KATAJA'S FANFICTION
 

Luke and Lando
- the unlikely friendship


  

The prompts for the drabbles from Lando's point of view were; helpless, lost, broken, abused, beaten, and bruised. And then again new, beginning and fresh, from a third person narrative.



 

3 ABY

 


He doesn’t say a word as I help him through the ship. I can see his pain, and no matter how much I want to, I can’t ignore the stump of his arm that he’s clutching so hard to his side.

 

I’ve just helped to save his life, yet, I’ve never felt more helpless. I know exactly who cut off that hand. And I know exactly my part in it.

 

Leia rushes towards us and pulls him to her embrace. “How are you?” she breathes.

 

“It could be worse,” he whispers hoarsly. His jaw tightens. “It could be much worse.”

 

 



 

He’s sitting by the holochess table the next morning. Pale and hollow cheeked, eyes staring straight ahead. I’ve seen people in that state before, of course – recognize well the numbness of a drained mind, the impassive exhaustion of battle fatigue. Have been there myself, many, many years ago. 

 

But this is different. I know what this youngling has faced. It was no ordinary enemy – it was the nameless, crippling horrors of the Sith.

 

And by the look in his eyes, I can tell that he’s lost more than just his hand. He’s lost his hopes and dreams – his entire youth.

 

 



 

Was it really this young man who Darth Vader took so much trouble to catch? This mere boy, with mild eyes who greets me so politely? Surely he’s heard, must have heard from Leia what I did to them all? How I betrayed my friend, gambled with their lives and threw away as worthless the life of a man I had never met. His life.

 

Yes, it was this boy. This ‘mere boy’ faced what I dared not. Stood up against Vader, challenged him, fought him. And survived.

 

And meeting those blue eyes, I realize that he still isn’t broken.



 



I decieved Han. Abused his friendship. True, he played me a dirty trick last time we met, but it was nothing against this. I understand why his friends don’t want me before their eyes.

 

Chewbacca is a Wookiee – he will never forget, never forgive. I’ve seen others of his kin carry grudges for a lifetime – actually, it’s a wonder I’m still alive.

 

And Leia, lovely Leia, how cold weren’t her eyes when they lingered on me. As warm as they’d been on Han – and on Skywalker, now sitting here before me. But then he, they, are heroes – I am a traitor.

 

 



 

Skywalker looks horrible. Battered and beaten – and that stump poking out under his left arm. Still, he has the strength to smile to me and I almost jump when I noptice how kind his expression is. Why does he even bother – hasn’t Leia told…?

 

“Hi. Thanks for saving my life yesterday.” He moves to hold out his hand, then stops himself and just waves helplessly with the left instead. I look away, then force myself to look back and realize that he’s embarrassed. But not for himself. He’s embarrassed for making me feeling bad! How crazy can this galaxy get?

 



 

 

You’re welcome,” I manage, my voice someone else’s strange rasp. “That was the least I could do.” His kindness is salva on my bruised ego but how much does he know…?.

 

He opens his mouth, then breaks off. She has told him then. But the expression in his eyes isn’t detest, neither condemnation. It’s gentle, compassionate, like we share something… Like he understands…?

 

I realize then, that he does. He stood up against Vader -  he understands why I couldn’t. And he alone won’t judge me.

 

And in that moment, I make a promise. I will make things good again.



* * *




It was a new feeling to Lando, to be with someone where he didn't have to pretend anything. But this was how it was to be with Luke; no charades, not pretensions, no reproof.
 
Which was pretty remarkable, given the circumstances.
 
Had Lando met the youth under any other conditions, he'd probably underestimated him badly - but as it was, he knew that behind that innocent, blond appearance, was a mind as keen and sharp as his own - and a courage that beat him with several parsecs.
 
Luke had stood up against Vader - Lando had chosen to betray a friend.
  
  
  
 


Not only didn't Luke judge him - he offered his friendship - without conditions. That required a state of grace, Lando knew no precedent of.
 
And as Luke forgave him, Lando noted that both Chewbacca and Princess Leia slowly started to do the same. Wookiees never forget, of course, and princesses probably neither, but they allowed him a new chance - and as he slowly proved himself, he realized that they'd accepted him, if not forgiven him.
 
It was a new beginning - and Lando was smart enough to appreciate it fully. Finally, he began to understand the meaning of the word "friendship"
  

 


And friendship with Luke was an adventure in itself. Luke knew little of the things Lando normally used to impress his surroundings, cared about them even less - yet could fall in complete awe over things Lando thought completely normal; like the taste of a cup hot chocolate. He had no interest in money - except if they needed it to get out of a tight place - but loosing fair and square in sabacc could make him pout for days.
 
He allowed fresh perspectives, yet achingly familiar somehow. Like whispering memories of a time that was no more; Lando's own, long lost youth.
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