It was over. The rebels had won. Han Solo looked around the fire, at the celebrating humans and aliens alike. Leia sat beside him, her long unbraided hair shining in the light of the fire. She'd never looked more beautiful to him.
Impulsively, he turned to her and said, "We should get married."
Leia practically choked. "Are you serious?"
"Absolutely. I mean, cmon, you're wild about me. I'm wild about you. We should get married." Han felt spurred on by a sudden burst of bravery. Facing Jabba the Hutt had actually been easier then asking Leia Organa to marry him.
She continued to glare at him, silent. He took it as a good sign she wasn't arguing, at least not yet. He sighed. "I went about this all wrong, didn't I?" It wasn't going as he'd planned at all, in any scenario he'd thought of.
"You think?" Leia retorted back.
"Okay. Fine." Inwardly, he winced. It had all sounded so much better in his head, the way he'd played it out over and over trying to get it just right. "Um, I did get you a ring." Han hoped this showed her he'd been planning this for a while, he'd had the ring for months before he was even sure there was going to be a future for him and Leia or even much of one at all for any of them. He pulled it out of the hidden pocket in his jacket.
Leia's eyes grew big and wet with tears. "Han," she began.
"Now, I don't know much about how these things were done on Alderaan, or really at all, but I know this, Leia Organa, I love you, I'm crazy about you, I can't imagine my life without you. I want us to have a family together, to grow old together, to love the rest of our lives together, arguing about everything. " Han got to one knee, " Will you marry me, Leia? "
She was crying now. Actually crying, which scared him a little. All these years and everything they'd done and seen, and he'd rarely seen her cry. He began to panic a little and look around for Luke, Chewie, anyone who might be able to help him out. He also began to feel mighty stupid kneeling on the ground.
"Han, we have to talk first." she looked at him, with tears streaming. "Not here, by ourselves."
Dumbfounded, he simply nodded and followed her deeper into the forest. "Hey. You don't have to marry me, it'll probably kill me if you don't, but I'm not going to force you or anything." He reached out for her but she pulled away.
"Wait til you hear what I have to say before you say anything please." Leia sounded sad and hopeful at the same time.
"Okay." Han was fairly sure there was no one else she might be in love with and couldn't imagine what else it might be.
Leia stopped suddenly. She sighed and turned to face him. Tears still glistened on her face but she was no longer crying. "Let's sit down and I need to tell you something." She pointed at a couple of stumps, "those will do." Once they were seated, she looked up at him, "You know I was adopted?"
"You've said. A war orphan." Han was an orphan himself, didn't see it as a big deal.
"True. But it's not quite the whole story." She hesitated. "My mother died when I was born. My brother and I were separated to keep us safe from our father."
"I know about Luke. That's not a bad thing." Personally, Han had been thrilled to learn Luke was her brother and therefore, not competition. He'd even actually asked Luke about marrying Leia, figured she'd like the traditionalness of it since he couldn't ask her father.
"Wait. I haven't told you everything yet." she hesitated again. She closed her eyes, almost afraid to tell Han everything. But she had to, if this relationship was going to become marriage and a life together, she felt certain of the fact it couldn't begin on an omission of the truth of who he was marrying.
"Whatever it is, it can't possibly be as bad as you think." Han could be so gentle and understanding when he truly wanted to be and that stregthened Leia's resolve.
"My biological father was Anakin Skywalker." she spoke quietly. "He was a Jedi, very strong in the Force and he fell to the Dark Side."
"Okay." Han didn't see the whole truth yet.
Leia looked him straight in the eyes and finished the story. "He became Darth Vader."
Han squashed his first instinct quickly, which had been to jump up and away from her and stare at her in utter shock and disbelief. He'd been teamed up with Darth Vader's kids all this time?!
Instead, he stayed seated next to Leia, who wasn't looking at him anymore, probably expecting him to run away from her and their future forever. Han did something he didn't often do, he thought before he spoke.
"Leia, it doesn't change anything about how I feel about you. You're not Vader. You know that and I know that." he began.
"It does change things, Han. If anyone finds out, you could be destroyed for having any connection to me or Luke." Leia broke in.
"No, it changes nothing. If anyone finds out, then we will just move to a new star system, a new galaxy, whatever it takes to make you happy. It won't matter where we go or what we do, so long as you and I are together."
She looked at him doubtfully. "It really doesn't matter to you?"
"Leia. I love you. It does not, and never will, change that." Han was firm in his answer about it.
"Okay." she didn't look fully convinced of it.
He pulled the ring out again. "This argument is over and I've won, for once. Should we start this over?"
Finally, Leia gave him a smile. She'd played his proposal out in her mind many times over the years and she couldn't say any of those scenarios matched this one.
Once more, Han knelt before her, brandishing the ring. "Leia Organa, will you please give me the honor of being my wife? I promise I'll let you win as many arguments as I can bear."
She laughed at that. "I'm going to hold you to that the rest of our lives," she warned.
"So that's a yes?" Han held his breath, hoping.
"Of course, it's a yes! What else was I going to say?"
He nearly dropped the ring. He'd been expecting another argument or something instead. Carefully, he slid the ring onto her finger, then pulled her into his arms for a hug and a long kiss.