Ficlet: Running Late

For Scoundress Saturdays prompt: lipstick! Enjoy! 

General Han Solo took the corridors of Home One at a jog, already late to a staff meeting. The halls were busy, humming, with people on the better end of the 0700 shift change. Their relieved voices whipped past him as his long legs took him down the officer’s wing, past the small mess and into the turbolift.

His collar wasn’t buttoned, his shirt was untucked on one side. He suspected his hair wasn’t laying flat, either, though he didn’t care.

He exhaled as the lift filled with beings, crammed in tight. Two Mon Calamari made garbled conversation in their native language to his right and a Sullustan sighed heavily to his left. Han leaned his head back against the lift wall and imagined better things, Leia things, that made the residual carbonite-induced claustrophobia fade into a dull unease.

He was getting better at small spaces. That was a relief.

The lift doors opened to his level and Han fairly jumped into the empty corridor. He was late—so late—for this meeting, and while that didn’t bother him on principle, he didn’t like keeping his subordinates waiting. It wasn’t their fault that High Command had called this meeting at an ungodly hour.

It wasn’t their fault that Leia had looked so goddamn edible this morning, either.

His boots made a loud clacking sound down the corridor as he hurried to the designated briefing theater, and Han worked hard to dispel the memories of beautiful, unbound hair, a blue silk robe and bright red lipstick from his mind.

He skidded to a halt at the door as it opened and stepped inside. The theater wasn’t completely full, empty seats lined the perimeter, but at least thirty beings all turned their heads to look at him as he sauntered down the center aisle. He ran a hand over his hair, tried to at least tamp it down a bit but didn’t bother with his shirt. He wasn’t known for his attention to detail when it came to proper military attire. The important thing was that he was here.

Even if he was fifteen minutes late.

“Morning,” he began as he approached the podium. “Everyone here?”

A low murmur of assurance, with one loud now we are shouted out from somewhere over by Antilles. Han threw an inappropriate hand gesture to his fellow Corellian and turned to the projection behind him.

“Alright, kids, your patrols are no-brainers today,” he began, pointing to a crisscrossing series of trajectories. “Most of you are repeating assignments you’ve done in the past. All you have to do is not run into each other. Think you can handle that, Janson?”

Wes Janson, sitting just behind Antilles, nodded. “Will do, sir.”

“Because that’s been a problem before,” Han said. “And while I don’t mind losing your annoying ass, your ship’s expensive.”

“So’s the lipstick on your neck, sir,” Janson fired back.

Without thinking, Han’s hand flew to the open collar of his shirt, further incriminating himself. God damn it, Leia, he thought as he swiped at his throat. He pictured her sly smile as he ran out the door of her quarters, pictured the faces he’d passed on the way here, their wide eyes and slightly gaping mouths.

She’d done it on purpose, of course.

Looking at the amused faces around him, he tried to decide how to handle this. It wasn’t like his relationship with Leia was a secret. And it wasn’t like he minded every single person in this room knowing exactly where he’d come from and whose lipstick he was currently sporting.

And, hey, he’d really, really liked that lipstick she’d been wearing.

His hand slipped from his neck, he opened his arms wide and grinned like a madman as his subordinates whistled and applauded. He dipped his head in acknowledgement while the kids had their fun and then calmly directed them back to their assignments.

Hell, there were worse things than people knowing he had a great sex life, wasn’t there?

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—  imthealiensqueen