|The Course Of True Love
For one of the few times in her life Leia didn't know what to think.
There were people depending on her - on them - to do their job as quickly and painlessly as possible just to give them a fighting chance against the second Death Star. People like Ackbar and Mon Mothma…like Lando and Wedge. Every moment wasted could jeopardise the entire mission to destroy the shield generator on Endor…and here she was, stuck in a miniature novelty teddy bear's village wearing a long dress, with her normally tightly braided hair lying loose against her shoulders. She was so far removed from the feisty, embittered Princess Organa that Leia wasn't sure she could ever be that person again.
One person chiefly was responsible. A braggart, a scoundrel and a pirate. And Leia knew above all things, even above the rebellion itself, that she loved Han Solo. Her year without him had been almost intolerable. As the rebel leaders plotted and schemed, Leia and Luke had drawn up their own plans to snatch Han from the jaws of hell itself; entombed in his carbonite prison within the lair of the evil Jabba the Hutt.
And as for that metal bikini, thank the force that Han had still been blind…or at least too polite to mention it. The indignities one suffered for the one you loved!
The Ewoks had been excitedly chittering away for some time now. Leia had to admit that she rather liked them: they were brave, quirky and rather sweet (not that she'd admit so to Han) and quite clearly spoiling for a chance to get back at the Imperial invaders. Perhaps they would be able to recruit them? Short help was better than no help, after all.
Wicket pulled on the fringe of her dress and gestured her out onto the tree house platform.
A large furry tide of little beings stood in line with their plates and knives in hand and, not knowing any better, Leia stood at the back of the queue hoping that enlightenment might strike her.
"Your Highness!" A voice hailed her from behind her.
Leia span around, finding herself face to face with Threepio.
"Oh, thank goodness you are here!" The droid almost wilted with relief. "We were all so worried about you!"
"Threepio, what's going on here?" Leia demanded, indicating the Ewok tribe. "Do you understand them?"
"Why, yes!" Threepio looked surprised. "I am fluent in over six million forms of communication…well, six million and one if you include those rude triple glazing salesmen we encountered last year. It appears that these creatures think that I am a god. You are a welcome royal guest under their protection."
Wicket, standing on his tiptoes, thrust a metallic plate into Leia's hands, filled with meat and salad. He then wandered off to find a large glass of mulled berry wine as a suitable offering for their distinguished guests. Leia frowned at Threepio for a moment, picking idly at her teeth a wooden fork.
"What happened to Luke and Han?" She wondered. "And what about Artoo? Have you seen him?"
Threepio seemed to shrink further into himself.
"Oh, dear. Poor little Artoo." He sighed miserably. "I'm afraid that he proved most defensive towards our hosts and so they dismantled him with a large wooden club. You're using his head dome as a plate."
Leia looked down in horror at the metal object in her hands and very nearly dropped what was left of Artoo's head onto the ground.
"Master Luke tried to explain that I would use my godly powers and show them my wrath if they didn't stop attacking poor Artoo, and tried to levitate me into the air. But I'm afraid levitation was never really Master Luke's strong point…"
Leia swallowed, the lump in her throat suddenly extremely large and heavy.
"What happened to him?" She demanded once more. "And where's Han?"
"Why, Mistress Leia, I do believe you are eating him. But do not distress yourself. I have often heard it said that the course of true love never ran smoothly. Or in this case, the main course of true love…"
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