of a ration dinner that evening.  

Leia nodded.  

“You know, get some real food.”  He spoke more to his dinner than he did to her.  “I’m a pretty decent cook…”

“Han.”  She cut him off.  

He looked at her with those big hazel eyes and she knew why Chewie called him cub, he looked like a puppy sometimes.  

“I’m sorry.”  

He shrugged.  “We’re fine Princess.”  He got up and headed out onto the deck.  

Leia retired early and curled up in what was obviously a child’s sleeping couch, she’d had one like it when she was much younger on Alderaan.  She was sure Han had once had a family and by his moodiness she was almost positive they were dead.  She wondered if that life event had been that had pushed him into the life he led now.  She’d read his file, he’d been an Imperial and well decorated.  He’d gone from active duty to reserve and then after several years went AWOL and the record ended there.  She’d never asked and he’d never offered.  Two years they’d known each other and he knew more about her than any other living soul, even Luke.  As she lie there in the moonlight she realized she knew almost nothing about him before he was Han Solo the Captan of the Millennium Falcon.  

Leia walked with Han through the market, he seemed on edge and even more hyper vigilant than he normally was.  He kept a hand on his blaster and a hand in the small of her back keeping her close.  She stopped to look at some local trinkets while he picked out some seasonal vegetables, if he hadn’t been giving her the silent treatment she could have almost believed that they were in a comfortable relationship.  She watched a group of street kids beg for credits using a toddler as a prop.  She locked eyes with the little girl, she couldn’t have been more than two.  She had huge brown eyes so much like her own and she almost seemed to hum like an ion like a pulse.  

“Leia.”  Han spoke, he sounded so far away and she could barely hear him over the little girl’s force presence?  “Hey.”  He grabbed her arm gently.  

She looked into his eyes.  “Those children over there.”  She looked around him.  “Do… do they have parents?”  

He looked over his shoulder. “Probably not.”  

“But that little girl, she’s just a baby.”  

“Yeah, that’s the reality of your little war sweetheart… orphans.”  He spoke trying to pull her into motion.  

“But I can feel her.”  Leia spoke rooted to the spot.  

“What do you want to do huh?  Take her home and raise her yourself?”  He joked bitterly.  

She looked at him.  “Han, she’s a baby, the rest of those kids are old enough to make it but you know what will happen to her.  And if I can feel her, if the Imperials find her…”

“Leia, we can’t just take her.”  

“But Han, she feels… she feels like me.”  

“What in the hells do you want me to do about it Leia?”

“I don’t know.”  

He sighed.  “Go to the speeder.”  

“Han.”  

“Leia.”  He handed her their shopping.  “Just go and never ask me about this again.  I’ll be right there.”  

Leia sat in the speeder fuming.  Who the hell did he think the was talking to her like that?  And why in the hell did she let him?  Asshole.  He’s been an asshole since the moment we got here.  Arrogant so kriffing arrogant.  She fumed hunting around in the compartments of the speeder and found a pack of cigarettes.  Fine, I’ll smoke his cigarettes then.  She lit up and took a long drag she didn’t smoke often but it helped when she did.  She wiped her eyes when her tears fell without her permission.  That poor child, that poor force sensitive child.  Gods, she could still feel her and her presence was getting stronger and stronger as she waited on Han to return.  

“Hey.”  Han spoke quietly tearing her out of her thoughts a few minutes later.  

“What?”  

“You want to help me here?”  

She looked at him with the child from the marketplace in his arms.  “Han?”  

“I told you, not to ever ask.”  He spoke handing her over.  He’d eventually tell Leia that’d he’d fully stocked the other kids with a bunch of non-perishable food and warm clothes in return for the baby.  They’d found her after a skirmish several weeks before and were using her for sympathy so Han sweetened the deal with spiced whiskey and cigarettes.  

“What’s her name?”  Leia spoke watching her sleep in the powder pink bedroom of Han’s hideout.  

He shrugged.  “Kids had been calling her Kira.  Who knows what her real name is, it’s not like she came with all of her filmsies.”  

She nodded.  “So, I assume you had a child?”   She gestured to the crated he’d brought down from the attic.  

“Fane.  She and my wife Sulen were killed in that marketplace.  She was about the kid’s age back then.”  He spoke quietly.  “Suicide bomber.”  

“Imperial?”  

He shook his head.  “Rebel.”  

“I’m sorry.”  

“I’ll work for you.”  His voice shook.  “But I ain’t ever enlisting.  I just can’t do it Lei.”  

“I’ll never ask again.”  

He slipped his arm around her and pressed his lips against the top of her head.  

“So what’s the plan?”  Han spoke rounding the bantha leather sofa and handing her a glass of wine from the stash of Aldera he kept for her on the Falcon.  

“I have no idea.”  She spoke watching him sit down next to her.  

“Do you know anything about raising a child?”  He looked down the hall where Kira slept n Fane’s room, in Fane’s bed wearing Fane’s footy pajamas… the blue ones with the doggy in the flight suit.  He cleared his throat and looked at Leia trying to focus on what she was saying.  

“Hmm mmm.”  She spoke sipping her wine.  “I never wanted children Han.  I spent most of my own childhood afraid that my parents were going to give me back or try to marry me off to so fancy, vapid prince.”  

“I figured fancy, vapid princes were your sort of thing.”  He half shrugged and raised his eyebrows, just thankful for a joke he could use to put up his smuggler Han Solo mask and cover his husband and father Han Solo face that Leia didn’t know yet.  He figured it was best to just stay the course for a little longer and keep the mask on.    

She slapped his shoulder.  “Really?  After two years and all of our late night talks when I can’t get back to sleep and that’s what you think of me?”  

“Hey.”  He rubbed his arm still not quite back to himself.  “Easy your highness, I bruise.”  

She smiled at him.  “No, the last thing I want is some jackass who doesn’t know how to handle himself in a fire fight, because that’s what you’re going to get with me… a fire fight.”  

He nodded and watched her watch the fire she’d hand built in the fire place.  “Where’d you learn to do that.”  He gestured vaguely to the fireplace.  

“I used to run away a lot and hide in the woods.  After the last time papa decided to let me spend summers out there.  So, I taught myself how to fend for myself in the wild.”  

“That’s why you’re such a good shot.”  

She nodded.  

“Why’d you run away so much?  Figured you had pretty easy as a princess.”  

“I’m not good at the princess part, Senator sure, mercenary, spy?  Yeah, princess.”  She shook her head.  “I’m just not polished enough.  It’s like I can’t sit still for too long.”  

Hey eyed her picking at her thumb as she spoke and reached over lacing her fingers with his.  “You’re hard on your hands.”  

She nodded.  “It helps.”  

“Helps with what?”  He set down his wine and took her hand in both of his.  

“Sometimes I just feel so… I don’t know, like I’m made of this big ball of tangled wire and it pokes and it heats up and burns.  And I can feel things, people, emotions…”

“Like Kira?”  

She nodded.  “And sometimes it’s all just too much.”  

He took her wine out of her hand and set it down.  “You know, I’m pretty good in a fire fight.”  He spoke gently turning back to her.  “And I ain’t no vapid prince.”  He spoke cupping her face.  He watched her close her eyes and lean into his hand as he stroked her cheek with his thumb.  

“But you’re leaving.”  She spoke thickly.  “Remember?”  

“I don’t want to.”  He spoke quietly letting the mask fall just a bit.  

She opened her eyes and met his gaze.  “Stay.”  

He sighed pressing his forehead against hers.  “That bounty hunter almost killed you.”  

“And I have an execute only order on my head as well.”  She shrugged.

“Leia.”  He sat back.  “My wife and daughter were killed five years ago because I wasn’t there to protect them.”  

“If you’d been there you’d have been killed with them.”  She spoke examining the callouses on his hands.  

“I’ve seen it.  I’m a pretty vigilant guy.”  

“Yeah, now.”  

He shook his head dismissively.  “Listen to me.”  He stroked her cheek.  “I can’t take any chances with this.  I can’t keep putting you at risk.  I can’t go through that again.”  

“What if we neutralize the Hutts on Tatooine, no syndicate, no debt, no bounty.”  

He sighed.  “You want to start a war with the Hutts?”  

“We’re at war with everyone else.”  

He shook his head.  “Lei…”

She took his hand in both of hers.  “I’ll go with you, as a representative of the Rebel Alliance and…”

“He’ll have you dressed in an iron bikini and strapped to his throne.”  He sat back against the sofa.  

She sighed.  

“Lei?”  

She looked at him, looked into those deep hazel puppy-dog eyes.  He looked so vulnerable and so open. Gods, he looked like he loved her.  

“Can we just have now?  Can we stop talking about me leaving and have some time without everything else?”  

She shook her head.  “It’s going to hurt.”  

“Leia.”  He spoke spoke gently.  “Sometimes life hurts.”  He pulled her into his arms.  “But sometimes if you let it, life can feel really good.”  He kissed her temple.  “Can we just have some good?”  Gods, he felt so good.  She had difficulty thinking when he was this close.  “Come on Leia, you can let yourself have a little good.  All the bad you’ve had, you deserve a little good.”    

She looked at him.  “Okay hotshot.”  

He smiled at her.  

“But, I’m not just going to go to bed with you.”  

“No.”  He kissed the bridge of her nose.  “Of course not your highnessness.”  He kissed her lightly at first.  “Thought I’d at least make you dinner first.”  He joked letting the kiss deepen.  

She slipped her fingers into his hair and felt him sigh across her cheek.  She didn’t stop him when his hands searched, his rough fingertips slipping under the hem of her shirt.  “Easy.”  She breathed as he grazed the bandage on her side.  

“Sorry.”  He murmured devouring her neck and removing his hands from under her shirt.  He pulled back and looked at her.  “You need to heal up more first.”  

She nodded catching her breath.    

He sat back.  “Did I hurt you?”  

“I’m okay.”  She sat up.  

He looked at his hands, they were great for building things and fixing the Falcon, but every part of him was so much bigger than she was was and his biggest fear was hurting her.  He knew the reality of what she’d probably gone through on the Death Star and he knew that they’d need to talk about that or he’d at least need to know what not to do, what not to say before things could progress past this point.  

Leia kissed his temple and got up.  

“Where are you going?”  

“She’s awake.”  

Han got up and followed her.  “Is she okay?  Did she have a nightmare?”  

“She’s okay as far as I can tell, she’s just awake.”  

“You think she’s hungry?”  

“I’m hungry.”  

“Me too.”  He kissed her temple.  “Guess I’ll start dinner.”  

“You did say you’d make me dinner first.”  Leia spoke raising an eyebrow at him.  

He kissed her gently and watched her disappear down the hall.  He could get used to having her here.  Maybe after the war was over or at least after things quieted down, they could come back here and raise Kira like he and Sulen had planned to raise Fane.  They were near enough to Coruscant that Leia could commute if she needed to, he’d get her a real nice Hopper.  He sighed running his fingers through his hair.  He had to figure out this Jabba thing, he should have just stayed here and dealt with his loss instead of running off to the outer rim, he should have never started smuggling, but he’d have never met Leia and the kid and they wouldn’t be here in this moment right now.  Leia’d probably be dead if he hadn’t been in that Cantina.  He shook his head and turned on some soft music on his way to the kitchen, hoping to drown out any clattering or loud noises he might make while cooking.  He checked the fire and for a moment he could see Sulen dancing with Fane in her arms.  She smiled at him and in an instant she was gone.  When he looked again he saw Leia and Kira in their place, and suddenly being here didn’t hurt so bad.  

“What are you two up to?”  He asked picking out some of the uniquely Corellian vegetables and spices he’d found at the market that morning.  

“We thought we’d watch the chef.”  Leia spoke sitting down at the eat-in bar.  

He smiled and Kira smiled back at him.  

“She likes you.”  Leia spoke.  “I can feel it, it’s like a warm breeze.”  

“She is smiling at me.”  Han spoke waving at her.    

Leia kissed her temple.  

“Has she spoken yet?”  Han asked quietly.  

Leia nodded.  

“No, I mean from here.”  He touched his lips.”  

“No, not yet, but I also don’t know what language she speaks.  I mean we’ve been speaking Basic and we found her here on Corellia and Kira is an Alderaani name.”  

“She looks like you.”  

“I’m adopted.”  

“Yeah but you’re Alderaani.”  

“I don’t know, I’m a foundling Han.  My papa came back from some off planet Senate thing and brought home a baby.  I don’t know where he was and I don’t know if I was born where he was or who my parents were.”  

“Moccoan Basic right?”  Han spoke thoughtfully.  “Isn’t that the native language of Alderaan?”  

“It was, there weren’t many of us that still spoke it or were Moccoan Alderaani.”  She spoke looking away.  

“The royal family was I’ve heard your father speak, he has an accent.”  Han went back to cooking.  

She nodded.  “My mother barely spoke basic even though speaking Moccoan was looked down upon by the elite classes she refused to conform.”  

“So when she speaks to you up here.”  He touched his temple.  “Is it in Basic?” 

She shook her head.  “It’s feelings, it’s not speech.”  

He nodded.  “Hey kid.”  He spoke catching her eye and held up his finger she tracked it with her eyes.  “Well that’s good.”  

Leia nodded watching.  

He pointed to Leia.  “Mama.”  

Kira looked at him and he nodded solemnly.  “Mama.”  He pointed at her again. 

Mumma.

Leia gasped.  

“Did she say it?”  

She nodded.  

Kira pointed at Han.  Daddy.  

Leia looked at her and then at Han.  

“What?”  

“She called you daddy.”  

He smiled and pointed at Leia.  

Mumma.

Mumma.”  Leia spoke for her.  “She said mumma, that’s inner rim high basic.  Diplomats say mumma, I said mumma.”  

And then back at himself.  

Daddy.

“Daddy.”    

And then at Kira.  

Kira.  

“Kira.”  

He pointed at his nose.  

Nose.  

“Nose.”  

He smiled.  “Can you say it from here?”  He tapped her lips gently and then pointed to Leia.  

“Mumma.”  She whispered so low he almost missed it.  

He nodded and pointed to himself.  

“Daddy.”  

He smiled and pointed to his nose.  

“Nose.”  

And he pointed to her.  

“Kira.”  

He laughed.  “So very good bitsy.”  

She smiled and buried her face in Leia’s neck.  Han reached out and stroked her baby fine hair.  


“What happens when we get back to the fleet?”  Han spoke as they watched Kira play with Fane’s toys on the lounge rug after dinner.    

Leia shook her head sipping her wine.  “I don’t know Han.”  

“I guess if it’s really a big deal I could take her and bring her back here and you could continue to help run the rebellion.”  Han shrugged.  

“I couldn’t do that to you.”  Leia looked at him.  

“I’m her daddy, remember?”  He sighed sitting up.  

“Han, I’m sorry.  I should have said something to her…”

He smiled at her.  “Kira.”  He spoke leaning down on his knees.  

She looked at him and he pointed to his chest.  “Who am I?”  

“Daddy.”  She got up and wobbled over to him.  “Up.”  She commanded with the same sort of confidence he’d gotten used to seeing in Leia.  

He smiled and picked her up.  “Are you my little Princess?”  

“Uh huh?”  She nodded.  

He hugged her close and smiled at Leia.  “I’m going to enjoy this right now because when she’s a teenager she’ll fucking hate us.  Right now, we’re her safe harbor.”  

Leia curled up with them and closed her eyes.  


Leia felt Han get back into bed as the sky purpled before dawn.  She moved onto her back and looked at him in the soft light.  She could hear rain falling on the durasteel roof and the canopy around them.  

“Did I wake you?”  He spoke gently.  

She nodded.  “The rain’s nice though.”

He propped himself up on his elbow and looked at her in the shadows cast from the window and the predawn storm.  Her eyes were soft and sleepy, warm and inviting and had lost their normal steeliness.  She was beautiful, so impossibly beautiful as she lie there in the bed that he once shared with his wife.  He knew how awkward it must have been for her.  This girl that wasn’t his, but that he knew he loved.  He watched her shiver a little.  “Are you cold?”  

She shook her head.  She was on fire and if she was honest, every place that his body touched her burned.  “What?”  She spoke watching his eyes.  

“You’re beautiful.”  

She laughed.  “No, no I’m not.”  

“Yeah, yeah you are.”  He reached out and moved some the hair that had come loose from her braid behind her ear.  

“You should have seen my sister, she was beautiful.”  

“Oh yeah?”  He raised his eyebrows.  “Did she have your big brown eyes?”  

“No, they were blue.”  She spoke looking past him as if trying to see Winter’s face again.  

He shook his head.  “No, see I like your big brown eyes.  They’re like caff or well aged whiskey or chocolate.  And they’re deep, like I could get lost in there if I’m not careful.”  He stroked her cheek gently.  “Princess, you have the eyes of a fawn and the balls of a rancor.”  

She smiled at him.  “You don’t have to flatter me Han, I’m already in your bed.”  

“Well, I did make you dinner, just like I promised.”  He kissed her forehead.  

She laughed.  

“So everybody thought your sister was the pretty one, huh?”  

Leia nodded sitting up to put some distance between his body and hers.  “She was tall and blond and she had this languidness to her movements.  She always got mistaken for me when diplomats would visit.”  She shrugged.  “They almost seemed disappointed when they found out that I was the Princess of Alderaan.”  

Han shook his head.  “So she didn’t have all this dark hair?”  He picked up her braid.  

“No, Han she was blonde.”

“Nope, I don’t buy it.”  He took her hand and marveled at it, she wasn’t sure why.  

“I think you’re biased.”  She laughed nervously.  

“And why would I be biased?”  He locked eyes with her.  

“Because I think you want to go to bed with me.”  

“I do, but I’ve always thought you were beautiful.  I may have wanted to stuff you back in your cell when were on the Death Star, but Gods, I sure thought you were pretty.”  He smiled.  

Leia felt her stomach tighten and her whole body flush.  “Should I be sleeping on the sofa?”  

“Do you want to sleep on the sofa?”  He kissed her fingers gently.  

She shook her head.  

“And I think you want the same thing.”  

Leia cleared her throat and looked at her lap.  She focused on the rain as her pounding heart threatened to drown everything else out.  “Han.”  She started quietly.  “I don’t know if I’m ready for that just yet.”  

He nodded.  “We’d talk first Leia, I know you’ve been through a lot and um.  We’d have to talk about it first.”  

She nodded.  

“But not here, not in bed.  That’s an in-the-proper-clothes sort of conversation.” 

She dipped her chin and smiled at him, he was right in an odd sort of way she did want to be properly dressed for that.  

He moved back onto his back and patted his chest gently.  “Come back to bed your highness.”  


“Sure rains a lot here.”  Leia spoke out on the deck enjoying the smell of the rain and the moss and the lichen.  All of the wonderful deep forest smells that she’d missed since the destruction of Alderaan.  

“It’s a temperate rain forest.”  

“I know.”  She smiled at him as he joined her at the railing.  “It reminds me of home.”  

“I thought it might, that’s why brought you here.”  He spoke leaning back next to her and watching Kira play in Fane’s play pin.  

“Had you been to Alderaan?”  She moved to look at him.  

He nodded.  “Used to pick up wine from Aldera and make drops.”  

“Drugs?”  She searched his eyes to make sure he didn’t lie to her.  She wanted the truth from him from now on.  

He nodded drinking his caff.  “I’m not proud of that.”  

“Then I should thank you.”  She turned around to watch Kira with him.  

He looked at her.  

“I had no idea that you were the drug runner keeping me in grass and black market narcos.”  She set her down her caff, it was too cold to drink.  

He stared into his cup of caff.  “How are you doing with all that now?”  

“I’m fine.”  She spoke more to her feet than to Han.  

He slipped his arm around her.  “You know, you can talk about that if you need to.”  

“I’m okay.”  

He nodded.  

She looked at him.  “Just don’t ever shoot me full of anything stronger than aceto.”  

He nodded.  “And you can drink okay?”  

She nodded.  “Just no narcos.  I’m okay with grass too.”  

“I’ll get rid of anything I have on the Falcon.”  

“Thanks.”  

“Any other scandalous royal secrets you need to tell me?”  He joked.  

“Hmm, let’s see.”  She spoke watching Kira.  “Foundling, drug problem, cuticle destruction…”  

“And you don’t think that you’re pretty.”  Han added to her mental list. 

She shook her head.  “Oh, oh!  How could I forget, the big one.”  

“The big one?”  

“Yeah, she patted him down until she found his cigarettes.  “You’ll love this.”  She spoke reaching into his pocket and retrieving his crumpled pack.  

He cleared his throat as she lit up.  “I did quite enjoy that.”  He chucked.  “Wanna put ‘em back in your highness?”  He teased.  

She laughed her big laugh.  “You wish, nerf herder.”  

“I do, I really do.”  He spoke taking the pack from her and lighting up.  “I wish you’d go easy on my smokes too, your highness.”  

She made a face at him and he pulled her close against his side.  “What’s the big secret Organa.”  

“I’m not a virgin.”  

“No!”  He gasped comically.  “Scandalous.”  

She laughed.  

“Well, I mean you are in your twenties.”  He spoke thoughtfully.  

“And you’re kind.”  She laughed.  “I haven’t been with anyone since Alderaan was destroyed.”  

“You and Luke never…”  He spoke quietly.  

Leia laughed so hard she stepped forward out of his comfortable embrace.  “Are you serious?”  

“Well yeah, I mean he’s a nice kid.”  He stammered.  “You’re about the same age.  You pal around a lot, I just assumed…”

“Han I couldn’t, he’s like a little brother to me.”  She laughed.  “Oh my gods, this entire time you thought that Luke and I… Oh Han, why didn’t you just ask me?”  

He shrugged snuffing out his cigarette.    

“If I were interested in Luke I wouldn’t be sneaking onto your ship and crawling into your bunk when I have my night terrors.”  She laughed nervously.  

He nodded considering.  “So if he’s like your little brother, does that mean I’m your big brother?”  

She bit her bottom lip a shook her head as she closed the distance between the two of them.  “No, you are something very different than a big brother Han.”  She put out her cigarette and slipped her arms around his neck.  “You are certainly not my big brother.”  

Han set his caff on the railing and slipped his arms around her pulling her close against him.  

She looked up into his eyes and dropped one of her hands to press it against his chest.  She could feel his heart pounding.  “Remember how you said we need to just enjoy now?”  

He nodded feeling her fingers stroke the hair at the base of his neck.  He hadn’t even kissed her yet and he was already having to focus his breathing to keep his body in check.  

“I think we need to have that talk soon.”  She kissed his chin.    

“No time like the present.”  He kissed her forehead.  


Han stood safely behind the eat-in bar in the kitchen keeping physical distance from her, but leaning close to remind her he was there.  

“It’s not a long list.”  She spoke stirring her second cup of caff.  

He shrugged.  “Still need to know Lei, even if it takes us another six months, I need to know.”  

She nodded picking at the bandage on her thumb.  

He waited patiently because pushing or rushing wouldn’t help anything.  

Leia found the designs on the countertop, the iridescent resin in the burls and she traced them with her fingers, they gave her something to look at when she couldn’t look at him.  This was something that she didn’t want to remember when she looked into his eyes.  “Don’t spit on you hand.”  

Han nodded and didn’t speak, he figured it was best not to let her hear his voice.  

“Don’t tell me I like something, don’t ever grab my head.  Well, I mean if I ever blow you.”  

He nodded making a mental list.  

“Don’t hold my wrists, don’t cover my mouth, don’t call me a whore.”  

He nodded.  

“And for gods sakes don’t come in my hair.  Do you know how many stormtroopers…”  She stopped.  

He shook his head staring at the counter top.  “I’m sorry.”  

“It’s not your fault.”  She reassured him.  

“I wish me and the kid had gotten there sooner.”  He sighed.  

She shrugged.  “So, you lived on the streets, do you have anything like that?”  

“Well, you’re not a man, so no not really.  Keep your hands off my neck, don’t choke me, don’t call me boy, I sure as hell don’t like to be restrained and yeah, don’t come in my hair, I hate that too.  It’s dehumanizing.”  

She smiled at him.  “Sometimes I think about cutting off my hair.”  

“It’s none of my business but I’d be fine with that.”  He looked at her.  

She nodded.  

“You okay?”  He took her hand.  

“Yeah, you?”  She searched him, just a little with the force.  

He nodded.  


“Well.”  Han sighed several days later as he changed the dressing on Leia’s blaster wound.  “You’re healing nicely.”  

“Shoot me again, I’m not ready to leave.”  She spoke flatly.  

“I wasn’t implying that.”  He looked up at her as he smoothed the fresh bandage over her side.  “Kira needs more time.”  

Leia smiled at him as he stood up.  

“But I think it’s safe for you to pick her up from the floor now.”  He spoke packing up the med kit.  “I’m going to run to the marketplace, want to go?”  

Leia shook her head.  “The last time I went with you to the marketplace you bought me a child.”  

Han laughed.  

“That and I don’t want her to think we’re taking her back.”  Leia spoke as Kira walked over to them.  

“Daddy.”  She spoke reaching up to him.  “Up?”  

“Want to try it?”  

Leia nodded crouching down.  “Can I pick you up loved?”  

She nodded.  

Han watched them, ready to brace Leia if he needed to, the blaster bolt that hit her side had ripped through several layers of muscle and facia, and though she was really beginning to improve, she was still weak, especially on her dominant side.  He watched her stand slowly with Kira held in close to her body.  “You okay?”  He asked seeing her grit her teeth.  

“Yeah.”  She breathed. “I’m okay, just sore.”  

Leia sat on the floor with Kira in her lap their force signatures intertwined.  She was trying to figure out where she could have come from.  Little Kira, with an Alderaani name and Corellian toughness.  Kira with a force signature like an air raid siren.  That felt so much like her own, so familiar.  The little girl who was already so bonded to her she could almost let herself believe that she’d given birth to her before the Erso Mission.  Kira with such dark, intense, expressive eyes and silky brown hair.  Vader’s cape darkened her vision as reached further into Kira’s mind.  She wasn’t sure if it was more of those trigger points he’d burned into her mind on the Death Star or if she was seeing what Kira saw until she felt Kira shake.  She broke the connection and Kira just sobbed and shook in her arms.  

“It’s okay, I’m sorry.”  Leia crooned holding her so tight.  “I’m sorry.”  She could feel Kira’s alarm.  “I love you.”  She soothed, it was the first time she’d said it, but she felt it for sure.  Leia loved Kira as if she’d carried her as if she and whomever had made her.  It didn’t matter where she came from, she was definitely hers.  

She held her close and leaned back against the front of the sofa.  “Mumma’s sorry.”  She pushed herself to her feet, gods that hurt, she knew she’d bleed from that move.  She adjusted her in her arms and Kira buried her face in her neck and cried.  “It’s okay.”  Leia danced with her and rubbed her back like she’d watched Han do when she’d had that horrible nightmare the other night.  “Mumma’s here.”  She soothed.  She tried to use the force to soothe her but she was panicking too much to focus.  

“Okay baby, we’ve got to calm down.  Let’s breathe together.”  She took her hand gently and placed it against her chest.  “Feel mumma’s heart?”  Kira continued to cry but she felt her nodding against her neck.  Leia sighed.  “Good, okay can you feel me breathe?”  She nodded again.  “Okay, breathe with mumma okay?  When I breathe in you breathe in.”  She breathed in and felt Kira follow her.  “Good girl, and when I breathe out you breathe out.”  She exhaled and felt her follow.  “Ready?”  Kira nodded.  Leia closed her eyes and danced her around the lounge regulating Kira’s breathing the way that Han regulated hers rubbing her back and whispering to her in Moccoan basic, a little song her own mother would sing to her when she was scared.  

Han let himself in and he could tell by Leia’s eyes that something was very wrong.  He set his shopping down and Leia could have sworn he’d only taken a couple of steps to get them.  “Hey bitsy.”  He spoke gently as he slipped an arm around Leia held them both close to his chest.  Finally between the two of them Kira started to relax.  She reached under Leia’s chin and grabbed her earlobe between the pad of her thumb and the second knuckle of her index finger, just like Leia had done as a child and Han had caught her doing to self soothe after nightmares.  

“What happened?”  He spoke handing Leia a toddy he’d made while she stayed with Kira until she’d fallen asleep.  

“I fucked up Han, I really fucked up.”  Leia spoke with her face in her hands.  

“What were you doing?”  Han spoke quietly keeping any hint of an accusatory tone out of his voice.  

She sighed.  “I was just… I was trying to figure out where she came from.”  

“So you were in her head.”  He kept his voice even and low.  

Leia nodded.  

“What’d you see?”  He asked gently.  

“Vader.”  She lookeat him.  

He ran his fingers through his hair.  “Your memory or hers?”  

“Han, that’s the thing, I don’t know.”  She picked at her bandaged thumb.  

He sighed.  “Maybe stay out of her head for a while.”  

She nodded.  

“Are you okay?”  He spoke gently.  

She shook her head.  

Han started to reach for her and thought better of it.  He knew he should ask first.  “Are you at a point where you can be held?”  

“Not yet.”  She spoke looking longingly at the fireplace.  

He nodded.  “You want a fire, Princess?”  

She nodded.  

“It’s not your fault.”  Han spoke wrapping her in a quilt.  

“Gods, I hope I didn’t fuck anything up.”  She sighed.  

“I’m sure she’s fine.”  He offered.  “Kids are resilient.”  

Leia nodded watching him build a fire for her.  “I should have know better, Master Ferus would have never have done that alone.”  

“Well, Obi Wan is dead and Luke’s less trained that you are.  Know any other Jedi?”  He quizzed her gently.  

“I should have waited for Luke to train.”  She buried her face in her hands.  

Han shrugged.  “Nothing you can do about it now.”  

She nodded.  

“So, what do you think you saw?”  He asked gently.  

She shook her head.  “Vader implanted traps in my mind, destroyed good memories, but I’ve never had anything like that happen before.”  

“Do you think it was hers?”  His voice shook a bit this time.  

Leia nodded.  

“Who is she?”  Han spoke sitting on the hearth.  

She shook her head.  “I don’t know, that’s what I was trying to figure out.”  

Han shrugged.  “Well, we know she’s force sensitive and we think she’s seen Vader.”  

Leia nodded.  “And those kids found her after some sort of fight.”  

Han looked at her, his face open hoping she knew he really wished he didn’t have to say it.  “We might want to think about heading back to Yavin for a while.”  

“I know.”  

He sighed.  “I know you need more time, and you know I don’t want to go back.”  

She nodded getting up.  

“Where are you going?”  He looked up at her.  

“To check on Kira.”  Her voice shook a bit as she spoke.  

He nodded and watched her walk down the hall.