For Destruction Ice
by Rachel

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
-- Robert Frost, "Fire and Ice"

Leia's eyes flutter open as she shivers. She slips from the bed and pulls on a robe before padding into the living room.

He is reflected in the window as he stares sightlessly at the morning commute. He hears footsteps, followed by Leia's hesitant voice.


He turns toward her and leans against the window. "Good morning."

"Good morning," she returns, years in politics keeping her voice even. "How are you?"

"Fine," he says and does not ask her the same.

She steps closer. "Did you sleep in the Falcon again?"

He looks at her and his eyes are flat and cold, like a lake frozen over. "I'm sure you have a busy day ahead."

She nods. "I do."

He tilts his head toward the door. "Then."

It can wait, she almost says. She forces a smile but his mouth remains a line. "I'll be back in time for dinner if you..."

"I won't."

"Oh." Her hands gesture vaguely and impotently. "Han--"

"Go to work, Leia."

She wants to touch him, fleetingly slide her hand down his arm before walking away. Her jaw locks. "I'll see you tonight," she says, unsure if she will, and exits to the bathroom.

He walks into the master bedroom and crosses to the closet. A box is sitting in the corner and sitting in the box is some planet's alcoholic specialty, gifted to him by some diplomat. He cannot bring himself to break the seal and instead lies on their bed. He closes his eyes but does not sleep.


He is reflected in the window that separates the cockpit from the atmosphere. The bottle of liquor he spared earlier is now empty and sitting in Chewie's chair. The Falcon has been cleaned three times since Chewbacca's death. He still finds hair everywhere.

Han guides the ship onto the rooftop landing platform flawlessly, a pilot without peer even when sloshed. Leia has been waiting for him in the dark and momentarily he considers firing the repulsors and ascending again.

"Hey," she says softly as he walks down the boarding ramp.


"Sleep in the apartment tonight?"

"I was going to sleep onboard."

Leia crosses to the edge of the roof. The height is dizzying. "Fine." Sighing, she walks to the lift and jabs at the controls with sudden viciousness. "Why won't you talk to me?"

"There's nothing to say."

She grabs the lapels of his shirt and pulls him into a kiss. His lips are cold. The lift arrives with a soft ding and she turns away. "Sleep in the apartment tonight," she urges and steps through the open doors. The doors close and the lift descends.


She awakens in the double bed alone. Leia sighs, walks into the kitchen and picks up a piece of fruit. All the fruit is Corellian, as if she can lure him home with a properly baited trap. She selects a knife, slices the fruit in half, misjudges and nicks her hand.

Swearing loudly in the quiet apartment, she drops the fruit and sucks on the web of skin between her thumb and forefinger. Blood beads as her lips retreat and she returns her hand to her mouth. Her good hand opens a cabinet and finds the tube of bacta.

She prepares a mug of sweet tea to calm her nerves and curls into an armchair in the living room. The holorecorder on the end table blinks angrily at her. She cannot bring herself to reply to Luke's worried messages because that means admitting that her marriage is not just falling apart but has hit the floor and shattered.

When she kissed Han either he was frigid or she was fevered. She shakes her head at the memory and brings her mug to her lips. The tea scalds her.


The wind whips Leia's hair as she steps onto the roof. She walks toward the Falcon but stops short of the control panel. She could extend the boarding ramp and enter but does not want to chance Han's having revoked her access code.

Han is sitting in the cockpit with his eyes closed. They open slowly and her lips curve into a small smile. He does not return it, instead leaving the cockpit. The door slides open. He foregoes the boarding ramp and lowers himself to the roof with lanky grace.

"Good evening," Han says with a sharp nod.


His eyes do not soften. "How was work?"


"Going to bed?"

"Of course."

"I can't come home tonight."

"That's fine," she says and means it, "but I'll be there if..."

"Don't count on it."

She shakes her head. "I never have."

Her cheeks are ruddy from the wind and something in him melts. "I'm sorry."

"Talk to me."

He looks away. "You should be inside."

"You should come home."

The Falcon was home for many years and the apartment has been home for the last few. He cannot decide which is home now. "I will."

She nods and fleetingly slides her hand down his arm. "Good night."


Han slides his thumb over the scanner and walks into the apartment. Sunlight is beginning to creep over the carpet, slipping through the window and stretching toward the door. The air conditioning hums but over it he can hear restful exhales. In the bedroom, a pale blue sheet is pooled around Leia's waist. He sets his boots beside the door and slips into bed. She shirks way from his cold skin.

"Han?" she asks, eyes opening.

"It's early. Go back to sleep."

Her hand finds his and their fingers interlace. He is frigid and she is fevered. She thaws him.


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