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.
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.