Author's Note: I can't quite remember who started this idea, but several writers took up the challenge of writing a story where Han Solo was really a…well, you'll see. This is my version, originally published in Time Warp.

 

INITIATION RIGHTS

by Pat Nussman

 

"You're a what, flyboy?"

"You heard me, Your Worship," Han Solo snapped. Gathering his old arrogance around himself like a protective shield, he directed a smoldering gaze at the Alderaani princess.

Leia Organa tapped one foot impatiently, her shapely form regrettably unsinged by the Corellian's fiery gaze. "Han, I asked you a question!"

A low chuckle to his right. turned Han's gaze from the clearly unintimidated princess to the former Tatooine farmboy. At least the kid faked out easily....

Skywalker leaned casually against a wall, grinning from ear to ear. Han's best belligerent glare caused no diminishment to his good humor. with "That's all right, Han," Luke said soothingly, his blue eyes dancing laughter. "We understand.

Han felt remarkably unsoothed. Correction, Han thought moodily, the kid had been easy to fake out. Han direct vengeful thoughts toward old man Kenobi and the little green creep Luke had told him about. The kid'd been much easier to handle before training in that swamphole.

"Well, I don't understand." Annoyance flared across the Princess organals delicate features. "In fact, I don't believe it." The glance she swept over the length of the Corellian's form spoke volumes. A i moment passed in silence as she drummed her fingertips against one slim leg. "You're joking?" she finally asked hopefully . A stifled laugh erupted from Luke's corner of the room.

Han shook his head. "Is it so hard to believe?" A plaintive note entered his voice.

"Yes!" Again, she swept a glance over his lean form, an incredulous expression in the deep brown eyes. "The way you look, the way you dress, the way you act! Sweet Deherhi, everyone just assumed..."

Han folded his arms stubbornly. "Then they assumed wrong, Your Holiness. I do not bed ten women every night, I haven't made the Imperial Book of Galactic Records for lifetime scores, and ladies don't fling themselves over my landing ramp when the Falcon touches down. I'm--" He stopped, unable to utter the fatal word again.

"A virgin," Luke supplied helpfully.

"Thanks, kid," Han said tightly. He felt less than grateful.

"Seems to me I should be calling you that, Han." Luke's smile widened, his enjoyment of the situation painfully obvious.

Han turned his back pointedly on the young Jedi. "Listen, Your Holiness," he said harshly, "I don't know what I've done to give folks the impression..."

The princess halted him with a single glance. "Right," she replied dryly. A pregnant pause ensued, finally broken by Leia. "Just tell me one thing."

Han shifted his feet nervously. "Yeah, what?"

"Why?"

The smuggler examined his boots with minute care. "I took a vow." His voice sunk toward inaudibility.

"A vow?" Leia repeated sharply. "What kind of vow? You mean like a monk?"

Luke glanced down at his brown robes and bit back another smile.

"Not that kind of monk," Han said furiously. "I ain't no Jedi."

"Obviously not, Han." The infuriating grin popped out to mar his friend's countenance. "We don't take that kind of vow. If we did," he added simply, "I wouldn't have joined."

Leia ignored her brother's levity. "A monk." Disbelief vibrated through her voice. She examined Han as though had suddenly grown a second head.

"Was," he said tightly. Might as well get it all out at once, damnit!

Since the Imps kept a lookout for survivors, I became a smuggler--figured that was the one thing the imps would never suspect a smuggler of being."

"But you still must keep your vows?" Leia persisted.

"I don't have to," he replied repressively. "Since the monastery's gone, I can hardly renew by vows every five standards, like the Rule says. Besides," he hunched his shoulders, "I don't believe in that mumbo-jumbo anymore."

"Then," Luke said mediatively, "you've been released from your, er, vow for some time?"

"That's right, kid." Han's eyes said "one more word and you're creamed Jedi", but no one seemed interested in receiving the message.

"Then what's keeping you back, flyboy?"

Han remained stubbornly silent, trying to pretend to himself that this whole situation was a figment of his fevered imagination.

Leia's boot resumed its impatient rhythm, sounding only too real. "Well, flyboy?"

Han's temper flared, pumping enough adrenaline into his system to fuel his reply. Almost. "Well, what if you were me, Your Worship? Would you go waltzing up to some lady and tell her you'd never--you didn't--I mean--" Han's adrenaline and courage failed him at one and the same time.

"What he's trying to say, Leia," Luke's voice trembled on the edge of some emotion that Han preferred not to identify, "is that he doesn't know what to do. Or how to do it."

Leia's mouth dropped open. A fine crimson flush flooded Han's face. Well, why is she so surprised? I mean, if a guy is a vir--a monk it stands to reason he wouldn't know--he couldn't-- Hell, he couldn't even say-it to himself.

Luke crossed the room in a few smooth, confident strides, clasping one arm fraternally around Han's shoulder. "Tell you what, Han," he said kindly, "I know a pleasure house near here with some real nice girls. I'll take you right over and fix you up."

Han felt his color deepen. In contrast, Leia Organa's face cleared, a hint of speculation entering her dark eyes.

"No, Luke." She smiled. Her foot ceased its impatient rhythm.

Luke raised a questioning eyebrow. "No? But, Leia, it's a perfect solution."

She glided over to them, gently removing Luke's arm from his shoulder. "No, Luke. That would entail turning poor Han over to strangers."

Luke's eyebrow climbed higher.

"No, I know they're not strangers to you. Luke, but they are to Han." She shook her head. "I couldn't leave Han to strangers." She slipped her hand through his arm, tugging him gently through the door with all the inevitably of an Implacable Force.

"Besides," she turned at the door, winking at the grinning Luke Skywalker, "There's an old Alderaani saying, 'If you want it done right-"' she planted one small hand firmly in the small of Han's back, pushing him out the door.

"--Do it yourself."

 

 

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